SPEAKING IN TONGUES

The most misunderstood and underused resource in all of Christianity

The Benefits of Speaking in Tongues 

One of the most notable man who has ever lived is quoted in the Word of God as saying, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all," and "I would that ye all spake with tongues," and "forbid not to speak with tongues."(I Corinthians 14:18 and 5a, and 39b ). This was the incredible Apostle Paul who declared how important speaking in tongues was. The indomitable Apostle Peter also spoke in tongues and ministered this experience to others. Even the most important man of all – Jesus Christ, prophesied, "they shall speak with new tongues" (Mark 16:17).

Peter and Paul profited greatly by speaking in tongues.  These two dynamic men of God, as recorded in the Scriptures, paint a moving example for the reader of what a significant role speaking in tongues played in their life.

There are numerous benefits for the believer who speaks in tongues. This chapter presents a complete list, including comments, on how much speaking in tongues can affect the walk of a believer in a most profound way.

First, we will discover how Peter and Paul benefited immensely from speaking in tongues and then, we will witness the many benefits listed in God's Word of how speaking in tongues can benefit you, the reader.

The Apostle Peter

The Apostle Peter was one of the twelve disciples, when on that most significant Day of Pentecost, he along with the others, "… were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4). At that time, there was quite an uproar with many thousands of people trying to understand what was really going on.

It took Peter, filled with the gift of holy spirit and having just spoken in tongues, to boldly stand before all the Judean leaders and everyone else that was visiting Jerusalem during this important feast celebration, to proclaim the truth.

What is most fascinating is that several days earlier, Peter, along with the other disciples, were behind closed doors, " where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews." (John 20:19). They thought they would be the very next ones to be crucified. Now, several days later, Peter is speaking in tongues, having been filled with the gift of holy spirit and dynamically accusing the Judeans of their murderous crime.

Acts 2:14 and 23b:
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
…ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Peter, fully inspired by the gift of holy spirit, is preaching without notes and preparation. Many people are hearing the message of salvation for the very first time. Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead is being boldly taught. The results are: Tthe same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41).

What made the difference in Peter's life to change him from being full of fear and behind closed doors, to boldly accusing the Judeans of murder? The only thing it could have been was Peter being filled with the gift of holy spirit and speaking in tongues. Jesus himself had told Peter and the other apostles that they would speak in tongues (Mark 16:17). Just before ascending on high, Jesus' last words were: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses" (Acts 1:8). The power they demonstrated was that they spoke in tongues. This occurred on the Day of Pentecost.

Speaking in tongues was not a "one time" event. Peter was called by God to minister to the first Gentiles:  Cornelius and his family. This record is in Acts, Chapter 10. Through a series of events, he traveled to minister to Cornelius and his household.

Acts 10:44-46:
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
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.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

One of the most dynamic leaders to live in the Christian Church was the Apostle Peter. God had Peter write the Word of God in what we have today as I and II Peter. It should be very clear that one of the most important things he ever did was speak in tongues. If speaking in tongues was beneficial for Peter, surely it will be good for us.

The Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul went from murdering Christians to becoming one. As a Pharisee he wielded great power and heavily persecuted the Christian Church. In Acts, chapter nine, Jesus Christ came before him in a vision and changed his life. He became the great Apostle Paul, who grew into becoming the most influential leader in the First Century Church. God had him write much of the New Testament, including Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Hebrews.

Within the Word of God that Paul wrote, God directed him to declare, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all" (I Corinthians 14:18). Obviously, speaking in tongues was very important to Paul. It helped make him the man of God he was. He, again through the inspiration of God, declared, "I would that ye all spake with tongues…" (I Corinthians 14:5a). Later in writing the Word of God, he declared, "…forbid not to speak with tongues" (I Corinthians 14:39).

