Open as PDF
God's Word On The Subject
Gen. 17:1: "The Lord appeared unto Abraham and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; WALK before Me, and be thou perfect."
Deut. 5:33: "Ye shall WALK in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you."
Deut. 13:4: "Ye shall WALK after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him and cleave unto Him."
Josh. 22:5: "Only take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of God commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to WALK in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him."
Isa. 2:5: "O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us WALK in the light of the Lord."
Isa. 30:21: "Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, WALK ye in it."
Jer. 6:16: "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and WALK therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls; but they said, We will not walk therein."
Jer. 7:23: "Hearken unto my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people, and WALK ye in all the ways that I command you, that it may be well with you."
Ezra 37:24: "They shall also WALK in my judgments, and observe my statutes and do them."
Micah 6:8: "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and love mercy, and to WALK humbly with thy God?"
Gal. 5:16: "WALK by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
Col. 2:6: "As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so WALK ye in Him, rooted and built up in him."
I John 2:6: "He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to WALK even as He walked." II. Warnings
Lev. 26:24: "If ... ye WALK contrary unto Me, then will I WALK contrary unto you."
Jude 15: "For in the last time there shall be mockers, WALKING after their ungodly lusts." III. Duty
Neh. 5:9: "Ought ye not to WALK in the fear of our God?"
Lev. 26:3-12: "If ye WALK in My statutes, and keep My commandments and do them, I will set My tabernacle among you: and My soul shall not abhor you; and I will WALK among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people." V. Conditions
Deut. 28:9: "The Lord shall establish thee for a holy people unto Himself, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God and WALK in His ways." -- Obedience
Rom. 8:14: "For as many as ARE LED by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." -- Spirit-led.
2 Cor. 5:7: "For we WALK by faith, not by sight." -- A life of faith
Amos 3:3: "Shall two WALK together except they be agreed?" -- Agreement with God
2 Cor. 6:14-18: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an infidel? and what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; even 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. Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no 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." -- Separation from the world. VI. Examples
Gen. 5:22-24: "And Enoch WALKED with God three hundred years; and he was not, for God took him."
Gen. 6:9: "Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generation: Noah WALKED with God."
Gen. 24:40: "And he [Abraham] said unto me, The Lord before whom I WALK, will send His angel with thee, and prosper thy way."
2 Kings 20:3: "Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have WALKED before Thee, in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight."
Luke 1:6: "And they were both righteous before God, WALKING in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."
How much is said in the blessed Book about the duty and the privilege of walking with God! These passages are so very remarkable and impressive, when grouped together in an orderly way, that they preach themselves; and it is a solemn sermon. One almost runs a risk, next to rashness, even to attempt to enlarge upon these Scriptures.
They manifestly teach us:
1. That God wants us to walk with Him. He has set His heart upon it. He doubtless made us for this purpose. He might have dwelt alone, as He inhabited eternity in the mysterious companionship of the Trinity, without a finite moral being to witness His glory: but he created such beings in His own image that he might enjoy them; and that they might find their delight in Him. This would reflect glory upon God, and bring bliss to us.
2. Manifestly, people can walk with God. Enoch did it three hundred years. Three hundred years is a long time -- longer than any of us can realize. It is  not yet three hundred years since the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth Rock; yet what mighty events have transpired, and what developments have intervened! And there were no Christian Churches then on every other city square, and no Bibles teeming from great publishing houses, and no religious papers, and no Sunday Schools! None of these modern helps to holiness were in existence; yet "Enoch walked with God three hundred years; and he was not, for God took him." Amidst all the abounding sin of that dark, ancient world, he walked so close to God that he walked right into heaven without passing through the gateway of death.
As some one has expressed it, one bright morning God and Enoch were taking their customary walk; they came to the door of God's house; He stepped across the threshold, and invited Enoch in; Enoch was too polite to refuse, and just went in to be forever with the Lord. Yet in the face of such a historic fact, people coddle themselves in their sins, and say, "One cannot live holy; one cannot walk with God."
Noah walked with God a long time, perhaps hundreds of years, when the world was getting so desperately and hopelessly wicked that God had resolved to destroy it.
