THE GIFTS OF UTTERANCE
1. The gift of tongues
2. The gift of interpretation of tongues
3. The gift of prophecy
These are called gifts of utterance, because speaking is the character of their operation. We also call them gifts of worship, because they are principally used in worship services, while we are worshipping God, reverently listening to His words and answering Him with our praise. These are also called the gifts of inspiration, for they operate through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and because the use of them inspires him who speaks as well as those who listen.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave this great commission to His disciples:
“Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues .. .” (Mark 16: 15b-17).
During past centuries, endeavors were made to preach the Gospel, but the signs which ought to follow the believers were forgotten. Fortunately, in our time there is a return to the whole commission, which Jesus Himself has given. Speaking in new tongues is one of the signs which shall follow the believers.
Speaking in Tongues, the sign of the filling with the Holy Spirit.
When we read through the book of the Acts of the Apostles, we see that speaking in new tongues is the special sign of the filling with the Holy Spirit. The other signs follow afterward. Some might find this ridiculous and would reject this, cause not everyone after the laying of hands for the gift, speak it right away. That happens and that is not an issue. The Bible says; “earnestly pursue, (desire) (be zealous) (ambitious) for spiritual gifts” 1 Cor. 14:1. Like Speaking in tongues and all other gifts we have to pursue ALL the gifts. We explain this further in this topic and you will see that the gift of speaking in tongues is very necessary for building up our spiritual inner person by speaking a secret language nobody can understand. Some will say that it is just languages we know? That’s correct, we see that on the outpouring in Acts 2:8 “And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?” But they didn’t learn these languages. So, there is a difference in “Unknown” 1 Cor 14:2 or “Other” tongues Acts 2:4. We keep ourselves in the love of God and we build up out faith when we pray in the Spirit; that is, when we pray in new tongues. It keeps us in the Love of God. Praying in tongues is also the best form of intercession.
“On the day the Holy Spirit was poured out, there was a sound as of a rushing mighty wind. This was the sign in the air that the Spirit had come down. But the disciples who were filled with the Spirit of God ‘began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2: 4).
And so we read again and again that when people were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in new tongues. In Acts 10 we read the story of the first group of Gentiles. While Peter was still preaching the Gospel ‘the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God’ (Acts 10: 44-46).
Everyone knew that this band of people out of the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit, because they heard them speak in new tongues. Peter remarked later that they received the gift in exactly the same manner as the disciples did, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 11 : 17). Paul found a group of disciples in Ephesus who had not yet been baptized with the Holy Spirit; they had not even heard that there was a Holy Spirit. Paul led them into this fullness through the laying on of hands. ‘And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied’ (Acts 19: 6). These passages of Scripture make it clear that speaking in tongues is the sign of the receiving of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
The sign of speaking in tongues at the baptism with the Spirit is not always the gift. As we remarked earlier, the gift of speaking in tongues is the God-given ability to speak in tongues and that according to our own will. There are people who did speak in tongues when they were baptized with the Spirit, but never again. We then lay hands on them again so that they might receive the gift of speaking in tongues. It is God’s desire that we should all speak in tongues, as Paul writes: ‘I would that ye all spake with tongues’ (1 Cor. 14: 5). Many people hold the opinion that it is the Holy Spirit Who speaks in tongues, but that is not what the Bible says. The Holy Spirit gives it to us to speak. He inspires, but the believer must be at His disposal. God does not make us act like puppets, nor does He lead us into a trance, so that we do not know what we are doing. This is exactly what Satan does – he leads people into bondage. But Jesus sets us free! ‘If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed’ (John 8: 36). The Lord leads us into liberty and gives us abilities. He encourages us to use these. Jesus says: ‘They shall speak with new tongues’ (Mark 16: 17b). The believers themselves speak. ‘For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue … in the Spirit he speaketh mysteries’ (1 Cor. 14: 2). ‘Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret’ (1 Cor. 14: 13). ‘For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth’ (I Cor. 14: 14). ‘I will pray with the spirit’ (1 Cor. 14: 15). ‘I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all’ (1 Cor. 14: 18). These and other texts make it clear that it is the believer himself who speaks in tongues; of course, inspired by the Holy Spirit. This inspiration, this ability, remains with us after the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Speaking to God Speaking in tongues is speaking in mysteries to God (I Cor. 14: 2). The believer who speaks in tongues does not know what he speaks, but he knows very well what he does. He praises and magnifies His Lord in words which he does not understand. He worships His Creator and Redeemer. While he is doing this, his heart is being flooded with love, peace and joy. His faith is being strengthened and he is encouraged in the battle against the powers of darkness. Edification ‘He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself (1 Cor. 14: 4). It is very important to edify yourself. To edify is, among other things, to build up your faith. How shall we ever be able to edify, build up and help others, if we have no power ourselves? We can also sing in tongues. ‘I will sing with the Spirit’ (l Cor. 14: I5b). Praising the Lord by singing in new tongues is also edification. We do this when we are alone with the Lord. Inspired by the Holy Spirit we worship Him then in a supernatural way. Doing this brings wonderful release and renewed strength.
