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TWO BY TWO


In Other News


“Where Oh Where Can We Go”

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TWO BY TWO

“And He sent them two by two before is face into every city and place where He was about to come”.

SOME REASONS WHY TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE:

1. Loneliness and discouragement Eccl 4:9-12; Rom 15:14
2. To lift one up when the other falls Eccl 4:9-10 Eccl 12:9-10 Gal 6:1
3. Strengthen when one is burdened Rom 15:1-5 Gal 6:2
4. For unity and agreement in prayer Matt 18:19
5. For protection when under attack Deut 32:30
6. For affirmation and confirmation Deut 17:6; 19:15; Matt 18:16
7. For re-adjustment and correction 1 Cor 11:26-34.

Two are better than one, and a threefold cord is not easily broken.
A higher authority than you or I said these words thousands of years ago,
If you know some one that is more qualified than almighty God, pray tell me who he is???
No man is an Island.
It’s not good for man to dwell alone.

THE CALL OF MOSES

In Exodus 3: and 4: we read of God appearing to Moses and charging him to be the instrument of His deliverance and thus fulfil the promises He made to the fathers of Israel.
God entrusted Moses with the genius of His plan to set His people free. There has never been a man before or since that spoke face to face with God like Moses. The story is an enthralling and enlightening one. As God told Moses what was expected of him, Moses protested vigorously because he stammered and was slow of speech, until the anger of the Lord was kindled against him; little did he know but God had the matter well in hand.

Exodus 4:14 “is not Aaron the Levite thy brother”? God gave Aaron to speak on behalf of Moses.
And then gave him Miriam his sister to be their prophet. In hindsight it is not at all difficult to see the wisdom of His chosen method because since Moses fled from Egypt he could hardly put two words together? Aaron a brilliant communicator will articulate to Pharaoh the message that Moses would give to him. What a gifted household? Yet each was dependant upon the other. Individually they had severe limitations; collectively they were formidable and irresistible.

Then for the brothers Miriam was the third strand of this trilogy. She was ordained by God to come alongside her brother Aaron and together they were to stand behind Moses and support him.
Moses = The King
Aaron = The High Priest
Miriam = The Prophetess
In the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything be established.

Aaron the enlightened one Exodus 4:14 was the first high priest of Israel; of the family of Kohath the second son of Levi the third son of Jacob; Miriam was his elder sister, and Moses was his younger brother. Their father's name was Amram, and their mother's Jochebed; Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, and sister of Naashon; and by her had four sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Exodus 6: 16-23.

Aaron was appointed by God to be Moses’ spokesman. He was directed by God to meet Moses at the ‘Mount of God’ where he received the good news. He went in with Moses to Pharaoh and performed the signs foretold. Aaron was murmured against along with Moses for the want of bread, and called on the people to come near before the Lord; was commanded to lay up a pot full of manna before the testimony; (the evidence of God’s promise to satisfy their hunger in the wilderness) Aaron held up the hands of Moses during the battle with Amalek; was called to come up to Sinai to the Lord; along with the elders he saw the God of Israel; tarried below with the people when Moses went up; was set apart with his whole family to the priesthood; had sacred garments prepared for him; was anointed and consecrated to his office by Moses, appointed to light the lamps, and burn incense and make atonement. He was persuaded by the people to make a molten image, and was reproved for it by Moses; he saw the shining face of Moses and was afraid. Holy garments were made for him and his sons; and together they were sanctified for service.

The priestly duties of Aaron and his sons are described in Lev 1: His two eldest sons were destroyed for offering strange fire; he was told not to mourn for them. He was commanded to number the people with Moses and the twelve princes of Israel. In Numbers he receives the tribe of Levi for helps; the Kohathites, Gershonites, Merarites, and makes atonement for them.
He is spoken against by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on behalf of the whole congregation of Israel; he intercedes with God for them, his rod flourishes, and is preserved for a memorial. He receives a charge from God for various duties, the people again murmur against him and Moses; he dies on Mount Hor in the land of Edom, and is buried there aged 123 years.

Miriam the prophetess Exodus 15:20-21 was the sister of Aaron. She took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
But jealousy and envy was soon to arise over Zipporah Moses’ wife.

