Verses often taken out of context

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Robine, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Matthew 18:19-20
    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. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    I´ve heard that this passage is one of the top verses often taken out of context. So I´ve read some articles and it´s still not clear to me. I would be able to accept that these verses are contected with the passage about forgiveness and about what to do when somebody does something wrong, but if it is so, why the words "any thing that they shall ask" are there?
    What are your thoughts on this passage and what do you think is the right context of these two verses?
  2. I once had almost an argument about this. Then I left it :)
    For me this is the interesting part.. This is what the verse translates in all translations

    Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask

    If two of you agree, then what they shall ask is granted.. It is not saying if two of you agree, what you shall ask is granted.. Does the "they" refer to someone else rather than the "two of you"? If we read the entire context, we are talking about more than the disciples alone..
  3. Yes, this is interesting, I checked 5 different Czech translations and it´s the same.
    I´ve read more articles about how can this be used out of context and what´s the right context. But I´m still not convinced that it´s misusing. I will probably discuss it with somebody wise in my church.
  4. I think this is an important verse, especially today. Another thread was talking about maturity in Christianity, and the one for "teen" Christians was "show me". Because of the grace preachers out there, it's been hard for me to believe in miracles, yet the scriptures are full of them, they are fully promised, just like this verse says, yet, in my own life and everyone else I know, miracles are not the norm. Don't get me wrong, if I told you my life story it would be filled with miracles - which can be explained away as coincidence - but I'm talking about true revival, healings, raising the dead, I'm talking the stuff CNN, Fox News, NBC can't dismiss. I believe in Matt 10, I just don't see it very much. So what's the problem? Faith. We've been so conditioned to believe our current state is "normal" that if someone does say they were healed, instead of praising God, we ask for their medical records! This verse ties right into this comment by Jesus:

    Romans 8:31-32 (KJV)
    What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
    Robine likes this.
  5. Right.. That was just something that I was thinking one day..

    Frankly, I think it could be interpreted in both the ways.. It could be taken very specific to say that the verse simply says God will agree when two or three believers agree on something in earth. Or the verse could mean that when 2 or 3 believers agree on earth about something, God will give it.. Rest of the Bible also agrees with this. The only thing is, it should be in accordance with His will.
    Abdicate likes this.
  6. My understanding is that the passage has to do with fellowship with Jesus.
    V20 is a necessary precondition of what has just been stated..."for where two or three...."
    When Christians are assembled in fellowship with Christ, agreement between them will be guided by the Spirit of Christ, and thereby will be present in the throne room of heaven.
    Consider the binding nature of Jesus' words here. If we met in fellowship with each other and with Jesus, but suddenly agreed just amongst ourselves to hobble all missionary outreach in our country, for example, would Jesus still be in fellowship with us or rather would we still be gathered in His name? No of course not. So Jesus' promise does not extend to wrongful and sinful pacts that we might make while out of fellowship with Him.
    If we are in fellowship with Christ then we have a high priest to intercede for us.
    Rom 8:27. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
    Major and KingJ say Amen and like this.
  8. Probably the king of all out-of-context verses has got to be the previous verse, verse 18, on binding and loosing of things in heaven and earth. From it, the one billion + member RCC derives from it the highly objectionable, bizarre doctrine that whatever the Pope and priests decide is what shall be, whether God likes it or not:

    "The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, change, or interpret even divine laws. The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth with most ample power of binding and loosing his sheep." – the Catholic Ferraris's Ecclesiastical Dictionary

    "God Himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of His priests, and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse or give absolution...The sentence of the priest precedes, and God subscribes to it." - Dignities and Duties of the Priest, St. Alphonsus Liguori, C.SS.R.
  9. Yes, I often think that instead of understanding it as a command, ie.'you are to follow the lead from heaven', some see it as a free license to 'lord it over' the masses.
    But if any denomination wants to misuse the Scriptures in any way, that is ultimately between them and their judge.
    As for myself, I'm happy to be guided and instructed by heaven's triune government.
    Major likes this.
  10. Totally irrelevant to the discussion. The discussion is about what it means, not how it's abused - if that's even possible.
    Ravindran, Major and Robine says Amen and like this.
  11. I agree that this is so often taken out of context.... The evidence of this is that there are *PLENTY* of folks agreeing DAILY in Jesus name over this, that, and the other - and very little if any of it comes to pass.... I see it breaking people's hearts... People crying out "Why - Why Jesus... We believed, we agreed... and it didn't happen!"

    WHOSE will are we begging God to be done? See, in most of these cases - we come to God praying "God, Please do MY will"..... and then, since it doesn't happen when we pray alone, we find someone else who will agree with us that God should do My will... and so the two of us come before God - and we essentially come before the throne to say:

    "Ok, God, I have 2 or more people... and They agree with Me... and Scripture says that You have to do whatever I want because WE agree... Look... here we are agreeing... Now Get to it! In your Son's holy name we pray"......

    Really? I mean, that's pretty arrogant and all... Would you honestly go before your boss like that - much less the Throne of the God of the WHOLE UNIVERSE like that?

