Introduction: The following is designed in an outline form to be used in a Sunday School classroom. Therefore it is abbreviated and does not contain footnotes and/or credits. Please see the following article. After over 39 years of teaching the word of God and lessons based upon it, it is difficult to remember all of my sources. Everything that I have learned about God and His word I have learned from the Bible, writings about the Bible and its doctrines and from what men who have written or preached about the Bible. I claim no originality to anything I know. I do pray that I stay true to His word in all that I teach and write. However, I am very human and am not perfect.
The Modern-Day Tongues Movement
The Charismatic Experience
revised March 2014
Many different tracts, booklets or books have been written to try to show that the modern-day tongues movement is not of God. There are only three other sources that it could come from - Satan, Psychological or Fakery. To some extent, every experience of this movement is from one of these three sources. God is not in the Charismatic movement of this day and age. Most of these below listed various sources of information have very good statements and facts concerning the tongues movement. There would not be any way in which I could include all of the facts on this false movement. I will try to bring you some pertinent information which will help you to understand these people and deal with them Scripturally. The following is extracted from a variety of sources, but since this is not a formal paper, I will not attempt to identify each particular source for each part of the information. David Cloud's book, 'The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement: the history and the error', E.L. Bynum's tract, TONGUES, Glossolalia and Charismatic Renewal in the Light of the Bible: C. Norman Sellers' booklet, Biblical Conclusions Concerning Tongues; Dr. Bob Gray - audio tapes on The Charismatic Movement; and Dr. Peter S. Ruckman's booklet, Tongues, Signs and Healing, are some of the sources for the material in this lesson.
- Brief History of the Movement.
- According to David Cloud, in 1895, Benjamin Hardin Irwin formed a group called, "The Fire-Baptized Holiness Association which paved the way for other groups which included Frank Sandford and his religious quacks. Also, in 1895 John Dowie started his Zion City just north of Chicago. Zion City was a religious theocracy led by Dowie and his deluded followers.
- In 1900, a man named Charles F. Parham opened Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas and influenced a young woman named Agnes Ozman to speak in tongues. In 1906, William Seymour founded the Azusa Street Mission of Los Angeles. Out of this Mission the Pentecostal movement grew being led by several prominent people including, William Branham, Franklin Hall, Kathryn Kuhlman, and a woman preacher named Aimee Semple McPherson. The movement has infiltrated the Christian Businessmen's Fellowship and many other so-called gospel movements.
- Now virtually every denomination and group that calls themselves "Christian" have some gatherings that practice tongues speaking and the other "full-gospel" gifts. Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, and on and on can get together through the "gifts" of tongues, healing, and knowledge. It is obviously one of the great ecumenical forces of our day. Ecumenism, or the gathering of all religions under one leader, is not of God!
- Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Baker and many other television personalities are or were committed Charismatics. Pat Boone, Morris Cerullo, the Jimenez, Kenneth Hagin, Kennneth Copeland, John Wimber, John Hagee, the Hunters, and many other people are all caught up in this false religion. God is not pleased with any of it, and no true believer should fellowship with or compromise their Bible stand with those who openly accept this false belief.
- One common denominator found throughout all the teachings of these charlatans is their refusal to accept the plain truths of the word of God. We will shine the light of God's Holy word on the false teachings of this unscriptural movement.
- Origin of the Word Charismatic.
- The word comes from the Greek word charisma which means gift or gifted.
(When people start going to the Greek to build doctrines or organizations, beware!)
- People, who claim to be Charismatic, claim to have gifts that you and I don't have. Proverbs 25:14
- Bible reason and definition for tongues.
- 1 Corinthians 14:22 Tongues are for a SIGN! A SIGN! A SIGN!
- Acts 2:8-11 Tongues are languages. Isaiah 28:10-11. In l Corinthians 14, the word unknown simply a language not known by those who are listening.
- I Corinthians 1:22 - For whom are signs? The Jew. Mark 16:16-17.
- Bible Origin of Signs.
- Exodus 4:8-9 - First sickness in the Bible - Why? - For a sign. Healing is a sign. The Jewish nation has always required a sign. 1 Corinthians1:22.
- Exodus 15:26 - No faith, prayer, or laying on of hands. Just do this and that.
- Bible History of Signs
- Deuteronomy18:18-19 - See the word "Prophet." Capitalized. That is a prophecy about Jesus. Jesus is that Prophet spoken of in John. He is a prophet like Moses. So He must have the signs. Does He?
- Mark 6:4-6 - Sign of Healing. If you have the gift of healing, you can lay hands on someone and they will be healed whether they have faith or not!
