By John Thiel, Learning the Lesson of Unity in Christ Conference, Study 8, mp3
The world knows of unity. In politics they know that in their party they must be united. In sport they know what it means to be united. In business they know that without unity there is no success. The churches of today know that their Christian ideals need to be cemented in ecumenism; they know that unity is necessary. In warfare, in an army, perfect unity is taught in their recruits so that they know they must be in absolute harmony and absolute unity to win the war. All these concepts of unity portrayed in these areas fall far short of our unity understanding; unity in Christ. The representation of this unity comes to us from many different varieties of object lessons that Jesus gives. There is the body, the army in the Spirit of Prophecy but the one I want to focus upon is John chapter 15 which itemises the unity in its activity together very effectively.
John 15:1-5 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
By John Thiel, Missionary Training, Study 3
There are four main points of our study. We must have something in order to gain souls and now we are going to consider how to find souls, how to win souls and how to keep them. We must understand the time in which we are living in. It is the time of the closing of the world’s history. The work of finding interested souls has been taking place over a long period of time. Now the most pressing work is to glean. We’ve been living in the time of the harvest for a long time. The harvest has been reaped but at the end of the harvest they were to glean the last grains of wheat. Not a grain was lost. We have the work of gleaning the last few people that will respond to God’s message. When we discover how sinful we are, we will have compassion on others. Read the rest of this entry