Separation and Reunification

John Plunkett

October 5, 2017

Feast of Tabernacles Day 1

At the time of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day every year, God commands His people to separate ourselves from our "normal world," and to relocate ourselves for eight days. 

We are to relocate ourselves to one of the places that we believe God has chosen to place His holy name.

Deuteronomy 12:
5:  But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put
His name there, even unto His habitation shall you seek, and there you shall come...
Verse 11a:  Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there; there shall you bring all that I command you…

Back then, when these verses were written, the Israelites had the tabernacle, which was His "habitation."

We don’t have a physical temple now; but we are the pillars of the spiritual temple of the living God.  (And, by the way, there are other scriptures that indicate that there are different places than the temple that we can go for the Feast).

Deuteronomy 14:
23:  And you shal
l eat before the LORD your God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks; that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.

That is one of the most important reasons in God’s commands for us to keep the Feast.

24:  And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from you, which the LORD your God shall choose to set His name there, when the LORD your God has blessed you:
25:  Then shall you turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose:

With all our comparatively rapid modes of transportation (except for the M6, of course!), we are usually able to speed our way to and from God’s chosen Feast sites in a matter of hours.

But, if you think back to what we call "Bible times" – to the obedient Feast-goers who lived any long distance from Jerusalem rather than travelling backwards and forwards between their homes and Jerusalem for the individual Holy Days the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day they would have just made one trip and would have had to leave home in enough time to arrive at Jerusalem in time to keep the Feast of Trumpets. 

Most of them must have been separated from their "usual world" for the best part of a whole month each and every autumn!

The separation of God’s people at Fall Feast time appears to be very symbolic in many ways that I would like to talk about today.

Perhaps one of the most obvious symbolisms is for us to typify our compliance to God’s repeated commands for us to separate ourselves from the sin of the world.

In one of Jesus’ final prayers of His human sojourn, He talked to His Father about His human brothers and sisters – and that, although we must remain in this physical world, we are spiritually not of the world and that we are to be spiritually separate from it.

Let’s turn to John 17, one of the most wonderful chapters in the whole Bible:

John 17:
14:  “I have given them
your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
15:  “I do not pray that
you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep {separate} them from the evil one.

16:  “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Then a couple of years later, a faithful brother of Jesus, the apostle Paul, expanded on His Master’s words.  These words were originally given through Isaiah.  Paul recognized the vast gulf and the huge incompatibility between God’s obedient ones and those who have rejected Him.

II Corinthians 6:
14:  Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?
And what communion has light with darkness?
15:  And what concord has Christ with Belial?
Or what part has he that believes with an infidel?
16:  And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17:  Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate,
" says the Lord, "and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

So, what Jesus, Moses, Isaiah and Paul were talking about here in these scriptures, was separation.

That is what I would like to talk to you about today and on the Last Great Day.  Separation, and its more positive opposite, Reunification.

We will concentrate more on separation today, because on this day, we have begun to separate ourselves from the world for these eight days.

Sprinkled through the sermon today, though, we will find suggestions of reunification.   

Examples of Various Kinds of Separation Throughout Human Life

We will start off with some examples of various kinds of separation that we might experience throughout the human life-span.

First, we will talk about the birth of a baby.

Each one is a unique person – a unique potential child of God.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the births of each of our own children and grandchildren about the absolutely huge difference between each baby’s nine months in the comparatively controlled environment of its mother’s womb compared with its new existence after its birth into the big, wide world outside. 

What a vast transition it must be for a little baby, especially the relatively violent separation from its beloved mother.  I've often wondered and we have talked about this with our family about the separation at birth, whether it is possibly a partial cause of what is called "post-partum (or post-natal) depression" a condition that has, apparently, become quite common.

I ask myself the question, “Does the mother and the baby as well experience a unique sadness after the delivery of the baby – after that separation perhaps because of the unique closeness and personal relationship that the baby and the Mom have shared for nine months. Then suddenly, irreversibly, and even somewhat violently, that has changed forever.

God’s Word mentions this in a couple of scriptures.  Moses mentions this separation between mother and tiny baby in:

Genesis 25:23:
And the LORD said unto her
{Isaac’s wife, Rebekah}, “Two nations are in your womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from your bowels {your inward parts your womb}.

