Pentecostalism And Ecumenism: A Hand in Glove Deception

This is the second part of a three-part series of articles which will tie together the ecumenical movement and the impact it has on us as Seventh-Day Adventists. 

In this article, I will look at the recent statements that have been made in the dialogue that have been made between the charismatic (Pentecostal) and the ecumenical (Roman Catholic) communities and how the movements which are taking place are both deadly deceptions of the enemy in which those poor souls who accept the claims of these bodies will be put at risk of condemnation in the eternal sense.  

In short, the charismatic experience appears to be the “glue” which is the driving force to bring about the unification of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches into one ecumenical movement.  How is this being brought about? 

Consider a recent statement made by Tony Palmer, the late Anglican Priest. Palmer was acting as a spokesman for the Pope to the convention of Pentecostal ministers under the direction of Kenneth Copeland, the inheritor of the domain of the late Oral Roberts.  Tony Palmer was an Anglican Priest, his wife had become a Roman Catholic and he wanted to become one as well. He led out in charismatic experiences such as speaking in tongues and other manifestations of “the holy spirit”.    He was a personal friend of Pope Francis.  The Pope had asked him to stay in the Anglican church and become a “bridge builder” and in that role, according to the Pope, he could be much more useful to the Pope and his agenda.   

In 2013 or so, he came to the convention of Pentecostal ministers led by Kenneth Copeland.  This is what he said to that assembly.

“I’m reading verbatim from the Catholic Vatican web site. ‘Justification means that Christ Himself is our righteousness, in which we share through the Holy Spirit in accord with the will of the Father.   Together we together, Catholics, and Protestants (Lutherans) believe and confess that by grace, alone, in faith in Christ’s saving works, and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.’”

To these words he received a thunderous applause.  At another point in the speech he said the following.

“Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over!  Is yours?  There’s a challenge for you, so the protest has been over for 15 years.  And I am going to get a little ‘cheeky’ with you, for I challenge my protestant pastor friends, if there is no more protest, how can there be a protestant church? Maybe we’re now all Catholics again!”  This statement was met with laughter. 

Later on, in the same speech he said the following:

“The glory that the Father had, He gave to Jesus.  The glory was the presence of God.  What is the “Charismatic Renewal”?  It’s when we experience the presence of God.  And He said ‘I give them the glory,’ pragmatic reason, ‘so that they may be one.’  It’s the glory that glues us together, not the doctrine.  It’s the glory, if you accept that Christ is living in me, and the presence of God is in me, and the presence of God is in you, then that’s all we need.  Because God will sort out all our doctrines when we get upstairs.” 

At first glance this seems to be very exciting and even enchanting.   But we need to look deeper into our Bibles and see if Tony Palmer’s words are indeed in harmony with biblical principles.  

First of all, let us consider the text: 

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

The issue brought forth in this text is that those who do not love the truth will be deceived and that indeed this will be a matter of salvation.  What are the “signs and lying wonders” which the devil will deceive us with?   I cannot tell you all of those signs, but there is one which we are already seeing on a regular basis.  It is the manifestations of the charismatic movement.  Some will undoubtedly say, “Well, is not that the outpouring of the ‘Holy Spirit’”?  Here is where you have to know your Bible well.

I propose to you that the charismatic movement is a false, or counterfeit manifestation, not of the “Holy Spirit” but of the “Unholy Spirit.”  This will get clearer as we go along. But as we start studying the topic, we must start in the Bible and find what the Biblical “gift of tongues” was, who it was for, and how it was to be used in the early Church.

So, what did the Biblical “gift of tongues” sound like?

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:4-11 ).

If you were listening to what was being said, what would this have sounded like to you?  English—with an American accent, unless that is you are of Mexican extraction, then it would have sounded like Spanish with a Mexican accent.  The disciples were talking in Aramaic and each person heard it in his own native language at the same time.  What they heard was the disciples discussing the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.   We might better describe it as the gift of “ears” than the gift of tongues.

Furthermore, how did the Apostle Paul describe how the gift of tongues should be used within the church?

Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1 Corinthians 14:22).  

Notice that the “charismatic tongues” are used in a non-biblical way as a sign to the believers.  According to the Apostle Paul, the gift of Prophecy is for the believers and the gift of tongues is only for the unbelievers…it is a reversal of the confusion of the tongues at the tower of Babel for the purpose of spreading the Gospel story to those of another tongue who have not heard the Gospel story. 

