MEV Chief Editor: Does Satan Speak in Tongues?

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Does Satan speak in tongues? No.

Satan does not speak in tongues. There is no counterfeit.

The false teaching that Satan speaks in tongues and we could receive a satanic counterfeit to God's gift has caused many to fear seeking God for this promise. This article should take everyone's fear out of speaking in tongues. May it free them from the chains of bondage that prevent them from entering into the fullness of the Spirit and enjoying this gift of divine communication with the Father through the Holy Spirit.

If Satan spoke in tongues, Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul would have warned us about it in Scripture. Never do they mention it anywhere in their teachings. Since Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul were not concerned about it, neither should we be. Nor should pastors tell their congregations that Satan speaks in tongues, because those who do are teaching doctrine contrary to Scripture and are adding to scriptural teaching.

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John the beloved warns us in the book of Revelation about the judgment that awaits those who add to the things in the revelation given him. He said, "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book" (Rev. 22:18). So perhaps judgment might also await those who add to any portion of the Bible, including those who teach that Satan speaks in tongues. We should all be careful that we do not teach any false doctrine clearly contrary to and not in Scripture.

The apostle Paul says that every utterance is significant: "There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance" (1 Cor. 14:10). The J.B. Phillips translation says it this way: "There are in the world a great variety of spoken sounds and each has a distinct meaning." Every utterance spoken has meaning with God, and it is impossible to make a mistake when speaking in tongues. Also, there are 6,000 languages spoken in the world today. No one has the right to tell anyone speaking in tongues that they are not speaking intelligible utterances according to Scripture and linguistics. God understands it all.

Furthermore, Isaiah warns us on behalf of God about those who cause believers to stumble, preventing them from receiving the fullness of the Spirit. God said, "Build up, build up, prepare the way, take up every stumbling block out of the way of My people" (Isa. 57:14). While this verse is taken out of context, the principle is relevant to our subject. Pastors and teachers cause people to stumble when they teach that Satan speaks in tongues, for they cannot back it up with Scripture.

Jesus Christ said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them. For to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). This command would be thwarted when pastors use scare tactics to prohibit the children from coming to the Father in praying in the Spirit. I have laid hands on people of all ages to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit in church meetings at the altar, and in other places, including children under ten years old, and they have spoken in tongues as witnessed by altar workers. I received the baptism with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues when I was nine years old when my parents prayed for me and laid hands on me at the altar of Claremont Assembly of God in San Diego. I have spoken in tongues ever since.

Another thing some pastors teach is that Jesus Christ did not speak in tongues, so why should we? Now it is true that Jesus Christ did not speak in tongues, but to therefore say that we should not either does not emanate from exegetical Bible teaching. Here is the answer: It is true that Jesus Christ did not speak in tongues. Jesus Christ's life on earth pre-dated the New Testament. Speaking in tongues is a New Testament phenomenon. Jesus Christ came and lived during the Old Testament.

The New Testament Church was born 50 days after the crucifixion on the day of Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus Christ sent, and which ensued with speaking in tongues. This was the fulfillment of the eschatological hope in Isaiah 44:3, "For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring." Christ sent the Spirit also in fulfillment of Joel's prophecy about the coming of the Holy Spirit, saying, "And it will be that, afterwards, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. Even on the menservants and maidservants in those days I will pour out My Spirit" (Joel 2:28-29).

Also, Christ sent the Spirit in fulfillment of John the Baptist who said that Jesus would be the one who baptizes in the Spirit, saying, "I indeed baptize you with water to repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Matt. 3:11). Jesus Christ, Himself, said, "And look, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Also, Jesus Christ, as the Son, had perfect communication with the Father and knew the Father's heart. So, He did not need to speak in tongues.

Consequently, speaking in tongues was the telltale sign of the outpouring of the Spirit on every occasion in the New Testament. In Acts 2:4, in A.D. 33, believers received the baptism in the Spirit through the direct sovereign will of God, meaning that no hands were laid on them. In Acts 8:14-17, in A.D. 39, believers received it through the laying on of hands. In Acts 10:44-46, in A.D. 41, believers received it through the direct sovereign will of God. In Acts 19:1-7, in A.D. 54, believers received it through the laying on of hands. Paul admonishes believers to speak in tongues in 1 Cor. 14:14-15 and 39 in A.D. 55; Eph. 5:18 and 6:18 in A.D. 64; and Jude also admonishes to pray in the Spirit in Jude verse 20 in A.D. 70. The only two possible methods for receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit as confirmed by speaking in tongues is either through the direct sovereign will of God or through the laying on of hands. Either way is God's will.

We can document speaking in tongues up to 37 years after the day of Pentecost in A.D. 70 in Scripture. If speaking in tongues should not continue at the present time, where is the historical line drawn? Where in Scripture did the theological change take place? Since we today are still in the New Testament Church age, why shouldn't speaking in tongues, therefore, continue at the present time? Furthermore, if speaking in tongues should not continue today, why has the Roman Catholic Church documented speaking in tongues along with signs and wonders for the past 2,000 years? And why did some of the early church fathers experience speaking in tongues along with signs and wonders?

Today, many people are saved but do not manifest the Spirit whom they have received. We should pray with these believers that they might speak in tongues. Because the Holy Spirit has already been given, there is no reason to wait on the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues. The only time in the Bible in which it was necessary for believers to wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the ten-day period between Jesus' ascension into heaven and the day of Pentecost. Jesus, commanded the believers, "And look, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).

They had to wait until Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit. From that time forward, whenever people were saved but did not speak in tongues by the direct sovereign will of God, the apostles prayed for believers to manifest the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues through the laying on of hands. This is the biblical model. The apostle Paul said, "Therefore, brothers, eagerly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues" (1 Cor. 14:39).

A similar false teaching is that God is like a ventriloquist who speaks through people or makes them do the speaking, and all people have to do is wait for God to speak through them. Not so. This takes the obedience and faith out of the operation of speaking in tongues. Rather, speaking in tongues is a matter of one's own volition and will. The apostle Paul said so: "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding" (1 Cor. 14:14-15).

So, no, Satan does not pray in the Spirit. This is one of the most damaging and heretical teachings that some pastors have ever concocted, causing some of God's people to stumble and preventing them from entering into the fullness of the Spirit.

There are too many hindrances in this world from the things of God. We should not be adding to that by preventing people from receiving and entering into the things of God, including speaking in tongues.

If you have not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and you would prefer to receive it through the direct sovereign will of God rather than through the laying on of hands, then, as Oral Roberts said, "Get with those who are praying in the Spirit and enter in."

James F. Linzey, M.Div., studied church growth under C. Peter Wagner and signs and wonders under John Wimber at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the chief editor of the Modern English Version Bible and is ordained as a Southern Baptist Convention minister.

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