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What Does the Bible Say About … SPEAKING in TONGUES in FRONT of OTHER PEOPLE?

Is it ok to speak in tongues, when other members can not understand or understand what is being said? Shouldn’t everyone be on the same accord?

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BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT TEXT: Joel 2:28-29; Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Lk. 3:16; 24:49; Jn. 7:37-39; Acts 1:5-8; 2:1-18; 10:44-46; 19:1-16.

MEMORY SCRIPTURE: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.” Acts 2:17.

CENTRAL STATEMENT: Baptism in the Holy Ghost is the secret of effective Christian Service.


We teach that BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT is the enduement of power from on high upon the sanctified believer. It is the promise of the Father, and it is accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking a language unlearned previously, referred to as speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. We also stress the necessity of purity before power. We strongly believe that the Gifts of the Spirit for today. Acts 2:38, 39; I Cor. 12:1-31; 14:1-40.

1. WHAT IS THE HOLY GHOST BAPTISM? To start with, Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a doctrine of the Scripture. It is promised by God, Joel 2:28, experienced, preached and promised by Christ, Matt. 3:16, 17; Jn. 7:37-39; Acts 1:5.

It is experienced by the early Christians, Acts 2:2-4; and every believer called by the Lord is expected to have this experience, Acts 2:38, 39; Mark 16:15-17.

Holy Ghost Baptism is not the New birth or salvation. It is neither sanctification nor illumination, joy, feeling, liberty, victory in prayer as many assumed. It is neither self-denial nor zeal; all these have been in the disciples’ life before the day of Pentecost was fully come. More still, we need to understand the difference between having the Holy Spirit and Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The moment someone believes in Christ, the Holy Spirit begins to indwell such person. This is established in the following passages. Jn. 3:5; 4:14; Eph.1: 13; 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:21; 22. Before Pentecost the disciples had been breathed upon to receive the Holy Ghost Jn. 20:22.

Consequently after salvation and sanctification comes the experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit which is definitely established in the following Scriptures: Jn. 7:37-39; Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:5-8; 2:1-4; Matt. 3:11; Acts 9:17; Eph. 5:18.

In a way of definition therefore, Baptism in the Holy Spirit is enduing mortal man with divine power. It is being enwrapped, over-whelmed or in filled with God’s power.


Right from Old Testament down to the New we have promises of God regarding Baptism in the Holy Spirit as seen in Isaiah. 44:3; Joel 2:28-30; Matt. 3:11; Jn. 7:37-39; Acts 1:5; Lk. 24:49.

There are four main purposes for Baptism in the Holy Spirit

(a) It is to have God’s power for God’s service Lk. 4:18-19; 24:49.

(b) It is to have boldness in our service before men, Acts 4:31; II Tim.1:7.

(C) It is for an effective witness for Christ Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 14; 37, 41; cp Joel 2:19 (d) It is to have divine ability to accomplish much for God, Acts 1:8; 9:15-17; Jn. 14:12.

Any minister or child of God without the Baptism in the Holy Ghost cannot make much success neither accomplishes much for God.

3. RECEIVING THE EXPERIENCE Since God has promised us this blessing it is definite that He will fulfill what He has said. The initial evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues (language unknown to the seeker).

It is noteworthy that we do not teach or instruct people how to speak in tongue, the Holy Spirit Himself gives the utterance Acts 2:1-4; 10:4-47; 19:1-6.


(a) let us believe all the promises concerning it as valid for today Acts 2:38-39, (always remember that this promise is not for the unconverted).

(b) Let’s have strong desire, that is to be “thirsty” for the experience Isa. 44:3; Jn. 7:37-39; Matt. 5:6;

(c) Let’s ask with faith to receive Lk. 11:13; Mk. 11:24.

(d) Let’s exercise our faith to speak as the Spirit gives us Utterance II Cor. 5:7; Acts 2:4.


It is one thing to have peace with God – justification.

It is also very essential to have purity of heart – sanctification.

It is absolutely necessary to have the power from high – baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has much to do in us, for us and through us. Until we are filled with Him to overflowing then can He do as much as He is scheduled to do in, for, and through us? Jn.14: 16, 17, 26; 15:12-14; II Cor. 3:18.

Perhaps you have more questions to ask me on this topic, please do not hesitate to email me. I will be willing to answer your question according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Meanwhile, let us not confuse ourselves. If people have counterfeit materials today, does it mean that originals don’t exist? Let us not allow the devil to play on our benefit from the Lord. He has promised to fill us. Faithful is the Lord who hath promised who also will do it.

Bless you and have a wonderful experience as you open your heart and refused to dwell on your past experience or what others are saying!

