All throughout the New Testament we see a lot of things happening around the mysterious gift(s) of tongues, specifically in the book of Acts… Are the gifts of tongues still for today? Though the gifts of tongues may seem as a great mystery, I believe that through this teaching, you will clearly hear and receive revelational understanding on what the Word of God is saying, concerning the gifts of tongues! We will cover the Biblical context of what tongues are and how the Body of Christ operated in them in the past. Are tongues still for us today and is it God’s will for us to still operate in them? As Christians, everything that we believe and hold to in the Faith, should always lineup with Gods Word, the Holy Bible! We should desire everything that God has for us in Christ Jesus! Regardless of our personal opinions, if our experiences, or lack thereof, don’t agree with His Word…then something is wrong, something is wrong with our belief, because our actions will naturally flow out of our belief!
Throughout the years, I have heard some people from various Christian denominations express that the gifts of tongues are too bizarre of a phenomena to be real. They even think that those who do such things are either out of their mind or just making things up and babbling. Apparently, that’s exactly how some of the people who observed the early Church speaking in tongues thought in Acts chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost, “12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” Acts 2:12-13 (KJV)
Over the years we’ve had a lot of questions from other Christians and even some unbelievers, regarding the gifts of tongues. I wrote this teaching with the intent of clearing up a lot of the misunderstanding about the gifts of tongues. As you continue reading, you who are in the Body of Christ, who believe that the Holy Bible is the written and inspired Word of God will be equipped and be able to help others. The Lord Jesus said in John 8:32 (KJV), “32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” It’s by faith that we receive Christ. It’s by faith that we obtain spiritual gifts and operate in them, through the grace and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. If we truly want to follow sound doctrine, we need to heed the Apostolic order and instructions that are laid out for us. We need to study the Word, giving close attention to how the first century Church operated. Head knowledge will only get you so far. In order to progress deeper in our walk with God as Christians, we must live out His Word. We are to walk in experiential revelation and understanding that is in agreement with His Word!
There are still those who believe that the Holy Bible is indeed the inspired written Word of God. Yet, due to a lack of understanding, they believe that the gifts of tongues, along with other spiritual gifts, have already been done away with after the first century Christian Church. They will usually reference the following verses, showing that these gifts along with others will all indeed be done away with:
1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (1599 Geneva Bible, GNV)
8Love doth never fall away, though that prophesyings be abolished, or the tongues cease, or knowledge vanish away. 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect, is come, then that which is in part shall be abolished. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child: I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass darkly: but then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part: but then shall I know even as I am known.
I’ve heard many Christians who have been taught an unfounded doctrine that speaking in tongues, has been done away with after the early Church. They reference the above verse to suggest that, because we now have the Holy Bible, which they interpret as “the perfect,” we no longer need to operate in these spiritual gifts. This interpretation is very sad and far from the truth. When we look at this verse, as a whole, we can see that the “perfect” it is actually referencing to is The Lord Jesus! In verse twelve it says, “12For now we see through a glass darkly: but then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part: but then shall I know even as I am known.” When we are in with the perfect One, the Lord Jesus, seeing Him “face to face” then we will know fully, because we will be with Him in His glory! We will have no need of prophecy or the various gifts of tongues, because those spiritual gifts are for us, when we are apart from Him here on earth, for the purpose of prayer, edifying our spirit, and the ministering of the Gospel. 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 is clearly describing when we see and are with the Lord Jesus in heaven.
Further more, in the next chapter, the Apostle Paul instructs the believers to “pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts…” (1 Cor. 14:1) Clearly, he is urging believers to desire these spiritual gifts, as they were and are available for Christian Believers to obtain through the power of the Holy Spirit! He then exhorts the Believers by saying, “37 If any man think himself to be a Prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge, that the things that I write unto you, are the commandments of the Lord. 38 And if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak languages (tongues).” (1 Cor. 14:37-39 (1599 Geneva Bible GNV)
Often the problem is, we read and view the Bible through someone’s theology that doesn’t always match up to the examples and context that we see in Scripture. The Lord Jesus tells us that speaking in tongues is a sign that will follow His believers!
