I know! Unity sounds like such a boring subject, and it’s my second post on this topic, but I found some really cool stuff on unity. The last few weeks seem to be my testing time on this subject. Every where I turn, the Lord shows me how important it is to Him that I live in unity and harmony with others.
Psalm 133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 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; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lordcommanded the blessing, even life for evermore
Based on Psalm 133,unity brings anointing and strength. Okay, let me reword this…… If I am not living in harmony with my family(brothers and sisters in Christ), then I will not have the blessing of the Lord’s strength and anointing in my life. So I need to behave, be nice and for crying out loud : GET ALONG WITH OTHERS (agh! but I love to win! I always want my own way!)
Who is my brethren?
Jesus said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother. Mark 3:34-35
The Power of Unity and Harmony in Christ
unity brings strength
unity brings anointing
unity binds us in holiness as the bride of Christ
unity is described as: precious, wonderful, refreshing, pleasant, and good
unity descends or runs down flowing to others
unity, like the precious oil, is healing
unity is possible through the Lord God
unity pleases the Lord
unity is living together in harmony among the brethren (yes -your family)
unity is bound by peace, and our completeness is bound in love.
I can cry out “we need unity” in our churches and then come home and want to run over a few people. Maybe… if we want unity in our churches, we should begin by looking at our own lives first. Some of those closest to us are the most difficult to stay in unity with. As I read through the bible, I see that the Lord prefers us to get along TOGETHER. In other words, do all you can to get along- without separating from each other. Yes, I know people can be annoying- in our own churches (and in our families), but we need to do everything we can to live our lives pleasing to the Lord.
The binding force for unity is peace. It’s key- and from an earlier post, I found that Peace is a protector. It protects us from evil. Sometimes we just need to hold our tongue in order for that to happen. That is why we are told to bring our thoughts captive to Christ. He can sort out our messes better than we ever could. However, there are times we are to speak out, as Paul did in Romans 9 and Acts 15, but we need to be fully led by the Holy Spirit and check that it isn’t our flesh leading the way. (and make sure it is spoken with the love of Christ) There are certain times when separation brought peace –such as with Abraham and Lot and also in Acts 15:38 when Paul and Barnabas “ disagreed strongly”. ( since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated.)- but the Lord prefers that we do our best to stay in harmony together.
There is a woman at my church who totally annoys me. Sometimes I want to trip her when she walks by. She smiles and has this super sister better than you attitude. She is always quick with a hurtful cutting remark when no one is looking. (She reminds me of my husband’s evil cockatoo who pretended to love me when he was around, but when my husband walked out the room, the bird would attack me. No one would believe me until I showed them the beak sized holes in my back). She is high up and well-loved in church hierarchy (well bless your heart!) and let’s everyone know it. I see her do and say things that are so rude- especially to me- but I smile and either pretend I didn’t hear her or smile and tell her nicely how it is. Sometimes the things she does make me so mad….. grrrrr. I could kick her under our bible study table and blame it on someone else, but instead I tell Jesus and keep forgiving. (Love is longsuffering –amen?)
Consider the unity or disunity of the following:
Ruth and Naomi
Abraham and Lot
David and Jonathon 1 Samuel 18-20
Rechabites Jeremiah 35 (I love that story)
Early Church Acts 2
Joseph and His brothers
With unity, we see: blessings, strength, power, harmony, and anointing. We also see that God notices when people stood together as one in holiness and harmony -this pleased Him. With disunity, I notice one party is more blessed than the other. hmmmmmmm
Peace is the binding compound
Love binds us in completeness.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 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; 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.
