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The 2 Olive Trees

olive tree

When God first created mankind on the earth he created two. He created male and female and set them in the garden with a joint yet separate purpose. There were initially two sons given to Adam and Eve. Then there were multiple couples used by God in different capacities. Seldom was it just one individual God worked through and even when He did use the Moses, the Elisha, the seemingly single individual they always had helpers. God knows He must put buffers in place to prevent man always from being prideful doing God's work.

Lately we are seeing in the news an alarming number of pastoral failures. Emotional burnout and moral infidelities among pastors keeps rising. For example, twelve out of the fifteen pastors I was with for evangelistic meetings over a couple of months were seeking new assignments from their district offices. We know that Jesus predicted "whoa to those in the last days because Satan's wrath is being poured out because the knows he has a short time. (Revelation 12:2 KJV) Satan, however, should be being defeated not the other way around! God's way works! When we try to incorporate the worlds strategies into a ministry model it will fly for a while. Eventually it will crash and burn. "Better is a young and wise child than an old and foolish king who will no longer be admonished." (Ecclesiastes 4:13 KJV)

I think it was about eighteen years ago when it hit me that God is all about team ministry. The Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart about the mystery of the two's found throughout the scripture. When we remember that Jesus sent His disciples out two by two, and we first think perhaps of their own personal safety or the help factor however there is a much deeper need here. We make big deals out of things that are not such a big deal to God. On the other side of that coin, we tend to minimize the things God thinks are major. One of those things that He thinks is major is that He must receive all the glory for whatever He does. The scriptures declare; "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another." (Isaiah 42:8 KJV)

As often happens, philosophies of this world creep into the church. Over the last three decades I have noticed an increase in an emphasis on "being a successful pastor" Or "building a successful church or ministry." Defining what that means falls in an ever-enlarging grey area in the Body of Christ. It refines itself down to troublesome when a minister seeks to be successful in ways the world would define success namely focusing on numbers and money!

Fortunately, God has the perfect plan to totally mess up the plans of such self-focused kingdom building philosophies. He is great at draining the pride out of anyone's parade. Just ask Haman. (Esther 6:11 KJV) God ways work for building His church! If He is truly leading anything will always implement the plan of the two's! No one person gets all the credit and no one person gets all the criticism.

Consider again all of the two's in the Bible. You see, the scripture says "So neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that gives the increase." (1st Corinthians 3:7 KJV) God is all about using people in pairs of two for the building of His Kingdom on the Earth. Mary and Joseph were used to bring Jesus into the world. Then can you imagine this even John the Baptist and Jesus were a type of two's introducing the Savior of the world (Mark 1:7 KJV).

Jesus had Peter and John as two that were very close to Him. We all know about Paul and Barnabas, Aquila and Pricilla. Just think for a minute of all the pairs in the Bible!

As an evangelist who traveled for several years, I saw first hand how God's plan should work in team ministry. Invariably I would come into a church and preach a few times. The altars were usually well attended and the pastor would often say something like this to me; "Brother Nolan, I just a few weeks ago I preached a very similar message, and nobody responded to the altar call. Then you come in and preach it almost the same way and many came forward." I learned over time to share with them the mystery of the two's. God does not want one person doing it all and stealing His glory. He uses two so that number one, no one is taking all the credit. Number two it acts like a double barreled spiritual shotgun and people get a double dose of the Holy Ghost from two different people of God! Praise God; the spiritual gifts of a pastor and a God called evangelist work together to implement our Fathers perfect plan for Kingdom growth! Sometimes a prophetic word will come forth that has the same verse in it as the preachers sermon that day!

One of the mysteries of the Bible that we are not given the meaning of is the vision of the two olive trees in Zechariah chapter four. Zechariah sees two olive trees that continually feed the golden lamp stand. Although this is rich with possible meanings the full meaning is just not given. Within the mystery of the two's we have been discussing in this article, consider the power of team ministry, two olive trees if you will utilizing God birthed pastors and evangelists together again. I'm not talking about men dressed in blue leisure suits, polished smiles and perfect hair. I'm talking about true brethren who, pay the price in prayer, and hear from God locking arms once again to gain the strength of each others gifting's and place all the glory back on God where it belongs! Kingdom building at God's finest, according to the plan of His Word!

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