Latter Day Delusions
by Ed Stevens
Various dispensations are mentioned in the Bible. The Mosaic dispensation was ushered in and accredited by a great display of Divine power and public miracles. Exodus 19. So also when the present dispensation of the church "which is Christ's body" began, the Holy Spirit was "shed forth" from heaven (Acts 2:33) and worked miracles in tongues, healings, etc. He came to indwell every believer in Christ until such members of Christ's body shall be "caught up to meet the Lord in the air". I Thes. 4:13-17; II Thes. 2:7. Thereafter, when the future millennial dispensation is ushered in the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Israel (as a remnant) and "upon all flesh". Isa. 32:15; 44:3; Joel 2:28. Today, in a widely spread tongues movement the latter two events are erroneously referred to as "the former and the latter rain", pivoting this on Joel 2:23. They firmly believe that God is presently bestowing a so-called "SECOND Pentecost", that the Holy Spirit is now being poured out as "the latter rain", accompanied with miracles such as healing and speaking in tongues.
Joel merely spoke of a literal rain that would again fall on the LAND of Israel "in the first month" as in ancient times. See Deut. 11:14. The Bible no where speaks of the. Holy Spirit's descent on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) as a rain, nor that the miracles at the beginning of this dispensation will again occur , at its close. It is most dangerous to believe such doctrine for it provides opportunity for Satanic counterfeit manifestations. Covetousness "is idolatry". Col. 3:5. To, covet apostolic miraculous power (no where said to succeed the apostles) will certainly lead to spiritual idolatry and mass deception. And so it has!
The Irvingite movement in England in 1830 claimed mainly the "gift" of prophecy but soon faded out. The modern Pentecostal tongues movement was born in 1906. Its distinctive doctrine is that speaking in tongues is the true evidence of "the baptism of the Holy Ghost". Under the leadership of a negro named Seymour, in a basement in Los Angeles, California, April 9, 1906, a group of people began to break into ecstatic utterances unquestionably believed to be apostolic tongues. This new tongues movement swept across America like wildfire and on to foreign lands.
Bible Certainty Exposes Delusions
Few people seem to know for what purpose miraculous tongues was given and the duration thereof. In Isaiah 28:11 it was prophesied that because of Israel's unbelief concerning Christ, God would "speak to THIS people with stammering lips an another tongue". God did not set Israel aside nationally immediately after the cross as most Bible teachers surmise. During the period covered by the Books of Acts not only tongues but other evidential miracles accompanied the preaching TO ISRAEL of the promised literal kingdom of her Messiah. This clearly explains Paul's reference to the various "gifts" mentioned in I Cor. 12 (written during the Acts period). Their chief purpose was to prove to Israel that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah, being mainly intended for those who had the preceding revelation, "Moses and the prophets". Also, the Word was thus "confirmed" in the infancy of the church. Mark 16:20.
Israel as a nation did not believe, so the apostle Paul confirmed Isaiah's prophecy writing in I Cor. 14:22, "Therefore tongues are for A SIGN, not to, them that believe, but to them that believe not." Knowing that God would temporarily cast away His people Israel (Rom. 11:15), Paul by inspiration wrote that tongues "shall CEASE". I Cor. 13:8. Similarly, the SIGN gifts stated in I Cor. 12:8-10 ceased also. Their purpose had ended. Thus we find no mention of miraculous gifts in Paul's later epistles. To see that healing miracles ceased read Col. 4:14; II Tim. 4:20; I Tim. 5:23.
Tongues speaking was ranked lower than other gifts. I Cor. 14:1-5. It is held in highest esteem in the modern tongues movement and is usually accompanied with much spiritual pride. This supposed "gift" edifies no one today, nor does it promote saving faith in the Lord Jesus. Luke 16:31 confirms this, that if people will not hear the Bible's testimony, neither will they be persuaded by miracles!
