Modern Tongues. A Gift from the Holy Spirit OR A Counterfeit From the Devil?

By Leigh Fuller.

This subject is a very contentious. It has split Evangelicals, it will put brother against brother, and it has split Church congregations. Yet the Word of God says there are gifts of the Holy Spirit called "speaking in other tongues and the interpretation of tongues in 1 Corinthians. Where do you stand? Or have you not studied the Bible to really find out what is meant in the Bible by speaking in tongues.

We are told to be good Bereans. We are admonished to diligently study the Word of God to show ourselves approved of by God.{2 Tim 2:15} It is unfortunate that many Christians would rather believe what comes out of the preachers mouth than check the Word to make sure he is Biblically correct. Whole denominations have swallowed the lies and accepted the counterfeit doctrines from our enemy, the Devil. They have accepted the lies and believe and practice what should be called the doctrines of demons. {1 Tim 4:1}

I speak of the Pentecostal movement. While I believe the majority of these are believers and are sincere, they can be sincerely wrong, and have turned from sound Biblical doctrine having itching ears and heap teachers upon themselves according to their own desires. 2 Timothy 4: 3-4.

The doctrines that are common ground for this movement are the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Speaking in other tongues. Some teach that you are not even a believer unless you speak in tongues, while the Oneness Pentecostals do not believe in the Trinity. This whole movement continues to split and multiply and some get more and more extreme in their beliefs.

You see I have a huge problem with their doctrine of tongues. I do believe in Biblical tongues in its historic setting. Firstly they, the Pentecostals are not the only ones who speak in tongues. Mormons, Witches, Indian Gurus, Native Indian Sharman, South African witch doctors, and Buddest monks all share this common ground. Recently in the early 1950s a Roman Catholic Renewal movement began to speak in tongues and held many rallies where Evangelicals joined with them as brothers in the Lord. This ecumenical movement operates in all Churches with no regard to doctrine; all are made one and unified by tongues. In 1977 The Conference on Charismatic Renewal of Christian Churches gathered in Kansas. This is what one of the key speakers said.

Dennis Bennett said "I see three streams of Christianity that are beginning to flow together. the Catholic stream with its emphesis on history and the cotinuity of the faith, the evangelical stream with its emphesis on loyality to scripture and the importance of personal committment to Christ, and the Pentecostal stream with its emphesis on the immediate experience of God by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Roman Catholic speaker Kevin Ranaghan said, "For the world to believe depends on our becoming one,..... it is the will of God, that we become one." He also stated "there is a real possibility of moving together towards some lasting form of Christian unity."

We see all the more today that the Vatican is calling all faiths together, the Pope John Paul 11 had a mass gathering of the leaders of every religion in the Vatican. The Charismatic Catholic Renewal movement is just another ploy of Rome to get all faiths back under its power. Those "spirit filled Catholics" do not leave the Church of Rome but testify of more devotion to the Church and that since their baptism of the Spirit and tongue manifestation they revered Mary more and hold the blasphemous Mass in deeper respect.

The Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon spoken about the Revelation. Paul makes a strong statement about fellowshipping with unbelievers in 2 Cor 6: 14-15.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?"

Another fact about this tongue speaking uniting Catholic and Pentecostals is that many of the leading televangilists have been to the Pope for blessings. Pat Robinson was there, Robert Schuller had the plans of his Crystal Cathredal blessed by the Pope, Jack Van Impe promotes a huge amount of Catholic literature and says he has read every book by the Pope and says the Pope is a great spiritual leader. I would agree with Jack but which spirit is controlling the Pope?

I was counseling a lady who spoke in tongues and I had cast out false tongues from a Pentecostal Church, when another spirit manifested in tongues. As I said we had dealt with all the Pentecostal tongue spirits from being slain in the spirit so this was a surprise. When challenged to reveal its name it said "UKLA". Upon further questioning it was found to be a Mormon spirit that had entered at her baptism as an infant into the Mormon Church. Her parents had left Mormonism many years before after being born again.

The question must be put; would all Pentecostals join in worship with these pagans, as they all have a common the testimony of speaking in tongues? What test would you apply? There is a Biblical test in 1 John 4: 1-2 but do Pentecostals apply this test to their spiritual gift?

