False Tongues

The Boogeyman Called “False Tongues” By Mel C. Montgomery.


Of all the arguments offered by Cessationists, it is hard to find anything more bizarre than their claim of the existence of “false tongues.”.

The False Tongues is the latest arguments of the Cessationists have offered over the years. Cessationists start from the false premise that genuine speaking in tongues ceased upon the death of the last apostle.

I have soundly disproven this starting point in my article, “Tongues Throughout Church History“. I show from ancient Christian documents that speaking in tongues and other gifts of the Spirit continued on for several centuries after the last apostle died, and have frequently re-appeared in times of great revival up to this day.

Never-the-less, in spite of the clear evidence of Scripture and church history, Cessationists persist in arguing that speaking in tongues has ceased. Needing to offer some explanation for the widespread occurrences of speaking in tongues today, they claim such instances are manifestations of “false tongues.” Their argument is that when Christians today speak in tongues, they are doing so not under the influence of the Holy Spirit, but by the empowerment of Satan.

As of the year 2,000 AD, 537 million born-again Christians speak in tongues. This is 30% to 40% of the Body of Christ.

That is an awful lot of “false tongues.”
Are we truly to believe that Satan has taken possession of more than a third of the Body of Christ, without anyone noticing?

Here is why I do not believe in the existence of “false tongues”: 

First, the Bible makes no mention of false tongues. The Bible warns of false prophets, false apostles, false teachers, false Christs, and false accusers, but there is no warning of “false tongues.” 

Second, among Paul’s specific instructions concerning speaking in tongues at Corinth, he does not question the validity of the tongues themselves, nor does he instruct us to do so either. 

Third, if a false speaking in tongues does exist, which is inspired by the indwelling presence of an evil spirit, I believe such tongues would be impossible for a Christian to receive. As Christians, we are the temple of the Living God (II Cor. 6:16), and the Spirit of God dwells in us (Rom. 8:11). If evil spirits in the demon possessed could not tolerate the presence of Christ in his earthly ministry, I do not believe a tongues-inspiring evil spirit can cohabit with the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s heart.

Fourth, Jesus Christ gave us a specific promise that if we asked the Heavenly Father for the Holy Spirit, we would not receive a serpent or a scorpion–symbols of evil spirits–but we would receive the Holy Spirit. “…how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”–Luke 11:13.

I do not believe that Christ’s promise has failed 537 million times. I do not believe that 537 million Christians asked for this manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and that God stood idly by and allowed them to receive 537 million demons. 

Fifth, there are no known reports of any manifestations of speaking in tongues in Christian churches that are clearly identifiable as “false tongues.” I have spoken and interpreted public messages in tongues countless times now for 17 years. Never once has an interpretation included, “Praise Satan!” Or, “Jesus be accursed!”

Not once…in thousands of occurrences…In 17 years.

Sixth, all interpretations of tongues I have witnessed, participated in, or of which I am aware, always glorify Jesus Christ, extoll Christ’s victory over Satan, and exhort Christians to live holy lives and obey God’s written Word. No manifestations of “false tongues,” inspired by evil spirits, would do so. 

The following is an excellent example of the content of messages in tongues:

A highly-placed Southern Baptist official told me that some years ago, Billy Graham had been invited to speak to an assembly of students at an Assemblies of God College.

Billy Graham was on a very tight schedule. He had just enough time for his plane to land, then to travel to the seminary, speak, and then rush to catch his next plane. And as if that wasn’t difficult enough, Billy Graham’s plane landed late. 

He was rushed to the seminary. He quickly spoke his message to the students, and concluded. He left the microphone and was several feet away, when someone stood up and spoke a message in tongues.

Billy stopped and listened. A moment later, another student stood up and gave the interpretation. 

Billy returned to the microphone and said: 

“I was pressed for time today. And the message I gave you actually had four points to it. I had only enough time to give you the first two points. That message in tongues, just gave you the last two points of my message.”

And he rushed out to catch his plane.

Are we to believe that an evil spirit was courteous enough to quietly attend this meeting and then finish Billy Graham’s message for him?

Has Satan joined God’s evangelistic team? 

Seventh, we have no reports of false tongues, inspired by evil spirits, manifesting among the unsaved, and in places of false religion and sin. False tongues have not appeared in houses of prostitution, casinos, Jehovah’s Witnesses meetings, or at the Playboy Mansion.

Speaking in tongues occurs exclusively in Christian churches. They involve only Born-again Christians. The content of the messages glorify Jesus Christ. These occur only as Christians praise, worship, and pray to the Heavenly Father. 

It is a considerable stretch to believe that such manifestations could be anything but genuinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

Are we really to believe that 537 million Christians experience continual demonic manifestations of false tongues, when false tongues were so rare that the Bible did not even address the issue?

Copyright 2006 Mel C. Montgomery. All rights reserved. Material may be copied and shared with others if done so without charge, in entirety, and if attribution is given.

One thought on “False Tongues

  1. To speak in tongues means to speak the truth in love. Gods language is truth, not gibberish… truth is the heavenly language that is unknown to most people… and yes, millions of people think that gibberish is of God because they never ask Him what does it mean to speak in tongues.

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