Try the Spirits
- Full Text: Read full text below
- Format: Folded Tract For Believers
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5" x 5.5"
- Pages: 6
- Versions: KJV
The full text of this tract for believers is shown below in the KJV version.
Does a student of God’s Word have good reason to doubt that many of today’s claims of “speaking in tongues” and “supernatural healing” are from God? The Scriptural answer is a resounding “Yes!” Satan is referred to as “the deceiver” (Rev. 12:9) and the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Not only is he able to perform “signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9), but he often imitates what is from God by disguising himself as an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Scripture tells us that there are those who claim to work miracles in Christ’s name who aren’t even Christians (Matt. 7:21-23).
How can we know the real thing from some counterfeit? The only true test is God’s Word. Reason, feeling, and experience are not reliable.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. … We [the apostles—1 John 1:1-3] are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:1,6).
The True Gift of Healing as Seen by Christ and the Apostles
1. Healing was by word or touch. There is no deliberation or elaborate ceremony.
2. Healing was instantaneous, without delay.
3. Those that were healed were healed totally. There was not a recuperation period.
4. Its purpose was not to keep Christians healthy. In fact, most cases did not even involve Christians.
5. They healed organic diseases—crippling deformities, withered hands, blindness, etc., not functional problems like colds, sore joints, headaches, etc.
6. The healer could also raise the dead.
7. All were healed. No one was left feeling guilty for not having enough faith.
Despite all the claims in our time, a close comparison shows that no one is healing the way Christ and the apostles healed.
There is Scriptural support that would show that the gift of healing was not exercised in the latter years of the apostolic age, and there was not a lack of opportunity: 3 John 1,2; 2 Tim. 4:20; 2 Cor. 12:9; 1 Tim. 5:23; Phil. 2:27.
Order for the Use of Tongues from 1 Cor. 14
1. It is to be used for edification, vs. 26.
2. By two or at the most three, vs. 27.
3. Each in turn, vs. 27.
4. Let there be an interpreter after each, vs. 27.
5. If no interpreter keep silent, vs. 28.
6. There is not to be confusion, vs. 33.
7. The women are not to speak, vs. 34.
8. It should be done decently and in order, vs. 40.
Tongues Fulfilled Their Purpose
Sign gifts were for the purpose of confirming the words of the apostles (Mark 16:20). The gift of tongues specifically served as a sign to the unbelieving Jews (1 Cor. 14:21,22). It showed them that their Messiah has been rejected and now the gospel is going out in other tongues to all men: Jews, Acts 2; Gentiles, Acts 10; Samaritans, Acts 8; John’s disciples, Acts 19.
Do we need signs to show that God’s grace is given to all men? No! Unlike the early Church, we have His Word, which tells us this plainly.
“Tongues” is not a Designation of Spiritual Maturity
1. Speaking an uncertain sound that people can’t understand and therefore cannot be profited by is what Paul means by “sounding brass and tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1; 14:7-9). It’s the very opposite of speaking a “love language.”
2. The purpose of spiritual gifts is not for one’s own good (1 Cor. 14:2; 1 Pet. 4:10,11; John 16:13,14; Eph. 4:11-16). The Corinthian misuse of tongues edifies self (1 Cor. 14:4). The truly spiritual man seeks the edification of others (1 Cor. 14:12; Rom. 15:2; 1 Cor. 13).
3. The gift of tongues was not meant to be for yesterday, today, and forever. Gifts of the Spirit were not given until Christ ascended and the Holy Spirit came to dwell in His believers (Eph. 4:8; John 16:7). The gift of tongues had a limited duration (1 Cor. 13:8).
4. Speaking an understandable language is 2000 times greater than “tongues” (1 Cor. 14:19).
5. Of the three lists of the gifts of God (1 Cor. 12; Rom. 12; Eph. 4), the gift of tongues (as well as healing and miracles) is only mentioned in the earliest one
(1 Cor. 12:8-12), and is mentioned last. It is definitely not given a prominent place by the Apostle Paul.
6. The Corinthian church was the only recorded church that exercised some form of tongues, and yet Paul refers to them as “fleshly” and “babes in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1-3).
Signs and Wonders were Directly Linked with the Apostles
Acts 14:3; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3,4; Mark 16:20. The apostles were present when the signs and wonders occurred (Acts 2:1-36; 3:2-10; 5:15,16; 8:14-17; 10:44-47; 14:8-10; 19:1-7; 28:8,9).
The Apostles were Unique; We Have None Today
1. They were personally chosen by the Lord: Matt. 10; Luke 6:12-16; Gal. 1:1.
2. They had absolute authority: Gal. 1:11,12; 1 Cor. 14:37,38; 1 John 4:6; Jude 1:17.
3. They were the foundation of the Church: Eph. 2:19,20; Eph. 3:4,5.
4. They were eyewitnesses of the Lord: 1 Cor. 15:7,8; 1 Cor. 9:1; 2 Pet. 1:16; Acts 1:21,22.
5. They have a unique place of honor: Matt. 19:27,28; Rev. 21:14.
Signs and Wonders Are Not For Our Time
The Christian walk for the post-apostolic Church is to be a walk of faith and not of sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Desiring some visible manifestation of God is disobedience and a lack of faith. “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” (Matt. 16:4). Also see Exodus 32:1-6; 1 Samuel 8:4-7). The Word of God is enough for the man of God (2 Tim. 3:16,17). Faith comes by the Word (Rom. 10:17), and conviction comes by the Word (Heb. 4:12).
A Common Misinterpretation
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17, cited from Joel 2:28). This verse is not a prophecy of our time. Notice the context from Joel in which it is taken. Verse 20 speaks of the northern army being defeated, verse 27 tells of the great rival of the nation of Israel, and verse 31 speaks of great signs in the sky—the sun darkened and the moon turned into blood. In this context this verse can only be speaking of a time yet in the future.
Spirit Baptism takes Place at Conversion
Spirit baptism is not a “special experience” that happens to only certain believers; it is what places the Christian into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), and since every converted Christian is part of the body of Christ (Eph. 2:19; 1 Cor. 12:27; 1 Cor. 10:17), then it’s clear that Spirit baptism takes place upon conversion,
The events in the book of Acts concerning the giving of the Spirit were unique. Today the Spirit is already given and we are not told to seek a second experience. —Stan Thompson
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