Separation: A Key to Spiritual Strength (Part 2)
By Dr. Ken Matto
How We Violate The Boundaries Of Separation
We Reason With the World Too Much
(Gen 3:1-2 KJV) Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? {2} And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
If there is one thing the world is good at, it is debate. In the above verses, we see that Eve had a dialogue with Satan and almost immediately, he got her to confuse God’s words. Satan had a very subtle way of attacking the verity of God and that was to plant doubt in Eve’s belief system. Have you ever heard this one? "Go ahead, prove the existence of God." Right away, we run to our Bibles and try to prove His existence. However, the Bible does not prove the existence of God but assumes it. Look at the following verse: (Gen 1:1 KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
When we look the above verse we see that right at the beginning of the Bible, it tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. It starts off with the assumption that God exists. If you think I am making this up, ask any student of Philosophy. It is impossible to prove the existence of God to an unbeliever. Why? Look at the following verse as a summation. (John 3:3 KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Only a person whom God has saved is qualified to know that God indeed is real. The unbeliever looks to Subjective Moralism, Morphology by Chance, Evolution by Chance, and Philosophy et al to cloud the reality of Creationism. We must remember, whenever we dialogue with the world, we should expect a well-planned attack on our beliefs. If a Christian is not strong enough, it may weaken their biblical stance, and may cause a breach in the required separation of the believer. Do not reason with the philosophies and beliefs of the world, as they only lead to more questions without answers.
We Neglect To Filter Our Thoughts and Actions through Scripture
(Prov 1:2-5 KJV) To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; {3} To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; {4} To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. {5} A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
As Christians it is imperative that we order our life according to the Bible. This is one reason God gave us the Scriptures so we would know how to order our lives. (2 Tim 3:16 KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: It is these things we will not find written on the pages of secular writ. Wisdom is written on all pages and when we seek the Scriptures when a decision needs to be made, or when a situation crops up in our life, we are, in essence, seeking the mind of God. We will violate the law of separation when we seek the world first and then God’s Word, attempting to amalgamate them and get the best out of both worlds. As we previously saw, homogenization does not work when dealing with the things of God and the world. The Proverbs verses give us the insight that when we seek wisdom (The Bible being true wisdom), we can never fail. The world would call us weak or that we are in need of religious crutches, but remember, the Kingdom of God is invisible to them. To them, there is no God and the only higher power is their intellect. Whenever we filter our thoughts and actions through God’s Word, failure cannot happen. The world will look at us and say we are failures, but again, they are not on the inside as we are.
We Fear the Name of Holier Than Thou
(1 Pet 1:16 KJV) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
The words "Be ye" are in the Imperative Mood, which makes it a command. The "mood" describes the relation of the verb to reality. In other words, does the verb intend to convey an action as really taking place, or the possibility that it may take place? "Be ye" falls into the latter, but is a direct command. This reminds me of a situation which happened to me some years ago. I was an Elder in the Hungarian Reformed Church and we had an Elder’s Conference in the Perth Amboy, NJ church (my home church at that time) and we had a discussion on how to keep the youth in the church. One fellow got up and said, "We don’t have the answer on how to keep the youth in our churches." I raised my hand and was given the floor. I spoke for a few minutes on bringing Christ-centered activities into the church so God would begin to draw the youth back to the church and He could save His Elect. After I sat down, another fellow got up and started by saying, "Our Brother is right," and I said to myself, "they caught the vision." He then went on to say, "We don’t have the answer." He completely ignored everything I said and agreed with the dead man that spoke before me. A sister told me later that while I was speaking, one of the Ministers told this woman, pointing to me, "he is a holy roller." Stand for what is right, no matter where you are, and don’t even give a hoot what they call you.
The Modern Gospel Has Drifted Off Course
1. Politics
In The United States, many preachers have aligned themselves with certain political parties. They have taken many Sunday sermons and have wasted them on attacking political issues instead of preaching the True Gospel. So many people are accustomed to hearing political sermons, they would be totally in the dark if they ever heard a purely biblical sermon. Jesus lived under the Roman Empire which was a very corrupt empire, yet we do not find Him preaching against taxes or Emperors. Jesus kept to the ministry and was not detoured by the surrounding political climate. It is the same with us.  The ministry we have been called to is the proclamation of the true Gospel, without any gospel additives.
