Affiliated with the Intercontinental Church of God and the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association

 
 

"Where two or three are gathered together in my name"             MP3

I received a wonderful letter from an individual yesterday with an inspiring account of some healings she was witness to and applauding the power of prayer.  In the account, she stated, "in 'accordance with any two or three people getting together in my name,' I formed a prayer group."  I, at once, recognized the fact this was misapplied scripture, taken out of context from scripture speaking on an unrelated and very specific subject.  Following is part of my response to her e-mail.

(excerpt begins)

Prayer does work.  Take a look at all the healings Jesus did.  Almost without exception He stated to the person being healed that they were being healed by their faith.  Interesting seeing none had the Holy Spirit in them.  Fact was, Godly principles, like faith, love, forgiveness and honesty are spirit themselves.  They are fruits of the spirit and therefore composed of spirit.  When one in the world embraces one of these principles in firm belief, they work and can be invoked.
 
Now having said that and agreeing with what you had to say, I need to point out a technical point of scripture that so many misapply.  It is your reference to "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."  This is only stated in one place in the entire Bible and the meaning is not that if two or three gather together Christ is somehow there OR that you need two or three believers to gather together for Christ to take notice and be there in spirit.  Clearly Christ is with any SINGLE firstfruit wherever he or she might be.  If a firstfruit [defined as one having the Holy Spirit and called to the Salvation Process at this time] is somehow lost in Mongolia, Christ is with that person.  Used out of context [as it usually is] one could only conclude that there MUST be two or three firstfruits gathered together for Him to be there.  This is not the meaning.  Notice the ONE place this is used.
 
Matt 18:15-20----THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR WHEN A BROTHER OR SISTER IN THE FAITH OFFENDS YOU
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
18 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.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
 
Here we have the biblical instructions on how to proceed when a brother or sister offends us.  It is a three-part process.  I fully explain these scriptures here:

http://www.intercontinentalcog.org/bibleclassspecificstudies14.shtml
 
The meaning here is that when you are in the process of coming to a solution over an offense that has taken place within the church, Christ is there,  Notice in verse 16, step 2 of the process where one is instructed to take "one or two" unbiased witnesses to hear the matter.  Christ is telling us in verse 20 that when two or three of us are gathered together in this process, He is there and the power of the Holy Spirit in the members will find and work out this solution.

CLEARLY Christ is with His church and with each individual as they go about their lives, and for the most part, face daily trials alone.  We do not need a special verse to tell us that Christ is only going to be there if two or three of us get together.  Healing is not predicated on two or three getting together.  There is no specific instruction or procedure laid out by God for this.  Surely, if many are praying for a person, this has great power.  However God is not saying that there is some special significance or power to two or three getting together.  The use of this phrase has nothing to do with healing or any instruction or procedure about healing.

(excerpt ends)

I am not taking one element from the power of the congregation or group of firstfruits praying for the sick or working toward some common goal.  I am making it clear that Christ is in us at all times through the power of the Holy Spirit regardless of where we might be and even when we are alone or living in some isolated location.  There is power in one single person praying for another.  There is power in one single person praying for their own healing.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. -James 5:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. -Col 3:16-17

That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. -2 Thess 1:12

Philem 6
That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. -Heb 13:20-21

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. -2 Peter 1:8

 
 

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Portland, Oregon Church of God - part of The Intercontinental Church of God and The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association - Tyler, Texas