Come Out. Be Separate.

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Therefore, come out from among them,
    and be separate, says Adonai.
Touch no unclean thing.
    Then I will take you in.
~2 Corinthians 6:17 (TLV)

            I want to take some time and talk to you about one of the most powerful truths in all of Scripture, that being the principle of first coming out of the ways of the world followed by being separate by following the ways of The Word. In some capacity I have been around various forms of Christian religion all my life. I was raised in a traditional Baptist Church where they held Calvinist beliefs. Even as a child I knew something didn’t add up about that, which is why I spent a season in my teens unsure whether or not to even believe in God or anything Christian faith had to offer. Shortly before enlisting in the United States Navy I was exposed to a more radical Pentecostal group, and they seemed to be the real deal. I believe they are because I still have connections with the Pastors of that fellowship and have noticed that they are celebrating the biblical Feasts and even celebrations like Hanukkah.

            As I have had so much exposure to various aspects of Christianity and the Christians who engage in their forms of the religion, I have noticed some things. One of the most troubling things I have seen, perhaps, is that the overwhelming majority of people who claim to be “Christians” across all denominations and sects of “Christianity” continue to live the same type of worldly lifestyle as non-Christians. In many cases about the only difference between a “Christian” and a non-Christian today is that the “Christians” go to church. Here’s a staggering statement that will rock you to your core if you can understand it: Not one person in The Bible ever went to church.

            You might think that’s an absurd thing to say, but it’s true. Corporate “Christian” churches didn’t exist until about the fourth century A.D. and The Bible only covers what happened up until close to the end of the first century A.D. That means not one person you read about in The Bible ever actually went to church. In fact, the only corporate gatherings we read about in The Bible are meetings held in Jewish Synagogues on The Sabbath Day (which is not “Sunday”, or the first day of the week) and in-home gatherings that were held daily.

            Even the record in Acts 20, which Christians love to cite as “proof of a Sunday church service”, was actually a home fellowship—it says they were gathered in an upper room to break bread—and wasn’t even on “Sunday”. The language suggests that this meeting was held in line with what we would call Saturday evening. If you study it out, the phrase “first day of the week” actually means “the first day until the next Sabbath”. In Jewish culture a day turns over at sunset, and the record says Paul spoke until midnight. So this meeting was held on what is commonly referred to in Hebrew s Motzei Shabbat, the period of time beginning just after sunset at the conclusion of The Sabbath. Since Paul concluded his speech at midnight, “Sunday” doesn’t even come into the equation even a little bit. In addition to this, there are 85 Sabbaths documented in the Acts record where the Apostles and early Believers attended Synagogue services on The Sabbath. In other words, not a single person in The Bible ever went to church in the way Christians do today, and they most certainly did not do it on “Sunday”.

            Am I saying it is “wrong” to “go to church on Sunday”? Absolutely not! It’s always a good thing if people are gathering together to worship the King of kings and be trained in the things of God. Now, with that said, I do realize that a lot of the “training” being done in churches today is not in line with Scripture, but that is an entirely different matter and a problem to be dealt with another time. My point here is that, while there is not a single record of anyone in The Bible “going to church”, and especially no record of a “Sunday corporate gathering”, it’s not wrong to meet in fellowship with Believers ever, even at “a church” and “on Sunday”. All that said, “Sunday church” is nowhere to be found in The Bible so it is no wonder that the majority of “Sunday church Christians” do not come out from among them and be separate.

The Biggest Mistake Christians Make

Come Out 1            I’m going to make a huge statement here, something I have said in the past and something that every time I say it I stir up all sorts of controversy and backlash. I’ve even had people cut ties with me and the ministry that God has entrusted me with because of this statement in the past. They are so quick to call me a heretic and a blasphemer for this. But I hope you will take time to continue reading even after I make this declaration.

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE MADE BY MOST CHRISTIANS IS WHEN THEY MAKE YESHUA (OR “JESUS”) A PART OF THEIR LIFE.

            Now right there a lot of people are ready to stop reading this message and, as I already mentioned, deem me a heretic and a blasphemer. But notice that I said nothing about receiving Yeshua as your Messiah, I said the mistake is making Him a PART of YOUR life.

            You see, The Bible says that you are to lose your life and submit yourself wholly to Him and His ways. The Bible tells you to take up your cross daily and follow Him. The Bible says not I that live, but Messiah Yeshua that lives in Me. The Bible says whoever claims to abide in Him must walk just as He walked. The Bible even goes so far as to say that if you claim to be saved but you do not walk as He walked and you do not lose your life and give it wholly to Him and you do not take up your cross daily and follow Him then you are a LIAR, and the truth is not in you. (see Matthew 10:38, 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, 14:27, Galatians 2:20, 1 John 2:4-6)

            Look, I am just telling you what The Bible says. All of this is found in the writings of the Apostles, what Christians [wrongly] call the “New Testament” and what my good friend Pastor Gary Simons refers to as “that little sliver in the back of the book”. What I am saying is that all of this comes from the part of The Bible that even the most liberal Christians believe we are obligated to, the stuff that comes even after The Gospels (well, except for the taking up your cross part, that was Yeshua who said that—though you would think Christians would put more weight on His words than even whatever Paul said).

