1 Cor 14


Well-Known Member
So, I was raised RCC, accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior thru Campus Crusade, followed my boyfriend into a charasmatic/pentecostal type denomination. (Yes quite a shock to me how different than the RCC!) Now I prefer line by line sermons.

My question is ...I'm unsure about 1 Cor 14. It talks about tongues and to even seek to prophesy.

I dont want to stir up denominational debate at all...I have seen all the sides of that, and do not want to foster division.

My Q is how do I personally interperet Bible chapters n verses like this one? After all I've seen regarding the gifts (good and bad) I really am not sure about them. I know that without love, or by Christ's leading, nothing counts for God.

I guess I'm a little scared to ask for or seek to prophesy, etc, because....it seems easy to abuse the gifts and maybe do more damage than good with them. I've had people tell me things that "God" told them regarding me that wasnt true at all.

Another time in a home Bible Study a "prophet" came and spoke some confusing things ever me, which caused me to fear and also feel like God didn't like me much...it hurt my faith walk.

Yet we went to a revival in the 90's and salvations, healings, etc happened...even the town where the church was had a drop in crime rate due to the spread of the gospel, so we were told.

And there are the goats who prophesied in Jesus' Name but never knew Him.

I guess I fear the gifts, yet are we to ask God to give them to us?

I have so much to learn. Would love to learn more about my being a believer's responsibility regarding the gifts? Do we ask God for them? Does God choose who to give them to? How to handle the responsibility of them...like to prevent my flesh from perverting them? (Many stories of false "words" spoken over me n other ppl.

BUT...God DID use a youth pastor at a large church (after we left the ministry n switched denominations) to give me a personal praise regarding our second child. I didnt know him n vice versa...the church had over 5k ppl in it. They rarely did alter calls but one Sunday they said if anyone wanted prayer to come to the alter...this was a non-pentecostal denom.

I asked for prayer to not be so materialistic. The guy, I didnt know he was the youth pastor, started to pray, then said he had a message for me. And if it didnt make sense, to ignore it.

He said that God was going to open my womb and give us that second child we had been praying for. I began to weep, this HAD to be from God...we couldnt get pregnant after our first child for years. We asked God for another child.

No one but our close friends knew about us not being able to get preg. 6 months after that man said that to me, my second child was thriving in my womb.

Theres more to it but, that seemed to be a real Word from God.

I believe Father God can do anything. The gifts are talked about in the Word, I feel kind of guilty for not really desiring them.

I am praying about this as I dont want blindness, lack of study, or personal bias to keep from having or doing anything God wants His children to have.

Ty for your time. I guess I feel confused about 1 Cor 14 that came up in my Bible reading today...

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Perhaps this will be helpful:


Please help me on the issue of speaking in New Tongues. Mark 16: 17-18 says,
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
In our churches we see people going out of their way speaking in tongues because they are told that they are spiritually immature if they do not speak in tongues and they have been using the above verse and Acts 2 as something that obligates them to speaking in tongues.
I actually don’t speak in tongues and I cannot fake them if there is nothing that allows me to do that. I’m a principled believer that doesn’t do what I’m not sure of. I saw several people people speaking this language that they cannot even know nor can they be known by any interpreter or outsider, claiming that God hears it. In some churches they even teach members how to speak in these funny tongues.
Please explain this issue of tongues before I get more confused or prejudiced or feel less of a believer because I don’t speak in tongues.

Technically, the people you refer to are not speaking in tongues, which is a supernatural ability to communicate in a language you haven’t learned. They’re expressing something called a prayer language which they say is not meant to be interpreted but is for God alone to understand. Some churches incorrectly teach that this prayer language is evidence that a believer has been baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is a practice that cannot be supported by Scripture.
There’s no Biblical requirement that all believers should speak in tongues. In 1 Cor. 12 where Paul explained the Spiritual Gifts, he said that the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people as He determines for the good of the body. Then he made a specific argument against all believers having the same gifts. And Mark 16 doesn’t say all believers will speak in tongues. It says that certain signs will accompany believers, tongues being one of them. If someone uses Mark 16 to say that everyone has to speak in tongues, then they have to agree that every believer also has to cast out demons, handle deadly snakes, drink poison and heal the sick.
Most scholars see Acts 2 as a special event where the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to deliver the gospel message to the Jews gathered there from several different countries. It says the Holy Spirit “came upon” them visibly, like tongues of fire, indicating a special empowerment for that occasion. This visible sign does not normally accompany the gift of tongues. And notice that every person in the crowd heard and understood the message in their own language. This is not true of the so-called prayer language.


