Godly Separation

In our times, out is it that we should be living? We Christians who truly know our Lord via experiential knowledge of him by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we must understand that Holiness, true Holiness demands separation from evil. This is not a request, but a demand our Lord makes upon us. We as Christians must not be partakers in evil deeds or be too close to evil people. Those individuals whose wickedness is clear for all to see, we must not let their sinful acts rub off on us. There is a healthy degree of separation that is a requirement for us to be blessed of the Lord.

I believe David, who wrote the first Psalm for us summed up very well what is expected of us saints in a beautiful poetic fashion.

 Blessed is the man
that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
 nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
(Psalms 1:1-2)

The three basic positions mankind takes while he lives. David makes it clear that we are not to have part in the deeds of the ungodly, the sinful or the scornful which is probably a great way to describe today's militant atheists and secularists or the haters of God (satanists). We are not to take their counsel (advice) nor are we to stand in the way of sinners Lets take a look at three key words in the passage.

We are not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. The word translated counsel is this one.

A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.): - acknowledge, acquaintance (-ted with), advise, answer, appoint, assuredly, be aware, [un-] awares, can [-not], certainly, for a certainty, comprehend, consider, X could they, cunning, declare, be diligent, (can, cause to) discern, discover, endued with, familiar friend, famous, feel, can have, be [ig-] norant, instruct, kinsfolk, kinsman, (cause to, let, make) know, (come to give, have, take) knowledge, have [knowledge], (be, make, make to be, make self) known, + be learned, + lie by man, mark, perceive, privy to, X prognosticator, regard, have respect, skilful, shew, can (man of) skill, be sure, of a surety, teach, (can) tell, understand, have [understanding], X will be, wist, wit, wot.
Total KJV occurrences: 946

This is a rather complex word that has many different connotations, but the translator did use the correct word here. But as we can see it also means many other things. I see this verse as being one that would preclude a Christian from becoming a Freemason. A person must take oaths and partake of their doctrines and accept other Freemasons, as brothers. Those who become Freemasons actually are taking counsel with and from the ungodly. I say this because for the Freemasons, they have their own God which they call the 'great (or grand) architect of the universe' which allows for any and all religions into its body. They have their own 'understanding' and their own set of doctrines which a person is slowly initiated into higher levels if they get the 'blessing' of the higher Masons. One rises faster the more money and or business connections one has that helps enrich their brother Masons. Then one gets to know the higher 'counsels' of this secretive group.

Additionally we Christians can be influenced by others who want to give their ungodly and often satanic advice. Often those who give such advice have no idea that they are working under the power of the devil. They will tell you what they think you should do, who you should see, where you should go, how you should do this or that. I know I have had that problem many times in the past when those who have turned on the Lord and have gone aside to wickedness start to tell me how I should run my site and how I need to be more this or less that and generally tell me in a subtle way, "come with us, don't follow that Jesus stuff anymore, help us bless Nazi's, help me steal this $5000 air conditioner, link over to this new age site, etc". This is the kind of counsel ungodly people will eventually give to you, given enough time. To take their ungodly counsel is the first step off of the path of life. This is why the Psalmist tells us not to walk in their counsels. Perhaps we should take a quick look at the world walk as well.

Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively): - (all) along, apace, behave (self), come, (on) continually, be conversant, depart, + be eased, enter, exercise (self), + follow, forth, forward, get, go (about, abroad, along, away, forward, on, out, up and down), + greater, grow, be wont to haunt, lead, march, X more and more, move (self), needs, on, pass (away), be at the point, quite, run (along), + send, speedily, spread, still, surely, + tale-bearer, + travel (-ler), walk (abroad, on, to and fro, up and down, to places), wander, wax, [way-] faring man, X be weak, whirl.
Total KJV occurrences: 1545

The idea the Psalmist seems to have wanted to covey was to have familiarity with, to go down the same path and to 'hang out' with or to be at ease with those who know not God. One mistake I will never make again is to be at ease and share any confidence with a person who has not shown a consistent love of Christ and his ways. I strongly exhort you all to do the same. Be careful of friendships with godless people particularly in these troubled times. At work of course we must all have some kind of professional associations and even some social interaction is expected or required. Nevertheless, keep in mind who you belong to and what he expects of you and know that when the spirit of Judas appears, it always comes in the form of a friend or family member. Take great care who you walk with and whom you take counsel from.

