III. INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES

 A. WHAT IT IS NOT

  1. NOT SIMPLY IMAGINATION
    It cannot be the imagination of the mind, as some teach, because it works through the spirit of
    man, and not his mind. Mental ability is no more employed in interpretation of tongues than
    medical science was used when Paul said, "stand up right on your feet," and the man leaped and
    walked.

  2. NOT THE ABILITY TO TRANSLATE LANGUAGES
    Interpretation of tongues cannot be a translation of languages. One without the Spirit of God can
    have the natural talent of translating languages.

  3. IT IS NOT TRANSLATION BUT IS INTERPRETATION
    Because it is not a word for word translation, it may be given in first, second, or third person. It is
    not always in the first person. For instance, one person may bring the interpretation like this:
    "Behold, I am coming soon; be ye ready." The next one may say, "The Lord says He is coming
    soon and He says for you to be ready." Still another may bring the same message in other words,
    as "The Lord is coming very soon; be ye ready."  This gift does not always quote the exact words
    as translators; for interpretation is not translation. It tells the meaning of a message as one may tell
    the meaning of a dream, a symbol, parable, sign, or an action. Two preachers bringing the same
    message from God do not use the same words. I may understand one better because he is from
    the same part of the country as I am. One interpreter may speak such large words that it would
    have to be interpreted to someone in the audience who did not have a large vocabulary.  Danielís
    interpretation of the heavenly language written on the wall (Dan. 5) consisted of many times the
    number of words on the wall. One interpretation may consist of just one-half as many words as
    another because one congregation may be better educated.

  4. NOT REPETITION OF SCRIPTURE
    This gift is not repetition of scripture, but can be sometimes.

  5. NOT SIMPLY THE GIFT OF INTERPRETATION
    This gift is not the gift of interpretation, but interpretation of tongues. It is not and cannot be used if
    there has been no supernatural tongues spoken. It is not interpretation of people, thoughts, hard
    sayings, actions, riddles, dreams, or anything in the natural; but it is interpretation of supernatural
    tongues. It cannot be learned at school in a million years, but can be given by the Spirit in a
    moment of time to any Spirit-filled person.

 B. WHAT IT IS
  1. DEFINITION
    The Spiritual gift of the interpretation of tongues is the supernatural manifestation of the Spirit of
    God using one's vocal organs, giving utterance in one's own language, telling the meaning of the
    words which have been spoken with tongues.

  2. APPLICATION
    This Spiritual gift is telling the meaning of what is spoken in a supernatural language. It is a vocal
    miracle. Paul says that interpretation of tongues is equal to prophecy (I Cor. 14:15). He says this
    gift helps us to profit (14:16). God says for us to pray for this gift if we speak with tongues (14:5),
    and for us all to speak with tongues (14:5&13). Paul said LET someone interpret (v. 27). There
    should be SOMEONE to interpret each message. There does not need to be a CERTAIN one;
    neither should there be competition (I Cor. 14:27).

  3. METHOD
    The meaning may be told in divers manners (I Cor. 12:6, 14:6).  It is possible sometimes to
    get the interpretation of prayers, psalms, praise, and songs, as well as a message to people.
    Although God may manifest this gift through any of His children, as He wills, we should prefer
    one who is more experienced to use this gift if he is present.  The leader of an assembly is not
    required to wait until the "official interpreter" (if there be such a thing) is there for a message
    in tongues to be given and interpreted; for God will give the interpretation to the leader
    (I Cor. 14:5, 13).

 C. BIBLE EXAMPLES
    There are many places in the Bible where it states "the Holy Ghost said" or "Hear what the Spirit
    saith unto the churches." It is not known in every case whether it was interpretation or prophecy.
    But some things we do know are:
        1) The gift of interpretation of tongues was set in the Church (I Cor. 12)
        2) This gift is NECESSARY (v. 22)
        3) This gift was never taken out of the Church
        4) This gift was used all down through Church history,
        5) Paul taught the members the church at Corinth to use this gift (I Cor. 14).
 


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