The Gift of Tongues, No. 9

BD32-02

This morning we look at the gift of tongues number 9 just to tie up a few thoughts concerning this series.  The advocates of tongues for today, we have seen, stress the first century and they stress the 20th century (and somewhat the 19th century).  But little is said of the centuries in between.  The reason for this is that the voice of history is silent on tongues during these intervening centuries.  And because history is silent, it is opposed to the idea that tongues continued through those centuries or that it exists today.  The silent centuries indicate at least that after the first century there was a cessation of the New Testament gift of tongues.  So if anybody wants to claim that today we have that gift, they will have to at least admit that it was a revival of tongues after centuries of the gift being discontinued. 

When it came time for God to indicate that the law era was over and that the era of grace was now to replace the system of law, God had a way historically of indicating that the law was dead.  The way He did this was by tearing the veil in the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies.  God indicated that the law age was over by tearing that veil, and in 70 A.D. by destroying the whole temple.  Historically he was declaring His will concerning Judaism.  It was done with. 

Tongues likewise was used to signal the coming of the new age of grace and then it was absent from the scene of history from the first century on.  This is God’s way of historically saying that the gift of tongues has been done away with just as Judaism was done away with as signaled by the tearing of that veil. 

Certain distortions in Pentecostalism are illustrated in syllogisms that we may set up that are based on false lines of reasoning and of interpretation.  A syllogism sets up two basic premises and then it draws a conclusion.  Upon lines of thought such as this, the current tongues movement is based. 

Syllogism number one:  Premise number one:  When the apostles received the Holy Spirit, they spoke in tongues.  Premise number two is “I speak in tongues.”  Conclusion:  “Therefore I have the Holy Spirit.”  And here is drawn the false conclusion that if you speak in tongues, it is the evidence that you have the Holy Spirit.  For as we have found from the Word of God (1 Corinthians 12:13) that all have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Every Christian is indwelt at the point of salvation. 

Syllogism number two:  Premise number one:  When the apostles received the Holy Spirit, they spoke in tongues.  Second premise:  You do not speak in tongues.  Conclusion:  Therefore you do not have the Holy Spirit.  This is a variation of saying again the first one. 

A third syllogism that arises from these two:  Premise number one:  When people are saved they receive the Holy Spirit and they speak in tongues.  Second premise:  You do not speak in tongues.  Conclusion:  Therefore you are not saved and do not have the Holy Spirit.  This again is a false conclusion—that people who are saved are going to receive the Holy Spirit (which is true) but that they will evidence it by speaking in tongues, which is not true.  Therefore, there are many people who feel that if they do not speak in tongues, they have grounds to doubt their salvation.  Incidentally, if you have not already realized it, Pentecostalism does not hold to eternal security.  People who are in the tongues movement are constantly in doubt as to whether they’re going to heaven or to hell.  Their destiny is never certain with them. 

Syllogism number four:  Premise number one:  Believing people are saved and they receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues.  Second premise:  You do not speak in tongues.  Conclusion:  Therefore you do not believe and are not saved.  This is another variation of no tongues—no salvation. 

Of course, these are lines of reasoning which do not conform to the way that God leads us into eternal life on the basis of the provision that He has made through His son. 

Why the present claims to tongues?  Why the fantastic attachment and claims that are made for tongues today?  One is because of ignorance of Bible doctrine.  Secondly, because of spiritual immaturity.  Thirdly, because of emotional and psychological maladjustment, and we have indicated, because of satanic counterfeits.  We indicated last week that tongues can be explained on a physiological basis.  It can be strongly explained on a psychological basis, and certainly on a satanic basis. 

