All About Speaking in tongues

All About Speaking in



Fernand Legrand


« Le Signal » CH-1326 – Juriens


Phone: 024.453.14.47







































Writing a book on such a controversial subject as speaking in tongues is
certainly not the best way to make friends. On the contrary, it is the surest
method of losing some of them. In defending the truth, the apostle Paul took the
risk of offending others. He said in Gal.1:10, « Am I now trying to win the
approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying
to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ ». Nevertheless, may God keep
us from cultivating the art of offending others. As Alexandre Vinet, the Swiss
theologian once said, one must be charitable towards people but not towards
ideas. The way that some people think, however, it seems that the truth itself
upsets them. When Ralph Shallis wrote his book in French, The Gift of
Speaking in Tongues
, he did it with such love that he took no less than five
pages to apologise for the truth he was going to discuss. No one has been as
careful as he was to put on kid gloves, but even so, some have seen them as
boxing gloves. Isn’t there a popular adage that says that only the truth hurts?
The Bible says, however, that « the wounds of a friend can be trusted »
(Prov.27:6). It would be naive to believe that even the most brotherly attitude
could prevent certain breaches of fellowship. My previous talks on the subject
have gained me some solid and lasting enemies. Paul said in Gal.4:16 that he
made enemies by telling the truth, and this, amongst his closest acquaintances,
those he had brought to salvation, those who were his spiritual children.

The range of positions on this question is such that it would take several
books, not just one, to cover all the nuances of the subject. Amongst those who
are convinced supporters of the cause, one finds, in diminishing order of
importance, those for whom speaking in tongues is:

  1. the condition sine qua non of salvation,
  2. the required or obvious sign of baptism by the Spirit,
  3. a spiritual gift that they practise only in private,
  4. a minor gift,
  5. a practice that they sometimes judge to be excessive and counterfeit,
  6. a gift they do not seek for themselves, though allowing its practice in
    the church.

On the opposite side, we find, also in decreasing importance, those for whom
speaking in tongues is:a gross imitation that they denounce,

  1. a practice that they condemn with more prejudice than biblical knowledge,
  2. a topic of spiritual interest but limited to a historical period like the
    nativity or the crucifixion,
  3. a « possibility » of completely secondary significance of which they are


These two lists may appear incomplete, but they reveal a wide range of
feelings and sensitivities. Classifying the protagonists in only two camps, one
for, the other against, may seem simplistic, but we must do so for the reader’s
sake, to help his/her comprehension of the situation.

In order to give more weight to this study, I have given priority to the
writings of present-day Pentecostal authors, and to the testimonies of others
who, for doctrinal reasons, have left the movement. However, the main basis of
this work is my own personal experience and that of my dear wife, to whom I
dedicate this book. References to books and their authors will be found in the
text. Therefore, I did not think it necessary to include a bibliography.

I have used the expression Pentecostalism, an expression to which I attach no
deprecatory meaning at all, in order to indicate those who, to different
degrees, subscribe to speaking in tongues. In the first twelve chapters of this
book I make a distinction between them and the Catholic charismatics. Several
conservative Pentecostals might, in effect, be shocked to be confused with these
charismatics from whom they distance themselves so determinedly. Some will ask,
« Why write such a book? » To them we would answer that many people have wanted a
work of reference, detailed but not too scholarly, with a sense of direction, in
which subjects are neatly compartmentalised, allowing one to find one’s bearings
easily, so that they may know « how to give an answer to anyone », according to
the exhortation of Col.4:6.

Others may ask, « Why an English translation of a French work? It is more
common to find the opposite. Besides, haven’t we reached a saturation point of
books on this subject? »

We felt it would be useful to make this book known for three reasons.
Firstly, it would be helpful for the Christians on this side of the Channel or
the Atlantic to know that their French-speaking evangelical brethren face the
same problems, the same struggles, and that they use the same spiritual weapons
as their English counterpart. Secondly, the way of thinking, the mentality based
on the French culture, and the, perhaps, unexpected side of the answers brought
to this question, can be an enrichening enlightenment for the British/American
reader. Thirdly, many missionaries working in France, when they had knowledge of
this work, warmly recommended it, some feeling that it was the best book yet
written on this subject. This explains why, outside of France, it has been
published in German, Dutch, Roumanian, Hungarian, Croatian, Spanish and Arab;
and why it is now in English on the Internet. My prayer to God for my readers is
that they will have the same attitude as the Jews in the Greek town of Berea,
« the Bereans were of more noble character… and examined the Scriptures every
day to see if what Paul said was true »(Acts 17:11).





Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church is the title of a booklet
written in French by D. Cormier and published in Canada at the end of the 70’s.
It deals with the position of classic Pentecostalism at that time. We shall now
summarise it, being careful not to distort the author’s intention.

If, in places, the strong language used offends someone, I hasten to point
out that it comes from the original that we print in italics. My only
contribution is the linking of the paragraphs. This book describes the distress
of some sincere Catholics faced with the aridity of their church, their thirst
for an authentic spiritual life, and their genuine search for the life of the
Spirit, through meetings with several Pentecostal ministers and by reading David
Wilkerson’s book, The Cross and the Switchblade, as well as another
Pentecostal book, They Speak in Other Tongues by J. L. Sherrill.


They persevered for more than a year, praying each day, saying, « Come, Holy
Spirit… » This happened at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania. At South Bend,
Indiana, the same search, the same expectation, was apparent on the part of the
professors of theology at Saint Mary’s College. There, they appealed to brother
Ray Bullard, deacon of a neighbouring Pentecostal church and president of the
local Full Gospel Businessmen’s group. This man was held in high regard for his
wide experience of spiritual gifts, and described as a humble man who only
sought to be used by God. He became a kind of godfather to the charismatic
community that came into being at Notre-Dame. For several months they met at Ray
Bullard’s house, where Pentecostal meetings were already being held and where
several Pentecostal ministers were regularly invited to give talks and to answer
questions raised by newcomers.

Then came the explosion. One weekend, numerous Catholic students were
baptised in the Holy Spirit. News of this spread like wildfire. During one of
these meetings at Ray Bullard’s home, a Pentecostal ex-missionary asked, « Now
that you have received the Holy Spirit, when are you thinking of leaving the
Catholic Church? » Astonished, they replied, « but we have absolutely no intention
of leaving the church »! The unanimous feeling of the classic Pentecostals at
that time was that the Holy Spirit would sooner or later open the eyes of these
Catholics. However, as time passed, it became evident that they had definitely
decided to remain Catholic, and that the hierarchy was making use of the
movement for the benefit of the Church of Rome. Five theories were put forth to
explain the attitude of these Catholics who continued to follow the teachings
and practices of their church whilst claiming to have received the Holy

  1. This movement is still in its infancy; the Catholics who are part of it
    will change later.
  • This movement is of the Spirit, but the Catholic hierarchy has been able
    to channel it to its own benefit.
  • This movement is the fulfillment of the prophecy, « I will pour out my
    Spirit on all people », and demonstrates that the Holy Spirit is above our
    religious preconceptions and can save anyone, whatever their doctrine may be.
  • This movement is simply an act to attract Protestants into the trap of
  • This movement is a counterfeit tactic of the devil, preparing the way for
    the Antichrist.
  • The author then further develops each of the above assumptions, bringing out
    the position still held today in Europe by some within historical
    Pentecostalism.1. This movement is still in its infancy; the Catholics who are part of it
    will change later.
    He notes that, contrary to popular expectations, the sign of tongues, the
    chief characteristic of the charismatic movement, brought back to Catholicism
    those who had fallen away, reviving their idolatrous practices. Some typical
    comments from Catholic charismatics illustrate this:–« Our devotion to Mary was filled with sanctification. »–« The sacramental life of the church has become richer in meaning. »–« I came to a better understanding of the eucharist as a sacrifice, and I
    came back to frequent confession. »

    –« At that time I discovered a profound devotion to Mary. »


    Quoting Father O’Connor, he gives us a profession of charismatic faith that
    would make any Pentecostalist, evangelical or reformed Christian quake: « The
    first effects were a greater devotion to the Eucharist. The most striking result
    for one Benedictine, after his baptism in the Spirit, was to sing the mass. The
    veneration of Mary was reinforced by the pentecostal movement all over the
    country. In short, the effect of the Pentecostal movement was to recruit people
    for the church, for the priesthood and for religious life. »


    Given that the expected change did not occur, this first hypothesis can not
    be sustained as viable.

    2. This movement is of the Spirit, but the Catholic hierarchy has been
    able to channel it to its own benefit.


    The explanation given for this point is not quite as precise. Names are
    cited: Fathers Regimbald and O’Connor, as well as Cardinal Suenens, who all had
    a part in introducing the charismatic movement to the laity. The return to
    traditional devotions is not due to pressure from the leaders, but is the
    direct result of the charismatic experience

    Father McDonnel is quoted as saying: « The Catholic Pentecostals are committed
    to recovering and cultivating the forms of contact with God that they had
    . This does not come from a conservative theology, but rather
    from the transforming effect of their experience
    « . (emphasis ours).

    Whether or not the Roman Catholic leadership has something to do with the
    return to this paganism veneered with Christianity, the major cause (we are
    merely quoting) is the Pentecostal experience.

    And so the second hypothesis falls through.

    3. This movement is the fulfillment of the prophecy: « I will pour out my
    Spirit on all flesh », and demonstrates that the Holy Spirit is above our
    religious preconceptions and can save anyone, whatever their doctrine may


    The answer to the question that follows has grave consequences. Is the spirit
    that is active in the Roman Church, the Holy Spirit? In speaking of Him, Jesus
    said, « He will guide you into all truth ». This is the particular characteristic
    of the Holy Spirit. It is characteristic of an evil spirit to lead one into only
    part of the truth. Now, one of the most marked effects of the charismatic
    movement is to lead its followers into part-truth, part-error as, for example:
    spontaneous prayer AND the rosary; the adoration of Christ AND the Holy
    Sacrament; reading the Bible AND the veneration of Mary.

    The brochure then presents several testimonies from people who had been
    baptised by the Holy Spirit, one whilst reciting his rosary, another whilst
    singing a hymn at mass, and yet another whilst on her knees praying to the Holy
    Virgin. These testimonies are quite sufficient to prove that the spirit who
    baptised these people is in contradiction
    with the Scriptures and cannot,
    in any way, be the Holy Spirit
    . Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists,
    not of doubting His work, but of attributing such error and such dreadful
    idolatry to His divine person.


    Concurring with orthodox Pentecostalism, the author draws the following
    conclusion that we shall come back to later on, We live in a decidedly
    relativistic world… where one no longer believes in an absolute truth but in
    relative truths dependent upon human experience. More emphasis is thus
    placed on experience than on doctrine. Speaking in tongues, feeling a certain
    inner peace…or a love for God, Mary and the saints is more important than
    knowing sound doctrine. To quote Charles Foster, « When the experience of the
    Holy Spirit is put before doctrine and salvation, seduction is certain… »
    (emphasis added).

    The third hypothesis cannot be retained.

    4. This movement is simply an act to attract Protestants into the trap of


    Acknowledging that without the contribution of Pentecostalism the charismatic
    movement could never have taken root in the Catholic Church, D. Cormier admits
    the danger of ecumenism and adds, It is sad to note that several evangelical
    Christians, as well as numerous Protestants, have not seen the trap. There is
    abundant proof that the charismatic movement serves the interest of Rome and
    ecumenism, but we must discard the hypothesis that it would be simply an act to
    attract Protestants into the snare of profligate ecumenism. The healings,
    prophecies and miracles seen in the charismatic movement rule out the
    possibility that it is only a human manoeuvre… If the Holy Spirit cannot be
    behind this movement, it is certainly a real and active spirit…and it is the
    supernatural phenomena that have caused this movement to develop with such
    rapidity and vigour.
    (emphasis added).

    So, if the movement is not the direct result of human calculation, but the
    product of an alien spirit, then the fourth hypothesis cannot be retained
    either. This leaves only the fifth, which we now consider.

    5. This movement is a counterfeit tactic of the devil, preparing the way
    for the Antichrist.


    One cannot reproduce the text in full, but the following resume presents the
    main ideas.


    At Duquesne University, the baptism by the Holy Spirit of about thirty
    students was soon followed by several public supernatural healings. Observers
    were most impressed by the prophetic manifestations in tongues and their
    interpretations. K. and D. Ranaghan recount in their book « The Return of the
    Spirit », during one prayer meeting at South Bend, a priest who was present for
    the first time, asked a man near him where he had learned Greek. « What Greek? »
    The priest then told the group that he had distinctly heard his neighbour recite
    the first sentences of « Ave Maria » in Greek. Father O’Connor adds in his book,
    « Before this meeting, there was very little evidence in the group of the worship
    of Mary… from then on, there was an outburst of devotion to Mary. » For these
    Catholics, the different miracles and manifestations concerning Mary are the
    infallible proofs of the presence of God in their church.


    D. Cormier responds by writing that the Bible warns us to be on guard
    against counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (II Thess 2:9-12).


    So, having discarded the first four hypotheses, we are led to admit that this
    final supposition is accurate. The condemnation of the charismatic revival is
    clear-cut and irrevocable. It is, the author says, the cross-breeding
    protestant Pentecostalism and Catholic idolatry. Remember that I
    have contributed nothing to this analysis. It is for this reason that I have
    taken care to put the original text in italics.

    Are these conclusions also my own? Allow me to reserve my reply for later
    because, blunt though it may appear, the fifth conclusion is still held by some
    European Pentecostals. If we have condensed this explosive article on the
    charismatics, it is because one finds with them, as with Pentecostals, the
    threefold idea of tongues, signs and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless,
    as this analysis clearly brings out, the (still) classic Pentecostals deny that
    these signs all have the same origin. If they are so sure of that, why are they
    so upset to be the initiators of this error, which they qualify as diabolic. We
    quote again, « Ray Bullard, deacon of a Pentecostal church, possessing a wide
    experience of spiritual gifts… and several Pentecostal ministers… »
    are the ones who taught, prayed and laid on hands in order that these Catholics
    might receive the Holy Spirit. Could an unclean spirit possibly have been passed
    on to these people from the hands of Pentecostals of sound doctrine?! This idea
    is profoundly disturbing, especially when they are obliged to acknowledge that
    (page 15, emphasis ours).

    Now, behind the elders who placed their hands on Timothy, there was nothing
    other than what this young man received: the gift of God (II Tim.1:6). And
    behind the hands Ananias placed upon Saul of Tarsus, there was none other than
    the Holy Spirit. And when this same Saul of Tarsus, who became the apostle Paul,
    laid his hands upon the disciples of John the Baptist at Ephesus, they received
    no other spirit than that which inhabited Paul, that is, the true Spirit. If
    then it was a diabolical spirit that these sincere Catholics received from the
    hands of these experienced specialists (Ray Bullard and his associated
    Pentecostal ministers), it means that behind their hands and their prayers,
    there was something that they subsequently deplored; that is, something very
    different from the Holy Spirit. Jesus said it in a way that is impossible to
    misunderstand, « A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear
    good fruit » (Matt.7:18). If the fruit, by their own admission, is declared bad,
    isn’t it because the tree is bad? It seems that our Pentecostal friends fail to
    understand this line of thought. When one points out to them the peculiarities
    with which their movement is afflicted, that it is something completely
    different from the Holy Spirit that produces this uncontrollable gibberish and
    the eccentric behaviour such as screaming, wailing, falling backwards, etc.,
    their standard reply is to quote Jesus, « Which of you fathers, if your son asks
    for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake
    instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though
    you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will
    your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! » (Luke 11:11 –

    But isn’t that a boomerang-argument? Because in coming to Ray Bullard and the
    Pentecostal ministers, these Catholics did not ask for a stone, or a snake, or a
    scorpion; nevertheless that is what they would have received. Now, these friends
    bitterly regret having prayed for and laid hands on these Catholics who have,
    according to Pentecostal testimony, received an alien spirit as a result. What
    they should be worrying about, above all, is not what these Catholics have
    received, but rather what was transmitted to them. Would it not be the height of
    folly to hear a husband complain, or become indignant, about the AIDS that his
    wife contracted from himself. His analysis of his partner’s illness would
    perhaps be correct, but accusing her of contracting the wrong AIDS, whilst
    asserting that his is the correct one, should make us think seriously about the
    comparison that can be made. I am entirely of the conservative Pentecostals’
    opinion when they say the virus caught by the charismatics is bad because it is
    unbiblical, but when one knows, according to their own confession, where the
    Catholics caught it, and from whom they caught it, the Pentecostals should be
    the first to ask themselves the following questions, « What if ours were the same
    ‘baptism of the Spirit’? What if we had the same ‘speaking in tongues’? »




    All through this study, we shall keep in mind the excellent principle
    developed by D. Cormier in chapter 1, « The spirit that is in contradiction with
    the Scriptures cannot be the Holy Spirit ». This has allowed conservative
    Pentecostalism to flush out the serious errors of their fellow charismatics and
    to conclude, « Supernatural manifestations (among the charismatics)
    are a sign telling them that they have nothing to fear, that they are on the
    right road when, in fact, they are walking in error… These manifestations
    themselves are more or less reproductions of those we find in the New Testament.
    That is why one can rightly speak of counterfeit ».
    (Analysis of the
    Charismatic Renewal, page 14). One can only applaud this biblical perspicacity,
    provided that one does not limit its application to others. For, if our
    Pentecostal friends were to scrutinise their own doctrine with even half the
    rigour that they use towards the charismatics, they would see, as they so well
    say, that « believing that one is on the right road because of signs, miracles
    and speaking in tongues » is also the essence of their own belief, their own
    strength and their own sense of security. For example, when the rapid growth of
    the movement they condemn is attributed to spiritual manifestations, are these
    not precisely the same spiritual manifestations that they themselves boast of or
    use as their authority to explain and justify the fact that they are growing
    more quickly than other evangelicals? « But WE are biblical! » we hear them say,
    « OUR practices conform to the scriptural model! » This is what we shall begin to
    examine in this second chapter.


    Scriptural Pattern?


    What do we read in the Bible concerning the true exercise of speaking in
    tongues? « For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God » (I
    Cor.14:2). This is what Paul, the greatest teacher of the church, moreover, led
    by the Spirit, clearly taught the Corinthians, « … he does not speak to
    men… »
    This verse alone is enough to destabilise all that is specific to
    the Pentecostal movement and shake it right down to its foundations. The Holy
    Spirit Himself, Whom we cannot resist without suffering the consequences, states
    that it was not to men that the words spoken in tongues were addressed but to
    God. The Bereans (Acts 17:11) examined the Scriptures daily in order to see if
    what they were being told was correct. For us today, nothing would be easier
    than to examine these same Scriptures to find out if what the Pentecostal
    movement says on this subject is correct. After more than thirty years of close
    contact with these churches, and after having accepted some of their ideas, I
    have been forced to admit that there is a glaring discordance with the Word of
    God on this point.

    I, first of all, capitulated before the authority of the Scriptures; I then
    proceeded to verify for myself what was being taught and practised. On several
    occasions, talking to people who were deeply anchored in their convictions, I
    asked the question, « When tongues are interpreted in your assembly, what is the
    content of the message? » I did not enquire because I did not know the answer,
    but I wanted to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, so leaving no place for
    ambiguity. Without exception, the replies always confirmed what I had already
    observed. It was a word of encouragement, or prophecy, or exhortation, or even
    of evangelisation. Quite clearly, these were addressed to those present, that
    is, to men and was therefore in complete contradiction with the Holy Spirit who
    said just the opposite, « …he does not speak to men ». This is just as
    antibiblical as speaking to Mary. In short, the exercise of a gift that does not
    conform to Scripture cannot come from the Holy Spirit but rather, as they
    rightly say about their fellow charismatics, from an alien spirit. After having
    heard the replies that I have just mentioned, I showed these people what the
    Bible said. Some of them were devastated by the crystal-clear words that they
    had never seen before, or that had always been kept from them. The most
    perceptive amongst them realised in an instant the scale of the doctrinal
    disaster that had overtaken them: a true Waterloo.


    Prevented from Seeing


    In many other cases, on the contrary, I noted what seemed to be a complete
    inability to comprehend the meaning of the Scriptures that is nevertheless
    clear, « …anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men ». It is as
    though a veil had come down over their intelligence. They said, « But of course,
    that’s it! » whilst being unable to see that their « that » was not at all « it »,
    but quite the contrary. To start with, there was no attempt to evade the issue,
    but an inability to see. They read « he does not speak to men » but they appear to
    understand the opposite, some going so far as to say, « How else would God speak
    TO US? »

    One of my friends, an enthusiastic pastor, invited me for a Gospel campaign
    in his church. He told me about a lady who, in a private talk with him, had
    spoken in tongues. « In what she said », he explained, « I discerned a message for
    myself ». The opportunity was ideal. I simply asked him, « How do you reconcile
    the idea of a message addressed to you personally with the biblical statement
    that ‘…for anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God’?
    You are not God! » It was like hitting him over the head. He was totally
    speechless. He had just discovered a text that he had never seen before, or that
    he had not taken the time to examine. He looked so pitiful that I felt sorry for
    him. I did not tell him that these tongues addressed to men smacked of heresy. I
    did not tell him either that it was a trick or a hoax. No, I let him work it out
    for himself to discover that he was up against an obvious spiritual fallacy.

    My most recent discussion on the subject clearly illustrates this blindness.
    I realised that quoting the text verbally was not enough. The person I was
    speaking to was following his own train of thought and was impervious to the
    Word of God. I sat down beside him with my Bible open, and had him read the text
    out loud. No reaction. I repeated the exercise at least five times. Suddenly the
    penny dropped. He understood what the passage said. It was then that his real
    problem started. He began to measure the full impact of this truth that had just
    smashed his beliefs like the iceberg in the side of the Titanic, sending her to
    the bottom of the ocean. Poor fellow, he had a head-on collision with a Bible
    teaching that was the opposite of what he thought he knew so well. In order to
    get out of this awkward situation, he had nothing to offer me but the quicksand
    of his experiences.

    In my first book on speaking in tongues, I reported the confrontation that
    took place between a brother of the Brethren Assemblies and my neighbour, a
    Pentecostal minister. The latter was not up to the task. Forced to recognise
    that his adversary was right, he closed his Bible, pushed it to one side and
    said, « Biblically you are right but I cannot deny an experience! » This gesture
    and his words said it all: the Bible put to one side and experience put to the
    fore. Thirty years later, nothing seems to have changed. The last interview
    previously mentioned, finished in the same way as the first. After having once
    more pointed out that the speaking in tongues in his church, as corroborated by
    his personal experience and observations, was obviously addressed to men, and
    that it was contrary to what the Bible says, I asked him, « What will you put
    aside, the Word of God or your experiences; you must make a choice between the
    two; which will it be? » Without hesitation and twice in succession, his reply
    was, « I choose experience! » Understandable but wretched obstinacy that is
    explained by the terrible confession of a pastor who said to me on this
    particular point of doctrine, « When this word of Paul began to circulate in
    our assemblies, it had the effect of a bomb. We could not allow it to continue,
    because we would have had to admit that EVERYTHING DONE UP UNTIL THEN WAS
    FALSE! »


    Of course it is false, but one tries to ensure that no one knows. And how is
    this achieved? In one of four ways:

    1. By placing an inordinate value on experiences. For example:

    — a prophecy about me, spoken in tongues, came true,

    — an exhortation given in tongues corresponds to the state of the

    — once when the translator didn’t show up, a preacher continued in the local
    language that he did not know (a very well-worn but always unverifiable

    — a recovery announced in tongues came true,- a pressing need was revealed
    in tongues and a suitable solution was provided, etc.

    The source of such stories is inexhaustible. Told with great assurance, they
    condition the hearers, particularly new converts, to the point where they are
    fore-armed against all possible later discovery of the truth. We shall develop
    the subject of experiences in greater detail in chapter 12.

    2. The second method is to edit the text, as this pastor said, throwing away
    ideas that are too disturbing. That is what the rabbis do with the
    53rd chapter of Isaiah during the systematic reading of the Law and
    the prophets in the synagogues. When they come to the end of Isaiah 52, they
    jump to Isaiah 54! I can testify that in more than thirty years of contacts,
    interviews, debates, friendly discussions and collaboration with those
    concerned, this text has always been carefully avoided. In the book
    Twenty-one Reasons for Speaking in Tongue« , Gordon Lindsay gives as his
    eleventh reason that it is to speak to God, and simply evades the embarrassing
    « he does not speak to men ». This « silence » strengthens the impression that one
    is the equivalent of the other.

    3. The third method is to shrug one’s shoulders and to treat the matter as
    being of little consequence, with a broad-minded attitude that transforms the
    Holy Spirit into a weathercock. « Of course the Bible says that, but who can
    fathom the purposes of God? Is He not sovereign? Can He not make use of His
    gifts as He desires? » One can see where this would lead: to all the heresies in
    the world, to give the floor to the Deceiver and in particular, to his first
    suggestion in Genesis, « Did God really say that? » All the ills of humanity
    started there. I am suspicious of an excessively broad-minded view of the
    sovereignty of God that takes away all sovereignty from His Word. Because, if
    the unfathomable riches of His love and wisdom could produce tongues that speak
    to men, they could also have given us a Queen of Heaven, a co-redeemer, a heaven
    to be earned and a string of saints to call upon.

    4. The fourth method is to find an answer at any cost; to dive into the Bible
    in search of a word or a reference that puts the Holy Spirit in conflict with
    Himself, in order to breathe more easily. Everyone knows that with this game,
    one can make the Bible say anything one wishes. In fact, nearly all heresies
    have found their origin in the Bible. At the risk of exposing ourselves to ruin
    by distorting the meaning of the Scriptures, as it says in II Peter 3:16, which
    text shall we seize upon to make the Word say the opposite of what it says? Some
    people believe they have found one in I Cor.14:21, « Through men of strange
    tongues… I will speak to this people ». If God uses tongues to speak to
    this people, then it follows that he uses them to speak to men. Note firstly
    that if that is the right meaning to give to these words, then the contradiction
    between the two verses would be total.

    Let us clarify. It is evident that all signs, whatever they might be, speak
    to men. Coming from God, they cannot be a sign to God. It is, according to
    Heb.1:1, one of the « various ways » used by God to speak to us. This he did in
    John 17 where we find what has been rightly called the high-priestly prayer. In
    the first place, Jesus is addressing His Father only. But at a second level,
    without specifically addressing us, it is indeed to us that He is speaking. This
    prayer to His Father speaks to us of His petitions, of His intimate
    feelings, of His personal character, of His intercession for us and, above all,
    of Himself as our great High Priest. And so it was for these foreign tongues. By
    allowing them to be addressed to Him miraculously, it was God’s way of telling
    THIS PEOPLE of Israel that foreigners, and the languages they speak, had
    henceforth the same access as they did to the God of Israel. This is what the
    sign communicated to them without, however, actually addressing them verbally.
    This is what Peter explains so masterfully in his memorable sermon on the day of
    Pentecost. To their question, « What does this speaking in foreign tongues mean? »
    he gives God’s reply, « I will pour out my Spirit on ALL PEOPLE », that is, on all
    languages, all peoples, all tribes and all nations.


    Scriptural Verification


    It would not be superfluous to recall first of all that, contrary to what
    certain people might think, the great crowd of people assembled that day was not
    made up of pagans, strangers or internationals (Gentiles or Goyim as one refers
    to them elsewhere), but of JEWS who had come to Jerusalem from fifteen different
    foreign countries. Do you have your Bible open before you?

    Turn to Acts 2 and read verse 5, « Now there were staying in Jerusalem who?…
    pagans?!… no, JEWS, God-fearing men, from every nation under heaven. »

    Go on to verse 14, Then Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice and
    addressed the crowd, « Fellow foreigners?!… no, fellow JEWS ».

    Look at verse 22. Peter continuing to speak to the crowd, adds this
    precision, « Men of ISRAEL… »

    A little further on, in verse 29, he uses the term, « brothers », an
    appellation that leaves no doubt as to their identity.

    And finally, in verse 37, the people making up the crowd who heard him
    returned the compliment to the JEWISH apostles in these words, « BROTHERS, what
    shall we do? »

    Besides the fact that the Word of God is very clear and that this is repeated
    five times, it follows quite logically that only those God-fearing Jews, coming
    from great distances and at their own expense, would journey to the Jews’ great
    annual feast day of Pentecost at Jerusalem. It would only have been of interest
    to them and to the proselytes converted to Judaism. One does not see great
    crowds of Frenchmen travelling to England for the 5th of November
    every year to set off firecrackers on Guy Fawks Day. Neither do the English
    travel to Paris for the fete nationale on July 14th, not any
    more that we see Europeans crossing the Atlantic just to celebrate Independence
    Day in the United States. In the same way Pentecost was at that time a feast day
    solely Jewish and reserved for Jews. Thus the crowd in Jerusalem that day was
    made up of Jews who spoke Aramaic, and who all understood what Peter preached to
    them in this language (his as well as theirs), without the necessity to speak
    the fifteen other languages.

    The only thing left now is for us to verify what the Scriptures say about
    each occasion where speaking in tongues is reported. We shall call upon the best
    Pentecostal writers, quoting their writings, to prove that in no case was there
    ever a single word addressed to men, even though the sign was intended for them.
    Donald Gee writes, « Our information concerning the manifestation shown to
    believers when they are baptised in the Spirit, is strictly limited to
    the cases recounted in Acts
     » (Glossolalia, page 101). This means that
    he does not wish to take into account any experience other than those contained
    in the Word of God.

    I. In Acts 2, it is said that the people heard them « speak of the wonders of
    God » in many real and contemporary languages. Many have wrongly believed that
    what was referred to here was the salvation of three thousand souls due to the
    preaching of the Gospel in tongues. Even a rapid survey of this chapter shows
    that the tongues used on that day simply caused people to ask questions. It was
    Peter’s preaching, which was not in tongues, that brought the crowd to
    salvation. Donald Gee was unquestionably a leading thinker among the
    Pentecostals. He tried to put some order into the ideas of the movement and to
    establish for it the least bit of a coherent doctrine. For the moderates, he was
    the most listened-to of his generation. In his book Spiritual Gifts, this
    is what he says about the tongues spoken at Pentecost, « On the day of Pentecost,
    they all spoke in tongues before the crowd assembled. The crowd ran to see what
    all the noise was about. They found the disciples speaking of the wonders of God
    in their own dialects. It is clear that this crowd heard words THAT WERE NOT
    ADDRESSED TO THEM (emphasis added). When it was time to preach, it was Peter,
    and Peter alone, who spoke to the crowd whilst the eleven remained with him. He
    used a language common to all so that everyone would understand him… Thus
    the erroneous and time-honoured assertion that the gift was for the preaching of
    the Gospel to the Gentiles is refuted
    . »

    Dennis Bennett is renowned for his writings in Pentecostal circles. Here is
    what he says on the same subject, « It is surprising to note how many Christians,
    even those who are well-grounded, think that the languages spoken at Pentecost
    were given to proclaim the Gospel in the languages of the people who were
    listening, because they came ‘from every nation under heaven’. In fact this
    passage states, ‘Now there were staying in Jerusalem JEWS from all nations…’
    It was simply Jews who lived in other countries and who had travelled up to
    Jerusalem for the feast. There was no need for foreign languages.
    What they heard was not a proclamation of the Gospel but the first Christians
    PRAISING AND GLORIFYING God for the wonders He had done » (v.11).

    Coming from men so well-thought-of, these testimonies on this specific point
    are decisive and we record our agreement with them: what was spoken in tongues
    was not addressed to men but to God.

    II. The second account appeared at the conversion of the centurion Cornelius
    and all his household. (Acts 10). The nature of this glossolalia is
    identical to the first because Peter refers to it when he told the apostles at
    Jerusalem, « … the Holy Spirit came on them just as He had come on us at the
    beginning », and he adds this detail, « God gave them the same gift as He gave us
    who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ ». (Acts 11:15-17). There is nothing
    addressed to men here either; on the contrary, they heard them « … praising
    God ».

    III. The third and last mention of tongues in Acts 19:6 (the conversion of
    the twelve disciples of John the Baptist) does not tell us anything more.

    IV. The fourth proof is found in the verses that serve as a basis for this
    study – chapter 14 of First Corinthians. How does Paul see the matter? He sees
    nothing but praying, singing and giving thanks in tongues (verses 15 and 16).
    Nothing but prayer and praise appears in his teaching on tongues.
    Unquestionably, prayers and praises can only be addressed to God, and one can,
    therefore, never expect to find in them a message addressed to men.

    V. The fifth proof is in the key verse of this chapter. It carries with it
    its own conclusion, « For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but
    to God » (I Cor.14:2). On such an important point, the Pentecostal practice is
    already completely out of line with the truth. It is at least as false as the
    glossolalia of their charismatic twins. We have read it, « …an
    experience, the’ baptism of the Holy Spirit’ that lures souls to practise the
    contrary of what the Scriptures say, is not of the Holy Spirit. »
    If the
    keystone of a vault is loosened, the whole structure breaks down ipso-facto. In
    the same way, this first error on the subject of tongues brings down the entire
    system (*1) at a single stroke. « Like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that
    collapses suddenly in an instant, it will break in pieces like pottery,
    shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for
    taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern » (Isaiah

    It is not superfluous to recall the remark quoted above, « When Paul’s word
    (…not to men) began to circulate in our assemblies, it had the effect of a bomb.
    The conclusion was not followed up because we would have had to admit that

    If, for our conservative Pentecostal friends, the gift that they have passed
    on to others smacks of heresy, we also come to the incontrovertible evidence
    that their own glossolalia is also unscriptural and of the same kind as
    that which they have passed on to the Catholic charismatics by the laying on of
    their hands.


    Papering over the cracks


    Before moving on to the next error, one cannot but say a word about some
    Pentecostal churches that have done an about-face on this point. In their
    meetings, the practice of tongues continues but, on demand, the interpretation
    is limited to praise or prayer. What must we think of that? Does it mean a
    courageous return to the truth? At this early stage of our study, the answer
    would be incomplete to the point of appearing biased. The following chapters
    will show us other aspects of this subject, which they voluntarily ignore, that
    will allow us to give a definitive opinion. However, we are already obliged to
    notice that where things have seemingly been put right, it is only the
    interpretation that has been changed. Speaking in tongues itself remains the
    same as it was before. These are the same people, the same peculiar utterances,
    the same intonation, and above all, something we shall come back to, the same
    unacceptable difference between the length of the statement in tongues and the
    length of its interpretation. In fact, it is like a faulty production line for
    motor cars where, without rectifying the faults, one has decided to change the
    final coat of paint. Varnished in this way, this « new » generation of tongues
    appears somewhat more biblical at the end of the production line but remains
    underneath as far removed from the Bible and as faulty as the other. The spirit
    that inspires it is the same. Its final interpretation (discussed in chapter 6)
    subjected like the previous one to the apostolic teaching or to simple impartial
    and objective observation, will adequately demonstrate in which category it must
    be classified.

    In 1990 in one of those churches I was the guest speaker for an evangelistic
    campaign. A few years prior to this they had broken away from the Assemblies of
    God on grounds of prevailing worldliness and excesses of all sorts in the realm
    of spiritual gifts. They had understood that, according to I Cor.14:2, a gift of
    interpretation that conveyed a message to men (and it was nearly always the
    case) was not of the Holy Spirit. So, that type of interpretation was abandoned,
    even condemned, and compulsorily replaced by words of prayer or praise to God.
    They had become very friendly towards non-charismatics and somewhat quieter in
    their gatherings. Yet, that Sunday morning when I was there, during the worship
    service, a woman suddenly burst out in tongues, at first on a plaintive mode,
    then picking up speed it ended up in a high-pitched out-pouring. She kept
    repeating « Ding-a-ding-a-doo », 20, 30 times or more. This was followed by an
    interpretation that was a comparatively bland exhortation about the communion
    service. After the meeting, outside the sanctuary, my wife and I looked at each
    other and burst out laughing (actually we should have wept) as, spontaneously,
    at the very same moment, we both exclaimed, « Les Cloches de Corneville! » (*2) A
    few minutes later, the pastor joined us, in obvious consternation, not because
    of the odd speaking in tongues, which he did not seem to question, but because
    of the complementary miracle of interpretation that had turned out to be a
    message to men instead of being a word directed to God as the Holy Spirit
    teaches. He said to us, « We must excuse this brother, he’s left the Assemblies
    of God recently and he hasn’t worked things out properly yet ». Was it not rather
    the so-called « Spirit » who inspired these two people who was not working things
    out properly? My pointing this out to him added even more to his dismay. Where
    was the true Holy Spirit in all this? That evening we parted, apparently on good
    terms, but he never invited me again to his church.

    (*1) Our reference to the « system » in this context applies only to our
    Pentecostal brothers’ teaching concerning the gift of tongues. No jugement is
    intended against their fundamentalist position which, in any case, we share. We
    do not contest their often faithful preaching of the Gospel, nor the sincerity
    of a number of them, nor their zeal, nor their distinction as children of

    (*2) »The Bells of Corneville », a well-known French operetta where the chorus
    repeats at length the famous « Ding, ding, dong ».




    We saw in the previous chapter that if the sign of speaking in tongues
    attracted the attention of men, the actual verbal content was not addressed to
    men, but to God alone. The gift was therefore limited to praise or prayer.

    We will now tackle another practical aspect of the question, found
    extensively in Pentecostalism, which we will confront with the Scriptures. My
    long experience of nearly the whole range of Pentecostalism enables me to speak
    with knowledge of the facts.

    We must never lose sight of the fact that speaking in tongues WAS A SIGN.
    When one asks, « For whom is the sign destined today? », invariably, the first
    response is always, « It is the indisputable or evident sign of the baptism of
    the Spirit; it is the proof that the believer has entered into a second
    experience in the Christian life that will give him access to the gifts of the
    Spirit, by beginning with the least of them, speaking in tongues ». This sign
    will therefore confirm to him, the believer, as well as to his congregation
    composed of believers, that he has a « plus » in his spiritual life. Seen from
    this angle, it is a sign for believers. But this is not all, for this sign will
    prove useful to him on other occasions.

    Example 1. A man who was still a young convert had this second spiritual
    experience. Under pressure caused by a very difficult family situation, his
    first love for the Lord grew cold and he lost all contact with his assembly. He
    was haunted in his heart by the fear of being rejected by God. From time to time
    he tried to speak in tongues and since it worked, this caused him much comfort.
    (Already we can see that for him, speaking in tongues was taking the place of
    faith which is « being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not
    see » – Heb.1:1) According to him, this gift saved him from committing suicide.
    It showed him that he, the believer, was still in the faith. In fact he was
    using the gift to give himself a sign. It was thus a sign for a believer such as
    he was.