2. Racial Gospels
Almost every race on earth has tried to customize Christianity to fit its cultural parameters. White Supremacists tailor the Bible to their belief system. Black Supremacists tailor the Bible to their belief system. I remember in the 1980’s when a popular theology called "Liberation Theology" was booming its way across campuses and finding its murdering tenets on the fields of the world. It claimed Jesus was a revolutionary and those in oppressed countries needed to follow the example of Jesus to raise arms against the established governments. This theology flourished in Latin America and Africa. It was well funded by the World Council of Churches, which pumped millions of dollars into murderous causes. Many Christian missionaries were murdered by WCC sponsored terrorism. I have a booklet with pictures of missionaries in Africa which were roasted to death by these murderers. What al-Qaida and Bin Laden did in New York was terrible, but it is small in comparison to what the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches have been supporting for many years. Incidentally, the grandfather of both the WCC and NCC was the Federal Council of Churches which was founded in 1909 by Harry M. Ward, who was an avowed Communist for the undermining of all the churches in America. They have done a good job in both infiltrating the seminaries and the churches.
3. Health and Wealth Gospels
To this day, I will never understand the relationship between having a lot of money and being spiritual. In fact, I know rich people who couldn’t care less about spiritual matters since their entire concern is making money. It is a shame that millions are being lied to concerning this false teaching. While it is true that God does bless people with healthy bodies and wealth, it has nothing to do with the true Gospel. Both health and wealth are physical things, but the true Gospel ministers not to the flesh, but to the Spirit. It is certainly true that a person can feel physically good when they are walking in the Spirit, but on the other hand, a person can be chronically sick and still walk in the Spirit. Abraham was a wealthy man, but what does God focus on in his life? He focuses on the faithfulness of Abraham. This is what God focuses on in our lives too. Having good health and abundant wealth does not mean you have the blessing of God on your life. If God blesses a person with wealth, then they better be using it for the Kingdom of God and not socking it away, because they are only stewards of God’s money.
4. Educational Gospel
Here is the gospel of the seminaries. If you ever look at a typical Bible college curriculum, you will see that you will learn very little Bible. This means that when you bring a pastor to your church, you will find that he knows much about many things like Archaeology, Philosophy, History, or Social Issues. When you listen to a pastor who combines his education with his theology, you will hear many diluted sermons. When a person combines his education, instead of using his education to preach the Gospel, you will receive many mixed messages, and sometimes you will not be able to discern whether you received anything from the Bible or not. When a person utilizes the tools of his education and uses them to cultivate his messages and to draw on to bring out Biblical truth, then you will hear Bible-based messages. How many times have you heard a sermon where the speaker’s educational specialty comes to the surface? For example, a Christian Psychologist is definitely going to mix psychology with the Gospel. When the Gospel is mixed with anything, it becomes adulterated and therefore, watered down. The Apostle Paul dealt with this mindset on Mars Hill.
5. Too Many Books
Even the Bible has a direct quote on this one. (Eccl 12:12 KJV) And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. One of the biggest problems in Christianity is there are too many books. What it boils down to is too many opinions. Go to a Christian Bookstore or even search online for a commentary on the Book of John, and you will probably find the titles of hundreds. Take two commentaries and place them side by side on the same subject and you will have three opinions. We can spend an entire lifetime reading books and never even scratch the surface on any given subject. It is a great gift from God to be able to read. As Christians, we must be very selective in what we read since books sway opinions and theologies. The more books we read, the longer we are outside of the Scriptures. I am not saying do not read anything outside the Bible.  I am merely saying not to allow the reading of books to supplant the reading and study of Scripture.
6. The Generic Gospel
This name was given in a sermon by Pastor William Trimble who is an old time Wesleyan Preacher. I heard him preach this message at a Camp Meeting. The essence of his message was that much of the Gospel which is being preached today is benign. Today’s Gospel messages does not challenge, does not convict, does not change a person, does not lead them into a closer relationship with God. It seems the message is always centered around the myth that God loves everyone and works will gain us His favor. The messages never cause an unbeliever to be uncomfortable, nor does it cause a believer to grow. This false Gospel keeps everyone in a state of Euphoria.
