• Steve McAtee

The Great Separation

Updated: Aug 3, 2020


By Amir Tsarfati


Well, the "after lunch" time slot is not the best. So, I thought to break the ice by doing something that I started doing this past summer. I started it in New Zealand. I am going to film you saying, "Shalom from California, USA". Then you're going to have to clap and be, I mean, "wild". Don't stop until I tell you. Just a sec. All right. We are going to say together, "Shalom from California, USA". Okay? All right. 1, 2, 3. Shalom from California, USA! Oh yeah, you can stop pretending. That's it. Now, you can be your "doom and gloom".


What an amazing day. I mean, even with those 2 messages, we can already go home. It was amazing. When I was praying and asking the Lord, what is it that you want me to share in this conference? I always do, every week, current events and updates. I am trying to do weekly Facebook Live and YouTube Live and I try to keep people up on what's going on in light of Bible prophecy. I'm going to have one even 7 p.m. tonight before I'm taking my midnight flight to Manila, Philippines.


However, the Lord put on my heart to speak on something completely different. It's a word that I really don't like. The word is the Great Separation, "Separation". I come from a very broken family. My parents separated when I was almost 3 years old. I know what separation is and I know how it destroys families, sometimes, forever and God, really, never meant that this word will be part of our vocabulary.


If you really think about it, separation is a terrible word with, mostly, negative connotations. If you think about all the pictures, they took of parents separated from their children at the border and all of that. Trying to raise public attention to problems around the world. Separation is always a bad thing. It is something that catches your attention.


If you really think about it, in the beginning it was very different. God created the heavens and the earth and then he created man. Then he thought man, well, it seems like it's not good for man to be alone. So, he created Eve. The "spare" rib became "prime" rib. If you really think about it, God was in the business of bringing people together, not separating them.


Man had dominion over all the animals. He really could tell them what to do, when to do it. He gave them names. It was amazing. The best thing of all is God, himself, dwelt among people and all was in perfect harmony and peace. If I think about it, there's nothing greater than being in the presence of God and nothing greater than being visited by God, knowing that he is with us, Immanuel. That's why Jesus is so amazing. It is, "God is with us". It's interesting, because the first separation, ever, was Adam and Eve, from the Garden of Eden. God did not separate them, two but separated them from his presence. From where everything was perfect and everything was meant to be perfect. Did you know in the Garden of Eden, there was no temple? They didn't need to worship God by bringing stuff to a temple because God was there. He was there. There was no need for a temple.


Then separation. The first time man was separated from God was after the original sin. In Genesis 3:24, we know that "So God drove out the man. He placed a cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life."


I just gave a message in my church about Isaiah. Isaiah chapter 9, about, "Unto us a child was born" and I spoke about Christmas and how Jewish it is to celebrate a child that was given unto us. Instead of all the pagan symbols of Christmas, we can talk about the "real" tree. The Tree of Life, Jesus. You eat from Jesus, "Taste and see that God is good." The Lord is good; He gives you life. There was no access to the tree of life anymore, because of sin.


The removal of the sinner from the perfect world. Isn't that interesting? In the very beginning, it was the sinner that was removed. The world was perfect. The sinner was the problem. He removed the sinner from a perfect world. But, of course, it got worse. In chapter 4, you already see the story of Cain and Abel.


We see how there was a separation of Cain from his own family and from God. The Bible says in Genesis 4:16, "Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord. And dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden." He went out from the presence of the Lord.


We shouldn't be surprised, as Isaiah 59:1-2 says, "Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear." The sin caused the separation.


In the very beginning, when the world was so perfect, it was the sinner that was removed. But then, down this road, you see that it started spreading. Then, we already see that from Genesis 6 on. It was the righteous that had to be removed as all the rest were desperately wicked. So that perfect world became so wicked as Genesis 6 says in verse 5-8. "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil, continually." There was no end to it. It got worse, and worse, and worse. "The Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth and he was grieved in his heart.


So the Lord said, 'I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth. Both man and beast, creeping things, and the birds of the air for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.'" He found one person through which he can continue. This time, it wasn't the sinner that was separated from the perfect world. It was the righteous that was separated from the wicked world.


From Genesis 6, you need to get used to the new idea. The separation that God demands is of the righteous, from the unrighteous world. Then we see the separation of Abraham from his home and from his family. In Genesis 12, it says, "Now the Lord had said to Abraham, 'Get out of your country, from your family, and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you.'"


