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Unity

By Chuck Henry
rev. 7/18/2011 

What is Unity?

 

Psa 133 (entire)

1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.

3 It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there Yahweh commanded the blessing; Life forevermore.

 

unity = H3162 yachad, “prop. a unit, i.e. (adv.) unitedly.”

 

  • This is the only occurrence of the word unity in the entire KJV OT.

 

There are Blessings in Unity—

 

As the anointing of Aaron, the high priest, as we saw in v 2—

 

“… like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.”

 

As the dew (v 3)—

 

“… like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion …”

 

Dew = water = a necessity of life – thus, this may be why unity is spoken of as being such a blessing.

 

Scriptures relative to dew—

 

Pro 19:12

The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.

 

Question: If this is speaking of only an earthly king, how much more favored are we to have favor with the Heavenly King?

 

Hos 14:1-9 (entire chapter)

1 O Israel, return to Yahweh your Mighty One, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity;

2 Take words with you, and return to Yahweh. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.

3 Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride on horses, nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our mighty ones.’ For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”

4 I [Yahweh] will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him.

5 I [Yahweh] will be like the dew to Israel; He shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like Lebanon.

6 His branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.

7 Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine. Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do anymore with idols? I have heard and observed him. I am like a green cypress tree; your fruit is found in Me.

9 Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of Yahweh are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.

 

Isn’t this where we want to be?

 

  • To be healed of Yahweh

 

  • To be loved freely of Yahweh

 

  • To not be in His anger, but in His favor

 

  • That He would be as the dew unto us that we would flourish

 

There are blessings in Unity.

 

Once again, Psa 133:3—

 

Psa 133:3

It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there Yahweh commanded the blessing; Life forevermore.

 

Unity or Uniformity?

 

Not that I espouse all of Nehemiah Gordon’s writings, but I think he really put the matter into prospective well when he wrote in his Karaite Korner Newsletter, #498—

 

Many people call for “unity” but what they really mean is “uniformity.” They claim unity is important to them but reject everyone who doesn’t agree with their understanding of Scripture.

 

 

How to be in Unity

 

Have the Same Master (be under the same yoke)

 

Mat 11:29-30

29 Take My [Yahshua’s] yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

 

When a team of oxen are yoked together, their energy is channeled in the same direction for a common cause; they are working in unison.

 

Mat 23:8-10

8 But you, do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brethren.

9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah.

 

Pattern our behavior according to Scriptural instruction

 

Rom 12:16

·        Be of the same mind toward one another.

 

·        Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble.

 

·        Do not be wise in your own opinion.

 

Rom 14:19

Therefore let us pursue …

 

·        the things which make for peace

 

·        and the things by which one may edify another.

 

Phi 2:2-4

·        2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

·        3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

·        4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

 

1 Pet 3:8

Finally, …

 

·        all of you be of one mind,

 

·        having compassion for one another;

 

·        love as brothers,

 

·        be tenderhearted,

 

·        be courteous.

 

Yahshua said—

 

Joh 13:34-35

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

 

Have the Same Foundational Standards

 

More on this later (under the section “Doctrine Doesn’t Go Out the Window!”)

 

 

When Will There Be Total Unity (Seeing Eye-to-Eye)?

 

1 Cor 13:8-13

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke 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 in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

1)      When that which is perfect has come (v 10)

 

2)      When we see face to face (v 12)

 

3)      When we know just as we also are known (v 12)

 

Though Paul had matured and put away childish things (v 11), yet he still confessed that he saw only in a mirror, dimly.

 

  • However, let us not lose hope. For though it is only through a mirror, dimly, that we presently see, we do see!

 

  • And thanks be to Yahweh for the things He has revealed unto us—

 

Deu 29:29

The secret things belong to Yahweh our Mighty One, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

 

1 Cor 2:9-14

9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which Yahweh has prepared for those who love Him.”

10 But Yahweh has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of Yahweh.

11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of Yahweh except the Spirit of Yahweh.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from Yahweh, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by Yahweh.

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of Yahweh, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

  • We do have enough for salvation!