Not only is Paul recorded making these favorable statements about speaking in tongues, but he also was involved helping people to speak in tongues. In the book of Acts, Chapter Nineteen, Paul came to Ephesus finding some whom had not manifested the gift of holy spirit. They were born again and filled with holy spirit, but had not received it into manifestation. During the early Church it was normal for people to speak in tongues right after confessing Jesus as Lord and confirming their belief that God raised him from the dead (Examples of this are on the Day of Pentecost, they spoke in tongues and in Chapter Ten, Cornelius' family spoke in tongues right away). In this situation, as Paul arrived in Ephesus, it became evident they had not spoken in tongues. Paul in this case ministered to them, to help them speak in tongues.

Acts 19:6:
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them the holy ghost came on them   [The holy spirit came upon them in manifestation. They were already born again] and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

If the great Apostle Paul spoke in tongues more than anyone else; and if he encouraged others to speak in tongues much; and if he told the Christian Church not to forbid speaking in tongues, it becomes quite evident to the Christian believer how vital speaking in tongues really is.

Peter and Paul were the pillars of the early Church. An important part of their life was speaking in tongues. It was a big deal for them. If we are to model our lives after great men like Peter and Paul, then speaking in tongues will be a most desirous action. The one man every Christian person would want to emulate is Jesus Christ. Remember he told his followers that they would be doing great signs and miracles, including speaking in tongues (Mark 16:17). You, too, can speak in tongues like Peter and Paul did. Their example is proof enough of how speaking in tongues is so dynamic and beneficial.

Benefits of Speaking in Tongues

You will discover that speaking in tongues is one of the most exhilarating, soul satisfying acts you will do. As you learn the many benefits of speaking in tongues, you will also rejoice in the privilege God has set before the Church that they could have such a beautiful means of communicating with Him and praying for others.

To know that you are a child of God and a joint heir of Jesus Christ

No greater feeling have I ever experienced than realizing I was born again, a child of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. When I spoke in tongues for the first time, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I belonged to the Heavenly Father. There was no denying it because I was speaking in tongues.

Speaking in tongues was proof enough for the Apostle Peter and his Judean followers that Cornelius and his family, in spite of being Gentiles, were born again. They heard them speak in tongues. They could not deny the concrete proof of speaking in tongues.

Romans 8:16 and 17a:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;

The only act of the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit is speaking in tongues. What a wonderful reality our Heavenly Father has put into place by which we can have the proof in the senses realm of the spiritual reality of being a son of God and a joint heir with Christ.

To edify or build you up

One of the great benefits of speaking in tongues is it edifies you. I cannot count the many times my heart would be troubled and I would speak in tongues and be encouraged.  The world is always trying to tear us down. God's manifestation of speaking in tongues is always there to build us up.
 
I 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, (which means speaking in tongues)

To speak to God directly and speak divine secrets

People today want to talk directly to God and they want to hear from Him. This is exactly what speaking in tongues does. It is the spirit in you speaking to God.

I 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 [divine
secrets].

How incredible is our Heavenly Father to allow us to speak mysteries or divine secrets with Him. That is exactly what the above verse is declaring. We have direct access to God Almighty. It is our spirit talking to God who is Spirit (John 4:24).

To speak the wonderful works of God

God's Word declares that when we speak in tongues, we are speaking the language of men or angels (I Corinthians 13:1). The speaker does not know what he or she are saying, but as one speaks, God has designed it that one is speaking the wonderful works of God. We are not speaking wasteful words of gossip or other nondescript words, but we are speaking the wonderful works of God. How loving it is of our Heavenly Father to allow us to speak this way.

Acts 2:11:
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

To magnify God

When a person wants to express himself to someone he really loves, he may come to find it difficult to come up with the appropriate words. We love our Heavenly Father so much and desire to say just the right words to praise Him. When we speak in tongues, we are speaking words that magnify Him. What a privilege we have to express ourselves in the best manner possible by speaking in tongues.

