Wherever there is the real thing there are counterfeits. This is especially true in the world of money and in the world of spiritual things.
If a Christian finds themself deceived by a counterfeit $20 or $50 bill, they do not stop using money. What they do is they become more discerning with the bills that are passed on to them in the future.
But what amazes me is that if a Christian is exposed to counterfeits in the spiritual world, so many will turn away and not want anything to do with the spiritual things of God. As a matter of fact, a good portion of them will become very outward in their condemnation of anything that has to do with the spiritual gifts of God.
When I encounter spiritual counterfeits and I investigate them on the Internet, I am disappointed on how some Christians handle them. Instead of just pointing out how they are counterfeits, they take the opportunity to lash out against the legitimate spiritual outpourings of God. As the saying goes, some people throw the baby out with the dirty water.
Now let’s look at what Scripture warns us of and instructs us of:
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Corinthians 14:39-40 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.
Acts 2:15-18. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 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: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
Let’s face it. Wherever the gifts of God are operating, there will be counterfeits. It is our job to weed them out, but not to shut out the good along with the bad. The Devil has tried to infiltrate the Church from the beginning and he will to the end. Paul not only had to deal with numerous counterfeits outside the Church like the one in Acts 16:16-18. But what is a shame is that He also had to deal with the abuses within the Church, especially within the Corinthian Church.
We need to also face the fact that no Christian is perfect either, and we may not agree with everything they do. Smith Wigglesworth is a prime example. Many do not like the forceful way he prayed over people at times. He did this because he knew the evil forces he was dealing with and who was the cause of the affliction. Many Christians today will not read any of his works because of this. They throw the baby out with what they perceive to be the dirty water. What a shame because his writtings are considered to be the best of any Christian in our modern time.
Now to share a little of myself. I am saved, sanctified and baptized with power from the Holy Spirit. I have never delivered a message in Tongues. God has never used me to exercise the corporate Gift of Tongues in the assembling of the Church Body as described in 1 Corinthians 12. Even though I have never, as of yet, possessed the Gift of Tongues, I pray in tongues all the time as Paul admitted in 1 Corinthians 14:18. It is a result of being baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit. But I can also say amen to 1 Corinthians 12:30 (Do all speak in tongues?). Speaking the gift of Tongues in the corporate body and praying in Tongues in my personal life are two totally different things with two totally different purposes. There are so many Christians that are deceived by the enemy to misinterpret 1 Corinthians 12:30 by lumping the two together. They also are deceived to believe that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which happens at the moment of salvation, is the same as the filling of the Holy Spirit, which happens when hungry Christians are baptized in the Holy Spirit with the power to be great witnesses. These are nothing more than a ploy by Satan so that great multitudes of Christians are weakened by not being plugged into the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. May this not be the case with you!