A Divided Unity
Eph. 4:13 … until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature,
attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Among the highest yet most elusive virtues to be found in the church is the virtue of unity. God has destined the church to come into unity, and to do so on a platform of maturity.
The Meaning of Mature Unity
Maturity is described as the "attaining to the whole measure of the full measure of Christ." What this means is, we are destined to come to a place where each of us has a full respect and appreciation for the vast spectrum of how Christ manifests His complete nature throughout His body worldwide. No one gift, calling, office, movement or presently identified "church" defines or represents the entire body of Christ in the world.
Please note this definition well. Unity is not just about “coming into agreement” about things. In fact, it is not about everyone thinking the same way or believing exactly the same thing about everything. Unity is not conformity of thought and behavior in all things. Yes, there must be a solid measure of fundamental agreement about critical things to our faith and to our behavior and to our respect for God's appointed leaders in order to live and function together in the immediate proximity of the faith. (I am not writing to define those things today.)
But past this, we must learn an appreciation for that of Christ which is beyond us in the earth—for that which, from within our "sliver" of the spectrum of Christ, we are unable to affirm or act out. Maturity is the ability to acknowledge the frequency of the Lord beyond His frequency within us, so as to allow for the operating of the rest of His frequency in those who do not appear to be compatible with our gift, calling, office or movement.
Maturity: Perceiving Difference from Deviance
Maturity then is a process of laboring to discern the “different in Christ” from the “deviant from Christ.” It is learning how to embrace the different (though it not be of the Father’s way imparted to us), while rejecting the deviant.
Rejecting the deviant is as important as embracing the different. Not everything proffering itself as Christian is of the knowledge of the Son of God. Not everything called the body of Christ is of the body of Christ. This means not every gift, calling, office or movement so-called belongs to the body of Christ.
The body of Christ has definition distinct from the world. The world is not and never will be part of the body of Christ nor the expression of the knowing of the Son of God. You have to leave the world to be joined to the body. And where there is definition and distinction, there must be separation, not unity. Not toleration. There is no union or unity between the espoused church of Ephesians 5 and the harlot of Revelation 17.
So in the definition of the body of Christ that identifies us separately from the world, there is this laboring to come into the mature broader unity that extends beyond our near-term frequency in Christ, that is, this maturity-based manifestation of our union in Christ in the full spectrum of His frequencies.
Irony of Divided Unity
Yet here then is the irony, which is the focus of this article. The process of coming into mature unity is a process of necessary division. Affirming the virtue of “the unity of the faith” is not about a division-free existence together. Consider this in light of other sayings by Paul and Jesus. Paul said, “For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.” Jesus said it this way, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
Pay attention especially to that last statement. Jesus said that the Father is the one who prunes the vine and cuts off bad branches in the church. If this dividing work is of the Father, yet it is the Father who has ordained to bring the church into mature unity, then we realize that division is necessary to ultimate unity, and that any belief in unity that has no room for disciplinary division is not divine unity. It is not the virtuous unity to which we have been exhorted. It is not the Father's unity nor therefore of “the Father's heart.”
As a people of a defined faith, we are caught in a balance of pressing toward mature unity within a context of walking out disciplinary division—division from the world, and division from those within our midst who walk like the world. This balance is especially difficult for prophetics who are specifically appointed by the Father as point people for the surfacing of disciplinary division. They are the front line agents in the church whose frequency in Christ sounds forth the Father's pruning sickle.
Prophetics who walk by the personal virtues of covenantal fidelity and convictional truality (ie, “faithful and true”) are going to be regularly found at the flash points of disciplinary relational division. And as a result, they will be the first to be thought of as responsible for destroying the “unity of the body.” It is an unpleasant stigma to bear.
Exhorting the True Prophets
For this cause, I narrow down to speak more pointedly to and about prophetic people (meaning, people who bear the sword of the Lord) over the ever besetting issue of “unity.”
Firstly, we have to be a people who are fully aware of our limitations of perception while we faithfully carry out our commission to stand true in the fidelity and conviction we have been called to live out. We must first be people who recognize our limitation of perception within Christ’s fullness before we execute our commission to voice a stand over anything.
When we recognize our prophetic limitation, we are telling the Father that we recognize that the frequency of Christ's fullness is beyond what we can see or how we have been raised and trained in Him. We recognize that the Father does things through others that may not align with the way He has taught us they ought to be done. (John the Baptist was instructed not to drink wine all his life, yet Jesus turned water to wine as His very first miracle.)
This is at the heart of judging righteous judgment. And so, when we first temper our prophetic zeal in godly caution before exercising it, not out of the fear of man, but out of fear of cutting off the wrong head, we are showing the Father that we are committed to that mature unity that exceeds the frequency of our prophetic zeal.
On the other hand, we are not to question the validity of our calling and commitment to walk out separational truth. We are not to second guess the Father's genuine sword bearing frequency within us that holds people accountable for the integrity of their words, their behavior and their commitments, and separates from them as necessary on such account.
The word unity, like the word love, has come to be thoroughly abused across much of the body of Christ so as to deny the Father's right to prune the church— keeping the church immature, compromised and adulterated in a state of self-deception. Most of the mainstream prophetic church has become duped into parroting worldly “toleration-based” unity that esteems friendship with the world as a high ideal while sweeping all issues of personal and church infidelity under the rug.
This false definition of the Father's unity is then put upon faithful and true prophetic people to make us feel guilty for “breaking the unity of the Spirit.” But no. We are not to listen to those voices—either from the world or from within the church. The true prophetic voice bearing the Father's pruning sickle actually promotes the true mature unity of Christ, while putting the sword to false, pretentious adulterated unity which the Father despises.
Prophets, it's time to re-examine your stand. Re-examine your faithfulness to covenant and trueness to conviction. Test your listening against the Father's larger frequency in Christ, making room for the different that is beyond you; while remaining firm regarding what the Father shows you is deviant, false and unfaithful at every level—in the church and in your own personal relationships. In these things, you will be promoting the genuine unity in the maturity of the faith that brings us to attain to the full stature of the Lamb atop Mt. Zion—to the true place where the Father is leading us all—the place we are meant to be.
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created May 20, 2019