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirit to see if it is of God"

I have found in 26 years of ministry that Pentecostals tend to believe that all that is supernatural comes from God. This is not true; we have an adversary out there who is roaming around like a roaring lion looking for gullible Christians to devour. In my deliverance ministry about 55 Pentecostals have had their tongue tested and at least 90% have been demons posing as the Holy Spirit and the rest have either not passed the test or have been gibberish from the person's mind because pressure was put upon him to accept and manifest this gift.

In recent ministry many shipwrecked Pentecostals have come for deliverance and I think 10 in a row failed the Biblical test and had evil spirits posing as the Holy Spirit. These had entered either by the laying on of hands {transference} or being slain in the spirit, a totally unbiblical practice. They also sought a gift that without checking scripture.

The wife of a Pentecostal Pastor came for counseling and when her tongue gift was tested it was a demon called "the physical manifestation of the Pentecostal movement" and its work was false tongues, false prophecy, false revelation and manifestated by jumping up and down and holding up hands to Satan.

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see if they come from God..." 1 John4: 1.

If we are told by the Holy Spirit to search the scriptures, “to prove ALL things and hold fast to that which is true.” 1 Thess 5: 21. Don’t' you think we should obey? So I want to examine the passages in the Nrw Testament that refer to tongues and highlight or shine the spotlight of truth upon them. This will begin in Acts Chapter 2.

This chapter is the pivotal focus by the Pentecostal and Charismatic Denominations. Their doctrines either stand up or fail here. Should they misinterpret and fall into error here it is likely to lead to further error and faulty doctrine in later passages where tongues are mentioned.

Acts Chapter 2 signifies the coming of the Holy Spirit to reside in believers of the newly formed Church of God. This fulfills John 14: 16. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;"

The Holy Spirit would permanently indwell every believer at their conversion. Before we look at this passage in Acts Chapter 2 it should be pointed out that it is ridiculous for believers to "tarry" today waiting on the Holy Spirit. It is clear from the following scriptures that He, the Holy Spirit comes at regeneration “sealing them until the day of redemption” Eph 4:30.

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8: 9.

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" Romans 8: 16.

The Lord Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem. Luke 24: 46-49.

"And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."

Also in Acts 2: 1.

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. "

What is Pentecost? This day is 50 days after the death of the Lord Jesus Christ and marks the believers in Christ receiving the Holy Spirit as promised by Him when he went back to be with the Father in Heaven.

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14: 16-17.

This was a once and for all event to fulfill the prophecy in Lev 23: 15-22. It signifies the birth of the New Testament Church; a new age in that the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit were received by the first believers {about 120} who waited in that upper room in prayer and in one accord. He, the Holy Spirit came then and He comes now to be received by all who turn to God in repentance now and until the end of the age. We are all sealed with the Holy Spirit when we are regenerated {Eph 1: 13}. We have been translated out of the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light of Jesus Christ. {Col 1: 13}.

Now let us get to the book of Acts 2: 1-5.

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

When the day of Pentecost had fully come" there were incredible effects to show this was no usual happening. The Holy Spirit arrived and announced Himself with a sound like a rushing mighty wind, and cloven tongues of fire upon each of the believers gathered and they all were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Note here in these verses that there is no baptism of the Holy Spirit mentioned. To understand this we must return to Acts 1: 5.

"For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

Here the baptism and the filling were all in one; they had believed already and now they were filled with the Spirit and as a result were received into the body of Christ, His new Church. Positionally they were the first members of the new era of Church History. Pentecost does not teach a second baptism as the Pentecostals teach but it does teach many infillings with the power of the Holy Spirit. It must be stressed that baptism of the Spirit is not the filling of the Spirit.

Paul makes it clear in Eph 4: 3-6.

"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

We need to clearly see that the one and only baptism places the believer into the body of Christ. Again Paul shows this in 1 Cor 12: 13.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

The baptism is positional; it does not bring power, nor is it experiencial. Power comes from living a holy life. Paul states this in 1 Thess 5: 23.

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Now we must look at the result that the miraculous signs had upon those who looked on. In Acts 2: 4-12 there are several important facts that if we get them wrong here it will lead to further error later.

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. and they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?"

Here we find that "devout Jews" from every nation under Heaven had made the pilgrimage from far flung lands to Jerusalem for the Passover. There are 17 different nations represented and being from different lands they spoke the local dialect of their country of origin not the local Aramiac Greek. When they heard the mighty rushing wind they were confused, but not by the wind but to see the disciples standing there proclaiming the Gospel each in "their own language." It is important here to see that the tongues that the Holy Spirit gave to the disciples were known earthly languages. The Holy Spirit inspiring the writer of Acts reinforces this in verses 6, 8, 11.

