Can Change the World Again
With a Praying People.
THE TONGUES MOVEMENT.
Aarron Merritt Hills
President of Texas Holiness University, and student of Charles G. Finney
[sometime around or after 1910]
THIS pamphlet has been prepared to protect from delusion and fanaticism those earnest and prayerful Christians who may be longing for a clean heart, and greater power to serve their adorable Saviour. This longing is perfectly legitimate, and is truly inspired in you by the Holy Spirit brooding over you. Your longing can only be satisfied by the sanctifying baptism with the Holy Spirit which is promised to all God's children. That will purify the heart (Acts xv. 8, 9). And with the clean heart will come an increase of power to live for God, and to do God's work (Acts i. 8). "Ye shall have power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses."
But do not let Satan side-track you into a quest for demonstrations, and a craving for tongues. It is an unscriptural pursuit. In that way lies fanaticism and the seduction of Satan and the ruin of your soul.
Yours in Christ,
A. M. HILLS.
Star Hall, Manchester.
Tongues in Apostolic Times.
PEOPLE had come together from all over the Roman empire to a Jewish feast. There was a polyglot audience, speaking many different languages, such as might easily be gathered now in some of the cosmopolitan cities of the world. It was the chosen time for Christ to launch His Church which was to possess the world. The brief record tells us: And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues, parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. . . . And when this sound was heard the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying, 'Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaens? And how hear we, every man in our own language, wherein we were born?'"
Interpreters now differ as to the real meaning of this simple story. It is uncertain whether (I) Some of the Spirit-filled people talked in one language, and others in another, or several; or, (2) which seems more probable, while a single person was talking, as Peter in his sermon, the audience heard "each in his own language."
As Whedon observes: "It is remarkable that a form of expression is thrice used which emphasises the marvel upon the hearing rather than the speaking. In verses 3, 8 and 11 'Every man heard them speak'; 'How hear we every man 'in our own tongue?' 'We do hear them speak in our tongues! It seems that the we and the every man simultaneously hear their native language uttered. The speaker's organs furnished the vocality which the Spirit shaped, and, as it were, translated into each hearer's native tongue.
"This conception was by no means unknown to the Jewish Church. Tradition held that by such a polyglotal miracle the self-same vocality at Sinai was so divided and articulated as to be audible and intelligible to every man of all the seventy dialects of the world."
By this view of the case, (I) We have no equivocal miracle which a combination of imposters might simulate. (2) We have a miracle pregnant with a divine idea, symbolising the power with which God's voice finds an auditory in every human conscience. (3) We have confirmed the parallelism of the inauguration of the Pentecostal Gospel and the Sinaitic Law. (4) We have a clear symbol of the universal diffusion of the one true religion. (5) We have a type of the reparation of the confusion of Babel by the bringing the intelligence of all nations into the reception of one utterance, and a type of Edenic unity in the bringing all back to the one primitive, God-formed language.
What is said here refers, of course, to the Pentecostal miracle alone. The power of that primordial miracle was never fully repeated. There were secondary Pentecosts at Samaria, Caesarea, and Ephesus; but the first power grew fainter and fainter, and the gift of tongues became less and less marked by its original attributes.
We would make the following observations on this gift:
I.Throwing out one passage which is spurious, Mark xvi. 17, there is not a mention of this gift in the four Gospels. It is mentioned in three chapters in Acts, and in three chapters in I. Corinthians, and nowhere else in the entire New Testament. This of itself is quite significant, and has a great bearing on this subject which we are discussing. It is mentioned three times in the second chapter of Acts, and in Acts x. 46 and xix. 6, and three times in 1. Cor. xii., and twice in the thirteenth chapter, and thirteen times in the fourteenth chapter, where St. Paul was correcting the abuse off the gift. This comprises all references to it in the New Testament, so that no importance was laid upon it by the apostles, nor by the Holy Spirit, Who inspired them.
II.It is rated as the least of the gifts of the Spirit. In 1. Cor. xii. 8-10 there is a list of nine gifts of the Spirit, and tongues and the interpretation of tongues are at the bottom of the list. In I. Cor. xii. 28 there is a carefully-graded or ranked list, and again tongues are at the bottom of the list. It is not mentioned at all in the list in Rom xii. 6-8 and in Eph. iv. 8-11. It is to be presumed that the Holy Spirit made no mistake in this matter and put first things first, and let minor things fall to their proper subordination. God does not forget to put each truth in the proportion due to its importance. This of itself should put a check upon the unwise enthusiasm of some relative to this subject.
St. Paul still further belittled this power by saying, "I thank God I speak with tongues more than ye all: howbeit in the Church I would rather speak five words with my understanding that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue." The proportion of importance was as five to ten thousand! And even then the apostle gave preference to the five Spirit-directed words that people could understand.
