Speaking in Tongues, Pt. 4

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:4-7, Revelation 12:17, Revelation 19:10
Is speaking in tongues a sign of salvation? The Bible teaches there is a miraculous ability to speak in other languages. But Satan has created deceptions that lead people astray. Some believe that the "miraculous gifts" were only for the Apostolic times. But the Bible indicates these gifts will be manifest to the end.
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Recording: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry as they now open the Bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi, friends and welcome again to Bible Talk! Where we talk about what the Bible has to say to us today. I'm John Bradshaw and with me is Gary Gibbs. Hi there, Gary!

Gary Gibbs: Hi, John! How are you doing today?

John: Hey, I'm excited today! I always enjoy these opportunities when we get together for Bible Talk and talk about these Bible subjects. Particularly right now, we're in the midst of a really good subject.

Gary: It's a topic that has impacted my life...

John: Mine too!

Gary: ...because when I first became a Christian, I was told that in order to evidence my salvation I needed to speak in tongues.

John: I'll tell you something, that was my experience as well. And I felt particularly... I'll tell you two things now. And surely not everyone is going to have this experience.

Gary: Mm-hmm.

John: Number one, I felt very insecure because I was not experiencing that gift. And number two, I knew there are a bunch of people all around me who are putting it on.

Gary: Really?

John: Man, this is not a false accusation because some of them just flat out admitted it later on.

Gary: Now why would they do that?

John: Well, because if you don't have that gift you're looked upon as though you're not saved. Everyone's got it...

Gary: Second-class Christian.

John: Sure! That's just for the same reason as teenagers have got to wear a certain item of clothing. Man, you've got to fit in! So these guys were faking it and trying it out and doing all sorts of things. Christians just don't need to go there.

Gary: In fact, now that you mention that. I remember meeting a fellow who told me that yeah, he faked it because he didn't want to be left out.

John: Sure. And if you've...

Gary: But obviously, John, not everyone fakes it.

John: No, if you've got the genuine gift of tongues, well, praise the Lord for that!

Gary: Now, the genuine gift of tongues, that insinuates there might be an un-genuine gift of tongues.

John: Hey, let's be mature. Why wouldn't there be? We know that all the way through Christianity there are counterfeits, there are false beliefs, there are people who are confused. Stands to reason that's going to happen on this subject as well.

Gary: Yeah, the Devil counterfeits almost everything that God has done.

John: Yes, he does. In Acts chapter two that was so clear as what was going on at Pentecost. Believers came from all parts, they didn't know Christ as Lord and Savior. God wanted for his disciples to preach to these others of Christ. But how could they do it in languages they'd never learned? God gave the them what the Bible calls "The gift of tongues." It was the miraculous ability to speak other languages to communicate Christ.

Gary: Now, John, that might really be shocking one of our listeners right now and they have not heard our previous programs on this topic. How can they catch up with what we've already discussed regarding the true Biblical gift of tongues?

John: I'd say it's very, very simple. Read Acts 2. Read 1 Corinthians 12. Read 1 Corinthians 14. Make sure you get our Bible Study Guide that we're offering you at the end of this program, make sure. And, Gary, you know there's something very simple that I want to suggest to everybody today.

Gary: What would that be?

John: Let's say an unsaved person come to church. They see this going on in church, right? They say "Wow! This is spectacular!" Maybe then...

Gary: Some people say "Wow! I'm out of here!"

John: That's true, some do. Maybe they get prayed over and Bam! They start experiencing it too. They haven't read about it in the Bible. They haven't studied it.

Gary: So they're having an experience that hasn't been checked by the Word of God?

John: And many people don't even check it. They just go to the Bible and suppose that what the Bible is saying squares with what they're learning at church.

Gary: Now, John, you're not questioning these people's salvation?

John: No, absolutely not.

Gary: I have a lot of good friends who are dear Christians, better than Christians who don't even speak in tongues. So what are you really saying? Because we don't want to be putting anybody down or question their experience, do we?

John: No, we don't. I would say the same as I what I'd say to somebody who prays to dead people and I used to do that for many years.