LET’S LOOK INTO THIS PASSAGE:
verse 1:Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Dwell: (Yaw-Shab’), Unity : Yakh’-ad: To remain , settle, marry, be united, alike, all together. “REMAIN TOGETHER” Brethren: be at peace with those in your family and the family of Christ. This is pleasing to the Lord.
verse 1 (Spurgeon Notes)”From Charles Spurgeon”Psalm 133:The treasury of David”:“For brethren according to the flesh to dwell together is not always wise; for experience teaches that they are better a little apart, and it is shameful for them to dwell together in disunion. They had much better part in peace like Abraham and Lot, than dwell together in envy like Joseph’s brothers. When brethren can and do dwell together in unity, then is their communion worthy to be gazed upon and sung of in holy Psalmody. Such sights ought often to be seen among those who are near of kin, for they are brethren, and therefore should be united in heart and aim; they dwell together, and it is for their mutual comfort that there should be no strife; and yet how many families are rent by fierce feuds, and exhibit a spectacle which is neither good nor pleasant!As to brethren in spirit, they ought to dwell together in church fellowship, and in that fellowship one essential matter is unity. We can dispense with uniformity if we possess unity: oneness of life, truth, and way; oneness in Christ Jesus; oneness of object and spirit—these we must have, or our assemblies will be synagogues of contention rather than churches of Christ. The closer the unity the better; for the more of the good and the pleasant there will be. Since we are imperfect beings, somewhat of the evil and the unpleasant is sure to intrude; but this will readily be neutralized and easily ejected by the true love of the saints, if it really exists. Christian unity is good in itself, good for ourselves, good for the brethren, good for our converts, good for the outside world; and for certain it is pleasant; for a loving heart must have pleasure and give pleasure in associating with others of like nature. A church united for years m earnest service of the Lord is a well of goodness and joy to all those who dwell round about it.”How good and holy pleasant it is for brethren to dwelltogether in unity! No one can tell the exceeding excellence of such a condition; and so the Psalmist uses the word “how” twice;—Behold how good! and how pleasant!
Verse 2: Notice the precious ointment ran down or descended – from the top to the ends of the garment. Christ being the head over us, and this unity flows out through Christ to His brothers and sisters. If we are in the body of Christ, we should be living in unity with each other. This is a good example for the family, or even the leaders of the Church. Parents and leaders are the examples, the head of the organization and the unity in them should run down to family members and/or the congregation. I wonder if discord is found among the people/children….we should look to the top to solve? That is probably why the bible has such strict standards for a bishop, a teacher or an elder (Titus 1, 1 Timothy 3)
If unity is like the anointing oil that descended on Aaron, then unity is holy and it sanctifies us before the Lord. This unity anoints us, blesses us and sanctifies us.
Oil heals! Could unity be healing? Isaiah 1:6 tells us oil (and prayer) helps us heal.
You love justice and hate evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else. Psalm 45:7
Spurgeon: Psalm 133: vs 2:What a sacred thing must brotherly love be when it can be likened to an oil which must never be poured on any man but on the Lord’s high priest alone! It is a diffusive thing: being poured on his bead the fragrant oil flowed down upon Aaron’s head, and thence dropped upon his garments till the utmost hem was anointed therewith; and even so doth brotherly love extend its benign power and bless all who are beneath its influence.
Verse 3: Unity is like the dew on Mount Hermon. Why would the dew on a mountain be important? The holy dew in the wilderness turned to manna which feed, nourished and strengthened the people. So…. Then does unity strengthen us? I’d say yes. Ex 16:14 “ and when the dew gone up, behold –there lay a small round thing and it was bread from heaven. Let’s look at this again – dew is like water –or like the water in baptism and when the dew was gone up, manna was left. Manna – bread- the bread of life – Jesus?
Again the dew on the mountain is from top to bottom, like in the oil from verse two. This unity flows or descends upon others. Here’s an unbiblical example: I just happened to catch a glimpse of a kid’s dance competition on tv and the mothers talk a lot of trash about the other children. Well guess who repeats it? Their children! So the discord among the parents then flowed out to their children and then pretty soon someone was crying.
There the Lord commanded the blessing. God commands his blessing where peace is cultivated; by which is meant, that he testifies how much he is pleased with concord amongst men, by showering down blessings upon them. The same sentiment is expressed by Paul in other words (2Co 13:11 Php 4:9), “Live in peace, and the God of peace shall be with you.”—John Calvin.
I wanted to debate this: I said “Well how can two walk to together unless they agree?” quoting Amos 3:3, Psalm 1 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-15: “How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.”
