ARE TONGUES NEEDED IN THE CHURCH TODAY?
By Pastor David Stroup III
There are a few applications of applying the gift of tongues and praying in the spirit that we will address here. I hope you take the time to understand the difference between the gift of tongues and the prayer language that the believer has when they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
We know in the book of Acts that the gift of tongues was given so that there were no barriers in languages as the disciples went from place to place, city to city, house to house and church to church preaching the gospel. because the gospel was open not only to the Jews but to the Gentiles as well, it was certain that there would be people they would run into that did not speak Hebrew. God did not want language to be a barrier to keep people from being able to receive the good news of Jesus Christ. So supernaturally they were given the ability to speak in tongues or in other languages and it be interpreted back to them so that conversation could happen between the Christian and the unbeliever so that the unbeliever could receive the message of Jesus Christ and understand.
Another application of tongues is found in the book of first Corinthian‘s chapter 12 and 14. Paul explains how in believers come together for church but at times they remove messages given in tongues. This is the gift of tongues which always has to have an interpretation that follows. In every service with this gift is an operation there must be also someone who has the gift of interpretation of tongues so that things are clear and everything is answered.
“Brain specialists at Oral Roberts University found out through research and testing that when a person prays in tongues, his brain releases two chemicals that are directed to his immune system, giving it a 35 to 40 percent boost. Interestingly, these secretions are triggered by a part of our brain that has no other apparent activity and which is activated only when we pray in tongues.”
When it comes to praying in tongues, “There's more to be said than what you know to say.” -DSIII
Scriptural Reasons for Praying in tongues:
1. Praying in tongues brings rest to our souls – a refreshing. Isaiah 28:11-12
2. Praying in tongues edifies you. I Cor. 14:4
3. Praying in tongues speaks to God mysteries. I Cor. 14:2
4. Praying in tongues speaks the wonderful works of God. Acts 2: 11
5. Praying in tongues magnifies God. Acts 10:46
6. Praying in tongues is perfect prayer for yourself. I Cor. 14:14-15; Rom. 8:26-28
7. Praying in tongues is perfect intercession for others. Rom. 8:26-28; Eph. 6: 18
8. Praying in tongues gives thanks well. I Cor. 14:17
9. Praying in tongues is a sign for unbelievers. I Cor. 14: 22; Mark 16:17
10. Praying in tongues builds up your faith. Jude 20
The Difference between the “Gift of Tongues” and “speaking in tongues”:
1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 are not speaking of the same application of praying in tongues. Although they are appreciated the same, the application and usage is different. It is important to understand the differences so that we can rightly divide the Word of Truth.
When you understand the differences you will know how to operate and know when it is you spirit and when it is the Holy Spirit and your spirit.
1 Corinthians 12 talks of the Gift OF Tongues. The purpose of this Gift is for the benefit of a congregation or group of people.
Chapter 12 is written to the Church as a whole.
Chapter 14 is written to the individual believer.
The Gift of Tongues is for a particular moment. Praying in the spirit (personal prayer language) is for practical use, any moment at any time. The Gift of Tongues edifies the Church but praying in the Spirit edifies you personally (spirit, soul and body).
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the benefit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4—11)
Notice the wording changes in Chapter 14 “benefit of all” to an individual person (I, my, himself) unless there are others around.
Make sure you keep tongues private unless it is the operation of the “Gift” or it is a corporate prayer in tongues/Spirit.
1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in tongues does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in tongues edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. (1 Corinthians 14:1—5)
13 Therefore let him who speaks in tongues pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. (1 Corinthians 14:13—15)
But YOU beloved build (edify) YOURSELVES up on YOUR most holy faith praying in the SPIRIT. (Jude 20)
I wish YOU ALL spoke with (in) tongues, (1 Corinthians 14:5a)
So understanding all we have covered, let me ask you the famous question that circulates throughout the church:
“Is tongues for everyone?” YES!
Speaking in tongues is for every believer, however the Gift of Tongues may not be. You can pray for this prayer language and receive it just like all who have from the book of Acts up to now.
Acts 2:3 - And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4 - And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 10:46 - For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
Acts 19:6 - And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.
Both the Gift of Tongues and Praying in the Spirit are for today. One day in eternity we won’t need this ability but until then, it is for the building up of the Church and the individual.
Don’t let anyone keep you from this awesome supernatural encounter and experience with the Holy Spirit. Continual or daily use of praying in tongues builds a resilience in the Believer. This enables the Believer to be able to bounce back or survive when the devil tries to knock you down and out.
When praying in tongues, although you may not “feel” anything changing in your body or soul (mind, will & emotions), things are moving rapidly in the spirit realm.
Motion begins to take place in the spirit in the same manner as when you use force to throw something.
Life and death are in the power of the tongue…(Proverbs 18:21)
You can't throw or kick a ball and it not have any motion to it.
Desire to prophecy and DO NOT FORBID speaking in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:39)
There's more to be said than what you know to say!