Gifts of the Holy Spirit



1. When one speaks in tongues, to whom does he speak?



When one speaks in tongues – as the Spirit gives him utterance – he speaks to God, for Paul says: “He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Corinthians 14:2 – NKJV). The words he speaks can be a prayer, or a psalm (a song), or a thanksgiving. Here are the words of Paul which confirm this: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 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. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified” (1 Corinthians 14:14-17).

Obviously, the direction of speaking in tongues does not change depending on the circumstances, so it is not true that he who speaks in tongues in private (for instance while he is alone in his bedroom) speaks to God, whereas when he is gathered together with other believers he speaks to men.