He declared that tongues were a sign, not to the saved, but to the unsaved, and it was of little value even to them (1. Cor. xiv. 23-25). It might lead an unbeliever to say that the Church members were mad.
Teaching, on the other hand, in language that an unbeliever could understand, would put him under conviction, and lead him to worship God (vv. 24, 25).
The apostle further taught that tongues are inferior to prophecy (teaching) (vv. 1-5): that, if uninterpreted, they are useless to the Church (vv. 6-15): and, still worse, they are an impropriety or an injury to it (vv. 16-19). Then he proceeds to point out the serious consequences of disorder and injury to the Christian work by an unregulated use of the speaking in tongues (vv. 23-30).
This single chapter is enough to show that, in the estimation of the great apostle, this gift in his time was a minor affair of no great significance. It ought to be sufficient to cool the infatuation of those who are seeking the gift with such ardour that they are neglecting other more important things.
III.It was not an essential evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. It was not mentioned by John Baptist when he foretold that Jesus should baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus, but He never spake with tongues. In Acts viii. 12-17 we have a complete account of the Samaritan converts receiving the Holy Spirit but no mention of their speaking with tongues. It is well to further bear in mind that in this book of Acts the Holy Spirit is mentioned fifty-seven times, while speaking in tongues is mentioned in only five verses; and "there are mentioned twenty-five results of the Spirit's infilling, and the gift of tongues is but one of them."
In all the epistles "tongues" are not once mentioned as an evidence of the filling of the Spirit. This is very significant, for the epistles were specially written for the guidance of the Churches.
Still further, if speaking with tongues is a necessary evidence of the baptism with the Spirit, then very few of God's ripest and most useful saints have received the Spirit. This test would cut out Wesley and Fletcher, and Clarke and Edwards, and Finney and Catharine Booth, and a multitude of othersprinces in Israel, whose lives have been conspicuously useful. All these professed to have received the baptism with the Spirit, and none can successfully contradict them. Their spiritual power was the incontrovertible evidence: "Ye shall have power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Jesus did not say: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because I speak with tongues." Not at all; but "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He hath sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind. To set at liberty them that are bruised. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." The power that Jesus had to bless men and bring things to pass for God was the evidence of His being filled with the Holy Spirit. We must conclude that, while the gift of tongues did sometimes accompany the baptism with the Holy Spirit, yet we have no Scriptural authority for making this gift any evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
And still more, it was not in apostolic times a sure evidence of any high degree of the grace of God, or any mark of special piety. The Corinthian Church evidently had "tongues" in abundance; and yet it made the apostle more trouble and caused him more anxiety than any other one of his Churches. They were "carnal," and "not spiritual." They were rent by divisions. They tolerated a man in their membership guilty of incest, and were "puffed up" about it. It seems that they "defrauded one another," and went to law against each other in heathen courts. They did things that Paul said were their "shame." Yet all the time they were great on "tongues," and were turning their worshipping assemblies into scenes of confusion and disorder resembling a bedlam. It makes it absolutely certain that the gift of tongues was no sure sign of deep piety, and might be wholly without it.
If we must insist upon speaking with "tongues" as a necessary sign of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, why not go a step farther in the same direction and insist upon "the sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind" and the visible "cloven tongue of flame," and all the other accompaniments of Pentecost? It would be just as proper, and as Scriptural, as to insist on the repetition of the miracle of tongues.
IV.This gift was not for all. Paul wrote to the Romans that we had "gifts differing according to the grace given unto us (xii. 6). In Eph. iv. 12 we are told that Jesus "gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists," etc. That is, the gifts of Christ were distributed, and they did not severally have the same, and it seems that no one had all of them. In I. Cor. xii. 4-11 we read that "there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit" . . . "dividing severally to each one as He will." In verses 29 and 30 the apostle asks, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" Thus, by this emphatic method of questioning, Paul strongly declares that, just as all could not be apostles or prophets, neither could all be miracle-workers or speak with tongues. But all are taught to seek the baptism with the Spirit, and are commanded to be filled with the Spirit, and all Christians may have the blessing.
But nowhere in the Bible is anyone urged to seek the gift of tongues, and we are plainly informed that all could not get the gift if they did seek it, because God does not give the same gift to all. Paul urges all to desire earnestly the best (greater) gifts; but this was not one of them. In the apostle's estimation it was the very least in the list.
V.If this gift was conferred upon any, it was easily abused, and must be carefully controlled. Here is a whole chapter given to its abuse, and specific instructions about the correction of the evil. (I) "Only two, or at the most three," were to speak with tongues in any one meeting (v. 27). (2) And even they were to speak "in turn" (v. 27). (3) "And it was to be interpreted" (v. 27). (4) "And if there be no interpreter" they were to "keep silence in the Church, and go off alone, and speak to himself and to God." (5) They were to speak only one at a time, "for God is not a God of confusion." (6) All was to be done unto edifying. This was so abused by those who were bent on showing off their "tongues" to no profit, that Paul had to rebuke it. Once he tells them they must speak to " instruct others," and seven times he tells them that they must "edify" others. One can easily read between the lines, and see how these unspiritual Corinthians were abusing and perverting this gift, and bringing confusion and disorder and shame to the worshipping assemblies, until unbelievers who had common sense looked on and said, "Ye are mad" (v. 23).
