EQUALLY YOKED

Part One of Two: One Swift Tug

To make a point, a fellow believer friend of Suzie Christian asked her to stand on a chair, which she did. He then asked her to hold hands with Johnny unbeliever, who was standing on the floor in front of her. Pull him up he said. When she tried to pull him up (to her faith), she was unsuccessful. However, it only took one swift tug for Johnny to pull her down into his arms (and down to his level). What was Suzie’s friend’s point?

His point was that believers should equally yoke to one another that if they don’t, how easy it would be for unbelievers to pull them down to their level and eventually turn the believer away from God. Be not deceived. . .

v33 Do not be mislead: “Bad company corrupts good character” [1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV].

Herein lays the problem: when two people yoke unequally, it doesn’t take but one swift tug to pull the believer down. Why is it so relatively easy for an unrepentant to persuade a believer to sin against God? Does Christ not sanctify us [1]? Let’s look at that.

It’s easy for us to sit back and judge Suzie for not being the sharpest tack in the box and/or didn’t even have faith enough to figure out [2] that yoking unequally is not only a bad idea, but against God’s will and Word. Moreover, here’s the rub, sometimes people forget that whether the couple are believers, unbelievers, or mixed, they all still have the same sin nature in them. Consequently, if the faith and/or the will of the believer are not strong enough, unhappy times are definitely in their forecast [3].

Actually, the term “Equally yoked” is not even in the Bible, but Paul, through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, does speak to the believers at Corinth of an “unequally yoked” partnership. This commandment of God, we can read in 2 Corinthians 6:14. Below is the NASV [4], which is a little more forthcoming than other versions, as well as the KJV [5], and is essentially closer to what Paul really meant. Notice that this verse is not a suggestion. Neither does it speak to where our heart might lead or to what it wants.

v14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness [2 Corinthians 6:14]?

In verse 14, Paul is discouraging the church at Corinth from being in unequal partnerships with unbelievers because they are opposites and have nothing in common [6]. Paul wasn’t saying unequal relationships but rather unequal partnerships. Although marriage is surely a great part in a partnership, Paul did not mention it in this Scripture. He was painting a much broader stroke.

The Corinthian’s were deep into paganism so Paul was warning them against having any partnerships with any unbelievers. Even those who just drank the milk of faith [7] knew that the principals of Satan governed the unbelieving world [8]. Similarly, babes in Christ today know the same thing that Satan governs the unbelieving world. Christians are to separate themselves (in thoughts, deeds, and in actions), from the satanic influence of the world [9]. Believers do not do this by marrying an unbeliever.

Marriage is the most intimate partnership of all where the couple actually become one [10], both literally and figuratively, and this is usually how believers interpret 2 Corinthians 6:14. Uniting a believer with an unbeliever is essentially uniting opposites, which will make for some unhappy times to say the least. Trust me.

Anyway, for this imbalance to work, one of the two partners must abandon their beliefs and principals for them to live in harmony with each other. (Refer back to 1 Corinthians 15:33.) For harmony to be in a relationship [11], especially if there is a commitment that leads to marriage, then the couple should equally yoke.

The encouraging thing here is that it is a blessing from God to equally yoke with a marriage partner. Why is this? Because then the threefold cord is in play, whereas it was not in play with an unequally yoked couple [12].

Next week: Equally Yoked
Part Two of Two: Abigail and Nabal
What does Paul’s metaphor really mean? What should we do if we are already in an unequal marriage? We will also look at a few reasons why couples do not equally yoke? Finally, we’ll take an unequally yoked couple out of the Bible and see if we can learn anything from their arrangement. See you then. God bless you all and thanks for your support.

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[1] Sanctify means to separate.
[2] Matthew 17:20
[3] Romans 14:1-4, Romans 15:1
[4] New American Standard Version
[5] King James Version
[6] Ephesians 5:11
[7] 1 Peter 2:2
[8] 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6:15
[9] 2 Corinthians 6:17
[10] Genesis 2:24
[11] 1 Peter 3:1, 7, 8; Philippians 2:2
[12] Ecclesiastes 4:12

THE FINAL ATTACK

I have witnessed countless brothers and sisters in the Lord who are having issues and problems in these days, me included. I have also talked to many of them and it seems like everybody is going through something nowadays. There is an air about them and I can discern the spirits that have them bound.

Lately the Lord has been opening up my eyes to see into the spirit world. Not so much a visual discernment, but one that you know in your knower that that is what binds these poor souls. You can see the effects of Satan’s handiwork as the spirits of bondage hang all over them prying them further and further away from Christ. Satan is pure evil but subtle in his devious ways. In this hour, Satan is stretching the people to the limit, and the bad times haven’t even come close to being here yet.

v21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be [Matthew 24:21 KJV].

