This paper has been sitting unfinished on the shelf for several years.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Free from what? Free from spiritual slavery, free from being in a spiritual jail. The spiritual jail is a mind thing, mind control if you will. Spiritual mind control comes from being brainwashed, being deceived, and not understanding plain Bible principles. For the most part the Bible is very plain, very basic in its meaning. It doesn’t take the proverbial Philadelphia lawyer to figure it out. It says what it says. For instance look at 2 Tim 2:26.
2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
This verse casts light on my opening statement. Does this verse apply to you or are you the exception to the rule? Are you Satan-proof? Can you see him coming and out smart him every time?
What about Matthew 25:5 and 7?
Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Matthew 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Does this apply to you? If you think not, you need to take another look at these verses. ALL the “virgins” were asleep. They ALL were awakened. If that does not apply to you, then you aren’t a Christian here in the end time. You don’t have the Holy Spirit. There are NO EXCEPTIONS. ALL means every one. You can check that out in a lexicon. Christ didn’t leave any loopholes here.
Go back to my original statement, the truth shall set you free. It will liberate the mind, clear up the confusion about what the scriptures say. The fact is that the church is spiritually asleep and has to be spiritually awakened. Only the truth of God’s word can do this. Let’s take a closer look at some of these plain easy to understand verses.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Look at these verses closely. They are not suggestions. They are commands. How plain can it get? It doesn’t say be not unequally yoked except for this or that or some other circumstance. It says clearly not to be unequally yoked.
In verse 17 the instructions are clear about what to do if we find ourselves in an unequally yoked situation through time and chance, bad decisions on our part, or even something that someone else has forced on us. Come out and be separate. More on these verses as we go along in this paper.
Deut. 22:10 give us an excellent physical example of being unequally yoked.
Deuteronomy 22:10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.
An ox and a donkey do not have the same stride while walking. In this situation the donkey would probably do all the work. Two humans in unequally yoked situations aren’t on the same page, as we would say today.
These four verses in 1 Cor. 6 define a way of life, one with less stress, more peace and harmony, and above all a more productive life. It is very clear that the instructions are aimed at Christians, but these principles could be used in the business world with good results. For instance, what if you have a partnership where one is a liar and the other always speaks the truth? Or, what if one is totally honest and the other will steal from customers whenever he has the chance? Or, what if one is a sluggard and the other is a workaholic? It is obvious that there will be problems and the solution would be to dissolve the relationship.
As end-time Christians, we may find ourselves in similar situations. When I think about these principles, three examples of being unequally yoked in business come to mind. All three examples are of “church members” being robbed by other “church members” to the extent of thousands of dollars and even putting one of my friends out of business completely.
I’ll speak plainly about these so-called church members. They are weeds, tares, and good seed gone bad. No real Christian (brother of Christ) would steal from a fellow brother or sister of Christ or anyone else. This is the point of what I’m trying to get across in this paper. It is all about righteous and unrighteous relationships. Review 2 Cor 6:14-18. It is all about sin versus righteousness and what to do if you find yourself in an unequally yoked situation. The instruction is quite clear. If you find yourself in a situation that causes you to sin, GET OUT OF IT.
There will be many examples of this as the end-time virgins wake up from their spiritual sleep. There are NO exceptions to Mat. 25:5 as I mentioned earlier. If we are Christians, we have been and mostly still are spiritually asleep. Remember, it is the truth that sets us free. Let’s take an in-depth look at the church of God and what the Bible actually says about the numbers of REAL Christians in an average church of God congregation. This will cause us to apply the following verses, 2 Tim. 2:15, Isaiah 28:9-13, and 1 Cor. 10:11.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
I Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
“Examples” is Strong’s #5179: “a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler (“type“), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”
Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says: “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”
“Admonition” is Strong’s #3559: “calling attention to, i.e. (by impl.) mild rebuke or warning.”
“World” is Strong’s #165: “prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):—age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end).”
Notice in 1 Cor.10:11 that the Bible is written for those upon whom the end of the age (world) are come. Rightly dividing the word of truth would be letting God’s Word wash our minds clean from a lot of the false ideas that we have which have put us to sleep, which have come from false teaching as well as from a gross misunderstanding about Jesus Christ and the Father. Let me tell you they are LOVE, but be assured it is tough love.
