THE DISCIPLINE OF SEPARATION - Come out and be Separate!

Shabbat Shalom,

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.

In making it very clear to us, Sha’ul was reminding us that we are the Dwelling Place of the Living Elohim, and we are to learn how to be separate by coming out from that which is not of Elohim; and be on guard to not touch that which is unclean!

Being separated involves a coming out from among that which is foreign and contrary to the Torah of Elohim! The Greek word used here for ‘separate’ is ἀφορίζω  aphorizō – Strong’s G873 which means, to mark off by boundaries, ostracise, separate, set-apart, and comes from the two words: 1 - ἀπό  apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and primitive particle, meaning, from, away from, against; and 2 - ὁρίζω  horizon – Strong’s G3724 which means, predetermined, fixed, appointed, to mark off by boundaries’.

What is very clear throughout Scripture is that we are called to come out and be separate. If we do not heed this call to come out and be separate then we may find ourselves among those whom the Messengers of יהוה will ‘separate’ from the congregation!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:49-50 “Thus shall it be at the end of the age: the messengers shall come forth, and separate the wicked out of the midst of the righteous, 50 and shall throw them into the furnace of fire – there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The choice is very clear – separate yourselves from all foreign worship and its practices, or you will be separated for destruction and thrown into outer darkness! There is a clear separation that is called for, and the true royal priesthood has been separated unto Elohim, and therefore must no longer be ‘joined’ to the ways of the world:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:7-11 “Therefore do not become partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master. 11 And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Separation is a very clear continual theme that we find in Scripture, and we are able to see that right in the beginning Elohim separated the light from the darkness (Berěshith/Genesis 1:4). Light’, in Hebrew, is the word, אוֹר  ‘oor’ – Strong’s H216 which we know in Scripture, in being the opposite to darkness, carries with it the clear significance it has for us in speaking of knowledge and insight and understanding. In fact in Berěshith/Genesis 1:3 when Elohim said, “let light come to be”; I firmly believe that He was, in essence, saying that His Word brings order to the chaos; and that wisdom and understanding would be firmly be established by His Word!

Tehillim/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Tehillim/Psalm 119:130 “The opening up of Your words gives light, giving understanding to the simple.

Yoḥanan/John 8:12 “Therefore יהושע spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.

Right here in the beginning of creation we see the power and effect of the Word of Elohim – it separated the light from the darkness! And when we understand that darkness is a picture/metaphor of folly, and that light is a picture/metaphor of wisdom, then we are able to see that His Word shows us the clear difference by separation; and the need to separate all that is of folly or foolishness from that which is of wisdom:

Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 2:13 “Then I saw that wisdom is better than folly, as light is better than darkness.

The primitive root word used for ‘separated’ is בָּדַל  baḏal – Strong’s H914 meaning to be divided, separate, make a difference, make a distinction. His Word causes a clear separation between light and dark and so we also see in our lives that just as light brought forth order that was ‘good’, so too do we need to see the need for His Word to bring His order and give us the ability to make a clear distinction between what is profane and what is set-apart; and since we have His Light – that is Messiah – we have no excuse not to be separated from darkness!

This root word is used in:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 20:24-26 “But I say to you, “You are going to possess their land, and I Myself give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am יהוה  your Elohim, who has separated you from the peoples. 25  ‘And you shall make a distinction between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean birds and clean. And do not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or whatever creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. 26 ‘And you shall be set-apart to Me, for I יהוה  am set-apart, and have separated you from the peoples to be Mine.

3 times in these 3 verses we see the word בָּדַל  baḏal being used – twice translated as ‘separated’ and once as ‘make a distinction’. It is יהוה who has separated us from all peoples, to be a set-apart nation unto Him and therefore we are called to make a clear distinction between what is clean and what is not, and so by the hearing of His Torah and the obedience of keeping His Times and laws we are called to active separation from that which is not pleasing to Him!

True separation that is called for takes discipline, and this is what I want to discuss tonight, in a message called, ‘THE DISCIPLINE OF SEPARATION’, I hope that we will all be stirred with a true ardent urgency to live completely separated lives unto our Master, Elohim and King, יהושע Messiah.

As I was reading this week, I could not get away from meditating upon a verse that kept stirring deep within me, and I briefly mentioned it to some on 4th day evening. And tonight I want to share some valuable insight that will hopefully stir you to take great care in being disciplined in your separation from that which is not of Elohim! The verse is:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of יהוה is the discipline of wisdom, and before esteem is humility.

Before we look a little more closely at this verse, we know that the Word tells us in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.

