THE PRACTICE OF ONENESS
The One Accord, Having the Same Mind, Speaking the Same Things
Now we will consider the practice of oneness. Oneness is practiced through the one accord. The Lord Jesus taught the disciples in Matthew 18:19, saying, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything, whatever they may ask, it shall come to them from My Father who is in the heavens.” The word “agree” here, in the original language, means to be in a musical harmony; this is the practice of oneness. By the time of Acts 1, there were one hundred twenty people praying steadfastly in one accord (vv. 14-15a). All of them had one mind, which was to receive power from on high and to testify of the crucified, resurrected, and ascended Lord, whom they loved and followed. For this they were in one mind, and were thus in one accord.
In the epistles, through the conditions manifested in the various local churches, the Lord shows us further what the one accord is. First Corinthians 1:10 says that we have to speak the same thing and to be attuned in the same mind and the same opinion. How can we speak the same thing and have the same mind and the same opinion? The whole book of 1 Corinthians shows us that this same speaking is Christ, and the same mind and same opinion are also Christ. In our daily life, if we take Christ as our center and everything, what we speak, think, and understand will all be Christ. This is the one accord, which is the practice of oneness. Some among the Corinthian believers said they were of Paul. Others said they were of Apollos. Still others said that they were of Cephas. Then some were smart enough to say that they were of Christ. They were of four things. In other words, there were four minds and four speakings with four results, which end in division. The oneness is gone, the Body of Christ is lost, and the building is no more. Hence, 1 Corinthians 1:10 deals with this matter so that we would be captured by the Lord and that there would no longer be Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, but only Christ. Everyone would be thinking about Christ and speaking about Christ, having Christ as his view, Christ as his way of speaking, and Christ as his opinion and judgment. Everything would be Christ. This Christ has become the life-giving Spirit in His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:45b) and has become our enjoyment within. The practice of our oneness depends on Him. When we speak Him, consider Him, enjoy Him, and express Him, we will be harmonious and one.
Thinking the Same and Having the Same Love
Furthermore, Philippians 2:2 says, “Think the same thing, having the same love, joined in soul, thinking the one thing.” What is it to think the same thing? And what is to think the one thing? After reading through the whole book of Philippians, and especially after reading through chapter three, we can see that this refers to the subjective knowledge and experience of Christ. Only Christ is the centrality and universality of our whole being. Everything else makes our mind different and causes disunity. For this reason we should focus our thoughts on the precious knowledge and experience of Christ. Furthermore, we need to have the same love. Our love towards the saints should not be classified into categories. Otherwise, our love will create problems, and there will be no way to have the genuine one accord.
The Basis, Means, and Indication of the Practice of the Oneness
From Ephesians 4:4-6 we can see that our practice of oneness is based upon the attribute of the oneness of the church: one Spirit, one Lord, one God, one Body, one faith, one baptism, and one hope. By this we can see that oneness is the attribute of the church. Based upon this attribute of the oneness of the church, we can be in one accord and can practice the oneness. Moreover, the practice of this oneness is according to the apostles’ teaching (1 Cor. 4:17b; 7:17b; 11:16; 14:34a). The apostles taught the same thing to all the saints in all the places and in all the churches. At the same time, the practice of this oneness is also according to the same speaking of the Spirit to the churches (Rev. 2:7, 11a, 17a, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). The seven epistles to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 were words spoken to all the churches. He who has an ear, let him hear. Each epistle was written to all the churches. All the churches have the same Bible, and everyone is practicing oneness according to the same speaking. Finally, the practice of oneness indicates that the seven churches as the seven lampstands are completely identical (Rev. 1:20). The churches are God’s golden lampstands. Although they are distinct and self-contained, they are completely identical in nature, shape, function and expression.
(The Oneness and the One Accord according to the Lord's Aspiration and the Body Life and Service according to His Pleasure, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)