Tongues Today - A Debate


                                     Phil Scovell

               The  following is  an electronic  mail message written  to a
          group of Christians  on the internet with whom  I was introduced.
          The IRC stands  for Internet  Relay Chat  and is an  area of  the
          internet whereby  people from all  over the world can  visit live
          with each other via their keyboards.  Each chat group is referred
          to as a channel.

               In  this message to  follow, I  make reference  to "#CHURCH"
          which was a chat  group channel of a number of  Christians.  They
          were  looking for additional  "channel operators" to  help manage
          the channel.   Channel operators are people who  are given higher
          access privileges on  the channel  to help  maintain order  among
          those in the  chat group at any given time.   You can imagine the
          environment.  Many trouble makers appear on these chat groups and
          channel   operators  have  special   control  over   the  channel
          activities through software  called a "bot."   they can literally
          kick people off the channel  who insist upon causing problems for
          the rest of the group.  In short, I was being considered by these
          people for such a channel operator position to help them keep the
          channel more active.  As you will see, it was never meant to be.

               We  exchanged a number of messages  via the internet through
          the email  (electronic mail) system.   Sheri told me  she teaches
          Greek and Hebrew in a Christian school.   She also is a Messianic
          Jew which means she is a  born again Christian and Jewish.   What
          you are about to read is exactly what I emailed her,  and several
          others  in  the group,  in order  to  answer some  of  her direct

               For your information, sheri, nor anyone  else in this group,
          ever wrote to  me again, they never addressed any of the things I
          said in my message, and they never responded in any way to any of
          my comments.   I frankly  have no  idea what effect,  if any,  my
          message had upon them but I did speak with them informally on the
          IRC a couple  of times later.   Our chats were pleasant  and non-

               For the record, I  consider all of the  people in this  chat
          group to be out standing Christian men and women.  I believe they
          are all dedicated Bible Believers and love the Lord as much as I.
          They were never ugly in any of their messages they sent to me and
          they were always  friendly and nonthreatening.   I consider  them
          nothing less than  brothers and sisters in the Lord and I believe
          they are honest, faithful and dedicated Bible Believers.  We just
          happen to disagree on the gifts of the Holy Spirit in today's New
          Testament church.

          Hi Sheri,

               Because I read  and write so much email, I  normally have my
          voice synthesizer and  screen reading software set to  only begin
          reading where the text of an email message begins.  I then have a
          command  which will read  the header information  separately when
          needed.   It didn't dawn on me until  just now that these replies
          are going to others.   I have written Doug  a couple of times  on
          this topic  already and just sent it to him alone.  As I said, it
          didn't  dawn on  me  I could  have allowed  my replies  posted to
          several people at  once.   Thus, this  one will be  going to  all
          instead of to just an individual.   I trust Doug passed along  my
          other replies to you,  and anyone else for that matter, who might
          be interested  in what  I said  previously.   I still  have those
          messages, by the way, so I can repost them if necessary.

               I will  be  happy  to send  you  a second  message  with  my
          testimony file attached.  I  would prefer, however, to wait until
          you've read this  message because you may simply  figure it's not
          worth reading after I attempt to  address your specific questions
          put to me in  your last message.  Though  I address the issue  of
          New  Testament tongues doctrinally  near the end  of my testimony
          booklet, I of course in no way cover the subject exhaustively.  I
          will post  at the end of this message, if I don't forget, a table
          of contents  of all I  have written.   After reading  my personal
          testimony of  how the  Lord Led  me into  the gifts  of the  Holy
          Spirit, you  may wish to read my  expanded doctrinal works on the
          subject.   That's  one reason  why  in my  email posts  I  am not
          specifically documenting all of my remarks.  I have gone to great
          extent in writing rebuttals to John MacArthur's Charismatic Chaos
          sermons and book.  I attempt to address each of his  major points
          systematically rather than randomly as in, for example, a message
          such  as  this  but  I  hope  I  address  your  remarks  to  your