And again in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.

So while we have come to know these verses in telling us that the fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, we also must take note that the fear of יהוה, is not just the beginning of wisdom, but it is also the ‘discipline of wisdom’! This shows us that the fear of יהוה is an ongoing process of causing us to be a set-apart priesthood that is able to discern between the set-apart and the profane and between the clean and the unclean! And while יהוה gives us wisdom through His Word, by His Spirit, we must recognise our need to be disciplined in that wisdom, on a daily basis through a continual meditating upon the Torah of Elohim, day and night!

A frequent term that we find in Scripture – The Fear of יהוה – is certainly a term that we all want to firmly grasp and understand in its fullness, so that we may grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of His Word that shapes us, and sets us apart as a ready Bride waiting for our Master.

I gave a message a couple of years back called, ‘Those fearing Elohim – Listen!’, and looked at a better understanding of what ‘The Fear of יהוה’ means in terms of that which flows from His gut – that is His Word, and I encourage you all to go and read the notes on this, as I do not want to dig into the meaning of that tonight, but rather want to expand on it as we look at the discipline of wisdom that the Word or יהוה brings to us. As we consider our need to be disciplined in the Word, I want us to consider the impact that proper discipline will have on our lives versus that which lacks true discipline!

Before looking at the Hebrew words here in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:33, for ‘discipline’ and ‘wisdom’, let me first give you an English definition of wisdom, as contained in the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:

Discipline can be described as follows:

As a noun it can mean: 1) a field of study; 2) training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character; 3) control gained by enforcing obedience or order; 4) orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. It can also be understood as meaning, self-control.

As a verb it can have the meaning: 1) to punish or penalize for the sake of discipline; 2) to train or develop by instruction and exercise, especially in self-control; 3) to bring a group under control (discipline a troop); 4)  to impose order upon. It can also be understood as meaning, punish, teach, instruct.

As an adjective is can be understood as, being marked by, or possessing, discipline.

While I have given you a very extensive definition of discipline, I hope that you can see that is can both reflect that which can be imposed upon you, as well as that which you impose upon yourself, in training yourself to have the needed self-control that is required to live a life marked by discipline!

Discipline is a very important feature or theme in Scripture, and only those who are or have been disciplined, and continue to be marked by the true discipline of the Word shall live set-apart lives that exercise daily the discipline of separation!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 5:21-23 “For the ways of man are before the eyes of יהוה, and He considers all his paths. 22 The wrong one is entrapped in his own crookednesses, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and in the greatness of his folly he goes astray.

The wrong shall die for lack of discipline!

Let us know look at the two Hebrew words, discipline and wisdom.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘discipline’ in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:33 is מוּסָר musar – Strong’s H4148 which means, discipline, chastening, correction, reproof, punishment, warning, and comes from the primitive root verb יָסַר yasar – Strong’s H3256 which means, to discipline, admonish, correct, teach.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs speaks of discipline with the emphasis on instruction, and to answer the question of how discipline is administered, we can see in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

The Hebrew word מוּסָר musar – Strong’s H4148 is used here for ‘discipline’.

The Hebrew word for ‘rod’ is שֵׁבֶט sheḇet – Strong’s H7626 and means, rod, staff, branch, shaft and is a symbol of authority and rulership, and is also translated as ‘sceptre’ in referring to the rule and authority of Messiah, the Sent One, in whom we have all authority! What we can learn from this is that we are able to destroy the weaving of the world’s ways by taking our stand of faith in the Authority of the Word being active in our lives!!!

The word מוּסָר musar – Strong’s H4148 is used 50 times in Scripture, and of those 50 times, we see it being used in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30 times, hence our clear understanding of how Mishlĕ/Proverbs carries a great and important theme of the discipline of wisdom that is needed in our lives! There is certainly great wisdom in true discipline!

True wisdom accepts the discipline and instruction of יהוה, and sadly there are many today who claim to love Elohim and claim to be followers of the Master, and will even recite many verses contained in the Covenants of Promise, while they so easily discard the need to walk in the Torah of Elohim, and quickly cast aside His clear instructions!

Tehillim/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 “While you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?

The Hebrew word used here for ‘instruction’ is מוּסָר musar – Strong’s H4148! In other words, many will talk the talk, yet hate the walk, or rather hate the needed discipline required to live true set-apart lives, and will quickly cast the word of Elohim behind them, instead of letting it be a light for their path ahead of them!

