A Biblical Examination of Pentacostalism


A lot of this was done earlier under my 21 part study of Word Faith. Many pentacostals list themselves as Pentacostal, and say they’re not Word Faith or “positive confessionalism”.

But there’s VERY little attempt in Pentacostal churches to deal with making sure the doctrine of the church is correct. I say this, because they wouldn’t stay Pentacostal very long.

One thing I’d read from David Cloud and a few other teachers such as John Macarthur, was that Pentacostals place experience over doctrine. I’d read that Pentacostals, when challenged that the Bible teaches something else, will invariably retort, “Then you need to put away your Bible and trust your feelings!”

I always figured it was bombast, until I experienced an exchange that said exactly that!

First Rule of whether you’re in a Biblical church or not – if you cannot prove your church’s doctrine from the Bible, then you need to throw that doctrine out.

The standard methodology of Pentecostalism is to tell a sinner who needs the Lord, “You need to get saved.”

Absolutely no problems there. At all. Agree 100%.

“Pray this prayer…”

uh-oh. A little worrying, but I’ll keep my mouth shut. Let’s see what happens.

“Now, after your saved, you need to seek a second, subsequent blessing, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.”

Stop. Back up the bus, boo boo.

Find me that anywhere in the Bible. Where do we see a second subsequent blessing?

Pentecostals will point out a single verse, but I’m going to take a minute and lead up to that.

There’s only 3 passages where people in the Bible speak in tongues. Acts 2, Acts 10, and Acts 19.

When I first found that out, it blew my mind.

Because when I first thought I was saved, I attended a local church, where people seemed EXCITED about God. That’s why I joined. It was Pentecostal, and Word Faith. Indeed, it was an offshoot/church plant (kind of) from a megachurch that was word faith.

They taught me that in Acts, every time someone was saved, they spoke in tongues. They put a lot of pressure on me to speak in tongues. I tried it.

Later, I began to learn Hebrew and found that what I was speaking all along was, well… nonsense. That’s okay, they said… you have to speak nonsense!

Why?

Because if you know what you’re praying, the Devil can hinder it. And so the Spirit prays in a heavenly language that you can’t understand so Satan can’t hinder your prayers!

My reaction should have been to look that up in the Bible. That can’t be found in the Bible at all.

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Acts 2:1-8 (KJV)

The Apostles and Disciples were all speaking in known tongues. “Tongues” in the Bible means “languages.”

γλῶσσα of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specially one naturally unacquired) :- tongue.

Glossa means tongue, language. Speaking in tongues means speaking in languages.

So for me to say to someone, “Hola, Como Esta Usted???” is speaking in tongues.

1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. 4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: 6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. Acts 10:1-6 (KJV)

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. 44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Acts 10:34-46 (KJV)

For those who glossed over the Bible verses trying to get to Philip’s point,… go back and read. You’ve got your priorities wrong! The word of God is silver purified seven times. Read it.

A Roman gentile… is praying to God, and seeking God. He is told to send for Peter, a Jew. Peter comes with Jews to Cornelius’s house. Get’s halfway through a Gospel presentation. Cornelius begins speaking in tongues.

Peter makes a long speech. What is the essence of that speech?

“Oh wow! God can save Gentiles, too!!!!!”

Read it. Isn’t that what it says?

How do they know? Cornelius begins speaking in a language that the Jews know.

If I’m telling you about how WONDERFUL Wordsearch 11 is and you begin to foam at the mouth and “oogle loogle lailailai!!!!” I’m going to dial 911, because I’m afraid you just had a seizure or something.

So, Cornelius is speaking in a language, testifying about Jesus Christ. He just manifested the Biblical expression of speaking in tongues – speaking in a language you do not know, but someone else present does.

Where do I get that from?

Acts 2, of course. And Acts 10. “they heard them…. magnify God.” To hear them magnify God means they were just speaking a language that the Jews knew, but didn’t expect a Roman to know. Hebrew or Aramaic. I’d joke and say Yiddish, but someone would take me seriously.

Bottom line… they weren’t saying “Bubblyaida.”

Let’s go to the third and LAST time anyone in the Bible spoke tongues.

1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve. Acts 19:1-7 (KJV)

Okay! There you go. That’s the only times anyone in the Bible spoke in tongues.

And incidentally, we’ve uncovered the only passage that can be shown to be a “second, subsequent blessing” if you’re reading it wrong.

Let’s read it correctly.

Disciples.

Whose?

John’s.

Not Jesus’s. They KNEW about Jesus, because John spent his ministry prophesying about Jesus, and incidentally, to make the people ready, encouraged them to mikveh. To submerge themselves under water for ritual purification.

Paul tells them about it. And gives a Gospel message – you should believe in the one John prophesied of, Jesus Christ.

Analysis… were the disciples of John saved?

No.

Paul gives a Gospel message there – that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

They were then baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Not a mikveh, a self immersion, but a burying and resurrection of the dead, as Christian baptism is – being immersed by someone else.

They then speak in tongues.

Analysis – who is present in all three times people spoke in tongues?

Answer – Jews.

Who is not present at almost every Pentecostal speaking in tongues?

Same answer – Jews.

That’s kind of a problem. Tongues are a sign gift, for those who do not believe. And it was a minor gift. Prophesy was the more encouraged.

Each time someone spoke in tongues in Acts, it serves a purpose. Acts 2, that Jesus is Messiah. Acts 10, that Gentiles can be saved. Acts 19, that Paul is truly an apostle. That subject was hotly debated in the early churches, because he was not present during the earthly ministry of Jesus. And others rose up, claiming to be apostles, and they disputed Paul’s apostleship. Where do I get that? Ephesians and Colossians and… in several epistles, actually.

Bottom line about tongues is this… this is the Bible, not Philip. Philip can be wrong. The Bible cannot be wrong.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 1 Corinthians 13:8 (KJV)

the gift of prophecy will fail.

The word of Knowledge will vanish away. This does not refer to understanding, but rather to the divine gift that Peter experienced in the case of Ananias and Sapphirus.

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. Acts 5:1-5 (KJV)

οἶδα is found in quite a few verses in the Eternity…

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. Revelation 21:22 (KJV)

but λόγος γνῶσις cannot be found after this verse…

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 1 Corinthians 12:8 (KJV)

So the divine spiritual gift of word of knowledge vanished away very quickly.

Why? Did its job. It established the fact that the Apostles spoke truth, and that God was with them.

So knowledge in 1 Corinthians 13:8 does not refer to understanding or recognition, but rather the divine gift of Word of Knowledge.

So what’s left…

Tongues will cease.

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Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???

3 thoughts on “A Biblical Examination of Pentacostalism”

  1. So good, as usual. The gifts were given in equal proportion as well. In that case – there should be no sick people in the world, with the amount of faith healers out there. The reason they push these “heavenly languages” is because no actual proof is required to appear very holy. Whereas, faith healers can be put to the fire.

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