The Sound Of A Mighty Rushing Wind
Are Tongues For Today?
On the day of Pentecost (Acts Chapter Two) there was “a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind.” About 160 years ago a small breeze started blowing in England. This breeze has become a great and strong wind. Like many strong winds, this wind has a name. It is called “the Charismatic Renewal.” Some would have us believe that these two winds have the same source.
In Acts Chapter Two the sound of a rushing mighty wind announced the receiving of power by the church in Jerusalem. This power to witness was passed on to the other churches born out of this church without any signs.
In I Kings 19:11 we see another wind:
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake.”
God is not always in those things that make the most noise. The wind in this passage was strong enough to violently tear the mountains apart and to break the rocks in pieces. But God was not in the wind, nor was He in the earthquake that followed. As God was not in this wind, we will see that God is not in the wind of “Charismatic Renewal.” This movement may be spectacular and it may make some fantastic claims, but it is not a movement that comes from God, nor is it lead by the Holy Spirit.
As I write this book I cannot help but think of the many Baptist churches that are presently troubled by the Charismatic movement. They are confused by its “speaking in tongues” and its “Holy Spirit baptism.” I pray that this short work will help them in understanding the truth.
It is not my purpose to attack persons or personalities. The purpose of this book is to discover what the Bible teaches us concerning the doctrines of this movement.
I ask each reader to study this book with his Bible opened and to read each passage in its context. If you really believe that the Bible is the Word of God, if you believe that it is without error, take what it says as being the final authority. If your church, your friends, those for whom you have great respect, or any one else teaches any doctrine (on any subject), compare it with the Bible. Don’t take passages out of context, and do consider all the passages that deal with the subject. You should not accept what I say or accept my interpretation, you should seek what God says in His Word. You should base your belief on His thoughts and His alone. It is my goal to show you what I found when I took the time to do just that.
Before entering into the subject I would like to tell you why I think that I am qualified to speak on this matter. I was saved in the Four Square Gospel Church of Arlington, California (a Pentecostal church). Shortly after my salvation I spoke in tongues as was the practice in that church. During the following twelve years I continued to hold this doctrine. I would speak in tongues whenever I felt the “spirit” move me.
In 1970 God directed me to the First Baptist Church of Montbello in Denver, Colorado. It was there that I received my first instruction against this teaching. Being confused by these two opposing positions, I started studying my Bible to find the truth. To help me in my study I bought a book written by a Pentecostal. It was written to defend their charismatic doctrine. This book is called “A Handbook on Holy Spirit Baptism”. It was in this book that I found the answer. The book gave three tests to determine if a doctrine is, or is not, of God. The first test was: is it in agreement with the Word of God; the second was: does it cause the person to become a better witness for Christ; and the third was: does it glorify Jesus Christ and God. The second and third tests fail in that instead of glorifying Jesus Christ, and witnessing for Him, they glorify and witness for the Holy Spirit. Remember that Jesus said:
“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 will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)
I have seen many people who do not respect the principles of God but think of themselves as “spiritual” because they speak in tongues. This neither glorifies Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit.
I am writing this book in response to the only test that really counts; is this doctrine in agreement with the Holy Scriptures? You will see by the end of this book that the charismatic movement not only disagrees with the Holy Scriptures, but that it violates almost all of the principles set down to govern the use of spiritual gifts.
We live in difficult times. Materialism has failed, science has not given its promised happiness, religion does not meet our needs, and we do not know where to turn. There is a tendency in the modern world towards spiritism. Seers, astrologers, and other fortunetellers are consulted more and more. This tendency has pushed some Christians towards a sort of “Christian spiritism.” The tendency is to subordinate the objectivity of divine revelation to the subjectivity of spiritual manifestations and to the emotional experiences that accompany these manifestations. This is extremely dangerous because it opens the door to all sorts of manifestations coming from many different sources.
Each Christian should compare every doctrine and every practice with the Holy Scriptures. Isaiah tells us:
“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:19-20)
One who does not speak according to the law and the testimony of God (the Word of God) has no light in him. He hides the light from those he teaches. He leads them into error.
John tells us:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1)
It is not wise to accept without question all that comes from every spirit. One must test everything by the Word of God. This includes spiritual experiences.
Our experience is a useful witness only when it agrees with the Word of God. Every experience that is really from God will always be in perfect agreement with the Word of God. If an experience is not in agreement with the Scriptures, it is the experience that is wrong, and never the Scriptures! A good example of this is the blind man that Jesus healed.
“He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:25)
The blind man said that Jesus was a prophet of God (v. 17) and the Pharisees said that He was a sinner (vs. 16 and 24). The blind man cited his experience as proof. He applied the Bible principal found in Psalms 66:18 (If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me) to what Jesus had done for him. In essence he said, “If Jesus were a sinner God would not have listened to Him but He did.”
I have seen Pentecostals and Charismatics give “interpretations” that contradicted the Word of God. When I showed this to them they were not concerned with what the Word said, they had their “experience” and therefore knew that their “interpretation” was correct.
Paul said to Timothy:
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (II Timothy 4:7)
Like Paul, we should fight a good fight and finish our course, but we should also keep the faith that is given to us in the Holy Scriptures. Keeping the faith means to faithfully keep the teachings of God as they are found in the Bible. In this same epistle Paul said:
“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” (II Timothy 2:5)
We cannot expect a reward from the Lord if we don’t follow the rules set down in His Word. A Christian must not accept something simply because it comes from someone that loves (or at least pretends to love) the Lord. Listen to what Jesus said concerning this subject:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Don’t think that someone speaks in the name of God simply because he uses the name of the Lord, or because he performs miracles. Remember, Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants as ministers of righteousness (II Corinthians 11:14-15).
Paul said to the Thessalonians;
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (II Thessalonians 2:8-10)
We see that Satan is also capable of performing miracles (lying wonders) that can pass as signs. Men have created a devil with horns, hoofed feet and a tail that pushes men to sin. The Devil of the Bible is not at all like this. He disguises himself as an angel of light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness. He wants his disciples to do that which is good. He is a deceiver, and he knows that he cannot deceive the world by openly doing evil. He sees himself as the first born of creation, the heir of God and the true messiah. He does not instigate the vices of this world, he controls its religion.
Satan tries to take the place of Jesus Christ. He is an extremely powerful being and he has more than 6000 years of experience in deceiving men. God gives us armor capable of protecting us (Ephesians Chapter Six) and a sword capable of defeating the enemy (The Word of God). The only way to recognize false doctrines is to know the Word of God so well that we are capable of discerning them as soon as they appear.
Pierre was saved at the age of 17. Upon completion of high school he entered the Army and rose through the ranks to the rank of Captain. After leaving the army God called him to be a missionary to France, where he served for 12 years. Since leaving the Army God has used him to restore three failing churches.
He is a graduate of Baptist Bible College West in Denver, CO. He has received a Masters and a Doctorate degree in theology from Canterbury University.