Divisional Christianity
(1 Cor 1:12 KJV) Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. This verse opens up a true problem in modern-day Christianity, and that is following teachers. Not everyone that teaches the Bible is going to bring forth a true Gospel. This is dangerous because the majority of Christians never check teachings out in the Scriptures. If a person is following a certain teacher, they will adopt their teachings without reservation. Following teachers is a convenient way of doing Bible study. All you have to do is copy the teacher’s belief system, write it in your notes and in the margin of your Bible, and you are done. Divisional Christianity has been the death knell to any hopes of a unified belief system in Christianity. The Arminians and Calvinists are at odds. The Free-Willers and the Predestinarians are at odds. The tongue speakers and non-tongue speakers are at odds. Satan uses these divisions wisely to create more divisions by just focusing in on the breaches and then attacks.
We Have Neglected and Replaced the Great Doctrines of the Faith
Unfortunately the only doctrine which seems to be taught in the great majority of churches is the "God is Love" doctrine. Now it is true that God is Love, but toward His children only. (Psa 5:5 KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. You very rarely ever hear that the wicked are hated by God, as this verse teaches us. Yet, because of the believers in the world, God sheds His love on His creation. Do you not see the love of God in a new born baby or in a beautiful sunset? Election and predestination has been replaced by free will since the early 1600’s. Bible-alone Christianity has been supplanted by signs, wonders, and tongues seeking. The true Bible has been replaced by the false, Roman Catholic Versions like the NIV. There seems to be a replacement policy in contemporary Christianity, and the policy reads, "If we don’t like it, replace it!"
What To Do When We Find Ourselves Violating Separation
Of course there are times when we come to the realization that something has gone awry in our Christian walk. Once we realize that we have violated the boundaries of separation, there are two simple rules to get our lives back on track.
1) Realize You Can Come Back
(Job 22:22-23 KJV) Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. {23} If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
It does not matter whether you violated the boundaries of separation in a physical way or a spiritual way by accepting erroneous teachings. If you are a true believer you can always return unto the Lord. The requirements are in verse 22, in that first we hear the Word of God, and then memorize them. Study the Word of God without the bias which sent you off in the wrong direction. Listen and cherish the Word of God without comparing them to the notes of others. What does the Bible say to you? There is no great program which you must adhere to. It is as simple as bowing your head and asking God to guide you. Then when He guides you into Truth, you begin to rebuke the false teachings that have caused you to stray.
The reward is shown in verse 23.  That if you return unto the Lord, He will build you up. He will re-build the breaches in your faith. God will make you a strong Christian and then you will be able to know and spot false doctrines and teachings, and to know the difference between the holy and the profane.
2) Go Back To The Point Of Departure And Regroup
(Gen 35:1 KJV) And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
The second method of restoration is going back to the point of departure and regrouping. In this verse, God commands Jacob to return to Bethel. It is important that we identify where we departed. It may be a teaching we read, or it may be that we were carried away by a teacher who has a very powerful personality. Once we identify the area or areas of weakness, we can then begin to focus in on them, so we may be on guard. (Isa 58:8 KJV) Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. We may have even joined organizations which have caused us to violate separation. As easy as we joined them, it is as easy to leave them, even if you joined a group like the Masons, Eastern Star, or Shriners. This is an aside. The Fez which the Shriners wear is not just a cute head dress. It represents the blood of 50,000 Christians who were murdered in the 8th century by Muslims (you know, of that peaceful religion) when the city of Fez in Morocco was overtaken by them. Their joy of killing 50,000 Christians was so much, they dipped their hats in the blood of our brothers and sisters. This is what the red Fez represents. So the next time you see a Shriner wearing his Fez, he is celebrating the murder of Christians and showing his allegiance to the moon god, Allah. While I am on this subject, the five pointed symbol of the Eastern Star is the symbol for the satanic "Goat of Mendez," which is the "god of lust." It is Satan himself. Masonry is also loaded with satanic symbols, such as the Baphomet, which was the god of Baal worship. The all-seeing eye, which was from the Egyptian god, Osiris and the Masonic Obelisk, which is the symbol of the male sex organ, are right from Baal worship. Yes, even if you have violated separation by joining groups like these, you MUST walk away, and no matter what oath you have taken, God will break those oaths because Satan has no power over the children of God.
Why Does God Command Separation Of The Believer?
God commands separation of the believer because the true Christian lifestyle begins with separation, resulting in obedience. Unfortunately, as we continue on in the Christian walk, we tend to make little compromises here and there, which eventually throws us off the straight and narrow, and this results in disobedience, sometimes escalating to the point that we question whether we are saved or not. Compromise in any form, large or small, is disobedience.
