Previous Questions and Answers
Subject: Speaking in tongues and being filled with the Holy Ghost
Is speaking in tongues the outward sign today that someone is filled with the Holy Ghost?
Acts 19:1-5 says, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Paul asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost. It was not, “No, they do not show signs, so they are not,” nor was it, “They are showing signs, so they are.” He did not know.
We are living in a day of Charismatic deception. 1 Corinthians 12:29-31 says, “Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
The answer to all of those questions is, “NO.” NOT everyone is an apostle. NOT everyone is a prophet. NOT everyone is a teacher. NOT everyone does miracles. NOT everyone has the gift of healing. NOT everyone speaks with tongues. NOT everyone interprets tongues. If everyone who received the Holy Ghost talked in tongues, then the above passage would be a contradiction, because every true believer would speak with tongues.
Tongues were never given as a “sign” to other Christians, that someone else is a “Spirit-filled” Christian. Quite the opposite is true. 1 Corinthians 14:22 says, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, NOT to them that BELIEVE, but to them that BELIEVE NOT: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” Tongues are a sign to people who are NOT SAVED. It is a sign to them that they need to GET SAVED.
Secondly, SIGNS are not for Gentiles—but only for JEWS. 1 Corinthians 1:22 says, “For the JEWS require a SIGN, and the GREEKS seek after WISDOM.” If someone starts talking in “tongues” to a Gentile, the Gentile is going to think that the person is crazy. 1 Corinthians 14:23 says, “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?” (mad = “to rave as a maniac” –Strong’s G-3105). Why do Gentiles respond that way? 1 Corinthians 1:22 says, “For the JEWS require a SIGN, and the GREEKS seek after WISDOM.” The Greek wants to “reason” the matter out in his mind. The Jew wants to see a “sign” from God. That is exactly what happened in the Day of Pentecost. Acts 2:1-11 says, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem JEWS, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”
It was to these “JEWS” from every nation under heaven (thus, they spoke the languages of those nations where they were dwelling), that this was a “sign” from God that they need to get saved. They were hearing their “actual languages” spoken from their home nations—not foolish gibberish that someone then gets up and supposedly “interprets.”
That scene meets the Scriptural requirement for tongues: #1) 1 Corinthians 14:22 says, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, NOT to them that BELIEVE, but to them that BELIEVE NOT: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” #2) 1 Corinthians 1:22 says, “For the JEWS require a SIGN, and the GREEKS seek after WISDOM.” The tongues spoken there were not to convince other believers that they were genuine, Spirit-filled believers themselves. The tongues spoken there were spoken as a sign to unsaved Jews, that they needed to get saved. Many Jews did receive the sign as from God, and thus believed the message. Acts 2:41 says, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.“
The Charismatic “tongues” of today is a counterfeit. It is not a sign reaching lost Jews today with the gospel—it is a Gentile practice being used as a sign that another person is supposedly Spirit-filled. That is a direct contradiction to 1 Corinthians 14:22 and 1:22. What ought to be really scary to Charismatics is the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Those are the exact three MAJOR EMPHASIS of the Charismatic movement today: #1) prophesying (what they often call their “tongues”), #2) casting out devils (most every sin is blamed on some devil, so that they can cast him out in their services), #3) doing supposed miracles (it is interesting that none of their supposed “healings” can be documented medically, as many people have tried to do). The Lord is going to say to “many” of these people, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” It is not that they were saved, and then lost their salvation (which is impossible to do, see Bible Course BC-E-107). Jesus is going to say to them, “I NEVER knew you.” They were never saved.
The Charismatic’s real authority is NOT the BIBLE, and never has been. Their real authority is their “EXPERIENCES” (signs and wonders). Whenever I have talked to them, the bottom line is they say, “I do not know about that (what the Bible says), but I know what I have EXPERIENCED!” (talking in tongues, seeing some vision, etc.). They used to say, “You Baptists need to think outside of the box!” What they were really referring to was the “Bible,” not a “box,” but they were afraid to say it. Well, they are no longer afraid to say it, today. Now some are actually saying what they have really always practiced. They are now saying words like, “My life and ministry is not limited to what is written in an ancient book!” (they are referring to the Bible).
The Holy Spirit never does things contrary to the Word of God, or He would be contradicting His own words, because He was the One who gave it to us. 2 Peter 1:16-21 says, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Notice, in that passage, how the Word of God is MORE SURE THAN ANY SIGNS OR WONDERS. “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy...”—the Bible.
The Charismatic movement is preparing the world for the Antichrist, because they are teaching people to place more trust in “signs” and “wonders” than in the Word of God. That is exactly how Satan is going to deceive the world through the Antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all POWER and SIGNS and LYING WONDERS, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” The Charismatic movement is preparing the people of the world for this deception, because of their emphasis upon “signs” and “wonders” as more authoritative than the Word of God. See Bible Courses BC-E-116 and BC-E-117 for further study on this deceptive, counterfeit movement.
The "sign" of being filled with the Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues, but is singing sacred music. Ephesians 5:18-19 says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."
Previous Questions and Answers
Ask A Question