Note by Phil Scovell.
     I obtained the electronic text version of this sermon many years
     ago  by downloading it from  a bulletin board system (BBS)  long
     before the internet days.   The comments which follow  about the
     transcription of the text are not mine but those of the one  who
     did the translation work.  My rebuttal is also displayed on this
     website for those who are interested in reading both sides.  The
     transcribers contact information is at the end of  this document
     but I doubt it is valid after all these years.
     End Of Note.



                            John  MacArthur

          The following message was delivered  at Grace Community Church in
          Panorama    City, California,  By  John  MacArthur  Jr.   It  was
          transcribed from the  tape, GC 90-61, titled  "Charismatic Chaos"
          Part 10.  A copy of the tape can be  obtained by writing, Word of
          Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412.

          I have made every effort to ensure that an accurate transcription
          of  the   original  tape was  made.   Please  note that  at times
          sentence structure  may   appear to  vary  from accepted  English
          conventions.  This  is due primarily to   the techniques involved
          in preaching and  the obvious choices I  had to make in   placing
          the correct punctuation in the article.

          It is my  intent and prayer  that the Holy  Spirit will use  this
          transcription   of the  sermon, "Charismatic  Chaos" Part  10, to
          strengthen and encourage the  true Church of Jesus Christ.

                      Charismatic Chaos - Part 10

                         "Speaking in Tongues"


                             John MacArthur

          Tonight, in  one sense I  have a difficult, impossible  task; and
          that is to  cover a subject that needs to be covered thoughtfully
          and carefully.   In   another sense,  while very  challenging and
          almost impossible to fully  accomplish, I welcome the opportunity
          to share  with  you some  insights  that   will  help you  to  be
          discerning  as  you  look  at  a  very  important  issue  in  the
          Charismatic movement today; and that  is this matter of "Speaking
          in Tongues."  
          This is  at the very  heart of  the Charismatic movement;  one of
          their  distinctives.  There is no question in my mind that if you
          were  to boil  down  the  Charismatic movement  as to  its basic,
          several ingredients, one  of them  would be  the affirmation that
          speaking in tongues is a  gift for today.  Not   only a gift  for
          today, but a gift to be sought by every  Christian who wants  the
          fullness of the Holy  Spirit and the fullness of the  blessing of
          God.   It   is so much  a part of  the fabric  of the Charismatic
          movement that it is one of  the primary things that they endeavor
          to teach the children in that movement.  
          Someone  sent  me  a sample  of  some  Charismatic Sunday  School
          literature which  is designed specifically to teach Kindergartner
          children how  to speak  in   tongues.   It's  titled, "I've  Been
          Filled with the Holy Spirit," and it  is an  eight paged coloring
          book.  One page has a caricature of a smiling weight  lifter with
          a T-shirt and it says, "Spiritman", and under him is printed    1
          Corinthians  14:4, "He  that speaks in  an unknown  tongue builds
          himself  up."     Another page  features a  little boy  who looks
          something  like  (some  of  you  will    remember)  Howdy  Doody,
          something like  that, with  his hands  lifted up,  and a   dotted
          outline pictures  where  his  lungs  would be.    This  evidently
          represents   his  spirit.    Inside the  lung  shaped diagram  is
          printed  this, "Bal Li Ode Da  Ma Ta  Las Si Ta No Ma," (sp.).  A
          cartoon  styled balloon then comes out his  mouth and repeats the
          words,  "Bal Li Ode Da Ma Ta Las Si  Ta No Ma," (sp.).  A  brain-
          shaped cloud is drawn  in his head with a large  question mark in
          the  cloud.  
          Do you understand the picture?  These gibberish words are in  the
          Spirit and  they come out of his mouth, but a question mark is in
          his brain.   This is how  they plant  in a Kindergarten child the
          idea that  tongues goes from  the Spirit   to the  mouth, without
          ever going through  the brain, that it is some kind of  mystical,
          noncognative experience  that somehow  bypasses the  brain.   And
          under  that  picture is  1 Corinthians  14:14, "If I  pray in  an
          unknown  tongue, my    spirit  prays,  but  my  understanding  is
          unfruitful."    In  both  cases they  have    misrepresented  the
          intention  of  those  verses.    The   first  verse  they  assume
          "speaking in an unknown tongue"  builds someone up, when in fact,
          Paul was   saying it in a negative sense.   It puffs your ego, or
          it, at best (if you do   it in private) would benefit you,  which
          would be selfish  and contrary  to any   proper use of  spiritual
          gifts.  And the second one, "If I pray in  an unknown  tongue, my
          spirit prays,  and my understanding  is unfruitful," is a  way to
          say,  "Don't do  that,  because  what's the  point  in having  an
          unfruitful  understanding?"  
          And  yet, as  early  as Kindergarten,  people are  learning these
          things which are   in  error.   This is  the typical  Charismatic
          perspective,  by the way.   The gift   of tongues is  viewed as a
          holy,  mystical ability  that  somehow operates  in  a   person's
          spirit and  comes out the mouth and bypasses  the mind.  And many
          Charismatics are  even told they have to  purposefully switch off
          their mind to  enable the  gift to function.  That's pretty  much
          the pattern.  I've sat  in on  a number of sessions  where people
          were endeavoring  to teach someone how to   speak in tongues, and
          they always follow that same format.  Usually they say  something
          like this,  "Don't think of anything.  Try  to empty your mind of
          any  conscious thought."
          Charles and  Francis Hunter, who  travel all across the  world in
          healing  explosion  meetings, have as a part  of their curriculum
          the seminars in which  they teach people how to speak in tongues.
          They have as  many as 50,000   people in some of  their meetings.
          Charles Hunter tells people, and I  quote, 
                When  you pray  with your spirit  you do  not think  of the
          sounds of           the language.  Just  trust God, but  make the
          sounds when I tell        you to.  In just a moment, when  I tell
          you, begin loving and        praising God by speaking forth a lot
          of different syllable          sounds.  At  first make the sounds
          rapidly so you won't try to          think as you do in  speaking
          your natural language.  Make the        sounds loudly at first so
          you can easily hear what you are        saying.  
          That's an interesting contradiction!  Hunter doesn't explain what
          point there   is in hearing what  you are saying since  your mind
          isn't engaged anyway.   But  he continually  reminds his audience
          [that] they  are not  supposed to be   thinking, quote,  he says,
          "The reason some of you don't speak fluently, is  that you try to
          think of  the sounds.  So when we pray this prayer and you  start
          speaking in your  heavenly language--don't try to  think!"  Later
          he  adds, "You don't even have  to think in order to pray in  the
          Arthur Johnson, in  his excellent expose of  mysticism, entitled,
          "Faith   Misguided",  a  very good  book,  calls the  Charismatic
          movement, "the  zenith of  mysticism."  And  he does so with good
          reason, because there is  the desire, in  some  cases and through
          some experiences, to switch off the mind and  disconnect yourself
          from  what is  rational, and  reasonable,  and logical.     We've
          already noted that earlier  in our study and I won't  go back and
          belabor     the   point,  but   that  is   one  of   the  primary
          characteristics  of "Pagan,  Mystery    Religions,"  one  of  the
          primary characteristics of the Babylonian mystery  religions that
          have found their way into all kinds of religious fabric,  through
          the history of the world.   Nearly all the teachings, distinctive
          to   the Charismatic movement, are unadulterated  Mysticism.  And
          nothing     illustrates  that   more  perfectly   than  the   way
          Charismatics themselves depict  the gift of tongues.  
