On Visible Unity
And now we come to the next subject of difference, namely, visible unity. And upon this, as well as upon all other subjects of the Bible, we wish to give you the Word, and not our human notions, for if there is such a thing in the Church of God as visible unity, it must have its foundations in Bible truth.
Accordingly, we read, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah [that is, the tribe of Judah], nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh [rest giver] come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Genesis 49:10)
“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign [a standard] of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious. It shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD [not man] shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush [the land of the blacks], and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” (Isaiah 11:10-11)
“And it shall come to pass in the last days [in the gospel dispensation], that the mountain of the LORD’S house [church, not some sect] shall be established in the top of the mountains [high above all carnal sect division], and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations [not just the white race alone] shall flow unto it.” (Isaiah 2:2)
“I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation [not the religion of one nation] unto the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
“And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together [they don’t divide up in different congregations because of race or color], they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far [from other nations], and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together [not apart].” (Isaiah 60:3-5)
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-82)
“And other sheep I have [Gentiles] which are not of this fold [Jews]: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16)
“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” (John 11:49-52)
We see by the foregoing scriptures, that the mission of Christ to this world was to bring salvation to the whole human family, and that He would call His converts from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, regardless of their race or color, customs, traditions, habits, tastes, prejudices, vast difference in education, etc. Although they were formerly broken by sin into fragments, castes, and hostile camps, the one against the other, they were, thank God! to make peace both with God and each other through the blood of His cross, as it is written: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both [Jew and Gentile] one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity… for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both [Jew and Gentile] unto God in one body [not two] by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby…. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom [Christ] all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:13-22)
Here we see that the Gentile does not come to the Jew, neither the Jew to the Gentile, but both come unto God by Jesus Christ, and at the cross are washed from their sins in His own precious blood, losing their race preference, and are made “one new man, so making peace,” from henceforth builded together for God’s dwelling place on earth. And we read in Acts 2 where, on the day of Pentecost, about three thousand souls out of every nation under heaven—which most assuredly included the colored races, such as the Egyptian, the Ethiopian, and Libyan—were saved together and became associated together in the church at Jerusalem. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)
There was the fulfillment of all the scriptures concerning Christ’s coming to earth to bring salvation to all men, and to establish His church in unity and oneness; no division of any kind or character, but perfect unity, both visible and in the Spirit. And indeed this visible unity continued throughout the history of the early church, as witnessed by the labors of the apostles.
Peter had to learn this wonderful truth before he went to the household of Cornelius, and arriving there, he declared that God had shown him not to call any man common or unclean; for “in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:35) However, once, through fear of the Jewish converts coming from Jerusalem to Antioch, he withdrew from eating with the Gentile saints. But he was rebuked by Paul for such conduct, and was told that in this he had “walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel.” (Galatians 2:14) Therefore, to divide the people of God into different congregations because of their race or color is to raise again the race wall of partition, which Christ died to destroy. And having more than one congregation in any one city because of race or color, is simply division, and destroys the visible unity that Christ most earnestly prayed unto God for, and died that it might be realized among His people on earth. If we do not preach it and practice it we are no better than sect Babylon, and God will disown us as His people. Now we will give you a statement from D. S. Warner on this subject, so you will see that not only the Bible teaches visible unity, but that it was taught and practiced among the saints in the Evening Light Reformation.
As there is but “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all,” (Ephesians 4:6) so likewise there is but “one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” (Ephesians 4:4) It was the purpose of God to save both Jews and Gentiles through the gospel of His Son. Now there was a great gulf of prejudice and vast separation in sentiment and education existing between these two classes; and it might very reasonably be thought that characters so remote from each other could never be blended together in one body, and live agreeably under one faith. Did therefore, the Lord indulge their alienation from each other, and their extreme peculiarities, by providing a separate fold for each? Nay, for the Great Teacher says, “Other sheep I have [Gentiles], which are not of this fold [not Jews]: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16) Those antipodes of humanity, if saved at all, must be brought together into one fold….
By means of any complete concordance you may see that church is never once in the plural number when referring to the disciples of Christ in any one city. No matter how large the city and how numerous the believers, there is but one Church of God in it. Hence we read, “the church that was at Antioch” (Acts 13:1); “the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2); “the church of the Thessalonians” (1 Thessalonians 1:1); “unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” (Revelation 1:11) Thus you see there was only one church in one city. And though under the apostasy there are today many bodies, many towering steeples, and rival altars, in every town and city, God’s Word is just as true as when written by the inspiration of the apostles, and there is but “one body in Christ.” (Romans 12:5) Yea, there is but one body universal in Christ, and but one body in Christ in Chicago, in New York, or in any city on earth. Therefore, if “God be true, but every man a liar,” (Romans 3:4) it follows that the multitude of bodies seen in these last days occupying the same place, are not in Christ, not the one body of Christ.
[Daniel S. Warner; The Cleansing of the Sanctuary]
Now, dear reader, we have given you both the truth, and the past teaching of The Gospel Trumpet people on the subject of the visible unity of the Church of God. We want to say right here, we stand today on the Word of God and preach and practice the truth of this teaching also. But the Trumpet people no longer maintain visible unity, but have separate places of worship for the Negroes who are of their faith, except where there is no race prejudice, and on the occasion of their general or extraordinary meetings. So you see, by such action, they have a white man’s church with all of the colored races admitted, except the Negro race. The reason for such action is that they cater to the race hatred of the unsaved world, and the “Jim Crow” laws of different states, and bar from their local assemblies the Negroes. Hence according to their teaching and action, Jesus has two folds, one for the Caucasian, Malay, North American Indian, Mongolian, etc., and another fold for the Negro. But we believe the words of Christ, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring… and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16) This shows the difference there is between us on this subject.