               To tell the truth, Sheri, much of my writing and teaching on
          the subject has largely been the result of  others who have asked
          me why I  changed horses in  the middle of  the stream ten  years
          ago.    I  am not  trying  to  change  anybody's mind  nor  prove
          anything.  I have read the Bible from cover-to-cover 108 times in
          the  last few  years, studying  it more  than I've  read it,  and
          memorized thousands of verses over the years but I most certainly
          don't claim to  be a final authority on  anything Biblical except
          my own personal relationship with God Himself.  He's the only one
          who really  matters anyway.  The only thing I am really concerned
          about is my  relationship with  Him.  I  do try my  best to  give
          proper  representation  and   to  address  some  of   the  common
          misleading  statements surrounding this topic.   I am not skilled
          in original languages,  as are you,  but unless I miss  my guess,
          such  is not  necessary to  fellowship with  God and  to properly
          interpret His Word.  Furthermore, it makes no never mind to me if
          a Christian  speaks in tongues or  not and it certainly  does not
          change my feelings toward another Christian brother or sister who
          simply disagrees  with me.   Unless, of course, the  other person
          insists I'm demon possessed or am a total heretic.  Even then, as
          far as I am concerned, the only problem we have is relational.  I
          have learned, and I believe I  expressed this in my last post  to
          Doug,  people who insist  I am wrong on  this doctrine often, and
          for some reason, back away from me personally as though we simply
          aren't fellow Christians  or something.  I  could understand such
          an attitude  if I  were denying the  virgin birth of  Christ, His
          bodily resurrection  or His  blood efficacy but  such is  not, of
          course, the case.  On the  other hand, it's kind of difficult  to
          spend any  time with  a person who  thinks your  demon possessed,
          haw.  Anyhow, I digress.

               It is probably obvious  to all of us, we are  going no where
          fast  on this issue,  especially after Doug made  it clear at the
          end of his  last message to me  that #CHURCH isn't the  place for
          those  who take this doctrinal  position which I  hold.  At least
          that's how  I interpreted his  remarks.  That's fine,  of course,
          and  I understand  as the  originators and  channel operators  of
          #CHURCH you don't  want people  who differ  with you  doctrinally
          screwing up the channel.  I don't take that  personally because I
          have  run  a  BBS  for  over  five  years  and  I  understand the
          principle.  On my board, I allow differing opinions and even make
          room for such  in a  special download directory.   As the  system
          operator, and  the one paying the  bills, I reserve the  right to
          say what  I   will, and won't,  allow on  my bulletin board.   As
          channel  operators, I  feel  you  have  the same  right.    I  am
          confused, however, how it  is I can agree with  everything in the
          doctrinal   statement  Doug  sent   me  and  yet   be  considered
          doctrinally  unsound.    I  wish  you  both  would  rewrite  that
          doctrinal statement to include something about not allowing those
          who believe  in tongues  to be  apart of  #CHURCH as  far as  any
          administrative aspects are  concerned.  If I would  not have made
          mention of my beliefs myself, you guys would have never known the
          difference and there could have been a big problem with it later.
          I know  now it wasn't  accidental I  decided to bring  it up.   I
          certainly  don't  propose  to  represent  all   Charismatics  and
          Pentecostals  just as  I could  not represent  all Baptist  as an
          independent Baptist ten years ago.  Anyhow, I will comment on the
          questions you raised, Sheri, in your last post to me.

               First you said,

               "Like Doug, I am  in disagreement concerning the sign  gifts
          being manifested in our day."

