"Jew & Gentile One in Messiah"
As it was in the beginning so it will be in the end-of-days
Statement of Faith for Beth Goyim Messianic Congregation
To religion scholars, speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, is part of the religious tradition of "ecstatic utterance." Other examples are Tibetan Buddhist chants and American Indian prayer songs.
Only rarely did speaking in tongues occur in the Christian church from the second to the 19th centuries, including instances among Methodists, Quakers and Mormons.
Its renaissance came at the start of the 20th century, when a Bible study group in Topeka, Kan., began to speak in tongues after reading about the story of Pentecost in the Bible. The Pentecostal movement was born.
Speaking in Tongues
The phenomenon of or Speaking in Tongues that is seen in the Christian churches today is relatively new. It did not start to enter into some churches until the early 1900’s. This raises the question. If what we are seeing today is the genuine gift of the Holy Spirit that empowered the disciples at Pentecost, allowing them to go into all nations and preach the gospel in the native tongue of those they came across, why was it absent from the church for over 1800 years?
Throughout the Bible it is seen that God always empowered His people to do what it is that He wanted them to do. He directed them with His Holy Spirit and then gave to them whatever gift was necessary to get done what needed to be achieved. This being the case it is easy to see why God saw it necessary to give the gift of speaking in Tongues to the early Church. How else would uneducated men have been able to effectively spread the gospel? This all makes perfect sense. The question is then, for what reason would the gift of Speaking in Tongues have been reintroduced to the church a hundred years ago? What possible purpose does it serve? And in fact is what we see in churches today the genuine gift, or has Satan somehow been able to infiltrate the Christian world and deceive them with a counterfeit of one of God’s gifts for his own purposes?
We are warned in the Bible that in the end times there will be a huge outpouring of false miracles, signs and wonders that will deceive much of the Christian world. Mark 13:22 “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”
Many of the events predicted for the end times are now happening, Mathew 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
In the history of this planet we have never seen such a continuous, increasing amount of natural disasters and such a threat to peace as the terrorism epidemic.
Everything is pointing toward the soon coming of the Lord, and as such we need to hearken to the severe warning that the disciple Mark gave to us. We need to be aware that false signs and miracles are even today occurring, and to earnestly search the scriptures so as to be able to discern the true from the counterfeit.
In Revelation, John writes that he saw in vision that the antichrist beast power (representing a false system of religion that bases it’s doctrines on the traditions of man, instead on the word of God, and does blasphemous things, like claiming to have the power to forgive sins and replace Christ with an earthly representative) would also do great wonders and signs and make fire come down from heaven.
Fire in prophetic terms was symbolic of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”) which means that the false fire from heaven, is a false representation of the Holy Spirit, or more precisely the deceiving spirits of demons counterfeiting the works of the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 13:12-14 “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
So if we are in the end times, and there is a false representation of the Holy Spirit in our churches, what is it? Are some of the miraculous healings being done by a source other than God, and is the speaking in tongues phenomenon that has already swept through more than 20% of the Christian world the genuine gift or a counterfeit?
How do we test the spirits?
The best way to find out, is to study the word of God in relation to the fruits and the gifts of the spirit, and test what we see happening in our churches against the Bible. If what we see today is exactly the same as what happened in the examples in the Bible, and is being used for the same purpose, then we can be assured that what we are checking is the genuine gift or fruit from God, but if what we test against the scriptures comes back different – then it is most likely a deceptive counterfeit from the devil, who is always doing his utmost to trick or seduce God’s people into sinning and falling away from God.