I’d like to add something to that third one—tongues originating with Satan.  There are striking similarities between Pentecostalists and a séance medium.  In the volume The Modern Tongues and Healing Movement by Carroll Stegall, he has collected some of these comparisons that I’d like to read to you this morning.  He says, “There is another significant field of study connected with this activity of Pentecostalist which must not be ignored.  It is the striking similarity between the sensations which Pentecostalists feel while engaged in being healed or speaking in tongues and those which spiritualist mediums describe as having when in touch with the spirit world.  Pentecostalists resent this comparison in the extreme.  Call it blasphemy.  Charge those who make it with having committed the unforgiveable sin, and so on.  They confidently declare that they are the modern followers of Christ, and anyone who challenges their claim are the modern counterpart to the Pharisees who accused Christ of being in league with Satan. 

“We have pointed out enough differences between Christ and Pentecostalism to show the fallacy of their charge, and we will proceed to compare Pentecostalism now with spiritism which it closely resembles.  But I will at least give the Pentecostalists the benefit of the doubt.  I will quote their own sources and compare that with the spiritualists’ source. 

Tongue-Speakers vs. Spiritualist Mediums

“In 1951, Rev. Carl C. Harwood, the president of the Western Bible Institute made an interesting study of the descriptive literature of tongue-speakers as compared with spiritualist mediums.  We will use some of the quoted material here.” 

First of all there is the comparison of the physical effects on the participants.  “The first interesting comparison is in the visible effects of the influence these people come under.  Observe the striking similarity of behavior described from these sources.  From the holiness paper, the Bridal Call, of July, 1920, we have an article by E. W. Leach of Baltimore, Maryland.  He described his sensations as he began to speak in tongues.  ‘All at once my arms began to shake, gently at first, then violently, until my whole body was quaking under the power.  On Sunday, May 16th in the prayer room I received the baptism.  The spirit came like a torrent as though he would tear my body to pieces.’”  

Now compare that with this excerpt from Genuine Mediumship, page 37:  “In entering the trance condition, your hands and body may twitch and jerk as if you were being subjected to a series of … shocks.  When the spirit power comes, there is manifested a peculiar jerking, twitching, and vibrating of the hands and arms, sometimes extending to the whole body.” 

If you have attended Pentecostal meetings, you will be aware of the fact that these physical evidences are very much there.  It is absolutely unbelievable how the physical body can move into the vibrations and the uncontrollable movements that you see in Pentecostal meetings.  This is exactly what happens to a medium in a séance. 

A second comparison is the feelings that are experienced by Pentecostalists in their meetings and by the spiritist mediums.  He goes on to say:  “The next comparison can be made between the descriptions given of what it feels like to be under the power.  Notice how these two divergent sources use the same terminology, almost as if they were quoting one another.  From Leach’s article:  ‘The Holy Spirit took hold of me.  What sensations I experienced—indescribable indeed, as though I had in my hands the handles of an electric battery and the current passing through me from head to foot.’” 

This is a common description by Pentecostal people, that they feel they are receiving an electric shock. 

He goes on:  “Now back to the book on mediumship:  ‘When the spirit enters, in the arms are felt peculiar tingling, prickling sensations like needles and pins—sometimes akin to a current of electricity passing through from head to foot. 

A third comparison is the effects on the breathing and the stance.  He goes on:  “Next consider the effects of the power on the individual’s breathing and stance and so on.  From a book by R. C. Dalton, Tongues Like as of Fire, we excerpt part of a list of effects he declares to have been manifested through the ages of the tongues movement as he sees it:  “Fallen backward; body extended at full length upon the ground; undergoing of strange and apparently involuntary contortions; heaving of chest and inflation of stomach; voice being interrupted by sobs; remembered nothing afterward, or retained in some cases general and vague impressions.’ 

“Now we quote again from mediumship:  “A young medium will probably find himself either partly or completely conscious of what is being said and done by the spirit, through his body or vocal organs (that is, the demonic spirit).  He will naturally try to escape the utterance of strange cries, moans, and gasps.  The spirit which has entered you will stimulate your breathing which will become rapid and irregular.  If you are likely to become a trance-speaking medium, you will probably experience a sensation as a falling or dizziness as if you were going to faint.  This may continue until you become utterly unconscious and you will know no more until you regain your normal condition.” 

