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The signs of the Spirit were used to profess to mankind the power of God. The people at the time needed signs to believe something. Even the disciples who walked with Him, did not believe everything except what they saw. So tongues and other gifts of the Spirit were signs to the non believers. If you read about the gifts, read as a whole and you will see that when this gift was first used, it was heard by people from many lands, that heard the gospel in their own tongue. Not mumbo jumbo. Hebrews teaches we should believe by faith. The Word does say that when that which is perfect is come, all these things shall pass away. Do you need signs to believe? Or do you walk by Faith?So we see that speaking in tongues is a manifestation of the holy Spirit and that it serves as a sign to the non-believer. We see that when the Holy Spirit fell upon the 120 Disciples, the non-believers thought they were all drunk at 9:00 in the Morning!! Therefore do not be so quick to judge what you see. When God's presence (Hebrew = Kabod), God's Glory, shows up, it will cause people to act strangely as the flesh cannot handle being in God's presence. It literally means "a weight". We call it being "drunk in the Spirit" and that is how it often appears to those who do not understand what is going on (persons like yourself). There is nothing wrong with it and it does no harm to the person. In fact, there isn't even a hangover. I would rather be drunk in the spirit than on wine as Paul exhorts us later in scripture. This was the normative experience when receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.Paul speaks of all 9 Manifestation gifts in 1 Corinthians 12-14. These 3 chapters go together as one continuous unit of text and thought. Read them now (again, not enough space here to post all the verses) before continuing.
If you read and study these passages, you will find that we are not to FORBID anyone from speaking in tongues! You will also find that there are at least 2, if not 3, different kinds of tongues. Xenolalia, which is the speaking of tongues in a known language that may or may not be interpreted, but is for the benefit of someone that does not speak the native language...as we see in Acts 2. Then there is Glossolalia, which is a heavenly language that no man can understand, but gives us a hot-line to God that Satan and Demons cannot understand. This is like having a Bat-phone, for lack of a better analogy. This is devotional tongues and is not always meant for interpretation, but sometimes is. NOTE: Interpretation of Tongues is NOT the same as Translation of tongues. To simplify it: You have tongues meant for interpretation and you have tongues meant for God only, whether during prayer or during worship. It is a manifestation gift any way you slice it though. It is not a 24/7 thing, but devotional tongues, or a personal prayer language, is available for our use any time we need it. The tongues for interpretation, meant for public edification and as a sign to non-believers, is given as God wills, and does not occur every day or every service. It is beautiful when it is though and God wants His people to know something uplifting and encouraging, though it may be a word of correction in some cases...but it must always be tested against scripture.
The Pentecostal teaching that a believer can LOSE salvation has been a cause for great concern by believers for a long time. From my own experience, I have found that the average Christian isn't sure what to think about the Pentecostals (i.e., the Charismatic Movement). Are they saved or not? If you speak to most Charismatics, they'll give every impression that they're true Christians. Many are aggressive witnesses for their religion. Yet something is VERY wrong with their doctrine ... VERY WRONG! The Jehovah's Witnesses are as aggressive as any religion in propagating their doctrines; yet they serve Satan by spreading devilish doctrines. Just because Pentecostals are aggressive to spread their doctrines doesn't mean that they're of God. Charismatics PERVERT the Gospel of Jesus Christ by ADDING holy living as a requirement to keep one's salvation. This is utter self-righteousness, and a lack of faith in God. The two largest Pentecostal bodies in The U.S. are Assemblies of God (2.5 Million) and Churches of God in Christ (5.5 million). Churches of God in Christ is the largest Pentecostal body in United States according to Denominations Comparison (Rose Publishing, 2003). The Church of God, which is more prominent in the South, had a membership of over 1,000,000 in 2002.
The Pentecostals are a sorry bunch I'll tell you. Why don't they ever imitate the mighty rushing wind in Acts chapter 2, or the cloven tongues of fire? Why do they only imitate speaking in tongues? And by the way, and this might surprise you--no one spoke in tongues in Acts 2 at Pentecost! That's right, NO ONE SPOKE IN TONGUES! If you read the Word of God carefully, it says "every man heard them speak in his own language." Peter was preaching to a crowd of thousands. At least 16 different nations were present (Acts 2:9-11). Each man heard the Gospel in his native tongue (language). Here are a few important observations:1. Men did not initiate this gift, God did! You can't show me one place in the Bible where a Christian decided to speak in tongues. Rather, it was always initiated by God at spontaneous times of God's choosing.
2. The gift was for the purpose of soulwining. Thousands of people were saved at Pentecost (Acts 2:41). The ridiculous practice of speaking in the Charismatic's mumbo-jumbo "tongues" is of the Devil. They've created a form of entertainment that attracts carnally-minded people. Proof of this is in the Bible itself. Do you realize that the ONLY church in the New Testament to which Paul ever wrote to speak about tongues was the church at Corinth ... THE CARNAL CHURCH! Paul stated in 1st Corinthians 3:1-3, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal..." Pentecostals meet in their religious buildings and act like crazy idiots--falling on the floor, barking, howling, babbling, etc. This is carnal, and not in any way related to the gift of tongues at Pentecost which was used to relay the Gospel to lost sinners. When Abraham was old, he sent his eldest servant, Eleazar, back to his native land to find a Christian wife for Isaac. Eleazar took with him, as gifts, many expensive items and ten camels, and set out for Mesopotamia. Notice that the PURPOSE of the the "gifts" was to bring back a BRIDE for Isaac. If Eleazar would have come back without the bride, he would have failed. This is a good illustration of how foolish Charismatics are today. Pentecostals make the gifts an END in themselves. Do you think Abraham would have been pleased if Eleazar gave all the gifts away, but came back WITHOUT the bride? Abraham would have been very angry. This is what the Charismatics are doing today. Instead of focusing on the main issue, which is SOULWINNING; they have focused on the gifts. 3. Peter knew what he was trying to say. Pentecostals openly admit that they don't know what they're saying when they speak in tongues. Thus, Charismatic "tongues" is demonic. There is absolutely NOTHING in the Word of God about speaking in some "unknown" language. Acts 2:6 plainly states ... "every man heard them speak in his own language." The Biblical evidence against the Charismatic Movement is solid, and damning.