One of the most important attributes of the Holy Spirit is that He will guide you into truth. John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself;” Truth is the understanding of the true gospel message of forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. The message that we are saved by grace and not works, and that those who are saved will be obedient to the will of the Father and follow His commandments, just as Jesus also instructed. John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
The Bible does not contradict itself, and the Holy Spirit will never contradict the word of God, so if anyone says that the Holy Spirit showed them that we don’t have to obey the Ten Commandments or anything else that would directly contradict the teachings of the scriptures, then you can be assured that the spirit that they are listening to is not the Holy Spirit, but a deceiving spirit. We must never forget that most of the attacks that the devil makes on us are through the thoughts and temptations that he or his evil angels place into our minds. 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
One of the devils strongest tools is his ability to deceive, to make counterfeits that are very close to the original, and if not tested against the word, may be easily accepted as being the genuine thing.
What is the main area that he has been able to deceive much of the Christian world in over recent times? Before we answer that question, let’s just look at a couple of things from the Bible, firstly the gift of speaking in tongues and secondly the gift of miraculous healings to see what the genuine manifestation of these gifts were.
Acts 2:3-8 “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”
What is meant by other tongues?
When used in reference to speaking, tongues simply meant “language.” The Greek word is “glossa” and means “tongue, language,” and the verb “laleo” means “to speak”, producing the word “glossolalia.” Here is the definition from the Strong’s and Thayer dictionaries on tongue speaking i.e. glossolalia:
Strong’s Definition: “glossa”, pronounced “gloce'-sah” Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): - tongue.
Thayer Definition: “glossa”
When the disciples and believers at Pentecost were baptised by the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, what was the purpose? Why did God choose to bestow that gift upon them at that time?
Jesus had predicted the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the speaking in tongues for the purpose of carrying out the Great Commission, when He was telling the disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel message. Mark 16:17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”
Jesus' disciples were to receive the power of the gift of the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues so that they could proclaim the Good News of Jesus, first in Israel, and then to all nations, tongues (languages) and peoples. The disciples were unlearned men who would never have been able to preach in other languages to all the people of the various nations, without the divine intervention of God, giving them the ability to preach the Gospel message in languages they had never learned.
It should be noted also that when the genuine gift of tongues was given, for the purpose of evangelising, they understood what they were saying. 1 Corinthians 14:15-16 “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when you shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at your giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what you sayest?”
Paul is also pointing out in this verse that it is of no value to be praying, singing or speaking blessings in tongues if those around you do not understand the language. He found it necessary to point out to the church at Corinth the fact that they were misusing the gift.
1 Corinthians 14:4-6 “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that you all spoke with tongues, but rather that you prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?”
1 Corinthians 14:9 “So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for you shall speak into the air.”
1 Corinthians 14:13-14 “Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
1 Corinthians 14:18-19 “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”
1 Corinthians 14:21-23 “In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are mad?”
1 Corinthians 14:26-27 “How is it then, brethren? when you come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.”
1 Corinthians 14:39 “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.”
Paul was clarifying with them that the purpose of the gift was for teaching and preaching to people in languages that they could understand – not to do it just for the sake of it. Select this link to view 1 Corinthians 14 by Albert Barnes Commentary or this link to view 1 Corinthians 14 by Adam Clarke Commentary.
Paul also confirmed that the gift of speaking in tongues was the least of the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4-10 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:”
Again later he repeated the message that we are all given different gifts so that we can work together as parts of the body of Christ to achieve whatever God commissions us for, and again he listed tongues last. 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 “...you are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Now that we have looked at what the genuine gift of tongues was used for and why it was required, let us look at what speaking in tongues in the occult world is.
Is speaking in tongues only in the Christian world?
Studies have revealed that speaking in tongues is found in the zar cult and various spirits in Haitian Voodoo. It is practised in non-Christian religions among the Eskimos, Japanese séances in Hokkaido, in a small cult led by Genji Yanagide of Moji City, in Malaysia, Indonesia, Siberia, Arabia, Burma, Japan, Korea, China and Arctic regions, the shamans in Ethiopia and is also found extensively in African tribal religions. History also shows that it was present among many pagan religions many years before Pentecost.
