The Benefits And Purpose Of True Worship
[The Manifestation Of Speaking In Tongues]
(A prerequisite to this teaching is to first read "What Is True Worship?")
Now that we know that speaking in tongues is true worship, we must go to the Word to more fully understand the benefits and detailed purpose of this powerful manifestation of the gift of Holy Spirit.
Overall, the Bible highlights twelve (12) BENEFITS of Speaking In Tongues. We will examine each one in detail.
1. TO EDIFY YOU. I Corinthians 14: 4 -- He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
We must understand where we are edified. We are edified IN THE SPIRIT-- built up in the spirit. We are spiritually encouraged and edified by speaking in tongues in our private prayer life. It's magnificence encourages us to improve our spiritual walk. We are not made stronger in the renewed mind but it takes a disciplined renewed mind to speak in tongues. When we pray in the spirit, our understanding is bypassed. It does not edify the mind, but our spirit. The more you speak in tongues in your private prayer life, the more built up, spiritually, you will become.
2. TO SPEAK TO GOD DIVINE SECRETS. 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].
Wouldn't you like to speak to God divine secrets? That's what the Word says you are doing when you speak in tongues. Remember, your understanding is bypassed. You are speaking a perfect language, either of men or of angels. You are doing the speaking but what you speak is God's business. That you speak is your business.
3. TO SPEAK THE WONDERFUL WORKS OF GOD. Acts 2: 11 -- Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
This was the miracle of Pentecost. So many of the people present UNDERSTOOD the language the apostles spoke even though the apostles did not understand what they were speaking. That is why speaking in tongues is either the language of men somewhere on earth or of angels. They were speaking the wonderful works of God and that is what we speak when we speak in tongues.
Also, you finally have a good example of how words in italics that are added by the translators can be erroneous. Look back at I Corinthians 14: 2 and 4. The translators have the word "unknown" in italics and that is an error. If speaking in tongues can be possibly understood somewhere on earth, then it is not an unknown tongue, is it? You can scratch out the word 'unknown' in I Corinthians 14: 2 and 4 and now the Word of God fits without any discrepancies. All words in italics were added by the translators in the King James Version. They were not in any Greek or Aramaic text or manuscript and are not part of the original God-breathed Word.
4. TO MAGNIFY GOD. Acts 10: 46a -- For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. . . . . . . .
Many that were present with Peter were astonished because this was the first time the Gentiles had spoken in tongues. There are two (2) usages of the word 'receive' in God's Word with two completely distinct and different meanings. When a believer is born again, he receives [dechomai - objectively] the gift of holy spirit. But when a believer speaks in tongues, it is said that he then receives [lambano - subjectively] holy spirit IN MANIFESTATION. Very many believers dechomai but never lambano holy spirit simply because they don't believe in speaking in tongues or have never been taught how to speak in tongues. It is God's Will for every believer to lambano the gift of holy spirit and to speak in tongues and therefore MAGNIFY GOD.
5. TO PRAY PERFECTLY. [There is no selfishness in praying in tongues.] Romans 8: 26, 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 [God] that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind [phronema - thoughts] of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
This is all in regards to our prayer life. The Word does say that we are to pray with our understanding AND by the spirit. However, we cannot pray a selfish prayer when we speak in tongues. IT IS PERFECT PRAYER. When we pray with our understanding, we cannot pray perfectly. In most cases, if not all, you are better off to pray for someone by speaking in tongues for them. But, remember God still expects us to pray with our understanding also. We need to do both but only speaking in tongues is perfect prayer. [see I Corinthians 14: 15]
6. TO GIVE THANKS WELL. I Corinthians 14: 17 -- For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
Look at the next verse concerning the Apostle Paul: I Corinthians 14: 18 -- I thank my God, I speak with [in] tongues more than ye all:
It simply melts God's heart when we speak in tongues. It shows commitment and believing and it is giving thanks to God for all that He has done for us. You CANNOT be negative in any way when you are THANKFUL. The Apostle Paul spoke in tongues more than anyone at that time in his private prayer life and he received the greatest revelation from God.
7. TO HAVE THE SPIRIT BEARING WITNESS WITH OUR SPIRIT. Romans 8: 16 -- The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Let me quote The New English Bible translation which helps us in our understanding of the verse:
New English Translation: Romans 8: 16 -- In that cry the Spirit of God joins with our spirit in testifying that we are God's children;
When we speak in tongues, God's Spirit speaks to our spirit, not to our mind. Then we, as a result of our believing, move our mouth, throat and tongue and speak in a language either of men or of angels. Our understanding is bypassed but the language we speak is a perfect language. It is truly a miracle. We can speak in tongues whenever we will. We can start or stop whenever we want. The true God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ NEVER oversteps a believer's free will. It's the other god that controls and possesses, never our Heavenly Father.