Okay, I see – If we are the body of Christ, we are to walk together. Notice the verse said live in harmony with your BRETHREN. This verse is talking about those who follow Christ and those who follow the doctrines of devils cannot walk in unity. The two cannot walk in harmony together. Okay, Jesus just answered that for me.
True test of harmony– is there giving, selflessness, charity, hospitality among you? Are there no needy among us? I’d say we still have work to do.
Why is unity important? So that the whole world would believe in Jesus- and this unity Glorifies God. John 17:21, Romans 15
Unity is only possible with God’s help: “and it is God who helps us live in this harmony with each other “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmonywith each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 15:5-6 With Christ all things are possible.
So ask ourselves today….Can I live in harmony with those around me for the sake of God’s kingdom and so that I can be a light and an example to this world so that others would believe in Jesus?
No one said this life would be easy, but we can rejoice in our trials and persecutions because we know the Lord is with us and He blesses us for doing what is right. (Romans 5:3-4, James 1)
Unity is precious to the Lord. It anoints, empowers and strengthens as one body in Christ Jesus.
“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:23
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5
But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”Jeremiah 17:10
Two years ago I had a dream about my uncle, who at the time, had just gotten into a very bad accident and barely made it out alive. I dreamt that I was watching a conversation about his life. The conversation was between a great angel that was charge over him and three beings who I could not see as clearly. The angel was standing in the room (or through the room because he was taller than the room) facing my uncle. I was watching and listening to conversations between the angel and three others. They were back and forth in discussions over my uncles life. I could plainly see my uncle sitting on a couch in a living room (when I drew the dream out for my aunt with details like bookshelves, couches, doors, etc, she said it was exactly the picture of the living room of her house where he was staying after surgery) The angel was invisible but I could see it’s dimensions and understand what was said. Walls and doors made no difference- it’s as if they weren’t there at all. The angel was huge and it’s height reached over the roof, so I’d say the angel was over 12ft tall. Off (and higher up) to the right – almost in another dimension, I could see three others in discussion about my uncle’s life. The three were located just over the roof on the right, but also in the heavens- they were there, but not. There were three of them, I was more limited in what I saw with the three. With the angel, I could see an invisible shape, it’s height and it’s movements. With the three, I could only tell that there were three and from my limited allowance at the time, they seemed as if they were more like men, not angels- but not men – but not angels.
The three were discussing, analyzing, reviewing my uncle’s life and I could hear them. They were making decisions and it seemed to take a while; they were discussing whether to allow my uncle to live or not. They went on in discussion, the three making a decision, telling the angel and the angel would respond to them. This went on for a while, back and forth, back and forth between the three and the angel -still discussing if my uncle should be allowed to live any longer.
Finally a decision was made. I could see a 17 over his head- the allowance for his life. The three and the angel finally came to an agreed decision – he could have 17 more years to live. At that moment I saw the angel lean forward bending toward my uncle who sat on the couch. I saw the angel put forth his hands the same way I would if I were trying to talk some sense into someone. I heard the angel say “Well, are you going to do what is right? ARE YOU FINALLY GOING TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT? Everything you do from now on- good or bad will be written down and recorded –EVEN THE very MOTIVES FOR THE THINGS YOU DO” I could sense the angel was a bit…..annoyed.
