Satan's Latter Rain
26 Oct 2002, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
Sermon Title: SATAN' S LATTER RAIN?
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:17-20
Ever since Jesus promised to give the Holy Spirit to the Christian Church (see John Chapters 14-16) sincere Christians have yearned for the filling of the spirit.
The "early rain" of the spirit as predicted in Joel 2:27-28 was seen to be fulfilled at Pentecost. With the Biblical promise of a final and global fulfilment of the same prophecy many sincere modern Christians search for the "latter rain". Millions believe the modern Charismatic Movement to be such a fulfilment.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that the foundation of God's Latter Rain was set by Martin Luther and the reformers of the Protestant Reformation. We believe this latter rain of God's Holy spirit will continue to increase until the global climax of the Gospel of Salvation in the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Reformation led to the Great Religious Awakening which swept Europe, UK and North America in the early 19th century. It culminated in the Global expectation of the second Coming of Christ as predicted by the Millerites 1833-1844. Because of a misunderstanding concerning the heavenly sanctuary, cleansing and judgment and a disregard of Matthew 24:42 the Movement floundered in disappointment.
Growing out of the Second Advent Movement a group of "Adventists" of several denominational persuasions, by prayer, Bible Study and Visions from God established the and formally named their group the "Seventh-day Adventist Church" in 1863.
ALSO around 1844 the First Shower of the Devil's latter rain - Darwinian Evolution swept the globe . Origin of Species set the stage for - Evolution v Creation. It was accepted by atheists/non believers and some faithful Christians.
Next came the Fox Sisters at Rochester NY in 1848. Spirit rappings and spirit contact. - the beginning of Modern Spiritualism.
Then in the late 19th and early 20th Century I believe the devil moved into the Christian Church to confuse the Christians concerning the Holy Spirit and His work in the last days of this planet earth.
I believe that Satan wanted to draw into his net as many FAITHFUL and sincere searching Christians as he could. How did he do it- I would suggest - "Speaking in Tongues" technically known as GLOSSOLALIA - Pentecostalism.
FIRST WAVE 1900 : Mainline denominations lost members to Pentecostalism. Known as Baptism of the Holy Spirit - Key to spiritual power.
SECOND WAVE 1960'S : Pentecostalism reversed direction - into the Traditional Denominations. Methodist/Presbyterians/Lutherans/Baptists/RC. Known as NEO-PENTECOSTALISM or Charismatic Renewal Movement.
THIRD WAVE 1980'S : The Charismatic Renewal Movement Focuses on Power Evangelism/ Force Prayer for Healing Miracles/ also Major in Celebration Churches. It takes on various and many shapes and forms. It has permeated all denominations. Speaking in Tongues has, and is displaying, phenomenal growth. It is estimated (1991) 20% of 1.8bill global Christian pop - 370 million.
They claim the growth is a sign of the Holy Spirit's latter rain - God's blessing as predicted in Joel 2:28-29. The alarming issue is that too many Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs) in the USA and now Australia and NZ are defecting to it's claims.
THEREFORE I wish to spend several sermons addressing this serious issue I will resort to the Scripture and external sources as well. SDAs expect the Latter Rain therefore it can be easy for the unwary negligent Bible Student to be deceived into the 3rd Wave of CRM.
SOME LEADING QUESTIONS:
- Is Glossolalia from God or Satan?
- Is it Supernatural?
- Is it the result of a trance resulting in ecstatic utterances of gibberish?
- Is it stimulation of Bocas' area in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain?
- Is it an altered state of consciousness - hypnosis, hysteria or learned behaviour?
Is it identical with the gift of the Holy Spirit manifested in Acts 2 at Pentecost?
First Wave Pentecostals answered - YES! But now contemporary charismatics say NO! They said before it was languages. Now they say it is a spiritual gift of spiritual language, language of angels and heaven.
Contemporary Charismatics, say there are two types of "speaking in tongues". Acts 2 = known foreign languages and 1 Cor 12-14 language of angels - spiritual not rational language.! They claim this fulfils Joel 2:28-29.
They also claim it is the MAJOR sign of Christ's Second Coming and The End.
Non - Charismatic Christians including some SDA's across the globe are asking concerning the Origin of GLOSSOLALIA. It's Meaning in one's personal life, It's Purpose for the Church, and it's extraordinary explosion in every denomination. All are asking, "Is glossolalia the foundation of Christian and non-Christian ecumenism? This is the most serious issue facing the Seventh-day Adventist Church as we proceed into this New Millennnium. I therefore wish to spend time to thoroughly analyse the issue and submit the Biblical position.
