aymon de albatrus
“ You shall not let your cattle engender with a diverse kind: you shall not sow your field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come on you.” (Lev 19:19)
“You shall not sow your vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of your seed which you have sown, and the fruit of your vineyard, be defiled. You shall not plough with an ox and an ass together. You shall not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.” (Deu 22:9-11)
“Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel?” (2Co 6:14-15)
In the Bible there are things that must not be put together (Yoked) for that mixing can damage the other, or both. Many of these ordinances are for practical natural purposes intended for the well being of people and nations on this earth. We must not spiritualise everything.
You shall keep my statutes. Here God establishes Himself as the Supreme Sovereign King God and Absolute Lawgiver emitting His dictates without giving reason for them, but they must be obeyed absolutely.
You shall not let your cattle engender (procreate) with a diverse kind Animals will naturally gender only with their own kind as written in their genes, only when men force them to copulate with a different kind some do produce mixed offspring like the mule that is the hybrid offspring of a male donkey and a female horse; usually sterile, and the line stops there.
The act of causing to gender different species is forbidden: the design was to preserve the order of beings and the nature of creatures as they were at Creation (Gen 1:21) that there may be no change among them, or anything taken from or added to what God had made; nor to separate what God had joined, or join what God had separated, all according to His divine wisdom.
This principle can be applied also to mankind, for in humankind there are two “species” those that are His and saved and those who are not His and unsaved. Saved people are commanded to avoid having fellowship with the world and with the unsaved people of the world (1Jo 2:15 Jam 4:4). They are not to mix in close relationship with unsaved people lest they be corrupted by their evil conversation, despicable behaviour or even superstitious worship. There must be a clear distinction between the two kinds lest there be an abomination before God.
you shall not sow your field with mingled seed Those who have studied the diseases of land and vegetables tell us that the practice of mingling seeds is injurious both to flowers and to grains. The pollen of the diverse seeds can mingle together and produce a spurious seed a nuisance weed called ‘chess’ that is much inferior to the two grains that produced it, in size, flavour, and nutritious principles even contributing to disease the soil. So we see that this prohibition is of practical and natural use.
But indirectly this prohibition is directed against an idolatrous practice, namely, that of the ancient Zabians, or fire-worshippers, who sowed different seeds, accompanying the act with magical rites and invocations. Commentators have generally thought the design of this and the preceding law was to put an end to the unnatural lusts and foolish superstitions which were prevalent among the heathen, corrupting even the Jews.
In the New Testament we can see the "field" representing the church of God, which is not an open but an enclosed field, enclosed by the grace of God and separated from the world, well fertilized and cultivated by the Spirit of God. The seed signifies the Word or Doctrine of the Gospel, sown by its ministers, skilfully and plentifully, which should be pure and unmixed by worldly beliefs, not contradictory, nor inconsistent, but all of one piece covering the full pure Gospel and only that.
neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come on you. The law did not prohibit the Israelites wearing many different kinds of cloths together, but only the two specified; and the observations and researches of modern science have proved that wool, when combined with linen, increases its power of passing off the electricity from the body. In hot climates, it brings on malignant fevers and exhausts the strength; and when passing off from the body, it meets with the heated air, inflames and excoriates like a blister. Again this prohibition was for practical purpose to live a healthy life.
If we want to see a practical application in the NT the design of this, in general, we note caution against unnatural desires and impure mixtures such communion of good and bad men and particularly against joining the righteousness of Christ with the works of men. In justification Christ’s righteousness and of the saints is often compared to a garment and sometimes to linen, clean and white and men’s righteousness to filthy rags (Rev 19:8 Isa 64:6). These are by no means to be put together.
You shall not plough with an ox and an ass together. This prohibition prevents a great inhumanity still occasionally practised by the poorer sort in Oriental countries. An ox and ass, being of different species and of very different characters, cannot associate comfortably, nor unite cheerfully in drawing a plough or a wagon. The ass being much smaller and his step shorter, there would be an unequal and irregular draft. Besides, the ass, from feeding on coarse and poisonous weeds, has a fetid breath, which its yoke fellow seeks to avoid, not only as poisonous and offensive, but producing leanness, or, if long continued, death; and hence, it has been observed the ox always to hold away its head from the ass and to pull only with one shoulder.
Of course it must be noted that one was a clean creature and the other an unclean. It is a clear Biblical principle not to mix opposite kinds, such as believer and unbelievers for the two cannot walk together (Amo 3:3).
Reference by many people with Tattoos to these prohibitions is made in order to justify their pierced skin. They say it is of no consequence these modern days, like the above prohibitions. But the two are not the same thing, the former prohibitions are practical for the sake of physical well being, whilst tattooing is also a spiritual and pagan activity.
Imprinting figures of flowers, leaves, stars, and other fanciful drawings on various parts of their person are damaging the physical body that is the dwelling temple of the Holy Spirit in believers (1Co 6:19-20) and thus must not be marred in any way. The impressions made sometimes by means of a hot iron, sometimes by ink or paint and needles, are a normal practice in Pagan culture with a strong propensity to adopt such marks in honour of some idol. They are wisely forbidden by Scripture, for they are signs of apostasy, moreover once made, they are a insuperable obstacles to a return to clear skin. Interesting, the Red Cross will not accept blood from tattooed people for a long time.
The Biblical principle to avoid yoking together unequal things in relationship is also clearly commanded regarding believers and unbelievers:
Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: Yoked with a person alien in spirit is to be avoided. The image is from the symbolical precept of the law (Lev 19:19, Deu 22:10), and more specifically with Deu 7:3, forbidding marriages with the heathens. The believer and unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous and for believers marriage should be “only in the Lord” 1Co 7:39. Very close intercourse with unbelievers in other relations is also to be avoided (2Co 6:16 1Co 8:10 10:14).
“Unequally Yoked together” is a general precept, prohibitive of all unnecessary intimate communion and intimate fellowship with unbelievers, as either in matters of faith or worship, or in their personal lives and conversations with those who declare themselves to be unbelievers. So this precept may reasonably be interpreted that the marrying with such, eating with them at idol feasts, maintaining intimate communion with them should be wisely avoided. We are to be friendly with unbelievers for the purpose of witnessing Christ, but we should not have fellowship with them.
Of course this prohibition is to be understood not as forbidding civil society and converse with unbelievers, for this is impracticable, then must believers needs go out of the world. To perform the many natural and civil relations subsisting among men make absolutely necessary. In many cases it is both lawful and laudable, especially when there is any opportunity or likelihood of doing them any service in a spiritual way, otherwise how can we possible witness Christ to them? (1Co 5:9-10)
for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? The reason given is that there could not be any comfortable communion with the two, for these are righteousness whilst those persons are unrighteousness; the former are light, whilst the others are darkness full of the darkness of sin and ignorance. However this precept ought not to be extended to a total avoidance of commerce with, or being in the company of, either heathens, or scandalous persons; for as to that, the same apostle had before determined it lawful, as stated above. So we believers can have dealings with unbelievers, but not close fellowship. Jesus Himself mixed with unbelievers to witness to them and for that He was branded as a drunkard: “The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and you say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners!” (Luk 7:34)
By "righteousness" it is meant righteous persons, who have received the righteousness of God in Christ to whom the righteousness of Christ is imputed for justification These also have received the principles of grace and holiness in their hearts, have the Kingdom of God in them which consists of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost and who being made free from the dominion of sin, are become servants of righteousness. By unrighteousness it is meant unrighteous persons, who are destitute of a justifying righteousness, are filled with all unrighteousness and are, as it were, a mass and lump of iniquity. Therefore what fellowship can possibly there be between persons of such opposite characters?
and what communion has light with darkness? Regenerate men are made light in the Lord; they are enlightened into their state and condition by their new nature, to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, to behold the glory, beauty, fullness, and suitableness of Christ, so as to be sensible of their need of Him, and to be able to look unto Him for life and salvation. They are enlightened more or less into the doctrines of the Gospel and the duties of religion and their path is a shining light, shining more and more unto that perfect day, AMEN.