Mark 16:17 (KJV) 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Acts 19:1-7 (KJV) 1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve.
If you are unfamiliar with this tongues you may be thinking, “Yes, Jesus did say that those who believe “shall speak with new tongues.” “But what does it mean to speak with new tongues, what’s it for, how does it work and is it really for every Believer?” As you continue reading, we will answer these questions.
UNDERSTANDING TONGUES / HOW WE OPERATE IN THEM AS CHRISTIANS
Throughout this study we will cover: speaking, praying and singing in tongues. I’ll explain each purpose and how the believer is to operate in these different forms of tongues. Though this study covers a great deal of details, understanding of and operating in these giftings does not need to be complicated. Tongues can be broken down to the following forms:
- The Spirit of God speaking through man in a tongue to others
- The Spirit of God speaking/interceding through man in a tongue
- The spirit of man singing in a tongue to God
- The spirit of man praying in a tongue to God (personal prayer language)
It’s important for us to understand that there’s a specific context for the gifts of tongues that each verse in the Word of God references to. In the New Testament, we see several distinct variations of praying in tongues. For those, in Christ, who have been baptized by the Holy Spirit, there are two forms for public use (for the edification of others) and three forms for personal use. Within these various forms of tongues, there are three different types of languages: Human languages of the Earth (unknown to the one speaking it), Heavenly language (requires interpretation when used in public), and personal prayer language (between your spirit and the Spirit of God).
TONGUES FOR PUBLIC USE:
SPEAKING IN A DIFFERENT TONGUE OF A HUMAN LANGUAGE OF THE EARTH, THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW – USUALLY FOR MISSIONARY EVANGELISM AS A SIGN TO UNBELIEVERS:
“…tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not…” 1 Cor. 14:22a (KJV)
This form of tongues is a prophetic sign, a witness of God unto them that do not yet believe.
Acts 2:1-11 (KJV)
1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven (split) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God
These Believers were all speaking in other tongues, as the Holy Spirit was giving them utterance (speaking in different human languages from different regions of the Earth). The Spirit of God was speaking through these Christians. Those who heard them speaking in tongues understood what was being spoken in their own language. This form of speaking in tongues is a prophetic witness to others. It is for ministering to other people, in a language that you do not know, usually for missionary evangelism, as a sign to unbelievers.
While one an overseas ministry trip, another brother and I (Joseph) felt strongly that we should go out on a walk to pray through the streets of a city we were in. It was around one in the morning! While walking, we ran into an older man who was very drunk. I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to place my hand on his shoulder and pray for him in tongues, so I did. Each time I had a pause the man responded in Chinese. I would then respond back in the tongue that sounded like Chinese coming out of my mouth. However, I had no understanding of what I was saying and neither did the brother that was with me. This continued for about five minutes or so. By the end of our time together the man was sober and appeared to be in his right mind. The other brother and I then prayed for the man in English and the man seemed very grateful and full of joy and then he went about his way no longer stumbling around like a drunk, but walking straight and lively. This was the first time I had experienced something like this. Though, I had not a clue what the Holy Spirit was speaking through me in Chinese, the man clearly did and was ministered to! For that trip I had memorized a couple of short phrases in Chinese to get around. But in the natural it would be absolutely impossible for me to have carried on in a conversation in a foreign language especially one so complex in tone and vocabulary without at least a year of proper studying. We need the Holy Spirit! We need His power to minister the Gospel!
Acts 1:8 (1599 Geneva Bible)
8 But ye shall receive power of the holy Ghost, when he shall come on you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
TONGUES AS A HEAVENLY LANGUAGE:
HEAVENLY LANGUAGE – THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKING THROUGH YOU IN A HEAVENLY LANGUAGE. REQUIRING A PROPHETIC INTERPRETATION WHEN SPOKEN IN PUBLIC:
Another form of speaking in tongues we see in Scriptures for public use is a heavenly tongue. This tongue is for ministering to the Church Body, in the midst of the assembly. It is when the Holy Spirit speaks a prophetic utterance, through a Believer and then the Holy Spirit will give the prophetic interpretation of the tongue through someone. There must be an interpretation following the spoken tongue when in public. Therefore, the one who has a tongue, must discern if it is a tongue for public edification of the assembly, or if it is for personal edification. If it’s for personal, then as the Bible clearly instructs, that they must remain silent and go pray in private to God (in their personal tongue/prayer language).