Isaiah 29:9 applies to the sleeping virgins. We should have already been weaned from the milk of the word by the time we went to sleep. Let’s start rightly dividing the Word of Truth by going to Matthew 13:24-30.
Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Matthew 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
What we are going to study will affect you life greatly if you are a Christian in the end time, especially if you are looking for a mate, a business partner, or even just a fellowship group.
Christ explains this parable in verses 37-43.
Matthew 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
As you read this, it should leap out at you that this is talking about the church and it is full of weeds. Notice verses 24-25. The good seed or wheat is sown in the field. Verse 38 explains that the field is the world and the good seed are the children of the Kingdom who obtain eternal life. Verse 39 tells us that the enemy that sowed these tares or weeds is the devil. Let’s stop and analyze this. What have we got here? From Christ’s own mouth we have a worldwide church of potential good seed that Satan has infiltrated with weeds. Notice also in verse 25 that this happened while men slept. Has this got anything to do with Matthew 25:5? You bet it has!
Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Now, back to the point of this paper, be not unequally yoked. If we have a church of God filled with weeds, would it be wise to marry a tare, go into business with a tare, or even have a close fellowship relation with a tare?
Let me be blunt. A tare (weed) is someone Satan has called and placed among God’s people and they PLAY CHURCH. The sleeping virgins as they awaken will be able in hindsight to recognize tares that may have attended church for years. Recognizing a tare is of critical importance to our spiritual well being as we go about doing God’s end-time work. The only way to do that is to know and believe what God’s Word says. Then as we interact with others in our congregations, we can recognize them by their fruits. The insurance we need is to believe and obey God’s word.
Continuing our in depth look at verses 27-29 and 41, the angels asked Christ if they should go and yank the weeds out of the field, the church. In verse 30 Christ says no, let them stay in the church till the resurrection. Why let them stay in the church? Verse 29 makes it clear. In the process of pulling the weeds out, good seed would be pulled out also. Herein lies another problem. Many of the good seeds are already unequally yoked at this point. Their roots are so entwined with the weeds that to pull the weeds out would also pull the good seed out. I’ll elaborate on the parable of the sower later as we rightly divide the Word of Truth. Failing to believe God’s Word can lead to many future problems and possible be the cause for those good seed that eventually go bad.
Taking a closer look at the tare principle reveals some shocking truth about the human race in general. Go back to Matthew 13:25, 38-39. The enemy sowed or planted these weeds in the church. In verse 38 they are called the enemy’s children, then the enemy is identified as Satan in verse 39.
Satan has people or children that he totally dominated to the point that he puts them where he wants them and makes them believe what he wants them to believe. In this case they play Christian. This is really frightening as they sit in Sabbath assemblies week after week influencing the good seed. That is why three out of four of the good seed go bad. The weeds will be wielding great influence in many local churches and will gradually take them over, but that is another story.
This sitting in church in association with the good seed is the tares’ calling. You can excuse that statement away all you like, but God’s Word means what it says. Verse 30 says that the weeds are gathered first and confined and that their future is to be burned. Verses 40-42 clearly state that they are consumed in the fire. This is the end for these weeds. It has been said that fire is final. You can argue with Jesus Christ all you want. This association with the good seed is their calling. They failed and they are toast. It’s God’s prerogative as to how He exposes people to the truth to provide their calling. These tares will be exposed to many years of truth. I remember back in 1966 when I was called. The Bible simply started making sense to me, but I had a part to play also. I had to believe and do. Apparently this is where the tares fail, not believing and not doing.
What about the numbers of tares in the church? God gives us the clues in this parable, verses 28-29. Having grown up on a farm and having gardened quite a bit myself, I’ve pulled many weeds and grasses out of the rows by hand. It is hard to imagine the weed to good seed ratio at less than 60% tares. Let’s not pass over this lightly. Christ’s words have meaning. Whatever the percentage, it will be more tares than good seeds. Verse 29 implies that the root systems are completely entwined with the good seed. Many times in the garden I have extracted a weed close to a good plant only to have the good plant ripped out of the ground along with the weed because their roots are so entangled. That is the way it will be in God’s end time church. Many good seed will be unequally yoked with tares and good seed that are in the process of going bad that destroying the bad would destroy the good as well.