The apostle Paul mentioned it in:

Galatians 1:15:
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace,

Jesus also used this concept of birth separation as an illustration to His disciples, who were stricken with grief at His discussion of their approaching separation from Him:

John 16:  
16:  A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me, because I go to the Father.
20:  “Verily, verily, I say unto you that you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
21:  A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22:  And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.”

What Jesus foresaw on that Passover night did come to pass.  The disciples did experience sorrow – to the point of weeping and lamenting because of their separation from Jesus, whom they had grown to dearly love.  


Separation really is one of the saddest aspects of our human existence.  Perhaps the very saddest.

Shakespeare’s fictional Juliet told her beloved Romeo (who didn’t seem to very convinced) that “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

American poet Emily Dickinson wrote that, "Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell."   

Nevertheless, there are also good, as well as bad, separations.  Even in the human realm, some separations, although sad, are very necessary.

What would have been the future for my little grandchildren, for example, if they could not have been separated from my daughters’ wombs?  And what would have happened to my poor daughters if the little mites would have kept on growing in there?  


Moving on in years, we parents can get teary-eyed when our children separate themselves from us at the time they leave the nest to get their own flat, or apartment, or to get married, or to go away to college or university.  But we know in our hearts that this is the way it should be.  This is the way God planned it.  This is how our Creator created us!  Regarding marriage specifically, Jesus said:  

Matthew 19:5:
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Two of our four daughters married and moved to Washington State.  One 230-odd miles away.  One 360-odd miles away.  And our youngest daughter moved all the way to London, England – 4,800 miles away from us!   

And how can my wife and I complain?  Didn’t we do the same – only in reverse – back in 1974 when we put that same 4,800 miles between our parents and ourselves when we emigrated all the way from England to western Canada? 

Still, there’s no getting away from the fact that it is a cause of sadness when beloved family members and friends separate and move far away.  After Trish and I have visited you brethren and our family members here in England, it is nice to be going home; but parting from our loved ones is always hard to take.  God understands those things and He can teach us some things from those experiences.  


Often these days, though, when we hear the word "separation," we think of marital separation and divorce Without going into this aspect in too much detail, marital separation, divorce – or "putting away" as the King James version has it – is something that the LORD God hates:

Malachi 2:
14:  Yet you say, "Why?"  Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant.
15:  And did not He make one?  Yet had He the residue of the spirit.  And why one?  That he might seek a godly seed.  Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
16:  For the LORD, the God of Israel, says that He hates putting away
"For one covers violence with his garment," says the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that you deal not treacherously.

Yes.  He hates the separation of a husband and a wife.  


And, at the latter end of the human life span, we are all very aware of the sadness that comes due to the separation of any of our loved ones from "the land of the living":

Hebrews 9:27:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die; but after this the judgment:

Like it or like it not, unless Jesus returns very soon, we are all subject to that enemy of mankind (I Corinthians 15:26) that we call "the first death” (as opposed to "the second death" mentioned in Revelation 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8). 

Some More Bible Examples of Separation

Jesus specifically separated Paul and Barnabas from what had been their "usual world" in their past.

Acts 13:2:  
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy
Spirit said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. "

Romans 1:1:  
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God

These were good separations.  

Jesus foresaw that the people of the world will often separate His brothers and sisters from themselves if His brothers and sisters fail to do it, voluntarily themselves.  

I am not suggesting that we should be ignoring our neighbours or anything like that.  We really should be friendly with our non-Christian neighbours – as much as is possible and proper.  We'll address this as we go along.  

But Jesus does tell us that we are to be separate from them; and if we don’t separate ourselves from them, there's a good chance that they will separate themselves from us:

Luke 6:22:  
Blessed are y
ou, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

God made this even more clear to His Old Covenant “church” (Acts 7:38) many years before.  They were to maintain a separation between themselves and the rest of the world:

Leviticus 20:24:  
But I have said unto you,
"You shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that flows with milk and honey: I am the Eternal your God, which have separated you from other people. "

Moses was obedient to those commands:

Exodus 33:16:
For wherein shall it be known here that I and your people have found grace in your sight?  Is it not in that you go with us?  So shall we be separated, I and your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

There is a hint there, that if we God's New Covenant peoples want Him to "go with us" for Him to be united at one with us, then we must be separated spiritually from all of the people who are upon the face of the earth -- whereas under the Old Covenant, His people were supposed to be physically separated from the rest of the people in the world.

An interesting point here that appears to have a New Testament counterpart is that the Levites and Aaronic priests were given an extra "layer" of separation – even from the rest of Israel – because of their dedicated lives of service to God:

Numbers 8:14:
Thus shall you separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.