          They  usually describe  this  gift  of  speaking  these  ecstatic
          syllables that  have no meaning, as a sort of ecstatic experience
          that has  no equal.   They   would  tell us  that it's  a way  to
          experience an emotion and a feeling that is  beyond anything else
          that you will ever experience.  One author quotes Robert  Morris,
                For me, the  gift of tongues turned  out to be the  gift of
          praise.          As  I used the  unknown language, which  God had
          given me,  I felt           rising in me  the love, the  awe, the
          adoration, pure and        uncontingent, that I had not been able
          to achieve in thought out        prayer.
          In other words, "I got more out of prayer  I couldn't understand,
          than I did  out of prayer that I could understand!"  
          A  newspaper  article on  tongues  quoted  the Reverend  Bill  L.
          Williams of San  Jose, and he said this, 
                It involves  you with someone  you are deeply in  love with
          and         devoted to.  We don't understand the verbiage, but we
          know we        are in communication.
          If I could  just interrupt and  ask you to  try that sometime  on
          someone you   love very  dearly, and see  how effective it  is in
          communication.     You  could    probably  judge  that  statement
          accurately.  He went on to say, 
                That awareness is beyond emotion, beyond intellect, it     
           transcends human understanding.  It is the heart of man speaking
                to the heart of God.  It is deep inner heart understanding.
          It        comes as supernatural utterances bringing intimacy with
          Now,  remember, all  of this  is a  occurring with  absolutely no
          understanding of  what you are saying.  You have no comprehension
          of what it is you're saying,  and yet it is supposed to bring you
          into the  deep understanding  and intimate   communion with  God.
          The article also quoted the Reverend Billy Martin of  Farmington,
          New  Mexico,  who  said,  "It's  a  joyous,  glorious,  wonderful
          experience."   Reverend  Darlene Miller  of Knoxville,  Tennessee
          said,  "It's  like the  sweetness of peaches  that you can't know
          until you taste it  yourself.   There is nothing ever to  compare
          with that  taste."   And other  of   those people  who have  that
          experience might echo  sentiments similar to  those.    And I  am
          just quoting you what they themselves say.  
          And you might ask the question, "What  then is wrong with such an
          experience?"   Well, on the one hand, there really isn't anything
          particularly evil or   immoral about it if  you just disassociate
          it from the Bible and disassociate  it  from Christianity, and if
          you  get some  pleasure  out of  standing  in a    corner all  by
          yourself or sitting  in your room alone and  talking gibberish to
          yourself and that does something for  you, then I suppose in  and
          of  itself,   from a  psychological standpoint,  that it's  not a
          moral issue--it may  be  harmless.   If something makes you  feel
          good or makes you  feel somehow better  in control  of your life,
          or like you've had some  warm experience, so be it.    But, don't
          call it  intimacy with God.   Don't say it  makes you spiritually
          stronger, don't say it makes you delirious with spiritual joy.  
          And then ask yourself the  question, "Could I, through this means
          be deceived,  could  this be dangerous?"  And the  answer to that
          question  has to  be yes.    A   man whom  I  knew and  respected
          greatly, now with the Lord, George Gardner, who  was pastor up in
          Grand Rapids, who  wrote a very excellent book on  this  subject,
          was a former "tongue speaker" who left the Pentecostal movement. 
          And he poignantly described the danger of surrendering one's mind
          and    abandoning  control of  one's  self for  the  sake  of the
          euphoria of  the  tongues   experience.   He said  it  is a  very
          dangerous thing and this is what he wrote  in his own words,
                The enemy of the soul is ever ready to take advantage of an
          out-of-       control situation,  and thousands of Christians can
          testify with regret         to the end results.  Such experiences
          not only give Satan  an opening he          is quick to  exploit,
          they can be  physiologically damaging to the          individual.
          Charismatic writers are constantly warning tongue speakers       
          that they will suffer a "letdown."  This is ascribed to the Devil
          and            the reader  is urged  to get  refilled as  soon as
          possible.  So the seeker         for experience goes back through
          the  ritual again  and again,  but begins             to discover
          something: ecstatic  experience,  like drug  addiction           
          requires larger and larger doses to satisfy.  
                Sometimes the bizarre is introduced.  I've  seen people run
          around a        room until they were exhausted.  I've seen people
          climb tent  poles,        laugh hysterically, go into trances for
          days, and  do other weird           things, as the  "high" sought
          becomes more elusive.  Eventually there is         a crisis and a
          decision is made; he will sit  on the back seats and be  a       
          spectator, fake it, or go on in the hope that everything will    
            eventually be as it  was.  The most tragic decision  is to quit
          and in            the quitting  abandon all  things spiritual  as
          fraudulent.   The          spectators  are frustrated, the fakers
          suffer guilt,  the hoping are          pitiable, and the quitters
          are a tragedy.  No, such movements are not        harmless!
          The first time  a person  speaks in  tongues there  is usually  a
          euphoria because   there have  been so many people  trying to get
          them to  do that, that  when they   finally do  that, there is  a
          tremendous sense  that they  have arrived   spiritually.   And so
          psychologically there  is a great  sense of release and   relief,
          and then there  is immediately the diminishing return.   Many who
          speak  in  tongues will understand the tensions  that Gardner has
          described.  He is   not the only  tongue speaker, by the way,  to
          turn against the practice and  expose its dangers.  
          A man by the name of Wayne Robinson, who was once editor-in-chief
          of  the     publications   of  the   Oral  Roberts   Evangelistic
          Association, was an  enthusiastic tongues speaker, and he wrote a
          book, "I Once Spoke in Tongues"  and in it he says this,
                In  the  past  few  years,  I have  become  more  and  more
          convinced         that the test, not only of tongues,  but of any
          religious          experience cannot be limited to  the logic and
          truthfulness          supporting it.  There is also the essential
          question,  "What does             it  do in  one's  life?"   More
          specifically, does it turn a person        inward to self concern
          and selfish interests,  or does it open         him  up to others
          and their needs.   I know people who testify        that speaking
          in tongues  has been the great  liberating          experience of
          their  lives, but juxtaposed with them are the         great many
          others for whom speaking in tongues has been an         excuse to
          withdrawal from confronting the realities of a          suffering
          and divided  world.   For  some, tongues  has been  the          
          greatest thing  ever to happen, others have seen it disrupt      
          churches, destroy careers, and rupture personal relationships.  
          Another former Charismatic writes, 
                To say that speaking in tongues is a harmless practice, and
          is         all right for those who want to, is an unwise position
          when        information to the contrary is  evident.  Speaking in
          tongues  is         addictive.  The misunderstanding of the issue
          of tongues and the        habit, plus the psychic high it brings,
          plus the stimulation of         the flesh, equals a practice hard
          to let go of.  But to equate        much speaking in tongues with
          advanced spirituality is  to reveal        one's misunderstanding
          of  Bible truth, and  to reveal one's           willingness to be
          satisfied with a deceptive and dangerous        counterfeit.  
          That's from Ben Bird (sp.) who wrote a book  entitled, "The Truth
          About   Speaking  in Tongues."    There are  others who  practice
          tongues and  can turn the  phenomena on and off mechanically, and
          without  feeling anything  emotional.     Recently, I  knew of  a
          pastor, knew  him personally, who spoke  in tongues and   led his
          ministry in  that direction for  many, many years, and  has since
          admitted that  it was  something  he just  did.   It was  nothing
          spiritual  or   divine, it  was  something he  just did  himself.