4. The conclusion is clear: If someone, even someone unexpected, hears the Word and speaks in divinely inspired tongues, that person has received the Holy Spirit. This was the reasoning of Peter and the other Jewish Christians present. Speaking in tongues is clear evidence someone has received the gift of the Holy Spirit (or been baptized in the Holy Spirit). The evidence was so clear for Peter he insisted Cornelius and his Gentile friends be baptized in water (10:48). -SOURCE (The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Initial Experience and Continuing Evidences of the Spirit-Filled Life)If speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of being filled with God's Spirit, then why didn't Charles Haddon Spurgeon, London's greatest preacher, ever speak in tongues? Why didn't the legendary Dwight L. Moody speak in Tongues? Why didn't Evangelist John R. Rice, Pastor Jack Hyles, or Dr. Lee Roberson ever speak in Tongues? Why didn't the mighty preacher George Whitefield speak in tongues? Why didn't Pastor F.B. Meyer's speak in tongues? Why didn't the powerful evangelist Billy Sunday ever speak in tongues? Don't you see what a bunch of liars and false prophets the Charismatics are? The true Biblical evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a desire to go soulwinning ... John 15:5 states, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Any carnal fool can utter some jibber-jabber out of his mouth (what the Pentecostals call "tongues"). The desire to win lost sinners to Jesus Christ is the strongest evidence that someone is filled with God's Spirit. Why do Charismatics focus solely upon the tongues at Pentecost? The big story folks was that at least 3,000 lost sinners were saved that day!!! How can this be? How could the greatest soulwinning preachers throughout history have accomplished great things for God without being spirit-filled? Zechariah 4:6 is clear, "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." The two statements made by the Assemblies of God above CONTRADICT each other. In one statement they say "speaking in tongues is the unmistakable initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit"; but then they admit that great things have been done for God by believers who didn't speak in tongues. That doesn't make any sense. If speaking in tongues is "unmistakable evidence" of being Spirit-filled, then the mightiest preachers should have all spoken in tongues; But they DIDN'T. Dwight L. Moody is responsible for the salvation of millions of lost sinners; yet he NEVER spoke in tongues even once. Clearly, Charismatics are a wayward bunch. Why is it that Charismatics are the ONLY ones practicing "dancing in the spirit" or "being slain in the spirit?" Notice that I used a small "s" deliberately, because what Charismatics are practicing is demonic. Pentecostals are the only religious group who require speaking in tongues as evidence of salvation. Such teachings are not only heretical, but equally ridiculous as well."
Tongues" simply means "Languages" in the BibleIt is extremely important for the Bible student to look up the word "tongues" in the Greek. As you will find, "glossa" simply means "languages." When the Bible speaks of "tongues," it ALWAYS is referring to a KNOWN, earthy, established language--never some mysterious, unknown, hocus-pocus, mumbo-jumbo. The demonic tongues which the Pentecostals practice is NOT found anywhere in the Word of God. Even the carnal Church of Corinth wasn't foolish enough to speak in some crazy language that even the speaker didn't understand. This is clearly evidenced by Paul's constant mention of the necessity of an interpreter. No one could interpret the garbage which Charismatics are babbling even if they tried. They admit that they don't even know what they're saying. How insane! For an excellent understanding of the subject of tongues, please read "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God."by Fr. Seraphim Rose
Note. Fr. Seraphim Rose (1934-1982), was an Orthodox monk in the ancient tradition who dedicated his life to reawakening modern Western man to forgotten spiritual truths. From his remote cabin in the mountains of northern California, he produced writings which have been circulated throughout the world in millions of copies. Today he is Russia¹s best-loved spiritual writer. His books Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future and The Soul After Death have changed countless lives with their uncompromising and sobering truth. Since he wrote this piece, the Charismatic movement has progressed even beyond what was happening in the 70's, (the point in time which these chapters were written) with great speed with such things as the Toronto Blessing ("Holy laughter movement"). This article is about the movement itself and not a condemnation of people. "COSTA DEIR TOOK THE MIKE and told us how his heart was burdened for the Greek Orthodox Church. He asked Episcopalian Father Driscoll to pray that the Holy Spirit would sweep that Church as He was sweeping the Catholic Church. While Father Driscoll prayed, Costa Deir wept into the mike. Following the prayer was a long message in tongues and an equally long interpretation saying that the prayers had been heard and the Holy Spirit would blow through and awaken the Greek Orthodox Church. By this time there was so much weeping and calling out that I backed away from it all emotionally... Yet I heard myself saying a surprising thing, 'Some day when we read how the Spirit is moving in the Greek Orthodox Church, let us remember that we were here the moment that it began'" .
