Who are the real troublemakers in the house of God today? It is not the Elijah company, who sigh and cry over the abominations of the church. It is not those who expose sin and testify against the wicked deeds of religious leaders and those at ease in Zion. No, all division is caused by compromise. All trouble in God's house is the result of apostasy and the forsaking of the Lord's commandments. "For where envying and strife is, there is disorder and every evil work" (James 3:16).
Paul warns the brethren to "mark them which cause divisions . . . and avoid them" (Romans 16:17). But who were these who "caused offenses contrary to the doctrine taught?" They were none other than a self-centered, backslidden group who "served their own belly" (verse 18). This proves that division is caused by proud, arrogant catering to self-interests. Paul said, "By good words and fair speeches [they] deceive the hearts of the simple (unsuspecting)" (verse 18). Those who are soft on sin, overlooking evil deeds and crying unity, are the real divisionists. The true body of Christ has never been nor ever will be divided. Those in holy union with Christ are already united to each other. Sin is the divider!
Paul and Silas were brought before the magistrates of the city of Philippi, having been accused of "exceedingly troubling" the city (Acts 16:20). They were beaten and cast into prison as a result of the trouble they had caused. What was this exceeding great trouble? Paul and Silas had cast a fortune-telling spirit out of a damsel who had "brought her masters much gain by soothsaying. . . And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas" (Acts 16:16 and 19).
When self-interest is threatened in any way, the cry goes up, "Troublemakers! Division! Threat to unity!" Paul and Silas had uncovered a religious con game, a demonic deception under the guise of religion. It was a very profitable scheme for a select few who knew how to manipulate undiscerning crowds. What raised the cry, "Division"? It was a revival of cleansing. Those who accused Paul and Silas of causing dissension had ulterior motives and they refused the call to repent and walk in holiness.
God, give us more troublers of Israel who are not afraid to stand up against religious hypocrisy and disobedience!