The Charismatic Movement: Part 2: Tongues An Excerpt from the FAKE JESUS: Fallen Angels Among Us
Evan Roberts and The Wales Revival of 1904-1905; Part of the appeal of this wide scale revival lay in Evan Roberts himself, a charismatic and sincere preacher. Although he came from the Welsh Methodist tradition, he wasn’t a theologian, and he never finished his training to be a minister. His message was for all the people of Wales, regardless of denomination, and it was immensely appealing. Meetings would be a mixture of prayer, self-examination and singing, and they could last for hours. Roberts suffered a severe mental breakdown at the end of the revival, from which he never recovered. As a result, his public ministry was finished. He recuperated at the home of Jessie Penn Lewis and he assisted her in writing “War on the Saints.” When the book was denounced by critics in that day, it is reported that Roberts denied co-authoring the book. Jessie Penn Lewis, author of “War on the Saints.” ((1861-1927) was an English evangelical speaker and author of a number of Christian evangelical works. Her father was a Calvinist Methodist minister. Along with Evan Roberts, Penn Lewis was significantly involved in the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival. As previously noted, the revival was abruptly shortened with the mental and physical collapse of Evan Roberts.
Penn-Lewis traveled internationally to take her spiritual warfare message to audiences in Russia, Scandinavia, Canada, the U.S., and India. She has remained a controversial figure among Christians for almost 100 years, primarily because she declared the failure of the Welsh Revival to be the work of Satan. Emphasis is centered in “War on the Saints” of the danger that comes to believers at the point of baptism in the Holy Ghost, yet little reference is made to tongues.
In a subtitled called “The Counterfeit Presence is Sensual,” Penn-Lewis writes: (War on the Saints, pg. 130-131) “The counterfeit presence of God is given by deceiving spirits, working upon the physical frame, or within the bodily frame, upon the senses. We have seen the beginning of this, and how the first ground is gained. It is deepened by these sense-manifestations being repeated, so gently, that the man goes on yielding to them, thinking this is truly ‘communion with God’—-for believers too often look upon ‘communion with God’ as a thing of sense and not of spirit—and here he commences praying to evil spirits under the belief that he is praying to God. The self-control is not yet lost, but as the believer responds to, or gives himself up to these ‘conscious’ manifestations, he does not know that his WILLPOWER IS BEING SLOWLY UNDERMINED. At last through these subtle, delicious experiences, the faith is established that God Himself is CONSCIOUSLY IN POSSESSION OF THE BODY, quickening it with felt thrills of life,or filling it with warmth and heat, or even ‘agonies’ which seem like fellowship with the sufferings of Christ, and travail for souls, or the experience of death with Christ in the consciousness of nails being driven into the bodily frame, etc. From this point, the lying spirits (demons) can work as they will, and there is no limit as to what they may do to a believer deceived to this extent. (Jessie Penn-Lewis)
Now readers, don’t get angry with me. I did not write those words. I don’t know about you, but almost a century ago, this woman wrote words that describe ME! From the agonies and travail for souls, the feelings of warmth and heat, .the consciousness of nails being driven into my bodily frame, I experienced all of this—some of it before I even heard about tongues, before I was even introduced to charismatic teachings or mega preachers.
There is nothing new under the sun where the religious demon is concerned. He just reworks the same ole stuff. Just recently, I happened to be browsing “War on the Saints” for the umpteenth time and I found a short paragraph accompanied by a specific footnote toward the end of the book regarding tongues in small print which is quoted below, in red. As much as I read and value this book, I only noticed this small paragraph and footnote last week: “A question arises here as to whether believers may now speak in unknown tongues, as the disciples did at the time of the Holy Spirit’s in filling at Pentecost.
