The Review and Herald

1657/1902

August 25, 1910

Separation From the World

EGW

Christ never leads his followers to take upon themselves vows that will unite them with those who have no connection with God, those who are not under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit. The only correct standard of character is the law of God; and it is impossible for those who make that law their rule of life, to unite in confidence and brotherhood with those who turn the truth of God into a lie, and regard divine authority as a thing of naught. RH August 25, 1910, par. 1

Between the worldly man and the one who is faithfully serving God, there is a great gulf fixed. Upon the most momentous subjects,—God and truth and eternity,—their thoughts and sympathies and feelings are not in harmony. One class is ripening as wheat for the garner of God, the other as tares for the fires of destruction. How can there be unity of purpose or action between them? “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” “No man can serve two masters.” RH August 25, 1910, par. 2

We are to beware of indulging a spirit of bigotry and intolerance. We are not to stand aside from others in a spirit that seems to say, “Come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.” We are not to shut ourselves away from our fellow human beings, but are to seek to impart to them the precious truth that has blessed our own hearts. We are to let it be seen that ours is the religion of love. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” RH August 25, 1910, par. 3

But if we are Christians, having the Spirit of him who died to save men from their sins, we shall love the souls of our fellow men too well to countenance their sinful pleasures by our presence and our influence. We can not sanction their course by assembling with them at their feasts and their councils, where God does not preside. Such a course, so far from benefiting them, would only cause them to doubt the reality of our religion. We should be false lights, by our course leading souls to ruin. RH August 25, 1910, par. 4

Christians who connect themselves with worldly associations are injuring themselves as well as misleading others. Those who fear God can not choose the ungodly for companions, and remain themselves unharmed. In worldly societies they are brought under the influence of worldly principles and customs, and through the power of association and habit the mind becomes more and more conformed to the worldling's standard. Their love for God grows cold, and they have no desire for communion with him. They become spiritually blind. They can see no particular difference between the transgressor of God's law and those who fear God and keep his commandments. They call evil good and good evil. The brightness of eternal realities fades away. The truth may be presented in ever so forcible a manner, but they do not hunger for the bread of life, nor thirst for the waters of salvation. They are drinking at broken cisterns, which can hold no water. O, it is an easy thing, by association with the world, to catch the spirit of the world, to be molded by a false view of things, so that the preciousness of Jesus and the truth is not discerned! And just to the degree that the spirit of the world dwells in the heart, to just that degree will it control the life. RH August 25, 1910, par. 5

When men are under the control of the world and not of the Spirit of God, they are captives of Satan, and we know not to what lengths he may lead them in sin. The patriarch Jacob, inspired by the Holy Spirit, beheld those who take pleasure in wickedness. He saw what would be the result of associating with them, and he exclaimed, “O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united.” He lifts up a danger-signal, to warn every soul against such associations. The apostle Paul echoes the warning: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” RH August 25, 1910, par. 6

We can not swerve from the truth, we can not depart from right principles, without forsaking him who is our strength, our righteousness, our sanctification. We should be firmly rooted in the conviction that whatever in any sense turns aside from truth and justice in our association and partnership with men, can not benefit us, and greatly dishonors God. RH August 25, 1910, par. 7

The work of God for the salvation of the human family is the one work of supreme importance to be carried forward in our world. When men are willing to count all things but loss that they may win Christ, their eyes will be open to see things as they really are. Then they will turn away from the earthly attractions to the heavenly. They will see the true nature of the worldly, selfish enjoyments that they now value so highly, and the things that they now hold so dear will be given up. RH August 25, 1910, par. 8

All heaven is looking upon those who profess to believe the most sacred truths ever committed to mortals. Angels are waiting, longing to co-operate with you in working for the salvation of souls. Will you refuse this heavenly alliance in order to obtain worldly advantage, withholding your means and your talent of influence from the service of God? RH August 25, 1910, par. 9

“They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts,” of the obedient, “in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” RH August 25, 1910, par. 10

While temporal honor and riches and power are the great objects of ambition with the men of this world, the Lord points out to us something more worthy of our highest aspirations. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” RH August 25, 1910, par. 11