Acts 10:46:
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

To pray perfectly

There are many times we do not know what to say in prayer. Our infirmity is that we just can't come up with the correct words to say. When we speak in tongues, our prayer is perfect because it is that perfect spirit from God praying. We are so fortunate to have this lever of prayer when we pray for others and come before the Father. It is the spirit that makes intercession for us according to the will of God. That has to be perfect, because the spirit of the perfect God gives us the words to speak through the spirit abiding in us.

Romans 8:26 and 27:
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.
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.

To worship God truly with the spirit

There are a number of ways in the Old Testament that God was worshipped. These include: singing, praising, giving thanks, and magnifying Him to name a few. Jesus Christ in the New Testament introduced another preferred way of worshipping God.

John 4:23 and 24:
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.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

According to E.W. Bullinger in Figures of speech Used in the Bible, the words "in spirit and in truth" in verses 23 and 24 are figure of speech called hendiadys, in which two words are used but only one thing is meant. Bullinger translates verse 24: "They that worship God, who is spirit, must worship Him with the spirit, yes – really and truly with the spirit."

How can a person worship God with the spirit? The only way logically is speaking in tongues. We have already seen the phrase "praying in the spirit," which indicates speaking in tongues. When you speak in tongues you are speaking not unto men but to God (I Corinthians 14:2). Other Scriptures within this chapter indicates speaking in tongues magnifies God, gives thanks well to God. It makes sense that to worship God with the spirit would have to be speaking in tongues. Philippians refers to worship in the spirit.

Philippians 3:3:
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ
Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

People talk about doing worship services, which usually means singing or praising. This is nice, but what really turns on our Heavenly Father is worshipping Him truly in the spirit which is speaking in tongues.

To give thanks well

The more I learn of God's awesome love for us, my heart pours out with appreciation. What more thanks can I express, then to use what He has given to me? What touches the heart of a parent is to observe their children utilizing the gifts that we give them. This is so true with the Heavenly Father. Someone once said, "God's heart melts when He hears us speaking in tongues."

I Corinthians 14:17
For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified
(Verse 15 "…I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also:) This helps see that verse 17 is connected with praying in the spirit, which is speaking in tongues.

The least we can do is speak in tongues much giving Him thanks well.

To have the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit

The one action God designated, that demonstrates that the spirit is in us, is speaking in tongues. God did not leave the spirit-filled believer without any tangible witness of His presence in us. The spirit bearing witness with our spirit is speaking in tongues.

Romans 8:16:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

We have the assurance of knowing the spirit of God resides in us. Hearing yourself speak in tongues verifies in your heart of the spiritual realities of what God's Word declares. You have the proof that is undeniable. It matches up to the Word of God.

To make intercession in your prayer life for situations and for the believers

This aspect of speaking in tongues is astounding. We can get a picture of someone in our mind and then speak in tongues for them. It is perfect prayer in the spirit for others. There may be a situation you do not know what is going on, but there is a concern and need for prayer. Instead of worrying about trying to find out what is going on, we just pray in the spirit or speak in tongues and it is covered. God is so gracious by allowing us to just speak in tongues and then He does the rest.

Romans 8:26 and 27:
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.
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.

Ephesians 6:18:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching
thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The power of this kind of prayer is magnified in the above verse in Ephesians 6:18. Reading the context of this part of God's Word we witness that we are in a spiritual battle. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness …" (Ephesians 6:12). The next several verses are the encouragement to "…take unto you the whole armour of God…" (Ephesians 6:13). What is so remarkable is that after putting on all the pieces of the armor the one great act we do is pray in the spirit, which is to speak in tongues. This is how immensely powerful manifesting speaking in tongues is!

To be a sign to unbelievers

Unfortunately today, when anyone hears someone speak in tongues, people question, "what is this weird activity?" This is how bad our world has gotten. For those who are hungry for the truth, it will perk up their curiosity to check it out. For those who will not believe, this will seem crazy. For those who will believe, it is a sign of the spirit of God in manifestation.

