Lesson 30 – Testing the Gifts

1. Why do we need to test all spiritual manifestations? 1 John 4:1

2. What will the Lord say to many who have prophesied? Matthew 7:22, 23

3. What did He say would arise in the last days? Matthew 24:24

4. What four specific injunctions does Paul give? 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

5. According to what word must we test all things? Isaiah 8:20

The first and most important test of a prophet is that his message is in harmony with the law of God and the testimony of earlier prophets.

6. How does a false prophet’s appearance deceive people? Matthew 7:15

7. How then can we distinguish the genuine from the false? Matthew 7:16-20

8. False prophets strengthen the hands of the wicked, so that what? Ezekiel 13:22

The second test of a prophet is the fruit of his ministry. Does his own life reveal God’s character? Does his work bear the marks of the high and holy calling of God. Are people’s lives elevated through his influence?

9. What does the accuracy of a prophet’s predictions indicate? Jeremiah 28:9

10. What would inaccuracy of prediction indicate? Deuteronomy 18:21, 22

11. Yet even if a sign should come to pass, what in a prophet’s message would prove him to be false? Deuteronomy 13:1-5

The third test of a prophet is the accuracy of his predictions. Predicting, however, is not the primary function of a prophet. A prophet’s work is to bear the messages which God gives, and those messages may or may not contain information about the future. But when God does reveal future events, we may be sure that it will happen just as He has foretold.

Sometimes God gives conditional prophecies. Jonah’s message of the fall of Nineveh, for example, was conditioned upon the response of the people.

Because Satan can also foretell certain events before they happen, fulfilled predictions cannot be considered conclusive evidence of the genuine gift of prophecy. But Satan cannot predict with 100% accuracy as God does. For this reason, when a prophet’s predictions are consistently fulfilled throughout his entire career, we must take it as evidence of his authenticity. We should then look for the other tests to be met as well.

12. What is one key teaching that must be checked? 1 John 4:3

13. What two physical effects did Daniel report from his vision? Daniel 10:17

The effects of Daniel’s vision are described in detail in Daniel 10:7-19.

a. Daniel alone saw the vision. The men with him did not see it, but were afraid.

b. He lost all his own strength.

c. He lost consciousness, then heard a voice.

d. A hand touched him, which set him on his hands and knees.

e. He then arose to his feet.

f. He became dumb.

g. His lips were touched; he was able to speak.

h. There was no breath in him.

i. He was given strength.

14. When the prophet Balaam heard the words of God and saw the vision of the Almighty, how was his physical condition described? Numbers 24:4

Although never a conclusive test of divine inspiration, supernatural phenomena accompanying a vision do lend credibility to a prophet’s message. But because Satan can counterfeit such signs, we cannot base our confidence in a prophet solely upon physical manifestations.

Physical signs are not always present when a prophet receives a revelation. God has often spoken to His prophets in dreams while they were sleeping.

15. We have many members in one body; and in what respect are all members of the body different? Romans 12:4

16. What does each member have differently? Romans 12:6

Please also read 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, especially verses 4-11, 14-19, 28-30. The Bible does not say that a true believer has to have any one particular gift. Neither does it say that the believer may choose his gift. The Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people, “dividing them severally as He will.”

17. Among the signs Jesus said would follow them that believe, they would speak with what? Mark 16:17

The word “tongue” (glossa) means “language.”

18. On the day of Pentecost, how did each foreign visitor hear the apostles speak? Acts 2:6

A second manifestation of the gift of tongues took place at the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion (Acts 10:46).

19. How did Peter explain that the gift of tongues at the house of Cornelius was no different from what was experienced at Pentecost? Acts 11:17

The only other recorded instance of tongues in the Bible is Acts 19:6. And there is nothing in the passage to indicate that its manifestation was any different.

20. Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as what? 1 Corinthians 13:1

21. What is the only Biblically acceptable procedure for speaking in other tongues? 1 Corinthians 14:27

22. What if there is no one to interpret it? 1 Corinthians 14:28

23. Let all things be done unto what? 1 Corinthians 14:26

“Except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air.” 1 Corinthians 14:9.

“Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.” 1 Corinthians 14:11.

“If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?” 1 Corinthians 14:23.

24. Does confusion come from God? 1 Corinthians 14:33

25. What is the purpose of tongues? 1 Corinthians 14:22

26. How therefore should all things be done? 1 Corinthians 14:40

In the Light of God’s Word…

I understand that the Bible has set forth specific tests for determining the genuineness of prophets.

I understand that spiritual gifts are distributed according to God’s will, not ours.

I understand that the purpose of the gift of tongues is to communicate the gospel, and would be useless where it is not needed for that purpose.

Please also read: 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, especially verses 4-11, 14-19, 28-30. The Bible does not say that a true believer has to have any one particular gift. Neither does it say that the believer may choose his gift. The Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people, “dividing them severally as He will.”

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