Does the devil understand us when we speak in tongues? I have always thought about this question ever since I received the gift of speaking in tongues.
In the church I used to attend and several others the assumption was that the devil cannot understand when we speak in tongues. While I didn’t refuse the claim, I was skeptical because I didn’t have Biblical proof.
After doing research on my own, I finally found an answer which I want to share with you.
Can the Devil Understand Tongues?
What the Bible Says about the Devil Understanding Tongues
I have read the Bible many times but I have never come across a verse that either approves that the devil can’t understand tongues or one that disapproves.
According to me, knowing whether the devil can understand when we speak in tongues is an important question that the Bible should have provided an answer for.
I realized that the Bible provides an answer to this question but the answer needs a high level of understanding.
The Bible does not explicitly tell us whether the devil can understand tongues because the answer is not straight-forward.
There are circumstances in which the devil understands tongues and circumstances when he can’t. If you are rebuking the devil in tongues, you want the devil to understand. If you are praying to God in tongues, you don’t want the devil to understand.
Because of the infinite variations in circumstances, the Bible could not give a straight-forward answer.
Also, speaking in tongues is diverse. I have explained the diversity of speaking in this previous article.
Because of the diversity of speaking in tongues, people understand it from different angles. Depending on the angle someone perceives speaking in tongues, the answer to whether the devil can understand will vary.
The Devil has no Gift of Interpreting Tongues
The devil has no gift of interpreting tongues which directly means the devil cannot understand tongues.
The gift of interpreting tongues is given by the Holy Spirit. Since the devil is not filled with the Holy Spirit, he cannot have the gift.
Tongues spoken are the work of the Holy Spirit. Without Him, tongues can’t be spoken. And since it is the Holy Spirit who does the speaking, it is only Him who knows what He is saying.
If someone else is to know what tongues mean, the Holy Spirit must give the person interpretation.
Considering these factors, it is clear that the devil cannot understand tongues.
However, this only applies to tongues that are spoken to God. In other terms we call it ‘praying in tongues’.
When you pray to God in tongues, the devil cannot understand. The tongues you speak to God are concealed so that other people, angels and the devil cannot understand them.
However, other people can understand the tongues you speak directly to God if the Spirit of God reveals the meaning to them. But angels and the devil have no way of understanding them because they are not filled with the Spirit of God.
God designed tongues in this manner to secure our relationship with Him so that neither the devil nor angels can interfere with it. Remember both angels and the devil once interfered with God’s will for men; in Eden and during the days of Noah.
The Devil Understands Tongues of Men
The different languages we speak on earth are part of speaking in tongues. On the day of Pentecost, the tongues spoken were real earthly languages and other people could understand them.
This type of tongues can be understood by the devil. The devil understands the tongues of men because they do not need the interpretation power of the Holy Spirit.
When people pray in understanding, the devil understands them. Praying in understanding is limited to earthly languages which the devil knows.
In fact, the devil uses these human languages to deceive people. When the devil speaks to people, he speaks to them in earthly languages that they understand.
When we are casting out devils, we cast them out in human languages and they understand.
In the book of Acts, when the demons were speaking to the sons of Sceva, they spoke in a language that the sons of Sceva could understand.
The fact that devils can speak human languages means that they understand them.
Speaking in tongues that involves real human languages will be understood by the devil.
The Devil cannot Understand Tongues of Angels
Tongues of angels are those we speak when we are giving instructions to angels. Remember the Bible tells us in the book of Hebrews that angels are ministering spirits.
Angels serve us in different ways; they watch over us as God commanded them, they bring us messages from God, they drive out demons when we ask them to etc.
Since angels are our servants, God designed speaking in tongues to include communication between us and angels that the devil cannot understand.
When you speak to angels in tongues, angels understand but the devil does not. This is particularly important when you are waging war against the forces of darkness.
We can still communicate with angels through human tongues but the devil will understand.
Can the Devil Understand Tongues? Conclusion
The devil can only understand tongues if they are spoken in human languages. Tongues spoken to God and to angels, the devil cannot understand.
In the Bible, when a hand appeared and wrote on the wall in the book of Daniel, the message was encoded. Since the message was from God, it is obvious that God encoded it.
The magicians tried to interpret the message but they could not. Daniel, who had the Spirit of God, interpreted it.
The message written was in tongues and since the devil cannot understand tongues, the magicians who were using his power could not interpret it.
When I was looking for Biblical proof that the devil cannot understand tongues, that was the scripture that I received.
Now that you have this information, maximize speaking in tongues. With greater understanding, comes great power.