    Example 2. Then there was a Christian who was experiencing many difficulties:
    poor health, misfortunes and spiritual attacks in his family. His faith was
    enormously shaken. What kept him going, according to him, was his daily praying
    in tongues. How can we fail to see that, here too, it is the sign that replaces
    faith, whereas John’s epistle says, « this is the victory that has overcome the
    world, even our faith » (I Jn.5:4). Once again the sign was addressed to a

    Example 3. Sin had settled in the life of yet another man. He was conscious
    of it but happy to live with it. He used his gift of tongues to assess himself
    and after successfully speaking in tongues heaved a sigh of relief, « If the
    Spirit continues to express Himself through me, that means that He does not
    disapprove of me, at least not enough to remove His words from my mouth ». What
    is striking here, is that self-judgement in the light of the Word of God (I
    Cor.11: 28, 31) is replaced by a sign which, for this believer, lends
    credibility to something that the Bible clearly condemns.

    These three examples are only samples that demonstrate that the whole
    teaching and practice of the Pentecostals on this point revolves around a sign
    that God has supposedly given for believers and their private use. What does
    Scripture say about this? It teaches precisely the opposite, « TONGUES ARE NOT A
    SIGN FOR BELIEVERS BUT FOR NON-BELIEVERS » (I Cor.14:22). The contradiction is
    total and it is this doctrine that once more is at fault. How many times have
    believers rejoiced with other believers over receiving this sign. How many times
    have I been told and re-told (and nothing else on this point was ever said to
    me) that speaking in tongues was the first sign for the believer, evidence of
    his baptism in the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit Himself categorically dismisses
    such a thing when He tells us that it was « A SIGN FOR NON-BELIEVERS ».

    A fourth example will serve to complete the first three. A certain brother
    practises tongues in private, a subject that we will discuss in detail in
    chapter 7. The good he claims this does him can in no way cancel out the
    obligation, imposed by the Holy Spirit, to use the gift for its rightful
    purpose, namely, to serve as a sign for non-believers. But where are the
    unbelievers when he only practises the sign for himself before God? In the same
    way, if an evangelist, who also has a charisma meant for another category of
    unbelievers, practised his gift in private, with only himself as an audience, at
    the time of the invitation to salvation he would only be giving a sign to
    himself as a believer and thus, be missing the goal. In the same way, in the
    case of the charisma of speaking in tongues, the Holy Spirit could not speak
    more clearly. The goal is to reach not believers but unbelievers. Allow us to
    make our position clear; we do not doubt the scriptural baptism of the Holy
    Spirit or the historical reality of speaking in tongues. We simply ask a double
    question: 1) What spirit inspires those who attribute a role to tongues that is
    categorically refuted by the true Holy Spirit? 2) What spirit could they have
    been baptised in, those who hide the shining truth of I Cor.14:22 under a
    bushel? And why do they feel extremely awkward as soon as you make the remark to
    them? And count yourself happy if you do not come across an extremist who is
    offended because you believe what the true Holy Spirit has said, and who accuses
    you of sinning against Him. Let us conclude with an illustration: if a bridge
    were supported by ten pillars, how unsafe it would be if even two of them were
    missing! We have just witnessed the collapse of two pillars of Pentecostal
    doctrine: a) words in tongues addressed to men and b) a sign for


    The Unbelievers’ Identity


    Having discovered that, contrary to the quasi-universal belief and to the
    practice of many, the sign of tongues was not addressed to believers but to
    unbelievers, we have yet to find out the exact identity of these « unbelievers ».
    Let us see in what situations the sign was practised in order to discover who
    they were.

    I. Whom do we meet at Pentecost in Jerusalem, in Acts 2? A crowd of
    God-fearing Jews « from every nation under heaven ». These people cannot be called
    atheists; their piety and religious fervour had driven them to make the long,
    difficult and expensive journey that brought them out of their respective
    countries up to Jerusalem for the great religious festival. If they were
    incredulous, it was certainly not along the lines of atheism, or scepticism, or
    indifference. It is not in this area that we will find their unbelief.

    II. In Acts 8, in the narrative of the conversion of the Samaritans, some
    people think that, although there is no mention of it, tongues are implied here.
    We would be hard-pressed to find any atheists or agnostics here, since these
    people also believed in the Lord Jesus. There must be an underlying incredulity
    somewhere that would justify the appearance of the sign.

    III. In Acts 10, the first Gentiles are converted in Cornelius’ house. The
    sign appears here as well, but where are the unbelievers? The apostle Peter, who
    witnesses the phenomenon, is a believer, unless he has kept hidden in his heart
    a little corner of unbelief. What kind of unbelief? A latent incredulity can
    often be found hidden away in the heart of a believer, without having to
    classify him with the lost. It was Thomas the believer that the Lord accused of
    a particular type of unbelief (Jn.20:27). Was it not a whole nation of believers
    who did not enter the Promised Land due to a certain form of unbelief?
    (Heb.3:19). In Mark 9:19, Jesus again has to say to His disciples: « O
    unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up
    with you? » And more than once in our lives, have we not all prayed the words of
    the father whose child could not be cured by the disciples, « I do believe,
    , help me overcome my unbelief » (v.24)?

    IV. In Acts 11, Peter informs the apostles in Jerusalem that tongues were
    spoken in the house of Cornelius. Clearly, the apostles are not unbelievers,
    unless they are also harbouring some latent streak of unbelief that remains to
    be identified.

    V. In Acts 19, some Jewish disciples of John are converted to Christ and the
    sign, once again, appears. Here we find no more trace than elsewhere of any
    visible unbelief, in any case, not as we understand the term today. Yet, in all
    these instances, a sizeable element of unbelief is present since the Holy Spirit
    counteracts it with the relevant sign. We do not need to look very far to flush
    it out. I Cor.14:21 gives us the answer, »… I will speak TO THIS PEOPLE ». It is
    worth noting that wherever the sign appears, it is always in the presence of
    JEWS, and where we do not find Jews, as in Athens or in Malta, neither do we
    find the sign.

    We just have to discover the specific unbelief that was common to them all.
    No need to call on Sherlock Holmes or Colombo. As long as we know what kind of
    mentality inspired the Jews (converted or unconverted), we have the vital thread
    that will take us straight to the solution. IT IS IN THE VERY NATURE OF THE SIGN
    THAT WE FIND THE NATURE OF THEIR UNBELIEF. The sign consisted of foreign
    languages; thus it concerned languages that were foreign to Aramaic; in other
    words, the sign pointed to people who were foreigners to the Jews. The sign
    denounced or corrected their lack of faith concerning the salvation of those who
    spoke languages that were foreign to their own, that is, the Gentiles. The sign
    of tongues was appropriate at the extraordinary event of Pentecost: the entering
    of people of foreign languages into the Church that was born that day. Speaking
    in tongues was the proclamation of that great and novel truth in the form of a
    sign. On that day, God inaugurated a new people, a new body composed of people
    who spoke Hebrew as well as people who spoke languages other than Hebrew. Jews
    and pagans were to be given a new spiritual identity: the Church, the body of
    Christ, in which there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised,
    barbarian or Scythian (Col.3:11). But this was precisely what the Jews did not
    want to believe. On the contrary, they were « … hostile to all men, in their
    effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved »
    (I Thess.2:16). C.I. Scofield writes in his Bible notes on Eph.3:6, « The
    divine intention was to make a new entity out of the non-Jews: the Church
    constituting the body of Christ formed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit that
    destroys any distinction between Jews and non-Jews… » The idea of now
    being made one with foreigners was more than the first-century Jews could stand.
    The thought alone was enough to fire up their Hebrew atavism. Yet that was the
    first thing they had to understand and finally admit. So God gave them the best
    sign possible to make them understand what they could not or would not believe;
    He miraculously made Jews speak in the languages of foreigners. In so doing, God
    put Jewish adoration into these pagan tongues.


    The Analogy of Faith


    If, having reached this point, the demonstration seems biblically
    unsubstantial to some, we need simply to add to it what Calvin called « the
    analogy of faith », in other words, a global view of the Word of God. It is
    dangerous to know a doctrine merely in snatches, or by hearsay, or through
    experiences that supposedly back it up. I have noticed on more than one occasion
    that the meaning of some verses, and even whole paragraphs, plainly translated
    in our everyday language, can escape us. A simple but attentive reading of the
    Bible reveals the scenario of fierce Jewish opposition towards everything that
    was not specifically Jewish.

    We see Jonah who hates the men of Nineveh to the point of disobeying God. He
    runs away to Tarshish rather than to announce salvation to them. He struggles
    against God and openly wishes the destruction of the huge Assyrian metropolis.
    For him, Yahveh was the God of Israel and no one else, at least not of this
    foreign-speaking nation. In his frustration he goes as far as asking for his own
    death. If Nineveh lives, may Jonah die! He reproaches God for that which is His
    glory: to be the Saviour of men of all languages, tribes, peoples and nations.
    This spirit of opposition and unbelief will only be reinforced over the
    centuries. The Jews belong to Yahveh and Yahveh to them, in a closed circle of
    bigotry; everyone else is cursed. All attempts at fraternisation or tolerance
    towards people of another language aroused in them hatred that reached
    frightening heights. Death to other languages and to the people who speak them!
    Daring to suggest that people with a tongue different from their own could
    benefit from the goodness of God, was to risk one’s life. They led Jesus to the
    top of a hill to throw Him off because He had just said, « There were many widows
    in Israel at the time of Elijah… he was not sent to any of them but to a widow
    of Sarepta in Sidon ». Jesus added to their immense rage, « There were many lepers
    in Israel at the time of Elisha… none of them was healed except Naaman the
    Syrian ». This was, in their eyes, more than enough to deserve


    Superiority Complex


    The Samaritans, even though related to the Jews, did not escape from their
    racist opposition, to the extent that one day, because they had not been
    welcomed in a Samaritan village, Jesus’ own disciples asked Him, « Lord, do you
    want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them? » Jesus had to answer
    them, « Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of » (Luke 9:55 KJV). One of the
    worst insults that you could hurl at a Jew, was to call him a Samaritan; having
    called him that, there was nothing left to do but to spit on the floor. Little
    did those disciples realise that later on, they would return to those same
    Samaritans, and would no longer ask for a baptism of fire for them, but for a
    baptism of the Spirit to seal their oneness with them. This ferocious antipathy
    for the Gentiles had its roots in the far-distant past. It was the literal
    accomplishment of the prophecy made almost 1500 years earlier, « I will arouse
    your jealousy by that which is not a nation, I will provoke your anger by a
    nation without intelligence » (Deut.32:21). The elect, the chosen people of God,
    they certainly were but they had perverted the meaning God had intended by that
    title. Their vocation was to be a witnessing people, set apart and separated
    from other peoples. But separation from the evil, abominations and idolatry of
    these other peoples did not imply hatred, disdain, pride and a superiority
    complex. They had become more elitist than the elite, going so far as to exclude
    all those who did not belong to their group and imprisoning their Yahveh instead
    of revealing Him to others. So, when God reveals Himself to the Gentiles, the
    prophecy is accomplished to the letter, and their jealousy simply explodes. In
    Thessalonica, « the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters
    from the market-place, formed a mob and started a riot in the city » (Acts 17:5).
    In Antioch, « when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and
    talked abusively against what Paul was saying » (Acts 13:45). When they heard
    Paul and Barnabas say, « I have made you a light for the Gentiles that you
    may bring salvation to the ends of the earth », they incited a persecution
    against Paul and Barnabas and chased them from their town (Acts


    On the Fortress Steps


    Once Paul was back in Jerusalem, the opposition started all over again. What
    a narrative in Acts 22! The prisoner Paul stands on the steps of the fortress.
    He motions to the crowd with one hand and asks to speak. As he begins in Hebrew,
    silence falls upon the crowd. Everyone holds his breath to catch what he is
    saying. Paul relates his encounter with Christ on the Damascus road. They hang
    on to his every word and no one dares interrupt him. Without raising an eyebrow,
    they listen to him talk about his past, his personal titles, his activities, his
    zeal for the Jewish cause. He tells them about the apparition of Jesus and they
    do not blink an eye. He speaks of his baptism, and still there is no reaction.
    But at the very instant that he starts, « The Lord said to me, Go, I will send
    you far away to the Gentiles… », the sentence freezes in mid-air. They listened
    as far as that word Gentiles (or nations); then they raised their
    voices, they hurled their clothing around and threw dust into the air, shouting,
    « Rid the earth of him! He is not fit to live! » What made them explode like that?
    Simply the idea that God could also be the God of every man and every tongue. It
    is now easier to understand why speaking in tongues is the sign of this great
    truth and that for « this people » it was the means of access to it. This unbelief
    would drive some of them to bind themselves with a solemn oath on their own head
    that they would take no food until they had killed the apostle of the Gentiles,
    the man who had so successfully brought the Gospel to foreign languages (Acts
    23:12). Jonah did the same thing. He sulkily sat on the east side of the city,
    waiting for it to be destroyed, and there, under his bush, he pouted and moaned
    because the punishment was delayed, so engrossed was he in his gruesome
    expectations, hoping for the death of a people that God wanted to


    Even the Apostles


    Jonah, who reproached God for sparing Nineveh, was the spiritual father of
    the apostles – yes, you read it correctly – the unbelieving apostles who
    reproached Peter because he had announced the Gospel to Gentiles (Acts 11:1-3).
    Unbelievable! Spiritually speaking, they were hard of hearing, as was Peter
    himself. Although he had experienced the extraordinary events of Pentecost and
    had spoken in tongues on that day, he dreaded approaching people of other
    languages. In order to compel him to do so, God had to give him the vision of
    the sheet full of animals that he considered unclean. Three times the Lord had
    to tell him, « Do not call anything impure that God has made clean » before he
    made up his mind to go and, by doing so, to acknowledge that « God does not show
    favouritism but accepts men from every nation… » (Acts 10:9-16,34,35). In fact,
    it is only after this vision that he utters the famous « whosoever », in a key
    phrase in one of the greatest moments in history, « All the prophets testify
    about Him that whosoever believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through
    His name » (Acts 10:43).

    This word « whosoever » allows us to discuss a very important aspect of John
    3:16. The verse that millions of Christians have known by heart since their
    childhood, contains a doctrinal truth that many have missed. Jesus said to
    Nicodemus, « For God so loved… Who? THE WORLD ». A Jew would never have said
    that; not Jonah, nor Peter, nor any of the others. They would all have said,
    « For God so loved ISRAEL »! Already, so early on in the Gospel, the Lord
    announces the extent of His love and His salvation: the whole world composed of
    nations, peoples, tribes and languages. On the cross, the death verdict was
    written in three languages: in Latin, the legal language; in Greek, the
    commercial language; in Hebrew, the religious language. Without realising it,
    the authors of this inscription were proclaiming the universal aspect of the
    Gospel. Their curt official statement carried the seed of the great commission
    that rang out a few days later, « Go and make disciples of all nations… ». But
    for the apostles, this truth went straight in one ear and out the


    The Teaching of the Epistles


    Let us examine the teaching of the Epistles. When John wrote his first
    epistle, he inserted that phrase that seems so self-evident as to be
    superfluous, « … He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for
    ours but also for the sins of the whole world » (I Jn.2:2). Of course! but this
    was not so obvious to the Jews. John worked chiefly among Jews (Gal.2:9). He had
    to constantly remind them that God’s forgiveness, acquired by the death of
    Christ on the cross, was not for them alone, but for everyone of every tongue in
    the whole world. All through his writings and right into the Book of Revelation,
    sixty years after Pentecost, John insists on this point. Again and again he
    speaks of a « new song » in contrast with the « song of Moses ». What was the theme
    of Moses’ song? God’s relationship with the chosen and redeemed people and no
    hint of anything more. It is the song of the Old Covenant with Israel. What does
    the song of the New Covenant now say? « By your blood you have redeemed men of
    every tribe, every language, every people and every nation… ».
    The song of Israel did not go as far as that. This worldwide dimension had not
    been grasped. In order to seize hold of it, they needed three things: the
    apostolic teaching, an inner illumination by the Holy Spirit and a corresponding
    outward sign, speaking in foreign tongues.


    A Mystery?


    In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul, the doctrinal teacher of the Church,
    explains that Gentiles and Jews form a single body and share in the same
    promises (Eph.3:6). For us today there is nothing mysterious about this, but
    Paul calls it a mystery. For the Jews, sharing the same promises with Gentiles
    was a hidden truth (Eph.3:9) that they could only begin to understand with the
    help of the sign of tongues, because the Jews demanded signs (I Cor.1:22). Just
    like Jonah, they certainly wanted men to be saved, but not all men and
    especially not foreigners, whilst God wants people of all nations to be saved (I
    Tim.2:4). Paul repeats this novel idea, (that is, novel for the Jews only) in
    another way in his letter to Titus. He reminds him to declare and to teach that
    the grace of God is a source of salvation for all men (Titus 2:11). This
    was not automatically assumed by the new Jonahs of the New Testament. It took an
    exceptional man of Paul’s stature and talents to swiftly grasp this truth and to
    have the tenacity to stand firm against everyone, even against Peter (Gal.2:5).
    Paul had to hammer it home to convince them. Between themselves and foreigners,
    they had built a kind of Berlin wall. Paul knocks down this shameful wall
    straddled with theological watchtowers, first by speaking by the Spirit in the
    tongues of those who were on the other side, and then by teaching them that
    Christ brings peace to those on both sides of the wall, making the two one. He
    destroyed the separating wall of hostility; and from the two He created a single
    new man in Himself, « by reconciling both of them in one body on the cross and by
    that cross putting to death their enmity; He came to proclaim peace to those who
    were far away (the Gentiles) and to those who were near (the Jews), for through
    Him both have access to the Father in one Spirit » (Eph.2:11-17).

    Alleluia! Paul exclaims joyfully, « Although I am less than the least of God’s
    people, this grace was given to me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable
    riches of Christ… » (Eph.3:8). Unfortunately, not everyone shared Paul’s
    glorious conviction that he had been baptised by the Spirit to form one body
    with all men, Jews and Greeks (I Cor.12:13). Their unrelenting opposition would
    expose them to the terrible baptism of fire, « … they displease God and are
    hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so
    that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.
    The wrath of God (that they have wished on others) has come upon them at last »
    (I Thess.2:15,16). Yes, these foreign tongues, sign of a new and worldwide
    covenant were to become a fire to them, a fire of judgement. The wrath of God
    was to set them aflame like the chaff that is thrown into the fire


    Peter’s Vision


    It is Peter, the unbelieving believer, who gives us the irrefutable and
    decisive proof that this was indeed the type of unbelief at which the sign of
    tongues was aimed. God gave him another sign, identical to tongues and similarly
    adapted to his need. Although he had lived through Pentecost and had experienced
    the gift and had given by divine inspiration an explanation whose real meaning
    surpassed him, just like in Caiphas’ case when he uttered prophetic words about
    the redeeming death of Christ (Jn.11:51), Peter still shied away from the great
    truth that he had proclaimed without totally grasping it, « I will pour out my
    Spirit on all people », in other words, on Jews and non-Jews. The sad episode of
    Gal.2:11-14 where « he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles »
    is there once more to remind us, if need be, how biased was the Jewish mindset.
    In order to send him to the house of Cornelius, the foreign centurion, God had
    to break down the resistance of his unbelief, which on another occasion he
    expressed this way, « You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to
    associate with a Gentile or visit him » (Acts 10:28). We are reminded of this at
    length in chapters 10 and 11 of the book of Acts. What was the significance of
    that sheet that descended from heaven full of animals that were unclean
    according to the law of Moses, that Peter would never have touched? It
    represented everything that was not Jewish, that is, all the unclean peoples of
    foreign languages. So we cannot imagine for one second that this sign would
    convince anyone other than a Jew. They alone had to be convinced to abandon this
    particular unbelief and to consider no longer impure the people and the
    languages that God considered pure, languages pure enough to be spoken by His
    Holy Spirit. Thus, the gift of tongues had exactly the same meaning. Because of
    his Judaism, that empty way of life that had been handed down to him from his
    forefathers (I Pe.1:18), Peter had a strong natural tendency not to believe in
    the vocation of the Gentiles. That is why he still needed that vision-sign. In
    the same way the other Jews, (already saved or who were going to enter into this
    new covenant) also needed signs that said the same thing. This sign in foreign
    languages, like the triple vision of Peter, taught them that salvation was for
    « whosoever », for « all flesh », for « every tongue ». Now, if we have been saying
    that Peter’s vision and speaking in tongues were the same thing, we must
    understand that whereas the goods are the same, the wrapping is different.
    Bearing that in mind, we discover that the two signs have a number of points in
    common, points that we do not come across in any other gift of the


    The Two Signs Compared


    I. The vision was given to a believer, but it targeted Peter’s unbelief.
    Similarly, speaking in tongues was practised by believers and it concerned the
    same type of unbelief.

    II. The vision was a sign for the apostles of Christ (amazing as that may
    seem) who did not believe in the salvation of those who spoke a tongue different
    from their own. Peter’s vision and the tongues in Cornelius’ house finally
    persuaded the apostles to believe that God had granted the same gift to
    foreigners as He had to them, and caused them to exclaim with astonishment, « So
    then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life! » (Acts 11:18) See
    also Acts 10:45 where « the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were
    astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the
    Gentiles ».

    III. The vision was only repeated a limited number of times and then taken up
    into heaven, but we are reminded of its meaning every time we read Acts 10 and
    11. In the same way, speaking in tongues was limited and the end of its practice
    was clearly announced by the Holy Spirit in I Cor.13:8, a subject which we shall
    deal with in chapter 8. Like Peter’s vision, its meaning is renewed every time
    we read the recorded episodes that mention it.

    IV. The vision explained the universal and multi-lingual dimension of the new
    message to be preached. This was also the case with the gift of tongues; it
    demonstrated to the proponents of the « Israel only » doctrine that the Gospel
    extended also to « every tongue ».

    V. The vision only got its full explanation with the conversion of Cornelius.
    In the same way, speaking in tongues is only fully understood in the light of
    the conversion of peoples of « foreign and barbaric » languages, that is, the

    VI. Peter’s vision would be out of place in an assembly of believers already
    convinced of the universality of the offer of salvation. The same goes for
    tongues; it is not a sign for such believers and would be out of place, should
    it be practised in their midst.

    VII. Peter was personally edified by his vision, but only in the sense of
    what it taught him, and that is all. No other meaning than that can be extracted
    or added. So it was with those who spoke in tongues; they were edified within
    the limits of what the sign meant and nothing more. It was a brand new idea to
    them; it taught them that the Spirit of God was also poured out « on all flesh,
    every tongue, all people » and that they should not call anyone impure whom God
    had made clean and whose tongue He accepted. No other meaning than that can
    either be extracted from it or added to it.

    VIII. The vision was repeated three times for Peter. Once its message had
    been understood it was inconceivable that he should continue to pursue the same
    vision for the rest of his ministry. In the same way, speaking in tongues is
    reported three times in Acts 2, 10, 19 and lasted until the still
    Judaeo-Christian church of the apostles had properly understood what it meant,
    and not beyond. For if nowadays we should still be pursuing tongues and all that
    it signifies, the same principle would apply to the vision of Acts 10. We should
    be seeking both. But WHO in today’s Church composed of peoples, tribes, nations
    and languages, WHO still needs to be convinced by a repeated sign that the
    Spirit of God is poured out on all peoples, nations, tribes and languages?! And
    thus, the vision of unclean animals made clean and the sign of tongues
    communicated exactly the same thing to THIS PEOPLE, the Jewish nation in a state
    of unbelief concerning this truth, that access to the God of Israel and to the
    oneness of the body of Christ was open to foreigners and barbarians whose
    tongues were miraculously spoken by the Holy Spirit.


    A Sure Foundation


    Our foundation being the immovable rock of Scripture, we will conclude with
    the infallible words that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write, « Through
    men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to

    THIS PEOPLE« . And who was THIS PEOPLE to whom the sign of speaking in
    tongues was destined? To ask the question is to give the answer. In the New
    Testament, the expression THIS PEOPLE appears twelve times. Without
    exception it refers to Israel and only to Israel.

    At the risk of being repetitive, we say once more that the PURPOSE of
    speaking in tongues is clearly explained in the episode of Pentecost, and more
    precisely in this decisive text, « I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh
    and whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved ». « All
    flesh…whosoever » underlines the purpose: to tell these unbending
    Jews from everywhere that the Gospel was also for people from everywhere
    This will lead Paul to conclude that tongues are a sign, not for believers, but
    for the unbelieving. Directed by the Holy Spirit, Paul reveals the exact
    identity of these unbelieving people and he names them, the Jews, « through the
    lips of foreigners I will speak to THIS PEOPLE ».


    The Sheriff’s Badge


    Some people ask, « if the sign was only for the Jews, why did the Gentiles in
    Cornelius’ house also speak in tongues? » In pioneer America, when it was not yet
    compulsory to wear a police uniform, the representative of the law would wear a
    distinctive badge pinned on his chest, the famous star-shaped sheriff’s badge.
    This proved to the population, and especially to the hoodlums on the corner of
    the street, that the authority which he assumed had not been usurped but was
    perfectly legal. In the same way, Cornelius had the sign of tongues « pinned » on
    him as a kind of divine badge that gave him credibility in the eyes of a still
    unbelieving Israel, Gentile though he was, he had every right to have access to
    the Church, on the same footing as the converted Jew. If Cornelius spoke in
    tongues, it was so that Peter could recount it to the Jewish apostles, who had
    not yet acknowledged that the Gentiles had this right. When they heard that « …
    the Holy Spirit came on them as He had come on us at the beginning, …
    they had no further objection » (Acts 11:15,18). This last sentence demonstrates
    to what extent the preaching of grace to other nations had aroused their
    disapproval. So Cornelius was the sign-bearer, but the sign was for « this
    people ». To them it was the appropriate demonstration that their God accepted
    the Gentiles on the same level as the pure children of Israel.


    The Disciples in Ephesus


    The episode in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7), where twelve men suddenly speak in
    tongues, is along the same lines. These Jews, disciples of John the Baptist and
    baptised by him with the baptism of repentance that was for « this people », were
    in Ephesus in Asia Minor or what is known as Turkey today. They lived in
    communities or mini-colonies, guarding their Jewish cultural identity jealously
    in the midst of the pagan population. However, the Gospel had started to
    penetrate these pagan masses and churches were already being formed among them.
    Faced with their natural refusal to believe that they could become ONE with
    these surrounding peoples, the Holy Spirit seized hold of their lips and made
    them praise, in the pagans’ tongues, the God of Israel who was now becoming, in
    their Jewish eyes, the God of the nations. These twelve men, part of THIS
    PEOPLE, needed the sign of tongues in order to be taught about the worldwide
    dimension that their Yahveh was now giving to His salvation.

    On more than one occasion, I have noticed just how darkened the spiritual
    intelligence of some Christians can be when it comes to understanding this point
    of doctrine. I recently carried out the following experiment. I read Peter’s
    vision twice over, slowly, to three friends who are newly saved and have a
    fairly limited education. I did the same thing with three children, one
    eight-year-old and two nine-year-olds. I then asked them what they had
    understood. With a few excusable hesitations, they gave me the correct answer,
    which I can sum up as follows, « Peter understood that he could go and talk about
    salvation to foreigners ». We must emphasize that the give-away expression
    « foreign languages » is not found in this episode of Acts 10, and yet the message
    was received with no difficulty by unsophisticated minds.

    But in the expressions « foreign languages » or « strange tongues » found in I
    Cor.14, the idea of foreigners and their tongues is clearly expressed. Yet, some
    people, sometimes academics, who boast of being more enlightened by the Spirit
    than others, are seemingly prevented from seeing that the sign that they claim
    most to be their own was, in fact, telling the Jews that they could, like Peter,
    also take the message of salvation to every foreigner, to every creature, to
    every tongue, in a word, « to all people ». It can be read without a magnifying
    glass, and can be understood without any explanation. Thus, unconverted children
    and newly born-again adults with a limited education have understood what the
    vision said to the Israelite Peter, but the « baptised in the Spirit » are
    incapable of seizing hold of the straightforward meaning of the sign they talk
    about the most

    The words of our Lord seem relevant here, « In them is fulfilled the prophecy
    of Isaiah: you will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever
    seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they
    hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they
    might see with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them »




    Now what shall help us better understand the true PURPOSE of the gift of
    tongues is the example of Jesus our Lord who, by His very person, is the
    explanation of His doctrine. But here we have to argue from silence. Let us
    explain. In the New Testament it is Jesus who first announces this sign, « Here
    are the signs… they will speak in new tongues » (Mark 16:17). But the troubling
    fact is that He Himself never spoke in tongues! This simple remark disturbs
    those who, claiming the example of a Master who is the same yesterday, today and
    forever, are obliged to admit that the silence is total. How are they going to
    get out of this dilemma?

    Here are two unsuccessful explanations, diametrically opposed to one another,
    and which show just how impossible it is to read the Bible calmly, when one has
    put one’s finger into the mesh of error. The first comes from a Pentecostal
    minister who says this, « If Jesus never spoke in tongues, it is because He was
    perfect and therefore did not need to edify Himself ». The apostle Peter would
    classify the author of this remark in the category of « ignorant people
    who twist the Scriptures to their own destruction » (II Pe.3:16). To invoke the
    absence of a gift in the name of spirituality is a sad demonstration of
    insincerity at its worst. To this pure evasion of the issue we reply with a very
    simple question, « Why did our Lord require that John the Baptist administer to
    Him the baptism of repentance, since He had no need of repentance? » However He
    did it. And since He did it, it was, as He says, in order to accomplish what was
    just and useful for us to know. If, therefore, the divine Son of God never spoke
    in tongues, it is because He knew that, contrary to repentance, practically all
    His church would never have need of doing so. History confirms this.

    The second explanation is as bad as the first and contrary to it. Defying the
    silence of Scripture, certain people dare say and write the opposite, « We cannot
    imagine for a single moment that Jesus never spoke in tongues. Certainly He did,
    for not all that Jesus said and did is in the Bible (Jn.21:25). Were we there to
    hear Him speak in tongues when He was praying all alone, a whole night, on the
    mountains? Were we there when, in agony, He was praying in the Garden of
    Gethsemane? Were we there when He made His prayers and requests with loud cries
    and tears to God, who could save Him from death? » (Heb.5:7). Incredible! Poor
    friends, reduced to justifying their error by adopting new errors, which contain
    the seed of most heresies: going beyond the Word of God. These are dangerous
    thoughts. It suffices to continue, « Were we there when He taught His disciples
    the co-redemption of Mary? Were we there when He taught them about purgatory?
    Were we there when He spoke on indulgences? » To what raving can one go and to
    what judgement will be exposed those who add their own flight of fancy to the
    clear record of Scripture? Rev. 22:18 gives the answer: to be struck by the
    plagues of God.


    The Conjuror


    We add a third consideration. The most often-employed tactic is to attract
    attention to other texts in order to leave unnoticed those which are
    embarrassing, a bit like a magician who fixes the attention of his audience on
    one of his hands while the other juggles the object quickly away in the shadow.
    The public sees only the animation and applauds. Here is what one can read on
    page 20 of Reports on Speaking in Tongues by Thomas Brès, « Among the
    objections most often made in Christian circles, we hear, ‘The Lord, our divine
    model, never spoke in tongues and never taught anything on this subject’. »

    We find here almost all the logic of his book. The objection he quotes
    consists of two propositions: 1) Jesus never spoke in tongues; 2) Jesus never
    taught anything on the subject. Each one of us learnt at Primary School that we
    can only add units of the same kind. A horse plus an egg equals only an egg and
    a horse! We cannot expound our ideas on the two as if they were one. However
    this is what Thomas Brès does. He expounds the second proposition in the name of
    the first. He focuses attention on the second and says nothing of the one that
    states: Jesus never spoke in tongues. He places one under the microscope while
    he puts the other away in his pocket. But there is something more serious. The
    second proposition comes out of his own imagination. He invented it simply to
    give himself the opportunity of shooting it down. Never, no never, has an
    evangelical Christian stated that Jesus did not say anything about speaking in
    tongues. They all know that Jesus was the first to prophesy the speaking in new
    tongues according to Mark 16:17. None amongst them has ever contested this.
    T.Brès invented this proposition in order to turn the attention from the first
    that is true. This allows him, in the eyes of a superficial reader, to avoid the
    formidable objection raised not by the non-Pentecostals, but by the
    Spirit-inspired Word of God: Jesus never spoke in tongues!


    Tranquil Analysis


    Let us analyse the situation objectively and without passion. Jesus was
    permanently filled with the Holy Spirit and He had all His gifts. But He did not
    have this one, and didn’t seem to miss it.. He did not speak of it; He did not
    look for it; He did not exercise it. If speaking in tongues was all we are told
    it was, He would certainly have needed it. He who was sometimes tired to the
    point of exhaustion, why didn’t He use the tongues-restorative virtues, which
    Thomas Roberts (*1) made use of so often? If this gift was to be exercised in
    private, or among friends, why didn’t He ever use it in the company of His
    disciples? Since He sang before climbing the Mount of Olives, why didn’t He sing
    in tongues on such an appropriate occasion? Why didn’t He ever join the angels
    in their heavenly language, when He saw them ascending and descending upon Him?
    (Jn.1:51). Why didn’t He try to add this sign to the others for the good of His
    ministry? Those who needed to see the other signs, did they not need to see this
    one? In I Cor.12 we find a list of the nine gifts of the Spirit which are:
    TONGUES. Our Lord had, and used, all these gifts except that of speaking in
    tongues and (of course) its natural associate, interpretation. Donald Gee
    confirms this by saying, « These gifts were not manifested during the earthly
    ministry of the Lord Jesus » (*2). Therefore if Jesus did not have this gift, it
    is because it was not necessary that He have it, but WHY?

    It is actually the absence of this gift in Jesus’ ministry that will confirm
    to us the general teaching of the Bible on this subject. We know that Jesus
    rarely left the confines of Palestine. As He told His disciples, His Gospel did
    not go beyond the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Mat.10:6). He even forbade
    them to go to any Gentile territory or any Samaritan towns, that is, to any
    foreign languages. The worldwide aspect of His teaching was still hidden. There
    was not yet any question of « peoples, tribes, nations and tongues ». Nothing, or
    almost nothing, gave the slightest inkling about the international scope of His
    work in the future. Up to this point there was nothing to make the Jews jealous
    of the grace given to the Gentiles, for they had not yet been brought into the
    picture. The gift of tongues, sign of their integration into God’s plan, had
    therefore no reason for existing as yet. So Jesus mentioned speaking in tongues
    only once in Mark 16:17 at the very end of His ministry to Israel. It is highly
    significant to see WHEN He speaks of it. His prophecy flows naturally from the
    preceding sentence, « Go into ALL THE WORLD ». It is the famous « to every
    creature », that is, to every tongue, tribe etc.., that launches the sign-gift of
    speaking in tongues. The narrow limits of Jewish nationalism were going to break
    open. But Jesus knew that « THIS PEOPLE » would do everything possible to keep the
    Good News from being announced to people of other tongues. Therefore He was
    going to give to « THIS PEOPLE », by His disciples, the appropriate sign, the only
    one of all the signs that He had not needed to use. This « silence » in Jesus’
    life teaches us more than many words could. It confirms that the PURPOSE of the
    gift of tongues complies with what Peter and Paul later said of it. It was the
    sign for this « unbelieving people » that God, according to Joel 2:28, was pouring
    out His Spirit from that time onwards, not only on Israel, but on « all
    people ».

    (*1) See chapter 14.

    (*2) D. Gee, « Les dons spirituels » pp. 77.




    Let us briefly recapitulate what we have already discovered in the Word of
    God. Contrary to the modern-day doctrine and practice of tongues:

    1. What was uttered in tongues was never addressed to men, nor was it ever a
    tool for evangelisation, as Donald Gee and Dennis Bennett, the outstanding
    Pentecostal teachers themselves admit.

    2. It was not a sign for believers but for unbelievers.

    3. These unbelievers were exclusively Jews who were loath to admit to their
    unity with people speaking foreign languages, the Holy Spirit confirming in both
    Testaments that the sign was for « this people » of Israel (Isaiah 28:11, I

    That is already a lot of errors, far too many, and it is nowhere near
    finished. What is always unpleasantly surprising when one goes to a meeting
    where tongues are spoken, is the incomprehensibility of what is said. The sounds
    emitted are often bizarre and they do not bear any resemblance to a real
    language. Some people, basing their ideas on I Cor.13:1, claim that it is « the
    language of angels ». The fact is that every time angels spoke in the Bible, it
    was always in languages that were contemporary and understandable on that
    occasion… Moreover, it is strikingly clear that in this chapter the Spirit
    leads Paul to use the hyperbolic « even if »… Paul did not have the knowledge of
    every mystery, since he adds several verses further on that he only knows in
    part. He had not given his body to be burnt. As he owned nothing or very little,
    never had he the chance to give all his worldly goods to the poor. Nor did he
    speak every language of men and angels. Paul makes it all the more evident that
    he could not speak the tongues of angels, by referring to them as « words which
    man is not permitted to speak » (I Cor.12:4). It was the conditional « if » that he
    used. A child could understand that.

    In order to convince me, young fellow that I was at that time, specialists in
    the matter explained that we exceed our own capacities when we speak in tongues;
    from English (*1) we pass to the sublime level to join with the angels in their
    heavenly language. When we find ourselves short of words to say to God, the
    Spirit comes to our aid to lift us up one or two notches to realms that are
    inaccessible to the rich language of Shakespeare (*2).


    Matto Grosso


    At first I professed my reservation, pointing out that, quite on the
    contrary, I had observed strange noises, inarticulate sounds and constantly
    repeated syllables that had nothing angelic about them at all. Then these same
    friends, who had explained things to me with reference to angels, were all of a
    sudden explaining with reference to savages. It could be a dialect from the
    Indian tribes of South America, from Matto Grosso, from the natives of Borneo,
    or Central Africa! This seemed pure nonsense to me. Our language is one of the
    richest and most complex in the world; how could a rudimentary language with a
    hundred times less vocabulary sublimate what English couldn’t? When the Lord
    made Balaam’s ass talk, He did not make it express itself in confused sounds; it
    did not grunt just anything. Balaam understood very well what the ass said, in
    fact, they had a little talk together. Would the God who created man in His own
    image, and who by new birth also renewed man’s understanding, then lower him to
    be less articulate than a donkey? To find this out we need only look at what
    happened at Pentecost, where we find the norm of speaking in tongues. Each one
    of those Jews coming from many nations under the sun, « heard them speaking in
    his own language » (Acts 2:6), and they said, « How is it that each of us hears
    them in his own native language? » (v.8) A third time in v.11, after having
    listed fifteen different dialects, they ask the same question again, « We hear
    them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!… what does this mean? »
    These were definitely real, spoken and contemporary human




    How then has another glossa, one in which we do not understand
    anything, been able to slip into people’s minds and take root so forcibly? We
    pick out that apparent contradiction in I Cor.14:2, where unlike in Acts 2, it
    is written, « for anyone who speaks in a tongue… no one understands him ». So it
    is suggested that there were two sorts of tongues, one in Acts that was
    understood, and one later on that was no longer comprehensible. It is quite
    obvious that if the tongues in the epistle had been different from those at
    Pentecost, that should also come across in the term used to describe them. But
    there is nothing of the sort. The author of the book of Acts, Luke uses the same
    words as Paul does in his letter to the Corinthians. If the two tongues were not
    the same, Luke would have indicated it, if only by the use of different words.
    We know that Acts was written much later than the epistle to the Corinthians and
    that the latter was circulating in the churches. It goes without saying that
    Luke was well aware of the content of the letter as he was Paul’s biographer and
    travelling companion. No one better than he knew all about the Pauline thinking
    on this subject. If what he reports in his letter was different from what Paul
    said in his, he would have been sure to point it out so as to avoid any
    confusion. But he did not, he spoke of it as Paul spoke of it, and he used the
    same word to talk about one and the same thing. It is the same glossa in
    one case as in the other. The Greek texts are clear. Paul’s languages are as
    well-known as those Luke talks about, since he says, « all sorts of languages in
    the world » (I Cor.14:10) (*3). In Paul’s mind, the issue definitely concerns
    human languages. If they were in the world (or of the world), why were they not
    understood by the Corinthians just as they had been only a few years earlier in


    Back to Jerusalem


    Let us see exactly what took place in Jerusalem. When the Holy Spirit came,
    separate tongues of fire (or like fire) descended on the disciples, who spoke
    separately and distinctly in the dialects of the people present. Fifteen
    countries and peoples are cited; each person understanding the language of the
    country he came from. There was nothing miraculous in the hearing; the emission
    was supernatural but the reception was natural, since it was their own
    particular language that they were hearing. As for the fourteen other languages,
    unless they knew them, they would not have been able to understand them, any
    more than the Corinthians could understand languages that they did not know.