There are those that say ‘Yes” but the truths set forth in preceding chapters, show that until the spiritual section of the Church of Christ are more acquainted with the counterfeiting methods of the spirits of evil, and the laws which give them power of working, any testimony to such experience AS TRUE, cannot be safely relied upon. (pg. 298) And here is the footnote in fine print: The subject of speaking in tongues is not further dealt with, as the counterfeits in connection with it are only a fraction of the countless counterfeits being forced upon the children of God AT THE PRESENT TIME, numbers of which are not referred to in these pages. A believer not deceived by counterfeit speaking in tongues can be deceived and possessed by accepting other counterfeits. An understanding of the BROAD PRINCIPLES showing the basic differences between the way of God’s working, and the deceptive imitations by Satan, will enable spiritual believers to discern for themselves all the counterfeits they meet with today.
Clearly, Jessie Penn-Lewis was more concerned about “her day and time” then she was about ours. Having ministered in the greatest revival that has occurred in recorded church history since the days of the early church, much of her wisdom comes from experience. Likewise, my own reservations about tongues is primarily connected to counseling professing Christians for deliverance, the vast majority of whom speak in tongues, yet they are also tormented and some have been seriously demonized.
Evidently, Penn-Lewis was not a prophet and therefore, the Lord did not show her “our times” or perhaps she would have spent more time on the speaking in tongues–a practice that has evolved in our times into a major controversy. In this regard, I hope that those readers who speak in tongues will not allow their feelings and emotions to override their good sense. My concern is not for the bona-fide manifestation. In 30 years, I have not personally witnessed one. My concern is for the counterfeit. As such, I agree with my contemporary, Dr. Rebecca Brown’s warning concerning counterfeits manifested through the speaking in other tongues. Her comments were made relative to charismatic Catholics but I believe that Dr. Brown’s words apply to word of faith followers and those within pentecostal denominations as well:
“Christians have made the terrible mistake of assuming that ALL tongues are from God. How wrong they are!…It is well-known that many occult rituals are done in tongues….The fact that Catholics speak in tongues is not proof that they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Too many of these precious Catholic souls assume that because they are speaking in tongues, they are saved. How can the Holy Spirit be operative and manifesting of idolatry?”( Prepare for War, pgs 182-3)
In a nutshell, Dr. Brown’s rhetorical question is the bottom line of this blog, and in a nutshell, she has written what I believe to be the overriding issue. Therefore, I must concur that I do not believe that tongues and its interpretation can be a gift from God within an idolatrous system. The degeneration of this system in the last two decades or more has now gone wild with the prosperity gospel. The amount of money pilfered from unsuspecting, faithful people in tithes and offerings is beyond my imagination to sum up. Furthermore, the current segment of the charismatic/pentecostal system’s preaching of faith has seriously injured and caused premature death to countless of people who have refused needed medical attention that could have spared their lives.
Tragedies of today are actually influenced by the ministries of Charles Parham and another 19th century minister whose name is John Alexander Dowey. Called the Father of Healing Revivalism, Dowey was arrested and charged with manslaughter in the death of his own daughter, who died from a severe burn due to Dowey’s refusal to seek medical attention on her behalf. The beat goes on as I have recently watched video clippings of people whose deceased relatives believed in error that they were healed at a Benny Hinn crusade.
Only God Himself knows how many of his children on their death beds suffered needlessly,–depressed because some word of faith preacher taught them that anyone who becomes sick has either failed God or that their faith in God was too weak to be healed by Him. No, I no longer trust a system that has been replete with error for 100 years. I have searched the scriptures and now I have reviewed the history of tongues. I have some strong impressions as to why I have been suspicious of manifestations that I have either experienced or witnessed. Research has confirmed for me that what we see operative today in tongues is counterfeit. If there is a true gift of tongues in operation, we should be privy to how to discern the true gift from the fake one. Moreover, if tongues has actually ceased by the hand of God, we should not attempt to restore it. For those who desire to continue to track my search for truth, I suggest that you keep reading.
Note:. The Fake Jesus was published in 2007.
Today is December 15, 2011.Four years have come and gone. I spoke in tongues from 1982-2007. Twenty-five years!!!! As it now stands, I continue to NOT speak in tongues because today I am convinced that it is a counterfeit doctrine and practice of the spirit of the Anti-Christ. I make no exceptions, unless you are in a remote part of the world where more than one unknown language is spoken, and the natives have never heard of Jesus Christ.