How To Maintain A Separated Life:
1) A Separated Mind
(Phil 2:5 KJV) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
The same mind that was in the Lord Jesus Christ needs to be in every Christian. It would be impossible to list all the ways Christ dealt with people and situations, but as you read the Scriptures, you will see the very thought patterns of Christ manifest themselves. There is also a myth I would like to discredit, and that is the idea that a Christian can have a carnal mind.
(Rom 8:7 KJV) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
The Bible makes a clear difference between the mind of Christ and the carnal mind. The mind of Christ is in concert with the ways of Christ, but the carnal mind is the enemy of God. The carnal mind is a state of mind until a person becomes saved, then the carnal mind is exchanged for the mind of Christ. The carnal mind is the mind of the unbeliever. There are many that tout a belief which helps Christians maintain their sinful lifestyle, and it is called "Carnal Christianity." This is a misnomer since carnality is a life lived in the flesh, whereas Christianity is a life lived in the Spirit. If a Christian sins, it does not make them a carnal Christian, even though for a moment they were in the flesh. A true Christian will identify their sin and strive to not commit it again. The carnal mind will plan to commit the sin again.
If a person continues to sin, they give evidence they were never saved, and thus, are carnal in nature. Free Grace is not an open door for free sinning, as many accuse us of.   Rather, it is an open door for free Sainthood. Carnality and Christianity cannot be homogenized as they are antithetical to one another. The place a Christian stops sin is in the mind, before it becomes played out. The carnal person manufactures sin in their mind and plays it out without any objections of conscience, since the Bible teaches that many consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. The first tenet of living a separated life is a separated mind, where sin is identified and stopped.
2) A Separated Philosophy
(Col 2:8 KJV) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Philosophy means "a love of wisdom." The Bible commands us to seek after Godly wisdom. The first eight chapters of Proverbs would be a great place to start. As we read through the Bible, the Holy Spirit will open up many passages to us in the area of wisdom. We must never seek the wisdom or philosophies of the world. The world’s philosophy of life and Biblical philosophy are incompatible with each other. Let me offer a simple analogy. The Bible says, "Wait on the Lord." The world says, "Charge It." Our life’s philosophy must be according to the Scriptures and not the ways of the world. This also includes the religious realm with much false teachings floating unchecked into the churches. This has had such a debilitating effect on the church that now, many Christians actually embrace the false teachings and fight against the Truth. If you think I am exaggerating, go into a liberal main line church and tell them Christ never commissioned the church to physically feed the poor. You will get the boot! The True Church is commissioned to send forth the Gospel and not open soup kitchens. Are soup kitchens wrong? An emphatic no! But social churches focus on the physical, while the True Church focuses on the spiritual. The second tenet of living a separated life is holding to a separated philosophy.
3) Separated Works
(1 Cor 3:9 KJV) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
The works of the true believer is not to try and change the world system but to build the Kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus walked in Roman territory, yet He never preached a political sermon. In other words, we are to labor in the Gospel, to send it forth, and to see others come into the Kingdom. Our works are to be separated from those who are trying to save a judged and dying world. For example, a Christian who devotes their life to save the whales is wasting their life, and the Kingdom of God loses another worker, by means of a diversion. Christians have been diverted in droves. You have groups to fight abortion, groups to oppose homosexuality, groups to oppose racism, groups to oppose hate, groups to save the environment, groups to further ethnicity, etc. We are nowhere commanded in Scripture to fight against a single sin or to form societies to fight a single sin. Our responsibility is to preach against sin in its entirety, no matter what form it takes. The Christian who devotes their life to sending forth the Gospel is on the straight and narrow. This also includes those who go to work every day, since their job site is their mission field. When they come home at night, there is time for additional involvement, either at home or church.
Final Thoughts
The progression is simple: If you have a separated mind, then you will embrace a separated Biblical philosophy, which will result in separated works. Sin, along with false philosophies, begin in the mind. When we allow our mind to be programmed to worldly philosophies, we will yield worldly fruit. If we allow our mind to be programmed to the Bible, then we will yield spiritual, or separated, fruit.
(Rom 16:17-18 KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. {18} For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
The key words in these verses are, "mark them." The words "mark them" carries the meaning of "examine carefully, or look at."