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A Gift for Today...continued

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Other Tongues

Speaking in different kinds of tongues is the supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue or language that is unknown to the speaker.

Just as there is a variation in the scope and types within other gifts the same is true with other tongues.

First there different types of languages spoken and these would include:

Speaking in a language known to a hearer of the words such as on the day of Pentecost.

Speaking in a language of angels or speaking mysteries to God, which means that no one can understand what is being said.

Speaking in a language known to a hearer of the words such as on the day of Pentecost. Speaking in a language of angels or speaking mysteries to God, which means that no one can understand what is being said.

  1. The initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Personal edification, building oneself up in the faith.
  3. The edification of the church, when used with the gift of interpretation.
  4. As praise and worship, singing in tongues particularly.
  5. Within intercession praying in the spirit.
  6. As a sign to the unbeliever as on the day of Pentecost.
  7. As a gateway to the other gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  8. As an enabling for the anointing of natural gifts.

It is possible to see that speaking in tongues should be the most used gift of the nine. There are some that would restrict the use of this gift to the prayer closet and refuse its use in the church except with an interpretation. On the basis of understanding the different usage of the gift this view is somewhat restrictive of the Holy Spirit.

While we understand everything should be done decently and in order, would we really stop the baptism of someone in the Spirit, in church, because the initial evidence would require an interpretation? Or would we say that Jesus teaches, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen." (Matthew 6:6) If this were true it would mean that one should not pray the Lord's Prayer in the church but alone in a closed room.

W.R. Jones in the book Pentecostal Doctrine in the chapter headed 'The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit' (13) states:

"A good definition of the gift of tongues is that it is the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit enabling one to speak, as the Spirit gives utterance, in languages unknown to the one possessing the gift, that is, languages unknown either before or after the time of utterance. According to I Corinthians 13: 1-3, they may be the tongues of men and of angels and have nothing to do with linguistic ability.

It would seem from Scripture and the study of the worship of the Early Church that this was the most liberally distributed of all the gifts, hence the need for the very full instructions relative to its use given by the apostle Paul. One grave error survived for many years but, happily, is now widely rejected, viz. that the gift of tongues was given to enable the apostles to preach the gospel to foreigners.

This loses sight of the fact that those who spoke with tongues on the day of Pentecost were magnifying God and only Peter stood up to preach the gospel (Acts 2: 14 ).

This is substantiated by the apostle Paul: "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God" (I Corinthians 14:2). This element of praise is a distinguishing mark of the gift in its early manifestation, for not only do we see it in the apostles on the day of Pentecost, but we also see it in the home of Cornelius (Acts 10:46).

Speaking with other tongues certainly has a vital evidential purpose. To the Ephesian Christians it was proof that they had received, through the laying on of hands, the same gift of the Holy Spirit as the apostles had received on the day of Pentecost (Acts 19:6). In Peter's account of the conversion of Cornelius, the very same evidential sign assured the Church leaders in Jerusalem that the Gentiles were also called to be part of the Body of Christ (Acts 11:15, 17).

The rightful use of this gift is a matter of spiritual concern, for it would seem that a new characteristic relative to speaking with tongues is made very clear by the time we reach the Corinthian Epistle. The gift, as far as its operation within church worship is concerned, is not self-sufficient. It has an accompanying sister gift in the gift of interpretation of tongues."

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