Speaking In Tongues & Gifts of Tongues Bible Study

What Are Gifts Of Tongues?

What book are they reading? Many Christians are confusing speaking in tongues with the gifts of tongues; are they the same thing? Who speaks in tongues and who has the gifts of tongues? Today we’ll look into this in-depth.

If this is your first time here, my name is Leroy Daley.

If you rather to watch the video of this Bible Study, click this link.

Welcome to my blog. Here, I utilize scriptures to explicate scriptures. I use the Word to explain the Word. I do not teach opinions. Thanks for stopping by and let us dive right into it.

Speaking in Tongues vs. Gifts of Tongues

How is speaking in tongues different from the gifts of tongues? First, who utilizes the gifts of tongues are totally different from who speak in tongues.

Gifts of tongues are a corporate phenomenon; they are spiritual gifts given to the body of Christ for the edification of the church, they are corporate, they are for the entire body of Christ.

All these spiritual gifts are found in 1Corinthians 12 -14 and I’m going to read from the King James Version of the Bible and I read from 1 Corinthians 12:28.

Gifts of Tongues Pentecostal?

And God had set some in the church”; note God had placed these in the church, not man, thus speaking in tongues is not a doctrine of man it’s a doctrine from God.

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” (1 Corinthians 12:28).

So, this is God’s structure, this is God’s hierarchy for the leadership of the church, this is not for the pews.

But note what’s in the leadership, diversities of tongues; and that’s the gifts of the diversity of tongues or gifts of tongues.

That is one of the spiritual gifts of the church. But we will also realize that these are offices of the church.

There are nine different offices in the church. The primary purpose of these gifts really is for the edification of the church.

The Rogue Church

Now let me give a little background information here concerning this church. The Corinthian church was a rogue church.

They are Gentiles who have become Christians but they were not following Christian principles according to the teachings of Apostle Paul and the teachings of the Church.

So Paul through these two Epistles or letters (1 and 2 Corinthians) was trying to instill order and structure, a spiritual structure within the church, through these letters; hence 1 and 2 Corinthians.

Who was Paul addressing in this Epistle? The Corinthian Church and its leaders.

If I were, to inform every Christian leader that every born again believer must speak in tongues to qualify as a Christian, many would say the Bible doesn’t teach that.

But that is exactly what the Bible teaches. This is not denominational, it has nothing to do with Pentecostal, this is Bible, this is what John 3 spoke about; you must be born again.

I have done a video, “Ye Must Be Born Again“, which will explain the born-again process and what happens when we are born again.

Speaking In Tongues

So, most people when they talk about speaking in tongues they first refer to 1 Corinthians 12 and they are going to tell you, Oh, Paul questions whether all speak in tongues or all interpret.

But Paul wasn’t addressing the general pews. He wasn’t throwing out those questions to the general congregation.

Instead, he was addressing the headship of the church, the apostles, the prophets and all of them because they were not in their proper place and moreover these gifts are distributed to the headship, not to the pews, because the Lord doesn’t edify the church via the pews but via the leadership.

So this was a church without active leadership. This was a church where these leaders were, as it was, missing, they weren’t operational.

But this very scripture, 1 Corinthians 12:29-30, here would contradict Mark 16:17.

How can we be Believers and not speak in tongues? We cannot! Every Believer speaks in tongues.

According to Apostle Mark,

Do All Speak With Tongues?

And these signs shall follow them that believe, in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17).

And it goes on, so these are signs that follow believers and by them, we know that whomever these signs follow are believers.

Yes, it’s important. So if you’re a believer and you have never spoken in tongues, something is wrong.

But this scripture is in total contrast to 1 Corinthians 12:29-30; do all speak with tongues?

Of course, all speak with tongues. If you are born again, you must speak with tongues. How would you know when the Holy Ghost came?

So in this verse, Paul was not asking if the entire church speaks in tongues.

Instead, he was rhetorically asking if the entire leadership had the gifts of tongues, and we know that the entire leadership does not have the gifts of tongues because the Lord gives “severally” to each person (1 Corinthians 12:11).

However, there are many leaders in the church, in the Body of Christ, who have multiple gifts.

For example, take an apostle, a true apostle is first an apostle, but he is also a prophet, he is an evangelist, he works miracles, he has diversities of tongues, and gifts of healing.

Contradiction In Scriptures?

So you find in one office you will find that a believer who is an apostle will operate in many different offices although that believer’s main and predominant function is an apostle.

But he will operate in different areas.

Nevertheless, we know that there is no contradiction in scriptures.

Because all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God.

Let us read second Timothy three, verses sixteen to seventeen.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Who Has Gifts of Tongues?

So, if all scriptures came by the inspiration of God, where are the contradictions? Because there’s no contradiction in God.

If everybody didn’t speak in tongues Mark 16:17 would contradict 1 Corinthians 12:28.

But it doesn’t because every born-again Believer speaks in tongues.

