SPEAKING IN TONGUES
What Does The Bible Say?
By Pastor Kevin Burden
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"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1
The modern day "Tongues Movement" is spreading throughout Christendom with amazing speed. It is creating more excitement than any other religious movement of the 20th century. Tens of thousands of people in almost every denomination say they have spoken in "tongues". At the moment it seems to be the most effective ecumenical approach on the church member level. Since Pentecostals, Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, and Roman Catholics are claiming to have spoken in tongues, the time has come for this movement to be examined in the light of the Bible. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, (the Bible) it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.
The Origin Of Modern Day Tongues
In 1900 Charles F. Parham opened the Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas. Under his teaching and ministry, Miss Agnes Ozman was influenced to speak in tongues. Within a short time a dozen more students had this experience. In 1906 the Azuza Street Assembly was founded in Los Angeles with a heavy emphasis on "seeking one's Pentecost." The Pentecostal movement became a powerful religious force in America, during the first half of the 20th century. A number of denominations were formed and have flourished including the Assemblies of God, Foursquare Gospel Churches, Church of God in Christ, United Pentecostal and many other smaller groups. These groups have received a steady stream of "converts" from the main line denominations.
The Spread Of Modern Day Tongues
The last half of the 20th century has produced something new for our times. Especially in the last 20 to 25 years we have seen the tongues movement move into the main line denominations. For at least that many years we have been hearing about Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists and Roman Catholics speaking in tongues. These tongues groups are now staying in these denominations and through classes, prayer groups and home studies they now seem to be making converts. The Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship with chapters in hundreds of cities, is working on an interdenominational level to make converts for the tongues movement. Their television programs, publications and meetings are paying off in great numbers of people being influenced to accept their teaching. The Deeper Life Magazine which features the ministry of Morris Cerullo, openly urges Baptists, Catholics and others to stay in their own denomination and spread the tongues experience throughout their churches. Of course these are only a few examples of the many "faces" of the tongues movement. The FGBMF also works to keep their tongues converts in their old churches to spread the tongues teaching. Oral Roberts, one of the leading Pentecostals of our day, has joined the United Methodist Church.
Roman Catholics And Tongues
One of the amazing things about the modern day tongues movement is its rapid spread through the Roman Catholic Church. Not long ago, 12,000 Roman Catholics from all over the world assembled on the campus of Notre Dame University in the interest of furthering the tongues movement within the Catholic Church. Multiplied thousands of Roman Catholics claim to have received the baptism and to have spoken in tongues, including many priests and nuns.
Some of these have testified that they are now better and more devout Catholics since they have had this experience. There is no indication that these people are going to leave the Catholic Church as a result of this experience inspite of the fact that the Catholic is steeped in unscriptural and heretical teaching.
The Ecumenical Movement And Tongues
"The reason I refer to the charismatic movement as a form of ecumenism is that major doctrinal differences are often overlooked by those in the movement as long as a person has seemingly experienced the gifts of the Spirit - particularly the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues." - Theodore Epp.
"Pentecostalism is doing more than anything else to bring Catholics and Protestants together." - Present Truth, Nov. 20, 1972.
The Catholic Digest quotes Catholic Bishop Alexander Zaleski as saying: "Perhaps our most prudent way to judge the validity of the claims of the Pentecostal movement (in the Catholic Church) is to observe the effects on those who participate in the prayer meetings... They seem to grow in their attachment to certain established devotional patterns such as DEVOTION TO THE REAL PRESENCE AND THE ROSARY."
The Gospel Witness also quotes modernist Dr. Henry Pitney Van Dusen of Union Theological Seminary as saying: "The presence of the charismatic (Pentecostal) movement among us is said to make a new era in the development of Christianity. The new Pentecost will appear to future historians as a 'true reformation' (compared to that of the 16th century) from which we spring a third force in the Christian world (Protestant-Catholic-Pentecostal)."