What a result for the Kingdom of God, three thousand converts in one day. Powerful preaching from the once frightened disciples attested by the miracle signs of being able to speak in a language they had never learned "cut them to the heart." Acts 2: 37 and they called out to Peter "what shall we do."

Peter simply said “Repent ”and do the same as John told you. Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. Now this is plainly water baptism as a mark of obedience following in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ. After these marvelous conversions a great change came over the converts; they learned the doctrines, fellowshipped together breaking bread; and they prayed and there were many more miracles done by the Apostles to confirm that their Leadership was bestowed upon them by Christ. Another sign of the work of the Holy Spirit was that these new Christians sold their possessions and distributed to those in need, such was the change wrought by the Holy Spirit among them. Acts 2: 44-47.

I just want to diverge slightly here to deal with another passage outside of Acts for a moment. It also has been erroneously taught by the Pentecostals. Mark 16: 17-18.

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

Firstly it does not say that the Holy Spirit gave utterance to these tongues, in fact the word used here for "new tongues” is "kainos" which indicates a new boldness. Remember the disciples fear before Pentecost and their renewed vigor after the filling with the Holy Spirit. It should be noted that it is clear that the signs “follow them that believe",/i> not are for those who believe. This is backed up by verse 20 where the disciples went forth and preached everywhere and the Lord confirmed the word with SIGNS. If the Pentecostals wish to use this verse as a sign of tongues then it must follow that the other signs would accompany the tongues, the drinking of poison, and the ability to survive snake bites. In fact there are extreme sects out there that perform these signs and believe that it is a sign of the power of God, but so many have died that this sect is now banned in some states.

Acts 10: 44-48.

"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. for they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?"

This incident occurs about 8 years after Pentecost and once again it issues in a new era of the Christian Church as the Holy Spirit falls upon the Gentiles. Note also that it is the reverse of Pentecost as it is the Gentiles who the Spirit gave the tongues to. Again it is understandable language for these Gentiles "magnified God". The Jews who were onlookers were astounded as they thought that only they were God's chosen ones.

Peter understood what had happened as he stated in verse 47.

"Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?"

Again the baptism is not with the Spirit but water baptism. Peter had been given a vision showing the inclusion of the Gentiles into the Kingdom. Cornelius was a devout man and ready to receive the Holy Spirit. He was converted and he and his household were filled with the Holy Spirit. The word for "gift" here is "dorean" it does not refer to a spiritual gift; "dorean" is closely related to "doron" used in Ephesians 2: 8-9 as "a gift from God". They had become believers in the same manner and received the "same gift" as the followers of Jesus at Pentecost. The gift was repentance now not only Jewish Christians were part of the New Testament Church but Gentiles also. God was moving forward to include all who would come unto Him in His universal Church.

Acts 19: 1-7.

"And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve."

Here again are a group of believers who need to be brought into the New Testament Church. This event occurs about 19 years after Pentecost. The modern day Pentecostals seem to think that by this time there were thousands of Spirit filled Christian’s speaking in tongues. This is so far from the truth. These incidents in Acts were isolated events with a particular purpose for uniting all believers into the New Christian Church.

This group of about 12 men were disciples of John the Baptist who had returned to their homeland Ephesus. They had never heard about the Lord Jesus or the coming of the Holy Spirit. Paul had to disclose these events that they should "believe on Him {Jesus} who would come after him {John} that is, Christ Jesus." Verse 4b.

Paul as an directly appointed Apostle of Christ had the power to transfer the Gift of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. This is what he did and they were filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues, a known language, and prophesied {preached} without an interpreter.

These three passages in Acts which we have just dealt with are the only references to speaking in tongues in the book of Acts, although there are other passages where others were filled with the Holy Spirit and brought into the infant Church where there is no mention of tongues.

Acts 4: 4 Five thousand believed.

Acts 4: 29-31. They prayed... the place was shaken...they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness. NO Tongues.

Acts 6: 5-8. Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. NO tongues.

Acts 7: 54- 60 the power of his preaching cut them to the heart. NO Tongues.

Acts 8: 14-18. The Apostles in Samaria heard of a group who had received the word of the Lord. Here is another group of believers who had believed on the Lord Jesus but had never heard of the Holy Spirit. Again the Apostolic transfer of the gift of the Holy Spirit placed them into the Church. NO Tongues.