    Bearing in mind that an illustration is worth more than a long speech, let us
    picture the scene.

    Let us suppose that there were Corinthians present at Pentecost, armed with
    fifteen tape recorders, and that they separately taped what was said and
    understood there. Imagine that back in their assembly in Corinth they played the
    fifteen different cassettes to their Christian brethren who only spoke one
    language, possibly two. The inevitable conclusion would be the same as that of
    Paul, « no one understands »! Of course, because being in Greece, no one could
    understand anything apart from Greek! Let us take things one step further. If
    these cassettes were transported through the centuries and listened to today in
    churches in Paris, London, New York, Berlin, and Melbourne, the result would be
    the same. These fifteen languages that were so well understood would be no more
    understandable nowadays than they were in Corinth in the first century.
    Conversely, imagine that, with the help of the Time Machine, we transported the
    whole church of Corinth to Jerusalem; they would have understood the words
    uttered miraculously in their tongue, Greek, but they would have grasped nothing
    of the fourteen other tongues. And if Greek had not been on the Holy
    Spirit’s programme that day, they would have understood nothing at all!
    is exactly what happened in their meetings in Corinth; languages other than
    Greek were being spoken by the Spirit. No one understood anything, not because
    it was another kind of tongue, an ecstatic or angelic language, but quite simply
    because it was not Greek. What was being said, although in languages as
    contemporary as at Pentecost, was as inaccessible to them as phoning in Arabic
    to someone who speaks only English!


    Also in Jerusalem


    For the same reasons, we note that, at Pentecost some people, as in Corinth,
    did not understand what was being said. It is clear, according to Acts 2, that
    there were two groups of Jews present at the religious festival: 1) Those who
    were visiting Jerusalem from fifteen different countries (v.5) and who, besides
    Aramaic, spoke one of these fifteen languages. 2) The local Jews, who obviously
    could not speak or understand any of these fifteen dialects. They were « the
    others » (v.13), who mocked, saying, « They have had too much wine ». These native
    Jews, who spoke only Aramaic (as the Corinthians only spoke Greek), did not
    understand any better than the Corinthians would have what was spoken on that
    day. Instead of finding out from those who did understand, they preferred to
    make it a subject of derision, saying that the disciples were under the
    influence of alcohol. It is fitting to note that they could have said exactly
    what Paul wrote about twenty-five years later to the Corinthians, « No one
    understands ». And if no one understands, Paul challenges them with the stinging
    remark, « … won’t people say you are mad? » To sum up, what does this prove?
    That the tongues in question in Corinth were not unintelligible ecstatic
    verbiage or an inaccessible angelic language, but real tongues as national and
    contemporary as those in Acts 2. And if, as Paul says, no one grasps them, it is
    quite simply because they did not have in their church, unlike the crowd in
    Jerusalem, the fifteen ears to understand them!

    In conclusion, the « no one understands » has been turned into a very
    convenient shield to hide this fourth error, which can thus be kept from any
    possibility of being checked. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit has foreseen a means
    of verification that will throw more light on the error we have just mentioned.
    It will open the way to study a fifth one which is extremely serious. This will
    be the topic of the next chapter.

    (*1) French, in the original.

    (*2) Voltaire, in the original.

    (*3) « and none of indistinguishable sound » (J.N.Darby)




    We are now going to consider the gift of interpretation. To the charisma of
    tongues, the Holy Spirit had affiliated that of the interpretation of these


    Divine Mathematics


    When the apostle Paul spoke in tongues (and he did so more often and better
    than anyone else), he did not allow himself to exercise this gift in the church,
    that is, in a group composed mainly of believers. As this sign was for
    unbelieving Jews, he says that, in the church he prefers to say only five
    intelligible words rather than ten thousand in tongues (I Cor.14:19). He is
    therefore two thousand times more favourable towards using everyday
    language than towards speaking in tongues, or in other words, he is two thousand
    times more against speaking in tongues than against not doing so. When Paul
    spoke in tongues, it was not like a man beating the air, nor like a clanging
    cymbal, nor like a trumpet giving an indistinct sound. No, he is efficient. He
    exercises this gift in the right setting, that is, in the presence of the
    super-patriotic, holier-than-thou Israelites who disdainfully rejected those
    foreigners, the Gentiles, the Goyim. If we follow him on his numerous journeys,
    we find him always and everywhere in conflict with the Jews, and even with
    converted Jewish brethren who disagreed with him on this essential point. When
    he came back from his first missionary journey to the church in Antioch, from
    which he had set out, « he reported all that God had done through them and how He
    had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles » (Acts 14:27). On such occasions,
    and they were many, he would exercise the gift of praising the God of Israel in
    the language of pagans. He would so confirm, to those who were reluctant to
    admit it, both the vocation of the Gentiles and his apostleship to them


    The Wrong Track


    There was no risk of Paul going off on the wrong track, but he was not the
    only one who spoke in tongues. Others who had that charisma did not put it to
    the same use. Forgetting for whom the sign was meant to be a sign, they got
    personal satisfaction from making others listen to them even in church meetings,
    and in the absence of opposing Jews, where there was no reason for tongues,
    except occasionally, one time in two thousand for example (I Cor.14:19).
    Since it was at that time a genuine gift of the Spirit, Paul did not want to
    forbid its use. For some people it had become like Samson’s Herculean strength,
    which was also a gift from God. Like latter-day Samsons, they were using and
    abusing their gift without intelligence. This is what Paul reminds them: to also
    use their intelligence. It was not gifts that the Corinthians lacked but the
    intelligence to use them properly. Paul has to reproach them for remaining at
    the childhood stage. Being still fed only on milk, spiritually speaking (I
    Cor.3:2), they were all into their own little linguistic demonstrations. Being
    mere babes as far as understanding went, they were all proud of showing off that
    they had at least « that ». Let me paraphrase in an everyday style what Paul has
    to tell them in verses 16 and 17 of chapter 14, « It’s all very well to say
    lovely prayers and give thanks in Egyptian, or Persian, or Latin, but there is
    not a single extremist Jew with you this week from Alexandria, or from
    Persepolis, or from Rome. We’d love to believe that your Latin conforms to the
    highest classical standard, and that it really makes you happy, and maybe even
    does you some good. But what on earth is the use of it, if no one here
    understands a single word? How do you want us to say ‘Amen’, if we don’t know
    what you said? »

    Four things stand out concerning the Corinthian practice of

    1. Linked to the speaking in tongues, the interpretation ought to complete it
    and attain the first and permanent objective that was to serve as a sign for
    « this people » and their unbelief, a subject that has already been developed in

    2. It was absolutely necessary for a translation to accompany every case of
    speaking in tongues. Why? So that, as Paul wrote, what had been said could be
    understood, and the thus-edified hearers could add their personal amens,
    and intelligently join in the prayer they eventually understood. To translate
    tongues in the church, the Spirit of God gave the one who spoke, or someone else
    present, the no less extraordinary gift of interpretation.

    3. It was obligatory that what was said in tongues be accompanied by
    interpretation. In no way could tongues be exercised without its explanatory
    complement (v.28). What is more, it was imperative to make sure that there was
    an interpreter in the assembly before starting to speak in tongues and
    not after; « … if there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet ». In
    the light of these precise instructions, we glean the impression that the
    Corinthians themselves were far from the divine model. Today more than ever,
    these texts have been put aside in the most offhand manner.

    4. Another practice, which was also antibiblical, was to pray or sing
    together in tongues. Interpretation, even if envisaged, would become impossible
    in the hubbub that followed. There again, God disapproved of the way things were
    done, labelling it with the strong term of « disorder ». The Holy Spirit could not
    endorse the opposite of what He had commanded. And what did He command? Here is
    the answer, « If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most
    —should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret »

    Having reached this point in our study, if we add up the distortions made to
    the divine teaching, we can already see that the conservative Pentecostals have
    missed the target just as much as the charismatics whom they hold in contempt.
    In athletic terms we would say that both have left the track.




    These deviations are already very serious. But what comes next is even more
    alarming. In all the cases of interpretation that I have checked personally with
    the greatest care and with an open mind, I have discovered nothing other than
    human fabrication and deliberate trickery. What surprised me was the
    unacceptable difference between the brevity of the tongues and the
    disproportionate length of the interpretation; for example, some slow syllables
    of a short song were transformed into a veritable marathon in the translation.
    By dint of questioning those in high places, and by cross-checking, I finally
    obtained a confession that:


    a) he who speaks in a tongue does not understand what he says;

    b) the congregation does not understand what is said;

    c) he who interprets does not understand what the man he is translating said


    Having taken offence at such deceit, I was candidly told that the
    interpretation was not a real translation but a heart-felt translation!! So it
    was just any odd thing left to the fantasy of a pseudo-interpreter. This is
    neither what the Bible says, nor what was taught by Donald Gee, the master of
    Pentecostal thinking, who affirms that interpretation is truly a translation.
    (*1) Someone else, to try to get himself out of this embarrassing situation,
    told me that the interpretation was not the translation of what was said in
    tongues, but the response from heaven to what had just been said! Here we are
    completely rambling. Scripture is deliberately trampled underfoot, that very
    Word that points out (v.16) that giving thanks in tongues must be interpreted so
    that we may understand « WHAT IS SAID », so the congregation can show their
    agreement and join in the thanksgiving by saying, « so be it, Amen »!

    Another Pentecostal leader dared even to tell me that the same case of
    speaking in tongues could very well have several interpretations! ! So, if I
    understand rightly, it is like sowing wheat which at harvest time, might turn
    out to be corn, oats, rye or barley without any surprise on the farmer’s part.
    Do you expect that a cat can give birth at the same time to kittens, puppies and
    chicks? But no one gets upset when, in the spiritual realm, we are asked to
    believe that ONE kind of speaking in tongues brings forth several kinds of
    interpretation? Does Pentecostal Darwinism exist? Are we witnessing a sort of
    mutation of the species? Am I just supposed to accept all this passively without
    pointing out the fraud?


    A Real Translation


    To verify that the word concerned is TRANSLATION, let us look at the
    Greek term hermeneia here used by Paul. It is also found elsewhere in the
    New Testament. Here is what comes out in some examples, (using the KJV):

    — Mk.5:41 – « He took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha
    cumi, which is, being interpreted (hermeneia), Damsel, I say unto thee,
    arise ».

    — Jn.1:38 – « Rabbi, which is to say, being interpreted (hermeneia),
    Master ».

    — Jn.1:41 – « We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted
    (hermeneia), the Christ ».

    — Jn.1:42 – « Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation
    (hermeneia), Peter ».

    — Jn.9:7 – « Wash in the pool of Siloam, which is by interpretation
    (hermemeia), Sent ».

    — Acts 9:36 – « A disciple named Tabitha which, by interpretation
    (hermeneia) is called Dorcas. »

    Now we only have to follow these with:

    — I Cor.12:10 – « … and to another the interpretation (hermeneia) of
    tongues ».

    — I Cor.14:26 – « … everyone has… an interpretation
    (hermeneia) ».

    We thus arrive, with Donald Gee, at the indisputable evidence that
    interpretation (hermeneia), the term chosen by the Holy Spirit, could not
    be anything other than TRANSLATION.

    A retired Salvation Army colonel once told me of his utter consternation at
    what happened during a worship service he attended. He had given thanks in
    Lingala, the vernacular language of West Africa, his mission field. In the
    assembly, a patented « interpreter », believing it was tongues because he had not
    understood anything, gave an « interpretation » which had nothing to do, by any
    stretch of the imagination, with what had been said.


    Evident Counterfeit


    I personally noted that this counterfeiting was a known thing in the circles
    concerned. I was present in a meeting when a Christian from the Cape Verde
    Islands had just prayed in his own language, a Portuguese dialect. Scarcely had
    he said « Amen », that an elder who was wiser than the others interrupted the word
    of interpretation by saying, « Our brother has just given thanks in his native
    tongue ». This means that without this intervention, there would have been the
    « miracle » of an interpretation, evangelical in terms of the vocabulary used, but
    in the spirit as false as the words of the young fortune teller of Acts 16:17,
    who, by the same spirit of confusion was able to say, « These men are the
    servants of the Most High God who are telling you the way to be saved ».

    One can imagine how attentively I listened to one incident of speaking in
    tongues that was as jerky, staccato and incomprehensible as all the others, in
    the middle of which suddenly stood out a thrice-repeated « spiriti santi »
    in Italian. Having grasped this triple repetition, I watched for its
    reappearance in the interpretation. I waited for it in vain. The Holy Spirit who
    supposedly inspired this repetition in the tongues, would He have forgotten it
    in the interpretation? Or was it that the Spirit of God was not responsible for
    either? But then, what « spirit » replaced Him?

    A Spanish friend, in a French Pentecostal community, prayed the « The Lord’s
    Prayer » in his native language. An interpretation followed that was anything but
    the « Pater Noster ». For him also, this was one more proof that the person
    interpreting, not only did not understand any more than the others, but he
    was also deceiving everyone
    ! beneath a veneer of evangelical phraseology!
    Profoundly saddened by this newly discovered dishonesty, I made up my mind
    to move on to a more advanced verification. I asked a Scottish brother who had
    the typical broad accent of his country, to put the « The Lord’s Prayer » twice in
    a row onto cassette. Armed with this recording and that of two other « genuine »
    tongues followed by their interpretations taped « on location », I went to see
    some very moderate Pentecostal friends, for whom exaggerations and digressions
    were only found amongst others. No one in the community doubted their
    conversion, or their sincerity, or the reality of their « charisma ». After
    praying together, I asked them to interpret the pseudo and « real » tongues. This
    was done without objection or reticence. Alas, and alas again, the « The Lord’s
    Prayer » in English transformed itself into a message of encouragement in French!
    As to the rest, it was as different from the first as the Rhone is different
    from the Rhine and flows in the opposite direction. This episode reported back
    to my Scottish friend left him speechless. He could only mutter, « Oh dear! Oh
    dear!… »

    Indeed can we still call ourselves Christians when we team up so closely with
    him who disguises himself as an angel of light? In order to get out of this
    sticky situation, many people claim, without really believing it, that one does
    not submit a gift of the Spirit to an electronic test. But it must be pointed
    out that it is not the test that created the trickery, it only confirmed it and
    it demonstrated moreover that these so-called gifts are not among those good and
    perfect gifts that come down from above (James 1:17)!


    Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde


    What follows now has nothing to do with electronics, but I ask you to
    consider it nonetheless. Several people have discovered that what is said in
    tongues can be oriented in opposite directions according to the interpreter’s
    feelings of sympathy or antipathy for the object of the supposed message. I have
    personally been the target of two exhortations in tongues, concerning the same
    situation; the « divine » words of interpretation were all consolation in one case
    and all condemnation in the other! Could this be serious? Could the Holy Spirit
    be Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde according to the mood of the moment? A certain
    Pentecostal pastor betrayed his own misgivings. Because he had personal problems
    he found himself in some assemblies becoming the target of speaking in tongues
    that were too detailed and too oriented not to have been premeditated. Aware of
    this, his conclusion was the following, « I only accept what is said about me in
    tongues where they do not know me »!! He thus admitted there was trickery. But in
    his eyes it was purely one-sided. He accepted the exhortations as valid where he
    was not known, for there no barbs were thrown at him. But everyone knows that if
    a coin is counterfeit on one side, it is also on the other, heads and tails, and
    even around the edge! In addition, what more than sufficiently demonstrates that
    everything is purely human and subjective in today’s gift of tongues and that
    the Holy Spirit has nothing whatsoever to do with it, is that the interpretation
    is always the reflection of particular tendencies and feelings:

    — The R.C. charismatics show their allegiance to the doctrines of their

    — The spiritualists find occult revelations.

    — The Pentecostals, being evangelicals, adopt an evangelical language, as
    well as phraseology and convictions specific to their group.

    — The day when Muslims speak in tongues, the prophet Mohammed will perforce
    have pride of place in their « inspired » vocabulary. Will that confer on Islam a
    label of divine authenticity? All this means that once the incomprehensible gift
    is confronted with its interpretation, the mask falls off and its real face is


    Diplomatic Immunity


    I have also noticed that those with whom I speak or correspond were never
    more irritated than when I confronted them with the verification of these two
    gifts. It made them really furious, some going so far as to hurl curses at me.
    So, is it only tongues that should not undergo the test of truth? On the
    contrary, the Bible commands us to test the spirits (I Jn.4:1-3).

    The gift of the evangelist and the spirit that inspires him are to be put to
    the test according to I Cor.15:1-4: « The Gospel (the true one)I
    preached to you
    , …otherwise you have believed in vain; » or according to
    Gal.1:8: « a gospel other than the one we preached to you… (is)
    condemned. »

    The sign of authenticity of the faith and of the gift of healing of the one
    who lays his hand on the sick was, according to Mark 16:17,18, that the sick
    person should be made whole.

    The gift of prophecy had to be tested according to I Cor.14.:29, « … two or
    three prophets should speak and the others should weigh carefully what
    is said
    « ; or, according to v.32, « the spirit of the prophets are subject to
    the control of prophets », which means that the gift of prophecy cannot
    contradict the general prophecy which thus puts it to the test. And above all,
    prophecies had to come true (Deut.18:21).

    As for Paul’s gift (among others) of being an apostle, (Eph.4:7 – 11), he can
    say, « The things that mark (prove) an apostle – signs, wonders and
    miracles – were done among you with great perseverance » (II Cor.12:12).

    Why should two of these charismas alone be given a kind of diplomatic
    immunity or be placed above the laws of testing? To those who balked at
    submitting their gift to the decisive tape recorder test, objecting that such an
    atmosphere would not be conducive to the action of the Spirit, I reminded

    a) that David Wilkerson whom they admire, claims (along with many others) to
    be able to speak in tongues at will, anytime and anywhere;

    b) that recently the French television showed a programme where three
    Pentecostals sat in front of the cameras and held a conversation in tongues. The
    setting of the recording studio lent itself just as well as a church gathering
    to this spiritual manifestation, and that, even in the same atmosphere of camera
    shots and spotlights, they recorded an interpretation;

    c) that one of their top leaders, Gordon Lindsay says in The Gift of the
    , page 147, that « ONE tongue can have SEVERAL DESIRED INTERPRETATIONS »
    (emphasis added).

    With these three Pentecostal premises that my opponents could not reject, I
    challenged them as follows: Prepare a meeting where one of you will
    speak in tongues and three others will make a recorded interpretation in
    isolation. The interpretations that ought to say more or less the same thing
    will then be compared.


    Here in writing, I stand by this yet unanswered proposition as a challenge to
    any charismatic, tongues-speaking community. Why has there not yet been, and
    will there never be, an answer to this offer, which is, nevertheless, an honest




    Here is the combined advice from two Christians, who, having been burnt, have
    backed off from a doctrinal position and moral attitude they now disapprove


    « Watch out brother, if these people enter into your game, it will only be to
    make you enter into theirs and to try to take advantage of you by fraud. They
    will only undergo a verification of their gift if they can be sure of cheating
    from the start, as for instance, agreeing in advance on a text, like Psalm 23
    that they will learn by heart, just changing a word here or there. But if you
    demand a spontaneous interpretation with interpreters who do not know each
    other, you will only meet with their refusal. For a long time, we also thought
    that our assembly was the setting for manifestations of the Spirit. When there
    was an interpretation, we would hear ‘revelations’ of a rather private nature,
    which were undeniably exact and touched almost all the families of the church.
    We believed there was a gift of ‘knowledge’ that accounted for the revelations
    by tongues. We ended up, however, by being astonished, and finally our
    astonishment turned into concern. This went on until the day the cat was let out
    of the bag. The occasion that revealed the masquerade was a squabble that grew
    into a division within the church. Then tongues were really loosened! It so
    happened that one of the elders was going around to different families of the
    assembly and then, in league with two other elders, they would agree to reveal
    in the Sunday service, first in tongues and then by interpretation, often
    mundane facts that had been noted in the previous days’ encounters! »


    Faced with this organised deceitfulness, the advice of these friends to be on
    our guard is still timely. When fraudulence is upheld in principle, we can
    expect the worst. There where nothing Christian is left but the name, every low
    punch is permissible. We can accept that, like lambs in the midst of wolves, we
    need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves in our attitude to the world,
    but that we ought to apply these extreme measures to those for whom sincerity,
    honesty and loyalty should be their life’s principles, this causes the heart to
    shudder to the point of nausea. The Lord said, « When these people approach me,
    they honour me with their mouth and lips, but their hearts are far from me, and
    they worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men » (Isaiah

    Of course, we cannot a priori take all our Pentecostal brethren to
    court, accusing them of imposture and insincerity. Christian charity requires us
    to believe in their sincerity, until they have the opportunity to test
    the sound basis of the trust we offer them. We did say UNTIL, and no
    more. Because, when verification of the alleged gift is refused, moral honesty
    is dead and doctrinal error becomes a sin. Jesus gave the same conclusion to the
    Pharisees’ blindness after He had healed the blind man in Jerusalem, « If you
    were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see,
    your guilt remains » (Jn.9:40,41).


    A Pentecostal Report on Electronics


    Many, if not all of those challenged, obstinately refuse the tape recorder
    test under the fallacious pretext that we have no right to submit a gift of the
    Spirit to an electronic examination. Are those who say that so afraid to
    discover the truth? How then do they accept the fact that millions of cassettes
    with evangelical messages circulate around the world and are broadcast, listened
    to, copied and analysed by multitudes? These magnetic tapes are so inspired that
    many people are edified and others are born again by the Holy Spirit while
    listening to them.

    In charismatic circles, audio-visual aids are widely used. Healings and
    miracles, supposedly by the Spirit, are photographed, filmed, duplicated and
    distributed. Speaking in tongues and their interpretations are taped, then
    listened to and commented on in private or in larger audiences. No, this refusal
    to be analysed by a neutral and impartial technique is motivated solely by a
    fear of discovering that the tongue-interpretation compound only exists in a
    counterfeit state. When a driver slows down at the sight of a police traffic
    control, it is because he does not have an easy conscience! We will now present
    decisive proof that this refusal is not the fruit of scriptural conviction, but
    rather an evasion camouflaging that very political art of dodging embarrassing

    The French magazine Experiences has an unquestionable Pentecostal
    allegiance. In issue number 73 of 1989, the only topic treated is (we quote),
    « The extraordinary discovery of the stupefying mathematical structures in the
    Bible by means of ULTRA-RAPID COMPUTERS
     » (page 24 and elsewhere). « The human
    elements in this research are the best Israeli and American mathematicians from
    the universities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Yale and Harvard. This is serious work
    carried out by serious people… » (page 24). « There are not enough superlatives
    to describe the undertaking and, above all, the results. The COMPUTER
    demonstrates that the Bible is unique and contains in itself the signature of
    the Creator above and beyond what could be imagined by the most faith-filled men
    of God « (page 4, emphasis ours). And what brings this truth to light?
    Electronics! ! Now, writing the Bible was among the charismas that I Cor.13
    cites as the gifts of knowledge and prophecy. These two elements constitute the
    Scriptures. In other words, everything in the Bible is knowledge and prophecy.
    These are not simply the most inspired spiritual gifts, but the most undoubtedly
    inspired of all the charismas. « All Scripture is God-breathed » (II Tim.3:16) and
    « For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as
    they were carried along by the Holy Spirit » (II Peter.1:21).

    So, Experiences approves of the electronic test of this divine
    charisma that presided over the writing of the canon of the Scriptures; it does
    so without reserve and with overflowing enthusiasm. Dare we limit God by
    suggesting that the miraculous words He purportedly puts into the mouth of our
    Pentecostal brethren are less verifiable than those first spoken by Moses, or
    Jeremiah, or Peter, or Paul, or our Lord Himself? If modern techniques increase
    our faith in the Word of God tenfold, they should do as much for those other
    words which, we are strongly assured, also come from God. Why all this
    indecision? Could there be a doubt? Where is the problem? The reason for the
    problem can be found in the text of the aforementioned revue that we will
    reproduce in its totality (pages 6 and 7). Instead of Bible we will
    simply put tongues that will cover both speaking and interpretation. We
    would ask our readers to read and re-read the following lines with the most
    thoughtful consideration.


    « We have come to some fantastic conclusions. These are facts that can in no
    way be altered. Any scientist wanting proof will be able to check the facts. But
    we are stuck with a psychological (moral) problem. It is an essential matter of
    life and death, which involves a commitment, as either ‘tongues’ is true, or
    should be thrown into the bin; either this work offers a new discovery, or there
    is nothing there. Many were interested in our work, but several folks, as
    soon as they understand where it is leading, refuse to go any further, saying
    ‘everyone can believe what he wants…’ But no!
    On a psychological level,
    each one of us can find what he wants in his imagination, but here we are
    confronted by a mathematical structure… Two and two make four for everybody.
    In this domain we cannot believe what we want » (emphasis added).


    « As soon as they understand where it is leading ». Here is the reason for
    objecting to go any further in the investigation of the gift of tongues: it is
    the fear of having to admit that if the electronic test confirms that the Bible
    is the signature of God, the same test may show us the signature of the one who
    disguises himself as an angel of light.

    Anybody can check the thing out for himself as this verification does not
    involve any costly or complicated equipment. Who does not have a portable tape
    recorder? Let him who is honestly seeking the truth tape his own speaking in
    tongues, or get one from his church. If he believes that his gift is authentic,
    he must believe, necessarily, that no less can be said of another’s gift of
    interpretation. Let him ask several of them SEPARATELY, without the others
    knowing, to interpret what is on the cassette; then let him compare these
    diverse « interpretations ». I have personally done this. The signature was not
    that of the Father of lights but rather that of the father of lies. (James 1:17;


    Another Type of Test


    Since the electronic test makes all those who are afraid of discovering their
    error jump with feigned indignation, I have suggested another type of
    verification. Last year I proposed the following to two of the best known
    amongst all the Pentecostal leaders in France and in Switzerland:


    « Since you believe, supposedly in good faith, that your gift of tongues still
    exists and that it is genuine, you are bound to believe that its inseparable
    corollary, interpretation, must necessarily possess the same miraculous
    characteristics. We will put aside the electronic test of which you disapprove
    and we will proceed as follows: We will each take two witnesses and we will go
    together to a Pentecostal assembly of my choice, where neither of us is known,
    and where the interpretation of all speaking in tongues is compulsory. Here, I
    will speak your double Dutch and you my gibberish. You will see that out of
    these two ‘tongues’, mine as well as yours, will emerge two ‘interpretations’
    one hundred per cent ‘evangelical’! That will demonstrate to you that this whole
    business is nothing but human fabrication and vulgar counterfeit. Having
    observed the forgery, we will, you and I and the four witnesses, immediately
    establish a report of the facts that we will sign and make known in every church
    in our two countries ».


    With the first person concerned the proposition has remained unanswered. The
    other one declined in a letter in which he accused me of being both a blasphemer
    and a false prophet! Neither of these two leaders has dared to take up the
    challenge. Why? Because they know very well that the only possible result would
    bring to light the fraudulence followed by its public exposure. Would a
    Christian still be worthy of the name if he proved himself less honest than the
    abominable prophets of Baal, who accepted Elijah’s challenge as to the
    authenticity of their god? (I Kings 18).


    A Needed Explanation


    How can we explain that people truly or allegedly converted, born again, can
    be manipulated to such a degree by the father of lies? It would seem impossible.
    A real Christian cannot lie or continue to systematically lie to himself. This
    deserves an explanation. You would have to live with, or frequent, these groups
    to appreciate the atmosphere to which they are exposed for years on end. We
    understand the disjointed life of Samson much better when we know that he lived
    in an era when « everyone did as he saw fit. » Samson was a child of the times
    conditioned by his entourage. It is true for a Christian who grows up in a
    community where the use of tobacco is accepted, where the elders set the example
    and where great care is taken never to breathe a word on the subject. This man
    will never be freed from his bondage to the nicotine plant. He will have even
    less of a desire to kick the habit when the drug has passed into his bloodstream
    and into his lifestyle without his conscience being alerted to it. Why should he
    repent of an addiction his entourage approves of, or in any case, does not
    disapprove of?

    The same applies to the Roman Catholic, who cannot separate himself from a
    worldliness so natural to him that his whole religious life is impregnated with
    it. From the steps of the church he will pass without any transition to the door
    of the pub over the road, where he will have a game of darts with his friends,
    put some money on the horses or on the pools, sing along to a few pub songs
    while clinking glasses with the priest who will put him in charge of organising
    the next parish dance. The surrounding worldliness that he shares with
    non-church-goers will prevent him from being conscious of his state of
    perdition. He will believe in all good faith that he is pleasing to the Good
    Lord and is adding a good deed towards the making of his salvation. How could he
    unlock the door of repentance and conversion? The key has been taken away by the
    director of his conscience.

    This is also what happens in communities with a strong charismatic influence.
    Experience prevails over doctrine and they all go with the flow. Mystic
    exaltation is appreciated. Serious and in-depth study of the Word of God is
    supplanted by stories, experiences, testimonies, visions and prophecies. It is
    the ideal ground for the abdication of reason. Lack of faith is stigmatised to
    extremes. « Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it,
    and it will be yours » (Matt.11:24), is the kind of biblical truth that gets all
    blown out of proportion as a result of constant and exaggerated pressure. Each
    one feels under the obligation to give testimony to what he has already
    received, even if he has not received it, or is never going to receive it. With
    one foot in the grave, they shamelessly assure you that they are healed. It is
    not a lie, on the contrary, it is the triumph of faith. One must continue to
    believe whatever happens and by no means ever doubt. It is this outrageous
    distortion of the texts that so moulds the mentality that when someone
    misinterprets a tongue of which he has grasped nothing, he is not being
    fraudulent, he is quite simply believing! He is honouring God by his faith in
    the exercise of a gift that he believes he has received because he asked for it
    or because he has been made to believe that he has it. And since no one in his
    congregation is allowed to contest or check the evangelical platitudes he
    utters, he continues to ensnare himself in what he believes to be true, even if
    it flies in the face of truth. When a pastor affirmed that the big meeting place
    where he had just preached that evening was packed full, whereas there were
    actually less than twenty people present, he was not lying; he quite simply
    believed that God, whom he had asked with faith to fill the hall, could only
    have kept His promise. Since it is written « … believe that you have received »,
    he believed that he had received it, and he was therefore able to say so out
    loud in the presence of those who had witnessed the very opposite!

    These are truths turned wild that engender moods, which quickly become states
    of mind, unknown to other evangelical Christians who have a hard time believing
    that such abuses really exist. It is in fact a spiritual disease close to
    eastern and occult religions. It is the abandoning of the will, the abdication
    of the spirit, the depreciation of the faculty of reasoning. Has not one of
    their people, G. Ramseyer written a book (which we will talk about later)
    entitled « You think too much »? It is the annihilation of oneself to the point of
    losing self-awareness in order to be filled with another spirit. But what
    spirit? It is too easy to bring in defence of this I Cor.14:14, « For if I pray
    in a tongue,… my mind is unfruitful ». Separated from the verse that follows
    which makes the correction by recommending also the use of intelligence, we come
    to a point where we welcome anything that does not come from intelligent
    thought. This indirectly leads to despising the very thing that distinguishes
    man from animal, and leads to a negation of the first and greatest commandment,
    « You shall love the Lord your God with all your… mind », in other words, with
    all your knowledge, all your reason, all your will, all your intelligence, all
    your spirit. When the opposite of this is favoured, you hear things like, « Do
    not resist, abandon yourself, do not reason any longer, let the Spirit take
    over, let yourself go, yield yourself up, make your mind a blank ». We can be
    sure that, as in Matt.12:44, when the enemy finds the mind empty of the kind of
    resistance recommended in James 4:7, he will make haste to come and fill in the
    gap with the falsified guise of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus Himself puts it, « The
    final condition of that man is worse than the first ». This is the only
    explanation for the « gift of interpretation » that we have just analysed at


    Forgery and the Practice of Forgery


    When all is said and done, what will give more weight to our inquest on the
    subject, is the acknowledgement by those who have dabbled in this trafficking of
    false gifts and have repented of this deception, their practice of these « gifts »
    being only forgery and the practice of forgery. If this last statement should
    hurt someone, let him remember that even more virulent terms are employed by
    orthodox Pentecostals to condemn their charismatic brothers who exercise the
    same gifts that they, incidentally, had conveyed to them. An ex-Pentecostal left
    us this courageous but terrible confession-indictment, « With us logical argument
    is not the right way to tackle the issue; we are only sensitive to that when it
    is to our advantage. We have an illness; what we need is to be healed ». He wrote
    this to us after his healing.

    No one can prevent counterfeiters from printing « good » notes, nor from using
    them, nor from putting them into circulation. False notes, like false gifts,
    procure real joy for those who possess them, and real wealth, and real
    notoriety, and real confidence in oneself and in the future until one day they
    get themselves caught. The time is approaching when all the forgers will have to
    face up to that terrible day of reckoning described in the following words:


    1. « Give an account of your management… (Luke 16:2).

    2. « … man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement »
    (Hebrews 9:27)


    What will they do on that day, those who have used falsehood in the domain of
    the sacred, under the pretence of a better way of speaking in the name of the
    Lord? They will no longer be able to call on His name. It will then be too late
    to put things right. To make a mistake, we all know, is already serious;
    refusing to check to see if we have made a mistake or if someone is misleading
    us, is even more serious; but to drag others into deceit by the use of deceit,
    there can only be one outcome which our Lord and Saviour spoke about, « If a
    blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit » (Matt.15:14). Let no one
    who practises such deceit, fool himself by hoping to say to Him on that day,
    « Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons
    and perform many miracles? » The Lord will tell them plainly, « I never knew you,
    away from me, you evildoers! » (Matt.7:22,23)


    The Old Clock


    When I was a young boy, my father came home one day with an antique. It was a
    carved bronze clock under a glass dome, representing a country scene with
    various characters. Every visitor in our home had the privilege of contemplating
    this object, and enjoying the accompanying commentary on this precious work of
    art. We would wind up the mechanism with infinite care. It was a semi-religious
    ceremony. For fifteen years this valuable piece had pride of place on the living
    room mantelpiece, arousing the praises and the envy of many. I spent long
    moments contemplating this marvel that chimed on the hour and every half-hour.
    It gained a good twenty minutes between two windings, but this we kept to
    ourselves. A venerable timepiece that had withstood the test of time, ticking
    away second by second, minute by minute through passing hours and days, weeks
    and years. It was our pride and joy for fifteen years. When my father died we
    had to part with it. My mother and I sought the advice of a specialist in order
    to fix the price. The man quoted such a derisory amount that we were shocked.
    What did he mean, a handful of peanuts for an antique in worked bronze! With an
    apologetic smile, the expert took the treasure in his hands and tilted it to
    show me the interior. It was only a tin mould covered with gold plate!! The
    genuine article was total junk! It was only an imitation with no real value.
    Nevertheless, it was with a heavy heart that we saw it go, that clock that had
    given us joy, dreams, happiness even, and above all, the illusion of a « plus »
    that in the end was only a « minus », since my father had been conned. That would
    not have happened if, at the beginning, he had simply had it valued. We could
    have kept the clock and its sad secret, continuing privately to admire its
    ticking and to daydream whilst listening in ecstasy to its bi-hourly chimes,
    telling a true make-believe story.

    The parallel is obvious. Many are doing just this where speaking in tongues
    is concerned. The biblical evaluation followed by the tape-recorder test has
    revealed to them what they had already vaguely suspected, that it was only, at
    best, a psychic state with no link, be it strong or feeble, to primitive
    apostolic authenticity. Yet it is hard for them to cut themselves off from their
    memories, their frame of mind, their cherished dreams, from the chiming of words
    that have marked their path. This nostalgia may be humanly understandable but is
    divinely unacceptable.

    To get back to our clock, what would have been worse than keeping the
    nostalgia, which would already have been one way to lie to myself, would have
    been to lie to others by continuing to talk about it as if it were authentic and
    then to go so far as to try to sell it to them.


    Sales Patter


    Alas, this is what many do in the realm of holy things. They organise
    meetings to seek the Spirit and to wait for His manifestation, and they provide
    the sales patter. The way in which they go about it rings as hollow as what they
    are proposing. What follows is but a pale reflection of what we have seen in
    Acts and what has been reported to us by eye-witnesses. First of all, the
    meeting begins with a warm-up session where all the drawbacks of not being
    baptised in the Spirit are reviewed, and where the whole panoply of
    effectiveness and power in the lives of those who do speak in tongues is
    described. When those listening, by now feeling their deep need, have been won
    over to such a brilliant prospect (and who would not succumb to the charm of
    this mental training?), we pass to the active phase. Intense, emotional praying
    flourishes; the supernatural event is awaited in the midst of sighs, confused
    words and cries, nearly always culminating in shouting and screaming. Then comes
    the laying on of hands accompanied by shouting invocations and booming orders to
    the Spirit that He (or he) fall on the candidate. In some cases things go as far
    as whipping with a belt to chase out the resisting demon. The inquirer is then
    urged to pray in hopes of no longer doing so in English. If the subject resists,
    his counsellor will take him into a corner. He will impress upon him a short
    phrase such as, « Alleluia, Jesus is alive! » urging him to repeat it ten, twenty,
    fifty times, more and more quickly, spurring him on with « faster, faster »,
    until, unable to control itself, the novice’s tongue twists in his mouth and
    spills forth the inevitably strange sounds. A cry of victory will greet this
    « baptism in the Spirit », followed by congratulations, warm embraces, accolades,
    glowing faces and streaming tears. In the last few years, in some communities
    the « in » thing for the newly « baptised in the Spirit », to ensure their
    perseverance on this path, has been CLASSES FOR SPEAKING IN TONGUES! Revolting,
    some would say. Isn’t this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, in His name? If
    there are some charismatics who are outraged by these decidedly scandalous
    practices, many others, on the other hand, talk about them as if they were the
    most natural thing in the world, giving their whole-hearted consent to the
    brainwashing that they have been subjected to and that, in turn, they inflict on
    others. In our region, one man exercises his newly-found gift of leading young
    children into the baptism of the Spirit. With the agreement of nearby
    assemblies, he visits the Christian families therefrom and teaches their
    children how to speak in tongues!