The speaking in tongues that we find in most Christian churches today bears far more resemblance to the tongues spoken in the above non-Christian religions than it does to the wonderful miracle that God gave to the early disciples in order to spread the gospel message to the world.
This is not to say that the genuine gift of the speaking in tongues or interpretation is not given to some Christians today. I have heard of missionaries who have been preaching the gospel message in English and the Solomon Islanders they were speaking to heard them in their own language.
On the other hand, TV evangelists who claim to have the gift of speaking in tongues prove over and over again that they are being hypocrites, when they take their team of trained interpreters on their international crusades. If they had been given the genuine gift of speaking in tongues why would they ever need to hire an interpreter?
There have been several studies on the speaking in tongues phenomenon in the Christian churches. One was done by Felicitas D. Goodman, a psychological, anthropologist and linguist. She did her study on various English, Mayan and Spanish speaking Pentecostal communities in the United States and Mexico. She took tape recordings and then compared them to recordings of non-Christian rituals from Africa, Indonesia, Borneo and Japan. Her results were published in 1972 in an extensive monograph (Speaking in Tongues: A Cross-Cultural Study in Glossolalia by Felecitas D. Goodman, University of Chicago Press, 1972).
Her conclusions were as follows: “when all features of speaking in tongues were taken into consideration, which is the segmental structure (such as sounds, syllables, phrases) and its suprasegmental elements (namely, rhythm, accent, and especially overall intonation) there is no distinction in tongues between Christians and the followers of non-Christian (pagan) religions.” Ms. Goodman wrote in the prestigious Encyclopedia of Religion (1987) that the “association between trance and glossolalia is now accepted by many researchers as a correct assumption.” Goodman also concluded that glossolalia “is, actually, a learned behaviour, learned either unwarily or, sometimes consciously.”
Being able to speak in a language or articulate foreign phrases and syllables that you have never been learned is indeed a miracle, but unless you have received the genuine gift to meet a specific need for witnessing or evangelising to people in their own language, and unless you understand what it is you are telling them, then it would seem that the miracle is most probably from a deceiving spirit, rather than the genuine gift from the Holy Spirit of God.
So many of the charismatic and Pentecostal churches put an overwhelming emphasis on speaking in tongues as proof that you have been baptised by the Holy Spirit. This is in direct contrast to the teaching that Sha’ul/Paul gave, where he described the different gifts of the spirit and put speaking in tongues and interpretation down the bottom of the list. He also pointed out that we are all part of the body of Messiah, and as such are all given different talents, gifts and abilities, so that we can work in harmony together to advance the kingdom of God. He certainly never advocated that everyone should seek solely for the gift of tongues and not wholeheartedly beseech God for the other gifts, such as evangelism, apostleship, teachers etc.
Anyone who is preaching that if you do not have the gift of speaking in tongues that you have not received the Holy Spirit is directly contradicting the scriptures. Those who go one step further and pronounce that if you do not speak in tongues you are not saved are speaking a lie. 1Co 12:28 And God has placed in the Messianic Community first, emissaries; second, prophets; third, teachers; then those who work miracles; then those with gifts of healing; those with ability to help; those skilled in administration; and those who speak in various tongues. This shows clearly that we are not all given the same gifts and not all given the gift of speaking in tongues.
Isn’t speaking in tongues used as a prayer language?
Many Pentecostal churches preach that speaking in tongues is a heavenly language, the “tongues of angels.” Where does this teaching stem from?
There is only one verse in the Bible relating to the tongues of angels. It is 1Co 13:1 I may speak in the tongues of men, even angels; but if I lack love, I have become merely blaring brass or a cymbal clanging. Is Sha’ul/Paul saying that he speaks in the tongues of angels? This verse needs to be viewed in both the context of the following passages and also in relation to the translation from the Greek. The word that has been translated to “though” when translated and used in over 95% of all other places in the New Testament has been more correctly translated to “if.” Other Versions of the Bible do in fact translate this correctly to “if I spoke in the tongues men and angels.”
