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Written by Patrick Hawthorne for “SGM” @ http://servinggrace.com
Tongues…The Misunderstood Language (Part 2)
By Patrick Hawthorne
In Tongues…The Misunderstood Language (Part 1) I wrote that, in the Word, there are four distinct operations of tongues. Two are for personal edification and two are for public ministry. The two that are for personal edification involve man speaking to God while the other two involve God speaking through man to man. As a reminder, the four operations are,
Tongues for personal edification (Man speaking to God)
Tongues for intercession (Man speaking to God)
Gift of Tongues with Interpretation (God speaking through man to man – Public Ministry)
Tongues for a sign to unbelievers (God speaking through man to man – Public Ministry)
In this post I would like to explain why I believe it is to every believer’s benefit to speak in a prayer language. Please note that I am only addressing the first two operations of speaking in tongues that are used for personal edification or for intercession.
Even Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:29-30 “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?” Obviously, the answer to these questions is “No.” However, in light of learning that there are four distinct operations, he is referring to tongues for public ministry.
As for tongues for personal edification his response is, “I wish you all spoke with tongues…” (1 Corinthians 14:5.) I understand that not all will agree with me. That is fine. We can agree to disagree while at the same time remain brothers or sisters in Christ.
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries (spiritual truths.)
(1 Corinthians 14:1-2 NKJV underline/parenthesis mine).