Tongues are the most misunderstood and misused gift of the Holy Spirit.
When this subject is mentioned most people think immediately of the other tongues spoken on the day of Pentecost. that were heard from the upper room when the dwellers of the upper room were FILLED with the Holy Ghost/Spirit. The New Testament mentions four kinds of tongues and The Gift of Tongues. Two of them were manifested in the upper room experience. The four kinds of tongues are:1.Cloven 2.Other 3.New and 4.Unknown. Each has it’s purpose and will be used by The Holy Spirit for the benefit of an individual or a group of people.
“Tongue-shaped, flame-like appearances, rising from a common center or root, and resting upon each of that large company in The Upper Room, a beautiful visible symbol of the burning energy of the Spirit now descending in all His full plenitude upon the Church, and about to pour itself through every tongue, and over every tribe of men under heaven!”(Jameson, Fausset &Brown Commentary). This was a onetime event seen only by those present in the Upper room when The Holy Spirit filled each one of them (Acts 2:3-5)
II. Other Tongues: The unlearned languages given by The Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:5-8) it was 17 different ones.
III. .New Tongues: Very similar to Other Tongues but given by The Holy Spirit to individual believers to benefit a person or persons of another language. Very often given to missionaries when they first go into a foreign country. Also given to individual believers to witness to others of foreign decent that may be encountered at work, school or other public places or meetings.
IV. Unknown Tongues: This tongue is given by the Holy Spirit to individual believers. If it comes publicly to benefit the body an interpreter will Always be present and come forthwith the interpretation. (I Cor. 14:27-28). The Unknown tongue is primarily for a believers self edification (I Cor. 14:4a) and communication with God.(I Cor. 14:1-2)
V. The Gift of Tongues: The gift of Tongues will be given by The Holy Spirit in either of the four types and. is “for a sign to them that believe not.” ( I Cor. 14:22) To exercise the gift when unbelievers are not present would be exercising the gift above the purpose for which it was given. If used like this it is not inspired by The Holy Spirit There are those that believe speaking in tongues is the sign that verifies to other believers that you have been saved and that speaking and praying in Tongues often is sign of a high level of spirituality. Neither of these beliefs are supported in Scripture. This gift just as all the others is not given to all that have received the baptism of The Holy Spirit. ( I Cor. 12:28-30)
Tongues should be active within the believers life and within the church but if they are misused and abused they can be a hindrance to the spiritual and numerical growth of the church. Allow The Holy Spirit to use your life and your speech to glorify God and be a blessing to others