by Dr. Jack Hyles
Perhaps the first hint of separation in the Bible is in Genesis 1:2-5, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Notice especially verse 4b, “God divided the light from the darkness.” As we know darkness, there is simply the absence of natural light. Matthew 27:45, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” There are, however, figurative meanings of darkness:
1. The place of misery. Matthew 22:13, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
2. Ignorance. John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
3. Secret. Matthew 10:27, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.”
4. Wickedness. II Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
Hell is called “outer darkness.” Matthew 8:12, “But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 22:13, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:30, “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Satan is called the god of this world II Corinthians 4:3, 4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Satan’s rulers are called “rulers of darkness.” Ephesians 6:12, “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.” God’s people are called “children of light,” and those who are not God’s people are called “children of darkness.” Since God divided the light from the darkness at creation, God always wants light divided from darkness.
The Christian is commanded not to walk in darkness. John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 12:35, “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.”
The Christian is commanded not to abide in darkness. John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness.”
The Christian is reminded that he is not in darkness I Thessalonians 5:4, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
We are reminded that hating our brother is a work of darkness. I John 2:9, 11, “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”
We are commanded to have no fellowship with the works of darkness. Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Evil deeds are associated with darkness. John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
We are told to put off the works of darkness and put on light. Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
We are reminded that in God is no darkness. I John 1:5, “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”
All of this is simply to remind us that God has from the beginning separated light from darkness. Since He uses darkness as a figure of speech for so many forms of evil, and since He uses light as a figure of speech for Jesus, for the Christian and for the Christian life, the basis for separation is the very fact that God has, does and will continue to divide light from darkness. Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
In Genesis 4, when the first man in darkness who rejected the light killed his brother, God separated that darkness (Cain) from light. When in the process of time the children of darkness from Cain intermarried the children of light from Seth, the entire world was ruined and destroyed by flood. Later when these children of light and darkness tried to get together again, God confounded their languages. Genesis 11:6-9, “And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let Us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”
Why is God so careful to remind His people to have no fellowship with darkness? There are several reasons:
1. God wanted a people for Himself, and He made us to be that people. When we walk in darkness to any degree, it takes us just that much away from the purpose of our existence, and that is to fellowship and walk with God. Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Since God is light, we do not agree with Him when we yoke up with darkness. This takes us away from fulfilling the main purpose of our redemption.
2. The Christian who walks with darkness forfeits his right to sweet fellowship with God’s people. I John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Whatever degree we walk with darkness, we sever not only that degree of fellowship with God but we also sever that degree of sweet fellowship with the children of light.
3. The Christian who walks with darkness lessens the chance of the unsaved coming to Christ. When we walk with the unsaved, they begin to feel as one of us, making it more difficult to get them lost. This is the reason that the churches who preach or practice separation can get more people saved than the churches who compromise The unsaved man knows something is missing. Isaiah 48:22, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” Isaiah 57:21, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” The unsaved man knows that he has no peace. If he can see a distance between him and the saved, he can see some hope for himself if he gets saved, but if the saved man is yoked up with the unsaved, sings his music, goes to his theaters, drinks his beer, uses his language and even goes to his churches, the unsaved man can see no difference! He needs a change and he knows it. If he can see changed people, there is hope for him, but if the saved man appears to have what the unsaved man has, why is there the need of salvation?
4. When light yokes with darkness, the testimony of light is hurt. The Bible seems to say that Lot was saved. The Bible speaks about him having a righteous soul. II Peter 2:7, 8, “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.)” However, Lot showed no evidence of being saved. He went to Sodom, interacted with them and brought light into fellowship with darkness. When the destruction of Sodom was imminent and that destruction was revealed to Lot, he went to his sons-in-law, told them of the destruction and warned them to flee, but they had no confidence in him! Lot’s light had been yoked with darkness and he seemed to them as one that mocked Genesis 19:14, “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place: for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” Here is another perfect example of compromise hindering soul winning. Lot’s sons-in-law perished without God because Lot had yoked up with darkness.
The only thing the unsaved like about the saved is their light The unsaved man wants a saved girl. Why? He likes her light. The unsaved employer likes the light of a saved employee. When the First Baptist Church of Hammond decided to go into the Christian school business, we were besieged by people begging us not to do so because of the good influence that our students had had on the public schools. Darkness liked our light. Hence, when the Christian compromises and yokes up with darkness, he takes away the thing about himself and about his faith that darkness likes, and this hurts the testimony of the cause of Christ.
5. When light yokes up with darkness, their children marry. This is one of the main reasons why God teaches us the doctrine of separation. Children of the children of light intermarry with the children of the children of darkness, which weakens the chances of their children being saved. Usually when a saved person marries an unsaved person, their children do not become Christians. There is a reason for this. The very act of disobedience that is committed by the saved person when he or she marries an unsaved person brings the saved parent closer to the position of darkness, and it is usually indicative of other acts of disobedience which will follow. For that matter, it almost always follows other acts of disobedience which have gone before No Christian can be spiritual when he marries an unsaved person, for he is going in direct disobedience to the Word of God. It is always a carnal Christian marrying an unsaved person, and a carnal Christian plus an unsaved person usually equals unsaved children.
If, for example, a saved woman marries an unsaved man, the unsaved man will not want to go to a separated, fundamental church. In an effort to get him to go to church, the wife will continue to compromise and choose to go with him to a liberal church where there is no Gospel preached and which inoculates or vaccinates their children with religion and prevents them from ever becoming a new creature in Christ by regeneration.
This not only has taken the saved spouse from his or her purpose of life, that of fellowshipping with our Creator, but it also has lessened greatly the chances of their offspring ever fulfilling the purpose for which God made them- fellowship with God through Christ.
In summary, God made us for fellowship with Himself. He is opposed to anything that would hinder, mar or break that fellowship. Since our fellowship with Him is severed to whatever degree we fellowship with darkness, God gives us the great Bible doctrine of separation in order that we may fulfill the purpose of our creation and redemption and in order that our children and their children may fulfill the purpose of their creation and redemption.
(Chapter 12 from Dr. Hyle’s excellent book, Jack Hyles Speaks On Biblical Separation)