Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in Tongues Part 7

Mark 16:9-20 is not often studied, but often used to support those claims of the Pentecostals, Methodist, even the Roman Catholics who think themselves specially “chosen and selected”. In none of the exhortations of Mark 16:9-20 do we find them using it as a measuring rod for their “feeling better felt than told”. There are some of the so-called scholars who are on record that these verses were added by some scribe in the 2nd century, after Mark had died. Those who believe this nonsense find a better time at the NFL Draft (where they are looking for something they confess they probably will not find!!) In fact, there are only TWO manuscripts they have found that leave out these passages. Two out of about 200 do not make good religion!!
If one will not accept the textual message of the 16th chapter maybe they will have to accept the conclusions that are forced on them. If one takes Mark 16:17 to justify tongue-speaking, he MUST take Mark 16:18. “They shall pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly think, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” I suggest the latter part of this verse begin to be practiced in the hospitals. They need to meet at least once a week, go through the ICU wards and heal everybody in that unit!!
I was addressed one evening while in the ICU waiting room by a man who came out acting strangely and speaking something that sounded like a two year old child with its hand caught in a mouse trap! He declared; “I just healed two people who were at the door of death, glory to God, praise Jesus!” I was sitting there with a aged saint who’s husband’s heart had failed and he was dieing. I thought to myself; “how unfair for this person to be so unkind”. I stood up grabbed him around his neck, lifted him off the floor, and told him I would break his neck if he did not re-enter the ICU ward and heal my brother whose heart had failed!”. He began to cry and wimper that I was hurting him. I ‘encouraged’ him a little more to return and heal my brother. It was so unfair. I regained my composure and suggested to him that he and I would make a trip to a grave yard nearby, after the healed came walking out of the ICU ward, where my beloved mother’s body lay and IF he did not raise her from the dead, I would put him in the vacant lot beside her!! I sat his feet back on the floor and he ran like a rabbit being shot at. I am not bragging about this, I am not exaggerating, this man HAD NO RIGHT to be SO unfair. If he could heal one, he could heal one of the one’s for whom I was praying! Please do not follow my example, I was just overwhelmed with this man’s lack of respect for the SAINTS OF GOD who were dying!!
I suggest that those who speak in tongues claiming Mark 16:17-20 as their proof text also sponsor a poison-drink party sometime at the nearest Pentecostal Church building and invite all their spiritually innocuously inspired brethren from all denominations in for a nice cup of stricnine or other quality drinks of this kind ‘for a closer walk in the Spirit’!! Just think of all the “rapturous joy in the Spirit” they could share, one with another, as they defy death, proving themselves something truly chosen and special for having such overwhelming confidence in Jesus!! Yes, we would allow them to bring along a few diamond back rattlers just to liven up the fellowship, if they wanted. Jesus said that some of those “He never knew” would cast out demons and do mighty works in His name, Matthew 7:22,23. Paul warned the Thessalonians that the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders. 2 Thess. 2:9. And in NONE of these exhortations were the signs of Mark used as a measuring rod!!