Six months after the event here described occurred at an interdenominational "charismatic" meeting in Seattle, Orthodox Christians did indeed begin to hear that the "charismatic spirit"was moving in the Greek Orthodox Church. Beginning in January, 1972, Fr. Eusebius Stephanou's Logos began to report on this movement, which had begun earlier in several Greek and Syrian parishes in America and now has spread to a number of others, being actively promoted by Fr. Eusebius. After the reader has read the description of this "spirit" from the words of its leading representatives in the pages that follow, he should not find it difficult to believe that in very fact it was evoked and instilled into the Orthodox world by just such urgent entreaties of "interdenominational Christians." For if one conclusion emerges from this description, it must certainly be that the spectacular present-day "charismatic revival" is not merely a phenomenon of hyper-emotionalism and Protestant revivalism-although these elements are also strongly present-but is actually the work of a "spirit" who can be invoked and who works "miracles." The question we shall attempt to answer in these pages is: what or who is this spirit? As Orthodox Christians we know that it is not only God Who works miracles; the devil has his own "miracles," and in fact he can and does imitate virtually every genuine miracle of God. We shall therefore attempt in these pages to be careful to "try the spirits, whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1). We shall begin with a brief historical background, since no one can deny that the "charismatic revival" has come to the Orthodox world from the Protestant and Catholic denominations, which in turn received it from the Pentecostal sects. The Pentecostal Movement
THE MODERN PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT, although it did have 19th-century antecedents, dates its origin precisely to 7:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve of the year 1900. For some time before that moment a Methodist minister in Topeka, Kansas, Charles Parham, as an answer to the confessed feebleness of his Christian ministry, had been concentratedly studying the New Testament with a group of his students with the aim of discovering the secret of the power of Apostolic Christianity. The students finally deduced that this secret lay in the "speaking in tongues" which, they thought, always accompanied the reception of the Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles. With increasing excitement and tension, Parham and his students resolved to pray until they themselves received the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" together with speaking in tongues. On December 31, 1900, they prayed from morning to night with no success, until one young girl suggested that one ingredient was missing in this experiment: "laying on of hands." Parham put his hands on the girl's head, and immediately she began to speak in an "unknown tongue." Within three days there were many such "Baptisms," including that of Parham himself and twelve other ministers of various denominations, and all of them were accompanied by speaking in tongues. Soon the revival spread to Texas, and then it had spectacular success at a small Black church in Los Angeles. Since then it has spread throughout the world and claims ten million members. For half a century the Pentecostal Movement remained sectarian and everywhere it was received with hostility by the established denominations. Then, however, speaking in tongues began gradually to appear in the denominations themselves, although at first it was kept rather quiet, until in 1960 an Episcopalian priest near Los Angeles gave wide publicity to this fact by publicly declaring that he had received the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and spoke in tongues. After some initial hostility, the "charismatic revival" gained the official or unofficial approval of all the major denominations and has spread rapidly both in America and abroad. Even the once rigid and exclusivist Roman Catholic Church, once it took up the "charismatic renewal" in earnest in the late 1960's, has been enthusiastically swept up in this movement. In America, the Roman Catholic bishops gave their approval to the movement in l969, and the few thousand Catholics involved in it then have since increased to untold hundreds of thousands, who gather periodically in local and nationwide "charismatic" conferences whose participants are sometimes numbered in the tens of thousands. The Roman Catholic countries of Europe have also become enthusiastically "charismatic," as witnessed by the "charismatic" conference in the Summer, 1978, in Ireland, attended by thousands of Irish priests. Not long before his death Pope Paul VI met with a delegation of "charismatics" and proclaimed that he too is a pentecostal.
What can be the reason for such a spectacular success of a "Christian" revival in a seemingly "post-Christian" world? Doubtless the answer lies in two factors: first, the receptive ground which consists of those millions of "Christians" who feel that their religion is dry, over-rational, merely external, without fervency or power; and second, the evidently powerful "spirit" that lies behind the phenomena, which is capable, under the proper conditions, of producing a multitude and variety of "charismatic" phenomena, including healing, speaking in tongues, interpretation, prophecy-and, underlying all of these, an overwhelming experience which is called the "Baptism of (or in, or with) the Holy Spirit." But what precisely is this "spirit"? Significantly, this question is seldom if ever even raised by followers of the "charismatic revival"; their own "baptismal" experience is so powerful and has been preceded by such an effective psychological preparation in the form of concentrated prayer and expectation that there is never any doubt in their minds but that they have received the Holy Spirit and that the phenomena they have experienced and seen are exactly those described in the Acts of the Apostles. Too, the psychological atmosphere of the movement is often so one-sided and tense that it is regarded as the very blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to entertain any doubts in this regard. Of the hundreds of books that have already appeared on the movement, only a very few express any even slight doubts as to its spiritual validity. In order to obtain a better idea of the distinctive characteristics of the "charismatic revival," let us examine some of the testimonies and practices of its participants, always checking them against the standard of Holy Orthodoxy. These testimonies will be taken, with a few exceptions as noted, from the apologetical books and magazines of the movement, written by people who are favorable to it and who obviously publish only that material which seems to support their position. Further, we shall make only minimal use of narrowly Pentecostal sources, confining ourselves chiefly to Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox participants in the contemporary "charismatic revival." The "Ecumenical" Spirit of the "Charismatic Revival" BEFORE QUOTING THE "CHARISMATIC" testimonies, we should take note of a chief characteristic of the original Pentecostal Movement which is seldom mentioned by "charismatic" writers, and that is that the number and variety of Pentecostal sects is astonishing, each with its own doctrinal emphasis, and many of them having no fellowship with the others. There are "Assemblies of God," "Churches of God," "Pentecostal" and "Holiness" bodies, "Full Gospel" groups, etc., many of them divided into smaller sects. The first thing that one would have to say about the "spirit" that inspires such anarchy is that it certainly is not a spirit of unity, in sharp contrast to the Apostolic church of the first century to which the movement professes to be returning. Nevertheless, there is much talk especially in the "charismatic revival" within the denominations in the past decade, of the "unity" which it inspires. But what kind of unity is this?-the true unity of the Church which Orthodox Christians of the first and twentieth centuries alike know, or the pseudo-unity of the Ecumenical Movement which denies that the Church of Christ exists?
