What is Meant by "Oneness?"
This site and the book use the word “oneness” extensively. The word does not appear in most English bibles, but "one" appears in the text I chose, John 17. The Greek words hen and heis are translated "one" in English. Other texts, such as Ephesians 4:3, 13 translate henoteta "unity" from the same root. Literally, an accurate translation is "oneness."
The term might be confused with "oneness theology" of Unitarians or Unitarianism, the doctrinal system that holds belief of the unipersonality of God and the normal humanity of Jesus. This belief is inconsistent with the doctrine of the Trinity and deity of Christ. Neither does this term refer to "Oneness Theology" or "Oneness Pentecostalism" or "Modalism." These hold the idea that the one God appears in three distinct modes or manifestations.
The reader of Echo of Jesus' Prayer - in the Church will see that the very word Jesus spoke translated "one" in English necessitates more than one person.
Is Oneness Important to God?
As a pastor, one of my deepest disappointments was to witness infighting in congregations that I had been blessed to serve. It was in the midst of one such incident that the inspiration of Jesus’ prayer recorded in John 17 occurred to me, becoming the text of a series of sermons and afterward the theme scripture of my Masters’ thesis.
Oneness was so important to Jesus that it was one of the major themes of his prayer with and for his disciples shortly before he went to the Garden of Gethsemane where he was betrayed. When something is one’s last prayer, be sure that it is of utmost importance and highest priority. Echo of Jesus’ Prayer – in the Church is about that prayer of Jesus.
My intent is to clearly present his prayer, explaining the astonishing background behind it, emphasizing the significance of oneness, elaborating on the weight he placed on it, stating the amazing impact he predicted oneness would bring, highlighting its strategic importance in the purpose of God.
My hope and prayer is that we—Jesus’ followers—get it, deeply understanding the oneness imparted by the Spirit, realizing that keeping it is our charge, making every effort to pursue it in one-on-one, group-to-group, and all other levels of relationships.
What did Together 2016 Accomplish?
My wife, one of our two daughters, her husband, and their three children were on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Saturday, July 16, 2016 along with thousands of other people. At the same time, our other daughter was with a remote gathering near Seattle, WA. Together we prayed for Jesus to reset us and the nation. The temperature was in the 90s, and some in the crowd were overcome by the heat, but I sensed a wonderful spirit of oneness in this gathering of people. For the first time in United States history, in excess of 300,000 (According to an estimate) followers of Jesus--Protestants and Catholics--worshiped together in one place.
I cannot answer the question of this topic in terms of the number of changed lives or the impact on the nation. We will have to wait to see the result, but I will say this: I am deeply impressed at the large number of Millennials who participated. This is the group that is supposed to have no interest in church. That simply is not true. The Holy Spirit is powerfully at work in the young generation, moving one-by-one teens and twenty-somethings to call on Jesus.