Devotion on Notable Firsts of Bible (Babel & Pentecost – Unknown & Known Languages sent by God) 23 October 2015 Anno Domini
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Gen 11:5-9 KJV)
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)
Do we not tire of the headlines such as the one below that are, most often, related to pastors and churches of the charismatic movement?
October 23, 2015
Kong Hee, Pastor Of Singapore’s City Harvest Church, Committed Fraud For Wife Sun Ho’s Christian Music
Pastor Kong Hee’s trial has the Singapore megachurch leader and his wife, Sun Ho, asking for “prayer” during this time. Kong, deputy pastor Tan Ye Peng, finance manager Sharon Tan, and former finance managers Serina Wee, Sharon Tan, and John Lam have all been found guilty of embezzling $35.5 million in church donations from Singapore’s City Harvest Church in order to support Sun Ho’s Christian music career. The sentencing phase of the trial is coming up, and it’s possible they all might face up to 20 years in prison.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Billy Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian*, resigned from his Florida megachurch after having an affair.
*Tchividjian took the place of the godly pastor, D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge. He was later implicated in a scandal and had to leave. Instead of dignity in dress and demeanor that typified Dr. Kennedy, Tchividjian represented the more come-as-you-are variety of irreverent preachers of our day.
The above men join a long line of scandal-ridden charismatics who have turned the House of God into a feel-good, irreverent house of merchandise and loose theology.
One of the marks that most often defines a charismatic church is that of so-called gifts of the Spirit – the salient gift being that of ‘speaking in tongues.’ Perhaps more earnest seekers of God’s Word have been driven away from the church door for this practice than for any other. I once entered such a church unaware. When the music began (a mantra, I might add) young women came to the front with tamborines and begin to sway sensually and strike their hips with the tambourines. After a bit, someone stood in the congregation and began to babble in sounds that no one, including himself, understood. It was such a strange and ungodly sight that the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. My son, who was ten years old at the time, said, “Dad, this is not a church.” I agreed and we left immediately. Brownsville Revival, a depraved exhibition of holy laughter, caterwauling, and being led (on hands and knees on the floor) by a leash like a dog was the sensation of its day. It ended a few years back with criminal complaints and scandal. Is this Holy? I think not. Why is it so difficult for men and women to simply trust the Holy Bible without resorting to what they falsely claim to be extra-biblical revelations?
This devotion lacks scope to go into the in-depth doctrinal errors of tongues-speaking, but we will address the more glaring truths as revealed in Scripture.
First of all, God never speaks in sly and uncertain terms. He is ever open in Scripture as top His meaning and its intended application. He has allowed all major language groups to have His Word in their own language – the Holy bible which He has divinely dictated and preserved across the ages.
God is never ambiguous. “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Cor 14:32-33 KJV) Confusion results when we do not UNDERSTAND circumstances or speech directed our way. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Cor 14:40 KJV) Good order demands that all involved have a complete understanding of what is trying to be related.
In Genesis 11:5-9 (quoted above) we see that the first incidence of ‘confused tongues’ came as a result of sinful man trying to take the place of God Almighty. He confused their language at Babel and thereby provided the language for every major racial class. The word, babble, came from the name of the Tower that was constructed to reach unto Heaven. Our term, “babbling fool,” derives from the same – and we have many today even if they are mistakenly convinced that their imagined babbling is Holy Ghost inspired. Great sins are happening today in churches around the world, and much of it has its roots in the charismatic movement.
It is often the case that those who speak in ‘unknown tongues’ claim to be Pentecostal, but are they? Let us exam the clear and simple word of God in describing the event of Pentecost. “4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” They all were affected by this movement of the Spirit of God. Did they speak in babbling words, or did they speak in languages known by all present? I do not speak Chinese, however, if I went to China and spoke in clearly understood English, and every Chinaman understood me in Mandarin, that would DEFINITELY be a miracle – and a convincing one. That is what happened at Pentecost. “5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” (Acts 2:5-12)
Either we are baptized into the Body of Christ, or we are not! There is no ‘second baptism of the Holy Ghost.’ It is not even the outward form of baptism that unites us with the Body of Christ but, rather the inward and spiritual grace conveyed by faith. We need not sit for hours trying to learn how to produce nonsensical and irrational sounds with tongues that are otherwise perfectly capable of understandable expression.
Many years ago, a minister of a large Korean church came and pleaded with me to assume the role of English minister to the youth and adult men of his church. The only problem was that this Korean church was charismatic and believed in tongues-speaking. When I told the pastor that tongues were not biblical, he amazed me at the twisted scripture he presented in defense of it. He even attempted to justify speaking in tongues by references Acts 2 which is clearly not the kind of tongues in which he believed. So, finally, I asked him these questions: “Who is our perfect example and authority in the Christian Faith?” He immediately and correctly said, “The Lord Jesus Christ!” I then asked, “As a redeemed Christian if I can live as much like Christ as my mortal nature will permit – speaking as He spoke, living as He lived, loving as He loved – will I be on solid ground?” He responded, “Yes, of course.” I then asked if there are any examples at all of Jesus speaking in an unknown tongue?” He refused to respond. I also added this question to which I received no response: “If baptism of the Holy Ghost means that I am giving the gift of tongues, does that make the tongues-speaker better than Christ.” He became very angry and spoke no more.
The notion that God gives such gifts to others that causes them to feel somehow ‘better’ than other Christians defies the Gospel and nature of God. I will close with these important words:
“&%#, ?^$@**. @#$%^&*?//><!”
Get the message?