What about speaking in tongues?

BibleAsk Team

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Speaker 1

Okay, so Hannah is asking speaking in tongues is listed as gifts of the Holy Spirit. Interpretation of tongues is listed as a gift as well. It said tongues of fire sat up on them and they spent speak with the other tongues. This gets the sword out there and didn’t die there. I pray for a whole year to receive the Holy Spirit through speaking in tongues. After a year of bothering God in prayer, I gave up and told him so. I just told him, it’s okay, I love you anyway. Lord Heath came upon my body and I began to speak in what I believe is an Aramaic tongue. The Holy Spirit began to sing through me and continued for twelve years. It isn’t something that takes over your person. You can mostly choose to keep silent. It is for the edification of the church and for guidance of the soul. I’m not sure what the question is here.

Speaker 2

Well, Hen, I appreciate your comment and you sharing your experience with us. That’s definitely an interesting experience you had. And I do believe that the gift of tongues is a biblical thing as long as it’s done in the right context. And so I just want to share maybe just a few verses out of one chapter in the New Testament, one Corinthians chapter twelve, and I’m trying to look up exactly the verses that I wanted to share with you. So as far as when we have the gift of tongues, I feel like we get a lot of questions about this because some people are like, I’ve heard it and it just sounds crazy, and other people are like, you have to have the gift of tongues in order to as a sign that you’ve received the Holy Spirit. And I would say that the gift of tongues is something very special and unique and it’s something that we have to be really careful about because we can be led by a spirit, but that we have to make sure that we’re being led by God’s, Holy Spirit and nothing else. And your experience definitely sounds like something that was from God, I don’t question that.

Speaker 2

But I do want to share just a few verses in One Corinthians chapter twelve, and I just want to read verse ten as far as why the gift of tongues is given. So it says to another so it’s talked about spiritual gifts. In verse nine it says to another faith by the same spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit. So all these gifts are gifts of the Holy Spirit, and to another the working of miracles, to another property, to another discerning of spirits, to another diverse kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. So it’s very important when we’re looking at the gift of tongues, there needs to be an interpretation of tongues. And actually if we don’t mind going to One Corinthians chapter 14, because that’s basically where I want to answer or address this really quick as well is in chapters verses one through five, basically talking again about spiritual gifts. And Paul says something very interesting in verse five he says, I would that you all spake in tongues, but rather that you prophesied. And prophesying is just basically speaking the words of God for greaters he that prophesies and he that speaks in tongues, except he interprets that the church may receive edifying.

Speaker 2

Now I know you mentioned earlier that the gift of tongues is for edifying the church and that’s true, but that’s only true if what you’re saying in tongues is being interpreted. So it could be a message from God that you’re receiving in the gift of tongues, but it’s only a message for God’s people if they can understand it, if there’s somebody there to interpret. And so again, like I said, we just have to be really careful when it comes to the gift of tongues. And if you keep reading in verses twelve and 13, paul Wright, he says, Even so, for as much as you are zealous of spiritual gifts seek you that you may excel to the edifying of the church. That is the most important thing that we are building up the church, that we are blessing God’s people. And in verse 13 it says wherefore let him that speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he might interpret. So as you share that you were speaking in foreign tongue that you would also pray that God will give you their interpretation so that you can share with others what God is saying through you.

Speaker 2

And the last verse is in verse 19 it says yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding that by my voice I might teach others also than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue. So basically Paul is saying it’s better to say five words, a very short phrase in something that people understand rather than 10,000 words. A bunch of things you could say. But nobody understands that you’re not benefiting anybody other than people going like.

Speaker 3


Speaker 2

This is kind of interesting and I’ve heard mixed messages where some people are like seemed spiritual but I’ve heard a lot of people when there wasn’t any interpretation going on it was just kind of like yeah. It just seemed really creepy and it can definitely turn off a lot of unbelievers to the Christian experience so I just want to bring that up with you and pray that God will put it in your heart to speak through you and that you’ll get to also interpret or have a friend in the church interpret for you. So anyway, so that’s my two cent on that. Do you have Wendy, any other thoughts?

Speaker 3

Yeah, just two quick ones. It’s important to keep in mind why they get the tongues and it’s sort of undoing what God did during the Tower of Able where God can use the tongue. So God said, is undoing that confusion so that the gospel won’t be hindered by what God did to hold that sin and sent. And we see this happening really in power for the first time. In Acts chapter two. If you look at verse five, it says, and there were dwelling in Jerusalem jews development from every nation under heaven. And when the sound occurred, the multitude came together, and we’re confused because everyone heard them speak. Referring to the God’s followers in his own language, king James might say in their own tongue. So here we’re seeing the gift of tongues actually being played out or maybe even with the gift of interpretation. And now everybody is receiving the gospel. And we hear later on that thousands were baptized in one day. And this is the power of that gift of truly edifying the church.

Speaker 2

Amen. Absolutely.

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