In the early church of Acts 2, Jesus promised to build His church and send the Holy Spirit. Both promises were fulfilled at this time. The church was formed, and believers were baptized by the Holy Spirit. Acts 2 is simple, easy to understand, and straight forward unless clouded with false teaching. The miracle of Pentecost was the fulfillment of a prophecy made by Joel. They did not pray for it, ask for it, or qualify for it– it was a sovereign act of heaven. This event launched the church. The baptism was a one time event at Pentecost; after that it happens to every believer at the point of salvation. They were baptized in the Holy Spirit and then filled with the Holy Spirit. They spoke in other languages. Charismatic churches have since abused the doctrine of tongues, and by their own admission it is not another language. It is a non language, and gibberish. The beginning of the “tongues” movement can be traced to the 1890’s in Topeka, Kansas. Charles Parham decided that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a repeatable event and to be sought, and if you seek it, it will be accompanied by some kind of language. Originally they thought they were speaking foreign languages, but this was later proven not to be the case when they went on mission trips and could neither speak nor understand the local language. Embarrassed, they changed their doctrine and determined it was some kind of ecstatic unknown speech. This is the first recorded instance when this false doctrine of incoherent babbling was placed into practice. After Parham, on April 9, 1906 in Los Angeles, California, William Seymour hosted the Azuna Street revival that lasted until 1915. This is usually considered the birth of the Pentecostal movement. Mainstream Christians throughout the country rejected it immediately. This was and still is strange fire. Acts 2/Pentecost refers to a Jewish feast where they all spoke in various languages. This is a SIGN mentioned in Acts 2 and later in Corinth (55 AD), and after that, you never hear about it. It had a life span of about 25 years. It is not mentioned in the pastoral epistles or in Revelation. I Corinthians 13:8 says “tongues will cease.” Tongues were a SIGN to unbelievers. The sign is that Israel is set aside, and the church is born to take her place. This is judgment on Israel. In 70 AD the judgment came. To convert this into self edifying gibberish is alien to everything said here. The judgment on Israel turned out to be a blessing to the rest of the world. One day however, the wild vine (the Gentile Church) temporarily grafted in, will be done away with when God is finished with the church age. Then God will go back to the original vine (Israel). Romans 11 gives a clear exposition of this truth.
Let us now examine several lists in the New Testament of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit:
1)Romans 12:6-8 Several gifts of the Spirit are mentioned, namely prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, ruling with diligence and displaying mercy. How strange that the one “gift” that saves (according to many charismatics) is not even mentioned.
2)Ephesians 4:11-13 Five more gifts of the Spirit (church offices) are mentioned, and they are all for the purpose of edifying the church. Again, “tongue speakers” are absent.
3)Galatians 5:22-23 Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit are mentioned in this classic passage, memorized by many believers, including myself. There is no mention of tongues.
4)I Corinthians 12:28-30 Several of the aforementioned gifts of the Holy Spirit are mentioned again, and tongues is mentioned in this list only, and it is listed last and was the least important of the gifts. The church in Corinth was a mixed up, carnal and confused church where the apostle Paul spent a lot of time. The two books of Corinthians cover all church problems. I Corinthians 13:1 tells us that love is superior to tongues and the other gifts. I Corinthians 13:8 tells us that “tongues shall cease.” After the New Testament church was established, the sign and gift of tongues was no longer used by the Lord. That is why tongues is mentioned no where else in the New Testament, including the pastoral epistles (I and II Timothy and Titus). They are not mentioned in the book of Revelation or in the seven churches (chapters 2 and 3) mentioned in Revelation. Nor are tongues ever mentioned again in the early church after the time of the apostles, the church of the Middle Ages, the Reformation era church, and the church in early American history. Tongues ceased, just as the Bible tells us, and God was through with this early sign of speaking in foreign languages. The tongue movement of today is a counterfeit and apostate teaching that is based soley on human emotions that masquerade as the Holy Spirit. It has absolutely no scriptural support. If the Lord continued to use the sign of speaking in tongues today, it would not be necessary to send our missionaries to language school.