Gary: Do you pray to dead people?

John: I've prayed to saints, I've prayed to Mary and all of this before I discovered the Bible reveals clearly these people are dead, sleeping, waiting for the resurrection. Pray to a living God, see? So that's a mistaken Biblical belief. I would say "Hey, that is mistaken! Come to what the Bible says." Just because someone's mistaken doesn't mean they're lost or not a Christian.

Gary: Yeah. It's mistaken according to your view.

John: True enough! But let's find out whether it's mistaken according to Scriptures.

Gary: Listen, John. You have your view, somebody else has their view. They love the Lord, you love the Lord. Leave it alone! Why do you have to worry about this?

John: I would say, number one, God has His view and we want to stand where God stands. Jesus said the truth will make you free and I think everybody knows that even if in your sincerity you're believing a lie, this has the possibility, a strong possibility, to eventually lead you away from God when deceptions become full blown.

Gary: Well, that's a pretty sobering thought to think about that.

John: Oh, sure.

Gary: John, I've heard people say, with a lot of vigor in fact, they've said that the way they handle the tongue thing is they say "The tongues were only for the Apostolic Church. It was just for the early Christian church. Those gifts will not be in the church." In fact, you can go into churches today where there are no gifts exercised other than the typical traditional church where you have the pastor and the teacher. But you don't see any gifts of healing or some of the more charismatic, and that may not be the best choice of words, but...

John: I know what you're getting at.

Gary: ...the more dynamic gifts, like miracles and gifts of tongues. So we've kind of relegated all of the miraculous ones and the supernatural ones to the distant past. Is that Biblical?

John: Man, what you're doing when you do that is that you're relegating the power of the Holy Spirit. See, the Bible says the Holy Spirit will come into a person's life and bring gifts. Where the Holy Spirit is the gifts are going to be clustered around in with the Holy Spirit.

Gary: So we can expect gifts of miracles today?

John: Why not? The Bible says we can expect it.

Gary: Prophesying.

John: Absolutely!

Gary: Then we can expect tongues as well.

John: Yes, we can. The genuine gift now.

Gary: Now, where does the Bible say this?

John: When Paul wrote to the Corinthians and it's in 1 Corinthians, you read so much about tongues in fact. He started off the letter writing to the Corinthians. Chapter 1:6. And I'm going to ask you to read verse 7, Gary. So get to one Corinthians. Verse six Paul is writing and he says, "Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you". You'll find that in Revelation, that's the testimony of Jesus as the spirit of prophecy, gift of prophecy. He says "Even as that was confirmed in you...". OK? He's talking about a spiritual gift in verse 7.

Gary: So that you come behind in no gift waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John: Are Christians today waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus?

Gary: Well, I'm waiting. I know a lot of Christians are waiting for his coming.

John: Amen. And the Bible says that as we wait, we should come behind in no gift. So the gifts ought to be, must be existing in the Christian Church. Why do we need the gifts?

Gary: He says he doesn't want us to come behind in any gift. Church is going just fine in a lot of places. In fact John, if you exercise some gifts in certain churches, it doesn't help. It hurts. But churches get all upset and they start shooting at each other.

John: Yes, sometimes literally. I think that everybody would admit that church isn't going just fine in a lot of places. Man, a lot of churches are just dead on their feet and they've milk the Holy Spirit right out of there. They just want to have some starchy thing where you're in. You're out and you can conveniently forget God the rest of the week.

Gary: So what's a gift?

John: Well, the Bible lists some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We talked about that last time. Should we go through that again?

Gary: Yeah. Let's look at them. We talked about tongues. I've already mentioned tongues and prophesying. But what are some of the other gifts?

John: Well, will see have the Holy Spirit enriches the church through these gifts and prospers its ministry. 1 Corinthians 12, we could start there, mentions the manifestations of the Spirit is given to everyone to profit everyone. Verse eight talks about the word of wisdom. It talks about the word of knowledge. It then talks about faith and I hope everyone has received that gift. It talks about in verse 9, the gifts of healing.