            Sadly, the mantra of most people today is “You only live once, and I want to get the most out of this life”. They claim that they should be entitled to live freely and enjoy all that this world has to offer. So when they recognize that salvation comes through Yeshua, they think that they can just make Him and Christianity a part of their life. They simply continue to live the life they always have, merely adding a form of godliness to that life. But this, again, is what The Bible says: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him (1 John 2:15).

            Don’t make the mistake that the overwhelming majority of “Christians” make—literally billions of people who have been deceived into thinking that Yeshua (or “Jesus”) can simply be another part of their sin-infested, Torah-defiant life. Many shun it as radical, fanatical, extremist, and crazy, but unless you are completely sold out to the Kingdom and committed to doing Bible things in Bible ways, leaving the ways of the world behind you I doubt you are even saved.

The Pattern Of The Spring And Fall Feasts

Come Out 2            Let’s turn our attention now to one of the few things in Scripture that actually does, by its very nature, cause the Believer to come out from among them and be separate: The Holy Feasts of Yahweh commanded and described in Torah. I’ll not take time to go into detail about the individual Feasts, you can read all about them in Exodus 23, Leviticus 23, Numbers 28-29, and Deuteronomy 16. Many are already familiar with them today, they are the Spring Feasts of Pesach (Passover) | Unleavened Bread | First Fruits | Shavuot (Pentecost) and the Fall Feasts of Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah (Trumpets) | The Day of Atonement | Sukkot (Tabernacles). In each of these Feast Seasons we see the pattern of come out from among them and be separate. Twice a year, roughly every six months, God leads us in celebrations that remind us of this most important biblical truth.

            The Spring Feast Season begins with the celebration of the Passover. As we know from a biblical perspective this is when we are told to eat lamb (or goat, the only acceptable alternate) prepared with bitter herbs as a remembrance and memorial of the first Passover in Egypt when God smote the firstborn of the Egyptians while His people were spared, having put the blood of their sacrifice lamb on the doorposts of their home to notify the death angel that they belong to Yahweh.

            Likewise, the Fall Feast Season starts with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Teruah, the first name referring to the beginning of the civil new year and the second referring to the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn). It is traditional for the shofar to be sounded with 100 blasts on this day. One of the purposes for the blowing of the shofar, and the one that applies to this day of celebration, is to call the people to action. With the upcoming Day of Atonement, the sounding of the shofar on Yom Teruah is intended to call the people to teshuvah (repentance).

            So these initial celebrations in both sets of festival seasons is to call the people to action, to bring to memory the need to come out from among them and be separate.

            The next celebration, respectively, is the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the Spring and the Day of Atonement in the Fall. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread it is required to eat bread made without leavening for seven days. No hametz (leaven) is to be found inside the home during this time. Many believe that this means bread made without yeast or some type of leavening agent, but in depth study shows that cannot be the case as leaven is literally everywhere, even in the air we breathe, so it is really impossible to make bread without a leavening agent. The celebration reminds that while sin abounds everywhere, we can live in the world, but not be of the world.

            The Day of Atonement is preceded by ten days of awe, a time between the sounding of the shofar and the actual Day of Atonement. This too is an active awareness that we are to come out of the world through prayer, repentance, and Torah-obedience. In both of these celebrations we find the action come out from among them being illustrated through the keeping of the Feasts.

            Then we come to the third portion of each of the Feasts, Shavuot (the Day of Pentecost) in the Spring and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) in the Fall. The celebration most people today refer to as Pentecost takes place on the day following the seventh Sabbath after the celebration of the Feast of First Fruits, making this the longest celebration starting with First Fruits, going through seven weeks where the omer is counted, and culminating on Shavuot, which is also called the Feast of Weeks. It commemorates the day that Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai, and also for new covenant Believers the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of Holiness) which was poured out on that day following Yeshua’s resurrection (which took place on the Feast of First Fruits immediately following His crucifixion on Passover). So this time period between the rest of the Spring Feasts and Pentecost represents the time period between when the Israelites left Egypt, entered the wilderness, and ultimately received their Father’s Torah—the one thing that would distinguish God’s people from the rest of the world.

            In like manner, the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles commemorates the time the Israelites spent in the wilderness. Part of the celebration of Tabernacles includes the building of a simple structure called a sukkah, which typically has three walls made of wood, bamboo, or similar materials and a roof made of leafy branches. This structure is symbolic of the tents that the Israelites lived in during their forty years in the desert.

            Both of these celebrations teach us the “and be separate” portion of the equation. This is especially true of the celebration of Tabernacles where the focus is wholly on separating from the world and toward God.

