ON THE DAY
By Atif Himadeh
Also never in the Bible is it mentioned that any disciple or
apostle or believer spoke in the tongues of angels. So Paul's
statement above does not prove that man could speak in the tongues
6- They spoke tongues (languages) glorifying and magnifying
When today we hear the Pentecostals and the charismatics speak
in tongues (languages), if they speak a real language, do they
speak about the wonderful works of God. When they speak what
is their message today? One person came back from the mission
field in China where he had spent most of his life. He went,
the first Sunday, to his home church in London. In the prayer
meeting one person stood up and spoke in "tongues"
and did so in the Chinese language, which he translated for
himself as almost all charismatics do. The translation was a
verse from the Bible and everybody was happy. At this point
the missionary to China, who knew the Chinese language, stood
up to announce that the man was cursing Christ in the Chinese
language. This man cursed the Lord Jesus Christ instead of glorifying
Him. This is satan speaking in tongues. This did not happen
on the day of Pentecost, it happened in a charismatic church.
My dear reader, to be sure you are glorifying God, never try
to speak in tongues unless the Holy Spirit gives you utterances.
Do not speak in the flesh, that is to utter whatever the tongue
wants to utter. The tongue does not want to glorify God unless
he is moved by the Holy Spirit. James the Apostle said about
the tongue, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity:
so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole
body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set
on fire of hell .... But the tongue can no man tame; it is an
unruly evil, full of deadly poison." James 3:6,8.
Once I was visiting a church which was not supposed to be charismatic.
After the meeting an English lady started to speak in tongues.
She spoke in tongues in Arabic, and she started repeating the
worst curse in Arabic, and when she had finished she translated
the repeated words as verses from the Bible. I believe that
this lady was sincere, but she was sincerely wrong. So let us
be careful not to be misled.
Receiving the Holy Spirit
Now that we have studied the Pentecostal speaking in tongues,
Let us proceed to study the other passages about receiving the
"Then laid they their hands on them, and they received
the Holy Ghost." Acts 8:17. I am sorry to say that a lot
of people misuse this passage which speaks of receiving the
Holy Spirit, no more and no less. If you say that these people
who received the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues, then, equally
as ridiculous, we would ask you if you believe the disciples
spoke in tongues before the day of Pentecost? The answer is
no, everybody knows that. Therefore what right do you have to
interpret "received the Holy Ghost" in two different
"And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith
unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:" John 20:22. The
disciples received the Holy Spirit before the day of Pentecost.
They had received Him without the accompaniment of the gift
of speaking in tongues, or the gift of boldness to testify,
or the gift of preaching, or the gift of doing miracles.
I believe that the Holy Spirit was given that evening after
Jesus rose from the grave. But they were not clothed with power
from on high until God the Holy Spirit came down to dwell in
the church. "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father
upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be
endued with power from on high." Luke 24:49. And so the
Holy Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost and they spoke
in tongues. But the purpose of the Holy Spirit was to cloth
the disciples with power, that they would be His witnesses all
over the world.
The power from on high was not to clothe us with pride, and
to teach that unless we speak in tongues we will not enter
heaven; and that the five wise virgins are those who speak
in tongues, etc. Everyone that will call upon the name of
the Lord will be saved and he will have the Holy Spirit flow
from him like a river. "He that believeth on me, as the
scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of
living water." John 7:38.
The purpose of the power from on high is not to perform miracles
but to enable endued people to witness. "But ye shall
received power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and
you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the
earth." Acts 1:8.
But some people have lost the purpose of the power from on
high and yet claim to have that power because they mumble
words nobody can understand. And when they finish, they claim
to translate the gibberish as a verse from the Bible.
When the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples they spoke
in languages. They never mumbled something nobody could understand.
When the three thousand believed they received the Holy Spirit,
but they did not speak in tongues. When the Samaritans believed,
they also received the Holy Spirit but did not speak in tongues.
So whenever the Bible mentions that they received the Holy
Spirit or were full of the Holy Spirit it does not mean they
spoke in tongues.
Now let us move to the next passage in question and study
it carefully. "And they of the circumcision, which believed,
were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that
on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God."
These were Gentile Italians. Their Hebrew language might have
been broken and have known very little, but these people spoke
in such a way that Peter and the brethren understood what
these Gentiles said. And what they said magnified God. Peter
and those who were with him heard them speak in tongues, and
magnify God. The Gentiles spoke with tongues (language) in
such a way that the uneducated fishermen understood.
This is why Paul wrote, "Therefore if I know not the
meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a
barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto
me." ICor. 14:11. The word barbarian is transliterated
from Greek. The meaning of barbarian is a foreign language
to the Greek speaker. The English speakers use the term "It
is Greek to me."
