Has the Separation Begun?

By Patrick Hawthorne


A passage that has always troubled me is Ephesians 5:27 which reads, “…that He (Jesus) might present her (the Church) to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”  While the “what” of the verse is self-explanatory, the “how,” of the verse is not.  How will the Church – the Body of Christ Jesus – be without spot or blemish?  It’s obvious that the Church has some serious issues that need dealing with, but how will the Lord deal with these issues prior to His return?

Lately, the Lord has been revealing things to me about the Church so that I might pray more effectively.  One way was through a vision while in prayer, A Body Out of Alignment.  Another way was through the Word, Storm On the Horizon . This latest has come through a conversation with my mom.  As a side note, never discount nor limit the way in which the Holy Spirit may speak to you.

As I was speaking with my mother about this burden to pray and write concerning the Church she said to me, and I paraphrase, “Did you know that the spots and blemishes of the Church are people?”  Of course I asked her to explain.  “Yes,” she said, “Look at 2 Peter 2:13 and you will see that the spots and blemishes are those within the Church who appear to be part of the Body but practice wickedness and deception.”  Naturally, my curiosity was peaked.

At the first opportune moment I went to those verses.  Sure enough 2 Peter 2:12-13 read, “But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, (2 Peter 2:12-13 NKJV bold/underline mine).

The spots and blemishes written of are church members.  These are they who live two lives; one life is in the church and the other is in the world. Suddenly things were making sense.

As I previously wrote, I believe we are in the season of the last of the last days.  I don’t know how much longer till Jesus returns but all indications reveal that we are close.  Could it be that the prophecy of Malachi 3:16-18 may occur prior to His return?  Could it be that the separation of the wheat from the tares within the Church has already begun?  Maybe… Be blessed.

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.17 “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels.  And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”18 Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.  (Malachi 3:16-18 NKJV bold/underline mine)

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Posted in Christian, prophecy, teaching
14 comments on “Has the Separation Begun?
  1. Amen, Patrick! What’s that song, “whole lot of shakin going on.” That is precisely how you separate the wheat from the chaff, you shake it and the fluff blows away.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. anitvan says:

    How shall the Church be without spot or blemish?

    By faith, of course!

    Those in the Church with faith have already been made without spot or blemish, for we have put on the righteousness of Christ, the perfect Lamb.

    Are there tares within the church? Yes, of course, there are unbelievers alongside believers within the church; Jesus Himself confirms this. But he also assures us that at the harvest (which I understand to refer to the day of Judgement) God will take care of it, justly separating the wheat from the tares, but until that day, in mercy, He stays His Hand and refrains from judging.

    So I’m a little confused here…are you saying this separation is something we can expect to see occur prior to “that day”? Or have I misunderstood? Please explain!


    • Hi Anita..As always, very good questions….

      2 These 2 says there will be a falling away before the Antichrist is revealed. This can’t be referring to the world because they are condemned already according to the Word because they have not accepted Jesus. So, this is referring to the Church. As you see from 2 Peter 2, those who claim to be part of the Church but practice wickedness are called spots and blemishes. They are wolves in sheep clothing also known as the tares among the wheat.

      In dealing with the tares among the wheat, there must first be a separation before the judgment by fire. If you believe in the pretrib rapture as I do, the separation must take place BEFORE Jesus returns for His Church…His bride. Simply put, I believe this falling away process is all part of God’s house cleaning. I’m not dogmatic on this, but I believe that the Church will be made pure a short time before Jesus returns and that the world will be given one last chance to accept Jesus before the wrath of the tribulation period begins. I have Scripture to support this but it is a lengthy subject that I might address later.


      • To clarify,, by being made pure, I’m referring to being rid of the wolves…the tares…the unbelievers disguised as believers


      • anitvan says:

        Ahh…ok…thanks for clarifying.
        We differ in our understanding of the end times – I am of the mind that we are in the tribulation at present, and that all prophecy concerning the end times has been fulfilled – the only thing left to happen is the Lord’s return. I base my understanding mainly on the Revelation that Jesus gave to John while on Patmos – the picture he sees is one of Jesus already reigning on His throne, which would make this present age “the tribulation”.

        But I am by no means an “end times expert”, so take all that with a big grain of salt!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. dawnlizjones says:

    “As a side note, never discount nor limit the way in which the Holy Spirit may speak to you.” I know this was only a tangent thought, but a seriously important one. Our Creator-Father is still creatively trying to get our attention. We need to be better at looking.


  4. Terri Nida says:

    Hi Patrick – this was very insightful and I really enjoyed it. Your mom has a lot of wisdom.


  5. Steve says:

    Hi, Patrick: I’d agree wholeheartedly with your cautious observation that “the separation” may be taking place. That’s been my cautious perception as well.

    Your mother’s spiritual insight in this regard is spot-on !

    Blessing, Steve


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