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.
One of the things my gift of tongues gave me was boldness to witness. So much boldness, in fact, that
on several occasions I would get on my bike and pedal throughout a crime ridden section of Miami to tell
others about Jesus. I would stop people on the streets and ask them if they knew Christ as Saviour. Once
I stopped two prostitutes and asked them if they knew the Lord. Their answer surprised me because even
though they were actively sinning they said "Yes". Well, of course, I asked how they could be saved and
still do what they were doing. Their answer was very shaky. They had no real testimony. So, I told them
to simply believe in Christ and He would take them out of a life of prostitution. I told them about His
power to change hearts. All they had to do was believe.
On another occasion I ran across someone who was very receptive to my message. He even asked me what
he had to do to be saved. I said simply believe in Christ. He responded, "I've always done that". I
answered, "So, then you must be saved already," and went on my way. Yes sir, I was bold. I didn't care
who I encountered; I told them about Jesus. Like the pot head who told me he was saved as he was
smoking a joint right in front of me! I asked him if he ever thought about quitting drugs. He replied,
"Sometimes". I then told him to just ask Jesus to change his heart and on I went.
There are more stories like the three I mentioned and they all have one thing in common. My message
never included repentance, it was easy believism and that was the great irony of it all. Here I was with
enough boldness to witness to the antichrist and yet my message couldn't save a convicted sinner. It had
no repentance. It was soft on sin. It consisted of "simply believe in Christ and He will supernaturally rid
you of acting sinfully whether you want to or not". Yet, Jesus says:"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish." Luke 13:3
There can be no salvation without repentance - a change of mind, a willful turning away from sin toward
the Saviour. Yet, "my gospel" never said repent!! It simply said believe and wait around for God to
change you. "in the meantime seek a gift like tongues to verify your salvation." What I had was not the
Gospel of repentance and faith (Acts 20:21) but another gospel known as easy believism.
Easy believism and the tongues seem to go hand in hand. After all, you don't see the need to repent when
you are supposedly receiving a "sign from God". The tongues become a feedback that the person uses to
prove that he is right with God but the truly born-again believer measures his walk with God by His
of sin and growing in godliness. He is not relying on a sign from heaven. Relying on a sign invites
deception from Satan. Notice how Paul accuses the Corinthians, the abusers of tongues, in I Corinthians 14
of being vulnerable to anything Satan would throw at them."But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his
subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that
is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we
have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not
received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might
well bear with him." II Corinthians 11:3-4
When a person relies on a sign like tongues, they can end up following and teaching another gospel as well
as another spirit."And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of
light." II Corinthians 11:14
My friend, if you speak in tongues please examine yourself (II Corinthians 13:5). Ask yourself the following
1) Do I take a strong Biblical stand on sin? Do I practice repentance?
2) Do I separate from the world and its way of dressing, hairstyles, and making music?
II Corinthians 6:14; I John 2:15-17
3) Do I tell people to simply believe and seek a gift instead of repentance and separation from
worldliness? Mark 1:14-15"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except
ye be reprobates?" II Corinthians 13:5
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. 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. After all, 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". After
all, 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]