Regardless of this mistranslation, if we go on to read the following verses they reveal clearly that Sha’ul is speaking rhetorically, as had he been speaking literally he would be boasting that he understood all mysteries and had all knowledge, which we know is not the case. Only God has the full understanding of all things. These verses read 1Co 13:2 I may have the gift of prophecy, I may fathom all mysteries, know all things, have all faith — enough to move mountains; but if I lack love, I am nothing. 1Co 13:3 I may give away everything that I own, I may even hand over my body to be burned; but if I lack love, I gain nothing. Sha’ul is emphatically expressing his desire that the people should demonstrate love, generosity and charity which are fruits of the spirit, because without these everything else becomes void. He is showing that love is the most important characteristic that God’s people need to express in all aspects of their lives and their ministries.
Isn’t speaking in tongues used to edify ourselves?
Sha’ul writes 1Co 14:4 A person speaking in a tongue does edify himself, but a person prophesying edifies the congregation. Many preachers use this verse to show that we should speak in tongues to edify ourselves and build up our faith. Is this really what Sha’ul is saying? If we look again at the following verses in the passage it can be seen that Sha’ul is in fact rebuking the church at Corinth for their misuse of the gift of speaking in tongues, and telling them that it is of no use whatsoever if they speak in tongues and no one around them understands them. He says that prophesying is far more important, as that will build up the church.
1Co 14:5 I wish you would all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you would all prophesy. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in tongues, unless someone gives an interpretation, so that the congregation can be edified. 1Co 14:6 Brothers, suppose I come to you now speaking in tongues. How can I be of benefit to you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 1Co 14:7 Even with lifeless musical instruments, such as a flute or a harp, how will anyone recognize the melody if one note can't be distinguished from another?
He goes on to say that they may as well be speaking into the air. 1Co 14:9 It's the same with you: how will anyone know what you are saying unless you use your tongue to produce intelligible speech? You will be talking to the air! Does this sound like he is encouraging them to edify themselves? It doesn’t sound like it at all. The whole purpose of this message is to encourage them to stop being self-centered and work on doing things that will build up the church.
The following verses even further clarify that he is discouraging them from speaking in tongues where it is not for the purpose of witnessing to people in their own languages that they can understand. 1Co 14:11 but if I don't know what a person's sounds mean, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 1Co 14:12 Likewise with you: since you eagerly seek the things of the Spirit, seek especially what will help in edifying the congregation.
Does the Holy Spirit pray through us in tongues?
It is often taught that praying in tongues is letting the Holy Spirit pray through us, because we don’t know what to pray for but He does. I was unable to find any texts that backed up this assumption. The Bible does say that the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. Rom 8:26 Similarly, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we don't know how to pray the way we should. But the Spirit himself pleads on our behalf with groanings too deep for words; Rom 8:27 and the one who searches hearts knows exactly what the Spirit is thinking, because his pleadings for God's people accord with God's will. “Groanings that cannot be uttered” does not relate to speaking in tongues though. If they cannot be uttered then they cannot relate to speaking, but rather to the inaudible work that the Holy Spirit carries out on our behalf.
Sha’ul does speak of praying, singing and blessing with the Spirit, but he is speaking in the context of doing these in the Congregation/Church, where as the preacher up the front he would of course have been praying in the tongues (languages) of those in his congregation. This does not relate to the idea that the Spirit was praying through him and that he did not know what to pray. 1Co 14:15 So, what about it? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 1Co 14:16 Otherwise, if you are giving thanks with your spirit, how will someone who has not yet received much instruction be able to say, "Amen," when you have finished giving thanks, since he doesn't know what you are saying? When we pray, we can definitely ask the Holy Spirit to help us to know what to pray for and He will guide us and reveal needs to us, which we can then pray for in your own language. Also sometimes the Holy Spirit will prompt us to pray and intercede for someone else’s needs, but again this can be done in our own language. God understands everything, He does not need us to pray in tongues to Him. There is no logic behind the idea that praying in a prayer language would be more powerful than praying in an earthly one, as God made all the languages and understands them all.