Acts 9. Here the tormentor Paul becomes the Apostle Paul. Verses 17-19 says he was filled with the Holy Spirit but again NO tongues mentioned.

Acts 16: 25- 34 gives an account of the Phillipian jailer and his household believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized {water} and rejoiced. NO Tongues.

We have just closely examined of the book of Acts with ALL references to tongues.

What is the true Biblical definition of speaking in tongues?

It is the God given ability to speak instantly and clearly in a language unknown to the speaker in order to convey the message of the Gospel to unbelievers those who would listen and see that this was a sign from God.

It must be noted here that everywhere where the tongues were spoken there was an Apostle and there were always Jews present.This is an important piece of evidence because "tongues" are a SIGN. We will enlarge on that later.

Just to clear up another error that the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is not a second baptism of power evidenced by tongues but it is the Spirit of God placing the new believer into the body of Christ, the Church. It is not an experiential moment but a positional event. There is only One Baptism. Eph 4: 3-6.

"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

And again reinforced in 1 Cor 12: 13.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

The Corinthian Church and Tongues.

We come to the chapters in first Corinthians that seem to prove that we should "not forbid the speaking in tongues".

1 Cor 14: 39b.

It has always amazed me why the modern Pentecostal Church would want to iminitate the Corinthians. This is the one Church that caused the Apostle to write sternly correcting many carnal practices. In almost every Chapter Paul takes issue with one problem or another. Just a few examples. Chapter 1. it was division, Chapter three. it was envy, chapter five. immorality, chapter six. suing brothers, chapter nine. it was defiling the altar, chapter ten. idolatry, chapter 11. drunk at the Lord's Table.

Up until this point Paul was correcting the carnality of the Church, now he turns to the spirituality or lack of it. Paul makes it plain in 1 Cor 3: 1-3.

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"

Paul starts Chapter 12 with "Now concerning the spiritual gifts.” The word "gifts" is not in the original translation; it should read concerning the things of the Spirit; and he goes on to talk about the diversities of the Spirit in {verse 4} and how the manifestations of the Spirit is not for self but for the profit of all the body {verse 7.} Also there should be no schism or division in the body but there should be care for one another{verse 25.}

Now 1 Cor 12: 28- 31.

"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."

Paul shows the leadership roles then he lists the gifts of the Spirit. Note here there are "varieties of tongues". The Greek here is “Genos” or languages and also note it is the least of the gifts.

1 Cor 12: 29-30.

"Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?"

This is rhetorical question. It can only be answered in the negative. NO. It is easy to see that not all will be a worker of miracles, not all will have the gift of healing, and clearly from the previous not all will have the gift of tongues or the gift of interpretation. The Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit blows away the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tongues. As we proved previously that there is no second baptism taught in the Word of God anyway.

It is worthy to note here that Chapter 13 the chapter on Love is placed between the tongues in Ch 12 and the same in Ch 14. But one must remember that in the original documents there were no divisions. The best gift "love" will last for eternity whereas other gifts of the Spirit will not.

1 Cor 13: 4-6.

"Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth;"

In fact love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all all things." {Verse 7.} Love is gentile, love is kind, love never fails, and it is Eternal, God given and God directed from now until eternity.

Where as "Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away." 1 Cor 13: 8.

Paul is talking about the supernatural gifts of the Spirit that were needed to spread the Word of God before the complete Canon of scripture was written down for all to read. Only part of the scriptures were available, the Apostles knew in part and preached in part at this time so the Lord had to reveal the unwritten truths to the believers and non believers supernaturally via these gifts.

The Apostle gives two illustrations to show the comparison. One as a child with a child’s understanding equals the partial Word of God already revealed, but when as a man or grown up and is mature with full understanding{Completed Canon} will no longer need the babies understanding.

Paul also compares looking into a mirror of polished brass; it will only give a blurred image, just like the partial Word would reveal some but not all the aspect of the Word of God. It would tide the Church over until the complete Word of God was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the image would be like looking into a mirror seeing face to face, all would be revealed clearly.

1 Cor 13: 9-10.

"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away."

This is a verse that causes much debate among Scholars. But from what I have researched, the evidence is not that it is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ but the completion of the Canon of Scripture as I said before. What sealed the deal for me in my research was that the Greek for "perfect" is to teleion, a neuter noun which shows no gender. Now we know for sure that the Lord Jesus Christ is a person, the only other option is the complete Canon of scripture, the completed thing.

