Genesis 1:26-30 (RSV)
V26- Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping things that creeps upon the earth.
V27- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
V28- And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
V29- And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
V30- And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Genesis 2:16-17- And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.
This morning I would like to share a message entitled, THE POWER OF AGREMEENT.
The words that we come into agreement with and then begin to speak forth, create and shape our future and our destiny.
Who are we agreeing with today? What a great privilege we have – that with our hearts and with our mouths, we can do things that open up heaven and bring heaven into earth. Or, we can also bring hell into earth as well. It all depends on who we choose to agree with.
If only we would understand the power of agreement – the power of our hearts agreeing with God and beginning to declare what God says is true.
The power of agreement opens the doorway through which the life of God can flow. If we are in agreement with the Lord today, Heaven will invade earth and GOD’S PRESENCE will invade our lives.
The Greek word for “agreement” is sumponeo and it means:
• To be in agreement with, in unison, in one accord
• To SPEAK together with agreement, harmonious and united
• To agree with and DECLARE statements agreed upon.
Therefore “to be in agreement” is to be “in unity, speaking and championing the same vision.” It is to stand as one, holding true to what has been agreed upon.
Agreement is SYNERGY. It is the working together of two things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual parts; an advantageous agreement that results in a greater outcome.
Simply put – there is power in agreement.
This morning, I would like to bring us back to 3 Gardens in the Bible where we see the power of agreement at work.
(I) THE POWER OF AGREEMENT IN THE FIRST GARDEN
The first garden in the Bible is the Garden of Eden.
Our story starts with two people in this first garden. The Garden of Eden was perfect as any place could be. So were its only two human inhabitants – Adam and Eve. They had a unique place in all of creation because they were made in the image of God. Because of this likeness, the ones made in God’s image would rule over the earth and represent Him in personality and function.
Adam and Eve were designed to rule like God. It is always a rule of PROTECTION AND EMPOWERMENT. Even so, Adam and Eve and all their descendants were to represent God on earth to the rest of creation. Their position over the earth was NOT INSTEAD OF GOD BUT BECAUSE OF GOD. He came in the evening to walk and talk with Adam and Eve. Their place of rule was the overflow of their place before God’s face as an INTIMATE.
The earth has always belonged to God, but now humankind became His DELEGATED ONES to rule in His place.
The first COMMISSION in Scripture given to Adam in the Garden is:
Genesis 1:28-“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
His immediate responsibility was to tend the Garden. His ultimate responsibility was to bring the same order to the rest of the planet. The implication was that outside of the Garden there was not the same order as existed on the inside. That makes a lot of sense when we remember that the serpent came from the outside into the Garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve. He was already on the planet.
The point is- THE REALM OF DARKNESS ALREADY EXISTED ON EARTH before God made Adam, Eve and the Garden of Eden. He created ORDER in the midst of DISORDER so that those made in His image might represent Him well by extending the borders of the Garden until the whole planet would be covered by God’s rule through His delegated ones.
The entire realm of darkness could be forever wiped out with a word. But God chose to defeat him through those made in His own likeness – those who would worship God by choice. It was the issue of worship that brought about the rebellion of Satan in the first place.
God didn’t give Adam and Eve any instructions on spiritual warfare. Right now, their entire life was focused on maintaining divine order through RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD and spreading it through REPRESENTING Him well. They were to live responsibly and be productive, have children who would have children who would have children etc. and expand the borders of the Garden until the planet was covered by their rule. All of this flowed from their FELLOWSHIP with God, WALKING with Him in the cool of the evening. All of this came from RELATIONSHIP. Satan was never the focus.
In other words, by maintaining FELLOWSHIP OR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THE FATHER, Adam and Eve are in agreement with Him, thus releasing the power of dominion over the earth.
Adam and Eve, the ones who saw God the clearest, had no instructions on warfare, as their DOMINION repulsed the enemy in the same way that light drives away darkness without a fight.
