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