Want Some Answers ???
I’ll put this mail on my website as you request. And combine your two replies together for brevity.
>>Dear Mark Re the early Pentecostals, whose literature I have read at length, I think you have that info incorrectly.<<
It’s correct, I don't find this hard to believe at all, read about it in those books mentioned on my website. While some Pentecostals of the 1900’s believed their tongues were gibberish, others (like you) were adamant their ‘tongues’ were real languages. Some became missionaries to remote lands only to discover nobody understood their ‘tongue’. Without money to return and because of lack of communication, those unable to get jobs starved and some died (CW Shumway 'A Study of the Gift of Tongues' A.B Thesis, Univ. of Southern Cali. 1914 pg.43-44 & N Mikhaiel, 'The Toronto Blessing and Slaying in the Spirit' publ. by Mikhaiel 1996 pg.241-242)
Tongue speakers have many odd experiences. Some claim sexual experiences while speaking (ie Girls experiencing orgasm in religious meetings and obvious to those watching). Many examples could be mentioned. The Holy Spirit that produces self-control never manifests Himself in such an embarrassing, shameful manner or deceives people into thinking gibberish is a real language.
>>Re gibberish. I thank God, I have spoken what you call "gibberish"…..I can testify that I myself have spoken around 100 (without ever counting - an estimation) different languages (not gibberish). I am not foolish enough to think that "gibberish"as you call it, could be in around 100 different language forms.<<
And ‘I am not foolish enough to think’ God gives a gift to drink 100 different poisons (see Mk.16:18). I'm sure your ‘100 different language forms’ are all gibberish. Previously you wrote, “There is no vain-glory in speaking in tongues”. If your claim of a ‘100 different languages’ is not ‘vain-glory’, what is it? I note your webpage has similar boasting - raising the dead, healings, miracles.
>>Brother, perhaps you have it all wrong when you seem to be opposing tongues but in effect it could be opposing the Holy Spirit.<<
God’s Word determines what I should 'oppose' not your claims about miracles. I realize Pentecostals thrive on hyper-suggestibility, illusions, hypnosis, and miracle stories, so I’m not easily 'fooled'.
>>Paul was caught up into the third heaven and was not allowed to speak what he saw. Doubtless, he did not have language from his mind to do so. The language originated from the Holy Spirit, in his spirit.<<
This has nothing to do with Paul lacking a ‘language’ so the Spirit gave another tongue. The “unspeakable” words are unspoken. The words were not spoken, as explained by what follows, ‘Which it is not lawful for a man to utter’. The communications to Paul were not allowed to be made known to others. Apparently your experiences give you 'incorrect assumptions' about Scripture?
>>I could ask why you seem to be basing your judgment on observation and incorrect assumptions instead of on the Word of God?<<
But my emails clearly indicate Scripture is my basis and you haven’t revealed my error. It’s you who make observations about experiences and then ‘incorrect assumptions’ about Scripture.
>>Experiences? Yes, if no one had experienced salvation by being born again, I would not even know it existed, sufficiently for me to see it in the Word of God. I would not have read the Word of God. The same applies to the Pentecostal experience as of old times. I do not say the Charismatic experiences because many of such fail to comply with the Word of God. Best regards, Irene<<
My point was that doctrine is NOT formulated by experience, which is what Pentecostals do. You cannot base salvation on your experience. That is pure subjectivism. All of salvation is by faith only, not experiences. “For by grace are ye saved through faith…..not of works” (Eph.2). If you believe something is true because you had the experience that is not the valid test of truth. Remember all religions claim ‘experiences’ validate their belief. Your second letter -
>>I have never heard of anyone typing out tongue speaking. One would not dream of doing such a thing…. speaking in tongues in a sense bypasses the mind,…I do not try to scrutinise from my reasoning ability<<
You claim a ‘100 different languages’ yet can’t type out one? Others have documented their tongues and they proved gibberish.
Anything that ‘bypasses the mind’ or the ‘reasoning ability’ is akin to hypnotic and altered sates of consciousness. When people fall into a trance, it bypasses human consciousness. This isn’t the intention of the Creator; it’s linked to the occult. Pentecostals display similar experiences with loss of control. People touched fall over, people jerking, jumping, dancing, barking, laughing, etc. Tongue speakers become so intoxicated they describe it like been drunk. Anyone (atheist etc) can experience these. Experiences tell us nothing about the spirit behind them.