Application: God calls us into a place of strength –rediscovering our place in the Garden, walking with Him in the cool of the evening. It is from that PLACE OF INTIMACY that true warfare is experienced. Perhaps it was for that reason that David, Israel’s great warrior and king, wrote, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalms 23:5). The PLACE OF FELLOWSHIP AND INTIMACY WITH GOD is seen as the table of the Lord – yet is placed in front of his enemies.
Until we understand this concept, we will unintentionally elevate the devil’s place much higher than it should be. We can’t afford to live in reaction to darkness. If we do, darkness has had a role in setting the agenda for our lives. The devil is not worthy of such influence, even in the negative.
We were created in His image for INTIMACY that our dominion over the earth might be expressed through loving relationship with God. Likeness was made for the purpose of fellowship –intimate communion. Through relationship with God, the finite ones would be grafted into His eternal perfect past and obtain through promise an eternal perfect future. Even the realm of impossibilities could be breached by those created to be like Him. God longs for PARTNERSHIP. God risked everything to have that one treasure – those who would worship Him, not as robots, not merely out of command but out of relationship. That is how the power of agreement operates in this first Garden between men and God – FELLOWSHIP.
Question: How is your walk with God today? Are you walking intimately with Him or are you out of fellowship with Him? “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Are you in agreement with God today through walking daily with Him? Have you been connecting with Him through prayer and reading the Word? To be in agreement with God is to be in fellowship with God – walking with Him in the cool of the Garden. That is how the power of agreement operates in the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve walked in agreement with God and the following happens as a result of that agreement:
Satan couldn’t come into the Garden of Eden and violently take possession of Adam and Eve, He had no authority or dominion where HE HAD NO AGREEMENT, either in the Garden or in Adam and Eve. Dominion is power. And since humanity was given the KEYS OF DOMINION over the planet, the devil would have to get authority from humans through AGREEMENT.
Because the devil had no authority over Adam and Eve, all he could do was talk.
Genesis 3:1-7- Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.”
Satan suggested that they eat the forbidden fruit, as it would make them like God. And they listened. They agreed with Satan over his suggestions. Adam and Eve tried to become like God by disobeying the command or the word of God. They disagreed and disbelieved the explicit commands of God in Genesis 2:16-17- And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die. They didn’t agree with God that by eating the forbidden fruit they would die. They agreed with the lies and suggestions of Satan instead. So they disobeyed. And that disobedience cost them what they already had by design – Godlikeness and dominion. They lost the keys of dominion over the whole earth through their agreement with Satan. The keys of dominion are now in the hands of Satan.
Application: When we try to get through our efforts what we already have by grace, we voluntarily put ourselves under the power of law. This was the devil’s attempt to get Adam and Eve TO AGREE WITH HIM IN OPPOSITION TO GOD, thus empowering the devil, himself.
Through agreement with Satan, Satan is empowered to:
o Destroy (John 10:10)
Until today, Satan is empowered through our agreement with him.
Questions- Are you agreeing with Satan today regarding the word of God? Are you doubting God and His Word because you are agreeing with the suggestion of Satan that God has ill hidden agenda for your life? Are you believing the lies of Satan that if you choose not to obey God, you will not die and there are no dire consequences? Today, is Satan killing, stealing and destroying your lives because you have been agreeing with Him instead of with God?
Who are you in agreement with today? God or Satan? Who are you empowering today with your agreement? God or Satan?
(II) THE POWER OF AGREMENT IN THE SECOND GARDEN
When sin entered the human condition through the agreement of Adam and Eve with Satan, it became necessary for God’s Son to become a man to fight on our behalf.
The ultimate conflict was between Satan and Jesus the man. By giving Himself to die in our place, He satisfied all requirements of the Law for the death of the sinner – “the soul that sins shall die” (Ezek 18:20). He not only died for us, He died AS US.