Deuteronomy 10:8:
At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto Him, and to bless in His name, unto this day.

This symbolic separation of the Levites – specifically the Levitical family of Aaron – was reiterated as David prepared all the fine details of the building of the temple:

I Chronicles 23:13:
The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons forever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto Him, and to bless in His name forever.

God repeated His command for Israel’s national separation over and over again.

In Solomon’s “wise period,” he knew how it was to be.  Here's what he said in his prayer of dedication of the new temple:

I Kings 8:
52:  That your eyes may be open unto the supplication of your servant, and unto the supplication of your people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto you.
53:  For you did separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be your inheritance, as you spoke by the hand of Moses your servant, when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD.

Sadly, as the years rolled by, Solomon’s initial wisdom appears to have been clouded by his riches and success. He even collapsed the national separation that had been commanded by God.  He did this by making treaties with gentile nations – even including Egypt!  Also, by marrying one of Pharaoh’s daughters, as well as many other gentile, heathen wives! 

We usually think of unification as being all good; but this was the wrong kind of unification!

Also, instead of having all the heathen “high places” torn down and removed from his kingdom, as he should have done, he actually frequented them, worshipped at them and even expanded them!  (See I Kings chapters 2, 3, 7, 10 and 11).

This blatant disobedience led directly – in the reign of Solomon’s son Rehoboam – to the LORD separating the formerly united kingdom of Israel into the northern house of Israel and the southern house of Judah:  

I Kings 11:
11:  Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, “Forasmuch as this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely rend
{Hebrew: "qara": rip, tear, split, slash or shred!} the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.
12:  Notwithstanding in your days I will not do it for David your father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of your son.
13:  Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to your son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.  

The years continued to roll by and the pleasure-loving people of Israel and Judah continued to neglect the necessity for their separation from the rest of the world. 

In disobedience to God’s clear commands, they rather separated themselves from Him and reunited themselves with the heathen world and its wicked ways – just as our modern Israelite nations are doing today – separating themselves further and further away from the living God, and drawing closer and closer to the wretchedness and the heathenness of Satan's world. 

After repeated, patient, merciful warnings through various of His prophets, God separated both houses from their homelands, and sent them into captivity – respectively into Assyria and Babylon.

While the people of both houses languished in their respective places of captivity, God issued this stern rebuke via His prophet, Ezekiel – simply explaining why they were in those predicaments, and how to avoid a repetition of it in the future:

Ezekiel 14:
7:  For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourns in Israel, which separates himself from me, and sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling-block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:

8:  And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off {i.e. I’ll separate him!} from the midst of my people; and you shall know that I am the LORD…
Verse 11:  That the house of Israel may go no more astray
{i.e. separate themselves} from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God,” says the Lord GOD.

He is hinting again at unification.  "You cut yourself off from me; I am going to separate from you.  If you come to me, and obey me, I am going to unify with you.

Post-Captivity Separations

After completing the seventy years of their captivity, God allowed a remnant of the house of Judah to return to their homeland.  That, of course, was a kind of reunification.

The history of the northern tribes of Israel is very sketchy.  I believe that some of them did come back to their homeland; but that is another story, which we will get into on some future occasion.

But for the people of the southern House of Judah – some of those returned exiles recognized the reasons for their punishment and now repeated God’s requirement for their separation from the heathen:  

Ezra 6:21:
And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat.

But some evidently had not learnt the primary lessons of their captivity and did not separate themselves as they should have done:

Ezra 9:1:
Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, “The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites”…

Here we see that, even after their corrective captivity and national punishment, some – perhaps many – including some of the Aaronic priests and other Levites! – were still joined with the heathen and their ways – and thus were separated from their brethren, from their princes.

What was the solution?   Here’s what Ezra – on behalf of the LORD God – commanded them to do:

Ezra 10:11:
Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do His pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.

Once that warning was given, many of them heeded the warning and the instructions:

Nehemiah 9:2:
And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.

Nehemiah 10:
28: And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;
29:  They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord
{YHVH-Adown}, and His judgments.

We can learn so many lessons from those ancient Israelites and Jews.  The lessons are clear for us:  Don’t do what they did!

Not only did these exiles, upon their repentance, separate themselves from the heathen; they also “clave”re-joined themselves toreunited themselves with – God, His law, their brethren and their leaders.   So, there is a "bad-news-good-news story" there; and it ended up looking good.  


