That They May Be One
(El-Bethel Book 1930's)
"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them;
that they may be one, even as we are one" John 17:22
In the eternal ages, which have neither beginning nor end,
the Son existed in the bosom of the Father. He alone knew
the Father, and only through Him has the Father been revealed.
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten
Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared
Him" John 1:18.
"All things were made by him; and without him was not
any thing made that was made" John 1:3. He is the voice
through which God spoke "that which is" into existence.
He is the expressed, Incarnate Word of God.
As the word of man is the expression and revelation of himself,
so the Word of God is the expression and the revelation of
Himself. There is no division between God and His Word, but
there is an infinite difference between God's Word and man's
word. The Word of God is a Person, while the word of man is
only the imperfect breathings of the creature. When Christ
came down to earth He laid aside the glory which He had with
the Father from the beginning, and took the form of a servant.
He became obedient unto death that He might accomplish God's
plan of redemption for humanity. He depended upon the Father,
doing nothing of Himself, speaking nothing of Himself.
While the Father and the Son differ in the God-Head, they
are so ONE in each other that they cannot be divided. Our
Lord says to Philip, "He that hath seen Me hath seen
the Father ... Believest thou not that I am in the Father,
and the Father in Me?" John 14:9b;10a. They are one in
a vital, living union. Jesus prayed that we may be one, as
He and the Father are one (John 17:11). This union is only
to be found in the Spirit. In Christ's prayer we see the "place"
of the divine union, namely, "IN HIM." This is as
foreign to human unity as God is different from man, as heaven
is higher than earth, and as the supernatural is above the
We are "perfected" into unity because we are in
Christ, and Christ in us, and the Father in Christ; not by
our agreeing with others in their beliefs and doctrines, or
lack of them. This is not a union laboriously birthed by human
efforts and concessions. It is becoming one "IN HIM",
even as He and the Father are one."
The truth of the Gospel of Christ joins us to Christ and
to one another, and establishes us together in Him. Christ
and the Truth cannot be separated, anymore than the Father
and the Son can be divided. "I am the Way, the Truth
and the Life.
The Truth is one, while error is many. Truth may have different
sides and aspects, but these cannot contradict each other,
and must always be in harmony. The Truth is like a straight
line representing the shortest distance between two points;
but error is as manifold as all the possible deviations from
that straight line. The Truth never changes. All who are established
in the Truth of God are ONE in word, having the same mind.
This raises the question, how do we recognize truth when
there are so many differences of opinion? The Word of God,
when it is not wrested from its setting, nor misinterpreted
and wrongly applied, is the one plummet line to which every
experience and doctrine must conform. We are not to interpret
the Scriptures to make them fit our experiences, but rather,
each experience must be in accordance with the Word of God.
In the last days, many shall depart from the Faith (I Tim
4:1), and will not endure sound doctrine, but will turn away
their ears from the Truth (II Tim4:4). We are warned against
carelessness lest we think we are beyond falling into error.
Thus, we are to walk carefully and humbly, that we turn not
aside from sound doctrine. In I Tim 4:6, Paul, far from exhorting
Timothy to keep unity at any cost, exhorts him to remind the
brethren of the dangers which will prevail during the last
days. He adds that obedience to this exhortation is one of
the proofs, both of a good ministry and of sound doctrine.
Paul commands Timothy to refuse everything that is not according
to the Truth and the Faith.
When the Truth is at stake, we must "contend earnestly
for the Faith once for all delivered to the saints" Jude
3. Even though we desire unity and love, and may fear causing
offense, we really have no choice but to hold to the truths
of the Holy Scriptures.
This unity binds the Redeemed to the Lord. As we speak the
same thing in Him, as we have His mind, as we draw closer
to Him, as we walk increasingly in the Spirit, we shall find
ourselves with those who are nearest to Him, and in the company
of those who have "purified their souls in obedience
to the Truth," and among those who "love the brethren
from the heart fervently" (I Peter 1:22).
We shall find ourselves in that company who follow the Lamb
whithersoever He goeth, in the midst of those who have kept
their eyes upon Him, who have fought the good fight, who have
kept the Faith. And, we shall find we are one with Him, in
the bosom of the Father.