The Lord looks down from heavenand sees the whole human race.From his throne he observesall who live on the earth.He made their hearts,so he understands everything they do. Isaiah 33:13-14
The Bible tells us :
1-The Lord watches us : The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race.God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.Psalm 53:2Psalm 14:2Psalm 33:13
2-The Lord sees us : (everything) : Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.“For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do Job 34:21.Matthew 6:18Matthew 6:6Proverbs 5:21
3- He knows our motives : But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”He alone examines the motives of our hearts. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives Proverbs 16:2Jeremiah 17:10Matthew 22:181 Corinthians 4:5Proverbs 20:271 Thessalonians 2:4
4- He hears us : And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.For the LORD hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people.Psalm 69:331 John 5:14Proverbs 15:29
5-Our Works (and life) are recorded in the books (and tested) : I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the booksRevelation 20:12Psalm 56:8Revelation 20:12Psalm 139:16
6- Our life is tested and purified : These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.But we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-5 1 Peter 1:71 Corinthians 3:13
But I say unto you, That every idleword that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire .Matthew 5:22Matthew 12:36 Romans 14:12
Three men? ( I thought this verse was interesting on the three men in the dream I had, but I really have no other explanation other that what I’ve shared above)Genesis 18:2The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2 He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.3 “My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while. 4 Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. 5 And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.2 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. Revelation 1:5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
There are two important message in this verse. First we know we are being watched, and second, we are warned to get rid of anything that could slow us in our walk. We also know from other scripture that we are accountable for all we do and every word we say. The things we do are written down and the bible says the Lord hears us, He see’s us and records our conversations. I know that the Lord’s message today -to me -is that I have things in my life I need to eliminate. Things I need to crucify, things that slow my walk, and ways in my life where I could easily fall into the desires of the world making me lukewarm. What? You may ask…well a lot. My thoughts, my actions, my anger, my words, and things I do. I may have slacked a bit in protecting my heart, so it’s time to do some cleaning and get back on track. (getting 40 new free channels from directtv didn’t help- oh and an ipod4-with all kinds of fun apps- these things are new distractions
A Cloud of Witness?????(Hebrews 12)
“You have not come to a place like Mount Sinai that can be seen and touched. There is no flaming fire or dark cloud or storm or trumpet sound. The people of Israel heard a voice speak. But they begged it to stop, because they could not obey its commands. They were even told to kill any animal that touched the mountain. The sight was so frightening that Moses said he shook with fear. What does this verse mean? It’s telling us to remember the Israelites in the Wilderness and how terrifying it was for them to come close to the Lord. His Holiness left them trembling-“The sight was so frightening that Moses shook with fear” It could not be seen or touched.
Read on…… “You have now come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the city of the living God, where thousands and thousands of angels have come to celebrate.Here you will find all of God’s dearest children, whose names are written in heaven. And you will find God himself, who judges everyone. Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect. And Jesus is here! He is the one who makes God’s new agreement with us, and his sprinkled blood says much better things than the blood of Abel” What is the message here? We are told that we go to Mount Zion in the heavens. You see, when we pray, we enter His gates- we are there before His throne. Jesus has now made a way for us to enter this Holy Place, that was impossible to enter without our Lord Jesus. If you only knew where you where when you are praying and honoring and worshipping Him – you would fall to your knees before the His Holy Presence. Sin cannot stand before Him, It runs from His Presence. He has a place for each of us there before His throne – but so many of those spaces remain empty. Go before His throne and enter His gates with Thanksgiving. Who are the witnesses? There are many theories, but I believe this scripture could answer this question for us. We are told that we are surrounded by witnesses. But where? And who? This verse tells us in the heavens- and when are we here? When we pray and worship. And who is there? God’s dearest children, God himself, spirits of those good people who have been made perfect, and Jesus.
So let’s break this down– when we go and pray or worship the Lord in the name of Jesus, we enter into His Holy Place. This holy place is in the heavens before His throne. The Mount Zion from where the Lord roars.(look it up-Joel and Amos) It is here where we bow down in reverent fear and bring our requests before him, where we praise His name and give Him the honor He deserves. In these heavens there is a great cloud of witnesses- even Jesus! What a wonderful gift and privilege to be able to enter His gates.
“Make sure that you obey the one who speaks to you. The people did not escape, when they refused to obey the one who spoke to them at Mount Sinai. Do you think you can possibly escape, if you refuse to obey the one who speaks to you from heaven? When God spoke the first time, his voice shook only the earth. This time he has promised to shake the earth once again, and heaven too.The words “once again” mean that these created things will someday be shaken and removed. Then what cannot be shaken will last. We should be grateful that we were given a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And in this kingdom we please God by worshiping him and by showing him great honor and respect. Our God is like a destructive fire!
Revelation 3:16 : But since you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth.
