“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, who is on the LORD’S side? Let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.” (Exodus 32:26)
Prior to reading this article, please carefully read Exodus 31:18 through 32:35.
In Exodus 31:18 Moses is upon Mount Sinai and has just received two tables of testimony (the Ten Commandments), tables of stone, written with the finger of God. In chapter 32:1-6 while Moses was with God on the mount, the people persuaded his brother Aaron to make them a golden calf to worship.
God tells Moses in verses seven through nine of His condemnation of their sinful acts, and that he must go down from the mountain. God is ready to destroy them, but Moses intercedes in verses eleven through fourteen.
From verse fifteen through verse twenty-nine we are told of the judgment that befalls the children of Israel who instigated their sinful acts and did not repent.
Then from verses thirty through thirty-five Moses intercedes for them again and even offers to have his own name blotted out of the book if God would but forgive their sin. In verse thirty-three the Lord told Moses, “…Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book”.
I don’t know if this is a prophecy of the latter days that we are in, but it certainly has many parallels. I do believe that this occurrence with Israel in these passages are speaking to us today.
I believe God is very close to sending divine judgment upon this world during a time period we call the Tribulation.
Today, He is calling out from among them, those who will come to Him (John 3:16). Soon, He will call His own to come out from among them (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Church leaders (Aaron) are making golden calves for their people, and they are bowing before the false gods of today, just as the children of Israel bowed before the golden calf of their day.
As Moses led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt (the world), the Holy Spirit has led many from the taskmaster of Satan (sin).
Those who listened to Moses and “came out from among them” were saved. Those who did not were destroyed.
Years later Joshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) led the people of that day to the promised land (the future land of Israel and the earthly Jerusalem). Jesus may soon lead His own to the promised land (Heaven and the Heavenly Jerusalem).
The Holy Spirit is still calling people to come to Jesus Christ, but that call may soon be interrupted with the call of Jesus to His bride to come upward to meet Him in the air.
According to Exodus 32:6-7, the people worshiped the golden calf and then committed acts of total debauchery. “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:”.
Is it possible that this passage in Exodus, concerning the people of Israel and their rebellion toward God, is a warning to us to “come out from among them”? It most certainly is. The question to us is “who is on the LORD’S side?” Are we ready to throw down our idols and turn to God, or will we continue on our death march to Hell?
Paul warned Timothy,
“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. (such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:1-9, 12-13 NLT)
The warning that Paul gave Timothy about how people would be in the last days is eerie. You would think God gave him a glimpse of the 21st century. He may have. He assuredly told him all about us.
Comparing the incident of the golden calf and Paul’s revelation to Timothy, it is my opinion that we are by far more wretched than those who followed Moses out of Egypt and so angered God. I look at the punishment that befell the people of Moses’ day because of their sins and unbelief, and cringe at what must be awaiting those of us in these last days who do not have the protection of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The judgment that fell on the people of Noah’s day was severe, but just. The judgment that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah was severe, but just. Many think we, in the 21st century, are more civilized than any people before us. If that be the case, our judgment can be nothing but the most severe. Those of us with “half a brain” surely must know that we need to separate ourselves from the world’s atrocities. We must “come out from among them”.
Some people today call themselves “Christian”, but their actions live in the words from Paul to Timothy in the passage above. A Christian is not perfect in this life, and will fail often, but he/she cannot be a fixture in these words of warning to Timothy from Paul. If the words in this warning are a description of how we actually live day to day, we cannot be a child of God. Do not allow Satan to fool you into thinking you are a Christian. You are not … but you can be, if you come to Jesus for forgiveness. Ask Him to save you. Then follow Him, forsaking that which is contrary to Him.
Any true Christian who is in rebellion, as the prodigal son, needs to come back to the Father. Fellowship is much sweeter than discipline. Come out from among them. Jesus says through the Apostle Paul,
“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 6:17-18)
There is an old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. The children of Israel, when in Egypt, took upon themselves the customs of their neighbors, who later became their taskmasters. We today, are also taking on the customs of Satan’s world … yesterday our neighbors, today and tomorrow, our taskmasters. That’s right. Many today within the local churches are slaves to the things of Satan. The tare has been mixed with the wheat, and the time for gleaning is fast approaching. Is it any wonder that so many true followers of Christ cannot find a local church in which to worship? They have “come out from among them”, worshipping God instead in their homes, and there certainly is nothing wrong with that. I applaud them. Many are going back to worshipping in their homes as they did in the first century, not for the same reason necessarily, but still out of necessity.
The Lord said for us to “come out from among them”, be separate, and touch not that which is unclean. Don’t you think it is past time for those of us who love the Lord Jesus to follow Him away from these dens of iniquity? The Spirit of God is not in many local churches today, so why are we still hanging around? If (and I emphasize “if”) your local church has turned away from the Lord Jesus Christ, why are you still there? There is more wickedness in some local churches of today than there are in some local corner bars. I know that is a horrible thing to say, but we both know it to be true.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a local church that teaches the Word of God without prejudice, follows the Lord Jesus Christ, and searches for the will of God, you are blessed. I hear from good Christian people quite often who are so despondent because they cannot find this type of local church. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ who live in these areas. For those of you in these wastelands, remain faithful in worshipping in your homes, for the Lord says,
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).
Praise God that you have “come out from among them”.
Coming out from among them doesn’t apply to just the local church however. Have we come out from among them in the everyday lives we live? We need to keep this in mind in every facet of our lives. We are the Church.
Does this mean that we have nothing to do with those who do not follow Christ? Of course not. Jesus calls His Church to,
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy [Spirit]: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20)
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:14)
He also says,
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
We are not to love the DEEDS of the world, but we are to love the PEOPLE of the world, and provide to those who will listen, the Good News.
Why does Jesus tell us to “come out from among them”? Could He be mistaken? Shouldn’t we be among them, so we can shine the light of the Gospel? There are two reasons for Jesus saying, “come out from among them”.
1. If we “live” among them, we are identified (baptized) with their deeds. But we have been baptized (identified) with Christ! If we live among the Egyptians, other nations will see us as Egyptians.
2. Far too often, the good fruit is corrupted by the bad fruit. When the sons of Israel first came to live in Egypt, they were followers of God. When they left Egypt with Moses, they had the stain of Egyptian ways stamped on their hearts.
Have you been wrestling with this? Maybe it is time for you to, “Come out from among them”.