Tongues And Deception In The Church
Sometime in 2014 an article was posted on the internet by the Charisma Magazine titled “10 Reasons To Speak In Tongues”.
Because of the importance the issue of tongues has assumed – just as the issue of the use of real tongues was for the Corinthian Christians just coming out of paganism in the time of Paul – I have tried to adapt this article and reproduce it while being careful to draw readers’ attention to the errors we must watch out for.
Let me give you my understanding of the issue in a summary form up-front:
Inordinate emphasis on any gift is often a mark of satanic activity. Every special gift of God’s Holy Spirit, including, possibly, tongues, is given to His children at His absolute discretion and for His own purposes, never for showmanship or pride of any human being. Every true gift of the Holy Spirit is for the glorification of Jesus Christ; any gift that draws attention to the receiver is not from God’s Spirit. Richard Wumbrand in one of his magazines Voice of Christian Martyrs in late 1970s reported an English-speaking Christian who was given this special Acts 2 grace to speak fluent Russian during the Soviet period when he clandestinely witnessed in Russia.
True tongues are indeed tongues: someone, somewhere on Earth speaks that language in their day-to-day living. You would be given the grace to speak the language if you are witnessing to an unreached group of people and God, out of His own sovereign will and for His own purposes, decides you should speak the language before you learn it. God does not waste His gifts for the pride or glory of any man. Every gift that promotes showmanship or fake religiosity is from the devil.
Almost all (in fact more than 99.999995%) of the tongues you hear in churches and fellowships today are fake. The speakers, most often, were never born again, forget their self-exalted positions as leaders in the church. They are generally only in the church for leadership positions and are planted by the devil. The fact that they blab the ‘tongue’ in open worship without interpretation and restriction as prescribed in the Bible is a telling pointer to their willingness to disregard biblical injunctions and restraints. In case you have not thought of it, that is rebellion. If the spirit in prime leadership position in any religious gathering is in open rebellion against the written word of God, you must draw all the conclusions you need.
The error points often touted by tongues people are numbered 1 to 10 as they appeared in the article in question. Beneath each you have the Biblical views.
Error statement No 1. “The manifestation that came with the gift of the Holy Spirit was speaking in tongues. It wasn’t the wind, fire, noise or feeling of God’s presence that was evidence of the gift being received but a spirit language—believers began speaking languages of the Spirit they didn’t understand. It was God’s plan for the gift to function as a spirit language for His children”.
The Bible’s Truth:
Speaking in real tongues was not the only manifestation of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost: it was just one of them. The current false tongue movement is projecting itself into the real thing and only singling it out of the other unusual spiritual experiences of the first Pentecost after the death and resurrection of Christ in order to support a preconceived set of false doctrines. There is nothing that prevents anyone from insisting on the loud thunderclaps and tongues of fire to prove he is receiving the ‘Holy Spirit’. Nobody spoke a “spirit language” in the Bible. No such phrase can be found in the Bible. The languages spoken during Pentecost in Acts 2 were all human; languages spoken audibly and understandably in countries around the Mediterranean Sea: Libya, Egypt, Crete, Arabia. No gibberish “spirit languages” these, are they?
Error statement No 2. “Jesus commanded us to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus commissioned the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father, He didn’t say, “Do this if you feel led to do so, or if it fits in your doctrinal or denominational beliefs, or if you have the time, or if you are so inclined, or if you feel comfortable about it.” No! Jesus commanded them to wait until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Since Jesus put such importance on their receiving this gift, that’s more than enough reason for every Christian to seek God until they receive it too”.
The Bible’s Truth:
There is no place in the Bible where Jesus commanded those who would believe upon the preaching of the Apostles to wait before they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. There is no record the Apostles preached this to the three thousand that believed on the day of Pentecost or the five thousand the day Peter and John raised the paralyzed man by the temple. The Holy Spirit is automatically given to every person who genuinely gives his life to Christ at the moment of being born again. The gift of the Holy Spirit is given at second birth. That’s what you have in John 3:5-6. Anyone who disputes the Holy Spirit comes into a believer at second birth only knows Christianity in his head the same way people learn economics or geography in school: he has never been born again.
Again, tongues – the true tongues, as distinct from the false, occult babble you hear in ‘churches’ and ‘ministries’ today – the scripture clearly states, are a sign for the unbelievers, not for the believers. God specifically said, ”With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, says the Lord” 1 Cor 14: 21. Tongues are mainly used in two very distinct ways by God: (1) To cause heathens to be reached with the gospel as happened in Acts 2, and, (2) To cause apostate Israel to be jealous and sit up when they hear Gentiles proclaim the goodness of God as you have in 1 Cor 14:21. God does not use tongues to impress or oppress any of His children in any way. He does not use it to extend blessings or inflict punishments in any way on anyone who can be reached in his own plain language. Let me state here that I am writing of real, intelligible languages: not gibberish. There is no example of ANY child of God speaking gibberish in the whole of the Bible. Only devil worshipers speak gibberish when they are taken over by demons. As is clear from 1 Corinthians 12 to 14, the true gift of tongues, like all other true gifts, is given by the Holy Spirit to each individual as He wills and for His own purposes.