               I comment on this extensively in my John MacArthur rebuttals
          because if  there are no miracles today and  if there are no sign
          gifts today, then it is easy to simply say tongues is
          unscriptural.    It's  like the  argument  with  the unregenerate
          infidel.  If you  cannot get him to see the Bible  is the Word of
          God, he can  never be born  again because  there is no  authority
          upon which  to base one's  beliefs or relationship with  God.  If
          sign  gifts  have  passed away,  then  it's  simple...tongues are
          unbiblical and  so is  every person who  believes in  speaking in
          tongues today.  It would have been easier for some, of course, if
          those gifts  never existed in  the first place because  then they
          would  not have  to  be  explained  away now.    Since  they  are
          mentioned  in the Bible, on the other hand, it's much easier just
          to say they passed away and dismiss them.   Then we don't have to
          mess with the
          application   and  administration  of  those  gifts  in  the  New
          Testament  Church.  Shoot, we don't  even have to believe God for
          things  like  miracles because  it's easier  to believe  He, God,
          simply doesn't do them  any more.  My point is,  we have no bases
          on which to continue a discussion if sign gifts died out with the
          last apostle; whoever  he was.   To boil it  down, in this  case,
          you're  right  and  I'm  wrong.   If,  that  is,  sign  gifts are
          unscriptural.  If I'm wrong,  Scripturally I should be avoided at
          all  costs  and   the  judgement  of  God  will   be  my  reward.
          Furthermore, to be so doctrinally
          erroneous means I am exercising and practicing something God said
          isn't to be done today.   That is sin.    If I am living in  sin,
          then  I must  be considered  less  spiritual than  those who  are
          walking in  a more  perfect biblical alinement.   However,  until
          that time of judgment, I am still winning the lost to Christ,
          discipling  converts, preaching the Gospel and getting my prayers

               Next, you said:

          "Tongues, by no means, was the only gift used to authenticate the
          message brought to the Jews immediately after our  LORD ascended.
          (This being the  only circumstance in the New  Testament where we
          see the 'gift' of tongues
          being demonstrated -- Acts 2.) The Apostles even raised the dead,
          yet we  do not  see this gift  being manifested  among believer's

               I  always get  a little  nervous  when people  use the  term
          "authenticate" when referring to the Gospel  message and the Holy
          Scriptures as  if God's Word  needs authentication  by anyone  or
          anything.   I don't  think you meant  it, however, any  other way
          than in  light of  the gifts  of the  Holy Spirit  confirming the
          Gospel message.  Correct me if I am wrong.  I don't even believe
          personal experiences are needed  to authenticate the  Scriptures.
          God's Word can speak for itself.

               Of  course you can't possibly mean Acts  2 was the only time
          the  gift  of  tongues  was  manifested  since  it  is  mentioned
          elsewhere in both acts and  Paul's writings.  I believe, however,
          statement is likely in  reference to what you bring  up about the
          Old Testament later so I'll hold  comment until then.  Of  course
          it was definitely  being practiced in Corinth though  Paul had to
          bring some correction  to their church  for getting carried  away
          and trying to  run a whole church service in tongues.  You've got
          to give them old Corinthian  Christians credit though.  They sure
          went all  out for God even if they did get a little mixed up once
          and awhile.  I wish Christians today had their enthusiasm and
          dedication.  At least Paul  commended them, not condemn them, for
          being zealous of spiritual gifts.  Today it seems just the
          opposite.   I wonder what  Paul would say  to us today concerning
          spiritual gifts.  Well, we know what Paul thought because we have
          the Scriptural record of what he taught on the subject.   
          "Forbid not to speak with  tongues," for one example and, "desire
          spiritual gifts" for another.   Well, shoot, if you don't believe
          in miracles; you  aren't going  to see  any.  In  fact, a  person
          cannot even  be born again unless  He believes God  for it first.
          Of  course today  we seemed  to be  more concerned  about getting
          everything exactly right  on paper than we are  about God's power
          being manifested in  the lives of His people.  At least that's my
          assessment after traveling and preaching  in more than a  hundred
          churches  and holding  revival meetings.    I might  be a  little
          biased, however, based upon my experience.