But before He went to the cross, He redeemed the agreement that Adam and Eve had broken with God by agreeing with God again. But this time the agreement was done in the second garden of the Bible – The Garden of Gethsemane. By praying “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42), Jesus realigned His will with His Father’s will, despite His struggle and thus sealing the power of redemption for us. What Adam and Eve had failed in the First Garden through their disagreement with God, Jesus succeeded with His agreement with God’s will to die for the fallen humankind in the Second Garden. As a result, Jesus got the keys back from Satan that were handed to him through Adam and Eve’s agreement. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore….” (Matt 28:28-19). In other words: I got the keys back! Now go use them and reclaim humankind.
Application: We were designed to rule like God rules. We are to rule over creation, over darkness – that we might plunder the powers of darkness and establish the rule of Jesus wherever we go by preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. In the original purpose of God, humankind was to rule over creation. But then sin entered our domain because of Adam and Eve’s agreement with Satan. Because of sin, creation has been infected by darkness – diseases, sickness, afflicting spirits, poverty, natural disasters, and demonic influence. While our rule is still over creation, it has become focused on exposing and undoing the works of the devil. That is the ministry of Jesus that we inherited in His commission – use the power and authority of God to carry on the ministry of Jesus in the way that Jesus did it.
The heart of God is for partnership with His created likeness. Partnership is agreement. From day one, His heart was to have a people who lived like Him, loved like Him, created and ruled like Him. The more people carry His Presence into all the earth as joyful servants of the Most High, the more we will be positioned to see one of Heaven’s major mile markers – the earth covered with the glory of the Lord.
(III) THE POWER OF AGREEMENT IN THE THIRD GARDEN
John 19:41;20:1,11-17-Now in the PLACE WHERE HE WAS CRUCIFIED THERE WAS A GARDEN, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid….Now on the third day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb….But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping, and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.
The first person to touch Jesus in His natural birth was obviously Mary, the virgin. But who was the first to touch Jesus at His second birth – His resurrection from the dead? Mary Magdalene! She’s the one who had seven demons cast out of her and was healed of infirmities (Mark 16:9). The Virgin Mary, representing purity and all that is right, welcomed Jesus into the world for His role of fulfilling the Law and becoming the perfect sacrifice. Mary Magdalene, the one who had been sick and tormented by devils, represents the unanswerable needs of the spirit, soul and body. She welcomed Him into the world for His role of building a family out of the least pure or qualified in any way. The Virgin introduced the One who would close out the dispensation of the Law. The tormented one introduced Jesus into the season of grace where everyone would be welcomed.
In the First Garden, the presence was taken for granted. God walked in the Garden one more time after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. Their eyes were opened to their condition and they covered themselves with fig leaves to hide their nakedness. Then they hid from God Himself (Genesis 3:8).It was the last time we hear of God walking in the Garden to be with man. By making agreement with Satan, Adam and Eve had forfeited the presence of God.
In the Second Garden, the Son of Man made His agreement with the Father’s will to die for humanity and He sealed it by literally going to the cross.
In this Third Garden, Mary would make sure that the mistake made in the First Garden would not be repeated. She grabbed the resurrected Christ and wouldn’t let go, until Jesus informed her that He had not even ascended to the Father yet. Jesus’ promise of sending the Holy Spirit would now have to take on very practical expression for this one who had to have more of God. She had found the one thing – THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
The effect of the agreement made by the Son of Man in the Second Garden is now being felt in the Third Garden – the PRESENCE OF GOD to be experienced by utter sinners like Mary Magdalene and us.
(IV) THE POWER OF AGREEMENT IN OUR OWN GARDEN
What about our own garden today? Who are we agreeing with in this garden of our own life?
There are seven foundational areas where we need to stand in agreement in order to synergize with God’s work.