The unknown language
It is clear from God’s Word that speaking in tongues is the expression of languages which are understood neither by ourselves nor by others. ‘For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit, he speaketh mysteries’ 1 Cor. 14: 2). Verses 13, 16, 19, and 27 also make it clear that when someone speaks in tongues, the language is unknown and is not understood. ‘For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful’ (1 Cor. 14: 14). Our understanding opposes these things: ‘What is the use of speaking words which I cannot understand: I am sure God does not mind if I pray to Him in my own language, for then I know what I am saying.’ That is how we reason, but God’s Word says: ‘I would that ye all spake with tongues’ (l Cor. 14 : 5). Jesus said it is one of the signs which shall follow the believers. Paul thanks God that he speaks in tongues more than all (1 Cor. 14: 18). Can we say then: ‘I would rather not’? We will have to submit ourselves to the Word of God and acknowledge that the foolishness of God is wiser than men (1 Cor. 1 : 25).
Speaking to men
The gift of speaking in tongues is also given to pass on messages from God to the people. For this purpose, it is necessary to use the second gift, which belongs with the first, the gift of interpretation of tongues. Paul speaks about blessing with the Spirit (I Cor. 14: 16). ‘To bless’ in the Bible means to bring a Holy-Ghost-inspired word from God. When the patriarchs blessed their sons through the laying on of hands, they received a personal word from God. (Gen. 48 and 49). In the same way, when we speak out a blessing in the Church, the people receive a word from God. If the blessing is spoken in new tongues without interpretation, however, nobody will be able to understand and nobody will be edified. There have been times when the strange languages were understood by those who were present, but those are exceptions. This was the case on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the one hundred twenty people gathered there (Acts 1: 15). ‘And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and (all) began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance’ (Acts 2: 4). People from about fifteen different nations heard them speak in their own language. That was a special miracle from the Lord, which still happens in our time. There have been occasions when we ourselves have been part of a group of worshippers were a stranger was spoken to in his own native tongue, even though the language was unknown to the one who spoke the message. This, then, was a special sign for the unbeliever (1 Cor. 14: 22). A typical example of this is what happened to the well known American evangelist Tommy Hicks while he was preaching in the Russian town of Rostow. He was being assisted by a Russian interpreter, but halfway through the message, this woman became very angry. She refused to interpret any further testimony of Hicks about the miracles he had witnessed. She spat in his face and left him, saying, ‘I will not interpret such nonsense!’ Tommy wiped his face, and in this seemingly hopeless situation, he looked to the Lord for help. In faith he began to speak in tongues. He noticed that the audience seemed to be understanding what he was saying, although he did not understand a word of it himself. He was speaking in Russian! The Holy Spirit moved among the crowd and many gave their lives to Jesus. Hallelujah! The following excerpt from the magazine, The Chinese Christians Today, shows another example of how the gift of tongues has saved certain followers of Jesus from death. Brother Wang writes:
‘Heart-stirring news from behind the bamboo curtain. This has truly happened. A group of young Christians of the Grammar School in Shanghai were on their way into the interior. In the mountains they’were going to visit lived a tribe which spoke an entirely different dialect. At last they arrived, and in one of the villages they began to visit the people, and in broken sentences, tried to talk to them. The people however did not trust them. They thought that they were agents of the Communist government and sent to spy on the villagers. Because of the broken dialect of the students, they were not able to express themselves very well, whereupon the villagers decided to do away with them. They marched them out of the village and led them to a huge tree. They put ropes around their necks and the moment they were going to be hanged had come. In a last effort, one of the students tried to explain himself to the people. He said: ‘Before you kill us, allow us a moment of prayer.’ The villagers allowed this. The students knelt down, with the ropes still around their necks and began to pray. They lifted up their hands to heaven and cried to God to deliver them. While they were still in prayer, one of the students began to pray in tongues. He fluently spoke the language of that particular village. All the inhabitants gathered around them. What did this young man speak about? He spoke about the love of God, about the wondrous works of Jesus, about their desire to visit the villagers, about their love for them. All the villagers were deeply moved and very much ashamed. They said: ‘This group of young people came to visit us and we wanted to kill them.’ The students were taken back to the village and a feast was prepared in their honour, which ended in a Gospel meeting. The majority of the villagers was converted and received Jesus as their Saviour.’
In the love of God
Many people reject the gifts of the Spirit on the ground of 1 Corinthians 13. Indeed, Paul makes it clear that the use of all the gifts without love profits nothing. Therefore he says: ‘Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts’ (1 Cor. 14: I). Only the operation of the gifts together with love is the more excellent way (1 Cor. 12: 31). ‘Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom. 5: 5). It is the ‘love of the Spirit’ (Rom. 15: 30) which we need, and therefore it is necessary to be baptized with the Spirit. Love is the fruit of the Spirit. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance’ (Gal. 5 : 22) – a nine-fold fruit, which must come to full fruition in our lives. The gift of speaking in tongues is given to us also as a means to keep ourselves in the love of God. This is what we read in the letter of Jude, vs 20: ‘But ye, beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God.’
