Tongues – Part Five
HOW CAN SEEMINGLY GOOD AND SINCERE BELIEVERS LEAD OTHERS INTO FALSE DOCTRINE ?
We must recognize that Satan has always been a great deceiver and imitator since his fall. The things which Satan uses to tempt us seem, so often, to be good, sincere, and right at the time. If he didn’t make us think that, we certainly wouldn’t be sinning as we do !
Do you think that a young person would take his first dose of drugs if he knew that it would draw him into a world of crime and sickness ? Would an alcoholic take another drink if he knew that that drink would be the one that would ruin his home, his job, and the rest of his life ? Of course not ! But, at the time of the temptation, Satan sincerely tries to make the sin look good ! This is exactly what he did to Eve, in the Garden of Eden. Satan is an imitator and deceiver !
Now, if Satan does these things in person, his ministers also must follow his techniques. Observe how Satan masquerades himself and his ministers as “good, sincere people” –
- His people can perform miracles ! Matthew 7:22 That will deceive many people. When demons are cast out, and seemingly super-natural works are done, most people conclude that it can only come from God. Not so, my friends !
- His people can do wonderful works in the name of Jesus ! “. . . and in thy name done many wonderful works. . .” Matthew 7:22 Satan’s ministers have long and continuously been at work, doing things in the name of Jesus. When Judas went out with the other disciples, do you think that he did miracles in the name of Satan ? Of course not ! He was a child of the devil, but fooled even the disciples !
- Satan (and his ministers) can use Scripture, take it out of context, and twist it. Matthew 4:6 If he thought that he could do it to Jesus, you know that he will try it with Jesus’ followers !
Just consider the evolution of the tongues movement in the last forty years. Consider that Truth does not change. God’s Word does not change. It is eternal. So, when you see religious doctrines changing, be assured that they are wrong. The fraudulent doctrine of tongues (not the true Biblical teaching) began with a few minor denominations and non-denominational groups teaching that babbling of any kind was Biblical tongues. When their churches were challenged by other Christians who actually studied the Bible, they changed their doctrine to state that babbling incoherently was actually a language which spoke to God…a Heavenly language.
When they were confronted with Scripture that the “tongues” of Pentecost were used to speak to people, not God, they had to change their doctrine again. So, they then stated that their tongues-speaking was “the language of angels.” When they were asked to prove that there was any such thing in the Bible, they once again changed their doctrine to state that their tongues speaking was a prayer-language. Once again, when confronted with how tongues were used in the Bible at the day of Pentecost and other times to communicate the Gospel, they divided tongues into several categories, and let each person make their own choice as to which variety of tongues they were speaking. They suggested that it could be a literal language, a heavenly language, the language of angels, or a prayer language. Of course, with such a wide variety of errors to choose from, they could include everyone who was misusing the gift of tongues. This is dishonest, and reveals to anyone who holds the Truth to be precious that the “tongues movement” is wrong. Truth does not Change. God’s Word is Truth. Therefore, what the Bible teaches about tongues does NOT change over time. Yet, the “tongues movement” including men who are highly respected by unknowing pastors and their congregations today—including Robert Tilton, Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, and others—have changed their definition of what “tongues” really is a number of times. That, in itself should reveal the character of their work. God’s Word does not change !
After the scolding that Paul sent in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, for misusing the gift of tongues, the Christians there must have wondered how they could go so far from the Bible. They must have sent word to Paul, asking how some “good, sincere people” could lead and entire church into a way that was only benefiting Satan. Paul answered them in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 –
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Obviously, no upper room could hold “a multitude…out of every nation under heaven” which was in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. The Biblical account required that the disciples left the upper room where they were praying, and went to the streets to preach to those who were there. The use of tongues-speaking (language-speaking) was OUTSIDE the place of worship.
The legitimate use of tongues, is either to communicate God’s Word in a
language other than your own, or translate God’s Word from one language to
another so that others might understand the Word being spoken.