"A 16-page paper entitled, 'Can the Pentecostal Movement Renew the Church?' was released in February by the World Council of Churches. Written by Father Emmanuel Sullivan, a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement. It says the ecumenical movement should look at the whole Pentecostal movement, 'as one of the significant signs of the way forward on the journey to rediscovering.... full visible unity in Christ.'"--From the Gospel Witness, May 3, 1973
A Powerful Argument Against Tongues
The above examples of the influence of the modern day tongues movement in the various denominations is one of the most powerful arguments against the unscriptural tongues movement. If Catholics and members of modernistic denominations were really receiving a scriptural Holy Spirit experience from God, THEY WOULD BE COMING OUT OF THESE UNSCRIPTURAL ORGANIZATIONS just as the Bible teaches in II Corinthians 6:17,18 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
If these people were really receiving the Holy Spirit, they would be led to obey the Word of God.
Definition Of Biblical Terms
If we are to properly understand what the Bible teaches on tongues, as well as the speech of the tongues movement, we must understand the meaning of certain words.
"CHARISMA" is found 17 times in the Greek New Testament. It is translated "gift" 15 times, and "free gift" 2 times. With one exception, it is found only in the epistles of Paul. He uses it in Romans 6:23 "..the GIFT of God is eternal life..." He also used it 5 times in 1 Corinthians 12, where he speaks of the "GIFTS" of the Spirit, including the gift of tongues. We are hearing much today about the "Charismatic" revival or renewal. They usually emphasize tongues and healing, and ignore the other gifts mentioned in the New Testament.
"GLOSSA" is found 50 times in the New Testament and is translated "tongues" all 50 times. Sixteen times it refers to the tongue as an organ of the body. One time it refers to the tongues "like as of fire" on the day of Pentecost. In the other 33 places it refers to languages as in Revelation 10:11, "...before many peoples, and nations, and tongues...." The glossalalia movement claims to have the power to speak in tongues as on the day of Pentecost. Careful study of the events of Pentecost show this to be untrue.
"UNKNOWN" tongues are not to be found in the Bible at all. Not one time is "unknown tongues" to be found. "Unknown" is printed in italics in 1 Corinthians 14, and this means that it was not in the Greek manuscripts at all, but was added by the translators. (In this instance they do not clarify but confuse the subject). Every tongue spoken in the New Testament was a known language to some race or people. There are no instances of a heavenly language, unknown language or gibberish spoken in the New Testament. When Paul psoke of speaking with the tongues of angels he was implying eloquence of speech, not some heavenly language known only to angels.
Three Examples Of Tongues In The Bible
To listen to the talk of the tongues movement people you would think there would be many instances of speaking in tongues in the Bible. However, we have only 3 examples of God giving people power to speak in a tongue (language) that they did not previously know and understand.
1. Jerusalem On The Day Of Pentecost - Acts 2. The day of Pentecost was an annual feast day of the Jews that came every year 50 days after the Passover. The Holy Spirit came to empower the Church for her mission of world evangelism. There has never been another Pentecost like the one in Acts 2, and we are not taught to look for one. On the day of Pentecost, the prophecy of John the Baptist was fulfilled, "He (Christ) shall baptize you with the Holy ghost..." Luke 3:16. Peter said in Acts 2:16-21, that the events of that day were a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32.
Devout Jews from many nations were gathered in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. These people who lived in various nations around the world, had learned the native language of these nations. The preaching and teaching that they heard on the day of Pentecost was done by Galileans, yet "every man heard them speak in his own language" Acts 2:6-8. Sixteen nations and tongues (languages) are mentioned in verses 9-11, and these all heard the messages by the Galileans in their own language.
No one but Galileans received this gift of tongues on the day of Pentecost. Everybody did not speak in tongues. In fact it seems almost certain that only these Galilean Apostles of Christ received this ability. There is no record that any of the other people sought the gift of tongues. In fact, the Bible does not give us even one example of any body ever seeking the gift of tongues at any place or any time!! This is a far cry from what is being taught, sought and caught by the tongues movement.
Tongues served two purposes on the day of Pentecost.
(1) They were for a sign to the Jews (who always seemed to seek after a sign).[Note by Jim Murriner, Grace Baptist Church Berea Ky, This was also the Lord confirming that the way now to Worship the Lord was in and through this church which Jesus had started while on earth]
(2) They served to communicate with and to evangelize the foreign born Jews who were at Jerusalem for the feast.
