Mitch, my question involves Jesus sending “us” or His disciples into the world, but we are also commanded to come out of her (Babylon) – so are we sent into the world but commanded to come out of Babylon…where is the line drawn?
I’ll be happy to answer your question.
We’ll start with 1 Cor 5.
(1Co 5:9 NKJV) I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.
(1Co 5:10 NKJV) Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
(1Co 5:11 NKJV) But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
This present physical world is filled with countless people that are sexually immoral, covetous, extortioners, and idolaters, both physically and spiritually speaking. Both Paul in 1 Cor and Jesus in John 17 are not saying that we need to be completely separated from others in the world that are yet in their sins.
Joh 17:15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Joh 17:18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
We must be sent into the world to save the world and be a light to the world.
(Mat 5:14 NKJV) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Joh_12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
1Co_1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1Ti_1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Christ ate with tax collectors and sinners, but Christ was not a sinner himself. He was the great physician seeking out those that were sick.
Mar 2:15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.
Mar 2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Christ is not OF this world, he is of his Father. This is what is in the world:
(1Jn 2:15 NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
(1Jn 2:16 NKJV) For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
(1Jn 2:17 NKJV) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Christ was given a full measure of the Spirit so he can do the will of God as opposed to loving the things of the world.
Christ’s prayer here is that his disciples remain in the present evil world, but be kept from the evil one and not be OF the world, but be OF the Father.
So what does it mean that we are supposed to “come out of her my people”.
(Rev 18:4 NKJV) And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
Two verses earlier we are told that Babylon is the dwelling place of demons, fowl spirits, and unclean and hated birds.
(Rev 18:2 NKJV) And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
The key is to understand that Babylon is first and foremost within all of us. This battle is raging inside of us, and explained in Eph 6.
(Eph 6:12 NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven are used interchangeably in the scriptures and both refer to where God dwells, which is within his people.
(Luk 17:20 NKJV) Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;
(Luk 17:21 NKJV) nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1Co 3:17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
This article explains more: Kingdom of Heaven and of God
We are all at first filled with all kinds of demons, fowl spirits and hateful birds. We defile the temple of God and will be destroyed for it, which is our old man and carnal mind being destroyed.
The first step to “coming out of her my people” is to see that nothing good dwells in us and that our good deeds are filthy rags.
Mat 7:5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells…
(Isa 64:6 NKJV) But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
When we are at the stage of being Babylon, the Great Whore, we are believing the doctrines that the churches of this world teach. Those evil spirits are doctrines like eternal torment, free will, and so on. As we start to see the truth, we are “coming out of her my people” spiritually speaking.
As we ourselves are drug away from these lies and false doctrines, we begin to see that those around us in the Churches of this world are yet under strong delusion just as we once were. We tell them this wonderful good new that we are learning, but they only turn to tear us to pieces. Very, very, very few are given eyes to see that they are full of demons and hateful birds.
We will be cast from their synagogues, both physically and spiritually. We can no longer keep company them, because now we can see that they are unbelievers, walking in darkness, and worshiping idols.
(2Co 6:14 NKJV) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
(2Co 6:15 NKJV) And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
So our spiritually coming out of Babylon and coming out of the world, is followed by physically leaving those that call themselves followers of Christ, but are fornicating spiritually with idols and another Jesus.
2Co 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
Christ spoke his harshest words to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes, because they did not know that they were sick and blind.
(Joh 9:39 NKJV) And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
(Joh 9:40 NKJV) Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
(Joh 9:41 NKJV) Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.
(Mar 2:17 NKJV) When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
They thought that they knew God and were keeping his commands, but they were actually full of dead men’s bones and uncleanness…just like Babylon the great whore.
(Mat 23:27 NKJV) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
(Mat 23:28 NKJV) Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
These self righteous and unteachable Pharisees are symbolic of us when we are following the doctrines of the churches of the world and think we have the truth, but are truly poor, wretched, miserable, blind, and naked.
Rev 3:17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
When we go into the world to share the truth and be a light, we are supposed to focus on those who are teachable and humble like little children. God is crushing them and opening their eyes to the truth.
(Mat 18:4 NKJV) Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Here is how Christ explains his mission.
(Mat 15:24 NKJV) But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
(Mat 15:25 NKJV) Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
(Mat 15:26 NKJV) But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
(Mat 15:27 NKJV) And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
(Mat 15:28 NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Christ saw faith and humility in this woman, which revealed that she truly was “a lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Self righteous people steeped in Babylonian doctrine don’t think they’re lost, because they are busy following another Jesus while under strong delusion.
So leave the false doctrines and lust of the world, buy the treasure in the field, and share it with those who know they are sick spiritually.
I hope this answers your question,