There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.  There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.  God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.  A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.  To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.  The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.  He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy.  He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit.  Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.  It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts.  He alone decides which gift a person should have.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

“Dear brothers and sisters, if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language, how would that help you?  But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful.  Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.  And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle?  It’s the same for you.  If you speak to people in words they don’t understand how will they know what you are saying?  You might as well be talking into empty space.  There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning.  But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me.  And the same is true for you.  Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. Well, then what shall I do?  I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand.  I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.  For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don’t understand you praise God along with you?  How can they join you in giving thanks when they don’t understand what you are saying? You will be giving thanks very well, but it won’t strengthen the people who hear you.  I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you.  But in a church meeting I would rather speak five understandable words to help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language.  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.  Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers.  Even so, if the unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy.  But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say.  As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, ‘God is truly here among you.‘” (1 Corinthians 14)

When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them.  I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6)

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” (Matthew 8:15-20)

The Kingdom of God is orderly. 

When non believers look at Christians, they should see order; they should see deliberate, clear, righteous living.

The Apostle Paul, in his many letters to the churches, took great care to explain the expectations of how the Church is to conduct itself.  And what stands out more than anything is that if an action’s fruit is helpful to the Church and/or strengthens the Church, it is good.  If an action’s fruit is confusion or chaos, it is not of God, but of some other spirit.

Many of us have never personally experienced speaking in tongues or prophesying or the gift of healing or performing miracles. Yet, wolves in sheep’s clothing and their followers who would have us believe that we are not saved if we haven’t experienced these things, especially speaking in tongues which they say is the so-called ‘evidence’ of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In fact, there are whole denominations centered around speaking in tongues and the phenomenon known as “being slain in the spirit”.  Unbelievers who walk into these “churches” experience chaos and hear incomprehensible blabbering that no one in the room understands.  They see people falling down and moving like they’ve been electrocuted.  They see pastors (many of whom are broadcasted on television) blowing in people’s faces and touching their foreheads, which somehow causes the people to fall down, prostrate.  This is chaotic, not orderly.  What fruit do these actions bear?  How do these things help or strengthen the Church?

In any other circumstance, if someone was behaving that way, we would call an ambulance or the police.  We would think they are out of their mind, on drugs or drunk.  There may not be a more gross demonstration of spiritual pride as conscientiously opening our mouth to utter sounds in front of others that neither we nor anyone who hears us understands or by behaving in ways that we wouldn’t dare do in public, like randomly falling down and spasming.  People who do not have control of their faculties do these things; something’s wrong with them, not right.  This isn’t something the Church of Christ should be striving for, but running from.  If there is a spirit involved in this, it is NOT the Holy Spirit of God.

The Scriptures clearly teach us that where the Holy Spirit gives one person the gift of tongues, He gives another the gift to interpret what is being said by the person who is speaking in tongues.  Where He gives one the ability to prophesy, He gives another the ability to discern what the prophetic message means. He gives gifts where they are needed, in an orderly fashion, to help and strengthen the Church. 

And, of all the gifts even available to the Body of Christ, the most important of all is the ability to LOVE (1 Corinthians 13)

When we read the Gospels about Jesus Christ, we see his many miracles, his prayers, his actions, behavior and interactions with others.  There is not one instance of Jesus speaking or praying in front of others in a language they could not understand. There is not one instance of him healing someone and them falling prostrate, paralyzed.  Even when He cast out demons, a situation where one would think the demon-possessed person would exhibit extreme behavior upon demons leaving them, we instead see immediate calmness and self-control in the person who has been delivered from their affliction.  Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are One.  The Holy Spirit does not contradict the orderly life and actions of Jesus Christ.

Quite a contrast from the embarrassing theatrics in the video below:

 

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