Error statement No 3. “The Scriptures exhort us to be filled with the Spirit and to pray in the new tongues of our spirit language. Our spirit language enables us to live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, be led of the Spirit”.
The Bible’s Truth:
Apart from, “The Scriptures exhort us to be filled with the Spirit”, every other thing said in the above statement is false. We do not “live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit or be led of the Spirit” by virtue of any tongues. All the living, walking and leading are done by faith without any reference to any tongues. The idea that God is only interested in starting or continuing a conversation with anyone in some hidden or secret language is from the occult, not God. God speaks plainly to everyone He wants to communicate with. As stated above, there is nothing like “spirit language” in the Bible. You do not need any “spirit language” before God’s Spirit can talk to you. There is no single example in all of the Bible that God spoke to anyone in a weird, unintelligible, “language”. You get yourself filled with God’s Spirit by making sure you listen to His guidance and obey His leading: never by babbling any thing. Whether the tongues’ people know it or not, this is not only a mimicry of what is found in satanic worship, it originated from there. It is the same old satanic trick of mixing enough of the truth with plenty of errors to give a semblance of plausibility.
Error statement No 4. “A spirit language is the greatest gift the Holy Spirit can give a believer”.
The Bible’s Truth:
This is one of the surest signs that this gift is not from God. The purveyors of ‘tongues’ promote it as the ‘greatest’ gift. Paul in 1 Cor 12 verse 28 says the real tongue, even as fantastic as it is, is the least of the gifts of God’s Holy Spirit.
It is highly advised everyone who is serious about learning the truths of God concerning tongues study, not merely, casually read, 1 Corinthians 12 to 14. This is the part of the New Testament where detailed discussions on spiritual gifts (and tongues) can be found. This study should be done without any prior predisposition. You must not import into the passage any understanding you cannot support by simple interpretation of the plain verses.
You are going to come to one inescapable conclusion: the people who support the so-called gift of tongues in our day are of persuasions and opinions very different from Apostle Paul. We must take sides between Paul and the new tongues movement on who we are ready to believe is the bearer of the true word of God.
I must state I am aware some of the leaders of these people say they are of an anointing, not only different from, but superior to, that of Paul or even Christ, Himself!
Error statement No 5. “Our spirit language enables us to have spirit-to-Spirit communication with God. Humans are spirit beings clothed with flesh-and-bone bodies. While man’s sin deadened the spirit, Jesus brings the spirit back to life by imparting His everlasting life into us. The Holy Spirit gives us a spirit language so we can communicate directly with God”.
The Bible’s Truth:
Like all good poisons, this one also comes with some sugar. While the statement, “While man’s sin deadened the spirit, Jesus brings the spirit back to life by imparting His everlasting life into us” is correct, the statement following it – and the one before it – is not found in the Bible. Nothing like “spirit language” before you can communicate with God in the Bible as stated above can be found. Nothing. The idea of spirit-to-spirit communication, on the other hand, is from the occult. It is not from the Bible. Nobody ever speaks to God by a spirit language. Prayers are never called spirit-to-spirit communications in such blatantly occultic sense.
The discussions of Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 to 14 are very important for clarity. Tongues, by which the translators of the King James Bible of 1611 meant real, unlearned, intelligible, earthly languages, are only given to God’s people at the volition of God’s Spirit and for His own ends and they must be restricted to a maximum of three persons, all males, in a worship service and no two of the three speaking at the same time and not even one speaking the tongue if there is no concurrent interpretation of what is being said in tongues. Please note those strict conditions: that’s what you have in 1 Corinthians 12 to 14!
Everyone disregarding these terms is in rebellion against the God of the Bible, he is serving the devil.
None of God’s Spirit’s gifts is for the pride of any human being. Anyone who struts about with some ‘gift’ of the ‘Holy Spirit’ or thinks he can enforce it on others does not know who the Holy Spirit is. This also flows from the error that you need to communicate with God in some very special language that the devil cannot understand. That is not found in the Bible either. God does not need to hide himself in any way from the devil so His plans may not be thwarted. The idea His communication line with any one needs to be scrambled to prevent the devil listening in is occultic: that is giving the devil more power than the Bible says he has.
Error statement No 6. “Praying in tongues builds and increases our faith. Faith is the medium of exchange for all heavenly things, just as money is the medium of exchange for all earthly things. A major way to increase our faith is to pray in the tongues of our spirit language”.
