Spiritual Gifts Series Part 9- The Gift of Divers Tongues

Episode 65

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Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

Diver’s tongues are ‘supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit in a language the speaker has never learned.’ This language is not understood by the speaker and has absolutely nothing to do with linguistic ability. Divers tongues is truly a supernatural gift for the edification of the hearer. Although Paul was a polyglot, he recognized the true value of this supernatural gift within congregations who spoke different languages. Carl takes the time to clearly define Divers tongues and how it differs from tongues for private edification. Join him now…

Here is a complete transcript of the podcast (below)…

Let’s continue our study of the nine spiritual gifts and today we will discuss the gift of diver’s kinds of tongues. Let’s read our key passage once more:

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Now friend, I will tell you right up front, this has to be one of the most misunderstood of the nine gifts of the Spirit and I hope to clarify some of this in our short time together. Some people think tongues are “of the devil” or passed away from this dispensation. Friend, this is a lie and originated by religious people who know no better. Did you notice in the KJV that the word “Divers” was italicized? That means it wasn’t in the original Greek language but was added by the translators at the time. Actually, in its pure literal translation it reads, “to another, kinds of tongues.” In another scripture the Apostle Paul did say in 1st Corinthians 12:28,28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” So, Paul does mention diversities of tongues in another scripture, or different kinds of tongues as part of the Spirits manifestation.

Of the three utterance gifts, tongues is the most prominent for Pentecostal or charismatic people but not commonly found in other denominations because we acknowledge the outpouring of the Holy Spirit Baptism with tongues as the initial evidence of that outpouring. Some have asked why we place so much emphasis on tongues but we do not. Truth, is we get asked about tongues by others who are curious about the topic or don’t pray the way we do. Second, tongues are the initial physical evidence of being baptized in the Holy Ghost and there is no other evidence, save prophecy in rare instances. Third, utterance in tongues in public assembly is perhaps the most frequently manifested Gif of the Spirit in Charismatic circles but it can also be the most abused gift. Fourth, tongues and interpretation are distinct gifts granted to the Church Age and uniquely for our dispensation, as they’re not mentioned in the OT. You won’t find any of the OT prophets, Kings or priests praying in tongues or interpreting for that matter. In fact, all the other nine gifts of the Spirit were in manifestation in the OT except tongues and interpretation and in the ministry of Jesus Christ, he too operated in all nine gifts except tongues and interpretation.

By definition, Diver’s kind of tongues is supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit in languages never learned by the speaker, nor understood by the speaker, nor necessarily understood by the hearer. Speaking in tongues has nothing whatsoever to do with linguistic ability. It’s well known that the Apostle Paul likely spoke at least five languages during his ministry and these would include Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Latin and possibly Spanish. We can debate all day about his ability as a polyglot, but when Paul spoke in tongues, which the scripture testifies, it was not in any earthly language. Speaking in tongues has nothing to do with natural ability or the intellect of man; it’s a vocal miracle of the Holy Spirit, as the Holy Spirit wills it, through our mouths, as we give utterance.

The greatest example of Divers tongues would be the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit Baptism in Acts chapter 2 verses 2 thru 12:

“On the day of Pentecost* all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.”

“They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” 12 They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.”

In this example each person supernaturally heard and understood the language of their origin when the Galileans were praying in tongues and to top that, the Galileans didn’t know those languages themselves, thus it was supernatural! This is Divers tongues in public ministry by the purest definition because each person understood their known language, without the need for an interpreter. This manifestation is very rare indeed. When Paul said, do all pray in tongues in 1st Corinthians 12:30 he was talking about this public ministry gift. It’s important to note that there is a difference between praying in tongues in public and private. If one demonstrates tongues in public, it should be generally be interpreted because if it isn’t, it can cause confusion. Some ministers down the years have prayed in tongues, but the hearer heard, Spanish or Japanese or Hebrew etc. without the need for an interpreter. This is diver’s kinds of tongues in operation in the modern day. However, when we pray in tongues in our private devotional time there are many benefits for doing so as the Bible makes clear and I will cover some of these now:

1. When we pray in tongues we speak mysteries to God – 1 Cor 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.” In the Moffatt’s translation it says, “he’s talking divine secrets”. Therefore, one of the reasons, for speaking in tongues is so that men may speak mysteries supernaturally to God. And what is that exactly? We don’t know friend; it is a mystery.