***Now let me take a minute to point out an important distinction that should be made concerning the Giver and His gift. It just so happens that in Romans 8: 16, the correct upper and lower case letters are used concerning Spirit [the GIVER] and spirit [the GIFT]. In many other verses, this is not the case. A distinction needs to be made in regards to the GIVER AND THE GIFT and to make this distinction, you will see that it can easily be made by using a capital letter (upper case) when referring to God (i.e. Spirit) and a lower case letter (i.e. spirit) when referring to the gift of holy spirit we receive when we are born again. This way we will not confuse the giver and the gift. When we refer to our spirit, it should be written with a lower case 's'. When referring to God as Holy Spirit, it is then written with an upper case 'S'. Remember, there were no capital letters in any ancient Bible text, so the addition of them is private interpretation. However, we are using upper and lower case letters in a manner that helps us to more clearly understand the Word by using a simple method to distinguish the giver [GOD] from His gift of holy spirit. In Romans 8: 18, the use of upper and lower case letters is correct. Let's go to the verse one more time:
Romans 8: 16 -- The Spirit [God, the giver -- upper case 'S'] itself beareth witness with our spirit [the gift -- lower case 's'], that we are the children of God:
Now let's get back to more benefits of SIT.
8. TO KNOW YOU ARE A JOINT-HEIR WITH CHRIST. Romans 8: 17 -- And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
The only real PROOF you have in the senses world that you are born again of God's spirit is that you speak in tongues. This manifestation is our proof that we are heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus Christ. This is truly abundance. We, as Church members in the Body of Christ, share fully in everything which Christ has inherited and therefore, we have tremendous wealth. Older Aramaic texts of Colossians state the following:
Colossians 2: 10a -- [TEXT] -- And ye are completely, completely, absolutely complete in him, . . . . . . . .
How then can we be lacking anything?
9. TO STRENGHTEN YOU WITH MIGHT IN YOUR INNER MAN. Ephesians 3: 16 -- That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
II Corinthians 4: 16 -- For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish [is dying], yet the inward man is renewed day by day [by speaking in tongues].
Speaking In Tongues makes us stronger spiritually. It does not build up the mind -- that's why we study the Word. Speaking in tongues strengthens our spirit while studying the Word of God strengthens our mind. Even though our physical body is perishing, our inward man, our spirit, is being renewed if we are speaking in tongues. If you want to be spiritually strong and aware, you need to speak in tongues much in your private prayer life. The more you speak in tongues in your private prayer life, the more dynamic your life will be. When God sees that you are building up yourself spiritually, He will trust you with greater and greater revelation just as He did with the Apostle Paul who spoke with tongues "more than ye all."
10. IT IS A SIGN TO UNBELIEVERS. 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;
There are two types of unbelief mentioned in the Word. One is Apistia and the other is Apeitheia. A believer who has APISTIA unbelief is one who has had some instruction and teaching but not sufficiently to fully believe. He can be referred to as an UNBELIEVING BELIEVER.
The second type of unbelief, APEITHEIA, is referring to an UNbeliever who has been fully instructed and taught but REFUSES TO BELIEVE.
In I Corinthians 14: 22 above, the word "unbeliever" is Apistia but remember he is an "unbelieving believer". He still has some doubt and needs more instruction for him to fully believe. [Review the definitions] This person needs to hear someone speak in tongues and interpret to know and assure himself that there is power in believers and in the rightly divided and applied Word of God. When someone sees and hears the manifestations of Holy Spirit operated decently and in order, IT IS A SIGN of the true power of God. I remember the first fellowship I attended where someone spoke in tongues and that same person interpreted. I approached that person later and asked him if that was French that he spoke. When I learned what really took place later after the meeting, it was truly a sign for me. I never forgot it and I too wanted to speak in tongues and manifest the power of Holy Spirit in my life.
11. IT IS REST TO THE SOUL. Isaiah 28: 11, 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.
12. TO BRING A MESSAGE FROM GOD OR FOR GOD TO THE PEOPLE. IT MUST BE INTERPRETED BECAUSE IT WOULD BE IN PUBLIC. I Corinthians 14: 4, 5 -- He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 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 [make plain], that the church may receive edifying.
I Corinthians 14: 13 -- Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray [believe] that he may interpret.
I Corinthians 14: 27, 28 -- If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course [in order]; and let one [heis - that same one] interpret. But if there be no interpreter [if he lacks the will to interpret], let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
These verses offer a course in the proper operation of the manifestations of speaking in tongues and prophesy. Many churches wrongly divide these verses. The person in a public prayer meeting who speaks in tongues out loud MUST INTERPRET what he or she speaks. If another person attempts to interpret, they are giving forth a word of prophesy. This is not decent and in order according to the Word of God.
I Corinthians 14: 40 – Let all things be done decently and in order.
"THAT SAME ONE" MUST GIVE THE INTERPRETATION as is clearly stated in verse 27. If he lacks the believing to interpret, he must keep silent. I have seen this take place when a person was 'new' at operating the manifestations or it was their first time. No more than three (3) people should speak in tongues and interpret at a fellowship. Interpretation of tongues is NEVER premeditated. It is NOT revelation. It is inspired utterance.
The message brought forth is always from God or for God. It is never guidance or instruction but words of encouragement and edification and is ONLY for the believers present at that prayer meeting. For example, a believer may speak in tongues and then give the interpretation which may be: "I am your God and Father and I love you dearly and hold you always in the palms of my hands". The coordinator of the meeting will call on certain fully instructed believers to operate the manifestations of Holy Spirit. It's truly a magnificent experience to be present at a meeting conducted according to God's Word. And what a privilege to be called on to operate speaking in tongues and interpretation in a public believer's meeting.
This is the twelfth great benefit and purpose of operating the manifestation of speaking in tongues. It is my prayer to God for you that you speak in tongues much in your private prayer life with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation until the glorious return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.