Rev. Debo Adeyemo


My thoughts on speaking in tongues, go along with the Bibles teaching. If we are in a group and there is speaking in tongues, then shall there be a person there to interpret. If not, then speaking in tongues should be kept to yourself quietly. I have no problem of speaking in tongues while alone and praying in the spirit at home, or out loud at gatherings if there is someone to interpret it.******* 

{ 1 Corinthians 14:2 If you speak languages that others don’t know, God will understand what you are saying, though no one else will know what you mean. You will be talking about mysteries that only the Spirit understands. 6 My friends, what good would it do, if I came and spoke unknown languages to you and didn’t explain what I meant? How would I help you, unless I told you what God had shown me or gave you some knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 9 That’s how it is when you speak unknown languages. If no one can understand what you are talking about, you will only be talking to the wind. 10 There are many different languages in this world, and all of them make sense. 11 But if I don’t understand the language that someone is using, we will be like foreigners to each other. 12 If you really want spiritual gifts, choose the ones that will be most helpful to the church. 13 When we speak languages that others don’t know, we should pray for the power to explain what we mean. 14 For example, if I use an unknown language in my prayers, my spirit prays but my mind is useless. 15 Then what should I do?

There are times when I should pray with my spirit, and times when I should pray with my mind. Sometimes I should sing with my spirit, and at other times I should sing with my mind. 16 Suppose some strangers are in your worship service, when you are praising God with your spirit. If they don’t understand you, how will they know to say, “Amen”? 17 You may be worshiping God in a wonderful way, but no one else will be helped. 18 I thank God that I speak unknown languages more than any of you. 19 But words that make sense can help the church. That’s why in church I had rather speak five words that make sense than to speak ten thousand words in a language that others don’t know.(CEV Translation)}  In His Presence and Love,  



According to the living book, it is good to speak in tongues when an interpreter is there to interpret or therefore also have the talent to interpret. Only God understands what is been spoken if there is no interpreter and therefore your message is not made clear to people around. Some people take speaking in tongue as an ‘in-thing’ i.e. if you are a born again it is compulsory for you to speak in tongues to be seen as one and therefore people start proclaiming to speak in tongues. The main idea is that speaking in tongues is one of the various talents being talked about in the bible, so if you are blessed with one, let it be. Develop whatever talents you have (using talent parable) and let it grow, instead of trying to gain what is not meant to be. I hope I have tried.



1 Corinthians 14:2-5 says For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I would like everyone of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified ALSO, 1 Corinthians 14:13 says Anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says May You All Be Blessed!




I say Yes, it’s okay to speak in tongues, even if the others around you can’t understand it. If you’re really aware of the beauty of the Lord, you don’t have to understand what is being said, because you’ll feel the beauty of the spirit all around you, as you hear those people pray in tongues. It’s a feeling of joy, and peace, etc. I’ve never experiencing speaking in tongues myself, but I know that the presence of the Lord is right there in the midst of those that pray in tongues, You can’t help but know it, when you hear it.

Love Trisha 


Its okay to speak in tongues but someone should be able to translate what you are saying. If not then God will have you say it in there language so they can understand. 


Yes! as long as someone is edified it is alright, so who is to know who is being edified, God that’s who, no man should decide whether or someone is being edified or not, it is the Holy Spirit that give the utterance and He decides who will receive.

In His Love Gary


The question about tongues: I have the understanding that Tongues is the spirit giving the utterance, Tongues is Gods spirit speaking through you. It matters not whether someone else can understand you, GOD Can, It is Pleasing to him.


1Cor:14:22: Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

1Cor:14:23: If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

1Cor:14:39: Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

To speak or pray in tongues is permissible when you are speaking or praying to God. However, if this is a message there must be an interpreter less the message is as sounding brass, and the meaning would not come forth. As a minister I can honestly tell you that I have never heard a message that was truly from God where it went uninterpreted. I have heard some people who were out of order but this is something the HOly Spirit will have to give you dissernment about. 1 Cor: 14:39 plainly says forbid not to speak with tongues. It is always best to let the Word give the answer. 

Rev. Sandra Evans The Mercy Center Ministries


If you are preaching, witnessing or giving a testimony, it does not edify any others. If you are praying with others in tongues at the same time, it is fine. It becomes a form of worship if you are all speaking in tongues together.

Allan Mann 


I really think speaking in tongues or in the Spirit, is a direct communication between the person speaking and God. I personally do not believe it should be done by choice unless there is an interpreter present. However if the person speaking is so Anointed at that moment in the Spirit, that they have no control then they are not to be held accountable. 

Love In Christ, Brenda 


I can tell you what the Bible says about it, 1-Corinthians-14-2-for he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God. 13- wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 27-if any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and let one interpret. but if there be no interpreter, let him be silence in the church. and speak to himself and to God. that is what I do, the Lord has spoken to me in my spirit many times, but it is always words of encouragement. and words of LOVE!


Its okay to speak in tongues in the assembly as long as there is someone to interpret them for the rest of the assembly. If there is no interpreter then the tongues should not be spoken aloud. 1 Corin. 14:27-28 speaks concerning this. 