VI.It was never promised that this gift would continue. One passage, Mark xvi. 17, seems to promise it. But every scholar knows that the Gospel of Mark closes with the 8th verse of the last chapter.
All that follows is a spurious addition by a later hand. Different manuscripts have different endings. It is no part of the Bible, and its teachings are questionable. Christians are not taught that they can play with rattle- snakes and cobras and vipers with impunity, nor that they can drink prussic acid and suffer no harm. The spurious "tongues passage" goes with the rest.
Moreover, St. Paul did teach, "Whether there be tongues they shall cease" (1. Cor. xiii. 8). And they did cease. So far as we know, and the Bible record goes, for the last nineteen years of the apostle's life neither he nor any other apostle wrote a word on the subject. The mess which the Corinthian Church made of it, and Paul's rebuke, may have cured the other Churches. After the year A.D. 58, when Paul wrote his sharp letter to the Corinthians, all the Bible-writers drop the subject as completely as if there had never been such a thing as the gift of tongues.
It is reported that three or four passages in the writings of the Fathers through the early centuries mention speaking with tongues. But these only make it perfectly manifest that this gift had its chief service at Pentecost; that it was, save on three occasions, of little value to saint or sinner, so far as we can learn from the Word; that it was peculiarly liable to perversion and abuse; that it was rated the lowest of all the gifts; and that it altogether ceased, just as St. Paul said it would.
The Modern Tongues-Movement.
WE are now living in a time when a so-called tongues-movement has been rapidly sweeping around the world, claiming to be a repetition of the Old Pentecosta new demonstration of the Holy-Spirit power among men. Does it give evidence of being from God? To aid in reaching a conclusion we make the following observations:
I.It is really no new thing. There was some fanaticism and demonstration of tongues connected with the work of John Wesley for which he was not at all responsible. Some eighty years ago the fanatical Irvingite movement was attended by tongues. Forty years ago the female mediums of spiritualism in America would fall on the floor, close their eyes, and utter a gibberish of meaningless sounds and profess to be speaking in tongues. Their whole influence was in the direction of free-loveism and all uncleanness, and away from God. At the same time the unspeakable vile Mormons of Utah were having their so-called Spirit-demonstrations, and speaking in tongues. It is a part of their ritual service. Such facts ought at least to lead Christians to be a little cautious about launching out in a tongues-movement.
"It is a well-known fact that the devil-worshippers of India have this gift of tongues."
II.The original Pentecost and the tongues gift was used of God to lead multitudes to Christ. People were put under conviction, as in the manifest presence of God, and turned from their sins, and accepted Christ in great numbers. Where are any such blessed results conspicuously attending this movement now? The great soul-winners and leaders of the Lord's hosts who are mightily used of God, and the holiness evangelists who are conspicuously blessed in their labours, all to a man reject this movement, and have nothing to do with it.
Moreover, word comes to us from all over the worldfrom England and Germany and the United States, and the mission stations of Japan and China and Indiathat it is a distracting and disturbing force that is most injurious to the work of turning people from sin to righteousness. Instead of aiding revivals, it puts an end to them. Instead of increasing the power and effectiveness of hitherto noble Christian workers, it wrecks their power and their usefulness, and sometimes even their Christian experience.
A missionary whom we helped to equip and send to China writes of the tongues-movement there: "There has been no soul set on fire for other souls, who, with flaming tongue, has gone out to warn the multitudes; there has been no upheld Cross and no exalted Blood proclaimed; the theme has been the marvelous, the spectacular demonstrations of the Spirit. No forward movement for evangelising the heathen has sprung out of this movement. On the other hand, Christians have been given an unhealthy, strained conception of the fulness of the Gospel. The name of the Holy Spirit has been linked with voices and manifestations that are as far from Him as day is from night."
When this last movement of tongues started in Los Angeles, California, some eight years ago, Dr. Godbey went and studied the work patiently for three months. He has since written: "The current 'tongues' heresy substitutes the mystery of an unknown language, for the mystery of godliness, i.e., regeneration and sanctification. . . But the sad commentary on all these 'tongues' meetings is the fact of their unfruitfulness in conversions and sanctification. . . The best Christians I have ever known have certified to me that they had thoroughly investigated; and in their meetings, while many are at their altar seeking the gift of tongues, they never find one seeking pardon or purity." Now all this is a radical and fatal difference from the Pentecostal movement of Acts. It very materially helps us to decide whether this new movement is of the Lord.