Speaking in Tongues Part 6

One of the most dangerous developments of the present charismatic movement is the trend to recognize any person as a bona-fide Christian on the basis of his experience with tongues. Some consider this phenomenon to be an essential mark of a Christian. A person’s doctrine is of little concern, the only thing they want to know is if ‘you can speak in an unknown tongue”!!
Interesting, but not much noticed, is that when our Lord first mentioned such dramatic proofs of His Message, He used these gifts as a proof that the user was a believer OR THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE USED THEM!! “These signs shall follow them that BELIEVE (emphasis mine). If we can read, we know this says something we should listen to! The apostles had been commissioned to “preach the gospel to every creature”. Mark 16:16 What is NOT mentioned is how they were to attend this commission. They, the apostles, were known as “unlearned and ignorant men”, YET, they were to take the New Covenant of Jesus Christ to ALL the world. Let me remind you, there were plenty of smart men in this old world at that time!! How would the Lord Jesus have fared IF the purveyors of His Covenant were confronted with mistakes in their dates, places, and events?? One of the valid proofs that Joseph Smith (the originator of the Mormon lies and religion) is a false prophet is that he wrote that Jesus was born in Jerusalem!!, not Bethlehem!! What if the language they spoke was SO grammatically incorrect, so out of agreement in voice, tense, mood, etc, that any person hearing them would be insulted by the verbage, not the message?? Would the God of all Eternity have sent unlearned and ignorant men to defend His Only Begotten Son?? One of the purposes of inspiration was that God would NOT trust any man to defend His Only Begotten Son to this world by any other THAN HIMSELF!! “Great is the mystery of godliness: God (Christ) was manifest in the flesh, justified (defended) by the Spirit (this is inspiration), seen of angels (these angels were/are the apostles, the messengers of the Good News), preached unto the Gentiles (let me introduce you to the apostle Paul), and received up in glory (read Daniel 7:13, Psalms 24:7-8, Acts 2:28-30, Hebrews chapter 1, and Philippians 2:8-11).” 1 Timothy 3:15, Acts 2:22-32. Peter would later state, by inspiration, “ “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I, that I could withstand God?” Acts 11:17 Paul would later by the Spirit write: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery…..God hath revealed this unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth the deep things of God…Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God….for the natural (any man who knew by a natural means such as study or hearing) man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God”. 1 Corinthians 2:7-14 “Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man should be found faithful…..For I know NOTHING by myself…., I bring to light the counsels of the heart.” 1 Corinthians 4:2-5 You want to do one better?? Try speaking in an unknown tongue, knowing nothing of it, understanding none of it, and if asked a question in that language, how would you answer?? It would be not secret that Christ would have His apostle speak in other, unknown tongues; it was prophesied!! “In the law it is written, ‘With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people” 1 Corinthians 14:21, Isaiah 28:11 What good were tongues unless they profited? We would be as barbarians, a foreigner, not understanding his language!! 1Corinthians 14:6-11.

Speaking in Tongues Part 5

A continual feeling of guilt, or of uncertainty, or of inferiority, can cause individuals to seek after other assurances from God. Because the written Word of God is hard for some to understand, they want more. Some want miraculous things badly enough to self-invent them. When men of letters and degrees see this outrageous display of emotion in religion they think it is “time for men to wake up and act like adults”. In the 5th and 6th centuries BC the rise of the scientific method met the affront of super-emotionalism. The intellectuals made fun of the religious. It causes a sharp polarity between the intellectual and the common people. Intellectuals were persecuted on religious grounds. Trials of heresy were conducted. It introduced wide-spread immorality based upon the freedom of the self. They would cry; “nature wills it, and it pays no heed to rules”. “Nothing is shameful but thinking it is shameful makes it shameful” Finally, “the body is made for immorality.” It introduced Satan-worship. It left man to his own passions. It initiated a reaction which stressed the subjective over the objective. How the ‘FELT ABOUT SOMETHING’ was the only standard that mattered. You see, the intellectuals were demanding PROOF and the super-emotionalists were producing “feelings better felt than told”. The same thing is happening, today. It seems to me that super-emotionalism is the direct reaction against the liberal philosophy and theology of our period of the super-intellect. In our human attempt to verify the existence of God in a time when God is being widely questioned, the way some seek a return to God is to return to the miraculous of the past. .
Christians must take the Bible as the Word of God and believe it!! When the Bible tells us “miracles have “ceased, stopped, no longer exist”, 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, we need no other assurances!! In Christ, God has promised forgiveness, cleansing, the Holy Spirit, endurance, communion, and acceptance—there are NO OTHER proofs necessary than HIS WORD!! Speaking in tongues, casting out demons, or healing the sick are NOT problematic activities; we have God’s Word on the subject. We know that nothing lives in sinners or saints today, except by their invitation. We also know that demons cannot exist side-by-side with the Holy Spirit (which also comes into the lives of sinners saved by the blood of Christ, by invitation). The one who is in Christ becomes the temple of God, 1 Corinthians 6:19. He has been transferred into a new kingdom, Colossians 1:13, and in that Kingdom he has entered into a battle against the demonic which is in the world, but not in the Christian!! The weapons pf the Christians in this warfare are different from that used in exorcism, Ephesians 6:10. Prayer, fellowship, worship, and education based upon God’s Word—these are our supplied weapons to win, not some silly exercise of the Catholic Church! A Christian is involved in activities which will abolish whatever stands between himself and God. This is our success package designed by the great Provider. The early Christians understood this and up-rooted sin in any fashion it presented itself, the only weapon they used was the Word of God, preaching the crucified Christ, and sharing with the world the “crucified life”!
If we begin to doubt our Christianity, if our assurance becomes shaky, we may add assurance, security, and trust by not quenching the Spirit, utilize EVERY OPPORTUNITY for study, fellowship, and prayer that is allowed; we may “be not filled with wine wherein there is excess, but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking one to another (addressing one another) in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs”. Ephesians 5:18-19
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, THERE IS LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Speaking in Tongues Part 4

