The tongues movement is bringing divergent religions into harmony, and could be paving the way for a united effort to enforce the mark of the Beast.
- How will religious leaders of the United States deceive "those who dwell on the earth" into making an image to the Beast?
Rev. 13:12, 13 [Note: See Lesson S-2. Some Bible students understand the fire to be literal; others consider it symbolic. The Further-study verses are 2 Cor. 11:13-15; 2 Thess. 2:9, 10; Matt. 24:24; Rev. 16:13, 14; 19:20]
- At Pentecost, what group received "fire from heaven," and what did it cause them to do?
Acts 2:1-4 [Luke 3:16]
- The spiritual gifts ("fire") in Revelation 13 bring a kind of unity, but they are counterfeit, for they result in efforts to cause all to worship the Beast. Can Satan counterfeit the gift of tongues by speaking through people?
Mark 1:23-26 [Note: Ecstatic utterances have been reported in non-Christian cultures too. (See Phaedrus and Timaeus by Plato, and Aeneid by Virgil.) Mark 5:7-9]
- 1 John 4:1 says, "Test the spirits, whether they are of God." How can we test tongues?
Isa. 8:19, 20 [Note: A spirit must uphold God's law, including the Sabbath, or it is a counterfeit. Matt. 7:15, 20-23]
- At Pentecost, did the apostles speak in languages or in unknown tongues?
Acts 2:5-11 [Note: This gift enabled the disciples to fulfill Jesus' commission to take the gospel to "all the nations;" to every "tribe, tongue, and people" (Matt. 28:19; Rev. 14:6). The Pentecostal gift of tongues was the ability to speak in other languages. Some who did not understand these languages thought the disciples were drunk (verse 13). Each person did not miraculously hear in his own language while one of the apostles spoke, for the multitude did not receive the ''gift of ears." Apparently each disciple spoke to a different group, using its particular language. Acts 1:8; Col. 1:23]
- Was the next occurrence of tongues like that at Pentecost?
Acts 10:44-47 [Note: They "received . . . just as we have. " Acts 11:15; 15:8]
- Do all born-again Christians receive the gift of tongues?
1 Cor. 12:4-11 [Rom. 12:6-8]
- Did Jesus say every believer would receive every sign?
Mark 16:17, 18 [Note: Are all Christians to "take up serpents"? Phil. 4:19; Matt. 28:18-20]
- Who decides which gifts a person shall receive?
1 Cor. 12:11, 18 [Rom 12:6; Matt. 25:15]
- Where are the gifts placed?
1 Cor. 12:18, 28 [Eph. 1:22, 23; 4:11, 12; Col. 1:24; 1 Cor. 12:13]
- How important is the gift of tongues in relation to other spiritual gifts?
1 Cor. 12:28-31 [Note: Of the three places Paul enumerates these gifts he mentions tongues in only one, and there he lists it last. Paul was not encouraging the Corinthians to speak in tongues; he was correcting their misuse of the gift. Rom. 12:316; Eph. 4:7-16]
- In 1 Corinthians 13:1 Paul says that to have love is more important than to speak in the language (or with the ability) of angels. What language do angels speak?
Luke 1:26-31 [Dan. 9:21-23; Rev. 22:6-9; Matt. 1:20]
- Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14 must be understood in harmony with the rest of the New Testament. Evidently some who had received the gift of tongues for missionary work exulted in their ability and began to preach, pray and sing in these foreign languages which the uneducated, who probably knew only Greek, did not understand. What was Paul's counsel to these people who misused their gifts?
1 Cor. 14:9-12 [Note: Most versions say "kinds of languages." Isa. 28:9, 10]
- Paul did not forbid the use of tongues in church, but when one was used, what counsel did he give?
1 Cor. 14:27, 28
- 1 Corinthians 14:14 says that one's "understanding is unfruitful" (in others) when thus misusing tongues. How does a speaker's understanding bear fruit?
Col. 1:36 [Ans: By being understood by others. Rom. 1:13; John 15:8, 16; Phil. 1:22; 4:17]
- Some congregations still pray or sing or preach in another language (e.g., Latin). Does this edify the congregation?
1 Cor. 14:14-17 [Note: Praying with the understanding means "understandably." 1 Cor. 14:2; Luke 1:47; 1 Cor. 2:11]
- Why was the gift of tongues given?
1 Cor. 14:22 [Ans: Primarily for witnessing to others who spoke foreign languages. Mark 16:15-17]
- What kind of ecumenical spirits are going to unite the world?
Rev. 16:13, 14 [Note: These spirits come out of the "mouth" and are likened to "frogs." rogs catch their prey with their tongues! Rev. 18:1-5]
- For what purpose is the Holy Spirit given?
John 16:13, 14 [Ans: To teach truth. 2 Thess. 2:9, 10]
Though each spiritual gift is still given where needed, the special gift for the last days is the spirit of prophecy (Lesson 21), not tongues. Ecstatic utterances are a counterfeit gift that is uniting apostate Protestantism, Catholicism, and Spiritualism into spiritual Babylon ("Babel"). Will you heed God's invitation to come out of Babylon (Rev 18:15)?