1 Cor. 12:28 (KJV)
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1 Cor. 12:7-10 (KJV)
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
In these two verses above we see that tongues in the plural form, which means that there is more than one type of tongues! Not every believer is gifted with speaking in tongues for public use. However, just as with every spiritual gift given by God, Believers who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit have the ability to operate in these gifts, just as with all the other gifts, as the Holy Spirit comes on them. In other words, God will use His willing ones to manifest His Spirit as He sees fit.
1 Cor. 14:6 (GNV) 6 And now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking diverse tongues, what shall I profit you, except I speak to you, either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
1 Cor. 14: 9-13 (KJV)
9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
1 Cor. 14:23-33 (KJV)
23 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 (out of your mind) ? 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25 and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
We need to understand that God is the God of order and has placed everything in Scripture for a reason. Ignorance is no excuse to disregard God’s Holy Word. As seen in the above verse, He has established a structure for speaking in tongues when believers are assembled together.
Let’s read verse twenty-three again, 23“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 (out of your mind) ?”(1 Cor.14:23 KJV). If an ungifted person or an unbeliever sees this, they would definitely think everyone in this place is out of their minds. And worse, this assembly’s actions will have most likely become a stumbling block and a cause for the unbeliever to close himself off from being ministered to by the group or even anyone else.
We heard a testimony of this happening from a young lady that we knew, Betty (not her real name). Betty lived in California and at the time of this writing was an unbeliever. She had been very much put off by most of Christianity, from what she had seen and had witnessed from her family during her childhood years. She had gotten invited to go to a church retreat with someone and at a high point during the retreat, the pastor instructed the entire group of women to begin speaking in tongues in one accord. Now, not being a believer, nor having ever read the Bible or ever hearing of such a type of act, she felt extremely uncomfortable and couldn’t wait to get out of there. She thought it was the most weird, chaotic thing that she had witnessed. To her, it was as if she was in some kind of a cultic meeting. Once she was home from the retreat, she called my wife Christina and expressed to her everything that had happened at this church retreat. In her words she said, “you guys are not like the others.” She spoke with Christina about her experience, wanting to know what on earth these people were doing in this meeting and do we believe in this tongues thing too? Christina expressed to Betty how the gift of tongues is real and a powerful gift for Christians, but Scripturally, what that church did was acting disorderly and how this action was actually unpleasing before God. Christina also sent her the above Scripture reference to read. Betty was relieved to hear this and even mentioned it to the Christian lady who invited her on the retreat. How many people have had experiences similar to hers and have been turned off from coming to faith in Christ, because of disobedience and disorder in the Church?
Let’s take another look at the second half of this passage:
“27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”1 Cor. 14:27-33 (KJV)
I want to emphasis again, in verse 28, that the Biblical instruction is very clear; if there is no interpreter, the one who has a tongue must discern if he has a public tongue to speak for everyone to hear or if he is speaking in his personal tongue (personal prayer language: we will cover in this in the last section).
When those who are leaders in the assembly disregard what the Scripture says along with the structure that God, in His wisdom, has put in place by His apostles and prophets – they give room for satanic influence and assault in the Body. We see disorder in Christian assemblies all to often. This direct disobedience to God’s Holy Word is commonly done, as leaders instruct congregation to all pray together simultaneously, in tongues (their personal prayer language) even though God instructed through the Apostle Paul in verse 28 “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.”
Further more, verse 29 says, “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.” (1 Cor.14:29) Leaders, must shepherd the flock that God has allowed them to be responsible for. If the tongue, interpretation, or prophecy is off and you discern that it is not of the Spirit of God, it should be corrected publicly in the congregation, just as the Apostle Paul corrected his fellow Apostle Peter publicly for his prejudice of not eating with the Christian gentiles (see Gal. 2:11-15). If a prophetic word or a tongue is off and goes uncorrected by the leaders, they will receive a double judgment by God for not bringing the necessary correction according to the His Word. It is very important for leaders to confront and correct error in the assembly, least everyone who hear the false word or tongue thinks it’s okay and receives something that’s not of God.