Numbers 12:1-2 And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: They said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it.

Then the Lord spoke suddenly to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam saying ‘Come out you three’ unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And the three came out.
And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called, ‘Aaron Miriam’ and they both came forth.
Vs 10 and the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.
Vs 13-15. So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, "Please heal her, O God, I pray!" Then the Lord said to Moses, if her father had but spit in her face, would she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp seven days and afterward she may be received again. So Miriam was shut out of the camp seven days, and the people did not journey till Miriam was brought in again.

Moses interceded for Miriam and God answered his prayer and healed and restored her to the camp.
That is the last we see or hear of Miriam until we read of her death 38years later.
Numbers 20:1 then the children of Israel came, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.

For all the brilliance of his oratory Aaron was easily influenced by evil counsel. “As for this Moses what’s become of him?” As long as Aaron had Moses beside him, to inspire him and support him, he was safe. Without Moses he was weak and easily influenced by the wicked murmuring of the multitude.
He became blinded to the will of God in favour of the democratic will of the people.

Here’s the flip side; everything has two sides no matter how thin you slice it, and so it is equally true that Aaron was given to Moses by God. For without Aaron Moses would never have been able to communicate with Pharaoh because of his speech impediment.
Together they were a perfect balance; alone they were vulnerable.

IN THE NEW TESTAMENT GOD’S METHOD NEVER CHANGED

Jesus sent His disciples out 2 x 2. Under the new covenant this has always been the divine intention.
Mark 6:7 And He called the twelve and began to send them out two and two and He gave them authority over unclean spirits.
Luke 10:1 And after these things the Lord appointed seventy others, and He sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He was about to come.
Luke 10:17 and the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us through your name. In all we see 84 individuals sent out by the Master in 42 companies i.e. 2 x 2.

At Pentecost: They were in one place and of one accord.
Post Pentecost the Apostles initially were all together in Jerusalem.
Then as the number of disciples multiplied Acts 6: this growing body of believers began to be persecuted culminating in Stephen being martyred.
Saul the instigator of this persecution created havoc among the believers scattering them abroad.
Phillip was among the first to venture outside Jerusalem when he went down to Samaria to preach Christ. The Samaritans with one accord gave heed, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
When the Apostles at Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had received the word they sent Peter and John that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
The point here is that Phillip by divine intention was not able to impart to them the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Antioch: Here we see Paul and Barnabas commissioned.
When the gospel was to go to 250 million Gentiles in the Roman Empire the Holy Spirit “separated to Himself” two men, Barnabas and Saul, and sent them.

Acts 13:1-4. And in Antioch some among the existing church were prophets and teachers, such as Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, separate Barnabas and Saul to Me for the work to which I have called them. Then having fasted and prayed and laid hands on them, they let them go. Then these indeed sent out by the Holy Spirit went down to Seleucia. And from there they sailed to Cyprus.

The New Testament disciples never operated alone independently.
After Paul’s conversion Barnabas found him and brought him to Jerusalem where they spent 15 days together with Peter.
Acts 9:2 Barnabas took and brought him to the apostles declaring unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Later in Galatians 2:2 Paul says, “And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run in vain”.
Don’t think you’re immune from stupidity preacher man. Take a good look around you.
In Acts 18:24-26 a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Superman is a myth: He only exists in the mind of an ignoramus.
You can learn by others mistakes, or go ahead and repeat them.
The excessively high rate of doctrinal deviance, moral failure, and financial infidelity that exists among leadership in our day should come as no surprise?
With minimal effort I recall many that lived high on the hog; rode the crest of some religious wave that swept New Zealand and abroad that are remembered only for their transgressions now and very little else.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Our TV screens are full of them.
How quickly their projects disintegrate and crumble away after their demise. Nothing is permanent apart from the Kingdom.
The pastor (singular) in most cases must cling to his pulpit, watch his back, and guard his pad with all due diligence. It’s an occupational hazard. What he fails to understand is that he is superfluous to God’s requirement.
His precarious position creates envy, jealousy and strife, particularly among the inner circle, rather than provoking them to love and good works.
This surrogate God does not thrust his people upon the Lord; nor does he tell them to take responsibility for their own walk before the Lord.
His occupation invariably has a detrimental effect on all concerned including his wife and family.
Don’t say it isn’t true, the evidence is overwhelming.

