Articles

The Unity That Releases Authority, by David Demian
 

 

The Unity that Releases Authority, by David Demian
www.watchmen.org

When most of us think of the word "unity" in the Church we think of
coming together around godly goals. If an evangelist comes to our
town to do a crusade, churches and ministries in the city will band
together in support of this godly goal - seeing the lost saved. But
while we work together, this does not necessarily translate into the
unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17. We are simply bringing our
influence and resources together to pursue a common goal and when that
goal is completed, we each go back to our own lives/visions/
ministries.

I think this happens because we wrongly assume unity is about
amassing or collecting together our gifts/talents/authority/influence
- adding them up to a greater collective strength. But I believe
there is a spiritual power in unity that we need to understand.

The Power of Unity

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. Then they
said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches
to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be
scattered over the face of the whole earth."

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men
were building.

The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have
begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for
them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not
understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over
all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was
called Babel--because there the LORD confused the language of the
whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the
whole earth. Genesis 11:1;4-9

If a people can come to the place of speaking with one language, one
voice, nothing will be impossible for them. At the tower of Babel,
the people tapped into this power but because they were operating
under their own will and not in submission to the Lord, this power
could have been very destructive. So God intervened and shattered
their communication - their ability to come into one voice.

If people unsubmitted to God could wield such power, imagine the
power of unity that is available to the Church that walks as Jesus
spoke about in John 17 - in a oneness that mirrors that of the Father
and the Son?

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one
accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of
a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were
sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire,
and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with
other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were
dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under
heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together,
and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his
own language. Acts 2:1-6

I believe what happened in Acts 2 was God's divine redemption and
restoration of the true unity that had been defiled by human will at
Babel. At the very foundational moment of the church God gathered 120
in the upper room to wait upon Him. Unlike the people at the Tower of
Babel, they were not trying by their own strength to reach their own
goals. They were simply submitted to the Lord and waiting for the
promise of the Holy Spirit. As they did, they experienced a
supernatural visitation where the Holy Spirit filled them. As they
spoke only what the Spirit gave them to speak, the Lord supernaturally
enabled all the people around them to hear the same message - God
being praised - each in their own language. For the first time since
Babel, the power of true unity was realized and the result was a
harvest of 3000 souls and an explosion of the church in a single
day.

Why Is Unity So Important?

I believe what we see in the story of Acts 2 was a radical shift as
God began the process of establishing His kingdom in the Church. The
disciples had already experienced spiritual authority as individuals -
they had been sent to heal the sick, cast out demons, preach the
gospel. They had seen signs, wonders and miracles - the power of God
displayed.

After the crucifixion and resurrection, for 40 days Jesus appeared to
them teaching about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3) The Day of
Pentecost came and with it the birthing of the kingdom model of the
church- one body, united in submission and following One Voice, being
empowered by the Holy Spirit and walking in an authority that eludes
the church today. Why? Because I believe the church of Acts operated
in the power of corporate anointing, birthed from their unity, that we
have not yet seen fully restored in the church today. Unity is one of
the keys of endtime revival as Jesus spoke about in John 17 and that
is why the enemy has fought it with all his might.

May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you
sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:23

Authority 101

We understand that in a home, a husband and wife who are walking in
agreement and unity have the authority to see God's purposes fulfilled
in their family. In a church or a ministry, if the leadership team
walks in unity they have authority in that church or ministry. Now if
a couple on a church board have unity in their home, does that mean
they have the authority to bring forth the purposes of God for their
church, even if the rest of the board is not in agreement one with
another? No, this couple has to be in agreement with others in the
leadership team to see God's purposes fully fulfilled for the
church.

Does this take away the sovereignty of God? By no means. God can
still at any time exercise His sovereign right to do as He chooses.
But overall, He has set laws of the kingdom in place and has chosen to
bind His will to His word. The laws of seedtime and harvest (sowing
and reaping), the principles of faith are kingdom laws, even as there
are principles about authority and about unity.

True Corporate Authority

In many ways the church is still functioning in an Old Testament model
when it comes to authority. In the Old Testament, God would anoint an
individual - a prophet, a priest or a king - who would be given the
authority by the Lord to lead. But as we saw in the book of Acts, at
the inception of the church the Spirit of God rested not on one man
but on a corporate body of 120.

So as we move more into a model of the kingdom, we should expect to
see a body of believers, carrying the same spirit, passion and heart
that will rise in unity to walk together. I believe the early church
walked in a revelation of this corporate anointing. But over time, as
religious rules replaced relationship with God and one another, the
church entered a period where many truths the Lord had poured in at
its inception were lost, including this principle of corporate unity
that releases authority.