To sum up chapter 13 it is clear that love dominates Paul's teaching. He is laying out a message to the Corinthians who had "all of the gifts of the Spirit" but they had failed in the essential element, LOVE.

The opening phrase in Chapter 14 again proves the above point. He says,

" Pursue love and desire the spiritual gifts.” Again the word "gifts" is included by the modern translators, it is not in the original documents. We are to desire the things of the Spirit which are?

Galatians 5: 22-23 tells us.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

The following verses in Galatians 5: 24-25 show exactly why the Corinthians were out of line.

“And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

These are the very things that Paul was correcting the Corinthians for.

But back to 1 Cor 14. Verse 1b says desire to be able to prophesy. This could be the gift of supernatural word from the Holy Spirit or straight out preaching of the Word of God. Paul now moves onto prophesy and tongues. Once again it is not shown if these are supernatural gifts or just preaching in a known language to build up the body of believers.

There are set forth in these early verses a number of reasons why prophecy is superior to tongues.

  1. It is superior because it was spiritually benefiting the congregation because it communicated the doctrine to grow the Church in Love before the written Word. Where as a tongue or language does not help men unless interpreted as God understands all languages. Note that in verses 4, 13, 14, 19, and 27 a tongue is inferior.
  2. Prophecy is a less showy gift so not as open to abuse or spiritual pride. The gifts were always to edify the body of Christ and not to puff up the speaker.
  3. Unless the tongue was interpreted prophecy or preaching was superior as verse 5 clearly shows. "I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying."

If a message was given in tongues by the Holy Spirit it could only benefit the Church body if an interpreter was available. In fact one of Paul’s directions to the Church is “no interpreter, no message in tongues” 1 Cor 14:28.

Paul makes the statement that “he wished them all could speak in tongues” {14: 5} and “ I thank my God that I speak in tongues more than you all.” {14: 18}. Paul was a highly educated man, he could speak at least 5 languages and of course as an Apostle did speak in supernatural tongues as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance. The city of Corinth was the hub of many trade routes and therefore the congregation spoke many different languages. An interesting point is that the Corinthian Church is the only New Testament group of believers that Paul speaks to about the tongues. It is because it was being abused and out of order and bringing disrepute upon the congregation.

Paul makes it clear in verses 7-10 in comparing them to the sound of the flute and harp that unless a clear precise note is played or a language is clearly understood that he "might as well speak to the air."

Verse 10 again shows that the tongues were "languages of the world". All have their place but unless they are understood they will be foreign. They must be interpreted so its clear meaning has any value to the rest of the congregation.

1 Cor 14: 13-17.

"Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. for if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified."

Here Paul shows the limited use of tongues in prayer. Tongues bypasses the mind, so Paul says I will pray in the spirit {his spirit, not the Spirit} and I will pray with my mind also so then it is fruitful and full of meaning. He says doing it this way brings the maximum effect and gives a blessing to all those who hear.

The praying in a tongue either privately or in the Church was inferior because no one was edified. It was only as it was interpreted that it was of value and then even the unlearned or newcomers could say AMEN.

Paul then states that he would rather speak five words that are understood than 10,000 in a tongue. This figure represents the highest Greek numeral. Clearly this shows the inferiority of tongues.

Now it is essential in understanding the link to the Old Testament in this next passage.

1 Cor 14: 21. "In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord." See Is 28: 11. The Assyrian army captured Israel and took them away from their land. Later the Babylonians did the same. Jer 15: 5.

We need to see the connection here with tongues as a Warning Sign to the unbelieving Jews and God's judgment upon the nation. See the following scriptures in the Old Testament also. Deut 28:49, Is 28: 11, Is 33: 19, Jer 5: 15. Paul here is using tongues as a SIGN again condemning this present day congregation for belief. "Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers." 1 Cor 14:22.

This next verse 23 should be shown to some of the present day Pentecostal congregations. "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?"

Watching televangelists like Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard Brown, Kenneth Copeland, and Kenneth Hagin makes me nearly vomit. One instance I saw Rodney Howard Brown asked the crowd how many spoke in tongues. Nearly every hand went up in the auditorium. He then said "so start speaking in your tongues". Thousands started, it was like a circus, no order, no interpretations, just mayhem.