Abraham heard God's call when he was living among his idolatrous fathers, and "by faith he went out, not knowing whither he went." He only knew that God was with him, and in his long journey he was walking with God.
Moses walked with God in such intimacy of communion that, somehow, the glory of the Lord shone out through his face till men could not look upon its dazzling radiance.
Elijah walked with God when the king and queen and courtiers, and the wealth and fashion, and priests and people, so far as he knew, were all against him. One day as he was walking with God, one of the heavenly chariots swung low enough to take him in; and, in the twinkling of an eye, he swept home to heaven.
None of these men had our opportunities, had our light, our helps, and our advantages. "Yet they had this witness borne to them, that they had been well-pleasing to God." O, how it shames our cheap modern piety, that talks about sin as an unavoidable necessity!
3. If people do walk with God, they must walk where God walks. "He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." This old path of righteousness is the very one that Abel walked in at the beginning of human history, when "he had witness borne to him that he was righteous." This is the only path in which God ever did or ever will walk. From eternity He has ever been the same holy Being. Man's fashions and customs change. He smiles on this today, and on that tomorrow; but God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Men run daft after everything new -- new theology, new criticism, new philosophies, new beliefs. It has become quite a fad to sneer at Puritanical morals and old-fashioned faiths. Even John Wesley's "Perfect Love" is relegated to the back shelf or the lumber-room. No religious notion over twenty years old is worthy of respect. But God looks down calmly upon all this fickle foolishness, and says, "Ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and WALK therein."
It requires no ordinary courage to do it in these days, when men bow, as willows in a gale, before any fashionable craze of unbelief; and backboneless preachers and people alike would rather be popular than be right with God. God's path is the path of holiness. "And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it, for HE SHALL BE WITH THEM." (Isa. 35:8. R. V., Marginal reading)
This is why God asks people to get their hearts cleansed. Without that cleansing, they never will peaceably walk His road. This way of holiness does not lead through saloons, or wine-suppers, or dancing-parties, or card-clubs, or theaters, or race-courses, or Sunday picnics and excursions, or any other worldly and unhallowed pleasures. The foul, and the vile, and the unclean, and the Godless shall not pass over it.
4. And they must be agreed. Who can delight in companionship when there is neither fellowship nor harmony? God pointedly asks, "Shall two walk together except they be agreed?" What two? Why, you and God. And in what is the agreement to consist? In moral character. Not in scope of intellect: not in largeness of vision; not in extent of power; but wholly in character. "Be ye holy, for I am holy." And just as God would not leave His path of holiness to walk with you in a path of sin, so He will not surrender his character to be in harmony with you. You, therefore, must choose His path and come into harmony with Him. "Like as He who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of living." Your disposition must be a harpstring in tune with the heart of God. Your purposes must all lie parallel to the great redemptive purpose of God, so that you will be lost in seeking his glory in the salvation of dying men. Your feelings and emotions must throb and thrill with ecstasies of heaven. Your loves and hates must be so swallowed up in God that you will love only what He loves, and hate only what He hates. As the light of the stars blends with the effulgence of the morning sun, and they are lost in his surpassing glory, so all the outgoings of your emotional nature should unite with and be lost in the infinite love of God.
5. To this end God requires separation; and He will surely get it if you become truly sanctified and holy; for you will suddenly find that you have lost your relish for all that is unlike Him. "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord." Evidently the holy God is condemning these unhallowed unions of every kind, which so blur the spiritual eyesight and deaden the moral instincts of His children that they can not sense any danger in popular evils, and thus become the easy victims of tempters and temptations.
God does not want His own blood-bought souls to be in too intimate social contact, and in the perpetual presence of attractive forms of sin. "Vice is a monster of such frightful mien That, to be hated, needs but to be seen; But seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace."
There is no safety for a Christian in intimate, voluntary association with it, save as one goes in the strength of God, like a missionary, to convert sinners; and then there should be no social, domestic, or business entanglements.