The Bible’s Truth:
Every sentence in this statement stands God’s word on its head. God’s own method of increasing faith is, “faith comes by hearing, hearing by the words of God,” Romans 10:17. In simple words, the more you read God’s words, the more faith in Him develops in you. No mention of some hidden ‘spirit language’ there, is there? The only way to increase faith known to the Bible is to obey God for the simple and hard things that are plainly made known to each person from God’s word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I must state that no guidance of the Holy Spirit ever runs counter to the written word in the Bible.
Error statement No 7. “Praying in tongues activates the fruit of the Spirit. It’s vital and beneficial to have each of the spiritual attributes become active and mature in us. Praying in tongues helps us fulfill God’s predestined purpose for us to be conformed to the image of His Son”.
The Bible’s Truth:
What we have in 2 Peter 2:5-10 are, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”
As is clear from these verses, no single reference, remotely in any way, to tongues or “spirit language”.
There is no single Bible passage to support the assertion that tongues will help anyone activate the Holy Spirit’s gifts in any shape or form. None. You do not need any tongue to “activate any fruit of the Spirit” except if you are speaking of demonic spirits. There is no record of God’s Son babbling away unintelligibly anywhere in the Bible. This erroneous assertion in statement 7 is one of those ‘special revelations’ or ‘keys’ just ‘discovered’ in the last 100 years. The truth is there is nothing recent or special about it. The Hindus of South Asia and the Egungun worshippers of West Africa had the ‘tongues’ for this same purpose all along.
Error statement No 8. “Praying in our spirit language is the main way we fulfill the scriptural admonition to “pray without ceasing.” Christians can pray in tongues at any time. If we are in a place where it isn’t convenient or wise to speak out loud in tongues, we can pray with our inner man without making an audible sound”.
The Bible’s Truth:
That is not so. There is no mention in the Bible of any ‘spirit language’ wherewith Christians are commanded to pray without ceasing. 1 Th 5:17. Any one who has ever had any one-on-one dealing with God the Holy Spirit knows you do not need any hidden, unintelligible, gibberish to maintain unceasing communication with God. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” Isaiah 30:21 has no reference to any hidden language.
Error statement No 9. “The Holy Spirit directs our spirit language to pray in accordance with the will of God. Probably the only time we can be assured that we are praying 100 percent in the will of God is when we are praying in our spirit language. God always answers requests that are made in alignment with His will”.
The Bible’s Truth:
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come”. John 16:13
It is God’s Holy Spirit that witnesses in our hearts that we are 100% in God’s will, not any special, hidden tongue. Everyone that is truly born again has that witness. People who were never born again grope for Him but because of their continuing rebellion against Him and their fascination with signs and wonders rather than the Lord Himself, they cannot have Him. The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with any ‘spirit language’. There is no such thing in Roman 8:26 usually touted as the basis for this error. The verse speaks of intercessions by the Holy Spirit “in groanings which cannot be uttered”, not uttered gibberish.
Error statement No 10. “Praying in tongues quiets the mind. When Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, compared brain scans of Christians praying in tongues with Buddhist monks chanting and Catholic nuns praying, the study showed the frontal lobes—the brain’s control center—went quiet in the brains of Christians talking in tongues, proving that speaking in tongues isn’t a function of the natural brain but an operation of the Spirit”.
The Bible’s Truth:
The purveyors of tongues could not have put the source of their doctrine with greater clarity. God’s stated wish for His children are soberness of mind and clarity of thought, not any form of soliloquy. 1 Pe 5:8. The teachers of tongues movement require you to keep your mind quiet, not clear and vigilant, so you may receive their demonic spirit.
God’s words are more important than any man’s ‘special’ revelation, dreams or ‘inner guidance’. If you really are interested in the True God revealed in the Bible, steer clear of all revelations and special knowledge that cannot be established in the Bible. The teachings in Charisma Magazine, Greg Simas’ Church Of Power, Kenneth Hagin’s Ministries , Winners’ Chapel, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, The Deeper Life Bible Church, Christ Embassy, Benson Idahosa’s Church and all other Pentecostal, Charismatic, Word of Faith and Dominion churches and Fellowships on Tongues are not from the Bible: they merely quote verses and passages to support preconceived ideas and doctrines foreign to the faith.
Successful Mass Deception
The clamour for tongues and other lying signs and wonders are allowed by God to check where your love really lies: in righteousness and godliness or in signs and wonders. Righteousness and true godliness are some of the things Jesus never said the devil would duplicate: He spoke much about Satan’s ability to produce great signs and wonders and procure mass deception. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, Matt 7:24
Tongues, like the general false doctrines of the prosperity preachers, are one of those special tools of deceptions and distractions of our time specially designed and promoted by the devil: it is meant to displace the message of redemption. It totally drowns it out altogether where people are deceived by it.
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