What better way could be found to get the attention of these Jews and to evangelize them before they returned to their various countries. Every tongue that was spoken and heard on the day of Pentecost was a known language to those present. There was no "unknown tongue" or mysterious angelic language spoken.
There is no record that the Jerusalem Church ever had another service where the gift of Tongues was exercised. Much is said about this Church and her services, but nothing more about tongues.
2. Three Years Later At The House Of Cornelius - Acts 10:34- 48. Cornelius was an unsaved Italian gentile who was a centurion of the Roman army. Peter was sent to tell him how to be saved (Acts 11:14). When he preached the gospel to them, they believed and were saved (That is, Cornelius and others of his household). At that very moment they received the "gift of the Holy Ghost", and began to speak "with tongues, and magnify God." Acts 10:45,46. They did not pray for, ask for, or even long for, the gift of tongues. Most likely they had never heard of tongues as a gift.
This event represents the giving of the Spirit to the gentiles as He was given to the Jews at Pentecost. More than anything else, these tongues were a "sign to the 7 Jews present that God was concerned about the gentiles as well as the Jews (Acts 10:45,46; and 11:12). They went back to the Jerusalem Church and testified to the Jews what God had done among the gentiles (Acts 11). However, they did not call this a gentile Pentecost, and those who do so today are in error. There is no doubt but that a number of different languages were represented here, as there were at Pentecost.
3. Twenty Two Years Later At Ephesus - Acts 19:1-7. Twelve men in the city of Ephesus claimed to be disciples and to have received the baptism of John the Baptist. Paul asked them, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since (when) ye believed?" v. 2. They were sincere but ignorant of John's preaching and all that followed. This is proven by their answer, "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." Had they known John's preaching and John's baptism, they would have known about the Holy Spirit and Jesus, for John preached both (See John 1:26-34).
When Paul preached, these people believed and were saved. At that very time Paul "laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." They did not seek to speak in tongues, but rather it was a sign to the Jews as were the other two instances.
4. Why Are Tongues Not Mentioned Elsewhere? Other than the abuse of tongues at Corinth (which we will deal with later), there is not one other single instance of the gift of tongues in the whole Bible. At the time that 1st Corinthians was written in 57 A.D., there were only 4 New Testament books written. They were Matthew, Mark, and I & II Thessalonians. ONLY two books of the New Testament mentions the gift of tongues and these are Acts and I Corinthians.
Acts was written in 65 A.D. and only mentions tongues these three times. Romans, II Corinthians and Galatians were written in 60 A.D and there is no mention of the gift of tongues. Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians were written 64 A.D., and there is no mention of tongues. I & II Timothy and Titus were written at an unknown date, but there is no mention of tongues. Philemon was written in 64 A.D., Hebrews in 70 A.D., James in 62 A.D., I Peter in 60 A.D., II Peter in 66 A.D., and there is no mention of tongues in them. I, II, & III John were written in 90 A.D., Jude in 66 A.D. and Revelation in 96 A.D., and none of these mention the gift of tongues.
It seems incredible if tongues were to continue, that all of these inspired books could be written with no mention of the gift of tongues. Many of Paul's experiences in missionary travel are given in Acts and his Epistles, but none of these accounts mention tongues, except the ones we have already listed. It seems that the charasmatic movement wants to do with tongues what others have done with baptism. There are only a few places where it is mentioned. In those places we can clearly define the boundries and purpose of baptism, yet there are those who want to read into the Bible passages things that are not there - like baptismal regeneration and infant baptism.
The Importance Of Tongues
The gift of tongues was only meant to be temporary, for it is only listed in the two early lists found in I Corinthians 12:8-11 & 28-30. In the two other lists which were published several years later, tongues are not mentioned at all (See Ephesians 4:8-12 and Romans 12:4-8). Neither are tongues listed as being the "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22,23). Even in I Corinthians 12, where tongues are included, they are at the bottom of both lists, which shows us their importance in the plan of God.
The Ceasing Of Tongues
"Charity (love) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." I Corinthians 13:8-10. A few words of explanation are in order for certain words found in the above scripture.