The answer to this question is stated quite clearly by perhaps the leading "prophet" of 20th-century Pentecostalism David Du Plessis, who for the last twenty years has been actively spreading news of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" among the denominations of the World Council of Churches, in answer to a "voice" which commanded him to do so in 1951. "The Pentecostal revival within the churches is gathering force and speed. The most remarkable thing is that this revival is found in the so-called liberal societies and much less in the evangelical and not at all in the fundamentalist segments of Protestantism. The last-mentioned are now the most vehement opponents of this glorious revival because it is in the Pentecostal Movement and in the modernist World Council Movements that we find the most powerful manifestations of the Spirit" (Du Plessis, p. 28, ). In the Roman Catholic Church likewise, the "charismatic renewal" is occurring precisely in "liberal" circles, and one of its results is to inspire even more their ecumenism and liturgical experimentation ("guitar masses" and the like); whereas traditionalist Catholics are as opposed to the movement as are fundamentalist Protestants. Without any doubt the orientation of the "charismatic revival" is strongly ecumenist. A "charismatic" Lutheran pastor, Clarence Finsaas, writes: "Many are surprised that the Holy Spirit can move also in the various traditions of the historic Church... whether the church doctrine has a background of Calvinism or Arminianism, this matters little, proving God is bigger than our creeds and that no denomination has a monopoly on Him" (Christenson, p. 99). An Episcopalian pastor, speaking of the "charismatic revival," reports that "ecumenically it is leading to a remarkable joining together of Christians of different traditions, mainly at the local church level" (Harper, p. 17). The California "charismatic" periodical Inter-Church Renewal is full of "unity" demonstrations such as this one: "The darkness of the ages was dispelled and a Roman Catholic nun and a Protestant could love each other with a strange new kind of love," which proves that "old denominational barriers are crumbling. Superficial doctrinal differences are being put aside for all believers to come into the unity of the Holy Spirit." The Orthodox priest Fr. Eusebius Stephanou believes that "this outpouring of the Holy Spirit is transcending denominational lines... The Spirit of God is moving... both inside and outside the Orthodox Church" (Logos, Jan., 1972, p. 12).
Here the Orthodox Christian who is alert to "try the spirits" finds himself on familiar ground, sown with the usual ecumenist cliches. And above all let us note that this new "outpouring of the Holy Spirit," exactly like the Ecumenical Movement itself, arises outside the Orthodox Church; those few Orthodox parishes that are now taking it up are obviously following a fashion of the times that matured completely outside the bounds of the Church of Christ. But what is it that those outside the Church of Christ are capable of teaching Orthodox Christians? It is certainly true (no conscious Orthodox person will deny it) that Orthodox Christians are sometimes put to shame by the fervor and zeal of some Roman Catholics and Protestants for church attendance, missionary activities, praying together, reading the Scripture, and the like. Fervent non-Orthodox persons can shame the Orthodox, even in the error of their beliefs, when they make more effort to please God than many Orthodox people do while possessing the whole fullness of apostolic Christianity. The Orthodox would do well to learn from them and wake up to the spiritual riches in their own Church which they fail to see out of spiritual sloth or bad habits. All this relates to the human side of faith, to the human efforts which can be expended in religious activities whether one's belief is right or wrong. The "charismatic" movement, however, claims to be in contact with God, to have found a means for receiving the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of God's grace. And yet it is precisely the Church, and nothing else, that our Lord Jesus Christ established as the means of communicating grace to men. Are we to believe that the Church is now to be superseded by some "new revelation" capable of transmitting grace outside the Church, among any group of people who may happen to believe in Christ but who have no knowledge or experience of the Mysteries (Sacraments) which Christ instituted and no contact with the Apostles and their successors whom He appointed to administer the Mysteries? No: it is as certain today as it was in the first century that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not revealed in those outside the Church. The great Orthodox Father of the 19th century, Bishop Theophan the Recluse, writes that the gift of the Holy Spirit is given "precisely through the Sacrament of Chrismation, which was introduced by the Apostles in place of the laying on of hands" (which is the form the Sacrament takes in the Acts of the Apostles). "We all-who have been baptized and chrismated-have the gift of the Holy Spirit... even though it is not active in everyone." The Orthodox Church provides the means for making this gift active, and "there is no other path... Without the Sacrament of Chrismation, just as earlier without the laying on of hands of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit has never descended and never will descend" . In a word, the orientation of the "charismatic revival" may be described as one of a new and deeper or "spiritual" ecumenism: each Christian "renewed" in his own tradition, but at the same time strangely united for it is the same experience with others equally "renewed" in their own traditions, all of which contain various degrees of heresy and impiety! This relativism leads also to openness to completely new religious practices, as when an Orthodox priest allows laymen to "lay hands" on him in front of the Royal Doors of an Orthodox church (Logos, April, 1972, p. 4).