In many churches where large numbers of lost people are present, the Spirit may utilize the gifts He has given to speak to those who do not understand the native language of the preacher, or teacher. So, in effect, they will translate what the speaker is saying into the language of the lost person. In other cases, I have seen services where after the teacher or pastor had finished a message, a brother with the gift came and spoke in another language that more effectively communicated with those who did not understand the tongue, or language he had used. Of course, when that happened, the people who were present who only understood the language of the original teacher or pastor no longer could follow what the brother speaking in tongues was saying. So, the Spirit gave guidance to the interpreter, so that they, too could understand properly. In some cases, only an interpreter is necessary, while in others, both a speaking in tongues AND an interpreter are required.
This author has been in services where the preacher has had three translators communicating the Gospel, and from evidence given after the services, there have been people of other languages who were given the message from God’s Word through individuals in the congregation who were led by the Spirit to speak to them in their own tongue.
HOW DOES A BELIEVER KNOW IF HE OR SHE HAS THE GIFT OF TONGUES ?
If a person studies another language, or is brought up in a bi-lingual environment, the languages which are naturally spoken are not “gifts” from the Holy Spirit. They are learned.
The true gift of the Spirit is the ability to communicate the Gospel in another language with which you are NOT familiar, nor have studied. It is a gift, not a merited, or learned ability.
If a Believer had studied a language, he would know whether he had the ability, or not before the need to use it. However, with a spiritual gift, he does not know it until he is required to use it, or has been specifically informed by the Spirit that it is available to him. It is in the yieldedness to the Holy Spirit that the Believer knows whether or not he has the gift.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
If we can understand whether or not we have other spiritual gifts, then we may be able to use the same discernment in judging whether we have the gift of tongues. For an example, a person may have a very strong leading of the Spirit of God to lay his hands on a sick brother or sister and pray over them in the Name of Jesus, asking for healing. It is by hearing and yielding to that strong leading of the Spirit of God that leads the person to do something which reveals the gift.
If a Believer is has a strong desire to communicate to someone else about the Lord Jesus, and knows it is a fervent desire created by the Lord, he should turn to that person—even knowing that they speak in a language unknown to him—and upon his mouth, and begin to communicate. Either the person who you were praying for gets healed, or he does not. And, either the words you speak will be understood, or they will not. The most important thing to do is simply comply with the Divine command and direction of the Lord. He will flow through you, and use any gifts He has given you at that time.
For an example, the first time we have possible healing miracles done through the Apostle Paul was in Iconium. But, they only came after Paul, submissive to the Spirit of God, preached the Word to them. That act of submission almost automatically brought the following wonders and signs done by the Spirit.
Acts 14:3 “Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”
There is a sequence by which these things operate. First comes the preaching of the Word by those yielded to the Lord. (This pattern is often used by the Lord who required the multitudes to hear His Word before He did the miracle of multiplying the fishes and the loaves to feed them). Then, both because of the past submission to the Spirit, and because of their on-going submission, God brings the added blessings of miracles which are often as a direct result of spiritual gifts. (Surely, no one would argue whether the gift of speaking in a language one had never studied is a miracle).
The Holy Spirit does not make a person do things against the Believer’s own will. As close to God as the prophets were, God still gave them the ability to make their own decisions, either to obey, or disobey.
1 Corinthians 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
The Believer’s act of obedience in following the burden of the Spirit to reach lost souls is what results in God being able to speak the Word through him in another language. In most cases, he will recognize the very strong burden of the Spirit for that soul (or those souls), and will have the desire (communicated by the Spirit) to speak to them.
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
This tells us that God creates the will, or desire, within us. Then, it is up to us to yield ourselves to His will. That is when we discover whether this gift of languages has been given to us, or not. If we find that it is a gift we do not have, we may conclude that either we don’t need it (because God wants us to exercise a different gift), or because it will be given later if we are faithful in using what we have now.
However, the lack of the gift of tongues in no manner indicates that a Believer is less spiritual than another Believer who has the gift. Each one of us have spiritual gifts that are given according to the wisdom of the Spirit. To question His rightness in doing anything simply does not make good sense.