Joy Bernardo


As to your question, I offer this interesting note: One time at our church a minister came to talk about the Holy Spirit in worship services. He told us that at his church it was common for people to be dancing in the spirit and talking in tongues while the pastor was preaching in the pulpit. After the service I challenged his teaching, by reminding him that God is not the Author of Confusion and several people acting out during a sermon is certainly a confusing atmosphere. Further, I asked him if it sounded reasonable to him that God the Spirit would be ministering Life through the preacher and disrupting this Divinely Inspired teaching with dancing, singing at talking in tongues at the same time?

I further asked him if the spirits are not subject to each person, that messages in tongues and other spiritual manifestations should thus be restrained until the Spirit indicates the proper timing and circumstances? He was not very happy with me! The Truth is – God is a God or Order and Decency! When you asked this question you knew the answer beforehand, that is, you knew that Paul teaches us that speaking in tongues without interpretation causes confusion and even fear in the unsaved, and that these messages in tongues are of no value to other Christians without interpretation. The answer is:

God is not the Author of Confusion! David R. Miser 


I have only witnessed this once in my own church and I must admit it was a very chilly feeling for me. I sat there frozen. The lady involved does it regularly and was visiting our church. It showed me that once you get into something like this you have no control over your tongue.

I would hate not to have complete control over myself. When she spoke in tongues it served no purpose. I don’t believe God gives ‘gifts’ for no purpose. I have heard many times of preachers overseas as missionaries receiving the gift of tongues and in that instance, yes I do believe it is a gift.

At Pentecost, the gift of tongues was given for a specific reason and I feel that is what it was meant for and still is. I don’t believe we need a special prayer language to talk to Jesus – I really don’t. 

In Him  Barb


Of course it is OK. Gifts are to be used!

I guess others will explain the 2 different forms of speaking in tongues very good, so I will just say some brief fundamental things:

1 Corinthians chapter 14 is the key-chapter to understand tongues!

There are 2 forms of speaking in tongues:

1) For one’s own edification (speaking in tongues)

2) For the edification of the church (tongues plus interpretation)

Here are some conclusions from 1 Cor 14:

* It is NORMAL to SPEAK in tongues, and to SING in tongues (verse 15).

* Synonym for speaking in tongues is to “PRAY WITH THE SPIRIT” (not the Holy Spirit, but your own spirit, the inner man).

* Synonym for SINGING in tongues is to “SING WITH THE SPIRIT” (not the Holy Spirit, but your own spirit, the inner man).

* Whenever someone speaks in tongues, he is mainly uttering THANKSGIVING unto God (verse 16 and 17)

* Whenever someone speaks in tongues he is edifying himself (verse 4).

I’d say that the edification from speaking in tongues must come from the fact that when one is speaking in tongues, one is speaking directly TO GOD, and to speak directly to God MEANS edification! To talk to someone means that that person is listening, and when someone is listening, something happens in the one who does the talking… Compare when WE are listening in faith… Then we ourselves will be receivers, receivers of the Holy Spirit, to more precise, and the one talking will be an instrument, a vessel for the Holy Spirit! Now take that picture and view it the other way round, when WE are talking to GOD! See?! So as we’re speaking (or singing) in tongues we’re speaking directly to God, and God’s presence will to some extent start to fill us = edification!

But, someone says, “The apostle Paul says that if there are no interpreter around then one should NOT speak in tongues!”

But dear brother and sister, please take a look at what it actually says!

Here: “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.”

See? It actually says we are to SPEAK in tongues! “LET HIM SPEAK…”

Yea, yea, someone says… “But it says speak TO GOD!”

Yes, to God. But if we are to speak to God AND OURSELVES, then we have to do it. SPEAK!

It is one thing to speak “in church” and another thing to speak “to himself, and to God”! But both exhortations deal with the same thing: TO SPEAK.

Although we are to keep silence in church if there’s no interpreter present, we are here recommended by Paul TO SPEAK, but only to ourselves and to God, and not “publicly” for the whole congregation to hear. There **will** be a SOUND when I speak, but it will not be evident for the whole congregation what I am saying.

See the difference? I am glad to say that this not something that I’ve been taught by some preacher somewhere, but a simple truth The Spirit has shown me as I have studied the Word. Glory to God!

Paul dealt with the bad habit that the Corinthians had, to speak in tongues publicly (“in church”) any way and all the time! That had to be corrected, and it has to be corrected TODAY as well. Wisely.

Thommy in northern Sweden


I CORINTHIANS 14:27 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.

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

How do we get the gift of Tongues? By asking our heavenly Father for the Gift: “Ask, and it shall be given you.

For everyone that asketh, receiveth. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father GIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:5-13

Pentecost I ACTS 2:1-13 Tongues 2:1 Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2:2 Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 2:3 Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. 2:4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak. 2:5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky. 2:6 When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language. 2:7 They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Behold, aren’t all these who speak Galileans? 2:8 How do we hear, everyone in our own native language? 2:9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 2:10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 2:11 Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!” 2:12 They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, “What does this mean?” 2:13 Others, mocking, said, “They are filled with new wine.” 

Bailey Gertrude E NSSC __________________

Speaking in tongues is God’s language pure and simple. It doesn’t have any predictable pattern, it has its own uniqueness. 

Dave Schiefele