The Blessing of God – When two become one

 

Jonathan and David.jpg

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Eccl 4:9-12, KJ2000)

All through the scriptures we see God joining people together for His purposes. It started with Adam and Eve when God said of Adam, “It is not good that man should be alone.” God also blessed many other couples and used them in their fruitfulness to bring forth the linage of Christ all through the Old Testament record. Outside of marriage we see Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, Judah and Simeon, Deborah and Barak and many more who He paired up in leadership. Only when we see Israel totally backslidden against God do we see a prophet standing alone as His representative. These were desperate men appointed by God for desperate times and not the norm.

In the New Testament Jesus always sent the disciples out in pairs and later we see many of them together in each locale like the group in Jerusalem with Peter, John and James as well as Paul and Barnabas and other “prophets and teachers” in Antioch and later Paul and Silas were together.

Too many people today in the churches think about leadership and ministry after the tradition of the Catholic Church, a singular pope over all, a singular bishop over the dioceses and a singular priest over the local church. Protestantism does not like to use these Catholic titles so they call these men denominational heads, district superintendents and pastors. Each man stands alone over those under him and is rarely held accountable for his actions. Being alone, they get into all manner of trouble and eventually fall. True New Testament eldership with multiple elders in each area it is a rare thing today. There is no such thing as “head pastor” over any of the New Testament churches, yet these extra-biblical titles are all through Christendom and accepted as “scriptural.” We as Christians in the West still think of church leadership in terms of a singular leader complete in himself with all the Bible knowledge and gifts needed to rule over all that goes on in the local church. It was not this way in the early church, but Christ was the Head and the Spirit taught them.

The New Testament is rife with examples of multiple leadership and multiple anointings working together under the leadership of Christ and this is still God’s way. We need to get beyond this Catholic hangover of the “one man band” in the body of Christ. God says clearly that He commands a blessing when brethren dwell together in unity. One person that has all power is not an example of dwelling together in unity. Spiritual unity is not unanimity or forced unity of doctrinal beliefs. It occurs when two or more hearts become one and are in one accord in the Spirit of Christ with His love for one another.

A classic case of true godly unity was the relationship that Jonathan and David had with each other. The kingdom was divided under King Saul’s heavy hand and Saul tried to pit his son Jonathan against David whom Saul saw as an enemy, but we read. “…the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (1Sam 18:1, KJ2000). And when Jonathan was killed in battle David cried, “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women.” (2Sam 1:26, NASB).

Of this relationship in “The Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge” by R.A. Torrey and John Canne we read,

The modesty, piety, and courage of David were so congenial to the character of the amiable Jonathan, that they attracted his most cordial esteem and affection; so that the most intimate friendship subsisted between them from that time, and they loved each other with pure hearts fervently. Their friendship could not be affected by the common vicissitudes of life; and it exemplifies by fact what the ancients have written on the subject; [Ten philian isoteta einai, kai mian psychen ton philon heteron auton.] “Friendship is an entire sameness, and one soul: a friend is another self.”

How many of us who call ourselves Christian and have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us have ever had a friend like this among our fellow believers? Very few, I would dare say, because Sunday Christianity by its nature tends to divide instead of unifying. Only as we abide in Christ and His love for one another that goes way beyond religious commonality is this possible. If you are missing this kind of depth in the body of Christ, pray for God to do what is needed to make it happen in your life, but stand by… He might have to work some deep changes in your heart as well. I know that He had to in mine.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers [brethren] live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. (Ps 133:1-3, NIV – emphasis added)

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23 comments on “The Blessing of God – When two become one

  1. How does marriage fit into the equation? Where the 2 become one flesh, submitting to each other out of reverence for Christ? I ask only on account of some of the relationships you noted, both were single.

    I count myself doubly blessed, that my wife is a spirit baptized and filled, gifted sister-in-Christ. Gifts that are not as well developed (honed?) in me are keen in my wife and vice versa. We’ve seen some wonderful things happen when we work together (ministering, laying on of hands, studying the word, song-writing, singing, witnessing, etc.).

    Where my heart aches, Michael, is not so much for a brother like you describe, because I have blessed one-ness and fellowship with my wife. Rather, my yearing (grieving) has to do with so few hunger for the Way, Truth and Life … most have settled for religious sew, like spiritual Esau’s – the personification of Laodicea. I’ve pretty much given up hope for our generation (boomers and older), Michael, and hold out hope for a move of God among the younger generation. At least, that’s the gist of what my “Timothy” (musical) is all about – which has been God’s work for my life.