 

  • We do have enough for how to live life!

 

A look at Isaiah 52:8—

 

Isa 52:8

Your [Jerusalem’s and/or Zion’s] watchmen shall lift up their voices, with their voices they shall sing together; for they shall see eye to eye when Yahweh brings back Zion.

 

  • Possibly, the correct interpretation is that they will see the event close-up and face to face, as some translations indicate.

 

  • But then, if things are seen so clearly, then one of the results of this would probably be that they will also see eye to eye in the sense of agreeing.

 

  • And this would agree with what we previously saw in 1 Cor 13:12 – that when we see face to face, we will know not in part, but just as we also are known.

 

 

What to Do In the Meantime

 

Let the Anointing of 1 John 2:27 Teach Us

 

1 Joh 2:27

But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

 

Does this mean we can’t receive edification from our Spiritual brethren? – No.

 

Pro 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

 

When we hear men speak, we should apply stringent tests according to Scripture—

 

1 Joh 4:1

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of Yahweh; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

 

Acts 17:11 – follow the Bereans example –

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

 

2 Tim 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to Yahweh, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

As the anointing of Yahweh abides in us and teaches us, let us be careful to always give Yahweh the glory.

 

Let us realize the unity that do have

 

Eph 4:1-16

1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Master, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,

3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;

5 one Master, one faith, one baptism;

6 one Almighty and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Messiah’s gift.

8 Therefore He says: When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.

9 (Now this, “He ascended”; what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah,

13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah;

14  that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Messiah;

16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

 

In vv 4-6, we are told, there is—

 

  • One Body

 

  • One Spirit

 

  • One Hope

 

  • One Master

 

  • One Faith

 

  • One Baptism

 

  • One Almighty and Father of all

 

I would venture to say that most of us (if not all) agree on these things. Let us realize the unity that we do have.

 

What to do about the differences—

 

Eph 4:3

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

endeavouring = G4704 spoudazo, “from 4710; to use speed, i.e. to make effort, be prompt or earnest.”

 

This is going to require effort, but if we are to be unified at all, we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

Eph 4:13

Till

 

·        we all come to the unity of the faith

 

·        and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh,

 

·        to a perfect man,

 

·        to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah.

 

Please observe in v 3 that there is a unity of Spirit and a bond of peace to be had in our day, right now, even though we don’t presently have full knowledge and don’t agree as to every minute detail.

 

 

Doctrine Doesn’t Go Out the Window!

 

Psa 11:3

If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?

 

We must agree to the same foundational standards

 

Agreeing to the same foundational standards is, I believe, how we can be likeminded and walk together, even though we may differ on minor points of doctrine. As it says in Amos 3:3—

 

Amo 3:3

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

 

What are these foundational standards? They are described in Revelation 14:12—

 

Rev 14:12

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of Yahweh and the faith of Yahshua.

 

The Commandments of Yahweh

 

Heb 2:1-4

1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.

2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,

3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Master, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,

4 Yahweh also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

 

These words are reminiscent of words found in Torah—

 

Deu 4:9-10

9 Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,

10 especially concerning the day you stood before Yahweh your Mighty One in Horeb, when Yahweh said to me, Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.

 

Horeb is another name for Mt Sinai, where the Ten Commandments were given, which lay the foundation of repentance. Do not forget, deny, set aside, or attempt to abolish this source of truth. It is foundational.

 

Rom 7:7

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

 

1 Joh 3:4

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

 

Psa 19:7

The law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple.

 

Repentance from sin for salvation was taught by—

 

  • John the Baptist (Mat 3:1-2)
  • Yahshua the Messiah (Mat 4:17)
  • The Apostles (Acts 2:38)
  • And it is taught throughout Scripture

 

1 Cor 1:10

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Master Yahshua Messiah, 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.

 

Comment: Having the same mind and the same judgment—the only way to do this is to have the same standard.

 

The Faith of Yahshua

 

Deu 18:18-19 (A prophet like unto Moses)

18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.

19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

 

Compare—

 

Mat 17:1-5

1 Now after six days Yahshua took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;

2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.