Most Believers are unaware of the spiritual harm that can occur from not following Gods instructions when speaking in tongues. First off, we need to realize that in contrast to the diverse gifts of tongues for the Christian, there are also false tongues and satanic tongue from foul spirits. We have witnessed people who have received an unclean tongue. If you have discernment you will know of whose spirit is speaking. Is it the Holy Spirit speaking through the man of the mighty things of God, giving Him glory? Is it their spirit speaking to God? Is it babbling a falsely contrived tongue from the mind (which is not from their spirit man)? Or is it of an evil spirit speaking detestable blasphemies against God and the Church.
Further more, those of the occult who have given themselves to Satan, through being possessed by devils, can speak in an unclean tongue from a wicked spirit. With this they curse and speak incantations over others and blaspheme God. Now, when a minister or church leader leads everyone to speak together in their prayer language in tongues, the minister does not know that there could be those of the church of Satan there, in the open assembly, who are assigned to curse and cause disruption in the Body. Many are afflicted and spiritually oppressed from disorder and misconduct like this in the churches.
Leaders in the Body of Christ must have discernment in all things and must not remain ignorant of Satan’s wiles. Remember everything in Scripture is there for a reason. Even if we don’t understand why, it is there for our blessing and benefit.
TONGUES FOR PERSONAL USE:
THIS FORM OF THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS AVAILABLE FOR EVERY BELIEVER THAT HAS RECEIVED THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
For personal use we will cover:
- The Spirit of God speaking/interceding through man to man’s spirit.
- The spirit of man singing to God.
- The spirit of man praying to God
Mark 16:17-18 (KJV)
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
When we pray in tongues for personal usage; out spirit is built up and strengthened, we wage spiritual war against the enemy, we worship the Lord and we make intercession for both ourselves and others. It’s so important for every Believer to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and they will receive this gift from the Lord.
As Christians, we must realize that satan is always fighting to take our God given dominion. The Bible calls satan “the prince that ruleth in the air.” (Eph 2:2 GNV) When we pray in tongues, we speak into the heavenlies, into the air. “…For ye shall speak in the air…” (1 Cor. 14:9 GNV)
Believers must speak in the Name (the authority and character) that is above every name. We speak to difficult circumstances in our path, to mountains that must obey, be uprooted and be moved. We speak with God – our spirit to His Spirit. We have found it very productive for breakthrough, especially in times of urgency to pray our supplications to the Lord in our personal prayer language. The Bible tells us that “21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it, shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21) Learn how to use your tongue, to speak according to the will of God, and you will bear good fruit!
- THE SPIRIT OF GOD SPEAKING/INTERCEDING THROUGH MAN, TO MAN’S SPIRIT
Jude 1:20 (KJV) 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
John 7:38-39 (KJV) 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Romans 8:26-27 (KJV)
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
In the three verses above, we can see that there is a clear distinction made for this tongue when it is the Spirit of God speaking/interceding through man to man’s spirit. If desired you can ask the Holy Spirit for an interpretation or understanding of what He (the Holy Spirit) is speaking, but an interpretation is not required when done in private.
When we allow the Spirit of the Almighty God to speak through us into our atmosphere we will see the changes that He brings about. Here is a powerful testimony, that I heard that took place in Africa:
“A woman came from the next town for the convention and after we finished one night, she wanted to go home quickly to go and get something, on the way she entered into a bus, not knowing she was being kidnapped.
So they took her and one other brother far into the jungle and they were doing all manners of atrocities to those people that were in front of them.
But then … they already took this woman they were already shaving her hair off in preparative to do whatever they wanted to do, but all of a sudden behind her back, the brother they picked up with her, began to speak in tongues and as he began to speak in tongues trouble came in the camp of the enemy.
Who brought this one here?
Where did they get them?
And they told him they got them in front of the Camp,
“Ah you took the wrong people!
Get away from here and immediately they set them free!
In the name that is above every other name, those who want to destroy you will hear a sound from heaven and they will release you.”
- THE SPIRIT OF MAN SINGING TO GOD. – WORSHIPING GOD IN TONGUES
Singing in the spirit is a wonderful way to worship The Almighty God!