The next stanza warns about who to stand with or rather, who not to stand with. We are not to stand with sinners. The word for stand is this one.

A primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively): - abide (behind), appoint, arise, cease, confirm, continue, dwell, be employed, endure, establish, leave, make, ordain, be [over], place, (be) present (self), raise up, remain, repair, + serve, set (forth, over, -tle, up), (make to, make to be at a, with-) stand (by, fast, firm, still, up), (be at a) stay (up), tarry.
Total KJV occurrences: 521

Brown Driver Briggs Dictionary gives us this definition.
BDB Definition:
1) to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to stand, take one’s stand, be in a standing attitude, stand forth, take a stand, present oneself, attend upon, be or become servant of
1a2) to stand still, stop (moving or doing), cease
1a3) to tarry, delay, remain, continue, abide, endure, persist, be steadfast
1a4) to make a stand, hold one’s ground
1a5) to stand upright, remain standing, stand up, rise, be erect, be upright
1a6) to arise, appear, come on the scene, stand forth, appear, rise up or against
1a7) to stand with, take one’s stand, be appointed, grow flat, grow insipid
1b) (Hiphil)
1b1) to station, set
1b2) to cause to stand firm, maintain
1b3) to cause to stand up, cause to set up, erect
1b4) to present (one) before (king)
1b5) to appoint, ordain, establish
1c) (Hophal) to be presented, be caused to stand, be stood before
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root
Same Word by TWOT Number: 1637
The connotation is broad but I find the idea of 'making a stand' with those who know not God as being an important but hardly the only connotation. When the wicked make their stand, we must not be with them. This is I think an important one for we Christians today in our heavily politicized environment. We need to hold fast to that which is good and to stand fast with God, not the godless.

The next stanza uses the sitting metaphor. The word sitteth is this one in the Hebrew.

A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry: -  (make to) abide (-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit (-ant), make to keep [house], lurking, X marry (-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set (-tle), (down-) sit (-down, still, -ting down, -ting [place] -uate), take, tarry.
Total KJV occurrences: 1081

Here the connotation has a slightly more permanent effect than one of walking or standing. Sitting means to remain, to and as noted above, it could mean settling down in a home or marriage. Such associations are forbidden unto us especially with the scornful. 

Here lets take a look at what he BDB dictionary says about the word scornful.
BDB Definition:
1) to scorn, make mouths at, talk arrogantly
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to boast
1a2) to scorn
1b) (Hiphil)
1b1) to mock, deride
1b2) to interpret (language)
1b2a) interpreter (participle)
1b2b) ambassador (figuratively)
1c) (Hithpalpel) to be inflated, scoff, act as a scorner, show oneself a mocker
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root
Same Word by TWOT Number: 1113
Have you ever been around an arrogant prick who loves to mock and cast dispersions on you? A guy or gal who never has anything good to say about anything? Or one who has the deepest contempt for your faith in God and takes every opportunity to say something negative about you and your God? The scriptural admonition almost seems moot, but is stated nevertheless. Don't live with, sit with, dwell with marry or otherwise get to close to such. In not sitting with such so you will be blessed by the most high. You know, when I get rid of bad relationships I feel like a giant load is taken off of my shoulders. Like a dark cloud has been removed from around me or a painful boil or wound has been suddenly healed. The best bet for all of us is to not let that dark cloud get next to us in the first place.

The sum of this little spiritual aside can be found in the New Testament in the book of 2nd Corinthians.

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.

(2Co 6:14-18)

May God grant you all wisdom in your relationships and may he guide your footsteps more gently than he was forced to deal with me on this issue! Take the Lord's advice and watch who you Stand, Walk and Sit with and receive the blessing of the Lord for so doing!

But what also must be made plain is that we must not give into Pharisee-ism and take on a spiritual arrogance that makes us think we are better than others. This was the downfall of the religious establishment in Christ's time.  No, better a quiet humility, full of love and grace  - this should be the cornerstone of our character.

Grace and peace to you all in Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark

By, Mark S. Watson
Aug 2017

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