Separation (2)

(DEUT 22:9) Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.
(DEUT 22:10) Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.
(DEUT 22:11) Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

The principle of separation ensconced within these statutes (as they are called in LEV 19:19) is instructive for us: for our learning (ROM 15:4) and even our convictions as Christians under a New Testament. These specific laws are not found under the New Testament, they being part of that unique Jewish Law which distinguished them from other nations under the (Old) Mosaic Covenant. God wanted them be a peculiar treasure unto Himself (EXO 19:5) and to that end gave them distinguishing laws and features such as dietary law, circumcision, sabbaths (for Israel only, see EXO 31:12-17). If these laws were meant for all nations, then where would the distinction be which made Israel God’s “...peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations...” (DEUT 14:2)? These laws were abrogated by Christ as being part of “...the law of commandments contained in ordinances...” (EPH 2:13-16) which separated Jews and Gentiles. A good way of harmonizing peoples that should be together is to eliminate unprofitable laws which set them at enmity one with another. Let the favor of men before God be measured by their character, not their class.

Another example of things which Israel was expected to keep separate was the office of priest and king. Attempts at combining those in one person invited God’s judgment, as with King Saul (1SAM 13:8-14) and King Uzziah (2CH 26:18). The possession of both offices was reserved for Messiah Who would be “...a priest upon his throne...” (ZEC 6:12-13), a priest-king after the order of Melchisedec (HEB 6:20; HEB 7:1-2). NOTE: the combining together of Secular and Sacred power in the hands of sinful men has been the source of great tyranny in history, and is still a threat in the world today. Our Lord Jesus Christ set forth the best model: “...Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (MAT 22:21). The church of Jesus Christ needs not the secular power of the State to support it or enforce its holiness with the sword, and is in fact better off without it. It is a very carnal religion that cannot advance itself without force and faithful Abels are only perceived as threats by insecure Cains (GEN 4:1-8).

Also, God strictly forbade Israel from mingling together the religious customs of the heathen with His ordained form of worship and service (DEUT 12:29-32; JER 10:1-4, etc.). This principle of separation is still in force under the New Testament. Jesus taught disciples, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do...” (MAT 6:7). Christ’s Holy Spirit enlarged upon this separation principle in 1CO 10:5-7; 1CO 10:19-22 and was particularly clear about not adopting and mingling false religion with true religion in 2CO 6:14-18,

(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?
(2CO 6:15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
(2CO 6:16) 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.
(2CO 6:17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
(2CO 6:18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

The customs of Christmas and Easter are universally known as religious cross-dressing, a wearing of the garments of Christ with the garments of heathenism. They are classic examples of the spirit of Surely God at work (see the previous meditation). She (Surely) is a zephyr of a heifer among the false gods who blows sweet nothings in the ears of her followers, saying, “Surely God wouldn’t mind if we honored Him by disobeying Him as long as we do it for His glory.” But “Surely, you’re wrong.” The first step of Christianity is repentance from error, not consecration of error to God’s glory. Men are to turn to God FROM idols (1TH 1:9), not WITH them or their associated forms of worship.

Another area of needed separation is man’s traditions/doctrines from Scripture. Jesus denounced such a blend of “...teaching for doctrines the commandments of men...” and “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition...” (MAR 7:5-13). Tradition invariably usurps the word of God’s authority and “out-holy’s” its stated liberties, imposing artificial holiness which Paul condemns as “will worship” (COL 2:20-23). Perhaps this needed separation was implied in DEUT 22:9. Gospel labors are likened to planting a vineyard (1CO 9:7), and an evangelist needs to sow Scripture which is profitable (2TI 3:16), not traditions which are palatable, nor sow from phony bibles which are palpably full of ergot-infected seed.