Separation for Doctrines’ Sake
(All references are from the New American Standard Bible)
Table of Contents:
Holy, Sanctify, and Saint
Cain and Abel
Why There is Compromise
Sound Doctrine is Edifying
In the original languages in which the Bible was written, almost always when scripture uses the words holy, sanctified, or sanctification, it means to be set apart. Today, being set apart or holy is often frowned-upon as being narrow-minded or intolerant.
This is to be expected in the last days. Luke 17:26-27 says, And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man they were marrying, they were being given in marriage In Genesis we read how the people in Noah’s day behaved. Genesis 6:1-2 says, Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. In the span of biblical history, the term sons of God was used to describe the true followers of God. For example, 1 John 3:1-2 says, See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God Beloved, now we are children of God (See also Deuteronomy 14:1, Psalms 82:6, John 1:12) So when the sons of God married the daughters of men, believers in God’s true way were marrying unbelievers. According to Luke 17 above, in the end times, believers will no longer be set apart from unbelievers.
Because this is an end-time issue, and since we are in the last-days, this page on this web-site will address the issue of separation for doctrines’ sake.
Holy, Sanctify, and Saint
Definitions of terms are necessary common ground for people who want to reason with each other. This page uses the meaning of words as the Bible defines them. These definitions can be found in Young’s, or Strong’s concordances. Please note that these two concordances are non-denominational.
Most people think the words holy, sanctify, and saint mean pious. This is not the case. Almost always the meaning of these 3 words is set-apart.
We live in an unholy age. The churches are trying to unite, and communion is held between members of different denominations. Few people object to marriages between members of different sects.
We now look at the word saint. All Christians are saints as Paul wrote to the saints who were at Ephesus. (Ephesians 1:1). Surely, the entire congregation was not pious! The entire congregation was not canonized either.
We are sanctified by the washing of water with the word. (Ephesians 5:26). Hebrews 13:12 states Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. which means that the blood of Jesus separates us from false religions and from the Apostasy.
Not only can people be holy, but things can be holy as well. Exodus 31:14 says, Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Needless to say, the Sabbath is not pious: it is set apart for God. God told the Hebrews in Leviticus 20:26 Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.
Bible definitions are not as they seem. We must define terms as Jesus would. Holy, sanctify, and saint mean set-apart, not pious.
The Bible repeatedly says we must believe the gospel to be saved. Here are some examples: He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. (Mark 16:16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone that believes (Romans 1:16) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John-3:16)
The opposite is also true:
But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say I again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)
Everyone agrees that the crucifixion is part of the gospel, but the Apostles preached the gospel before they know that Jesus was going to be crucified.
And departing, they began going about the villages, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere. (Luke 9:6) After they had preached the gospel, Jesus told them, Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they might not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. (Luke 9:44-45)
The Gospel the disciples preached before they knew Jesus was going to be crucified was the Gospel of the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:2)
The kingdom of God is called the Gospel in a number of places, including Matt.9:35, and Matt.24:14. We have already seen that the Gospel must be believed before we are baptized. This is consistent with what is recorded in Acts 8:12. But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.
People who do not believe the story of Adam and Eve do not understand why Jesus had to die on the cross. Disobedience was the sin of our first parents, and the penalty was death. It affected the whole human race. Jesus died so that whosoever complied with the way God had appointed would receive the promised salvation. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22) The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8).
Thus knowing what the devil is, is part of the Gospel. The promise God made to Abraham is called the Gospel in Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ALL NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU. In a similar way, Romans 1:1-3 says God’s promise to David is a part of the Gospel. Here Paul says he was, set apart for the gospel of God concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh. We must know who God and Jesus are in order to be saved. And this is eternal life, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.(John 17:3) Since the Gospel is to be obeyed, the commandments of God are part of the Gospel. (1 Peter 4:17) All this goes to show that not all Christians know the Gospel.
Take the kingdom of God for example, some say the kingdom of God is in heaven, others say it is the church, some say that it is within you, some say it will be re-established when Christ returns. Somebody is wrong, dead wrong!
Cain and Abel
In the story of Cain and Abel, we see that God wants us to worship Him in His way, and not in our way. Cain and Abel were children of Adam and Eve. The account says: So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. (Genesis 4:3-5) God respected Abel’s offering because it symbolically represented Christ as the first-born from the dead. (Rev 1:5). Abel’s offering had shed blood, just like Christ shed his blood for us. Blood symbolises life. (Lev 17:11) That is why Hebrews 9:22 says without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. When Jesus died for us, his shed blood represented his loss of life. (John 10:15).
