Interpretation of Tongues is NOT the gift of translation. The interpreter usually does NOT understand the tongue used in the utterance just given.
By this gift of the Spirit, the one given the interpretation perceives what the Spirit was saying through the tongue, and is able to simply say it to the congregation, so they may receive it and be edified by it.
Who May Use This Gift?
The Interpretation of Tongues is given “as the Spirit wills” (1 Cor 12:11). Any Spirit-filled believer may be chosen and anointed by the Spirit to interpret a tongue.
Initially you may only have the first sentence of the interpretation and a brief idea of what is to follow, when you first begin to speak. Like all other gifts of the Spirit, this one operates by faith too.
As you commence to give forth what the Spirit is giving you, take care NOT to speak “beyond the proportion of your faith ” (Rom 12:6). Strenuously avoid letting any personal thoughts, feelings or ideas creep into the interpretation.
When the interpretation is complete, and you sense that the Spirit has finished all He wishes to say, then stop! Do not begin to tell the people what you think the interpretation means.
Having delivered the interpretation, remain quiet while the utterance is judged by those who sit by. If there are any believers present who are regularly used in the vocal gifts, they should judge whether the words are truly from God. The standard by which one may judge is similar to that which we would use for judging prophecy.
THE GIFT OF PROPHECY (1 Cor 12:10)
Simply translated, the words prophesy means “to utter inspired words”.
According to 1 Corinthians 14:31, all believers may exercise this gift at some time, as the Spirit wills.
Everyone may prophesy, one by one, and not more than three in any one gathering (1 Cor 14:29-33).
The purpose of such prophetic utterance according to 1 Corinthians 14:3 is to:
- Edify the Church: This means to build up and strengthen the believers.
- Exhort them: To stir up the believers; to confront and challenge them.
- Comfort them: To speak encouragingly, words of comfort.
Often times a prophecy may include all three of these elements.
THREE MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT PROPHECY
- It should not be confused with preaching. Many today insist that the Gift of Prophecy is the ability to preach well. However, preaching and teaching are usually the result of prayerful meditation on the Word of God, and careful preparation.
In contrast, the Gif t of Prophecy is not the result of careful study. It is a spontaneous speaking-forth by the Spirit (even though the timing of its deliverance is under the control of the prophet).
- The Gift of Prophecy is NOT for foretelling the future. This gift is for forth telling rather than foretelling. Its purpose is for Edification, Exhortation and Comfort -not for seeking to predict future events. Whenever there is an element of prediction within a prophecy, it is usually because there is another gift (Word of Knowledge or Wisdom) working along with it.
- This Gift is NOT for personal guidance. If we are in need of personal guidance, we should ask Jesus Himself for it (James 1:5). We may also seek such guidance in the pages of God’s Word, the Bible. If a prophetic utterance comes to us with instructions for the future, it should only be to confirm what God has already shown us personally.
SCRIPTURAL TEACHING ON THE GIFT OF PROPHECY
- It is for speaking supernaturally to men (1Cor 14 :3) – thus conveying the mind of the Lord to the Church.
- Prophecy requires no interpretation.
- Prophecy convinces the unlearned or unbelieving (lCor 14:24, 25).
- Prophecy functions so that believers may learn (1Cor 14:31).
- Everyone should desire and covet this gift (IC::or 14:1, 39).
- The person operating the gift is responsible for its use or abuse (1Cor 14:32). Prophecy is NOT an uncontrolled utterance. Nor is the prophet under any kind of trance or mind control. He is neither doing anything nor saying any thing against his will.
- Because the human element is fallible, prophecy must be judged (1Cor 14:29).
How Shall We Judge A Prophecy?
A genuine, Spirit-filled prophecy: