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Christ is our tuning fork: Unity of the Spirit

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When I was younger there was talk in the churches of two unities coming One of the World to form the one world religion of the Antichrist, and the true Unity of the Spirit, which Spoken of in Ephesians 4, and John 17. 

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph 4:3)

The Word endeavouring in this verse gives us in English the notion that we have to force this upon the church by the strength of our will, and work, But the Word endeavoring in Greek is more akin to hastening, Than striving for. Many a man has tried to Unify the church, and many a man has failed to do so, because they approach it the wrong way. They try to unify in doctrine, but no one agrees on all doctrine, and the problem with this is that this unity is mental, and not Spiritual. Everyone is different, and we think differently and no two minds are alike. We have also tried unity by compromise, such as Augustine did, saying in essentials unity in non-essentials Liberty, and though this seems to work to an extent at keeping the peace between varying opinions on doctrine it is not a complete Unity, but rather a partial unity by name. Paul even speaks of this unity in Eph 4;14, that this sort of unity is susceptible to the winds of man made doctrine:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph. 4:14)

The Problem with this sort unity is that it is man centered, when a brighter and keener man with a better understanding or more eloquent speech comes along the tide turns in their favor. The problem is, sometimes the wisest man is also the most cunning man, for such is the nature of man.

Paul then continues and tells us the key to hastening this unity...

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Eph. 4:15-16)

Christ is the head, and this is the Key to the unity that Paul said that we ALL must come to. (verse 13)

A.W. Tozer gave us an incredible analogy of how this would come to be. He wrote:

Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.

https://www.renewingworshipnc.org/quotes-by-tozer/

The Big hurdle to overcome for this sort of unity to happen is that we all need to change our focus from men, to Christ as the head. We need to "grow up into him in all things". When we are contending against others, our focus is on carnal things, whether that be power, and preeminence or denomination and doctrine. This sort of contention shows us our immaturity, But the good news is we can hasten this unity, not by our own efforts, but by changing our focus to Christ and the cross. When Our eyes are fixed on this most wonderful act of Love for us all of our cares and aspirations disappear. Paul writing to the Corinthians put it this way: For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1 cor. 3;3)

They were fighting amongst themselves saying, "I am of Apollos, And I am of Paul", There focus was on carnal things, their focus needed to be on the one who grants the growth by his grace. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Eph. 4;13)

Is your focus on Christ and the cross, God's tuning fork, or is it on earthly things such as men you hold dear or doctrines that you hold as superior? 

Edited by dhchristian
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8 hours ago, dhchristian said:

When I was younger there was talk in the churches of two unities coming One of the World to form the one world religion of the Antichrist, and the true Unity of the Spirit, which Spoken of in Ephesians 4, and John 17. 

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph 4:3)

The Word endeavouring in this verse gives us in English the notion that we have to force this upon the church by the strength of our will, and work, But the Word endeavoring in Greek is more akin to hastening, Than striving for. Many a man has tried to Unify the church, and many a man has failed to do so, because they approach it the wrong way. They try to unify in doctrine, but no one agrees on all doctrine, and the problem with this is that this unity is mental, and not Spiritual. Everyone is different, and we think differently and no two minds are alike. We have also tried unity by compromise, such as Augustine did, saying in essentials unity in non-essentials Liberty, and though this seems to work to an extent at keeping the peace between varying opinions on doctrine it is not a complete Unity, but rather a partial unity by name. Paul even speaks of this unity in Eph 4;14, that this sort of unity is susceptible to the winds of man made doctrine:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph. 4:14)

The Problem with this sort unity is that it is man centered, when a brighter and keener man with a better understanding or more eloquent speech comes along the tide turns in their favor. The problem is, sometimes the wisest man is also the most cunning man, for such is the nature of man.

Paul then continues and tells us the key to hastening this unity...

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Eph. 4:15-16)

Christ is the head, and this is the Key to the unity that Paul said that we ALL must come to. (verse 13)

A.W. Tozer gave us an incredible analogy of how this would come to be. He wrote:

Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.

https://www.renewingworshipnc.org/quotes-by-tozer/

The Big hurdle to overcome for this sort of unity to happen is that we all need to change our focus from men, to Christ as the head. We need to "grow up into him in all things". When we are contending against others, our focus is on carnal things, whether that be power, and preeminence or denomination and doctrine. This sort of contention shows us our immaturity, But the good news is we can hasten this unity, not by our own efforts, but by changing our focus to Christ and the cross. When Our eyes are fixed on this most wonderful act of Love for us all of our cares and aspirations disappear. Paul writing to the Corinthians put it this way: For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1 cor. 3;3)

They were fighting amongst themselves saying, "I am of Apollos, And I am of Paul", There focus was on carnal things, their focus needed to be on the one who grants the growth by his grace. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Eph. 4;13)

Is your focus on Christ and the cross, God's tuning fork, or is it on earthly things such as men you hold dear or doctrines that you hold as superior? 

Interesting how this occurred almost immediately after the resurrection. It's not a modern problem, it's a heart problem. Sin in the blood dooms unity in Christ on a large scale. 

When a person says, "I believe scripture means this..." or some variation, they have personalized the truth.

Good thing we all agree on salvation in Christ alone; at least we have the most important unifying ideal to bind us.

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On 8/22/2019 at 5:12 AM, Diaste said:

Interesting how this occurred almost immediately after the resurrection. It's not a modern problem, it's a heart problem. Sin in the blood dooms unity in Christ on a large scale. 

When a person says, "I believe scripture means this..." or some variation, they have personalized the truth.

Good thing we all agree on salvation in Christ alone; at least we have the most important unifying ideal to bind us.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

There is a Partial Unity that we as Christians share in the here and now, not a perfect unity, which will come. This Partial unity is comparable to the unity a child has with fellow team mates on a sport's team with their coach. They wear the same shirt, and play the same game, and identify with the same team name and are led by the same coach, But the team is haphazard collection of diverse players, and none of them knows the plans of the coach perfectly. But when we mature in Christ Jesus the Partial becomes a perfect unity. So Let's say this team plays together for years, They become Brothers and the chemistry between them is perfect, and they feed off of each other, and they understand the coach's systems of play, and execute them to perfection. Such is the nature of the Perfect Unity of the Spirit. it is like the perfect team, with a unity of purpose, and means to attain that goal. They are brothers not just teammates unified under the coach, who is the head.

9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor.3)

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph. 1;22-23)

There are many Christians who share a common belief in Jesus But he is not their all in all. Instead they go by another name... "I am a_________________ (fill in the blank) Christian"... Words can be names of men like Luther and Calvin, Doctrines like Baptist or charismatic, or how they read scripture like fundamentalist, and dispensationalist. So Long as you identify yourself as one of these other names, Christ Jesus is not your all in all, and your unity with fellow believers is Partial.       

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14 hours ago, dhchristian said:

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

There is a Partial Unity that we as Christians share in the here and now, not a perfect unity, which will come. This Partial unity is comparable to the unity a child has with fellow team mates on a sport's team with their coach. They wear the same shirt, and play the same game, and identify with the same team name and are led by the same coach, But the team is haphazard collection of diverse players, and none of them knows the plans of the coach perfectly. But when we mature in Christ Jesus the Partial becomes a perfect unity. So Let's say this team plays together for years, They become Brothers and the chemistry between them is perfect, and they feed off of each other, and they understand the coach's systems of play, and execute them to perfection. Such is the nature of the Perfect Unity of the Spirit. it is like the perfect team, with a unity of purpose, and means to attain that goal. They are brothers not just teammates unified under the coach, who is the head.

9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor.3)

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph. 1;22-23)

There are many Christians who share a common belief in Jesus But he is not their all in all. Instead they go by another name... "I am a_________________ (fill in the blank) Christian"... Words can be names of men like Luther and Calvin, Doctrines like Baptist or charismatic, or how they read scripture like fundamentalist, and dispensationalist. So Long as you identify yourself as one of these other names, Christ Jesus is not your all in all, and your unity with fellow believers is Partial.       

Not disagreeing. It would be one thing if as believers we were still thought of as brothers and sisters in Christ even as we voiced the inevitable differences in conclusions. I expect variations of conclusions as believers in Jesus come from everywhere. I think it's asking the impossible for a brother in Cambodia and I to come to the very same conclusion about every scriptural point, the cultures are just too diverse. I think because of that and other factors we have diversity of opinion on what scripture relates and it's a thing to be embraced as we don't know everything. The reality is differences, even small ones, cause rifts, division, and denominations are born. In no time the accusations of inaccuracy of the other are levied, and people tend to identify with what they believe or are comfortable believing, and that leads to what you point out, imperfect unity. Even worse, empirically, one can be shunned if they do not identify with the tenets of a denomination. 

I find it easy to be removed from a denomination. Just tell people in the congregation tithing is not scriptural. Gone in 60 seconds.

That division might be by design. I suspect it's supposed to be that way. It's a filter.

But that isn't the real issue in my mind. There can be great unity on a personal level with every one who is called by His name. That's up to the individual who hears what the Spirit says and then does that. If one is part of an organization they identify with that organization, as you point out. Organizations vie for supremacy and except for what I see as superficial breakfast junkets to keep up appearances 'christian' organizations are no different than the Pharisees or any other religion; they have the answers and the other guy is wrong, and we can't have that in our perfect spiritual community.

Of course it's wrong but we are not going to be where we should be until Christ returns. Even then, with Christ on the Throne ruling for 20 generations, there is division. Our job is to love above all. God sends the rains on everyone, not just on those with which He agrees.

The one area where there should be total agreement is end time prophecy. I find personal interpretation particularly indefensible in this area. 