Then Mr. Stegall summarizes:  “Such comparisons lead us to the inescapable conclusion that there is a distinct connection between the sources of behavior in tongue-speakers and spiritualist mediums.” 

In another volume, The Modern Tongues Movement by Robert Gromacki, we have a description of a man who is giving himself to the power of Satan while he thought it was the power of God, and how in the very midst of that experience something struck him that signaled to him that what he was experiencing was not from above but from below.  On page 151:  “Raymond Frame, a former missionary to China, attended a Chinese Pentecostal service in which there was a definite appeal to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit accompanied by the physical evidence of speaking in tongues.  During his attempt to receive this experience, Frame came to the conclusion that the power of Satan, not of God, was operating in his life.  Here is his complete testimony:” 

“’However, when one of my missionary associates standing beside me suddenly became agitated and began shouting loudly in excellent Chinese, leaping and waving his arms and obviously under the control of a power quite beyond himself, my resistance weakened.  I didn’t want to be left out of the blessing that he was receiving.  I let my mind become quite blank and began yielding myself to the external power outside myself that seemed to be pleading for full control of me.  At once a feeling of paralysis began to numb my feet.  It soon affected my legs.  I knew that before long I too would be lying helpless on the floor as were several others in the crowd.  At the instance the numbness reached my knees, I became alarmed.  ‘This thing is coming upon me not from heaven but from beneath.  This is the wrong direction,’ I said to myself.  Without a moment’s hesitation, I cried out, ‘May the blood of Christ protect me from this thing.’  At once it vanished and I was normal again. 

“’A month later I met that co-worker of mine at another place.  He appeared to be a sober and chastened man.  ‘You know, Ray.  That thing that happened to me that night wasn’t of God.  It was of the devil.’  My friend then described the spiritual darkness into which he was plunged following that ecstatic experience.’” 

So when we resist the tongues movement today, we do it on very good grounds on just the fact that it is so similar to what Satan is doing and what is clearly of the demonic world in other areas.  There is a similarity that you cannot simply ignore or explain away. 

Known Languages

Now there is another question that we should consider in tying up this series.  Does 1 Corinthians refer only to known languages?  Are we sure that 1 Corinthians does not refer to ecstatic utterances?  This is the question.  This is what a Pentecostal believer is convinced that 1 Corinthians speaks of.  He’s convinced it speaks of ecstatic utterances.  The Pentecostalist turns to 1 Corinthians 13:1.  He says, “Yes, 1 Corinthians speaks of ecstatic utterances.”  He proceeds to prove it by quoting verse 1, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love …”  He uses this phrase, “tongues of men and of angels.”  Pentecostalists claim that the language of angels is a heavenly ecstatic gibberish.  While tongues of men here refers to known languages, “tongues of angels” refers to languages that are not spoken on this earth.  It’s angel language.  It’s heavenly talk.  It’s happy language.  So the meaningless ecstatic happy talk of a Pentecostalist is defended as coming from God. 

What’s the answer to this?  Well again we have to go back to what the grammar says.  The word “though” in the Greek is the word “if,” and it is that third class condition “if” which in the Greek means it may or may not (be so).  Maybe you will speak in tongues of men and of angels and maybe you will not.  This is the way of expressing a theoretical condition.  The third class condition is the way you would express a “suppose so” condition.  Suppose it were possible to talk in the language in which angels converse. 

Now he doesn’t claim that he actually talks in angel language.  He goes through verse 2 and 3 and he mentions several other things.  He is not proposing that he does all these things—that he understands all mysteries, that he has all knowledge, and that he has all faith so he could tell a mountain to move and it would go.  Nor does he mean in verse 3, “if I give my body to be burned” that he actually means to give his body to be burned.  Obviously, the apostle Paul is not suggesting that you douse yourself in gasoline and touch a match to it in order to demonstrate your spirituality.  Now in some heathen religions they do that—self-mutilation.  He obviously is speaking of a “suppose-so” condition.  He is saying, “Suppose I even burned myself alive in order to demonstrate my devotion to God.”  If I’m not a spirit-filled believer, it’s nothing.  My self-sacrifice is meaningless.  That’s the point of 1 Corinthians 13:1.  He is speaking of a theoretical condition.  He is not in the process of it—supposing that a person can talk in heavenly gibberish.  He says, “Suppose we do speak in angels’ language.  Without the filling of the spirit represented here by the major quality of love, we have nothing. 