The end of all this is the super-ecumenist vision of the leading Pentecostal "prophet," who says that many Pentecostals "began to visualize the possibility of the Movement becoming the Church of Christ in the closing days of time. However, this situation has completely changed during the past ten years. Many of my brethren are now convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh and that the historic churches will be revived or renewed and then in this renewal be united by the Holy Spirit" (Du Plessis, p. 33). Clearly, there is no room in the "charismatic revival" for those who believe that the Orthodox Church is the Church of Christ. It is no wonder that even some Orthodox Pentecostals admit that in the beginning they were "suspicious of the Orthodoxy" of this movement (Logos, April, 1972, p. 9). But now let us begin to look beyond the ecumenistic theories and practices of Pentecostalism to that which really inspires and gives strength to the "charismatic revival": the actual experience of the power of the "spirit. "Speaking in Tongues" IF WE LOOK CAREFULLY at the writings of the "charismatic revival," we shall find that this movement closely resembles many sectarian movements of the past in basing itself primarily or even entirely on one rather bizarre doctrinal emphasis or religious practice. The only difference is that the emphasis now is placed on a specific point which no sectarians in the past regarded as so central: speaking in tongues. According to the constitution of various Pentecostal sects, "The Baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues" (Sherrill, p. 79). And not only is this the first sign of conversion to a Pentecostal sect or orientation: according to the best Pentecostal authorities, this practice must be continued or the "Spirit" may be lost. Writes David Du Plessis: "The practice of praying in tongues should continue and increase in the lives of those who are baptized in the Spirit, otherwise they may find that the other manifestations of the Spirit come seldom or stop altogether" (Du Plessis, p. 89). Many testify, as does one Protestant, that tongues "have now become an essential accompaniment of my devotional life" (Lillie, p. 50). And a Roman Catholic book on the subject, more cautiously, says that of the "gifts of the Holy Spirit" tongues "is often but not always the first received. For many it is thus a threshold through which one passes into the realm of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit" (Ranaghan, p. 19).
Here already one may note an overemphasis that is certainly not present in the New Testament, where speaking in tongues has a decidedly minor significance, serving as a sign of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and on two other occasions (Acts 10 and 19). After the first or perhaps the second century there is no record of it in any Orthodox source, and it is not recorded as occurring even among the great Fathers of the Egyptian desert, who were so filled with the Spirit of God that they performed numerous astonishing miracles, including raising the dead. The Orthodox attitude to genuine speaking in tongues, then, may be summed up in the words of Blessed Augustine (Homilies on John, VI:10): "In the earliest times "the Holy Spirit fell upon them that believed, and they spake with tongues" which they had not learned, "as the Spirit gave them utterance." These were signs adapted to the time. For it was fitting that there be this sign of the Holy Spirit in all tongues to show that the Gospel of God was to run through all tongues over the whole earth. That was done for a sign, and it passed away." And as if to answer contemporary Pentecostals with their strange emphasis on this point, Augustine continues: "Is it now expected that they upon whom hands are laid, should speak with tongues? Or when we imposed our hand upon these children, did each of you wait to see whether they would speak with tongues? And when he saw that they did not speak with tongues, was any of you so perverse of heart as to say, 'These have not received the Holy Spirit'?" Modern Pentecostals, to justify their use of tongues, refer most of all to St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (chs. 12-14). But St. Paul wrote this passage precisely because 'tongues' had become a source of disorder in the Church of Corinth; and even while he does not forbid them, he decidedly minimizes their significance. This passage, therefore, far from encouraging any modern revival of "tongues," should on the contrary discourage it‹especially when one discovers (as Pentecostals themselves admit) that there are other sources of speaking in tongues besides the Holy Spirit! As Orthodox Christians we already know that speaking in tongues as a true gift of the Holy Spirit cannot appear among those outside the Church of Christ; but let us look more closely at this modern phenomenon and see if it possesses characteristics that might reveal from what source it does come.
If we are already made suspicious by the exaggerated importance accorded to "tongues" by modern Pentecostals, we should be completely awakened about them when we examine the circumstances in which they occur. Far from being given freely and spontaneously, without man's interference - as are the true gifts of the Holy Spirit- speaking in tongues can be caused to occur quite predictably by a regular technique of concentrated group "prayer" accompanied by psychologically suggestive Protestant hymns ("He comes! He comes!"), culminating in a "laying on of hands," and sometimes involving such purely physical efforts as repeating a given phrase over and over again (Koch, p. 24), or just making sounds with the mouth. One person admits that, like many others, after speaking in tongues, "I often did mouth nonsense syllables in an effort to start the flow of prayer-in-tongues" (Sherrill, p. 127); and such efforts, far from being discouraged, are actually advocated by Pentecostals. "Making sounds with the mouth is not 'speaking-in-tongues,' but it may signify an honest act of faith, which the Holy Spirit will honor by giving that person the power to speak in another language" (Harper, p. 11). Another Protestant pastor says: "The initial hurdle to speaking in tongues, it seems, is simply the realization that you must 'speak forth'...The first syllables and words may sound strange to your ear... They may be halting and inarticulate. You may have the thought that you are just making it up. But as you continue to speak in faith... the Spirit will shape for you a language of prayer and praise" (Christenson, p. 130). A Jesuit "theologian" tells how he put such advice into practice: "After breakfast I felt almost physically drawn to the chapel where I sat down to pray. Following Jim's description of his own reception of the gift of tongues, I began to say quietly to myself "la, la, la, la." To my immense consternation there ensued a rapid movement of tongue and lips accompanied by a tremendous feeling of inner devotion" (Gelpi, p. 1).