Physical manifestations of being “possessed” can be caused by actual possession by a real demon, allowed and courted to enter and possess, or by a psychosomatic phenomenon. In the latter, the person is not possessed by a real demon, but psychologically is in a different state than before this special manifestation, tool appeared in their life. In some cases, this state may be the result of some kind of auto-suggestion to fill a personal need. In some cases it could be the breaking through of a dual personality. In some cases it could be hallucinatory (the person constructs a cause and then incarnates it). In other cases, it could be a fake. It is interesting to know that in many cases the person, who speaks in an audible-tongue to them unknown, does not give any information not already known and proven; their information parallels their known sentiments and uses these voices to inform someone of what they had not the strength to tell them, otherwise!! Doctors today use what are called “sugar Pills” to people who believe they are sick. I have observed the power of learned responses at Pentecostal programs. After many people came to the altar to be “healed”, the speaker spent 15 minutes telling them about those in the past who “fell on the ground” when the Holy Spirit possessed them. I kept wondering, “Why is he spending so much time on this?” And I soon learned why. After a few minutes of this instruction, the “healer” began to touch those who had come forward, (you think they were not prone to fall on the ground??). When one fell, that reinforced the “healer’s message and they all began to fall!! Without this advanced instruction, I have often wondered IF any would have fallen at all!! It was a directed response!! The Pentecostal preacher did not tell the poor soul that this is common among pagan people “possessed” by so-called evil spirits!!
In Greek history, centuries before Christ, the Greeks were deeply engaged in experiencing supernatural phenomena. They welcomed being possessed!! They called it “madness”. They demanded these “fits of madness” glorified their gods. This “madness” was expressed in such ways as dancing and ecstatic utterances. Through these kinds of manifestations they had a “feeling better felt than told” of a “cleansing” from the guilt of sin. For them, these “fits of madness” had a therapeutic value and were allowed and encouraged. Because of sin, the Greeks had guilt given them through the God-given conscience. Not having the Bible or a member of the Lord’s Church around, they had no real solution for their guilt (like the Pentecostals do, today). The recognition of sin forces man to do something to remedy it. The souls of guilty, sinful men are restless. The restless seek and need assurance. The Greeks sought this assurance from their deities as do the false teachers, today!! The overwhelming sense of human ignorance and insecurity with the dread of divine wrath makes sin unbearable. As they wrote; “out of his divine knowledge, Apollo would tell you what to do when you felt anxious or frightened.” The Greeks believed in their Oracle, not because they were superstitious fools, but because they could not do without believing in them!!
It has often been my idea that some of us do not BELIEVE we can or SHOULD be forgiven of sin. But, if God has accepted us, THEN WE NEED TO ACCEPT SELF AND LOVE SELF. A continual feeling of guilt, or of uncertainty, or of inferiority, can cause individuals to seek after other assurances. Because the mere written promises of God are hard for some to accept, they want more. Some want to hear an audible voice, have God do something out-of-the way special for them JUST to prove they “got-saved”
God has to do something special, when He does, no one can take that from them!!