"PROPHECIES" [profeteia propheteia] refers to the office of the prophet who received a direct revelation of the future from the Lord.
"Fail" [katargeo katargeo] does not mean that some prophecies given by Divine inspiration would not come to pass, but rather that there would be no need of prophecies when the Word of God was complete. John wrote the last prophecies in 96 A.D. on the Isle of Patmos. Now there is no need for prophecies and prophets for John finished that work.
If the prophecies spoken of here are what the charasmatic movement claims to be "word of knowledge" then everything given in recent days that supposed "Prophets" (ie., Benny Hinn, Oral & Richard Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, etc) should be cannonized and added to the Bible. Can you imagine setting down in your personal devotion time and opening your Bible to the book of Swaggard or Baker - men who have claimed to received messages from God via "word of knowledge."
"TONGUES . . . SHALL CEASE." Tongues [glossa glossa - the organ] means the gift of tongues. Tongues (languages) have to be learned today, they are not received as a gift. If they could be received as a gift, it would save missionaries a lot of study on the foreign field. God said these "tongues...shall cease", [pauo pauo] and they have. Why? Because they are no longer needed, since we now have the complete Word of God! (More about this in a few moments).
It is also interesting to note that the content of the phrase is plural "tongues", "they shall cease." This raises an important question! Is this speaking of many angelic laguages that are different from one another? Or is it speaking of the true tongues which, when it was manifested (Acts 2), was known languages not previously known to the speakers but understood by the hearers, which is a far cry from what is being manifest today.
"KNOWLEDGE...SHALL VANISH AWAY." "Knowledge" [gnosiv gnosis] here means revelatory knowledge necessary for completing the Word of God. After the last book of the Bible was finished this "knowledge" vanished away, because there was no more need. This interpretation is confirmed in verse 9, "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part." At the time that Paul wrote this passage, only small parts of the New Testament had been written by "prophecy" and by "knowledge", so there was need for these gifts to be continued until it was completed; after which they would cease.
"But when that which is PERFECT is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." (v 10). "that which is Perfect" [teleiov teleios] does not here refer to Christ, as some would have you to believe. "This adjective (used as a noun) is in the neuter gender. Therefore, it is a reference to the finished (perfect) or completed Word of God. If it referred to Christ, it would be in the masculine gender."--William G. Bellshaw, Th.M. The only thing perfect in our world today that was to come then, is the Word of God.
The Regulation Of Tongues
We have just established that tongues have ceased, according to the Bible. However, we must remember that tongues HAD NOT ceased when Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth. Tongues were still permitted, but this church was abusing the use of tongues. Remember, that this church was one that had to be often corrected. They had turned the Lord's Supper into a drunken banquet. In fact Paul had to correct something that was wrong in this church in every chapter in I Corinthians.
Chapter 1 - reveals a church full of division (v. 10-11)...
Chapter 2 - reveals a conflict between the flesh & Spirit (v. 14,15).
Chapter 3 - reveals Paul's indictment of carnality in the church (v. 1-2)...
Chapter 4 - reveals rebellion against God's servant (v. 14, 15)....
Chapter 5 - reveals open immorality within the church (v. 1)...
Chapter 6 - reveals they were taking legal action against one another (v. 1-8)...
Chapter 7 - reveals false teaching about marriage and divorce...
Chapter 8 - reveals problems with submission to authority (Acts 15:27-29)
Chapter 9 - reveals they were not supporting their pastor...
Chapter 10 - reveals they were having problems with true separation (v. 20-21)
Chapter 11 - reveals they were profaning the Lord's supper (v. 17-22)
Chapter 12 - reveals truth about spiritual gifts...
Chapter 13 - reveals spiritual gifts not as important as charity...
Chapter 14 - reveals they had the wrong emphasis on spiritual gifts....
In I Corinthians 14, Paul gives some very strict rules governing the use of tongues. The modern day tongues movement violates almost every one of these rules. We repeat, TONGUES have CEASED! However, if they were in effect today, then these rules would apply. The very fact that the tongues people today ignore these rules, make a powerful argument against modern day tongues! Now let us notice a few of those regulations. (Remember that "unknown" is in italics and not in the Greek manuscripts).
