in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.” 1 Cor. 14:19

In this chapter of the Corinthian letter, the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues (other languages), is the subject. Gifted prophets had the gift to speak to foreigners in their language, but some of them were acting carnally by spewing their gift of speaking in foreign languages without a care that that all or part of the audience in the Corinthian congregation could not understand what was being said – it wasn’t in their language. Though the gift of tongue speaking wasn’t to be stopped, they were presented numerous times by Paul as inferior. Why inferior? Because “five words” that speak to the mind of the hearers is more valuable when people can understand the noise.   Here is a quick look at what Paul says about the abused gift of tongue speaking in 1 Cor. 14…
1. Tongues not translated or explained aren’t talking to man, v2.
2. The foreign language not interpreted only edifies the tongue speaker, v4.
3. Tongue speaking not translated does not profit others the way “revelation, knowledge, prophecy, or teaching” do, v6.
4. Tongue speaking not understandable is speaking into the air, v9.
5. Tongues from God were needed but didn’t edify unless interpreted, v12.
6. The tongue speaker should pray that he interprets, v13.
7. Tongues without interpretation/understanding leaves the mind unfruitful, v14.
8. Also, Paul said for the prophet or tongue speaker to keep his lips zipped unless everyone is able to understand the message.
I could go on but suffice to say that noise doesn’t edify as much as do five spoken words.
This is one of the reasons that the church sings “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” because the lyrics from songs edify the spirit and the mind the way noise cannot. This is also the reason that the modern practice of “tongue speaking” in denominations is worthless and to be rejected.

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