We need to seek after the truth of God’s word and what He is telling us about the need to obey and follow Him. The more we search the scriptures in earnest for truth, the more God will reveal to us through his Holy Spirit.
The book of revelation speaks of an end time congregation which it calls the remnant, because it is the portion of the Jewish population who are seeking to be like the original church of Acts. Rev 12:17 The dragon was infuriated over the woman and went off to fight the rest of her children, those who obey God's commands and bear witness to Yeshua. The remnant is a congregation that solely bases all of their belief system on the scriptures alone, and clings to the true gospel message of redemption through the blood of Yeshua. A congregation who believe in following ALL the Commandments of God. Rev 14:12 This is when perseverance is needed on the part of God's people, those who observe his commands and exercise Yeshua's faithfulness.
Yochanan/John shows us that at the end of time, God will call His people out of the other “Harlot” churches, those churches that have been polluted with incorrect, unbiblical doctrines, and deceived by Satan’s counterfeit miracles and counterfeit day of worship. Rev 18:2 He cried out in a strong voice, "She has fallen! She has fallen! Bavel the Great! She has become a home for demons, a prison for every unclean spirit, a prison for every unclean, hated bird.
Rev 18:3 "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of God's fury caused by her whoring — yes, the kings of the earth went whoring with her, and from her unrestrained love of luxury the world's businessmen have grown rich." Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice out of heaven say: "My people, come out of her! so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not be infected by her plagues,
What false doctrines have come into Christian churches?
Many Christians are unaware that doctrines they have been taught since childhood, and accepted as being biblical are actually founded on ancient pagan myths, and not found at all in the Bible. Some Christian churches have inherited an enormous amount of false beliefs and traditions, while others a smaller amount. Following are some examples of teachings that are not biblically based, and yet have been widely accepted among the Christian population without question, simply because they have been passed down for so long.
The idea that the devil wears a tight red outfit, has a pointed tail and horns and lives today in the deep bowels of the earth among the fires of Hell is not found anywhere in the Bible. This teaching stems from paganism. The scriptures tell us that God through Satan down to the earth. Rev 12:9 The great dragon was thrown out, that ancient serpent, also known as the Devil and Satan [the Adversary], the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. He dwells on this earth, not in a burning place of fire and brimstone called hell.
Certain churches that profess Christianity have huge doctrinal differences to the scriptures, and in fact go as far as to claim that they are not bound by the scriptures, but have the authority to change them and even override the precepts of Messiah.
“It was the Catholic church which...has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.
“Sunday is our mark or authority...the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.
“The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed...the Sabbath into Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority.” Canon and Tradition, p. 263.
At one time in our history literally millions of Christians lost their lives because they protested against the doctrinal misrepresentations of the Roman Catholic church, and yet today, with the advent of the speaking in tongues phenomenon sweeping the Christian world, it seems that doctrinal differences are being whitewashed as insignificant – and the common denominator of speaking in tongues is seen as a great thing to break down the doctrinal barriers and unite the Christian world.
Who is it that wants false doctrines in the church? Who is it that wants to deceive even the elect? Who is it that will do whatever is necessary to lead God’s people away from the light and into a false form of worship? Who is it that has instigated a course of action that will lead many away from the kingdom of God?
Who is it who is raining down False Fire from Heaven to deceive those who are not grounded firmly enough in the truth of the word of God?
It is time that we all started getting back to the grass roots of our faith and studying the lifestyle and beliefs of the first believers in the book of Acts. We need to get back to the pure faith, the faith that relies on the scriptures to test all spirits and to lead us into truth. We need to start asking for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to those who have been deceived or who are ignorant. We need to pray for the latter rain that will draw the genuine believers out of the polluted “harlot” churches and into the remnant church who keep the Commandments of God and base all doctrine on the Bible and the Bible alone.