Furthermore, the Apostle Paul also said the following regarding the gift of tongues in the context of the church.

If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge…. Let all things be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:27-40).

Paul wrote that he spoke in tongues more than the others in the Corinthian church.  Remember, that he was well educated and spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and most likely Latin.  So, there were few parts of the Roman Empire where he could not naturally communicate with the local populace.  He may have been referring to this “gift” in the passage in 1 Corinthians, but it certainly does not rule out the supernatural gift of tongues as well.  He had traveled more extensively in his missionary journeys than the others and thus also may have had a need for the supernatural gift of tongues.  So as one with the most “experience” with the gift of tongues, we would do well to pay attention to his advice on this topic.

So, what we see here is Tony Palmer talking as the Pope’s ambassador and using a shared “unbiblical” doctrine and experience of “charismatic tongues” as a means to unite Catholic and Protestant charismatic believers and have them all “throw truth to the winds”, ignore doctrine and unite accepting this false manifestation of supernatural power (unholy spirit) and believe a lie that they may be damned who believe not the truth, while thinking that they are serving God.  You think that I am being melodramatic?  Just consider the activities of Kenneth Copland the leader of the group who was listening to Tony Palmer.  Here is a link to a clip to give you an idea of what is really being done.  If you watch it please pray for the protection of the Holy Spirit and for discernment to know the spirit which is in control. 

Here, Kenneth Copeland and Rodney Howard Browne joking with each other in “tongues”.  It clearly was not any foreign language that could be perceived.  Although I cannot understand any of these languages, I can tell if someone is speaking in German, or French, or Italian, or Chinese even.  But what was being used did not sound like any intelligible language of any kind.  It was a bunch of nonsense sounds.  But they were telling back-slapping jokes and roaring in laughter.  The reaction of the crowd was not that of holy awe and solemnity as you would find in a Church but was more like the reaction of a night club. It certainly was not decently and in order nor was it demonstrating the spirit of God.  The man with the black hair who is talking…in another clip was prayed over and when Kenneth Copeland told him to “take a deep drink of the Holy Ghost” he fell to the floor totally helpless.  If you look while he is talking in this clip, you find several others lying on the floor having had similar experiences just prior to this clip.  This is called “being slain in the Spirit”.   So we find not just “talking in gibberish” involved here, it also involves having one’s body controlled by a supernatural power.  If you see the clip, you will understand how demonic it really is.

Was Ellen White shown anything like this?  I would ask you to read the entire passage of Early Writings pages 43 and 44 to gain a clear understanding of this. 

“I saw that Satan was working through agents in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers who have rejected the truth and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned. While they were preaching or praying, some would fall prostrate and helpless, not by the power of the Holy Ghost, but by the power of Satan breathed upon these agents, and through them to the people.” {EW 43.4}

I believe that it is not a coincidence that Ellen White mentions the 2 Thessalonians verse which we have just examined.  It is also clear that Ellen White described what we know today as “being slain in the spirit” and she clearly said that this was done by the power of Satan.  So, it is clear from these passages that the modern “charismatic renewal” as Tony Palmer has put it, is not “experiencing the presence of God” as he described it, but is in fact the “control of Satan” as Ellen White states it.  Thus, the charismatic movement which is “uniting” all of the “popular Christian” churches is in fact the first in a number of “great delusions” that they should believe a lie, that they should be damned. So, it is evident that a clear, Biblical understanding of the gift of tongues is indeed a matter of salvation.  This is because it is one of the last day deceptions. 

So, we see that this charismatic manifestation is in fact the “glue” that is binding the ecumenical movement together.  It is demonic in character and is the “strong delusion” which those who “love not the truth” will accept to their own destruction.  

In the first article in this series, I shared with you what the recent movements in the ecumenical movement have been.  This article has demonstrated clearly the Biblical errors of the charismatic movement which is driving the ecumenical movement.  In the next article, I will make some direct applications of these current movements and how they will impact the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.


Dr. Nelson graduated from Medical school at Loma Linda University.  He is Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Pain Medicine.  He lives with his lovely wife, Becky in the Dayton, Ohio area.