Speech experts have studied modern tongues and found it gibberish. To this you replied (I abbreviate) -
>>Re the speech experts, I have never heard of those studies. However, in my experience there has been distinguished, English, French, Urdu, Chinese, a Yugoslav language. Perhaps the experts were unbelieving? Pentecostals would never dream of documenting what "God is doing" re the baptism of the Spirit.<<
A Psychotherapist, Dr Kildahl conducted research over 10 years. He produced the most intensive first-hand scientific study ever undertaken. His book “The Psychology of Speaking in Tongues” documents numerous examples of Pentecostal tongues. “I am grateful to the many hundreds of people who have helped us in our work” (pg.xii Ibid.) He concludes “tongues are not uniquely spiritual or the result of God’s intervention in man’s speech”.
Linguistic scholars work with precise definitions of what constitutes a natural human language. Eg., C.F.Hockett, details 16 criteria for language (“Universals of Language” J.H.Greenberg ed., 1963). Linguistic research indicates glossolalia utterances don’t meet these criteria. See also “Glossolalia: A Case of Pseudo-Linguistic Structure” (Dr. E.A.Nida). Also, “The Linguisticality of Glossolalia” (Dr.W.J.Samarin). Find some of those books mentioned on my webpage and READ them.
>>Do we document the actual "born again" experience? No. We cannot. John 3, "The wind comes from where it listeth and no one kinows where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit".<<
The new birth is unseen, but the evidence is documented by good works and tested by Scripture. The evidence that one can do miracles, if true, should be testable and documented.
>>The experts of course would not be able to document any language of "angels". 1 Cor.13:1 shows this is possible.<<
It’s already documented in Scripture. We find whenever angels spoke it was always in a known language, never ecstatic gibberish. And if they speak a language in heaven it would be intelligent, understandable and translatable, not a meaningless repetition of sounds and noises.
I mentioned last time both tongues and healings lack believability. To this you replied with 400 words of stories about healing (I abbreviate) -
>>There are documented cases of healings…… I never make claim to a healing unless someone has been to the doctor or it is obvious. I have seen lame walk, deaf hear, dumb speak, cancer gone….I have seen the book of the Acts fulfilled in my own and my first husband's ministry. No hype…..No false claims. No lies. I do not believe in ever lying about anything, let alone in the work of the Kingdom. I will never exaggerate numbers, healings, whatever. If I am not certain I will say about such and such..<<
I don't believe these things happened by the gift of healing. Many make similar claims with hype and lies (Mt.24:22). There are thousands of stories from thousands of people (cults to sincere Christians) all trying to prove God supports their particular doctrines.
I’ve no need for miracles, my faith is in the doctrine of the apostles who received it from Jesus and this doctrine has already been confirmed by miracles needing no further attestations. To believe your miracle claims is to tolerate heretical doctrine and fraudulent miracles. My life is not devoid of miracles, but void of nonsensical ‘miracles’ which belittle God’s word.
God can do miracles, but today no one can speak to the ‘lame’ and by the power of his word cause the lame to walk. Yes, Peter could (Ac.3:6-7) but God has not given such a gift today. The fact you’re “not certain” about a healing and modern healers can’t be 100% successful proves that. Only the NT apostles were delegated and given power within them. We are not!!
>>I do not think God must do miracles so someone can believe His Word. That does not come into it. I have seen many so-called "signs and wonders" (not in our ministry). Do not believe they are from God. Yet, many have been saved because of it. I cannot explain that.<<
But you claim that miracles authenticate your ministry and expect me to believe that. You are saying which miracle is real or false and the ones you want me to believe. Yet we view the same event with different interpretations. God doesn’t ask me to believe the claims of miracles workers today, but He does require I believe His Word.
Obviously in NT the signs “confirmed” the message from God (Mk.16:17 Heb.2:2-3). When no longer needed they were withdrawn. The miracle sign gifts authenticated the message God gave the apostles (1 Cor.12:12). That was the purpose they were given!! So yes! Today, God does NOT give signs so men will believe His Word, He requires faith (Heb.11:6) for tongues ceased.