THE SOURCE OF MY INFORMATION - SCRIPTURE + the thorough research of the late Dr Gerhard F. Hasel - "Speaking in Tongues - Biblical Speaking in Tongues and Contemporary Glossolalia". 1991. In later presentations I will support my comments with research from Eric E. Wrights book entitled, "Strange Fire - Assessing the Vineyard Movement and The Toronto Blessing." - 1996
- Review the Modern Phenomenon ( It is a recent characteristic of Christianity)
- Survey the Bible re "speaking in tongues"
- Note that 20th Century Glossolalia appears in both Christian and non-Christian religions!!! Wow There is a Beware signal.!!
- Note studies and research by scientists and scholars of Glossolalia in both Christian and pagan religions.
- Note the disunity of those who teach and practice glossolalia.
OUR ULTIMATE AIM is to discover whether ancient religions, or practices among ancients are identical with those in what the New Testament describes as "speaking in tongues" and whether the New Testament practice is in continuity with practices in the ancient pagan world.
OUR PARTICULAR FOCUS will be to:
- Discover the origin of "Speaking in Tongues"
- To discover the Biblical purpose for which the gift was given
- It's relation to spiritual gifts
- Ascertain whether the "speaking in tongues" phenomenon in the New Testament is the same in all passages or if it can mean something different in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 in particular.
OUR OVERALL PURPOSE IS to determine whether the modern "speaking in tongues" Glossolalia, can be identified with "speaking in tongues in the New Testament.
CONTEMPORY CHRISTIAN GLOSSOLALIA
Studies conclusively show that attempts to put the roots of glossolalia back into ancient Christianity are groundless. It is of RECENT origin in Christianity.
In view of it's seemingly supernatural growth in Modern Christianity, more and more Christians are asking a new set of Questions. Bible believing Christians are asking:
- Where does "speaking in tongues" originate from?
- Who engages in the practice of "speaking in tongues"?
- Do all Christians need to "speak in tongues?
- Is "speaking in tongues" necessary for a person to be saved?
- Is "speaking in tongues" the same as the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- Is "speaking in tongues" the outpouring of the Latter Rain before Jesus Christ returns in the clouds of heaven?
- Does "speaking in tongues' lead to a closer walk with Christ?
- Does the Holy Spirit reveal "new truths" to the one "speaking in tongues"?
- If "speaking in tongues" derives from the Holy Spirit, does it lead into a full knowledge of all truth of Scripture?
- Is '"speaking in tongues" the future means to unite all Christians into one single church?
There are many more questions. Like
- Are those who do not "speak in tongues, second class Christians?
- Does God have second class Christians?
For almost a century experts in fields of study such as scholars, linguists, anthropologists, and scientists have given much attention to modern glossolalia.
Glossolalia has been investigated by psychologists and psychiatrists to determine if it is aberrant or semi-normal human behaviour.
Glossolalia has been in recent years scrutinized by sociologists and behavioural scientists to determine its place in the various socio-behavioural patterns of human behaviour.
NEW ISSUES -created by these scholarly observations:
Researchers have investigated the relationship of Christian glossolalia with seemingly identical glossolalia in non-Christian religions. They found that non-Christian priests, witch doctors, shamans, who at religious ceremonies speak in glossolalic utterances with characteristics IDENTICAL with Christian glossolalia.
THE ESSENTIAL QUESTION REMAINS:
Are New Testament "speaking in tongues" and modern glossolalia (Christian and non-Christian), identical or is there a radical difference?
DEFINITIONS: glossa: tongue / language laleo: to speak. Greek
Glossolalia, (in recent authoritative Encyclopaedia of Religion) defined as, "non-ordinary speech behaviour that is institutionalised as a religious ritual in numerous Western and non-Western religious communities". Again similar definition by,
William J. Samrin, noted linguist, in "Tongues of Men and Angels. The religious Language of Pentecostalism", describes glossolalia as, " a meaningless but phonetically structured human utterance believed by the speaker to be real language but bearing no systematic resemblance to any natural language, living or dead". His 10 year study caused Pentecostals and All Charismatics to change their stance to spiritual, angels and heavenly language in 1 Cor chpts 12-14
So we understand modern glossolalia as being unintelligible utterances and gibberish unrelated to known or unknown or dead languages.
The New Teatament phenomenon we will note as "speaking in tongues"
MID 19th CENTURY (POST 1844) - SEED OF Modern Christian glossolalia seen in the Shaker and Irvingites Movements.