At the beginning of Mishlĕ/Proverbs we are told straight up in 1:2-3 that these proverbs of Shelomoh are for knowing wisdom and discipline, and for receiving the discipline of wisdom, and in 1:7 we are told that fools despise wisdom and discipline! The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘discipline’ is παιδεία paideia – Strong’s G3809 which means, the repairing of a child, training, discipline. It is used 6 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.), 4 of which is used in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12 which deals with our need, as children of the Most High, to accept the much needed discipline of a Loving Father! It is also used in Sha’ul’s letter to Timotiyos and translated as ‘instruction’ in:

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.

We need the Word to instruct us in righteousness; and to despise the instruction and discipline of the Word is foolish, and as mentioned already – fools die for lack of discipline!

The Greek word used for a ‘taught one’ or ‘disciple’ of Messiah is μαθητής mathētēs – Strong’s G3101 which means, disciple, pupil, student, taught one or one who is learning, which comes from the word μανθάνω manthanō – Strong’s G3129 which means, learn by use, practice and the basic meaning of this Greek word is understood as, to experience, and the use of this word implies an intellectual concern, which can therefore also render for us the understanding of, seek to experience or, learn to know; and this word is also used in the Greek language with the understanding of, learning skills under instruction. This word comes from the root μαθ- math which means, to learn, educated, receive instruction’. A true ‘disciple’ of our Master and Elohim, is one who is ‘disciplined’ and learns by receiving instruction and taking heed to walk in it! Many claim to be disciples of Messiah, yet clearly they lack the ‘discipline of separation’.

As we look at this word for ‘discipline’ – מוּסָר musar – Strong’s H4148 in the ancient pictographic lettering, we are able to glean a better understanding of our need to be a disciplined people!

In the ancient pictographic alphabet, this Hebrew word for ‘discipline’  - מוּסָר musar – Strong’s H4148, looks like this:

reshsamekwawmem

Mem - מ:

The ancient script has this letter as mem and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.

Waw/Vav – וּ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as waw, which is a ‘peg’ or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’. It is by the work of Messiah, in His own Blood, that has secured for us His Covenants of promise, to which we are added to; and His righteousness stands forever secured in Him!

Samek - סָ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as samek, which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.

The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.

Resh - ר:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as resh, which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief. Our true life of praise unto יהוה, our Head, begins when we fear Him, for He is the beginning of our strength, and true separated praise entails a true fear of the One who is Chief over us!

When we look at these letters in their ancient pictographic form we are able to clearly see what true discipline entails, as we are to turn away from all wickedness and turn to our Head and Master; and to do so takes great discipline. For: It is through the disciplined continual washing of water by the Word that secures and establishes us, that we are enabled to turn our eyes to our Master and grab hold of His word!

True discipline for a true taught one of the Master, involves a committed fixing of one’s eyes on Him!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1-2 “We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.

In a nutshell we could best understand this term for discipline in the Hebrew - מוּסָר musar – Strong’s H4148 – as a term that clearly emphasises our need to be constantly turning our head/eyes to our True Head – and this we do by allowing the Word to wash us and establish us as a true disciplined disciple/taught one of Messiah!

Let me ask you – how disciplined are you? What do you set your eyes upon each and every day, as you sojourn here as ambassadors of the Coming Reign? In your walk of faith, are you continually turning your head to The Master? By that I mean, are you continually turning your attention and thoughts and actions to the One whom you should be following, or are the things of the world and the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes taking your attention away from the needed discipline of separation? When you are confronted with situations, circumstances, conversations or dealings with the world, are you able to have the discipline of separation active in your life, or do you find yourself subtly being conformed to the standards of others, instead of shining the light of set-apartness by being transformed by the renewing of your mind through the Word?

Let us now look at the Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’, as we shall further see our need to be disciplined in separation!

The Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’ is חָכְמָה  ḥokmah – Strong’s H2451 meaning, wisdom, skill and is from the primitive root word חָכַם  ḥakam – Strong’s H2449 meaning, to be wise, skilful, make wise.

In the ancient pictographic alphabet, this Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’ - חָכְמָה  ḥokmah – Strong’s H2451 looks like this:

heymemkaphchet

et – חָ:

The ancient script has this letter as chet which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!

Kaph - כְ:

The ancient form of this letter is kaph - meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey!

Mem - מָ:

The ancient script has this letter as mem and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.