There was no safety for Samson in company with Delilah and the Philistine lords. There was no safety for Solomon with his godless wives. There was no safety for the children of Israel with the Canaanites dwelling in the land. "Be ye separate, saith the Lord." The Christian Church today has lost its testimony, and is comparatively powerless, because it is walking hand-in-glove with the world.
Moody says: "The minister wonders why God does not revive his work; he wonders why he is losing his hold upon the congregation; he wonders why people do not come crowding into the Church, and are running after the world. The trouble is that we have let down the standard; we have grieved the Spirit of God. One movement of God's power is worth more than all our artificial power, and what the Church of God wants today is to get down in the dust of humiliation and confession of sin, and go out and be separated from the world: and then see if we do not have power with God and with man."
1. I think this "separation" which God enjoins refers to business partnership. Many of God's children yoke themselves with unscrupulous business partners, and then they are a party to every unhallowed thing their partners do. If the unChristian partner does business on Sunday, or cheats or swindles, the Christian member of the firm must wink at the iniquity, share in the profits, and be a silent accomplice in the sin.
In 2 Chron. 18:1, we read: "Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab." God had enriched him, but he made a business alliance and a political alliance with this prince of sinners, and got into great trouble by it, nearly losing his life. Afterward Jehoshaphat got a warning from one of God's prophets: "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord. Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord." (19:2) Still he did not learn his lesson, and he made a partnership with Ahab's son, Ahaziah, "who did very wickedly." They made ships to go to Tarshish, and went into the ship-building and shipping business together. Again a prophet said to him: "Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works." An indignant God let loose a storm upon him, "and the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish." (2 Chron. 20:35-37) That is God's opinion of an unhallowed business partnership for one of his children. Undoubtedly He has caused many of them to fail because they thus bound themselves up with sinners in their eagerness for gain, to whom otherwise He would have given success.
2. This also forbids a Christian to marry an unbeliever: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." We may be married to whom we will "only in the Lord." (I Cor. 7:39) This unChristian marrying is one of the greatest of evils to the Church of Christ. God has given us a life-size picture of this form of sin.
Turn again to the story of Jehoshaphat. He had seven sons. He could not find a God-fearing girl in all Judah quite high enough socially for the Crown Prince Jehoram to marry. So he married him to Miss Ahab, the daughter of Jezebel, that monster of female wickedness. What was the result of this godless union? Read the awful story. "Jehoram wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord; for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife." (2 Chron. 21:4-6) Under her influence he slew his six brothers; and God smote him with an incurable disease till he died. Then his horrible wife, Athaliah, after her son's short reign of one year, stretched out her murderous hand and slew all her own grandchildren and children, save little Joash, in order that she herself might reign. (22:10) He afterward became king, and then later in life became himself a murderer. So it came about that all the descendants of Jehoshaphat for three generations, except one great-grandson, were murdered: all because he married his son to a wicked princess, Miss Ahab. Crime after crime and murder after murder were the fruit of an evil marriage.
Is anything like that going on now? Everywhere, and all the while. Parents will train a son for God until he gets to be of a marriageable age; then their love of money gets the better of them, and they forbid him to marry some poor but beautiful Christian girl, and pick out for him the Christless Athaliah of a rich Ahab. Christian parents will bring a little daughter to the altar, and give her to God in baptism. They train her to be pure as a snowflake, and then, when she is grown, they forbid her to love the worthy but poor young man who can offer a clean manhood, and a white soul, and deliberately hand her over in marriage to the lecherous arms of Mr. Beelzebub Moneybags, whose heart is as black as hell! I know no worship of the golden calf so basely mean as that!
A certain Christian young man of my acquaintance, superintendent of a Baptist Sabbath School, could not find among all the hundreds of thousands of Christian young women in his Church a fit helpmeet; so he married an unChristian worldling. When he knelt to set up the family altar and invoke the blessing of God on the new home, his young bride sat upright in her chair, and sneered at him and his religion and his Christ. What a spectacle for angels and God to look upon! It is just this kind of marriage that is sending myriads of families to hell. This, I believe, is the reason why many Christian wives can get no answers to their prayers in behalf of their unChristian husbands. They deliberately defied God's law in marriage: and God must be true to Himself; He will not annul His law to accommodate the disobedient. They made their bed against the protests of the Spirit, and now they must lie in it.
