And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
This scripture has long been one of interest to me, and has caused me to raise my eyebrow and wonder "what does this mean, Lord".
A lot of individuals have propounded that God is speaking to his followers here to come out of the organized church routine. That makes sense so perhaps the church and it's lies and self-agrandization is part of what we are to remove ourselves from, but in my view, it is deeper and harder than that. It's not too hard to remove ourselves from the church system.
Notice that the verse counsels against taking part in her "sins" and therefore receiving of her "plagues"?
As I read this verse, meditated on it and prayed over it, it came to me, and maybe this is simplistic to you and others with deep roots in Bible study and Christ-like living; but I believe we are to literally remove ourselves from the "World Systems". You know, kind of like, being in the world but not "of" the world.
According to the dictionary on line, the words world and worldly mean:
1. the earth or globe, considered as a planet.
2. (often initial capital letter ) a particular division of the earth: the Western world.
3. the earth or a part of it, with its inhabitants, affairs, etc., during a particular period: the ancient world.
4. humankind; the human race; humanity: The world must eliminate war and poverty.
5. the public generally: The whole world knows it.
6. the class of persons devoted to the affairs, interests, or pursuits of this life: The world worships success.
7. a particular class of people, with common interests, aims, etc.: the fashionable world.
8. any sphere, realm, or domain, with all pertaining to it: a child's world; the world of dreams; the insect world.
9. everything that exists; the universe; the macrocosm.
10. any complex whole conceived as resembling the universe: the world of the microcosm.
11. one of the three general groupings of physical nature: animal world; mineral world; vegetable world.
12. any period, state, or sphere of existence: this world; the world to come.
13. Often, worlds. a great deal: That vacation was worlds of fun.
14. any indefinitely great expanse.
15. any heavenly body: the starry worlds.
1. of or pertaining to this world as contrasted with heaven, spiritual life, etc.; earthly; mundane.
2. experienced; knowing; sophisticated: the benefits of his worldly wisdom.
3. devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs, interests, or pleasures of this world.
4. of or pertaining to the people or laity; secular; neither ecclesiastical nor religious.
5. Obsolete of, pertaining to, or existing on earth.
Now think about coming out of that system, the "worldly system" or the system of this world. That would include but not be limited to: the way money is handled (for example, being in debt, or paying with credit cards), the way food is handled (for example, eating out more than you eat in or buying processed, poison food), the way school is handled (by the government for its benefit instead of the benefit of the student which may cause us to send our children to christian schools or home school them), the way that work is handled (lying, cheating, working untold hours and not spending an appropriate amount of time with our spouses, children and other family members), the way church is handled (hey, it's all about you're okay, I'm okay, God loves us and wants us to have "stuff", "money" and "success"), the way marriage is handled (it's my way or the highway), the way children are disciplined (time out vs. a spanking, if you have questions about his, go to the Book of Proverbs, i.e. here, here, or here to see what God thinks about disciplining our children.
Last but not least, I would like to say that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Coming out of the world, at least from the perspective of what God is saying to me, personally, is to come out of: halloween, christmas, easter, harry potter movies, harry potter books, moonlight movies and the like, Tosh.0, the latest fashions, the best house in the best neighborhood, the biggest bank account, being "sexy" for everyone including your spouse.
One thing that God spoke to me about this weekend is coming out of things like being poked and prodded by the TSA which means, no flying for me because I am opposed to x-rays and radiation (yes, microwave ovens, too).
Sounds like not just a big job but a huge one, doesn't it? I am quite challenged to think it is even possible, but the Word tells us that with God ALL things are possible.
So, I believe that even if we are taking small steps to be obedient to God in these things, He will honor it and make it possible for us to be successful in coming out of more and more of the things that do not honor Him.
Christ said that he came to set us free. Think how freeing it would be to not have to comply with ALL the many systems, programs, rules and regulations that have been enacted for "our benefit"; think of all the money and time it takes to maintain and care for all the things this world says that we should have (including a house and car); think about the possibilities of home schooling your child and growing your own food.
Maybe I was just born in the wrong century, I don't know, but this world and its systems are holding less and less appeal to me daily. Won't you, like me, start taking baby steps to remove yourself with this world? What is one thing you will do this week to get started?