By Len Buttner (Hamilton
, New Zealand).


1.1     Acts 2:4 - “The Spirit kept giving them ability to speak forth in languages different from their own in words belonging to dignified and elevated discourse” (
1.2      All may speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:23).
Always, because it is a form of prayer and communion, and God is always available. (1 Corinthians 14:2).
Clear words - The mind and brain is intensely alive and active, being quickened by the Spirit, and is wholly occupied in co-operating with Him!  “The Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression in each tongue in appropriate words”  (
Amplified New Testament).
Your speech forming faculties are in full swing, flowing in the Spirit, quickened, communicating, searching, and exploring Spiritual realms!
More than One Language:
1 Corinthians 12:10, 28 - Divers, different kinds of tongues,  v. 28 - Varieties of tongues.
Eloquence and Articulation - Control and Intonation.

TWO- FOLD = 1.  Personal Edification. 2.  Public Exhortation

(1 Corinthians 14:4, 5).


2.1 Tongues are spoken to God.
       Prophecy is spoken to teach man.
2.2  Mysteries (or things not understood) are spoken in tongues.
       All things spoken in prophecy are clear.
2.3  Tongues edify the speaker.
       Prophecy edifies the speaker and others.
2.4  Tongues enables one to commune with God.
       Prophecy speaks to man for edification, exhortation and comfort.
2.5  The prophet is greater than the one who speaks in tongues unless the

        tongues are interpreted and understood.
2.6  The speaker must pray for the interpretation.
       The prophet need not, for his message is in his own tongue.


       Prompting by the Holy Spirit.
       An awareness that God wants to use you in this way.
       Bubbling up from within.
Tongues – “ALL may speak in Tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:23). ALWAYS, because it is a form of prayer, and Communion with God is always available (1 Corinthians 14:2).
Do all speak with tongues? (1Corinthians 12:30). “No,” all do not use tongues as a gift ministry “in the church,” but devotionally all may do so, and should do so!
The context of 1 Corinthians 12:14-31 is “balance in the occurrence of ministries and gifts” which is why it may seem contradictory.
Chapter 14, however, explains “the correct use of Spiritual Gifts,” and the indications and implications are very clear and strong throughout the chapter that: All may speak in tongues if they are willing to!!
* An Awareness that God wants to use you in this way. 
* Accessibility and Availability of the Flow of Tongues. John 7:37-39 . .  .

   Rivers, not a trickle! Ephesians 3:16 - Riches of might (Greek is “Dunamai”)

   in the inner man!
 4. WHAT IS IT FOR?                      (James – the tongue kindles a fire.)
* Edifying the Church (1 Corinthians 14:2-5).
* A sign to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22).
* God is glorified (1 Corinthians 14:25).
Content of Tongues:

The Seven Ministries Of Speaking In Tongues:

(1 Corinthians 14:14-17).       


2. SONG - Tongues is my “love language” to the Lord.
3. THANKSGIVING - Declare the wonderful works of God (Acts



6. MAGNIFICATION (Acts 10:46). 
7. INTERCESSION (Romans 8:26-28).         
Direction Of Tongues:

(1 Corinthians 14:2; Acts10:46; 1 Corinthians 14:14-17).
All clearly show tongues are a flow from man’s spirit to God!  Its purpose and function is to minister to the Lord!  Its purpose is not as a message to man!
Acts 2:11 - Even though understood on this one occasion, yet not directed to man!   (Are tongues meant to be understood?  Are they a known language?  Only as an exception! Otherwise, why did God provide interpretation?)
* No one understands!  (1 Corinthians 14:2).


 * Decency and Order – two or three in a meeting.
 * It is a language, not jabber (Acts 2:4).
 * Must be interpreted.  Keep silent otherwise. (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).
 * God knows the prayer need.
 * Gives accurate revelation – the role of Tongues.
 * The devil does not want you to pray.
 * It is beautiful having a heavenly language.
 * It flows out of an earthen vessel.

John 14:15 – “He shall give you another comforter.”

Jesus was the disciples Helper, Guide and Teacher. The Holy Spirit is to us today our Partner - He will never leave us nor forsake us. The Holy Spirit abides with us. He is the Spirit of Truth. You can feel Him. You know when the wind is blowing.


Manifestations of His Presence.


John 16:12-13: “Many things to say to you, when the Spirit of Truth has come.  He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority.  Whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come.”

* Are you prepared to hear them?

