1. There is no verse "Thou shalt not enter into a business partnership."

2. In this study we are discussing business relationships in which each partner is equal in authority.

3. We will attempt to show that this type of partnership, even when not strictly business partnerships, brings the Bible Believer into spiritual danger.

4. The closest human union, marriage, is in great danger if entered into as an association in which both partners are equal in authority.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)


But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
(1 Corinthians 11:3)

The same becomes true in a business where the employees are sometimes forced to choose between which partner they wish to obey. The end result is distrust and bitterness.

SOME BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF DUAL PARTNERSHIPS

ABRAHAM

This man was called the friend of God. He once passed a test of obedience once that would have put most of us out of the running. The sacrifice of his son. Earlier, he was told:

[G]et thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (Genesis 12:1)

We are all familiar with Abraham's disobedience. He took his nephew Lot with him. It became clear as time progressed that Lot considered himself a partner of equal standing in this venture. Whereas Abraham recovered from the situation, several years were wasted and Lot's life was a mess. Lot's daughters committed incest with their father, and the offspring of those wicked relationships, the Moabltes and the Ammonites were a thorn in Israel's flesh. Lot's situation would undoubtedly have been better had Abraham insisted on obeying God in the first place.

SARA

Sarai, Abraham's wife took on a partnership to help God out in bringing forth the promised heir. In Genesis 16:2 She Gives Hagar her handmaid to Abraham to obtain children by her. When Hagar conceives and bears, trouble begins in the Abraham family.

JACOB

Jacob worked for Laban for 14 years. At the end of those 14 years Laban offered to "raise his salary". (Gen 30:31) Jacob declined the raise and instead insisted on having his own "Stock" on Laban' ranch. In essence he became partners with Laban. The net result of this new arrangement was a growing bitterness between Laban and Jacob. (Gen 31:36) and Laban's daughters turning against him. (Gen 31:14-15)

JEHOSHAPHAT

And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. (2 Chron 17:3,4)

Jehoshaphat was one of Judas's good Kings. God's blessing was on him.

Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab. (2 Chronicles 18:1)

Jehoshaphat becomes partner with Ahab, one of Israel's most wicked kings. In Chapter 18 verse 31, Jehoshaphat nearly loses his life. But, worse than that he displeases the Lord, and incurs his wrath.

And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.
(2 Chronicles 19:2)

It may be argued that Jehoshaphat could have picked a different partner, one that wasn't quite so wicked. The problem lies in our inability to see one another as the Lord sees us. How can you be certain you are not entering into agreement with "Ahab"? Man looketh on the outward appearance. It is the Word of God alone that is capable of dissecting the "thoughts and intents of the heart."

A PARTNERSHIP BRINGS BOTH PARTNERS INTO SURETY TO EACH OTHER

The Bible is very clear in it's warning against surety or what we commonly call co-signing.

My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, 2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. 4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. 5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:1-6)

He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it:

and he that hateth suretiship is sure. (Proverbs 11:15)

A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend. (Proverbs 17:18)

Surety is putting up your assets (which are the Lord's) for your friend or partners benefit. A business partnership brings both parties into such a relationship. When the partnership fails, you both fail. Your reputation stands or falls with that of your partner. Proverbs 22:1 says:

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

In a partnership you become identified with the reputation of your partner. You acquire their friends, but will also inherit their enemies. If a Christian forms a partnership with another Christian or with an unsaved man or woman, he or she puts themselves in the position of being dealt with by God for the other partners sin. Jehoshaphat learned that lesson the hard way.

One of the clearest examples of the devastation that can be caused by the setting up of dual authorities (partnerships) can be seen in the Bible issue. If there is one Bible (and there is!) Then we are in subjection to that one authority. If other versions (per-versions) set themselves up as equal authorities, then we are at liberty to pick and choose. Then we are the final authority! We become our own god!