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Can Two Walk Together

John Collins10/02/2013

Video available here: http://youtu.be/yXTGoJInA_k

Over the past two years, as myself and others like me have experienced loosing fellowship, friendship, and even part in families that have been influenced by William Branham, we’ve noticed a similar series of words spoken before “turning us over to Satan.”  In an almost programmed response, those leaving a cult will hear the words, “How can two walk together unless they agree?” and “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.”

One recently used the phrase with me, “If a clean dog goes around a dog with fleas, it becomes infested.” 

These phrases serve the purpose behind their intention:  to offend and scorn the large group of people that are now realizing faith in a man will fail, and faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.  The scorn and insulting statements are not given with an intention to bring a lost sheep back into the fold – they are intended to cut the legs off of the sheep so it can never return.

But this phrase, “How can two walk together unless they agree,” is an interesting thought.

I recently had a pastor travel to meet me from the East Coast.  This man had been in the Branham movement for several years, and was even a strong force in helping to spread the “Message” with the founding fathers of this religious movement.  But he did not come to scorn or to insult, instead, he came to build up.  His foundation was firmly planted in Jesus Christ, the Solid Rock.  While he was involved the Branham movement, his focus was never William Branham – it was Jesus Christ.

I found it to be very refreshing, as we talked about the scriptures and reasoned out God’s Word.  There were many things I learned as he took me through his understanding of the Bible, and many things that I agreed with.  But at the same time, there were some things that I disagreed with in my own study of scripture.

The difference was this:  we both had planted our foundation in Jesus Christ.

I suddenly thought about the phrase, “How can two walk together unless they agree,” and the phrase that followed behind it as so many turn against a person taking their stand for Christ:  “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.”  The second phrase comes from 2 Corinthians, chapter 6:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:14

This is the Apostle Paul, telling us that our fellowship should be established with those who believe in Jesus Christ.  If we fellowship with others who are serving other Gods, those who have fallen to idolatry, there is no strong bond between the two.  Believers of Jesus Christ, Christians, should enjoy fellowshipping with other Christians.

Immediately after this verse, Paul says:

What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."  "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 Corinthians 6:15-18

As we discussed and fellowshipped around God’s Word, the thought suddenly struck me:  Though we disagree on man’s doctrines, we enjoy fellowship because we were both believers – but not “believers” in the sense that you will hear in the “Message,” we were believers of Jesus Christ.  We had a common bond that was stronger than blood of man, woven together by the blood of Christ.

I then felt compassion on those that had severed their bonds with us.  The words they spoke as they broke their bonds of friendship or family ties were accurate – a follower of Christ cannot be yoked with a follower of something else.  To follow anyone besides Christ is to lift that person up equal to or above Christ:  an idol.  A Christian cannot be yoked with a person serving an idol.  While given as an insult by man, this could even be considered to be given as protection by God.

But again, the interesting words spoken when a follower of Branham separates himself or herself from a follower of Christ:  “How can two walk together unless they agree?”

Out of all the tribes of earth, God chose the Children of Israel to be His people.  Ezekiel 16 describes how God lifted her out of her fallen condition, cleaned her, clothed her, and claimed her for His own.  But in that same chapter, the Word of the Lord that came to Ezekiel said that she was the mother of harlots.  She committed adultery with surrounding nations by joining herself into their pagan worship, and did so by her own free will.  God said that while prostitutes of this earth give themselves up for money, the Children of Israel paid her lovers to commit adultery with her. 

Amos 3 is another prophecy against Israel.  It isn’t a prophecy by the standards of the “Message,” focusing on some fantastic future event or hunting trip.  Like most of the prophecies in the Bible, this is the Word from the Lord describing a fallen condition of the past and present, along with a future punishment for disobeying God.  Once again, they had “yoked themselves” with unbelievers.