III.This modern tongues-movement is wholly unscriptural in all the minor particulars.
(I) It puts the chief eminence and prominence precisely where God does not put it. It emphasises what God does not emphasise, and puts first what God puts last.
(2) It teaches that all Christians should seek this blessing. There is no such teaching in the Bible. This craving for this showy demonstration has no Scripture warrant or sanction. We are urged to seek the higher and more useful gifts, but not this. This stress on the outward and the physical, instead of the useful and the spiritual, has no warrant in the Word of God.
(3) The leaders of this modern movement incessantly urge this experience of tongues upon all. The Bible, as we have seen, distinctly teaches that all never had it, and that God does not give it to all.
(4) These leaders hold this speaking with tongues as an evidence of the baptism with the Spirit and great spirituality. Paul found it to be co-existing with carnality and a low degree of spirituality, and an entire lack of sanctification. The baptism with the Spirit removes carnality, begets sanctification and perfect love. The Corinthians had the tongues in abundance, but did not have the sanctified hearts and the perfect love. Hence the 13th chapter of I. Cor.; "If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal." If a good many people would stop listening to these jangling voices, and read their Bibles thoughtfully and prayerfully for themselves, they would get over this distressing desire for spectacular tongues.
IV.This movement assumes that any kind of impulse clatter or senseless gibberish, or foolish jargon of sounds, unintelligible to the speaker or anybody else, is the Bible gift of tongues. Nothing could be wider from the truth. At Pentecost the disciples and Christians spoke, or were heard, in the language of the people in the audience, and were understood. The listening people were blessed. We have no right to assume that anything was spoken at Pentecost that did not reach some heart. God speaks no idle words, nor does He allow us to do so. "But," says Godbey, "this unedifying gibberish which characterises the 'tongues' meetings, exciting the people and running into fanaticism, to no profit, is not the work of the Holy Spirit, but that of unholy spirits, in order to deceive the people and ruin them. . . . So beware how you impute this senseless and meaningless gibberish, characterising the 'tongues' meetings, to the Holy Ghost. I would not dare to do it, lest I sin against Him. The very fact that nobody is edified in the meetings by those so-called 'tongues' is prima facie evidence that they are not given by the Holy Ghost. It warrants the conclusion that they are given by demons, as in the case of the Spiritualists, who are devil-worshippers in this country." (Theology, p. 203.)
"But," someone asks, "does not the Bible say that they spoke in unknown tongues?" We answer, No; it says nothing of the kind. The word 'unknown' is not in the Greek, and it is not in the Revised Version of the New Testament, as anyone can easily discover by consulting it. They spoke in a tongue, a real language, and not in a meaningless unintelligible jargon of sounds.
Dear Dr. Godbey went to Los Angeles, California, where this latest tongues-movement started, to study it. He went to their meetings day after day for weeks, and critically inspected everything that was said and done. He is a most lovable and charitable and holy man, and would have been delighted to have found a new work of God. But he came away utterly disappointed, and said to the writer: "It is a combination of hypnotism, spiritism, and diabolism, invented by the devil to side-track and head-off the holiness movement." He has since put in writing the following: "We sanguinely hope that there is some genuine work of the Holy Ghost actually conferring the gift of foreign tongues on the people who are speaking them in the 'tongues' meetings. However, we certainly have much to discourage us, and to force on us the suspicion of the counterfeit. I spent three months in the very hotbed of the movement, associated with them all the time; meanwhile, in the integrity of my heart, walking softly before God, at the same time soliciting the co-operation of others to find genuine cases, but signally failed to find any that were really satisfactory and indubitable.
"One woman claimed to speak in a tongue and spoke French, and it was reported as a genuine case. But the woman came back to the meeting and confessed that she had played the hoax on them, as the French language was her native tongue. To their meetings the curious are all attracted, and many through capricious and vain motives. Some can speak a little Spanish, Indian, German, French, Italian, Russian, Portugese; hence, in a great crowd huddled together, there is a wide open door for promiscuous delusion and all sorts of trickery."
One person, it was said, spoke in Chinese; but a Chinese present declared that it was too vile to be reported. Godbey writes: "Oh, how easy for a demon to play the Holy Ghost on the seeker after an unknown tongue, to come in and actually use the vocal organs of the deluded soul, as in the case of the girl at Philippi, who sold fortunes through the demon dwelling in her. In a similar manner Satan's myrmidons are ready to play the Holy Ghost on the deluded human spirit, come in and take possession of the vocal organs, so that the reciprocant speaks as the demon 'gives utterance.'" (Theology, pp. 186-190.)