    The Other Guy’s Fault


    Some brothers in the Movement will say that this sort of thing does not
    happen in their midst. But go and find out! When I venture to point out these
    things, I am invariably told that it is others who are the phonies.
    Others referred to other Pentecostal assemblies, but never their
    own. It is the church across town or down the street. Why does this pious and
    tranquil friend, who denies being an extremist when he talks to you alone,
    change into such an agitated individual when he is back in his group? These
    Christian brothers looked devastated when I reported such excesses to them. But
    were they sincere when they gave me that all-purpose answer, « That happens in
    other groups but not in ours »? It was in their group, however, in the suburbs of
    Paris, that I found myself at the prayer meeting of the youth club where I was
    due to speak an hour later. What I saw and heard there defies all description.
    These next lines are written before God. I employ the expression used four times
    by Paul, « I speak the truth, I do not lie ». The only comparison capable of
    conveying what I witnessed on that evening is this: One day I stopped my car in
    the parking area of a huge supermarket, having been attracted by the animal
    wagons of a circus. I arrived at the big cats’ feeding time. It was frightening
    to hear them roar. The prayer meeting that I am referring to was just that:
    clamouring, roaring, vociferations where everyone seemingly wanted to shout
    louder than all the others, so much so that I found myself counter-praying
    inwardly in opposition to it. I was appalled; I left the place feeling sick to
    my stomach. Within a few decibels, I have personally undergone this devastating
    experience on two more occasions.

    Elsewhere again, twenty-five years before the « Toronto blessing » was even
    heard of, in a place supposedly quite dignified and moderate, definitely not
    like those « other » churches, during the Sunday morning service a woman was
    seized by a strident « spiritual » laugh. The pastor, whom you would have taken
    for a model of moderation, confirmed this « spiritual laughter » and encouraged
    all the congregation to laugh, « Laugh, laugh in the Holy Spirit ». Laughter then
    burst out here and there until the whole assembly started laughing. Everybody
    laughed, except one lady, who must not have been receptive to the Spirit on that
    morning. She was my wife!

    (*1) Donald Gee, Les Dons Spirituels pp. 75.




    Now we come to the expression so often cited, « He who speaks in a tongue
    edifies himself » (I Cor.14:4). It would therefore be a gift for one’s personal
    edification and, since we all need edification, everyone should have this gift.
    Taken out of its context this is what this half-sentence seems to mean. However,
    do we have the right to extract the two words edifies himself from
    chapters 12, 13 and 14 and to give them a sense contrary to their context? What
    is the central idea, the common thread running through these three chapters?
    Others, the common good, the church assembly. What is continually emphasized is
    the good of others, the edification of others. It keeps recurring like a
    leitmotif: the others, the others, the others, in different forms:

    – 12:7 – « … now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for
    the common good
    … »

    – 12:25 – « … but that each part should have equal concern for each

    – 14:3 – « … but everyone who prophesies speaks to men for
    their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. »

    – 14:4 – « … he edifies the church. »

    – 14:5 – « … so that the church may be edified. »

    – 14:6 – « … what good will I be to you? »

    – 14:7 – « … how will anyone know…? »

    – 14:8 – « … who will get ready…? »

    – 14:9 – « … how will anyone know…? »

    – 14:16 – « … how can one who does not understand say ‘amen’? »

    – 14:16 – « … since he does not know what you are saying. »

    – 14:17 – « … the other man is not edified. »

    – 14:19 – « … to instruct others… »

    – 14:26 – « … must be done for the strengthening of the church. »

    – 14:31 – « … so that everyone may be instructed… »

    – 14:31 – « … so that everyone may be encouraged. »

    – All of chapter 13 deals with love which is, par excellence, a fruit
    for others, since a tree does not bear fruit for itself.

    Here, right in the middle of this altruism expressed everywhere as the
    PURPOSE of all the gifts of the Spirit, comes the best specimen of
    self-centredness ever imagined: the case of someone who was no longer edifying
    others but just himself, something Paul condemns in I Cor.13:5, « (love) is not
    self seeking ». How petty! Giving a sign to oneself. Taking back to oneself a
    gift that God was giving as a blessing to others. How childish, as Paul tells
    them in verse 20 of the following chapter! For it is certainly in a tone of
    reproach that Paul writes that he who speaks in tongues edifies only himself. It
    is significant that Paul, in the same sentence, contrasts the prophet with the
    speaker in tongues. Whereas the latter edifies only himself, « he who prophesies,
    speaks to men, edifying them and the church » (14:3,4). In contrasting the two
    gifts, the Holy Spirit is not implying that the prophet is not edifying himself
    as well as others. He also benefits from his gift but he is not edifying himself

    There is no gift that does not carry within itself, its own source of
    edification. The pastor edifies himself too when he cares for the Lord’s flock,
    but he is not feeding only himself, he is feeding others. The teacher is not
    edifying only himself when he expounds the doctrine, he is edifying others. The
    evangelist too is stimulated by his gift, but it is his audience who receives
    the main benefit. If the Spirit so contrasts the results of the one who
    prophesies with those of the one who speaks in tongues it is because, not only
    does the first edify the church, as opposed to the second who is edifying only
    himself, but in addition, the latter could well be thought to be a barbarian by
    the uninitiated (14:11). In effect, Paul is saying to the Corinthians that he
    who prophesies reaches the goal: edifying other people; whereas he who speaks in
    tongues, as we have seen, misses the target altogether. For his part Peter
    confirms that the only possible goal is, « Each one should use whatever gift he
    has received to serve others » (I Peter 4.10).

    John Stott, in his book From Baptism to Fullness of Life says that,
    « … edifying oneself does not agree with the teaching in the New Testament on
    edification… Are we not forced to admit that this gift had been badly misused?
    What would we think of a professor who gave private lessons to himself? Or of a
    man with a gift of healing who cured only himself? It is difficult to justify
    the use for personal ends of a gift given expressly for the well-being of
    others ».


    In Private


    From the misinterpretation of this passage the idea, otherwise unknown in
    Scriptures, was born that one could speak in tongues to oneself, at home. But
    even then, not a line, not a word, not even an allusion, supports this
    interpretation. How could God give this gift for private use when He intends it
    to be used in public for a clearly designated category of people? To exercise
    this gift in private… why, that would be a negation of the sign and of its
    function. Could you imagine the evangelist Billy Graham running an evangelistic
    campaign in his bedroom, with no audience except his own reflexion in the mirror
    of his dressing table? Could you see him on the pretext of personal edification,
    preaching salvation just to himself and then, nevertheless, inviting people to
    come forward who were not even present? It is possible that he might get
    something out of it, but such a pantomine would be frankly absurd. Could you
    imagine that Paul, having written his thirteen epistles, the proof of his
    apostleship, would then have kept them for his own edification, reading them in
    private during his many journeys? In the same way to make utterances in tongues
    in private is like giving a sign to… no one. Could you see a Pentecostal
    preacher exercising his supposed gift of healing all alone in private while
    making the pretence of laying his hands on sick people who were not there? Would
    that not be to make a mockery of the words of the Lord Jesus, « These are the
    signs… they will lay their hands on the sick… », but if the sick are not
    there, the sign is like a flywheel flailing the air. The same goes for speaking
    a foreign language to the Hebrews. If THIS PEOPLE of the Hebrews is not there to
    see the sign that is specifically destined for them, then it makes no sense.
    Just imagine that in a game of ten-pin bowling the skittles were removed?
    Without them the game would be a farce. In the same way, speaking in tongues by
    oneself, without the object (the unbelieving Jews), is like playing bowls
    without the jack or, better still, like playing tennis with no player on the
    other side of the net!

    Traffic lights are signals for road-users, what would we think of the road
    traffic authorities if they removed the lights from the cross-roads to put them
    in the town hall basements and then met there among themselves to watch them
    work within the four walls? Using the lights elsewhere than at intersections or
    crossings would make no sense. Similarly, what could be the purpose of speaking
    in tongues in private, out of sight of THIS PEOPLE for whom the sign was
    intended? For this is just what this sign was meant for. Since Pentecost the red
    lights had turned green for all the languages of the earth to unite with the
    redeemed Jews and to offer praise to the Saviour of all men.

    By using this sign in private, some think they can profit from ONE of its
    aspects, while ignoring the others, but you cannot dismantle a gift and retain
    only one of its components. A car is a complex mechanical object that is driven
    as an entity or is not driven at all. You cannot take the wheels for a run and
    leave the body and the engine in the garage. When a car is running it is the
    whole car that moves. In the same way, tongues were not to be sliced up like a
    sausage. They were to edify the speaker AND the others AND be a sign for the
    Jewish unbelievers AND be understandable or be so rendered by interpretation.
    They had to be all that at the same time. The gift was inseparable from its one
    and only unchanging purpose: to be a sign for non-believing Jews of the
    universal offer of salvation (Acts 2:17).

    Some people think that they have glimpsed the possibility of exercising that
    charisma in private when Paul says that if there is no interpreter in the
    church, the speaker should keep quiet and « speak to himself and God » (I
    Cor.14:28). Unfortunately for them, the idea of speaking in tongues is not to be
    found in these words. In order to find it, you must add it in and so tamper with
    the text. Paul could scarcely have imagined that since he had just finished
    saying, « tongues are a sign… for unbelievers » (14:22). Being a vocally
    audible sign, how could anyone address unbelievers verbally when he is talking
    silently in secret to himself and God?

    Someone, after reading my book, said to me, « for you it all boils down to
    being a sign. » Of course it does! Take a sign-post for instance; you may
    discourse at length on its height, its shape, the colour, the phosphorescence
    and size of its letters, but however accurate your remarks may be, it is
    impossible to get around the fact that its sole and ultimate purpose is to be a
    sign-post. And so is it with speaking in tongues. However you may look at it,
    the Holy Spirit said it was a SIGN for incredulous Israel.In this matter as in
    others, it can be seen that the rules of the game are not being followed. In
    place of the divine rules, he who speaks in tongues in private has substituted
    his own. The gravity of this can be weighed in the light of II Timothy 2:5, « …
    the athlete does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to
    the rules ».




    In the introduction we saw the severe condemnation, by conservative
    Pentecostals, of what they called the false charismatic doctrines. The same
    points in their own doctrine, analysed by their own methods, have already
    revealed seven important errors.

    1. The words spoken in tongues were never addressed to men.

    2. Speaking in tongues was not a sign for believers.

    3. It was a sign for unbelieving Jews.

    4. It was not an incomprehensible language.

    5. Present-day interpretation is a hoax.

    6. The fact that Jesus was not a speaker of tongues reinforces the truth of a
    sign addressed exclusively to « this people ».

    7. Private use of tongues is unknown in the Scriptures. This would be a
    negation of its purpose: to be a sign for unbelievers.

    Let us first proceed by deduction. Points 3 and 6 alone would be sufficient
    to prove, according to what the Spirit says, that the gift ceased to exist a
    long time ago. This is what Augustine observed in his time and understood very
    well. He wrote, « It was a sign appropriate to that era. It was meant to announce
    the coming of the Holy Spirit on people of all tongues, to demonstrate that the
    Gospel was to be announced to every language on earth. This happened to announce
    something, then disappeared ». (Homilies on the first epistle of

    This is so clear and logical that it seems self-evident. The early Church was
    becoming less and less Jewish and more and more composed of people of all
    languages, and therefore more and more convinced that the offer of salvation was
    universal. Once this was fully acknowledged, there was no one left to convince
    that God so loved « the world », and not only Israel. The Lord was more than the
    God of those who spoke Hebrew; He was also the God of those who spoke other
    languages. As this truth was no longer doubted or questioned in the Church (and
    even in the world), the charisma that was its sign had no longer any reason to
    exist. God withdrew it, as He pulled up into heaven the sheet that had appeared
    three times to Peter because there was no longer any need for it. Preserving a
    sign that no longer signals anything to anyone is the equivalent of keeping
    « Proceed Slowly » signs up on a road where the roadworks finished a long time
    ago. It would only cause confusion in drivers’ minds.


    A Bit More Bible Knowledge If You Please


    For many ardent supporters of speaking in tongues, what exasperates them the
    most is the suggestion that some gifts of the Spirit, which were so useful in
    the apostolic Church, might no longer exist, although the Church continues to
    exist. They say that if the Church in the earlier times needed them, how much
    more does the Church that has reached the difficult end times. Alas for them,
    this apparent logic does not stand up to a minimum of thought and knowledge of
    the Scriptures.

    Once when I was debating this subject with one of my good friends, he quoted
    the well-known verses, « Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, and today and for
    ever »(Heb.13:8) and « For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable » (Rom.11:29).
    In his eyes, everything written in the Bible was valid today as well as all the
    gifts of yesteryear. I asked him if he had had his son circumcised in keeping
    with the Scriptures and if he offered the required sacrifices for the Lord’s
    feast days? Taken aback by the question, he admitted that he had spoken in
    haste, for whilst it is true that the Word of God remains forever, some of its
    teaching is no longer applicable in the present dispensation. He still, however,
    defended his main argument by saying that certainly some practices in the Old
    Testament no longer concerned us, but that this was not true of the New
    Testament, which we have to accept as a whole, in particular the words of Jesus.
    Opening my Bible, I asked him to explain Jesus’ words in Matt:10.5 where He
    sends off the twelve with the precise recommendation, « Do not go among the
    Gentiles », which meant not to preach the Gospel to anyone other than the

    « Do you accept these words of the Lord for yourself today? » After a moment’s
    thought he replied that he had never thought about it.

    « So these words of the unchanging Lord are no longer relevant? »

    « No. »

    I then asked him if the most authentic and verifiable gift of all still
    existed, that of adding pages of knowledge and inspired prophecy to the Bible, a
    gift that was so useful in the building up of the early Church?

    « No. »

    « So then you believe that God has removed this gift? (*1) »

    « Yes. »

    « In your opinion, does the Bible say that this gift has ceased to exist? »

    « No, not to my knowledge. »

    « And yet you believe that it has ceased to exist? So you believe that this
    gift of the Spirit ceased although the Bible does not say that it has ceased.
    Tell me why you refuse to believe that the gift of tongues has ceased when the
    Bible says that tongues will cease? (I Cor.13:8). »

    As for the discontinuance of biblical inspiration, Pentecostalism shares the
    doctrinal position common to all evangelical circles, but with many of them, we
    discover a kind of reticence to talk about it. Why is that? Because if the Holy
    Spirit has taken away the most obvious charisma of all, a breach is thus made in
    their line of defence; there is no longer anything that can oppose the biblical
    idea that others have also ceased. Besides, the same Spirit that accompanied His
    baptism with a great wind and tongues of fire has also discontinued these two
    manifestations for we find them nowhere repeated in subsequent biblical events.
    One can therefore no longer call on that specious argument that consists of
    saying that if the first century Church needed these two particular
    manifestations, how much more does today’s Church; neither can it be said that
    if those signs occurred in the past, they absolutely have to be seen today. God
    removed them very early on after giving them, and we have to accept that. So if
    the Church has quite happily done without « tongues of fire » and « a great wind »
    and « written inspiration » for nineteen centuries, and still does not see them
    today (and this goes for the Pentecostal churches as well), then it is because
    the Church can do without them. It is proof that some gifts and their signs were
    not permanent.




    Let us pass from logical deduction to the texts. The question that comes
    naturally to mind is, « When were the tongues supposed to cease? » The idea
    accepted in Pentecostal and charismatic circles is that the cessation of the
    gift of tongues is linked to the phrase in I Cor.13:10, « when perfection (or
    that which is perfect) comes », this perfection being, according to them, the
    return of Jesus Christ, but nowhere in the Bible do we find it written that
    tongues will cease at the coming of perfection!
    You only have to read the
    Word of God slowly and calmly. Everything is crystal clear in verses 8 and 9 of
    chapter 13, which are often given a backwards explanation. It says in verse

    1. Prophecies will cease,

    2. Tongues will be stilled (or will not continue),

    3. Knowledge (*2) will pass away.

    This is very clear. Without any transition, verse 9 that follows tells us
    what will disappear when perfection has come. Let us read carefully.

    1. We know in part (gift of knowledge).

    2. We prophesy in part (gift of prophecy).

    3. ???

    What has happened to the gift of tongues? It is not there any more! Someone
    wrote to us that it was true that it was not there, but it was just as if it
    were! It is to be feared that some people would introduce it mentally in verse 9
    in order to persuade themselves that this gift, like the other two, remains
    until that which is perfect has come. But the end of tongues IS NOT linked, like
    the other two, to the arrival of that perfection. The Holy Spirit never said it
    nor taught it. On the contrary, He teaches, as we have emphasized over and over
    again, that this gift is linked with something entirely different. It is linked
    to the PURPOSE for which God gave it. And this purpose was fully accomplished
    when it was fully acknowledged in the Church that the « languages, tribes,
    peoples and nations » were to enter into the New Covenant on the same basis as
    « this people ». With this fact becoming so obvious, universally believed,
    accepted and, above all, no longer contested by anyone, this sign had no longer
    any reason to exist. The « tongues of fire » fizzled out, not at the arrival of
    « perfection » but through want of their natural fuel: the presence of « this
    people » and their natural unbelief in accepting the salvation of other peoples.
    As everyone knows, stars can only be seen and are only useful at night. They dim
    as daylight dawns. In the same way, tongues were only useful in the obscurantism
    of an Israel rooted in its unbelief concerning the election of people who spoke
    foreign languages.

    Recently, in an attempt to trap me, one of the main charismatic leaders of
    France asked me at what date the gift of tongues ceased and what was the name of
    the man who used it last. Humorously, I answered this, « Tell me when and by what
    decree the gas lamps of our city streets were declared obsolete, and what was
    the name and the age of the last lamp-lighter! » Anybody knows that gas lighting
    came to an end naturally with the advent of the electric lamp. In the same way,
    tongues faded away quite simply when light was shed on the vocation of the

    Since the Holy Spirit does not tie the cessation of the tongues’ sign with
    the coming of « perfection », it is superfluous to spend more time here trying to
    discern if « perfection » here refers to the Lord Jesus and His return, or if it
    means, as many think, the completion of the written revelation. Whether it be
    one or the other, it has no bearing whatsoever on our study. The considerations
    from chapter 13 that are usually brought into the debate like « the imperfect
    disappears », « then we shall see face to face », « then I shall know fully », etc…
    henceforth have no relevance to the cessation of the gift of tongues because
    they are not referring to it. Since the Holy Spirit in His sovereignty has
    removed tongues from verse 9, only linking knowledge and prophecy with the
    coming of perfection, who would dare to re-introduce it (thus warping the
    debate) as if God the Holy Spirit had « forgotten » to put it in?


    Six or Three?


    So as not to leave ourselves open to any future argument, we shall briefly
    digress and pretend that tongues are to be found in verse 9. We shall
    demonstrate that even so, « the arrival of perfection » cannot be synonymous with
    the return of Christ.

    We must note that Paul does not speak about three things but SIX:

    — knowledge,

    — tongues,

    — prophecies,

    — faith,

    — hope,

    — love.

    The Spirit emphasizes that, of these six, the only ones that do not cease are
    the last three, faith, hope and love (*3) which will continue until the return
    of Christ. It is impossible to express oneself more clearly. If, of these six,
    there are three that REMAIN, that means there are three that DO NOT REMAIN. And
    which ones are they? It is written in black and white: knowledge, tongues and
    prophecies. To persist in denying the early disappearance of these three, would
    be to make the Holy Spirit say: SIX THINGS REMAIN until the arrival of Jesus.
    Sorry, says Paul! Of the six, there are only three that are going to go right on
    to the end; the others are not going to remain, they are going to stop some time
    before. And when are they going to stop? Since the coming of this perfection is
    situated much before the return of Christ, which is found only at the end of the
    passage with the THREE THAT REMAIN, the first expression can in no way mean the
    day of His coming. Because, if that is what it means, then we have to alter the
    Word of God and impose a modification that some people have already carried out
    mentally: SIX THINGS REMAIN!!! The Holy Spirit said THREE. We have to


    What Does « Perfect » Mean?


    Before bringing this chapter to a close, we shall deal with one last
    objection that will allow us to explain the meaning of « when perfection comes ».
    Some people say that if tongues have ceased, the gifts of knowledge and prophecy
    have likewise been withdrawn. This is something we can happily accept and shall
    explain why.

    When Paul wrote these lines (verse 8), the canon of Scriptures had not been
    finalised. Nearly all the New Testament, including three of the four gospels
    still had to be written. What is the Word of God composed of? Of the knowledge
    that it transmits and the prophecies it reveals. At the time when these two
    basic elements of the Christian faith were not yet sealed within the New
    Testament, the Spirit gave spontaneous words of knowledge and equally
    spontaneous prophetic edification during the meetings of the early Church (I
    Cor.12:8). Paul, along with some others, by their inspired writings would
    acquaint us with the Lord and His teaching and give us all the prophetic
    revelations necessary for the development of our spiritual lives. This knowledge
    and these prophecies, even in writings, are only partial (Jn.21:25; I Cor 19:3),
    but fully sufficient for our salvation and edification, God having not deemed it
    useful to tell us more, either about His Son or about the future. However, once
    complete knowledge and all the prophecies, even partial, had been recorded in
    the New Testament, these two charismas themselves came to an end. With the
    completion of the canon of Scriptures, « that which is perfect » had arrived. The
    various testimonies of the perfection of the Bible can all be summed up in that
    marvellous verse 96 in Psalm 119, « To all perfection I see a limit, but your
    commands (the Word) are boundless ». Such is this perfection that for one
    thousand nine hundred years, nothing has been added to it. We only have
    knowledge and prophecies of a secondary nature; they can merely comment on the
    originals. They provide an explanation, an interpretation that can add nothing
    more to what has been written; their inspirational value can in no way be
    compared to the originals, otherwise they would have to be added to the Bible.
    There can be a prophecy like that of Agabus that announced a famine (Acts 11:28)
    but that has nothing to do with the prophets of whom Paul writes, « You are…
    built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself
    as the chief cornerstone ». So there is foundational knowledge and prophecy to
    which no one can add anything more. Led by the Spirit of God, Paul said that
    they would cease at the coming of perfection and they did. With the arrival of
    perfect revelation, every Christian can say along with Paul that it stopped with
    the last lines written by the author of the Book of Revelation. This is what Dr.
    Scofield says in his commentary on I Cor 14:11, « The New Testament prophet was
    not a simple preacher, but an inspired preacher who communicated the revelations
    corresponding to the new dispensation (I Cor. 14:29-30) until the writing of
    the New
    Testament was finished ».


    Like the Serpent of Brass


    The snake of brass was made by Moses on God’s orders (Numb.21:9). It was a
    divine gift, a power of God for the benefit of those who had believed the Word
    of God. The Lord Jesus would later mention it during His memorable talk to
    Nicodemus. He even went so far as to draw a striking parallel between Himself,
    His work and the bronze snake, « Just as Moses lifted the snake in the desert, so
    the Son of man must be lifted up » (Jn.3:14). This bronze snake had been piously
    preserved by the Israelites for centuries. What did the good King Hezekiah do
    with it? « He removed the high places,… broke into pieces the bronze snake THAT
    MOSES HAD MADE, because the children of Israel had up until then been burning
    incense in front of it » (II Kings 18:4). This snake had become a stumbling block
    for Israel although it was the same snake as in the past. It was not a rigged
    copy, an imitation of the real thing. It was the real one, the right one, the
    original one. Its primary function, that of being looked at, had even been
    embellished and enriched over the centuries. Its contemplation was accompanied
    by perfumed offerings. Under the pretense of attachment to an unchanging God, it
    had ended up taking the place of God and it had become an idol like the others.
    We can be sure that whoever it was who denounced the outmoded usage of the snake
    did not meet with unanimous agreement from the folks around him! The fans of the
    bronze snake were able to quote historical, biblical and doubtless empirical
    facts. They could argue that the God who had commanded the casting of the snake
    does not change because He remains the same yesterday, today and forever; that
    what happened in the desert could still happen in their time; that the power of
    God had not changed and, above all, that not a single word had been said
    concerning the end of its power, use and usefulness.

    In fact, the spiritual practices that centered round this relic had become an
    abomination. For a growing number of people today, tongues are also a relic that
    they carry in their hearts, which they talk about incessantly, and to which they
    offer their undying devotion. They defend it by saying that it was God who gave
    it. But God also gave the serpent of brass, for one particular occasion, for a
    limited time. Beyond this time limit, it was out-of-date, like goods or medicine
    that have past the expiry date and become dangerous; the healing turns into
    infection. That is what happened with the bronze snake; their spiritual life had
    become infected by it. When the snake was taken away from them, you can be sure
    that many people saw a decline in their spiritual ardour for they no longer had
    anything tangible to hang on to. I also understand why some cling so
    frenetically to speaking in tongues. Their spiritual life is so poor, so little
    Bible-based, that if they lose that, there is nothing left for


    The Manna


    During their forty years in the desert, the Israelites received that gift
    from heaven known as manna, the bread from above that came down to earth, six
    days out of seven. This gift was a sign, proof in anticipation, that a rich
    harvest awaited them in Canaan. This lasted forty years, but the manna ceased as
    soon as they arrived in the Promised Land. The God who gave it to them took it
    away from them. Why? Because henceforth they had the harvest of the land. The
    gift was a sign as well as a foretaste of things to come,and when what was
    promised became a reality, it ceased to exist. In the same way that the manna
    proclaimed the harvests in Canaan, the gift of tongues proclaimed to the Jews
    the harvest of the Gentiles. Just as the manna did not continue, neither did the
    gift of tongues continue when the harvest of the Gentiles became a fact that no
    one could deny or confront.

    Let us move now from biblical illustration to doctrine:

    I. The judgement (*4) on unbelieving Israel that was announced by the
    speaking-in-tongues sign (Isa.28:11-13; I Thess. 2:6; I Cor.14:21) dramatically
    came upon them with the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D. and the beginning
    of the world-wide Diaspora of the Jewish people.

    II. The massive entry of foreign-speaking people into the Church, which was
    announced by the speaking of foreign languages, took place in parallel with the
    setting aside and the judgement of Israel. The sign’s purpose was entirely
    fulfilled. Just as accomplished as the great « It is finished » of the cross that
    forbade any repetition of the same sacrifice. Neither are tongues perpetuated,
    in accordance with what the Holy Spirit prophesied, « Tongues will be stilled » (I

    (*1) Some people think that the end of the inspiration of the Bible is
    referred to in Rev.22:18, but this verse concerns only « the prophecy of THIS
    book ». The same interdiction about adding anything to the Law can be found in
    Deut.12:33. Yet numerous books have been added to the Pentateuch. The reason for
    the discontinuation of biblical inspiration is found elsewhere, but that would
    take us beyond the framework of our study.

    (*2) In an attempt to prove that the gift of knowledge still exists, some
    attribute to it the meaning of clairvoyance and prophetic revelation, as for
    example, knowing a hidden fact or situation or sin, which would then be revealed
    by a so-called word of « knowledge ». The word « knowledge » (gnosis in Greek),
    which we find 28 times in the New Testament, is never used in this particular
    sense. It is always understood in the sense of « intelligent knowledge » or
    « science »: – I Cor.8:1 – « Now about food sacrificed to idols: we know that we
    all possess knowledge ». – I Cor.8:10,11 – « So the weak brother… is destroyed
    by your knowledge ». – I Cor.14:6 – « … if I come to you and speak in tongues,
    what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or
    prophecy or word of instruction »? This last verse gives us adequate proof that
    knowledge is something other than prophecy, or revelation, or some kind of

    (*3) Love being eternal, will never cease to exist. Faith and hope will cease
    to exist when the Lord returns, when faith becomes sight and hope becomes
    reality (II Cor.5:7; Rom.8:24,25).

    (*4) See Chapter 10: Tongues of fire.




    As the Bible is divinely inspired, the words that have been chosen are always
    those that are best suited to communicate the truths that God wants to convey to
    us. Where particular expressions are used, we are not free to mix them up or
    talk about them as if they were interchangeable or synonymous. We shall see this
    in relation to the sevenfold blessing of the Spirit.

    1. The GIFT of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:38 we read, « Repent and be
    baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of
    your sins. And you will receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit ». The Spirit was the
    GIFT from the Father to the Church, and, it goes without saying, to each
    individual believer, according to the promise reiterated by Jesus in Acts 1:8.
    This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. That is a historical fact.
    The Holy Spirit was given, as the inheritance was given to Abraham and Israel,
    as a gift from God to His people. But although God had given the entire
    inheritance to Israel all at once, Moses said, « Every place where you set your
    foot will be yours » (Deut.11:24). How could he say that if it already belonged
    to them as a divine gift? Because it is necessary to distinguish between
    inheritance and possession. The inheritance was everything that God gave to
    Israel without reserve; the possession was what they seized hold of. The same is
    true for the Holy Spirit; God has already given Him to us and cannot give Him to
    us again, even if there is a sense in which, having received the gift, we have
    to make this inheritance our own. Wherever there is a donor, there has to be a
    recipient. And so the gift, like salvation, only becomes personal property when
    we accept it. We therefore have to appropriate it, to make it ours, by faith as
    it says in Gal.3:2,14, « It is by faith that we received the Holy Spirit which
    had been promised » (see also Acts 10:43,44).

    2. The SEAL of the Spirit. « Having believed, you were marked with a
    seal, the promised Holy Spirit… » (Eph.1:13), « with whom you were sealed for
    the day of redemption » (Eph.4:30). Sealed by Him who is the GIFT and the SEAL.
    It is significant that this should be said to the Ephesians. Ephesus was a
    seaport animated by a large timber industry. Dealers bought tree trunks that
    were then floated downriver to their destination. As they bought their lots of
    wood, they would stamp the trunks with a seal that proved their ownership until
    the day that they could collect (redeem) them. So the SEAL is presented to us,
    not with emphasis on the initial effect of redemption, but on the final aspect,
    the glorification of our bodies. Although that day has not yet dawned, every
    child of God bears the SEAL indicating that he is the assured property of

    3. The INDWELLING of the Spirit. « Don’t you know that you yourselves
    are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives (or dwells) in you? » (1 Cor.3:16).
    In the upper room, Jesus told His disciples, speaking of the Spirit, « He lives
    with you and will be in you » (Jn.14:17). Was He not in them yet? The Holy Spirit
    was at work in the Old Testament. He came upon God’s people and He took hold of
    some of them for special service, but He did not live in them as He does under
    the New Covenant. What distinguishes the new dispensation from the old one, is
    that the believer has received the Spirit of adoption (Rom.8:15) so that his
    body becomes the permanent inner dwelling-place of the Spirit. And this,
    regardless of his spiritual level or character. We must remember that this
    passage appears in the letter to the church of Corinth and we know what state
    that church was in; the quality of life was mediocre, the church’s witness was
    very poor and the members themselves were guilty of moral and doctrinal errors.
    Paul did not encourage them to seek this indwelling of the Spirit; he
    acknowledges it as a « fait accompli », and he used that truth to invite the
    Corinthians to lead a Christian life more noble and befitting of this
    indwelling. Moreover, no warning is given us that might cause us to believe that
    He could one day leave us. We can sadden Him and reduce Him to silence by our
    sins, but we cannot dislodge Him from our innermost beings. God has made us His
    very own by the indwelling of His own Spirit.

    4. The EARNEST of the Spirit. II Cor.1:22 and Eph.1:14 say that the
    Spirit of the promise is the « deposit », or « guarantee », or « first-fruits » of our
    inheritance. His presence in us is a foretaste of what is to come. The spies who
    were sent to explore Canaan gave a report to Moses, and brought back the grapes
    of Eschol. These grapes were the first-fruits of what awaited the people on
    their arrival in the Promised Land. It was both the proof of and a sample of
    what was reserved for them. In the same way, the Holy Spirit’s presence is the
    evidence, a foretaste, a sample, a deposit of what awaits us. However rich our
    experiences may have been in the Holy Spirit, the most blessed moments are a
    mere foretaste. In other words, for a believer, the best is yet to come. How sad
    it is for a man when his best years are behind him! But for those of us who
    believe in Christ, this is never the case, the best lies ahead of us.

    5. The ANOINTING of the Spirit. « Now it is God who makes both us and
    you stand firm in Christ. He ANOINTED us… » (II Cor.1:21). Anointing signifies
    a setting apart for service. The practice was carried out on various objects
    used in worship (Exodus 30:26-29). In the Old Testament, priests, kings and
    prophets were anointed for the ministry imparted to them. With the Lord Jesus,
    the anointing was not physical, it came directly from the Holy Spirit (Luke
    4:18; Acts 10:38). He was set apart for the triple ministry of Priest, King and
    Prophet. Those who have been redeemed by Him, having been set apart for God, as
    kings and priests (1 Pe.2:5,9), have also received a spiritual anointing (II
    Cor.1:21) by the coming of the Spirit of adoption into their hearts. What is
    more, it is written in I John 2:20,27, « The anointing you received from Him
    remains in you », but we can go and bury the talent as well as the anointing that
    accompanies it. We can flee from our responsibilities like Saul, who tried to
    escape his duties by hiding among the baggage, despite the fact that he had
    received a royal anointing. Or worse still, we can serve God in a spirit that is
    in opposition to the anointing we have received, as King Saul did in a later
    incident. His service to God was tainted by so much disobedience that his
    anointing, though it had been irrevocably bestowed, became so ineffective that
    God had to abandon him. What a difference when this Eternal Anointing finds in
    the believer He fills an obedient and consecrated instrument! It is then that
    springs of living waters well up in blessings for himself and others.

    6. The FULLNESS of the Spirit. « Do not be drunk on wine, which leads
    to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit » (Eph.5:18). Since the Holy
    Spirit is a person, we cannot receive less than His person and the fullness that
    He represents. It is worth noting that the fullness of the Spirit is given to
    the believer right from the start of his new life as is mentioned in Jn.3:34,
    « … for God gives the Spirit without limit » (or « measure » -J.N.Darby). The
    believer is called to live according to such fullness. If God has not limited
    the giving of His Spirit to you, then you should not either! It is as if a tramp
    who inherited all of a sudden a fortune, insisted on staying in his rags. We
    could say to him, « Now that you are rich, be rich! Put all that wealth into your
    lifestyle! Don’t be princes dressed like tramps, be princes! » Sadly enough it is
    possible to be a Christian without tasting or reflecting the practical fullness
    of the Spirit. My eternal salvation will not be compromised, but many areas of
    my life will be affected. Someone will ask, « Do you mean that it is possible for
    a real believer to live and die and go to heaven, without ever knowing the
    fullness of the Spirit? » I answer without a moment’s hesitation, « Yes! » What
    then does that exhortation mean, to be filled with the Spirit? It means quite
    simply to let the Spirit take possession of you and guide you. If a glass is
    filled with water, the water takes possession of the glass but that does not
    control it and the comparison goes no further, but when the Holy Spirit fills,
    there is an added idea of inner guidance along with the filling. If I only give
    half myself to Him, it is highly likely that the other half of me will not come
    under His control. How do we become filled with the Spirit? A lot of preaching
    on this subject appeals to our emotions rather than to our intelligence. Faith,
    however, must have an intellectual foundation; we need to know what is required
    of us and how to accomplish it. Being filled with the Holy Spirit means that He
    takes your mind and thinks with it, that He takes your heart and feels with it,
    that He takes your conscience and judges with it, that He takes your will and
    decides with it, that He takes your whole being and uses it as He wishes. This
    can happen without the slightest hint of emotion. None of these blessings depend
    on any rapturous sentiment. Some people are more emotional than others; do the
    latter feel more frustrated than the former? Not a bit. All the peoples of the
    world, whether they be Latin, Saxon, Slav or any other, can calmly understand
    what is required of them, and open their lives up to the fullness of the

    7. The BAPTISM of the Spirit. Each one of the gifts we have just
    covered comes from the Holy Spirit alone. If He has differentiated between them,
    it is so that we may not confuse them. I am sure that God will forgive us if we
    call the above-cited blessing « baptism » instead of « fullness », but let us,
    please, put some order into our labelling. Let us not stick the label of a good
    Burgundy wine on an excellent Bordeaux. The substance of these two « vins de
    France » would not be affected, but the confusion would be intolerable. The word
    of God, according to Heb.4:12 is living and active, it is sharp, it penetrates
    and divides. Each of its labels is specific; so if we really want to talk
    about the baptism of the Spirit, we must respect its precise specificity. The
    baptism is not the gift, nor the seal, nor the indwelling, nor the first-fruits,
    nor the anointing, nor the fullness, even if they entered the world together,
    and are organically associated. A child does not enter the world in
    interchangeable spare parts. He would be a little monster if we were to say that
    his head walks, his feet think, his liver breathes and his lungs see.
    « Everything in its place and a place for everything », my father used to say. In
    the complex work of the Holy Spirit, what is the place, the role and the
    objective of this baptism?


    A. Where to Situate It in Time?


    First of all, let us look at its place in time. It is not superfluous to say
    again that whenever it is mentioned, in each of the Gospels and the first
    chapter of Acts, it is always in the future, « He will baptise you ». But after
    Acts 1, it is only noted in reference to the past. This observation appears
    insignificant at first glance, but it will assume a place of importance in the
    debate. Having deliberately set aside my personal convictions and previous
    research into the subject, I set out on a quest for anything and everything
    available on this precise point. Without a single exception, all the
    commentaries said the same thing, except, of course, in the books written by the
    Pentecostals, where this truth would never in a million years be brought to
    light. It is not that it is forgotten, it is because there is a determined will
    to ignore it. There is a total blackout. Charismatic circles of every
    denomination teach that the believer must seek the baptism of the Spirit. But
    the Bible places this baptism in the believer’s past, even for immature
    believers like those in Corinth. And not only had they been baptised in the
    Spirit, but it had happened to ALL of them. If there is a baptism that exists
    that a Christian might not have had, and ought to try to obtain, surely there
    would be something said in the Scriptures, and there would be some passages
    exhorting Christians to seek it out and receive it, but we do not find any.
    Whereas God exhorts us to do everything possible to:

    — be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18);

    — make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit (Eph.4:3);

    — keep in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25);

    — not grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30);

    — not put out the Spirit’s fire (I Thess. 1:19), never do we find a similar
    recommendation for the baptism of the Spirit. We are encouraged neither to look
    for it, nor to « await » it. This baptism is like marriage or salvation, once it
    has taken place it is lived out every day; never again does it need to be
    acquired or sought. Paul wrote, « You were ALL baptised by one Spirit » to the
    church in Corinth which was living far below the norm of Christian life. The
    tense used excludes any possibility of error concerning the moment of the event
    in question. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts 1 look ahead; I Cor.12:13 looks
    back. Where do the two rendezvous? Without any possible shadow of a doubt, it is
    at Pentecost.