- Acts 5:16 - Peter is healing every one.. Even the touch of his shadow healed people. Matthew 4:23-24 Jesus heals them all. Everyone within earshot gets healed completely. No misfire! These modern day healers are fakers and charlatans! If they really had the gift of healing, a sign to Jews, they could empty hospitals tomorrow. Find a few sick Millionaires and heal them. What a bunch of creeps-taking poor people's money so that they can buy multi-million dollar mansions to live in here on earth.
- God does the healing, not these phony shysters! God does heal! Many are the testimonies of the healing power of God, but not like these fakers are claiming! The gift of healing as spoken of in the New Testament is a sign to the Jewish nation. Oral Roberts had a tent meeting over in Alabama many years ago, and a strong wind came through and blew the tent down. You know what they did? Called for ambulances! They carried off to the hospital all the injured people. Then he goes on to build a hospital in Tulsa. Ridiculous!
- Acts 2- Initial evidence is the sound of wind. There are no unknown tongues in this whole chapter. Vs. 1-13 are languages, not gibberish. Read it. What is the purpose? Look at vs. 9-11. Jewish context. A sign to the Jews.
- Acts 10:44-47- Gentiles speaking in tongues. Why? So that those Jews would believe that the Gentiles could receive the Holy Ghost! Again, a sign to the JEWS.
- Acts 19:1-8- Jews talking in tongues. Why? A sign to the unbelieving Jews present!
The above three passages are the only place in the Bible where it is recorded that anyone spoke in tongues. Every time it was for the Jews; a sign to Jews! 1 Corinthians1:22
- 2 Corinthians 12:12- Signs of an Apostle. Signs given to Jewish apostles for Jews. Two groups of people want You To Listen To Them Because They Have The Signs Of The Apostles! One claims to have the signs and the other claims to be built on the Apostle Peter — Are the signs still in existence?
- 1 Timothy 5:23 and 2 Timothy 4:20- Paul couldn't heal his friends or himself, couldn't even pray his way out of jail. He even had a medical doctor with him to the end! 2 Corinthians 12: 2, 6,7, 8,10.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:9- The Antichrist has the signs. 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15. Ministers, false ones (Revelation 2:2), those who say that they have the apostolic signs are "liars".
- 1 Corinthians 14Not one mention of baptism in the whole passage. Don't take the Baptism of Acts 2 and put into this chapter. Don't take unknown tongues and put into Acts 2.
- Vs 27-28 "if any man..." NO women are to speak in tongues! vs. 34. "by two, or at the most by three" Only with an interpreter. These are some of the rules for those who spoke in the Corinthian church.
- Vs 19-20 Speak with understanding not in an unknown tongue. 1 Corinthians 14:8
- There are several attempts by this group of people to cover-up or mask their unscriptural beliefs. We will attempt to expose these beliefs by letting the Light of the World, God's word examine them. There really is no standard or consensus by which all of these people go by, but several seem to be common among them.
- If you or I condemn them and name their leaders by identifying them, they accuse us of blaspheming the Holy Spirit- They base this on a misunderstanding of Matthew 12. Should we be specific in identifying error? God was, Jesus was, Paul was, and so should we.
Revelation 2:2, Matthew 23:15, 2 Thessalonians 3:11, 1Timothy 5:20, Titus 1:10-16, 2Timothy 2:17 & 2Timothy3:14
- The Charismatics claim that the tongues of Acts 2 are different than the tongues of 1 Corinthians 14. According to these folks the tongues of Acts are supposed to be "public" tongues and those in 1 Corinthians 14 are "private" tongues known only to them and God. This is the unintelligible babble that they use today.
- They say that the private tongue is only between God and them. No man can understand. Acts 2:4 - Public tongues. Bible tongues are for every person. 1 Corinthians 12:28, 30 - Private tongues only for a few.
Refutation: misunderstood use of the words all or every.
- They say that the private tongue is assistance to prayer, or that it is the tongue of prayer.
Refutation: Jesus never said to pray in tongues. Lord's Model Prayer - Lord's Prayer in John 17
- They say that this private prayer language shows that you can communicate with God in a way that you cannot do any other way. They use Romans 8:26 as proof text.
Refutation: If it "cannot be uttered", how can you "utter" it?
- They say that when you have this private prayer language that it is only for a few, and that it is when the Holy Spirit works within you in a language only they can know.
Refutation: The Holy Spirit always uses a language that you can understand. Romans 8:15 - Our Holy Spirit always uses intelligent expressions of an understandable language. Closeness to God brings a personal expression. Galatians 4:6. Remember Acts 2 and 1Corinthians 14 - Languages
- If the tongues at Corinth were a private prayer language why would God give the need for an interpreter? If they had the same thing that they had in Acts and 1 Cor. where is their interpreter?