    I’d dearly love to be grandfather to a whole flock of Timothy-like young people. 😉

    Jack

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Jack, the ideal of Two becoming One in not only one flesh in a marriage, but ONE in body, soul and spirit, sad to say, few Christian marriages that I have seen are all that one. Congratulations with what you have with your wife. Most marriages are “one” as far as raising kids, supporting the household, and the man and wife even go out and do things together, but when two become ONE in the Spirit where both are being led of the Spirit in such a way that they hear the same things at the same time and desire the same things in God’s leading and both are focused on the will of God for them and share His love together… that is a rare thing. It seems that there is a love that is “more wonderful than that of a woman” in the kingdom of God and it is not limited to a marriage relationship. I think that not only did David and Jonathan have this, but also Jesus and John.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. James says:

    I’m a bit biased, but I don’t believe for a second “there is a love that is “more wonderful than that of a woman” in the kingdom of God “. However, i understand what you’re talking about and I had a dream where myself and a small group of other Christians were working in perfect unity. I find it hard to believe I’d ever feel like a human being let alone be an equal part of God’s plan in a group of people, but I experienced it in the dream, and I also had an individual role to play in the group as well as working in concert with them. It was truly weird and the weirdest dream I ever had.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      James, I can tell you from experience that this kind of unity you saw and felt in your dream DOES exist in the Kingdom of God. I have experienced it in a Spirit led revival where God’s love was the motivation of all that happened among us. It was like living in the Book of Acts and it ruined me for just “playing church” as we see it today every Sunday morning. Sad to say, it was all eventually quenched when men put their hands on it and tried to harness His power for their own purposes. God does not share His glory with the flesh of men.

      BTW, the love of God freely abiding in one of His saints is “more wonderful than that of a woman.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • James says:

        Yes, of course, Michael! I have no doubt of that. It’s just so hard to imagine this in real life, because I’ve not experienced anything close to it! I feel like less than half a person and can only imagine being a fraction of the value of anyone else.

        Wow that you experienced that! I understand and agree what you say about God not sharing his glory too 🙂

        I guess I slightly misunderstood what you initially said, as the love of God abiding in His saints is clearly of more value and purpose to God and others, but for me personally the love of a woman is still of slightly greater value, and I’d rather have a wife or even girlfriend than 20 close Christian friends. Hopefully that would lead to me having the love you speak of, as it seems impossible to find Christians with that kind of love in real life.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        James, Thanks for you openness and honesty, my brother. I can understand your longing for a wife. There is a proverb that says, “A good wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.” (Prov 12:4, RSV). Unless the one you marry is the one that God has chosen for you, you will end up being unequally yoked and that is no paradise. Many who have acted in haste and gotten married to the first available one that came along, ended up spending many years in sorrow “repenting at leisure.”

        Jesus gave us the key to a happy life, “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:33, NRS). When we get our priorities upside down, the outcome will end in much sorrow.

        As for finding Christians who are truly born of the Spirit and have put Christ first in their lives and are filled with His love for the saints, I guess we are all waiting for the “other guy” to do it first. But we have to get brutal with our own selves and cry out to God, “Change me, Father! Give me the heart and the love of Christ no matter what it costs!” We have to get sick and tired of who we are and want only Jesus to live in and through us.

        “Therefore if any man be IN Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, ALL things are become new.” (2Cor 5:17, KJ2000 – emphasis added)

        Liked by 1 person

      • David Murry says:

        Once we get a taste of true love.. love that is birthed from HIS kingdom, expressed purely through the unity of the Spirit… there is no turning back. its impossible (at least for me) to be content with less.
        I think the Lord, in His intense jealousy for our hearts to commune with Him, will at times allow glimpses of things, in an effort to cause that invitation to be accepted to come deeper into.. Him.

        He has done this so many times in my life.. and It is only the past couple years I have begun to recognize that either the “trial” or the supposed “revelation” is in fact the invitation and not the revelation of Him in and of itself. He uses these glimpses to draw our hearts even deeper into Him.

        True unity in the body… its an aspect of the full expression of Christ. its beyond wonderful.. and I am so far from abiding in it the way His intense love desires and longs for 🙂

        But I am working on it by His grace and power.