Speaking in Tongues Part 3

Exorcism was a common practice among Roman Catholics in earlier days. A statue of the Mother of God was used, as well as a crucifix. Bernard of Claivaux would pray, put wine on the possessed person’s lip[s, use the sign of the cross, and hold the crucifix over the head of the one possessed. St. Francis of Assissi used prayer and the sign of the cross. He didn’t even use the name of Jesus but would say, “In virtue of obedience, I bid thee go out of her, thou unclean spirit.” And it did!, they claim.
Christians (falsely so-called) must be cautious about validating too much by their power to cast out demons. .If the Christian (?) claims that this action verifies his power (a baptism of the Holy Spirit, or a spiritual gift) and verifies his God, then what about the special pagan mediums in Ceylon, India, China, Japan, etc.? If supernatural experiences determine the credibility of my faith what about the “other” religions which also practice exorcism with “success”?
So you know that E.R. Dodds in The Greeks and the Irrational has documented evidence that ecstatic utterances attributed to the divine spirits were practiced among the Hittites as early as 1400 B.C.. The Phoenicians as early as 1100 B.C. spoke with strange tongues as evidence their “god” was with them!! In Greece, ecstatic utterances are as old as the religion of Apollo at Delphi. This was centuries before Christ! In their religion, it was believed that the “god” entered the vocal cords and controlled the speech!! The religions of Cassondra, Bakis, Cybele, Dionysius, Eurcycles, and Pythos all practiced tongue-speaking!! In east Africa it was believed that the tongue-speaking was caused by the spirit Mpepo, a kind of vampire spirit! Ecstatic utterances are still common among some pagan religions, and the experience is still attributed to the power of a deity taking control of the vocal cords!! In the first century, ecstatic utterances were hardly new and fresh. The appearance of tongue-speaking, if it were just ecstatic utterances and not a bonafide language heard, would hardly have been a sign of a new age dawning, for this was very common among the ancients, since the days of the Exodus!!
There are those die-hards who still claim tongue-speaking an evidence that God is with them. So, what about someone who begins to speak in a legitimate foreign language which he or she had never learned?? What would that prove?? In 1906 a scientist by the name of Algar LeMaitre found a boy of 14 years named Fritz. Fritz and Algar’s spirit talked audibly together. One day Algar’s spirit told Fritz to speak in Latin, which Fritz did not know nor had studied. According to honorable witnesses, Fritz spoke in good Latin!! How did this happen? Immediately, those who desire an expression of importance and a feeling of being “special” to God claim this as proof that tongues are “still being spoken, today”.
We are now understanding that our mind stores everything it receives—even information which we are not aware we are receiving. After a close study of Fritz, it was learned that when he was 4 or 5 years old, he had heard a servant speak the Latin poetry that he had spoken for Algar’s spirit!! His subconscious had never forgotten it, although he had not remembered that he had been exposed to Latin. We need to be real careful about explaining the unusual by the miraculous or a supernatural power taking control of the speech!!
Do supernatural phenomena really exist, today? Are there good and bad spirits? Is a supernatural spirit present in every case in a disease-exorcism-healing miracle service??

Speaking in Tongues Part 2

Speaking in tongues, glossolalia, making predictions about the future, sometimes called prophecies, supernatural voices and visions, theophanies, casting out demons, exorcism, pronouncing curses, defixiones, healings and many other wonders are considered by some to be the way to validate the power of the God of Christianity. Those who play in this world of rabid extremism find themselves often burnt by the doctrines they espouse. As we mentioned last week, paganism and other mediums have evidences among them doing the same. On record are case studies which show pagans speaking in ecstatic utterances and in foreign languages, making predictions, casting out demons, and pronouncing curses. There is virtually no place o n the earth where these kinds of phen9omena have not been and are not still being practiced with “success”. How can these things be? Along with these modern ‘miracles’ there are things that accompany them. Physical change may take place. A countenance may change, there may be a new behavior pattern, the voice may change, seen either in intonation or a change in content. Sometimes the change is from a male voice to a female voice. In some cases it appears that a different person’s voice is speaking; sometimes vulgarity is present from a person never known to speak such, or howling, crying, groaning, ecstatic utterance which make no sense or reason and appear to be no language at all, or a foreign language. In other times these activities were called ‘demon possession’. There mat be a motor-movement take place in the possessed person. This has been observed in such activities as violent shaking, twisting, contortions, jerking, dancing, or a significant increase in physical strength. As you know, these types of ‘experiences’ are being reported by those who possess the “Holy Spirit”, these are claimed proofs that God is working in them!!
These same types of ‘experiences’ are reported among those of pagan religions; what do they prove there?? On the Tonga Islands, healings were done by raising over the head of the sick person a basket containing a bead-necklace, bangles and leaves of a Na tree. In Ceylon, people were healed by visiting the temple of the demon Vakula Bandara Devijo. IN India, some were healed in conjunction with pagan ceremonies at the temple of Hur-hureshvurku at Conkon. Others regained health by the sight of Maya. Others have attributed their healing to the mother of Buddha. There are numerous stories from Africa, Jamaica, the back streets of New Orleans and others places where “witch doctors” can hex people and kill them, pronounce curses on others and heal, and they did!! Did this prove them a ‘power of God’??
Exorcism is popular, made such by movies and an interest in the occult. In Siam, pagan “doctors” by pronouncing charms and beating the person possessed by demons with rods, heal them. In China, gifted people called mediums cast out demons by entering into a communion with the departed dead! In Japan, the pagan sect Nichiren made exorcism a specialty, and people went to a temple at Nalayama for such practices. In Mecca (you know the ‘a baba baga boos’ had to get in on the act), the spirit of Zor was cast out by the shechah, using charms and sacrifices. The Mohammedans cast out Zor by drinking beer, dancing, and banging their heads against a wall, (smart, right!). Among the Hindus in India, demons were cast out on the 45th and 46th nights of Cukasaptati by saying, “In the name of Katagara, come forth”. (Katagara was the name of the wife of the Brahman who lived in Vatsamin at that time). And the holy rollers think they have the only show in town! Jim and Tammy, Oral and the boys, Benny Hinn, and the local Pentecostal liars don’t have a thing on these Devil worshippers, they are a poor act!