Verses one and two tell us the target of the prophecy – which was pointed at God’s children, not those who had left:

Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:  “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

Amos 3:1-2

But then, after telling us that this prophecy was against Israel for her idolatry, God speaks these familiar words, asking the question:

 

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Amos 3:3

It is interesting, because while the translation in the King James Version fits within context, the actual translation of this chapter goes even deeper into what God is telling His people.  The word immediately before is “raq” [Strongs 7535], which is a conjunction between verse 2 and verse three.  In English, we would translate this word as “but.”  And this word is missing from the King James Version of the Bible – there is no tie between the 2nd and the 3rd verse. 

Notice that because this word is missing does not imply mistranslation.  The translation flows as it is, and conveys the same meaning:  the Children of Israel were not walking together with God.  But the meaning of the verse is much, much deeper.  The last few words of Amos 1:2 are “Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” 

But remember, while we serve a God of justice, we also serve a God of love.  God abhors idolatry, lifting up anything equal to or above Himself – from idols of stone to men who pretend to be prophets.  But if we turn back towards righteousness, God is patient with us.  He will forgive, all we need to do is ask!

Verse three, literally translated, contains the following words:  “have made, lo, unless, together, two, walk.”  It does not contain any word that can be translated into “agreed.”  And the first word in verse four is “lakad,” [Strongs 3920], which translates to “has captured.”

If you snip out that single verse, “How can two walk together,” you miss the point that God is making with the children.  This was not intended to give instruction for Israel to have the power of excommunication with insult.  God was literally telling the Children of Israel that unless they started to walk with God, bad things were going to happen!

Again, a thought of compassion comes when you consider the reason that this insult is thrown.  As I take my stand upon God’s Word and God’s Word alone, these poor souls have taken their stand upon Branham’s word.  They have lifted a man into a position that is equal with God, and consider any who no longer follow William Branham to be “lost” and “unbelieving.”  They no longer believe in Branham.

And yet, this is the very thing that God is telling the Children of Israel!  You have believed someone else besides ME!  Unless you start walking together with Me, I will punish you!

The next few verses are very interesting analogies, when you consider the Children of Israel.  They had lifted up something else equal to God, and this was a trap designed by Satan.  They were ensnared into idolatry, and God was angry.  The next four verses describe the reason that God was crying out against them, and tells them that God is just for doing so:

Does a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from his den, if he has taken nothing? Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when it has taken nothing? Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?  “For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

Amos 3:4-7

That last verse, verse seven, is also interesting:  “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.”  Under cult theology, followers are trained to believe that only one single prophet was sent for an “age,” which paves the way for the leader to proclaim that they are the “prophet for the age.”  But in the days of the Old Testament, this was not the case.  There were multiple prophets actively prophesying at the same time, some of which who are recorded, and some of which who are not.

If you consider the fallen condition of Israel, lifting up objects of worship in place of God, somebody has to cry out.  God is able to make a donkey prophesy – none can withhold when God wants to speak.  Not just Amos – if Amos did not speak, someone else would:

The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?”  Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt, and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria, and see the great tumults within her, and the oppressed in her midst.”

Amos 3:8-9

I look at the many who have now taken their stand for God’s Word.  They will no longer lift a man into worship, and will no longer take that man’s word over the Word of God.  They will no longer serve an idol.

And yet, many of them cannot withhold their condemnation of idolatry.  Many try to exit quietly, but after reading God’s Word for themselves, they just can’t hold it in – they become mouthpieces standing firmly against idolatry. 

Luke 16:16 says that “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.”

 

But the Apostle Paul tells us that he wishes all had the gift of prophecy:

Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

1 Corinthians 14:5

When you sit back and watch a quiet, otherwise unnoticed person start reading God’s Word and then suddenly becoming very vocal, it’s difficult not to wonder how much of what they say comes from themselves and how much comes directly from God. 

Two can walk together if they agree, but that agreement must be a walk with Christ, not a walk with a man.  If that agreement is in man and not in Christ, then that agreement is with an idol, and a Christian cannot walk with an idolater.  Either the idolater will turn to Christ, the Christian will be distracted and fall to idolatry, or both will part ways.  There is no way for a person walking with Christ to walk with an idol.

My hope and prayer is that many in the following of William Branham can start walking with those who are now walking with Christ.  It’s time to set aside every single thing that we place before God, and serve God alone in Spirit and in Truth. 


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