The Spirit of Reconciliation

by Wayne Schatzle, biblicalcenter.org,

I have been active in promoting [Yahweh’s] Faith and [Scripture] reading for many years now. I have also relied on prayer for guidance. Recently, as I was bothered by the lack of new people in our local churches, I prayed to [Elohim] because He is the One that sends people. This time I prayed a little differently, instead of asking for direction in evangelistic efforts, I asked- what is wrong with us? Remarkably, this verse popped into my mind: ““if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you- leave your gift there…… first be reconciled to your brother and then offer the gift”” (Matt 5: 24). Immediately I understood what message [Yahweh] had for me.

I wondered if I was over reacting or reading more into that verse than should be until I checked a trusted commentary: “This is as much to say, “Do not attempt to bring any offering to [Elohim] while you are in a spirit of enmity against any person; or have any difference with your neighbor, which you have not used your diligence to get adjusted.” It is our duty and interest, both to bring our gift and offer it too; but [Elohim] will not accept any act of religious worship from us while any enmity subsists in our hearts toward any soul of man, or while any subsists in our neighbor’s heart towards us which we have not used the proper means to remove.” {Adam Clark pg 775}. Very strong words indeed, and I feel compelled to agree with them.

Our tradition of Faith is a web of ugly divisions in the body of [Messiah] and those splits are still festering with hard feelings. In spite of the smiling faces on the brethren, resentments continue. No one admits to harboring ill will towards former brethren, yet their actions belie the lip service. This is the time to do some soul searching and ask [Yahweh] if there is less than a pure heart within you. Actually the verse I cited shows that even though you may harbor no ill will, but your brother does- it is up to you to remedy the situation. But why me you ask? Just this, “you who are Spiritual - restore such a one” {Gal 6}. If you are the one that remembered it- you are the spiritual one and the task has fallen on you!

We may sear our conscience to put ex-brethren out of our minds- but make no mistake, [Elohim] remembers, and He hates divisions. We identify ourselves by the [assembly] we attend or better yet, the man we follow. [Elohim] desires that we be likeminded, no divisions, and have the same mind and judgment. When there are divisions, we must be treated as carnal because we are behaving like ordinary men and not [Elohim’s] elect. {1 Cor 1-3}.

Looking at this problem from [Yahweh’s] point of view, should He send more people into a situation where people who believe the same cannot get along? Why would we think we could get along with strangers more than former brethren? Think about this: “if one says “I love Yahweh”, and hates his brother- he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love [Yahweh] whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that HE WHO LOVES GOD MUST LOVE HIS BROTHER ALSO. {1 John 4: 20-1}. It is not an option for us to ignore others in the Spiritual Body of [Messiah].

But many will say that it seems hopeless to mend the hurt feelings of the past- and they are correct. ““A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city and contentions are like the bars of a castle”” {Prov 18:19}. Just possibly your efforts will fail and the offended party will not hear you. You have done your job and [Elohim] knows your heart. “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of [Elohim]” {Matt 5: 9}. That is a worthy prize for your effort!

If this message has touched your heart and brought to mind a problem in your congregation, I urge you to act and discuss these thoughts with your [assembly]. Instead of planning campaigns and advertising ploys, why not be proactive in restoring the church in your area? Plan a “Family Reunion” at a neutral site, and put away the denominational banter for one week? Invite all those who were once considered Family and enjoy singing hymns, scriptures, and a nice meal together. Set your goal to do this, not to create another organization because there is room for many efforts to proclaim the Gospel, but to show [Yahweh] we do have the capacity to be loving and forgiving. Who knows, you may even have a great time in the process?

See Note From The Coover Family Below

No offense intended to the writer of that article, but after looking over it more carefully, we do not think that we can say we are in full agreement with the message. It is unfortunate that we didn't evaluate this better before sending it out. Our lives right now are extremely busy and we just realized another full week has gone by and we have no new weekly message.....so we were a bit hasty in making the choice. Please forgive us and allow us to explain our position.

In Matthew 5:24 it says, "if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you- leave your gift there....first be reconciled to your brother and then offer the gift." Reconciliation according to this verse is fitting. I Corinthians 1-3 speaks of being LIKE-minded and having the SAME MIND and JUDGEMENT....hence, no divisions. Too often though, brethren tend to overlook a very important point. Whose MIND are we to be LIKE? We're to be like-minded AS OUR SAVIOUR, AS OUR CREATOR. Petty differences are one thing to overlook, and if that's the issue, then perhaps it's true that we can just forget it and go have a picnic, but what about when the issues are not petty issues, but issues of what's right and what's wrong, what's pure and undefiled and what's evil, what's "of Yahweh" and what's "of this world"???

"I Corinthians 11:18,19 says "For first of all, when ye come together in the assembly, I hear that there be divisions among you: and I partly believe it. FOR THERE MUST BE ALSO HERESIES AMONG YOU, that THEY WHICH ARE APPROVED MAY BE MADE MANIFEST AMONG YOU." There are divisions, unfortunately true, but they come about BECAUSE OF HERESIES amongst our ranks. This is not the kind of thing that can be smoothed over with a picnic where we sing some songs, remember the good old days, and fill our bellies. These needs be divisions occur , too, for what purpose? "......That they which are approved may be made manifest among you." Does the assembly desire that end or would we rather have our ears tickled?

How do we reconcile ourselves to our brother who "has ought against thee" if together we're not reconciled to Yahweh and his will, law, and judgement first? "Therefore if any man be in Messiah, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of Yahweh who hath reconciled us to himself by Yahshua Messiah, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that Yahweh Elohim was in Messiah, reconnciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Messiah, as though Yahweh did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, BE YE RECONCILED TO Elohim." (2 Corinthians 5:17-20) Truly, this is where the spirit of reconciliation begins.....and ends.

On the other hand, we whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Schatzle that we should make things right where they are wrong before we just do the easy way and give a big offering. Then when repentance is in order if that's what we're talking about, and if the offering still seems in order, go ahead. We also agree that, if there are problems in your little local congregation, those problems won't be solved just by advertizing campaigns to turn the little congregation into a big congregation. This will only turn little problems into big problems, if they're not big enough already.

We welcome any farther comments on the subject. Yahweh's blessings. Shalom.

Please See Mr. Schatzle's Conclusion Below

I concur with the comments you add to this article. When I write these pieces for the local newspaper I am limited to 2 page / double spaced so I cannot cover every aspect.  Interestingly, I received several responses from “Sunday” folks that also identify with this problem. Specifically, I am addressing a local division we had here, where the original group was split five ways, not over doctrine, but administrations. We all believe the same basic doctrine and acknowledge we are in the same body of [Messiah], and readily admit there is a problem, yet pride and those in leadership position resist any intercourse between brethren. I feel this particular scenario falls into the scope of the scripture of "bringing a gift".

I hope this clears up the confusion. There are definitely reasons for separation in the Body and hopefully mature [Believers] will be able to tell when it is warranted.



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