          There are many like that.   They have learned how to do it.  They
          can turn it on, turn it off, hone the  ability to speak in  those
          familiar sounds that  most tongue speakers use,  and  they do  it
          without passion.  
          Now, I have  just introduced the subject  to you and given  you a
          little  bit of  a feeling for it.   I want to go into the Word of
          God  and try to  show you some   things that  you must understand
          about tongues  so that  you will have  a handle   on it  from the
          Biblical  perspective.   So let's  talk  first of  all about  the
          Biblical gift of tongues; we  do know it is  in the Bible and  we
          have to deal   with that.   Now listen  very carefully to  what I
          say,  because I don't  want to  lose  you and I  am going to flow
          through this fairly quickly.  
          Tongues are only mentioned in three books in the Bible: Mark (one
          time in  chapter 16:17); Acts (three times, Acts 2, 10,  19); and
          then in  1 Corinthians.  Those are  the only  three books of  the
          Bible that mention  tongues.  Now,  earlier in our study you will
          remember  that we  looked into  Acts,  didn't we?     And  we saw
          something about this gift of tongues, as it has become  known, in
          the Book  of Acts.   We discovered that  when it occurred  in the
          Book of Acts,   it was a known  language (we will say more  about
          that in a few moments).  It  had a very specific purpose in God's
          redemptive history.   Along with other  miraculous  events in the
          Apostolic period it had  a very unique purpose.  And   so we have
          covered the ground I  think fairly well in the Book  of Acts, and
          we  saw the unique historical purpose for that gift.  
          It  was a  sign that  the Spirit of  God had  come, that  God was
          speaking from    heaven  His  truth.   It  was  also  a  sign  to
          unbelieving Israel  that  when  they    wouldn't  listen  in  the
          language  they could speak, God  would now begin  in  judgment to
          speak a language they couldn't understand.   And so as Paul  will
          point  out in  chapter 14  of  1 Corinthians,  it was  a  sign of
          judgment.  It was  given as a sign gift  on the day of Pentecost.
          Several other times in the   Book of Acts  it was given again  so
          that those  believers being added to the  original Body of Christ
          would be seen to be participating in the same Body  and receiving
          the same  Holy Spirit.   So it had  a unique historical  place in
          the Book of Acts.
          Then  it appears in Mark 16:17; it simply mentions tongues as one
          of  the  gifts   that  would  be  expressed in  the  time  of the
          apostles' ministry.  And again it  fits into that unique historic
          Apostolic time period in  which there was  miraculous  phenomena,
          signs  and wonders,  as  God pointed  to the  apostles who   were
          speaking His truth.   On the day of Pentecost this  sign drew the
          crowd to  which Peter preached the gospel, for example.  
          That leaves us  really with only one epistle in  which tongues is
          even   mentioned, out  of the historical  uniqueness of  Acts and
          Mark 16--we  come to    the Book  of 1  Corinthians, chapters  12
          through 14.   This is the  only epistle   where we find  anything
          about this,  and Paul wrote  for sure 12  and maybe 13   epistles
          beyond this one,  and never in any  of them does he  even mention
          this.    Only in this very  early epistle does any  discussion of
          tongues take place.  
          Now, Paul wrote these chapters,  and you must understand this, to
          reprove  the   Corinthians  for  misusing the  gift.   It's  very
          difficult out  of this  passage  to  get any  kind of  mandate to
          speak in tongues,  to get any kind  of  affirmation that  this is
          something  to  be  sought,  or  something to  be  elevated,    or
          something to be used, or  something that will last, because, what
          you  have     here  is  primarily  a  corrective   given  to  the
          Corinthians, who  had  prostituted    the gift  of  tongues  into
          something pagan that  wasn't even representative of   the work of
          the Holy  Spirit.   And so  what he  wants to do  is correct  and
          restrict the use of tongues.  
          Now, if we grant,  and I think we  must, that at the time  of the
          writing of   1 Corinthians the Spirit of God could still use this
          unique ability, the fact   that it was still a gift in  that time
          and  that  place in  the  history of  the   Church--we  know that
          because  Paul said, "Don't forbid  it."  Don't  forbid  people to
          speak  in tongues,  don't eliminate  it.   There is still,  he is
          saying, a place for  this (verse 39 of chapter 14),  but, he says
          you must  regulate it carefully; and then if you took the time to
          study through  1 Corinthians 12, 13,  and 14, (and by the way, if
          you want to  read in  detail,   I've written my  commentary on  1
          Corinthians which covers every verse, every  phrase in this whole
          section)--but in this section there are some  regulations.  
          The guidelines given were these:
          1.  Tongues  is a sign to unbelievers.   It's a sign  that God is
          speaking.   It's a sign to unbelievers.  
          2.   If used in the Church  it must always be translated, so that
          it can have  the purpose of edifying the believers who don't know
          what's being said.  
          3.  Never are more than three people to do it, and they are to do
          it in  sequence, not at the same time.  
          4.    There  is to  be  no  speaking  in  tongues  unless  it  is
          5.    Any  confusion  or  any  disorder in  the  assembly  is  an
          indication that  what  is  going on did not  originate with God--
          it's a counterfeit; it's a  prostitution.
          6.   Women are never to do it,  for they are to remain silent and
          not to speak  in tongues. 
          And then as he comes to the end of chapter 14, Paul tells them to
          recognize   these  regulations as  a commandment  of the  Lord as
          absolutely  imperative: you   have  no option.   In verse  37, he
          says, "If  you think  you are  a prophet  or you   think you  are
          spiritual, then you  better recognize that what I  have just said
          is the Lord's command!"  And a few weeks ago when we were meeting
          with some  of the leaders of the Vineyard, they said,  "Are there
          things in our ministry   that you would point out  as a violation
          of Scripture?"   And  we immediately   brought  up the fact  that
          having attended a recent meeting  where several  thousand  people
          were present, the  leader of that meeting invited  everyone,  all
          at once, all at  the same time to begin speaking in tongues.  And
          there    was  total chaos,  confusion,  disorder,  people pushing
          chairs back  (as we  told   you before),  falling  on the  floor,
          stretching out their limbs, falling  over,  fainting, all of that
          kind of  chaos and confusion.  No translation  of that  was going
          on.  Women  were dominant  in it,  and all of  that violates  the
          instruction  for the  legitimate use  of  the gift,  when it  was
          legitimate in the  Corinthian time.   
          And so there  are some very clear restrictions given here.  To be
          honest  with   you, if  those  restriction were  followed in  the
          contemporary tongue speaking   movement, the movement  would come
          to almost  a  total halt.    And again  I  point   out  it  isn't
          necessary for God  any longer to give supernatural  sign gifts to
          point to those  who speak His word  since we know who  speaks His
          word.   We   don't need  a sign, we  just compare  them with  the
          Bible.  Once the authority  was given then affirming speakers who
          speak  His  truth  through  Signs  and    Wonders  ceased  to  be
          necessary.  I  can tell you in  a moment whether someone   speaks
          for  God.  All I have  to do is listen  and compare what they say
          with  the Bible.  
          Now, also there was another component.  Tongues in the Corinthian
          church  was   chaotic, out  of  order, confused--way  out of  its
          proper place.  And not only   that, the attitude of the people in
          using  this gift was  one of  pride, self-centeredness,  "look at
          me,"  they  were putting  on a  show, they  were parading   their
          supposed spirituality and they  weren't using their gift for  the
          benefit  of others; that's why he writes chapter 13, which is all
          about love.   And  he   is saying,  "In all  spiritual gifts  the
          proper  motive is love to  other  people."  And  he says in verse
          one of  chapter 13,  "If I  speak with  the   tongues of  men and
          angels, and don't have love, I'm nothing but a noisy gong   and a
          clanging cymbal."  I don't  care if you're talking human language
          or   angel talk, anything apart from love  is noise.  It's noise.
