Class Notes: 3/8/2009
Conclusion of the Doctrine of separation: Eph 4:27; Beginning of the Doctrine of "not giving an opportunity to the Devil"
We are presently discussing The Doctrine of Separation that is the system for protecting one's spiritual life when dealing with those who are living in the kosmic system that is found in 2Thes 3:6; 2Cor 6:17; and 2Tim 3:5;
The Greek words that are used in these passages for this command are:
"Stello" that means to avoid." aphorizo" that means to be separated, and "apotrepo" that means to turn away from.
In 2Thes 3:6 Paul states it as a direct command and in 2Cor 6:17 and 2Tim 3:5 the Greek words are in the imperative mood of command.
Separation is the technique of mentally switching from personal love to unconditional integrity love or of physically separating in order to deal with those who are persistently living in the kosmic system.
Last time we concluded with a discussion of the mandate for separation among believers because of blatant immorality that is in 1Cor 5:2,13; where the command to separate is quoted from God's mandate to Israel in Deut 13:5; Deut 17:7,12; Deut 21:21;Deut 22:21;
Believers are also instructed to separate from those who advocate criminal behavior:
Prov 1:10; - My son, if sinners (those with criminal lust who are to be avoided. "the word translated "sinners" describes those with a lifestyle of evil that results from habitual sinning that results in their being vicious and wicked" ) entice you (to entice; deceive; persuade, to be gullible; "those susceptible to persuasion"), do not consent (not to consent, not to acquiesce, not to be inclined to submit )*.
Those involved in criminal lust often have various motivations for their criminality that come from other lust patterns of the OSN. Some are driven by monetary or materialism lust, others power lust, and still others by chemical lust.
Do not consent to this. Many crimes are committed today by those who are addicted to drugs who steal to feed their habit.
Once the cash or goods are stolen, the criminals, who are sometime members of a gang, will use the money and sell the goods in order to buy drugs. Such people are to be avoided.
If the law doesn't eventually discover them they will meet their own end through the horrible death that comes to those who are addicted to drugs.
Prov 1:11; - If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood ( with intent to kill ), let us ambush the innocent ( an innocent person; the shed blood of an innocent person ) without cause ( undeserved, without cause, innocent as having caused no offense )*;
Those describe here have a system of setting traps for people who are chosen as targets for the sole reason that they have something the criminals want. These people are completely innocent and are therefore attacked without cause.
v.12 let us swallow them alive like Sheol ( an idiom for excessive brutality ), even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
v. 13 we shall find all kinds of precious wealth, we shall fill our houses with spoil;
v. 14 throw in your lot with us, we shall all have one purse,"
v. 15 my son, do not walk ( the Hebrew word "derek" that metaphorically describes the thoughts that lead to one's lifestyle or behavior in life)
The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament Page 265 "derek": the path that is traveled; refers to individual conduct; "metaphorically to refer to the pathways of one's life, suggesting the pattern of life or lifestyle"
v15cont... keep ("mana") your feet
The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament Page 246" mana" is an idiom that implores the volition to separate from those who are involved in criminal activities.
v15cont.... from their path. The word translated "their path" is "nathiyv" a caravan route; signifies the conduct of people who are hostile to one another.
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament , volume 3: page280; states regarding "nathiyv".... those who possess a lifestyle of righteousness must avoid those who have blazed a trail or a caravan route of behavior patterns, that have become a lifestyle of wickedness )*,
v16 - for their feet run to evil ( a lifestyle of criminal lust ), and they hasten to shed blood.
Our responsibility as members of the RFOG as good soldiers for TLJC is to separate from anyone who is involved in criminal activity.
There are Psalms that address the plight of the innocent who are victims of the "wicked" that address the ultimate end of those who prey on the innocent. Psa 10:17-18; Psa 94:21-23;
TLJC will himself destroy the criminals and believers as members of his body are not to associate with them.
Some concluding points regarding the doctrine of separation that we have been discussing.
Separation requires doctrinal discernment not emotional reaction.
The purpose for this doctrine is to make believers aware that though they are in the Devil's world they are not part of the Devil's world.
After salvation, spiritual growth is a gradual process of transforming the soul from a vessel of dishonor to a vessel of honor through the persistent PMA of Bible Doctrine.
During this renovation of the thinking, the believer will experience an ongoing battle that is engaged on three fronts... the devil and the fallen angels, the kosmos, and the OSN that promote the arrogant manner of life described by John in 1John 2:16;.
As this growth continues it will occasionally become necessary to reassess one's own personal behaviors and those of one's acquaintances in light of the doctrine that has been learned.
When the viewpoints, attitudes, actions, and behaviors of one's associates come into conflict with your own then you must first rely on unconditional love.
This requires mental separation such that even though you are in their presence you are not in agreement with or involved with their lifestyle.
However, when the believer determines that they are being pulled into the evil lifestyle of their associates or their associates are attacking them for their doctrinal lifestyle then they must separate physically.
This physical separation is necessary to protect the believerís soul from the evil influence and validates the believer's witness toward others who otherwise would rightly accuse them of hypocrisy if they persisted in associating with those who were practicing evil.
Separation is designed to protect the believer's soul from influences and temptations that would slow their spiritual growth while simultaneously providing the environment for learning the doctrine that will accelerate that growth.
And finally remember the quotation from the Poet Menander that Paul used in: 1Cor 15:33; Stop being led astray. Evil associates corrupt good norms and standards.
This leads us to the next mandate we will examine that is found in Eph 4:27; where we find a command for defensive action, in the words " And do not give the devil an opportunity".
The mandate comes from the Greek words "mede didomi" "mede" is translated "do not" and the word translated "give " is "didomi" the second person plural active imperative of "didote" that means to "cause to happen" to "grant or to allow "
The Greek word translated opportunity is "topos", and it means a place or a room or space that can be occupied. In the context it is referring to a place or room in your soul that can be occupied by the devil's propaganda.
So the verse is warning us not to make any room in our soul for the thoughts that are promoted by the devil, or his kosmos system that comprise the kingdom of darkness.
The space that is to be denied the devil and his kosmos are the mental attitude sins that become motivational evil that eventually lead to functional evil of the kosmic system.
When one is proud, jealous, vindictive, afraid, bitter, angry, unforgiving, or immersed in self-pity and guilt, one "gives the devil an opportunity".
No other category of sin is as destructive to the believer's spiritual momentum, for as a man "thinks within himself, so he is" Prov 23:7;.
Believers must guard against mental attitude sins by acknowledging them quickly and being filled with the spirit begin to refocus on the word of God that restores the relaxed mental attitude of the Spiritual life.
Bible Doctrine is described as being pleasant to the soul in Prov 2:10;Prov 19:8, Prov 24:4; Eccles 7:12;
but rejection of Bible doctrine that is "absolute truth" and the "mind of TLJC" produces destruction, Isa 5:13, Hosea 4:6;
So, just as God's word gives the rooms of the soul pleasure and freedom, a lack of doctrine in those rooms leaves space for the devil and produces slavery and bondage.
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