In 1900 a Methodist minister, Charles Parham, started a Bible College at Topeka, Kansas, hoped to revitalize the lagging Methodist Church (Holiness Movement) etc. He laid hands on female students and they began speaking indiscernible language. Agnes Oznam and Jennie Moore.
Parham moved to Texas, met African-American , and with Oznam and Moore had their first Pentecostal effusion at 214 Bonnie Brae St LA on April 9, 1906.
They moved to 312 Azusa St LA where for three yrs they practised glossolalia in an abandoned Methodist Episcopal Church. So Modern Pentecostalism was launched . It had it roots in the 19th Century Holiness movement of fanaticism which Ellen White warned Seventh-day Adventists against.
THE SIGNIFICANT HISTORIACL FACT IS THAT:
Parham and his students did not study the subject of tongues in Scripture. Glossolalia simply happened. It was thrust upon them and then they searched the Bible to support the new phenomenon that they had experienced.
THE 1906 FIRST WAVE Pentecostals believed that there were two sources for the belief that Glossolalia originated from the Holy Spirit.
- Their own subjective personal conviction that it derived from the Holy Spirit. Baptised by the Holy Spirit.
- That glossolalia was identical to "speaking in tongues as found in Acts 2 and 1Cor 14.
Note that the personal subjective experience is given primacy over Scripture. Then the Bible has been sought to give theological and scriptural support and authenticity. BUT note that Historic Protestant Christianity including SDAs have always given primacy to the Bible and the Bible only as the source of doctrine and practice.
THE 1960'S SECOND WAVE: The charismatic movement moved out of the traditional Holiness Movement and Pentecostal churches and entered into the traditional mainline churches. This is referred to as Neo-Pentecostalism or denominational Pentecostalism, or Charismatic Renewal Movement.
1967- RC's became part of NP or CRM. It first appeared amongst students, priests, nuns of Notre Dame University, South Bend Indiana. Now global - estimated 10 million RC's in 1991 - with blessings of most Popes. (1.8 Billion Christians / 372 Mill ion or 20%) BUT GLOSSOLALIA IS NOT UNIQUELY CHRISTIAN. Gifts Spirit?
GLOSSOLALIA IN NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS: Malaysia, Indonesia,
Siberia, Arctic, China, Japan, Arabia, Burma, Plus etc. Possession/Magic/Trance
Scientific and linguistic evidence shows that we can no longer hold that Christian glossolalia is different to that in non-Christian pagan religions. The forms and structures are identical. It is not hypnotic, but comes in trance and can be learned unwarily and sometimes consciously.
HOW IS IT THAT IT IS THOUGHT THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO LEADS TO ALL TRUTH (John Chapters 14-17) CAN be leading so many differing ideologies both religious and non religious??
There are FOUR MAJOR OPTIONS IF WE ARE TO ISOLATE THE NATURE OF GLOSSOLALIA as a universal phenomenon in Christian and non-Christian religions and of religious and non-religious persons.
1. Glossolalia is derived from and provided by the Holy Spirit
2. Glossolalia is derived and provided by counterfeiter Satan the Evil One.
3. Glossolalia is produced by human learning processes - possibly trance altered state of consciousness regardless of religion or environment.
4. Or Glossolalia may be derived from more than one of the above options eg 2 and 3 is possible ( The first two are Supernatural ) Satan originated glossolalia in Eden!! SO!!
THE QUESTION FOR US
Would the Holy Spirit use such a learned but unintelligible form of speaking as one of His gifts? Would He use something that is identical with that used by witch doctors, shamans, and priests of non-Christian pagan religions? Would He use something that is also used in the séance and in sorcerous meetings by spiritualists? The answer is found in the nature, function and purpose of Biblical "speaking in tongues."
SO FAR - SUMMARY
- Glossolalia is not restricted to Christians alone.
- There is no distinction between Christian and non-Christian glossolalia.
- Glossolalia as practised today cannot be identified with any known language from the present or past.
- The articulation and structure do not resemble any human language.
- It can be learned.
THE BIG QUESTION - Does the New Testament show that New Testament "speaking in tongues is the same as Modern Christian glossolalia?
We will allow the Bible to interpret itself. Mk 16:17 Acts 2:1-13; 10:44-45; 19:1-7; 1Cor Chpts 12-14 (in particular 12:10; 14: 1-6)
"SPEAKING IN TONGUES" IN GREEK
There are today two camps of Scholars , as we would expect, have been influenced by the glossolalia explosion and try to twist scripture to support their beliefs.
