A 2-Stage, Populous Distinct, Chronology of Judgment
Despite the controversy springing from a misinterpretation of “The Wheat Among the Tares”, and despite the fact that people purport that the righteous cannot be separated from the wicked in the Church, Paul said, speaking to the Church, “put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:13). It can’t get any clearer, can it? No parabolic language means no mystery; the point is plainly put and should be understood by all! Certainly, this is why Jesus Christ said, “the field is the World” (Matt. 13:38). Notice that He did not say, as many wrongly assume: “the field is the Church”. Yet, the masses, being wise in our own conceits, have learned to explain away the plainly spoken truth of God’s word by exploiting parabolic passages which are intentionally shrouded with mystery.
From the very beginning of 1 Corinthians Ch. 5, Paul is jealous over the marred reputation of the Church. Why? He understood the prerogative for and performance of Church Purity, that the Church and the World are collectively distinct insomuch that they represent two contradictory Kingdoms. This being the case, they exist to represent two different reputations in the earth – two different peoples. The one, God’s people, which is the Church, have a new relationship to God via a severed relationship to sin. The other, the Devil’s people, which is the World, have no relationship with God via an un-severed relationship to sin. If this wasn’t the case in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, why were the following commands and affirmations given to and made on behalf of the Church?
The Old Testament
“So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee” –Deut. 13:5
“So thou shalt put the evil away from among you” – Deut. 17:7
“…thou shalt put away the evil from Israel” – Deut. 17:12
“…so shalt thou put the evil away from among you” – Deut. 19:19
“…so thou shalt put evil away from among you” – Deut. 21:21
“…so shalt thou put away evil from Israel” – Deut. 22:22
“…so thou shalt put away evil from among you” – Deut. 22:24
“…put away evil from Israel” – Judges 20:13
“that there be no wickedness among you” – Lev. 20:14
“that soul shall be cut off from among his people” –Exo. 31:14
“that soul shall be cut off from his people” – Lev. 7:20
“that soul shall be cut off from his people” - Lev. 7:21
“shall be cut off from his people” – Lev. 7:25
“that soul shall be cut off from his people” – Lev. 7:27
“that man shall be cut off from among his people” –Lev. 17:4
“that man shall be cut off from among his people” –Lev. 17:9
“cut him off from among his people” –Lev. 17:10
“cut off from among their people” –Lev. 18:29
“that soul shall be cut off from among his people” –Lev. 19:8
“cut him off from among his people” –Lev. 20:3
“cut him off…from among their people” – Lev. 20:5
“cut him off from among his people” –Lev. 20:6
“they shall be cut off in the sight of their people” – Lev. 20:17
“both of them shall be cut off from among their people”–Lev. 20:18
“cut off from among his people” –Lev. 23:29
“cut off from among his people” –Num. 9:13
“cut off from among his people” –Num. 15:30
“that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation” –Num. 19:20
The New Testament
“taken away from among you” – 1 Cor. 5:2
“put away from among yourselves that wicked person” – 1 Cor. 5:13
“let it not be once named among you” – Eph. 5:3
“among you that believe” – 1 Thess. 2:10
“they went out from us” – 1 John 2:19
The phraseological parallelism is undeniable. Did the Church of the OT and NT practice Church Purity in contradiction to the popular interpretation of “The Wheat and the Tares”? Yes. Were the wicked separated from the righteous in the Church? Yes! This much and more was already noted, covered, and proven in Chapter #5 of Volume I, called, “The Prerogative for & Performance of Church Purity”; I say this for those of you who are not reading the Chapters in order. Also, in correlation with the content of the aforementioned hyperlink, further exhaustiveness can be found in Chapter #16 of Volume III in a section called, “The Kingdom of God”. Very specifically, these two sections provide doctrinal justification for why Paul’s meekness and holy fear did drive him to render jealous rebukes to the Church of Corinth for the purpose of reviving the practice of Church Purity (2 Cor. 11:2) – the present-tense separation of “the Wheat” from “the Tares” in the Church, so to speak! In a profoundly significant way, Church History exemplifies the demise of “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6). Can you recollect some examples of this?
The Church is to be entirely clean and perfected in holiness (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). The Doctrinal Rule is, congregational separation. The Doctrinal Rule is, an unleavened Lump (1 Cor. 5:6-8), a Lamp whose persons are all in the Light (1 Jn. 1:3-7, 2 Cor. 6:14, Eph. 5:7-17, Rev. 1:20), a Sacrifice whose entire body is of unblemished members (Rom. 12:1-2, 15:16-19, Eph. 5:26-27, Jas. 1:26-27), a Royal Priesthood which employs every priest to abide by the codes of separation which cannot and must not be defied, a Temple whose stones are elect and precious people who are, therefore, purged from the desecrating mixture of wood, hay, stubble, and earth (2 Tim. 2:19-22, 1 Cor. 3:10-20), a collection of spiritually healthy people who make up one Body that is free from all offenders, heathen men, and publicans (Matt. 18:8-9; see also curse #3, “Bodily Sickness”, which is a part of the NT curses of God), and, finally, but not exhaustively, the Church is a collection of holy people who make up one glorious and beautiful Bride, which means that they / She is without blemish, spot, wrinkle, or any such thing (Eph. 5:26-27, Rev. 19:7, 2 Cor. 11:2). In summary, those who are gathered in the Church assembly must be separated from all other peoples (unconverted or backslidden). Thousands of pages of scripture stand as one unified testimony of this fact, if only we have ears to hear it! My reader, will you study the scriptural argument laid-forth in those hyperlinks (to name a few) before you succumb to a popular opinion of man in defiance of the scriptures?
Moving on from these points, there’s more to address: specific angles of content which are relevant and yet unaddressed in other Chapters. Paul spoke of judgment to the accomplishment of separation in 1 Corinthians Ch. 5 (verses 11-13), but he also spoke of an existing inseparability (verses 9-10). To understand the difference between the two scenarios – disallowed unity and allowable inseparability – one must come to understand the significance of the peoples, places, and purposes in reference. The situation at hand is one of companionship – to be in company or not to be in company, depending on if the circumstances pertain to the World or the Church.
Two distinct peoples, the heathen and the saints, make up the populations of two different spiritual entities: the World and the Church. Accordingly, separation occurs. Yet, in differing senses throughout the progressive stages of redemption, inseparability does also exist. Understandably so, during the progressive glories of redemption until the Consummation and fullness of all things, the allowable inseparability and mandated separation changes in its manifestations. In simple terms, the way the Church is “in the world and not of the World” changes depending on what stage of redemption is at work prior to the New Heaven and New Earth. The stages of redemption include: The Old Testament, the Gentile Church Age of the NT (1st Advent), the Millennial Reign of Christ (2nd Advent & 1st Resurrection), and the New Heaven and New Earth (2nd Advent & 2nd Resurrection).
In the Gentile Church Age of the New Testament, there is a divine allowance for inseparability and a divine mandate for separation according to 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, which means: The Church is forced, as long as She is in the world, to gather with the World in its assemblies and societies for the purpose of morally neutral engagements, but the World is forbidden to gather with the Church in its assemblies, fellowship, and ministries for the purpose of morally righteous engagements. This means, in other words, the Church is forced to “keep company” with the peoples who are “of this world” (wicked persons) in the engagement of earthly and secular affairs, but the World is not allowed to “keep company” with the peoples of the Church in the engagement of heavenly and holy affairs. Distinction is herein distinguishable because the peoples have been purposefully separated one from the another. However, inseparable mixing in the secular arena is permissible as long as the Devil is allowed by God to rule as “the god of this world”, hence, “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (2 Cor. 4:4, 1 Jn. 5:19). Thus, when the Lord Jesus will take full Kingship and Dominion over the earth in its entirety, legally and actually, the exercise of separation which existed within the physical Land of Israel in the Old Testament will once again exist during the Millennial Reign of Christ, and, furthermore, when this millennia is over and the legal and actual Dominion of Christ comes to fruition in a greater glory, the Dominion exercised within the borders of the Land of Israel will break-free from its transient limitation so as to envelope the whole world! Hence, sinners will be everlastingly expunged from the World as the saints do, thereby, inherit the earth! Speaking of this final inheritance to be accomplished at Final Redemption, the psalmist said, “evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth” (Ps. 37:9). This is the everlasting blessedness of the blessed according to Jesus Christ, who said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5).