    B. Is the Baptism of the Spirit a Second Experience?


    If this doctine is the foundation of the whole Pentecostal system, it is
    worth noting that not everyone in their group regards the matter in the same
    light. A very dear friend who is a Pentecostal pastor ministering in the more
    moderate edges of the movement, assured me that he did not consider the baptism
    of the Holy Spirit to be a second experience, but rather the moment when the
    believer becomes a part of the body of Christ. As for the teaching that speaking
    in tongues is the first, or necessary, or obvious sign of this baptism, a few
    timid voices are raised from within their group to disagree with that claim, but
    they are as yet the exception. Concerning the « second » experience, the book of
    Acts will first of all, give us some information.

    a) At Pentecost. Chapter 2

    It is at Pentecost, and not several weeks earlier in John 20:22, that the
    disciples had their first experience of the gift of the Spirit. It could not
    possibly be otherwise, as the Holy Spirit had never been given in this way
    before that special day. This is clearly expressed in John 7:38 and 39, « …
    streams of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit
    whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up until that time the
    Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified ». So it is
    only after His glorification that Jesus gave the Spirit, and not before. From
    this doctrinal and chronological observation, there is no longer any difficulty
    in understanding John 20:22, where, before rising into heaven, He
    breathed on them and said, « Receive the Holy Spirit ». This was a
    prophetic promise whose imminent fulfillment is recorded in the verse, « Suddenly
    a sound like the blowing of a violent wind (breath) came from heaven… » (Acts
    2:2). It would be superfluous to quote all the best commentators in an attempt
    to be more convincing (among others Campbell Morgan, J. MacArthur, Vine,
    Ironside, etc…) who all give similar interpretations. We are better off
    falling back on what a French heavyweight Pentecostal like Ph. Emirian says in
    his book The Gift of the Holy Spirit, page 89, « This time, I would
    disagree with my Pentecostal and charismatic brothers, and agree with my
    evangelical brothers, even if the result of the gift of the Spirit does not have
    the same meaning for us. I believe with them that this gesture of Jesus, on the
    evening of the resurrection IS NOTHING OTHER THAN A PROPHETIC GESTURE OF THE
    GREAT PROMISE proclaimed in the text quoted above ». Emirian emphasizes that
    « there is no question of a new birth here ».
    (emphasis ours). Pentecost was
    not, therefore, a second experience in the lives of the disciples.

    b) At Cornelius’ House. Chapter 10

    What took place in Acts 10 is even more relevant to us, in the sense that
    Cornelius, the Italian centurion, is on the side of all of us since he was, like
    us, a foreigner from amongst the Gentiles. What happens with him is therefore
    the norm for the conversion experience for Gentiles. It is during his first
    experience, when he is converted, that the Holy Spirit comes down on him and his
    household as on the disciples at Pentecost. Granted, there is no great wind, or
    tongues of fire, but Peter insists that it is the same thing (Acts 11:15). The
    whole of Cornelius’ household enters into the baptism of the Spirit first
    (v.16), and then the baptism of water (v.48).

    c) The Twelve Disciples of Ephesus. Chapter 19

    We find the same scenario in Acts 19, but this time with Jewish people. There
    were about twelve of them in all, and they were not, as some people have
    believed, disciples of Christ, but, as is made clear, disciples of John the
    Baptist, who were living on the outskirts of the church of Ephesus. Having
    discerned some anomalies in their behaviour, Paul’s opening question to them is,
    « Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? » This shows that in order to
    be baptised by the Spirit it is sufficient to have believed in the Lord Jesus.
    This ties in with Eph.1:13, which confirms, « Having believed, you were marked in
    Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit ». Their reply reveals that they were
    not disciples of Christ, « We have not even heard that there is a Holy
    Spirit ».

    Can we imagine spending even half an hour in a Pentecostal meeting without
    discovering the existence of the Holy Spirit?! And these people would have lived
    all these years in the apostolic church without having heard of it!

    When we know the emphasis that was placed on the Spirit at the beginning, it
    was impossible not to have heard about it. Not only had they not heard that
    there was a Holy Spirit, but they knew nothing at all of the Christian baptism,
    which is equally impossible if they were disciples of Jesus and His Word. How
    could have they missed a baptism administered straightway after conversion, as
    illustrated in the book of Acts in the following summary:

    – Acts 2:41 – « Those who accepted his message were baptised ».

    – Acts 8:12 – « But when they believed… they were baptised ».

    – Acts 8:38 – The eunuch believes and is baptised.

    – Acts 9:18 – Saul of Tarsus is converted and baptised.

    – Acts 10:47 – Cornelius and those who heard … are baptised.

    – Acts 16:15 – Lydia opens her heart and is baptised.

    – Acts 16:33 – The jailer in Philippi believes and is immediately

    – Acts 19:5 – « On hearing this (‘Believe in Jesus’), they were baptised in
    the name of the Lord Jesus ».

    The twelve mentioned in Acts 19 were emigrant Jews, as so many were, and
    members of a Jewish colony that had settled in Ephesus. Apparently they had not
    established ties with any Christians. Things became clearer when Paul asked them
    what baptism they had received. « John’s baptism », they answered. Now the penny
    finally drops. They were John the Baptist’s disciples; they were Jewish
    emigrants of Asia Minor. The great doctor of the church immediately got the
    picture. In a few words, he explained to them what their spiritual status was,
    « John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the (Jewish) people to
    believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus ». They believed in what
    John had been announcing in the desert, in a Messiah who was going to come.
    Through Paul they were able to believe in the One who had come. They were
    forthwith re-baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul then laid hands on
    them (for reasons we shall look at in the next paragraph), and they too received
    the Holy Spirit. Paul’s question now found an answer. Yes, they received the
    Holy Spirit when they believed. Neither on this occasion, nor on the two
    previous ones, is the baptism of the Spirit considered to be a second

    d) The Samaritans. Chapter 8

    The episode of the Samaritans in Acts 8 is the last one left to consider. It
    is the only one that seems different from the other three because there is a
    time lapse between the Samaritans’ conversion and their receiving the Holy
    Spirit. This is the only place in Scripture where a semblance of truth is
    awarded to the second experience theory; it is the only passage that the
    Pentecostals can evoke to back up their doctrine. The explanation, though
    somewhat lengthy, is nevertheless not complicated; all it requires is to have
    the relevant biblical knowledge. Following the persecution of the Church in
    Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the disciples in Judea and Samaria, the
    preaching of the Gospel started to spread everywhere, and the Samaritans in
    particular began to be converted. Why then did they not receive the Holy Spirit
    like the others at the same time that they believed?

    Who were the Samaritans? We touched upon the subject in chapter 3; it is now
    time to add some supplementary details. They were the descendants of people that
    the Assyrians had transplanted into the Palestinian province after deporting the
    indigenous population (see 2 Kings 17:6,24ff and Byron’s famous poem, « The
    Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold… », (« Destruction of Sennacherib »).
    These people had adopted the language and religion of the Jews, though their way
    of practising the religion was hardly orthodox. Instead of going up to the
    temple in Jerusalem, they had erected their own version on the mountain of
    Samaria (Jn.4:20), thus causing a schism, which had reached the point where Jews
    no longer had any relations with Samaritans (Jn.4:9). There was a religious,
    racial and cultural barriers between them. They hated each other. When the
    shortest route in a journey would mean passing through Samaria, the Jews, unlike
    the Lord Jesus, would not hesitate to lengthen their trip by going the long way
    around. The Samaritans, make no mistake about it, gave as good as they got. One
    evening, when Jesus and His disciples stopped in a little Samaritan village with
    the intention of spending the night there, no one would take them in because
    they were heading for Jerusalem! (Luke 9:52,56). The disciples saw red. Wanting
    to emulate Elijah (2 Kings 1:10,12), they asked the Lord, « Do you want us to
    call fire down from heaven to destroy them? » Wow! They were certainly the last
    ones who would have laid hands on the Samaritans for them to receive the Holy
    Spirit, for them to be consumed by flames, yes, but not for anything else. And
    no Samaritan would ever have let a despised Jew put a hand on him… The worst
    insult you could hurl at a Jew was to say, « You are a Samaritan » (Jn.8:48). The
    situation between the two factions could not have been more explosive. So, had
    the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion, in that
    state of mind, the terrible abyss that separated them would have continued into
    SPIRIT of which it is written, « We were all baptised by one Spirit INTO ONE
    BODY! » The Samaritans had to be brought to admit that what was happening with
    them was not a « Samaritan Pentecost » and that there was only one birth of the
    Church. The Pentecost in Jerusalem was the beginning of a new era, whereas the
    evangelisation in Samaria was only their entering into the blessings of that era
    and not the inauguration of it. The episode in Samaria was part of the Church’s
    growth, and not its birth. It was vital that all those present in Samaria should
    know that there were not two bodies, two churches but only one.


    A Voluntary Interval.


    It is worth noting that the Samaritan believers did not « wait » for the Holy
    Spirit, but it was the Holy Spirit, in fact, who did the waiting for the coming
    of Peter and John from Jerusalem. The authority of the Jewish apostles had to be
    recognised beyond the culture and boundaries of Judaism. It was crucial that the
    Samaritans acknowledge what Jesus had said to the Samaritan woman, « Salvation is
    from the Jews » (Jn.4:22), as well as recognise the authority of His apostles,
    the depositories of the Truth. The interval, therefore, between the moment the
    Samaritans received Christ and when they received the Holy Spirit, is not
    accidental. It was deliberate because, just as the Samaritans had to see that
    they were dependant on the authority of the Jewish apostles, it was equally
    necessary for the apostles (those same apostles who wanted to pray for the fire
    of heaven to come down and incinerate the Samaritans) to understand that these
    people, with whom they had only a very brittle relationship, were to enter into
    the same Church, have the same Christ, the same salvation, the same God and the
    same Holy Spirit. This was the only meaning that Paul gave to the baptism of the
    Holy Spirit: to form « one body » (I Cor.12:13). By doing things in this way, the
    Holy Spirit brought down the barriers of bitterness and destroyed the separating
    wall right from the start (Eph.2:14).

    This analysis holds true for the little isolated group we find in Acts 19,
    who were living on the periphery of the Christian and pagan circles. Laying
    hands on them was as necessary as in the case of the Samaritans. By this laying
    on of hands and by the speaking in foreign tongues that followed, they were
    brought to accept that they formed one body, not only with the apostles, but
    also with the foreign people whose language they miraculously spoke, some of
    whom were members of Paul’s team.

    Stuart Olyott, the Baptist pastor of Lausanne explains, by way of a
    descriptive image, why the baptism in the Spirit cannot be a second experience
    to supplement the first. Being born again is just like being born physically.
    When a baby comes into the world, he is a finished product; nothing is missing.
    His tiny little feet are still so tiny but maybe they will be those of an
    athlete; his little fists will perhaps become those of a nurse or a skilled
    surgeon; that little brain in that wrinkled little head may one day be that of
    an eminent mathematician. Would we be less complete and would our potential be
    less when born from above, not of the will of man but of God? Could our heavenly
    Father have made us less well than our earthly parents? This is what some people
    would have us believe. They come to see the baby and tell us, « Oh, but his lungs
    are missing, or his liver, or his kidneys, but don’t worry, it is not serious,
    come to our place and we will give him a transplant! » No, thank you! When God
    regenerates us by His Word and His Spirit, He does not create monsters or little
    stunted runts. No, not a single part of the sevenfold blessing is missing for
    those who are born again spiritually, and especially not the baptism of the Holy
    Spirit, which brings about the unity of the divine family (I Cor.12:13). « You
    have been given fullness in Christ », says Paul (Col.2:10), and we all have this
    from the moment we are born again but it is necessary to develop it with the
    help of all that the Word is for us: milk, bread and meat, so that we may
    « become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ »


    The PURPOSE of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.


    We have not yet tackled the crux of the doctrine on the purpose of the
    baptism of the Spirit. It is this purpose that will finally demonstrate without
    a shadow of doubt that there can be no question whatsoever of a second
    experience. We will base our explanation on the pattern formed by water baptism
    that is:

    — announced in the Gospels,

    — practised in Acts,

    — explained in the Epistles.

    The same is true for the baptism of the Spirit. It, too, is announced without
    explanation in the Gospels; it appears in the book of Acts as the initial
    experience of the believer; it is explained in the Epistles. If the truth be
    told, we ought to write Epistles in the singular, as the only explanation given
    to us in the New Testament concerning this baptism is found in I Cor.12:13. It
    is there and only there, and nowhere else. This explains why this verse is of
    vital importance to our discussion here, in spite of its being passed over in
    silence during any discussion I have had with Pentecostal friends.

    The editors of the recent ultra-Pentecostal book, Dossier on Speaking in
    , succeeded in getting together three authors, from among the most
    eminent, (A. Thomas-Brès, H. Horton and Donald Gee), in order to write a book of
    119 pages, about the baptism of the Holy Spirit without commenting even once
    on the only verse in the Bible that explains it: I Cor.12:13
    ! It is
    unthinkable that specialists on the subject do not know this vital text. They
    knowingly skirted around the only doctrinal explanation that the Holy Spirit
    gives concerning His baptism, in order to explain things the way they wanted to.
    This is about as credible as trying to explain Waterloo without mentioning
    Napoleon! It is what is known as cultivating to its highest degree the
    anti-Christian art of dissimulation and misinformation. This voluntary
    « oversight » is profoundly saddening, as it casts a doubt on the honesty of their
    scriptural exposition. It confirms the dishonesty that has already been attested
    by those who left the Movement because « the biblical texts that contradicted
    what we were taught were systematically avoided
    « . Given that I Co.12:13 is a
    rectification of all Pentecostal teaching on the subject, it is understandable
    that they have declared a war of silence against it.

    On page 49 of the same book, H. Horton comes up with a shrewd concoction of
    untruths and inaccurate quotations, wrapped up in evangelical wording. « If you
    study the Epistles carefully, you will inevitably come to the conclusion that
    they were written by Christians who were all filled with the Holy Spirit »… Up
    to this point, we can still follow him, but he goes on, « … and as a
    consequence, spoke or had spoken other languages ». Where did he get that from?
    As if the inspired writing of the New Testament depended on the exercising of
    the gift of tongues! By this yardstick, Jesus would never been able to write an
    epistle and even less inspire one, since he never spoke in tongues. Neither
    could He have experienced the fullness of the Spirit. The argument has gone
    completely off the rails! But there is worse to come. Horton backs up what he
    says by making reference to I Cor.12.13, which he takes pains not to write
    down nor to give any explanation for
    , as it does not fit in with what he has
    just said. He counts on the unlikelihood of the reader’s interrupting his/her
    reading to check the reference. Is this honest?


    Closer Examination.


    Let us examine the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit more closely.
    What does the apostle of the nations say about it, inspired by the Spirit? « We
    were all baptised by one Spirit… » For what purpose?

    To have access to the gifts of the Spirit? No!

    To achieve personal edification? No!

    To speak in tongues? No!

    To have a more powerful testimony? No!

    So for what reason, then? We simply need to read the text, « We were all
    baptised by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slave or
    free ». There is the reason, the PURPOSE: to form this body, by gathering
    together those who constitute it, in other words, men and women of every
    language, (Jews and Greeks), born again of the Holy Spirit. In the whole scope
    of the New Testament there is scarcely any other truth that is expressed more
    simply and that is easier to understand than this one. I have done my utmost to
    try to understand it differently, but to no avail.

    What surprised me in all the commentaries I have been able to consult was one
    particular oversight , which is even more astonishing since it is of capital
    importance for the understanding of the text. In the first twenty words that
    make up the essential part of the verse, there are four, (one fifth of the
    text), which are seemingly forgotten by the analysts… « whether Jews or
    « . It is like skipping over a fifth of John 3:16, and saying, for
    example, « For God so loved the world that whoever believes in Him shall not
    perish but have eternal life », so leaving out « that He gave His one and only
    son ». The impact of the text would be weakened as a result of this missing
    dimension. This is what the commentators do with I Cor.12:13; a fifth of the
    phrase seems to escape their grasp. The result is that their vision of tongues,
    like their vision of the baptism of the Spirit, is clouded and incomplete
    because they fail to see the full picture. The « whether Jews or Greeks » is the
    missing piece that permits a correct interpretation of speaking in tongues and
    of the baptism of the Spirit. These two truths are inter-related but not in the
    way that Pentecostalism explains it. The « whether Jews or Greeks » takes us to
    Jerusalem, to that day when Peter explained the convergence of tongues and the
    baptism they had just received, by quoting the verse, « I will pour out my
    Spirit »… On Jews alone? No! « On all people ». That means people of every
    culture, be they Jewish or Greek. Given that the term « Greeks » covers all that
    is non-Jewish, the « whether Jews or Greeks » brings us once again to Peter’s
    vision, which had a significance similar to that of speaking in tongues. The
    « whether Jews or Greeks », makes us realise that the baptism in the Spirit is
    more than the inclusion of the believer into the body of Christ; it is the
    acceptance of believers of every language, Jews and Greeks, and from
    every background, slave or free. I Cor.12:13 reads, « It is to be integrated into
    one body that Jews and Greeks have been baptised by one Spirit. »

    It was this more than anything else that the Jews did not want to believe:
    that foreigners, Greeks, barbarians, other languages, or in one word pagans,
    formed with themselves a new entity, the Church. That is what Paul says,  » It is
    to be integrated into one body that we all, believers of every language
    whether Jews of Greeks), have been baptised by one Spirit. » Thus, with the
    baptism of the Holy Spirit placed once again in its historical context, nothing
    stops us from mentioning foreign languages when speaking about it, provided that
    we do know what that baptism really is.

    Here is what Paul says elsewhere in much more detail, « Therefore, remember
    that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth… remember that at that time you
    were separated from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel, and foreigners
    to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world, but
    now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through
    the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who has made the two
    and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… His
    purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making
    peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the
    cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to
    you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both
    have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer
    foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of
    God’s household » (Eph.2:11-19). « Although I am less than the least of all God’s
    people, this grace was given to me to preach… this mystery, which for
    ages past was kept hidden in God… » (Eph.3:8-9). What mystery? Listen to Paul’s
    answer in I Cor.12:13 and in Eph. 3:6, « This mystery is that… the Gentiles are
    heirs together with Israel ».

    Now please, ponder this question, « What is the name given to this act by
    which the Holy Spirit forms this body henceforth composed of Jews and Greeks? »
    The only answer is in I Cor.12:13, » THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. » « For we
    were all baptised by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks… ». THAT
    is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I am rather taken aback that a fair number
    of evangelical commentators have not seen it. Yes, they are aiming in the right
    direction, but they are not quite hitting the center of the


    The Last Words of Jesus.


    In Acts 1:4-8 there is a remarkable suite of verses, which as they logically
    unfold, explain the same truth with the same elements. They are Jesus’ last
    words on this earth, which make them all the more important, and they deal with
    the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We only have to follow through the text in the
    order that God has given it to discover the Lord’s thought on the matter.

    « On one occasion… He gave them this command, Do not leave Jerusalem, but
    wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For
    John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy
    Spirit. » Faced with the imminence and importance of this great event, their
    reaction is wholly Jewish. « They asked him, Lord, are you at this time going
    to restore the kingdom to Israel? » This is their idea of the event:
    Israel, always Israel, and nothing but Israel. Since this idea was the negation
    of the international scope of the baptism of the Spirit, the Lord rebukes them
    in no uncertain terms. He said to them, « It is not for you to know the times or
    dates the Father has set by his own authority », by this He shows them that the
    baptism of the Spirit is totally different from the restoration of Israel. In
    the phrase that follows He tells them that what constitutes the very essence of
    this baptism is its multi-lingual dimension. « But you will receive power when
    the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in JERUSALEM, and in

    With these prophetic words of Jesus, we hear in advance Peter explaining the
    baptism of the Spirit and the sign of speaking in tongues, « I will pour my
    Spirit on all people », that is, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the

    We, also in advance, hear Paul explaining the same doctrine, « For we were all
    baptised by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks », that is, in
    Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the world.

    These last words of our Lord are a brilliant prophetic description confirming
    the extraordinary doctrinal unity of His Word. And so, whatever text is used to
    support the argument, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is in no way a second
    experience, not only because nowhere in the Bible are we taught to seek it, but
    because, in its essence, it cannot be a second experience.

    The baptism of the Holy Spirit has two phases, like the symbolism of water
    baptism that Paul explains in Romans 6: death and resurrection. – Phase 1: Death
    to sin is represented by submersion into water.- Phase 2: The resurrection with
    Christ to a new life is symbolised by coming up out of the water. The same is
    true for the baptism of the Spirit:

    Phase 1: The plurality of languages and those who speak them (and who play
    one off against the other) are merged into the Spirit who absorbs them. Any
    differences and privileges are destroyed as they experience this washing of
    rebirth (Titus 3:5).

    Phase 2: The believers come out into a new life to speak a language other
    than that of division, but on the contrary, one of the unity of the Body, « It is
    to be put into One Body that whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, all have
    been baptised by one Spirit ». That is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is
    that, that alone, and nothing but that.Wherever people are born again nowadays,
    the Holy Spirit does His work in the same way. Problems of language, (whether
    Jews or Greeks), and class, (slave or free), are immersed in His inward and
    spiritual baptism. Now that the Church is composed of every language, is there
    anyone to whom God still needs to make signs? To today’s Jews? But they no
    longer have the power to oppose world evangelism and the formation of the
    Church. This great affair is in the hands of converts of every people, tribe,
    nation and language. This sign, if it still existed, would no longer be a sign
    for anyone. Given that its cessation had been announced from the beginning (I
    Cor.13:8), it now no longer exists except in counterfeit form, as was
    demonstrated in chapter 5.

    CHAPTER 10



    To the chapter about the baptism of the Spirit, we must add another shorter
    one on the baptism of fire to explain an aspect of speaking in tongues that is
    little known. Tongues were not only associated with the baptism of the Spirit
    (in the sense that we have just looked at it (*1)), but also with the baptism of

    When I was young, I was with some devoted and experienced Christian brethren.
    Each one knew his Bible very well and our discussions often came round to
    theological subjects. The oldest asked a question, « Where do we find speaking in
    tongues for the first time? » The answers came spontaneously and in unison, « At
    Pentecost ». We were so sure of ourselves! But no, it was at the Tower of Babel!
    I was cut to the quick. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Now I was really
    listening. I will never forget the explanation that followed. The diversity of
    languages at the Tower of Babel was a judgement. Now, in the Bible, there
    is a principle of hermeneutics called First Mention. That is to say, a truth
    mentioned for the first time in the Bible will keep that initial meaning right
    through to the end. Along the way, it can add deeper significance, or be
    developed, or be enriched, but the meaning it had at the start will not be

    Was it possible that speaking in tongues carried with it an idea of
    judgement? This is, in any case, what the relevant verses affirm. The main text
    on speaking in tongues that Paul uses is found in Isaiah 28:11. Inspired by the
    Spirit, Paul freely quotes, « through men of strange tongues and through lips of
    foreigners I will speak to this people » (I Cor.14:21). The quotation from Isaiah
    continues with a detail that confirms that speaking in tongues does indeed
    involve judgement, « … so that they might fall backward and be broken and
    snared and taken
    « . This basic truth has been missed by the whole Pentecostal
    movement, despite the fact that we have always read in Acts 2 that the tongues
    that came to rest on each of them were of FIRE. In the Scriptures fire is
    unquestionably a symbol of judgement. It is once more Isaiah who says it, so
    summing up the whole of biblical teaching on the subject, « See, the Lord is
    coming with fire,… and His rebuke with flames of fire » (Isaiah
    66:15). II Thess.1:7-9 says, « … the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in
    flaming fire… He will punish… They will be punished with everlasting
    destruction… » In the New Testament, fire can be found, in its figurative
    sense, 63 times, and always as a judgement (*2).


    Baptism of Fire


    Even if it does have a certain purifying effect, fire always carries with it
    a meaning of judgement. This is clearly explained by a text that is often
    misunderstood and quoted in the wrong way. John the Baptist said something that
    is repeated five times in the New Testament, four times in the Gospels, « He
    (Jesus) will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire« . A careful
    reading of the texts reveals that John, Mark and Acts 1 do not speak of fire.
    Only Matthew and Luke speak of it because the Pharisees, Christ’s opponents, are
    present and mentioned in the context. It is because of them and for their
    benefit that fire is mentioned. With the opponents being absent from the scene
    in Mark, John and Acts 1, the baptism of fire, and its judgement, are also
    absent. It is John the Baptist himself who provides an interpretation for it,
    « He will gather his wheat into the barn, (that is the baptism of the Holy
    Spirit), and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire » (that is the baptism of
    fire). And to avoid any speculation on the subject, he talks about the fire
    three times in Matthew’s text (Matt.3:7-12), and he describes this fire as
    « unquenchable », and not as some sort of enthusiasm or endowment of power.

    This double aspect should not surprise anyone, since the Gospel, in spite of
    the fact that it is the Good News « par excellence », also contains the idea of
    judgement. In II Cor. 2:15,16 we read, « To the one (those who are perishing) we
    are the odor of death; to the other (those who are being saved) the fragrance of
    life ». Similarly, the speaking in foreign tongues of Acts 1 also confronted two
    categories of people. For those Jews who were favourable to it, tongues were the
    revelation of a great mystery: people speaking foreign languages, that is
    languages other than Hebrew, were to enter the Church and form one body with the
    Jews by the baptism of the Spirit; but for the others, it announced judgement,
    as Isaiah had prophesied, involving collapse and destruction, chains and
    imprisonment (Isaiah 28:11-13). So what was the attitude of these Jews, to
    justify the presence of such a threat contained within such a blessing? It is
    described to us by a Jew of the opposite side, « the Jews… who drove us out.
    They displease God and are hostile to all men, in their effort to keep us from
    speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap
    up their sins to the limit. The WRATH of God has come upon them at last » (I
    Thess.2:14-16). And this terrible baptism of fire, which tongues of fire had
    announced, came upon them on a national scale at the historical storming of
    Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and in the form of the longest and the most tragic
    Diaspora in their whole history.

    We just ask a simple question, « Where is the sign of this judgement in the
    present-day speaking in tongues and where are the people it is addressing? »

    (*1) We make this point in passing, so as to ward off in advance any future
    attempts to distort what we have said about the relationship between tongues and
    the baptism in the Spirit. That was clarified in chapter 9 and is poles apart
    from the charismatic opinion on the subject.

    (*2) Heb.1:7 is no exception (see Acts 12:23, I Thess.1:7, Heb 2:2 and the
    angels in Revelation).

    CHAPTER 11



    The gift of tongues is like the Gospel: one does not just make something up,
    and claim it to be Gospel truth, for it to become actually true. The Gospel,
    like speaking in tongues, depends on strict rules and verifiable criteria. The
    Holy Spirit gives a summary, as remarkable as it is precise, of the true Gospel,
    the only one that saves, in I Cor.15:1-4, « Now, brothers, I want to remind you
    of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken
    your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I
    preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I
    passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according
    to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day
    according to the Scriptures ». The Gospel is the bridge of salvation spanning the
    river of perdition. It is built upon a minimum of six pillars, conforming to the
    plan of the divine Architect. The true Gospel must rest upon:

    1. The death of Christ as substitute for our sins (v.3).

    2. The resurrection of Christ for our justification (v.4).

    3. The declaration of the above two elements (v.1).

    4. Reception of the good news (v.1).

    5. Perseverance in the life and doctrine of the Gospel (vv.1,2).

    6. Salvation and the assurance of salvation (v.2)


    Only this bridge with its six pillars opens the way to assurance of
    salvation. That is why the Spirit takes care to specify, « … if you hold firm
    to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain ». In other
    words, the bank of salvation on the other side of the river cannot be reached
    unless the six elements are in place. Were only one pillar to be missing,
    even with faith (v.2), all hope of salvation would be vain. Even though
    such a gospel contained some elements of truth, in the end it would be a false

    — If one believes that Christ died but explains away His resurrection, faith
    becomes vain because a pillar is missing and the bridge is no longer

    — If one holds on to these first two essential points, but fails to preach
    them (or preaches them only to oneself in private, with a view to personal
    edification), no one can be saved, for God says in Rom.10:14, « …how can they
    believe in the one of whom they have not heard, and how can they hear without
    someone preaching to them? »

    — If these three conditions coincide, but if those who hear the offer of
    salvation do not receive it personally by faith, they cannot become children of
    God (Jn.1:12). A pillar is missing and the bridge is unusable.

    — If these four conditions are there, but if the eternal Gospel is not
    inscribed permanently in everyday life by perseverance, the Bible says that we
    have believed in vain.

    — If the Gospel does not remain true to what is presented in the Bible, and
    if it drifts away from those terms, the greatest faith in the world would be
    vain and salvation’s shore never reached. A gospel with only five-sixths of its
    content would have no more value than if it contained only two- or three-sixths.
    It would be as useless as the famous bridge of Avignon which stops in the middle
    of the Rhone; it served its full purpose in days gone by, but it is of no more
    use today other than to be put into a song.

    It is the same with the gift of tongues. It is like a bridge with at least
    six pillars that could be called the great bridge of Pentecost, a bridge that
    enabled Jews and non-Jews to meet across the river of separation that had kept
    them apart. To have the authentic bridge of tongues, it would be necessary for
    all six pillars to be in place, and not one of them missing. Everyone knows that
    a banknote five-sixths genuine would never be anything other than a counterfeit
    note. The true speaking in tongues, that of the Bible, had to include at least
    the following six points:

    1. Be a real, existing language (I Cor.14:10 (J.N.D); Acts 2:8).

    2. Be addressed only to God and never to men (I Cor.14:21).

    3. Not be a sign for believers (I Cor. 14:22).

    4. Be a sign for « this people » (unbelieving Jews) concerning the vocation of
    the Gentiles (I Cor. 14:21).

    5. Announce the fire of a judgement upon « this people » (Isa. 28:11-13; I Cor.
    14:21; Acts 2:3).

    6. Be consistent with its explanatory corollary, the gift of

    If today we were presented with a gift of tongues that contained within
    itself the biblical guarantee of these six elements, we should also say, « Do not
    forbid to speak in tongues ». But in the twentieth century, this minimum of six
    conditions will never be found in any movement or church on the face of the
    earth. What is being suggested to us today has nothing in common, either closely
    or remotely, with the scriptural pattern. It is nothing less than a counterfeit,
    and we need to realise that those counterfeiters will be brought to justice and
    its inevitable sentence. You will never see a forger apply to the Royal Mint to
    have his forgeries examined. For the same reason today those who speak in
    tongues continue their angry anathemas against those they accuse of blaspheming
    against the Holy Spirit, simply because the latter provide them with biblical
    and other means of submitting their « gift » to the most impartial of

    CHAPTER 12



    Before tackling the subject of experiences, we earnestly beg the reader to
    refer to pages 7 to 9 (Section – Prevented from Seeing) of chapter 2 and to read
    them again carefully. What maintains most people in their belief in the
    permanence and the present-day reality of the gift of tongues is less the result
    of biblical knowledge than the argument, decisive according to them, of
    experience.Let us recall the answer of my neighbour, a Pentecostal pastor, who
    was confronted with the Bible, « I can’t deny an experience ». Or the answer of a
    Catholic woman to whom I was presenting the Bible, « I have just come back from
    Lourdes and what I saw there is enough for me ». In the same way, friends with
    charismatic sympathies, in defiance to my quoting the Bible to them, have
    greeted me with a blunt refusal in the name of « proofs » that satisfy them. It is
    what is known as subjectivism, or the theology of experience, the plague of our
    century, which is sweeping away as a great wave part of the people of God. No
    doubt we can see in it a reaction against arid and deadening rationalism or cold
    orthodoxy. In reaction against a cerebral Christianity we now see a mystical
    Christianity born of experience, of emotions, of visions, of exaltation, of the
    feel-good factor, etc. D. Cormier, whom I have already quoted, has written,
    « We live in a world where there is no longer any belief in absolute truth but
    in relative truths, subordinated to human experience. The emphasis is placed on
    experience rather than doctrine ».
    We take the opportunity to ask the
    question, What is the value of a so-called theology of experience that clashes
    head-on with the Word of God? To whom must we direct our obedience? To that
    which disguises itself as an angel of light or to God?

    Nothing calls for more caution than the quicksand of experience. What are we
    to think of a friend who, irritated at finding himself constantly brought back
    to the solid foundation of the Scriptures, exclaimed, « Anyway! I heard a
    prophecy in tongues and it came true in my life! » For him, heaven had spoken.
    Can we be sure of it? What we are sure of, is that heaven has spoken in the
    Bible, where such an experience is refuted. Between an experience that says that
    through a tongue, heaven speaks to men, and the Holy Spirit who says just the
    opposite, we have to make a choice. Whose side are we on? Job resolved this
    dilemma when he said, « I follow His will, not my own desires » (Job 23:12, GNB)

    What Does Experience Prove? Experience is encountered everywhere in life, but
    it does not prove very much. In fact, even a horoscope is not always wrong, as
    thousands of people are ready to testify. Madame Soleil, the great French
    clairvoyant, manages at times to make extraordinarily true pronouncements.
    Jeanne Dixon, the American clairvoyant, predicted the assassination of President
    John F. Kennedy, and yet another, the attempt against President Ronald Reagan.
    The walls of the chapel of Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseille are covered with
    plaques of gratitude to Mary bearing witness to answered prayers. The crutches
    and artificial limbs suspended in the cave at Lourdes support the Marian
    doctrine of the mediation of Mary. That also is experience. The diviner who
    indicates the place of a lost object hundreds of miles away, simply by passing
    his pendulum over a road-map, or who gives an exact diagnosis of an illness
    without sounding the chest of the patient, that is also experience. Thousands of
    people nowadays chase after bracelets and other magnetic jewellery; some of them
    insisting that a « plus » has come into their relationships, their life, their
    health, their love affairs, their business, etc. Multitudes have more and more
    recourse to these practices, because the reality of their experiences prevents
    them from understanding the language of the Bible and from seeing the occult and
    divinatory nature of these things.

    The Bible also relates numerous « anti-experiences » and puts us on our guard
    against them. For if it is the Holy Spirit who speaks in situations where only
    the slightest element of truth is involved, in what category are we to place the
    experience of Acts 16 where a slave girl, endowed with an extraordinary « gift »
    of prophecy, begins to follow two men whom she has never met before and, for
    three days, calls out to anyone willing to hear her that they are servants of
    God and that they announce the way of salvation. That also was « experience »
    clothed in evangelical vocabulary. It was, however, a demon who was speaking
    through her and Paul cast it out. As long as the slave girl was able to announce
    these truths, she was under a delusion. It was only when she was delivered from
    these « experiences » and was incapable of reproducing them that she came into the




    Pharaoh had as much as he wanted. His magicians changed water into blood,
    produced swarms of frogs and changed rods into snakes. It was true, authentic,
    but what was hidden behind it? Equally authentic was the experience of those
    women in Jeremiah 44:16-18, « We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven… just
    as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did… At that time we had
    plenty of food and we were well-off and suffered no harm, but ever since we
    stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings
    to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine ». What a
    shattering blow for the Word of God! Experience was proving these women right
    against the Word of God! What is it that determines whether a thing is truly
    from God? A personal testimony of someone’s experience or the sovereign
    authority of the Scriptures?




    It is time to de-mystify experiences that are nothing short of travesties of
    Scriptures. Such as, for example, a young man whose parents say that, when he
    came down from his room after spending time speaking in tongues before God, he
    was rather like Moses coming down from the mountain, transfigured by the
    presence of God. An alluring testimony that does not, however, tally with
    Scripture, but distorts it on several counts:

    1. He had edified only himself, contrary to the purpose of every gift.

    2. His sign-experience had not been a sign for the benefit of « this
    people ».

    3. The private practice of tongues is unknown in the New Testament.

    4. It was perceived, by believing parents, as a sign of the
    spirituality of their son, whilst God says it was a sign for the

    5. He had expressed himself in non-existent languages.

    6. He had taken no account of the divine teaching about the cessation of the

    All this already adds up to a great many kicks against the Bible. You may
    well ask, what if he attained Moses’ radiance? First of all, nowhere in the
    Bible do we find that tongues provided a shining face or that we are to seek
    such a result. Secondly, it is well known that eastern religions with a mystic
    emphasis can produce just as many of these experiences, if not more. Is it not
    written in Ezechiel 8:14 that some women at the gate of the temple in Jerusalem,
    were immersed in such devotion as to reduce them to tears? No doubt they felt
    its beneficial effects and an inner sense of relief, but it was an abominable
    idol called Thammuz that made them give way to this ecstasy.

    Does not Father Chiniquy bear witness that in his life as a priest, he
    experienced the most sublime moments kneeling in worship before the host. He was
    transported by it and as if transfigured. After his conversion to Jesus Christ,
    this sublimation arising from the abominable doctrine of transubstantiation, he
    now saw as idolatry. Yet, what elevation, what exaltation before his « Bon Dieu »
    (Good God) breadcrumbs, and what a testimony to « experience »!

    As young converts at a Bible camp in Alsace, a friend and I broke the rules
    of the camp one afternoon and went off together with the sincere desire of
    evangelising the neighbouring village. We enjoyed a glorious and harmless jaunt,
    in the name of Jesus Christ. We thought we had achieved exploits. On the way
    back we were radiant, with a spring in our step, as if carried by angels. From
    the heights of our euphoria, we looked down upon the camp director, who was
    nevertheless a man of God and experience, persuading ourselves that he knew
    nothing about anything. Our beatitude was our justification. We were so sure of
    ourselves! Weren’t the feelings real and lived? The exaltation did not, however,
    last and it didn’t take us long to attach to it another label, one other than
    ecstasy, revelation or spirituality. It was simply a very ephemeral, emotional,
    mystical overheat, which soon gave way to emptiness and a feeling of failure and
    frustration.An elevated state of soul augurs nothing good when it is the serpent
    of brass, albeit biblical, that inspires it. Since when has emotive, even
    religious, intensity been synonymous with truth and spirituality? It will always
    be true that God prefers obedience to sacrifice (I Sam.15:22). Today especially,
    when so many psychic and mystic experiences are substituted for simple obedience
    to the Word of God, we must exclaim with the prophet, « To the law and the
    testimony! » (Isa.8:20).

    The Bible puts us on our guard against the temptation to live by sight,
    relying on a string of miracles and signs and visions and experiences. Those who
    enter upon this dangerous pathway will be an easy prey for the Antichrist who
    comes precisely with « all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders » (II
    Thess.2:9). His satanic spirit is at work today, and his way is well prepared in
    the heart of those who place themselves on his chosen ground, whilst at the same
    time proclaiming their loyalty to Christ.