God separated Abraham. If you want me to work through you, with you, by you, you have to be separated: From where you're from, from your home, from your family, from your house, from your land, sometimes. "And I will make you a great nation." God has a great promise. Don't think that this separation is going to be a terrible thing.


It is wonderful, but it hurts. Separation hurts but there is a great promise. "I will make your name great and you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Think about yourself. When you spread the gospel, all the families of the earth can be blessed. How can someone not be blessed?


Then, there's another separation of Moses, from Egypt. The Separation of Moses from Egypt, in Exodus 2, the latter part of verse 15, "But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian. and he sat down by a well." We know He had to take him out of Egypt in order to keep him in the desert and prepare him for what he's about to do with him. Wow. Then came the time when Moses comes and he's fulfilling his destiny of rescuing the people of Israel, from Egypt.


Now, God is separating the whole nation of Israel, from Egypt. In Exodus 12:31, "Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron by night and he said, 'Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. Go, and serve the Lord, as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds as you have said, and [just] be gone and bless me also." Amazing.


Then the children of Israel, a bunch of ex-slaves, now, they're walking and they're wondering. What's going on here? Where's the food we like? Where is the atmosphere we know? All the pagan gods we saw all around us? It's pretty "deserty" out here. God is trying to tell them, "You don't need those gods. I am here. I'll take care of everything." Now, you can get out of Egypt but you need to get Egypt out of you. God told them that he wants to take the Egypt out of them.


In Exodus 33, after the terrible sight of the golden calf. Moses is there. Moses could hardly speak. "The Lord said to Moses, 'My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.' Then he said to him, [Moses said to the Lord] 'If your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that your people and I have found grace in your sight except you go with us? So, we shall be [What?] "separate", your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.'"


Moses was having a "chutzpah" here. He's literally shouting at God and getting angry with God and God loved that, by the way, because it was a righteous way of pleading with God. "And the Lord said to Moses, 'I will also do this thing that you have spoken. For you have found grace in my sight and I know you by name.'" Wow. And then, separation.


A chapter earlier, another separation. Exodus 32, "Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained for Aaron had not restrained them to the shame among their enemies. Then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp and said, 'Whoever is on the Lord's side? Come to me.' And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.'" Even within Israel, there was a separation. You're going to serve the Lord, from now on.


Separation has no borders, no limits. It has nothing to do with race or nationality. It has nothing to do with anything. It has only to do with, "Are you on the Lord's side, or not?" Then Jesus came and Jesus came to the world and changed everything. Because from that moment, a lot of people had to say goodbye to a lot of their shenanigans. This is a tradition. Tradition, kiss that thing goodbye. To the Jews, he said, you have to separate yourself as believers in Christ, from traditional Judaism.


In Galatians chapter 2 verses 11-21, "When Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face because he was to be blamed. For before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles. But when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision and the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him. So, that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the Gospel.'"


This is a Jewish guy talking about another Jewish guy. He doesn't have great things to say here. He says, "If you, being a Jew, living after the manner of the Gentiles and not as the Jews. Why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. Even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law. For by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified."


Now, Paul had to say that to Peter, "Shame on you, Peter." We are Jews. But we're no longer part of that group that thinks that the law can justify them. But it's not only the Jews. Let me talk about you, now. I told you: Jesus came and all the rules have changed. It is the separation of the Gentile believers, from the pagan world, also.


If you really think about it in Acts 15, they gathered in Jerusalem and they had to decide what are we going to do with these people? I mean, are we going to circumcise them? Or not? I mean, it's going to be ugly. Then James decided to write them a letter led by the Holy, "It pleased the apostles and the elders with the whole church to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. Namely, Judas, who was also named Barnabas and Silas, leading men among the brethren.


And they wrote this letter by them, 'The apostles, the elders and the brethren, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and in Cilicia. Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words. Unsettling your soul, saying you must be circumcised and keep the law, to whom we gave no such commandment.


It seemed good to us being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul. Men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have, therefore, sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seems good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things. You have to abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourself from these, you will do well. Farewell."


No blood. Sexual immorality. Nothing offered to idols. Every one of them is a topic of another sermon. If you really think about it. But that's it. He said, "You cannot dance in two weddings at the same time." "Choose." That's why every time I go to the Philippines, I have a problem with one of their soups over there. Dinuguan. You probably know what I'm talking about.


