I believe very much in the practice of praying in tongues, even getting messages in tongues from God is something I am open to (as long as they are interpreted). The blessings of God that come when we pray much in the Holy Spirit are real and very valuable. You can see what I believe about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit here.
But I believe it must be said that speaking in tongues in itself is certainly no guarantee that a person is not in deception. Its not at all a guarantee.
Every warning in the New Testament was written to people who WERE baptized in the Spirit and as far as I am concerned they did speak in tongues also, most of them, though not as a gift to the church but as a private prayer language to God (see Mark 16:17; Jude 20; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 14:14,15). The Book of Acts shows that speaking in tongues was normative for believers baptized in the Holy Spirit, but to show this further is not the purpose of this post.
What I am saying is that these believers in the early church DID speak in tongues and YET they WERE vulnerable to false teachers, false prophets and those who would creep in amongst the believers and bring in destructive heresies.
You don’t need to be walking with God in order to speak in tongues, and just because you speak in tongues does not mean that you cannot be deceived. Otherwise, the warnings given to the the apostles themselves and to the New Testament believers would have been unnecessary.
I will give two examples of these warnings in the New Testament, and we will see how the very things being warned against are believed by a huge portion of the professing evangelical/pentecostal church today.
1. “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [of Christ] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)..
There it is, in black and white, we are warned not to be
deceived about this, and yet, in contradiction to Paul, huge numbers of Christians believe that Christ WILL return before the antichrist comes. Why on earth would Paul say this to these early Christians if today’s doctrines of a secret pre-tribulational rapture of the church were true?
2. “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9,10).
Here again much of the church is deceived. They think that covetous people will inherit the kingdom of God. A lot of teachers even are teaching the people to desire more money (presumably so they can give them bigger offerings). People think that homosexuals can be church leaders and that sexual sin of other kinds is not such a big deal since we can do all these things and still be covered by the blood of Jesus. WRONG! We have to repent. You can fall from your position in Christ, if you are ensnared in sin! Yet, the church has been deceived here also, exactly where the Bible again tells us NOT to be deceived.
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.” (Ephesians 5:6,7)
There are plenty of warnings about this:
“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous [not he who claims to be righteous by faith while sinning], just as He is righteous. He who sins [as a lifestyle] is of the devil.” (1 John 3:7,8)
We can see that “Spirit-filled” Christians are WARNED to STAY Spirit-filled and NOT SIN. To believe that sinning is ok for tongue talking Christians is DECEPTION.
There are many other forms of deception in the world today, and the Word of God was written to deliver us from them.
My purpose in writing this is to warn you: just because a certain prominent media minister is a full-gospel or charismatic believer DOES NOT mean that he or she is not deceiving you.
YOU have to take heed that no one deceives you. And the only way to be sure of this is to continually humble yourselves before God and to love the truth MORE than you love pleasure, money, power, influence or the praise of men. Otherwise, you too will fall.