    Diagnostic and Remedy


    In the meantime, how much spiritual agitation we see! Several have told me of
    their troubled confusion and disappointment. The exercise of this « gift » was
    nothing but a facade masking the reality of an almost total spiritual and moral
    bankruptcy. Their glossolalia was a sort of compensation for a life of
    failure. They remained superficial whilst having the appearance of demonstrating
    the opposite, but they needed it to be a sign for themselves and thus reassert
    their value in their own eyes and in the eyes of others. Those who indulged most
    frequently in this practice were suffering from a distressing instability that
    they bore in secret, without daring to admit it and without realising its cause.
    They continually had to overact so as not to lose face with the others and to
    give themselves a feeling of security. Constantly focussing on their
    experiences, they were caught up in a vicious circle. The quicksands of these
    mystical experiences led them to a life of highs and lows, with unpredictable
    changes of mood: one moment joyful, the next depressed. The plotted diagram of
    their life was like the teeth of a saw; assured of their salvation one day and
    doubting it on the morrow; praising their pastor to the skies one month and
    denigrating him the following month; changing fellowships as one changes one’s

    The path that leads to deliverance is as follows: first of all, make sure
    that one is indeed born again, that the former things have passed away and that
    all things have become new by faith in the Lord Jesus, the only Saviour and the
    only Mediator between God and men. Next, follow the example of good King
    Hezekiah, who broke into pieces the serpent of brass that Moses had made,
    that is to say, by admitting the erroneous biblical labelling and its
    consequences through a full confession, claiming the merits of the blood of
    Christ (I Jn.1:7,9). God, who pardoned the biblical derailment of Israel, will
    also pardon the one who repents in this way. Faith must then take hold of the
    full pardon and of full deliverance from these psychic forces and their
    destabilising influence. At the feet of Jesus, the unstable Legion, the man of
    inarticulate cries, the roller-coaster victim (Mark 5:5) who always ended up at
    the bottom, finds peace, rest, his right mind, and at long last, the power to
    present to those who see and hear him a coherent witness.

    May the Holy Spirit who leads into all the truth and who delivers from all
    alienation, liberate also those who are still held captive by the very tempting
    but very dangerous theology of experience.

    Ray H. Hughes, superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Cleveland, has
    written, « Every experience that does not fit into the framework of Scripture
    must be stigmatised as false, however impressive it may be ». If such a man can
    say such good things, and at the same time accept in his life and in his
    movement « impressive experiences », which he lacks the discernment to see do not
    fit into the framework of Scripture, it is manifestly because:

    — either, he has only a truncated knowledge of the Scriptures he

    — or, he is struck with partial blindness,

    — or, as one ex-Pentecostalist confessed, « We were biblical only when it
    suited us to be so. When a disturbing truth was pointed out to us, the
    invariable attitude was to act as if it did not exist ».

    (*1) The French version renders it, « I bent my will to the words of his
    mouth ».

    CHAPTER 13



    Such as they are presented to us in the New Testament, and harmonised with
    the correctives that Paul addressed to the Corinthians, tongues were a gift of
    the Spirit and had a miraculous and infallible character. In general terms, the
    modern resurgence of speaking in tongues dates from the beginning of the
    century. We have discussed this long enough to make it clear that it does not
    have the same heavenly origin as the tongues of apostolic times. Modern-day
    tongues are simply a poor counterfeit, far removed from the original, and
    whoever speaks of counterfeit speaks of fraud, that is to say, of a spiritual
    relationship to the one who is the father of lies from the beginning. In the
    midst of this darkness, it must be admitted that there are degrees of guilt and
    responsibility. Every lie comes from the devil, certainly, but all those who
    have lied are not necessarily diabolical.

    1. It is good to remember that a number of Pentecostal Christians, and even a
    few of their pastors and elders, have never spoken in tongues and that they are
    all the better for it. They are the same as Christians of other evangelical
    denominations. They do not fall into the counterfeit class. There is no question
    of satanic control or demonic origin in this case.

    2. In many other cases, the interested party, caught up in the particular
    ambiance and teaching of the group he finds himself in, has mumbled a few
    disjointed words to which the label of « baptism of the Spirit » has immediately
    been attached, but without ever in his life experiencing a repeat performance.
    The counterfeit in his case is so tenuous and isolated that he cannot be accused
    of fraudulent intent. If the Spirit of God is not in it, neither is the spirit
    of evil.

    3. There is the case of those who were led into error, who were mistaken and
    who have recognised it. Underlying their short-lived experience there was no
    more a spirit of evil intent than there was of Holy Spirit. We welcomed into our
    home for a short time a problematic young man who used to attend a young
    people’s group of Pentecostal allegiance. Without anyone raising the question of
    new birth, he was pressed to be baptised in the Spirit to gain access to the
    gifts and this he managed to do without difficulty. This « victory » was
    inevitably followed by a cascading series of failures and he sank deeper into
    sin. Since he had spoken in tongues without repentance and conversion, there was
    no more question of showing him the way to these two basic elements of
    salvation. To overcome his faults, it was recommended that he pray in tongues as
    often as possible. He redoubled his efforts to articulate disjointed syllables
    and the moral result was disastrous. The Holy Spirit had no place in it, and the
    devil not much either, unless it would be in his misguided advisers. He was like
    a loose pulley, or a spinning idler-wheel in a gear-box. It stopped by itself
    when, discouraged, he left the group that kept it spinning. The whole affair
    sank into oblivion and he into delinquency.

    4. Before going to press, we learned first-hand that a few weeks ago a pious
    but unconverted man, a parish councillor in his reformed Church, dissatisfied
    with himself and judging his infant baptism to be inadequate, consulted a
    Pentecostal assembly with the intention of being baptised as an adult, by
    immersion. This was done without any enquiry about whether he was born again.
    They spoke to him about another baptism, their baptism of the Spirit, which they
    also directed him to seek. As the sign of it had to be glossolalia, he
    entered into this experience with no subsequent « plus » of any kind. The
    mediocrity of his Christian life carried on as usual until a Christian relative
    lent him some cassettes of messages that I had recorded previously on the
    revivals of the Old Testament. He listened to them whilst driving his car until
    convicted by the Word, he could stand it no longer. He stopped at the side of
    the motorway, broke down in tears and was converted to Jesus Christ! That is
    where he was born again and his life was radically transformed. This goes to
    show that, in this case as in the others, the Spirit had no place in this
    business of contemporary tongues and that the other spirit was not much involved
    either, if indeed it was involved at all. However, this also demonstrates that
    the present-day glossolalia is produced without the Holy Spirit and that
    eventually that man’s pseudo-tongue, interpreted by the same spirit, would have
    given a so-called « authentic » message, one hundred percent evangelical, (see
    chapter 6 where the fraudulent nature of the gift of interpretation is made

    5. Here is the testimony of a fervent young Catholic who discovered the truth
    on hearing the preaching of the simple Gospel of grace. He discarded Romanism
    and adhered mentally and wholeheartedly to this truth, giving himself over to it
    entirely. Like Saul of Tarsus, who was blameless according to the law, he became
    irreproachable according to the doctrine of his new church, to the extent that
    they made him their young elder, far and away the most active. His gifts of
    organisation made him the spearpoint of the evangelisation programme. He married
    a girl from the church. Outwardly, everything was going well for them, both in
    the assembly and in their marriage, but it was spiritually, with their Lord, in
    their consecration that, in spite of all their efforts, things were not running
    too smoothly. Meanwhile, some new members of the church, who had become
    disillusioned and left Pentecostalism without denying any of it, told him that
    if only he were baptised in the Spirit, everything would be all right, for he
    would then be clothed with power. Without taking the trouble to check what the
    Bible said about it, he sought after this second experience whose sign was
    speaking in tongues, and he spoke in tongues but the promised power was not in
    the encounter. Some time later, this irreproachable young man, now « baptised in
    the Spirit » and demonstrating it by the « obvious » sign of speaking in tongues,
    found out why his Christian life was not working. Through contact with
    Christians who deny and oppose this second experience, he was converted to Jesus
    Christ! What the so-called « baptism of the Spirit » had not given him, he found
    in conversion to Christ (rather than in intellectual adherence to a sound
    doctrine). He found all that he was lacking, to the great displeasure of those
    who failed to understand how he had been able to speak in tongues by the Holy
    Spirit without having first received Him. For their part, they might have asked
    themselves whether they were not in the same situation! Was there a spirit other
    than the Spirit of God involved in the sterility of this extra-biblical
    experience? We would not dare to affirm that a few incoherent sentences,
    essentially false, no doubt, but short-lived, turned this good man into a
    thoroughgoing forger of divine things, especially since he very soon recognised
    and confessed his error. No, having reached, in this chapter, this point of our
    analysis, let us not give to the devil a place that is not his. To do so would
    be to grant him too much honour.

    6. On the other hand, it is disturbing when the occasional becomes an
    obsession to the point of cultivating the art of speaking such gibberish and
    attributing it to the action of the Spirit. The idler-wheel of falsehood no
    longer spins freely on its axle; it has moved into gear and begun to control the
    movement of the whole mechanism, so that from then on, nothing can stop it. In
    the same way, the one who allows the counterfeit to settle into his spiritual
    life, ends up by being welded to it, so to speak. This is forcefully stated by
    the Spirit of truth, « because they did not welcome and love the truth… God
    sends the power (energeia) of error to work in them so that they
    believe what is false
     » (II Thess.2:10,11 GNB). Now that they believe it,
    the lie has become their truth. Those who have reached that stage can no longer
    find a way out, for the enemy has taken up residence and they treat him as if he
    were the Lord. The evil that was at first benign has become malignant. These
    words may seem harsh, but is that not precisely the judgement that, in the
    1970s, conservative Pentecostalism was still bringing against the gift of
    tongues as practised by the charismatics? Let us recall the way they described
    it, « This movement is the conjunction of protestant Pentecostalism and
    Catholic idolatry… IT IS A COUNTERFEIT OF THE DEVIL preparing for the coming
    of the Antichrist »
    , and what was it that was a devil’s counterfeit in their
    eyes? The baptism of the Spirit and its evident sign of speaking in tongues
    practised among those with whom the neo-Pentecostals have now become the closest
    friends. So then, this false second experience, wasn’t it from Pentecostals that
    the charismatics received it? Whatever the different forms may be that it takes
    in one group or another, it is the same experience that clashes with the
    Scriptures. Is not the occult origin of this experience revealed when
    Pentecostal pastors recognise that spiritualists seek out certain Pentecostal
    meetings whereas they avoid those of other evangelicals. It is because they find
    there an atmosphere that suits them. I have personally heard the president of
    French spiritualism say, « In our meetings we speak in tongues also, like the
    Pentecostals, but with this advantage over them that, with us, they are
    intelligible tongues ». That’s enough to make your hair stand on end!

    During the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to France, the press reported a
    particular event from his early childhood. Although living in a province far
    away from Llasa, he spoke the dialect of the capital without having ever learned
    it. This speaking in tongues was verifiable and no one can throw doubt on its
    authenticity, but by what spirit does the Dalai Lama speak in tongues? The
    mainstream Pentecostals have said that it is the same as the one that gives
    utterance to the charismatics, but their own is identical. Since it is not the
    same as that of the apostles; the conclusion is easy to draw.

    7. I have always been sceptical when reading or hearing reports of speaking
    in tongues that turned out to be from the devil. Dr. Gabelin affirms that a
    missionary heard some speaking in tongues in which phrases spoken in a Chinese
    dialect that he knew were too vile and obscene to be repeated. On another
    occasion, the person speaking in tongues allegedly blasphemed the name of the
    Lord Jesus in the most horrible way, etc… It was with some reservation that I
    attached any credence to these testimonies. I make it a principle of not
    trusting rumour, whichever direction it comes from, and of never forming an
    opinion simply on the grounds of hearsay. When it is a Christian of the stature
    of my friend Ralph Shallis who shares his personal experience in this field, one
    is obliged to pay attention. In his book in French, The Gift of Speaking
    Various Tongues
    , he says this, « I shall remember all my life a private
    prayer meeting I attended. Those who were present gave way without any reserve
    to excesses that profoundly shocked my spirit. Suddenly one of them, moreover
    the one who appeared to me the most spiritual man of all, (or perhaps the least
    carnal?) began to sing strangely in an unknown tongue. He pronounced one
    sentence only, of which I very well remember the first two words, ‘MAHA DEVI’.
    This man then interpreted this sentence in
    French in the following
    manner, ‘I am the Almighty God, put your trust in me’. Always with the same
    curious melody, he repeated SIX TIMES this sentence in identical form and SIX
    TIMES he translated it with exactly the same words, that is what fixed it in my
    memory. For the others present at this gathering, ‘it was God speaking to them’;
    they acclaimed this ‘tongue’ with ‘Amens’ and ‘Hallelujahs’… but for me, it
    was something quite different.Iin a word, I recognised the voice of the spirit
    with which I was being confronted: it was that of the enemy. The real meaning of
    those two words, repeated six times, proves the truth of what I am saying, for
    ‘MAHA DEVI’ means ‘the great goddess’. It is the title, among others, of the
    wife of Shiva, the third person of the Hindu triad, the god of destruction. The
    divinity MAHA DEVI is worshipped throughout India in different guises, including
    those of the goddesses KALI and DURGA. Durga is a terrifying, destructive deity.
    Kali means ‘black’; she is represented with a necklace of death’s-heads and
    cadaveric hands; she holds in her hand a decapitated head; she is covered with
    blood and puts out her tongue as a sign of mockery against her husband Shiva
    whom she at times tramples underfoot. She
    is worshipped with impure
    rites, among which cultic prostitution alone has dragged down innumerable
    children into a life of degradation and suffering. And so it was that this man,
    calling himself a Christian, without understanding the meaning of his ‘speaking
    in tongues’, identified this pagan divinity with the Almighty God and commanded
    us to put our faith in it… and those who gathered round him willingly believed
    that it was the Holy Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ who inspired him! All this
    took place in a meeting that claimed to be Christian and biblical! »


    Dr. Rebecca Brown claims to have brought to Christ one of the greatest
    witches in the United States. In her book, He Came to Free the Captives,
    she gives the testimony of the ex-witch who, on the orders of Satan, used to
    infiltrate the Christian communities in order to destroy them. She says notably,
    « It is common in charismatic churches that many people speak and pray in
    tongues together, in worship and prayer meetings, without the speaking in
    tongues being interpreted. The Satanists derive great advantage from this
    practice. When I was in the service of Satan I regularly spoke in tongues in all
    the worship and prayer meetings, and the other Satanists with whom I worked did
    the same. No one interpreted. We used to curse the church, the pastor, the
    Christians and God! And no one suspected it… » (*1)
    What Dr. Brown still
    seems not to realise is that the « interpretations », as we have already mentioned
    in chapter 6, are as false as the « tongues », since they are the counterfeiting
    of a counterfeit. The result is a double camouflage that aggravates the
    confusion. This is clearly shown by the experience of Ralph Shallis, as reported
    above, and likewise by the following example. In chapter 6, I tell of the
    occasion when, during an incomprehensible, as usual, speaking in tongues, I
    suddenly heard the expression, three times repeated, Spiriti Santi,
    without its equivalent being taken up in the interpretation that followed.
    Behind this first proof of counterfeit, there is something still more serious.
    Having some knowledge of la bella lingua, I knew that in Italian the Holy
    Spirit is lo Spirito Santo and that the plural of words ending in
    o end in -i. This means that, in addition to the deceit of the
    interpretation, this man was paganising the Holy Spirit by making Him plural!
    WHO, at that time, was manipulating that « brother » to make him utter the worst
    possible blasphemy against the divine and unique Person of the Holy Spirit? The
    whole assembly associated itself with this insult against the Deity in an
    enthusiastic Amen! That took place in a so-called Christian worship service of
    moderate, conservative Pentecostalism.

    Is it from the devil? That at least is what they themselves were affirming a
    few years ago with regard to their charismatic brothers to whom they transmitted
    this « gift », the one they now exercise after receiving their « baptism of the
    Spirit ». We would not dare contradict them! We can only express our thorough
    agreement with them and confirm the analysis that reaches the terrible
    conclusion that the whole thing smacks of blatant heresy. AND NOT ONLY AMONGST


    « Test the spirits » (I Jn. 4:1)


    In his book about putting the gift of tongues to the test, Dr. G. MacGraw
    writes, « … after a few moments of prayer, we ask the person being
    counselled to speak in tongues. Next the leader of the group will adress his
    questions, not to this person, but to the spirit who inspires the speaking in
    tongues… The majority had already exercised the gift of tongues in the course of
    their private devotions. Many doubted the authenticity of the gift but many were
    certain that the examination to which they submitted themselves would confirm
    its divine origin. The shocking fact is that more than ninety percent of them
    had to admit to the demonic origin of their gift of tongues. There are many
    Pentecostals and charismatics who recognise that demonic tongues exist. Yet they
    are certain that the gift they have received is authentic. A girl who felt evil
    influences in her life asked for her gift to be examined… she felt certain
    that her gift was of divine origin, since a lady in her church had affirmed that
    in her case, the speaking in tongues came from the Holy Spirit. When we met
    together with the purpose of praying for the deliverance of this sister, the
    spirit told us that he hated the Lord Jesus Christ. When we questioned it, the
    admitted to being the spirit that was responsible for this
    particular gift of tongues… Well-grounded Christians can be possessed by a
    tongues-speaking demon… It has happened that missionaries on furlough have
    heard speaking in tongues in a blasphemous way in the language of their mission
    field… Someone asked for an interview… It was impossible for me to imagine
    that this distinguished Christian lady could harbour a demon with respect to
    speaking in tongues… soon a speaking in tongues manifested itself, expressing
    bitterness and hatred towards Christ, towards herself and towards us. It was
    undeniable that she was inhabited by a demonic gift of tongues. Others… are
    profoundly sincere and spiritual. Their life gives evidence of real conversion,
    of a hunger for spiritual growth… but putting the spirit to the test leads to
    the conclusion that multitudes of enthusiasts who believe they have a true gift
    of tongues are deluding themselves ».


    I leave Dr. MacGraw with the responsibility of his conclusions but I do not
    contradict him. This is an area of investigation to which I do not yet have
    access. Others in France have come up with the same results. I can neither deny
    nor confirm that the gift of tongues is, as Dr. MacGraw asserts, ninety percent
    of demonic origin. What I confirm, nevertheless, Bible in hand, is that the gift
    is one hundred percent false. It should not, however, be concluded that by
    leaving a ten percent chance of uncertainty MacGraw means to imply that one out
    of ten speaking in tongues has a chance of being the true gift. The remaining
    ten percent fall into the « idler-wheel » category of unintelligible gibberish
    that, as we saw at the beginning of this chapter, has nothing to do with the
    Holy Spirit nor with Beelzebub.

    Ralph Shallis, a friend of George Burch, quotes him in his book The Gift
    of Speaking Various Tongues
    . G. Burch tested the gift of tongues of 147
    people. He found three doubtful cases, whereas the other 144 were all cases of
    demonic origin. Any unquestioning supporter of glossolalia may, if he
    wishes, get rid of this formidable evidence simply by denying it, just as some
    people deny the existence of the gas chambers of the Nazi regime, but to cover
    up a lying practice with other lies is to be doubly dishonest, is it not?

    In a town near Strasbourg where I was conducting an evangelistic campaign,
    George Burch’s experiment for testing spirits was reported to the local
    Pentecostal pastor. He acknowledged it but immediately added, « It’s true, but
    the pastor of the Pentecostal church in George Burch’s town went to find him and
    asked if he might submit his own gift of tongues to the same test. George Burch
    replied that he knew him well and that, in his case, there was no point in
    putting his gift to the test for he regarded it as authentic ». I had an inner
    conviction that this man was not telling the truth. I immediately contacted
    George Burch, through our mutual friend Ralph Shallis, to ask him if this
    incident was true. The reply, which I have kept, was entirely negative. George
    Burch had no knowledge of that event, and so, this shepherd who ought to have
    been an example to his flock, defended the precariousness of his doctrine with a
    moral swindle. He was twisting the evidence to suggest that if the 147 cases
    analysed were of satanic origin, the 148th was not! Through this base
    dialectic, every speaker in tongues in the world may pretend that HE also is the
    148th!! To whom was this « pastor » lying when he deliberately told an
    untruth about an imaginary interview? We find the answer in Acts 5:1-11 where
    Ananias and Sapphira, believing that they lied only to Peter, fell down
    stone-dead because they had in fact « lied to the Holy Spirit ». If therefore the
    conscious word of this man was capable of such a moral fraud, to which treachery
    might he not give way in his uncontrolled speaking in tongues?

    Just think what came out of the mouth of those three shameless individuals
    who, on the main French television channel, offered to millions of viewers the
    wild spectacle of the three of them holding a conversation in unknown languages,
    stretching the imposture even to the point of pretending to understand one
    another; all in the name of the Holy Spirit. Never has what is sacred been held
    up to ridicule so publicly and in so shameless a fashion as on that evening. We
    seem to hear the words of Jude who, after having exhorted the beloved in Christ
    to « contend for the faith (doctrine) that was once and for all entrusted to the
    saints » (v.3), continues with indignation, « Some godless people have slipped in
    unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of our God
    in order to excuse their immoral ways… Long ago the Scriptures predicted the
    condemnation… these people have visions which make them sin… those things
    that they know by instinct… are the very things that destroy them… Woe to
    them! These are the people who cause divisions, who are controlled by their
    natural desires, who do not have the Spirit« . (Jude vv.4,8,10,11,19).
    This terrible verdict comes, not from us, but from the Spirit of truth for whom
    religious falsehood is more offensive than any other.

    (*1) Certain works being of unequal value throughout, the quotations that are
    taken from them do not automatically recommend their authors or the whole of
    their writings.

    CHAPTER 14



    Error is never self-contained. It is never without consequences. It is part
    of a carefully prepared plan. Its instigator relentlessly pursues his aim
    whether short-, mid- or long-term. In this chapter we want to examine the CAUSE
    of moral drift, and as we do so, we are well aware that it constitutes the most
    unpleasant part of the book, where we can no longer be content with
    generalities. We must name names; we must identify ecclesiastical affiliations;
    we must debate moral situations of the utmost gravity.

    At the beginning of the century, Parham, one of the best-known founders, if
    not the founder, of early Pentecostalism, was imprisoned for flagrant
    immorality. Continuously since that time, the most serious problem in the
    Pentecostal movement has been the fact that many of its leaders have fallen into
    immorality. No other evangelical movement in the opposing camp, as far as the
    doctrine (the CAUSE) under discussion, has had such a lamentable testimony or
    public reputation.

    Quite recently, the son of a friend of mine, a Pentecostal minister, asked me
    with evident uneasiness, how it was that all the men to the fore in the nearby
    Assemblies of God were involved (his father excepted) in some blatant moral sin.
    His own teen-age sister having been assaulted by one of them, his father was
    forced to continue his ministry outside that movement.

    Philippe Emirian, appointed defender of the movement in France, is obliged to
    admit the scandals that bespatter Pentecostalism. In his book Le Don du
    , he says that Donald Gee himself regrets deeply that
    Pentecostals who have spoken in tongues show little holiness in their
    (pp.229). Quoting Th. Brès and Lindsell he continues, « We have
    received a spiritual baptism that is supposed to bring us the fullness of the
    Spirit, love for the Lord and hatred for sin, and we find ourselves in the same
    position (and even lower) as those who have not received this baptism – obliged
    to struggle day by day to maintain our fellowship with God and to resist
    temptation. Close to us we see so many brothers and sisters who, in spite of
    their baptism in the Holy Spirit, fall into flagrant sin, which Christians who
    have not enjoyed this privilege seem to resist more victoriously »(

    Observers have noticed a correlation between the emotional experience called
    « baptism in the Holy Spirit » and an increase of moral disorders in circles of
    Pentecostal or Neo-pentecostal tendency, particularly an impressive number
    of irregular sexual relationships. There have been gatherings where
    people seeking emotional experiences, prayed to the Holy Spirit to descend upon
    them. They began by « singing in the Spirit », then « praying the Spirit », then
    they danced « in the Spirit » and before the night was over dozens of men and
    women were drawn into flagrant immorality « in the Spirit » (p. 230).
    quotes a young man who said, « I was surprised to discover that these blessed
    emotions in my soul were accompanied by sexual passions in my body ».
    Dr. K.
    Koch (Germany) writes, « In the course of my consultations I came in contact
    with a very unhappy young girl who came to me for counselling. She was a student
    in a Bible college. One lady teacher was a member of the new « tongues movement ».
    She speaks in tongues and has influenced several students in a similar
    experience. To crown it all this woman has lesbian tendencies and sexually
    abuses some of the students. The young girl had been seduced by her. In this
    country such things still happen ».
    Emirian, quoting D. Shakarian, a
    well-known Pentecostal leader, writes, « It was the first time, but far from
    being the last, that Rose and I came up against the strangely baffling case of a
    man with an extraordinarily powerful spiritual ministry to others, and whose
    personal life is a real catastrophe. Sometimes, as in this man’s case, the weak
    point is money. In other cases it is alcohol. It can also be women or drugs or
    sexual perversions »
    (pp. 231). What a terrible confession!

    To be sure, non-Pentecostal evangelical circles are not perfect, nor do they
    pretend to be so. Occasionally we find unfortunate spiritual defects. There are
    weaknesses, struggles for pre-eminence, personality conflicts, internal tension,
    rivalry, hardness of heart… it would be vain to deny the existence of such
    things, even in certain leaders, but they do not predominate. Alas, it is also
    true that the reputation of God’s servants has sometimes been tarnished by
    others rather than by themselves. Moody was the victim of odious insinuations,
    to the extent that his ministry was affected for some time until he triumphed,
    as did Wesley, over the bitter gall of irresponsible detractors.

    But never has public opinion been alerted in such disastrous proportions as
    those concerning most of the important figures of Pentecostalism.

    Adepts of the movement suffer from this lamentable state of affairs, but
    should they not rather investigate the causes? They would discover that the
    first cause is identified with what makes the difference between them and other
    evangelicals. This difference is precisely their particular doctrine of « baptism
    in the Spirit ».


    Misplaced Confidence


    When he wrote his book in 1983, Emirian thought he could take for granted the
    honourability of certain great names of the electronic church, such as
    T.L.Osborne, O.Roberts, whom he quotes, and other tele-evangelists, such as
    J.Swaggart, R.Humbard, J.Bakker… Since then these men have been involved in
    financial and moral scandals, which television has fed out to the whole world.
    Osborne promotes a doctrine of Oral Roberts, called the « gospel of prosperity »,
    which proposes healing, love, success, and material prosperity as a divine
    recompense for generous giving to their own enterprises, several of which have
    become financial empires, all in the name of the Lord. The harm done to the
    evangelical cause is incalculable, and who is responsible for these scandals? On
    which side were those who, between two television sermons flirted with naive
    young women? Who was it who, with the money of offerings consecrated to God,
    paid fortunes to their secretaries and to prostitutes to buy their silence? Who
    accumulated embezzlements that caused them to be condemned to over forty years’
    imprisonment? Who are those who, in order to gather in millions of dollars,
    preached a so-called gospel of prosperity? Only the « baptised in the Spirit »,
    with unheard-of spiritual pretensions. In September 1989, a leading Swiss
    newspaper devoted an entire page, supported by proofs, to stigmatise the corrupt
    character and the profit-making methods of the Pentecostal tele-evangelists. Two
    months later, the same press, under the headline, « Jim Bakker found guilty »
    completed his portrait in these words, « The tele-evangelist, Jim Bakker, founder
    of P.T.L (Praise the Lord), a religious organisation transformed into a
    financial empire, was found guilty, last Thursday by a federal court at
    Charlotte (North Carolina) of having fleeced his congregation to the tune of 3,7
    million dollars. The tele-evangelist whose life-style of ostentatious luxury has
    become legendary, risks 120 years imprisonment and a fine of 5 million dollars ».
    If these scandals made such waves in the European press, what sort of high tide
    must have swamped the U.S.A? I was in the United States in December 1990. It was
    with a sad heart that, incidentally, on the televised news I saw this man,
    weeping, going to prison for the rest of his life. What saddened me most was to
    hear the newsman ironically making fun of the occasion. Once more, as Rom.2:24
    puts it so rightly, God’s name was blasphemed on an unprecedented scale. Billy
    Graham stands conspicuously apart from all these scandals; what makes it all the
    more significant is that he has not been involved in the Pentecostal experience
    of the « baptism in the Spirit », and that he, furthermore, challenges the
    accuracy of the term.

    Hornet’s Nest Emirian hopes to avoid this hornet’s nest by quoting D.
    Shakarian, who also avoids the issue with these words, « Men on the front line
    get wounded ». How then can we explain how giants of the faith, M. Luther, J.
    Calvin, John Knox, John Wesley, George Muller, C.H. Spurgeon, J.N. Darby, Hudson
    Taylor, David Livingstone, William Carey, Moody and Sankey, Charles Finney, H.A.
    Ironside, W.E. Vine, Campbell Morgan, Billy Graham, and many others, (*1) who
    more than anyone have been on the front line, oftentimes exposed to calumny,
    have yet remained irreproachable, morally, doctrinally, and financially? The
    explanation always brings us back to the first CAUSE of the difference between
    the two, which cause has been pointed out in the second paragraph of chapter 1:
    it is the « Pentecostal » experience, and the principle of cause and
    effect is universally accepted. If this is true for the charismatics, it is
    doubly true for Swaggart, Osborne, Bakker and Co. of sorry reputation. Thus, as
    much by their comments as by their conduct, they furnish the proof that it is
    their particular doctrine that brings about these results since other churches,
    who stand against it, are largely protected from the scandals that it

    Emirian, in a second attempt to get his movement out of this tight corner,
    and to minimize the bad reputation he is obliged to admit, gives a contrived
    explanation of the doctrine of baptism of the Holy Spirit. According to him this
    second experience does not produce a more intense fellowship with God, or
    victory over sin, and is not given for sanctification, but only for witness
    and service
    . Here we are not far from blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
    Those who speak in this manner forget that the characteristic appellation of the
    Spirit of God is precisely the HOLY Spirit, the Spirit of HOLINESS Who
    sanctifies all that has to do with His ministry. We protest vehemently against
    this method of interpreting texts that deprives the third person of the Trinity
    of a part of His own glory, that of being the bearer and the guarantor of
    ETERNAL HOLINESS, and to communicate it at all levels of His working. Strange
    baptism of a Spirit Who, as He admits believers into the Body of Christ, would
    leave His sanctification in the cloakroom instead of clothing them with it.
    Would He still be the HOLY Spirit if He gave His power, His gifts, His fullness,
    His in-dwelling independently of His holiness, holiness without which no one
    will see the Lord for Himself (Heb.12:14), nor reveal Him correctly to others.
    All that remains of the testimony is a counter-testimony by which God’s name is
    blasphemed among the unsaved. What credible witness can be given by the
    « powerful » man mentioned earlier if his life is a bad witness; or these
    tele-evangelists whose financial megalomania and corrupt moral conduct are made
    public by the media? Their actions speak so loudly that one can no longer hear
    the sound of their voices. True, they may be « powerful », as they like to say;
    they may prophesy, cast out demons, perform many miracles in the name of Jesus
    (Matt.7:21-23), but if they do not reject, not only the bad EFFECTS, but the
    CAUSE that produces them, they lay themselves open to hearing the dreadful
    judgement, « I never knew you, away from me you evildoers! ». As there is always a
    relation between cause and effect we can foretell with certainty that the time
    of excesses, scandals and trickery is not over. The Toronto blessing is but one
    more step towards other moral deviations.


    Prophetically Adrift


    Some sincere and moderate Pentecostal brethren (thank God there are still
    some) will rightly say that in the movement there are both churches and
    individuals who, at least morally, have not fallen so low. Happily this is so!
    We would be the first to be distressed if it were otherwise. We are happy to be
    able to mention David Wilkerson without shame. The world outside Christ also has
    its great men of whom it can be justly proud but that does not recommend the
    spirit of the world. That is why, in spite of the respect we have for the author
    of The Cross and the Switchblade and for his work amongst drug
    addicts, I have read his Prophetic Revelations with definite
    reservations. They have been widely diffused and boasted of as being the most
    extraordinary prophecies of modern times. Without wishing to overshadow the
    positive ministry of David Wilkerson, who has also received the gifts of tongues
    and prophecy « through the baptism in the Holy Spirit », we strongly encourage
    everyone to find a copy of the original edition of « The Vision ». Read carefully
    the paragraph in which he recommends not replacing one’s motorcar, given the
    imminent dates and time-limits « revealed » to him. Then read attentively
    Deut.18:20-22, and particularly verse 22, « A prophet who presumes to speak in my
    name anything I have not commanded him to say… must be put to death. » You may
    say to yourself, how can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?
    If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place
    or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has
    spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him ». In accordance with the divine
    order we are not afraid to say that if there was prophecy, his gift was a
    delusion, and his gift of tongues coming from the same source, is of the same

    It may be said that well-known men of God have also made mistakes or been too
    confident in their commentaries about prophetic events. Perhaps rightly so, but
    their words or writings were only commentaries; they never claimed to
    possess the infallible gift of prophecy. It is important to point out the
    difference, which is immense.At the risk of repeating myself, what spirit
    prompted the gift of tongues of the three « prophets » who all prophesied in the
    name of Jesus Christ two cases of healing and a resurrection, but with no
    results, in spite of a triple miracle (tongues-prophecy-interpretation)? What
    other lying spirit moved the tongues of those who, in my vicinity, announced
    that God would be glorified by the healing of a young woman and who, on the day
    of her burial, had the insolence to declare publicly by the open grave that
    God’s promise was accomplished because this sister had now entered perfect
    healing, and that God was glorified on this day by the preaching of the Gospel?
    To what kind of gift do these spiritual leaders have access and by what spirit?
    Far from applying the penalty prescribed by the Mosaic law or simply refusing to
    tolerate them after the example of the church in Ephesus (Rev.2:2), the words of
    these false prophets continue to be heeded as the oracles of God.

    In his book Whence Come These Tongues?, G.H. Lang continues on the
    same subject. « At Sutherland, a pastor, the Reverend J.M. Pollock was an
    enthusiastic supporter of the movement. He was the brother of Mrs. Boddy. He
    told me the following facts and confirmed them in writing. A neighbour’s little
    boy was ill. Mrs. Boddy had been notified by ‘tongues’ that the child would be
    healed and in perfect health. She asked her brother to pass on this good news to
    the child’s father. On the way, the ‘power’ fell upon Mr. Pollock, who by
    tongues and interpretation had the news confirmed to him, but on arriving he was
    told that the child was already dead. He wished to make his sister agree that
    obviously it was a lying spirit who had acted. After recovering from the first
    shock, she said she had received the explanation. They had misunderstood the
    message whose real meaning was that the child would be better in the other world
    and not here on earth. As she accepted this obvious loophole, this woman,
    actively engaged in this British centre of the movement, was still more blinded
    and all the more ensnared by it. Mr. Pollock left the movement but for several
    years he was cruelly tormented by the evil powers that he had
    renounced. »


    Hear God’s True Prophets


    The affair is more serious than some would like to believe for, in more than
    one case, the miracle of prophecy is backed up by two other miracles, those of
    speaking in tongues and interpretation. Its gravity is confirmed by several
    passages of Scriptures, « To those who prophesy out of their own imagination…
    woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen
    nothing!… your prophets are like jackals among ruins… their visions are
    false and their divinations a lie. They say, ‘Thus saith the Lord’, when the
    Lord has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled… you say
    ‘the Lord declares’ though I have not spoken. Therefore this is what the
    Sovereign Lord declares because of your false words and lying visions, I am
    against you… my hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and
    utter lying divinations; they will not belong to the council of my people or be
    listed in the records » (Ezekiel 13).

    « The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or
    appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions…
    and the delusion of their own minds » (Jer. 14:14). »Yes, declares the Lord, I am
    against the prophets who wag their own tongue and yet declare, ‘Thus saith the
    Lord’. Indeed I am against those who prophesy false dreams. They tell them and
    lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appointed
    them; they do not benefit this people in the least » (Jer.23:31-32).

    There is no remedy when God not only states « the prophets are prophesying
    lies », but is obliged to conclude, « and my people love it that way »! Man rarely
    refuses what he loves, especially when it comes to things touching the soul, the
    realm of the irrational and of the mysterious. Did not Solomon say in Prov.
    9:17, « Stolen water is sweet, food eaten in secret is delicious ».


    Further Drifting Away


    An exceptional spirit of fraud and deceit controls the most virulent of these
    prophets. The more they claim the authority of the Spirit of truth, the less the
    truth dwells in them. One couple, when I met them, had already severed the
    connection with their tongue-speaking friends. They had lost a little boy and,
    in the name of a God who can neither lie nor make a mistake, a prophecy was
    given in tongues that a son would soon replace the first. Contrary to true
    prophets who often had one chance in a billion of being right, (and who never
    made a mistake) this spirit had one chance in two. But a little girl was born to
    this couple. Did they expect a trans-sexual miracle? To honour this prophecy
    they gave the child an ambi-sexual name, dressed her as a boy and considered her
    as such until the day they had to undergo the humiliation of openly recognising
    that the responsible members of this church had misled them through the « gifts
    of the Spirit ». From then on they had no difficulty in knowing whether or not
    the first letter of this « spirit » was written with a capital S. The addition
    problem looked like this: 1 tongue + 1 prophecy + 1 interpretation = 1 lie. The
    worst thing that could have happened for their spiritual growth had been
    avoided. Had a boy been born, they would have presumed on this experience to
    sink deeper into « truths » that would have led to their destruction. Having
    drifted so far away from the moorings of Scriptural discernment, the way of
    enlightenment, repentance and restoration would have been closed to them
    forever.Is it not a case of complete mystical unreality to see supposedly normal
    people who, wanting to prove that the signs of the day of Pentecost were not
    outdated, showed me photographs, glaringly touched-up, of a baptismal service
    somewhere on the other side of the world, where above the heads of those just
    baptised appeared what they dared call tongues of fire (which were merely
    strokes made with a felt-pen). These tongues of fire, so they said, were
    invisible to the human eye but were captured by the camera!!! Here we had a
    whole crowd, « baptised into the Spirit », accepting this trickery, seemingly
    unable to discern the blatant cheating, as blind as Balaam who did not see what
    his ass saw – that he had lost his way and that his euphoria was nothing but
    insanity (II Peter 2:16).

