Volume. XXI, No. 7
Sunday, 13 August 2006

Biblical Separation in the New Testament Times

2 Corinthians 6:14-18:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 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. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord; and touch not the 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.”
God abhors all forms of syncretistic worship and ecumenical fellowship that mix truth with error. God had commanded Israel to be separated from the heathen nations in the Old Testament times. This principle of biblical separation is also found in the New Testaments. The teachings by Jesus in the New Testament for separation are found in the four gospels.
In the gospel of St Matthew in chapter 5:13-16, Jesus called the Christians the “salt of the earth”. Salt is used in ancient times as it is today in three ways:
As a preservative
As an antiseptic; and
For seasoning.
Jesus said that we are like salt. Salt is valuable giving flavour to food and act as a preservative. Hence the believer and the church are to be godly examples in the world to resist moral decay, corruption and be obedient in the application of God’s Word.
Christians are also called by Christ to be the “light of the world”. In the Bible, light refers to truth (1 John 1:5,7; 2:8-10) and one’s personal conduct. Christians are called to live in the light of God’s truth. When such a life is lived, Christians become holy influences in a sinful world. The Church will be hated because as the salt and light of this world, she exposes evil and stands in the way of evil doers. She must not compromise but stand separated from the world. Jesus also taught the disciples that truth may not be mixed with error, for then truth turns to lie (Matthew 16:6).
In the gospel of St Mark 9:43-50, Jesus taught that sin must not be pampered. It must be put to death (Colossians 3:5). Temptation must be put aside immediately and decisively. Procrastination is deadly. Half way measures work havoc. Christ
is exhorting His own people to maintain the vigour of faith, which may serve also to purify others. They must not compromise in their beliefs.
Biblical separation in the gospel of St Luke 14:26 teaches us that we must be willing to give up that which is very dear and be prepared to give up all the comforts of life to follow Jesus. A man cannot be Christ’s disciple unless he is prepared to love Christ above all things—to deny oneself, to take up the cross and to follow Him. He must also be perfect in love as well as in righteousness and holiness. He cannot tolerate any deceit or unrighteousness.
Biblical separation in the gospel of St John is to preach the gospel with Christ as the Saviour and the one and only true God. The word “kept” in verse 6 is the Greek word “tereo” , which means “to observe”, “to obey”, “to pay attention” or “to keep under guard”. It has the idea of holding on to a precious entity so as to prevent its loss. This precious entity is the biblical truth. Let us stand for the truth and more importantly, let us preach the truth.
Jesus also taught His disciples to be separated from the world although they are in the world (John 17:11). They are “not of the world” (John 17:14). The world “kosmos” that Jesus speaks of here refers to the world’s present condition. Separation from the present world system with all its ideologies and vices is an essential component of Christian unity in Jesus' teaching. The doctrine of separation, not ecumenism is central in Jesus high priestly prayer (John 17:14-16).
In the New Testament, God commanded separation of the believer from the corrupt world system and  unholy compromise (John 17:15&16), from those in the church who sin and refuse to repent (Matthew 18:15-17) and from false teachers, churches or cults who teach theological error to deny Biblical truths (Matthew 18:15 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
The Bible explicitly teaches us why God wants us to come out of the world. God’s teaching from the Bible shows us the consequences of non-separation. If we do not abide by His teaching, we will incur His wrath.
The apostle Paul also warned us in his teaching in the epistle to the Galatians in chapter 1:8 that “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” The Bible clearly confirms that there is only one gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ. False teachers beware and be warned
Dn Tony Law

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Shorter Catechism Question No. 58:  What is required in the fourth commandment? The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath to himself.
Please pray for health & God’s healing: Ps Ki, Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev David Koo, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Sheila George, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Sally Teng, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others afflicted viral illness. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps 46:1).
Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions - Rev & Mrs Luke Kim (Veal Renh); Rev & Mrs Moses Hahn (Sihanoukville); b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) Pastors & believers in India & Pakistan; d) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim; e) Journey mercies - Ps Ki (Philadelphia); Bro Lincoln Law (Hobart); Sisters Hui Wei Chua & Tabitha Heah (S’pore) & others who are travelling; f) Jobs for - Mr Leo Xeng & Sis Yee Min Tee.
Praise and Thank God for – a) Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Bible Study; & Ladies’ Fellowship Pre-BBK class; b) Journey mercies - Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam; Bros Lincoln Law & Leonard Teo; Sisters Tabitha Heah & Juanita Tong’s family (Adl); c) YAF’s Amazing Race & YAF-Men’s Fellowship lunch; d) ACM - good attendance and God’s guidance; e) Welcome dinner for new worshippers; f) Healing - Dn Edwin D’Mello’s sister; h) Job for - Bro Jonathan Liao
Deepest Sympathy to Sis Mei Luong Lim & family on the death of  her father-in-law.
Special Prayers for: - a) Ministry in USA: Ps Ki; b) Sister Juanita Tong - surgery tomorrow.
Pre - BBK Classes: All are encouraged to attend. These classes will help to provide answers to common questions asked by non-believers, and also for non-believers who have questions about God.



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