Watchman Nee’s “SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD”

….The Result of Redemption Being to Go Out:

God saved the Israelites through the Passover lamb. When the messenger of God went forth to kill the firstborn in the land of Egypt, the angel of death passed over the doors which had the blood upon them. If there was no blood on the door, the firstborn of that house was killed. It had nothing to do with whether the door was good or bad, whether there was anything special about the lintel or the side posts, whether there was anything good about that family, or whether the firstborn child honored his parents. The issue was whether there was any blood. Whether or not you will perish does not depend on your family’s status or your behavior; it depends on whether you have the blood. The basic factor for salvation is the blood; this has nothing to do with us.

We who are saved by grace are redeemed by the blood. But please remember that immediately after being redeemed by the blood, we must move and go out. Do not think that we can buy a house and dwell in Egypt after we are redeemed by the blood. Those who are redeemed by the blood must set out that very night. The lamb was slaughtered before midnight, and the blood was sprinkled with hyssop. They ate their meal quickly, with their loins girded and their staff in their hands, because they had to leave immediately.

The first result of redemption is separation, that is, departure, a going out. God never redeems a person and leaves him in the old position to continue living in the world. There is absolutely no such thing. Once a person is born again, saved, he must take up his staff and set out. Once the angel of destruction has done his work of separating the saved from the perishing, the saved ones must leave. Once you have been separated by the smiting angel, you have to pack up and move out of Egypt.

A staff is for walking. No one holds a staff to lie down in bed. The staff is not a pillow; it is for walking. All those who are redeemed, old or young, must take their staff and leave the same night. As soon as you are redeemed by the blood, you become a sojourner and a pilgrim on the earth; you have to go out of Egypt and be separated from the world immediately. You must not continue to live there.

There was a sister who taught a class in a children’s meeting. Once she was telling the story of Lazarus and the rich man. She asked the children, “Do you want to be Lazarus or the rich man? The rich man enjoys himself in this age and suffers in the next. Lazarus suffers today and enjoys himself later. Which would you choose to be?” An eight-year-old girl stood up and said, “While I am alive, I want to be the rich man, but when I die, I want to be Lazarus.” Many people are like this. When they need salvation, they trust in the blood of the Lamb; but after they are saved by the blood, they settle down firmly in Egypt. They think that they can have the best of both sides….

By Watchman Nee – If You Could Know –

Five Bible Verses ‘Constantly Used Out of Context’?

It’s been claimed that many Christians regularly misuse the wildly popular Bible verse Philippians 4:13, but are there other tidbits of scripture that are similarly being touted in an improper context?

Thomas Turner, an author and program manager at the International Justice Mission, penned a recent blog post for Relevant Magazine in which he highlighted Philippians 4:13 along with four other verses that he said are “constantly used out of context.”

“When we open our Bibles, we read words that are thousands of years old with twenty-first century eyes. We read words literally written in stone tablets on tablets made of plastic and metal,” Turner wrote. “With such a gap in time comes a context problem. Basically, when we open our Bibles, we are faced with a problem: We don’t know what that culture and time in history was like, so we often take things the wrong way.”

He noted that this is a problem for popular uses of Jeremiah 29:11, Luke 4:18-19, Matthew 5:18, Luke 6:20 and Philippians 4:13.

Turner argued that many people miss the communal aspect inherent in Jeremiah 29:11, which reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Rather than recognizing that this verse is about God speaking to the “whole people of God, Israel and the church,” Turner said that some Christians internalize it and assume that it’s God’s personal address to each and every individual.

“The context does not negate that fact that God wants us to put on the armor of God by living virtuous lives of spiritual discipline or that the God who made us has a plan for us,” he wrote. “What the context of passages like Jeremiah 29 or Ephesians 6 implore us to do, as the people of God, is to be in this together. For God works in this world primarily through the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ.”

And then there’s Luke 4:18-19, which reads, “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Turner said that Christians tend to spiritualize captivity, taking for granted the fact that physical freedom doesn’t exist for all.

Jesus, he said, was speaking about both material and spiritual healing.

“These people lived in a country where the provincial ruler could order every baby boy under two years of age slaughtered and no one stopped it,” he explained of those living under Roman rule to whom Jesus was talking. “This is often missed on us who take for granted physical freedom.”

Turner continued, “[Jesus] saves us body and soul, not one or the other. He wants to save us from our physical captivity and our spiritual captivity. That’s why he healed people and he forgave their sins.”

….it is essential to look at the verse in context….

By Billy Hallowell – The Blaze –