Returning to the sub-topic of post-exile Judah once again, it came to be considered a great sin for the Jews not to separate themselves from the Gentiles, because their recent captivity had clearly proved that their lack of separation from the Gentiles led to the adoption of the sins of the heathen, as it had done with Solomon, and hence to their punishment by God. 

Even certain of the Gentiles who dwelt within the territory of the returned exiles were to be separated:  

Nehemiah 13:
1:  On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;
2:  Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3:  Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.  

It should be stated, nevertheless, that true and obedient believers among the Gentiles, even the Gentiles of Old Testament times, were not totally cut off from access to God.  If you would like to look this up, you'll find it in Isaiah 56:3-8. We will talk about this a little more on the Last Great Day.

Even more so, in the New Covenant era, we also need to be aware that since Jesus’ death and resurrection, there is no necessity for His New Covenant brothers and sisters to be separated by race, although that has been a bone of contention in the church for quite a few years.

God does not require true Christians of Israelite lineage, to separate themselves from true Christians of Gentile lineage.  How many of us really know how much Gentile, and how much Israelite, we have in our blood?

What about the human Jesus?  Did He obey His own laws regarding these requirements?  He made the laws.  He wrote them and He gave them to Israel.  But did He keep them?

Of course He did!  As a human being, Jesus was still living under the Old Covenant:

Hebrews 7:26:
For such a High Priest became us
{stands out among us; is eminent among us}, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Just like the Aaronic priests who had a "double layer" of separation for their dedicated lives of service to God; the separation of Jesus, who is our great High Priest of the Melchizidek order, His separation from the sin of the world was and is more than double!  His separation from the sin of the world had to be complete!

But, as a human being, Jesus’ example was to associate with the Gentiles, as well as the Israelites.  An example for us?  Yes.

Following Jesus’ example, the apostle Paul repeatedly asserted that under the New Covenant, there is no spiritual difference between Israelite and Gentile Christians:

Galatians 3:28:
There is neither Jew nor Greek
{Hellen: Gentile}, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  

Paul was so serious on this point, that he repeats this again in a few other places; but he even disputed with Peter on the matter in a very famous discussion:  

Galatians 2:  
11:  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  
12:  For before that certain
{Jewish leaders} came from James, he {Peter} did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.  

The separation that is required for the New Testament Israel of God (Galatians 6:16) is not to be a separation from converted physical Gentiles.   

From the examples and words of both Jesus and Paul, our separation is not even to be from the world itself!  But rather, from the sin of the world:

John 17:15:
I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil.

And, especially in the end times, from the Satan-inspired "Babylon the Great" and her Babylonish system:

Revelation 18:
2:  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird"...
Verse 4:  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.
5:  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”

How our world – including our Israelitish nations – is sliding more and more towards this!  One wonders to what extent Babylon the Great is starting to filter into our societies.  

Separation for Bodily Safety

Let’s take a look at a little side-issue.  This is a little different aspect of separation; but its history is interesting.  This is the common-sense, voluntary separation from potentially dangerous situations.

One of the best-known scriptural examples of separation for the preservation of human life is that of Israel’s separation from the advancing Egyptian army:

Exodus 14:
19:  And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
20:  And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

The angel of God in the pillar of cloud and fire put a protective separation between God's children and the grave threat of the Egyptian armies.


Later, once the danger of the Egyptian armies was well past, God warned Moses and Aaron to separate themselves from another great danger, symbolized by the tents of the rebellious Korah, Dathan and Abiram.  Moses passed on God’s warning to the Israelites:

Numbers 16:
20:  And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
21:  Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment”

Except for Moses, Aaron, and their families, He would have wiped the whole nation out, just like that.

22:  And they (Moses and Aaron) fell upon their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be wroth with all the congregation?”
23:  And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
24:  “Speak unto the congregation, saying, ‘Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’”
25:  And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.
26”  And he spoke unto the congregation, saying, “Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.”
27:  So they got up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children…

I think we all know what happened to those who did not obey the LORD’s command to separate themselves from that dangerous location.  


Later still, God commanded the Israelites to organize cities of refuge for the protective separation of those who accidentally killed  others.  (This is what we, today, would call "manslaughter"):

Deuteronomy 19:
2:  You shall separate three cities for you in the midst of your land, which the LORD your God gives you to possess it.
3:  You shall prepare you a way
{road}, and divide the coasts of your land, which the LORD your God gives you to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee there.
4:  And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee there, that he may live: Whoso kills his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
5:  As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the helve, and lights upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
6:  Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
7:  Wherefore I command you, saying, “You shall separate three cities for you.”


