These Things Doth The Lord Hate: He That Soweth Discord Among Brethren

Sunday Morning Service, 4/25/10

Songs

  • [ All To You]
  • [ Majestic]
  • [ Joy In The Holy Ghost]
  • [ We Fall Down]
  • [ Let Us Adore]
  • [ How Can I Keep From Singing]
  • [ That’s Why We Praise Him]
  • [ Everyday]

Testimonies

> Brad Logan

I’ve been working on my PhD for some time, but I’m thankful for all the support that you have given me. I am in charge of a certain type of material that is used in torpedoes. As I travel, it is an awesome opportunity to meet and minister to people. It is also an awesome responsibility. We all have that responsibility to minister. I’m thankful that God has put me in this place.

> Joe Harris

In about two weeks, I’ll be getting out of school. It has been a struggle; I’m thankful that God has brought me through. It took a while for me to understand that God has a plan for me. I’m thankful for the support of this ministry that has allowed me to grow. I’m looking forward to what God has for me in the future.

> Maria Smith

I’m so thankful to be in this ministry. God has so much! Half of the people here have seen me grow up in this ministry. I know Pastor Thomas; he’s like a father to me. I’m so thankful that at the end of this journey, I’m going to make it to heaven.

Message: These Things Doth The Lord Hate: He That Soweth Discord Among Brethren

> Pastor Ulysse

Lord, I thank you again for this opportunity to listen to your word. Let your word do its work in every soul.

This morning concludes the series of messages on the things the Lord hates. We find the main text in Proverbs, and we will read it together for the last time. I hope you keep the objective of this series, that you should never read these verses without stopping to think whether you are doing any of these things that the Lord hates:

Proverbs 6:16-19
  1. These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
  2. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
  3. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
  4. A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

This morning we are going to see “He that soweth discord among brethren.” As we read this scripture, we don’t see ourselves as those who are sowing the seed of discord. But let us see what sowing, discord, and brethren mean.

sow
to cause feelings or ideas to develop.

I look at “sow” in the larger sense, in culture. The sowing, when you see it as a farmer sowing his seeds, you know how just a little handful of seeds can grow and bring forth fruits. Just one seed of corn can bring forth many; it multiplies. Also, I want you to consider that sowing doesn’t bring forth fruits right away; it takes time. So when you sow discord now, for it to bring forth fruit takes time. Though you sow seeds, even if it is good seeds, it will always have some bad seeds. Weeds grow naturally; you don’t even need to sow bad seeds; they come naturally. Flowers and good seeds must be cultivated; the bad seeds of discord will be there regardless. Think about also where the weeds come from: birds plant them, they even come from the fertilizer. They can come from moms and dads, from brothers and sisters. This seed we are talking about can come from anywhere.

discord
disagreement; primarily, an unpleasant sound.

When those who have ears for music hear a sound, they know when it is not music; they know when it is discord. So sowing discord is causing an unpleasant sound to develop. When you say “brothers”, you can see discord anywhere, but we are talking about brethren; we are talking about the family of God.

Discord is to be especially despised, because it feeds Satan’s plan in keeping division among the body of Christ. It’s like you are helping his goal. So you should keep this in mind. Also, it displays a poor image of Christianity. If there is division among us, we don’t look good. As brothers and sisters in the church, we simply don’t look good. So for this reason, we should not sow discord. Also, a church that suffers from discord, from disharmony and disunity is a tragedy for the cause of Christ. We don’t want to be part of that. I want you to keep this in mind as we go into the message.

Psalms 133:1-3
  1. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
  2. It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
  3. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

The high priest, when he got anointed, they didn’t do like we do nowadays, just a little bit on the forehead. They would pour everything. So this oil would go through everybody; everybody would get anointed. So this verse says it is as the dew of Hermon. Hermon is a big mountain, very high, by the dead sea. So the dew would cover all the smaller mountains. So everybody would get covered. Is this true for the opposite? Yes, in the opposite, everybody gets covered also.

Jesus is talking about unity, that it is the most important thing for the church. He gave his life for the church; he would be willing to do anything to keep the unity and harmony. As brothers and sisters, we should be willing to do anything to keep this unity and harmony, also.

John 17:20
  1. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

He wasn’t just praying for his disciples then, but for you and me also.

John 17:21
  1. 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 hast sent me.