1. THE SCRIPTURES
Agreement with the Scripture is to agree that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and the Living Word of Jesus. Agreement with the Bible means also to align your life in with the teachings and principles of the Bible. Is your life in obedience to the teachings and commands of the Bible like tithing, commitments, worship, being equally yoked in marriage and business, being sure of your own gender and not swept by the LGBT spirit of the world; service, faithfulness, integrity, purity. If you don’t agree, you are disobeying and disobedience like Adam and Eve bring forth death.
2. THE PROMISES OF GOD
The NT uses 2 Greek words for the Word of God. One is logos, which is the revealed will of God, the plan of salvation contained in the Bible. The other is rhema, which is a word God speaks to you personally. Suddenly Scripture comes alive because God Himself is speaking to you directly. God always makes a promise in His word with us by quickening certain portion of the Bible to our spirit. And if you agree with this rhema as God’s promise for you, and believe it, it will come true.
YOU NEED TO FIND WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAYS ABOUT YOU.
Jesus said, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have what he SAYS” (Mark 11:23).
Jesus said that there is a place you can come to in your relationship with God, if you know the Word of God and don’t doubt, where you can have whatever you say. Jesus said you’re going to get what you say, so you should be careful about what you say. It is by your words. They have power. Your words are carriers.
What you say is your confession and your confession is your agreement with the word of God:
A – Agree with the word of God
B- Believe the Word of God.
C- Confess the Word of God with your mouth.
Take God’s Word and declare them. When we agree with God’s Word and confess them by declaring them, miracles comes to pass. We are to use them to say or declare them to our “mountains”. By speaking them ALOUD, they are planted in our subconscious minds, take root, grow and produce fruit of the same kind.
You can change your world by changing your words, and especially by agreeing with and speaking the word of God. Every CONTRARY THING that comes against you financially, mentally, emotionally, morally, maritally, physically or any contrary thing that tries to get you to doubt or disagree with God’s Word, should be the indication to you that you need to keep on looking at Jesus. Keep your eyes on the Word of God and hold fast to your confession or agreement of faith in Him. Don’t look at the outward circumstance like the “beating waves” or your “symptoms” or the “lack of evidence” thereof. Keep agreeing with God and declaring and the miracles will happen.
Illustration: A group of frogs were hopping contently through the woods, going about their groggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All of the other frogs gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions. When they saw how deep the pit was, the rest of the dismayed group agreed that it was hopeless and told the two frogs in the pit that they should prepare themselves for their fate because they were as good as dead. Unwilling to accept their terrible fate, the two frogs began to jump with all of their might. Some of the frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless and that the two frogs wouldn’t be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules and more responsible. The other frogs continued sorrowfully shouting that they save their energy and give up since they were already as good as dead. The two frogs continued jumping as hard as they could and after several hours of desperate effort were quite weary. Finally one of the frogs took heed to the calls of the fellows [he agreed with them that it was hopeless]. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit and died as the others looked on in helpless grief. The other frog continued to jump with every ounce of energy he had, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted. His companions began anew, yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder and….wonders of wonders! Finally leapt so high that he sprang from the pit. Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom and then gathering around him asked, “Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?” Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained to them that he was deaf [thus couldn’t hear and couldn’t agree with their negative words or negative suggestions] and that when he saw their gestures and shouting, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.” This story illustrates the life and death in the power of the tongue. Your encouraging words can lift someone up and help them make it through the day. Your destructive words can cause deep wounds. They may be weapons that destroy someone’s desire to continue trying. Speak life to those who cross your path. If you are trapped in a pit today, turn a deaf ear to negative suggestions – be they people or the devil. Don’t ever agree to their negative suggestions. Then you will overcome all odds against you.
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT
Agreement with the Holy Spirit is to be attuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit through our spirit man. When we attune our spirit to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we are actually tuning the frequency of our spirit to the same frequency as the Holy Spirt. People who are attuned to the Holy Spirit can hear on a different frequency than the world. We can hear things the world does not hear. We can hear the sound of angel’s wings, the sound of the footsteps of Jesus and the coming blessings of God.
