Home > Books, Misc, New Age Charismatic Seed of Corruption > 4- Occult in the Apostolic Church

4- Occult in the Apostolic Church

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils (1 Corinthians 10:20-21). It’s a bit ironic. Much of what we see passing for spirituality in the church today has been cut and pasted from the aberrant antics at Corinth, arguably the most unspiritual, carnal church in Scripture.

 

Corinthian Babylonianism

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 12:2-3). The Corinthian church was some of the fruit of Paul’s second missionary journey. History demonstrates they were occult worshipers that the apostle literally snatched from the clutches of idolatry which apparently was creeping back into their worship (1 Cor. 12:2).

The city of Corinth was the capital of the Greek province of Achaia and was located on a narrow isthmus 50 miles west of Athens. It served as the key sea trade route between Asia and Italy which made Corinth quite cosmopolitan. They were also superstitious, and held tightly to idolatrous Babylonian moorings including sexual offerings and worship at a temple to the goddess Aphrodite (aka the Queen of Heaven, Semiramis). Soothsayers, diviners, spiritists and 1000 long-haired sodomite temple prostitutes bandied about the streets flaunting their licentious behavior. In this occult oriented city, it was very common to hear temple priests prophesying and praying in ecstatic gibberish tongues called glossolalia [1] that no one could understand, much less interpret.

At the time Paul penned his first letter to the church- which is far more corrective [2] rather than complimentary- some 400,000 diverse residents representing several cultures and just as many dialects-  lived, worked, and worshiped there. Historians tell us thousands it was also home to several thousand Jews who had captured the banking industry from the heathen temple priests. This Jewish population underlines the reason God used tongues extensively in Corinth since they were a sign of God’s judgment to unbelieving Jews: Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not (1 Corinthians 14:22). Commenting in the Believer’s Bible Commentary, William Macdonald writes:

 

The apostle quotes from Isaiah to show that tongues are a sign to unbelievers rather than to believers. God said that because the children of Israel had rejected His message and had mocked it, He would speak to them through a foreign language (Isa_28:11). The fulfillment of this took place when the Assyrian invaders came into the land of Israel, and the Israelites heard the Assyrian language being spoken in their midst. This was a sign to them of their rejection of God’s word.

 

Tongues vs. Gibberish

The confusion in early Babylon is the same confusion we find in Corinth and in all of today’s neo-Babylon churches- tongues! Scripture is clear that the gift of tongues was the ability to speak in a known language unknown to the speaker. That is what it was in the first century when Mark (16:17), Luke (Acts 2:3-4; 10:46; 19:6), and Paul (1 Cor. 12-14) discussed them. That’s what it still means today. The confusion comes from our Charismatic friends holding to a learned emotional experience contrived from wrongful instruction- clearly linked to the occult- without a shred of Biblical evidence.  Ecstatic babbling done in Charismatic churches is not tongues. It’s gibberish.

Charismatics usually link their gibberish to Paul- a traveling missionary- for being thankful for speaking in tongues. They aren’t the same. I thank my God, I speak with tongues (Greek: glossa- languages, not glossolalia gibberish) more than ye all (1 Corinthians 14:18). This wasn’t gibberish; Paul preached in languages he’d never studied. Strong defines the Greek word glōssa as follows: . . . by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired). This is never to be interpreted as Charismatic tongues gibberish as Charismatics always do. It isn’t supported with any evidence; only experience!

The ability to speak and interpret real languages were indeed  legitimate gifts of the Holy Spirit prior to the completion of the Canon of Scripture,  ecstatic gibberish was, is, and always has been inextricably linked to the occult.       Walk into a church where half of the congregation is muttering incoherently and you’ll understand what I mean. It’s chilling.

The fact is, ecstatic gibberish has never been a valid gift- for praying or preaching- and aside from wild eyed heretics like Montanus, Christians never practiced it. The gift of tongues was the pre-canonical supernatural ability to speak in a previously unlearned language (aka unknown[3] tongues). Since sign gifts like the ability to speak in a language you never learned was surefire evidence of the Holy Spirit in a life, many of the proud and puffy Corinthians (1 Cor. 4:6, 18-19) naturally chased after it. However, there was a problem. As one man after another rose to speak in a legitimate language only those native to it could understand, it became a carnival of confusion that desperately needed order which Paul provided (1 Corinthians 12-14). Here are two problem this created:

First, to natives of the area that spoke only Greek, legitimate foreign languages sounded like the same gibberish they heard emanating from the occult priests and worshipers at the altar of Aphrodite’s temple. But to Gentile visitors who were ignorant or unsaved it appeared as the ranting of rogue madmen (1 Cor. 14:23).  So, in order to maintain order and authenticity God demanded no more than two or three would speak followed by an interpretation[4] (1 Cor. 12:10, 30; 14:5, 13, 26-28). This would allow unlearned or unsaved opportunity to understand what was being preached or prophesied and possibly get saved. Let me make one further illustration.

Let’s suppose it’s the first century in Corinth and you’re a recent convert to Christ fresh from the throes of idolatry who speaks “Greek”. There are no Old Scofield [5] KJV Bibles at this time, so everything is done through the gift of prophecy, and judged by other gifted prophets (1 Cor. 14:32). One morning a gentleman across the room rises to preach in “Hebrew.” Of course you can’t understand this so as a young babe in Christ your point of reference becomes the heathen temple priests prayer “gibberish” you grew up listening to. However, if someone in the congregation can translate the Hebrew into Greek, you will understand, and thus be edified (1 Cor. 14:5, 13). This is exactly what was happening in Corinth that is being wildly misapplied in Charismatic churches around the world.

[1] For further detail, please order Speaking in Tongues by Dr. John R. Rice.

[2] 1 Cor. 12 and 14 are, for the most part, written in the indicative mood which means Paul was underlining what they were doing in order to correct it. Example: 1 Cor. 14:2, a man was showing off yet no one in the church at the time could interpret. See also the edification rule found in 1 Cor. 14:4-5.

[3] Unknown is NOT in the Greek. It was added to emphasize that the languages spoken would not have been known to the speaker.

[4] Here’s the real danger. Someone stands in a Charismatic assembly and recites some incoherent gibberish. A short time later someone stands and says: “Thus saith the Lord . . . ” and off they go pretending to interpret. Funny thing is, I’ve been told several others wanted to stand and “interpret” with an entirely different message. This is nothing more than a self aggrandizing freak show and has been used for many years by diviners who give phony messages to individuals that God never intended.

[5] We have these Old Scofield Reference Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $34 (prices can change) to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

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