V.There is an abundance of evidence that this movement is of the devil by the deceptions it has wrought. The Holy Spirit does not deceive people. But the victims of this lying delusion are numberless. Again and again good Christian people have been led to believe that they have been miraculously enabled to speak the languages of the heathen nationsJapanese, Chinese, and the languages of India. etc. Two students that studied under us were among the numberMr. and Mrs. Garr. Mrs. Garr was the daughter of a Methodist Doctor of Divinity, and a young woman of exceptional ability, and rare promise of enlarged usefulness. But they got caught in this movement, and supposing that they really did speak with tongues, they went to India, where there are a hundred languages and dialects spoken, but they could not use one of them. They proceeded to China, and it was the same therea dead failure! The delusion was complete. Mr. and Mrs. Mackintosh went to China expecting immediately to speak to the Chinese in their native tongue, "But since their arrival," writes a missionary whom we helped to send to that field, "to this day they have not been able to speak a single sentence in this tongue, and have on all occasions had to use an interpreter. At no time has there been any known tongue spoken." So far as we can learn it has been so in every case. Not a tongue-victim could speak a foreign tongue. Now, what we say is this: the Holy Ghost does not thus deceive people and counterfeit a gift, and send His deluded victims half round the world to cover them with shame and chagrin, and break their hearts with disappointment. The devil delights to deceive and ruin people; "he is a deceiver and liar from the beginning," and this work must be from him.
VI.The very teaching of these "tongues" leaders opens the door for hypnotism and fanaticism, and all deceptions of the devil. Here are their teachings as described by the missionary above referred to:
"(I) There is no Pentecost without tongues.
(2) Accept every manifestation as from God.
(3) Do not question: bold in abeyance your reasoning powers.
(4) Follow every tongue, impression, voice, interpretation.
(5) Look for, expect, and do not be satisfied without manifestations.
(6) Noise is essential to earnestness.
(7) That the experience now proclaimed is different from that referred to in I. Cor. xiv; hence all are free to exercise tongues as often as they like, and for any length of time, no interpreter being necessary, and all may speak at once if they desire.
(8) That one's whole personality must be absolutely abandoned to impressions, impulses, and the power."
Now, we want to say that a set of rules more directly calculated to bring one into subjection to every malign and Satanic influence could not well be framed. People who have studied and are practising hypnotism for evil purposes could not ask for easier victims than obedience to those rules would produce. What! suspend your reason! Accept everything as from God! Set aside our own judgment and will, and let every impression take full possession of your unresisting personality, and let men lay their mesmeric hands upon you, and exert at will their hypnotic influence over you! Not unless you want to give yourself over to Satan without resistance!
Listen: We have known an unprincipled doctor to acquire this hypnotic influence over a considerable number of the wealthiest ladies in his little city, and they were helpless under the spell of his fascination! He actually performed a surgical operation upon one whom he had hypnotised into unconsciousness, with-out the help of any drug, and she did not know it! What a power for evil! We could give more startling and explicit and awful illustrations, were it proper, and the basis and fundamental condition of it all is to "hold in abeyance" your God-given faculties of reason, judgment, and will, and "absolutely abandon your whole personality to impressions"!
Reader, if you are bent on having physical impressions at such a price, depend upon it, the devil will gladly furnish them for you in abundance. If you are determined to have some sensuous, nervous excitement at any cost, the powers of darkness will readily undertake to give it to you. If you are decided that, come what will, you will make a show of yourself, and your tongue shall clatter a meaningless gibberish, clatter it will. But, please do not insult God and common sense by calling the performance divine!
VII.This "tongues" delusion has proved to be the highway to the rankest and wildest fanaticism. Couple the eight precepts or principles just mentioned and constantly taught "with sleepless nights, prolonged fastings, overwrought nerves, anxious straining after manifestations, an unnatural intoxication of excitement and enthusiasm, long and uncontrolled meetings, an immediate acceptance of every manifestation from God, and the feeling that there must be manifestations, and it is not to be wondered at that the enemy had come in as an angel of light, and flooded the movement with his manifestations." If such things did not produce a perfect field for the development and spread of fanaticism we do not know what could.
We have known a most worthy couple of the deepest piety, and most remarkable in prayer, loved and honoured by a whole community of saints; they were ruined in one week by the "tongues-movement." The dear husband became a nervous wreck as if stricken with palsy, and such a nuisance that he had to be forbidden the privileges of the worshipping assembly. The wife, who could pray the very heavens open before, suddenly lost her usefulness. We have known a college community to be swept by this craze as by a deadly simoon of the desert. We have known an earnest, sanctified Christian man, in disregard of our own kindly warning, to dabble with "tongues," and backslide utterly; he then wrote a sad letter of confession, and begged us to pray for him.