1 Cor. 14:14-15 (1599 Geneva Bible)
14 For if I pray in a strange tongue, my spirit prayeth: but mine understanding is without fruit. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit: but I will sing with the understanding also.
Just as with singing praises to God with our understanding is very fruitful, singing in the spirit is even more. It is wonderful to bask in the presence of God in your spirit. When our spirits sing out to God, in our personal tongue, we are entering into a deeper level of worship then that of our minds.
In the Old Testament, the people would worship God in the temple. Now, in Christ, we see a that we are now the temple of God. (see 1 Cor. 6:19-20). The Old Testament the temple was constructed of three parts: the outward court, the court within, and the Holiest of all.
The outward court represents the (body).
The court within represents (the soul).
The Holiest of all represents the (spirit of man).
In the New Testament we as Christians are the temple of God. (See 1 Cor. 6:19-20)
Where does the Spirit of God dwell? He dwells in the Holiest of all, within our spirit.
John 7:37b-38 (KJV)
37 … If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
That word for belly according to the Strong’s Concordance #2836 means: (hollow, cavity) man’s innermost being (the spirit of man).
Out of man’s spirit will flow rivers of water of life (the Holy Spirit). When someone is born again, they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit… The Holy Spirit will dwell in their spirit, their innermost being. He is in the Holiest of all, within your spirit.
Our minds can take us into the outward court and even the court within. But when we worship and commune with God out of our spirit it is a much high level of worship to God. It is from within the Holiest of all! It is when our spirit, soul and body worship God in one accord! All who are made clean by the blood of the Lamb have been given the invitation to enter into God’s presence in this manner. As Believers, worshiping God in the spirit is something that should be not only enjoyed, but it also should be a part of our every day lives. Also, satan and his followers cannot stand being in the presence of authentic worship to God.
John 4:23-24 (KJV) 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
- THE SPIRIT OF MAN PRAYING TO GOD
1 Cor. 14:2 (KJV)
2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries (secret things).
1 Cor. 14:14 (KJV)
14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays…
1 Cor. 14:28 (KJV)
28… let him speak to himself, and to God.
The Apostle Paul was describing his personal prayer language when he said, “18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:” (1 Cor. 14:18 KJV)
The personal prayer language of the Believer is a very powerful gifting for our walk with God. It is also very productive when you put it to use in the battle against the enemy. Unlike your English or other native language, devils cannot understand what you are saying when your spirit or the Spirit of God are communicating through your personal prayer language! With your prayer language the Bible says that no one understands it, but God alone, “in the spirit he speaketh secret things.” (1 Cor. 14:2). This means that no devil can understand it. In warfare, it is always better if your enemy has trouble reading your next move. Over the years I have learned to discern when it’s my spirit speaking or the Holy Spirit speaking through me. As we continue to grow in our prayer language our spiritual vocabulary can develop and we will be able to distinguish different tones when we pray in our warfare, intercession, praise tongue etc. We don’t memorize any of the words, because we are praying in the spirit so it flows out from within us when we pray.
Our spirit speaks with God in prayer. He hears our prayers, and gives His holy angels orders to carry out His will. It is a secret heavenly prayer language between your spirit and the Spirit of God.
There is no need for an interpretation when praying this way in private, as it is you speaking to God alone. However, according to 1 Cor.14:12-16 you can ask God for the interpretation of what you are praying. The interpretation may come in the form of a direct word from the Lord or may come as mental clarity giving wisdom and understanding regarding a situation where there was needed breakthrough. Sometimes in prayer, our spirit will be petitioning the Lord and we may see the results in the natural. Had the prayer not been prayed in tongues, we may have not known how to intercede for a certain situation.
Though it is not proper to speak in a tongue in a public open meeting without an interpretation (1 Cor. 14:28), It’s very powerful for believers who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit to pray together with both understanding and with their personal prayer language in a private meeting where you know all the Believers who are there. It is also helpful to pray in tongues with the laying on of hands over believers for them to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19:6 (KJV)
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Acts 10:46-47 (KJV)
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
We should keep in mind that the guidelines for the gift(s) of tongues, in the Scriptures, is not as a burden of legalism, but for order and edification in the Body of Christ.
