The Gift Interpretation of Tongues

If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. (28) But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 KJV

God is and has always been a God of order. Things in the church should be done in an orderly fashion as well. The apostle Paul wrote the letters to the Corinthians because they were baptized with the Holy Spirit but they were operating out of order. Many times a believer can feel a surge of energy rising in them but we must always deliver God’s message with order and decency.

The gift of the interpretation of tongues is one of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit. The manifestation only relates to a situation where a message or utterance has previously been given in an unknown tongue. Those who are used by the Holy Spirit to speak a message in an unknown tongue should pray for the interpretation and receive it from the Holy Spirit. It can feel quite intimidating if you get a word from God in tongues but now you are responsible to tell the rest of the congregation what you just said. No one understands what you said in tongues so it is good that it be interpreted. Many times God will give the interpretation to 2 or 3 other people in the same setting and they will be able to confirm if the interpretation is correct.

The responsibility ultimately relies on the person who spoke it out first. In a setting at church if everyone is praying in tongues together there often times will be an instance where God will use one person to speak louder than the rest of the congregation. Everyone else will immediately stop speaking so we can hear what God has to say. It is pretty amazing how this happens. And when the person who is operating in the gift gives the message to the body of Christ it should have 3 characteristics. It should:

  1. Edify
  2. Exhort
  3. Comfort

But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:3 KJV

Those three characteristics allow others to know it is from God as compared to the person’s flesh or soul. You will know because it will change and become condemning and feel the opposite of those characteristics. We are not perfect by all means but these are the things that help us distinguish if God has spoken an encouraging word to his congregation.

There are times when a message can be short and the person may add to it. This is when the two or three other witnesses can judge it to know if is from God or from their own soul. Does the whole message line up with God’s word? We know the accuser of the brethren is Satan. He always makes a believer feel weighed down and guilty. If a message becomes condemning we can know it by using God’s word. Stay tuned for more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.