In Genesis 4:4 we see that Abel’s offering included the fat, which symbolizes stored energy. Christ offered his stored energy to God. Perhaps Abel was attached to the lamb he would offer, just as God loved Jesus whom he sacrificed. Cain’s offering lacked emotional attachment. So we see that Abel’s offering pointed forward to the cross of Christ, while Cain’s offering symbolized nothing, and was hence rejected. Cain was told that if he did well he would be accepted, but if he did not do well, sin was at the door. (Gen. 4:7)
Offerings were made repeatedly by performing them over and over. Abel would learn the mind of God while Cain would not. So we see in the story of Cain and Abel that not only is it important to serve God his way, but there is a reason for the correct approach to God.
The different kings of Israel and of Judah had different priorities, yet God judged their merit solely by whether they were sound in doctrine and practice. This is a lesson for today. After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam ascended to the throne. He didn’t care about the people’s suffering, and civil-war followed. Ten tribes left and followed Jeroboam who ruled over most of the Jewish nation, forming a rival kingdom. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah (1 Kings 12:26-27)
So Jeroboam made up a religion to keep his subjects from going to Jerusalem to worship. So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt. And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. And Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel, and went up to the altar to burn incense.(1 Kings 12:28-35) This sin became a pattern for sin of future kings. (1 Kings 16:2, 16:7, 16:19, 16:26, 16:31, 2 Kings 10:29, 13:2. 13:6, 13:11, 14:24, 17:22)
The only requirement for being a good king is thus being sound in doctrine and in practice. Despite this, most people today put little emphasis on sound doctrine. They are like the wicked king Jeroboam.
In the New Testament the wolf is a common symbol of the Apostasy. The wolf attacks the flock, killing the sheep, but bears and lions also do this. Why are these two animals not chosen to symbolise the Apostasy?
The Apostle Paul writes I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock (Acts 20.29) Here we see that the Apostasy would develop after Paul’s death.
The Apostasy was to disguise itself, pretending to be the true church. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7.15)
The Apostasy existed in the day of Jesus, for Luke 10.3 says Go your ways; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
Paid overseers of the Church abandon the sheep when they see the wolf coming. John 10.12 says; He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them.
Let us go back to the original question: why is the Apostasy symbolised by a wolf and not a bear or a lion? To answer this question, we must look at what a wolf meant to all the people of the first century. According to ancient tradition, a wolf raised twins called Romulus and Remus, who were said to be the founders of Rome.
The Bible’s wolf in sheep’s clothing is Rome pretending to be Christian. The great Apostasy is none other than the Roman Catholic Church! We are warned by Jesus and Paul of this wolf-like Apostasy. This warning is as valid today as it was in the first century. Let us avoid the Roman wolf and stand apart from him.
In Revelation 2 and 3, letters were written to seven churches. In these letters we see a need to be set apart from false doctrine.
The church at Ephesus tested those who said they were apostles, and were not, and found them to be liars. (Rev 2:2) Here we see false Christians may resemble true Christians. Careful scrutiny must be made to see what is true.
The church at Pergamos was condemned for having those who had the doctrine of Balaam. (Revelation 2.14) Balaam means waster of the people . He caused Israel to compromise so that he could get money. Many preachers today say we will be blessed if we give them money. Who is really being blessed?
In Revelation 2:20-21, the following words are said about the church in Thyatira, but I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
Churches these days have deacons living in sin, gay bishops, and gay pastors, and so on. This was not to be tolerated in John’s day, and it should not be tolerated now.
The final words of the letters to all seven churches are He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2.7, 11, 17, 29. Revelation 3.6, 13, 22) The word hear in the original Greek, also means obey. If this is a warning to the early churches, it is a warning to us also. We must be holy, set-apart from false teaching, and from false practice.
Why There is Compromise
Most people just aren’t interested in God. So to appeal to large groups of people, the church has to compromise. In the days of Isaiah, the people said to the prophet, You must not see visions. You must not prophecy to us what is right. Speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions. Let us look at an example of how churches change. In the fifties, women pastors were unheard of in main-line churches. Then along came women’s liberation. The Bible says, Let the women keep silent in the churches; for then are not permitted to speak (1Cor 14:34)
The church had a problem. If they kept the biblical stand and refused to ordain women, they would lose money, members, and power. The church wasn’t as interested in salvation as it was in these carnal things, so it compromised on doctrine. They set the Bible aside and allowed women to speak in church. Large followings are thus the hallmark of false religion because most people aren’t interested in God. Hence to appeal to the masses, you have to water-down the message. Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it. (Matt 7.13-14) We should seek for the narrow road which does not lead to compromise.
The Bible says we must confess Jesus. every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God (1 John 4:2) What does this mean? Many believe that all you have to do is to confess Jesus, is to utter the words I believe in Jesus. However, this is not the meaning of the word in the original Greek in which the Bible was written. The word confess in 1 John 4:2 is homologeo in the manuscripts. It is made up of two words homo, meaning one and logos, meaning word. In other words, to confess Jesus, we must each have one word about him. Confessing Jesus amounts to saying the same things about Him. Among people who follow Jesus, this is hardly the case. While most people believe in the Trinity, millions of people who follow Jesus do not believe in it.