We will now let our missionary friend in China tell what he has seen of this fanaticism on the foreign field: "False prophecies (proved so by time) have abounded; contrary tongues have appeared in the same individual; demoniac possession, or at least control, came to some most deeply-spiritual people from which they were only delivered by faith and prayer upon the part of others. Anathemas have been pronounced upon those who questioned, urged caution, or withstood the work; all other experiences of grace have had no relish for many unless these were in some way connected with tongues; experienced teachers, from whose tongues or pens great blessing had hitherto come, became back numbers in a moment; fanciful, strained, and the most unreasonable interpretation of the simplest Scriptures were immediately accepted, and, without reflection, were dogmatically and insistently preached to others. Quiet, retiring, teachable natures, who were charitable to a fault, were transformed into dogmatic, unteachable, schismatic and anathema- breathing souls. Salvation by grace was buried under the doctrine that without 'sign' of tongues you will be lost. Manifestations (such as shaking of the body, etc.) were urged and insisted upon; people were made to feel that they must have these. Loud praying, shouting and screaming were taught as essential to earnestness. Mere noises, some being like the sounds of animals, passed for tongues. Necessary work was laid aside and missionary work neglected; responsibility to obligations was forgotten, and moral sensibilities benumbed, as though the individual was under the effect of an opiate. Impressions and voices displaced the Word and providences, in matters of guidance; messages in tongues were sought, obeyed, and placedpractically, though unconsciouslyabove the 'sure word of prophecy.' Some, when under this power, beat their hands against the floor until they were bruised so much that mats had to be placed on the floor, while others pounded their lower limbs until the latter were bruised and blue.
"Each of these classes can be substantiated by definite casesif necessary; they are thus condensed into general terms so as to economise space. But there are a few cases which should be told in detail.
"(I) Some years ago two young ladies came out to China expecting to speak supernaturally in the native tongue, but they could not. What did they do? Buckle down to study? No. They 'waited' and 'waited,' looking constantly for the gift, but it never came, though they waited for five years. But they drifted, drifted into fanaticism, and fanaticism of a very decided type. We tried to help them, others tried, but always found a cold reception. They gave up all attempts at Christian work, shut themselves away from all Christian fellowship, eked out a bare existence by teaching a little English. Finally health failed; they got their eyes open to the delusion of years, and we had the pleasure of taking these two ladies into our home, and rescuing them from slow but actual physical starvation.
"(2) One, after an experience in which the whole body was most violently shaken, was thrown by an unseen hand from a sitting posture to prostration on the floor. While lying there this unseen hand moved her body along. Feet foremost, she was thus borne out of one room into another, then into the hall, and then down a steep flight of steps. The descent of the steps was with increased velocity. Friends saw, as she moved along, that she was moving toward the stairs, and tried to avert this, but she waved them back. On reaching the bottom of the flight she spoke in tongues. That morning she had said on entering the room that she was determined to have her 'Pentecost' that day, even if she had to roll down the steps for it. She had previously resisted manifestations. Later, when she returned to the Mission home of her own Mission, she was one night thrown from her knees on to the floor. While lying there she had a vision which lasted for some hours into the early morning. during the time she saw and held converse with a representation of Jesus. After talking with him, he said: 'There are some friends here who wish to speak with you.' Then there came forth representations of her father and brother, followed by others, some of whom she had never seen in the flesh, but her descriptions of each identified them perfectly as representations of friends or beloved ones of those gathered about her. One of these spirit-beings sent a message to her missionary son, saying: 'Tell to drop everything and seek his Pentecost.' (I ask, is not this Spiritualism?)
"(3) Another lady lay on the floor as if pinned there by unseen powers for more than twelve hours, and it was impossible for her to rise; the least movement of her limbs caused intense pain. At times the physical suffering was so intense that it seemed the mortal body could not endure more. She was taken through 'the suffering of the Cross,' experiencing the piercing of her hands and feet as by driven nails and the thorn-pierced brow. All the while she thought the experience God-given. After twelve hours the leader, coming to the morning meeting and entering the room, said in her presence: This is of the devil.' It was a surprise to her and to others. But he prayed for her, and commanded the demon to depart from her. He then took hold of her hand, lifted her up, when she weakly walked across the floor to her seat. She is one of the most spiritual of women, but had spent much time in fasting and prayer for her Pentecost, which brought her body into an enfeebled condition, and this, coupled with the belief that all the manifestations were of God, gave the enemy easy access to her body.
(4) One sister, of a prominent Christian family and largely used in the Master's work, sought long for this manifestation, finally speaking in tongues (so-called). Later her husband, a fine Christian man, returned from a trip abroad. He was made to investigate, and looked with some favour on this movement. Believing the messages his wife had were from God, he spent, one day, three hours in prayer, because she had a message that he must do this. Finally he became suspicious that all was not wellthat another spirit was controlling his wife. One day, as he had occasion to know that her words carried a deception, he said to her, 'Look here, the Holy Spirit does not lie.' Instantly she rushed at him, pulled his hair, and became violently possessed with a demon. Some days after, the violent spirit gave place to one of quietness, meekness, and lamb-likeness. But it is in possession still! She no longer prays to the Heavenly Father, or Jesus. Now it is the 'New Father.' She worships a 'new father,' prays to him, tries to get others to worship him, will not do the least thing without spending much time in prayer before him. She says to others, when they tell her they only know the Heavenly Father, 'Why, see how the new father has made me meek, quiet, and joyous.' How sad! A contrary spirit received and worshipped a personal demon out of the pit! Where did this control begin? When she chose to attribute every manifestation to God, then she put herself under the control of the power that produced many of these, and her long fastings gave the enemy easy access to her enfeebled body.