               Yes, I agree there  were more manifestations of  Holy Spirit
          power than  just tongues including  the raising of the  dead.  Of
          course, what you meant to say is, you are not personally aware of
          any  such miracles  today; having  never seen  them.   Surely you
          aren't limiting God to  do whatever He wants  to anywhere in  the
          world today,  are you?   I, on the other  hand, am privy  to such
          miracles and  personally know  of two cases  where the  dead were
          prayed  back to life.  I don't  expect you to believe what I just
          said but  I know  these people personally.   Of  course I  am not
          suggesting they went out to  the graveyard and prayed old grandpa
          back to life after he'd been  dead for twenty years.  The  deaths
          were  real,  however, and  it  did not  happen in  some  far away
          foreign African village  which no one ever heard  of; it happened
          right here in Colorado.  It is, in fact, one of the most dramatic
          stories I  have ever heard but  you can call  them yourself, I'll
          furnish their phone numbers,  if you would like to here the story
          of two old Colorado cowboy's and how God brought the dead back to
          life.  I do feel mighty uneasy when people suggest God doesn't do
          miracles anywhere in the world today.  He may not do them in this
          country  because of  all the  unbelief but He  is still  the same
          yesterday, today  and forever  and I could  spend hours  sighting
          personal  examples of  this  by  people I  know  who are  laymen,
          pastors, every-day church members and missionaries that have been
          friends for years who tell stories that are even difficult for me
          to believe.  I  can give you names and addresses  if anyone wants
          to call them  personally to confirm what  I've just said.   I can
          put you in touch  with people who have had broken bones instantly
          restored, bodily organs  which actually regrew after  they'd been
          eaten away  by cancer, malignant  tumors that literally  fell off
          the body  in front  of witnesses, people  cured of  diseases, and
          other such miraculous works of God that defy explanation.

               When I was pastoring a  Charismatic church, a woman asked us
          to pray one  Sunday morning.  She  had received a telephone  call
          from  one of our missionaries in  Africa.  Their baby was deathly
          ill and  in the hospital.  They were so  far back in the bush, it
          took them a  day just to walk  to the nearest village  where they
          could get  transportation into the  nearest city with  a hospital
          several  hours  away.    By the  time  they  had  arrived  at the
          hospital, the baby had turned completely yellow from jaundice and
          the  baby's fever  was  hovering  around the  danger  mark.   The
          missionaries had somehow gotten to a phone and called the states.
          Their  parents had  called us,  since  they were  members of  our
          church,  and asked  us to  pray  immediately that  morning.   The
          African  doctors  said  they  were  unable  to  do  anything  and
          suspected the baby would  not live.   I stopped the whole  Sunday
          morning format  and called  everybody up  to the front.   We  all
          stood around  and several  of us  took turns  praying.  The  next
          Sunday the missionary's parents reported that they had heard from
          their son and daughter-in-law by phone once again.   The same day
          we prayed  as a church, and from  what could be determined, about
          the same hour we prayed, the doctors came to the missionaries and
          said, "We do not know what  has happened but your baby is  well."
          The  baby had no  fever and normal  skin color had  returned.  Is
          that a miracle?  John  MacArthur says no.  I say  Brother John is

               I know  God has a  sense of  humor.  A  woman I pastored  in
          western Colorado a few years ago had one of the weirdest miracles
          I personally  have ever  heard about.   She was  in one  of these
          crazy  Charismatic revival  services in a  small town  in western
          Colorado with about  fifty other people.  The  whacked out tongue
          talking preacher was praying for  the sick during the altar call.
          You know how they do; laying hands on them and everything.  Well,
          Cindy, this young lady I  know personally, along with her husband
          and parents whom  I pastored back in the  seventies, went forward
          and asked  for prayer  concerning her teeth.   That's  right; her
          teeth.  Now  I know you aren't  going to believe this,  Sheri, so
          get a hold of yourself.  I can give you this lady's phone  number
          if you would  like to call  her.   She had a  large whole in  her
          tooth where a filling fell out.  A large empty whole with nothing
          in it.   When she was prayed  for, she felt and  tasted something
          funny in  her mouth.   When  the meeting  was over,  she and  her
          husband went home.   Her tongue told her that  whole wasn't there
          any longer  but just to be sure, she  went to the bathroom mirror
          and looked.   She couldn't believe  what she saw.   I can't  even
          believe it  myself.  The  whole was filled with  a yellowish-like
          material.  Upon closer
          examination  by both  she and  her husband,  they could  see tiny
          crosses etched  on the surface of the yellowish material.  I said
          it was weird.  My wife and I spoke with Cindy a few months
          following this experience and it happened just as I have
          described.  Cindy  immediately called her folks and  got them out
          of bed and told them the experience and insisted her parents look
          at her tooth  to confirm what had  happened.  Her father  said he
          did not want to look at  it because, you see, he did not  want to
          believe  in miracles and  the gifts of  the Holy Spirit.   He did
          look, however,  and he  now believes God  does still  do miracles

