Editorial – Unity of Spirit and Faith

In 1902, Ellen White predicted the situation that God’s people would be in as the final crisis in this world approaches. “As we approach the last crisis, it is of vital moment that harmony and unity exist among the Lord’s instrumentalities. The world is filled with storm and war and variance. Yet under one head—the papal power—the people will unite to oppose God in the person of His witnesses. This union is cemented by the great apostate. While he seeks to unite his agents in warring against the truth he will work to divide and scatter its advocates. Jealousy, evil surmising, evilspeaking, are instigated by him to produce discord and dissension. The members of Christ’s church have the power to thwart the purpose of the adversary of souls. At such a time as this let them not be found at variance with one another or with any of the Lord’s workers. Amidst the general discord let there be one place where harmony and unity exist because the Bible is made the guide of life. Let the people of God feel that a responsibility rests upon them to build up His instrumentalities.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 182.

Has the first part of this prophecy been fulfilled in your church? Has the second part? Will the third and last part of this prophecy be fulfilled in your church?

There will be a people who will come into perfect unity and harmony. This harmony and unity will not be a union in fanaticism nor will it be based on kingly power. It is not going to involve all the members of the church; there will be unity in the midst of disunity:

“As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us. Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and will depart from the faith. But, on the other hand, when the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd’s voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together and present to the enemy a united front. In view of the common peril, strife for supremacy will cease; there will be no disputing as to who shall be accounted greatest. . . . The testimony of one and all will be: ‘I cleave unto Christ; I rejoice in Him as my personal Saviour.’ ” Ibid., vol. 6, 400, 401.

We are going to see both separation and unity. Notice that the way people will separate is by departing from the faith; they will forsake the truth. They may still be going to the same church, but they will be accepting delusive teachings. Do we not see this already? What we see developing now will become the tidal wave of the future. All the specifications Ellen White wrote in 1902 will come to pass.

May we each be a part of the group that clings to the Bible and the Bible only and, as a result of growing up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, part of those who come into unity of spirit and faith.