Speaking with the tongues of men or of angels is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are divided severally, to every man as the Spirit wills- 1 CORINTHIANS 12:7-11. Therefore, speaking with tongue is not of him that willeth, but as the Spirit wills. No Christian can receive any of these gifts of the Spirit except it is given to him/her from heaven, by the Spirit- JOHN 3:27. Therefore, speaking with tongues, is not by practicing it, neither is it received in any bible school. Anyone who has not the Spirit of Christ, is none of Christ’- ROMANS 8:9c. Therefore, it is only those who are born again of the word of truth and of the Spirit of Christ, that can receive any of these spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues.
For example, Simon, a sorcerer, believed the preaching of Philip and believed in the name of Jesus Christ and he was baptized by immersion in water, but he was not born again of the word of truth, hence he had not the Spirit of Christ. He was only a believer in Christ. He thought he could purchase the gift of the Spirit and His power. But Peter made him to know that he had neither part nor lot in any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit nor of His power because he had not repented of his wickedness, of his gall of bitterness, and of the bond of iniquity- ACTS 8:9-23. Therefore, before one can receive a measure of the Holy Spirit, one must repent; that is, acknowledge one’s sins, confess and forsake them- ACTS 2:37-38. Christians who desire spiritual gifts, should desire to prophesy, rather than speaking in an unknown tongue. Any Christian who speaks in an unknown tongue, speaks mysteries in the spirit unto God, and not unto men, because no man understands him/her. Therefore whosoever speaks in an unknown tongue, edifies himself/herself but whosoever prophesies, edifies the church.
Therefore, speaking in an unknown tongue, without interpretation, does not edify the church, but prophesying helps the entire church to grow in holiness. The earnest desire of Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians, was that they should all prophesy; emphasizing the fact that he that prophesies, is greater than he that speaks with tongues- 1 CORINTHIANS 14:5. Paul spoke with tongues more than all, but he would rather prophesy, than speaking ten thousand words in an unknown tongue, that the people will not understand. If the whole church, for example, begin to speak with tongues and there come into the church, the unlearned or believers, will they not say the whole church is mad, and will the members of that church not be seen as barbarians by these unbelievers?- 1 CORINTHIANS 14:11,23. Therefore, if any Christian desires to speak in an unknown tongue, let that Christian pray to have the gift of interpretation, so that others will understand what he/she is saying, or else, let another who has the gift of interpretation, be allowed to interpret the unknown tongue. But if there is no interpreter, let that believer in Christ keep silence in the church- 1 CORINTHIANS 14:13, 27-28.
In 1 CORINTHIANS 14:21-22, Paul further emphasized that speaking in tongues of men are just for a sign to them that believe not, to make them to wonder at the supernatural gift of God, given to His people, to interpret the scriptures in the native languages of others. The one hundred and twenty (120) disciples of Jesus spoke in tongues of men, which were the foreign languages of the Jews, who came to Jerusalem, from different countries, where they were born. These Jews that came from these different countries were all amazed at this supernatural gift of God- ACTS 2:1-12. Speaking in tongue, so as to be heard in the church, or in public places, without interpretation, is like speaking into the air- 1 CORINTHIANS 14:9.
To be continued!