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Bible Study Notes:


Spiritual Weapons: # 17
The Power of Agreement


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at Churchusa.com.
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The principle of agreement increases the power of our prayer at least ten times. It assures our success in our warfare against the enemy. It insures the presence of the Lord in our midst and His blessings on our endeavors. It attracts the providential attention of the Father, and is a hindrance to the promotion of the devil’s kingdom. And above all, it is evidence to the world that Jesus was sent by God to be our Savior.

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We’ve been studying Spiritual Warfare now since 7/30/98 and have covered a lot of topics! This study grew out of our study of the book of Ephesians, specifically the armor of God. First of all we talked about preparing your heart for war. It’s often things on the inside, such as fear, doubt, and unforgiveness, which defeat us and make us ineffective soldiers for Christ.

Then we discussed God's Armor in Ephesians 6:13-17: the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes of peace, the helmet of salvation, the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and the shield of faith. As in the natural, it is extremely foolhardy for a soldier to go to battle without his armor on!

Next we spoke of Prayer Warfare Ephesians 6:18-19. Prayer is necessary in our conflict because it is a spiritual warfare, and the way we effect spiritual change is through communion with the Father of Spirits. Prayer gives us strength and connects us with our COMMANDER In CHIEF - so we can get our marching orders!

Prayer is how we fight the devil in our own lives, and also intercede for the lives of others. To intercede means to take the petition to God on someone else's behalf, to stand in their place and do to warfare on their behalf. Sometimes the devil has them blinded to the truth, or they may be so ill or upset that they can't pray for themselves.

According to Jesse Penn-Lewis: "an Armored Christian is always armored with the truth, righteous in his life, makes and keeps peace, has salvation/self-control, uses faith as a shield, has Scriptures in his hand and prays without ceasing."

She continues: "By contrast, the NON-ARMORED Christian is open to lies through ignorance, is unrighteous through ignorance, is divisive and quarrelsome, is recklessly unwatchful, is doubtful and unbelieving, relies on reason instead of God's Word and relies on work without prayer".

Then we discussed what it means to be a Christian Soldier, listing 10 characteristics, which are: Unquestioning obedience to those in authority; Loyalty and support of other soldiers; Self-discipline; Endurance; Training; Understanding and following instructions; Being alert, watchful and prepared; Keeping armor and weapons in ready-condition; An undivided heart to the cause; and Stand in your position in Christ.

So far we’ve discussed SIXTEEN Spiritual Weapons: The Word of God; Prayer; The Name of Jesus; Faith; Praise; the Blood of Jesus; The Word of Our Testimony; "Jericho March"; Weapons of Righteousness; Holy Anger; Joy; Peace; Love; Discernment; The Mind of Christ; and Binding and Loosing.

What an awesome arsenal we have at our disposal! What a challenge to train ourselves to use each weapon for the proper task at the proper time! Now some have objected to us teaching that there is more than the one weapon mentioned in Ephesians 6:17, which is the Sword of the Spirit. Well, all of the other weapons are contained in the Word, and if you want to think of the Sword of the Spirit as a holy, giant "Swiss army knife" that contains all the others, that’s OK also.

Weapon # 17 The power of agreement

Now last time we discussed Weapon #16, Binding and Loosing, and this next weapon is closely related to it: Weapon # 17 - The Power of Agreement. Let’s look at one of the passages we studied last week when we were discussing that the power of binding and loosing is for all believers:

Matthew 18:18-20 "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be [or have been] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be [or have been] loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Our authority over the enemy is increased when we are in agreement! Jesus said IF two or three will AGREE about their requests, IT WILL BE DONE! Because when 2 or 3 come together in JESUS NAME, He is present with them. This is a pretty strong statement. AGREEMENT in Jesus Name ASSURES success!

Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Let’s get some background on this. The principle of agreement was established in the Old Testament because two or three witnesses were required to convict anyone of a crime. One "eye witness" was not enough to convict someone, especially in a capital case.

In the New Testament, this principle was also taught. 1 Timothy 5:19 says "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses."

How many ministries have been destroyed by one person who bore false witness? God alone knows, but we should be careful to follow Biblical rules when anyone is accused of wrongdoing, especially church leadership.

Matthew 18:16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'

Jesus tells us that when we have an offense against a brother, we are to go by ourselves first to try to resolve the matter. But if we can’t resolve it, Jesus said the next step is to go to our brother with 2 or 3 witnesses. How many problems in the church would never develop if believers followed the simple rules of evidence scripture commands!

2 Corinthians 13:1 This will be my third visit to you. "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

This principle of agreement was also used to cover any fact or matter to establish the truth of a thing. And it’s a good principle to follow today when discerning doctrine. A lot of false doctrine is based on one verse or part of a verse, such as being baptized for the dead. Doctrine is established by being repeated in God’s Word at least twice.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

The principle of agreement is reinforced by the writer of Ecclesiastes, who points out that if there are two in agreement they get a better return for their labors. We say "two heads are better than one", and that "a load shared is a burden halved". Also, if there are two in agreement, if one falls, he has the other to lift him up. We all need encouragement, and what better one to encourage than a partner in ministry?