          And  then he   launches  into the  magnificent 13th  chapter, the
          classic in all of human  literature on love, to point to the fact
          that the Corinthians had adulterated  the gift in its expression,
          and  they had  adulterated the  purpose  and the   motive  for it
          because it was something other than love.  
          Paul says, "I don't  care how you talk.  I don't care whether you
          talk  in  human  languages or  whether you  talk angel  talk (and
          that's  hypothetical  because  every time angels  ever speak they
          speak  in the language of  men)."  But   he says, hypothetically,
          hyperbolically, "I don't care if you talk angel talk,  if you are
          not   motivated   by   love,   it's   noise,   absolute   noise."
          Unfortunately,  some of the Charismatic  people have taken Paul's
          statement, "If I speak with   the tongues of men and of  angels,"
          and  they say,  "You see,  the  tongues of  men   are  our normal
          language, and  the  tongues  of angels  are  our  secret  private
          prayer language."  And they believe that the gift of tongues is a
          private  prayer  language, a heavenly language known  only to God
          that  transcends the   mind, as we said  earlier.  It's celestial
          It's interesting to me that if it's celestial speech, and if it's
          angel talk   and comes from God,  why is it that  somebody has to
          sit you down and teach you  how to do it?  There is no warrant in
          this  text  for such  a  view.   Paul  was   simply  expressing a
          hypothetical case, just  as in the subsequent verses.   He  says,
          "If I have the gift of prophecy, and if I know all mysteries  and
          all    knowledge, and  have all  faith,  so that  I  could remove
          mountains, but don't  have love, I am nothing."   If I could move
          the earth and didn't have  love--what would it matter?  "And if I
          gave away everything to feed the poor,   and delivered my body to
          be burned,  and didn't have love, what good would  it  be?"  This
          is all  hyperbole!  He's  not really suggesting things  that are,
          but  he's taking  it to its furthest expression.   No matter what
          you did, no  matter  how great it was, without love it's nothing.
          And as I said, angels don't  ever appear in Scripture  talking in
          anything  other than  human language.    You   can compare  Luke,
          chapter 1 and chapter 2 for a good illustration of that.
          Nowhere then, and this is  very important, nowhere does the Bible
          teach  that  the  gift of tongues  is anything  other than "human
          languages!"  And if you  have a question about that, all you need
          to do is  to go back  to Acts 2.   Go  back  there with me  for a
          moment, verse 4,  "They were all filled with the Holy  Spirit and
          began to  speak  with other  languages (it's  the word  language,
          we'll  see that  in a minute), as the Holy Spirit was giving them
          utterance."  Notice  that they didn't have to learn how to do it.
          Somebody didn't sit  them down  in  a chair and say,  "Empty your
          mind  and  start talking  in unintelligible   syllables"  No, the
          Spirit gave them utterance and they began to speak.   Really; and
          what  did they  speak?    It's very  clear,  "The multitude  came
          together   (verse  6),  they  were  bewildered  (they  were  from
          everywhere,  by the  way),  they were each  hearing them speak in
          his own language."  It  wasn't  double-talk, it wasn't gibberish,
          it wasn't  angel talk, it wasn't  celestial  speech, it  was just
          different languages.  
          "And they  were amazed  and marveled, saying,  'Why, are  not all
          these who are  speaking Galileans?'"  See Galilee was a kind of a
          "Hick Town"  area.   "Hay   Seeds" lived  up there.   Nobody  was
          educated, they certainly didn't learn   languages up there.  They
          could barely speak their own language.  "Aren't  these Galileans?
          How is it  that everybody is hearing  them in our own   language?
          The Parthians and  the Medes and the Elamites,  and the residents
          of  Mesopotamia, Judea  and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  Phrygia
          and Pamphylia,   Egypt and the districts of  Libya around Cyrene,
          and visitors  from Rome, both   Jews and proselytes,  Cretans and
          Arabs--we hear them in our own languages."  
          This is incredible!  It was very  clear what the gift was--it was
          an ability   to speak a language you hadn't learned.  And in that
          language  they were   declaring  the wonderful  works of  God and
          everybody was hearing them.   But the  people were saying,  "This
          isn't some  human exercise.   Something has happened   here today
          that is  divine."  And so  it was a sign  that God had come  in a
          marvelous way, and  God had poured out His Spirit on this Church,
          on these   120, and the Church  was born, and they  all could see
          that a supernatural  event had happened.  The Church was born and
          the unbelieving  Jews now  were   hearing the judgment  predicted
          come to pass.  God had through the prophet  Isaiah said, "The day
          is coming  when, because  you don't  hear me  when I  talk   your
          language, I  am going to  talk a language you  don't understand."
          And  that's  a sign of judgment,  and after all the  judgment was
          coming  wasn't  it?     They  had  rejected and  crucified  their
          It was a sign that God had done something wonderful, that God had
          brought the   Spirit and the  Church was born: Gentiles  and Jews
          all  together would come to  Christ and form one body; and it was
          a sign  to unbelieving  Israel that they   were  going to  be put
          outside, set aside, and that the God who spoke once to  them in a
          language they could understand, and gave them the oracles and the
          covenants and the promises in  the Hebrew tongue, would now speak
          in a  language they didn't understand as a judgment.  
          But very clearly it was language.  The word in Acts 2 is "glossa"
          (Gk.) [and  it]  means language.  They were  hearing people speak
          in their own language.    That's all, it wasn't some angel  talk,
          some gibberish, some gobbledygook,  some nonsense talk.  And then
          it says also they were hearing in  their own  "dialektos" (Gk.)--
          dialects.  That also  we find used in Acts chapter 2.   So  there
          were  unbelievers present at  Pentecost hearing God's  message in
          their  own  languages and their own local  dialects, not ecstatic
          Now when  you come  to 1 Corinthians,  curiously, the  King James
          Version has   chosen to add the word  "unknown" (unknown tongue),
          and some Charismatics have  sort of felt that that gave  them the
          right to say they  weren't languages.   The King  James says, "an
          unknown tongue."   You'll notice,  if you  have a  New   American
          Standard  [Bible],  they  took  the word  "unknown"  out.    Why?
          Because  it  wasn't in  the original!   They spoke  in a  tongue.
          What is it?  "glossa"  (Gk.) a language.  
          Whatever the  gift is here  in the  Corinthian Church, it  is the
          same as  it was  then.   This is early in the  life of the Church
          and  God was  still  speaking,   and  God  was still  identifying
          Himself through this miraculous expression of  languages that had
          never been learned by these people, and it was a wondrous  thing.
          And  it showed  them that  God  was in  their midst  and  God was
          speaking.    And it  was also  a continuing sign  of judgment  on
          Israel.  But it was a  language again.  The word "unknown"  never
          appears in the Greek text.  It was  a language.  
          There  is an  interesting footnote  to  that, that  you can  look
          through  carefully.  Notice the plural and singular usages of the
          word language, and   that's helpful.  I believe when  he uses the
          singular of "glossa" he's   referring to the false gibberish, and
          when he uses the plural he's referring  to languages, because you
          can't have  plural gibberishes.   There aren't  kinds   of double
          talk  and gobbledygook and gibberish--there's only gibberish.  It
          doesn't have a  plural.  But that  is something you can  study in
          the commentary  and examine on your own.  
