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part 3 - Necessity of Fellowship and Unity

1)    "...if we walk in the light, as he (Jesus) is in the light, we have fellowship one with another..." 1 John 1:7.

2)    "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

     "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." Isaiah 52:11.

     "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:4.

     "Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense....My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord." Jeremiah 51:6, 45.

3)    Why Are We Held Responsible for Personal, Social, and Corporate Sin?

4)    "What can I present before my brethren and sisters in Christ, that is more important for their study and practice than the Saviour's prayer for His disciples?  The entire seventeenth chapter of John is full of marrow and fatness." Bible Echo, April 23, 1894.

5)    "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." John 17:14-23.

6)    "Oh read the prayer of Christ for unity, 'Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are' (John 17:11).  The prayer of Christ is not only for those who are now His disciples [back in Christ's day], but for all those who shall believe on Christ through the words of His disciples, even to the end of the world.  Jesus...looks down the lines two thousand years to His church which would be in existence in the last days, before the close of this earth's history." Manuscript Releases, vol 1, p 355.

7)    "Please read this chapter [John 17] with careful, prayerful attention, and practice the petition which Christ made to His Father.  Mark the twentieth to the twenty-third verses.  This unity it is our work to cultivate.  Even our thoughts are to be brought into captivity to Christ, that we may bind them about, and think no evil of our brethren." 1888 Materials, p 1150.

8)    "It is the will of God that union and brotherly love should exist among His people....While we are not to sacrifice one principle of truth, it should be our constant aim to reach this state of unity." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 520.

9)    "As we approach the last crisis, it is of vital moment [importance] that harmony and unity exist among the Lord's instrumentalities." Publishing Ministry, p 114.

10)    "Union with Christ and with one another is our only safety." Testimonies, vol 7, p 239.

11)    A.  We will not fulfill the work of proclaiming God's truths unless we seek for and obtain unity!
     "The proclamation of the gospel was to be world-wide in its extent, and the messengers of the cross could not hope to fulfill their important mission unless they should remain united in the bonds of Christian unity..." Acts of Apostles, p 90.

     "Entire consecration and unity are needed in this work." Signs of Times, March 24, 1898.

B.  We cannot be Christ's disciples unless we reach unity.
     "This [unity] is the evidence of our discipleship." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 520.

C.  We cannot be true laborers for God, or even be His witnesses, unless we work for unity.
     "John 17:21 quoted.  All true laborers for God will work in harmony with this prayer.  In their efforts to advance the work, all will manifest that oneness of sentiment and practice which reveals that they are God's witnesses, that they love one another." Testimonies, vol 7, p 156-157.

D.  We cannot successfully carry forward God's work in strength unless we are united together.
     "In order successfully to carry forward the work to which they had been called, these disciples, differing so widely in natural characteristics, in training, and in habits of life, needed to come into unity of feeling, thought, and action.  This unity it was Christ's object to secure....[John 17:21 quoted]." Conflict and Courage, p 288.

     "Christ says that unity and Christian fellowship were necessary to the cause of God, therefore He enjoined it upon His disciples.  And the history of Christianity from that time until now proves conclusively that in union only is there strength." Testimonies, vol 4, p 19.

E.  Our efforts to win souls to Jesus and His truth will not be very successful unless we come into unity.
     "As in humility and faith they come to a unity of purpose and plan, God will work for them and with them, and success will attend their efforts." Special Testimonies, Series B#18, p 34.

F.  We cannot be truly converted to God unless we seek to be and are in unity.
     "I had a message to the believers...that all who are truly converted unto the proclamation of the third angel's message must not present to the world, to angels, and to men, division in the place of unity." Manuscript Releases, vol 4, p 297.

G.  We cannot reach perfection of character unless we gain unity.
     "Perfection of character means perfection in unity.  'That they all may be one,' Christ said, 'as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee' (John 17:21).  What possibilities are before us.  Shall not our faith grasp them?" Manuscript Releases, vol 11, p 179.

H.  We cannot really be looking forward to our Lord's coming unless we dwell in unity.
     "Unity and peace now dwelt among our people who were looking for the coming of the Lord." Testimonies, vol 1, p 48.

I.  The sick will not be healed among us very often unless we have unity and love.
     "The question is asked, 'Why are not the sick among us healed?'  It is because of the lack of unity, and love that exists in the church." Manuscript Releases, vol 11, p 179.

J.  We cannot receive the approval of God unless we are united together with love and tender kindness for each other.
     "Yes, the religion of Christ is a system of the truest politeness, and its triumphs are complete when a world may look on a people professing godliness with a united front, believers showing habitual tenderness of feeling and kindness of deportment and sincere regard for the reputation of each other.  We may not look for the approval of God unless we work to the point of habitual kindness, acting upon the principles of the gospel." Manuscript Releases, vol 15, p 128.

K.  We cannot be close to God unless we answer the prayer of Christ in John 17.
     "We cannot draw nigh to God...without our hearts being blended together in perfect unity, answering the prayer of Christ..." Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 937.

L.  We cannot honor and please God unless we come into unity.
     "...the seventeenth chapter of John...shows us that our difference and disunion are dishonoring to God." Selected Messages, book 3, p 21.

     "Dissensions, unhappy differences, and petty church trials dishonor our Redeemer." Testimonies, vol 4, p 19.