There is one body. It is made up of many members; it was designed for diverse operations and functions. “For as the body has many members and yet is one body, so also is Christ”.
A body with one leg is handicapped. It’s difficult for an amputee to keep their balance. A healthy body has two legs; and the body of Christ is no different.

Leg One: Is the Mobile ministry of Ephesians 4: who travelled in tandem and in teams; not solo.
Leg two: At the local level elders give oversight (not lordship); some who have an aptitude to teach as well as shepherd are clearly seen, (but not manipulate and control). These brethren must be proven.

When your hair turns grey and your children are spiritually responsible you can then be adjudged fit to function as an overseer but not before. 1 Tim 3:1-13.
Instead of this, what we have is a pastor pontificating with an air of infallibility on every aspect of life Sunday after Sunday to rows of deaf mutes.

OUR EXPERIENCE

Since we began to walk the ‘Kingdom Lifeway’ the most frustrating thing we have encountered is how difficult it has been to find other brethren to walk with. Most are reluctant put aside their agenda in favour of His. Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls”.

I attended a Gene Edwards conference some years ago and was greatly challenged and blessed by what Gene had to share. He is an anointed and brilliant communicator. His insights and writings have challenged thousands of disenchanted saints to become earnest with God. Yet some statements that he made bothered me. During question time in a meeting I asked him, “Brother Gene, do you have a flesh and blood brother in whom the Lord Jesus resides, that you have an accountable relationship with” a true brother that you can bounce things off without fear? Someone who will not make you an offender for a word? After a very lengthy silence Gene replied, “I looked for twenty five years and couldn’t find one”. I thought how sad his comment was, because, like all of us, Gene needs the checks and balances a true friend can bring. I’m not talking about a yes man that simply rubber stamps, or reinforces your every statement. Gene had plenty of them believe me.

God calls each of us to His service personally. The call is private and the encounter intimate.
He did not called us only to leave us to manage our lives the best way we can. He called us to listen to His voice and follow Him alongside others in an interdependent environment.

In (Luke 14:16-20) Jesus told a parable about a certain man who made a great supper and then sent his servant at supper time to tell the invited the feast was ready. Without exception they began to make excuses. The first said, I have bought a field, and I must needs go out and see it; I pray thee have me excused. Another said I have bought five yoke of oxen, and need to prove them; I pray have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

I know men who talk the walk excitedly. They claim to have revelation about the walk, but they do not demonstrate it, but instead are absorbed in temporal things?

Content to go it alone they feel no need of others in their quest for knowledge of the King.
Paul said, “Not as though I were already perfect” but I press forwards toward the mark for the prize.
Occasionally we see acquaintances that I call kingdom companions; they are not numerous. To be fair we are separated by land and sea in many cases which can prove to be an obstacle to fellowship, but there are many ways to communicate and keep in touch in this electronic age.
Malachi 3:16 Then those fearing the Lord spoke together, each man to his neighbour. And the Lord listened and heard. And a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared the Lord, and for those esteeming His name.
The heartbeat of every healthy relationship is communication.
Our loving Saviour Jesus Christ has lavished words that overflow with encouragement, and exhortations that are powerful to perform all that He has promised us. Our relationship with Him is primary. But our horizontal relationships are equally important.

Proverbs 18:24 A man of many friends (acquaintances) will come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Jesus was not in view when the Poet penned those words. In our earthly pilgrimage we have many acquaintances, but true friends are a rare jewel indeed. When you find one, nurture that relationship; you will need it one day.

Pleasant words are health to the bones Proverbs 16:24.
Everybody needs encouragement. None of us achieves anything without help. The greatest achievers in history became all that they were because of other people in their lives.

A dear friend and brother in Christ who is now with Lord was a tower of strength to me, when together we saw God accomplish many things that were impossible for either of us on our own.