Gary: So some people have more wisdom than others obviously.

John: Well that works in two ways, on a natural level and on a supernatural level as well. God might give you that gift.

Gary: I've been in church committee meetings where some people you just know God gives them insight beyond the natural ability and they help you see what decisions need to be made.

John: Quite right. That's right. The gift of healing, that's an important gift.

Gary: You know I've been in services in my particular church, we don't do the televangelist approach to healing. Where you have a bunch of people come forward and you ...

John: ...you don't push them out on the ground and...

Gary: ...knock them on the head. Have you ever had that experience?

John: As a matter of fact, as a brand new Christian, I have. I went to the front, that God was going to heal all and sundry. Just come right up and get healed. And I was believing. And I said, Lord, my left eye doesn't work as good as my right eye. I'm not asking you to grow back and amputate an arm or something here. Just fix a little ol' astigmatism. Surely that's not beyond the power of God. I went up there believing man. And the guy prayed for me and I fell over. I guess I knew I had to do that. That's what it was expected.

Gary: So you're your faith was good?

John: I believe it was.

Gary: You fell over?

John: Sure, just...

Gary: Did it knock your eye back into place?

John: No. No someone caught me and laid me gently on the ground see. And the short of it was my eye didn't get healed at all. Now so that sometimes this spectacular business it's not so spectacular. And when you read about anointing in the book of James, it doesn't square with this come up here and I'll knock you down.

Gary: No, you don't really don't see Jesus doing that to people. I've been though in healing services. My wife, I believed was healed in a quiet, dignified, reverent anointing service of a malady she had. I've been in others where I've prayed with people and I've had the privilege of seeing God actually heal them. And you know it's God, because the doctor's couldn't do it.

John: That's right.

Gary: There's nothing anybody else could do. So it was God that's healed them.

John: Yes, I had too. And a minister friend I worked with in at one time... I'm talking about the gift of healing now. It's seemed that somehow God worked through this man again and again and again to bring healing through anointing services. To many people in all kinds of physical distress, people on their deathbed raised back to life through this gift of healing.

Gary: Through this gentlemen?

John: Oh sure.

Gary: Oh that's wonderful. We'll have to give his address out to people. [laughs]

John: It'd be pretty hard to do now. He riveted in a graveyard somewhere. But you can give it out if you like. [laughter]

Gary: It didn't work for him? [laughs]

John: I guess he could be a physician couldn't heal thyself. I guess there came a time the Lord said, you're going to be laid to rest.

Gary: Everybody has to die. So there's gifts of healing. What other gifts are there?

John: In verse 10 the working at miracles. That happens. To another prophecy. In fact, if you look in of Revelation, the gift of prophesy is one of the hallmarks, one of the identification marks of God's last day Church.

Gary: In Revelation 12:17 isn't it?

John: Absolutely right.

Gary: Testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy according to Revelation 19:10.

John: Anyone can read that, quite right. Then to another diverse kinds of tongues and another interpretation of tongues you see.

Gary: So what we're saying is then, is that there are gifts and the way you handle tongues is not to say all of these gifts like tongues are supernatural gifts and miracles they're not relegated to the past.

John: No way.

Gary: They're still here. But we're try the spirits and test these gifts to see whether they're the true gifts from the Holy Spirit or whether the devil might be counterfeiting them.

John: That's right. And everybody wants the spectacular gifts, man. Everyone wants to speak in tongues, want to heal, want to raise dead person. But you know the Bible talks about the gifts of the helps. There are people who are specially gifted to be like Martha and aid and assist and work quietly doing the work of God.

Gary: John, I think next time we come back, we have to spend more time on the counterfeit and the true. And what if I find myself in a faith fellowship or my own experience where I'm not following the Bible?

John: Good idea. We'll do that next time. Friend you have to call and get our free offer. We want you to have that dealing with this subject. Be sure to join us again next time for more, right here on Bible Talk. [music] .

Recording: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free informative Bible study, guide simply call write or email and ask for BT128, Speaking in Tongues. The toll free number is 866-BIBLE SAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville California 95678. Or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org.

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