   Truth is Victory        -) Spirit
   Victory is Success     -) and
   Accomplishment       -) Natural
   Abundant Life            )
Two Main reasons: 1. To reveal Jesus 2. To Empower believers.
The Holy Spirit listens to the Father and the Son.
Gifts: Jesus and the Father.
John 14: Jesus said, “And He will glorify Me

   And how to make Jesus your personal friend.
  Acts 2:4 -  “As the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The Bible says – “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit” and it means that whatever follows goes with whatever preceded it. “And they began to speak with other tongues.” God has freely provided.
If you do not speak in tongues it is an absence of knowledge (Acts 10:44-46 and Acts 19:1-6).  “While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell.” The Holy Spirit was poured out: “For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.”


1. Assurance that you’ve been baptised in the Holy Spirit.
2. Tongues will make you strong: “He who speaks in a tongue edifies

     himself” (1 Corinthians 14:4). Edify – Spiritually strong - Hold a lot of God’s

3.  Tongues makes you spiritually sensitive:
     * Helps you become aware of spiritual events and occurrences.
     * Helps increase your sensitivity to the workings of the Holy Spirit.
     * Helps you to discern the moves of the Holy Spirit.
4. Tongues will build your faith. Jude 20  -  Stirs up our faith – “But you,

    beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the

    Holy Spirit.” Makes your faith come alive. Stimulates your ability to trust

5. Tongues helps to clean up your mouth. The tongue is the wildest member

    of your body. Tongues for ice cream. Brings Life and Death – Blessing or

    Cursing. Maturity = Control over the conduct of your mouth. Unbelief = Bad

    cursing. James 3:8 – “The tongue no man can tame.”
6. Tongues bring a spiritual refreshing
(Isaiah 28:11). Read Smith

    Wigglesworth – Take Holiday. Everyday – What do you mean? I pray in

    Tongues. Praying in Tongues everyday keeps you Fresh, Strong, Happy

    and Invigorated.
7. Tongues gives you power to be a witness:
“But you shall receive power

    when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witness to

    me in Jerusalem in all Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth” (Acts

    1:8). Mark 16: 15-17: “They will speak with new tongues” - not a foreign


8. A Prayer Language. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and

    began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterances”

    (Acts 2:4). One word is a good start. Your prayer language should grow. Your

    tongue will grow as you keep using it. Your language matures. “Stir up the

    gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6). Prayer in your native language keeps your

    mind strong and sound.


Romans 8: 26-27: “The Spirit itself makes intercession for us.” He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Get a revelation of this Scripture in your life.

Come alive inside of you – there’s nothing you cannot overcome.
No matter how bad it looks in the natural. He will bring you through to Victory. Not only infirmities, but crises with your marriage or children. When you don’t know what to do, the Holy Spirit helps you with that kind of infirmity. The Holy Spirit illuminates Scripture. Praying in Tongues helps these things. He helps you when making major decisions in your life. Pray in Tongues - until you get a direct answer.
The Importance and Value:

The importance and value of public tongues and interpretation has been underestimated! The sound of tongues in the Body of Christ testifies to the resurrection, ascension, coronation and life of Jesus (Acts 2:33; Exodus 28:33-35): the hem (skirts) of the high priest’s garments represent the Body of Christ (the anointing flows from the Head (Christ) down through the beard (the five fold ministries) to the rest of the Body of Christ, the hem (Psalm 133). When the tongues of the bells ring, you know the high priest (Jesus) is alive!
Public Tongues quickens and inspires supernaturally with an intense spiritual awareness of life, power and reality!


Nature and Purpose:
Interpretation is not Translation!
Luke 24:27 - Interpretation is explaining fully the meaning, intent and purpose of the Spirit as expressed in the tongue, and is coloured by the personality of the person interpreting: flowery or plain language, brief or detailed in speech.  This accounts for different duration of the tongues spoken and the interpretation given!

What is the Thrust, Direction and Content of Interpretation?

1 Corinthians 14:13-17 teaches clearly that interpretation should be identical in nature and content to the specific nature and content of the tongue spoken!
It follows that tongues of:

* PRAYER should be interpreted as PRAYER.
* SONG should be interpreted as SONG.
* THANKSGIVING should be interpreted as THANKSGIVING.
* WORSHIP should be interpreted as WORSHIP.
* PRAISE should be interpreted as PRAISE.
* MAGNIFICATION should be interpreted as MAGNIFICATION.
* INTERCESSION should be interpreted as INTERCESSION.

The content and direction of interpretation should be similar to the tongues it interprets


Seven Functions of Tongues and Interpretation:


If Tongues is ministry to the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:2), Interpretation should also be ministry to the Lord! And it should consist of at least seven distinct flows!
These seven ministries of Tongues and Interpretation are all dynamically directional towards God. Six of them are powerful, inspirational flows capable of glorifying and exalting God and therefore have the potential to quicken, inspire, liberate and set free the church in a special and unique manner! This paves the way for other gift flows because faith and revelation is quickened by the six ministries (possible exception: intercession). This is in line with a basic principle God has taught us:

Acts 13:2 - Ministry to the Lord is a priority and brings about the special revelation of the Spirit of the purposes of God for the body of Christ!