Hey – ה:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The Hebrew word “hey” means “behold”, as when looking at a great sight. This word can also mean “breath” or “sigh” as when one sighs in amazement when looking at a great sight. The meaning of the letter hey is behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

As we consider these pictographic letters that render for us the term for ‘wisdom’ we are able to clearly see that wisdom entails a separation, as pictured through the tent wall. We can render the meaning of the construction of this word, in terms of true wisdom, as meaning, We are built up in the Master as we separate ourselves from the world as we submit under the hand of our Master and do what His Word instructs as it washes us, and enables us to lift our hands to Him in continual praise!

Wisdom, at its core, speaks of one’s ability to clearly separate the good from the bad, right and wrong, left and right, and up and down; and this we are to be able to do as we exercise true discipline – the discipline of separation!

Wisdom is often used in the context of a skilled workman that has been equipped by the Spirit of Elohim:

Shemoth/Exodus 28:3 “And you, speak to all the wise of heart, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, and they shall make the garments of Aharon, to set him apart, for him to serve as priest to Me.

Wisdom in the ancient text can speak of a clear separation by the washing of one’s hands; and as we consider the design of the Tabernacle, we need to be reminded that the bronze laver was used for the serving priests to wash their hands and feet; and clearly pictures for us how we are to be continually washing our work and walk through being immersed in the Word that transforms us!

A ‘wise one’ is one who is able to separate between good and bad; and we also take note of how Aḏam did not act wisely in the garden by exercising the discipline of separation! Already in the Garden of Eḏen we find that Aḏam was given the responsibility of being a disciplined servant that could clearly distinguish between that which is good and that which is bad, and when he was clearly instructed to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he did not exercise the discipline of separation! Two trees –the Tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He was told to not eat of the one while he was permitted to eat of the other, and in a test of his discipline to make the clear separation, he took his eyes off of Elohim, so to speak, and looked to the flesh, resulting in the discipline of separation to be hindered; and for a moment of weakness he allowed compromise, or the lack of discipline, to cost him his life!

The discipline of separation is urgently needed in the body of Messiah today, and this urgent need is being hindered through the subtle luring of the flesh and slight conformity to worldly ways, and this should not be!

As we consider these words and the need to be disciplined disciples of our Master, may we recognise the urgency for us to be a set-apart priesthood that is continually exercising the discipline of separation, by controlling our eyes!

What do you find yourself being consumed with? As you go through your day to day routines, do you find that your eyes tend to cause you to wander from the discipline of separation? By that I mean, are you tolerating compromise and allowing your eyes to be turned away from our Master and Elohim, especially when you find that you are conforming to worldly ways, thoughts, discussions, and crude jokes etc. – all things that do not esteem Elohim at all? Do your find that your are being influenced rather than you being the influence of the Light you are called to be, due to your lack of exercising the discipline of separation? Hear the instruction contained in these verses that we have looked at tonight and hear the urgent call to exercise the discipline of separation continually!

How much time do you spend in the Word? Or perhaps the question would be better put as, how little time are you spending in the Word? How disciplined are you in reading and meditating upon the Word of Elohim, or do you lack discipline, and find that you struggle to make time for His Word that should lead your path and light your way?

In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:13 we are told to ‘hold fast’ to discipline and not let go, and then told to watch over ‘her’, which is referring to ‘wisdom’, for she is our life. The message is clear – there is an urgent need for the DISCIPLINE OF SEPARATION.

The question is, as you look intently into the mirror of the Word, ‘Are you exercising the DISCIPLINE OF SEPARATION?

He who has ears, hear what the Spirit says and may the Spirit of יהוה shall rest upon you – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of יהוה, so that you breathe in the fear of יהוה, causing you to faithfully exercise THE DISCIPLINE OF SEPARATION! The discipline of separation is the discipline of wisdom! Hear the call to COME OUT AND BE SEPARATE – continually – and exercise true discipline!

Before I close I also want to make mention of that which follows in the key verse we read tonight, in regards to the fear of יהוה being the discipline of wisdom, and that is that we are told straight after this: And before esteem is humility! This is key in understanding the urgency of our need to be active in having the discipline of separation, as we must recognise that we are to humble ourselves in complete submission to יהוה and the disciplining of His Word! Some hate discipline and resist discipline because of foolish pride, as they esteem themselves above the need for true discipline. Those who do this are fools and will be brought low when the Master sends His Messengers to separate the wicked fools from the disciplined and humbled righteous!

Luqas/Luke 14:11 “For everyone who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he who is humbling himself shall be exalted.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:23 “The pride of man brings him low, but the humble in spirit obtains esteem.

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Master, and He shall lift you up.

Separate yourself in humility or be separated in the wrath of Elohim!

Exercise the discipline of separation as the fear of יהוה marks you as one who has the discipline of wisdom!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!