The personal prayer language is such and important form of the gift of tongues for the each individual believer in their walk with God and is available for all those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. If you are reading this study and have not yet received this gift, I urge you to continue in faith and earnestly desire everything that God has for you! Just as you received salvation, in Christ, by believing in your heart and through confession with your mouth, (see Romans 10:8-10) it’s by faith that we receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues! Many times throughout the Book of Acts we see examples of believers who had just came to Christ, who were immediately water baptized into Jesus and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands all in the same hour! It was always very evident that they received the Holy Spirit baptism, as they immediately began to speak in new tongues as the Holy Spirit came on them and filled them! You can pray by yourself or if you can, I would recommend having a Spirit filled Believer lay hands on you and ask the Lord Jesus to baptize and fill you with the Holy Spirit!
Acts 19:1-6 (KJV) And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Acts 10:44-48 (KJV) 44“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”
Acts 8:14-20 (KJV) 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Acts 2:1-4 (KJV) “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
In all four of the above scriptures, each time the Believers received the baptism in the Holy Spirit there was a very clear physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit that they witnessed, showing that indeed, God’s power had come upon them! The evidence that the Holy Spirit filled them was that they spoke in new tongues!
There are all kinds of unbiblical teaching regarding the gifts of tongues, which cause hindrances of confusion and unbelief in God’s people, blocking them from receiving the gifts that God has for them. In the same way you came to Christ, you must believe and speak out in faith. Faith is a key element in the Christian life. Praying in tongues is an action! God is not necessarily going to move your mouth for you. You must act in faith and as you allow your spirit and the Holy Spirit to flow from your innermost being and speak through your mouth (see John 7:38-39). Praying in tongues is not thinking up in our mind or preparing the words/groans to speak. It is a flowing river that you will need to let out, and once it starts flowing, it will become more natural. The words do not come out of your mind, they come out of your innermost being!
“4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue (language) edifieth himself…” (1 Cor. 14:4a KJV) As you continue to speak out in faith you will grow in this gift and continue to edify (strengthen and buildup) your spirit man. It is a language that you will develop and grow in. The more you grow in the things of God, the more of His life you will see flowing through you. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives in order to be true and effective witnesses of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God! (see Acts 1:8)
The measure of your life that you have surrendered to God is the measure that He will occupy. Give Him everything and gain everything that He has for you! Satan hates it when a believer grows in the Lord and he will do everything he can to keep you from operating in God’s power. Of course, just as soon as you receive your prayer language, the devils speaks their lies and says, “you’re just babbling” and “it’s not really real, you’re making it up.” The reality is, to them it is babble, because they have not been given the right to understand your prayer language, as it is hidden from them! So, when the enemy comes at your mind with lies, “7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 KJV) “8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1Peter 5:8 KJV)
I pray, that through this study, a great deal of the mystery regarding the gifts of tongues has been unlocked for you to receive and walk in all that God has made available for you, specifically the Believer’s personal prayer language (tongue). This is for all who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We should earnestly desire all that God has for us.
Luke 11:9-14 (KJV) 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.
If we are praying to God and asking Him to fill us with the Holy Spirit and give us the gift of tongues/our prayer language, will He give us a stone? Will He give us a serpent? Of course not! Our heavenly Father is Good and He will truly give us the Holy Spirit! He will not give us an evil spirit when we ask Him to give us what has been promised to us in His Word! We see here in Luke 11:14, that the man that Jesus was ministering to was not able to speak! But, Jesus came and delivered him and set him free and then the man was able to speak. In the same way, may you be set free from all fear, unbelief and incorrect doctrine. May you be filled with the Holy Spirit and your tongue be loosed so that your spirit and the Holy Spirit can speak through you in tongues!
If you have any questions follow this reading after seeking the Holy Spirit in prayer, you are always welcome to reach out to us and we will do our best to make ourselves available. May the Lord Jesus bless you and fill you with His Holy Spirit and lead you into all truth that is only found in Him. May He bless you with His gifts and every good thing that He has for you, that you may be a blessing to all those around you, for His Glory!
Joseph T. Bishara