Then they use 1 Corinthians 14:2 which says, “For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men but unto God, for no man understandeth him.  However in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”  Now the Pentecostalist claims that this verse teaches that speaking in gibberish is legitimate and only God will understand it.  Now what’s the answer?  Well, what this verse means is that a real language being spoken in the local assembly without an interpreter being present to translate it is useless to that congregation.  What Paul is saying is that if you speak the gift of tongues with legitimate languages and nobody understands it, how are they edified?  Unless there’s an interpreter to translate, it’s useless to the people that are there.  The only person that understands it is you. 

Remember, that’s what the apostles did.  On the day of Pentecost, they thought probably in Aramaic, and they were thinking in Aramaic, and out of their mouths the foreign tongues were coming out.  Well that’s what he is saying here.  You are speaking in your language.  You know what you’re saying, and God knows what you’re saying.  How does God know?  He’s omniscient.  But nobody else knows.  And that’s why they don’t understand—because they don’t know the language, not because they’re speaking some ecstatic gibberish.  So verse 2 does not say that tongues is a heavenly gibberish and for that reason that it cannot be understood.  The Pentecostalist is wrong in his interpretation. 

Ecstatic Utterances

Then there’s another defense that is made.  The Pentecostalist takes 1 Corinthians 14 and he points out that the Greek word “laleo” is used in describing tongues—the word for “speak” here.  Now this word is defined by the Pentecostalist as being incoherent speech because sometimes in Greek literature this word is used to describe the sounds that are made by an animal.  Now what Paul is doing actually here is not using only “laleo” in speaking in tongues, for in 1 Corinthians 14:16 Paul says, “Else when though shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the place of the unlearned say “Amen” at the giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?”  And there the word “say” is a different Greek word.  It’s “lego.”  So Paul isn’t always using “laleo,” the word that the Pentecostalists claim means ecstatic utterances.  Now “laleo” does in the Greek refer to the utterance itself, while the word “lego” refers more to the meaning. 

When you use the word “laleo,” you’re referring just to what you hear—the utterance.  When you use the word “lego,” you’re referring more to the content and to the meaning.  But Pentecostalists say that the form of the utterance therefore, because it uses “laleo,” is the thing that is stressed, and that form is gibberish talk.  But in 1 Corinthians 14:21, Paul uses the word “laleo” because he’s quoting the Old Testament Greek translation—the Septuagint translation.  In verse 21 where he uses “laleo” in quoting the Old Testament Greek, he’s referring to the known language of the Assyrians.  That was the language that God was going to speak to the people in that day to signal his discipline. 

Then in verses 34 and 35 he again uses the word “laleo,” but notice what it means.  Here it’s speaking about women who are asking understandable questions of their husbands or even asking them in church.  “Let your women keep silence in the church for it is not permitted for them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.  And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home.”  Now what sense does it make to suggest they’re going and go and speak to their husbands in gibberish?  How much of an answer are they going to get to a question that they delivered to him in gibberish, or ecstatic utterances? 

So the use of this word is not what the Pentecostalists say it is through this chapter?  It is used by Paul of intelligible understandable language.  So the general use, we find, of the word “laleo” in the New Testament is of intelligible speech.  It’s that kind of utterance. 

Now we have some arguments in addition against the idea that 1 Corinthians speaks of gibberish utterances.  There is the evidence of the terminology which is used in the language.  The main term for tongues is the word “glossa.”  “Glossa” refers in the New Testament always to intelligible speech.  Sometimes in classic Greek literature it is used of ecstatic utterance but we have no indication it is so used in the Bible.  There are times when “glossa” may be used of speech that is not intelligible, but then it is stammering speech.  It is people who talk in a stammering way and “glossa” is sometimes used of that, but it is not used of unintelligible gibberish.  In both the New Testament and in the Greek translation the Septuagint, it is always used of known languages. 

