In 1987 I made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. A few days later I
received "the gift of tongues". The following testimony is but one aspect
of my experience with the gift of tongues.
My gift of tongues gave me a sense of spirituality that I never had before. Christianity became alive for
me. I could sense the power of God whenever I would speak in tongues. In fact, even when I'd stop
speaking I still had a sense of boldness that lingered on. Witnessing was no problem for me. I had a
spiritual feeling that only someone else who spoke in tongues could understand. Yes, there were those who
thought tongues were not for the last days, but what did they know. No matter how much Bible they
showed me, unless they had experienced it themselves, they were unqualified to talk about tongues and
were only exhibiting their spiritual ignorance.
One time during services we were all in the spirit and speaking in tongues when a visiting family walked
through the door. They sat in the back and looked around. Upon seeing how spiritual we were, they
proceeded to get up and leave. I witnessed the whole thing and thought to myself, "How could anyone be
so spiritually ignorant". In fact, I even wondered if they were "really" interested in the things of God at
all. On another occasion after inviting a friend to one of our services, they related to me a previous
experience of being "spooked" away from a pentecostal church. Again I thought, "How ignorant of the
things of God" they were. It was so hard for me to believe that anyone would just neglect such a display
of God's power. Well, I thought they had their chance and they blew it. I just couldn't find much patience
for anyone who would reject a sign from God just because of appearance and lack of understanding. Such
closed mindedness toward the things of God I didn't have much time for. Later on I would discover that
it wasn't that they were spiritually ignorant, it was just that I was being spiritually arrogant. Here we were
dealing with lost hell bound souls and my fellow church members and I were driving them away from
hearing the gospel. Paul had warned the Corinthians against this very thing happening."If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and
there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?"
I Corinthians 14:23
Yes, I knew about this warning but I reasoned that they should have stuck around long enough to figure
out what was going on. Just because it looked confusing didn't mean it was not of God. Again, Paul had
a Biblical answer."For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
I Corinthians 14:33
Later on I learned that God does not create a confusing environment that drives away the lost. The Holy
Spirit does not lend Himself to such actions. That would be counter productive to the cause of Christ.
Christ Himself stated:
"He[the Holy Spirit] shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." John
The Holy Spirit's job is to lead men toward hearing the Gospel and convicting them of sin (John 16:7-11).
He never glorifies Himself or does anything to "spook" people away! These poor lost souls were reacting
in a normal way to a group of people spewing out unfamiliar noises. It wasn't that they were spiritually
ignorant. (Afterall they were searching for answers as demonstrated by their showing up.) No, the problem
was my spiritual arrogance - an attitude brought on by feeling and experiencing "the power of God" in my
life. A power that appealed to my flesh and became a necessity. It made me "feel good" and to me any
church that did not encourage the gift of tongues did not have "the full gospel". They were two French fries
short of a happy meal! I had little tolerance for such churches. To me they were short changing God and
not worthy of their existence. If their members wanted to continue in a dead church such as that, then it
was their loss. I had no compassion for such spiritual blindness!
My friend, I have written this to demonstrate what one result of experiencing a spiritual sensation in the flesh
can be. It can lead to arrogance and lack of compassion toward others. The question is would God give such
a gift knowing perfectly well its effect on the flesh. The answer is NO! But there is someone who will give
a person all the fleshly thrills and sensations they want, in spite of how contrary to Scripture the person may
act as a result."And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." II Corinthians 11:14
Maybe you yourself are involved in tongues. Maybe you are even discounting everything I have said. But
please ask yourself the following questions.
1. How much compassion do I have toward those who teach against tongues? (If they are truly lost,
why don't I try to get them saved?)
2. How much tolerance do I have toward those who don't seek to speak in tongues? Do I see them as
spiritually ignorant? Do I think of them as being spiritually inferior?
3. When I approach someone about Christ, do I put the emphasis on obtaining a gift of the spirit or
on repentance toward God?
Remember what Paul said to the Corinthians:"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove you own selves. Know ye not your own selves,
how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" II Corinthians 13:5
A true child of God will not act arrogant, look down on others or lack compassion toward the lost. His true
objective will always be to lead someone to salvation and not to receive a thrill. You can have all the gifts
in the world but if you die lost - what has it gained you?
In the end . . .
After finally listening to what God's Word had to say about the fruits that should be evident in a Christian's
life, I came to the conclusion that I simply was not saved and never had been!! So let me show you what
God says about salvation and how tongues can actually keep a person from getting truly saved. First of all,
God's Word says:"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
We are all sinners in rebellion against God and:"the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
We can't begin to fellowship with God until we are reconciled with Him (Romans 5:6-11). We need to be
saved, but we can't save ourselves (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is obtained through:"...repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21
Christ died in our place. He paid for our sins. He took our hell. This makes salvation a free gift by grace
if a person repents and takes God at His Word when He says that Christ has paid it all. Salvation requires
repentance and faith, but . . .
The gift of tongues can become a trap that keeps a person from ever truly repenting.
Repentance means a change of mind about sin, an attitude of turning away from sin and instead following
God's will. It means accepting God's Word as the final authority in your life. My gift of tongues was a
hindrance to repentance in that it replaced God's Word as the final authority in my life. The tongues, and
not God's Word, was a constant indicator of my spirituality. My reasoning was that no matter how much
Bible I had violated as long as I could speak in tongues I was still right with God. Many times I justified
a sinful act by simply assuming that a displeased God would have taken away my gift. However, true
repentance never violates God's Word no matter what feedback a person may feel he has from God. God
never goes against His Word (Titus 1:2). Yet, if it came down between accepting my tongues or God's
Word, the tongues would win every time. Afterall, it was hard for me to follow mere words in a book over
an actual physical sensation from "God".
The gift of tongues can also keep a person from having true Bible faith.
Faith is simply taking God at His Word and claiming what God promises. Faith does not go out searching
for a sign from God. Such a search makes God out to be a liar (Matthew 12:38-39). My gift of tongues was
a direct hindrance to faith since I was trusting more in my "gift" than in what God said in His Word. For
example when God's Word said that:
1. Tongues were a known foreign language
and not a heavenly one (Acts 2:1-11).
2. Tongues were meant as a sign for
witnessing to the Jews (I Corinthians
14:20-22; Acts 2; 10:44-47; 19:3-8).
3. Tongues would cease when the Bible
was completed (I Corinthians 13:8-10).
My response was always, "I don't care what the
Bible says, I know this gift is of God". Afterall,
to me, an experience like speaking in tongues
was more believable than mere words in a book.
But anybody can have faith based on receiving a
sign (John 4:48). True Bible faith simply takes
God at His Word (Matthew 8:5-10; Romans
10:13-17) regardless of what the five senses are
I hope that the reader can see that depending on
an experience like tongues can keep a person
from truly repenting and having true Bible faith
with the result being no Bible salvation. Please
examine yourself. Are you justifying sin with
your gift? Are you trusting it over God's Word?
Have you ever seen yourself as truly lost and on
the way to Hell? If you have any questions,
please contact us at:
3303 23rd Avenue SouthWest
Fargo, North Dakota 58103
Pastor T. C. Scheving
[Send the Light Ministry (Fargo, ND)] [Christian Home Bible Course]