Satan wants us in the mentality of signs and wonders and so he counterfeits God's gifts and miracles like speaking in tongues more then ever as we draw near to Earths final days. If Satan succeeds in doing this with the majority of Christians, what do you think their response will be when the following happens? Rev 13:13 It performs great miracles, even causing fire to come down from heaven onto the earth as people watch. Rev 13:14 It deceives the people living on earth by the miracles it is allowed to perform in the presence of the beast, and it tells them to make an image honoring the beast that was struck by the sword but came alive again. We need to be aware of Satan's plans by studying the word and not just lusting after miracles that may be false which the Bible warns us will happen. Here is one example from 2Ti 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not have patience for sound teaching, but will cater to their passions and gather around themselves teachers who say whatever their ears itch to hear.
2Ti 4:4 Yes, they will stop listening to the truth, but will turn aside to follow myths.
We need to put on the armour of God daily and resist temptation and stand firm, using the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God to ward off the attacks of the devil. And we need to test the fruits of the spirit against the word of God, so that we will not be deceived by False fire from heaven.
Non-Christians speak in tongues, too.
The Oracle at Delphi, for instance, started in the 400s BC, when Greece was at its strongest. It continued into the Roman era as if it was a parody of its former self, so the members of the churches of Greece and Asia Minor would have been very familiar with how Delphi worked. It was a shrine of the Greek god Apollo. In response to someone's questions, a priestess would go into a frenzy and start babbling. An attendant priest would then 'translate' the babble into some glittering generalities that could in some way be understood as an answer. Some of the best-known features of Greek philosophy streamed out from the Oracle's early years (for instance, it bred the saying "Know Yourself"); the great Greek philosophers were very good at finding jewels in waste water. The cult of Dionysis used rhythmic music, whirling dances, alcohol and/or herbal drugs, and magic spells to send peoples' souls out of their body (Greek ek stasis ) and into the presence of whatever deity or sub-deity was involved; this too sometimes caused strange sounds.
African animists, too, have long had ecstatic speech in their religions. But, just as glossolalia among Jews marked one as a prophet, glossolalia caused most African animists to foist onto the speaker the role of religious leader or priest, a heavy spiritual and cultural responsibility to lay upon an unprepared person. Wherever they have happened in the past, glossolalia and other extraordinary 'spiritual' happenings have not been, and have not really been allowed to be, a thing 'of the people', which could be a part of the otherwise-normal life of otherwise-ordinary people.
Deep in the gnostic book-hoard at Nag Hammadi, archaeologists discovered what may be the earliest, and perhaps one of the strangest, written instances of glossolalia. (Gnosticism arose at the same time as Christianity, and Gnostics were skilled at melding Christian devotions and spirituality to the un-Christian Gnostic framework -- to use a modern term, they tried to 'co-opt' Christianity.) While modern theologians give the unusual contents at Nag Hammadi much more attention than they deserve, a prayer introduction in *The Gospel Of the Egyptians* is a true attention-grabber. It reads roughly (very roughly) like this :
Ié ieus éó ou éó óua! O Jesus, bond of Yah's righteousness, O Living Water, O Child of Child, O glorious Name! Really truly, O Eon that is, iiii éééé eeee oo uuuu óóóó aaaaa, really truly éi aaaa óó óó! O One That Is, Seer Of the Ages! Really truly, aee ééé iiii uuuuuu óóóóóóóó, You who are eternally eternal, really truly iéa aió, in the heart, You who Are, You are what You are, ei o ei eios ei!
Even the translatable words are very
iffy and full of vowels and mixed languages. Like modern glossolalia,
it's got a lot of almost-words, divine titles, and even 'really
truly'. It's almost like a parody, it's so garbled, but it was
serious in its intent. The ecstatic speech did not make the book's
bizarre beliefs the slightest bit more true.
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