Multiplied millions have read or seen “The chronicles of Narnia” and “Lord of the rings” but did you know that CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien who were professors at Oxford University kept up a close friendship? They met weekly to eat, and talk about their writing endeavours, and read passages of their as yet unpublished books. It was Tolkien who encouraged Lewis an avowed atheist to take a look at Christianity which ultimately led to his conversion. And it was Lewis who encouraged Tolkien to continue writing fiction and seek to have his works published.
Without their mutual encouragement and friendship we would have been denied the finest writing in Christian apologetics of the 20 century; and the most marvellous works of fantasy ever written.
Every soul no matter what your station in life, whether successful or less than successful, who receives encouragement is changed by it. We are all drawn out and uplifted by it.
One word of encouragement from a teacher can change a child’s life.

Appetizers:

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb and sweetness to the soul. Proverbs 16:24.
“ Let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works: Hebrews 10:24.
“ One compliment can keep me going for a whole month” said Mark Twain.
“ You never know the impact a few sincere words can have on a person’s life” Zig Ziglar.
The most important member of the team is the coach.

A word of caution: We are always responsible for our personal walk with the Lord.
We can never use others as an excuse for our failure. Man is quick to look for a scapegoat to excuse his sin, but God will hold us responsible for our unconfessed personal trespasses.

God wants us to serve Him, (Matt 25: makes that clear) and not be a servant to an institution.
Thousands of souls who have felt the call have been lured into Bible Colleges to be indoctrinated with their particular bias. Don’t ever think you will learn Christ at one. You may learn some facts about Him but you won’t learn Him. These Colleges canvass enthusiastically for students; it’s big business. They are expensive to attend and even more to maintain. It matters not whether you are really called, as long as you have the money you’re in. Granted your grades will need to be of an acceptable standard if you wish to have a pulpit of your own in their religious organisation; and you will have to be able to pronounce their shibboleths to satisfy their scrutinisers. Designer Model ministers are manufactured and made to order for movements just like washing machines and cars. They have been rolling off religious assembly lines for years to eventually rust away.

There are a large range of institutions that cater for those who feel a call to service where they can go and have their heads stuffed with religious information, according to the particular bias of the denomination of their choice. Techniques in preaching are studied (and there are many), and training is provided by instructors. After years of indoctrination, the newly credentialed graduates are now ready to save their world for Jesus.
Many go overseas because they have been told; “why should anyone hear the gospel twice, when millions have never heard it once”.

Duly ordained by men they sally forth like sheep to the slaughter.
Is it any wonder that the casualty rate among these souls is so high?
Some go off the boil and lose their enthusiasm quite quickly. Unlike “Bow Peep’s Sheep” they rarely come home wagging their tails behind them.
Nobody told them it was going to be so lonely.
Or that out of sight meant out of mind.
However there are some countries that are very pleasant to live in.
You can have a cook, a housemaid, and the tab will be picked up by the people back home that have been made to feel guilty because they are not out there with them.
But for the majority they will re-enter the real world to throw themselves into the secular where they should have stayed in the first place.
We have more ordained and disillusioned credentialed preachers “back from the front” selling Real Estate in the west than preaching in pulpits. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But his resultant psychological damage many of these individuals have suffered has been catastrophic; not only to them personally, but in many cases to their spouses and children.

Have you found a friend preacher? Or do you think you’re the complete package? 1 Cor 12:
Superman is a myth. The problem is he doesn’t realise that yet, do you?
There are far more important things than having your own pulpit.
Or are you content to become another casualty going somewhere to happen?
Wherefore having received a kingdom which cannot be shaken let us serve God acceptably with reverence and fear, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28)
The Prophet like unto Moses was perfectly balanced in Grace and truth.
Song of Solomon 5:15 says; His “legs are like pillars of marble set on sockets of fine gold”.
He said “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me”.
He offered Himself up by the eternal Spirit. The Father was present and witnessed the cross.
The whole of the Godhead was involved.
Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God.
Ps 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Ps 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
He did nothing apart from what His Father gave Him to do. He never acted of His own volition.
Therefore it is manifestly unreasonable for us to expect to be of any use to the Master if we insist on doing it our way and ignoring His.
It will cost you everything to win a crown. You need to go to the garden with Him and have it all out with Him. Then get on the cross and not before. Except a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it will abide alone. But if it dies it will bring forth much fruit.” He said “I am the resurrection and the life”.


 
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Shaun Kearney
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