If the Holy Spirit has been speaking to your spirit, quickly agree with His voice and claim the eternal fact that He is trying to impress upon your spirit, and you shall see supernatural signs and wonders happening when you act upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Agree with the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Last Sunday, during the altar call, the Holy Spirit prompted Pastor Toh Nee to go and give a prophetic download to one member. Pastor Toh Nee disagreed with the prompting because that member was standing quite far back. Then the Holy Spirit reminded Pastor Toh Nee how he grieved his prompting to download to one camper during Dumangas Church Camp that he would be a pastor one day but Pastor Toh Nee refused and later James rebuked Pastor Toh Nee in Christ’s name. So Pastor Toh Nee finally agreed with the prompting, went and pray and prophesied to that member and then he felt the surge of God’s power going to his hands.
Questions: Are you quenching the prompting the Holy Spirit in your life by not releasing the gifts that He wants you to use for the body of Christ? Agree with the Holy Spirit and obey his promptings and so shall you be led by the Spirit.
4. YOUR HEART
Agreement with your own heart is to be in unity with yourself, not letting it be divided or double minded. God grants us “According to our heart’s desire” (Psalms 20:4). Agreement is also to keep your heart clean and strong in spiritual flow. Solomon teaches that the “heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips” (Proverbs 16:23). A wise person keeps his heart clean and allows its wisdom to teach what he says.
5. GOD’S GREATNESS
Agreement with God’s greatness is to see His unlimited power. God has the power to do anything and to sustain everything He created. When we pray agreeing with God’s greatness, we take our eyes off our finite limitations and lift our eyes to the greatness of God – to His ability, not ours.
6. PRAYER PARTNERS
Matthew 18:19- Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
The more people in prayer agreement, the more significant the results. The early church had great success because of the tremendous agreement among believers with the Holy Spirit and with each other. Together, prayer partners can pull down strongholds, touch lives, change churches, and engage in spiritual warfare. Paul constantly asked believers to partner with him in prayer. Likewise we can join with friends to pray regularly for a pastor, missionary, Christian leader or any other specific need.
Illustration: How much power can people in agreement have? The answer: the power of life and death. During the brutal reign of Joseph Stalin, who murdered 30 million Russians and brought godless communism to Russia, Stalin let it be known that he planned to murder the Jews of Russia. When the believers in England heard this report, they committed themselves to fasting and prayer for the Jews of Russia. Praying in the spirit, they found the Demonic forces that drove Joseph Stalin. Three weeks later, Joseph Stalin had a brain hemorrhage. 16 gifted brain surgeons worked on him for 8 hours, and still Joseph Stalin stepped into eternity on March 5 1953, to meet the son of God, a Jewish rabbi from Bethlehem.
7. SPECIFIC REQUESTS
You have not precisely what you need because you asked not for precisely what you need. Fuzzy prayers get fuzzy answers. Explicit prayers get explicit answers. You must persevere with repeated specific petitions. Shoot for a specific target and have the faith to name specifically what you are requesting.
When you align the garden of your life with these seven areas, your partnership with God will yield powerful results.
Satan has no power in your life unless you agree with him. He enters your life by agreement. Don’t agree with His suggestions and lies. Resist Him and he will flee from you.
Get back to agreeing with God by fellowshipping with Him and obeying Him. Jesus has already sealed His agreement with God’s will by dying for all of us, thus redeeming the broken agreement of Adam and Eve. Because of that agreement between Jesus and the Father, we can today experience the PRESENCE OF GOD one more time. Let’s be like Mary Magdalene- cling to our resurrected Lord and not let him go. That presence is to be upon us and in us to go and reclaim the chaotic and disorderly world. Whatever God has spoken to you or promised you- agree with it; believe it and confess it loudly over your life. And you shall see Heaven invade earth! Release the power of God through your agreement with Him and His Word!!!!!
PREACHED AT ETAB FIRST ENGLISH SERVICE ON 11 SEPT 2016