In Part 1 of Time to Leave, we discussed how the tongues movement places great importance on isolated portions of Scripture and couples them with personal experiences to justify their practice of speaking in babbling tongues. TheseÃ‚Â practices are dangerous because they often lead someone away from trusting the Word alone for salvation and matters of faith, and they can lead to some rather outlandish and truly frightening experiences. As we continue to look at Alfred Pohl’s book 17 Reasons I Left the Tongues Movement, the fallout for not heeding the Word of God is seen by this movement’s fruit, which is developed below.
Feeling the Power
One thing that Alfred unpacks very well is the false doctrine of being slain in the spirit, which was happening at his church decades ago. Some people call it falling under the power. Of course, there is no scriptural support for this practice or experience.
If someone touches you on the forehead and you fall to the ground and literally cannot move, that power is not coming from the God of the Bible. Nowhere do you find this practice described in Scripture.
I was chatting with a lady, one day, who said this happened to her at her church. She said she was literally pinned to the ground by something and could not move. She didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think it was coming from God, but since it was happening to others and since she was at church, then she thought it must be from the Lord.
Wild experiences always seem to happen in the Charismatic movement. It might start with just tongues, but it doesn’t seem to stop there. Seems like a door is opened, and then they are off and running.
The wild shaking you sometimes see from people speaking at these gatherings is not biblical either. Start at the 40-second mark inÃ‚Â the video below. This has no biblical support whatsoever.
This next clip is also 100 percent unbiblical.
Ask yourself if these behaviors are biblical.
Of course, not! These manifestations are not coming from the Holy Spirit but from a false spirit that has entered into the church. Can you spot it? If so, what are you going to do about it?
Doctrine or Signs?
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Remember that doctrine is extremely important to God, and it should be extremely important to us. What we believe matters and should always be supported by the truth of God’s Word.
“Finally, we must also remember that the miraculous sign gifts were given to the apostles, and to those whom they authorized, to be their apostolic credentials as they were called upon to complete the laying of the foundation of the Church that Christ had begun (Eph. 2:20). This is what Paul is referring to in 2 Cor. 12:12 as he defends his apostleship before the Corinthian church. We read, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” My question here is this: If anyone, apart from the apostles or those authorized by them, could perform these amazing genuine healings and miracles, then where or what were the signs of an apostle? We must conclude, then, that these special gifts of healing and miracles were given to the apostles as their credentials while they finished laying the foundation of the Church, and when their work was done, and they passed off the earthly scene, these sign gifts would no longer be operative.” (p. 84)
This is one of the more important takeaways from this book and from some of my other reading. These gifts were the signs of an apostle. They were the stamp of authenticity to prove who was truly one of the apostles. So, if everyone had these gifts, then what were the gifts that differentiated the apostles from all other believers?
“Another classical Pentecostal, an elderly aunt of mine, also expressed her misgivings by asking me this question: How is it that Charismatic Catholic people can speak in tongues, and then go back to the Catholic church and worship Mary, pray to the saints, go to mass, etc? How can they do this? There is something wrong, isn’t there?” (p. 92)
It’s interesting to note that many Catholics who speak in tongues and are part of the Catholic Renewal Movement credit speaking in ecstatic speech for their renewed devotion to Mary worship, the Pope, and the Catholic church.
As we go through life, we need to use common sense and logic. If someone has the exact same experience as we do, but believes very differently, wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t we have to come to the conclusion that it is the experience that needs to be questioned? We can’t justify ecstatic speech as being counterfeit while at the same time practice the exact same thing and call it genuine.
True Filling of the Holy Spirit
Alfred also identified true filling of the Holy Spirit:
“Nowhere in Scripture do we have a command to believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, but we do have such a command regarding the filling, in Eph. 5:18.” (p. 94,95)
This is also a very good point to remember. Baptism and filling are two different things. We are all baptized in the Spirit when we are born again.
1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
And we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
The Gift of Tongues
Many in the charismatic movement say the Bible teaches a phenomenon called glossolalia, meaning “to speak in an unknown language.” One problem, though: that term never appears in the Greek. It’s not a biblical term. The word glossa is a Greek word and means “tongue.” The word laleo is a Greek word and means “to speak.” However, the combined word of glossolalia is not found in the Bible. In fact, it was first coined by Frederic William Farrar in 1879 to describe the phenomenon of ecstatic speech. Glossolalia is not found in a Greek dictionary, a concordance, or your Bible. This man-made term lends credibility to this movement that God has not given it.
Instead, the Bible uses tongues to describe the muscle in the mouth, a metaphorical description (James 3:6), or to identify various people groups. But charismatics have added another definition to tongues, which is ecstatic and unintelligible speech. The biblical use of the word tongues repeatedly refers to people groups who are known by their distinctive, knowable, and well-defined languages.
According to the Bible, speaking in other tongues—meaning known languages—was for the purpose of communicating the gospel and the works of God to foreigners during the apostolic age.
With these things in mind, watch this segment where Kenneth Copeland and Rodney Howard-Brown converse in ecstatic speech, which literally has nothing to do with the God of the Bible:
(Begins at 1:36)
For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Always remember that GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Word is settled in heaven. There is no adding to it or taking away from it. We just have to figure out the proper meaning of what God is saying.
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Time to Side with Truth
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
What is Paul warning us about in this verse? He’s saying that the greatest danger for the church will not come from outside its walls, but from within!
We have taught through the years: Guards up. Keep your guard up. Filter everything back through His Word. Don’t let yourself be swayed into false teaching because it will eventually come out of you and infect those around you and those you influence. And we all have influence with others as we follow the Lord.
Paul wasn’t trying to win a popularity contest with the Ephesian elders. He didn’t need a church barbecue held in his honor. What he needed to do was warn them because he knew what was coming on the horizon.
Well, the horizon is here. We live in the most interesting of days. The church is being persecuted from the outside and facing false teaching on the inside. Where are your feet headed? It’s time to come out from among false teachings and false teachers, like Alfred Pohl did, and follow the Lord. Make sure your feet are on the narrow road with the pages of Holy Writ interpreted correctly in front of you as you head toward eternity and the throne of Almighty God!
Until the Nets are Full,