Greetings MOL Family!
We are glad to have you join our class today; as we conclude Lesson 3 – to understand the purpose of journeying on God’s distinct and separate path (verses that which this world travels) … Oh, what a beautiful way!
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. – 2 Corinthians 6:14
Now this text applies definitely to marriage. In the Old Testament, God told His people, “Don’t give your daughters to the sons of the heathen and don’t let your sons marry these heathen girls, because they will turn away the hearts of your children from following Me.” And so, in marriage, we are to be what? Separate from the world. That is one of these steps that we’re taking of separation from the world.
I want to ask you something, friends: Who do people marry? Those they associate with. Precisely. So, if we are not going to marry the people of this world, we must not associate with them.
Somebody says, “How are we going to win souls?” My dear friends, did you ever hear of a fireman going into a burning building? What did he go in there for? To save somebody, and get them out as quick as possible, is that right? What would you think if you heard of a fireman going in there for a good time? “You know, I just enjoy this smoke so much. I get in here and have such a wonderful time.”
It makes a world of difference, my friends, whether we mingle with the world to save them or whether we mingle with the world to enjoy their fellowship, doesn’t it? And whenever we miss that distinction, we have missed the whole point.
This principle of not being yoked together with the world applies to other partnerships besides marriage. Volume 1 applies it to business partnerships. God’s people are not supposed to be in partnership with unbelievers. That is what it says:
Sabbathkeepers should not be in partnership with unbelievers. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pg. 200
But here I have an opportunity to go into partnership with a man. He is a skillful man, he has some capital, and he will take me in as a partner. What will I do? I am to be what? Separate. I am not to be in a what? In a yoke. What kind of a yoke will it be? Unequal yoke.
The Spirit of Prophecy applies this to labor unions. It applies it to secret societies. You will find a whole section in Book 2, of Selected Messages (starting on page 121), applying these principles to secret societies like the Masonic order and also to labor unions. What is wrong with those? The people of this world think they are all right. But the child of God is going in a different direction, and he is not to be yoked up with the world.
To Make A Difference
What about our diet? Anything different about our diet? I want you to see what God told His people way back then in Bible times. He gave them a program of diet. In Leviticus 11, the 45th verse, He told them that the Lord had brought them out of Egypt to be holy, and the 46th verse said He gave them this law of diet. The 47th verse:
To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten. – Leviticus 11:47
Somebody says, “There are some kinds that are all right to eat.” The Lord did give them permission to eat certain kinds. My point is this, He made a what? A difference. Now, He has made a difference today between what we are to eat and what we are not to eat, hasn’t He? And I propose to listen to the testimony of Jesus today, because He is leading us back step by step to His original plan – that we should not take the lives of animals in order to eat. Animals are becoming more diseased all the time, and we are to be getting nearer and nearer to Heaven. We will never catch a lamb or a chicken up there in order to have supper, will we? No. God has made a what for His people today? A difference in diet – many, many differences.
What about dress? Has He made any difference in dress? God gave His people a different dress back then. He wanted them to be distinguished from the world. And He has given His people a program of dress today that is different. The Bible tells us about it, 1 Timothy 2:9-10. But somebody says, “Well, I think the world has some things in dress that are all right.”
I want to show you when it is all right to dress like the world. There is a time when it is all right to dress like the world. There is a time when it is all right to eat like the world.
Christians should not take pains to make themselves gazing-stocks by dressing different from the world. – Messages to Young People, pg. 350
“Well,” you say, “I thought you were just reading and saying that we ought to be different from the world.” That’s right; we will have to be if we will follow God’s way. But this says we are not to take pains to make ourselves gazing-stocks by dressing differently. In other words, God has not made it necessary for us to say, “What is the world doing? Well, then I will do something else so I will be different.” I am going to read this the way it says it in Volume 1, page 458. It is almost the same, and you will have two references for it. It is a very important statement:
Christians should not take pains to make themselves a gazing-stock by dressing differently from the world. But if, when following out their convictions of duty in respect to dressing modestly and healthfully, they find themselves out of fashion, they should not change their dress in order to be like the world; but they should manifest a noble independence and moral courage to be right, if all the world differ from them. If the world introduce a modest, convenient, and healthful mode of dress, which is in accordance with the Bible, it will not change our relation to God or to the world to adopt such a style of dress. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, pg. 458
So, it’s all right to dress like the world if the world dresses modestly and conveniently and healthfully.
Christians should follow Christ and make their dress conform to God’s word. They should shun extremes. They should humbly pursue a straightforward course, irrespective of applause or of censure, and should cling to the right because of its own merits. – Ibid., pg. 459
I have read this at length, because it applies to all these other subjects besides dress. People say sometimes, “What is wrong with worldly education?” Nothing is wrong with it if it is in accordance with the Word of God. But I want to tell you something, friends, when we realize that satan invented fashions, and that he is the god of this world, and that he is controlling the people of this world, we must not expect in education, or in dress, in diet, or in religion, or anything else, that this world is going to march with us up the upward road as we advance step by step to Heaven.
That should make us very careful not to differ with the world unnecessarily. We are not to just lay awake nights and think up ways to be different from the world, just to be different. No, no. Poor souls, as we try to rescue them, let’s get as near to them as possible and still keep in the upward way with Jesus. What do you say, friends?
We are told that there is a constant danger for our people, and it is found here:
There is constant danger among our people that those who engage in labor in our schools and sanitariums will entertain the idea that they must get in line with the world, study the things which the world studies, and become familiar with the things that the world becomes familiar with. This is one of the greatest mistakes that could be made. – Fundamentals of Christian Education, pg. 534
What is one of the greatest mistakes we can make? To think that in our schools and sanitariums, we have got to line up with the world – find out what the world is doing and do that; find out what the world is studying and study that; find out the world’s methods and copy them. Oh, friends, all the while, every minute we are spending in that direction could be spent in finding out what Jesus says on these all-important subjects. Oh, I want to know what my Lord says. What do you say?
Come Out From Among Them
Now turn please to Ezekiel the 22nd chapter, and I want you to see what God is angry about. There is something that makes God angry. The 31st verse says He is pouring out His indignation upon the world, the religious world about us – Babylon, in other words. And why?
Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. – Ezekiel 22:26
The religious leaders of this world have mixed the whole thing up, my friends. In Sabbath-keeping, in diet, in dress, in education, in music, in reading, in child training, the people of this world have the whole thing mixed up, good and bad, right and wrong, holy and profane; and God is calling for a line of what? Distinction, separation.
What is the Loud Cry message in Revelation 18:1-4? What does God say to His people out here in Babylon?
Come out of her, my people. – Revelation 18:4
Tell me, how much of Babylon should we drag in with us when we come into the true church of Jesus Christ? We need to have done to us, my friends, what they used to do in the old medical missions in Chicago. They would take those poor bums off the street and give them some food and try to talk the message to them. But you know what they did, friends? The first thing when they got them in there? They would take them in and give them a bath from head to foot and then give them clean clothes.
What would think if they should say, “Oh, I can’t bear to part with those old lousy garments”? When we come into God’s church, let’s leave Babylon outside. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate,” says the Lord.
God is calling each of us to follow His beautiful way, and to leave the things of this world behind. Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
In our next lesson, we will look at the beauty of having unique and individual personalities and talents – all for God’s glory! Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.