Tongues with Interpretation is chiefly my “love ministry” to the Lord!


If the nature of interpretation was to be simply exhortation, edification and comfort (the definition of prophecy), why would God duplicate a gift?
Excellence in Spiritual Gifts is attained by those who speak in Tongues - exercising Interpretation as well - either of their own or others’ utterance in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:12, 13, 27). One reason we have not reached this excellence is lack of sound vision of God’s full purpose in this wonderful pair of gifts!  Notice that no one who speaks in Tongues is excluded from the exciting potential of Interpretation! (1 Corinthians 14:13).

* Interpretation is Great and Special!

Prophecy is singled out as special, and is greater than speaking in tongues, but if interpreted is of equal value! (1 Corinthians 14:1, 5). (Prophecy is singled out because it blesses all! “Shotgun” effect.  So, likewise Interpretation!  Other gifts are often more like a rifle shot).
N.B. The effect of Interpretation is equal in value, but not one and the same in nature, purpose or content!!

In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, Paul lists the Nine Spiritual Gifts.
Two of those Nine Gifts, i.e. Gift of Diverse (many) kinds of Tongues and the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues, are “married” and function as one. When there comes forth Tongues in a meeting, there should always come an Interpretation after it. When these two gifts manifest together they have the same effect as the Gift of Prophecy.


The Vocal Gifts are - Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, and Prophecy. God uses these to communicate to people. They are also known as Utterance Gifts.


When the Gift of Tongues and Interpretation manifest in a meeting, they:

* Often come without warning.
* Somebody in the meeting, or Leadership team, will speak out.
* It will be an unknown language.
* If we are discerning in the Spirit we will sense these gifts are present.
* If you are sensing a “tongue,” it does not necessarily mean you are to give it.
* Remain still – When unction comes you will have a strong knowing.
 * It will feel like its “boiling up” from within you; like water boiling on the stove.
 * As the heat gets hotter it will bubble up and overflow.
 * An unction will just keep coming up in you stronger and stronger until you

   can’t hold it back.
 * Boom! What happened?  - God used you to manifest the Gift of Tongues.

            * Now those in the congregation are supposed to wait for someone to give the

            * The same person could give the Interpretation, or someone clear across the

            * When a public Tongue comes, there is to be an interpretation, event, time so

            that everyone in the room can understand (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).
            * If you have a new person in the meeting, you do not leave him asking, “What

            in theworld was that?”
 If an unbeliever comes into the church - and they hear someone speaking in

          Tongues - won’t they think you are crazy!
           * No, Tongues are a sign to those who are not saved, as well as to those who

           have not received the fullness of the Holy Spirit yet! (1 Corinthians 14:22).
           * Tongues are a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.
           * I have seen some churches embarrassed about the Gift of Tongues and

           * Tongues are a sign to the visitors.
           * Religion gets upset about Tongues. In 1 Corinthians 14:39, Paul said: 


“Therefore brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy and do not forbid to speak

  with Tongues.”

* What if there is no interpretation? There is a person in the meeting who received the

             Interpretation . . . but is holding back. They grieve the Spirit of God. Someone else

             will give it.
* The gift will flow if the congregation is fluent in Spiritual things - and no fear among

              them. If I reach out to God I will usually get the gist of it.
* There could be a series of Tongues in the meeting.
* Fear can cause us to top flowing. Everyone thinks you crazy – you’re nuts!
* Quieten your mind down so your spirit can have freedom to do what it needs to do.
* Are you afraid of making a mistake to speak it out?
* What if my Tongue and Interpretation is not right?
* We will not embarrass you – we will help you. The Spirit of God will make the

* When it comes just give it. We need to hear the Holy Spirit speak. Let’s hear the

             Holy Spirit talk to us. You can usually sense when the Spirit of God is going to



1 Corinthians 14:13 – “Wherefore let him that speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.” Interpret what???  What he prays in an unknown tongue?
This verse does not pertain to the Gift of Tongues and Interpretation for public assembly, but about interpreting your own prayer language.
How do you receive an interpretation of your personal prayer language?
Through the operation of the Gift of Interpretation.
Make time for the interpretation. Let the Lord speak to you in great detail about what you are praying about! While praying in Tongues you could instantly understand as the Holy Spirit starts interpreting your personal language. Example: Oral Roberts out walking across a cow pasture praying in tongues – “Build a university - 22 major buildings - 250 million dollars -10,000 students . . . ”
 Please feel free to contact Len Buttner at:


The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry

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