Can any sober Orthodox Christian possibly confuse these dangerous psychic games with the gifts of the Holy Spirit?! There is clearly nothing whatever Christian, nothing spiritual here in the least. This is the realm, rather, of psychic mechanisms which can be set in operation by means of definite psychological or physical techniques, and "speaking in tongues" would seem to occupy a key role as a kind of "trigger" in this realm. In any case, it certainly bears no resemblance whatever to the spiritual gift described in the New Testament, and if anything is much closer to shaministic "speaking in tongues" as practiced in primitive religions, where the shaman or witch doctor has a regular technique for going into a trance and then giving a message to or from a "god" in a tongue he has not learned . In the pages that follow we shall encounter "charismatic" experiences so weird that the comparison with shamanism will not seem terribly far-fetched, especially if we understand that primitive shamanism is but a particular expression of a "religious" phenomenon which, far from being foreign to the modern West, actually plays a significant role in the lives of some contemporary "Christians:" mediumism.Pentecostals believe that they alone can be traced back to that first Pentecost and have the Holy Spirit almost exclusively along with all His gifts,one being speaking in tongues.It is simply a case of the hysteria that marks radical Protestantism, others being fundamentalists/evangelicals, all these sects like to think of themselves as the chosen people, the reality being that among these sects there is an attitude of religious and moral superiority and one deems itself better than the others,if not then why 30,000 denominations,why not just one?The form of babbling that these sects exhibit is the very same as the early movers and shakers who whipped themselves into a frenzy of emotions and was a great embarrassment to the Protestant movement as a whole. Why do some so called Christians pretend just so that the congregations attention only to present himself self righteous and vain glorifying himself robbing God.. Because they are brainwashed into believing a lie and would rather think it is a miracle rather than accept the truth. I used to be one of them until I studied the Word with a mindset of finding the real truth. Tongues means language and it was used for preaching the Gospel to all the nations as at Pentecost. Paul said the gifts were for the profit of EVERYONE and not self.
Some quote 1 Corinthians 14:4 saying there is another type of tongues for personal edification. An examination of the context of this passage reveals this to be an abuse of scripture to justify what is done in the Church today. Here is a paraphrased version of what Paul is really saying. 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 ?Follow after love and desire spiritual gifts but favor the gift of prophesying. 2 Because he that speaks in a language not known to others is not understood by any man present and only God knows what he is saying. 3 But if you prophesy you speak unto men for their edification, exhortation and comfort. 4 But if one speaks in a language unknown to the others, he only edifies himself which is wrong as it does not edify the Church, but he that prophesies does edify the church. 5 I don?t mind if you all speak other languages, but I would rather that you prophesy because greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks in another language unless someone interprets that language into a language known by those present so that the church may receive edifying.
Most Christians will try to make others fall in order to set themselves in higher standards’ or to justify there own faults or should we imply guilt, They are the ones who are always judging others because they feel they are better.The way I define a PC is anyone who gives the impression they take the Bible and their faith slightly more seriously than I do. In the end that’s really who you are uncomfortable with anyways, right? If bad company corrupts good morals, then surely the opposite of that is true. And we don’t want someone’s presence accomplish what the conscience has been calloused from doing (After all, that took a lot of hard work!). Just keep telling yourself, “my entertainment is not the problem, their confronting me is the problem.” Just their mere presence can make you feel guilty or bad about you being who you are. And God would never want you to experience guilt or shame, right? I have learned in my walk with God, that if I ever sense any form of shame or guilt, that really can’t be the Holy Spirit. He wants me to be happy and feel good about myself (I mean, the Bible does say He is the Comforter). Besides, you really won’t have much to talk about with these PCs anyways. They will likely just want to examine you to judge you these are not God fearing people they what to feel superior to others even within the same faith especially those who never have nice things to say about others, Back bitters and gossipers.Normally they act like this because its lack of faith in there actions and way of life that they feel they should proudly be better than others instead of having faith that god is merciful and lovingRomans 14:22. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.The Word clearly tells us that having doubts before God in the things we allow is the same as willful sin. Faith does not waver or question itself. It abides in the vessel through a pure mind and obedient heart toward God. Without these, we cannot partake of faith.Paul says to Timothy that a pure heart, good conscience, and unfeigned faith are not only all necessary, but dependent on one another. How can a man have a good conscience with an impure heart, or a pure heart with a guilty conscience, or true faith while harboring a guilty conscience and impure heart? All must be present or none are. Verse 6 tells us the outcome of ignoring the conscience.Habakkuk 2:4. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Acts 24:16. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Luke writes of the importance of a clean conscience. If Luke could not live with a guilty conscience, why then do Christians try to justify themselves in their guilt? We are justified by faith, not by our efforts to persuade ourselves or vindicate ourselves to others. When Christians try to justify themselves through endless explanations and human reasoning, it is always indicative of compromised faith through a guilty conscience. The conscience that is clean before God is just before God, without need of self-justification."For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." —James 2:10 Who's the biggest sinner? I am! You are! We all are! WE HAVE SINNED! Put down your stones you self-righteous hypocrites! It is human nature to look upon the sins and faults of others, while often overlooking our own sins. This is hypocrisy. One of the worst deceptions is overlooking our own faults. The Word of God proclaims in James 2:10 that committing even ONE SIN makes a person GUILTY in God's eyes of breaking every command in the Bible. James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” This is a startling doctrine that is hardly touched upon in churches today. If you are a Christian the whole world is waiting for you to fall. Sermon uploads that would change lives are fortunate to receive even a hundred hits; but you upload some juicy gossip about a preacher sinning and millions of people want to know it. This evidences the hypocrisy and desperate wickedness of the human heart, just as Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” If you are truly right with God, then you see yourself as the biggest sinner, because you know yourself better than anyone. Do you know what a hypocrite is Biblically? It is a person who thinks that someone else is a bigger sinner than them self.