We tend to think of fleeing as cowardice; but the fact that some of the most righteous and courageous Bible personalities made wise use of the separation of fleeing shows us that such self-protective action should not be confused with cowardice, which God commands against (Isaiah 35:4; Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:40; Revelation 21:8). 

David, a man after God’s own heart, repeatedly found it necessary to separate himself from the insane and dangerous jealousy of King Saul:

I Samuel 19:
10:  And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night…
Verse 12: 
So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped…
18:  So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

I Samuel 20:1a:
And David fled from Naioth in Ramah…

I Samuel 21:10:
And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

There we see David running for his life .


The prophet Elijah also had good cause to separate himself – in his case, from the wicked King Ahab and his equally wicked queen, Jezebel who were threatening Elijah's life:

I Kings 19:
1:  And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
2:  Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.
3:  And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.


Jeremiah – another faithful man of God – wisely separated himself from another advancing Egyptian army, possibly leaving Jerusalem in the company of a group of refugees:

Jeremiah 37:
11:  And it came to pass, that when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army,
12:  Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to
separate himself thence in the midst of the people.


At times, even Jesus made good use of His ability to separate Himself from His enemies. 

Before He could make His own decisions as a human being, in the very earliest days of His human life; when Satan tried through King Herod to have the young Jesus killed, God arranged for a protective separation for Him.

Matthew 2:
13:  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be you there until I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14:  When he arose, he took the young child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15:  And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.”

God could have made other arrangements for Jesus and the family to be protected; but He didn’t.  He had them flee and separate themselves.

Jesus grew up, as we know, into a man. When He knew that the time was right, Jesus bravely faced physical torture and execution; so, we know that He was no coward. 

But when the Jews made earlier attempts to kill him, when the time was not right, He separated Himself from them:  

John 7:
1:  After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry
{Judaea}, because the Jews sought to kill him.
2:  Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
3:  His brethren
{Jesus' physical step-brothers} therefore said unto Him, "Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that your disciples also may see the works that you do.
4:  For there is no man that does anything in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly.  If you do these things, show yourself to the world."
5:  For neither did His brethren
{step-brothers} believe in Him.
6:  Then Jesus said unto them, "My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready.
7:  The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
8:  Go you up unto this Feast: I go not up yet unto this Feast; for my time is not yet full come.”
9:  When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee.
10:  But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the Feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
11:  Then the Jews sought Him at the Feast, and said, “Where is he?”...

John doesn’t tell us the timing here.  Jesus might have just waited until His step-brothers had left for the Feast and then He took off Himself, right after them.  Perhaps to protect them.  But I don’t believe that He would have missed any part of the Feast even its beginning.  

But once He did get there:

Verse 30:  Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come...
Verse 32:  The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning Him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him...
Verse 44:  And some of them would have taken Him; but no man laid hands on Him.

Then, shortly after that same Feast:

John 8:
20:  These words spoke Jesus in the treasury, as He taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on Him; for His hour was not yet come...
Verse 59:  Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

And on another occasion:

Luke 4:
28:  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29:  And rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong.
30:  But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way,

There is some indication in these verses that Jesus may have used His supernatural power to  disappear in order to separate and protect Himself until the right time for His sacrifice was come.

Again, God could have done this some other way; but He didn’t.  Separation by fleeing was the right thing to do at the time.


Jesus also advised His people – specifically those who were living in Judaea – to separate themselves from sources of extreme danger when it became necessary:

Luke 21:
20:  And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21:  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

We believe that the first fulfillment of this prophesied separation recommended by Jesus took place in 70AD, when the young Church of God fled to Pella, and that a second fulfillment will take place in the future, prior to the time of the Great Tribulation.


Today, we have talked about various kinds of separation.  Some of them positive, some of them negative, some of them that should not have happened, and some of them good and very necessary.

We have looked at the Bible examples of separations, we have looked at the separations in post-exile Judah, and we have looked at separations for bodily safety.

This is a big subject, so we are going to come back to it on the Last Great Day and continue with this study.  Then, I would like to continue looking at separations that are caused by sin, separations in the early Church of God era, and separations in more recent times in the Church of God.

But because we want to finish the Holy Days on a high point, we will look at the opposite of separation:  Reunification!