In Acts 17, Paul is in the middle of Athens and he says, "God, who made the world and everything in it, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is he worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything since he gives to all life, breath, and all things. He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings."


God determined the boundaries of dwellings. Borders are Godly. And then he says, "So that they should seek the Lord in the hope that they might grope for him and find him though he's not far from each one of us. For in him, we live, and move, and have our being.


As also some of your own poets have said. 'For we are also his offspring.' Therefore, since we are the offspring of God. We ought not to think that the divine nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, something shaped by art of man's devices. Truly [now comes the point] truly, [he says,] these times of ignorance God overlooked for the longest time. "But now, [He said, the rules have changed.]


But now [Say "but now"] commands all men [say, "all men"] everywhere to repent." All men everywhere to repent. That's it. You have no more excuses. Don't go to your man-made temples and all of your man-made idols. That's it. The time has come. Messiah has come and you have no more excuses, because he has appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising him from the dead."


It's interesting. God is asking us to be separated from our own family, sometimes, from our own friends, from our world, from our home, from our country, sometimes. But then at the same time, there is an unbelievable and beautiful union between the people of God. The walls of separation between Jews and Gentiles, broken. It's amazing. Ephesians 2:14, "For he, himself, is our peace who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of that separation."


You see, he separates you from the wicked world. But then he takes all the righteous from this nation, and the righteous from that nation, and the righteous from this place. And he puts them together simultaneously. He broke down the middle wall of separation. Only in Christ there is no borders. Only in Christ, there is no nationality. Only in Christ there is no more religion. But apart from Christ, there is.


Galatians 3, "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither slave nor free. There is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham seed and heirs according to the promise. Wow.

But up until now, we have talked about a separation that was here, on earth. We are separated maybe, from our family, from our old denomination. Maybe from friends that no longer are interested in being our friends. Maybe from, I don't know, religion. But now, around the corner, awaits the "Great Separation".


You see, the great separation of the church, from this world. I'm not talking about the separation of you from the world outside. I'm talking about the physical separation of all of us, from this world. I'm talking about the rapture of the church. Listen, guys, as long as we're here, people can still choose to follow God and to accept Jesus. There is still a chance for them to be there.


But the minute we are separated, physically. That's it. Their chances are, almost, gone. People don't understand that God has appointed times. Sometimes, I hear people say, "Bible prophecy is being accelerated." We don't accelerate anything. God has appointed, already, times.


He had appointed the time for Jesus to be born, by the way. It wasn't just a coincidence. Then he says, "When the times were fulfilled": That’s when Mary gave birth. When the times will come, we will be out of here when the times of the Gentiles will come in. Then we will come back and all of Israel will be saved.


These are times that were set by God and He is not really consulting with us. All he says for us is, "Be ready. I am going to give you signs of the times and the seasons. But I'm not going to sit there and think, "Oh, Putin did that? Oh, I better hurry up."


The last time somebody tried to hurry up God with fulfilling prophecy Ishmael came to the world and we still have a problem. Have you really thought about it? If he had only listened and believed. Hello? Don't try to help him! He's okay. But when the moment comes and he decides to take us out of here, and he will. This is it.


It's a separation: not just emotional and not just spiritual. It's a physical separation, physical separation. We will be taken out of this world to be with him and the people will not even see us going up like Mary Poppins. No! How are we going to change and be out of here? In a twinkling of an eye.


1 Corinthians 15, "Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep but will be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible. And we shall be changed. For this corruptible..."


Now, you're wondering, "What is this corruptible?" Take your two fingers, pinch yourself right now. You're dying. You don't believe me? Put a picture of you 20 years ago. You're dying. This corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. The minute we change, gravity won't hold us here, anymore. Boom! We're gone. Boom!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep. Lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again even so God will bring with him those who are asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep."


He's telling us. Look, it's not even my own opinion. It is by the Word of the Lord that I am telling you. God told me to tell you this. "The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, along with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain, [it's fantastic] we shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."


Now, that sounds fantastic. I know so many Christians that are, "Ach!". And I am like, Moses? What about that? Is the Jordan rolling back? What about that? Why is it that the rapture is your problem? Have you tried to walk in the Red Sea? Then, not only that, he says, "Wherefore, comfort each other with these words."


