Increasingly, the visible Church today is not the bride of Christ, but an antichrist counterfeit Kingdom – a great tree with branches spreading to cover the whole earth. These branches are the systems of men are full of false teachings, seducing spirits and even doctrines of demons. The more we focus on the essential themes of the Bible, guarding the deposit that has been given to us, and discerning that which differs, the clearer it is that this system is being thoroughly leavened.
We know that the scripture promises that there will be an escape for the regenerated believers from the hour of temptation that is to come upon the whole earth. But as we have shown, many who are in the visible churches today are not believers, but deceivers and the deceived. This is going to increase.
In a sense this is not a new problem. Believers who cling to God’s word have faced this throughout all generations. The Bible gives us the answers and the wisdom to know how we should pray and how we should respond.
The command is pretty clear:
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
God’s people are going to have to eventually separate themselves from this system wherever it is found. To involve ourselves with it is to “partake of her sins”. We cannot change the system from within. Those who love it and thrive in it and don’t feel the inward struggle of conflict and mourning over the loss of truth will not hear us if we are right there alongside them pretending to go along with it.
We must guard ourselves, and if we are in a situation that is running in this direction, we must separate ourselves for the sake of the truth. This serves as a testimony, and it is also a warning. The separation can be lonely, but we must learn to feed ourselves in the wilderness on the manna of God’s word.
Again, we’re not talking about separating from every believer that has a different view than us, or separation from a godly Bible believing church where the word is rightly divided from the pulpit and fellowship is genuinely sought. Even in these situations we realize we are fallen and make mistakes and must walk in love and forgiveness toward one another.
We’re talking separating from systems that are populated with teachings that are foreign and contradictory to God’s word, are driven by the agendas of fallen men, where the essentials of the faith are not heard from the pulpit and truth is silenced either by discipline from the leadership or peer pressure and silent rejection from those who do not receive it.
We’re talking about systems where unbelievers are more comfortable than Bible believers, and Bible believers are experiencing a soft persecution by mockery from the pulpit, ostracizing and rejection.
Even more difficult are the systems where the bible is preached regularly, but almost every verse is misapplied and misconstrued so the meaning always runs contrary to the overall narrative of scripture. In these cases only those who really know the word will be able to discern. When you’re in a situation where this is literally all you can find, you have to choose whom you will serve. As the writer of Hebrews said:
Heb 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
Paul spoke of separation as well, saying:
2Co 6:14 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,