‘Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.’ The phrase: ‘again I say unto you’, suggests that something has been said before and that what is about to be said is a repeat truth. So, what has been said before in the verse immediately before this? ‘Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ Of course, this may have various prongs of meaning. ‘It means declaring something lawful or unlawful by preaching’. It means ‘confirming the truth by power’. It means asking and receiving. It means accepting or rejecting earthly happenings. Binding and loosing or allowing and disallowing seem to sum it all up.
And what does it implies? Matthew 16:19 throws huge light: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” This is the promise to Peter and his colleague-disciples at that time for revealing Who Jesus truly is. But in Matthew Chapter 18: 18-20 all believers were to share in this: ‘Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’.
And so let’s go back to Matthew 16 to see how verse 19 introduces the matter: ‘And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven’. It is the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. The keys of life, of eternal life! The keys to ‘life for evermore’! That is the key thing: Life for evermore; and other things come by addition. ‘And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’. Whatsoever we shall allow here shall be allowed in heaven and whatsoever we shall disallow here shall be disallowed in heaven. O what a power prayer, preaching, declarations, decrees and confessions of the believers or brethren are, someone may say! And always remember too that this has to do with the keys of the Kingdom of God or keys to eternal things with God; and which even make it, that is, the power or keys given to us more wonderful. But it works out this way:
‘For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them’. Here we see the power of unity. We see how it (unity) attracts Jesus Christ, our High Priest, wherever He sees it. Love makes us to better see and know the Omnipotence, Omniscience and Omnipresence of Jesus Christ. Let unfeigned love exist in ten billion spots on earth at a time, the Omniscience Who knows it all will be there with His Omnipresence to reveal His Omnipotence. Love!
Yes, when brethren are living holy lives and are in agreement or living as one-man without hatred, schism, bitterness and are caring and other-centered and they go to the throne of God to ask in agreement God commands the blessing: life for evermore! The result is increased holiness or life of God among the old brethren and adding to the Church they that were being saved and obtaining God’s life.
There are two levels of agreement before we can bind and loose and Heaven gives the nod; and remember we are talking about eternal matters and things directly related to them either by way of enhancing or hindering them as the case may be. The first level of agreement is the agreement of lives and purposes in God; unity of the brotherhood and true fellowship that allows for sharing with a goal that none has too much and none lacks; and the bond of peace! That alone releases the unction and anointing of the Spirit upon the saints than all the prayers in the world without it.
And when such a people; be they two, three or multitude, steps out to God with a common agreement – the second level of agreement – to ask God to intervene or to even decree by way of preaching or sending forth God’s Word it is always ‘yea and amen’! These, indeed, have the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. And we must reiterate it on purpose that we are talking about eternal matters primarily: Life for evermore!
Holiness, Love and Gathering in Jesus Name
‘For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them’. What does it mean to gather together in Jesus Name? Many believe it is to gather together in the authority of Jesus or to gather unto Him and because of Him. Can we say therefore that a meeting that promotes sin and worldliness even though the Bible may be on the pulpit is authorized by Jesus Christ? Or is that gathering together in His authority? Is it a gathering unto Him and because of Him? Is Jesus therefore there! Or can we say that a coming together of hates, bitterness, grudges, schism, self-centeredness and want of love for the brethren authorized by Jesus Christ? Or is that gathering together in His authority? Is it a gathering unto Him and because of Him? Is Jesus therefore there!
‘Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven’. Do not forget the context of this question. It is about binding and loosing; about two agreeing on earth as touching anything that they shall ask and it being done for them of His Father which is in heaven; about where two or three are gathered together in His Name, and He being in the midst of them! That is the context of Peter’s question. And the Lord’s answer suggests indefinite or unlimited forgiveness!
For this whole thing about using the keys of the Kingdom of heaven or about ‘binding and loosing’ to work as it worked in the early church and in many ages past there must not be unforgiving spirit, hatred, bitterness and schism in our midst. The brethren must live in harmony with the Word of God and in unity one with another. This is the first and requisite agreement God demands of His people before the agreement concerning an issue they think of presenting to Him or what they want to bind or loose. Only then God comes in; only then He commands the blessing; only then what is done here on earth is done in heaven.
Brotherly love is pivotal in all that we do. We must love the brethren with unfeigned love. We must be of one mind. Our fellowship must not be hypocritical. Freely we received freely we must give and share. We must share godly knowledge and exhort one another in sound doctrine for the days are evil: that is love, love of the souls of the people with us. We must also share our possessions. We must live peaceably among ourselves. We must be of one heart, believing the same thing: that wish is truly scriptural! We must be one: That is unity, brotherly living. This is what makes the people out there to know that we are His disciples. And this is what rejoices the heart of our Lord and Savior to be in our midst to grant answers to our requests. This is what makes Him to command the blessing, even life for evermore: Building up and conforming the old believers more and more to His Image and adding to the Church daily such as are being saved.
Brotherly love, genuine love within the household of faith, be it among two or multitude, attracts the Holy Ghost unction and anointing. It provokes the Holy Spirit to act. That is because genuine love is actually God at work.
Love, Holiness and the Christian faith
Love is God. Holiness is the life
of God. Love is holy. Holiness loves. And you really cannot separate both or define one without embracing the other wholly else your definition is hugely faulty. When ‘love’ is not from a pure heart it is really something else, something other than love. And ‘holiness’ must love. Holiness must love the souls of men, crave and work for their salvation; and it must love the saved souls, be thoroughly endeared to them and work for their abidance and growth in Christ. ‘Holiness’ that does not love and reach out really has another name other than holiness.
When holy brethren dwell together in love and unity ‘Christianity’ is what you call it. And the brethren were first called Christians (Christ-like) first in Antioch. Holiness and brotherly love that expressed itself in their various godly products or elements gave rise to that. Holiness and love sums up all the Christian virtues, sums up our true profession of the Christian faith and this also perfects all our works and sacrifices.
We are lights. And that is because we are ‘wicks’. A ‘wick’ is ‘a material holding fuel that burns or a string or piece of fabric using capillary action to draw fuel to the flame’ in say a candle or oil lamp or even the stove. But take one lit wick standing alone, and then several lit wicks abiding together, and you will know what a difference. Or, light one wick in the stove, and see what you have; then light each and everyone, and see the difference. As long as the wick or wicks light singly, there is some hit and glow of course. But let the lights join one with another and what a glow and beauty, what a heat and what a purpose achieved! When individual holy lives join together in love, unbroken sweet fellowship, what a glow, what a heat: And this is where the Holy Spirit dwells, where God commands the blessing: Life for evermore!