There Is a Difference

by M. H. Reynolds, Jr.

 

The prevailing philosophy of the world today is that it is time for everyone to forget their doctrinal and theological differences and work together for the good of mankind. However, this is Satan’s philosophy and the exact opposite of what God commands in His Word, the Bible. In these crisis days, men are seeking solutions to their mounting problems based upon man’s wisdom, not God’s. What a mistake and tragedy this is! In these days when the satanic philosophy of “forgetting all differences” is so popular, we must never forget that God clearly delineates those differences that must be understood and maintained in order to avoid certain disaster.

In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” In Ezekiel 22:26, God strongly rebukes the religious leaders of the day because “they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean.” In these days when most religious and political leaders reject God’s counsel, it is time to remind the world that tragic consequences are sure to follow these evil ways, for God says, “The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?” (Jer. 8:9).

Deceived religious leaders of our day are saying, “Let’s seek truth wherever it may be found.” They advocate that leaders of all religions come together to pool the “truths” each supposedly has discovered in his own religious traditions. In this unscriptural effort, such deceivers are not only bringing together professed “Christians” of all kinds—evangelicals, Pentecostals, charismatics, ecumenists, Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox—but also non-Christian Jews and heathen religions such as the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, traditional Indian nature worshippers and the like.

The Bible says, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to [God’s] word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). Those who believe God’s Word and desire to obey it will not only refuse to participate with those who are walking in darkness (though they claim to seek the light) but will warn them and others about the sad consequences of their disobedience. God says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).

It is essential to recognize that there is a vast difference between an all-holy God and sinful man. Isaiah 6:3 says, “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” Contrast this with Psalm 39:5b—“Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.”

There is a vast difference between Christ and the devil. Jesus Christ, rebuking the false teachers of His day, said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (Jn. 8:44). By contrast, Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

There is a vast difference between the Holy Spirit and false spirits. In John 16:13, Jesus said, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.” By contrast, the beloved of the Lord are instructed in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” What a difference!

Today, when the devil’s “mix-master” philosophy is so popular, true believers must be especially careful to maintain the differences God has established. With mounting pressure upon faithful believers to compromise (supposedly in order not to hinder God’s work in these last days), and with charismatics seeking to promote new heresies (that are attractively presented to undiscerning believers as “new winds of the Holy Spirit” but are actually generated by false spirits), it is obvious that Satan and his “angels of light” are working overtime to deceive and need to be exposed and opposed in the strength of the Lord and by the power of His might. God gives His faithful ones the following assurance: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isa. 59:19b). What a blessing! What a comfort! What an assurance! What an encouragement!

In His Word, God establishes many other unalterable and eternal differences. There is a difference between truth and error, right and wrong, righteousness and sin, faith and doubt, life and death, saved and lost, believers and unbelievers, grace and works, heavenly and earthly, spiritual and carnal, eternal and temporal, victory and defeat, creation and evolution, angels and demons, peace and war, joy and sorrow, rest and restlessness, simplicity and complexity, love and hate, hope and despair, blessed and cursed, awake and asleep, full and empty, straight and crooked, moral and immoral, justice and injustice, knowledge and ignorance, strength and weakness, needs and wants, near and far, bravery and belligerence, smooth and rough, generosity and miserliness, humility and pride, freedom and slavery, sincerity and hypocrisy, fundamentalism and liberalism.

Failure to recognize and observe these and other scriptural differences is contributing in large measure to the confusion and uncertainties that are troubling believers today. All who fail to heed God’s warnings concerning these differences and who refuse to separate from that which God declares to be unholy and unrighteous will miss a special relationship with their Lord. Today, biblical separation is widely despised and ridiculed, but note carefully 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Here, God commands us to be separate and promises to receive and bless us if we will simply obey Him.

Biblical separation is not popular; it is ridiculed and despised by most. However, God’s command is to “come out,” “be separate” and “touch not the unclean thing.” Only then will the Lord be able to minister fully to His children and use them as He desires to do. Separated believers must not feel sorry for themselves; rather, they must feel a burden and concern for those who are obeying men rather than God. May we be faithful in recognizing the differences described and defined by God in His wonderful Word. 

— M. H. Reynolds, Jr., served as director of the FEA prior to his homegoing in 1997.