- They say that it is the tongue of the Angels. 1 Corinthians 13:1
Refutation: There is no instance of anyone ever speaking in special unknown tongues of angels. Angels always use an intelligent, understandable language in every instance recorded in the Bible. Paul is speaking hypothetically. In Acts 2 these men spoke earthly languages. Examples of Angels speaking in the Bible - 1Kings 19:7, Acts 5:20, 12:7 and many other instances.
- They believe that 1Corinthians 13:8 is a reference to the second coming of Jesus.
Refutation: Then what will angels do after Jesus comes again? Never speak again? Are they condemned to eternal silence? Isn't that silly?
- The Charismatics say that the growth and bigness of their movement proves that it is from God.
Refutation: Since when do we measure God's blessing by size? Matthew 7:13-14. We had better not measure God's blessings by the size of anything! Some fast growing movements in the U. S.? Astrology, Satanism, Islam and the Charismatic movement.
- They believe that the expression in 1 Corinthians 14," unknown tongue", means an unintelligible babble. It never means that. It is always supplied to help understand the context. verses 2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 27.
- They use Matthew 10:19-20 to justify speaking in babble.
Refutation: See in the book of Acts when Paul stands before his accusers.
- They say that 1 Corinthians14:2 justifies speaking in a mystery language.
Refutation: This means that men did not understand the mysteries not the language. 1 Corinthians2:2-11
- Basic Problems Underlying The Charismatic Or Pentecostal Movement
In dealing with those of the Charismatic persuasion, we must deal with the basic principles of the word of God and not get sidetracked to verses that may or may not have some obscure meaning. The basic problem of many in the movement is that they are trusting in works for their salvation and not in God's Grace. Therefore, they are quite incapable of correctly understanding the Scriptures.
- To understand God's word, a person must be Born-Again 1Thessalonians 5:23 (cf Genesis 1:27)
- Man was created in God's image - spirit, soul, and body.
- Man fell and lost the image of God. Genesis 2:17; 3:7, cf Ephesians 2:1
- When a person trusts Christ as his/her Saviour, they are born again, the Holy Spirit enters that person, regenerates his/her dead human spirit, and they can then communicate with God again on a two way channel.
John 5:24; John 3:7; Ephesians 1:13-14; Titus 3:5; I Corinthians 2:12-14
- Salvation is by grace and not by Works. Ephesians 2:8-9.
- Strange Beliefs of some of the Charismatics.
- The following is a direct quote from one of their tracts entitled, "Is Water Baptism Essential for Salvation?" On page 2 under the first bold heading, "Water baptism is necessary for the remission of sins, and is also an act of obedience to the command of Christ. Therefore, it is definitely essential to salvation."
Refutation: They are quite confused about the baptisms mentioned in the Bible.
- There are seven baptism mentioned in God's Word. Water Baptism is only one of those mentioned. Hebrews 6:1-2; Ephesians 4:4-7; 1 Corinthians 10; Matthew 4:11; John 1:31; Matthew 20:22; Romans 6:1-3; Acts 2:38 look at vs. 17, 22, 36; Acts 10:43, 47; Matthew 28:19; 1Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4-7; Romans 6; Colossians 2; Matthew 3:11-13
- Anyone who is trusting in Water Baptism for salvation is not saved. They are lost! Therefore, they will be completely unable to interpret the Bible with any degree of sense. 1Corinthians 2:12-14
- The following is a quote from one of their tracts entitled, "The Truth about ONE GOD." By the way, both of these tracts were written by Eddie Jones, a United Pentecostal preacher. The quote is as follows, "For the Scriptures prove that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are only manifestations (not persons) of the ONE GOD; and God is ONE IN PERSON."(last page of the tract.)
Refutation: This is merely a rehash of an ancient heresy called Sabellianism, which is related to Unitarianism. To refer to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as only manifestations is rank heresy of the grossest sort! God is ONE. Deuteronomy6:4; Ephesians 4:4-7. Our ONE God in three persons without losing His distinct unity. Mark 1:10-11 Hebrews 1:3 "person" The plurality and personage and unity of the Godhead is everywhere found in the Scriptures. We do not believe in three Gods but One God. Sabellius allowed the deity of the Son and the Holy Spirit but denied them personality which is exactly what some Pentecostals do today. It all comes from a basic inability to understand the Scriptures.
- Therefore, it is not to be considered unusual if they are unsound doctrinally concerning the sign gifts of the Spirit of God. They base their doctrines on experiences or works not grace. Not all Pentecostals are lost, just those who are basing their salvation on the works that they do - speaking in tongues, water baptism, church membership, a vision that they have seen, etc., etc.
- Therefore, we reject the modern day "tongues" movement as false and misleading. It is based upon experiences and teachings that are not true to the word of God.
Written by Dr. Robert E. Bliss