On Being in Agreement
Being a forgiver is a basic requirement to be an overcomer. But forgiving others can be done out of compulsion, if a Christian does it merely because he knows that God requires it. In other words, it might be possible to forgive without actually agreeing with God in the matter.
Likewise, a person might be obedient, submitting to the will of God, and yet not agree with His will. And two people who disagree can only walk together if there is unconditional love between them. Unconditional love does not mean that they are in agreement. Hence, all of the earlier requirements that we have listed are really things that we must learn while we walk the earth as God’s servants. Agreement is not so much a lesson to be learned as a state of being in which we walk by nature.
Genesis 2:24 says,
24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
For some, the idea of becoming “one flesh” is purely a physical, sexual encounter. For those with more understanding, they see that it also indicates being of one mind and soul. But there is something even deeper to this. It is becoming one spirit. Yet on all three levels, the foundational concept set forth is unity, or agreement.
For this reason Jesus Christ left His Father (Yahweh) and Mother (El Shaddai) and came to earth to “cleave to His wife.” (This is not to say that Yahweh, El Shaddai, and Jesus are different individual Gods, as some may think. This is not the place for such discussion, but in a manner of speaking, to fulfill Gen. 2:24, Jesus had to come to earth where His bride lived in order to become “one flesh” with her.)
Two Kinds of Marriage Relationship
An overcomer is one who is in agreement with God. Agreement is the most important ingredient of a New Covenant marriage depicted by Sarah, the freewoman.
In Galatians 4:22-31 the apostle Paul speaks of the two covenants as being depicted by Hagar and Sarah—that is, the bondwoman and the freewoman. In biblical times there were two distinct kinds of marriage. If a man married a bondwoman, they had more of a master-servant relationship. Such a wife had fewer rights and certainly had no voice in making any family decisions. Her husband may have granted her that privilege, but he was under no obligation to do so.
This is a Hagar-type marriage covenant. It describes also the relationship that Israel had with God when they were married at Mount Sinai. It was an Old Covenant marriage, and in Exodus 19:5 Israel had to swear to be obedient to God as her Husband. Israel became God’s servant-wife. This is not bad, but neither is it fully the kind of marriage relationship that God wants with His people. He is looking for more, and that is why He built into His plan the fact that He would eventually divorce Israel (Jer. 3:8) and make a New Covenant that was based upon better things.
The New Covenant is portrayed by Sarah, the freewoman. A marriage based upon the New Covenant is not built around the idea of obedience, but the idea of agreement. For this reason, Hosea 2:16 speaks of God’s New Covenant marriage with Israel, saying, “you will call me Ishi [My Husband], and will no longer call me Baali [My Lord or Master].” When a married couple is in agreement, what need is there to speak of obedience in a master-servant relationship? It would be irrelevant, because there is no further need to command one’s spouse to do something. Authority is exercised only when there is a lack of agreement, and the one in authority must order the other to do his will.
For this reason, God has no intention of marrying non-overcomers. An overcomer is one who is in agreement with God (Jesus Christ). An overcomer knows His mind or seeks until he knows it. And when he discovers the will of God, he finds himself in agreement—or continues to seek understanding until he finally comes into perfect agreement with Him. In the course of learning and spiritual development, of course, the overcomer may not understand the mind of God immediately, but meanwhile, he will obey as a good servant. But he is not satisfied simply to do the will of God. He is driven to seek to understand the mind of God until he comes to full agreement.
To disagree with God is to lack understanding. If we could see the universe as God sees it, we would all understand why God does what He does, and there would be no disagreement. The problem is that we do not view the world with the divine perspective. This does not automatically change as soon as a person accepts Jesus Christ and is justified by faith in a Passover experience. Neither does a person come into full agreement with Him when he is filled with the Spirit through the Feast of Pentecost. It requires a person to develop spiritually into a Tabernacles relationship, “that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:19).
Thus, when we apply the Old and New Covenant marriage principle to Christian individuals, it becomes apparent that when we first come to Christ, we are not suddenly spiritually mature. Our relationship with Christ begins as a master-servant relationship, even as that seen with the House of Israel in the Old Testament. We must learn obedience first, because that is the first step in our growth.