Now the term to interpret:  “diermeneuo.”  That is the word for “interpret” that we find regularly here in 1 Corinthians 12 through 14.  This word in Greek always means translating one known language into another.  It is never used of translating a gibberish into an intelligible sound. 

Then there is a third one.  First we had “glossa,” and secondly we had “diermeneuo.”  Thirdly we have “dialektos.”  “Dialektos” is the term that is used in the Greek New Testament and it only means known languages.  It is never used of anything else.  This is the word that is used in Acts, interchanged with “glossa.”  That’s why when these two are used interchangeably, we know that it only means known languages in Acts as well.  For this reason we say that when you get to 1 Corinthians and it uses this word only, it is using it on the basis of what it meant in Acts which was known languages.  It is the same in both books.  Language is on the side of known speech, not of gibberish. 

Tongues as a sign had to be different from gibberish because the pagan priests spoke in gibberish.  What kind of a sign would this be for Christianity if all it was was ecstatic utterances just like the pagan priests were doing?  It had to be a distinct kind of authentic language so as to be a sign to prove anything.  Gibberish didn’t prove anything in the New Testament and it doesn’t prove anything today.  If the New Testament tongues were ecstatic, it would also support the charge of 1 Corinthians 14:23 that the believers were mad.  People would come in and say, “They’re out of their minds.”  Paul in that case would likely have discouraged gibberish speaking because it would have tended to discredit Christianity.  An unbeliever who listens to it would reject it as being a testimony from the Lord. 

Then 1 Corinthians 14:10-11 demands that the tongues of the context should be intelligible sounds just like a melody is intelligible, made by a musical instrument. 

The Reasons for the Tongue Movement Today

So that brings us to the reasons for the tongue movement today.  Why would you go into tongues?  Why would anybody go into tongues?  One of the first reasons is the desire for a closer contact with God.  “I want to be closer to God.”  Many people go into tongues with that in mind.  But God’s provision for getting close to him is that grace system of perceiving spiritual things which enables us through grace through the learning of doctrine to store his truth in our understanding.  Pentecostalism seems to be a religion of action when look at it from the outside.  It promises voices, visions, miracles, and great ecstasy, and people are drawn to that.  Certain people find this very alluring.  They see a special access to the supernatural powers of God the Holy Spirit.  The same thing that draws people to Pentecostalism, the alluring promise of supernatural power, is the same thing that draws people to demonism. 

You remember the man that we quoted on one of the tapes.  Why was he drawn to demonism and the spirit world?  For the great power that he discovered of the supernatural when he was in touch with that world.  Here again you have a strange similarity between Pentecostalism and the spiritistic world.  Tongues are an attempt to meet a person’s anxiety and his neuroses which are caused by the old sin nature. 

A second reason is for a sense of spiritual status.  Here is many a person who is in modest circumstances in life, and he finds his place of glory as a tongue-speaker.  It is a great boost to his ego to find himself surrounded by a group of people who are urging him on to speak in tongues and to demonstrate his spirituality.  He sits in a meeting and all of a sudden he breaks out into his ecstatic gibberish and the whole place turns its attention on him.  Now if you want to become the center of focus in a Pentecostal meeting, just go in and start talking in some tongues ecstatic gibberish and you will be immediately the center of everything. 

A third reason is the desire for a feeling of exaltation.  The sense of rising above the plodding life of the average Christian, the average daily orthodox Christian and his walk.  There is a sense of a certain kind of blessing almost of a neurotic nature.  In the little volume of Speaking With Tongues by Bergamot, he gives a good summary of it.  The effect of exaltation from being able to speak in these utterances. 