          Now, also, you  will notice in 1 Corinthians,  that Paul insists,
          verse  13  of   chapter 14,  that  any time  someone speaks  in a
          language you must  pray that he  may interpret.  When tongues are
          spoken in a  church someone must interpret.    Down in  verse 27,
          "If any one speaks in a language, it should be by two or at  most
          three, and  each in  sequence and let  someone interpret;  and if
          there  isn't  an interpreter, then stay  silent and just  pray to
          God," because  it   would be selfish,  self-centered and  have no
          edification   for  the  Church,  plus    it  wouldn't  accomplish
          anything.  Right?  Because if I am going to be the  instrument of
          God by which He  reveals His presence and I say  some things that
          nobody  understands,  and  nobody  translates  it,  nobody  knows
          whether it  was   real or  legitimate and  nobody knows what  the
          message  from  God  was.    So  it  had   to  be  translated  for
          edification and to make the point.
          You will also notice there  is that word, "interpretation;" it is
          "hermeneuo"   (Gk.), which means  translation.  All he  is saying
          is, "If  somebody speaks a   foreign language, make sure  he gets
          translated."  That's not so difficult to  understand.  If someone
          speaks a foreign language, make sure they get   translated.  Why?
          So that  everybody is  edified.   So that everybody  can   learn.
          [In] verse 5  of 1 Corinthians 14,  he says, "Greater is  one who
          prophesies   than  one  who   speaks  in  languages,   unless  he
          interprets, so the  church may receive edifying."  
          Now, do you see here, it's never to be done in private.  It would
          be  pointless.  Wherever in the Bible does it say that you are to
          speak in a  private tongue?   Never!  A private ecstatic, angelic
          speech--never!  It's   hard for me to argue against those who say
          that tongues is a private prayer  language because I can't  go to
          some text and correct  them because there isn't  any  text!  They
          just made it  up.  It's a  pure invention.  It's  a non-existence
          viewpoint.  Some  of them try to  use Romans 8, "The  Holy Spirit
          makes  intercessions  for  us  with  groanings  which  cannot  be
          uttered."  How   obvious is that?   In the first place  it is the
          Holy Spirit and He's making  the intercession, and He's  doing it
          with  groanings that can't be uttered, not  groanings that can be
          uttered!  And it isn't us--it's Him!  How can you ever  convolute
          that?   There isn't  any Scripture to  support it.   All you have
          here  were times when God desired to speak in a language that the
          people didn't  know in  order to reveal His supernatural presence
          and His Word, and then it  was translated for the  edification of
          everyone.  It was  a very unusual  situation.   It happened early
          on; apparently at the time of Corinth it was  still going on.  We
          hear nothing about it from then on,  in all the rest of  the  New
          Testament, and  when it was  done, it was totally  restricted and
          very  clear guidelines were given.
          Another  indication, as  I noted  to you,  that Paul had  in mind
          human languages,  is in verses 21 and 22, and that's what I refer
          to.   Where  he says,  "In the   Law  it is  written, 'By  men of
          strange tongues and  by lips of strangers  I will  speak  to this
          people,  and even  so they will  not listen  to Me.'"   Paul says
          this is a fulfillment of  Isaiah 28:11-12, and Isaiah 28:11-12 is
          clearly a  prophecy  telling the nation of  Israel that God  will
          speak His Word in Gentile  languages.  Do you understand how hard
          that was for a Jew to accept?  God is  going to talk in a Gentile
          language?  Unthinkable!  Absolutely inconceivable  to a Jew!  But
          that was  God rebuking Israel  in their unbelief,  and therefore,
          in order to be a meaningful sign of judgment to the Jew it had to
          be Gentile   foreign languages  because it was the  Gentiles that
          the  Jews despised  and   [they]  thought God  would never  speak
          through a Gentile.  If it was angelic  speech that point would be
          Now,  what  was  going  on  in  Corinth  obviously  violated  the
          standards  that God    had set  down and  so  He reiterates  them
          through the Apostle Paul.  But clearly  we can conclude then that
          the Corinthians were  involved in counterfeiting  tongues.   True
          Biblical tongues were  not gibberish--they were languages.   They
          were Gentile languages  and they were used  only when interpreted
          for the   edification of the Church so  that whatever it was that
          God  wanted  to   supernaturally  say was  clearly  understood by
          everybody.  Frankly, whatever  normally passes for tongues in the
          Pentecostal-Charismatic  movement today  is   not  true language.
          That  and that  alone eliminates  it.   Modern tongue   speaking,
          often called "glossolalia" (sp. Gk., which simply means  to speak
          languages from "glossa" and "laleo" to speak languages) isn't the
          same as the  Biblical gift.          
          William  Sameron  (sp.)  is  a professor  of  linguistics  at the
          university of  Toronto.  He  has done some extensive research and
          writing on this.  He says,
                Over a period of five years, I have taken part of  meetings
          in        Italy, Holland, Jamaica, Canada, and the United States.
          I have            observed  old fashioned  Pentecostals and  neo-
          Pentecostals (or           Charismatics).  I  have been in  small
          meetings in private  homes          as well as in  mammoth public
          meetings.  I have seen such        different cultural settings as
          are  found among Puerto  Ricans of           the Bronx, the Snake
          Handlers  of the Appalachians, and the          Russian Molikhans
          (sp.) of Los Angeles.  I have interviewed         tongue speakers
          and tape  recorded and  analyzed countless  samples            of
          tongues.   In every case,  "glossolalia" turns out  to be        
          linguistic nonsense.  In spite of superficial similarities,      
          "glossolalia" is fundamentally not language!
          William Sameron (sp.) is one of many men who have made studies of
          "glossolalia."   There are abundant  tapes available of it.   The
          studies  all   agree  that  what  we are  hearing  today  is  not
          language.  And if it is not  language then it is not the Biblical
          gift  of language!   The  mystery   religions,  remember, in  and
          around Corinth, as we have already noted in our  earlier studies,
          were  involved  in ecstatic  speech  and  they  were involved  in
          trance-like experiences.   I  have done  some extensive study  in
          years past on   the Oracle of Delphi,  and the mystical gibberish
          and  ecstatic speech  that was   all wrapped up  in that horrible
          orgiastic  religion.   And  some  of the    Corinthians who  were
          involved  in all  of that stuff  had come  into the Church   with
          their  past pagan  stuff and  corrupted  the gift  of tongues  by
          counterfeiting it, and using these past ecstasies as if they were
          the  work of  the Spirit.   What they were  doing, by the way, is
          very similar to modern day  "glossolalia," and Paul was trying to
          correct them  by telling  them such   practices circumvented  the
          whole point of the gift of languages and didn't  qualify.  
          It  got  so  bad  at  Corinth  that  it  actually  was  shocking.
          Absolutely shocking.    Notice verse  2, of chapter  12, he says,
          "You  know  that when  you were  pagans,   you  were  led astray"
          (that's  a technical  term  for  "flipping out,"  going  into   a
          trance,  being spaced  out), "You  were  led astray  to the  dumb
          idols, however   you were led" I mean  you just followed the flow
          of the mysticism and the   ecstasies, you just 'flipped-out', you
          went into  your trance.   You  did that   when  you were  pagans.