This is why the divorce rate amongst professed Christians is equal to that of the heathen unsaved world. That is, because so called Christian women think the same as the heathen world. Romans 12:2 exhorts Christians not to be conformed, that is, fashioned, according to this present world. Divorce is always worldly, never Christian. In filing for divorce, a person is saying: “My spouse is a bigger sinner than I am; therefore, I have a right to abandon, quit and break my marriage vows.” No you don't! Divorce is a horrible sin rooted in one's own hypocritical self-righteousness. Nearly everyone who files for divorce blames their spouse. This is evil. The Bible teaches that we are all as guilty as the vilest sinner in God's eyes. This doctrine is virtually unheard of nowadays, because few preachers stress the Law of God anymore, which condemns all of us as guilty sinners before God... “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19). In the eyes of men, murdering someone is obviously worse than stealing their lunch; but as far as God is concerned we are all equally lacking any righteousness of our own. We are each as dirty and rotten as the other guy. Oftentimes what people perceive as acceptable, such as homosexuality, is an abomination unto God. If we SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES as Jesus commanded in John 5:39, then we can only come to the conclusion that we are as sinful as the worst sinner in God's eyes and it matters not who is more guilty. We are all guilty (Romans 3:10,23). The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners deserving of punishment in Hell (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:11-15). Although we may never commit murder or rob a bank, that does not make us any less guilty of being a horrible sinner in the eyes of God. May I say, no matter how righteous I may try to live, the ONLY reason why I will ever be righteous is because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid my sin debt, and He alone is my righteousness. I have no righteousness to offer God, and neither do you. People tend to selfishly judge themselves based upon what sins they personally DON'T commit. Did you understand that? People who don't commit adultery are quick to condemn others who commit adultery, because that's not their sin. But perhaps they are a thief for a living, and so they are silent when it comes to the sin of theft. This is how shallow, wicked and hypocritical most people are. The Bible perfectly illustrates this in Jesus' account of the Pharisee and the publican who went up to the temple to pray...
“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:10-14).The Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14 made the grave mistake of comparing himself with other people, instead of measuring himself up against the holy Law of God. If we foolishly look at other people who commit the sins that we don't, or sins that we perceive as being worse than our sins, then we naturally become self-righteousness and think we are “better” than others. I tell you, you are as filthy and rotten as Adolf Hitler in God's eyes, and so am I... “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6). Reproach For Sins Comes Now Or LaterThe Bible teaches that some people's sins are open (known) beforehand here on earth. But the Bible teaches that everyone else's sins will follow them and be revealed in eternity, causing shame and reproach...1st Timothy 5:24, “Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.”When the truth is known, ALL PEOPLE will be exposed as wicked and shameful sinners.
When asked to give the name of the worst and most horrible sinners we know, most people tend to think of people besides them self. This is the hypocritical nature of humanity. This is why all gossip is sinful and wrong, that is, because we are just as sinful as the person that we criticize. Hey, let's talk about our selves instead. All of a sudden no one has anything to say? Perhaps we have never commit a particular sin per se, but we ought not to judge others simply because they sin differently than we do. Mankind is inherently sinful and has NO self-righteousness to offer God. Even committing one sin is enough to be damned to the Lake of Fire forever (Revelation 20:11-15). That's the reason why God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross of Calvary, shedding His precious blood to pay for our sins. God's Law indicts all humanity as guilty sinners (Romans 3:19). 1st Timothy 5:24 says that some men's sins are open to criticism and judgment beforehand, but everyone else's sins will be made known eventually on judgment day. NO ONE is going to retain their dignity and honor on judgment day as a self-righteous person who didn't do anything shameful, disgraceful or surprising. The Bible declares that ALL men have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Bible teaches that the Pharisees who condemned others were the guiltiest of all sinners (Matthew 7:1-5). The reason why hypocrites throw rocks at others is because they are proud, arrogant and saturated with sins them self. Those hypocrites who condemn others for their sins will one day be silenced completely in eternity when THEIR SINS are revealed. Christians who realize their own sinfulness DON'T condemn other people when they sin. Slanderers and critics of sinners are self-righteous, FAILING to see their own depth of sin and evil. Most people have absolutely no idea how sinful they really are in comparison to the holy Bible. You and I are dirty, rotten, guilty, sinners in God's eyes. Therefore, we had all better think twice before we decide to throw rocks at other people who sin, denouncing them as evil, and taking delight in their calamity. Our day of reckoning is also coming! So before you look down in disdain upon someone else who has sinned horribly, you had better consider your own horrible sins in God's eyes, because the Lord will judge us according to how we judge others...
