How the Physically Blind Can Try the Spirits?

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Hi M____,
Thank you for your question. You ask:

As you know, physical blindness in no way keeps a physically blind person from “hearing the voice of the Shepherd.”

Joh 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

So physically blind people can, and always have been capable of hearing the word. In today’s society they can read with braille or listen to CDs or cassettes of the entire Bible. In that sense a physically blind person is blessed with not being tempted and tried by all this world offers us via television or computers with images which tend for the most part to distract those with healthy natural vision. The Truth is that all men are by nature, born spiritually blind, and must be brought to acknowledge that fact before they can be blessed with spiritual vision.

Joh 9:38  And he [ a man who, as a type of us all, was healed of being born blind] said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
Joh 9:39  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

This whole story is a physical type of a spiritual Truth. We are all born spiritually blind.
Another Biblical type given us of spiritual blindness always preceding spiritual vision is the story of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus before he was converted and given spiritual vision.

Act 9:1  And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
Act 9:3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Act 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
Act 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
Act 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

The message in both stories is that as long as we see ourselves as spiritually “in need of nothing”, we are in fact spiritually blind.

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

But it is obvious that there would be no spiritual vision to be given if we were not first in physical bodies which need to be given spiritual vision. It is equally clear that there would be no way to “study to show ourselves approved” if we did not have the written word. We could not “try the spirits to see whether they are of God” without having the written Word to try them against. We would be unable to “search the scriptures daily to see whether these things are so” without the written Word.
In short we would be unable to know the spirit without knowing the written word. The written word is so very important that we are given this sober warning concerning how to handle God’s written Word.

1Co 4:6  And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think [ of men] above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

The words ‘of men’ are not in the Greek. We are simply not to think above what is written.
Two chapters earlier we read these very revealing words:

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

What are these “spiritual things”? They are the written words of scripture.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, ( whoso readeth, let him understand:)

You ask “What is the point of having the natural book of scripture… if they are to search the scriptures in the spiritual sense only?”
I was reared a Pentecostal, and it was common for a brother to “prophesy in the spirit” in our church. The brothers and sisters often took these prophecies to be as good as scripture, when the truth was that those prophecies often completely contradicted the Word of God.
I hope all these verses have shown you that it is the written word that is to be used to “try the spirits to see whether they are of God”. The physically blind can still hear the written word, and they too, can then “try the spirits” to see if there is anything being said which is “above what is written”.
God bless you as you seek to know the mind of God and His Son through His written Word.

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Your brother in Christ.

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