Our Relationship to Tongue-Speakers
An Official Statement
NCW 80, July-December 2003
Those who have closely followed our writings on the issue of tongue-speaking in the Body of Christ will have noted our constant and unchanging position on this subject. Because there are now literally tens of millions of Pentecostals and other tongue-speaking charismatics swelling the Body of Christ, there are those who wonder if the sheer weight of numbers, and the degree to which these believers are expanding at a rate that easily makes them the fastest growing Christian denomination in the world, is not, in fact, a message from Yahweh to us to reconsider our position, as so many other non-charismatics are doing. This question has acquired an even greater profile as congregations around the world have applied to associate with, or become full members of, NCCG who not only have past in tongue-speaking but continue to practice it today.
I have to say in all candour, and with the greatest respect and love, that NCCG cannot change its position on a practice simply because millions of people believe it to be true. Neither can I acknowledge that it is valid because of the emotional/spiritual effects these people have experienced through tongues as though these were a validation in and of themselves. The bedrock of New Covenant Christian belief remains, uncompromisingly, felicity to the Word of God which we have unequivocally stated gives no support whatsoever to ecstatic tongues with no true human language content. And again, we are forced to declare, notwithstanding the very real pain we know that such a statement will cause our friends who sincerely believe in this practice, and even if it means that we return to being a mere handful of members instead of the many thousands who have placed themselves under this banner, that the spirit which drives charismatic-type tongues is from "another spirit" and is not - I repeat - NOT the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). To which I am forced to sadly add that those who believe that these tongues are from Yahweh are believing a lie and have, by virtue of this, admitted demons into the House of God.
In November we released two new publications by scholars from outside NCCG which analyse the whole question of tongue-speaking in depth and from a denominationally-neutral standpoint. The first, by Alan Connor, is called, The Gift of Tongues: A Known Language or Unintelligible Utterances? and the second by Professor Francis Nigel Lee of Queensland Presbyterian Theological Hall, Australia, entitled, Tongues at Corinth: Languages or Ecstasies? They are well worth your careful study. The conclusion of both studies - which has been ours also since the very beginning - is that all godly human tongue-speaking - is of a known human language even though the language may be 'unknown' to the speaker at the time it is uttered.
Any human experience or belief that contradicts the written Word of Yahweh is false, no matter how 'good' it may feel and no matter what 'results' it may produce. The moment the written revelation is compromised, contradicted, or rejected, a door to demonic deception is opened. Always. This does not mean that a person speaking in dissociated speech is not a Christian, nor that he has not had a salvation experience, nor that he has not been able to administer Christ to others, but it does mean that untruth and destruction is being coupled to these. The fullness of the Gospel cannot be manifested until only the truth is acknowledged and practised. The deceptions of Toronto, Pensacola, Brownsville, early Mormonism, early Seventh-day Adventism, and others all emerged out of charismatic teachings and practices. Until false tongue-speaking is extirpated out of the Body of Christ there will be greater and more beguiling deceptions to come, not because the speaking of dissociated speech is itself harmful but because of the unclean spirit that mediates it.
None of these things are said lightly by us. We know the kinds of reaction they often provoke, from deep hurt to outright anger. But really we are obliged to speak the truth - in love, of course - without counting the cost. For the cost of not speaking out is infinitely greater than the cost of doing so.
We realise that in making such statements we risk isolating ourselves even more and of losing many of the people who have come to us in the last few years. But that 'risk' we have been taking in everything we have said which is currently religiously or politically unacceptable. Our clear-cut statements on the lie that is the Rapture Doctrine, the King James-Only Position, the rejection of Torah-observance, the speculative nature of the Trinity Doctrine, and many other controversial positions, have served to isolate us and provoke the utmost hostility and condemnation from major quarters of Christendom. Whilst out hearts would wish to embrace all believers unconditionally we are obliged, by our consciences and our covenant, to obey Yahweh before men. Accordingly, we have staked all on a quest for the purity of the Gospel of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
We continue to have good friends in the charismatic movement and will continue to extend the hand of friendship. However, it must be obvious to those who know our commission that we cannot possibly admit charismatic tongue-speakers into communion as full members of NCCG. It is our responsibility, duty and calling to expose the false spirit behind this practice for the sake of the souls concerned. Let it be clearly stated that, having said this, that we absolutely believe in the Gift of Tongues and the parallel Gift of Interpretation but that this is ONLY of known human tongues and of the true Ruach haQodesh - for even the true gift can be counterfeited by a false spirit.
Finally, speaking in tongues is not the evidence of being baptised in fire and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). The evidence that a soul has been baptised in fire is that he hates all falsehood and impurity and loves with all his soul Yahweh-Elohim and His Truth and his fellow man. The baptism of fire, quite simply, leads to righteous and passionate holy living and service.
The so-called 'gift of dissociated tongue-speaking' is a dangerous deception because it brings with it unclean spirits that mimic the true Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) by creating an 'alternative', counterfeit charisma that invariably hates Torah and other priceless saving truths. And like so many falsehood, it is not difficult to conceal it amongst Christian truth and practice. Some of my favourite, God-fearing authors are Pentecostals - none of this is in any way to question the deep-felt love for Yahweh that many of them have, nor their lives of dedicated discipleship. And neither is this a declaration that all non-tongue-speakers are good and holy by default: this is not a sectarian, partisan statement. All this statement is, is a warning not to embrace a denominational basket of fruit when there is a rotten apple at the bottom of it.
Our own continuing mission at NCCG is one of cleansing our own house. We are not by any means saying that we have the whole truth fully nailed down yet. But we are most certainly working at it as conscientiously as we can. We do have a solemn duty, however, to clearly state what we believe, and claim to know, to be the truth, and to state what our conditions are for those who come to us seeking membership in NCCG: those who have not repented of, and renounced the spirit behind, counterfeit charismata such as speaking unintelligibly or counterfeit interpretations thereof, cannot be admitted as full, communicant members of our Community.
Feel-good supernatural experiences do not warrant or justify the overturning of Yahweh's Word which we as apostles and other ministers are commanded to guard. Our lives would just not be worth failing in our duty there. This is not, moreover, an area where we have provisionally taken a position - it is a position that is final, because the Word of God is final and unequivocal. There are no New Covenant Christian tongue-speakers, in public or in private, save they speak a foreign language under the power of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) as it is needed for the edification of those who naturally speak that language, and never as a sign of divine approbation or a so-called witnesses of baptism in fire.
Tongue-speaking creates a drug-like dependency on the user and demons craftily integrate this into and with genuine experiences of Yahweh so that the two become confused. You do not need tongues to have a passionate and deep spiritual relationship with Christ. There are those who are our members who are former tongue-speakers whose relationship with Yahweh and giftedness have increased, not decreased. And in my experience, tongue-speaking can become a real hindrance in deliverance ministry.
Please read the two latest publications on Tongues and, if you have not already done so, the dozen or so other articles on our web page. My own article. A Prophetic Message to Charismatic Christians, is also available in print (New Covenant Press, 2nd edition, 2002), and is the official position of NCCG.
May Yahweh bless all of us in our search for, and obedience to, the truth. Amen.
This page was created on 21 November 2003
Last updated on 21 November 2003
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