The best scenario is to avoid being unequally yoked, but many people will not be wise enough to do this. Some will already be in such situations when we wake from our spiritual sleep. The only sure way to be safe in this area is to have God pick your mate or business partner. When I was looking for a wife back in the mid-seventies, I actively prayed that God would hand pick her for me. He certainly did and we have been happily married for 28 years now. It takes patience, savvy, facing facts head on and not indulging in self-delusion. What you see on dates with a potential mate or in association with a potential business partner is not a true picture. You really never know a mate till you live with them or a business partner until you get into the basics of doing business with them. Many in the end time church of God will find themselves in this unequal situation and face the challenge of possibly loosing their eternal life. Reread 2 Cor. 6:14.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
The instructions are clear. If you find yourself in such a situation that causes you to sin or is pressuring you to sin, GET OUT. It does not say except for this or that. It plainly says not to be in a situation that would cause you to sin. Saving your eternity is better than trying to save a relationship and loosing your eternal life as a result.
Let’s look now at the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:3-9 and Christ’s explanation in verses 18-23. These parables can also be found in Mark and Luke.
Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
As we go through this, you will see that three out of four of the potential good seed go bad. This decreases the odds of finding a mate or business partner who is a true good seed to about one out of ten. Remember that the weeds outnumber the good seed also. Do these numbers frighten you? They should! God’s Word means what it says. It is imperative that God handpick your mate or business partner to insure a lasting relationship. Dealing with the potential good seed who go bad is far more scary than dealing with tares. If you are willing to believe God’s word, getting one of the FEW good seed is going to be a very long shot. It is like a game of chance in a huge casino with odds of less than one to ten.
Verse 23 makes it clear that this is speaking of God’s word and bearing fruit, which is the fruit of the spirit. It is also very clear that a good seed would not want to be yoked with any of these potential good seed that go bad eventually.
Let’s understand that all four of these categories of seed are actually the minds of humans that God plants with seeds of truth, of understanding, with an earnest of the spirit if you will in their minds. God gives these people spiritual understanding. He starts programming them toward eternal life and in the end only one out of the four makes it.
If God doesn’t hand pick our mate or business partner, it will be almost impossible for us as humans to pick the right person. Our chances are one in four, just among the potential good seed. This does not include the tares or weeds who are sitting in the congregation and are available to choose from. The process of going bad of the three seeds that do go bad will take time all three will appear to be converted. Notice that the second category endures for a while, verse 21. The third category becomes unfruitful, verse 22. To become unfruitful means that one has born fruit at some time. Even the first category, the seed by the wayside will appear converted at first. This will prove to be a treacherous situation for the good seed looking for a mate or business partner. This will be harder to recognize until it is too late. Some of these relationships may take years to deteriorate fully and as these good seed blow their chance at eternal life. Many relationships that started our equally yoked will deteriorate into an unequally yoked situation. The instruction in 2 Cor. 6:14 stays the same. Don’t be unequally yoked if it causes you to sin.
We need to clearly understand that just because some one attends church, keeps the Holy Days and appears to do what real Christians do, doesn’t automatically make them one of the “few” who actually cross the finish line into eternity. Again, I would stress that I can’t see the odds being better than one in ten of us selecting the right mate or business partner. If we do it on our own, it is absolutely imperative that God does the choosing for us for a lasting relationship.
Good basic honest character with a good work ethic is what we should be looking for with that in mind here’s another thought to keep in mind. Any given church congregation in its life span will see roughly a ninety- percent casualty rate. Here again the odds of finding that jewel of a mate or business partner is slim, very slim, unless God actually does it for you.
