This post is part of the teaching series Truth Un-Mixed. If you are new to this series I encourage you to start from the beginning and read all the way through as the teachings build one upon the other. To Find all the posts in the series click here for the Table of Contents. May you be blessed by His Truth alone!
My family knows that I am a mixer. I mix my salad dressings, my cereal, even my lights and darks get thrown into the same load of laundry. But when it comes to God’s Kingdom, He has very clear instructions for His people about mixing. Just like any good cake recipe there are certain things that are to be mixed together and other ingredients that are to remain separate until the appropriate time. For example, you should not mix beaten eggs into the melted butter or you will end up with buttery scrambled eggs, but you should mix the dry ingredients like the sugar and flour together because they form the base of the dough. If you want the cake to come out of the oven fluffy and moist, you do your best to follow the recipe and to heed its order and instructions. It is the same with God. He has set forth a fool proof recipe for His people to follow along with specific orders and instructions that He expects us to keep. And that recipe includes not mixing His truth with anything else. But why? Why is he against the mixing of certain things? Just like all good bereans, let’s go back to the beginning, specifically the garden in Eden, to find out the answer to that question…
Have you ever thought about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Have you stopped to picture it in your mind’s eye? To wonder what was so appealing about it that made Eve deny her perfect Father’s words to taste just a bite? Let me submit to you that it was unlike anything else on the earth, because it was mixed. The knowledge of good AND evil. Two extremes mixed together in the same tree presenting a deception that Eve did not see until it was too late. This mixing, that began in the tree of knowledge, is still present today in our culture. The people of God, the truth of God, and the words of God are being mixed with all sorts of counterparts in order to deceive and disguise. You see, anything that is NOT of God, never appears as such, if it did you would run from it, not to it. But like I tell my kids… If it came to you with a snarly face, dressed in red, and with a pitchfork in its hand you would recognize it every time. But evil never comes in truth, instead it comes mixed, cloaked, and veiled. This is why mixing is dangerous because it makes evil look appealing, subtle and sometimes unidentifiable.
It is for this reason that God makes it very clear in His word that we are not to mix His truth with anything else- even our own ideas or feelings about what is right or wrong. But don’t take my word for it, lets look at what He says in His word about mixing.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Ezekiel 22:26
Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.” Lev 10:8-11
They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. Ezekiel 44:23
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3:15-16
It’s not that God doesn’t appreciate a moderate temperature, He detests lukewarm people because they are a mixture of two extremes, hot and cold. He is a holy God, and He has called us to be a holy people, set apart, called out and not mixed into the world.
“I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 2 Cor 6:16-17
Speaking to His people of all other nations (gentiles) He says, “You must not worship the LORD your God in their way.” Deuteronomy 12:4
And again in Jeremiah 10:2 “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them.”
But what about being “in the world and not of it” you ask? Did you know that phrase is no where in the bible? Rather it is an interpretation of verses such as 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 which says,
“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.”
And also John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
Do you see here how being in the world is not something we have to strive for, but rather is just our current reality, we are already IN THE WORLD. The part that we must strive for is not being OF the world. And let me just speak a small bit of truth here, the folks that usually wield that statement about “being in the world and not of it” are not usually applying it to being more holy and God like, but on the contrary are using it as a scape goat to participate in the things they wish to, regardless of what God’s word says about it.
We were always meant to be set apart, to be light, and a city on a hill that shines truth. A city on a hill is visible, exposed, and seen by all. It is in the world, but not of it, you might say. But it can only offer light and refuge if it remains on the hill with its lamp burning bright. So then how do we keep our lamps burning? We obey the commands of the Lord and in doing so we do not mix His light with the darkness of sin. If we mix the light and dark our life becomes gray and neutral. And as a result we lose our light in the fog and become unidentifiable. In John 7:21-23 Jesus tells us how he will respond at the coming of His kingdom to those who are unidentifiable to Him.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you practicers of lawlessness!’
If He will tell those He doesn’t know and recognize as His own to depart from Him. How then are we to be recognizable light, identified, and known as His children?
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
But whoever loves God is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:3
We shine and are recognized, based on our love for God. But what is it practically to love God and love one another? And how can we be sure that we love without succumbing to that subtle mixing of truth that won Eve? The answer to this lies in whom We allow to define love. If we ask the Father to define it rather than the world or our own feelings, He is pretty clear.
He tells us in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands.
So then, we are to be a people, set apart, not mixing in with the world, but instead standing out from them by keeping His commands. This is how we are recognized as children of God. And this is why not mixing truth is so fundamental in our walk of faith. Because light can not mix with the dark. If it does we become unidentifiable as His children. And our dim light can not serve it’s purpose of leading the way to truth, nor will dim light’s and lukewarm followers inherit the Kingdom of God.