               this meeting was  rather unusual because several  people had
          funny things  happen to their  teeth.  I personally  know another
          woman who  was in  this revival meeting  and had  something weird
          happen to her teeth.   Believe it or not, her  own dentist, a man
          who is not a Christian but heard about the meetings and wanted to
          go and prove  it was all fake, examine the woman's teeth and said
          himself that though  he'd just done fillings  for her a  few days
          earlier, whatever  was in  her mouth  now wasn't  what he  put in

               I no I am belaboring the point by telling yet another
          miraculous story,  but I believe this to be a very important part
          of the gifts of  the Holy Spirit, I.E.  sign gifts and  miracles.
          So  I am going  to tell you  one more  miracle story and  if this
          doesn't do it, I will refrain, haw.

               I know a woman  here in Denver with whom I  have spoken with
          personally.  She is a Bible teacher and holds little house
          meetings in her home every week.  She also travels worldwide as a
          Bible teacher.  She is in her sixties  and was born and raised in
          Sri Lanka.  The lady I am talking about was teaching in Finland a
          few years ago.   One day she  was told by  members of the  church
          this amazing  story.  They said that decades ago, a Christian man
          in  the community had debated a well  known atheist in their area
          of Finland.  During the  several debates, the subject of miracles
          came  up.   the  old Christian  man  said he  could prove  to the
          atheist that miracles  do occur today  and if he could  prove it,
          would the  atheist agree in  the existence of  God.  The  atheist
          asked the  old foolish  Christian how he  could prove  there were
          miracles  today.   The man said,  "When I  die, my body  will not
          decompose."  The  atheist, with  a smile  on his  face I'm  sure,
          quickly  agreed that  would  indeed  be a  miracle.   Sheri,  the
          Christian man did die and his body today is still kept on display
          in  finland.  this  woman here in  Denver that I  am referring to
          said,  when she  was teaching  in  Finland and  heard about  this
          miracle, requested  to be taken  to the building where  the man's
          body was on display.  She was taken there.  The body is now under
          guard because vandals have
          attempted in the past to molest  his remains.  She said his  body
          is laid  out  in plane  view  but under  glass.   It  is not  air
          conditioned nor is  the glass encasement an  air-tight container.
          This lady I  know asked these Christians  if she could touch  the
          body.   They allowed her to do so.   She said the skin feels just
          exactly   like  normal  flesh,  though  cold,  but  no  different
          otherwise.   The man, she  reports, looks alive in  every respect
          and there  is absolutely  no evidence of  decomposition.   If you
          doubt this story,  I will give you the name  and telephone number
          of the  woman  here in  Denver  who  touched his  dead  body  for
          herself.   While you have her on the  telephone, let her tell you
          of   some  personal  testimonies  of  miracles  she  herself  has
          experienced.   It will blow  you away because she  has personally
          experienced many  strange and unusual  miracles.  I am  always in
          awe when in  this little short woman's presence  (she's only four
          foot six) because  of the tremendous closeness and  power she has
          with God.  When you call her, ask her to tell you the story about
          the three men who tried to poison her in Sri Lanka because of the
          Gospel message she  was preaching and how the first  two men died
          unexpectedly  and the third  man came to  her and  begged for his
          life  and  admitted they  were  putting poison  in  her tea.   Be
          patient with her,  however, because her accent  is very difficult
          to understand.   She is one of  the most amazing  Bible teachers,
          however, I  have ever heard.  I can get  you some of her tapes if
          you're interested.  her  name sounds like barrel and we  call her
          Sister Barrel because her name is so difficult to

