In my last article, I described the two sources of supernatural power: God and Satan. Supernatural activity must not automatically be rejected or accepted, but must be tested to determine whether or not it is from God. We must embrace the Holy Spirit in all of His supernatural gifts, but we must not indiscriminately accept every supernatural manifestation as from God.
1 John 4:1 puts it this way: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God.” The Bible also tells us to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). With these warnings, it is clear that discernment is needed. Sometimes in church meetings there can be an attitude that that everyone must simply accept every manifestation without question. A church, meeting, or movement should not object to manifestations being questioned or tested; in fact testing is a biblical mandate.
Mixture Creates Confusion
You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as wool and linen mixed together. –Deuteronomy 22:9-11
One of the most dangerous things that can happen in the church is mixture; mixing worldly philosophies with the Word of God, mixing fleshly demonstrations with the genuine power of God, and mixing false teaching with true. Mixture is dangerous because it creates confusion. It muddies the waters, making it more difficult to determine the source of a teaching, ministry, or movement.
In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were continually getting in trouble by mixing with pagan practices and idolatry. They tried to worship God and worship idols as well. They wanted to mix the rituals of the gentiles with their own worship. This always brought the judgment of God.
Today, the same tendency is in the church. Some teach humanistic philosophy along with biblical principles. Some espouse New Age practices along with genuine gifts of the Spirit. Some allow for demonic counterfeits along with the genuine manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The result of this mixture is seen in the passage quoted above: “lest the yield of the seed you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled.”
We need to separate the “precious from the vile” (see Jeremiah 15:19). Let’s pray for the discernment to recognize the true from the false, and uproot the mixture that is among us. We need the cleansing fire of the Word and Spirit to wash us from all defilement that has come through mixture!