“The words begin to come,” he says.  “One is at first aware of this … cadence, the almost poetic rush of syllables, the … thrill like the first plane ride and we are lifted off the ground.  We are up.  We have lost contact with earth and reality.  The glossalolist is now in a disassociate phase unless he’s an absolute fraud or consciously staging an act.  Most glossalolics remember nothing of this phase.  It is a pathological condition, a neurotic condition in which anxieties are gone, the burdensome cares of this world are banished.  One’s psyche is like an interested spectator watching a parade going past down there.  While one ecstatically talks to the Holy Spirit in mysteries, one neither comprehends nor understands nor remembers later.  If pathology can be such bliss, it is folly to be normal (non-glossalolic).”  If pathology can be such bliss, who wants to be normal?  There is a glow of a pseudo-spiritual buildup that gives a great sense of exaltation. 

A fourth reason people pursue in tongues, and perhaps this is a major reason:  That is the ignorance of Bible doctrine.  Tongues as it is practiced today, contrary to the claims of its adherents, leads into false doctrine and it prevents spiritual growth and production.  Claims are made to the contrary that this is not true.  Christians are actually side-tracked into seeking some kind of ecstatic experience instead of learning doctrine.  The result is spiritual immaturity so that you can’t discern what is of Satan and what is of God.  A believer who doesn’t know doctrine will always revert to certain systems.  You can check yourself.  To the extent that you are weak on doctrine, you will always make a substitution for that weakness.  You will revert out of God’s pattern either to rationalism to make a defense.  Because you are weak on doctrine you will rationalize your decisions.  You will secondly revert to experiences.  You will deliberately seek experiences because you lack doctrine.  Thirdly you will revert to ritualism.  Vast church are built on simple ritual that they proceed through.  Fourth, you will resort to emotionalism.  Pentecostalists lean heavily on experience to guide them, and not doctrine. 

Experience

The expression goes something like this:  The man who has had an experience is never at the mercy of the man who has an argument.  Now that seems reasonable, doesn’t it?  That seems to be a reasonable view.  After all, ask yourself:  What is more convincing—a pie on the plate or in the recipe book?  It seems reasonable to say that if you’ve had an experience, you’ve got the answer.  But you remember our friend doubting Thomas.  He claimed that seeing is believing, but Jesus Christ said to him that believing without seeing is the way of blessing because believing requires facts, and facts of doctrine lead to blessing.  Experience does not lead to blessing.  An experience will never edify a believer.  This is strange.  People believe if they have a certain experience they’re going to get a great blessing from it, but an experience will never build you up in the faith.  Only doctrine that you receive does that.  Power is in the Holy Spirit, not in an emotion (Acts 1:8). 

Emotions

Pentecostalists not only lean heavily on experience.  They also lean heavily on emotions, so emotions dominate the soul among Pentecostalists rather than the mind dominating the soul.  Under this condition Satan is easily able to influence a person.  Anybody who is dominated by emotions is easily controlled by Satan because divine viewpoint can only be received in your mind.  If you have not yet learned that, you are on dangerous ground.  Divine viewpoint can only be received into your soul through the mind.  There is no other access to your being for what God thinks.  The only way you can come to divine viewpoint is through the mind, never through the emotions, never through your experiences, never through actions of your will.  Only through your mind—that’s how you get divine viewpoint.  And it is a very dangerous thing when we start trying to gain divine viewpoint through the emotions. 

From the brochure called Conversion—Psychological and Spiritual by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones published by Intervarsity press, pages 39 and 40, he says, “Another principle is that in presenting the Christian gospel we must never in the first place make a direct approach either to the emotions or to the will.  The emotions and the will should always be influenced through the mind.  Truth is intended to come to the mind.  The normal course is for the emotions and the will to be affected by the truth after it has first entered and gripped the mind.  It seems to me that this is a principle of Holy Scripture.  The approach to the emotions and the will should be indirect still lest should we ever bring any pressure to bear upon either the emotions or the will.  We are to plead with men but never to bring pressure.  We are to beseech but we are never to browbeat.  This it seems to me is a vital distinction which every preacher and missionary should always bear in mind.  I would affirm that much of the modern approach to evangelism with its techniques and methods is unnecessary if we really believe in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and His application of God’s message.  I suggest that our techniques and our mechanics actually divert the attention of people from the truth of the message to some lower, particular, immediate, and practical action which may have the opposite affect to what is intended.  The point I am making is that it is surely our business to avoid anything which produces a merely psychological condition rather than a spiritual condition.” 