You are being prepared for God’s Holy Kingdom. Our trials and tests here are preparing us and bettering us for the Kingdom of God. Remember to count it all joy when trials come our way. The Lord is preparing a place for us (I think it’s ready). He created us to be Holy like Him, but we have so much more learning to do. Let us keep running the race with all joy. Knowing that through all our tests and trials, the Lord is still with us. It’s like the song says “all I know is Im not home yet, this is not where I belong, Take this world, and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong”
Lord, Make me despise the things you despise. Forgive me for my worldly ways and falling into a lukewarm state. How easily this happens- the current seems so strong. But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. Lead me in the right path, O Lord or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord, you surround them with your shield of love. We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield.In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God….
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched,
and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words;
which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God,the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel…Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” Check your heart and your life for anything that may be slowing down your walk with the Lord. Has anything crept in that has taken the place of the Almighty in your life? Ask the Lord to show you anything that needs to be changed. Have I become lukewarm? Do I put Christ first or the things of this World? Check your heart today. Everything you do and say and all your motives are being recorded. Let your words be pleasing unto the Lord this Thanksgiving weekend. Pray for Israel and all God’s people around the world.
Psalm 100 (A Thanksgiving Psalm) Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
(A psalm of thanksgiving) O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them. They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees: they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death. Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:For our God is a consuming fire.
Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws. Our hostility toward each other was put to death by means of his death on the cross. Eph 2-13-18John 17:20-26Psalm 119:79Amos 3:3
“I do not pray for those alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word’ That they all may be as one, as You, Father , are in Me and I in You. That they also may be one in Us, that the world May believe that you sent me”
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand
The bible makes it very clear that we are to conduct ourselves in love- and love is the glue of this oneness! Peace and Love keep us knit together. Why is it important to be one? Because it is a testimony to the world- so that all would believe in Jesus and understand how much the Lord God loves them.
Jesus came to make us one, taking away the dividing line of jew and gentile. How can we be one body if we continue to fight?
Oneness is the work of the Holy Spirit– He gathers us together as one and filling us together with His Holy Power to do good works. How can the toe go off by itself and what good is the mouth if it has no hands? And what good is the hand if it has no mind!
What does Christ want of us? That we live pure and holy lives, gathering in the lost and preparing the way for the coming of the Lord.
Consider what the disciples did to those who caused much confusion and strife– these trouble makers were not of God’s spirit, even though they sat among them in the congregation. They let them go back to Satan in hopes of them coming to their senses and repenting. That can’t be easy to do- arguing a biblical truth with someone who does not have the spirit of God in them is like arguing with a wall. I have found that sometimes silence is best instead of flipping out, keeping calm and bringing it captive to the Lord.
We need to gather in the lost and prepare ourselves and those around us for the coming of the Lamb of God. It is time to unite and be strong together with One Mind- the Mind of Christ and with One Spirit- the Holy Spirit. We can no longer be divided as the world falls into darkness. We must stay united as One for Christ- not wavering in any way, making sure we are not living lukewarm lives. As we live accordingly, the World will see the Power of God in us. The works Jesus did will flow out from us like rivers of running waters. Stand together, warning others in love, spend time in the Word and pray in the Spirit at all times for all believers everywhere.
As the days draw closer to the Lord’s return, we will see clearer than we did before- for the light shines out of darkness and woe to those who think their darkness is light. Seeking out those who have fallen off the path- now we will see it more clearly, and as you do, you must reach out and help them- do not hate them or become proud – but bring them back.
Of course we have people who don’t agree with us, but with opposition, the Lord has taught me a good thing. – to be loving and compassionate with those who angrily disagree. As I prayed to the Lord about how to handle these situations, the Holy Spirit brought this prayer out of my heart : Dear Father, I forgive the words of this person, fill me with love and compassion for them. Help me understand why they believe this and give me understanding as you understand each one of us because you made our hearts. ” Suddenly it disappeared from my thoughts and I continued on, amazed at the lesson the Lord just taught me-be considerate of others with love and compassion- even if we don’t agree on some things.
