Biblical Reasons For the Doctrine of

Separation

I.) The Character of God

  1. God is holy… separated from all that defiles.
    • Lev.11:44-45: For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
    • 1 Peter 1:15: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;.
  2. God is jealous for His people. He wants them all to Himself; separated from all others.
    • Ex. 20:5: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
    • Ex. 34:14: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
    • Zech. 8:2: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
  3. God is zealous for His reputation.
    • Ezekiel 20:9: But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
    • Ezekiel 39:25: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name.
    • Isaiah 48:11: For mine own sakeeven for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
    • Acts 9:15: But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.
    • Romans 1:5: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
  4. God is a God of light. Light and darkness cannot mix.
    • I John 1:5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
    • II Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
  5. God is a God of Truth. Truth and error cannot mix.
    • John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    • 1 John 4:5-6: They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
  6. God is righteous. He loves righteousness and hates iniquity
    • Hebrews 1:9: Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
    • II Tim. 2:19: Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
    • Habakkuk 1:13a:  Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…

II.) The Word of God

  1. Can two walk together except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)
  2. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness… (Eph.5:11)
  3. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause division and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them. (Rom.16:17)
  4. Withdraw thyself… (I Tim.6:3-5)
  5. Receive not… (II John 1:9-10)
  6. Believe not every spirit… (I John 4:1)
  7. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers… (II Cor.6:14)
  8. Come out from among them and be ye separate… (II Cor.6:17)
  9. Follow not that which is evil… (III John 11)
  10. A man that is an heretic, reject… (Titus 3:10)
  11. Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. (II Chron.19:2b)
  12. From such… turn away. (II Tim.3:3-5)
  13. Walk not… stand not… sit not… (Psalm 1:1-3)
  14. Let us cleanse ourselves from… (II Cor.7:1)
  15. Abstain from all appearance of evil. (I Thess. 5:22)
  16. Withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly… (II Thess.3:6)
  17. Have no company with him… (II Thess.3:14)
  18. Purge out there the old leaven… (I Cor.5:6)
  19. Therefore, put away from among yourselves that wicked person… (I Cor.5:13)
  20. If a man purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (II Tim.2:21)

III.) The Position and Calling of the Saint

  1. The believer of this age is a member of the “church” (body of called out ones). We have been called OUT of the world and INTO the Body of Christ. We are different from the world. (John 15:19; I John 5:19)
  2. The believer has been chosen to be “holy” – separated unto God. (Eph. 1:4)
  3. The saint (believer in Christ) is a child of light. (Eph.5:8) “What communion hath light with darkness?” (II Cor.6:14)
  4. The saint has been positionally set apart already, once and for all at the moment of saving faith. He is sanctified. (I Cor.6:11; Heb.10:10,14; I Pet.1:2)
  5. As children of God, we are to be like our Father, who is holy and separate. (I Pet.1:15-16)
  6. We were “called” to be holy (separated from evil and unto the Lord). (I Thess.4:3,7)
  7. Our priesthood indicates our “separate” character. (I Pet.2:5,9)
  8. God has always put a difference between His people and those who do not belong to Him.
    • Leviticus 20:24-26: But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. 25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. 26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.
    • Ezra 6:21: And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat.
    • Nehemiah 10:28: And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding.
    • Psalm 4:3: But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
    • Exodus 8:23: And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.
    • Exodus 11:7: But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

IV.) The Protection of the Congregation

  1. Corruption and impurty spreads easily in a “body”. Impurty needs to be removed… “cut off”… like gangrene.
    • “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (I Cor.5:6-7,13)
    • “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” (I Cor.15:33)
    • Leaders are to “shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their words will eat as doth a canker…” (II Tim.2:16-17a)
  2. “That all Israel may hear, fear, and do no more any such wickedness.” (Deut.13:10-11) Evil is put away or separated from the congregation.
  3. “That all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.” (Deut.17:12-13) Separating from sin prevents God’s people from learning to tolerate sin.
  4. When separation is practiced, it prevents God’s people from learning the ways and works of the heathen. (Ps.1:1-2; Ps.106:35-42)

V.) The Protection of the Individual Believer

  1. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” (I Cor.15:33)
  2. Separation is necessary to keep the individual from learning he ways of the heathen, and being attracted to false doctrine and ungodly ways. (Ps.106:35-42; the example of Solomon – I Kings 11:1-8)
  3. Separation is necessary to keep the saint from learning the ungodly ways of disobedient brothers. (Prov.4:14-19; 9:6; 13:20; 14:7; 22:24-25)
  4. For the spiritual strength and vitality of the believer’s walk. (Ps.1:1-3)
  5. Because false teachers seek to allure God’s people into damnable heresies. (II Pet.2:1)
  6. Because the Bible describes false teachers as “ravening wolves” and God’s people as “sheep.” (Matt.7:15; 10:16)
  7. Because the Devil uses doctrinal mixture as one of his “wiles” or “devices” to beguile God’s people, and “devour” them. (I Pet.5:8; I Tim.4:1; II Cor.11:3-4,13-15; Eph.6:11-12)

VI.) The Discipline and Restoration of the Disobedient Brother

  1. That he may be shamed into returning to obedience to the Word of God. (II Thess.3:6,14-15)
  2. That he may “learn” from the discipline. (I Tim.1:19-20)
  3. Separating from a disobedient brother is God’s form of chastening “whom He loveth.” (Heb.12:6)
    1. That he might be a partaker of His holiness. (Heb.12:10b)
    2. That he might be exercised by the chastening and afterwards receive the peaceable fruits of righteousness. (Heb.12:11)
  4. Discipline by “separation” is always remedial for the believer, not punitive.

VII.) The Meaning of “Holiness”

  1. Hebrew word for holiness: Kodesh: apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness. [Strong’s]
  2. Greek word for holiness: Hagios – fundamentally signifies separated (among the Greeks, dedicated to the gods), and hence, in Scripture in its moral and spiritual significance, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred. [Vines]
  3. The doctrine of holiness and purity is the doctrine of separation./li>
  4. The concept of “cleansing” from impurity. (II Cor.7:1)

Application of the Doctrine of Separation

I.) Separation From Sin & Immorality

  • 1 Corinthians 5:9 – I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators.
  • Ephesians 5:11 – And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
  • Prov.4:14-15 – Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
  • Jer.15:17 – I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.
  • I Cor.10:20-21 – But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

II.) Separation From Unbelievers

  • II Cor.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? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And 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. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
  • 2 Chronicles 19:2 – And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.
  • Ezra 4:1-4 – Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; 2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. 3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. 4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building…

III.) Separation From False Doctrine

  • Deuteronomy 13:1-5 – If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
  • 1 Timothy 6:3, 5 – 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… from such withdraw thyself.
  • 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.
  • II Tim.3:5 – Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
  • Titus 3:10 – A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.
  • II John 1:10-11 – If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

IV.) Separation From Disobedient Believers

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14 – 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. 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.
  • I Cor.5:11-13 – But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
  • Matthew 18:15-17 – Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
  • 1 Corinthians 5:5,7 – To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.