Gifts of the Spirit for the apostles time, today, or the future; or all the above?

I’ve been reading and studying I Cor and 2nd Cor trying to understand and know what the Word says regarding the gifts. I was raised where the gifts were not really recognized to being a part of a church where all the gifts were recognized and in operation. At times it was “crazy”.

Ive had time away from all organized religion if you will for around 10 years, I’ve really been diving back in God’s word in the last year. I’ve been wondering, reading, and asking if the gifts are to be in operation…. I read and reread about tongues.

My question, I know the teaching on tongues as in the Pentecostal tongue is to be in the last days, but when I read it in Corinthians I cant seem to get to the place that it isn’t used for us today??

I’m hoping of some great discussion on this topic. That we can all stay open minded and bounce some good scriptures, discussion, and encouragement for one another.

Looking forward to everyone’s thoughts and discussion!

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The first thing that came to my mind when you mentioned Pentecostal tongues is the confusion that some people have with the definition of speaking in tongues. I believe speaking in tongue means speaking different languages. I don’t have the scripture in front of me at the moment, but during Pentecost God was speaking thru them and it was heard by the people in their own language.

I’ll have to take a look tomorrow about the gifts. I don’t have time to do it tonight, but I wanted to make sure you heard some response before the night was over. :slight_smile: I’m looking forward to a great discussion on this as well!


Okay…I’m sorry I haven’t dug into this yet. I’m want to finish reading Chronicles (almost done) and then I’ll dive into it. I hope others do as well!!

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Thank you Kay for responding! I know the scripture you are talking about. In Acts chapter 2, when they thought they were drunk. They heard everyone speak in their tongue or language and even dialect. When I look up there word tongue in Strongs, it says: γλῶσσα



Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): - tongue.

Where I am focusing on and not able to move past, is “one naturally unacquired”…

God gives a person the ability to speak in a tongue that he didnt naturally acquire.
This happened in Acts, it is taught in 1 Cor 12 and 1 Cor 14.

[1Co 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

So, I’m getting that when one speaks in tongues, he is speaking directly to God. That seems like a good thing… But we understand that its for self edification between God and that person but since no one else can understand what is being said its not profiting any one else around him, because they can’t understand what is being said. Which is why prophesying is better.

I know it will be used in the hour of temptation, when the elect are brought before the antichrist. The cloven tongue like in Acts. But I cant get past that it is or may be for the believer today. The Spirit praying through them with utterings that cant be understood.

If I pray in tongues my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. It seems that should be a good thing, my spirit praying.

[1Co 14:15] What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. This again seems like a good thing for me spiritually.

I know there is more to bring to the table here, maybe and hopefully we can do that here.

I don’t want to come across to anyone that I’m dead set on this, my heart is that if it is for us today. That it helps us in our walk and stand for Christ. If the Spirit knows how we ought to pray and what we should pray for and we can have access to that, I want that.

I don’t want it being a focal point in a service, I don’t want someone to think they are more spiritual because they can speak or pray in tongues, or that it means any type of status or closeness to God. But that it is what the Bible says, a gift, like the other gifts mentioned to be used for edification, building up of the body, helping followers in the spiritual war against our enemy.

My prayer if for great discussion and gaining depth!

That verse tells me that if you are speaking a different language than the men around you, they won’t understand, but God will understand.

My first thought on that is a language that you learned - like me learning to speak Spanish.

I still believe that when people speak jibberish it’s babble and confusion. As for the use of tongues today, I see that being social media and the internet which does the translating for you. Maybe we need to be careful of what these platforms translate and look up the translation ourselves. I’m not very trusting of FB or any other mainstream social media.

That’s all I have time for for now, but will continue to pray and think about this. Hoping others will chime in soon!


Thank you Kay, I hope we can keep this moving forward.


Spiritual gifts are a fantastic thing, many of them are still given, even to this day. However, no one is raising anyone from the dead like Elisha and Peter did through God. I have a retired work on this I should consider reviving. Also, I recommend, Are There Prophets That Have Dreams And Visions?.

With respect to speaking in tongues, I have seen this topic cause a lot of confusion.

1Co 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.

Notice, I crossed out the word “unknown” as it was added to our Bibles, it’s not in the manuscripts where our English text comes from. That’s why it’s italicized in your Bible.

Now the word “tongue” itself means,

Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): - tongue.

So all we are talking about is speaking in a language. “One naturally unacquired” just means, speaking in a language you we’re not born with. I’m English and German and was born with the English tongue. If I pickup Spanish along the way, then Spanish is the “one naturally unacquired”.

