Home > Fundamentalism > Whatever happened to Biblical separation?

Whatever happened to Biblical separation?

From the PMI collateral reading entitled “Biblical Separation in the Last Days”

Dr. Mike Johnston

                Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).  The Book of Jude warns of an influx of end times apostates and provides a mandate for dealing with them. As we survey the church scene today, these false teachers cause some of us great consternation. The fact is, I discovered some time ago when all of the Scriptures dealing with apostasy are assembled for study, a sinister agenda unfolds leading the world to the Antichrist and universal Satan worship (Rev. 12-13). Satan the master deceiver (Rev. 20:10) quietly began to initiate this by waging war against Christians on two basic battle fronts: First was the formidable Scriptural front where he continues to coyly confuse people about which Bible is really the trusted Word of God. Since most Christians believe what others tell them, they’ve never studied this issue themselves. Such was the case in my life. This willing ignorance has become a marvelous breeding ground for hundreds of corrupt Bible versions based on the heretical Alexandrian texts with evil Romanist influences. [1] While thousands of words were removed from the original manuscripts by the heretic Origen- and changes in translated words never intended by the Holy Spirit- including replacing the word Lucifer with Morning Star (Isa. 14:12) which depicts the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 22:16), few have noticed or complained which only adds to the confusion by reinforcing the serpent’s question: yea, hath God said? (Genesis 3:1; see also Psalm 119:89). Second, there is spiritual front that unabashedly attributes blasphemy to the Holy Spirit through a fallacious Latter Rain signs and wonders movement with William Branham occult overtones. The fact is, these gatherings are nothing more than carnivals of chaos, consisting of falling, flipping, flopping, bellowing, barking, and other uncomely manifestations that frankly give churches the appearance of asylums for the insane rather than houses of worship. Since it is the spirits of devils, working miracles in the last days (Rev. 16:14), those who believe they are being led of the spirit are being led into the waiting arms of Lucifer himself. My dear friend, it is in light of these few examples drawn from a cesspool of embarrassing examples we believe Bible centered Christians must distance themselves from: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:17).

Definition of Separation

We will define Biblical separation as “the ardent refusal of a Bible believing Christian to comingle, cooperate, or compromise with individuals, churches, organizations, or groups holding to philosophies, practices, and teachings deemed to be heretical.” And while separation is a doctrine clearly taught in the Bible,  it has been scoffed at, schemed against, and skewed by the very scoundrels it is designed to protect us from. Today those who expose these misfits are often labeled the real troublemakers for daring to mention the Biblical mandate to try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). Still, the Apostle Paul’s words to Pastor Timothy are as clear today as they were almost two thousand years ago when they were written: If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing . . . from such withdraw thyself (excerpted from 1 Timothy 6:3-5).

Mandate for Separation

                For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance (1 Kings 8:53). Israel’s separation from evil gave them their distinction as a nation unto the Lord. God covenanted to give Canaan to the Jews because it was a beautiful and bountiful land that would be devoted to Him. However, it was then occupied by Canaanite trespassers that were wicked beyond words and needed displacement. They practiced idolatry, child sacrifice, occult worship, bestiality, and sodomy as ritual acts of worship. Five hundred years before Moses and the Exodus, God singled out two cities to judge as a warning to all who would follow them in their filthy perverted lifestyles: Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7). Notwithstanding, after 400 years in Egypt and 40 years of circling the mountain, by the time Israel was to take possession of the promised land, it had become complete Nevertheless, five centuries later the land God covenanted to Israel was overrun with sodomites. Therefore, in order to keep them from influencing and thus infecting His people, God told Moses to separate the people by physically driving the perverts from the land (1491 BC): They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee (Exodus 23:33). However, Israel paid little attention to God’s warnings which corrupted her spiritual life, cost her national identity, and brought about her captivity (2 Kings 17).

Today we find ourselves in the throes of apostasy for at least three reasons: (1) a lack of knowledge, (2) a lack discernment, (3) a lack of desire to confront the problem. Frankly, many of the weird winds blowing through God’s house today would be abruptly halted if we’d simply begin to employ the testing method prescribed by John: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world . . . Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error (1 John 4:1, 6).

 

Summary of Separation

The Old Scofield [2] teaches separation simply and clearly: (1) Separation in Scripture is twofold: “from” whatever is contrary to the mind of God; and “unto” God Himself. The underlying principle is that in a moral universe it is impossible for God to fully bless and use His children who are in compromise or complicity with evil. The unequal yoke is anything which unites a child of God and an unbeliever in a common purpose. (Deu_22:10).

(2) Separation from evil implies (a) separation in desire, motive, and act, from the world, in the ethically bad sense of this present world-system. (b) separation from believers, especially false teachers, who are “vessels unto dishonour”. (2Ti_2:20); (2Ti_2:21); (2Jo_1:9-11).

(3) Separation is not from contact with evil in the world or the church, but from complicity with and conformity to. (Joh_17:15); (2Co_6:14-18); (Gal_6:1).

(4) The reward of separation is the full manifestation of the divine fatherhood, (2Co_6:17); (2Co_6:18), unhindered communion and worship, (Heb_13:13-15), and fruitful service, (2Ti_2:21), as world-conformity involves the loss of these, though not of salvation. Here, as in all else, Christ is the model. He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners”, (Heb_7:26), and yet in such contact with them for their salvation that the Pharisees, who illustrate the mechanical and ascetic conception of separation,

Scripture teaches us the following as it relates to apostates:

  • Separate from them: (2 Corinthians 6:14-17) 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.
  • Expect them: (2 Peter 2:1-3) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  (2)  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  (3)  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
  • Try them: (1 John 4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
  • Watch for and warn about them: (Acts 20:28-30) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.  (29)  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  (30)  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
  • Mark them and avoid them: (Romans 16:17) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
  • Recognize them: (Matthew 24:4-5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  (5)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (see Matt. 7:13-23; 24:4, 24).
  • Withdraw from them: (2 Thessalonians 3:6) Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
  • Have no company with them: (2 Thessalonians 3:14) And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Contending for the Faith

My friend, as we contemplate the growing apostasy and all who are willing to sacrifice doctrinal purity for ecumenical unity, let us meditate on Jude’s message which seems more relevant to us now than at any other time in church history: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).

Until Jesus returns, I’m going to continue contending as a Fundamentalist. Let me know if you’ll join me!

[1] For further study, please order our tract: FACTS ABOUT THE MANUSCRIPTS.

[2] We can ship you a one of these Old Scofield KJV study Bibles for a gift of $34 to help us minister to you and many others.

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