A number of those who have spoken in tongues say they have no accompanying blessing. One who was most prominent in speaking and interpreting asks why there had been no change in her life, why there was still defeat, and why she still lacked power in witnessing?
"Those who most heartily accepted the doctrinal side of the movement are amongst the most disabled in Christian service.
"One marked feature of the work has been the absence of conviction on the unsaved: the heathen have been unmoved, and carnal Christians have not been attracted to a better life by the movement. And there has been no soul set on fire for other souls, who, with a flaming tongue, has gone out to warn and win the multitudes.
"To my mind there are not simply wrong doctrines and mistakes, but a real spirit of evil, personal demons, sweeping down on God's children, marked as an angel of light, but who come from the pit. Two of God's children have told me that they were strongly moved upon by unseen forces to relinquish their hold on the Word, and swing out into this experience, with the inner assurance that they would speak in tongues, but that they cried: 'To the Word I cling. I plead the Blood, the Blood.' And as they did so the power of the influence was broken upon them.
"But why tell these unvarnished facts? Simply that God's people, in seeking for God's best, may know the possibilities of danger, and may be forearmed. And I hope these lines will fall under the eye of many of the leaders of this movement in other lands, and will cause them to seriously examine their bearings and radically change their doctrinal basis, and the manner of conducting these meetings. Otherwise the places, in all the earth, where these meetings are held, will soon be like a cyclone-swept waste, with wrecked Christian workers, and intense prejudices against all that is deeply spiritual in doctrine or experience. Let the record of South China, which is but a sample of similar manifestations in many other parts of the earth, be a warning to you. Brethren, there is something radically wrong somewhere. No movement wholly of the blessed Holy Spirit can leave the sad wreckage that this is doing."
Nobody can read this awful narrative of the tongues-movement on the mission fields without (if moved by evidence) being painfully impressed with the fact that this modern movement of tongues is a Satanic counterfeit of Pentecost that has come to us from the bottomless pit. In no particular does it measure up to a spiritual movement that really comes from God, and is led by the Holy Ghost.
And now corroborating testimony comes from Germany. The case is as follows: "When the 'tongues-movement' was introduced into Germany several years ago, a well-known Christian lady was deluded by it. She had been longing for the so-called 'baptism of fire,' and, like so many others, thought that she had received it. She heard voices in the night and imagined that she was a prophetess. But early in the summer of 1907 she saw that the movement was erroneous, and, separating herself from it, she did all she could to warn others. At the beginning of last year, after what seemed to be a nervous breakdown, she again began to hear the voices and to receive revelations. These symptoms became so marked that she was persuaded by several well-known Christians to go to a home of rest.
"It soon became evident to them and to others, who came together from different parts, that this was no ordinary case, but that she was demon-possessed. When they prayed over her from time to time, or commanded the demons to depart, the frenzied utterances, spoken in a voice quite unlike her own, made it clear that she had at least a double personality. Several of the Christians had frequently been brought into contact with persons who were supposed to be 'possessed,' but they affirm that this was a more remarkable case than amy they had met with, and testify that the sense of conflict was at times appalling.
"The demoniacal manifestations consisted chiefly in fearful contortions of her body and its members, and distortion of her features. The organs of speech would not only be used intelligibly but also in uncanny hissings, whinings, and groanings. Awful blasphemies would be hurled against heaven whilst the fists would be clenched. In the intervals between the paroxysms she was perfectly sane and her mental faculties were unimpaired. She was able, for instance, at the close of last year, to prepare all the accounts and balance-sheet of a mission in which she was interested.
"The question arises, How could demons gain access to her in this way? It was confessed by the' principal demon that this had been made possible by this Christian lady having joined the 'tongues-movement' a few years ago, and also because, when a child, she had been put under a mesmeric spell by a shepherd who had to do with witchcraft and sorcery. The demons betrayed that this had originally facilitated their entrance. And the spirit who was first allowed to take up his abode in her was addressed by his much more powerful leader, the real 'tongues demon,' as 'the spirit of magnetism.' On another occasion the 'spirit of magnetism' cried: 'Shall I have to leave my property which I have possessed for mare than forty years?'