Camp One believe there are two meanings associated with the Greek expression.
- Acts 2 where they believe it means ability to miraculously speak foreign language.
- 1 Cor 12-14 where they believe it means ecstatic unintelligible utterances equal with Modern Glossolalia of any persuasion. Since 1858!!!
Camp Two of Scholars equally trained suggest that the New Testament is uniform and that "speaking in tongues in every text in the New Testament means the speaking of genuine languages not previously learned by the speaker.
I will present a summary of the research of the Greek words.
- The noun glossa used by itself ALWAYS means the organ of the body - the tongue. and in other instances in the New Testament it means Language.
- Only once is it used figuratively - Acts 2:3 "Tongues of fire" There is no use in the New Testament of glossolalia meaning ecstatic unintelligible speech or gibberish. We will check 1 Cor 14 later.
- There is no use of glossolalia as unintelligible speech or gibberish in the synoptic Gospels.
Neither is there any mention of it in the Gospel of John where he speaks much re the Holy Spirit.
- In Acts 2 we have both the figurative use and the miraculous speaking in previously unlearned foreign languages.
- The speakers in Acts were not glossolalists. People understood, " glossai idios dialectos". All through Acts 2 Luke uses the word speaking- apophtheggomai - used in the Septuagint and classical Greek to indicate solemn inspired speech NOT ecstatic unintelligible gibberish and utterances.
Camp One scholars who claimed a linkage between glossolalia and Hellenistic ancient religion and who claim Paul was using it in this sense in 1 Cor 14, have had their theory dashed by the most stringent and presently available research. It is not true. They never used glossa lalein to mean, ecstatic unintelligible speech.
To this day no scholar has been able to show anywhere outside the New Testament Greek where glossa supports Modern Charismatic glossolalia.
The use of glossa lalein in the Septuagint is most significant. ( Hebrews has a reason to produce the Septuagint - Their youth were now bi-lingual and so they translated the Heb to Gk for their children so that the translation would be accurate) . In every use it means normal tongues referring to known languages.
So it is conclusive that there is nothing outside of New Testament Scripture which supports Modern Christian Charismatic glossolalia in the use of 1 Cor 12-14 to support the belief that Paul was referring to ecstatic unintelligible gibberish or lately, spiritual angel's language of a non-rational kind.
In view of this it would be wise to see what scripture actually says for itself. The most sound methodology would be to commence with a clear New Testament passage which has lucid definition and move toward the unclear or controversial passage such as 1 Cor 12-14. The light of the clear should enlighten the unclear. The Bible and the Bible only. We will survey all New Testament passages in the future and briefly now, the first instance in the Gospel of Mark.
MARK 16:17 Let us notice the context.
The origin and first use of the term, "speaking in tongues" by the Saviour Himself. Our God. This is most significant and noteworthy.
It is mentioned in the context of the miraculous.
It is for the purpose of ensuring the global spread of the Gospel outside of Palestine.
It is mentioned in the context of SUSTAINABLE BELIEF in Jesus Christ and His word.
Mark 16:17 "to speak in NEW tongues.
BEWARE Modern Charismatic translators or "dynamic" translations tend to introduce their own bias here. They make the word "new" "kainais" to read , ecstatic strange etc.
The most reputable Greek scholars after thorough research say the Kainais is used to indicate, "new in the sense of something unknown in this manner and at the same time marvellous to the one speaking it." "It is new in the sense that the speaker has not previously learned it."
May I suggest, that in Mark 16:17 it is new in the sense of a miracle that makes it possible to speak with tongues (languages) not learned.
The Gospel Commission is the context. The disciples previously were restricted to Israel Matt 10:6, (10:1-11:1) and Samaria Luke 10:1-16. Now they are to go global - beyond Palestine by miraculous means.
In their earlier restricted ministry they were equipped with their mother tongues. But now
"…a new endowment was promised. The disciples were to preach among other nations, and they would receive power to speak other tongues. The apostles and their associates were unlettered men, yet through the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, their speech, whether in their own or a foreign language, became pure, simple, and accurate, both in word and in accent". Ellen G White, Desire of Ages p. 821 (see also Ellen G White, Acts of the Apostles pp 39-40)
Now that is miraculous and arranged - not ecstatic unintelligible gibberish. Miraculous as predicted by Christ Himself in Mark 16:17.
Arranged by Christ Himself as recorded in Acts 2, 10 and 19.
We must each personally ascertain the truth from God's word and modern research.
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