So when a person speaks in tongues and I do not know the language
(or the power of the sound), that is to say, the meaning of
the sound, then I will not understand anything that is said.
Paul did not say, "Not knowing the power of the language
we proceed to translate." This kind of translation is
not taught in the Bible. I have never heard of anybody who
could translate without the knowledge of the language spoken.
Why don't people who claim to speak in tongues ever stand
up to translate for a person that speaks a real foreign language
which he has not learned? For this simple reason, no one can
translate a language he does not know. No Pentecostal is ready
to accept the challenge of proving the above statement. They
are only willing to translate something that has no meaning,
so that nobody can prove the falsity of their translation
which is a lie to both God and man.
Actually it is wrong to pray that God will give us the gift
of speaking in tongues. We can pray to the Lord to give us
the Holy Spirit and to fill us with the Holy Spirit. When
the Holy Spirit comes He will give us what we need. John writing
around 60 years after the day of Pentecost said, "And
when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment ." John 16:8. "Howbeit
when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into
all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself: but whatsoever
He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He shall show you
things to come." John 16:13.
|The Holy Spirit comes for the purpose of conviction,
guidance, and teaching. The Lord Jesus, to teach the disciples
and the Jews the principles of the NT church, had to speak to
them directly and in a miraculous way so that they will believe.
To teach them to accept the Gentiles in the church, God gave
the Gentiles the same gift of speaking in tongues as the day
We could say today, that there is no resemblance between the
experience of believers on the day of Pentecost and the experience
of Pentecostals and charismatic today, except in name only.
Why? Because they show, instead of "one accord" and
unity, a diversity of opinions and doctrine. The Pentecostal
movement today lacks the tongues of fire of conviction which
was strong and powerful in the first church. I pray that the
Lord will send the power of the Holy Spirit of conviction and
guidance on these people that they may realize how far away
they are from God.
The believers on the day of Pentecost spoke in languages, but
the Bible tells us "Charity never faileth: but whether
there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues,
they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish
away." 1Cor. 13:8.
The Bible says that tongues shall cease. "But when that
which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be
done away." ICor. 13:10. In another words when the perfect
thing shall come (the article "the" before the word
perfect is "to" and not "o". The article
"to" in Greek denotes a perfect thing and not a perfect
The only perfect "thing" we know of is the Bible.
So when the Bible came and was complete there was no need for
speaking in tongues and also there was no need for prophecy
of new knowledge about God. Once the Bible was completed, we
could not add to it nor take away from it. We cannot add to
the Bible what people prophecy today or what they claim to speak
in tongues. So when the Bible was complete in our hands, knowledge
vanished away, prophecy failed and tongues ceased. The best
knowledge of knowing God is now found in the complete Bible.
The best prophecy concerning God's plans for the future is declared
plainly in the complete Bible. God did not forget any of His
plans, all the needed prophecy is in the Bible already. Why
should we speak in tongues? To add what God forget to tell us!
If the speaking in tongues is by the Holy Spirit, then this
for sure must be a message from God. "Now, brethren, if
I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you,
except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge,
or by prophesying, of by doctrine? ICor. 14:6. Did God forget
to write this revelation, or prophecy, or doctrine in the Bible?
For sure God is not man to forget. Why then after he sent us
the complete Bible, is He still sending us these new messages?
He told us not to add to the Bible and not to subtract from
it. Does God change his mind? Therefore we are left with one
solution these are not from God. We must take a stand and say
we will not listen and we will not accept any thing that is
not mentioned in the Bible. The Bible is for the building of
the church. The Bible is the message of God. All that God wants
to declare to us is found in the Bible. We do not need fresh
new visions, prophecies, or the speaking in tongues. What we
need is to believe and preach the Bible. The Bible includes
every thing we need for salvation and for our spiritual life,
so we do not need new revelations.
From the time the Bible was complete, any person who claim he
is speaking in tongues is saying, "God forgot to tell you
what He is revealing to me today". And for those who speak
in tongues and in translating they quote a verse. God inspired
this verse once and that is enough. If you are full of the Holy
Spirit, He will guide you to quote it directly without the excuse
Healing was not said to cease, so God is still in the business
of healing those who believe Him and ask in His name. The apostles
had the special gift of healing; that is, by laying their hands
on the sick or by their shadows falling on them. But the other
disciples did not have this gift. James tells us that if we
have sick people among us, we are to call the elders of the
church to pray and not the women. "Is any sick among you?
Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray
over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:"
So there is a great gulf between the believers on the day of
Pentecost and the Pentecostal Charismatic people of today in
doctrine, in faith and practice. Above all, in the "assurance
of salvation" in which the real Christians believed, while
the Pentecostal Charismatic believers today, in general, reject.