He will not shout or cry out or raise his voice in the streets, a bruised reed he will not break.Isaiah 42:2 Matthew 12:19
A bruised reed he will not break means that we are to consider the weakness in others. Sometimes we may get angry at someone and not realize that on the inside they are hurting badly. These are the bruised reeds we are not to break- consider their feelings even though it may not show on the outside
Guidelines for Biblical Oneness
1- Love one another. Love binds us together Col 3:14, Col 2:2 (Love is Longsuffering & Patient) 2- Agreeing wholeheartedly with each other with one mind and one purpose Phil 2:2 3- One body in Communion. We are united when as we break the bread, sharing in the body of Christ. When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? 1 Corinthians 1;16 -18 4- Live holy lives as citizens of heaven Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News of Christ 5- Being one in spirit and in purpose– fighting together for the faith, which is the good news (Phil 1:27)Be united in Christ – not in the World and the concerns of this world. Remember you must therefore endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ and “no soldier gets entangled with civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” 6-Put on your Shoes of peace. Peace binds us together and it is also protection from demonic attacks (eph 4:3) 7- Let each one do it’s special work so other parts may grow – in other words You are not the only one assigned to work- let each one do his part in the body of Christ. One person can’t be the hand, the food, and the mouth. Let the Lord assign each man his place and work hard so that you will please the Lord. “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28 8- Be united in Christ – not in the World and the concerns of this world. Remember you must therefore endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ and “no soldier gets entangled with civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” 9- There is power in unity. Gen 11:6, Numbers 16:3, This is a powerful way we can fight the darkness that has come upon our land. There is power in oneness. Consider this verse: “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!” If the enemy uses this tactic against God’s holy one’s, how can we fight back unless, we, too, are united as one people. Remember Jesus said – – Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand Matt 12;25. (see matt 3;25) 10- United with Christ brings spiritual blessings : Ephesians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ11- Be united with others to Fear the Lord and know His laws Ps 119;79 12– It is a testimony to non believers : Oneness , unified as one people with one mind and one purpose is a testimony to the World of Jesus Christ and the love of the Father. Notice Jesus’ words after he prays that we be one together “so that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love meFather” John 17:6-26 and “And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me 13– Christ holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it Col 2 :19, Jesus died for this reason -to bring together and unite all of God’s children Mt 19:5 Jesus wants us to be unified and one as He and the Father are one- John 17:6-26 Jesus prays to the Father and 4x in one prayer He requests that we be one together and unified. 14- Be united in prayer with others Acts 1;14 15- Having the same mind and same judgment. Now I plead with you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. I Corinthians 1:10
16- Jew and Gentile = One, Slave or Free= One, male and female = One!For we are all ONE in Christ Jesus Galatians 3:226-29 and Eph 2:13-18 “He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. 17-There is only ONE body! It’s not you alone against the world J There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, whois above all and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:4-6
18- Live for others – not ourselves – For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. II Corinthians 5:14,15 (This reminds me of a verse in Jeremiah when the Lord says to Baruch, the scribe “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it!”- that lesson goes deeper, but just something to think about) 19– That totally annoying person you’ve been arguing with is a fellow citizen with you, the saints and members of the household of God (hopefully) and you both are being fit together growing into a holy temple of the Lord. and you both also, are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 20-Unity is sharing all you have. “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.” 21– We were joined with Christ in baptism and in His death: (and remember peace and love keep us together) “have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was….Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Romans 6:1-14 and Galatians 3;26 22– We are united with Jesus and now we can produce a harvest of good deeds Romans 7:4So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God 23– Christ has not divided us into factions to quarrel over what teacher we do and do not follow. 1 Cor 1:10-17 Be of One mind, united in thought and purpose “My pastor is better than yours”=not unity. “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter” or “I follow only Christ.”Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.)For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power. 24– God united us with Christ 1 Corinthians 1:30:God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin 25- . We are all true children of Abraham through faith in Christ, united in baptism, :For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Gal 3:26-29 26-Oneness is also a tactic of the enemy ; Psalm 2:2The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot togetheragainst the LORD and against his anointed one 27– Consider the power of unity and oneness when the Israelites gathered together to rebuild with Nehemiah, consider the power of oneness in the book of Ester when all the people fasted and prayed to the Lord, consider the power of Oneness when the apostles gathered on the day of Pentecost Nehemiah 10:39The people and the Levites must bring these offerings of grain, new wine, and olive oil to the storerooms and place them in the sacred containers near the ministering priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers. “We promise together not to neglect the Temple of our God.”Esther 4:16“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”
