Tonight's message will, unless God should direct otherwise, be the last message in this series on the Charismatic movement. We have covered the matter of extra- biblical revelation, authority, miracles, transition, Spiritual gifts, Scriptural tongues, biblical instructions concerning tongues, and regulations on the actual exercise of the true gift. No matter how conclusive our arguments from the Scripture on this matter, some will still answer by saying, "Well, how do you explain my experience? I speak in tongues and it makes me feel good. It makes me feel closer to God. I have more power to witness and live for Christ. How do you explain this?" Without a doubt, some people find speaking in tongues beneficial to one degree or another, but we must realize that the experience they are talking about is NOT the biblical gift of tongues!
I. Some Possible Explanations.
A. Modern-day "tongues" may be satanic or demonic in origin.
1. Please do not misunderstand me here.
a. I made that statement once and several people were offended.
b. Because they thought I was say- ing that all "tongues-speaking" was of the devil and anyone who was involved must be demon posessed. page two
2. However, we must realize that every false religion in the world was started because of the LIE: which is Satan.
3. False religions are known for their practice of "tongues".
4. Muslims, Eskimoes, Tibetan monks, as well as many other pagan religions incorporate "tongues".
5. It is also found among those who practice the occult.
B. Tongues is a learned behavior.
1. Today's so-called tongues speaking is NOT, with the exception of the above, a supernatural experience.
2. It is not a miracle, a person just learns how to do it.
3. This is the most common explanation for what is occurring in the Charismatic movement today.
4. Note: "How to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit" by Gordon Lindsay.
a. Many individuals have received the wonderful anointings of the Spirit and all they lack, to enjoy the full emersion is some instruction on yielding their tongue.
b. Often such persons when properly instructed, will suddenly within a few minutes, burst forth in a clear language...
5. Within the Charismatic movement, there is a tremendous amount of peer-pressure to be one of the "haves", and a shame to be one of the "have-nots".
C. Tongues can be psychological.
1. The "tongues" speaker can go into motor automatism.
2. That is the clinical term for when a person has a radical detachment from his conscious surroundings.
3. Motor automatism results in disassociation of nearly all voluntary muscles from conscious control.
4. If you have ever seen a person at a concert of their favorite singer or group.
a. I remember how people reacted to the Beatles when they first began to gain popularity.
b. I am told that others reacted in a similar fashion to Elvis, and before that to Frank Sinatra, and others.
5. Now, have you ever seen on T.V. or in person when someone was "slain in the spirit"?
6. It isn't possible for us to be able to analyze every individual experience and determine what the reason may be for their behavior.
7. What we must understand is this:
a. It is not the exercise of the Biblical gift of tongues.
b. There are many explanations for such bizarre behavior.
II. What is genuine spirituality? 1 Co.2:15
A. It involves regeneration.
1. No one can be spiritual without having first experienced the new life that is freely given to all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
2. It isn't learned behavior.
3. Not reformation of the old man, turning over a new leaf.
4. It is death to the old man and being born again in Christ Jesus.
B. It involves being Spirit-filled.
1. The Spirit of God teaches, guides, assures, and prays for us as believers.
2. He empowers us to exercise our Spiritual gifts and strengthens us for day to day battles with the flesh.
3. We are to ask for Him to fill us moment by moment, which means we allow Him to control us in what we do, waht we say, and what we think.
C. It involves time.
1. If the person who is spiritual is to "judge all things", then time to gain knowledge and discernment is necessary.
2. It is important to note that the time mentioned here means time a person is saved and Spirit-filled.
3. A Christian who backslides does not continue to grow spiritually while they are out of fellowship with God, but when they repent and fellowship is restored, then spiritual growth is resumed.
III. Spirituality Will be Evident.
A. In the believer's character.
1. A person who is Spirit-filled will manifest Christ in his character and actions.
2. Note: Galatians 5:22-23
B. In the believer's knowledge.
1. Note: Hebrews 5:14
2. A person's advancement in the knowledge of the Word of God is an essential characteristic of genuine spirituality.
3. A believer reveals whether or not they are spiritual by their attitude toward the Word of God.
C. In the believer's home.
1. It is easy to "spiritual" in public.
2. Is your home-life characterized by Scriptural principles?
3. What would your family say if we asked them how spiritual you are?
D. In the believer's church fellowship.
1. Spiritual gifts are to be exercised within the confines of the local church.
2. Your level of activity and involvement in this ministry indicates your spirituality.
3. Do you support this ministry with time, talents, tithes, and prayers?
Conclusion: The next time some Charismatic begins to tell you just how much you are missing by not "speaking in tongues" like they do help them from the Scriptures to see the truth. Challenge them to honestly evaluate what goes on in their services with what the Word of God says. Pray for them, but do not be intimidated by them. Know what you believe and why you believe it! Do some self-examination and honestly evaluate your own spirituality in light of God's Word. Are you filled with the Spirit? Is it evidenced in your character, your knowledge of the Bible, your home-life, and your church fellowship?