>>Sorry, but the tongues of the Bible have NOT ceased. I do not think I am quite a fool yet, albeit sometimes a "fool for Christ's sake" as I probably am to you. No, tongues speaking is NOT self-centered, worked-up, learned response. It could be in some instances. With most and definitely with myself, it is NOT. It is by faith, of course. I have done missionary work for 30 years. I never thought of using the Gift of Tongues for that.<<
Then, when will they 'cease'? If at Christ’s Coming, why does it say in the very same verse “knowledge, it shall be done away”? Will “knowledge” cease at Christ’s Coming? No! Note A.T Robertson - The word ‘cease’ means “shall make themselves to cease”. Tongues and the other signs were of short duration because they served as signs. Not only to authenticate but make the content of prophecy & knowledge known. After serving their purpose as signs they ceased (Word Pictures of the NT).
Gibberish is the most obvious evidence God hasn’t given the gift of tongues today and it can’t be used for missionary work. But if you speak a 100 different languages and “never thought of using” that for “missionary work” isn't that selfish and neglecting God’s gift? Dying millions are waiting while missionaries study hard dialects so they can share the gospel, and you speak 100 languages but "never thought" to use them? Shame!! The ‘tongues of the Bible’ were originally for “missionary work” to the unbelieving Jewish people only (Isa. 28:12 Ac.2:5-12). And the “miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him” were also for that reason (Ac.2:22). But at Corinth, it was used selfishly.
“Else when thou shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupies the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified” (1 Cor.14:16-17).
Tongue’s today is “self-centered, worked-up and a learned response”. Pentecostals sing themselves into a trance and then speak in tongues. It’s easy to learn, anyone can. Sometimes everyone in the church has a similar style to the Pastor.
>>I for one do NOT walk by signs. I walk by faith, when I walk that is. Do we walk 24 hours of the day? No, by faith, we are in Christ 24 hours a day,<<
Don’t tell me you ‘walk by faith’, when most of your webpage and letters boast wonders, signs and miracles. Nothing faith building in cheap miracle stories but they discredit God’s revelation in Christ, confirmed by the apostles and real miracles. Miracle mongers rob God’s glory by making miracles cheap, common, and meaningless. Today God reveals truth through Scripture, not by gifts of illumination ie tongues, knowledge, prophecy. You reply,
>>All truth comes through and from, and never outside of the Word of God.<<
You say this, but your doctrine denies it. But if true, we don't need tongues and miracle stories. The acceptance of the gift of prophecy is a denial that truth ‘never’ comes ‘outside’ God’s Word. Pentecostals claim to receive ‘truth’ by sign gifts, so their ‘experiences’ are outside God’s will. In the early church gifts of tongues, knowledge, prophecy revealed ‘truth’ for those who didn’t have God’s Word.
>>Most never base their acceptance of the gifts on experiences but ALWAYS on God's Word….people generally base their acceptance on the Word of God, as I do totally.
Your miracle stories deny this. You don’t provide a sound scriptural exposition based God’s Word, but select dozens of miracle stories you want me to believe. And no sooner do you insist Pentecostals “never base their acceptance of the gifts on experiences” than you provide more miracle stories (200+ words). Like I said, God doesn’t require I believe your claims about miracles, but that I believe His Word.
Your last email suggested ‘the best way to edify fellow believers’ is speak in tongues to edify ‘ourselves’. Contrary to Paul’s ‘better way’. He says in “the church….I would rather have you” speak words understood by ‘fellow believers’ to “receive edifying” (see 1 Cor.14:5,19). To this, you reply,
>>You miss my point. I was focusing on the fact that when we edify ourselves by speaking in tongues we can then best edify others. The others will say, when we preach "I got spiritully fed"; "I have never heard such preaching"; "Please come and preach some more"...<<
I didn’t miss your point. The edification from tongues (in the NT times) was only from the exercising a spiritual gift. If the tongue speaker couldn’t understand the language or have a ‘gift of interpretation’ they or others weren’t edified. Edification relates to information for the mind, so ‘the best way to edify fellow believers’ is just what Paul said, in an understandable language. Today, speaking in gibberish doesn’t edify anyone. Speak it all day, it profits nothing.