"From another of the demoniacal utterances it appeared that the demons' rage had been stirred by a letter of warning which the lady had written to a friend who was entangled in the 'tongues-movement,' in which she urged her to free herself from it."
This case is very peculiar and also important, in this respect, that earnest Christian friends rallied around this woman in demon-defeating prayer for months; and in answer to these prevailing prayers the demons were compelled to confess through her lips their wicked schemes and devices. The writer says: It was as though, in opposition to their own will, the demons were driven to make them by an irresistible power." These manifestations covered a period of six or seven months. This has been published and translated into English, because those connected with the caseprominent, sober-minded, experienced Christians in Germany believe "that these self-exposures are the signal for the breakdown of the fearful deception of the tongues-movement." The following are a few of the confessions forced from these demons by God, in answer to prevailing prayer:
"I have perverted everything in order to mislead men; I have perverted the wounds of Jesus, the Cross of Jesus, the Blood of Jesus; I have blasphemed the Holy Ghost; I have feigned to be Jesus, I have feigned to be the Holy Spirit in order to seduce very many."
"Oh, how I have deceived this soul, and other souls! They longed for truth, and I gave them lies instead of truth. I have lied to them and have deceived them. . . I have not yet told everything about the mischief I did even before the tongues-movement."
"We know what would happen if the Church were to be endued with power from on high. But we have spoiled this by means of the tongues-movement. Now the Church has ceased to long for power."
"I am glad of what I have done. I was able to imitate God, and everything Divine. I could so well feign to be Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God. The tongues people have subscribed to it that I am from above; they acknowledge me to be the Pentecostal Spirit, and they have worshipped me."
"She would not have given up to me one single fibre of her organism if I had not come in on the serpent's path of deceit, passing myself off as an angel of light. As 'baptism of the Spirit' I entered into the Church; I came to her piously with the Word of God."
"I will have worship; and I have succeeded in getting it; in the tongues- movement I have been worshipped. Worship me! I am Goda god of hell."
"On one occasion the 'tongues-spirit' reproached the 'spirit of magnetism' with being willing to desert his comrades; and 'the spirit of magnetism' charged 'the tongues-spirit' with having betrayed him."
"If we could, we would tear her to pieces; we would distract her nerves and lacerate her heart. . . . But I cannot do itthe power of prayer is much too strong." "I meant to torment her still, but the walls of prayer are so strong around her that I cannot do it."
"If I am vanquished, all the other tongues-demons will be vanquished too." "We should be ready to give up this soul, but the question is that of the whole 'tongues-movement.' It would be ruined if this conflict did not lead to victory. The blow would be too terrible for the whole tongues-movement throughout all the world. In it we have too good an instrument for seducing all believers."
"It is by God's permission. He has used her for the exposure of the tongues-spirit. I would never have done it. But God has used her mouth against my will, and I was compelled to unmask. . . . We must kill her, then you cannot publish the tongues-deceit."
The Christians in Germany, who have so prayerfully watched the case for so many months, believe that these self-exposures of the powers of darkness have not only been permitted, but have been forced from the demons in answer to the many prayers that have ascended concerning the 'tongues- movement' and the havoc it has wrought. It seems as though this case had a far-reaching importance, not only for Germany, but for Christians in all parts of the world, that many who are still deluded by the movement may be delivered, and that thus the whole of this 'Pentecostal' delusion may be unmasked.
Word comes from Germany that the Christian sister had fully recovered, in answer to prayer, and is now happily engaged in the Lord's work. We may all pray the prayer Jesus thought His disciples: "Deliver us from the Evil One."
Such is the modern "tongues-movement." The ambition to speak with tongues is manifest in large numbers who are not, and never were, conspicuous for usefulness. God's choicest spirits, who are the most blessedly used, have no desire for this gift.
It ministers to carnal pride, and prompts men and women to desire to display themselves and make a sensation, and have some sensuous, extraordinary experience.
It will tax Christians to the utmost to use one tongue wholly for the glory of God. They may well forego the responsibility of speaking in many tongues. This movement has produced the gravest abuses, and brought great dishonour upon the name of the Lord. It has ruined Christian workers, broken up homes, and blasted lives. It has stopped revivals, and brought deep spirituality into disrepute, and deterred the Churches from seeking the much-needed baptism with the Holy Spirit for holiness and power. It has turned worshipping assemblies into a place of amusement for the curious and irreverent and the ungodly. It has been strangely destitute of the convicting and converting and sanctifying power that may be properly expected of a genuine movement inspired by the Holy Spirit. It has given superabundant evidence that it is the work of the powers of darkness, and came from the bottomless pit. The demons themselves have been forced to confess it, and the wild fanaticism of its many victims have proved it to a demonstration. Therefore, the "tongues-movement:" is a thing that all Christians should most studiously avoid and thoroughly let alone.
. Rick Friedrich 8071 Main St. Fenwick, MI 48834-9649 (989) 637-4179