1. Paul sought to show them that prophecy (preaching & witnessing) was much more important than tongues (v 1-6).
2. He also taught them that an uncertain sound from the trumpet or a tongue that was not understood, would only result in confusion (v 7-17).
3. Five words that can be understood are better than ten thousand words that could not be understood (v 19).
4. Tongues were for a sign (to the Jews, I Corinthians 1:22), to the unbeliever and not for the enjoyment of the believer (v 22).
5. Gibberish flowing from the mouth only confused the unlearned and turned them from the truth (v 23).
6. No more than three people were to speak in tongues at the same service. Even then, only one could speak at a time (v 27). The modern day tongues movement ignores this time and time again!
7. If there was no one present who could interpret every word to every person in the audience, then they could not speak in tongues! (v 28).
8. There was to be no confusion in the service, for "God is not the author of confusion ..." (v 33). Confusion best describes many modern day meetings when they speak in tongues.
9. Women were not to speak in the churches, either in tongues or their regular language (v 34,35). It is a well known fact that the tongues movement today sanctions women talking in tongues and preaching. It is estimated that 85% of those who speak in tongues in the church are women. In another place the Word of God tells us plainly that a pastor is to be the husband of one wife. Please tell me, how can a women be the husband of one wife?
10. "All things (were to) be done decently and in order."(v 40). This writer has been present in services where people who spoke in tongues uncovered their nakedness while under this power! In many churches the altar workers have large towels handy to use whenever this occurs. The Holy Ghost is not responsible for such sin. If tongues were in effect today, then the above regulations would have to govern their use.
11. "Covet to prophecy, and forbid not to speak with tongues." Perhaps one of the most amazing truths about tongues that emerges from this vital chapter is that which is found in v 39. Paul instructs in conclusion of his correction to this troubled church, "covet to prophecy" [profeteuo propheteuo = to be a witness] "and forbid" [koluo koluo = prevent, forbid, withhold a thing, deny or refuse], "not" [me me = a primary particle of qualified negation, an absolute denial]. "Forbid not" constructs a double negative showing us the strength behind the commandment. What Paul is saying is we are to desire strongly to witness for Christ and forbid speaking in tongues as it is being manifest in the church at Corinth. The reason for Paul placing these test on manifestation of tongues in the Corinthian church is because what was being manifest there did not resemble what had occurred in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the book of Acts.
What Did Jesus Say Was The Evidence of The Filling of The Holy Spirit?
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Jesus Christ said the evidence that a person is empowered by the Holy Spirit is that he will be a witness (soulwinner). He did not say they would speak in tonuges, jump pews, be slain in the spirit, etc.. Those involved in the tongues movement are much better at stealing sheep than winning the lost.
Drawing An Obvious Conclusion
If tongues today are unscriptural, why is there so much emphasis on this subject? There are four possible sources for tongues.
(1) Divine - We have already ruled this out. There was a gift of tongues; it was different than what is being manifest today. It ceased to be a valid gift when the New Testament was completed.
(2) Satanic - Satan has always tried to decieve God's people with counterfeits. Look at the following passage and see that Satan presents to God's people - another Jesus; another spirit; another gospel.
2 Corinthians 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.
The practices of the Eastern Mystic religions have become incorporated into the charasmatic church movement. I find it extremely difficult to believe this is of the Holy Ghost. To our amazement we have since found that not only do members of the Eastern Mystic religions speak in tongues, but so do some Mormons (the Melchizedek Priesthood). Missionary friends of ours from South America and Asia, who have observed heathen rituals, testify that persons involved in Vodoo, and Shamanism speak in tongues also.
(3) Psychological - When my wife, Rita, was yet an unbeliever she was enrolled at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas as a psychology major. One of the requirements for a particular class was to participate in a lab where they were experimenting with Trancidental Meditation. As an observer she witnessed participants chanting their montras and sitting in relaxed positions as they began to fall over onto the floor in trance-like states. Some would speak in chattering gibberish while others would begin laughing uncontrollably and yet others would begin running or rolling around the room. Years later after having received Christ as Saviour we attended a Charasmatic church service where people present began speaking in tongues, etc.. To our amazement, as we examined the events of the evening, we discovered there was no difference in what she had witnessed many years earlier and what we had witnessed that evening.
