Summary: The Three types of supernatural speaking are Gifts of the Spirit

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This message comes from the 1969 teaching of Rev. G.W. Van Horn of El Reno, OK

The three types of Supernatural Speaking

(I Corinthians Chapter 14)

The three types of Supernatural Speaking are Gifts of the Spirit.

1. Gift of Prophecy

2. Gift of Tongues

3. Gift of Interpretation of Tongues

I Corinthians 14:1-4

Prophecy edifies the Church more than un-interpreted tongues.

1. I Corinthians 14:2 This verse indicates that the principle use of tongues, whether in the Church or in private, is to speake primarily onto God and not to men. When tongues are directed unto God, they involve communing with God by the Holy Spirit and can take the form of prayer, praise, singing, blessing, and thanksgiving.

What is spoken are mysteries or things not understandable to the speaker or hearers. The interpretation of the utterance in tongues can be to edify the church (verse 5) or so the congregation can enter into this manifestation of the Spirit-directed worship and thus say "Amen" (verse 16).

2.I Corinthians 14:3 The gift of prophecy in the

Church is motivated by the Holy Spirit, not

primarily to foretell the future, but to strengthen

the believer’s faith, spiritual life, and moral

resolve to remain faithful to Christ, and His


a. Prophecy is not preaching a prepared sermon, but

giving a spontaneous word under the impulse of

the Holy Spirit for the edification of the


3. I Corinthians 14:4 Tongues without interpretation

edify the speaker because it puts him in direct

communion with God by the Spirit, bypassing the

mind. (verses 14-15)

I Corinthians 14:5

Prophecy and tongues with interpretation are

equally important to the Church.

1. "I would that ye all spake with tongues. . ."

Paul’s wish here refers to tongue-speaking in

private devotion to God. Clearly such tongues have

value for the individual Christian’s personal

worship and prayer. (verses 2 and 4) Paul adds that

tongues accompanied with interpretation in the

assembly bring edification to the Church, just as

prophecy does. However, speaking in tongues without

interpretation does nothing for the Church. (verses


I Corinthians 14:6-13

Speaking in tongues in public worship services

without interpretation is of no benefit to others.

1.I Cor. 14:6 Speaking in tongues can at times be

directed toward the Christian community. Paul

describes the hypothetical situation of coming to

the Corinthians and speaking in tongues in the

worship service. Such speaking would be of no

benefit to them except he brings some revelation or

knowledge. The construction of this verse suggests

that his speaking in tongues, when interpreted,

would consist of a message containing revelation,

knowledge, prophecy, or instruction to the


This interpretation finds support in verse 8, where

Paul gives the analogy of a trumpet which brings a

message and warns to prepare for battle. In other

words, speaking in tongues can bring a message to

prepare for spiritual warfare with Satan, sin, and

the ungodly elements of the world, or it can

challenge us to be ready for the imminent return of


2. 1 Cor. 14:7-12 When a person is used by God to

interpret the tongues that are spoken, it should be

with sounds that are clear, distinct, and easy to

be identified (verse 7). Like a trumpet they must

convey a clear message (verse 8). Thus when tongues

are spoken in the Church they should be interpreted

so that the body can be edified.

3. Those who speak or pray in tongues in the Church

should seek to edify the Church by praying for the

gift of interpretation.

I Cor. 14:14-19

In Paul’s personal life speaking in tongues to God

is an important means of worship and spiriitual


1.I Cor. 12:7 Paul refers to his own experience, to

his own private use of tongues unto God. "I will

pray with the spirit" means to pray in tongues with

one’s own spirit under the impulse of the Holy

Spirit. The believer’s spirit prays as the Holy

Spirit gives the utterance (Acts 2:4).

2.I Cor. 14:14-16 Paul used tongues not only for

praying, but also for singing, praising, and giving

thanks unto God. To "pray with the understanding"

means to pray and praise with one’s own mind in a

learned language, also under the impulse of the Holy


3. I Cor. 14:18 Paul considered the gift of tongues an

important part of his spiritual life, which was

frequently given to praying, singing, praising, and

giving thanks in tongues. He speaks in reverence

and gratitude for this manifestation of the Holy

Spirit. Paul did not say I speak in more languages,

but, I Speak in tongues more than all of you.

4. I Cor. 14:19 Yet in the Church Paul preferred to

speak a few words that people could understand than

ten thousand words in tongues without

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