3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

4 Then Peter answered and said to Yahshua, “Master, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!

 

We are to hear Yahshua—

 

Heb 1:1-2

1 Yahweh, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.

 

Heb 9:12-14

12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

14 how much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to Yahweh, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Mighty One?

 

 

What Not to Do

 

Don’t do what Yahweh hates (Pro 6:16-19)—

 

Pro 6:16-19

16 These six things Yahweh hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

 

1)      A proud look (v 17),

 

2)      A lying tongue (v 17),

 

3)      Hands that shed innocent blood (v 17),

 

4)      A heart that devises wicked plans (v 18),

 

5)      Feet that are swift in running to evil (v 18),

 

6)      A false witness who speaks lies (v 19),

 

7)      And one who sows discord among brethren (v 20).

 

Don’t grow weary in doing good (2 Thes 3:13)

 

2 Thes 3:13

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.

 

Even the apostles didn’t see eye-to-eye on everything.

 

Though we don’t have total unity in every way at this time, we would do well to try to have more unity and to promote more unity.

 

Don’t resort to Communism

 

I mention this because some may think the way to unity is to live in a commune, practicing communism, with no private ownership and no free enterprise, all things being distributed equally. They may think this is what is described in Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37; and 5:1-11; and thus, that these passages actually teach Communist ideology. However, a close look at the context of these passages proves otherwise.

 

Acts 2:44-45

44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

 

Acts 4:32-37

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Master Yahshua. And great grace was upon them all.

34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,

35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,

37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

 

Acts 5:1-11 (the case of Ananias and Sapphira)

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.

2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

4 “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to Yahweh.”

5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.

6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.”

9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Master? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”

10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.

11 So great fear came upon all the assembly and upon all who heard these things.

 

  • Peter acknowledges that Ananias and his wife were under no necessity of turning over the proceeds from the sale of their possession (5:4).

 

  • The problem: they were lying to Yahweh by bringing only a part of the proceeds while pretending to bring all.

 

  • Therefore, upon closer examination, it was not Communism that was taking place among the early believers, but rather phenomenal generosity.

 

Also of interest is the rendering of vv 34-35 from the NIV—

 

Acts 4:34-35 (NIV)

34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales

35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

 

The NIV may (probably does) provide be a better sense of what was taking place there.

 

To reiterate—

 

  • Communism is not taught in Scripture.

 

  • It is not synonymous with unity in Scripture.

 

  • The book of Acts does not teach Communist ideology.

 

  • Rather, what was taking place among the early believers was phenomenal generosity.

 

Additionally, the prophet Micah expresses the ideal of every man dwelling under his vine and fig tree—

 

Mic 4:1-4

1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Yahweh’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it.

2 Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Mighty One of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.

3 He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of Yahweh of hosts has spoken.

 

 

Importance of Fellowship

 

Fellowship Among Brethren

 

Psa 119:63

I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts.

 

Mal 3:16

Then those who feared Yahweh spoke to one another, And Yahweh listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear Yahweh and who meditate on His name.

 

Heb 10:24-25

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

1 Joh 3:14

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

 

Fellowship with Yahweh

 

Exo 33:14-17

14 And He [Yahweh] said, My Presence will go with you [Moses], and I will give you rest.

15 Then he [Moses] said to Him [Yahweh], If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.

16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.

17 So Yahweh said to Moses, I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.

 

·        We need this fellowship with Yahweh

·        That His Presence go with us [and if His Presence does not go with us, then we also should not go]

·        That we be a separated people unto Him and be unified with Him

 

Psa 50:23

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of Elohim.

 

·        Our praise and worship, and also our right conduct as we walk with Yahweh, are all part of fellowshipping with Him.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Phi 1:27

Only let your conduct be worthy of the evangel of Messiah, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the evangel.

 

2 Cor 13:11

Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the Mighty One of love and peace will be with you.

 

Eph 4:3, 13

3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah.

 

And may it be said of us as it says in Revelation 14:12—

 

Rev 14:12

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of Yahweh and the faith of Yahshua.

 

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