    How can folks who say they are born again by the Spirit of truth take
    pleasure in what they know to be untrue? Because, unknown to them, they have
    come under the influence of a primary CAUSE. Like the charismatics who, by the
    laying-on of Pentecostal hands had received an evil spirit of mariolatry, many
    have received at the beginning of their « second experience » the same spirit of
    error to which a biblical label has been attached. They have abandoned
    themselves to these psychic « powers » and laid themselves open to a spirit of
    non-existent « tongues » supposedly coming from the Holy Spirit. The enemy,
    finding the door open, settled in, whence all the deceitful lies of which we are
    speaking. This duality is exposed by D. Cormier, as mentioned in chapter 1,
    « the characteristic of the Holy Spirit… is to guide into ALL the
    truth, that of the evil spirit is to guide us into A PART OF THE
    « .
    The same deviation that the Pentecostals expose in others is
    multiplied amongst themselves. The most sublime truths are found side by side
    with profound lies that they cannot resist because they are penetrated with them
    from the inside. The result is that they drift further and further away from the
    truth. I was responsible for the closing message of a large gathering where a
    young man who had been recommended to us was to give his testimony. He took the
    opportunity to tell of the greatest blessing of his life and declared, « believe
    it or not, but when I received the Holy Spirit He entered me by the soles of my
    feet ». The sequel of his life proved that he had received nothing and that he
    was wiping his feet on the Spirit of holiness.


    More Drifting


    What spirit imparts to them a pronounced taste for fantasising, and creates
    in them a state verging on mythomania? When I was a student at a Bible college
    in England I was a member of an itinerant group of young evangelists. The
    scheduled meetings took us on a six-week trek mainly around Suffolk and Norfolk.
    One evening the pastor of a small Pentecostal church welcomed us warmly. He had
    just returned from a few days spent at a small convention in East Anglia. He
    looked so happy that he appeared to be overpowered by his emotion. He told us he
    had experienced extraordinary events. There had been three thousand conversions
    (*1). One of us asked timidly in a choky voice, « How many? » He repeated
    shamelessly, « Yes, 3.000! » Now we knew that at the convention he had come from,
    even if one counted the Christians, there were not half that many present. How
    could there be ten or twenty times more conversions than there were unconverted?
    Whence comes that spirit of blind illusion unknown to other evangelicals who
    tend to under-estimate their numbers rather than offend and lie to the Holy
    Spirit? People who thus lose contact with reality are obviously no longer in a
    sane state of mind. After having been led into an abnormal semi-conscious state,
    such as is prized by oriental religions, they have received a baptism resembling
    the sad fruits they bear. Perhaps someone will reproach me for telling these
    guardroom stories, (even if they are true) and will say that one can’t judge a
    whole movement by the blunders of a few subordinates. Of course not! The
    manoeuvres are not commanded by corporals only; on the contrary, senior officers
    can go astray and mislead others in experiences and unscriptural explanations.
    Let us now hear from two Major-Generals.


    Senior Officers


    I personally heard the late Thomas Roberts, undoubtedly one of the
    Pentecostal leaders of the French-speaking world, say loudly and clearly that
    considering his age and the fatigue due to his numerous preaching engagements,
    he had only to speak in tongues for a few minutes to be renewed in his body.
    Thus he welcomed the gift of tongues and recommended it as an anti-senile
    pick-me-up. This is one of the uses he made of this gift of the Spirit.

    G. Ramseyer, a very popular Pentecostal preacher who beats all the records,
    incredible as they may be. In his book You Think Too Much, which begins
    with several pages reflecting common sense, one is dismayed to read the
    recommendation given concerning the gift of tongues. With this gift he combats
    insomnia, « I say to all those who have a problem of insomnia due to their
    thoughts and reasoning, ‘speak in tongues and you will sleep’. If you haven’t
    yet received this divine present, ask God for it. He will give it to you. If you
    speak in tongues in your bed, your reasoning will cease and you will soon be
    asleep.(…) Allow me to insist. Instead of turning over ten times in your bed,
    speak in tongues and pray to Jesus, you will need no more sleeping tablets. The
    remedy is infallible »
    (sic). Agreeing with Thomas Roberts, he adds, « Even
    your physical and cerebral fatigue wil
    l disappear » (page 113). What
    Ramseyer is careful not to say is that counting Ave Marias in this way,
    like the proverbial counting sheep, can have the same soporific effect.

    Such tomfoolery! And these people claim to explain the Bible to us! Their
    doctrine on the subject is necessarily on the same level as these absurdities.
    Who would entrust historical textbooks to such freakish writers? In school our
    children would learn that during World War II, Montgomery, Yamamoto and Patton
    were fighting side by side against Nimitz, Rommel and MacArthur. What a jumble
    it would be if history were taught as some expound the Bible! Poor, poor
    Christianity nourished by such nonsense. How severely Paul writes, « have nothing
    to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales » (I Tim.4:7). Roberts and
    Ramseyer, amongst others, are in the category of those who desecrate sacred
    things, transforming a spiritual gift, meant to be a public sign for unbelieving
    Israel as to the salvation of the Gentiles, into the absurd prescription of a
    quack doctor. In the same paragraph where he speaks of old wives’ tales, Paul
    also speaks of two spirits, « The Spirit clearly says that in later times some
    will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits, and things taught by
    demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have
    been seared as with a hot iron » (I Tim. 4:1). Never, never has such profanation
    appeared in the teaching of true men of God who challenge the Pentecostal
    teaching of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.


    Misinformation and Disloyalty


    To this profanation one can add a spirit of dishonesty and distortion of
    facts, especially where the leaders are concerned. G. Ramseyer, on another
    occasion, commenting on my first book on the same topic I Speak in
    More Than You All, says that it begins with the threadbare
    argument that the gift ceased after apostolic times. Now, precisely, the accused
    book begins with the contrary argument, that is, a position favorable to
    Pentecostalism. No, the Holy Spirit is not dyslexic, he does not specialise in
    misinformation or topsy-turvy reading. The more someone speaks in tongues and
    recommends it, the more the expression of his tongue or his pen is to be treated
    with caution. Some of their writers, in order to recuperate the power in the
    preaching of Moody or Finney, do not hesitate to affirm that these two men of
    God spoke in tongues, as a sign of their baptism in the Spirit and of their
    power. The same thing is spread abroad concerning other known servants of God.
    When this rumour is refuted, they go so far as to say that they must have done
    so without realising it. Desiring to know the truth of the matter, a friend of
    mine wrote to the Director of the Moody Bible Institute to enquire at the source
    whether, as had been published, Moody had experienced the baptism of the Spirit
    in the Pentecostal sense, and if he had taught this doctrine. I personally saw
    the reply which asserts that no trace of this doctrine is found in Moody’s
    teaching. It seems that because one day he said that someone he was speaking
    about needed to be baptised in the Holy Spirit, this was used by some to give
    the impression that Moody recommended this doctrine. Since these people quote
    from The Life of Moody, it is certain that they are dishonest in their
    interpretation. Here, as elsewhere, these friends have terribly deformed the
    truth, even historical truth as, for example, in the Welsh revival. The tongues
    movement tries, even today, to appropriate that revival to their advantage and
    to consider themselves its authors. Tongues manifestations were, as in other
    revivals, an infiltration several years after the beginning of the revival.

    A spirit of disloyalty, practically unknown in other groups, animates this
    movement. A few years ago I was invited by an Evangelisation Committee to be the
    evangelist during a campaign held in a large town in Eastern France. This effort
    grouped all the evangelical churches of the city, including the Assembly of God.
    Counsellors, a certain number from each community, had been chosen and trained
    to welcome those who would respond to the invitation. As far as we can judge
    this side of eternity, God’s Spirit was at work and many responded, especially
    the last evening. It was on this occasion that it was discovered that the
    Pentecostal friends had secretly increased the number of their counsellors,
    aiming to monopolise the new converts. To crown the deception, without advising
    the other churches, the Pentecostals distributed invitations for a series of
    meetings a few days later in their own church, on subjects that one can imagine.
    In all the churches engaged in this campaign only one betrayed the others and it
    was the one that had, moreover, the « Spirit », but which spirit? This led one of
    my friends to say to them, « My Holy Spirit is not dishonest ».

    As for cause and effect, the argument most often used to try to blur these
    serious moral problems is that of numerical growth, comparatively more rapid in
    the charismatic type of church, as if success and numbers were a guarantee of
    truth. If growth can be a cause for rejoicing it is not a test of truthfulness.
    The wood, hay and stubble of 1 Cor.3 occupy much greater space than gold, silver
    and precious stones. Even in a democracy the majority is not always right. If it
    were so, to whom should we turn? to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Islam or
    Eastern religions who, in these last decades, have experienced a resurgence and
    phenomenal growth, both widespread and disquieting? Rather than giving our
    advice, which we know will not be accepted, we prefer to leave the conclusion to
    conservative Pentecostals. Facing the rapid growth of their charismatic « alter
    ego » (who share the same doctrine of tongues and baptism of the Spirit), they
    still believe that « healings, prophecies, miracles are not from the Holy
    Spirit but from another spirit… which spirit has caused this movement to
    develop so vigorously »
    (Charismatic Renewal, page 13 from chapter 1).
    We, simple people, should like to be informed how the same biblically untenable
    doctrine is a product of the Holy Spirit on the one hand (among Pentecostals),
    and meets His disapproval on the other hand (among the charismatics).

    (*1) This chain of well-known names is far from being exhaustive and does not
    automatically recommend their global theology, methods, ecclesiology,
    associations, particularism…

    (*2) 3.000 is the charismatics’ fetish number since it is the number of
    conversions recorded on the day of Pentecost; you find it often mentioned in
    their prayers, expectations and reports.

    CHAPTER 15



    In chapter 1 we gave an account of the rigorous biblical analysis of the
    gifts of the Spirit practised in the charismatic movement. That was twenty years
    ago. Practically the entire Pentecostal movement subscribed to its final
    conclusion that implied that it was Beelzebub grimacing and pulling the strings
    of this baptism in the Spirit and the gift of tongues. The wind seems to have
    turned 180 degrees. Without any doctrinal rectification on the part of
    charismatics of all shades, traditional Pentecostalism is beginning to adulate
    what it had once burned. So it was that the top directors of the Assemblies of
    God officially joined up with the Ecumenical Council of Churches. Most of them
    are now arm in arm, not only with charismatic Catholics but also with the Roman
    Catholic Church. How could it be otherwise since the traditional churches are
    now open to their particular doctrine? How can they still see in the Pope a
    figure of the Antichrist since he appropriates and blesses the Pentecostal
    experience in his church? Why evangelise people who no longer need evangelising
    since they speak in tongues, through the Holy Spirit who is also the Spirit of
    Jesus (Acts 16:7)? Why speak of going to heaven to people, who, without other
    knowledge of the new birth than their baptism as an infant, already speak the
    tongues of the angels in heaven? In twenty years what was considered to be in
    fashion has changed. On almost every level one notes an abandon of the command
    « to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints » (Jude
    3). Instead of a healthy resistance to error, we find that the spirit of this
    age has taken its place, a spirit of neutrality and of compromise, even of
    capitulation, going so far that one is afraid to speak the truth for fear of
    upsetting others. Here is an example.

    Until recent years literature, books and other tools to help in evangelising
    seekers within Catholicism were easily available. This has drastically changed.
    At present Christian bookshops rarely, if ever, carry such material, and the
    growing philosophy in Christian circles is that Roman Catholics are really
    brothers and sisters in Christ. In the same way the classic Pentecostal position
    has greatly changed. There are still, here and there, a few blocks of
    resistance, a few small groups confined to rear-guard skirmishes, and for how
    much longer? A feeling of oneness with the papal church has been expressed by
    conservative Pentecostal leaders. Kathryn Kuhlman, known for her extreme
    sensitivity to spiritual atmospheres, had a private audience with Pope Paul as
    early as October 11, 1972. She said, « When I met Pope Paul there was a oneness
    of spirit between us. There was an interpreter, but we needed no interpreter ».
    Rex Humbard visited the same pope. Featuring this in the March 1980 issue of
    Response he said, « as we talked together, I sensed more and
    more that our mission was the same
    : to build the body of Christ; to uphold
    our brethren in the Lord; to win the people for the kingdom; to share that
    message that Jesus gave us to share ».

    As for Cardinal Augustin Bea, Jesuit and secretary to the Vatican for
    Ecumenism, he is not far behind with regard to Pentecostalism. Very quickly he
    perceived that Pentecostalism with its specific doctrines was providing new
    energy in the efforts of the Vatican to attain unity within Christendom. His
    satisfaction knew no bounds when the Christian Business Men’s Full Gospel
    Association accepted fervent and practising Catholics on the sole basis
    their Pentecostal experience.

    It was « Logos International », organ of the above-mentioned group, that said,
    « Possibly no single person has influenced the charismatic renewal as much as
    David D. Du Plessis, to ensure that it would be both charismatic and
    ecumenical ». (Jan-Feb 81). In that same edition Mr. Du Plessis spoke of
    Pentecostal-Roman Catholic unity in these words, « For the salvation of humanity,
    the Church must accept the blessing of the Church at Pentecost as unity ». Du
    Plessis, also called « Mr. Pentecost », experienced this unity in miniature when,
    at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome 20.000 charismatics gathered at the Vatican for
    the 1975 Congress on the Charismatic Renewal in the Roman Catholic Church. He
    told the story in these words, « Pope Paul stepped to his throne… During the
    celebration of the eucharist (emphasis added), there was singing in the
    Spirit, gently, tenderly, reverently, and absolutely fitting. It was indeed a
    Pentecostal service, with Pentecostal manifestations and very evident
    Pentecostal blessings. All of us had prayed for a Pentecostal miracle to take
    place, but no one had expected such a rich and positive manifestation of a new
    Pentecost… I perceived that night that three trends were at work in the
    Pentecostal movement in general. There were the classic Pentecostals, the
    Neo-pentecostals and the Catholic Pentecostals. And more and more those trends
    were converging, in cooperation, in fellowship, in regard for one another…
    ‘Glory’ I said aloud into the darkness, addressing myself, ‘David, you are now a
    real ecumaniac!’(sic) ‘That’s right,’ I said back to myself, ‘I’ll accept
    nothing less than full ecumenicity, the whole family of nations’ ». (A Man
    Called Mr. Pentecost
    , pp. 238-244).

    What is the Pentecostal position regarding unity with the Roman Church? Their
    spokesman, the only man to bear the name « Mr. Pentecost » says « NOTHING LESS THAN
    FULL ECUMENICITY ». And what is full ecumenicity? The answer was carefully
    spelled out by the head of the Roman Church himself when he faced the 523
    charismatic delegates of the fourth international conference held May
    4th-9th, 1981 in Rome, « YOUR CHOICE AS THE SITE OF THIS
    IN THE SEE OF PETER ». (emphasis added). These words were from the lips of Pope
    John Paul II. The event brought 523 delegates of the world’s charismatic
    movement together. Its purpose? Unity and a definition of its terms. The address
    was given at the Vatican gardens and in the Lourdes Grotto of the Blessed
    Virgin. There the Pope listed several guidelines for charismatic renewal, « the
    first of these principles is fidelity to the authentic doctrine of the faith.
    Whatever contradicts this doctrine does not come from the
    Spirit… »


    This Doctrine…


    Yes, but what doctrine? At the end of this twentieth century our mistrust of
    Romanism may appear to date back to another age. To refresh our failing memories
    concerning this doctrine, here is an extract of the oath taken by the
    prelates, participating in the Council of Vatican II, which does not date from
    the Middle Ages. As we read this oath, let us remember that all subordinates,
    charismatics or not, are bound to adhere to it, having personally pronounced
    their vows with this understanding.


    « I recognize firmly and I embrace the apostolic traditions, rules and customs
    of the Church. In the same way I recognize the Holy Scriptures with the
    interpretation that our Holy Mother, the Church held and still holds today. She
    is to judge the true meaning and interpretation of Holy Scripture. Never will I
    interpret it otherwise than according to the interpretation of the

    I confess also that there are, in the proper and true sense of the term,
    seven sacraments of the New Covenant that have been established by our Lord
    Jesus Christ, and that are necessary for the salvation of the human race,
    although they may not all be essential for each individual: baptism,
    confirmation, the eucharist, penitence, extreme unction, ordination, marriage;
    that they communicate grace and that amongst them baptism, confirmation and
    ordination cannot be renewed without sacrilege. I also accept all the rites
    approved by the Church during the administration of these sacraments.

    I entirely accept all that has been decided and declared at the Council of
    Trent, concerning original sin and justification.

    I further confess that in the Mass is consummated a true expiatory sacrifice
    for the living and for the dead, that in the very holy sacrament of the
    eucharist the body and the blood, at the same time as the soul and the divinity
    of our Lord Jesus Christ, are really present, that there is a transformation of
    the whole substance of the bread into the body and of the whole substance of the
    wine into the blood. This transformation the Catholic Church names
    transubstantiation. I confess, moreover, that the Christ and the real sacrament
    are entirely present, even in one kind.

    I believe firmly that purgatory exists and that the souls who are there
    enclosed find help in the prayers of the believers.

    I also firmly believe that one should pray to the saints and venerate those
    who reign with Christ, that they pray for us to God and that we should venerate
    their relics. I hold firmly that one should have and keep images of Christ, of
    the mother of God, always a virgin, also other saints, that one should pay them
    the respect and veneration that is their right.

    I also say that Christ has given to the Church full authority for the
    indulgences and that their use brings great blessing to Christian people.

    I recognize the holy Roman Catholic, Apostolic Church as the Mother and
    Teacher of all churches. I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pope,
    successor of St. Peter, the prince of apostles and vicar of Jesus Christ.

    I accept also without any doubt and I confess all other matters transmitted,
    decided and declared by the Holy Ecumenical Councils, above all by the holy
    Council of Trent, and by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican principally
    concerning the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and his infallible authority. At
    the same time I condemn, I reject and I curse (anathematise) all that is in
    contradiction to the above and all the false doctrines, which the Church has
    condemned, rejected and cursed. This true Catholic faith, apart from which no
    one can be saved, which I here confess freely and to which I hold firmly, I also
    vow to preserve constantly and to confess, pure and unadulterated until my last
    breath; I will take care, as far as it depends upon me, that it shall be
    preserved, taught, and preached by my subordinates or by those under my care by
    virtue of my office. I promise, I thus make a vow and I swear to this. So help
    me God and the holy gospels. »


    Some incorrigible optimists naively try to convince themselves that some of
    these subordinates, with whom they share a warm charismatic identity, are not
    bound by the system that employs them. Let them therefore challenge the bearers
    of the above-quoted doctrines who deny them in private conversation, to abjure
    them publicly. Their response, or rather lack of response, would speak

    In addition, we relate here a few extracts of John Paul II’s prayer to Mary
    for the celebration of the Marian year that ended the 15th of August,
    1988. Apart from the abomination of addressing this prayer to a dead person
    (Deut. 18 and 1 Samuel 28), please weigh each word:


    « The Holy Spirit has loved you, his mystic bride. He has loaded you with
    outstanding gifts. On the eve of the third Christian millenium we entrust to you
    the Church, which recognizes you and prays to you as to a mother. We entrust to
    you with faith, mother of men and nations, all of humanity. Uphold, oh Virgin
    Mary, our path of faith, and obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation, oh
    clement, oh pious, oh gentle mother of God and our mother, Mary ».


    No need for comments! Yet unity is expressed, not only with the Catholic
    charismatics who glorify in tongues the mystic bride, the mother of God along
    with their Sovereign Pontiff, but also with the Roman Church itself as we have
    noticed, by Mr. Pentecost, the leader of those baptised in the


    Consenting Silence


    Where are the Pentecostal voices of dissent? The silence is deafening! As
    Nelson Ewins puts it rightly, the rallies, the conferences, the journals and the
    books, all are unanimous as they blissfully pay court to the Roman Church and
    there is no verbal or documented voice of concern! The global Pentecostal scene
    is one of total ominous calm – a foreboding stillness that the hosts of heaven
    might even call a deathlike hush.

    There is another dreadful silence. It comes from the stadium of Catholic
    charismatic renewal. Why is there no cry of protest against their church’s
    departure from apostolic truth? After all, Rome still holds to regeneration of
    the sinner through water baptism. Salvation is by good works, sacramental grace,
    personal sacrifices and a system of merits. There is no assurance for the
    individual’s soul. Atonement for sin is sought through fasting, penance, prayer
    and indulgences. Salvation of the soul is still completed in the flames of
    purgatory. Mary is honored as co-redeemer with Christ and she is still Rome’s
    « Queen of Heaven ». The saints are addressed as mediators. Veneration of relics,
    statues and the saints is still accepted. A Christ is offered every minute of
    the day in the sacrifice of the mass for the sins of the living and the dead.
    The communion bread or host is worshipped as the true God of heaven. Salvation
    through faith alone in Christ and His shed blood is officially rejected. In a
    deadly silence of mute consent, charismatic leaders and millions of their
    followers adhere to these dogmas, council decisions and the papal encyclicals of
    their church. Such teachings were unknown in the early Church and only emerged
    many centuries later. No apprehension is expressed and no warning of this
    man-made religious structure is sounded to their 800 million or so fellow
    Catholics. Instead, the anti-biblical system is left silently and respectfully
    intact. The status quo is to be maintained on into the future. In fact, the
    elimination of any idea of change was reaffirmed by the present pope shortly
    before he welcomed the charismatic conference. He said, « Keep in mind that
    the teaching of the Council of Trent on the necessity of integral confession of
    mortal sins is still in force and will be in force forever in
    … » No contradiction, no murmur of disagreement, not even a whisper
    of discontent is heard. On the contrary. Amongst our numerous documents, we have
    a copy of the monthly Pentecostal publication Charisma and its
    corresponding Catholic New Covenant. On the front cover of the first is
    the photo of Mother Angelica, and on the other, that of D. Du Plessis, Mr.
    Pentecost. Why continue to be at one another’s throats, when obliged to
    recognise that, with no conversion and no concern for doctrine, both have the
    same experience in the Spirit! If the Spirit speaks, works, heals, baptises,
    awakens and renews both the one and the other, the theory of those conservative
    Pentecostals that we used earlier is rendered untenable and void. This is the
    consensus today of the vast majority of Pentecostals throughout the


    When Rome Reacts


    Why does Rome not excommunicate the whole charismatic movement in her midst,
    and why is she so favorably disposed towards the Pentecostal world, which
    returns the compliment? Because the former entirely agrees with the Roman dogmas
    and the latter does not reject them. But when Rome is faced with a firm stand
    contrary to her ideas, she reacts as violently as in the past. On the
    22nd of December 1988 the weekly Hebdo (Swiss equivalent of
    Time magazine in the USA) published an article entitled « The
    excommunicated priest » in which it is reported that… « Fr. G.
    Daillard, priest of Grächen in Valais (a stronghold of Romanism in Switzerland),
    has not only forfeited his ministry but has been purely and simply
    excommunicated. What lighting struck him? The priest of Grächen has revealed the
    pagan origins of devotion to the Virgin, making her a false god. Mary was the
    mother of Jesus, her exemplary life still speaks to us today but we should not
    worship her. His questioning the Assumption of the Virgin was the last straw.
    ‘This churchman has chosen to be a heretic’ explains the diocese. »
    If all
    kinds of charismatics, including Pentecostals, enjoy Rome’s blessing it is
    because they respect the Roman Catholic teaching. They have become less
    dangerous for Rome than a simple parish priest. They are no longer contagious.
    It seems that they have lost the virus of heresy. With the help of cause and
    effect, their own « baptism in the Spirit », passed on to these Catholics, has
    fully made them their brethren and consequently has, in a spiritual sense,
    sterilised them.

    In 1971 Dr. V. Synan, the well-known Pentecostal historian, could not accept
    the idea that Roman Catholics had an experience of the Holy Spirit similar to
    his own. But in early June 1972, at South Bend, Indiana, he saw cars and buses
    pouring off the highway, bringing thousands of the oldest Pentecostal
    denominations to join in this large charismatic gathering. Here is what he wrote
    in his book Charismatic Bridges, « I hurried to the building and I was
    flabbergasted to see over 10.000 already gathered for the informal meeting…
    Tongues, prophecies, Scriptures, homilies and choruses came forth with such
    power and conviction that I was quite literally overwhelmed. They (the
    Catholics) were singing ‘our’ songs and exercising ‘our’ gifts. It was more than
    I could take. A kind of cultural and theological shock sent me running to a side
    room, where for about fifteen minutes I could do nothing but weep. » However
    impressive this report seems to be, one notes at once, that there is no question
    of the new birth or the conversion of these Roman Catholics but of their
    exercise of Pentecostal spiritual gifts. A new vocabulary was adopted and
    nothing more.


    Adopted Vocabulary


    Tongues, prophecies, hymns, Bible-reading and an evangelical vocabulary
    including such terms as conversion, new birth, baptism in the Spirit, what does
    that signify to a Roman Catholic? Not much and often, nothing at all. The
    emotion of V. Synan reveals a total lack of discernment, which is nevertheless
    one of the gifts of the Spirit (I Cor.12:10). To one group or another, the same
    words often mask very different realities.

    During a Bible Exhibition I accompanied a priest and had a long conversation
    with him. As he seemed very attentive, I explained to him the « new birth » of
    which Jesus spoke to Nicodemus as being the indispensable condition for
    salvation. All through the development of the subject he nodded his head. Right
    to the end he agreed with what I was saying, to the extent that I wondered if I
    was dreaming. This lead me to become more explicit in what I was saying, for it
    was so much in contradiction with the doctrine of salvation of his Church that
    his agreement would have made me doubt that he was still an authentic
    representative of that doctrine. If the conversation had ended there I would
    almost have concluded that I was talking to a child of God, a brother in Christ,
    truly born again. So I asked the question, « Monsieur l’Abbé, when did you
    experience this new birth? » He replied without hesitation, « when I was
    baptised ». Those four words sufficed to change everything. By referring to his
    infant baptism he was denying the biblical teaching. « One becomes a child of God
    through baptism » remained his belief. This « new birth » was the result of the
    opus operatum of the Church’s sacrament. An immense ravine separated our
    two positions. When speaking in tongues is the bridge thrown across this chasm
    allowing people to rejoice in their unity, one can ask on what this bridge is
    suspended? On ambiguous terminology? On erroneous doctrine? On good feelings or
    common experiences? Briefly, on wind, or as the Bible puts it, on sand, wood,
    hay, stubble. But when the fire and the water of judgement pass over that
    bridge…what will be left?

    For others, a spirit of confusion makes them feel and act as if they were at
    home (even when in a spiritually foreign family), and this, by a clever
    dialectic, a sort of spiritual schizophrenia. Here is an example. A Catholic
    girl joined the group of young people where I was teaching that day about the
    baptism of converts by immersion according to the Bible. This gifted young
    person with her lively intelligence, entered into our study and discussion. Her
    perception of adult baptism was surprising. Studying the Bible, she discovered
    with remarkable ease the whole truth on the subject, and at the same time, the
    sacramental error of her Church. Outwardly the relevance and the accuracy of her
    replies could lead one to believe that the days of her attachment to Romanism
    were numbered. But in a private conversation later, she revealed herself to be a
    totally different person. What she had understood about baptism was only, for
    her, the biblical point of view. The Roman Catholic position alone was important
    to her; she made it clear to me that she had no intention of changing anything
    in her attitude, neither towards baptism nor towards her Church. Like an
    adulterous woman who has a husband and takes a lover, she could very well admit
    one truth and its opposite, and live with both. The friend of whom I spoke in
    chapter 2 reacted no differently when, forced to admit that his gift of tongues
    was not scriptural, hid behind these words, « Scripturally you are right but I
    cannot deny an experience ». Since when does truth compromise with error? If
    Christ compromises with Belial (II Cor.6:15,16) it is because, under the
    disguise of an angel of light, another has taken His place. From the beginning
    it has been this « other » that we are seeking to unmask. If it is enough to
    employ a borrowed biblical vocabulary, to clap hands loudly, to assume ecstatic
    poses, to jabber words incoherently, and to shout « alleluia » without rhyme or
    reason, in order to appear as one of the family, the odds are that the spirit
    behind this Babel is not the Holy Spirit. No, this spirit, who by his « baptism »
    breeds falsifiers, and who distributes his « gifts », even those that no longer
    exist, in every which direction, this spirit is highly questionable. It requires
    us to believe that being unconverted, and remaining so, is without importance.
    Only a second experience has any value, even if there never was a first one.
    What? Have a second experience without first repenting, without first being
    converted, without first yielding to the Word of God, without a doctrinal
    about-turn! It is not surprising that our generation witnesses an unprecedented
    religious amalgam, which augurs nothing good and can only lead to a syncretic
    religion, the ultimate one, which the Bible calls the « Prostitute ». Babylon
    seems to be already advancing on the scene.

    The Ecumenical Council of Churches was formed in 1948 with the purpose of
    creating worldwide religious unity at any cost. That is to say, unity without
    any discrimination of beliefs, unity including Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs,
    Moslems, Zionists and apostate Christendom. This has not stopped the Pentecostal
    movement (Assemblies of God included) from joining officially the E.C.C. This
    spreading confusion led (or misled) V. Synan in his answer to Fr. N. Cavnar who
    had asked him, « How do you see the fact that we (Catholics) have taken great
    care to turn our charismatics into real Catholics? » He showed his total
    indifference to the truth by replying, « I have no problem when I see a
    Catholic charismatic who loves his church. I do not think there would be any
    advantage in his leaving it. The
    important thing is that he is a
    Catholic true to his Church, yet baptised in the Spirit… »
    added).T. Spence, former Pentecostal pastor, enlightened about his movement,
    wrote, « in the past, ecumenism needed to unite two sectors to become
    effective: spirit and doctrine. Now that unity is obtained by ‘the
    , one can be sure that doctrinal unity will follow. First, the error,
    then the practice, and lastly the doctrine. (cf. the Nicolaitans of Revelation
    2, it starts by being an error, turns to be a practice in v.6 and finishes as a
    doctrine in v.15). What we see today is more than progress in the direction of a
    new ecumenism by the intervention of Catholic charismatics. It is an
    amalgam which prepares the final religion, that of the Antichrist
    (emphasis added).

    All my Pentecostal acquaintances were, not so long ago, staunchly opposed to
    Romanism. What is the CAUSE that made them come to terms with a system that they
    called « a synagogue of Satan » according to Rev.3:9? The cause of this
    capitulation is found in their own error, the Pentecostal experience, with which
    they inoculated Catholics as the following account confirms.


    Hatched Ducklings


    The late Thomas Roberts, whom I knew very well, was a much-appreciated
    preacher of moderate Pentecostal tendencies. As years passed he became the
    spearhead of the French charismatic movement. He carried the Pentecostal
    experience into Roman Catholic circles and there too he saw his « second
    blessing » in operation with its signs. He worked untiringly to promote
    inter-church communion experiences between charismatic Protestants and
    Catholics, for the first during their commemoration of the Last Supper and for
    the latter, during their falsely-named eucharist. He devoted himself to this so
    much and so well that he diluted his evangelical identity. Seeing his spiritual
    children miraculously praying to the Virgin Mary in tongues, he could not object
    since it was through his ministry and the laying on of his hands that these
    Catholics, who, be it noted, had not asked for a stone, or a snake or a
    scorpion, had nevertheless received this « gift ». Having never questioned his own
    experience, he could not contest theirs without retracting his position. He was
    like a hen who has hatched duck eggs and who follows her ducklings as far as she
    can into the water. He was so thoroughly soaked that he ended up drowned. Since
    his spiritual offspring, inspired by the same spirit as he was, prayed to the
    Virgin, he did the same. One of my friends pointed this out to him and severely
    reproached him for it. He did not deny the fact but he tried to attenuate it by
    saying, « we must not consider the prayer that one could address to
    in the same way as the Roman Catholics see it, but as praise to God for
    the service of His humble servant »
    . However far-fetched his explanation, the
    fact is that he prayed to her. Need we remind ourselves that, in addition to
    this grave doctrinal sin, there is the sin of abomination that consists in
    addressing the dead. The fact that this dead person was a saint makes no
    difference in an affair that comes close to necromancy (Deut.18). As D. Cormier
    understood so well, the spirit who pushes souls in this direction cannot be the
    Holy Spirit.

    No, error is never without consequences. There is always a connection between
    cause and effect. A doctrine which deforms the biblical texts, which passes over
    others in silence, which prefers experience to the Bible, can for the moment
    seem pleasant to the taste, but will end up being bitter to the soul. The
    fathers of speaking in tongues have eaten sour grapes; soon the teeth of their
    children will be set on edge. We have just given a glimpse of this causality; we
    shall see where that will lead in the long run.


    The Spirit That Kills


    If you constantly try to bring people back to the letter of the Scriptures,
    you are in danger of being labelled with legalism.

    « Brother, haven’t you read somewhere that the letter kills but that the
    Spirit gives life?… You cleave to the letter all right, but by doing so you
    deprive yourself and others of the glorious freedom of the Spirit!… »

    Are we so sure? In II Samuel 6, after a victorious battle, David and a crowd
    of 30.000 people went to retrieve the ark of God from the Philistines. The scene
    could very well be a charismatic one. With immense joy, they jumped, danced,
    sang with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals. The minor (so they
    thought) problem of transportation had been taken care of, since they had a
    brand new cart to carry the ark and a yoke of splendid oxen to pull it. There
    was no discordant voice, except maybe a legalistic kill-joy like me, to remind
    them that, according to the Word of God, the ark was to be carried on men’s
    shoulders (Numbers 4:17; 7:9) and that God was to be obeyed to the
    . Had there been such a spoil-sport, they would have retorted,

    « Dear old-fashioned brother, you should know that where the Spirit of the
    Lord is, there is freedom (II Cor.3:6,17)… Brother, you are still a slave of
    the letter that kills; we are the free servants of the Spirit who gives life.
    Come on, let’s go! »

    Dare I continue the story? « The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of
    his (also their) irreverent act; God struck him down and he died there… »

    The joy of this assembly, rejoicing in spiritual renewal and boosted by a
    spirit of conquest, fervour and liberty, was short-lived. It ended in a burial
    service. The conclusion is this: a spirit which does not proceed from the
    letter of
    the Scripture kills as much, if not more, than the letter in
    which the spirit of obedience is absent

    God had given strict irreversible commands not to light the altar of incense
    with strange fire. The fire had to come from the altar of burnt offerings
    (Lev.16:12,13). The two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu perished for having
    treated lightly God’s rules on this matter (Lev.10.12). No doubt a new fervour
    is emblazing different sections of Christendom, but fervour is not synonymous
    with truth. Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus was « on fire », « revived » and
    « committed » (as some would say today). Does this fire come from conversion to
    Christ by obedient faith (Rom.1:5) in the Word of God ? In the case of Nadab and
    Abihu, had they obeyed « the letter that kills », they would have had life, while
    « the spirit of freedom », which in fact, was a spirit of disobedience, was the
    cause of their death.

    We have seen that the baptism of the Spirit and its speaking in tongues, in
    their charismatic interpretations, are not fires lit by the Word of God. No one
    will deny that good intentions were the initial spark but is it not said that
    « the way to Hell is paved with good intentions »? Now, everything is « strange »
    (« foreign », NIV) in this affair, the fire, the combustible material and,
    consequently, the religious fervour it generates. Nothing agrees with the
    scriptural model. Give an evangelical label to this altar if you wish, but if
    the fire that lights it is « strange » to the Word of God, that can promise
    nothing good. It is perhaps a sparkling, dazzling, noisy fire that fascinates
    and captivates but it is never more than fireworks. Here is the great
    Pyrotechnician at the door. The day is coming when a super-man resembling a lamb
    and speaking like a dragon will appear with a « strange » name, a super-church and
    a complete panoply of seductions (Rev.13:11). God calls the appearance of this
    hyper-charismatic « the mystery of iniquity ». This mystery will perfectly suit
    those who have been enticed by mysticism, the belief that communion with God is
    possible by contemplation and love without human reason (read « by the spirit
    without the letter »). This was the case of the Corinthians who prayed by the
    Spirit bypassing their intelligence, a deviation Paul had to correct (I
    Cor.14:15). It is in the arena of mystic religions (a strange fire) that the
    power of the Antichrist will be exercised. Expert in this domain, and by the
    power of Satan, he will utilize all his panoply of seductions: atmospheres,
    signs and wonders. Who are those who will be seduced? Those who have not
    received the love of the Truth and who delight in the moral and doctrinal
    deviations examined in this book (read II Thess.2:3-12). Who will escape this
    seduction? We read in the same text, « they will be saved by the sanctification
    of the Spirit (and not by so-called gifts), and by faith in the truth » (v.13).
    The security of the Church of Philadelphia who had « little power » is recorded in
    these words, « you have kept my word… since you have kept my command, I
    will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole
    world… » (Rev.3:8-10).

    B. Creme, who claims to be John the Baptist, the forerunner of the New Age,
    announces the imminent return of the « true Christ » in these words, « Christ
    will operate a mental fusion simultaneously with the entire human race. Each
    person will hear by telepathy in his own language the words of Christ for He
    will reproduce on a worldwide scale the event of Pentecost. Humanity will know
    from these phenomena that this man alone is the true Christ »
    . Will these
    phenomena really take place? Time alone will tell, but they are in line with the
    description of the Antichrist, the man of sin whom the Lord will destroy by the
    breath of His mouth (His Word). All who live by atmospheres, experiences,
    feelings, flavoured with a few Bible texts often wrenched out of their context,
    are already ripe for acclaiming this god-man, the new super-Mr. Pentecost, who
    (II Thess.2:4) will reign in the temple of billions of hearts, which in a burst
    of blind mysticism will pledge limitless devotion to this « other Jesus », the
    hyper-pontiff of the end times. The charismatic movement prepares the coming of
    this universal surrender of mankind as it sows the confusion of Babylon in human

    When asked, « Where do you think this is all heading »? Dr. Synan, spokesman of
    the worldwide Pentecostal movement, said, « … I think it is clear that in the
    last decade of this century and in the first decades of the next, Christian
    affairs will be more and more in the hands of Catholics and Pentecostals. And
    the only bridge between these groups, at grass-roots level at least, is the
    charismatics… Pentecostalism, which emphasizes the power of the Spirit, is the
    greatest force in Christendom today. This is the power that will revolutionize
    Christianity, and this is what Pentecostals and Catholic charismatics have in
    common… » (New Covenant, January 1984). How quickly things and doctrines
    change! In less than two decades, the analysis of the charismatic renewal
    (mentioned in chapter 1), which at that time suited the conservative
    Pentecostals so well, is now thrown into the dustbin. What Ewin Wilson has said
    is so true, « the call to unity in that spirit is an extraordinary power, it is
    true, one that will unite the different parts of apostate Christendom, the false
    bride of Christ, the mystic Babylon, the prostitute ».

    But another voice can be heard. Its appeal is not based on the mystic
    experiences of glossolalia, but on a unity born of separation as defined
    in the Bible. The true Holy Spirit of God says, « Come out from among them, my
    people, and separate yourselves, says the Lord, touch not that which is impure
    and I will receive you » (II Cor.6:17).

    The spirit that presides over the present glossolalia draws millions
    of people to make a pact with the abominable errors of an idolatrous system. It
    is a system which God hates and which He has undertaken to destroy. It is He who
    says in Revelation 18:4, « come out of her, my people, so that you will not share
    in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues ».




