Some years ago I attended a church which taught on spiritual gifts such as prophecy, speaking in tongues, and healing. One day my friend and I went for prayer to receive the gift of tongues, and after the pastor prayed for us he encouraged us to force out the tongues by forming words. I felt very uncomfortable about making up words when the Spirit of God had not given me any utterance.
In Acts 2, followers of Jesus became filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues as the Spirit of God enabled them. In the Bible, the believers did not control the tongues or try to coerce them, but when the tongues was given to them by the Holy Spirit they spoke spontaneously. That is how the gift of tongues truly operates. A person who is forming their own words does not really have the gift of tongues. Also, a person cannot decide when they want to speak in tongues. It happens as The Holy Spirit chooses because tongues is The Holy Spirit praying through the believer.
Today in the church there are many people who are falsely teaching that you can initiate speaking in tongues by forming your own words, but that isn’t biblical. I have also heard of churches having meetings where they “practice” their “spiritual gifts” of tongues or prophecy. I would like to warn the body of Christ against such teachings and practices because they are false. Such people are not operating by The Holy Spirit. Some of them are even operating by a demonic power which tries to imitate the gifts of The Holy Spirit. This is known as kundalini. That spirit will work through a person by giving them a false “spiritual gift” which is not coming from God, but is demonic.
One example in the Bible similar to such manifestations can be found in Acts 16:16-18:
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. (NIV)
(We see in that example above the woman spoke things about God which were true, but it was a demonic spirit enabling her to speak. For more examples, please study Exodus chapters 7 & 8.)
As with the gift of tongues, prophetic visions and dreams also cannot be initiated when a person wants to have them. A person who is truly operating in the gifts of prophecy will be enabled spontaneously by the Spirit of God when God wants to give a prophecy. I have heard of churches who encourage people to practice their “prophetic gifts” by trying to guess information about someone or closing their eyes and trying to see visions. This is all false teaching.
Some churches may teach these practices because they are simply deceived and do not know that it’s wrong. Others are operating by the kundalini spirit. I want to encourage everyone to protect themselves from such teachings by avoiding going to churches who practice them and also praying for discernment from The Holy Spirit. If you are unsure about the church you are attending, you can pray and fast for The Holy Spirit to reveal to you how your pastor and church are standing spiritually. If there is any false teaching or demonic activity in your church, The Lord will reveal it to you if you’re seeking Him about it.
If there has been any occult/demonic activity in your church, you will need to renounce any covenants you could have made knowingly or unknowingly, and fast for deliverance from any demonic power you opened yourself up to.
Matthew 24:24 NIV – For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 NIV – And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.