Speaking in Tongues

There are a lot of religious people today who claim to be divinely inspired to speak in a mode of expression (they do not necessarily call them tongues) foreign to their native language. They claim to speak in this irregular way because of some manifestation of the Spirit (they assume you think it to be God’s Spirit called the Holy Spirit in the New Testament). It is my intention in this discussion to deal with some of the issues not often covered by some others who have written on this subject. Despite all that is written on this subject, there will be those who will still be confused. One reason for this will be they never intended to “study to show themselves approved”, they want this bubbly, over-flowing of the presence of God (or so they call it) as proof they are one of God’s special people!! The worst deceived is the self-deceived.
Various phenomena which appear to have a supra-human source are daily being reported within the context of what is loosely called Christianity. Speaking in tongues, predictions about the future, casting out demons, pronouncing cures, miraculous happenings are being considered by some to be validating the power of the God of Christianity, today. I do not deny the existence of these experiences, something is happening!! However, the question is “WHAT?” Some even wonder in the New Testament Church if this is a restoration of primitive Christianity. On the surface, it might appear to be, but, before we qualify any claim let us first take a closer look!!
Several questions need to be asked to satisfy the minds of those of us who study the Word of God. Were these kinds of ‘wonders’ ever a part of Christianity? The answer is obviously, yes. Are these kinds of phenomena a continuous part of the New Testament Church? The answer is NO? Why did these extra-ordinary “supernaturals” ever occur in the New Testament AND are those conditions, needs, or reasons which made them apart of the early New Testament Church, still present? Are these phenomena to be a continuous part of Christianity? Finally, are these phenomena experienced outside Christianity? The answer, YES!!
Christians must be cautious about “jumping to conclusions” about a reported healing, miracle, or wonder qualified by a story told us? I am not saying to doubt the sincerity of those who tell this monstrous nightmare, what I am saying is when you hear something that contradicts the Holy Word of God, look very cautiously!! Propositon: If one man’s experience validates God, and not all experiences are alike, HOW DO YOU FIGURE OUT WHICH ONE IS REAL? Are we not left with a multiplicity of gods? If there are other Gods which have produced “other” religions, the Christian’s Bible cannot stand as unique monotheism will have to go; and the Jesus of history lied when He claimed that only by Him can humans know the one and true God and come to Him!! Another question one must ask themselves is; are miracles the ONLY way of the validation of religion, can we leave out prophesy, wisdom, and history?
One thing quite clear by all who look at this subject is that supernatural experiences being reported within so-called Christianity, today, have their parallels within pagan religions!! In a book called Possession: Demoniacal; and Other Among Primitive Races, in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Modern Times, T. K. Oesterreich has given us a classic study of case histories of religious phenomena. This work was first published in 1921, and apparently was not written with the current “tongue speaking” movement in mind! T. K records case studies which show pagans speaking in ecstatic utterances and in foreign languages, making predictions, casting out demons, and pronouncing curses.