Jesus wants unity. Jesus wants harmony. That is why he has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19
  1. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
  2. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Now you probably read this scripture many times, but don’t get the fact that you have a ministry. A lot of time you pray to God asking “What do you have for me?” Jesus has for you the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus left to give us this ministry: to reconcile. This is not the seed of discord.

Anybody can enjoy a little bit of peace; nobody has a problem with peace, unless you are really, really a troublemaker. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:9
  1. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

There is a huge difference between peacemakers and peace-lovers. It’s huge. The peacemakers shall be called the children of God. We all like to be called the children of God. Peace-lovers only have to enjoy the peace. The peace is there; they only have to enjoy it and have a good time. But the peacemakers have to sacrifice. It is a hard thing. If you want to be called the children of God, you have to be prepared to make a sacrifice.

Ephesians 4:1-3
  1. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
  2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
  3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Pay attention to the word endeavoring. It means “to force; to work hard.” You don’t just get the unity of the spirit without the bond of peace. It says in verse two:

Ephesians 4:2
  1. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

You can forbear somebody, but forbearing in love is something else. We know what love is; we may not mean love; we may not live love, but we know when the Bible talks of love what it means. Telling the truth without love is brutality. When Jonah went to Nineveh, there wasn’t love in it. He wanted God to destroy everybody. He was glad about it; he was probably saying, “I can not wait for this day to come.” Sometimes we take the word of God that we should be telling in love, and use it like a sword to cut off the ear, like Peter did. And Jesus is saying “No, no; that’s not what I came for.” And he puts the ear back and heals them. You have to tell the truth, but it must be done in love.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13
  1. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
  2. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
  3. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
  4. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

I spent most of my time preparing for this sermon thinking about this scripture. We know what we mean when we say “our church” but sometimes we need to think about it. It isn’t “our church”; we didn’t die for it. The church is the church of Christ. We have pastors, but they didn’t die for us; they weren’t crucified for us; we didn’t even get baptized in their name. We are talking about the church of Jesus Christ; he died for this church. And he doesn’t want discord; he doesn’t want disharmony.

The next thing I am going to show you is what Paul and Barnabas went through. I looked and searched, and it doesn’t seem like these guys were doing things right.

After their first journey, Paul said, “Hey, Barnabas, let’s go back and visit the cities where we first preached.” And Barnabas said, “I am determined to take John with us.” But John had not stayed with them the first time, but departed.

Acts 15:36-41
  1. And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the LORD, and see how they do.
  2. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
  3. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
  4. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
  5. And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
  6. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

You know it’s a scripture that we all know, but as I was reading the scripture I thought “who is right and who is wrong?” Anyway you look at it, it is wrong. There is probably some good in it, because God can make good. The Bible says however Christ is preached, he is preached, and we should be happy about it. Barnabas was determined; no matter what Paul thinks, he was bringing John along. Paul was thinking, “I wouldn’t have a problem with John if he hadn’t left us.” I wish we had a tape of the argument. It says that Barnabas took John, but Paul chose. He had his reasons: Silas was a Roman citizen; he was a prophet; he was recommended by the brethren. But after many years, Paul was talking about Mark, which is the same John who Barnabas took with him:

2 Timothy 4:11
  1. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

So in the fullness of time, he found John Mark to be profitable for ministry.

You probably know the story, where a fellow in the church took his father’s wife. In the church!

1 Corinthians 5:1-5
  1. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
  2. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
  3. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
  4. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  5. To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Now he says, “Come on! I am not here; I am far away. But even in the world, this man should be delivered unto Satan. Take him out from among us. He should not be here.”

Now in the second letter he wrote to the Corinthians, they took this guy out. But meanwhile, the guy repented, and he wanted to come back to church. However he made it right, he wanted to come back, but people didn’t want him to come back. There was discord.

2 Corinthians 2:5-7
  1. But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
  2. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
  3. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

In that making peace, we need not only to watch out for what is bad, but we need to also watch out for when somebody repents. When someone repents, we do not have a choice. It is not for us, but for Christ’s sake. He is the one who died; he is the one who suffered. I find it amazing when people say that so-and-so should not be in church; it is like they would be leaving if so-and-so is there.

2 Corinthians 2:8
  1. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

It is very hard when people ask questions and they say “I don’t have a problem with so-and-so, but I will keep my distance.” How do you confirm your love? There must be action to confirm your love.