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1 hour ago, Diaste said:

That division might be by design. I suspect it's supposed to be that way. It's a filter.

I Agree with this, That is because we get the Spirit not in fulness but in measure. In unity with one another with diverse backgrounds we form the body of Christ which is the head. Using the team analogy, those players have a wide variety of skillsets and backgrounds when they become teammates. Each of these diverse experiences and skills are used by that coach, who is Christ the head to work into his system and purpose. 

 

1 hour ago, Diaste said:

Of course it's wrong but we are not going to be where we should be until Christ returns. Even then, with Christ on the Throne ruling for 20 generations, there is division. Our job is to love above all. God sends the rains on everyone, not just on those with which He agrees.

This I disagree with to an extent. Yes, our job is to love above all, But Unity of the Spirit is not some distant future event requiring the RETURN of the LORD, He has never left us, he is God with us. Much of the church believes in a Jesus who was and is not now, and is to come, but that is not how he describes himself. He says he was and is and is to come. This unity does not happen because of this sort of misunderstanding. So the denominations take the place of Christ as the head, and there is division. 

For example, I have very little in agreement with the Coptics in Egypt, But when those saints were beheaded by Isis proclaiming that Jesus is the LORD, There was unity there, with them, and all that their church went through. That being the key aspect of this unity, the saints....

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Cor 14;33)

It is my belief that a right understanding of the saints is what will unify the church. The Problem is, the saints of the church typically are not those people on the podiums but the ones that sit quietly in the audience and do not assume exalted positions, they are the servants, not the ones looking for the chief seats in the church. Until this changes, and the churches start listening to the saints again and not the Rock stars, then we are likely to face division ad infinitum. Look at acts 15, and the council there, when Peter spoke up... He did not assert himself into the conversation till division was heated, then he spoke, and they listened. Tozer writes: 

 The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honoured but to see his Saviour glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd - that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life's summum bonum.

Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his grief to God alone.

The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the broken hearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world, he is all the more able to help it. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. "God will not suffer you to lose anything by it," he told them. "You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you." This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.

The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful "adjustment" to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.

https://www.rapturenotes.com/the-lonely-saint.html 

God Bless.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/25/2019 at 7:55 AM, dhchristian said:

I Agree with this, That is because we get the Spirit not in fulness but in measure. In unity with one another with diverse backgrounds we form the body of Christ which is the head. Using the team analogy, those players have a wide variety of skillsets and backgrounds when they become teammates. Each of these diverse experiences and skills are used by that coach, who is Christ the head to work into his system and purpose. 

 

This I disagree with to an extent. Yes, our job is to love above all, But Unity of the Spirit is not some distant future event requiring the RETURN of the LORD, He has never left us, he is God with us. Much of the church believes in a Jesus who was and is not now, and is to come, but that is not how he describes himself. He says he was and is and is to come. This unity does not happen because of this sort of misunderstanding. So the denominations take the place of Christ as the head, and there is division. 

For example, I have very little in agreement with the Coptics in Egypt, But when those saints were beheaded by Isis proclaiming that Jesus is the LORD, There was unity there, with them, and all that their church went through. That being the key aspect of this unity, the saints....

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Cor 14;33)

It is my belief that a right understanding of the saints is what will unify the church. The Problem is, the saints of the church typically are not those people on the podiums but the ones that sit quietly in the audience and do not assume exalted positions, they are the servants, not the ones looking for the chief seats in the church. Until this changes, and the churches start listening to the saints again and not the Rock stars, then we are likely to face division ad infinitum. Look at acts 15, and the council there, when Peter spoke up... He did not assert himself into the conversation till division was heated, then he spoke, and they listened. Tozer writes: 

 The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honoured but to see his Saviour glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd - that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life's summum bonum.

Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his grief to God alone.

The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the broken hearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world, he is all the more able to help it. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. "God will not suffer you to lose anything by it," he told them. "You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you." This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.

The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful "adjustment" to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.

https://www.rapturenotes.com/the-lonely-saint.html 

God Bless.

And as I said before all speaking up does these days is get one kicked out of the building. Sound doctrine is unendurable, inclusiveness reigns supreme.

 I am never alone as the unity of the Spirit is in the individual with the Spirit, unity between the individual and the Spirit, and not necessarily with any other person or group of people in the Spirit at any given time.  I have no doubt it will manifest in increments either in small doses or large events as we approach the time  we may indeed gather together. In any case the unity is not with people but in the commonality of people guided by the Spirit of God; it's the Spirit, and His power and wisdom, that unifies under the Holy standard and draws us to our Father. 

When we all begin to look to the One we are unified in and on and under that One, we are unified by, and in, His Spirit, even if we never meet with another like minded person on this earth. 

I don't think in this it's a terrible thing to be an outcast.

Edited by Diaste
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Every time the Lord begins a work, he turns away from the religious establishment and chooses instead, from among masses, those who are individually focused on serving the Lord. This time will be no different.

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