The “Two or Three” Principle


Many Christians are aware of Matthew 18:18, where Jesus introduces the “two or three” principle, but may not be aware that the enemy also uses it.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

The presupposition in this passage was that if believers would agree on something that would be in the will of God, that it would be done for them “on earth as it is in heaven.”

The enemy also uses this principle, but to do his will. How does he do it?

Usually, he preys on one person first — someone with bitterness in their lives — and gets the person offended. Then Sally, filled with anger and distrust, instead of gently approaching the offender with the aim of getting clarification, decides to unload on Amy. And Sally wants Amy to agree that Mary is this really bad person.

If Amy disagrees, then Mary remains free of oppression for a time; but bitter people are persistent. If Amy doesn’t cave in over time, she will find other people who would agree with her. With enough agreement, Mary finds herself oppressed and her ministry has difficulty moving forward. But if she knows in her heart that the ministry is God’s calling, not her doing, she will wait on the Lord for vindication.

Every person I know who has God’s call in their lives and are acting on it, have to face the opposition of bitter believers.

If only all believers can receive the abundance that Jesus has promised in His Word! And His Word is true. The abundance is there. I have received it, and I am continuing to receive it.

And people who are bitter resent those who are enjoying His abundance, not realizing it’s there within their grasp but — they need to change their mindset. And change is hard for many.

Once, someone came to me in a desperate state. I said, “Okay, I know you’ve gone through traditional healing and deliverance and it hasn’t worked. How about I do something different, and bless your spirit?” She couldn’t receive the blessing. So I went back to praying the more “traditional” spiritual warfare prayers and there was some release for her. But I knew she would have to work hard at rebuilding her spirit and soul, and it would take at least 1-2 years to see a breakthrough. I also knew she wanted a quick fix and wouldn’t be back.

So, the evil one plays on the immaturity and the ignorance of believers who insist that God must do a miracle now to restore their lives but forget that it was many years of the same habits that got them in this mess and it will take years to get them out. God says we need to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” — the sanctification process is a lifetime commitment.

It needs a lifetime to grow up and wise up and it won’t be smooth sailing. In our search for a healing ministry, we can come across wounded healers who may help us, but also wound us; or we come across people who have skill but not enough knowledge at the time to deal with the particular issue you’re struggling with (all people called to the healing ministry will face something that they can’t tackle — it comes with the territory — and they need to further learn from others to upskill themselves. And if they can’t help you despite a number of tries, please don’t badmouth them. They didn’t hurt you in the process, so don’t hurt them. Don’t help the enemy in his lies and slander).

As the apostle Paul says, who faced much opposition from his own people (1 Corinthians 4):

judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

And as Psalm 27 says to those who are oppressed:

14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Image by Ria Kartika from Pixabay

Calling, Competence, Character

We wanted fat people. It was a cute way to get attention and recruit volunteers for the newly-minted prayer team. FAT stood for Faithful, Available and Teachable; response was good.

But that wasn’t enough. The ad in the church weekly drew attention, but it didn’t really get the people we wanted. Then, came the job description.

A job description is one of the best tools a ministry can use to recruit volunteers. List the talents you’re looking for, the duties you expect the person to perform and last, but most important, the benefits of joining your group.

For talent, I listed ability to pray Conversational Prayer style with a brief description of what this involves (some people can’t pray in a team, and this would help them decide if they really want to join); for duties, I expected people to sign up for either the 930am or 1130am Sunday prayer slots online — just one slot only per month — and to pray as a team for 1.5 hours. It sounds long, but when the group is moving in the Spirit, time flies.

The benefits were real — people develop the ability to hear the prompting of the Spirit when they start praying together and are hugely encouraged. Not only do they develop their gift, they also get to befriend like-minded people. In time, we had a regular group that would pray and then lunch together. We developed into a close community.

But as members got together, difficulties surfaced; some people would just go into a personal prayer zone, and lose track of the fact that others also wanted to pray out loud. As leader, I would tell them this, and they would be quite okay with me interrupting them if they went into their zone. So, that wasn’t an issue so long it was addressed.

Others went into hysterical weeping each time they prayed; another decided she was the group’s prophetess and wanted to give “prophecies” to members; yet another would manifest each time, freaking out the rest. So the prayer time stonewalled. Each got offended when I spoke with them, and left — while the rest sighed a sigh of relief.

Leaders set the standard. One thing that could be perfectly acceptable in a revival meeting — weeping, shouting out of prophecies, demonic manifestations — isn’t acceptable in a place where we’re supposed to be praying for the pastors and ministries of the church. It all depends on context and the leader’s discernment.

Much of the time, these manifestations were legitimacy issues — people needed to do these things in order to feel special and get everyone’s attention. Unfortunately, due to lack of discernment and fear of confrontation, leaders let these very needy people go on and on, while the rest of the group quietly leave until only the needy people and the leader are left. And the goal of the group, which is to pray for the church, and secondarily, for one another, isn’t achieved.

But every Sunday at the end of our prayer times, in our groups of 2s and 3s, people would minister peacefully to one another in prayer and prophecy and were blessed. I knew some looked forward to the prayer time because of the personal ministry at the end, but that was fine with me.

People need ministry and support, and the prayer ministry is a good place to receive it.

Introduction and Update 2022

I grew up in a non-Christian family and at 31, had a life-changing encounter with Jesus that resulted in a full-time call to ministry. I studied at Trinity Theological College, obtaining an M. Div before starting work in Wesley Methodist Church Singapore in 1997. I was in charge of the newly-formed Prayer Ministry and subsequently recruited a team of 40 to pray for the services on a rostered basis, introducing Conversational Prayer as the modality.

Amongst many other activities, I introduced courses from the Lifeway series such as Disciple’s Prayer Life, Experiencing God, and Spiritual Warfare, and spear-headed an overnight Concert of Prayer, the first of its kind in Wesley.

I also began a search for inner healing and deliverance modalities.

In my explorations, I went through different types of training, both locally and overseas. In 2008 I came across Restoring the Foundations (RTF) that was just beginning to set up in Singapore. I saw it was a good introduction to believers seeking freedom, and was subsequently trained in Issue-Focused Ministry. In early 2014, a spiritually sensitive and intelligent woman mentioned in a session that she saw an ancestral spirit following her. This was new to me. It did go after she told it to go, but the encounter stayed in my mind.

Later in the year, I attended a seminar on physical healing led by Dr Frans Cronje and realised he knew something of the phenomenon. Dr Frans then introduced me to Sapphire Leadership Group (SLG), founded and headed by Arthur Burk. Through his teachings, I learned to get to the root of spiritual strongholds, both in people and on properties.

In 2018, the Lord called me out of the church to set up Tree of Healing Ministries. I was very busy until April 2021, when it seemed like a switch was thrown and everything went into slow motion — I thought it was time to retire! Through a series of divine coincidences, He introduced me to HeartSync Ministries (HS) that was founded by Fr Andrew Miller, an Anglican who is also an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). I was pleasantly surprised to see that his modality is accepted and practised by both clinicians and non-clinicians.

So what’s the difference between SLG and HS? Broadly speaking, SLG deals with spiritual warfare — generational curses, spiritual entities, lifestyle issues and land issues (I famously had to get rid of an entity that had taken hold of a corner of a shared office I had newly moved to and was spooking my intercessors); HS deals with the wounds in the heart that result in inner conflicts and distrust of God. The two ministries complement each other.

Now, depending on the presenting issue, I and my clients can choose either SLG’s principles of spiritual warfare or HS’ modality of ministry to the heart.

Kathlyn Tsang