I Corinthians 14:22:
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that
believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them
which believe.

Mark 16:17:
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out
devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Acts 2:11:
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Jesus Christ declared that the sign to look for would be speaking in tongues (Mark 16:17). People ought to listen to our Lord and Savior and heed his words. When the visitors to Jerusalem witnessed these Galileans speaking their language, it perked up their soul and got them to listen.

It is a rest and a refreshing to the soul, because it is a sign of having salvation in Christ

Hundreds of years prior to the Day of Pentecost, it was prophesied that there would be a language spoken that would sound like stammering lips. The results of people speaking like this would actually bring a rest and a refreshing to the soul.

Isaiah 28:11 and 12:
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Paul refers to this Isaiah record while writing I Corinthians 14:21 and 22.

I Corinthians 14:21,22a:
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto
this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
Wherefore tongues are for a sign,…

The record in Isaiah was a prophesy foretelling that speaking in tongues would be the rest and the refreshing. Paul was demonstrating this truth in I Corinthians 14:21 and 22. What was occurring during Isaiah's time was that the leaders of Judah were ridiculing Isaiah for treating them like children. They were promoting their works above God's. As a result the children of Israel could not enter into the rest God promised them because of their unbelief.

Today, speaking in tongues is the proof to the believers that they have made Jesus Lord of their lives and have entered into God's rest. We have ceased from our works trying to reconcile ourselves back to God and have recognized the full and complete salvation work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. As a result of God's grace and mercy we have entered into the family of God. As we speak in tongues we are reminded of this and therefore have the rest and refreshing of God.

To bring a message from God or for God (when interpreted) to the people that are gathered in a group

Speaking in tongues is a part of another manifestation that brings an edifying message to the listeners, that will comfort or exhort them. The following verses demonstrate what exactly this wonderful manifestation does and how it is to operate in the Church.

I Corinthians 14:5, 13, 27:
I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
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.

The purpose of the manifestation of prophesy is similar to the purpose of the manifestation of tongues with interpretation. If someone speaks in tongues in a meeting, that person should interpret the message as God gives them the interpretation. The message is not for the individual, but solely for the body of believers as they fellowship and meet together. This manifestation of prophecy builds up the listeners with its message as does the manifestation of interpretation of tongues.

To experience possible health benefits

There have been several research studies that suggest benefits to the immune system during speaking in tongues.  Other studies have indicated very interesting brain activity during speaking in tongues.  As intriguing as these studies are, more studies are needed to verify or confirm the findings.  I would not be surprised to find that such benefits are true (they certainly fit with what God's Word states), but they would only be one small part of the benefits of speaking in tongues.

The mental health that comes with the assurance of knowing you are born again of God's spirit and that you have a proof that is undeniable, can't help but give a person a wonderful feeling. To know you are rich with Christ within and you are heaven bound and all hell cannot stop you from going, definitely gives you confidence and peace.

Conclusion

It is amazing how much speaking in tongues benefits the believer. Peter and Paul spoke in tongues much and experienced its benefits in their ministries. Jesus Christ would not have foretold of speaking in tongues unless there was a significant purpose for it (Mark 16:17).

My prayer is that believers will experience the many astounding benefits of speaking in tongues. My prayer is that through speaking in tongues they will experience the reality of knowing they are children of God and a joint heirs with Jesus Christ; that they will be edified; that they realize they are speaking directly to God and speaking divine secrets to Him; that they know they are speaking the wonderful works of God; that they know they are magnifying the Father; that they are praying perfectly; that they are giving thanks well; that they realize they have the witness of the spirit within; that they can make intercession in their prayer life for situations and for other people; that they show themselves to be a sign to unbelievers; that they have the rest and refreshing to their souls; that they can also operate the manifestation of tongues with interpretation; and that they experience possible health benefits. May the truth of God's Word prevail in your life. May you speak in tongues much!