Verses 23-24 Show the value for if a newcomer arrives in the congregation and hears everyone speaking in tongues like the above example, he will not only think they are mad but go away and tell others about the mayhem therefore hindering the Gospel spreading. But if all preach the Word of God they will be convicted by the Holy Spirit and be cut to the heart, fall on their face and worship God saying "God is truely among you." Then the word will really spread for God says His Word will never return void.

For the rest of Chapter 14 Paul lays down the rules for decent order in the assembly. It is an interesting fact that Paul never had to write to any other Churches about excessive use of tongues. In none of his other epistles does the gift of tongues appear. Why? The Corinthians were carnal, they were babies, they were out of order, they hindered the spread of God's Word, and they were grieving the Holy Spirit as I am sure some of the Pentecostal Churches are doing this present day.

It is a sad indictment on these Churches today that the regulations laid down to the Corinthians are not applied in them today.

1 Cor 14: 27-28.

"If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God."

Here it is in black and white; only two or three at the most could stand up and give a message in tongues, each in turn {not all together}, and there had to be an interpretor present. This is not hard to understand, confusion is not from God but from the enemy. 1 Cor 14: 33. Also let the prophets be controlled also, only the same number of prophecies and let the mature Christians judge whether they are valid.

Danger signals should be evident now to any Christian attending these out of order Churches where their worship and teaching does not agree with the clear Word of God. Just because you are sincere and seeking God does not protect you from demonic deception. In fact due to the numerous erroneous doctrines in some of these extreme Pentecostal Churches I believe that the leadership is actually teaching Doctrines of Demons as warned against in 1 Tim 4: 1.

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

Many ill learned or immature Christians are seduced into these Churches by the so called signs and wonders and exciting experiences. I see the result over and over again in my ministry. In the 26 years of deliverance ministry I have counseled many shipwrecked souls. They have gone for their weekly fix of repetitious choruses and emotional hypes from the pulpit, but receive no sound teaching. So they have no firm foundation when the enemy comes in like a flood. One particular lady who is a very sincere Christian would rather spend an hour in so called worship and receive a little food from the Word of God than go to a sound doctrinal Church teaching the Word for an hour because she does not like the three or four songs or hymns. That is shallow Christianity. Another lady and her children who has seen through the deception of tongues is made to follow her husband to a Church that is unloving and uncaring and does not teach the Word in any depth, but it spends an hour in worship singing repetitive choruses.

1 Cor 14: 34-35.

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

Many Churches today have been infiltrated by the radical feminist movement. Here Paul addresses another doctrinal error in the Corinthian Church. Women were out of line and so they are today. Pentecostals who ordain women Pastors would say the above verses are just cultural and do not apply today. This is not the case. Rules that Paul laid down for the Corinthian Church regarding tongues cannot be separated from the rules about women. Women are not to be in leadership or teach men. See 1 Tim 3: 1 and Titus 1: 5-9. 1 Tim 2: 12.

1 Cor 14:37 wraps up this admonition of the Corinthian Church by the Apostle Paul. Remember the things that Paul wrote about the erroneous teachings and the carnality were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Paul just did not just have it in for this one Church and its congregation.

1 Cor 14: 39.

"Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy{or preach}, and forbid not to speak with tongues."

Again the best result would be for all to preach or receive a message from the Lord but if a genuine Holy Spirit inspired message in tongues comes it must be subject to the rules laid down, do not forbid it. Pentecostals would say “see if I speak in tongues today you cannot forbid it." Having explained why it is not relevant for today according to the Biblical definition of tongues and also the fact that this gift was given to assist in the growth of the new Church for a particular period of time then what is going on today with speaking in tongues?

Many of the tongue speakers that I come across in my ministry seem to have an air of superiority because they have received the so called "baptism of power evidenced by speaking in tongues." As we have proven this is an erroneous doctrine.

The sign of a spirit filled Christian is not speaking in tongues but evidencing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, LOVE. And they exhibit the other fruit as shown in Galatians 5: 22-23.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

I believe that there are three areas that these Christians may be deceived in.

Firstly many they make up in their mind some mumbling just to conform under pressure so that they fit into the rest of the members. Also some Pentecostals teach that you can just start saying the first word that comes to the mind and repeat it over and over and it will just start coming into your new tongues. I saw a well known televangelist telling how he first started speaking in tongues. He heard the word "pucky poo, pucky poo" in his mind and he thought "I cannot say that out the others will think I am mad”, but the thought persisted so he just let it out and soon he heard the others saying, ,i>"he got it, he got it, he's really got it. His his tongue." How ridiculous.