    It is true that, here and there, some isolated Pentecostal groups have
    officially distanced themselves from some of these doctrines, but are they to be
    praised for doing so? If you scrape the surface, you find that they are the same
    people who, while no less officially proclaiming their belief in divine healing
    alone, go to doctors and take medicine in secret. This hypocritical duality has
    so impregnated their lives that they can live with one idea and its opposite
    without the slightest blushing. Thus, « courageous » declarations of disapproval
    are issued against Faith Word, Positive Thinking, Toronto Blessing, Prosperity
    and Marian teaching etc… as advocated by Yonggi Cho, Wagner, Bunkke, Wimber,
    Schuller, O. Roberts, Fathers Regimbald, Tom Forest and others, but hardly have
    these people or their lieutenants set foot in their own territory than all
    caution and past criticism is thrown to the winds. You see these « cautious »
    brethren all rushing to welcome them, advertising their arrival, welcoming their
    committees and encouraging their own congregations to join the meetings where
    what is expounded is just what they say they are against. On paper they seem to
    disapprove of all sorts of teaching ranging from Mary to « Health and Wealth »
    gospel, and yet they work hand in hand, share the same pulpit and have the
    closest associations with those holding to these same errors they have warned
    against. This two-faced attitude is denounced in Romans 2:21-22, « You who teach
    others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you
    steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit
    adultery? » Transpose this into our debate and it reads, « You who can discern
    spiritual adultery in others, you join in yourself! What you stigmatize with
    your words, you by-pass with your deeds! » We are confronted here with an obvious
    spiritual dichotomy or split-personality, a moral disease that those infected
    cannot get rid of because they all have what they themselves call « a common,
    basic sublime experience », that of an unscriptural post-conversion baptism of
    the Spirit backed up by a no less unbiblical speaking in tongues. As long as
    this CAUSE is cultivated and cherished, this type of moral and doctrinal
    contradiction will continue to flourish in the movement.

    (*1) In this chapter, extracts are taken from E. Wilson’ s The Spirit of
    Pentecostal-Charismatic Unity
    , The Emerging 666 Peace and The Pied
    Piper of the Pentecostal Movement
    . Minor variations may be found; they are
    due to a re-translation from French into English. The general and accurate
    meaning has been carefully preserved.



    This supplement is added in response to a few issues that have been raised
    time and time again. It seemed appropriate to do so as they are within the scope
    of our subject. However, as the true gift of tongues has ceased, there really is
    no point in raising these issues, but it would be ungracious to ignore them and
    so we agree to reply in order not to leave any loose ends. We do so in the light
    of I Cor. 13:8 where the cessation of this gift is foretold. Before proceeding,
    the reader is advised to re-read Chapter 8 of this present work.




    This has been said over and over again. In his book Twenty-one Reasons Why
    Christians Should Speak in
    Tongues, G. Lindsay strongly supports this
    idea. The Pentecostal view of baptism in the Holy Spirit lies behind the
    argument. The reader is referred to Chapter 9, which demonstrates that the
    biblical doctrine on this matter is completely different from what some would
    have us believe. The most quoted verse in support of the idea is Paul’s « I
    you all spoke with tongues » (I Cor. 14:5). If we are to take the
    apostle’s desire as a doctrinal imperative, how then are we to understand the
    same apostle’s words in the same epistle where he says, « I wish that all
    men were as I am », that is celibate (I Cor.7:7)! In Greek, the two expressions
    I wish are identical. Should both of these desires be legally binding?
    Please observe (allow me to be just a little mischievous) that those who see a
    green light in reading I Cor.14:5, see a red one at I Cor.7:7! Have they
    suddenly become colour-blind? Now if the first passage gives us a standard for
    the Christian life, then to be fair we have to admit the second passage does
    too. All those who want to encourage speaking in tongues would also have to tie
    themselves to celibacy. What kind of mental gymnastics could lead us to say that
    we should do as Paul said as far as speaking in tongues is concerned but not for
    marriage? This tongue-in-cheek remark has always hit the nail on the head. I
    said all this to a young man who was fanatical about the gift of tongues and he
    practically did me in. He was furious. To justify himself he put forward an idea
    he had read somewhere that Paul was not actually celibate but a widower. He
    wasn’t teaching me anything new. The idea is based on the fact that in order to
    be a member of the Sanhedrin it was necessary to be married. And as Saul of
    Tarsus had been a member of the Sanhedrin he could not have been celibate, but
    was probably a widower. I pointed out that if this had been the case, Paul would
    have been implying that he wished all men to be widowers! This evidently
    ridiculous conclusion left the young man speechless. He turned on his heels and

    There is a strong doctrinal implication behind Paul’s words. Just as not all
    the Corinthians were called to celibacy, so not all of them were called to speak
    in tongues. Paul accepted both of these ideas. On the one hand, not all had the
    gift of celibacy (I Cor.7:7), and on the other hand not all had the gift of
    tongues, as he says, « Are all apostles? Do all prophesy? Are all teachers?… Do
    all speak in tongues? » To ask the question is to supply the answer. If it were
    otherwise there would be only one way to understand the five elements of the
    Lord’s words in Mark 16:17,18, « And these signs will accompany those who
    believe. In my name « 1) they will drive out demons, 2) they will speak in new
    tongues, 3) they will pick up snakes with their hands, 4) and when they drink
    deadly poison it will not hurt them at all, 5) they will place their hands on
    the sick people and they will get well. Thus all who believed would be obliged
    to prove their faith not only by speaking in tongues, but also by all casting
    out demons, all drinking a deadly concoction or by eating a poisonous dish
    without any risk, by all healing the sick and by all plunging their hands into a
    nest of vipers, following the apostle Paul’s example, who was bitten by one
    without coming to any harm. In fact, none of those who demonstrate their
    spiritual prowess by speaking in tongues dare to do so with serpents.

    One day a pastor, an extremist in this line of thought, tried to convince me
    that speaking in tongues was a necessary experience for every Christian. I
    opened my Bible and I asked him to read with me the verses quoted above (I

    « Are all apostles? » « No, of course not » he replied.

    « Are all prophets? » « No! »

    « Are all teachers? » « No! »

    At this point he refused to go any further. He had just realised where the
    passage was leading him, namely to the next question, « Do all speak in tongues? »
    The answer could not be anything other than « No! » and he knew it. Three
    times I tried to go through the text with him. Three times he refused to read it
    through to the end. He went away really annoyed with me.

    Thus we see that even in Paul’s time, when the true gift existed and was
    intended to be used as a sign to the many Jews who did not believe in the
    international scope of salvation, not everyone had this gift, for « the Spirit
    works all things, distributing to each one individually as he wills » (I
    Cor.12:11). In the same way that not all were apostles, or prophets, or
    celibate, so too, not all spoke in tongues.




    This passage is not about volubility. These loquacious Corinthians were more
    talkative than Paul, whose speech they found contemptible (II Cor.10:10). Paul
    was not trying to compete with Corinthian fluency. The reason why he tells them
    he speaks in tongues more than all of them is simple. Paul was the apostle of
    the Gentiles, sent by God to foreign peoples, that is, to those who spoke
    anything other than Hebrew. His calling was contested by his Jewish adversaries
    who tried to prevent him speaking to the Gentiles (I Thess.2:13). Not only
    unconverted Jews, but also the converted among Israel, had much difficulty in
    grasping this new feature, this specific truth for the beginning of the church
    era, established at Pentecost. From now on, God was pouring out His Spirit on
    all flesh, which is the same as saying, on all the language groups of the world.
    The book of Acts shows that everywhere Paul went, he came into contact and
    conflict with the Jews on this subject. In speaking miraculously in tongues by
    the Spirit, Paul reinforced his teaching with the foreordained sign. He was
    showing them that foreign languages could, as well as theirs, praise Yahveh the
    God of Israel and that the separating wall that stood between them and the
    bearers of these tongues had been broken down once for all. And to prove the
    point, this liberated and enlightened ex-Pharisee proclaimed miraculously, in
    the presence of the Jews and by his own Jewish lips, the wonderful works of
    their Yahveh in heathen languages. An amazing discovery for the Jews and the
    Gentiles who accepted this new truth but a promised fire of judgement to
    unbelieving and hostile Jews. More than anyone, and perhaps the only one of his
    generation, Paul could say without boasting, « I laboured more abundantly than
    all of them » (I Cor.15:10). As a result of his special calling, his frequent
    travels, his unceasing labour and his new contacts, Paul also spoke in tongues
    more than all the others.




    We want to clarify that the charisma Paul spoke about here was the true gift
    and not the counterfeit we are confronted with today. Despite its authenticity,
    it was tainted by such ill use in the Corinthians’ practice of the gift that the
    inspired apostle had to write almost three chapters to get them back on track.
    They misused and abused the gift just as Samson did his Herculean strength,
    which he had also received from God. Champion of the baby bottle class, first
    prizewinner for childishness (just like the Corinthians in I Cor. 14:20), he all
    too often used and abused his gift to serve his personal and carnal goals. God
    did not prevent him from using the strength He had given him, but Samson had not
    received it to use it as he sometimes did. In the same way, Paul had to severely
    correct the errors of the Corinthians, but as the gift was still in use he could
    not forbid them to use it appropriately. But when it was inappropriate, as for
    instance when there was no interpreter, Paul forbade speaking in tongues,
    instructing the would-be speaker to keep quiet (I Cor.14:28). The same principle
    applied to the gift of tongues as to the completion of the canon of the New
    Testament. Paul could have very well said he wrote more epistles than anyone
    else, and indeed, more than all the other writers together. As with tongues he
    points out the existence of dubious epistles (II Thess.2:2), but he does not
    prevent John, Peter or Luke, or anyone else from writing authentic ones.
    Nevertheless, to continue writing epistles today or to counterfeit the gift of
    tongues, when both of these gifts have ceased, can only be described as forgery
    and the use of forgeries.




    The mysteries referred to here have nothing to do with the modern
    meaning of the word: incomprehensible, unknown, ungraspable, secret, etc. The
    word appears 27 times in the New Testament. As Scofield teaches, it refers each
    time without exception to « a previously hidden truth now revealed in part by
    God ». A very interesting analysis is made in the notes on Matthew 13:11 in the
    Scofield Bible, where he lists the ten mysteries:

    1. The mystery of the kingdom of heaven.

    2. The mystery of the hardening of Israel.

    3. The mystery of the Church made of Jews and Gentiles, the Bride of

    4. The mystery of the life of Christ in us.

    5. The mystery of God, namely Christ.

    6. The mystery of godliness.

    7. The mystery of the rapture of the saints.

    8. The mystery of iniquity.

    9. The mystery of the seven stars.

    10. The mystery of Babylon.

    Those who spoke in tongues worshipped God on the basis of most (or all) of
    these mysteries. They are exactly the same mysteries that the redeemed proclaim
    when they praise the Lord. – Oh, how much we bless Him for His coming kingdom
    which we look forward to by faith without being able to fathom its depths! – Oh,
    what praise we express for the grace shown to us who were far off, without any
    claim to citizenship in Israel, but who have become heirs of the promise as a
    result of their fall! (Rom.11).- Oh, what adoration for the mystery of Christ
    Himself, for the mystery of His incarnation, the mystery of God who leaves His
    glory and returns to it after having been manifested in flesh even the angels
    desire to look into these marvellous things! Oh, what thanksgiving for the day
    when the mystery of iniquity that corrupts the earth will be finished!- Oh, what
    blessing too for the day when the dead and the living in Christ will be given
    spiritual bodies made like His glorious body and when the redeemed will all say,
    « Amen, come Lord Jesus »! – But the mystery, more closely related to praise than
    any other and expressed by the sign in foreign languages, that was the most
    relevant and significant at that time, was namely « the mystery… that the
    Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and
    sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus » (Eph.3:3,6).- After having explained the
    mystery of the blinding of Israel and the salvation of the Gentiles, Paul says,
    « God has bound all men over (Jews and Gentiles) to disobedience so that He might
    have mercy on them all ». As if dazzled by this truth, Paul concludes in a
    doxology, « Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How
    unsearchable His judgements and His paths beyond finding out! » (Rom.11:33). This
    mystery is such that the twenty-four elders in Rev.5 bow down in adoration and
    sing a new song to the glory of the Lamb who was slain and who had redeemed men
    from every tribe, EVERY TONGUE, and every people and every nation by His blood.
    It is because of these mysteries that Peter and others glorified God in foreign
    languages on the day of Pentecost – the inaugural day of a dispensation that,
    from then on, spread out to include all people and all languages of the earth.
    They gave a clear explanation then and there to all those who had not understood
    that, from that moment onward, God was pouring out His Spirit on all languages
    of the earth (all flesh). The fact that they proceeded to speak fifteen of those
    languages on the spot, was irrefutable proof of this doctrine.




    Insisting with Paul that speaking in tongues was a sign to the Jews only, as
    was the case for Peter’s vision, might cause some to ask with a certain
    irritation, « Why only to the Jews? » Apart from the fact that in I Cor.14:21 the
    Holy Spirit specifies to this people and that even common sense prevents
    our reading it otherwise, two other reasons can be added:

    1. Twelve times the expression this people is found in the New
    Testament and it always means Israel.

    2. Rom.9:4 explains that the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving
    of the law, the service of God, the promises and the patriarchs all belong to
    the Israelites, the Jews.

    It was for them, first of all, that the Saviour came. The apostles were Jews;
    in the beginning the church was entirely Jewish; everything, including the
    proclamation of the gospel, was in Jewish hands. Furthermore, the best placed
    among them, especially Peter, would not have considered sharing the Good News
    with foreigners (Acts 10:28), whom they regarded as barbarians speaking barbaric
    languages. The two signs God used to convince this people of the universal
    character of the Gospel were the speaking by the Spirit in these detested
    languages and Peter’s vision. By these signs God overcame their reticence to
    preach the Gospel to other nations.

    The communication of this truth could only be understood in the direction of
    Jews to Gentiles – never Gentiles to Jews or Gentiles to Gentiles. I came upon
    an extreme example of completely reversing the meaning of this sign. A
    particular magazine focused on « experiences » reported that a French pastor
    totally ignorant of Hebrew began to speak in this language by the Spirit and was
    understood by a colleague. A whole audience of seriously-minded people welcomed
    this biblically « orthodox » event. Assuming the account is true (having witnessed
    so many false reports in this area we can allow ourselves a certain scepticism
    here) we are confronted with a most blatant counterfeit.

    1. First of all, the gift was recognised and understood by a believer already
    convinced of the universal scope of the offer of salvation. Apart from the fact
    that the sign did not teach him anything new, it was in complete contradiction
    to the Holy Spirit’s teaching that the sign was for unbelievers.

    2. The gift of tongues as taught and practised in the New Testament was
    anything but Hebrew. Indeed the languages spoken by the Spirit are defined as
    being FOREIGN and BARBARIAN, that is, anything other than Hebrew. Now, who were
    these foreigners and barbarians? There is only one possible answer: non-Jews. It
    goes without saying that no Gentiles needed to be convinced that the Jews could
    have access to God, because it was God who had sent the Jews to announce the
    Gospel to them! The sign was given so that the Jews would understand that
    salvation was available to the nations and NEVER THE CONTRARY!!

    A Frenchman speaking in Hebrew reverses the divine order as much as, say,
    Peter’s vision given to Cornelius the Gentile would. Furthermore, when Cornelius
    was saved upon Peter’s preaching of the Gospel, he did not need to be taught
    that Peter had as much right to the Gospel as he did. That would have been a
    nonsensical misinterpretation of monumental proportions. Could you imagine an
    Englishman needing a linguistic miracle in French to be convinced that the
    French have, as it were, a right to French nationality! How ridiculous! This is
    what the article quoted above was more or less trying to say; speaking in
    tongues in Hebrew revealed to two French believers that the Hebrews had a right
    to their own God!


    (I COR. 14:23)


    Verses 21 to 25 of I Cor.14 are still a real brainteaser for many Bible

    Verse 21: « Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of
    foreigners I will speak to this people »


    Verse 22: « Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for
    unbelievers; prophecy is for believers, not for unbelievers ».


    Verse 23: « So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in
    tongues and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they
    not say that you are out of your mind?

    Verse 24: « But if all prophesy and an unbeliever or an uninformed person
    comes in, he is convinced by all… »
    In verse 22 the Spirit says that tongues
    are a sign for unbelievers. But in the following verse he seems to say the
    opposite: unbelievers find the tongues speakers insane. Here we come to an
    inextricable paradox that nobody from any persuasion has ever explained to me.
    For if the reference to unbelievers in verses 22, 23 and 24 does not take into
    account whether they are Jews or Gentiles, then the apparent contradiction is
    insurmountable and there is no making heads nor tails of it. But the difficulty
    disappears of its own accord if we realise that the Spirit had two types of
    unbelievers in view. The unbelievers of verse 22 are identified in verse 21,
    « I will speak to this people« . They are the Jews and the sign is
    for them. But the unbelievers in verse 23 are identified by the expression
    uninformed or simple (J.N. Darby). In Greek, the word is
    idiotes (a well-known term!). This is just how the Jews regarded the
    Gentiles: ignorant, barbaric, simple, uninstructed in the law (Rom.2:20). They
    were men and women of the common people – not this people. This
    exegesis honours both the text and its context and eliminates the contradiction
    by confirming that the gift of tongues was obviously outside the scope of the
    idiotes Corinthians and not for them at all. It was for this
    – the Jews – in order to lead them at last to believe that the
    Gentiles were now grafted, inserted, baptised with them into the Body of Christ
    which is the Church.

    This section cannot be concluded without again drawing attention to the two
    following verses where the gift of prophecy is contrasted with the gift of
    tongues, « But if all prophesy and an unbeliever or an uninformed (simple,
    idiotes) person comes in, he is convinced by all, the secrets of his
    heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and
    report that God is truly among you » (v.24,25). Although prophecy was primarily
    intended for believers, it had the immense advantage of being understandable
    even by « idiotes« , because it was delivered in their language. This
    resulted in consciences being stirred and deep conversions, to the extent that
    those who were simple among the people fell on their face proclaiming that God
    was there. If Paul preferred prophecy to tongues (v.19), it was because even
    when there was an interpretation, the gift of tongues had only a limited effect
    as its sole purpose was as a sign to unbelieving Jews. Whereas prophecy covered
    almost all the field of Christian experience as summarised by these three words,
    « edification, exhortation and comfort » (v.3). This is also the reason why Paul
    preferred to speak five intelligible words rather than ten thousand in tongues
    in the church. What does this mean? Thomas R. Edgard writes that if someone says
    he prefers five cats to ten thousand dogs that suggests that he does not want a
    dog. This is maybe not the best metaphor, but at least it gets the point across.
    In any case, as far as numbers are concerned, Paul thought this comparison worth




    Some jump to the conclusion: since he who spoke in tongues spoke to God,
    let’s make use of it to speak to Him. But speaking to God or edifying oneself,
    as we have seen before, was not the primary purpose of tongues. This was only
    one of its components, not its GOAL. Allow me again to clarify what the ultimate
    purpose of tongues was by way of a comparison.

    In certain European countries, buses are officially registered as « Vehicles
    for Transportation of Persons ». That is the primary and sole purpose of buses
    but someone could say:

    1. A bus also burns petrol; who would ever say let us then keep the engine
    running so as to burn fuel?

    2. A bus also make a noise; let us then use it to make as much noise as

    3. A bus gives off heat; let us then prove it all the more by even
    overheating the engine.

    4. A bus transports its driver; let him then drive it around Manhattan or
    Soho just for himself, for the sake of testing his driving skills.

    These four feasible points would become nonsensical, were they put into
    practice. Sure enough, the driver would get the sack immediately!

    So it was with the gift of tongues. It is right to think that:

    1. it was prayer or praise to God alone,

    2. it edified the speaker,

    3. it edified the church when interpreted.

    But these three points in themselves missed the target as much as
    driving a bus, without accomplishing its sole and ultimate purpose, does. And
    what was the purpose of speaking to God in the Gentiles’ tongues? Yet again we
    summarise the Spirit’s teaching in I Cor.14: God, in the very mouth of
    reluctant Jews, breathed out barbarian tongues as a prayer or praise to Himself,
    to serve as A SIGN to the same unbelieving Jews that the way to their Yahveh was
    henceforth open to these barbarians whose very languages were now miraculously
    articulated by their own Jewish lips.
    What a clear and convincing




    Ignoring the cessation of the gift of tongues out of hand, this text is often
    quoted to try to justify using tongues in personal prayer. It is noteworthy

    1. Paul in no way approved of a purely ethereal prayer that did not have an
    intellectual counterweight. Not fully quoting the verse that encourages to « pray
    or sing not only with the Spirit but also with the understanding »
    (mind), is tantamount to deliberately tailoring the Word of God to one’s
    personal preferences. In verse 15, this is repeated twice.

    2. The spirit in question is the human spirit and not the Spirit of God. The
    difference is immense. In conscious ignorance of this difference two other
    texts, having nothing to do with speaking in tongues, are arbitrarily brought
    in. The first is Eph. 6:18, « Pray in the Spirit on all occasions ». The second is
    Rom 8:26-27, « In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not
    know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with
    groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind
    of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with
    God’s will ». Nothing allows us to believe that this is referring to praying in
    tongues. It has to be totally contrived to be interpreted that way. If this were
    the case, Jesus would never have prayed in the Spirit seeing He never prayed in
    tongues. The Bible is full of prayers Jesus made in the Spirit and not one of
    them was spoken in tongues, neither the famous high priestly prayer of John 17,
    nor the prayer in agony at Gethsemane. It is said of Stephen, the first
    Christian martyr, that he was full of the Holy Spirit, full of grace and power,
    and that he did wonders and miracles and no one could resist the wisdom and the
    Spirit by which he spoke (Acts 6.3,8,10). But although he spoke by the Spirit,
    he did not give his impressive discourse either in the language of angels
    (though he resembled one at that moment) or in any other language than what was

    Who suddenly urged a brother I knew very well to get up in the middle of the
    night and kneel in prayer for a fellow Christian who just at this time was in
    danger of death as the plane carrying him in Africa was literally brushing the
    treetops and tearing away branches that stuck in the undercarriage? Is there a
    prayer more inspired by the Holy Spirit than this one? And yet it was not spoken
    in tongues.Why was I recently constrained at a specific time during the day to
    pray for a brother in Christ who lives nearly 1.000 kilometers from me and of
    whom I had no detailed news? A conviction I could not resist made me kneel and
    cry to heaven for him. Only several months later did I learn that at that very
    time of that day he was passing through the most distressing crisis of his
    ministry. Only the Spirit of God could have inspired me with that imperative
    need to pray. The Holy Spirit who moulded this conviction in my spirit and
    expressed it on my lips did not do so in tongues. How could He have done so,
    seeing that He had given it as a sign to unbelievers (and there were no
    unbelievers in the room where I was) and had also determined the cessation of
    the gift which had now been withdrawn for many centuries according to I Cor.13:8
    (see chapter 8).

    The last prayer in the Bible (Rev. 22:17-20) is as follows, « And the Spirit
    and the bride say, Come !… Amen. Come, Lord Jesus ». If there is one prayer
    that is with the Spirit it is undoubtedly this one. But it was no more spoken in
    tongues than the others.




    No more than contesting the Roman church’s teaching of Mary. Every
    evangelical Christian unreservedly admits what the Bible says about Mary: the
    divine choice that singled her out, her faith, her obedience, her courageous
    acceptance of the risk of shame, the virgin birth of the Saviour, her
    motherhood, the rebuke received from her Son (John 2:4), her incomprehension of
    Jesus’ ministry (Mark 3:21, 31-35), the Lord’s care for his mother (John
    19:26,27) and the sixty-five or so years of silence between her last appearance
    in Acts 1 and the end of Revelation. Admitting that her role is finished and
    that she is no longer active in the Church militant removes not one page of the
    written revelation and throws no discredit on the worthy qualities she had as
    mother of the Saviour, nor on the important part she had in God’s plan for this
    event. But to jump from there to giving her the position of the Mother of God
    and of the Church, the Queen of angels and of heaven, the Co-Redeemer, the
    Mediator of all grace and to thus attribute to her a role in the Church today,
    leads to a doctrinal monstrosity which we vehemently oppose.Perhaps someone will
    ask why we raise this issue here? Because it allows us to make a comparison with
    the subject under discussion. To a friend who said to me one day, « The gift of
    tongues is biblical, isn’t it ? », I simply replied with a similar question, « And
    Mary, she is biblical, isn’t she? » Not any more than for Mary is anyone here
    even dreaming of contesting the biblical reality and historicity of the gift of
    tongues, neither its use or the place it had in the Church. It was among the
    miraculous gifts, such as the gifts of prophecy and knowledge which oversaw the
    writing of the inspired texts of the New Testament and which no one denies have
    now ceased. Not a single page of prophecy or knowledge has since been added to
    the Canon of the Scriptures. We believe, as Paul did, that it was not a sign for
    believers, but rather for the unbelievers of this people. Again we
    believe, as Paul and Peter did, that, like any other gifts, it was given for the
    edification of others and not for personal edification, etc. We believe all of
    this. But to subject the gift of tongues to the same treatment as the Catholic
    Church has given Mary, no, thank you! To make of it a message to men, to make it
    the distinguishing sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, to use it in private
    when it was intended as a public and audible sign to unbelievers, to see in it a
    remedy for insomnia, to use it as a cure against fatigue, and above all, to
    spread the idea that it still exists today in its primitive form when, in fact,
    the gift practised today is nothing other than obvious counterfeit proven by the
    refusal to put it to the test, this is a step that every enlightened and honest
    conscience will refuse to take.

    It would be no less a case of tearing truths out of the Bible, to affirm with
    Paul that the Christian is no longer under the Law (Rom.6:14,15) and that whole
    books of the Bible (nevertheless inspired to the iota) are no longer normative
    for Christian life. Acknowledging dispensations, recognising that certain great
    events (the nativity, the crucifixion, the ascension etc.) are forever engraved
    in history and will never be repeated, other than in the remembrance and in the
    hearts of believers; yielding to the divine teaching regarding the cessation of
    certain gifts, tongues included – all these would in no way do violence to the
    Bible. On the other hand, it is offensive to take historical truths such as
    Mary’s life, speaking in tongues or the sacrifice of the Cross and to claim to
    reproduce them just as a forger would. Forgers have the moral advantage that at
    least they go to a lot of trouble to imitate the original, whereas in the sacred
    domain the imitation is so amateurish that only the blind could be taken in.
    There is a well-known saying attributed to the Jesuits and taken up by the
    Nazis, « Lie, lie and something will always remain; don’t tell white lies, tell
    big ones, repeat them and they will be believed in the end ». This is what Rome
    has done with their eucharist and with Mary, and how they have succeeded! Ditto
    for speaking in tongues and baptism in the Holy Spirit. We are these days
    witnessing a verbal bombardment that finds its source, as does mariolatry, in
    the Bible. Immature believers are inundated with biblical-sounding expressions
    that condition them without their realising it and leave them incapable of
    rightly exercising their own judgement. The more they are deceived, the more
    they believe, to a point where bewildering affirmations, like Ramseyer’s remedy
    for insomnia, Thomas Roberts’ cure for fatigue, chronologically-displaced
    interpretations and signs for believers, do not even make them bat an eyelid.
    The more obvious and verifiable the error, the more fanatically they devote
    themselves to it. There are those who would give an arm and a leg for the gift
    of speaking in tongues just as others would give their life for the defence of
    Mary. When they have gone this far, they have left the objective foundation of
    Scripture; the limits of sanity have been left behind. Just like the Jesuits,
    they have become nothing more than the appointed defenders of a particular
    doctrine. Just as some accuse us of not believing in the Holy Virgin, so others
    accuse us of not believing in the gift of tongues, without taking the trouble to
    verify the validity of our objections.




    When my first book on this subject appeared, entitled I Speak in Tongues
    More ThanYou All
    , it was followed by Ralph Shallis’ The Gift of Speaking
    in Different Tongues
    and the French translation of G.H. Lang’s Whence
    These Tongues? At the time a friend said to me about the
    charismatics, « It will be hard for them to find a defence ». That didn’t take
    into account the resourcefulness of the human spirit to extricate itself from a
    difficult situation by « twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction »
    (II Peter 3:16).

    At least six attitudes have since been adopted in an attempt to disguise the
    insurmountable difficulty:

    1. Totally ignore the problem and continue as if nothing had happened.

    2. Several church groups have proceeded as follow: Let us speak in tongues
    and see if it works. And of course it worked! There have even been
    interpretations to confirm that it was authentic. So it must have been This is
    just like someone going to a supermarket with a forged bank note and saying,
    « Because I’ve got the goods and the cashier let me through, the bank note was
    authentic. »

    3. Others have said, « The more they try to prove our gift of tongues to be
    wrong, the more we will use it ». This reminds us of a bigot whose patron saint
    was Philomena. When he found out his saint had never existed he exclaimed,
    « Whether she exists or not, I’m still going to pray to her! »

    4. Someone told me, « I’ll never read your book. If you tried to speak to me
    about this, I would force myself to think of something else so as not to hear or
    remember one single word you say! »

    5. « We don’t agree! » This is not an argument, it is a negation. Before
    publishing my first book, I passed the manuscript on to some Pentecostal friends
    asking them to subject it to the most rigorous biblical criticism. Incapable of
    finding a mistake in the global exegesis, they could only reply, « We don’t
    agree! » That is not what I had asked them. I knew in advance that they did not
    agree, but I wanted them to show me where I was in contradiction with the Bible.
    And to this day, none of them has been able to do so.

    6. To try to prove to me that his speaking in tongues was still relevant
    today, a good Parisian sent me a discourteous letter partially written in « a
    strange language »!!!




    Several people have asked me, « Have you spoken in tongues? » The question
    deserves more than a yes-or-no answer.

    Soon after my conversion, my spiritual itinerary was under Pentecostal
    influence. I went to their assemblies, I got to know their pastors well and
    worked with them in many gospel campaigns. Many who were saved under my ministry
    are now an integral part of their churches. Some have a pastoral ministry in the
    moderate wing of the movement. In the same way that you can be a Baptist by
    conviction without being a member of a Baptist church, I also shared Pentecostal
    convictions without being officially part of their movement. My preaching was
    thereby influenced to the point where some in my own church reacted very badly
    to what they feared to be a new and wrong orientation. They let me know this via
    remarks or thinly veiled threats. My adhesion to these ideas, while not
    complete, was enough for me to be described as a Pentecostal. Consequently, I do
    not speak of them from the standpoint of someone who comes from outside the
    movement, but rather from my experiences recorded inside. I know what I am
    talking about.

    In the light of what I have just said, I feel that the above question was not
    well-phrased. It should be as follows, « Have you spoken in tongues by the Holy
    Spirit according to the Scriptural model? » To that I reply, « No! » No, neither I
    nor anyone else has exercised the authentic gift of the Spirit in our time, for
    all the reasons laid out in this book. But if I am asked if I have babbled like
    the others some incomprehensible gobbledygook to which a label of supposed
    authenticity has been attached, then without hesitation I answer « YES! » And I
    can give a demonstration on the spot to anyone who wishes. An « interpreter »
    would even find suitable material for a good gospel message in it, which would
    prove that the « interpretation » would be as false and fanciful as what I was
    saying « in tongues ».

    A young friend who recently left the movement humbly confessed (in
    youngsters’ current slang) that the practice of speaking in tongues was
    « phoney ».

    — « How could you submit to this counterfeit? »

    — « Because of the atmosphere of the group; everyone had to try not to give
    the impression of lagging behind; we were young and ignorant and we were only
    taught the Bible piecemeal, never systematically. The texts that contradicted
    our practice were avoided. It was all part of our jargon without our really
    knowing what it meant. It was there as a remedy for everything that wasn’t going
    well with us. We had to believe, just simply believe. To ask questions was
    almost the unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit. We had to plug our ears and
    distrust anyone described to us as ‘those losers who do not believe in the Holy
    Spirit’. But my eyes were opened to what the Bible says. I understood that the
    Holy Spirit and the spirit who led our group were two different spirits! »




    Though he was Truth incarnate, Jesus was regarded as a trouble-maker.
    Barabbas was not so disturbing. We know how it ended, « the living stone, (was)
    rejected by men » (I Peter 2:4). It would be utopic to expect that everyone will
    reject their favourite error. For them it is like the famous Turin shroud from
    which we can draw three analogies.

    1. It took seven centuries for the Catholic Church to get around to
    recognising what every Christian with a bit of common sense knew instinctively,
    that the shroud was a fake. For a long time to come the charismatics will
    doggedly hold on to the belief that their counterfeit is true, even against all
    Scriptural evidence. This will last as long as they refuse to bow to Scripture
    and to submit to the test we spoke of in chapter 6. The Catholic Church had the
    honesty to do so and we know what the results were! Again, we emphasize that it
    is because they know what the final result will be that charismatics refuse
    scientific confrontation.

    2. Some admit their error but only in lip service. They do not miss the
    opportunity to add, as Cardinal Ballestrero did after announcing the myth of the
    shroud on 13th of October 1988 at 10 o’clock, « The Church
    reaffirms her
    respect for and veneration of this image of Christ ».
    So, let it continue! We know the shroud is not authentic but it is better to act
    as if it were! Isn’t this just the point made by a friend regarding I Cor.14:2,
    where the Holy Spirit says that the one who speaks in tongues does not speak to
    men but to God, « … when this word of Paul began to circulate in our assemblies
    it had the effect a bomb, but the idea was not followed up, because we would
    have had to admit that everything that had been done up then was false ». Of
    course, the current speaking in tongues is false, biblically, scientifically and
    reasonably speaking, and many charismatics sense that, but they nevertheless
    still give it their respect and veneration as Israel did in the time of Hezekiah
    with the bronze serpent Moses had made.

    3. Those who are convinced in their hearts will have to pay the price of
    their conviction and sincerity if, in their particular groups, they protest in
    faithful obedience to the Word of God simply on the basis of these four

    — I Cor. 12:13 – The purpose of baptism in the Spirit;

    — I Cor. 14:2 Speaking in tongues addressed to God alone;

    — I Cor. 14:21 – The sign for Israel;

    — I Cor. 14:21 – The sign for unbelievers.

    In addition, if they insist on saying Jesus never spoke in tongues; if they
    require a test of the gift of interpretation, then it will not be this book that
    makes them leave the charismatic circle; the charismatics will beg them to
    leave. This is exactly what happened to a Christian in Lausanne who was shown to
    the door of his church simply because he was too biblical. May other evangelical
    churches receive them as the Lord Himself would receive them.




    If I were asked to cite three biblical truths among the most simple and
    straightforward to summarise, I think I would choose: 1.The doctrine of Mary; 2.
    The baptism in the Holy Spirit; 3. The gift of speaking in tongues.

    1. As far as Mary is concerned, it’s easy. Very little is said of her: the
    prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, the annunciation, the magnificat, the nativity, a few
    rare glimpses given in the Gospels and a last mention of her presence in the
    upper room in Acts 1:14, accompanied by her sons, then nothing more. All we read
    about her is not always to her credit, but it is no less a very beautiful story
    free of any embellishment and without any hidden meaning. No risk of being
    misled; just read it and understand it.

    2. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is even easier, as its explanation is given to
    us in one single verse: 1 Cor. 12:13, « For we were all baptised by one Spirit
    into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free ». It is the initial
    affiliation of all believers to the Church irrespective of class, whether they
    spoke the language of the Jews or foreign languages, so that they might form one
    body. That is all. As it is a believer’s first experience (being made part of
    the Body) it cannot then be a second experience. (Reread chapter 9 for the
    incident with Samaritans in Acts 8).

    3. Nothing is complicated either for speaking in tongues. It was in the
    sign’s nature to explain its purpose. The foreign languages were:

    • I) The sign to the unbelieving Jews that the foreigners with their strange
      tongues, referred to as « all flesh », or « all people » on the day of Pentecost,
      were now like them and plunged by the Spirit into a new body with them – the
      Church. (Acts 2:17, I Cor. 14:21). See chapter 3.
    • II) Real and existing languages (I Cor.14:10, Acts 2:8). See chapter 5.
    • III) Only addressed to God and never to men (I Cor.14:2). See chapter 2.
    • IV) Not a sign for believers (I Cor.14:22). See chapter 3.
    • V) To announce the fire of judgement to this people (Isaiah
      28:11-13, I Cor.14:21, Acts 2:3). See chapter 10.
    • VI) In agreement with their explanatory corollary, i.e. interpretation (I
      Cor.14:14,16). See chapter 6.
    • VII) Not linked to the return of the Lord and had to cease beforehand (I
      Cor.13:8,13). See chapter 8.
    • VIII) Never used by the Lord. See chapter 5.
    • IX) Never used in private. See chapter 7.

    Augustine’s definition, which is perfectly in line with Scripture, is
    therefore authoritative, « They were signs appropriate to that era. They were
    intended to announce the coming of the Holy Spirit on PEOPLE OF ALL TONGUES to
    show that the gospel was to be preached to ALL THE LANGUAGES ON EARTH. This
    thing came to announce something and then disappeared ».




    A further word to charismatic brethren of a moderate persuasion who, in good
    conscience, examine the foundation of the doctrine of tongues and worry about
    the excesses it produces. Jesus said one day, « If anyone chooses to do God’s
    , he will find out whether my teaching comes from God » (John 7:17). The
    discovery of the truth is dependent upon a right state of mind, which He refers
    to elsewhere as a « noble and good heart » (Luke 8:15). A right state of mind also
    means acknowledging God is right and we have made a mistake, no matter what it
    costs – the greatest price being the humbling of our natural pride. That is what
    I did personally. I did not lose anything in the exchange. Quite to the
    contrary, because the truth does not bind us, it sets us free (John 8:32).The
    last word is for you, my evangelical brethren. One day I went to a shoe store to
    buy a new pair of shoes. When the salesman saw what I had on my feet, he said
    something that I will never forget, « Your shoes are very tired (!) and worn
    out ». Can the same thing be said about some church meetings? The singing is
    tired, the messages are tired. Certainly giving thanks still fits, but how worn
    out it is! Freshness and spontaneity have grown long beards. People prefer warm
    error (alas!) to cold truth. You cannot warm yourself very well on an iceberg,
    even less in a deep freezer! An old, sputtering, smoking, wood-burning stove
    will create a warmer and cozier atmosphere than a sophisticated furnace that is
    running at only a quarter of its capacity. There is no place for lukewarmness in
    the work of God. The Spirit was given to us so that we would have an abundant
    life, nothing less. Where the life of the Spirit, coupled with sound biblical
    teaching, is abundant and flowing with living waters, Christians are not in
    danger of slipping into false experiences offered as a panacea to heal all the
    ills of the church.

    You who are under charismatic pressure from all sides and who can no longer
    meet charismatic people without being treated to speaking in tongues and the
    baptism of the Spirit at the slightest excuse, hear this: Rereading,
    studying and memorising points 2 and 3 of the summary will help equip
    you, with a knowledge of Scripture and a spiritual wisdom that, as in Stephen’s
    case, « nobody will stand up against » (Acts 6:10).

mai 8th, 2018 by