What is speaking in tongues?
By the enablement and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaking in a language you have never learned. It could be any ancient or current language spoken, or could be a language spoken in Heaven (angelic languages) – 1 Corinthians 13:1.
A person is not limited to the mode of speaking only, but you can also sing in tongues, pray in tongues, praise in tongues, and prophesy in tongues.
What do you mean by two-fold, or two kinds, of tongues?
According to 1 Corinthians 13:1, there are two kinds of tongues: Paul refers to the:
1) tongues of men (any earthly language)
2) the tongues of angels (any language spoken in Heaven).
What is the purpose of tongues?
- Usually the initial evidence or manifestation that a person has been filled and baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3-4, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:6).
- A sign to unbelievers of the reality and power of God – 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 (Isaiah 28:11), Acts 2:6-21, 1 Corinthians 14:22.
- Serves as a sign that accompanies and signifies those who believe on Jesus Christ (Mark 16:17-18). “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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.”
- Power to be witnesses, and power for service (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Romans 15:19). Luke 24:49 says, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Great boldness and great grace (Acts 4:31-33). Acts 4:31-33 states:
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
- Spiritual self-edification.
1 Corinthians 14:4a “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself.”
Jude 20 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”
When you pray in tongues, your mind is unfruitful (you do not understand the language you are speaking), but your spirit is built up.
- Your spirit prays to God.
1 Corinthians 14:2 “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.”
1 Corinthians 14:14 “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
Praying in tongues are pure prayers from your spirit to God. There is no carnality or flesh mixed in. You are not praying with your soul (mind and emotions), which is continually being renewed and sanctified.
Sometimes when you don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit (who knows the perfect will of God) intercedes through you (Romans 8:26).
- The Holy Spirit prays and sings through you in the form of tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:15 “What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit (pray in unknown tongues), and I will pray with the understanding also (in the language you know). I will sing with the Spirit (sing in unknown tongues) and I will sing with the understanding also (in the language you know).”
The phrases: “pray in the Holy Ghost, or pray in the Spirit, or sing in the Spirit” all refer to praying or singing in tongues. When someone says “pray in your Heavenly language”, that is also referring to praying in tongues.
- Tongues is usually the entrance to operating in the Gifts of the Spirit (in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10). There are nine gifts mentioned in this passage.
- Word of wisdom
- Word of knowledge
- Gifts of healing
- Working of miracles
- Discerning of spirits
- Diverse kinds of tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
Tongues is the door into the prophetic realm, the seer realm, signs and wonders, healings and miracles, and deliverance.
Tongues is a catalyst that propels a believer into deeper worship, thus resulting in experiencing a very heavy anointing, a weighty presence of the Lord, and the glory realm.
Praying in the Holy Ghost (tongues) is a way of doing spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:11-18). This passage talks about the armor of God that quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked one. In Verse 18 it says to pray in the Spirit. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”
- The purpose of tongues is to prophesy a word from God in the general assembly, with an interpretation following, for the edifying of the church (1 Corinthians 14:12-13, 27-32). Paul said that it is greater to prophesy a word in the language of the hearers, because then it does not require an interpreter and interpretation.