          Verse  3, "Therefore  I  make known  to you,"  listen,  "no   one
          speaking by the  Spirit of God says  'Jesus is accursed.'"   Stop
          right   there.   This  is unbelievable.   Do  you  know what  was
          happening?   Some of those  people were "flipping out" into their
          trance and cursing  Jesus, and because   it was in a  trance like
          thing  they claimed  to  be the  gift of  tongues,  people   were
          accepting  it on  the basis  of  the phenomena,  even though  the
          content was   blasphemous!  What  this tells us  is that some  of
          this stuff may be  more than  some humanly  induced gibberish; it
          may be satanic and demonic.
          Imagine saying, "Jesus is accursed" and thinking that because the
          phenomena  was ecstatic, it was acceptable.  In chapter 14, verse
          2,  Paul criticizes the   Corinthians, "For  one who speaks  in a
          language  doesn't  speak  to  men,  but  to    God;  for  no  one
          understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries."  He is   not
          suggesting that you do that.  He's not suggesting that you go off
          all by  yourself and speak  in a foreign language, or speak  some
          kind of mystery,  speak some kind of gibberish.   He's condemning
          that, he's criticizing that,  he's using irony; he's pointing out
          the futility  of speaking  in tongues    without an  interpreter,
          without it  being edifying, because  only God knows if   anything
          was said.  If  you go off and  do this privately, only  God knows
          what  you are doing.  You're just mumbling mysteries.  
          Spiritual gifts were  never intended for that--never.   And so in
          verse 4 he  says, "The one who speaks gibberish (and here I think
          he is referring  to  gibberish in the singular)  does nothing but
          build himself up; but the  one who  prophesies edifies the  whole
          church."   And  of course,  he compares  tongues   with prophecy.
          Even  the legitimate  gift of  tongues  took a  second seat,  for
          sure, to prophecy,  which everyone clearly  understood.  But  his
          point in   verses 2 and 4  is that, never was  any spiritual gift
          for self-edification.    So to say that  I have my private prayer
          language to build myself up and  become "Spiritman," strong, full
          of spiritual muscle, is  to miss the whole   point.  You  do know
          don't  you  that  your  spiritual  gift  really  isn't  for  your
          benefit?    Do you  know that?    Your spiritual  gift is  to the
          benefit of others.   "As each one has received a spiritual gift,"
          Peter says, (1 Peter 4:10),  "employ it in serving one another."
          Paul  is not commending the use  of tongues for self-edification,
          but  condemning  people who were using  the gift in  violation of
          its purpose and in  disregard to  the principle of love, which he
          covered in chapter 13.  If you  do it for yourselves you miss the
          whole point.  It should never be done,  except it be interpreted.
          Right?  That eliminates the private prayer  language.  They  were
          using tongues  in Corinth and it  wasn't even the  real  language
          gift; it  was a fabrication  coming from their  pagan background.
          It  was a counterfeit and they  were doing it to build themselves
          up; it was   egocentric.  It  was to make them  appear spiritual.
          They wanted to  exercise  the most spectacular,  showy display in
          front of other believers.   Paul's  point is  that nobody profits
          from  that kind  of exhibition  except  the person   speaking  in
          tongues, and the chief value he gets out of it is to build up his
          own ego.
          Tongues posed  another problem in  Corinth, used as they  were in
          Corinth; they  obscured,  rather than clarified the  message they
          were intended to convey.   They made it difficult.  Look at verse
          16, he says, "If you bless in the  spirit  only, how will the one
          fills the place of the ungifted say the 'Amen'  at your giving of
          thanks, since  he doesn't  know what  you  are saying?"   What  a
          statement.  "For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other
          man is  not   edified."   In other  words, he  says, the  tongues
          speakers in Corinth were  being selfish.   They were ignoring the
          rest of the people in the  congregation.  They were  muddying the
          message  the gift  was  designed  to   communicate,  doing it  to
          gratify  their  own  egos  to  show-off  and  demonstrate   their
          spirituality, and  nobody could  even say  "Amen" because  nobody
          knew what  they were saying.  
          *"You may  be giving thanks well enough.   I mean, it is possible
          that you  may be   even  exercising the  true gift,  but the  way
          you're doing it  doesn't edify  anybody."   I tend to  think that
          what he is  saying here is mostly  a  condemnation.  In  light of
          all this, somebody might say, "Well, look  at the  end of chapter
          12, it says, 'earnestly desire the greater gifts.'  Shouldn't  we
          take that  as, 'Boy, we really ought to  desire this?'"  That has
          to  be   properly  understood.    See  that little  phrase,  "but
          earnestly desire  the   greater gifts."   People say,  "Well, see
          that's a good  reason for you to  go  out and  desire this gift."
          Well,  first of  all it  is  in the  plural, not   singular.   It
          doesn't  say  an  individual Christian  should  desire  a certain
          gift.  He already has said in chapter 12, verse 11, that the Holy
          Spirit  gives  whatever gift He  wants to whoever  He wants.   It
          isn't the question  of  desire, it is sovereignly given.  What he
          is really saying here is this, it  should be translated this way,
          "You are coveting the showy gifts."   It isn't  an imperative, it
          really should be an indicative.  It's a statement of fact,  not a
          command.  And,  by the way, in  the Greek the imperative  and the
          indicative are the same form.
          Albert  Barnes takes  it  as  the indicative;  so  do many  other
          commentators:      Doderidge  (sp.),  Locke,  McKnight.    Barnes
          observes that  the Syriac  New  Testament  renders the  verse the
          same way.  The  New International Version has  it right.  The New
          International says, "you  are eagerly desire  the greater   gifts
          (1CO 12:31), you're  seeking these showy things."   Then he says,
          "But  I  want  to show you  a better way;  not that  way.  You're
          jealously  coveting  spectacular  things" (it's a  rebuke), "I'll
          show you a better  way."  And then  he goes  on to describe love,
          and then  in 14 he  goes on to  describe the  proper  use  of the
          gifts.  So they were abusing these things in a number of ways.  
          Now, a statement that Paul makes in chapter 13 bears repeating to
          you,  because  it suggests to  us that tongues  would come to  an
          end.   That it  served  a  purpose in the  Apostolic era,  but it
          would end.   I don't want to get  too  tied up, but  look down in
          verse 8.  "Love never fails; but if there are gifts  of prophecy,
          they will  be done away;  if there are tongues,  they will cease;
          if  there is knowledge,  it will be  done away.   For we  know in
          part, and we   prophesy in part; but when the  perfect comes, the
          partial will  be done away."    Now,  the statement made  here in
          verse 8 is  that tongues will cease.   It  means,  literally, "to
          cease permanently."  It says there is going to come a   time when
          they  stop; prophecy and knowledge will be "done away."  That's a
          passive verb; something  will stop prophecy, something  will stop
          knowledge.   But we know what it is because verses 9 and 10 tells
          us,  "For we know in   part, and we  prophesy in part;" there are
          those  two things: prophecy and   knowledge.  And what's going to
          stop them is "the perfect" (in verse 10).  