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

And in spiritual warfare, two can defend themselves better than one, and three together have power that is not quickly broken. Although as individuals, we have power and authority over the enemy in Jesus’ Name, He never meant for us to be "Lone Ranger" Christians who crusade alone, a law unto ourselves. Well, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto to help him out!

Amos 3:3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

Amos the Prophet brought up an important point: two do not make a team unless they are in agreement! How many marriages are on the rocks today because husband and wife are not walking in agreement, physically, mentally and spiritually? But how awesome is the couple that has learned to walk in agreement!

Deuteronomy 32:30-31 How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up? For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede.

Here Moses is talking about what happens to idolaters – that their enemies would put them to flight because they abandon the Rock, our Lord. Notice the principle of agreement here in action in spiritual warfare. The righteous have the power to singly chase 1,000 of their enemies, but the figure goes up TEN times, to 10,000 when two are in agreement in spiritual warfare.

Can we infer that three in agreement have ONE HUNDRED times the power against the enemy? Wow, I like that kind of math! No wonder the devil tries to divide us! Our agreement fortifies, empowers and strengthens our authority to bind and loose the enemy!

Mark 6:7 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.

Jesus sent His apostles out two by two, and established the precedent for team ministry in the New Testament. But this pattern is not only for apostles, but all disciples. If you can team up with another believer, you will produce more fruit for the kingdom, and have a built-in "encouragement system". Plus you will have at least TEN times the prayer power.

Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two [or seventy] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.

Luke shows us that the principle of agreement and teamwork also applies to all of Jesus followers. The seventy (or 72 in some manuscripts) others (that is in addition to the 12 apostles) were sent out two by two AHEAD of Jesus to EVERY town and place He traveled to.

Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

We see the results of their teamwork in the 17th verse. As forerunners of Jesus they ran headlong into spiritual warfare! They were VERY excited that even the demons submitted to them in Jesus Name! And this is exciting news! Through the power of Jesus Name, we have authority to bind and loose demonic powers, and our authority is increased through the principle of agreement!

Luke 10:18-19 He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you."

Ed Murphy in "The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare" says this: "Ours is a delegated authority. In Luke 10 Jesus gives total authority over all dimensions of evil supernaturalism to ALL of His disciples, not just the twelve apostles (Luke 10:1,17-19)."

He continues: "The identity of the seventy disciples is unknown. This group of men was large enough for the Lord both to train and to oversee. Because this is the only reference to them, it is assumed they did not give up their jobs and homes to follow their Master as did the twelve apostles. Today we would call them laymen."

Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He made it clear that the spiritual authority over all the power of the enemy will accompany THOSE WHO BELIEVE. This is a generic granting of authority to ALL believers. And as in the other verses we’ve looked at, this spiritual power increases at least 10 fold when we work as a team of at least two in agreement.

In this context, Jesus designed the marriage covenant to be a powerful spiritual force through the principle of agreement. A husband and wife who walk in agreement is an unstoppable team in Jesus Name IF they realize their authority and walk in it in faith. Is it any wonder that the devil is trying to destroy marriages right and left?

Quinn and Sherrer in "A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare" say that "… there is strength in numbers. The prayer of agreement can be a powerful strategy in spiritual warfare…The word agree in this Scripture is from a Greek root from which we get our English word symphony. It means "to be in harmony or accord concerning a matter."

They continue: Prayer partners play a spiritual role that is analogous to the army specialists who create a "corridor of safety" for the tanks and armaments to mount an offensive against the enemy. These soldiers learn to detonate land mines, clear barbed-wire entanglements, bulldoze man-made barriers, and build emergency bridges over trenches."

"Only then can the army invade enemy territory and liberate the captives. Prayer partners often pray in advance to help clear the way - neutralizing the enemy's offense forces."

Quinn and Sherrer continue: "Individual prayer and warfare is important, but interceding with a prayer partner or a group of believers strengthens the prayer's effectiveness. If the two of you or the entire group is fasting in unity, the warfare is even stronger."

"First we should ask the Lord how he wants us to pray. Then in agreement, with one mind, we pray as he directs, persisting with our prayer partners until we see results."

Mark 3:23-26 So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. "

Now we looked at this verse last week from the standpoint of binding and loosing, but let’s think about it some more in the context of the principle of agreement. Jesus said that IF satan is driving out satan then that means that his kingdom is divided and cannot stand.

Unfortunately for us, satan’s kingdom is NOT divided! He and his demons are in agreement and in rebellion against the Lord and against us! And they are a powerful, well-organized and ruthless army. We are no match for them without the power of Jesus Name.

But the same principle of disunity that Jesus spoke of can and does apply to us. If we are divided amongst ourselves, our spiritual house cannot stand! I don’t know about you, but this "scares the daylights out of me" when I think about the many, many divisions in the Body of Christ today!

The good news, of course is that it only takes two or three standing in agreement with each other to be a formidable force against the enemy. But how much more successful would the Church be today if ALL believers, or even a MAJORITY of those who name the Name of Christ as savior joined together in agreement and unity against the powers of the enemy??????

