We are so familiar with the phrase, “Come out from among them” as being a significant part of the “Three Angel’s Message” and yet we step all over this phrase in our daily lives. We hear of this, first, when God was speaking with the Israelites to keep themselves from the people of the lands in which they would live. Not to be in close proximity with them. Not to form alliances, marriages or to be involved in their worship. This counsel was echoed, by Jesus, when He made it clear what union could possibly exist between those who were not of the same in beliefs, when it came to worship. The familiar phrase, “Do not be unequally yoked” does not merely refer to marriage but in all relationships where there is an expectation of sharing, caring and involvement. Yet, by abrogating this good counsel we bring upon ourselves pain and discomfort because of the attachments we were warned against forming.
We are aware the fourth angel’s message, to us, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev 18:4 (KJV) is speaking regarding a “specific” time but if it is not begun now, as it seems to be given in the prior angel’s messages, many of us will find ourselves doomed because we were not able to separate ourselves from those we may truly love, or shall it be better stated, those we’ve “come” to love as best we can.
We recognize the Bible is our example. Those stories we read regarding the Israelites is tantamount to our own lives. We also are made aware Israel did form alliances, marriages, working relationships as well as adjoined with those outside Israel in their methods of worship. We are also aware it was this which brought upon them many pains and sorrows. Can we not expect the same? Some of us have formed “un”holy alliances in our workplace, in our social lives, even in our family lives. I’m becoming to learn, another tactic of the enemy is for us to become too close even in the area of “witnessing” to the point we’re letting down some of the standards, compromising what we know in hope of winning someone to our side of understanding and belief. This can never be correct! When Jesus was here, surely He mingled with them but He never became them. It was for the purpose of drawing them to Him, but we’re often drawn to them, because of them!
I see so many post asking, “Is it good to have a relationship with someone who’s not Adventist.” The answer comes easy when you read the Word. Having a relationship is difficult enough without encumbering it with someone who does not believe as you do, know what you know, have an expectation as you do of things only Adventist know and do. To say, “Well, they’re believers, too” doesn’t make them a “true” believer, does it? Our justification for what we want will set us up in receiving what we really don’t want, and not only will there be tears later, but a fearful judgment as well.
As an administrator of several groups I have to make the difficult decision when I see those, I believe, which may be harmful for the members of the group. Of course, there will be some who say, “Oh, that’s judging”, or “you have to witness to everyone”, or “you may be depriving that person of salvation”. No, it’s not any of those reasons, but it is coming to an understanding, NOW, there is a need for separation, to “come out” from those who seek to do us harm, to learn how to separate those with good intentions from those who only wish to challenge your thoughts and beliefs because they themselves are challenged and caught in the deception. It is a fact: one cannot be deceived when all deception is removed. The contrary is true, too: one can be deceived when deception is placed nearby. Why take that chance? I’m certainly not willing to listen to what I know is “not” truth for the purposes of gaining anyone.
There is never a reason for debate. You share what you have to share and you leave the subject alone. Many ask me, “How do I answer a person when they say this” or “what text can you give me to prove this”? My answer is usually this, “why are you trying to prove anything to anyone?” This is not our duty. If you are not familiar with the Bible, as you could have been, had you read it, then you’re not prepared to go off to witnessing when it comes to doctrinal matters; however, you can witness that which you know. This is why many are given a testimony. Our testimony is a useful tool, in fact, the Bible states there is much to overcome as a regard of our testimony. Secondly, we share. WE SHARE and we leave the converting with the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned a long time ago, my spiritual beliefs are not up for negotiation. I will not compromise what I know is true, not for anyone.
So, not only do we “come out from among them” but the fact you hold true, you will also see them, “coming out from among us”.
It works both ways!
November 18, 2014