  12. The passage you quoted is one of the great Gospel promises given about prayer.

    For the correct interpretation one must read and understand the verses before this one and the one after it. The promise is therefore specifically given to a gathering of disciples with Christ IN THE MIDST (vs 20). They are called to discipline a brother who has errored. Their authority is restated in verse 18 and the promise can be claimed because they are acting on behalf of the Father and in the name of the Son. Take carful notice that it is the church that is in view here that will be operating in the near future.
  13. I agree that the practice you described is not OK. But I don´t see a problem if people humbly ask God for anything (that is of course their will) like a child asks father.
    Where is the Messiah likes this.
  14. Yes, this makes sense. I would agree with it if there were not the verse 19. If it should be just about how to discipline somebody in church, why does Jesus suddenly speak about asking God for something?
  15. Yep. you will get no argument out of me...
  16. #16 Phoneman777, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
    The relevance has to do with the "top verses often taken out of context" part of the thread. Protestants (Evangelicals) sometimes forget to consider what our Catholic bothers and sisters have been taught. I think the verse means that if two or three are gathered together, there's a special "unction" of the Holy Spirit that is added to our petitions that, when carried to His presence by the Holy Spirit, inclines Him to be more likely to grant what is asked concerning an erring brother and whatever course of discipline, intercession for his deliverance, or any such thing like that. Of course, it doesn't mean that our prayers compel Him, as found in the Catholic traditions, for if two or three of us gathered together would guarantee a granted request, then Jesus would have come by now, seeing that entire churches come together and pray for just that!
  17. Amen! God's foremost concern is the salvation of as many as will be saved, and two or three of us gathering together to pray for an erring brother according to the will of God as proscribed in Scripture is something that I think becomes high priority for Him. In fact, we are told that "we receive not b/c we ask amiss" which means that two or three million gathering together in prayer and "asking amiss" guarantees absolutely nothing from God. Thousands of believers, complete strangers, gather together every Sunday and pray for a winning field goal or failed 4th down attempt in football stadiums across the fruited plain, to no avail.
    Major likes this.
  18. Just read over them again, and I noticed that v. 19 is really a reiteration of v.18:
    18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
    19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.

    The "Again I say to you " is easy enough to understand that 19 is expounding on 18. What I noticed was the last half should be read as "it will be done for them in heaven by my Father" not " it will be done for them by My Father who is in heaven."

    So I can see that it is a reiteration of v. 18 stating again, that what you agree on, on earth, will be done in heaven, not necessarily done for you on earth. Does this make sense?
    --edit-- This really then ties into the Lord's Prayer: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
    Phoneman777 likes this.
  19. It would make sense if the verse wasn´t written like it is written. All Czech translations have "my heavenly Father" or "my Father who is in heaven". So (IMO) what you write would be logical if it was written like you say.
  20. There is more to two people being in the same geographical location and speaking the same words in this passage .

    For people can be speaking the same words but their minds and hearts be speaking very different things .
    So also can two or more people be in the same location but be very far apart .

    I would argue that though we can go boldly into the presence of God and into that most Holy place. There still can be only one who can go in.
    It is in these days very hard to have two or more people in such an agreement with each other in mind and spirit (it need not be geographical) and with words you can say in Jesus name .But not in reality .
    If we took the tabernacle made with hands as an example .
    ALL believers come in by the one door or curtain and in THAT we are one . For they that are joined to the Lord are of one Spirit .
    Yet here we see and understand by our natural sight . For it is open to the sun and the moon.
    But we are called to be priests and kings unto God and the same pattern of the first curtain is of the same order as the one before us into the Holy place . But before we can enter we must put off the old man or outer garments and put on Christ and the priestly robes as it were and wash our hands and feet before we do so .
    Not as in the carnal way of some . But to eb washed by the Word as to our WALK AND OUR WORKS .
    For he that shall ascend the hill of the Lord must be of a clean heart(towards God) and clean hands towards man .
    If we pass into the holy place .There is no natural light at all . There is though , the light of the 7 branched lamp on the left and the bread on the right as we enter. Speaking of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
    In the outer court we walk by sight and may think God serves us in that he provides all of our needs .
    In the Holy place we can only and must walk by faith in the true light of the Word of God and the Sprit of God and prayerfully at that as signified by the alter of incense . Here we come to understand we serve God first the people second and ourselves somewhat further back and last .Trusting God to supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory .
    Now we know that that the next curtain has gone and we can go into the presence of God where we once could not before .Only the high priest once a year .
    But now "we come to the blood that speaks of better things than the blood of Abel" etc
    Let us not suppose that we come a lone as it were.
    For when Jesus taught us to pray he did not say MY father ,.But OUR father.
    We needs must develop and appreciate the fact that we are indeed part of a body and that in our prayers it is to the FATHER of us all who are His as well as to and for the sake of others.
    It is then THY kingdom come which is the first priority .
    When you climb a hill .You see far more than you did before you started climbing.
    If your climbing the hill of the Lord then you will by the Holy Spirit begin to see more from Gods perspective than your own.
    and will in turn know not what to pray for as you ought but He who knows the deep things of God and the mind of God will in you make intercessions with groanings that cannot be uttered.
    Here you pray also according to o what you 'see' as it were and thus pray according to the will of God and in Jesus name .
    and here you will find and know as you keep praying that at some point you will know that God hears you .
    To pray in Jesus name is to ask with the glory of God in mind and for the kingdom of God to be manifested .Not only in the world but in the lives of all you pray for and by that you pray for them what you would desire in your heart for yourself .

    in Christ

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