Know for sure also, that with Satan’s influence over this ninety percent, the casualty rate is going to make life tough on the other ten percent. Satan will keep pushing his tares and failing good seed to leadership positions. Some churches will possibly deteriorate to what you see in 3 John 1:9-10
3 John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
In mentioning odds and percentages, one thing I should mention here has a higher percentage rate. Today is March 3, 2001. I’ll make a statement here that you may think is radical or insane, but in hindsight you will see that it is true. There is no church ofGod today except the sleeping virgins of Mat. 25:5. It plainly says that ALL slept. You and I are not the exceptions. If we have the Holy Spirit we have been in some stage of spiritual sleep. We never have seen how the true church of God should and will operate. In hindsight you will see that what I’m saying is true.
Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
This sleeping church will consist of older members and the verses above make it plain that we would have a fifty percent chance of choosing the right mate or business partner out of this group. The odds would be one out of two.
Let’s look at another side of this. Satan is master of the tares he plants in the church. Satan is probably over ninety percent responsible for the good seed who go bad. What’s missing in this group of people? It is this basic deep-rooted character that God expects out of humans and that in so many cases is missing. We must develop some moral scruples, a sense of right and wrong, a conscience, a sense of some sort of Higher Power and authority, some sort of a sense of decency, not an “anything goes” attitude. All these character traits seem to be less and less prevalent in society as we get more and more urbanized and globalized, but these character traits are not extinct completely.
Let’s look at this from a different angle. If we are looking for a mate or business partner, the Ten Commandments are the gauge we have to measure with. The character traits mentioned above are examples of this. I want to use two examples of people outside of the so-called “church.
My parents are the first example. Dad was a farmer and my mom a housewife. Just in the last few weeks I started looking back and comparing them with the Ten Commandments as I studied this concept of not being unequally yoked. I was quite surprised by what I learned after thoroughly understanding that tares must make up at least sixty percent of the church and three out of four of the good seed go bad. It is obvious that a lasting relationship with anyone in either of those groups is very unlikely. By lasting, I mean, “until death do us part,” or until the business has accomplished its goals. I soon began to really grasp the concept that I had rather be in business or married to someone like my parents than to be yoked with a weed or a potential good seed who goes bad.
My dad and mom knew nothing of the Saturday Sabbath until I started observing it, yet they observed Sunday diligently. They knew there was a God and their life reflected it. I can’t ever remember my dad using the term “God.” He always said the ALMIGHTY. As far as I know, they were one hundred percent honest. When dad sold produce or grain, a bushel was rounded up, not leveled off at the top of the basket. He always gave more. I’ve heard it said around their house plenty of times, “Live and let live.” That is the standard my Dad used for life. If some of the neighbors needed help, my parents would help and vice versa. As far as I know, in their almost fifty years of marriage there was no infidelity. I can’t ever remember being lied to by my parents. I can’t ever remember hearing either one of them using God’s name in anger or frustration. I cannot remember either one of my parents showing any hypocrisy. They were the same every day, day in and day out. They were just plain and stable.
As I compared my parents to the Ten Commandments in hindsight, I was truly amazed as to how well they measured up as we’ve understood conversion in the past. I think the most important part of their character was the acknowledgment of there being a God, the Almighty, with this conviction that produced the character that I can now look back and appreciate.
Believe me, if I were looking for a mate and could not find one in what we call the church, I would look outside the church for that type of person. Is this shocking to you? Maybe so, but what’s the most important thing in a relationship? It is character above everything else. Just because a person associates with what we consider Christians, doesn’t make them a Christian. These values are not extinct. There are people out in what we call the world at large with better character than what can be found in about ninety percent of “church members” who are actually playing church. The values of many outside the church would be more pleasing to God than many inside the church when they are hypocrites and just playing church anyway. There is no question in my mind at all that my parents’ character would be far superior in God’s sight to many disgusting examples that I’ve seen and experienced in the “church” since I was baptized in 1967.
Considering a mate outside of what we call the church would raise may questions that would have to be considered, such as clean and unclean meats, one of the mates tithing practice, Sabbath and holy day observances, time for the Feast of Tabernacles, etc. These things are not to be taken lightly. They could destroy a relationship easily enough. Discussing these concepts would expose whether the other person had a tendency toward a controlling attitude. Being yoked to a controlling person is a recipe for disaster. In the worst case, this can even lead to murder. We all have heard of such examples. Yet, we also know of examples where one mate is called and the other is not, yet the relationship endured. Each human has to have his or her own “space” to operate in and live a happy life. If this space is taken away by a controlling mate, then much trouble can follow.