Unregenerate persons are "darkness" itself; they are dark and ignorant of God in Christ, of the way of salvation by Christ, of the work of the Spirit of God upon the heart and of the mysteries of grace; they know not themselves, nor the sad estate they are in; they are born and brought up in darkness worse than Egyptian darkness; they go on in it, and if grace prevent not, will be cast into utter and eternal darkness. Now, what "communion" can there be between persons so different one from another? For what is more so than light and darkness? These two the God of nature has divided from each other; and they are in nature irreconcilable to one another, the one are in grace whilst the other in full darkness.
And what concord has Christ with Belial? The word "Belial" is a Hebrew word only used here in the New Testament, but often in the Old. By Belial is understood the devil, who has cast off the yoke of obedience to God, and is unprofitable, noxious and hurtful to men. Between him and Christ there is no concord, but a perpetual enmity. As there is no concord between Christ the beloved of God and Belial the devil, so what commonality can there be between the mystical church of Christ, which goes by the name of Christ (1Co 12:12) and wicked men, the sons of Belial who have cast away the law of the Lord, are not subject to the law of God, nor can they be, and are become unprofitable to themselves, and others? NONE
Unbelievers are lawless persons who are under no subjection to God or even man, and do no good for whatever they do, they do it for themselves and not for God. Nothing can be more contrary to Christ than the behaviour of an unbeliever and Scripture says apropos: “Do not be led astray; bad companionships ruin good habits.” (1Co 15:33)
or what part has he that believes with an infidel?” These two opposite people have a totally different eternal destination: the believers to Heaven and the unbelievers to Hell and between the two places there will be un unsurpassable gulf: “And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there.” (Luk 16:26)
The part of the believers will be God and His bliss, whilst the part of the unbelievers will be in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone where there will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth. (Mat 13:42)
Therefore what part, society or communion can they have with one another given that their eternal destinies are totally different? NONE
Yoking unequal things together can be likened to Christians that are spiritually Christian "inside" whereas in the physical body still enjoy the wild pagan lifestyle. It cannot be for such practice will lead to practical disaster.
Things unequal cannot be mixed, God's people must be marked by a different kind of lifestyle than others, and that lifestyle cannot be mixed with a pagan lifestyle. Using the OT principle of preserving boundaries between things that should not be mixed, Scripture simply says that being Christians means that the believers can no longer practice the activities of pagan worship or pagan ethics, since those are things that should not be mixed with the worship of God. In other words, what we do matters a great deal if we are claiming to be Christians.
Practically, this concept is applicable to a lot of areas of life, not as a rigid law, but a matter of godly ethics that must come from the freedom in Christ. It is a matter of recognising God as GOD, and recognizing that when we are his people, (2Co 6:18) we are in a relationship of love with Him and we demonstrate that love by obeying His commands and statutes (Joh 15:14).
We believers should have a lifestyle that is "cleansed" from such contamination by not living like pagans practically, because someone who truly loves God as His child would not contaminate himself with such practices. In others words it does, indeed, make a difference what the body does since that cannot be separated from who we are as children of God.
This principle is valid also for today and we should not think that really there are no rules in our post-modern relativism. The rules are there. We should do all we can to avoid yoking together unequal things, be it material things or relations of marriage or other human associations as Scripture commands, that is to separate ourselves from the "unclean" things of the world around us (2Co 6:17). Indeed let us prove continually whether we are truly in the faith by checking the way we live: “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?” (2Co 13:5).
If we readily mix in our lives unequal things or we tattooing willy-nilly our bodies, the chance are that our faith is faulty.