Unknown Tongues


I Corinthians 14:13-25

What is an unknown tongue. It is a language that the user has not learned. That is a language such as German or French that possibly an English speaking person that has not learned any German or French under the power of the Holy Spirit, speaks it fluently so that a person that speaks that language understands the Word of God. Acts 2:4 relates the gathering at Jerusalem and the many different nations represented. The Holy Spirit gave the members of the church a gift to speak so that every nation heard in their native tongue. It was unknown in that the speaker did not know the language. They had never learned it. We are to speak to edify the church and those in it. Paul says that if you have an ecstatic utterance, it does not do the church any good so save that for private time. The Greek language uses the same Greek word (glossa) here and in I Cor 14. The complete or whole thought and idea that Paul makes in I Cor. 14 is clarity of speech so that all would understand and thereby the whole church may profit from everything said.

Paul says in I Cor. 14:19 “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” This passage is very clear and no one should misunderstand unless, there is that fleshly desire to be demonstrative and claim something that would put a person in a place of preeminence. There are those that wrestle with the scripture to their own destruction. May we always desire the sincere meat of the Word so that when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ we will hear well done. Paul closes with the admonition – “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
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