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VINEYARD NEWS

GOD WITH US

Editorial- Koshy Zachariah
THE UNEQUAL YOKE


The caption of this editorial stems from one of the key passages in the word of God on the subject of separation recorded in 2Cor. 6:14-16. We read, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God” The New Testament dictum was in vogue in Old Testament times also .Under the Mosaic economy, we have the same moral principle. We read “You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as wool and linen mixed togethe “ Deut. 22:9-11.This was a reaffirmation of Lev19:19

There are four distinct phases in which “the unequal yoke” may be contemplated, viz., marriage yoke, the business yoke, the religious yoke and the philanthropic yoke. First, let us consider the marriage yoke. A Christian believer marrying an unbeliever is an act deplorable. The believer desires to serve Christ, breathes after the things of God, earnestly seeks to mortify the flesh with all its affections and desires; the unbeliever serves the devil, yearns for the things of the world, seeks to gratify the lusts of the flesh. What will be the state of affairs? Nothing in common. End result, mental anguish, moral misery, ruinous consequences of immeasurable proportions. The struggle will ultimately end in the upper hand of the unbeliever. CHM writes “ It will be found, almost without exception, that in cases of the unequal marriage yoke, the poor Christian is the sufferer, as is evidenced by the bitter fruits of a bad conscience, a depressed heart, a gloomy spirit and a desponding mind. “ Infatuation blinds the eye , not listening to the voice of the in-dwelling spirit. The Holy Spirit keeps on speaking to the believer that his body is the temple of God, that his salvation is the fruit of Christ’s agony and bloody sweat, His cross and passion, the unfathomable love by giving Himself to a wretched death on the cross. But the battle is a loosing one as the devil through the unbelieving partner prevails with enticing words like the serpent mesmerized Eve.

Now we shall consider the second point, the unequal yoke in business partnerships. Such partnership cannot work. There is only one way for the business to function. Be a silent partner getting whatever the unbeliever partner gives. The unbeliever wants to earn money by hook or crook in the long run, though initially he would have agreed on sound principles. It is common sense that he would make you to compromise. The acts of the firm become the believer’s acts. It is out of question to think of getting a worldly firm to act on heavenly principles. On the contrary, a believer carrying on a business of his own would be able to run it on heavenly principles though he would not amass wealth like an unbelieving business man.

The third point is the religious phase of the unequal yoke. In looking through Scripture, we find almost numberless passages setting forth, the intense spirit of separation which ought to characterize the people of God. God’s heavenly people, the Church, the body of Christ, is composed of all true believers. They are a separated people. Therefore the axiom before us is “Come out from among them and be separate “( 2Cor 6:17) . The simple reason is “be ye holy for I am holy “. There are many denominations among the Christians. Most of them are nominal Christians who do not know the Lord. The love of Christ is not in them. We should not align with them in the Lord’s ministry or gospel outreach. The fourth point is the philanthropic phase of the unequal yoke. Philanthropic acts such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing asylums for the blind and lunatic, hospitals etc., etc., and in short for the furtherance of everything that tends to promote the amelioration of our fellow creatures, physically, morally and intellectually , should come out profusely from separated Christian believers. “But we must remember that God’s philanthropy is connected with the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the channel through which God will bless - that the mighty lever by which He will elevate man, physically, morally and intellectually “ ( C H Mackintosh). We read in Titus 3:4-6” After that, the kindness and philanthropy of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost , which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour “ CHM writes “ This is God’s philanthropy; that is His mode of ameliorating man’s condition. With all who understand its worth, the Christian can readily yoke himself, but with none other “

May we be enabled to purge ourselves from every unclean association and every unhallowed influence, so that when Jesus returns, we may not be ashamed, but meet Him with a joyful heart and an approving conscience (CHM)

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