I have heard individuals begin to “speak in tongues”, but I never have. Recently I read a writing by an evangelical preacher who stated that the Lord told him to pray in tongues for one hour a day, and that he does so. I was of the impression that one could/would only speak in tongues when the Holy Spirit came upon them. I am absolutely a believer, but I have never spoken in tongues. I pray that my not speaking in tongues does not mean that my faith is somehow deficient. Could you please provide me with some insight?
In 1 Cor. 12:7-11 Paul said that the Spirit distributes His gifts to each of us for the common good just as He determines. Different believers have different gifts. The idea that all believers should speak in tongues is man’s idea, not God’s. So if you don’t speak in tongues, it means you’ve been given a different gift. Your challenge is to discover the gift (s) you’ve been given and use it (them) for the good of the Church. The inability to speak in tongues does not mean your faith is deficient.
If God told the preacher you mentioned to pray in tongues for an hour each day, then He will empower the preacher to do so, although this doesn’t seem to fit the Biblical purpose of speaking in tongues. In 1 Cor. 14:22 Paul said tongues are meant to be a sign for unbelievers, not for believers, and certainly not for God. The preacher may have been referring to something some believers call a prayer language, which is not the same as speaking in tongues as the Bible defines it.

(This is EL here):

Acts 2 is the first incident of speaking in tongues in the New Testament. Notice that this is different languages spoken and understood clearly by those various, yet unsaved Jews from different countries who spoke those languages, who were back in Israel for the Holy Day of Pentacost (the start of the Church Age).

I also suspect that the Corinthian church had people from various countries meeting together in Church homes. They didn't have the New Testament at the time so God touched people to speak under the power of the Holy Spirit. If this was with those of different languages, well then an interpreter would be needed so the rest of the church could understand what God was saying to them and then be edified. So, I tend to view the Corinthians passage as an outflow and similar aspect of what happened in Acts. With Acts the purpose was to continue to validate who Jesus was as the savior of the world and to validate the Gospel. Also, since they didn't have t.v. or internet, this was God's way to quickly and efficiently get the Gospel out to the Jewish people of the world and subsequently to the rest of the world.

It's also interesting to note that Peter quotes Joel 2: 28-32 and in this Old Testament passage the speaking in other languages happening in Acts 2 is described as 'sons and daughters prophesying'. Prophesying is simply the speaking of God's truth and Word to others. Sharing the Gospel would be included in this, no matter what language.

I personally hesitate to go any further than what I'm reading in scripture, particularly of the first event of speaking in tongues. I know there are other perspectives on this and while I don't understand, I have a charitable posture to them in that it doesn't seem that this is a salvation issue.

Acts 2:1-21

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! 9 Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” 12 They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.

13 But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”

Peter Preaches to the Crowd​

14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. 15 These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. 16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on my servants—men and women alike—
and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below—
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
and the moon will turn blood red
before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved.’


Well-Known Member
Many also feel the term "tongues" refers to speaking in different languages similar to the believers at Pentecost, also the Greek translation of "tongues" means languages. I have read before (can't remember where) that the whole "speaking in tongues movement" is based on the incorrect interpretation on the word. As the Apostle Paul tells us a message no one but the speaker can understand benefits no one but the speaker.


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In Acts 2 everyone heard them in their own language--many language groups were present. Paul said he spoke in tongues more than anyone else--he was a missionary and traveled to many places, they didn't all speak the same language.

When people claim tongues are for today, yet they are done in a country and a church where everyone speaks the same language, and when missionaries going to foreign countries aren't given the gift of tongues but must go to language school, I have trouble believing that there is really a gift of tongues today. And why would anyone need a "prayer language" they can't understand when Jesus and Paul taught us how we are to pray?