I think that is an excellent paragraph, and it points out the hazard not only in evangelism but in our teaching of the Word of God, that we seek some immediate response from the congregation, and so we give them something that would draw an emotional reaction or a movement of their will.  We give them some kind of a description that causes them to rise up out of their seats and rush forward to do something.  They’re acting upon the fact that we have moved their wills rather than that we have moved their mentality so that divine viewpoint of mentality can move the will and can move the emotions.  If God through His thinking through your mind does not move your will and emotions, you will go into some very dangerous things. 

A person who is dominated by emotions moves into fantasies.  This is what fills insane asylums—people who are off their rockers because they are very emotional.  They’re emotional qualities and their instability have led them into daydreams and into fantasies.  Emotions will cause you to be the kind of a person that seeks your rights.  When emotions dominate, you’re going to want to have what’s coming to you.  You’re going to want your place in the sun.  You’re going to want to keep everybody straight and in line.  Emotional domination of the soul will cause you to pursue unrealistic goals.  It will distort your concept of the plan of God and you’ll be pursuing what is not the plan of God for you.  Emotions will lead you to all kinds of sins of your tongue, including the gibberish tongues.  It is emotional domination of the soul that will take over your tongue and lead it to all kind of fantastic sins.  You will be blabbering and slobbering and saying things that you have no business saying.  It is only because emotions have distorted your soul so that your being is out of control and Satan is sitting there egging you on and moving you along, and you’re responding like a sheep—like a stupid dumb sheep—to everything he has to say. 

Now be wary of emotions.  Be wary of emotional domination of your soul, but enjoy the tremendous emotions that God the Holy Spirit pours our through our being as a result of doctrine that we have received in our mentality stored in our human spirits where God has taught us, and now the emotions of our soul well forth in a thrilling expression and that’s for real.  That is real Christian fellowship.  There is no other Christian fellowship that is meaningful or that is real or that is lasting except that which is based upon emotions that God has brought forth from within your soul because your mind has been directed in the right way to His thinking. 

The tongues advocates prefer to base their beliefs and their practices on what the Bible possibly teaches rather than on what it probably says.  So what does that mean—if I believe only what the Bible possibly teaches?  Remember that all the cults have their doctrine based on possible interpretations rather than on probable interpretations.  If I base my views on what the Bible possible says, then I am basing it on experience.  It may mean this, but in my experience I’m going to see if it confirms that it could mean that.  Then, as my experience deceives me on the basis of accepting a possible interpretation of Scripture, I have missed the mind of God.  Power is in the Word, not in experience (Hebrews 4:12). 

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit vs. the Filling of the Holy Spirit

There’s one other thing perhaps we should touch on in closing this series, and that is distinguishing between the baptism and the filling of the spirit.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit you have in 1 Corinthians 12:13.  This is the act of God the Holy Spirit in placing the believer into the body of Christ, the church.  Tongues cannot be a sign of this because 1 Corinthians 12:30 says that all Christians do not speak in tongues.  Not everybody will speak in tongues.  So tongue-speaking cannot be a sign of having received the Holy Spirit.  All Corinthian Christians, spiritual and carnal—and most of them apparently were carnal—were baptized by God the Holy Spirit.  That was because they received this at the point of salvation.  It had nothing to do with their spirituality.  It is not an experience and it is received only once. 