You previous letter elevated experiences and said our own “salvation….holiness and walk” are all experience that each must have ‘first of all’. So tongues therefore is a proper experience. I disagreed because it’s not our “own experience, first of all” that should have 'pre-eminence'. That can be in error. To this you relied,
>>Who said our own experience has the pre-eminence? Not me. Jesus Christ has the pre-eminence in all things. Personally, I never think about, try to rate, or compare my own spiritual experience. I do not think about it, full stop! I get occupied with the Word of God, prayer and worship.<<
Well, regarding ‘experience’ you wrote, “Every part of the Christian's walk must have pre-eminence in his own experience, first of all”. This elevates “experience” to “pre-eminence”. I still say they can be deceptive or even a hindrance to the truth. You wrote,
>>Strange that in 1 Cor. 11 Paul mentiones women prophesying in the church. If you read those verses in 1 Cor. 14 re women you should be able to see it is somewhat sarcastic. "Did the Word come from you" he says to those who forbid women.<<
1 Cor.11:5 is a private situation, it’s not until verse 18 Paul begins to discuss “when ye come together in the church”. In 14:34 it’s a public gathering and he forbade them from prophesying. The word ‘laleo’ is used of prophetic speaking (14:29). Prophecy may be included in the prohibition. If not, speaking in tongues is certainly what Paul meant. This regulation alone shows the tongues movement today is unbiblical.
When Paul asks "Did the Word come from you?" he not talking “to those who forbid women”. Such people didn’t exist at Corinth, tongues was in confusion. Instead he’s sarcastic with those who might disagree with his prohibition on women. He says when the “whole church come together……Let all things be …edifying……Let your women keep silence…. it is not permitted unto them to speak". And those who disagree, like you? He warns what, “I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord”.
>>Sorry, I see 1 Cor. 14 encourages speaking in tongues. Last verse, "Do not forbid to speak in tongues". How many believers are obeying that verse today? No, the tongue speaking in Corinth seems to have come from the men who caused trouble - believing they were angels already,<<
You believe "1 Cor.14 encourages....tongues"? Your 'experiences' mislead you.
Vs.1 Rather that ye prophesize.
Vs.3 Prophesy is better.
Vs.4 Prophesy is better for all.
Vs.5 Rather you prophesize.
Vs.6-9 Tongues has limitations.
Vs.10-12 Better to edify
Vs.13-14 Restrictions on tongues
Vs.15-17 Understanding is better
Vs.18-20 Restrictions on tongues
Vs.21-22 Tongues is not for believers etc
Do I need to carry on through 1 Cor.14? Do "many believers" obey while you disobey? "Forbid it not" is not a command for believers (contrary to vs.21-22) to seek tongues. Paul urges common sense, he puts tongues at the bottom of the list. But it was a legitimate gift at that time. So while they should ‘covert prophecy’, yet they shouldn’t reframe from tongues when used for the reason it was given (Isa.28:12 Ac.2:8-12 1 Cor.14:21-22). You say men at Corinth believed “they were angels already”, what verse says that?
>>Spiritual growth and holiness depend on a range of things. However, one of them definitely is speaking in other tongues.<<
It might make you feel good, but ‘spiritual growth and holiness’ don’t come through speaking unintelligible words. Many mature and godly Christians (you might call spiritually dead) have never spoken in tongues. The idea ‘tongues’ makes one ‘holy’ is absurd. If tongues had to be interpreted, obviously understanding the message was vital for edification. So if there is no understanding, there’s certainly no edification. If the message of tongues had to be interpreted before it could minister edification to the church, it stands to reason the same principle applies to the individual.
But what about all the Pentecostal leaders in recent years whose lives have proven to be morally and spiritually bankrupt? The evidence doesn’t suggest Pentecostal churches are, on the whole, spiritually stronger and more solid than bible-believing churches without tongues. One must look long and hard to find a Pentecostal church where spiritual growth and biblical understanding is genuinely the focus. Many former tongue speakers have said they did not experience genuine peace, satisfaction, power or joy until they left the tongues movement.
>>Incidentally, do not think that the majority of Pents. and Charism. regularly speak in tongues. Sadly, they do not. Irene again<<
If scripture says “Wherefore tongues are for a sign…..NOT TO THEM THAT BELIEVE”, then your sadness is unbiblical. Paul says “Since ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may abound unto the edifying of the church” (1 Cor.14:12). So there you are, your feel-good gibberish is a poor choice compared to what makes Paul happy. He would rather believers hear 5 words of understanding. Sister, perhaps you have it all wrong when you are promoting tongues but in effect opposing God’s word.
PS “The true test to a real movement of God is not ‘signs and wonders’ but conformity to God’s Word. The clearest proof of God’s power in the world today is not some spectacular and unusual sign or wonder but the tranquil godliness of a spirit-controlled life”. (John MacArthur Jr.).