          You  say, "What's  the 'perfect'  thing?"   I believe  it  is the
          eternal state.   When the  eternal state comes, prophecy will end
          and knowledge will end, but   they haven't ended yet.  And  there
          is going to be a flourishing of knowledge,  and a  flourishing of
          prophecy in the  Millennial Kingdom until  the "perfect"   comes,
          the  perfect state,  the eternal  state.  Prophecy  and knowledge
          will go  on and then they will be stopped.  Something will act on
          them to stop  them.    But tongues will cease  by itself (it's  a
          middle voice  verb).  Tongues  will  cease by  themselves.  There
          will  come  a  time  when  they  cease,  and  they  will    cease
          Now this  poses a very interesting problem.   We need only to ask
          one question,    "Did they  cease?"   Because if  they did,  they
          ceased permanently!  Right?  Did  they cease?  They are not going
          to be  around when the  "perfect" thing comes,   clearly verse  9
          only  refers  to  prophecy and  knowledge  being  around at  that
          point, tongues  will cease by itself.   Nothing will stop  it; it
          will cease  by  itself.  It  will just end.   Now our Charismatic
          friends tell us that all the  gifts continue and tongues have not
          ceased.   We  believe they have,  and how   can we  support that?
          Just very briefly.   When you look at history, when  you  look at
          theology, [when] you look at the Bible itself, I believe that you
          can  demonstrate  that tongues ceased, and that  when they ceased
          they ceased, and  that was it.  
          First of all, tongues was a miraculous, revelatory gift, and [as]
          we have  noted repeatedly in this study, the Age of  Miracles and
          Revelation ended  with  the  Apostles and those who  worked along
          side of them.  The last  recorded  miracles in the New  Testament
          occurred around A.D. 58; note that, because the  last book wasn't
          written until  A.D. 96.   So  you have  almost 40  years with  no
          supernatural wonders  going on, even in the time in which the New
          Testament is  still being written.  From  A.D. 58 to A.D. 96 when
          John  finished  the Book  of    Revelation,  no miracle  is  ever
          recorded.  Miracle gifts like tongues and  healings are mentioned
          only in 1 Corinthians, which is a very early epistle.   Two later
          epistles, Ephesians and Romans, both discuss spiritual gifts, but
          neither  mention these  sign gifts.   Isn't  that an  interesting
          point?   The  later  epistles discussing the gifts  don't mention
          the sign gifts.   No mention   is made  of the miraculous  gifts;
          only in  this very early  epistle.  By  that  time  miracles were
          already looked  on as something in the past;  read Hebrews  2, 3,
          and 4: it was something already in the past.  Apostolic authority
          had    already  been  affirmed;  the  message  needed no  further
          confirmation.   And   before  the  first century  ended, the  New
          Testament was written,  circulated  through the churches, and the
          revelatory gifts had ceased to have a purpose  and so they passed
          Second, tongues  were identified as a sign to unbelieving Israel.
          They   signified that God had  begun a new work which encompassed
          the Gentiles, and   once that message  was made, and that  it was
          made clear  to Israel,  it  was   really  not necessary  to  keep
          repeating it.   Again, it was a period of   transition.  They had
          been the people primarily involved in  the old covenant;  now the
          church was in the new covenant,  in the time of transition.   The
          sign   was made to Israel; that's  done with.  We are  now in the
          new covenant; no  sense  in repeating and repeating and repeating
          and repeating the sign.   O. Palmer Robertson articulates it this
                Tongues served well to show that Christianity, though begun
          in          the  cradle of Judaism,  was not to  be distinctively
          Jewish.   Now           that the  transition between old  and new
          covenants has been  made,          the sign of transition  has no
          abiding value in the life of the         Church.   Today there is
          no  need for a sign to  show that God is          moving from the
          single nation of Israel to all the nations.         That movement
          has become an  accomplished fact, as in  the case of          the
          founding office of Apostle, so the particularly transitional     
           gift of tongues has fulfilled it's function as covenantal sign  
              for the old and new covenant people of God.  Once having     
           fulfilled that role it has no further function among the people 
               of God.  
          Furthermore, the gift of tongues was inferior to the other gifts.
          It  was   primarily a  sign gift;  it couldn't  really edify  the
          Church as prophecy, that   is, preaching and teaching could.   It
          was easily misused to  edify oneself and  build oneself  up.  And
          since  the  Church  meets  for  edification,  better  to   pursue
          prophecy.  Furthermore,  history records that tongues  did cease.
          I   don't need  to go into  all the details.   You'll find,  as I
          said, it begins to  cease after  1 Corinthians; it doesn't appear
          any more.   Peter never  mentions  tongues; James  never mentions
          tongues;  John never  mentions  tongues;  Jude    never  mentions
          tongues; they  just don't talk about them.  In the Post Apostolic
          age  there is no mention of tongues.   Cleon Rodgers (sp.) wrote,
          "It  is  significant that the gift of tongues  is nowhere alluded
          to,  hinted at, or   even found  in the  Apostolic Fathers, which
          came after the Early Church.   Chrysostom, Augustine, those Early
          Church   theologians  of  the  Eastern  and    Western  Churches,
          considered tongues absolutely obsolete and non-existent."  
          During  the  first 500  years of  the Church,  the only  time you
          really see any  claim to tongues are the  followers of Montanist,
          who was branded a heretic.   The next time any significant tongue
          speaking  arises  is in  the  late 17th    century.   A  group of
          militant Protestants  in the Sevenall  (sp.) region of   southern
          France  began to  prophesy,  experience  visions,  and  speak  in
          tongues--now we're talking the 17th  century.  They were known as
          the  Sevenall    Prophets  and they  were  remembered  for  their
          political and military   activities, not their  spiritual legacy.
          Many of  their prophecies were   unfulfilled.  They  were rabidly
          anti-Catholic and advocated  the use of armed   force against the
          Catholic Church.  Many of  them were consequently persecuted  and
          killed by Rome.  
          At the other end  of the spectrum were  the Jansenists, who  were
          Roman Catholic  loyalists who opposed the Reformers' teachings on
          justification by  faith  and   claimed  to be  able to  speak  in
          tongues.   And  then there  were  the Shakers,     they  were  an
          American sect of Quaker roots  that flourished in the mid 1700's,
          the 18th century.   They were led  by Mother Ann Lee;  and Mother
          Ann, a strange   name for someone like her,  because she regarded
          herself as the female  equivalent of  Jesus Christ and claimed to
          be  able  to  speak  72  languages  and    believed  that  sexual
          intercourse, even  in marriage,  was sinful.   Now how  you   can
          believe that and  be called Mother  Ann Lee, I'm  not sure.   Not
          only that,   how you  can believe that  teaching and expect  your
          movement  to last, I'm  not  sure.   They spoke  in tongues while
          dancing and singing  in a trance.  In  the  early 19th  century a
          Scottish Presbyterian  pastor, Edward Irving, and members  of his
          congregation  practiced speaking  in tongues  and  some of  these
          other    Charismatic things.   They  became known  as Irvingites.
          Their movement  was  discredited  [with] false prophecies.   They
          were attributing some  of their   gifts  to evil  spirits.   They
          became   the  Catholic  Apostolic  Church,  taught    many  false
          doctrines; embraced  several strange and bizarre  things; created
          Apostolic offices, etc.  
          Now all of these  supposed manifestations of tongues were  always
          identified as    heretical, fanatical,  unorthodox,  outside  the
          Church; and  we conclude that  when  they ceased they ceased, and
          there have been continual off and on  fabrications of counterfeit
          tongues.  Since these gifts did cease, the burden  of proof is on
          the Charismatics to prove that what is happening today is  valid.
          Why do we always  have to get backed in the corner  and prove our
          case?   Why  don't they take the Bible and  prove theirs and look
          at history as well  and do the same?  