It is hard to imagine a more confusing doctrine in our day throughout Christendom than speaking in tongues. It did indeed occur in the early church, specified as the fulfillment of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. It is mentioned again in I Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 which was written about twenty five years later, and then the Bible remains silent about speaking in tongues. This teaching will be examined through the scriptures as well as history. Our goal is to see what it genuinely is, and what it is not. The beauty of this study is that the Lord gives us spiritual clarity and discernment in everything. The Lord tells us (I Corinthians 14:40) “to let everything be done in good and decent order,” and (I Corinthians 14:33a) “God is not the Author of confusion.” The real Biblical meaning of speaking in tongues is in reference to foreign languages. That is, languages spoken by other people from other lands. Today’s meaning has progressed to a type of bizarre gibberish. I was visiting a senior lady many years ago who identified herself as a “Bapticost.” What she was saying, of course, is that she believed in a combination of Baptist and Pentecostal doctrine. I will never forget her “prayer” she had prior to my departing. She spoke in inaudible nonsense that had no meaning to either her or myself. Why did she do this? Simply because she was taught that this “gift” was the trademark of anyone who was really spiritual and on fire for the Lord. Some denominations even teach that if you lack this “gift,” you may not even really be saved! No wonder these poor misguided folks speak in such a way. We will soon reveal many amazing facts about tongues and now focus briefly on a Greek word study on tongues today. There are two Greek transliterations for tongues in the New Testament of the Bible. The first is “dialectos” from which we get the word dialect. The other is “glossa” from which we get the word glossary. In both cases, the word refers to a foreign language which is EXACTLY what happened in Acts 2, as Christians were given the ability by the Lord to speak/hear in languages that they never learned! It was a miracle and a one time fulfillment of the prophecy given to us by the prophet Joel in the Old Testament. Up until now there is no confusion about this teaching whatsoever. Actually, there was no misunderstanding of this teaching for the first nineteen hundred years of the church. The new teaching and strange fire has been taught for the last one hundred years. What is fascinating with the churches who promote tongue speaking: they are said to teach “glossolalia,” and this is the word often used by them. Guess what? THIS GREEK TRANSLITERATION IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE! Check your Strong’s, Young’s or Cruden’s Concordance. You will find glossa and dilectos for Acts 2 and I Corinthians 12 and 14, but NOT glossolalia. Glossolalia by definition are words of no real language that are spoken in ecstasy and have esoteric meanings. We are talking babbling and gibberish. They fool the naïve and uninformed, that they are speaking some mysterious and unknown language of God. I know good Christian people who have accidently ended up in an environment with these kind of tongue speakers, and they removed themselves from their presence as soon as possible. I would be right behind them! So we learn first of all, that the teachings of this strange doctrine and strange fire do not even have a Biblical base of support. Furthermore, their teaching are not built upon the teachings of the entire church age, since they have become prevalent only in the last one hundred years. Next, we will examine the scriptures more so, as well as the recent history in the tongues movement.
If you see this title and are familiar with your Bible, then you probably already know the Old Testament story it is related to. Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, were just consecrated for their priestly duties and they disobeyed the Lord in rapid order. “They offered fire, strange fire before the Lord, which He had NOT commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” (Leviticus 10:1b-2) They did not obey God and were not holy before Him. This story represents all of the false doctrine and teachings that man has been involved in throughout all of history, going back to Cain’s similar unholy sacrifice in Genesis 4. This is the opening article of the category “Charismatic Chaos.” The false teachings of today will be examined, that include all kinds of emotional and unbiblical hoopla, including but not limited to 1)speaking in tongues, 2)the so called second baptism of the Holy Spirit, 3)modern day prophets and apostles, 4)becoming slain in the spirit, and 5)laughing bouts. These teachings have come to the forefront during only the last century and were nonexistent before then. Since the Bible tells us that “Jesus fulfilled the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets” (Luke 24:44; Matthew 5:17), this ought to cause great consternation to the church that all of these new teachings or strange fire, has surfaced in recent times. It makes perfect sense however, as we contemplate that the Bible also tells us there would be a great falling away and apostasy prior to His return. Maranatha, Pastor Steve