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Two Kinds of Unity

written by Asher Intrater
August 21, 2011

One of the most important prayers of Yeshua is for us to be one (John 17:21-23). This “oneness” involves first our spiritual union with God, and then our unity with one another. The divine union precedes the human unity. If I am spiritually one with God through Yeshua, and so are you, then we should be in unity as well.

Therefore, becoming “one” includes two levels. Saul (Paul) addressed both of these in Ephesians chapter four. First he listed the common elements we have in faith, which form the basis for our unity.

Ephesians 4:3-6

…keep the unity of the Spirit in a bond of peace: one body, and one Spirit, just as you also were called in the hope of one destiny; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father to all…

Then Paul addressed again the issue of unity: this time in an operative way concerning the work of the ministry. This unity demands submission to authority, and training of the saints, so that we may “build” something together.

Ephesians 4:11-13

He gave those who are apostles, prophets, evangelists …pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry for the building up of the body of Messiah, until we all come to the unity of the faith and the unity of …the Son of God.

Both of the passages above speak of unity. The first emphasizes what we have in heaven. The second speaks of human cooperation, of serving and building together. That demands teamwork, cooperation, and leadership. That demands recognizing spiritual gifts and authority.

There is a balance between the two. The first kind is more important, and it should lead to the second. If one has just the second kind without the first, the unity is forced. The unity is coercive and cultish. It is mere human organization.

However, if there is just the first without the second, then there is confusion, division and rebellion. It is a spirit without a body. It is unity with no means of cooperation. God’s plan is for both. First we have heavenly union; then we have human cooperation. 

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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