Touch Not the Unclean Thing and I Will Receive You

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  (2Co 6:17-18 KJV)

One of our favorite quotes is to “come out from among them and be ye separate” to show us as leaving the world and its sin behind us.  However, that is only part of what is needed in order for us to be received by a holy and just God.  The rest of it is “AND touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

Getting received

Thus there seems to be several points of our requirements to be receive by our God.  The scripture verse can be put into a mathematical questions using IF…(this AND this AND this) THEN…(this AND that AND another) ELSE…(this AND that AND another) logic.  That scripture would read like this: IF you come out from among them AND separate yourselves from them AND do not touch unclean things THEN God will receive you ELSE you are not received by a holy and just God because of your uncleanness and unwillingness to obey.

So we need to define “THEM”:  As we read from the previous scriptures, them is defined as:

  • Unbelievers
  • Lawless
  • Followers of Belial
  • Idol worshipers

These statements are found in 2Co 6:14-16 as a building block for verse 17, giving us the context for this verse.  Verse 17 is a quote from Isaiah 52:11

11 Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the LORD. (Isa 52:11 NAU)

So what is the “unclean”

The word unclean is found in both the Old and New Testaments.  They are in Hebrew and Greek:


<02931> ) טָמֵאtame) (379d)

Meaning: unclean

Origin: from 2930

Usage: defiled(1), ill(1), unclean(83), unclean thing(1), unclean woman(1), who was unclean(1).


<169> ἀκάθαρτος akathartos

Meaning: unclean, impure

Origin: from 1 (as a neg. pref.) and 2508

Usage: impure person(1), unclean(29), unclean things(1).

Judging from the biblical definitions the word “unclean” means just what it says, unclean or impure.

Defining unclean

Using the ‘first mention principle’ we find “unclean thing” first used in Leviticus 5 and it is used in this manner:

‘Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean cattle or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean, then he will be guilty. ‘Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort his uncleanness may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty.  (Lev 5:2-3 NAU)

In this article it would be terribly long to define the list of clean and unclean things.  But for time’s sake, it is easy to say that in order to gain a definition of the unclean, one must not look into the New Testament but to the Old Testament and mostly in Leviticus chapter 11.  The New Testament is written based upon knowing the reader had a full understanding of the Old Testament, as the new build upon the old, not replaces it.

Can you eat the unclean thing and be received?

Here is a very scary verse when you sit and think deeply about it.

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. (2Co 6:16 NAU)

When you grasp and understand that our bodies are the “TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD” and understand the importance to the temple services as stated by God, then you will be frightened by whatever you allow into your temple.  I encourage you to do a word search on what God calls an abomination and tying it together with the unclean thing.  This verse from Revelation comes to mind:

During the day its gates will never be shut, and there will be no night there. The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any[one] who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev 21:25-27 NAB)


How can we believe that we can touch unclean things and put them into the temple of the living God and then believe that we can take that defiled temple into the coming temple of the promise?  This is nothing but deceiving ourselves into following the traditions of the elders which Jesus (Yeshua) plainly taught against.  We must “study to show ourselves approved” by researching the Word made flesh daily to test the things we are being taught and rejecting those that don’t meet the requirements.  We are to worship in Spirit and Truth.

One Reply to “Touch Not the Unclean Thing and I Will Receive You”

  1. Pingback: There is No Respect of Persons with God - Truth-Tradition

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