2. We magnify God when we speak in tongues, “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” Acts 10:46. So speaking in tongues is a means of magnifying God.

3. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself (1 Cor 14:4). The word edifiy is the same word we use for edifice, so when we speak with tongues, we are building ourselves up, brick by brick, so to speak, in the faith.

4. And finally, when we pray in tongues friend, our faith is built up according to Jude 20.

Did you notice that there were a few signs that are supposed to follow those who believe upon the name of Jesus? Let’s Read Mark 16:15-18 together, shall we? And Jesus said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Christ revealed several signs in this passage of those who believe upon his name and one of those signs is speaking in tongues. Do you speak with tongues friend? You might say what an odd question, why would I want to do that? Well Jesus just spoke to you; he said that there should be some signs following you as a Christian. Do you have some signs following you, my friend? What if I were to tell you that the Apostle Paul who wrote almost 2/3rds of the New Testament, spoke with tongues? 1st Corinthians 14:18 reads, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: ” Many people are just afraid of the gifts of the spirit and tongues in particular and I understand that because to move in these gifts requires courage because it’s a step into the supernatural realm. Some people are content to play it safe with God, but without power from on High, you’ll be missing out unfortunately as your witness for Christ will be limited. The most common rebuttal we receive on this topic is the statement by Paul, that there is no need for tongues today because he said, ‘that which is perfect is come’ and that is supposedly the Bible. But friend, ‘that which is perfect’ is Jesus himself, at his 2nd coming not the Bible; let’s look at the passage together, 1st Corinthians 13:10:

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

So, if you think tongues have ceased today friend, let me ask you this, has knowledge passed away too? No, it has not. We need knowledge today and prophecies and tongues because these are for the church age. If ‘that which is perfect’, is supposed to be the bible in this passage, then it contains knowledge, so clearly, it’s not time for that to pass away either. People will fight tongues tooth and nail because they don’t understand it and even far worse, they will blaspheme the Holy Spirit by making the claim that ‘tongues is of the devil’.

Be very careful friend of making this accusation. Why? Because by definition, to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to attribute the works of the Holy Spirit to the devil and that is what a person does when they wrongly, claim that tongues is of the devil. For others those that speak in tongues are reserved only for snake handlers, with personal hygiene issues and furry feet. Some people look down on people who speak in tongues as simply uneducated. It’s true that God causes the foolish things to confound the wise and there was a time when Pentecostals were warned against education because they feared the Holy Spirit would be quenched, but this these things have changed today friend. Use me as a case in point. I was raised in an Anglican Background in the UK. I experienced dry and dusty religion for many years. I came to the US, was born again on June 9th, 1999 and on June 27th, 18 days later I was baptized with the Holy Spirit and evidence of speaking in tongues. My life has never been the same and I have no regrets. I have seen various miraculous ‘healings,’ by God’s Spirit, along with my wife who has been Spirit filled also.

Let me share with you briefly how this came about. I was going to be baptized in water ion June 27th, and when my head came out of the water, my lips began to stammer, uncontrollably. Initially I thought this was odd because the water was warm and I knew I shouldn’t be stammering. But this is biblical friend, Isaiah 28:11 says “with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” So, this young Chinese missionary approached me and asked, “would you like to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?” I must admit, I wasn’t totally sure what he meant, but in my heart, I knew I was to follow him. He then proceeded to lay hands on my stomach and when he did, I felt a warm loving sensation come into my heart. He then motioned his hands upward, slowly towards my mouth. It was as if my belly was about to burst unless I got the words out. As soon as his hands touched my mouth, a supernatural language came out. It was like a raging river, flowing through me, bursting to get out and its manifestation rolled over my tongue in this beautiful language. If you have this knowing feeling on the inside of you friend, that there’s something else that God has for you, that perhaps you’re missing out on something, then you’re right. Call it the second blessing or whatever you want, but there is an additional encounter with the Holy Ghost subsequent to your salvation, that God desires for you. If this were not true, Jesus wouldn’t have told his disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the Promise of the Father, which is to be endued with Power from on high (Luke 24:43).

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