Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 7, 1885

“Come Out From Among Them, and Be Ye Separate”


July 27, 1885

This manuscript is drawn largely from Ms 4a, 1885.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness, and what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 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 by My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:14-18.] 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 1

Never was there a time in earth’s history when this warning was more appropriate than at the present time. Far too large a number of professed Christians are such only in name. They have no root in themselves. Their heart is filled with pride, impurity, unholy ambition, self-importance, and love of supremacy. These souls have an intelligent knowledge of the theory of the truth. They can prove their doctrines to be sound and scriptural, but they hold the truth in unrighteousness. By their course of action they deny the faith. Their hearts are not sanctified through the truth. They are unholy in heart and unchristlike in deportment. By word and action they testify that they do not possess the truth as it is in Jesus. Unless the Spirit and principles which characterize the life of Christ are planted in the heart, they cannot control the life. Unless the soul temple is cleansed from its defilement, unless there is purity of heart and earnest efforts made to meet the standard of God’s Word, these persons will never be purified, they will never be fitted to be the companions of the pure and the holy. They will never wear the white linen which is the righteousness of the saints. The law of God must be written in the heart. The truth of God must illuminate the soul. Holiness, mercy, truth, love must be brought into the life. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 2

There will always be in positions of trust men who have never overcome self. These Satan uses as decoys. They flatter the pleasure lover and court his approval by uniting with him. They determine not to obey the call, Come out, and be separate; and as a consequence, iniquity abounds. Anything is preferable in their sight to putting away the evil thing. They profess to believe the Word of God, but they do it not. With a knowledge of sacred truth before them, they cherish sin in their hearts. When the will of God is known and rejected, the heart becomes more hard, the conscience more unimpressionable, and ruin more sure, than if they had had no knowledge of the truth. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 3

These men are not moved by the messages of warning. The terrors of the Lord have no lasting effect upon their mind. The love of Jesus reflected from the cross of Calvary may be presented vividly before them—His pity, His compassion for fallen man, which led Him to leave the royal courts and lay aside His robes of honor, for our sakes to became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. His life of self-denial and self-sacrifice may be brought before them; His entreaties, His invitations, His richest promises may be repeated to them; but the selfish heart is proof against them all. They feel that God’s claims are arbitrary, and the truth finds no acceptance. Let there be more license, less constraint, pleads the carnal heart. The truth of the Bible has no power to cause these souls to turn from sin. The temple of the heart is used for idols. The indulgence of self, which keeps them in harmony with the world’s customs and practices, has a controlling power upon their lives. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 4

Over the lives of professed Christians, the power of God has but little control. Multitudes embrace the truth who have not its principles incorporated into their lives. Innumerable favors are bestowed upon them by the God of heaven without awakening in them one thought of gratitude in return. The love of Jesus is not a ruling principle in the soul and therefore cannot exercise a constraining power upon the life. These professors are all through our ranks and are connected with the institutions which God has established as instrumentalities through which His name shall be honored on the earth. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 5

A partial surrender to truth gives free access for Satan to work. The heart is the soul temple; and until this is fully on the Lord’s side, it is the stronghold of the enemy. His suggestions in the mind become mingled with the truth and are received as truth. This influence is leading souls away from the grand old waymarks into false paths. When the mind becomes thus confused, when right is considered unessential, and error is called truth, it is almost impossible to make these deceived souls see that it is the adversary that has confused their senses and polluted the soul temple. A tissue of lies is planted where truth and truth alone should be. The truth of God is a dead letter to them, and the Saviour’s love is unknown. There is no heavenly impulse in their soul. Religion is a dead form. God is not in their thoughts. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 6

“Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” [Verse 17.] Will we hear the voice of God and obey, or shall we make half-way work of the matter and try to serve God and mammon at the same time? Christ has placed before us the conditions of eternal life. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God,” He says, “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” “This do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:27, 28.] The servants who will hear from the lips of Christ, “Well done, good and faithful servants” [Matthew 25:23], will be heroic ministers of righteousness, though they may never preach a discourse from the pulpit. Loyal to a sense of God’s claims upon them, and jealous of the honor of their Captain, they will minister to the souls who are the purchase of His blood. They will see the necessity of carrying into their work a willing mind, an earnest spirit, and a hearty, unselfish zeal. They will not study how best they can preserve their own dignity, but by their care and thoughtfulness they win the hearts of those whom they serve. On every hand the agents of Satan will induce us to sin. But the soul who wills to love and fear God will be as firm as a rock to his heaven-inspired purpose. Like Daniel, he will refuse to be moved from his convictions of duty. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 7

The apostle Paul urges upon us the advantages thus placed within our reach. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,” he says, “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” [2 Corinthians 7:1.] This is the work before us. We are to separate from the world in spirit and practice if we would become sons and daughters of God. “I pray not,” Christ said, “that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.” [John 17:15-17.] 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 8

There is earnest work before each one of us. Right thoughts, pure and holy purposes will not come to us naturally. These we must strive for in our institutions, our publishing houses and colleges especially. Pure and holy principles should take root. If our institutions are what God designed they should be, they will not pattern after any other in the land. They will stand as peculiar, governed and controlled by the Bible standard. They will not come into harmony with the principles of the world in order to gain patronage. No motives will have sufficient force to move them from the straight line of duty. Those who are under the control of the Spirit of God will not seek their own pleasure or amusement. If Christ presides in the hearts of the members of His church, they will answer to the call, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] “Partake not of her sin.” [Revelation 18:4.] 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 9

God has a work for His faithful sentinels to do in standing in defense of the truth. They are to warn and entreat, showing their faith by their works. They are to stand as did Noah, in noble, whole-souled fidelity, their characters untarnished by the evil around them. They are to be saviours of men, as was their Master. The worker who thus stands true to his trust will be exposed to hatred and reproach. False accusations will be brought against him to drag him from his high position. But this soul has his foundation upon the Rock, and he remains unmoved, warning, entreating, rebuking sin and pleasure-loving by his own moral rectitude and circumspect life. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1885, par. 10