Moslems believe Jesus was a prophet, but don’t believe that he was crucified. Some people believe he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, while others believe that Joseph was his biological father. Some believe that Jesus pre-existed, while others do not. Some believe that he was tempted with sin, while others don’t. Some Trinitarians believe Mary was the biological mother of the man-part of Jesus, while other Trinitarians believe that she was merely the incubator for the God Jesus, thus making no part of Jesus human. Mormons believe Jesus was the older brother of Lucifer, and that Christ was conceived when God made love to Mary. The leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States says that Jesus is female. There is also disagreement among Christians as to whether or not Jesus had to redeem himself. Not all people who claim to follow Jesus truly confess Him. This is important because John 17.3 says And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.
Sound Doctrine is Edifying
Some people say because sound practice is important, sound doctrine is not. The truth of the matter is, sound doctrine leads to sound practice. Lies manifest themselves in Sin. In fact, Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden believing in the lie of the Serpent over believing the truth of God, And the serpent said to the woman, You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3.4-6)
Solomon knew that knowledge was vitally important, for he said, it is not good for a person to be without knowledge (Proverbs 19.2) The New Testament also says lies lead to sin. instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Tim 1.3-5)
This idea is repeated in 1 Thessalonians 4:5 where we are told to abstain from lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God. Sin was the result of people not knowing God.
Paul the Apostle went into great detail on lies leading to sin in Romans 1:21-31.
21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful
Not only does the Bible tell us that lies lead to sin, it also tells us that the truth leads to righteousness. Paul said that the gospel, which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit (Col 1:5-6). This is why Jesus said you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32) It is common these days to say right living is the important thing, while right, doctrine is irrelevant. This view ignores the fact that sin entered the world because Eve believed a lie. False doctrine leads to false practice, as untruth leads to sin. Therefore it is important not only to avoid false doctrine, but teach and practice the teachings of Jesus.
There are only a few verses in the Bible about the Antichrist.
1 John 2.18 says many antichrists have arisen, so there is not just one Antichrist. The verse also associated the Antichrist with the last hour.
1 John 2.22 says the Antichrist is he who denies Jesus is the Christ. Christ means anointed, and Jesus was anointed prophet, priest, and king. A king has a throne, dominion, laws, rulers, and a capitol city, not to mention subjects.
Most people deny that Jesus will be a real ruler of a real nation. In doing this, they are the Antichrists. Not only will Jesus rule a real nation, he will be king of the Jews. An angel told Mary, He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end. (Luke 1:32-33) Jesus agreed with this, telling the apostles when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matt 19:28).
The most popular, (and incorrect) view of the Antichrist is that he will set himself up as King of Israel. Thus we see that many people who claim to be Christian will mistake Jesus for the Antichrist! The belief that the antichrist comes to reign in Israel comes from confusing the Beast in Revelation with the Antichrist. However, no Scripture says that the Beast and the Antichrist are the same. In fact the word Antichrist does not appear in the book of Revelation at all. Some Bible footnotes confuse the Beast and the Antichrist, but these footnotes are not of divine inspiration and only the opinion of man.
1 John 2:22 also says the Antichrist denies Jesus is the Christ. Some people say God is a Trinity, while others say He is a Unity only. Those who are wrong are Antichrists. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.(2 John 7) Jesus means Savior. but whom does He save? Did He save himself also? Why is it necessary for Jesus to save? Christ means anointed, but why was Jesus anointed? The saying Jesus was come in the flesh, means He was tempted with sin. Not all Christians believe this, and are hence Antichrists. 1John 4:3 makes the same point, saying every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
It is obvious from reading the pages of the Bible that it is critical to be of sound doctrine. Salvation depends on an understanding of God’s nature. (John 17:3) Those who do not understand this are Antichrist. Also, an improper understanding of the Antichrist may lead one to reject Jesus when he returns.
It is amazing that so many people do not see the importance of sound doctrine. An improper understanding of the Antichrist may lead one to reject Jesus when He returns. The Apostasy is to come out of Rome, as the Roman Catholic Church does. Confessing Jesus means speaking the same things about Him. Sanctification, sanctify, and holy, all mean set apart. The Gospel includes far more than knowledge of the cross of Christ, and sound doctrine leads to sound practice. The story of Cain and Abel symbolically shows why sound doctrine is important. The Bible calls kings who are sound in teaching and deed good kings. No matter how you look at it, doctrine is important.
The main reason this teaching is rejected by so many people these days is it is a fad to believe otherwise. However, Jesus said, the road to destruction is broad because most people believe what is fashionable to endorse.