So, Paul wasn’t addressing the pews right there, he was addressing the leaders.

Compare all the questions in 1Corinthians 12:29-30 with the offices named in verse 28 and see how they match up perfectly.

Yes, that will show you that he wasn’t really addressing the pews when he asked if all speak with tongues?

According to verse eight, that means do all have diversity of tongues; or do all possess gifts of tongues?

No, the entire leadership does not have those gifts. But person or persons on the leadership-team will possess them.

The structure of God’s Church has not changed! It’s the same since the first century.

Purposes of Spiritual Gifts Like Gifts of Tongues?

So why is the operations of spiritual gifts for leaders? Because they are the ones God gave these gifts to.

Therefore, when Jesus ascended into heaven, he gave gifts to men.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men” (Ephesians 4:8).

Who are these people that Christ gave gifts?

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11).

Why did Christ deliver these spiritual gifts to the leaders of his Church?

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).

These are the reasons the Lord Jesus entrusts the leaders of the Church with spiritual gifts.

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

So, there we have it! We know the reasons spiritual gifts, such as gifts of diversity of tongues, were given.

And we are aware to whom Christ gave them. Additionally, I’ve shown that the gifts of tongues are not operated by the general pews but by leaders, and I have shown that God instituted the speaking of tongues.

Who Manifests the Gifts of Tongues?

This came from God. Today, many Christians who teach on speaking in tongues have no experience with it; they have not spoken in tongues; they know nothing about it.

They are speaking from a perspective of somebody else’s point of view, no experience at all. So how can they really effectively teach about if they have never had any experience with him?

This doesn’t happen only to some people and others do not experience him.

Everybody has a similar encounter; for all the 120 brethren in the Upper Room received the Holy Ghost; not some of them and all spoke with tongue.

All the people in Cornelius’ household received the Holy Ghost and all spoke with tongues; not some of them.

All the 12 Ephesian brethren received the Holy Ghost, not some of them and all spoke with tongues.

This is not oh, some people speak and some don’t. Everybody who is born again must speak with tongues.

The manifestation of speaking in tongues in a corporate setting like the church is different from the manifestation of speaking in tongues in a personal setting, like at home in your private devotion.

The Church For Edification

Consequently, there’s a protocol, in the church, for speaking in tongues. If you are going to speak in tongue there must be an interpreter, another person, not you, somebody else, and if there is none you should be quiet.

Why? Because the church is for edification. But if there be no interpreter let him keep silent in the church and let him speak to himself unto God.

At home, he could be his own interpreter. He doesn’t need another person. So you see, Paul was contrasting the corporate with the personal. In the church, you need an interpreter, but at home, you need nobody. You could just speak in tongues as much as you want.

At home, he could be his own interpreter in a personal setting. Paul teaches, “wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret” (1 Corinthians 4:13).

He didn’t say that you need an interpreter.

He said pray that you may interpret; because you’re by yourself and the reason for that is that even though you’re speaking in tongue your understanding and the ability to comprehend is not benefiting when you’re speaking tongues but your spirit man is.

Spiritual Gifts For Whom?

It’s not that it’s not useful. Your spirit benefits because it’s your spirit that’s communicating with God. But naturally, cognitively, we don’t know what’s happening.

So Paul is saying pray that you interpret, and you will know what’s happening because we understand with the spirit and we understand with the mind. If any man speaks in an unknown tongue let it be by two or by most three and that by course and let one interpret.

So you see everybody shouldn’t be speaking in tongue all at once. But it’s not wrong if everybody does, but it shouldn’t happen, because the church is for edification; it will cause confusion.

But if it does happen, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong it’s just that they are not, it’s not even misuse. You must be wise because he that wins souls is wise. It’s not being wise.

Private Devotion & Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in tongues on a personal level in private devotion benefits only the speaker. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifies himself. So if it’s at home and you are in your devotion you edifying yourself, you’re benefitting only yourself – 1ST Corinthians 14:4. So the gifts of tongues are corporate gifts but speaking in tongues is both corporate and personal.

Not every believer has the gifts of tongues but every born again believer speaks in tongues. Every believer, when he or she is born again, speaks in tongues.

One of the main purposes of the initial speaking of tongues, when one receives the Holy Ghost, is for personal confirmation.

Speaking in tongues confirms for the “speaker” that the Holy Ghost has come.

This event confirms by ten thousand times ten thousand to the newborn Christian that the Holy Ghost has come to reside in that believer.

When Did You Receive the Holy Ghost?

Therefore this newborn believer will never forget the day and the time when he or she receives the Holy Ghost.

Ask a born-again Believer this question, ‘When did you receive the Holy Ghost’?

And that person will give you a day and a time because it’s a non-such experience that you’ll never forget as long as you live.

Even when you’re very old and drawing your last breath on your bed you will never forget the day that you received the Holy Ghost.

Have you ever wondered if you are really saved?

One of the reasons Jesus says, You must be born of Spirit is to avoid this doubt (John 3:5).

