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I Before E (NKJV)

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  • Format: Folded Tract
  • Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
  • Pages: 4
  • Version: NKJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the NKJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)

Good teachers like to give little tricks or hints to help students remember things. One spelling trick that most of us learned says “I before E except after C” meaning that sometimes when a word has I and E together, the I comes before the E – like in the words believe and friend. But often when they come after C, the E comes before the I – as in the words receive and deceive. Not all words in our language follow that rule, but many of them do.

Don’t Believe a Lie

Another hint is that the word lie is in the middle of believe. Don’t believe a lie. It is important to seek out the truth about what you hear and read each day. What you believe about finances, politics, science, religion, etc., affects what you do and how you live. If you believe that 2 + 2 = 6, you will make a lot of mistakes throughout your life. A driver who believes that yellow is green and green is red will have serious problems at intersections. People who believe a lie make wrong decisions and eventually suffer the consequences. The Bible reminds us that God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17). When you hear or read something that contradicts the Bible, don’t believe it – it is a lie.


The word deceive means to trick someone, causing them to believe something that is not true. Those who have an unethical agenda twist the truth in an attempt to get us to believe what is not true.

Look at the last three letters in the word believe and see the name of the first woman who lived on Earth – Eve. Satan, in the serpent, deceived Eve by telling her that if she ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil she would be like God. Sadly, Eve was deceived. What Satan told her contradicted the Word of God. She believed the lie, acted on it, and suffered the consequences. Because she and Adam ate the fruit, all human beings are born with a sinful nature (Romans 5:19).

Satan is called the Deceiver. He tries to get people to believe the lie that they can be good enough to go to heaven without asking Jesus to take away their sins. He makes them think that giving enough money to their church will buy their way to heaven. Other people think if they just get baptized or if their good works outweigh their bad actions they will go to heaven. In reality, there is only one way to heaven. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

A Friend to the End

The word friend follows the “I before E” rule. Remember that the word end is at the end of friend: “A friend is a friend to the end.” A true friend would never be a deceiver. Proverbs 18:24 tells about a Friend Who sticks closer to us than a brother – and that is Jesus. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus did that for us – laid down His own life for us so that we could live forever with Him in heaven.


The words believe and receive are used in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) more than 100 times! That’s because Jesus wants you to believe that He loves you so much that He died on the cross and shed His blood to take away your sins. That is His free gift to you. Now He wants you to receive that free gift called salvation so that you will be ready to live with Him forever in heaven. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

All you have to do is:

Admit your own sinfulness. “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23).

Acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God Who paid the price for your sins and that He is the only way to heaven.

Accept His forgiveness today.

Reject the deceiver. Become a believer. Receive the Friend.

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