M.  We are not in harmony with God unless we seek to be united in one accord.
     "We may safely seek to be of one accord in doctrine and spirit, and if this were done, we would be in harmony with God's will." Review and Herald, April 22, 1890.

N.  We cannot be connected with heaven unless we are in unity.
     "To a world that is broken up by discord and strife, their love and unity will testify to their connection with heaven.  It is the convincing evidence of the divine character of their mission." Testimonies, vol 7, p 156-157.

O.  We cannot be of the Philadelphian church unless we obtain and hold to unity and love among us.
     "They [those in church of Sardis]...dwelt upon their differences of opinion till these differences became as mountains, separating them from Christ and from one another, destroying unity and love." Manuscript Releases, vol 6, p 242.

P.  We cannot be God's true separated Remnant people who have obeyed the midnight cry unless we seek perfect unity.
     "'Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.' Matt 25:6.  Lose no time now in rising and trimming your lamps.  Lose no time in seeking perfect unity with one another.  We must expect difficulties." Testimonies, vol 8, p 212.

12)    "Our only hope of reaching heaven is to be one with Christ, and then in and through Christ we shall be one with one another....He [Christ] calls for unity, and unity we must have." Manuscript Releases, vol 17, p 291.

13)    "If we draw nigh to God, individually, then don't you see what the result will be?  Can't you see that we will draw nigh to one another?  We cannot draw nigh to God, and come to the same cross, without our hearts being blended together in perfect unity, answering the prayer of Christ 'that they may be one' as He is one with the Father.  And therefore we should seek in spirit, in understanding, in faith, that we may be one, that God may be glorified in us as He is glorified in the Son; and that God shall love us as He loves the Son." Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 937.      

14)    "God wants unity to be seen..." General Conference Bulletin April 10, 1901.

15)    "When Christ abides in the hearts of believers, unity will be seen.  Love will flow from them to others in a strong current....Their unity will testify in a most powerful manner that they are children of God.  It will have an irresistible influence upon the world, showing that man in his humanity may be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Signs of Times, May 2, 1900.

     "Unity will bring into the work a power that we have not yet seen.  This will be the evidence to the world that the work is of God." Review and Herald, November 12, 1901.

16)    "At present there is not that unity that should exist among our brethren, and the Lord says, "Come together." This should be done as soon as possible, for we have no time to lose." Manuscript Releases, vol 20, p 223.

17)    "When professing Christians are united as one,--one with Christ in God,--they are representatives of the church of the Firstborn." Review and Herald, January 6, 1903.

     "John 17:21 quoted.  All true laborers for God will work in harmony with this prayer.  In their efforts to advance the work, all will manifest that oneness of sentiment and practice which reveals that they are God's witnesses, that they love one another." Testimonies, vol 7, p 156-157.

     "In every word and act, kindness and love will be revealed; and as each worker fills his appointed place faithfully, the prayer of Christ for the unity of His followers will be answered, and the world will know that these are His disciples." Review and Herald, February 21, 1907.

     "Jesus would impress upon the church the fact that they are his brethren, that they are to unite with him as laborers together with God.  They are to be a brotherhood for the saving of humanity.  Christ expects a very different work from the churches than that which has been given to him.  The people of God will not answer the expectation of Christ until they are converted and prepared to obey the commandment of Christ.  He says, 'A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.'  Again he says, 'By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.'  When this commandment is obeyed, envy, evil surmising, vile thinking, and evil speaking will be banished.  In the character of those who love God, these evils will have no part.  Love means spiritual growth after the divine model.  Christ has given us a pattern in his own example.  He would bind his followers to one another and to himself.  Their oneness with Christ makes them love one another; for love is the sure fruit of unity with Christ.  Christ declared that their love one for another was a sure badge of their discipleship.  He is the root, his disciples are the branches." The Home Missionary, August 1, 1896.

     "...let us labor in unity.  The Lord will work with power, as we strive to do our part faithfully." Special Testimonies, Series B#13, p 16.

     "When those who believe present truth are united, they exert a telling influence." Testimonies, vol 5, p 236.

     "'That they all may be one,' Christ continued; 'as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.' These words hold out before us wonderful possibilities.  Shall we not individually seek to answer the prayer of Christ?  Shall we not strive for the unity which he prayed might exist among his followers?  What is this unity to do?--It is to show the world that God sent his Son to save sinners.  Since it is to have so blessed a result, should not the followers of Christ do all in their power to obtain it?" Southern Watchman, March 1, 1904.

     "That we may unite with Christ in this work we should place ourselves under the molding influence of His Spirit.  Through the power thus imparted we may co-operate with the Lord in the bonds of unity as laborers together with Him in the salvation of souls.  To everyone who offers himself to the Lord for service, withholding nothing, is given power for the attainment of measureless results." Testimonies, vol 7, p 30.

18)    "We are not to strengthen any evil work.  Let those who have used their talents of influence in doing this, do so no longer.  Let them not by pen or voice act on Satan's side of the question.  In obedience to a 'Thus saith the Lord,' let unity of action be seen." Review and Herald, August 6, 1901.

* Here are the links to the quotes used for the other parts in this series:

God's True Church - part 1
God's True Church - part 2
God's True Church - part 4
God's True Church - part 5