But the filling of the spirit which you have in Ephesians 5:18 is something else.  The Pentecostalists are always equating filling and baptism.  They interchange those terms.  They use them interchangeably, and that’s wrong.  As a Christian through confession of known sins comes under control of the spirit of God, he is filled with the spirit of God.  Not all Christians thus are filled by the spirit of God.  This is an experience and it is repeated again and again. 

Now we know that filling and baptism are different.  Just briefly, here are the reasons:  We know from the language.  In the Greek tenses, baptism of the Holy Spirit is spoken of in the aorist tense which means a once for all action.  But when it speaks of filing, it speaks in the present tense which means a continuous action, something that you constantly have and repeat.  In the voice of the grammar baptism of the Holy Spirit is passive.  That means the subject is acted upon.  God does this for us.  He produces it.  Same thing with filling.  It’s passive.  God produces it when we meet the condition.  Third, there is the mood.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is simply in the indicative; that is, it’s a statement of fact.  Whenever it speaks of baptism it just states the fact.  But whenever it speaks of the filling of the spirit it’s always imperative.  It’s a command.  You are told to seek this. 

As far as purpose, the baptism of the Holy Spirit places us into Christ.  That’s a position.  But the filling of the spirit is power for living and serving.  That’s an experience.  As for the person it is for, for whom it is provided, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is universal for all believers, but the filling of the spirit is limited only to those who walk by faith through confessed sin. 

Receiving the Holy Spirit is part of salvation (Romans 8:9).  We cannot be saved without having received the Holy Spirit.  This is the problem that the Pentecostalists have when they try to defend that the Holy Spirit comes after salvation.  Romans 8:9 declares to us that “Ye are not in the flesh but in the spirit.  If so be then the spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His.”  The spirit of Christ is God the Holy Spirit.  Not to have God the Holy Spirit means not to be saved.  Therefore we cannot say that the Holy Spirit comes after salvation. 

Testing the Spirits – Jude 19

Also in the book of Jude we have in verse 19 this expression describing those having not the spirit, describing unbelievers.  “These are they who separate themselves (sensual) not having the Spirit.”  So if you are one who does not have the spirit it means that you are not a Christian. 

The book of Acts is a transitional book.  Certain things took place there which were not the norm which was going to be the regular way things were done.  That’s where the mistake was make.  That’s where the syllogisms are wrong because God did certain things in a certain way in Acts which were just at the beginning stage which were not the normal way. 

Now we have to ask ourselves, “So what shall we do?”  Well the bible tells us to test the spirits.  Is this for real or is this not for real.  Test the spirits.  1 John 4:1 warns us to check into origins.  “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 

Alright, how do we test the spirits?  If you talk to a Pentecostal person, he’ll usually say to you, “Oh, I can tell in a service when somebody is under wildfire.”  That’s a Pentecostal term for the flesh falsely producing tongues or falsely producing a spirit effect.  They say, “We can tell that it’s wildfire.”  Then you say, “Well, how can you tell?”  Then they say, “Well, I just feel it.  I know it.  I can sense it.”  What you realize that they’re saying is I can tell what is true from false on tongues by how I feel about it.  When the Pentecostalist says that, he opens himself to all kinds of delusions of the emotions by Satan. 

But an experience is not the way we prove things even if it’s an experience of a godly person.  Don’t make the mistake of saying because this godly person has this experience the experience is real.  The experience is only real if it matches up to doctrine, and that’ how we test it.  Here the subtlety of emotions cannot be taken over by Satan to deceive us, to give us a sweet experience in order to delude us.  The test of doctrine, not of feelings.  All Scriptures that we have covered by legitimate principles of interpretation are the way you test whether tongues is true or not, not by how you feel, not by the facts when a godly person exercises this. 

This test shows us that there is no parallel to the gift of tongues going on today such as we have in the New Testament.  No matter how good tongues makes one feel, how much praise it generates, or how it revitalizes the walk with the Lord, the test still has to be doctrine. 

It seems fitting that we should close this series with the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:8.  In referring to tongues, Paul says, “They shall cease.”  And they have. 

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

Back to the Basic Bible Doctrine index

Back to the Bible Questions index