Matthew 7:1-3, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”Even the best Christians still have a mote (tiny piece) in their eye, meaning that we are all sinners; but those evil critics who spread gossip, tell tales, condemn others, reveal secrets and hypocritically destroy their neighbor with their mouth have a beam (large piece) in their eye. God's harshest judgment is reserved for those arrogant sinners who condemn other sinners, overlooking their own wickedness in hypocrisy while trying to destroy the good name of others. If the truth be known, we all have a skeleton closet of sins. The Bible says that a person is calling God a liar if they deny their sinfulness (1st John 1:8,10). We are living in an evil generation that tolerates all manner of sin and wickedness from Hollywood, rock music stars, and their favorite immoral professional athletes; yet, the world is waiting for every Christian to fall flat. Jesus taught in John 15:19 not to marvel if the world hates us as Christians, because the world hated Him first. 2nd Timothy 3:12 foretold that those faithful Christians who live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION. The world hates the Bible and Christians who uphold the truths of the Bible. We Have SinnedWould to God that Christians in churches today would stop saying, “he has sinned,” and “she has sinned,” and that we'd all start saying, “we have sinned.” It is sinful pride that causes a wife to publicly criticize or divorce her husband. It is sinful pride that causes the manure-spreading newsmedia to mercilessly destroy people's lives. It is sinful pride that causes children to broadcast their parent's dirty laundry to others. It is sinful pride that causes self-righteous hypocrites to meddle in other people's marriages. I came to the realization one day as a believer that I am as rotten and sinful as the worst sinner. I am just as sinful as any adulterer, mass-murderer, homosexual, thief, liar or Satan worshipper. AND SO ARE YOU! Our sins are just as woeful and wrong. We have no room to condemn.
The Apostle Paul realized this great truth...“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1st Timothy 1:15).The Apostle Paul was a faithful missionary who loved the Lord Jesus Christ and helped people everywhere he went. Paul suffered horribly from shipwreck, hunger, turmoil and malicious beatings from his enemies; yet he kept going for God. Paul was a mighty preacher and a strong Christian. Although Paul was arguably the greatest missionary who ever lived, he still addressed himself as the “chief of sinners.” I don't know too many believers today who are anywhere near as dedicated and committed to Jesus Christ as was Paul. If a good Christian like Paul esteemed himself as the “chief of sinners,” then we ought to feel the same way. Judging Versus CondemningWe must distinguish between condemning someone for their sins versus publicly exposing them because they are a threat to society. I publicly expose abortionists (murderers), homosexuals (sex perverts) and religious deceivers (liars) through my online ministry; but I do not condemn any of them personally. I am not condemning them; God's Word condemns all of us (Romans 3:19-23). I am as rotten and sinful as the worst sinner. I am not self-righteous; I am trusting upon HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:21). I deserve to burn in Hell and there's absolutely nothing good about me except the Lord Jesus Christ Who lives in my heart, thankfully. If a local school has a teacher who is teaching teens how to have homosexual “fist sex,” which is happening today in Massachusetts, then that evil person needs to be exposed. Godless heathens are quick to cry out, “Jesus said, 'judge not lest ye be not judged.' ” They conveniently fail to quote John 7:24 where Jesus stated, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” So we are supposed to judge, but rightfully so. Ephesians 5:10-11 reads, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” The word “proving” in Ephesians 5:10 is the Greek word (dokimazo) and means “to test.” Thus, God wants us to test everything, to judge righteously, to discern whether or not something is acceptable to Him, i.e., in agreement with His holy Word. Certainly, it is NOT acceptable to teach children that it's ok for Timmy to stick his fist in Johnny's backside as an expression of love. We are living in a sicko society in America. Ephesians 5:11 commands God-fearing believers to reprove [Greek: elencho, i.e., “to expose”] all works of darkness. This is not condemning; but rather, judging righteously as we are supposed to do.
ConclusionWould to God that more believers today would realize the extent of their wickedness in the eyes of God. We are a sorry bunch. Our only hope is the precious Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation that He freely offers to us, paid for by His own shed blood... “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1st Peter 1:18,19).If it weren't for the literal precious blood of Jesus Christ, we'd all be doomed to the Lake of Fire. God is a good God... “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Amen! One day I had preached a rip-snortin', shingle-pullin', window-rattlin', hell-fire and damnation sermon to a group of about 80 people in Chicago. After the sermon I stepped outside for some fresh air. I glanced over and noticed a gentleman smoking. He felt embarrassed and said, “I'm sorry reverend for smoking in front of you.” I replied, “I preach against sin from the pulpit; but away from the pulpit I'm just as much a sinner as anyone else. You're in good company friend. You need not apologize.” He had wrongly esteemed that he was a bigger sinner than me; but I am the biggest sinner I know. If you want to see the biggest sinner, then just look in the mirror. You and I are as guilty of sin as anyone else. Job 20:4-5, “Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?”
Praise the Lord.. Brother pls help me, i'm not able to download any of these Bible studies. it is showing "The file link that you requested is not valid."