To the Corinthian believers Paul wrote, "With one Spirit ARE we ALL baptized into one body", the church which Christ said He would build. Matt. 16:18. ALL had the indwelling Holy Spirit but all did NOT speak in tongues! I Cor. 6:19; 12:13, 30. All believers today are Spirit-baptized into Christ's church. When one is saved he immediately receives the indwelling Holy Spirit, and that "forever". Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; John 7:39; 14:16; I Cor. 12:13. This is the true "one baptism" of Eph. 4:5, when the believer is also simultaneously "baptized into Christ" and "into His death", according to Gal. 2:20; 3:27; Rom. 6:3-8 and Col. 2:12. Here is the passing from death into life of John 5:24, the moment one accepts Christ as His Substitute penalty-bearer for his sins, in which moment he is "born of the Spirit" as stated in John 3:3-8.
Christ said the Holy Spirit would "not speak of Himself"; but the burden of Pentecostalist preaching (in about 57 named-apart groups) is: "the power of • the Holy Ghost". The Holy Spirit does not promote hysteria, which, with the bodily paroxysms common in the tongues movement are foreign to the Bible.
The four cases in the Acts period when the Spirit was received in a spectacular manner can be seen by careful study to have been special instances for the benefit of witnessing Jews. Acts 19:1-6 is much used by tongues believers as though it is here proved r that after believing on Christ a "baptism of the !. Spirit" is to be expected later—indefinitely later, being evidenced by speaking in tongues. It is plainly stated that these twelve "disciples" of John the Baptist were reminded that John had urged the people to "believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus". This these men had evidently not yet done, and, dwelling at Ephesus, they testified that they "did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit was given" (Amer. Revised Version). When properly taught they forthwith believed on Christ, and as a sign to the Jews of "the synagogue" (v.8), "the Holy Spirit came on them and they spake with tongues and prophesied".
In these four cases the Holy Spirit signified (signified with signs) the incorporation into the church the first believers from four distinct groups, the outward signs being speaking in tongues and praising God. These groups were (1) the first Jewish believers, Acts 2; (2) Samaritan believers, Acts 8: 5-17; (3) the first Gentile believers, Acts 10:30-40; 15:14; (4) twelve migrated disciples of John the Baptist, located at Ephesus. There is no record that the Holy Spirit came upon anyone in such a manner after that.
To ask or "tarry" for the Spirit in unbelief of the Bible's plain teaching about receiving the Holy Spirit, is to open the way for receiving "ANOTHER spirit", believing on "another Jesus", and receiving "another gospel". II Cor. 11:4. Other warnings are given as follows:
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons ...".
I Tim. 4:1, 2.
"And for this cause [receiving not 'the love of the truth'] God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe A LIE: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." II Thes. 2:10-12.
In "things written for our learning" (Rom. 15-4) we find in I Sam. 18:10 that King Saul "prophesied" while possessed by "an evil spirit"!
The tongues people affirm that their doctrine 'is born of experience", but any experience conflicting with God's Truth in the Bible can only he "strong delusion". Significantly, missionaries tell us that the tongues meetings they have witnessed are much like the heathen orgies of demon worshippers in Africa! The tom-tom rhythm is always present.
These people usually display a hostile, resentful attitude when reminded that Romans 8:9 flatly denies that one is to receive the Holy Spirit sometime after he is saved—rather he is not saved at all if he is not Spirit-indwelt:-
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His." (The "Spirit of Christ" is one with the "Spirit of God", or the Holy Spirit. "There is one Spirit", Eph. 4:4)
The true evidence of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit is NOT speaking in tongues but rather, manifesting "the fruit of the Spirit" in one's life, as listed in Galatians 5:22, 23, the last named being "self control" (R.V.), please notice.
God's gifts to the church today are not sign gifts ("the Jews require a sign" and "we walk by faith", I COT. 1:22; II Cor. 5:7) ; but His gifts are MEN given to the church "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ ... that we be no more children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine". Ephesians 4:8-14.
Let us remember Christ's solemn prophecy that "there shall arise false christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect". Matt. 24:24. See also Matt. 7:22, 23, stating that Christ's reply to certain miracle workers will be, "I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity". See also II Cor. 11:13-15.
"We pray your in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." Turn from delusions and from "another gospel" and believe the true one as follows:
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel . . . wherein, ye stand; by which also ye are saved . . . for I delivered unto, you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that HE ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the scriptures, and that He was seen ... ". I Cor. 15:1-5.
"Way the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing." Rom. 15:13. "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." I Cor. 14:33.
This tract is written prayerfully "in the love of the truth" and "in the name of the Lord Jesus".
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