In any potential mate finding expedition, the searchers have to keep an open mind and be willing to face negative facts, as they become known. Don’t let emotions cause you to overlook glaring facts. One good gauge is that most kids will grow up to be similar to their parents.
Remember what you marry is what you get. What you see before marriage is almost certain to be the best there is in that person. It will get worse after marriage when all the little negative points will be magnified as you settle into every day life. The same would apply to a business partner.
1 Peter 3:1-2 is always a possibility, but don’t be so spiritually naive that you think that you can make it happen.
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
God the Father determines the calling. It might be that it is not in the scenario to call any particular person at any specific time. What I’m saying is, don’t enter a relationship with the idea that you will live such a perfect example that the mate will be called. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Some principles can apply to the things mentioned earlier about tithing, unclean meats, etc. God has to convert. All we can do is help sow seed.
I have mentioned business partnerships many times in this paper, so I would like to discuss that topic now. I have been in two business partnerships since being in God’s church. One was with a church member, the other with a man outside the “church.” The partnership with the church member lasted about two years and it was a case of totally being unequally yoked. This was back in the early ’70’s. He eventually quit attending church entirely, his wife also. It seems he had born fruit for a while, but just withered. Hopefully, some of these people have just gone into the spiritual sleep described in Matthew 25:5 and will wake up when they receive their “cry at midnight.”
The other partnership started in 1991 and has remained as strong as ever to this date. He is a real estate broker and I’m a general contractor building homes. This started with his being the listing agent for the sale of the new homes I was building and evolved into an equal partnership in some of the homes. Some I just build for him as subcontractor. If one of us is short on funds, like I have been recently, the other one takes up the slack. This man is honest, a real jewel. On three different occasions he has made mistakes in math to my negative and each time when he saw the mistake, he sat down and wrote me a check. The last time was for one thousand dollars.
Compare this to what happened to my former business partner and me 29 years ago. We worked for another church member who was a builder. The work we did for him was also on a new house and we have never been paid for that work to this day. This man went on to become a deacon and local elder in the Worldwide Church of God. That man was no more a Christian than I am an astronaut. He was definitely a tare stealing from a brother in Christ. Then Satan exalted him and God allowed it.
My question to you is this, which person would you want as a partner, a deacon or elder who steals, or a “worldly” person like my current partner who is honest and doesn’t play church at all? I have complete control over our building projects especially things that are important to God such as honesty, Holy Days and Sabbaths, and no lies about our projects. My partner would stretch the truth in some of our dealing if I would let him, but it never is an issue. If I recognize it, he backs off, and frankly, in recent years it never comes up anymore. He knows my reaction and is perfectly happy with it. He brags to other people how principled I am. If I say it, it will be done. He sees the Godly character in me and gravitates toward it. He won’t even consider someone else to build a house for him. He believes there is a God, but never goes to church except when his wife makes him, two times a year, Christmas Eve and Easter. He has a tough time believing there is a Satan that can actively interfere in his life. I’ve experienced numerous attacks from Satan in the last four years that has resulted in my wife and I losing thousands of dollars, and this has spilled over on him to the tune of about $20,000 on just one project.
My business relationship with this man is a very small percentage of his overall business. His office consists of nine people including himself. Frankly I would not trade this business relationship with what we would call a man of the world for a similar relationship with a Church of God member. I personally do not know a church member that I could trust as I do him. He non-hypocritical. He is the same every day. I can count on him just like the clock ticking. He shows a lot of the traits you would look for in a Christian but not often find. I have no doubt that God chose this partner for me. It is so easy to see in hindsight. The drive and initiative he has is sadly lacking in a lot of Christians. Those two character traits will be a major requirement in doing the end time work.
As we wake up from our sleep, Matthew 25:5, Satan is going to have less control over us and hopefully things will be different in the church. I tried a couple of other ventures with two other men outside the church and both were disasters. I lost about fifty thousand dollars with these two people.
The facts are that you can be equally yoked or unequally yoked whether dealing with people in or out of the church. The same goes for marriage. There are people inside God’s Church and there are people outside God’s Church that we could be equally yoked with. It can’t be said enough: God has to choose the mate or partner. His finger has to be on it or it will not work.