In other words, "Hey, the only thing that you can be comforted by are these promises." You are not staying here. You are going to have the "Great Separation" of the church from the judgment of God! Hey, the Word of God is already preached all over the world.


Israel is back, as we heard, in the land. Jerusalem is once again the center of the world's attention. The world is pushing hard for global systems to be in place to prepare the stage for the rule of the Antichrist. We saw all of that, I mean, the 1st two speakers did an amazing job putting together everything for you to understand. There's no doubt. God told us, "Look, these are the signs."


Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. You see, we are going to be separated from the world. But from the love of Christ, we can never be separated. In order to show us that he loves us so much, he is going to have to step back from His throne. The Bible says the Lord himself will come down.


He could have sent the archangel, “Hey, Michael, Go and get them." No! He leaves his throne, once again, to come to receive us onto himself. So that wherever he is, we will also be. The mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Indeed, all over the world. You saw for yourself what's going on all over the world. But do you know what? They're hungry and thirsty for God. They just don't know it. That void has to be filled.


Deception is everywhere. They call good evil and evil good. Darkness, light and light darkness. We just heard how you could just convince yourself that this is it and that's how you live. We are in this world, but not of this world. You see, until we will be separated physically, we have to separate ourselves morally and spiritually from this world.

The Bible says, "Do not conform but transform." Romans 12, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service and do not be conformed to this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."


It's amazing if you really think about it. The great and ultimate physical separation is at hand. You see, God is going to take the church. There's no doubt about it. But where are you going to be when that happens? You have to choose sides. You understand that Bible prophecy goes in two parallels. One is world events, and two is my life. My choice here determines where I will be when world events will take place.


Romans 13, "Do this knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep. For now, our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Romans 8 says, "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that but we also who have the Firstfruits of the Spirit. Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, [and look what it says] the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope but hope that is seen is not hope for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."


My question for all of you today is: Are you ready for the great separation? Are you ready? Or do you still have some undone business here? I want to tell you something. One time when I was in Singapore. A pastor came and picked me up. We drove to the hotel and he told me how successful he is. And he said, "I built a beautiful house." Then he said, "The house is so beautiful. I don't mind if Jesus is not going to come back soon." Where is your treasure? Here? We may be separated but we need to be ready for the "great union".


I want to tell you something. When Isaiah was brought before the presence of God, he was struck by amazement. He says, "I'm a man with sinful lips. I'm a sinful person." Now, we have been saved by grace. So, we can come boldly into the holy of Holies and He is going to take us all the way up there. We are going to stand before him.


And do you know what? The books are going to be opened. The books are going to tell us what we did, and what we didn't, and how we did, and what we said, and how we said. We still have time today to fix things before the great separation. Make sure that you have oil in your lamps or else you won't be taken. Because by the time you get the oil, he's already gone. You should know if you are ready.


By the way, if you don't know that you're ready I cannot tell you to be encouraged by the great separation. It's going to be terrible. I saw a video clip of a church where the rapture took place and everybody's crying, those who were left behind. It's a horrible thing to find out that you were left behind.


If you're not ready, you need to be ready. By the way, those who are ready know that they are ready. "These things I tell you that you know that you have eternal life." You should know if you are ready and therefore, you will be greatly encouraged.


I want to encourage all of you, back home. Wherever you are around the world. There is going to be a great separation. It's going to be very ugly if you are not a believer. It's going to be the most unbelievable thing, if you are a believer.


We are getting rid of this lowly body. That's it and the food will be great up there. We don't have time anymore. We don't need watches. We will never be late. And I always tell people you'll be surprised who you're going to see up there. And who you are not going to see up there.


Father, I thank you so much for the "great separation" that is about to take place, any day now. Father, we know that separation is a bad word and you never meant it to be even in our vocabulary. You wanted to dwell among your people.


But, Father, it's sin that separated us from you. Just as by one man's sin came to the world, you sent Jesus to die on the cross, that every person on planet earth will have a chance to be called sons and daughters by way of accepting him as the price that was paid for our sins.

Father, I thank you that from Genesis 6 and on, separation is actually what you want from the righteous. We ask, Father, that in the little time that is left for us in this world. Prepare us for the "great separation" and, until then, use us as watchmen on the wall. Amen.





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