I’ve written previously about the relationship between tongues and spiritual mysteries and also have also shown that speaking in tongues is NOT the initial evidence of the infilling with the Holy Spirit. Please click on the link below to find one of these posts:  On Sunday 29th March at 9.05 p.m. I was directed to read 1 Corinthians 14. As I read, I reviewed truths that I had already understood:


  1. Tongues are a spiritual gift given by God (v 1).
  2. The person who speaks, sings, prays in unknown tongues does so to God (v 2, 13-16).
  3. We speak from or with our spirit when we speak in unknown tongues (v 2b, 14).
  4. The person who speaks in tongues edifies and builds himself up in the faith (v4, Jude 1: 20)
  5. The spirit is edified when we speak in tongues because we speak mysteries between ourselves and God (v 2b). Mysteries in the Greek means   mystērion  (http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3466&t=KJV)
  6. No one understands the language of tongues, unless there is an interpretation given (v 2b, 6- 11, 13).
  7. Paul taught the believers to accompany tongues with interpretation (v 13-16)
  8. Paul also made a comparison between the gifts of tongues and prophesy in relation to clarity of understanding, exhorting the believers to desire and use the gift of prophesy in order to edify, exhort and comfort the believers in their mother tongue (v 3).
  9. He reminded the believers that tongues were for unbelievers, after the order of the day of Pentecost (v 22).
  10. I wondered if Paul was speaking about the tongues of angels rather than foreign human languages (as on the Day of Pentecost). But does it matter? If one speaks in tongues, whether human or angel, the hearers will be void of understanding.
  11. However, verse 6 popped up with a new meaning that I had not seen before:

“Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?”

My eyes became open with a new understanding of this previously overlooked verse. I now saw it in a new light, especially in the context in which Paul wrote. Remember that he wrote that tongues hold mysteries that should be ideally revealed in the language of the hearer in order to be profitable to the church. In 1 Corinthians 14: 6, using HIMSELF as the example, Apostle Paul showed the believers that they would not understand a word he said if he spoke to them in tongues. They could identify with that, because he was their Apostle/Elder. They would want to know exactly what he was saying.Each of these mysteries will provide extensive teaching and I will attempt to expand on each in subsequent posts. We also need to answer the question that verse 6 poses to us. That question is, why does Paul pay so much attention to the gift of prophecy in this letter to the Corinthians? Why does he not focus on the gifts of revelation, knowledge and doctrine?

Why is this done? I believe that the quest for the answer will reveal some fascinating truths. My first impression that the gift of prophecy is part of the portfolio of every believer, in keeping with God’s promise made to Joel. However every believer is not qualified to bring forth revelation, knowledge and doctrine? Paul was very careful to use himself as the example when speaking about the exercise of these particular gifts.

The believers in the Corinthian church already knew that the Apostles were the ones to teach them the doctrines of the faith. Paul also would use only well trained ministers such as Timothy and Titus to deliver teachings and corrections when he was unable to do so in person. This is the order in the Body of Christ and this is why the Lord appoints Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors and Evangelists to edify the believers and to bring us into the unity of the faith.

Blessings and have a great day.

Paul is actually saying that HE would be speaking revelation, knowledge, prophesies and doctrine when he exchanged the currency of tongues for the Greek language.

In the statement in 1 Corinthians 14: 6, therefore, Apostle Paul has essentially defined the mysteries spoken in the spiritual realm in the gift of tongues