The other way of deception is more serious. Paul warns in 2 Cor 11: 3-4.

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."

Paul talking to Corinthian believers says because you have accepted another gospel with another Jesus and you have allowed another spirit other than the Holy Spirit to enter you. Deception opens the doorway for evil spirits counterfeiting the Holy Spirit to dwell in the believer. That may go against all you believe but it is there in black and while inspired by the Holy Spirit.

As I said earlier I have tested about 50 Pentecostal tongues using the Biblical test in 1 John 4: 1-4 and have uncovered demons posing as the Holy Spirit. We are told that we will be held accountable for every word coming out of our mouths. The tongue speaker does not know what they are saying or who they are saying it to. They assume that they are praising God but under the power of the true Holy Spirit, when tested these counterfeit spirits admit they are blaspheming the name of Christ or singing praises to Satan.

Do you see the danger here?

Another error in this tongue speaking is that some say they are using Heavenly or angelic language when they pray in tongues. Again this can be easily disproved. This is the verse they use to support their case.

1 Cor 13: 1.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."

Paul here is using a hyperbole. It is going to the most extreme end possible. He says hypothetically no matter how angelic my speech is "if" I do not have love I might as well clang a gong. It is worthless. The other relevant point here is that angels or heavenly messengers always spoke the language of those they were sent to give the message to. The other point is that if Heavenly languages were to be for us Christians why Paul would say in 1 Cor 13: 8 that they will cease. Would we not need these languages in Heaven where the angels are communicating with God and each other and supposedly with us when we arrive?

Another scripture that the Pentecostals resort to in order to inject the Holy Spirit into their doctrine is Rom 8: 26.

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

This is such a simple answer to their inference it seems overkill. Note the "groanings" CANNOT BE UTTERED. Full stop.

It is a historical fact that tongues were never mentioned in the later Epistles written by Paul. They were never mentioned by the last Apostle John as he received the Revelation about the end times. We are part of that time now I believe and I am sure that if needed today the Holy Spirit would have revealed it to John.

The early Church Fathers never mentioned it either. Plato records pagan poets moved by frenzy speaking in tongues. In 1100 BC a prophet of Syria who worshipped a foreign god muttered in tongues, in 17 th century in France a group called the Camisards who were extremely fanatical claimed to practice miracles and speak in tongues even prophesying a member would rise from the grave. This did not happen. The Shakers, Mother Ann claimed she was the female part of God and impressed her followers by speaking in tongues. Another sect speaking in tongues was the Irvinites.These were not Christian Believers.

I think the greatest proof that this tongue speaking is not for today and has ceased is that great men of God that have been used powerfully by the Holy Spirit never were supposedly "baptized by the Spirit and spoke in tongues."

The Revivalists like Jonathon Edwards, John Knox, Charles Finney, John Huss, George Whitefield, John Wesley, Charles Spourgeon, Evan Roberts, D L Moody, Billy Sunday, and I could go on never uttered a word in tongues. These men were spirit filled, spirit anointed, sanctified, mightily used by God and directed by the Holy Spirit. Yet Pentecostals would say did not have it all; Baloney!! Some Pentecostal writers have even made false statements about some of these servants of God claiming they did speak in tongues.

What are we to say?

All I can say is that the Devil is "An angel of Light", he makes his doctrine enticing; he seduces the gullible, he performs false signs and wonders {Matt 24:24} and he makes it all look and feel so good. Do not be deceived!

We are given the Spirit of Truth and the Sword of the Lord. Do not believe what others tell you; go to the Holy Word of God, ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you to the truth, be a Good Berean.

This has been a journey for us through the Word of God seeking to Biblically search out the meaning of speaking in tongues. Is it for today? The Word of God says emphatically "NO". What you now choose to do with this knowledge is between you and the Holy Spirit.

I have laid out the scriptures in a clear precise manner that should leave no doubt in your mind. Of course the enemy will not like to loose his grip on your mind and he will use all sorts of illogical arguments against the Biblical truth.

You are told as a Christian to "prove ALL things, hold fast to that which is true." 1 Thess 5: 21.

I would recommend some books on the subject.

New Testament Teaching on Tongues by Merrill Unger.

Strife with Tongues by Kurt Koch.

Charismatic Chaos by John MacArthur

The Corinthian Catastrophy by George Gardiner

You Tube or Sermon Audio teaching by Dr Allan Cairns titled The Counterfeit Gift of Tongues. Parts 1 and 2.

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