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Be Ye Holy
Chapter 5: The Spirit of the Separatist


Scripture exhorts the separatist to diligence in praying. Prayer is one of the means by which the Christian keeps himself in the love of God (Jude 20). In I Timothy 1:18-20 Paul exhorts Timothy to a "good warfare" (v. 18) and warns him of those who have "concerning faith made shipwreck" (v. 19). He then states that the first priority in the life of the warrior for the Faith is "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks" (2:1). He says plainly that this must come "first of all" (v. 1). To protect oneself from false doctrine and to stand against it for the Faith, prayer must be the preacher's priority.


Paul's instructions to Timothy in II Timothy 2:16-25 imply a genuine compassion for the false teachers from whom Timothy had to separate. The clear instruction "yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother" (II Thess. 3:15) makes it obvious that the separatist is to have a genuine concern for the erring brother from whom he must separate. Paul warned the Philippians about the "enemies of the cross of Christ" and said that he did it "even weeping" (Phil. 3:18). Perhaps Paul wept as he thought of the reproach brought on the cross by its enemies. Perhaps he wept for the enemies of the cross who had professed faith in Christ and now were "recreant followers of Christ."10 His separation was accompanied by deep emotion and was not harsh, unfeeling, and insensitive.

The Theme of Holiness

The theme of holiness weaves its way through this part of the study also. The separatist is to build himself upon his "most holy faith" (Jude 20). Meekness, gentleness, and love are required in the practice of separation. Those virtues are produced by the Holy Spirit in the believer and reflect God's holiness. The holiness of God is the foundation of all separation, and the separatist who has the right spirit will reflect the holiness of God in his practice of separation.


Perhaps the Bible constructs a model of the separatist which many who embrace separatism have never fully considered.

  1. The separatist is a man who is first concerned about holiness. His separatism flows from an understanding of God's holiness and a desire to reflect that holiness in his personal life and in his ministry.
  2. The separatist is a man of absolute militancy in a day when militancy is out of vogue.
  3. The biblical separatist sees evangelism inseparably tied to separation and consistently works to get the gospel to lost people everywhere.
  4. The separatist understands that purity of life and purity of doctrine go hand in hand and that he must maintain his daily walk with God.
  5. The separatist realizes that in his militancy and refusal to compromise he must display the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his life. He knows that fruit is only produced in a life surrendered to the Spirit of God. Love, gentleness, and meekness mark his conduct.
  6. The separatist knows that while he can have nothing to do with false doctrine and must not cooperate with false teachers in doing God's work, he must yet patiently instruct them and hope for their repentance.
  7. The separatist makes prayer a priority as he wages his warfare.
  8. The separatist has real compassion for those whose doctrine or lifestyle he must oppose.

May God's Spirit use His sword (Eph. 6:17) to convict a generation of separatists where they have failed and to make them militant in their stand and meek in their spirit!


Be Ye Holy: The Call to Christian Separation. By Fred Moritz. ©1994. BJU Press. Reproduction prohibited. This work is available for purchase at the Bob Jones University Campus Store (phone: 1-800-252-1927; web address: Please note, due to browser limitations, the Hebrew and Greek words are not displayed in their original languages.

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