          Some  have said,  "Well,  this  is the  final  outpouring of  the
          Spirit."  No it's  not.  The final outpouring of the Spirit  Joel
          wrote about, will be in the  Millennial Kingdom.  This is not the
          Millennial   Kingdom.    And  so  there's  so    many  doctrinal,
          historical issues at hand.   Now, that leads us to  a  concluding
          thought.  What kind of things are they doing then?  What is going
          on?  How do we explain what they  do?  Well, if you ask them they
          will say  things like this,
                What's the use in speaking in tongues?  The only way I can 
               answer  that is  to  say,  "What's the  use  of a  Bluebird?
          What's           the  use of a  sunset?  Just  sheer, unmitigated
          uplift.   Just joy          unspeakable  and with it  health, and
          peace, and rest, and release        from burdens and tensions." 
          Boy, that's pretty great stuff!  Or they might say,
                When I started praying in  tongues I felt, (and people told
          me) I        looked 20 years younger.  I am built up, I  am given
          joy,          courage, peace, the sense of  God's presence, and I
          happen to be        a weak personality who needs this.  
          Now,  that kind  of testimony  is  a pretty  heavy pitch,  pretty
          powerful.  If  it  can give  you health, happiness, and  make you
          look younger, then  the potential   market is unlimited.   On the
          other  hand the  evidence to  support  such claims   is  dubious.
          Would  anyone seriously  argue,  seriously, that  today's tongues
          speakers  live holier  lives?   Live more  consistent lives  than
          believers  who   don't  speak  in tongues?   What  about  all the
          Charismatic leaders in  recent  years whose lives  have proved to
          be morally and spiritually bankrupt?  And  does the evidence show
          that  Charismatic  Churches  are,  on  the  whole,    spiritually
          stronger and more solid than Bible believing churches that do not
          advocate  the gifts?    The  truth is,  you  must  look long  and
          diligently  to find   a  Charismatic  fellowship where  spiritual
          growth and  Biblical understanding   are genuinely at  the heart.
          If that kind of stuff  doesn't produce more  spiritual Christians
          or believers who are better informed theologically, then  what is
          it  doing?   And  what of  the many  former  tongue speakers  who
          testify   they didn't experience peace, satisfaction, power, joy,
          or find the fountain  of youth when they spoke in tongues.
          Why  does  it  produce  so  much disillusionment?    Why  is  the
          emotional  high in   the initial  ecstatic experience  harder and
          harder  to duplicate?    No,  it is    significant  to note  that
          Pentecostals and  Charismatics  can't substantiate   their  claim
          that what they are doing is the Biblical gift.  There's really no
          evidence to prove it.   There is no evidence  that it's language.
          You say    then, "What  is  it?"   Could be  demonic.   Could  be
          satanic.  I think  it was in  Corinth,  in some cases.  Could  be
          that.   Ecstatic  speech is a  part of  many  pagan  religions in
          Africa, East Africa.   Tonga people of  Africa, when a demon   is
          exorcised, sing in Zulu even though they say they don't know  the
          Zulu   language.  Ecstatic  speech is found today  among Muslims,
          Eskimos, Tibetan   monks.   It  is involved  in parapsychological
          occult groups.  Did you know that  the Mormons, even Joseph Smith
          himself advocates speaking in tongues?  It  could be demonic.
          Secondly,  it could be learned behavior; you just learn how to do
          it.   If you   can go  to the Hunter's  seminar, they  will "jump
          start" you.  It could be  psychological.  It could be a kind of a
          self-induced hypnosis, a kind of a   trance, where you just yield
          up all of your  will, and you yield up your vocal   cords and you
          empty out your brain, and the power of suggestion takes over  and
          you  become  psychologically induced.    And once  you  have that
          experience,   you  then learn  to do  it  and just  do it.   Many
          studies have been  done to show   that it is psychological.   But
          the burden  of proof is really  not on us  to  prove what  it is.
          Suffice it to  say that this unique gift given for the  Apostolic
          time is irreproducible today, and whatever purports to be that is
          not  that; it  is something  counterfeit.   A myriad  of studies,
          which I'll deal   with in the book [Charismatic Chaos],  and when
          you get a copy you can read  them in detail, give evidence of the
          fact that  motor-autonomism (sp.),   ecstasy, hypnosis,  psychic-
          catharsis, collective psyche,  memory excitation,  and  all other
          kind  of terms  are used  to describe  people who  go  into these
          kinds of  trance like experiences.   And then on the  majority of
          occasions it  is just learned behavior.  You just learn to say it
          and so you say it.
          It is interesting to me that  I have listened to people speak  in
          tongues  in   many  different  parts  of  this country,  on  many
          different occasions, through  many years, and I find very similar
          verbiage, so  what they learn  kind of gets   filtered and passed
          through the whole movement.  Why do people want to do  this?  Why
          are they getting into this?  Well,  many people are hungry to get
          whatever is missing  in their spiritual life and  they don't know
          that  it is   all  about  learning the  Word and  walking  in the
          Spirit.   They think they can  get  it in one big dose, in a sort
          of a  shot, a  jolt out of  heaven.  Many   people are  hungry to
          express  themselves spiritually  and they  have been  coming   to
          Church for years  and they aren't involved, and they find a place
          where  they  can speak out and go through this expression, and it
          kind of releases  their pent up feelings.  
          Some people  want acceptance and  security.  Some people  need to
          somehow  verbalize their spirituality  because they have so  many
          doubts,  that they are  looking for  something to prove that they
          are really Christians, and so they   want to find some act,  some
          verbalization, some physical  thing that can help   convince them
          their Christianity  is real.   And some people have  been sitting
          in dead,  cold churches for  so long that the  lifelessness, that
          permeates  their religious experience, causes them to cry out for
          something other than  what they have experienced.  
          Now having  said all that,  let me say this,  there are a  lot of
          things worse  than speaking in tongues.  Can I throw  one at you?
          Gossip!   Does that   surprise  you?   If you  speak in  tongues,
          that's bad, but  it doesn't  normally  affect  other people in  a
          negative way.  If  you gossip, that will!  And so  I  just needed
          to say  that as a footnote, unless we  walk out of here and think
          because  we don't speak  in tongues everything  is under control.
          Better  you  should talk  gibberish that nobody understands, than
          gossip.   Just to put it  into perspective.  Well, I have more to
          say, but I don't  have any time to say  it, and  I've got to come
          back in two weeks and move to the next theme.         
          Let's pray.  Father, thank you for the clarity  of your Word.  We
          want to  basically understand  these issues in the light  of your
          Scripture.  We want to  love our true  brothers in Christ who are
          in this movement.   We do recognize  what your Word teaches about
          this gift, and  yet Lord, we want  to be sensitive   and gracious
          and loving to those who are caught up in it.  Father, we do  pray
          that you will help us understand that what you want is not for us
          to blank  out our minds, but to  love you with all our heart, and
          soul, and mind, and  strength.  That what you desire out of us is
          not  that we  think on nothing,   but  that whatever is  true and
          pure, and lovely,  and honest, and of  good  report, we  think on
          these things.  Not that we have a blank mind but that  we  have a
          renewed mind.  
          Lord, not that we seek some mystical inexplicable experience, but
          that we  come to know you, the true and living God,  and your Son
          Jesus Christ, through  the knowledge of the Word, wherein  we are
          made strong.   Father, we  will find   no benefit spiritually  in
          mystical,  ecstatic, emotional  highs.   But  we do   find  great
          benefit in  the truth, committed  to our hearts through  the Word
          and  applied by the Spirit.  And so we pray Father, that you will
          direct us   continually into  your truth, that we  might live for
          your praise.  In Christ's  Name.  Amen.
          Transcribed by Tony Capoccia of
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