If the title of this blog ignited fear or anxiety in your heart, I'd like to propose that not all supernatural experiences or practices hail from the kingdom of darkness. In fact, the truth is that many spiritual encounters or expressions that are demonstrated in darkness are often a perversion of something created by God! I'm concerned that in an effort to not be deceived, some Christians take things that are spiritually powerful or supernatural and assign them to the New Age movement! Consequently, what's left is a passive, paralyzed and powerless church.
I've found that often believers pick and choose which bucket they delineate a spiritual experience to be in based on fear or misunderstanding of how Jesus wants us to operate in the gifts of His Spirit today. For example, when some people read the words of Jesus like these, "For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matt. 24:24), they are convinced that Jesus said, "In the last days all the prophets will be false." Most of the heresy hunters don't believe there are prophets in the last days, so they deem all signs and wonders as false!
Of course, there are false prophets, false signs and wonders, demonic trances, demonic tongues and so on, but the devil most often counterfeits things that are valuable! Nobody ever counterfeited a penny or a dollar bill; it's just too much work for very little impact.
I'd propose that the devil has a great strategy to disarm the church—that is to convince her that the weapons of warfare, the very tools she has been given to win the battle against evil, are from the prince of darkness himself.
Spiritual Experiences Are Biblical
Let's take a look at some practical examples of supernatural experiences that have been labeled as New Age in much of today's culture.
First up, are trances Christian or New Age? Well, the apostle Peter fell into a trance. Here is the reference: "I was in the city of Joppa praying. And in a trance I saw a vision: A vessel like a great sheet was descending, let down from heaven by four corners, and it came to me" (Acts 11:5).
The apostle Paul also experienced a trance. Here is his reference: "When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance" (Acts 22:17).
Are angel visitations "New Age" or Christian? Are you aware that angels are mentioned 185 times in the New Testament alone? There were at least 20 angelic visitations just in the book of Acts. In contrast, the Holy Spirit is mentioned 223 times in the New Testament.
The Gospel Is Powerful
What I'm getting at is that you can't separate the gospel from the power of God! Paul put it like this: " ... by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ" (Rom. 15:19).
He brings this point home in 1 Corinthians 4:20: "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power."
If we teach that there are no longer gifts of the Spirit—that prophecy, healing and deliverance are not for today and that all spiritual experiences and/or supernatural encounters have passed—is this not reducing the gospel? Isn't it just as dangerous to remove the power of God from the people of God as it is to be deceived? In fact, isn't this, in itself, partnering with deception?
It's imperative that we heed Paul's warning to Timothy and not become preachers with no power. Paul said, "Know this: In the last days perilous times will come. Men will be ... having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Turn away from such people" (2 Tim. 3:1, 5).
My Spirit Guide
If you're a believer, you, like me, have a "Spirit Guide"—His name is Holy Spirit and He guides us into all truth! The Bible says, "But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13). In fact, Holy Spirit gives us the power to do the work of the gospel.
The very word "saved" in the Greek language is sozo, and it actually means "saved, healed and delivered." Therefore, we must, as Paul exhorted us, fully preach and demonstrate the gospel so that people who experience our ministry receive the full benefits of the blood of Jesus—sozo.
Imagine the impact of an empowered church, taking up our call to minister in the power of God's kingdom, serving in even the darkest places on the planet, healing and redeeming the world back to God!
How will you take up this call and invite Holy Spirit into your everyday life? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Kris Vallotton is the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and co-founder of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. He is an author, international speaker and culture leader.
For the original article, visit krisvallotton.com.
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