               I  have been  personally healed  on  more than  one occasion
          instantly  when I was sick with the  stomach flue and a virus.  I
          have seen  my children instantly  healed.  I  could go on  and on
          like  this but frankly,  Sheri, this proves  nothing.  Experience
          only confirms; it doesn't teach.   Either the Scriptures teach it
          or  it  doesn't.   Yes,  I  believe God  does  miracles today  to
          "authenticate" (I  prefer the word  confirm) His Word just  as he
          did so in  the first century.   I would not  claim to be  a Bible
          Believer if  I thought otherwise  or at the  very least,  I would
          admit certain  parts of  the Bible simply  aren't applicable  any
          longer.   My point, however, is  this.  Sheri, you either believe
          the evidence or deny  it.  If you deny these personal experiences
          of people I  know as friends, then  you must deny sign  gifts are
          viable as manifestations of the  Holy Spirit.  You must also,  by
          necessity,  offer some  other  explanation  and  deny  these  are
          miraculous works  of God today.  If they  aren't of God; what are
          they  and who gets the glory?  Of course, it's a whole lot easier
          to deny sign gifts because then you aren't responsible to believe
          God for anything.  In other words, it's a lot less work.  One has
          to  do a lot of explaining,  however, when stories like these are
          told if they  prefer to believe sign gifts  and miracles died out
          with the last apostle.

               Again, you said,

          "Exactly what is meant  by tongues?  Are you speaking  of a known
          language, or a 'heavenly' language?

               For  decades Pentecostals  and Charismatics referred  to the
          gift of tongues  as a heavenly language but  they were incorrect.
          The gift  of tongues is a gift of language.   If you read some of
          my  booklets, I  sight  several  examples  of  personal  friends,
          including  two cases  which  happened  to  me  personally,  where
          someone in  the group  actually knew the  language of  the person
          speaking in
          tongues and  told them  what they  said.   I'll even  do you  one
          better than that.   I personally know  a pastor in Denver,  a man
          now near seventy, who prayed with a Spanish lady who did not know
          English and just came to Denver from Mexico who, after being lead
          to Christ in Spanish, was taught  from the Scriptures of the gift
          of  tongues  and  when  she  was filled  with  the  Holy  Spirit,
          immediately, and fluently, began praising God in English.  I told
          you that you  wouldn't believe it.  This  just recently happened,
          by the way, a couple of years ago.

               Finally, you said,

          "Also, there are only two doctrines of the New Testament that are
          not unveiled in the Old Testament -- mainly the Church, as a body
          made up of both  Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 3)   and the Rapture  (1
          Thess. 4:13-18).   All other  doctrines can be found,  and taught
          using only  the Old Testament text.  With  this in mind, have you
          studied  "tongues" from  the Old  Testament?   This 'gift'  had a
          specific purpose and meaning to which Paul addressed in 1
          Corinthians  14 -- drawing from the Old  Testament.  Are you able
          to show me, using only the Old  Testament, that what we see today
          is indeed biblical?"

               I commend you  my Sister for mentioning this.   Precious few
          Christians ever are aware of  the Old Testament teaching to which
          you refer  and it  is refreshing to  see someone  recognizing the
          comparison.  I  am mystified, however, that you  would admit that
          the "church"  and the "rapture"  are not Old  Testament teachings
          and yet you  apparently believe in both.   At the same  time, you
          want me, using the Old Testament, to prove what I believe about
          tongues.  I wonder why.  As you have just stated, a New Testament
          doctrine does  not need to be in the  Old Testament to be viable.
          Yes, for general information, I have studied tongues from the Old
          Testament standpoint because the New Testament gift of tongues in
          fact confirms the Old Testament prophecy.  Few, however, ever see
          the doctrinal efficacy.   Of course, as  is so often the  case in
          Old and  New Testament doctrine,  it, tongues, was  expanded upon
          once  the apostles began  teaching and penning  the New Testament
          record by the inspiration  of the Holy Spirit.  There  is a great
          deal  in the New  Testament which the  Holy Spirit has  chosen to
          reveal that is  never even hinted at  in the Old Testament.   God
          isn't obligated  to explain everything  to us, but it  is obvious
          that  we will  likewise  differ  in  the  interpretation  of  Old
          Testament tongues in  New Testament application because  we can't
          even agree  in the New Testament revelation  of sign gifts in the
          first place.  I  cannot see the benefit, therefore,  of trying to
          discuss such Old
          Testament  revelation and prophecy when  we can't agree that sign
          gifts  are  viable  Holy Spirit  manifestations  for  today's New
          Testament church.  I appreciate your insight, however, because as
          I said, most  people today who believe  in the gifts of  the Holy
          Spirit are not aware of  the Old Testament prophecies relating to
          the doctrine.