        Thanks Mike

        David

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        David, thanks so much for such an insightful comment. You really touched where I am at with your comment. You wrote,

        “Once we get a taste of true love.. love that is birthed from HIS kingdom, expressed purely through the unity of the Spirit… there is no turning back. its impossible (at least for me) to be content with less. I think the Lord, in His intense jealousy for our hearts to commune with Him, will at times allow glimpses of things, in an effort to cause that invitation to be accepted to come deeper into.. Him.”

        David, have you ever felt jerked around by God? I mean He gives us a taste of something heavenly and gets us to open our hearts to it and Him only so He can take it away and inflict a deeper pain in us for the loss of it all and put in us a deeper hunger for that which cannot be taken away or shaken. He has done this so often in my life with relationships, fellowships, churches etc. I am getting gun-shy of opening my heart up to anyone in a meaningful relationship only so He can take it all away again.

        Your wrote, “I have begun to recognize that either the “trial” or the supposed “revelation” is in fact [only] the invitation and not the revelation of Him in and of itself. He uses these glimpses to draw our hearts even deeper into Him.”

        Yes, brother, so well put. We so long for heaven here on earth, but it seems that we were never meant to find it here…

        “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from which they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.” (Heb 11:13-16, KJ2000)

        Thank you for your timely comment. Please pray for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fred Thoren says:

    I so want to be around other true Christians as I feel very alone some times. Although thinking our new employee where I work is a true Christian. He saw me reading the Bible while at work and we talked for a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Fred. I know what the hunger for true God birth fellowship is like. I have spent the majority of my 45 years as a born again Christian longing for it. Once I was at a “prophetic conference” in Dallas, Texas, in a huge mega-church building with 3,500 people in one room, all ego-ed out on their own “spiritual gifts” and I have never felt so lonely in my life! As long as Christians are all tripped-out on their own persona, Bible knowledge, God given talents, etc., there is no fellowship in God’s love with them. This is exactly what Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians ch, 13. If you never read any other Bible than this one chapter, you have everything you need right there to pray about being worked into you for a lifetime.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. That was a great exposition on becoming one with one another, Michael. ⭐ I love it! 🙂

    The New Covenant is first and foremost a spiritual covenant between Christ and His Bride, His Body. Therefore Martin Luther was right by saying, “Marriage is an earthly thing.” That means, we usually marry for carnal reasons. Through death of one of the spouses marriage as we knew it before is put to an end because we won’t marry any longer unless we have already been married to our Divine Husband (which only mystics experience during their lifetime).Becoming one through Christ’s Spirit before marriage is something many hope for, but few even know what it means to become one with God and with one another. Actually, it is a mystery to be “known” by God that needs to be experienced. Only two hints from the apostle Paul,

    “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (1 Cor 6:13 ESV) – “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” (1 Cor 6:17 ESV)

    From church history I know about one “heavenly marriage” where the spouses not only were one soul and one body after the flesh, but were one spirit with God and with one another too. I decided to copy a paste an excerpt that also includes a short part of Tertullian’s letter to his wife as to why she should not remarry after his death.

    A second marriage could never work for either of them, because it could never begin to recapture the joys of the first.

    “Whence are we to find words enough fully to tell the happiness of that marriage which the church cements . . . which angels carry back the news of to Heaven? . . . What kind of yoke is that of two believers, partakers of one hope, one desire, one discipline, one and the same service? Both are brethren, both fellow servants, no difference of spirit or of flesh; nay, they are truly ‘two in one flesh.’ Where the flesh is one, one is the spirit too. Together they pray . . . together perform their fasts; mutually teaching, mutually exhorting, mutually sustaining.

    “Equally are they both found in the church of God; equally at the banquet of God; equally in straits, in persecutions, in refreshments. Neither hides anything from the other; neither shuns the other; neither is troublesome to the other. . . . There is no stealthy signing, no trembling greeting. . . . Between the two echo psalms and hymns; and they mutually challenge each other as to which shall better chant to their Lord. Such things, when Christ sees and hears, he joys. To these he sends his own peace. Where two are, there is he himself. Where he is, there the evil one is not.”

    Tertullian’s warning to his wife, it turns out, is that a marriage for the wrong reasons, a marriage for the sake of comfort or for society or for marriage itself, is an invitation to disaster, putting the unfortunate couple a single step away from Hell. On the other hand, a marriage under Christ–a spiritual union such as he and his wife apparently enjoyed–is cause for rejoicing in Heaven. And it’s not likely to be offered twice to anyone.

    http://www.christianhistoryproject.org/to-the-decian-persecution/tertullian/tertullian-on-marriage/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Wow, Susanne! What quotes you shared, “What kind of yoke is that of two believers, partakers of one hope, one desire, one discipline, one and the same service? Both are brethren, both fellow servants, no difference of spirit or of flesh; nay, they are truly ‘two in one flesh… Equally are they both found in the church of God; equally at the banquet of God; equally in straits, in persecutions, in refreshments. Neither hides anything from the other; neither shuns the other; neither is troublesome to the other. . . There is no stealthy signing, no trembling greeting. . . Between the two echo psalms and hymns… Such things, when Christ sees and hears, he joys. To these he sends his own peace.”

      Then the authors own words are so full of wisdom. “We usually marry for carnal reasons.” How many of us have married “for the sake of comfort, or for society [or family’s sake, or expediency] or even for marriage itself” and found our lives bordering on disaster for years on end? They went on to say, “On the other hand, a marriage under Christ–a spiritual union… is cause for rejoicing in Heaven. And it’s not likely to be offered twice to anyone.”

      So true! ONE! One hope, one desire, one soul and one spirit, one under the discipline of Christ, one in service to Him. BOTH are brethren and fellow servants to each other and to others for they are equals in every way. Only in THIS kind of unity do Paul’s words become true, “… there is neither male nor female: for you are all one IN Christ Jesus.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • I somehow “knew” you would like this excerpt, Michael. ;-)…this quote from an (to me unknown) author,

        On the other hand, a marriage under Christ–a spiritual union such as he and his wife apparently enjoyed–is cause for rejoicing in Heaven. And it’s not likely to be offered twice to anyone.

        By the way, I had the same thoughts you described in your last paragraph (…neither male nor female) on my mind. Glad you verbalized them, dear brother. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Thanks, Susanne, for your reply and once again for the great quotes from that book. There is so much to explore in the nature of what a spiritual marriage between a man and wife actually looks like and how it functions. And with this kind of marriage in mind, there is so much that is lacking when we reflect on how a spiritual marriage between a man and a woman is actually what Christ wants between Him and the church.

        “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she respect her husband.” (Eph 5:30-33, KJ2000)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Fred Thoren says:

        Susanne and Michael thank you again. I read your replies and I am feeling something that I seem to lack the words to reply with as I sit here and try and type this up. I thank you for helping me to understand more about this becoming one with Christ. I know in the bible there is a passage that says “I never knew you”. I know I have friends who only take the part of that passage that talks about sinning and forgets about the “I never knew you” part. Any way this gives some clarity to that passage. I know there are some that think if we become one with GOD that we will loose our individuality but I don’t think that is the case.

        Also when thinking about my feelings at the moment I wonder if it is like what was mentioned in the bible about the disciples who walked with Jesus and said “didn’t our hearts burn with in us “. I could be wrong but maybe that is what I am feeling when I read what you said.

        Liked by 2 people

      • You are very welcome, Fred. By the way, as I read about “losing one’s individuality” in your reply, I was reminded of a blog post I wrote last year. If you’re interested, here is the link https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/our-true-individuality/.

        As for Jesus never having known certain people, I would put it that way: they simply had no (intimate) love relationship with Him at all. Maybe, they knew everything about Him, but God Himself they did not know (love). Instead, they created a god in their own imagination and served him and thus themselves (read “their old selves”).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Fred, thank you for your edifying reply. I am so pleased that what Susanne and I have both written has helped you in your search. You wrote, “I know in the bible there is a passage that says ‘I never knew you’. I know I have friends who only take the part of that passage that talks about sinning and forgets about the “I never knew you” part… I know there are some that think if we become one with GOD that we will lose our individuality but I don’t think that is the case.”

        The passage you were referring to above reads as follows,

        “Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” (Matt 7:19-23, KJ2000)

        Jesus Christ is the One who so longs to KNOW you and for you to Know Him in the most intimate way… as His eternal bride. The Greek word translated “knew” and “know” and it’s full meaning is missed by most Christians. They think that it is up to them to “know” Jesus, so they study their Bibles in a shallow way using only their intellects and miss the whole meaning of any of it. The Spirit of Christ has to be our teacher. Those two who walked and talked with our risen Lord along the road to Emmaus did not understand all that the prophets had spoken of, though they knew their Bibles. Until Jesus opened their eyes it meant nothing! It was then that their hearts burned within them. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees who knew the Bible saying, “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (John 5:38-39, RSV). So these Bible teachers and searchers miss what the final judgment of Christ is about as well. It has to be revealed by the Spirit as to who makes it and who does not. Here is what the Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary says about this word translated “knew.”

        G1097 γινώσκω ginosko (ǰiy-nō’-skō) v.
        1. to know (in a concrete manner, and not merely from a personal perspective or experience).
        2. (emphatically) to absolutely know, to know without exception (i.e. knowing, but not merely to know based on personal observation or perception, but also based on actual rational truth; not merely that which is based on or bound only by sight and experience; such knowing comes from Yahweh to completely grasp and have the comprehension of, as well as why and how, and to have the astuteness to apply it freely without error).
        3. (by ancient Hebraic euphemism) to have intimate knowledge of (that is to say, to have carnal knowledge of; explicitly, to have had sexual intercourse with).

        The same word, ginosko was used in this text which speaks of the sexual relationship that Joseph had with Mary, “Now, being roused from sleep, Joseph does as the messenger of the Lord bids him. And he accepted his wife, and he knew her not till she brought forth a Son, and he calls His name Jesus.” (Matt 1:24-25, CLV). Jesus desires such deep intimacy with us and the fruit of that intimacy is found in the works that we do. We become “trees” that bring forth good fruit because HE is the one who pollinates us by the Spirit to do so! “Bad fruit” and the “works of iniquity” mentioned in the above text come forth from those who try to do the spiritual works of God from their flesh without those works being born from Christ’s intimacy working in them… “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works?” It is all iniquity without His doing those works in and through us. We must be born of the Spirit and so must our works.

        The works (spiritual fruit) that we are to do are mentioned by Paul, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10, KJV). First, we are being re-worked as HIS workmanship, not the works of Adam. We can not fix ourselves! We are placed IN Christ and He IN us and this is where the life changing power of God takes place. Secondly, it is here that the good works and heavenly fruit from within comes forth as well. Can we read the Bible and mimic what we read or guess as to what His fruit will look like? NOT! All we can do is rest. Couples who try too hard to have a baby, usually can not have one. Fruit requires intimacy and rest. In the same way, the works that we are to do and the fruit of our oneness IN Christ has been “ordained that we should walk in them.” IT ALL HAS TO COME FORTH BY HIM! As Christ’s bride all we can do to please God is to lie back and let Him do the work in and through us. THIS is what REAL faith is about! “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.”

        No, my brother, we do not lose our individuality when we become ONE with the Father and the Son, rather, we become who we were created to be in the first place by the design and plan of God when He foreknew us from the foundation of the world. It is so good to see you growing IN Christ and to see His Light coming on in your spirit, Fred. I love you, my brother!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Wow Susanne! That was quite interesting. I can only speak of this for myself that I had always yearned to be loved and being cared for. I like the story of Hosea and Gomer. Kind of feels that that has been my experience with God. Which brings me to this statement by Michael….

      “If you are missing this kind of depth in the body of Christ, pray for God to do what is needed to make it happen in your life, but stand by… He might have to work some deep changes in your heart as well. I know that He had to in mine.”

      I am waiting for the true depth of this kind of love to be restored in my life. It comes and goes. This is a good thread. At first I did not want to read it because I was afraid that I missed the point then I read this small comforting statement by Michael. Thank you. I need some major heart surgery and healing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fred Thoren says:

        I was a bit afraid to read it as well, mainly because I do feel alone. I was thinking it would make me feel discouraged about not having many other true believers in my life. I do online, which is great. I have you, Susanne, Michael, and a few others so I should be grateful for that. Also I should mention that this has not been a discouragement like I was thinking so I am glad for that.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Michael says:

        Stacey, you are on the right track. The first step is to realize how short we are of what God has for us and then to cry out to Him to do something about it. “Faithful is He who has called you and HE WILL DO IT!”

        Please Father, heal Stacey and do whatever you know needs to be done in her heart to fully enter into a fulfilling love relationship with you. Amen.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Amen! Thank you Michael for triggering a cry from me to Him.

    Liked by 2 people

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