NOTE: Could it be that the reason so many charasmatic churches find it necessary to begin or make use of deliverence ministries, for the purpose of casting out or dealing with demons, is because they open themselves up to satanic possesion and oppression via the combination of hypnosis and departure from Biblical Truth.
(4) Fakery - In my pre-christ days I have seen professional hypnotist hypnotize individuals and large groups of persons at one time. The hypnotist was able to manipulate those under his spell at will. I believe it is equally possible for charlatans within christianity to do the same.
I believe that every tongues experience today is one of the last three listed.
Questions For The Charasmatic
If the tongues movement is of the Holy Ghost...
1. Why is there so much doctrinal disagreement from one group of charasmatics to another concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit? United Pentecostal & Apostolic Faith Pentecostals believe you are not saved unless you speak in tongues while others - Assembly of God & Indenpendent Pentecostals do not. They believe that tongues are a second blessing. United Pentecostal & Apostolic Faith Pentecostals even deny essential doctrines of the Bible like the existence of the Trinity. See John 14:26
2. Why do so many churches that promote tongues find it necessary to form or make use of deliverence ministries for the purpose of casting out devils? Could it be because they have opened up themselves to and invited in satanic forces through the medium of self-hypnosis? Read 1 Timothy 4:1
3. Why do they not question the fact that this same phenomena is manifest among cultist such as Mormons, eastern mystic religions, large portions of the New Age movement, as well as Roman Catholics; all of which deny salvation by grace through faith alone? See 2 Corinthians 6:17
4. Why does there seem to be a continuous need within the movement to come up with newer and even stranger phenomena (spirit-slaying, holy laughter, holy barking, etc.)? Is it because the flesh is never content or satisfied long; and requires more and different experiences to remain satified? See Romans 7:18
Where Do Tongues Flourish Today?
(1) Where the Bible is not taught and/or understood. This is difficult for people to accept, especially when the church they attend is called "Church of The Word" or something simular. The fact is, a church is not a church of the Word if they deny or ignore the clear and plain teaching of the Bible. A church is not a church of the Word if they apply improper principals of interpretation and take passages our of context in order to prove their experience. The Bible should be examined and accepted literally, historically, and grammatically. Scripture should be compared with scripture and governed by its context.
(2) Where people are seeking experiences, visions and feelings, rather than the truth of the Bible. This has been the problem with mankind for thousands of years. This is the root problem existent in every religious belief outside of true Christianity. It reveals mankinds desire to flee the reality of their sin in order to find evidence of some kind of acceptance from God outside of the merit of true redemption found only in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Thus they call on Christ, but seek other evidence as they desire to walk by sight rather than by faith.
(3) Among people who have been exposed to the cold, dead preaching of modernistic churches. Many major denomination have departed from the faith, denying the fundamental truths of the Bible and even the Bible itself. The have become apostate. As a result these churches are dying because of the removal of God's blessing. Saved persons within these churches are seeking something with life. Unfortunately many are heading in the wrong direction - the other end of the spectrum. They head for what looks alive, but is in reality dead!
To seek after an experience that is contrary to the teaching of God's Word, is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. Why? Because they are wide open for demonic invasion and delusion. "...In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." I Timothy 4:1. Satan is an imitator (See II Cor. 11:13-15; I John 4:1; Isa. 8:20). Satan is ready to help people imitate the tongues of the Bible, since there are so many who are seeking this experience!
What purpose would this serve the enemy of Christ? Anytime Satan can distract a believer from the great commission, he has won a battle. Anytime Satan can get a stronghold established within a segment of Christianity he has opportunity to cause damage to the testimony of Christ. This has occurred frequently in resent times (Jim Swaggard, Jim Baker, Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, etc.).
There is no need for anyone to seek the "baptism of the Holy Spirit today." Every born again believer already has the Holy Spirit! (See I Corinthians 6:19,20; Romans 8:9). Yes, we need to "be filled with the Spirit", but this is not done by seeking, tarrying or begging, but by simply yielding and surrendering to the Lord!
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