Notes on Unity
by Joanne Panettieri
The following notes are from a message I gave at a roundtable meeting in the Hudson River Valley several years ago.
“When you bring together agreement in the diversity of gifts in true unity and love, then God shows up in extraordinary ways - there is acceleration, impact and synergy.”
Synergy is defined as: Synergy or synergism is from the Greek synergos meaning “working together, and refers to the phenomenon in which two or more discrete influences or agents acting together create an effect greater than that predicted by knowing only the separate effects of the individual agents.”
Synergy can also mean: A mutually advantageous conjunction where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Synergy usually arises when two persons with different complementary skills cooperate.
Today we are meeting in a strategic historic gathering and the Lord is giving us an opportunity to have a great impact in this region. The last time I was here I spoke about a ruling spirit in this region whose ultimate goal is to bring division. I spoke to you about the importance of not allowing our communication to be twisted or broken down by misunderstanding. I am going to expand on that today by talking to you about true unity in the Body of Christ.
The word ‘unity’ is defined as: the state of being one; oneness; a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
The opposite of Unity is division which is defined as something that divides or separates. One of the forms of the word is divisive which means ‘producing discord” which is from the Latin for dis (apart) + Cor (heart) or “apart in heart”.
Unity and Multiplication - Barbara Marjoram shared with me that the Lord showed her that the enemy comes to bring division. The opposite of division is multiplication and that unity will produce multiplication, not addition, which is acceleration.
The Bible exhorts us to be unified
Eph: 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We must also remember that there was unity in Babylon…. Unity against the purposes of God.
They were one in language and speech. The Lord says that NOTHING they purposed to do will be impossible for them. The judgment was confusion of their languages and dispersion (scattering, dash to pieces - disunity). God says “Let us go down and confuse that they MAY NOT HEAR – (Shama - perceive by the ear - consent, agree, harken, obey) one another’s speech.
There is unity against God was for an evil purpose which brought division. But God also declared that “nothing that they purpose to do will now be impossible for them “
We can be in unity in Babylon OR in the Kingdom of God. The characteristics of Babylon are:
1. Come, let us make bricks – when we build with bricks – same size and shape, there is no individuality; we use the same formulas expecting to get the same results so we can control what God is doing.
2. burn them thoroughly - In Babylon we burn out
3. And they had brick for stone – God always builds with stone, not bricks which are man made.
4. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens – Building our own empire, not the kingdom of God
5. and let us make a name for ourselves - Building with wrong motives – to make a name for yourself.
But Psalm 133:1 says “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
The word ‘brethren’ here means brothers of the same parents. They are of one family. God’s answer to redeem us from Babylon is the cross. It is through the cross that WE become of one family:
Heb 2:11 - Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
Eph: 4:1 "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
God’s method of redeeming us from Babylon and reversing the curse of division through language, was the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, where humanity is now united through the language of the Spirit of God.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place (in one accord) 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Zeph 3:9 “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord.”
The Lord promised through the prophet Zephaniah that he would change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech or pure language. The pure language was lost at Babylon. The word change used here in Zephaniah means “reverse”, “turn back” or “change”; Pure means a cleansed or a purged language, that we may call upon him and be his servants in ‘one accord” In Eph 4:15 part of that language is “speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”
The phrase “One accord” is translated from the Hebrew differently in various translations:
The King James uses the phrase “one consent”; The NIV uses the term “shoulder to shoulder”, and the English Standard literal translation uses the phrase “one accord”. The definition of the word actually means ‘shoulder or back” probably from the meaning of walking shoulder to shoulder and bearing each other’s burdens. Burden bearing is done with the back:
Eph: 4:2 “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,” Shoulder to shoulder also has the sense of unity, walking together and having each other’s backs.
Paul exhorts us to live this kind of unity in Phil 2
Christ’s Example of Humility
Phil 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant.
This Greek word for ‘one accord” is only used in this one place in the New Testament. It is the word Sumpsuchos (soom’-psoo-khos ) "of one mind, of one accord." The word literally means “with one soul, self, breath, or life”. It refers to being united in a spirit of harmony.
Harmony is from the greek “harmonia” and means ‘agreement, concord of sounds” or literally “means of joining” related to the world harmos “joint or shoulder” from ‘ar – to fit together”. Musically the sense is oldest in English in that of ‘agreement of feeling, or concord”
The word concord is from Latin. concordia meaning “agreement, union,” “of the same mind,” lit. “hearts together.” Our English word “accord” comes from the Latin root for “accord er” n. to bring into agreement : From the Latin ad-, ad- + Latin cor, cord-, heart;
Being of one accord is being in agreement in our hearts. Discord will disarm us where unity will strengthen and arm us.
The words Harmony (from the sense of joining), Harmonica and Accordion (“concord of sounds, be in tune”) come from these same root words. The unity of believers coming together in the bond of peace for the advancement of the kingdom of God will become a symphony (“a unison of sounds, a harmony,” from syn- “together” + phone “voice, sound”) - a together voice that will produce a new sound in the earth. This new sound will be a clarion trumpet call, a pure and clear sound that will go forth to shake the earth. We will be a symphony of instruments, together in tune in the hand of our maestro, the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Kings 1:39 "And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, 6 and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them."
There is a unity in the Spirit of Christ that I don’t think the world has ever seen. I wonder what would take place if we ever achieved it; what synergy, what multiplication, what acceleration, or what impact. It is not a unity based on doctrine, or denominations, but a true unity in love.
Paul defined it in Gal. 3:26 "for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise."
The scripture tells us that when we come together the Lord hears, records us and will act upon what we discuss.
Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.
The Lord Harkened - paid attention and the Lord HEARD Shama‘- hear and understand and obey - pay attention, heeded; to grant a request. The Lord hears and then acts upon what is spoken to bring it to pass.
I believe that today, with this gathering, in this region this is a watershed moment in history. A watershed moment implies a rupture in time, after which things no longer exist as we know them. Today we have the opportunity to experience this!