Sunday, November 21, 2010

Come Out From Among Them

II Cor.6:14-18 -Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

II Cor7:1 - Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

These words have been manipulated to mean a variety of things, usually centering on marriage, business partnerships, and friendships. And those things do have much validity in obeying the spirit of these verses and Paul’s teaching concerning levels of relationships. Look at II Cor. 7:1 and notice that Paul refers to promises. This verse follows the verses I first posted, so what does Paul mean when he says “these promises”. It is obvious that the Spirit, through Paul, is referring to the promises that say, “I will receive you” and “And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters”.
Now we know that salvation is by faith alone, and that by faith we have been grafted into God’s family and been made sons and heirs. So what is the Spirit teaching here? Carefully review the overall context and you will find that verses 17 and 18 are dealing with the depth of relationship between believers and their Lord. Verse 14 is obviously speaking to a believer since an unbeliever cannot be unequally yoked with another unbeliever. But God is exhorting and commanding His children to come out from among the unbelievers.
And God promises to increase the Father - child relationship when we separate ourselves from those who do not know the Savior. The Father does not just receive us as His property or His servants, although we are surely that, but God says he will be a Father unto us when we draw closer to Him by putting distance between ourselves and those who do not know and serve the Risen Christ. And almost all believers would agree to the teaching of separation as it concerns marriage or friendship, but there are a number of areas that are in direct violation of that teaching that the church blindly embraces.
The two major areas are interrelated and somewhat symbiotic in practice. They are politics and nationalism. And the reason I seem to consistently deal with these two issues is because I believe they are major stumbling blocks to revival, they are overt idolatry within the church, and God’s people cannot deepen their spiritual walk with Jesus Christ while those things remain intact. And I continue to get correspondence from believers who have recently been enlightened and are taking steps into spiritual freedom from these things. And since I am a nobody and my site is miniscule in the scheme of things, I must draw the conclusion that God is doing a wonderful work of repentance among His people.
Are we interested in experiencing God Almighty as a Father and we His children? And are we seeking reverence, the fear of the Lord, as well as intimacy? If that is truly the case, then everything must be on the table. We must provide the Spirit with access to everything in our lives, including the traditions of men that have crept in unawares. We must dare to be transparent and dangerously consider the possibility that in the area of relationships, callings, and goals, our practice is disobedient.
The word “yoked” refers to the wooden tool that joined two oxen and helped them pull together toward the same goal and target. They labored together in the fields and that yoke helped them accomplish the same task. Now the farmer would never have an oxen and a horse yoked together since that would cause an unbalance in speed and strength and would ultimately be counter productive to the task at hand. I want to take the metaphor much farther than that. Would a farmer yoke together a live oxen and a dead one? How would that relationship work in plowing the field? Of course you can see the problem that would cause.
The same is true when believers become yoked with unbelievers in causes, political or otherwise, since you in fact are yoked with a dead person spiritually speaking. And because that dead person seems willing to yoke with you, then we can rightfully assume the field that he is willing to labor in does not belong to Christ since he does not know or serve Christ. That can mean only one thing: YOU are laboring in the wrong field. Paul is very clear about joining forces with the unbeliever in endeavors that are anything higher than the issues of everyday living. It is permissible to be a plumber and work with an unbelieving plumber, but it is against Scripture to join forces with that same unbelieving plumber in moral or spiritual causes. Another picture of the yoke metaphor is this: Would a farmer yoke one oxen that faced west and one oxen that faced east? And yet that is exactly what happens when believers join forces with unbelievers, they are, or should be, laboring in different directions.
And those “conservatives” that scream loudest about socialism and being dependent upon the government for the things of this life, are the same ones who loudly give thanks to that same government who supposedly gives them their freedom. Can you not see the contradiction in all of it? The same people who promote less government also give their allegiance to that government, and aggressively suggest that government should legislate morality along the lines in which they agree. And in that political melee, and openly for all to see, believers join hands with unbelievers to accomplish the political goals they deem “constitutional”. So many believers treat the constitution as nationalistic Scripture.
And here we are as the church that lives in the west. We worship democracy and call it a divine gift. We reconstruct the birth of this nation so that we can also claim a divine creation with continued divine approval. And it does not even matter when this nation murders millions of unborn babies, or promotes sexual perversion, or is permeated by hedonism, or even publicly treats all religions as paths to God. Those who claim to believe the Bible will still pledge allegiance to this nation and soothe their conscience by claiming they are attempting to “bring it back to God” when it never was walking with God at all. We call that deception.
But stop and listen to these words. A great and sophisticated deception is aimed at those of us who have removed ourselves from politics and nationalism. A cloud of self righteousness descends upon us, and we are deceived into believing that as a result of our “coming out” party we are closer to God. Oh no, friends, that is not true. In fact, there are unbelievers who do not participate in politics or give their allegiance to this nation. So just because God has led us out from bondage in these areas, we still must pursue Him and seek Him with all our hearts. And we must humbly remember it was the Spirit that helped us and not our great intellect.
And perhaps the most difficult, at least to me personally, we must ask God to give us love and patience for our brothers and sisters who remain entrenched in things that do not profit spiritually. Let us remember that we were once aggressive and caustic as it concerned politics and patriotism. We once proudly claimed to be “conservative” and loved the “founding fathers”. We were virulent in our defense of moral issues even when speaking to blind people. We were self righteous and that same self righteousness desires to have a stake in our new position. We must daily refuse to succumb to that fleshly attitude, and repent when we fall into it.
Let us encourage one another in these issues, and let us also encourage each other to remain demonstrably humble and gracious and loving to the brethren from which we came. Jesus the Christ deserves all the honor and praise, and we as His servant sons, are striving to reflect Him alone, and surely not even us as faithful. As the Master said, we are unprofitable servants of the Most High God. We have no other gods before us!! Halleluiah!!!!


Anonymous said...

"Let us encourage one another in these issues, and let us also encourage each other to remain demonstrably humble and gracious and loving to the brethren from which we came."

Your thoughts are right one, brother: and they are encouragement to me to keep ALWAYS my eyes on the Lord.

Blessings, In Jesus, Steve

Steve said...

"right on"

Anonymous said...

We cannot be angry with the blind for not being able to see. And we must remember that we were once blind, too, and only by the grace of God are our eyes opened.
Thank you so much for the reminder to not become self-righteous for our calling out. We were called out - you're right - not because we were so smart, but because of God's work in us. Others are being and will be called out, too, when they are ready.
Bless you, Lisa

Victoria said...

I need to repent of the self-righteous sin. I was just like them not long ago, right wing idealogue, and it is only grace and mercy that caused me to see differently, noy because of any virtue in me. I become cold and a little angry in my feelings toward those who are angry with me for not agreeing with them. Oh how we need the Holy Spirit to put on Christ!