The function of the divine law is to give us basic principles and guidelines that are written down and applicable to all men. We are then admonished to be led by the Spirit, so that we may come to understand the mind of God and learn to apply those written principles properly. Israel under Moses was given a written law, but this was no substitute for following the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night—both of which represented the Holy Spirit’s leading. Neither did the Holy Spirit’s leading contradict what God had written in the law. Both came from the same Source and have always been in agreement.
Thus, the purpose of a believer’s spiritual growth is to begin with obedience and end with agreement. I would also go so far as to say that no man apart from Jesus Himself has ever been able to bypass the obedience stage, because no man starts out always in full agreement with God. This was as true before the cross as it is afterward. And thus, while we claim to be under the New Covenant even today, it is more accurate to say that this is our goal, rather than what we have attained.
This is also why John spoke of the “marriage supper of the Lamb” as if it were yet future (Rev. 19:9). God has no intention of marrying any body of people in a New Covenant marriage until they are in agreement with Him. He married a Hagar at Sinai, but He will only marry a Sarah the second time. This is why only the overcomers will inherit the first resurrection to rule with Him (Rev. 20:4-6). A Sarah wife has tremendous authority in a New Covenant marriage, because she does only what her Husband does. She exercises her authority as if it were Him doing it—and it IS Him doing it, because they have become “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).
Thus Says the Amen
Rev. 3:14 says:
14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
Here Jesus, speaking to the Church of Laodicea, calls Himself “the Amen.” This title is taken from Isaiah 65:16, which says,
16 Because he who is blessed in the earth shall be blessed by the God of truth [Heb: amen], and he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth [Heb: amen] . . .
The Hebrew word for truth is amet, or emet. But amen means truly. The words are related, but not precisely the same. Isaiah could have used the word amet if he had intended to refer to the God of truth. But he did not. He used the word amen. In using this word, he turned it into a title of God (that is, Christ), as shown in Rev. 3:14.
The word amen was used in Num. 5:22, Deut. 27:15-36, and many other places to denote confirmation and agreement. Those who said “Amen” indicated that they believed something to be true and that they were agreeing to submit to that word. And so in Rev. 3:14 we find Jesus Himself being “The Amen” of God, indicating total agreement with His Father. In John 5:19 we read,
19 Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, Truly, truly [i.e., Amen! Amen!] I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
Again in John 5:30 Jesus says,
30 I can do nothing on my own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 31 If I alone bear witness of Myself, My testimony is not true.
This is what made Jesus the Amen of the Father. The Father provided the heavenly witness, and the Son provided the earthly witness. These two witnesses established all things according to the law of the double witness. This was how the heavens and the earth were created in the beginning, for we read in John 1:3,
3 All things came into being by [dia: “through”] Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
The Father is Spirit; the Son is Spirit made Flesh—spiritual flesh. The two together, working in harmony and agreement, establish all things. Heaven and earth were the two witnesses that were needed to create the universe. This is why the prophet, after telling us about the God of Amen, says in the next verses (Isaiah 65:17-19),
17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create [new] Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people for gladness. 19 I will also rejoice in [new] Jerusalem, and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying.
The fact that Isaiah was speaking of the New Jerusalem and not the old is evident when we read Rev. 21:1-5. In the New Jerusalem God will wipe away all tears, even as Isaiah described. And verse 5 ends with,
5 And He who sits on the throne said, Behold, I am making all things new. And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true.
What is He making “new” if not the heavens, the earth, and Jerusalem? And so, getting back to Rev. 3:14, we read about—
14 . . . the Amen, the Beginning of the creation of God.
It is precisely by the Amen principle that all things were created at the beginning. It is by this same Amen principle that the new creation is accomplished when He makes all things new. The only difference is that this time He is bringing forth an Amen People, a body of overcomers who will, in one sense, form His Body, and in another sense be His Bride—for they will be “one flesh.”
Becoming “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24) is first and foremost a matter of unity—coming into agreement in spirit, soul, and body. The overcomers are one in spirit with their Father.
The overcomers have become living sacrifices and are transformed by the renewing of their mind (soul). Upon this body the Head can rest in unity. And now God is teaching this same overcomer group to be His Amen People, in agreement with Him in everything in order that that He might create a New Heavens, a New Earth, and a New Jerusalem through their earthly witness.