And so today although the church has the potential to exercise an
authority to address power and principalities at city, region or
nation-wide levels, we have not yet seen this authority demonstrated.
But that is because no one individual, ministry, or denomination, no
matter how anointed they are, no matter how much revelation they have,
can exercise this level of authority alone. It is a corporate
authority that is required that can only be released through true
unity.

Since Martin Luther re-established the foundation of salvation by
grace we have been in an age of restoration in the church. Wave after
wave of truth - baptism, holiness, the infilling of the Holy Spirit,
healing, prophecy have all been restored to the church. And I believe
now is the time when God wants to open to us a revelation of the power
of unity to release authority that He might re-establish the
government of God in His church and by extension, in the nation.

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of
God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly
realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in
Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:10-11

Corporate Death Precedes Unity

What is the key to corporate unity? I believe it's when we realize
that true unity is not found in collective human strength or
giftedness but from collective death and humility and brokenness that
brings us into a place of submission to the Lord and to one
another.

As believers, most of us understand that our commitment to Christ
means dying to our own desires and wants that we might live like Jesus
lived, in total submission to the will of the Father.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ
lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son
of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

But there is another level of death and submission that we must enter
into if we are going to truly walk corporately together as one body in
submission to One Head. This is what Jesus exemplified in the way He
walked - total submission to the Father. Jesus did not do anything
except what He would see the Father doing and He would not speak
anything that he didn't hear the Father speaking.

So if we want to come to this place as a body, who really listen only
to One Voice and gives the Lord the pleasure to direct us exactly as
He wants, then we need to come to the place of being willing to die
even to the gifts and visions the Lord has given us. It's not about
laying down our giftings and not using them, but it's about dying to
our right to use our gifts to build our own vision or ministry. It's
not about canceling what we do but it's about allowing the Holy Spirit
to channel it for the corporate when and how He sees fit. Only when
we come to this place will He truly be One Head over one body, His
church.

The Trinity Test

One day a friend of mine asked the Lord to help her understand this
concept of corporate unity that releases authority. The Lord said to
her that the key was to gather a critical mass of believers not to
mingle their giftings, experiences and abilities to build something
but to lay down and die to their own. As He spoke this, she saw a
picture of people literally laying down and dying and as they did, a
small cloud arose from each person, which she understood represented
their portion of spiritual authority. As she watched, the Lord
collected these portions and then He said "It's like high grade
plutonium - a little bit makes a very big bang!"

After this experience ended, the word "high grade plutonium" kept
rolling around in her heart. So she searched for the term on the
internet and the first site she found was about the first atomic bomb
test that was conducted by Oppenheimer in July 1945. Imagine her
surprised as she read the first line of the website:

The first nuclear explosion in history took place in New Mexico, at
the Alamogordo Test Range, on the Jornada del Muerto (Journey of
Death) desert, in the test named Trinity.

The Trinity test in the Journey of Death desert? God definitely had
her attention! As she read on she was fascinated to see that a few
months before the test a platform of 108 tons (almost 242,000 pounds)
of TNT (dynamite) was blown up in order to calibrate the instruments
that would measure the force of the atomic blast. The plutonium core
that powered the bomb was the size of a large briefcase.

And the atomic blast? It blew out all the instruments - it was
stronger than anything that could be measured.

I believe this is an amazing picture of the power of true unity. A
critical mass is the minimum amount of fissionable material required
to sustain a nuclear fission reaction. If a critical mass (remnant)
of believers will humble themselves to walk in true unity they can
operate in a spiritual authority far more powerful than any amassing
of human strengths or influence can provide. So the key is us not
bringing our strengths, but "laying down our crowns" at the feet of
the Lord Jesus. We submit ourselves as a corporate body to seek the
Lord together, refusing to move until He speaks. And once we have
heard Him and come into the agreement of a clear witness (it seems
right to us and the Holy Spirit) as to His direction and timings, then
will we begin to move with the authority of Heaven to address
principalities and powers over our cities, regions and nations.

A New Age in the Church

The detonation of the Atomic bomb ushered the world into a new era -
the Atomic Age. It shifted the balance of power in the Second World
War, bringing it to a rapid conclusion. And it changed the face of
warfare, forever.

I believe that today we are standing on the brink of such an equally
radical transformation. The "Trinity Test" happened in the book of
Acts. But now it's time for us to enter fully into the new era - the
Age of the Kingdom - and experience the full restoration of what the
Lord intended for the church that began on the Day of Pentecost. We
will not be able to walk in the demonstrated fear of the Lord, the
great signs and wonders and miracles, the deep bond of love and
community, the great grace that was in the Early Church - without a
true revelation of and commitment to the unity of the body that will
release true corporate authority. May God prepare the church to be
the glorious Bride for her Soon-Coming King!


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