            Following the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles is a day of celebration called Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Torah). This is important because just like the receiving of Torah on Shavuot, there is a celebration at the conclusion of both periods of “and be separate” where we are led to rejoice over the giving of God’s Torah. So we see the pattern in the Feasts of first coming out of the world and worldly desires and then separating into the Kingdom of God and desiring His Torah and His Ways.

Be Different!

Come Out 3            As I have already indicated, I really don’t understand people who claim to be children of Yahweh but do not want to sever their attachment to the world. How can you call yourself a Christian but still listen to music that literally glorifies the devil? How can you call yourself a Christian and celebrate the world’s “holidays” that have nothing to do with The Bible or the prophetic picture of Messiah? (And those “holidays” include Easter, the counterfeit of Passover, Whitsuntide, the counterfeit of Pentecost, and Christmas, the counterfeit of Tabernacles.) How can you call yourself a Christian and not keep God’s Sabbath? How can you call yourself a Christian and eat unclean things like pork, shellfish, and other meats listed as an abomination or detestable in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 4? Did you even notice that “touch no unclean thing” is stated immediately after “come out from among them and be separate”? And let me just slide this in: 2 Corinthians was written by Paul.

            You know, more than anything else these are the type of things that cause a true Believer to come out from among them and be separate. Christians often like to segment Torah into categories not found in Scripture. When they do this, they categorize such things as do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not lie, and do not steal under some banner of “moral law” and things like the food laws, The Sabbath, the Feasts, and perhaps even prohibitions against things like getting tattoos or wearing shatnez (wool and linen together) are placed under a banner of “ceremonial law”. Among the many problems with this ideology is the problem that these things deemed “ceremonial”—and therefore obsolete in the mind of the “modern Christian”—are the things that actually causes Believers to come out from among them and be separate.

            Think about it for a moment. The moral standards of the non-Christian world say that murder, lying, stealing, and committing adultery are wrong and even worthy of penal consequences. So how is it that you are coming out from among them and being separate when all you are doing is holding to the same moral standards that they do? You’re not!

            In like manner, how are you coming out from among them and being separate when you celebrate the same “holidays” that the world celebrates? You can shout until you are blue in the face that Christmas and Easter are “religious Christian holidays”, but the fact is they are not. Despite a few modern scholars theorizing otherwise, there is a host of historically documented claims that these celebrations originate from pagan festivals (The Roman Saturnalia and Anglo-Saxon Yule in the case of Christmas and a festival to the goddess Eostre in the case of Easter). Christians also love to celebrate Halloween, which has long left me completely baffled, as this seems to be the most Satanic celebration in the history of the world. Some will claim they are merely offering an “alternative” at their church, but it’s still Halloween regardless of what you offer and what you call it. Why can’t you just come out from among them by leaving the world’s “holidays” for the non-Christian world and be separate by celebrating God’s Feasts and festivals found in Scripture? What is it that has Christians so scared to simply do what The Bible says the way The Bible says to do it and be different from the world?

            Many Christians think that the only thing that applies is to them is that little sliver in the back of the Book, what they [wrongly] call the “New Testament” (The Bible was never meant to be divided like that, this division into “Old and New Testament” is part of the heretical influences of Marcion, a second century theologian deemed a heretic by pretty much all of the ‘early church fathers’). Well, OK, let’s start in that little sliver. In fact, let’s start just in The Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. When you read the Gospels, keep in mind 1 John 2:6—“whoever claims to abide in Him [Yeshua] must walk as He walked”­—and when you read the record of Yeshua’s life and ministry pay close attention to: The foods he ate, the foods He didn’t eat (and the one thing He did with pigs—He used them to cast demons into), the holidays He celebrated, and the day He went to a large corporate religious gathering each week.

            If we are supposed to walk as He walked, why is it that the modern Church doesn’t do these things that He did? Why does the modern Church celebrate different holidays from those we read about in His life? Why does the modern Church gather on a different day of the week than He did? Why does the modern Church love to eat the one thing that He deemed worthy only to cast devils into? Why?

            That is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Why, if we are supposed to come out from among them, be separate, and walk as He walked, does the Church not look anything like what we read about in The Bible?

            I’ve said this before, but one of the number one statements I am hearing from people leaving Churches today is typically something to the effect of: “I used to just follow along what the rest of my church was doing, but then I read The Bible myself and I noticed that nothing in The Bible aligned with what I saw my Church doing.” Now, I am not an advocate for leaving the Churches as some are. If the Church has truly become a place of great darkness, then we have a mandate to take the light of truth into it. Make them ask you to leave! But I find it interesting that it is the people who have read The Bible from cover to cover and want to follow it are the same people that find it difficult to continue going to a place that appears to be in such contrast and conflict with what they have read in The Bible.

            Come out from among them and be separate. That is the call of the Word of God. It is the call of the Cross of Christ. It is the call of the Passover lamb and the blast of the shofar. It is God’s call on your life. The only remaining question, then, is: Will you answer the call?

~Blessings and Shalom~

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