1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

You will notice, the whole point of spiritual gifts is to “edify”, which is to build up the church. Paul is now talking about interpretation in order to edify the church. Interpretation of what?

Tongues, languages.

1Co 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

Paul’s saying, if you speak to the church, it should be easy to understand words. Otherwise, it’s worthless, and it does not edify the church. Verse 12 even tells us, “forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” Then verse 26, “Let all things be done unto edifying.”

So it becomes clear, everything we do from a religious perspective should be done to uplift the church. No one can argue with that, right?

Unfortunately, some religions teach 1 Corinthians 14 is talking about babel speech. Where someone essentially speaks gibberish, and they claim it’s a divine gift that only God can understand. Now, if all we read was verse 2, perhaps we could come away with that conclusion as well.

But, let’s keep reading.

1Co 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

Again, “unknown” is not in the manuscripts.

Paul is simply saying, if you go to a church and speak in a language the audience does not understand, ensure you have someone who can interpret the message to the audience. Otherwise, the audience will not understand your speech. If they do not understand your speech, they cannot be “edified”.

1Co 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

This ties us back to verse 2.

If you speak to an audience in a language they do not understand, and there is no interpreter to interpret the language (tongue) then just sit on down. Instead, go ahead and say a prayer to God as He will understand it. God understands all languages.

So the whole point of this chapter is about lifting up the church. If babel speech was really the subject, it would contradict. You cannot speak gibberish to an audience and expect them to walk away edified, uplifted, and educated in God’s Word, right?

1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Babel speech is certainly confusion by definition. Since God is not the author of confusion, and the point is to edify the church. We then discover the accurate meaning of the discussion. I hope this helps.


Why would praying in a tongue that I naturally unacquired be considered praying in the spirit? I have the language I naturally acquired I pray in and sing in, the language I naturally unacquired that I can pray and sing in. I pray in “spirit” or sing in the “spirit”. If its a foreign language I learned, then what is the difference that makes it in the spirit vs my understanding? It seems the language that isn’t my natural language is a spiritual language?

I hope that makes sense, a lot of bouncing back and forth there with those terms.

Let’s backup a couple verses, and try walking through this a bit more. I’m actually going to use the ESV here. I think it will be beneficial.

In the Pentecostal church, people speak gibberish, for the lack of a better term, and this is thought to be a spiritual gift. I’ll refer to this as the “pentecostal tongue” below, and I whole heartedly disagree with that belief.

1Co 14:12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

If we are eager for spiritual gifts, then ensure they build up the church. The whole point of this chapter is building up the church through the use of spiritual gifts.

1Co 14:13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.

What’s the point of this verse?

If you speak in some language, you should pray that it may be interpreted.

If we were talking about some language that only God understands, why are we being told about the interpretation of said language?

1Co 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.

Paul is saying, that language can be used to pray, but that’s the only good fruit it will bear. His mind with respect to the church will be unfruitful. He cannot use that language with the church, they won’t understand it. Only God would through prayer. So, with respect to the church which is the subject, it would be unfruitful.

1Co 14:15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

Without that interpreter, “what am I to do?” Pray to God in that language.

Paul poses the question based on the two prior verses.

I want to note here, “tongues” means “languages,” right? I speak English, but if I go to share the Gospel with Spanish speaking folk, they won’t understand a word coming out of my mouth. It doesn’t need to be some language I picked up through life.

1Co 14:16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?

I hope this verse nails it for you.

If you are saying a prayer out loud, how would anyone know when to say “Amen,” as they do not know what you are saying.

Why do they not understand?

There is no interpreter.

1Co 14:17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.

  • Why are they not being built up?
  • Why are they not being edified?

They cannot understand the language. This tells me, this language is not the pentecostal tongue. The point is to build up the church, but the church cannot be built up without understanding. Without the audience understanding the words.

Let’s jump down a few more verses.

1Co 14:27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret.
1Co 14:28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.

So at this point, if this was supposed to be the pentecostal tongue…

  • Why are we talking about interpretation of the language?
  • Why are we being told to sit down and be quiet if there is no one to interpret the language?

When I read this chapter, I see the true spiritual gift through the interpreter. The interpreter is the one translating one language into another so the original message can be understood.

On Pentecost Day, when the Apostles spoke in their native language, everyone in attendance understood their voices in their own language and dialect. That was a gift from the Holy Spirit. In that case, the Holy Spirit was the interpreter.

I appreciate the discussion Todd. :slightly_smiling_face::+1:t3: