TURNING AWAY FROM THE DIVISIVE ONES
Some saints may feel that instead of rejecting the divisive ones, we should receive them and love them. Being kindhearted, these saints may say, "Yes, this brother is wrong, and he is divisive. But why should we reject him? Should we not cover him with love?" However, the crucial matter here is that we should not tolerate what the Lord does not tolerate.
Concerning the divisive ones, we need to consider Paul’s word in Romans 16:17. "I beg you, brothers, keep a watchful eye on those who make divisions and causes of falling contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and turn away from them." Romans 14 and 15 indicate that in the matter of receiving the believers Paul is generous, broad-minded, and all-embracing. But after greeting so many saints in chapter sixteen, he suddenly gives a word of warning about divisive ones, telling us to keep a watchful eye on them and turn away from them. Paul does not tell us to love these ones or to sympathize with them. Instead of sympathizing with those who make divisions and causes of falling, we are charged by Paul to turn away from them. The reason we must turn away from those who cause divisions is that division is extremely serious—it destroys the Body of Christ.
APOSTASY AND DIVISION DAMAGING GOD’S ECONOMY
If we get into the depth of the Word, we will understand why Moses speaks a word concerning apostasy immediately after he gives a charge concerning division. It is very significant that Moses deals with division in Deuteronomy 12 and with apostasy in Deuteronomy 13. These two matters—division and apostasy—go together. Apostasy, or heresy, insults God Himself and damages the person of Christ, and division damages God’s people as His corporate expression. This means that apostasy and division damage the entire economy of God. Because the apostasy and division are so damaging, they must be dealt with.
We ourselves may not have anything to do with either division or apostasy, but this does not mean there will not be any problem among the saints regarding these matters. There may be a problem, especially with division. The ones who make divisions are very aggressive in contacting the saints. Furthermore, they may put on a "mask" and try to entice you by appearing to be nice, humble, and loving. Certain divisive ones have been practicing this among us. Suppose someone comes to you in a "humble" manner, saying, "I would like to have some fellowship with you. I have not seen you for a long time, and I miss you very much. How have you been doing?" If someone approaches you in this way, you need to be careful. The apparent kindness, love, and humility of such a person may actually be a mask to hide his divisive intent. We need to beware of the masks of the divisive ones.
(Life-Study of Deuteronomy, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)