2 Corinthians 2:9-11
  1. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
  2. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
  3. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

We are fighting a battle. Satan has his plan, and he has all kinds of ways to go about accomplishing his plan. We should not be ignorant of his devices; we should not be ignorant of his ways. I believe that Paul was right in choosing not to take John Mark, but we should realize when he has repented. We should not say, “Well, if you repent it is between you and God, but you are not going to be here.” Satan has his devices, and we should not be ignorant of his devices.

I don’t know how long I have been speaking, but I am asking if you would forget everything I have said, do not forget this one thing. Don’t ever be a part of a group, small or large, that seeks to bring discord in the church. Not only you cannot be the one sowing the seeds, but don’t ever be a part of a group, small or large, that all they are doing is sowing the seed of discord in the church. When your pastor does not speak to you for many years, you should pay all the more attention when he speaks. If you would have any part in a group that sows discord in the church that Christ died for, you will lose. Christ will not tolerate … he died for it.

I have observed how my Mom would talk to my sisters. You know like David said, “I was young, but now I am old.” I have observed that everything my mother said is coming true. If you do not listen to your mom and your dad, at the end, you will be the one paying the price. I remember when I was choosing a wife, I had to talk to my Dad. I talked about why I was making the choice, but you know what is in your heart. There was a thing going on before I was born between the two families. This was new to me, I did not know what was going on. I really wanted to make this happen, so I talked to my Dad. So he took an audio tape to my wife’s family, (this is how they resolved this kind of problem in Haiti,) and they made some kind of deal. It was better than my wife and I saying “I don’t care what you think, we are doing this thing.” We had to find a way to bring them together. If we did not, then it doesn’t matter if we are right or wrong, in the end we will be wrong.

Proverbs 6:12-15
  1. A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
  2. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
  3. Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
  4. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

I was pastor in a church in Haiti, and I had a partner. He was truly a partner. I never met a Haitian who loved God like he did. And we worked very hard from the beginning. We were close, so close that even my own family used to get jealous of how close I am to him. It seems like I spent all my time with him, and all my secrets. Everybody wanted to tell me that he is a bad man, that nobody likes him, but I could only say “I know he loves God.” After years and years, suddenly the rumors became louder and louder. Even there were rumors of him having his own church while he was my associate, working together. But I know that it is not my church; it is God’s church. If I have to fight to keep the church of God, then like Gideon says, he is not God if he cannot defend his own church. People would say “Are you not going to do something about it?” I say, “I would like to do something about it, but I do not know what.” I know that when you are in a position that you have to make a decision but you do not know what it should it be, the best thing to do is stop. There is a very good chance that whatever decision you make will be a bad one. So I said to God, “I want to love this man; if he doesn’t want to love you the way he should, that is between you and him. But I am going to love him.” So finally there came a time when God said, “Do something now.” Besides having his own church, which was his own personal business, he started going to the parents and telling them to not send their kids to the church anymore. So I went to his house. I went openly; people were saying to me that there was something going on, but to me there wasn’t anything going on. I went to his house and said, “Pastor, I tell you what. You can hurt me, hurt my family, do whatever. But don’t be part of any group who will sow discord, because there will not be a remedy when you are broken.”

Proverbs 6:15
  1. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

He wasn’t very happy, because I didn’t come laughing. I told him that he needs to stop it, or it will not be good for him. I told him on Monday, and on Wednesday he disappeared. I say disappeared, even unto this day. Nobody knows where he has gone. Because the word was that we had something between us, my prayer to this day is that they find him. Because there are people to this day who believe that I did something. I don’t know what happened. Maybe he was ashamed and hid somewhere; maybe he went straight to heaven; I don’t know. But I know that God will not tolerate you being the one to sow discord. I know that.

So my prayer is that every single action that you take, you will think:

Proverbs 6:16-19
  1. These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
  2. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
  3. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
  4. A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

> Pastor Thomas

I will assign a little homework. Read Numbers chapter 16. It is about people who were men of renown; they were important people. They stood up against Moses because they didn’t like what he was doing. And there were a thousand people who were supporting them. It is amazing. We cannot let our arrogance, our self-importance overpower us. I have screwdrivers in my toolbox that are bent and twisted, because I needed a pry-bar or a chisel, and didn’t have one. There have been times when God wanted to use me for something that I didn’t like, and I protested to God. But God said, “Shut up; you’re in my toolbox, and I’m going to use you.