"I can't stand going to work anymore." These were the exasperated words of a friend of mine. "I know what the Lord is calling me to do," she said, "but every moment of my working day is committed to my employer."
My friend is reaching the end of her rope. Every day she faces difficult customers, including local police. Her working day is spent serving the world, leaving her drained and tired. Her heart yearns to work for the Kingdom of Heaven, but a vicious cycle of expenses and debt drive her further and further into slavery.
I thought about her situation and said, "All I know is that I would rather be poor with heavenly riches than work for the devil and live in comfort. If we are content with a humble lifestyle, then having enough is a feast." I suggested that my friend get out of debt and then quit her job.
She agreed, but was not yet satisfied. "But where do I begin?" she asked.
What do you do when you realize the whole world lies in wickedness? (1 John 5:19) How do you go about separating?
To separate doesn't necessarily mean to keep apart physically. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, the word separate means to disunite, to divide, to sever. To separate implies leaving something you were once a part of. As followers of Christ, we are called to separate from everything which is not approved by our Heavenly Father. He wants us pure and unspotted from the world (James 1:27).
Separation is done at three levels. It is similar to refining gold. During the first stage, big hunks of impurities are separated out. Then in the next stages, more imperfections are removed until you have a finely polished bar of gold. That's just what the Father wants with us. And it takes several swipes until we are finally unspotted from the world.
The first stage of separation is simply separation from outward sin. The next level is separation from the thoughts of sin. The third stage is separation from organizations that promote sin.
Jesus starts off His ministry by commanding separation. "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent! for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). In other words, change your direction. Stop pleasing self and start pleasing God. Apostle Paul says it this way, "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22).
This first level of separation, from sin itself, is even taught by the churches that are in harlotry with the State. Most people, if they try, can comply, at least outwardly.
Most people never get beyond this personal level of cleaning the outside of the cup. But Jesus goes even further. And this is where it starts getting to be a rough road.
Jesus also requires separating from even the thoughts of sin. On this second level, we purge even our desire to sin. We don't just stop doing it. We stop THINKING about it.
Years ago a Godly preacher tried to teach me this higher level of repentance. He caught me pulling a prank. I was about 14 and attending a Church camp. I hated being awakened early in the morning by the sound of the bell, so I found a ladder and removed the rope from the bell so it could not ring. Then the camp started using car horns to wake us. But I disconnected the horns.
Finally, I got caught in the very act by this preacher. As he walked me back to my cabin, I told him how sorry I was. The preacher paused and looked me straight in the eyes, "Paul, are you sorry because you got caught, or are you sorry because it was wrong?"
He knew that if I was sorry merely because I got nabbed, I would be pulling another prank at my first opportunity. But if I was sorry because I knew it was wrong, I would change my ways. This is Godly sorrow.
Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). "Be born again." That's a little different from merely repenting. We cannot be merely born of the flesh. We must also be born of the Spirit. Through this new birth of the spirit, we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, into God's government. It means putting away the old man with all his lusts and desires and becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus. This is a rough one, but it doesn't stop there.
The next level of separation is not just separating from sin, but separating from organizations that promote sin. Have no connection with them. This includes nations where men are lording over other men and making laws in defiance of God's Word.
Look at what Apostle Paul says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). Here we see that we are going to be separating from whole nations because they are not of Christ. And if we do that, we have a warning: "He that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey" (Isaiah 59:15).
Anyone who attempts to separate from the nations, will become a prey for the world to attack. Jesus says, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19).
That's a difficult one. We are called to be a holy nation, a people set apart from the nations of the world (1 Peter 2:9). Most people know when they hear the command to "come out" that they must disconnect from all the flag-waving nations of the world because they have all rejected Christ. But where do they go? How do they separate when every place they work and everywhere they go, they are surrounded by people who belong to the devil?
The nations have divided up the whole world into territories. They want to control all our activities. That is our number one problem. But all is not futile. There are some things we can do to separate before that hour when God throws the unrighteous in the lake of fire. First, we can quit working in their offices. That means don't take jobs offered by the world system. We are commanded to work, but we are commanded to work for God. Everything we do in word and deed, we do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17).
If the job requires a social security number, you know they want to entangle you in their wicked system. They want to make sure you belong to them. They don't want Christ's people working in their ranks.
When you start looking at the jobs available, it looks almost hopeless. You can't be employed by the cities or states or the federal government and be separate. You can't even work for a corporation because they get their life from the Antichrist beast system.
There are many jobs you cannot fill. You have to come out. You cannot be participating with them. The reason is that you must agree to work under their terms. You belong to Christ. How can Christ make an agreement with Belial? You can't do it. How can you tie the two together? You cannot. Christ will not share the throne with those who are in rebellion to Him (Psalm 94:20). How can two walk together unless they be agreed? (Amos 3:3).
The most popular passage in the Scripture on separation says, "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, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
This passage means you cannot be employed by the world system. You can offer your services, but don't bind yourself to them. If you are employed by them, complete your obligations and then quit. Come out. Work in faith.
Another area to separate from is the banking/credit system. Making agreements with the banks causes indebtedness. You are beholden to the bank when you take out a loan. "The borrower is servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7). You think you are obtaining financial assistance. In reality, you are the one actually being purchased. The bank gains a financial interest in you. Because of your agreements, you are forced to work to pay off your debt to them.
In the Kingdom of Heaven, everything you do is in cash. When you receive funds, you transfer them from the world system into the Lord's treasury. You owe no one anything but the continuing debt to love one another (Romans 13:8).
I remember many years ago when I received the call to come out from my State job with the Department of Transportation. My wife, Rachel, said, "No problem. I've got a really great State job and I'll support us both."
I was going to rely on my wife. That shows how much faith I had! I didn't have any faith. Shortly after I quit, my wife lost her job. It was a done deal. I had no job. Rachel had no job. The business we had started hadn't brought in even a dime. Then the Lord blessed us with our first child, Brooke. It took us six months before we saw any funds come in. We subsisted mainly on brown rice, beans and some fruit we had canned. I think we were PUSHED into leaving the State. It was God's idea in order to get us out of the system.
There are so many who are hesitant to quit their corporate employment. For us, it has been 20 years since we took that step and started walking in faith. The Lord has escorted us through some major attacks. And the Lord continues to look after us. He is ever faithful.
We belong to God. We do not belong to those who have rejected God. That does not mean we cannot talk and associate with these people. Not at all! But we don't make agreements with them. Instead, we work in the Kingdom of Heaven laboring at the work God shows us to do.
In the beginning, it may look hopeless. Before you can leave the system, you will need to pay off all your debts and simplify your life. Then you can quit being an employee. As you diligently work by faith, you will see job opportunities opening up. God has given you gifts that can be used to advance the Kingdom of Heaven. You will discover them as you seek first His Kingdom. Go after the Kingdom first, then all the other things you need will be provided.
Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.