UNITY
Priscilla Van Sutphin
www.upstreamca.org
Feb 8, 2003

Below is the prayer of Jesus before going to the cross.  READ through it in both the New King James Version and the Amplified...keeping in mind Psalm 133.

Psalm 133  Amplified
BEHOLD, HOW good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment poured on the head, that ran down on the beard, even the beard of Aaron [ the first high priest ], that came down upon the collar and skirts of his garments [consecrating the whole body ]. [Exod. 30:25, 30.]
It is like the dew of [ lofty ] Mount Hermon and the dew that comes on the hills of Zion; for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, even life forevermore [upon the high and the lowly].

Unity is where God commands blessing.  Unity, especially in worship, according to Ruth Heflin, is what takes us into the GLORY.  Where the Glory is, there is no more striving.  That is where the rest of God is.  He will fight FOR us when we just worship Him.  She says it does more than hours of prayer and I have found that to be true,  which is why the enemy fights against the worshippers so.  It's not that prayer doesn't have value, it has great value...but when you worship, you aren't asking for anything you don't have to....you soar into the courts of the Lord and HE takes care of everything finances, relationships, health, healing of emotions, hindrances to ministry.  Communing with HIM is the highest place and it is a place of safety, impartation and healing and deliverance. It is the place of REST in Him.

There is much talk of civil war, been lots of prophecies on it.  Now a new movie is coming out about the actual Civil War in this country...very prophetic timing I might say.  God has spoken in His word, keys to bringing down the plans of the enemy.  Worship is a great key. In John 17, Jesus prays for us to be ONE. And the outcomes are:
1that the world may know YOU have sent Me.
2That His JOY may be made perfect in us
3that they may be made perfect in one,
4and that the world may know You have loved them as You have loved Me.
5that they may behold My glory
6that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Read through the scriptures:
John 17:8-14 NKJV
8  For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9  I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10  And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11  Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13  But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

      John 17:10 Amplified
      All [things that are] Mine are Yours, and all [things that are] Yours belong to Me;              and I am glorified in (through) them. [They have done Me honor; in them My glory          is achieved.]  11   And [now] I am no more in the world, but these are [still] in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep in Your Name [in the knowledge of Yourself] those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We [are one].
12    While I was with them, I kept and preserved them in Your Name [ in the knowledge         and worship of You ]. Those You have given Me I guarded and protected, and not          one of them has perished or is lost except the son of perdition [Judas Iscariot--the         one who is now doomed to destruction, destined to be lost], that the Scripture                might be fulfilled. [Ps. 41:9; John 6:70.]
13    And now I am coming to You; I say these things while I am still in the world, so               that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [ that they may                 experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in           their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts ].

John 17:14-19 NKJV  I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15  I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17   Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18   As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19  And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

      John 17:14 Amplified
      I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated          them,  because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am           not of the world. 15   I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the. evil one.  16   They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.  17  Sanctify them [ purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy ] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth   18  Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19  And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.

John 17:20-26 NKJV
20   "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;   21  that they all may be 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.  22  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  23   I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24  Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25  O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26   And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

John 17:20 Amplified
Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this        request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to,             rely on) Me through their word and teaching, 21   that they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.  22   I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one: 23   I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.

24   Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me]  may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, which You have given          Me [Your love gift to Me]; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25    O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has               failed to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You                  [continually]; and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.
26  I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your            very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have             bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be          in them.

God wants a church that is unified so it can be glorified, so it can be powerful in building HIS Kingdom; So that the WORLD will know that HE is with us, among us, for us, loves us.  Many of us have been hurt by the church, but it is time for laying down our swords and plowshares and communing with Him in the fellowship of the brethren.  Now I realize there are some who live in areas where there is such abberation and lack of true church that it is difficult,  but even there, there are others like you, if that is all you can find then that is enough. 

But coming together in unity is SO important NOW.  We need the glory.  We need for the world to know that HE sent us, is with us and loves us...that they might be jealous for what we have in relationship with HIM.  Francis Frangipane was on TBN last week and I was so blessed by how he has helped in bringing together pastors from other denominations in prayer and relationship.  What a blessing.  He has discipled many into the truth. 

That only happens when we have LOVE for others that Jesus has for them.  When we can lay down our PRIDE and anger, and rejection and walk in humility and forgiveness.  Then GOD can do mighty things,  because humility and forgiveness are two things the enemy cannot fight against.  So get into PRAISE, then WORSHIP until the glory comes down.  He wants to spend time with you.  He LOVES YOU.  We are not of the world.    He did not pray for those in the world.   He prayed for those who would believe in HIM to be one.  He said, "They will know you by the LOVE you have for one another" , not the disdain, not the anger, not the unforgiveness, not the perfectionism, not the judgmentalism, but the LOVE. 

Don't be mistaken.  I am not speaking of LOVE at any cost, or peace at any cost...but many of the things we pick at are only because people are unhealed.  LOVE HEALS.  LOVE COVERS .   LOVE BEARS ALL.   LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS.   LOVE NEVER FAILS.   LOVE TELLS THE TRUTH IN LOVE.  THINK how you love your childre, and love other Christians in the same manner.  We all blow it...we all fail...yet GOD LOVES US.  Thus, we should have HIS LOVE in us working to help us love others as He loves them.

Aristides, a Christian from Athens, wrote this in defense of Christians to the Emperor Hadrian in the year 125 AD.......

"they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting.   And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God.

And whenever one of their poor passes from the world, each one of them according to his ability gives heed to him and carefully sees to his burial. And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity , and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free.

And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food. They observe the precepts of their Messiah with much care, living justly and soberly as the Lord their God commanded them. Every morning and every hour they give thanks and praise to God for his loving-kindnesses toward them; and for their food and their drink they offer thanksgiving to Him."

Genuine thankfulness, I have found, is always evident in those who are not prideful.  Prideful people are not in the least apologetic or thankful.  You can use that as a measuring stick.  Pride exalts SELF.  Pride does not like at all the death to SELF doctrine.