Are There Counterfeit Tongues?
William Arnold III
Can satan counterfeit tongues? We know he counterfeits miracles, signs, and wonders as with "The False Prophet" to whom he will give power to call down fire, etc. We know the deception will be so good that people will probably say, "that man must be from/of God", and if possible the very elect (chosen, true worshippers) would be deceived. Could tongues be one of the "signs" satan allows the false prophet to use? How can I explain this to one who does not believe (but they are open) in counterfeit tongues?
I know you can't follow signs but when a sign is manifested it must line up with doctrine. The doctrine is what will keep the elect from being deceived. Right?
It seems possible that Satan could do this, however I am very leary to label anyone a counterfeit. I have seen Oneness Pentecostals claim that all of the charismatics are probably of the Devil. When I hear that I cringe, becuase such a charge runs dangerously close to the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost which Jesus so strongly warned about. Jesus was doing miracles by the power of the Spirit of God and the Pharisees claimed that he was doing it by the Devil. I think we must really take this to heart when we make accuastions against people who speak in tongues but don't agree with us on certain points of doctrine. I don't know that this is what you're getting at, but I merely wanted to point out the danger in such a position just in case. I definitely believe that people can receive the Spirit and yet not know the truth. But ultimately we want people to have both Spirit and truth (John 4:24).
The passage you mentioned about the elect being deceived says, "if it were possible." This would seem to imply that it is not possible, or at least not likely. The point of that passage is that the antichrist will be very convincing. I guess in summary, we should probably be aware of the possibility of the counterfeit but not necessarily try to label who is real and who is not (the saints and the aints). Yet in the final analogy examine what anyone teaches with the word of God. This would be true even if they are genuine "tongue talkers." Notice that the Bereans even examined what Paul taught with the word of God and the scripture states that they were "more noble" in doing so (Acts 17:11). Even spirit-filled Christians can be in error. The word of God is always our final authority.
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