3. I believe this truth bears at least upon many of our secret societies. As a pastor for nearly a score of years, and an evangelist for six years, I have had some chance for observation, and I have never met the minister or layman who could maintain spiritual power and be an active member of some secret societies. To be a member of these lodges you must sanction all initiation performances, foolishness, feasts, costly regalia, and general worldliness. In some of them you have fellowship with gamblers, liars, blasphemers, and whoremongers; you call them brothers, and are bound by oath to help each other in right or wrong. How can a Christian countenance all this? "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things that are done of them in secret." (Eph. 5:11-14)
Moody says: "I do not see how any Christian, most of all a Christian minister, can go into these lodges with unbelievers. They say they can have more influence for good; but I say they can have more influence for good by staying out of them, and then reproving their evil deeds. Abraham had more influence for good in Sodom than Lot had. If twenty-five Christians go into a lodge with fifty who are not Christians, the fifty can vote anything they please, and the twenty-five will be partakers of their sins. They are unequally yoked together with unbelievers."
Daniel Webster said: "Secret societies are dangerous to the cause of civil liberty and good government."
John Quincy Adams, one of America's noblest Presidents, said: I am prepared to complete the demonstration before God and man that the Masonic oaths, obligations, and penalties cannot, by any possibility, be reconciled to the laws of morality, Christianity, or civil law. Secrets written in blood should be revealed. A tree that bears such fruit should be cut down. No butcher would mutilate the carcass of a bullock or swine as the Masonic candidate swears consent to the mutilation of his own body for the breach of an absurd and unreasonable secret. It is an oath of which a common cannibal would be ashamed."
When we had the last great railroad strike, led by Debbs, what horrible crimes and deeds were committed! What outlawry went on! One hundred millions' worth of property was lost and destroyed, and many, many lives. Murder was rampant. It made one's heart sick to see the multitudes of Christian men who were out on the strike, and defending this outlawry. God is not pleased with such things and calls loudly for separation.
4. I only mention that God calls us to separate ourselves from the wicked in our amusements and pleasures. Worldly people will never have a particle of respect for our religion until we do; neither can we walk with God in these unhallowed paths, for the Holy One is not there.
Dear reader, are you in the old paths of righteousness, where the saints have ever walked? Have you come out from among sinners, and left the devil's common, and are you walking with God's holy ones in company with the unseen Christ? When Moody first went to England he was introduced to a grand old Christian in Dublin, and he turned to the friend and asked: "Is this young man all O. O.? Moody asked him to explain. The old saint responded: "Are you all out-and-out for Christ?" Moody said: "I would rather have that title O. O. than D. D., LL. D." Dear reader, you would better be known in heaven as O. O., out-and-out for Christ, than wear any earthly crown.
But you will never be thus "out-and-out for Christ," and walk with him in holiness, until you pass through the Pentecostal chamber and loose your carnality. The carnal mind, "that is enmity against God and is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be," will never consent to your walking with your Lord. The "old man" does not delight in "the path of righteousness," and he will betray you, tempt you, cheat you out of it in some way. He will never rest until he induces you to tread the by-paths of sin. But the Omnipotent Spirit of God can slay this old man of indwelling sin, and cast him out, and set you free from his enticements; and then, coming in and taking possession of you Himself, He will so reveal the lovely Christ to you that you will be lost in the love of Him. You will delight in no other path but His. Your soul will be enraptured with His companionship, charmed with His character, and the Holy One of Nazareth will be all-in-all to your adoring heart. O, seek the Pentecostal chamber; for it will prove the gate to heavenly delights to your purified soul. You will walk upon Beulah Summits of blessing, and eat the Eshcol clusters and the honey of full salvation. The "promise of the Father" will be realized in your life, the enduement of power of the Most High. The Holy Spirit will abide in your heart, and give you "the fullness of the blessing" and "the life more abundant." "The sun shall be no more thy light by day: neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended."