Dr. Jerry Miah Williams Gospel preaching and teaching of the Word of God for your encouragement and inspiration.
Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? . . . If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it? Amos 3:3-6 NKJV
There are causal relationships in life. For example, choice and consequences; actions and reactions; and, cause and effect—that is, “but for” your choice, these are your consequences. In the above text, Amos’ prophetic assignment was to expose Israel’s sins, and to inform them that God would punish them for all their iniquities. He reminds Israel of the causal relationship between their sin and their separation from God. When sin is the cause, God’s judgment is the effect. So, can two walk together, except they are agreed?
What does “two walking together” mean? It means oneness and unity, i.e., unanimous in mind for the same purpose; agreement; and, togetherness. The only way for two to “walk together” to the same appointment or strive to reach the same goal, or see the fulfillment of the same vision, is to be together. If you are living on the other side of God’s righteousness, you aren’t walking in agreement with God. Many want God to walk with them, but they don’t walk with Him. .
Amos’ prophecy used five similes (figures of speech comparing one thing to another thing of a different kind), or you might say, parable-like questions to strike at the hearts of the sinful Israelites. Their impending calamity would be God’s doing. This principle isn’t limited to the Old Testament. Apostle Paul warned the Roman Christians that there would be “tribulation and distress upon every soul of man that does evil . . .” (Romans 2:9)
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? (2 Cor. 6:14). To walk with God, there must be a separation from sin and iniquity, and a separation to God. There is no agreement living in the middle. Either you’re walking with God or with sin and iniquity. Two cannot walk together, except they are agreed!
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV
In birthing the church, God eliminated one of the greatest division that ever existed among men—the animus and the bigotry between Jews and Gentiles. Jews and Gentiles had vast differences culturally, socially, and in their religious beliefs and practices, or a lack thereof. After being baptized into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), Paul told the newly formed church, consisting of both Gentiles and Jews, to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit, and that peace would be the glue to hold them together (Eph. 4:3). However, the unity of the Spirit is not the unity of the faith.
A common reaction when there are differences among people is divide and seek a more-in-common friendship, marriage, church, etc. Could this be why Paul pleaded with the Corinthian Christians to agree with one another so that there would be no divisions, and that they be perfectly united in mind and thought? (1 Cor. 1:10).
The Holy Spirit gives believers unity, and walking in love and in peace with others keeps that unity. But what is the unity of the faith? Consider Paul’s word to the Roman Christians:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:17-18). Ergo, the unity of the faith is the equally shared belief among all believers in the doctrine of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and salvation by grace through faith (Author’s definition). So, it is God’s intention to use Ephesians 4:11 ministry gifts to perfect believers to do the work of the ministry to build up and advance the Body of Christ, until we all come into the unity of the faith (Text).
Five-fold ministry gifts will all expire when believers come into the unity of the faith (doctrine), maturity (full growth and development), and conformity (morally like Christ, see 1 John 3:2). In John 17:20-23, Jesus prayed for believers’ unity of the faith. The Church is not there yet, but will get there!
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 NKJV
After you place your saving faith in Jesus Christ, immediately you are baptized into the Body of Christ by the Spirit and are made to drink into the Spirit. This is also a clear analogy of drinking water. For example, “on the last day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 37-39).
Water is not only an element of baptism, but it is also something we drink to sustain physical life. Just as we drink water, we also drink of the Holy Spirit when we are baptized into the Body of Christ. There can be no spiritual life without the presence and use of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit not only gives us sustaining power in our spiritual life, but He also unifies us into one Body. This unification gives you oneness and sameness in the Spirit. Oneness is being unanimous in mind for the same purpose; it is agreement and togetherness (1 Cor. 1:10).
Just because of different backgrounds, gifts and abilities, personalities and temperaments, it doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit is different or acts differently. The Spirit gives unity. This unity of the Spirit is given when you are baptized into the Body (text). But unity of the spirit is maintained not attained—you already have the unity (Eph. 4:3-6). Unity requires effort. To keep unity in the Body, the local church, marriage, or friendship, you must be able to distinguish between the essentials from the non-essentials. In essential matters, you need unity; in non-essentials, you give liberty; and, in all things, let there be charity! Unity of the Spirit is not uniformity; it is a spiritual commitment to endeavor to keep it!
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? . . . You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 1 Corinthians 10:16, 21 NKJV
Baptism into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13) is not only a regeneration and integration (Titus 3:5), but it is also an initiation of participation of the many blessings of God (John 1:16; 2 Cor. 1:20).
In the New Testament Greek, the word for communion (koinonia) means partnership, participation, and social intercourse i.e., fellowship (1 Cor. 6:17). Taking Communion is a reminder of our daily partnership, participation and fellowship with the body and blood of Jesus Christ. But honest and true participation requires separation from all that is unclean, unholy things and evil people (Jer. 13:10).
God calls for separation: “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:17-18). However, separation has two sides: first, not touching the unclean and unholy things, but also, the believer separating himself to God (Rom. 12:1-2) Also, Jesus prayed in the Garden that those who believed would be in this world, but not of this world (John 17).
God’s promises, blessing and benefits are in the “cup of the Lord” which we drink and “the bread which we break.” Participation in these blessings and benefits demands a separation from all that is unclean, unholy things and evil people. You can’t have it both ways—you cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons (Text). Eating at the Lord’s Table means communing with Christ and identifying with His death, and eating at the table of demons means identifying with Satan by participating and promoting evil activities.
Are you trying to lead two lives; following the crowd and the cloud of the Holy Spirit who baptized you into the body? You must separate in order to participate! (2 Tim. 2:19-21).