Ephesians 4:3-6 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

This is why Paul said to make EVERY effort to keep the unity of the Spirit – because our unity increases our spiritual power. Notice Paul says to KEEP the unity that is already here. This is not some man-made ecumenicism that perverts good doctrine. This is the fact that we are ONE body and need to start acting like it.

We need to quit splintering off from one another, and strive to KEEP the unity we already have in Jesus Name. We need to concentrate on areas of agreement and focus on our unity of purpose. We should be more concerned with fulfilling our calling and commission than theological "hair-splitting".

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

So what is our primary mission? To be witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the earth. To do this we must obey His command to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. We must walk in agreement and focus on His charge to us, and not allow satan to so easily side-track us with secondary issues.

Mark 16:15, 20 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation…" Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Another way to put it – our mission is to go into ALL the world and preach the good news to all creation. When we are obedient and work in unity, what is the result? Jesus will work WITH US and CONFIRM His Word by signs and wonders.

John 17:20-23 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. "

John 17 has often been called Jesus’ "High Priestly" prayer – where He revealed His heart and faith towards us as believers. He not only prayed this prayer for the disciples He was getting ready to leave behind, but for all who would believe on their message – which includes US.

What was Jesus last request of His Father for us? That we all may be one JUST AS Jesus and the Father are one. If our unity was so important to Jesus that it became one of His last prayers on earth, shouldn’t we take it seriously also?

And the importance of this unity is revealed in this statement: "May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." Part of the evidence the world NEEDS to believe that Jesus was sent by God is our unity! Pretty scanty evidence for that, is there?

John 17:22-23 "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. 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.

One gift that Jesus gave us to promote our unity is His glory – the honor of using His authority on earth against the evil one. Also it involves His identity – as we identify with Christ, we become one with Him and the Father. Then Jesus requested that we be "brought to complete unity". How would this be accomplished?

John 17:11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one.

Part of the answer lies in the protecting power of the Name of Jesus. As we join together in Jesus Name, we are brought into unity and peace with each other, and increase the power we have over the enemy.

Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,

Paul prayed that God would give the Roman believers a spirit of unity. How did this come about? Through endurance as they labored together under many trials together. Through the encouragement of the Scriptures and by encouraging one another. And by following Jesus together.

America is said to be the land of opportunity, and it is certainly the kingdom of the individual. It is hard for us to work together as a team, because we are not taught how to cooperate and live in harmony. Rather we are taught how to exalt and gratify the SELF. So we have to "unlearn" a lot of crud to be able to come together in unity, one with another.

Ephesians 4:11-13 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

The "HE" referred to in this passage is none other than Jesus Christ, who gave certain positions of leadership to the Body of Christ as GIFTS. The purpose of these ministers, be they apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers, is to prepare God’s people for works of service. This is a pretty tall order!

This preparation includes instruction in righteousness and sound doctrine, and at times rebuking and exhorting to good works. The Head of all ministry positions is Jesus and our Lead Trainer is the Holy Spirit.

Well, what is the purpose of all this preparation? To build up the Body of Christ UNTIL we all reach UNITY in the faith AND in the knowledge of the Son of God. One deterrent to unity is rebellion. If those who call themselves disciples of Christ refuse to receive the gift of leadership which is designed to lead them into unity, then we will not come to the maturity and POWER in spiritual warfare that Christ desires for us to have.

Ephesians 4:16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

From HIM, that is Jesus, the whole body grows and builds itself up in love as each person does his or her part. Notice that we are joined and held together by every supporting ligament.

Colossians 2:19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

Paul here is talking about a foolish person who has gotten into false doctrine and lost connection with the Head of the Body, who is Christ. But notice that he mentions again the ligaments and sinews that support and hold the body together.

Who are the ligaments and sinews in the body of Christ that keep it joined, that hold it together, and support the parts of it?

Ligaments here is haphe {haf-ay'} meaning bond, or connection. Sinews is sundesmos {soon'-des-mos} meaning that which binds together, a band, bond. the ligaments by which the members of the human body are united together or that which is bound together, a bundle.

Who are those who bind us together? How about the encouragers, the peacemakers, the helpers? The most important ministers in the body are often those who go unnoticed and perhaps unrewarded, the humble ones who promote unity quietly, and submit to one another in peace.

Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Love is the KEY to our unity. We must put love first, ahead of our differences, doctrinal squabbles and debates. We must see each other as men and women for whom Christ died, precious brothers and sisters, accepted through the blood of Christ in the Beloved.

Matthew 18:18-20 "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be [or have been] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be [or have been] loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

The principle of agreement increases the power of our prayer at least ten times. It assures our success in our warfare against the enemy. It insures the presence of the Lord in our midst and His blessings on our endeavors. It attracts the providential attention of the Father, and is a hindrance to the promotion of the devil’s kingdom. And above all, it is evidence to the world that Jesus was sent by God to be our savior.

 

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned! And put it into practice.

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Original lesson 3/12 /99
Revised: May 03, 2001