               When Diana told  me about #CHURCH, my heart  rejoiced at the
          possibility  of teaching  basic Bible  truth  to people  who were
          looking for answers  and ministering to other Christians who were
          in need.   In the short time  I have been on IRC,  I have already
          been involved with both witnessing to the lost and ministering to
          hurting  Christians facing difficult personal problems.  In fact,
          it happened within two days of  being on IRC for the first  time.
          When I think back on this, I am amazed because there is obviously
          a  need and an  open door for  such ministry on the  internet.  I
          regret, however,  that already it has  come down to a  debate and
          we're  not even on  the IRC.   That's  fortunate for  outsiders I
          guess so there's  nothing lost there.   Even as I worked  on this
          message today, I know in my heart a wall has gone up and that's
          unfortunate.   As  I said  to Doug  already, I rarely  bring this
          topic up with anyone.  Ten years ago I lost every church friend I
          had because I woke  up one night speaking in tongues  and haven't
          stopped since.   I likewise  lost my business largely  due to the
          fact that my own Baptist pastor would  not do business with a man
          who believed  in speaking in tongues.   My children  were in that
          same church  Christian school  and my sister  had been  a teacher
          there for twenty-two years.   When my children were nominated for
          scholarships, however,  they were  denied that  privilege by  the
          school board because, they said, we were Charismatics now and not
          Baptists.   My  own sisters,  ten  years older  than I,  publicly
          stated I   had  experienced a nervous  breakdown and had  lost my
          mind because I spoke  in tongues.   Even to this  day, a man that
          helped me a  great deal  as my youth  pastor and who  now is  the
          principle of  the Christian school  my children  used to  attend,
          says what I have is demonic.  These are all brothers  and sisters
          in the  Lord; not unbelievers.   My mom, now  seventy-three years
          old, used  to think and say the same things until one day she got
          filled with  the Spirit and spoke  in tongues.  She's  crazy now,
          too, I  guess.   It's  funny, though.   All  these people  simply
          cannot figure out why I still  win people to Christ, why I  still
          teach the Bible the same old  way, why I spend much more  time in
          prayer than ever  before, why I get my prayers answered more than
          ever before, and why my walk  with the Lord has done nothing  but
          get better.   Surely someone as  heretical as  I should be  going
          backwards  if, what  I believe,  is  heresy.   Well, shoot,  it's
          probably all just
          psychological  anyhow but  if so, I  want more of  it because the
          power and presence of God  is addictive once you've lived, walked
          and slept in it.  Pray that I'll get worse.

               A few years  ago I had a  live call-in talk show  on a local
          Christian radio station.  It was mostly a counseling type format.
          I also did in-house and telephone counseling during this time for
          my church.  Never once, Sheri, did  I find an occasion to discuss
          these  topics  with any  of  the people  calling my  show  nor in
          private counseling  sessions.  Why?   That wasn't the  purpose of
          the program  nor of my counseling.   Don't I believe it?   By now
          you know the answer to that  question.  Then why wouldn't I  push
          this doctrine on these people that were coming to me for counsel?
          There are two reasons.  First, it wasn't where they were in their
          walk with  the Lord at  the time.   The other  reason?  The  Holy
          Spirit did not lead me to counsel them in that way.   Everybody's
          walk with  the Lord  is uniquely different.   We  are snowflakes,
          uniquely different,  in the  relationship we have  with God.   it
          took the Lord  many years to bring me  to the place I  would even
          consider the gifts of  the Holy Spirit were viable.   I denied it
          for years until  I came to  the place in  my life that  I knew  I
          needed more power.  If  you will read my personal  testimony, you
          will  see  how  the  LOrd  led  me  to this  place  in  my  life.
          Additionally,  my autobiography gets  into this search  a little,
          too.  I am  not more spiritual as a result but I  am closer to my
          Heavenly Father than I ever  dreamed possible and that's the name
          of the game in  my book.  I  made the Lord  prove to me from  His
          Word the gifts were viable  manifestations of the Holy Spirit for
          today and it took Him more than three years to do it.  After all,
          I was a Baptist; Baptists  don't believe anything unless they can
          see it from the Scriptures.  At least that's  true of independent