Satan and his minions are well into their final attack on mankind, as the end of human government will soon come to a close. I have seen many of his warriors in my mind’s eye as they hover on many believers. The spirit of complacency, of apathy, of irritation, frustration, negativity, familiarity  and the spirit of confusion all roam about looking for whom they may devour.

The spirit of resignation has also reared its ugly head. I have seen so many good believers who have given up and have resigned to their fate and to the times in which they find themselves. They have given up the fight, the warfare, and the occupying. Some have even given up presenting the Gospel to others. You can see it in their demeanor. It is sad to see, when the spirit of resignation takes over a man’s soul.

These are all subtle and first round spirits. They are sent to gradually ween you away from God. They are quiet and subversive and put you to sleep so that when the second round hits, you are caught unaware and don’t even know what is happening. They are meant to passively set you up for the fall. Remember in Genesis 3:1 when the Serpent said, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” His subtleness was the first round attack. First round attacks start in the mind [James 1:15] and are meant to weaken you and to make you pliable for the next round. Proof of the pudding, so to speak is that shortly after “. . .hath God said?” — Adam sinned. Do not give up the occupation. Keep our eyes on the Lord. Remain focused. What is the business at hand?

The Bible says that we are to occupy. In other words, it should be business as usual until Christ comes. That is, the business of bringing souls to Christ. This is the business at hand. The word “occupy” of Luke 19:13 means “trade,” or to go into business, until He comes again. It has nothing to do with politics as some portend.

Many use this verse to support their belief that God wants them to do everything politically possible to take America back. However, while Christ was on Earth, He never once tried to change political laws. Jesus came to change the hearts of men and He passed that mantle on to us. When interpreting Scripture, context is everything.

v13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come [Luke 19:13 KJV].

Therefore, with our free will, we need to bring as many people to Christ [Mark 16:15] as we can, and then the accumulation of our Spirit driven souls will then effect change in the world. Accept for a select few (the elect), America, and the rest of the World are rejecting God but until all of mankind returns to Him, things. . .will. . .not. . .change.

v14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us [Luke 19:14 KJV].

There is much talk about hope and change these days, and of “yes we can,” but I say unto you that Christ is the only hope of mankind and of the world, and “Yes He can,” because He already has.

Our hope, faith, love, and focus should be on Christ in these days. See if things don’t change when we institute these attributes. Christ left His Comforter behind so that we would be led into all truth and power. The same Spirit that was in Christ, resides in believers today. Granted, some nasty times are ahead but I exhort you to keep the faith, keep the focus, and keep occupying till the end when you’ll face Jesus and He looks you in the eye and says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.

Faith is the conduit between our soul and our Spirit. So align our soul with the Spirit of God that dwells within us. After a while you begin to recognize the symptoms of clinging and first round spirits of the enemy and can invoke the name of Jesus and take authority over them by the power of the Spirit [Zechariah 4:6]. However, we have to be sober and vigilant [1 Peter 5:8]. Can the enemy devour us? You bet. May the enemy devour us? Absolutely not, as long as we have a modicum of faith [Hebrews 11:6] that with the faith of a mustard seed [Matthew 17:20], we will prevail [Romans 8:31] by invoking His name [Philippians 2:10].

However, do not fear [2 Timothy 1:7] and remember that it is a constant battle because the enemy is relentless [1 Peter 5:9, Romans 16:17, John 10:10, Revelation 2:12, 13] and will be more so in these days because he knows that his time is short [Revelation 20:10]. If I may illustrate?

One day at lunch while I was still working, I was talking to an unbeliever. I can’t really remember the conversation, but I do remember a few words. (You mean your Jesus is there for you all the time?” I said, “Yes He is. He will never leave me or forsake me.” I sat up straight and leaned into him a little and said, “Watch. At the name of Jesus, all knees must bow.” And while all the other coworkers were clamoring with many different conversations, I yelled out loud, “Je-e-esus!” It was as if someone had cut the noise in the room with scissors. ALL clamoring and noise stopped immediately. You could have heard a pin drop.

The jaw dropped on the coworker I was talking to and he must have gotten a little scared at the silence and what he’d just witnessed and he said “Woe!” and got up and left. The look in his eye told me that the Holy Spirit had got His attention and there is no doubt that one day, someone harvested that seed that I planted.

The enemy is even relentless in couples as he subtly gets them to unequally yoke with each other. This may be the craftiest first round of them all. Next week, we will cover equally yoked and unequally yoked. Depending on its length, I may make it a two part series. See you then.

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For your encouragement, I leave you with this reminder. . .Romans 8:37-39 KJV.

v 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

v38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

v39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.