“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them….” —Acts 4:8
When filled with the Holy Ghost, Peter didn’t fall over, shake, babble, or foam at the mouth; but he spake in boldness, clarity, and power of faith in a resurrected Lord. What a wonderful blessing it is to experience the reality of Holy Spirit baptism which empowers and enables us to live a holy life.
In this issue of The Gospel Truth, I address the subject of speaking in tongues. It is a large subject and is so important that I increased the size of the paper. Even at that, there is much more that could be written. The Bible is very clear about what occurred on the day of Pentecost when the disciples spoke with tongues. They were able to preach in intelligible languages they had not previously known by a divine gift of the Spirit. The devil has perverted the simplicity of this experience and deceived millions of people into thinking that there is a heavenly language and that speaking/praying ecstatically with unintelligible speech is of the Holy Spirit.
Speaking unintelligibly is not just a practice among the Pentecostal movement, but it exists among almost every religion and Christian denomination. Without fear or reservation, I declare in the Lord that this spirit of gibberish is not of the Holy Spirit; it is contrary to the practice, teaching, and spirit found in Christ and His Word. By this statement, some will accuse me of having blasphemed against the Holy Spirit. Indeed, I have already been so accused but I stand in the light of God’s Word and personal divine revelation of this truth.
I have encountered the spirit and practice of speaking in unintelligible tongues not only in the United States but in many other countries. When teaching ministers from various denominations, I know of no other subject that gets the devil more agitated. I can not stress enough the necessity of following the example of Jesus in prayer and in conduct.
Many denominations have taken a “middle-of-the-road” approach to this heathen practice of praying/speaking incoherently. When one sympathizes with it, the door is opened to more false doctrine and to spirits that are not of God. Whether it be from emotion, environment, or actual false spirits, the root of spiritual babbling is from the devil with the purpose to deceive.
It is revealing when there are pagans and atheists having the same ecstatic experiences that the Pentecostals and other tongues groups call a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Many of these people live in sin but are enamored with their spirituality because of these experiences.
I believe this is one of the greatest deceptive powers of the enemy in the Christian world today. Let us pray and ever be on guard against the enemy. May God enlighten darkened eyes that they might see.
Michael W. Smith