By Arthur Vess
If the Tongues Movement is false, why does it grow so rapidly? The question answers itself: They grow because they are false. "False prophets shall rise and deceive many." "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." Why? "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Most of the Tongues Churches have let down their standards until there is little difference between them and the world about them. "The world loves its own." Like in most other modern churches, the time has come when you can commit about any sin and belong to the Tongues Churches.
In the Life Magazine of April 11, 1955, we have the following statement relative to some modern, false religious cults: "Among the low-brows, perennial religious interest is, at present, a showing in so-called ecstatic sects, which specialize in faith-healing, speaking in unknown tongues, spiritualistic seances, or even in practices as outlandish as snake-handling, report a faster growth than any other religious bodies. When the Jehovah's Witnesses converge on Yankee Stadium to proclaim their millennial tidings, they not only pack in more people than Babe Ruth ever did, but they have to hire a big swimming pool to baptize their converts."
All other false religions and doctrines are sweeping the world, such as Russellism, Adventism, Eddyism, Mormonism, etc. There never has been a time when it has cost as much to be a real Christian as it does today, and not very many are willing to pay the price.
"Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." -- Jesus Christ.
Another reason for their growth is that they put the emphasis on the physical instead of on the spiritual realities. They put the emphasis on the physical tongue, and anyone can jabber and flop their tongues. Thus they try to show up the mysterious as a proof that it is Divine. Not everything mysterious is Divine. The way is so plain that "wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."
Then, they put a lot of emphasis on bodily healing, claiming that it is a demonstration and manifestation of supernatural power. The devil is supernatural. We believe in Divine healing which gives God the glory, but we do not believe in these healing campaigns which put man before God, and the physical before the spiritual.
Not long since we attended one of Oral Roberts' healing campaigns here at St. Petersburg, ready to see the supernatural manifestations. By his famous sermon on "demonic possession," he showed that he himself had power to cast out demons. Then he made a call for those who wanted to be saved to come forward. He had them stand up front while he prayed a short prayer, when he exhorted them to go to the tent back of him and seek the evidence of the Holy Ghost, and then to be sure to join some Tongues church. During his sermon and exhortations, the crowd cheered him as if they were at a ball game or a show. Most of them were Tongues people.
After a few moments for their souls, he began his great healing campaign. He first went down under the tabernacle platform where those not able to sit up were on their beds. Others were not admitted. So far as we know, they all departed on their beds. Then he took his prominent place on the platform, and the long lines of sick people began their march by him. Each had to fill out cards so that he would know who was most prominent among their number. To these he gave special attention, but most of the others he just put his hand on their heads or shoulders and pushed them on. In some cases, he twisted their heads and jerked their necks very ferociously. Some of these fell on the floor before him. He had a run-way down from the platform for the "healed" to go down to the earth again. He had two men at the top and two at the bottom to help the "healed" (?) persons down. When Jesus healed them, they took up their own beds and walked. The devil has power to make people think that they are sick when they are well, and well while they are still sick. About all those cases who claimed to be healed soon relapsed into their former affliction. "Take heed that ye be not deceived."
About all people are more interested in physical than in spiritual healing. About 80% of our diseases are mental or imaginary. This leaves a great field for the devil and fake healers. What we need is a great spiritual and moral healing campaign. This is our only hope.
The unfair, false methods, even anger and lying, used by these fake healers, is astonishing. The way they evade those seriously sick should open blinded eyes. One of the warnings of Jesus for the "last days" was against deception. "Take heed that no man deceive you."