House Church Talk - Re: Two or three gathered

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Tue May 11 22:11:22 EDT 2004

Hi Glenn,

You wrote:"The way I read Mat thew 18:20 is not so much His 'presence' He is 
talking about (for as we both stated, He is present always... Whether we are 
there or not) but Jesus was saying that when you resolve your conflict 
between brothers in this way -- that is in essence Jesus saying "this is 
good"... Or putting His blessing and approval on it. When Jesus said this he 
was still in Bodily Human form. So I don't think his intent in the verse was 
to say that when you resolve issues like this with your brothers I will come 
running and stand there with you. He was saying something like, "it is like 
I was here with you resolving your issue". That is why I was saying that 
while it is true that God is there with us when we gather (he is always with 
us... Not just when we gather)... This verse is not a proof text for it. 
This verse is simply saying that when we forgive and resolve sin between 
brothers in the right way, it has Jesus' approval."

Dear brother, If the expression "in the midst" was used elsewhere in 
scripture to express approval, I think you might have a point. But the 
expression is used 5 times in scripture relatibve to the Lord Jesus being 
"in the midst".  But in none of the following do we see that His presence in 
the midst is an expression of His approval. In fact, in Rev.1 and 2, He 
stands in the midst of the 7 churches of Asia and has words of reproof to 
speak to almost all of them!
Mat thew 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, 
there am I in <1722> the  midst <3319> of them.
Luke 24:36  And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in <1722> the midst 
<3319> of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Acts 2:22  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man 
approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did 
by him in  <1722> the midst <3319> of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Revelation 1:13  And in <1722> the midst <3319>  of the seven candlesticks 
one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and 
girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Revelation 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things 
saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in 
<1722> the midst <3319> of the seven golden candlesticks;

The following are all the other places where the expression is used. I don't 
think you will find one where  a person being "in the midst" is an 
indication of that person's approval of those with which he is found!

Mat thew 10:16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in <1722> the midst  <3319> 
of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Mat thew 18:2  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in 
<1722> the midst  <3319> of them,
Mark 6:47  And when even was come, the ship was in <1722> the midst  <3319> 
of the sea, and he alone on the land.
Mark 9:36  And he took a child, and set him in <1722> the midst  <3319> of 
them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
Luke 2:46  And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the 
temple, sitting in <1722> the  midst <3319> of the doctors, both hearing 
them, and asking them questions.
Luke 21:21  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let 
them which are in <1722> the  midst <3319> of it depart out; and let not 
them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
Luke 22:55  And when they had kindled a fire in <1722> the midst  <3319> of 
the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
John 8:3  And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in 
adultery; and when they had set her in <1722>  the midst <3319>,
John 8:9  And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, 
went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus 
was left alone, and the woman standing in <1722> the midst <3319>.
Acts 1:15  And in those days Peter stood up in <1722> the midst  <3319> of 
the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred 
and twenty,)
Acts 4:7  And when they had set them in <1722> the midst <3319> , they 
asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
Acts 17:22  Then Paul stood in <1722> the midst <3319>  of Mars' hill, and 
said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too 
Acts 27:21  But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in <1722> the midst  
<3319> of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not 
have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
Philippians 2:15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, 
without rebuke, in <1722> the  midst <3319> of a crooked and perverse 
nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Hebrews 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in <1722> 
the midst  <3319> of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
Revelation 2:7  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto 
the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, 
which is  in <1722> the midst <3319> of the paradise of God.
Revelation 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto 
crystal: and in <1722> the  midst <3319> of the throne, and round about the 
throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Revelation 6:6  And I heard a voice in <1722> the midst <3319>  of the four 
beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for 
a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Revelation 22:2  In <1722> the midst <3319> of the street of it, and on 
either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve 
manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the 
tree were for the healing of the nations.

So would we not be better to simply allow the words of the Lord Jesus in 
Matt.18:20 mean exactly what they say, just as they mean exactly what they 
say in every other instance in scripture?

Your brother in Christ,

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