BEWARE OF DIVISIONS:
Division brings chaos and confusion. Remember the Tower of Babel…. Their divided language caused division and confusion. If you search the scriptures you will find division and confusion go hand in hand with noise- too much talk! This confusion is deadly and needs to be taken out of our churches. WARNING: “Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. STAY AWAY FROM THEM. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10 Romans 16:17-18
Hear the Word of the Lord Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect. Agree wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. You must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. You must stand together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good NewsMake every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm. We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity. They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Colossians 3:14Philippians 2:2Philippians 1:27Ephesians 4:3Ephesians 4:16Romans 8:17Acts 4:26Acts 1:14Acts 2:1Acts 2:44Acts 2:462 Corinthians 1:242 Corinthians 4:141 Corinthians 3:81 Corinthians 3:161 Corinthians 14:261 Corinthians 12:27Ephesians 2:21Ephesians 2:20Acts 1:14Ephesians 2:16Ephesians 2:14Ephesians 5:32Ephesians 4:4Ephesians 2:15
Oneness used as Enemy tactic : The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against his Messiah.’“Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! They united against Moses and Aaron and said, “You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the LORD, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the LORD’s people?” “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed.But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.Genesis 11:6Numbers 16:3Acts 4:27
Oneness in Old Testament Prophecy: But the LORD will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. He will choose Israel as his special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and unite with the people of Israel .Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be—the day of Jezreel —when God will again plant his people in his land Isaiah 14:1Hosea 1:11
Spurgeon quote CHSpurgeon Sermon #668 “Unity in Christ Jan 7, 1866
“There are in the visisble churches a certain number of God’s elect, and these are of the body of Jesus Christ. But their fellow professors, if unconverted, are not in the mystical union. Christ’s body is not made up of denominations, nor of presbyteries , nor of Christan societies – it is made up of saints chosen of God from before the foundation of the world– redeemed by blood, called by His Spirit and made one with Jesus. …. They have all been quickened by the same Spirit and made to live by the same energy. And though they knew it not, they were still one. No, more. All true believers are supported by the same strength! The live which makes viatl the prayer of a Believer today is the same life which quickened the cry of a Believer two thousand years ago. And if this world shall last so long as another thousand years, the same Spirit which made the tear trickle from the eyes of a penitent then is that which this day makes us bows before God Most High.
Tell to sinners round
What a Savior you have found
Does God dwell in you, and do you dwell in Him? Then, my dear Brother give me your hand! Never mind about a thousand difference if you are in Christ and I am in Christ! We cannot be two, we must be one. Let us love each other fervently with a pure heart. Let us live on earth as those who are to live together a long eternity in Heaven. Let us help each other’s spiritual growth. Let us aid each other as far as possible in every holy, spiritual enterprise which is for the promotion of the kingdom of the Lrod.
And let us chase out of our hearts everything which would break the unity which God has established. Let us cast from us every false doctrine, every false thought of pride, enmity, envy, bitterness that we, whom God has made one, may be one before man as well as before the eyes of the heart searching God.
May the Lord bless us, dear Friends as a Church. May He make us one and keep us so. It wil be the dead stuff among us that will make divisions. It is the living children of God that make the unity! It is the living ones that are bound together. There will be no fear about that – Christ’s prayer takes care of us, that we shall be one. As for those of you who are joioned with us in visible fellowshop and are not one with Christ, may the Lord save you with His great salvation, and His shall be the praise.
And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
John 17:51- He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. 52 And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world
Jesus Prayed: “Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.“Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love meFather, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.” John 17:20-26