What makes a tare a tare, or why does a good seed go bad? It all comes down to choices and their consequences. Choices determine how our life flows. Good, bad, or in between, the consequences come from choices. There are two other factors for Christians. They are time and chance, plus what I call the Job Factor, which is when God turns us over to Satan for a period of time. Satan doesn’t have unlimited power over us. God sets boundaries, Job 1:12 and Job 2:6.
Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Job 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
During Job’s ordeal, he was confronted with choices, and he eventually made all the right ones and was released. What if Job had made the wrong choices in his hand-to-hand combat with Satan? Would he not have fallen into the category of a good seed that went bad? You bet he would. Don’t think for a moment that Job couldn’t have lost his salvation in this ordeal.
Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Satan can’t force us to choose a bad scenario. He can set up all the factors that make it look like the way to go and even pressure your thinking, but the ultimate decision to do good or evil is in our own power to make. Think about serial killers or habitual robbers, rapists, and adulterers. There was a point the lives of these people that they were not that. At some point they made a willful decision to cross the line of moral restraint. Satan didn’t force them to pull the trigger or finish taking their clothes off or to complete the robbery they had planned. In one sense, tares are self-made by their choices. Sitting among the good seed, hearing and seeing God’s truth in action gives them an opportunity to repent and do right. Judas had three and one half years to get it right and he failed. By their failure to make right choices, humans will lose their chance at obtaining eternal life. God leaves the choice up to the individual. The good seed that go bad do it by their own choices. A pathetic example unfolds in the Middle Eastdaily when children are being taught to be suicide bombers, being dressed in make believe bomb belts. These children are starting life a great disadvantage because of the sins of the fathers. This unfettered hatred for Jews will eventually put these people in the Lake of Fire. God won’t erase this hatred from their minds. When they die with it, they will be resurrected with it and they will have to put forth maximum effort to overcome it.
When we wake up and see the truth plainly, we will see that the current situations concerning Osama Bin Laden, Yassar Arafat and Saddam Hussein are just physical examples being played out for the Christians living in the early 2000s. These physical examples are just shadows of the spiritual fight that we have coming up. Satan can be blamed and will have to accept that blame for much of the actions of the good seed who go bad as well as the tares. Yet, each individual has to choose at some point to become unfruitful or to reject truth so as not to repent. Ultimately the decision to go into God’s Kingdom or the Lake of Fire is ours individually.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Character is something we all have, whether it is good or bad. Character determines the outcome of relationships. Good and bad character traits combined in a union is becoming “unequally yoked.” The good traits are what Christians need to look for in a mate or business partner. The works of the flesh are obvious.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness,revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
All humans, including Christians, will display some of these character traits in their lives, especially when compared to what God expects of us. When these traits in a human are on display for the world to see on a daily basis by their life style, we need to avoid being yoked with them in any way. The works of the Spirit are what we need to watch for in a potential mate or partner.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The person does not have to be what we call a church member to show some of these traits. Look at Matthew 8:8-10.
Matthew 8:8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
It is obvious that this man would not fall into the category of what we would consider a church member. Yet, what did Christ say of him? Read verse 10 again.
Looking back on my long-deceased parents, it is easy in hindsight to see that they demonstrated some of the works of the Spirit in their lives. Being a farm family, they were certainly longsuffering. Living at the mercy of the weather demands patience. Dad’s motto of live and let live certainly demonstrated love. They were a gentle couple I can never remember any show of violence. They just wanted to live in peace. There was never any indication in my presence that they thought there was no God. The fact that there WAS a God was to them as sure as the rising of the sun. It is just a part of some people’s character to show works of the Spirit.
If we were looking for a business partner or mate, we would do well to compare the person’s actions to the outline given us in Galatians. Granted, this would take some time, but this would be insignificant compare to the risk of a failing relationship later. God put the responsibility on our own shoulders to go one-on-one with Him.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
This verse is no mistake. It means what it says. God is more than willing to choose a mate or business partner for us, but we have to be willing to be patient.
Published March, 2003
© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA