ARE SOME SPIRITUAL GIFTS FROM GOD OR SATAN?

Two most often asked questions are: Must you talk in “tongues” once you receive the Holy Spirit and do I believe that a person “Slain in the Spirit” is healed always from the Holy Spirit? When asked such questions I try to do as much research as possible before providing an answer. Scripture says that in the later days many will be deceived by Satan.

Having just concluded reading the Book of Job, Job and his friends believed that God was punishing him through boils and sickness. However, it was God allowing Job to be tested by the Devil. What Scripture says is that God does not cause sickness but, He allows it to happen for a reason. If the Devil can cause us to become sick, could he not also heal and deceive us?

In the early church and some churches today speaking in “tongues” was a very sought after gift. Many times those speaking in “tongues” developed a certain spiritual pride. Paul does not deny speaking in “tongues” or a prayer language. However, he asks: “If I come to you and speak in “tongues” what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge?” Paul uses the argument of “tongues” was meant for a hard-hearted and unbelieving people. I Corinthians 14:20 – 22a – “Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind. It is written in the Scriptures: ‘I will speak to my own people through strange languages and through the lips of foreigners. But even then, they will not listen to me,’ says the LORD. So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers.”

I believe I Corinthians 14:18 – 28 – Is very clear that speaking in “tongues” is not a necessity. In fact, Paul says that no one should ever speak in “tongues” in public unless there is someone who can interpret what the “tongues” is saying. Paul says if an unbeliever were to enter a church where people are speaking in “tongues” they will think the congregation is out of its mind (or demonized).

For those not familiar with being “Slain in the Spirit” it is when a church holds an altar call and a minister puts their hands on a person’s forehead and the person falls over and they either become unconscious or remain conscious. This is a much debated movement whether it is from the Spirit or of the Devil. I believe it can be an emotional response or a demonic manifestation.

In my study of the Bible for more than 60 years I find no place that it talks or illustrates about being “Slain in the Spirit”. Luke 10:17 – “When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” Luke 10:20 – “But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” I am more inclined to believe what Scripture says in II Thessalonians 2:9 – “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie,” The Bible gives many examples of false teaching to deceive people concerning demonstrations of spiritual power.

I Corinthians 12:8 – 10 – “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.” The Bible is very clear what gifts of the Spirit are given to Christians. Just because you see or hear something seeming supernatural doesn’t necessarily affirm that it is from the Holy Spirit. The Bible points out that the Devil, with his magic and supernatural powers, is the great deceiver.

Paul says that special gifts come from God and they were to be used in the ministry of the gospel. Any believer could receive a gift. In the early church healing occurred often as Paul wrote. A Jew would go to a Rabbi rather than a doctor. Greeks would go to their temple to be healed and sometimes were. There is not the slightest doubt that people were healed through faith. It could be of God or it could come from the Devil. Possibly, faith to believe and a confident attitude could heal one’s body. All healing, according to Scripture and history, was not always a result of the Holy Spirit in the early churches, synagogues and temples. I believe that a person who was “Slain in the Spirit” and healed does not confirm that it was necessarily from the Holy Spirit.

My personal opinion is that I do not have the gift of speaking in tongues and I would not accept being “Slain in the Spirit”. There is no doubt in my mind that I have been healed by the Holy Spirit, having had two times heart-bypass operations and having cancer.

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