No person who received the Holy Ghost will ever wonder if he or she is saved. There’s no doubt! Such a person always knows that he or she is saved because of this experience.

Since June 1984, I have had no doubts that I am saved. None! I know.

Speaking in Tongues Achieve This

But all speaking in tongues by the Holy Ghost glorifies God. What do I mean by that? Whenever time a person is speaking in tongues; whenever time a born again person is speaking in tongues such a person is glorifying God.

Yes, such a person is glorifying God. Why do I say this? Look at Acts 2:11. On the day of Pentecost when those people spoke in tongues, what did the people who were standing by say?

They said Crete’s and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues, the wonderful works of God.

They were glorifying God, through different languages.

These are people from all over the world; yet we’re hearing them speaking our language, the wonderful works of God.

They were glorifying God.

And again in Acts 10:46 Cornelius’s experience, Peter and crew for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

Here again, magnification of God, the glorification of God, they were giving God glory. So every time we speak in tongues we glorify God as long as that speaking in tongues is motivated by the Holy Ghost.

Gifts of Tongues For Evangelism?

Now there’s another crazy thing going around that the gifts of tongues are for evangelism; meaning that you use gifts of tongues to evangelize to people who are of a different language and a language for which you have never studied and know nothing about. Garbage! It’s not in the Bible!

The experience that they are referring to is in Acts 2, the one I just mentioned.

Remember what I said before; to use any happening or action or event in the Bible as a principle, we need at least two witnesses, two examples.

This is the only example in the Bible where people were speaking different languages and others understand.

To evangelize a country the Lord Jesus saves people of that nationality.

So that these people from these respective countries will go and witness to their own people.

So, he sent Dutch people to go to the Dutch; French to go to the French, Portuguese to go to the Portuguese.

Using gifts of tongues for evangelism is not biblical but people say these things because they don’t understand it.

They say these things because they have no experience with speaking in tongues but this it’s never the case.

Anything is Possible With God

I’m not saying that there might not be instances when a person who has the Holy Ghost speaks in tongues and somebody in the congregation or within hearing of the tongues understand it because that person is of another language.

Anything is possible with God. But that is not the purpose of tongues and this tongues are for leaders, the diversity of tongues, it is not for the pews.

It’s not for everybody, it’s for the leadership of the church. They utilize it for the advancement and edification of the church.

These people understand not what they teach nor affirm, as Paul would say. They understand not what they are teaching.

Bible Study Tip

Let me give you a Bible study tip. Don’t be afraid or timid to teach anything that the Bible instructs.

But refrain from saying what you think and what the Word of God does not adequately endorse like this thing here.

Don’t be afraid!

Once the Bible teaches it, be bold in speaking it and proclaiming it, as long as you are doing it correctly.


Do Leaders Need Gifts of Tongues?

To conclude, in First Corinthians Twelve Apostle Paul was revealing God’s hierarchy for the church to the Corinthian leaders.

Because this assembly had lost its way. It was a problem Church. Why do I say it was a problem Church?

  • Because in that assembly you would find that a man was sleeping with his stepmom – (1 Corinthians 5:1).

  • Women were gossiping in the church – (1 Corinthians 14:34-36).
  • Church members were boasting about the best apostles – (1 Corinthians 1:10 -13).

Finally, there was a good thing about this church. They were seeking for spiritual gifts.

So Apostle Paul was encouraging them to covet earnestly the best gifts.

Paul Didn’t Forbid Speaking In Tongues!

And not only that, not once did Paul in his letter said, do not speak in tongues. Not once did Paul say that. Paul did not condemn speaking in tongues, because he spoke in tongues too.

He said he spoke with tongues of men and angels. He didn’t condemn it. At the end of his letter, Paul closes by saying,

Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:39).

That’s how he ended his letter. Covet to prophesy, because prophesying edifies the general congregation; but forbid not to speak with tongues.

Receive The Holy Ghost First Then Manifest Gifts of The Spirit!

He couldn’t forbid to speak with tongues, because tongues were put into the church by the Lord Himself and Paul wouldn’t go against that.

Finally, my friends, there is no “Gift of Speaking in Tongues” there are only “gifts of tongues” or “diversities of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:28).

Please, they are confusing speaking in tongues when one receives the Holy Ghost with diversities of tongues. But they are different.

The receipt of the Spirit comes before any gifts “of the Spirit“.

Two different things. The latter is for leaders but I don’t know where “Gift of Tongues” originates from.

In closing, friends, subscribe to my channel. Give this Bible Study a thumbs up, and hit the notification bell to receive notifications of new videos when they are published. Thank you for stopping by.

Leroy A. Daley

Leroy A. Daley is an author, blogger, YouTuber, and Bible teacher. Globally, he's helped hundreds of Christians understand the Bible better. He has been studying and teaching the Bible for more than forty years. He is passionate about the Lord and spends quality time with the Word of God every day. His Books are available for purchase wherever books are sold.

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