               I have  shared these  things with you  because you  asked me
          specific questions.  I spent a  long time writing and reading and
          praying about this message.  Once I decided not to send it at all
          because I figured it wouldn't do any good.  Then I  figured, what
          do I have to loose.  I once almost walked away from what the Lord
          had showed me because of the  personal loss it brought to me  and
          my family.  I decided  to do so would mean  I would have to  deny
          the power of the Holy Spirit in  my life and the wonderful things
          I  had  experienced  in  the  Name  of  Jesus  Christ.   I  would
          furthermore have to  deny the spiritual intimacy I  experience in
          the presence of God when I prayed.  I decided it wasn't worth the
          spiritual  loss and walked on in God  in spite of everything, and
          everybody, else.  I  am sorry we disagree but I  am not sorry for
          what I  believe and what God has showed me.   I wouldn't trade it
          for the world.   It doesn't make life any easier but it does make
          it worth it.

               I asked  the Holy Spirit  to help  me write this  message in
          such a way it would not be  offensive and certainly not personal.
          I  edited out  many  statements as  I  read and  reread what  I'd
          written because I felt I was being too personal and maybe  saying
          things  which would  be taken  wrongly.   I  apologize if  I have
          overlooked   any  such  comments  that  fall  into  the  personal
          category.   I have been  honest, however, and  I hope it  will be
          received in the spirit in  which it was written.  I doubt  I will
          comment any further  on these things.   The list  of my  writings

          Complete In Him,


                           BOOKLETS - ARTICLES - REBUTTALS

          WHEN BAPTISTS SPEAK IN TONGUES - Personal testimony
          I CHOSE NOT TO BE A BAPTIST - A rebuttal
          BEARING FRUITFUL PRAYERS - How to pray for answers
          CHASTENED BY THE LORD? How mean is God?
          THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT? - Tongues: the devil or the Holy Spirit?
          EMPTY FAITH 
          FRUITFUL FASTING - How to fast and why
          GIVEN TO GOD - Biblical giving
          THE WILL OF GOD?  How God's will actually works
          DOES GOD STILL HEAL? - a rebuttal
          FACING UP TO THE CATHOLIC MARY - a rebuttal
          GOD'S MESSENGERS - angels at work
          THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS - who we are in God
          THROUGH THE RINGER - personal testimony
          THE ROAD'S END - personal testimony
          SADDLE-UP - an unusual way to pray
          SAVED AND HEALED? - a letter to the Radio Bible Class
          COUNTING SHEEP - An usual way to go to sleep
          THE TRUE POWER TEAM - Christian entertainment
          PAUL'S THORN - a possible explanation
          ANOTHER THORN IN THE FLESH - Healing today
          ROBBING GOD? - Biblical tithing
          TESTIMONY OF A TURTLE - The integrity of God's creation
          UNDER HIS WINGS - The watchful eye of God
          THE WORTH OF WORSHIP - Spiritual intimacy with God
          THE WORKING WORD - How God's Word really works in us
          IT IS WRITTEN - Daily confessions


          PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT - the  gift of tongues and answered  prayer
          LIQUID PURPLE - an autobiography
          THE BED  UNDEFILED - A  Christian's guide to sexual  intimacy and
          problem solving.
          THE MIRACLE WALK - the Gospel of John interpreted by its miracles
          INSPIRATION AND INSTRUCTION - a collection

          Contact Information

          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado 80226
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