VII. NOT FOLLOWING DIVISIVE ONES
The last issue is found in 3 John 9-10: “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.”
Whether Diotrephes was a real Christian I do not know, but he was one who loved to have the first place in the church. He was one who dominated the church in which he was, rejecting the apostles and some good saints and even casting out of the church those who received these saints. You may think he is an extreme case, but the same thing is still existing today.
What is the cause of division? It is mainly because of the rivalry for the leadership. “I want to be the head. I will not be under you. If I am not number one, I will set up another group so that I can be in charge.” No one, of course, will openly make such a declaration. He will wear a beautiful cloak and hide behind it if accused of causing division. But as a church, full of life, we can see through his outward pretense. Thus, we reject both antichrist and Diotrephes. If we refuse to follow self-appointed leaders, there will not be any division. Christ is our only Head.
VIII. A SUMMARY
These, then, are the seven issues that result from the seven mysteries. First, there will be the growth that brings in the distinctions in life between the little ones, the young ones, and the fathers. Second, there will be a strong testimony of victory over the evil one. Third, the church will rise up out of the world. Fourth, Satan will not dare to touch the church. Fifth, we shall keep ourselves from idols. Sixth, we shall have nothing to do with antichrists. Seventh, we shall not give a following to divisive ones.
These issues are the outcome of life. They cannot be brought about by regulations. They result from our being in the reality of the seven mysteries: life; fellowship; abiding; the anointing; the divine birth; the divine seed; and the water, the blood, and the Spirit.
(Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)