DISCERNING WHETHER OR NOT
ONE IS SPREADING THE GERMS OF DIVISION
When some hear this word, they may say, "How can we tell who is divisive and who is not divisive? How can we discern who is wearing a mask and who is not wearing one? Besides, among the divisive ones are there not some who are innocent? Perhaps the one contacting us is innocent." The person contacting you may be innocent, but, even though he is not knowledgeable, he may nevertheless be carrying the "germs" of division. You may then be infected with these germs, which can multiply very quickly. An innocent one may be full of germs, and, through his contact with you, these germs can be transferred to you and cause you to be infected unconsciously.
How can you discern whether or not the person contacting you is transmitting to you the germs of division? You need to be very careful in your listening. If the one speaking with you is living and full of life, without any germs of death, the more you talk with him, the more living you will become. The divine life within you will rise higher and higher. However, if the one contacting you is spreading the germs of death, the more you talk with him, the more you will be deadened. The life within you will go down. As long as your contact with this person causes you to be deadened, this is an indication that this one is spreading the germs of death. Such a brother or sister may speak to you in a nice, intimate, loving, and humble way, but as you listen, you inwardly sense that you are going down. By this you can discern whether or not the one contacting you is spreading the germs of death and division.
Furthermore, if you continue to listen to the speaking of such a divisive one, you may find that questions are rising up within you. Questions are often Satan’s way of tempting us. In tempting Eve the serpent said to her, "Hath God said?" (Gen. 3:1). As I pointed out in the Life-study of Genesis, a question mark is shaped like a serpent standing up and asking, "Hath God said?" After talking with a divisive one, you may be filled with questions—questions about the church and about the Lord’s recovery. These questions may cause you to become cold toward the church life. First, you may stop coming to the meetings of the church. Eventually you may stop praying and reading the Word. Instead of being revived by the Lord each morning, you are killed.
One of the best ways for germs to spread is through eating things that are unclean. This indicates that in order to be kept away from the germs of death and division, we need to have a proper spiritual diet. Therefore, as we will see in the next message, in Deuteronomy 14 Moses turns from the matters of division and apostasy to the matter of the holy diet.
(Life-Study of Deuteronomy, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)