Two important things: We keep ourselves in the love of God and we build up out faith when we pray in the Spirit; that is, when we pray in tongues. He that dwells in God, sins not. When we pray in new tongues, we abide in God and the evil one has no hold on us (1 John 4: 16b – 5: 18). Can we always speak in tongues? Many people are of the opinion that it is only possible to speak in tongues when the Holy Spirit prompts us. This is not so. Anyone who had been baptized with the Spirit and has received the gift of tongues can always speak in tongues, at any moment he desires. God’s Word encourages us to do this often because, through this, we become strong in the Lord. It is also a mighty weapon in the battle against the powers of darkness, Paul calls praying in tongues: praying with my spirit, as opposed to praying with my understanding. ‘For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful’ (1 Cor. 14: 14). In this connection, my spirit is my new man, the new creation in me, which I received at the new birth. ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit’ (John 3 : 6). Speaking in tongues does not find its origin in our understanding, ‘the understanding is unfruitful’.
It is natural that we find this difficult in the beginning. We are used to doing everything with our understanding; we like to be sensible people. But now God asks something foolish of us: to speak words we do not understand. We realize that by doing this, we give our mind, and actually our whole personality into death for the Word of Jesus: ‘They shall speak with new tongues.’ Jesus also says: ‘Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 18: 3). Indeed, we can only enter the spiritual world of the Kingdom of heaven if we, in child-like simplicity, begin to speak in new tongues. Our thought, our speech and actions are changed and renewed through the Holy Spirit. Paul says: ‘I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also’ (1 Cor. 14: 15). When we first pray with our spirit (in tongues) and then with our understanding (in our own language), our praying with the understanding will be led and inspired by the Spirit of God also. It is therefore good and beneficial to do as Paul says: First pray with the spirit and then pray with the understanding.
The spirit of adoption
‘For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God’ (Rom. 8 : 15, 16).
This new man in us wants to speak with the Father in his own, intimate way and to this end uses a language unknown to our natural understanding. The Bible says: ‘In the Spirit he speaketh mysteries’ (I Cor. 14: 2b). Through this communion with his Creator, the new man matures to become a mature son. This is a mystery, and our understanding opposes this. But the Lord has shown us this way and we must walk it. His ways are superior to our ways and who are we that we should criticize the will of the Lord? When we obediently submit to accept this way, we shall partake of the full glory of God. We enter upon a life of freedom and joy which we did not know to exist. So few have seen this way, but God is opening our eyes so that we may find the way which leads us to full power in Christ.
Everything in order
Paul’s writings show us that it is the person himself who speaks in tongues and that he is in control of the use of this gift. Therefore, Paul gives us a few rules to use the gift of tongues in an orderly manner in the Church. ‘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. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the Church; and let him speak to himself and to God’ (l Cor. 14: 27, 28). If it were only the Holy Spirit Who spoke and distributed, outside the will of man, then Paul could not possibly write how everything should be done. In other words, our spiritual man is subject to our will. God does not want us to be led by our feelings, speaking all at the same time, and then say: ‘It is all of the Holy Spirit!’ ‘For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace’ (l Cor. 14: 33). In faith, we hand every meeting over to the Holy Spirit, but we act and speak according to the directions given to us in Gods Word. That is how we come to a perfect cooperation between God’s Spirit and our spirit. To be able to receive the Spirit of God, we will have to disregard our natural senses. ‘The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets’ (l Cor. 14: 32). God does want us to use the gifts of the Spirit sensibly. ‘Forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order’ (I Cor. 14: 39,40). Giving thanks with the spirit We can also give thanks in new tongues. Such thanksgiving is always good, but because nobody understands it, it is necessary to interpret it in the Church. ‘Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified’ (l Cor. 14: 16, 17). ‘Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret’ (l Cor. 14: 13). In the meeting, everything must be directed towards the edifying of the Church. For this reason, Paul would rather speak five words with his understanding to teach others, than thousands of words in a tongue. (I Cor. 14: 19) Paul thanks God that he speaks in tongues more than all. Indeed, it is a gift for which we cannot thank the Lord enough. Everyone who has received this gift and uses it, can say with Paul: ‘I thank God that I speak in tongues’ (I Cor. 14: 18)
Praying in tongues is also the best form of intercession. When we pray with our understanding, it is possible to pray outside the will of God, trying to make God’s plan fit into our plan through our prayers. Therefore the Holy Spirit comes to our aid and allows us to pray according to God’s will. ‘Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God’ (Rom. 8: 26, 27). The Holy Spirit searches and knows our hearts, but He also knows the will of God. ‘For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God’ (l Cor. 2:10b). ‘Even so, the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God’ (vs. 11b). ‘Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost · teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual’ (1 Cor. 2 : 13). Praying in tongues is the perfect form of intercession. Paul writes that we should pray in the Spirit with perseverance for all saints. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel’ (Eph. 6: 18, 19). Let us not neglect to pray in the Spirit for those who are carrying the Gospel, especially for those who are being sent out to new areas, for those in difficult and often very lonely places, or in countries where persecution and oppression reign.
Praying in tongues is a mighty weapon in the battle against the powers of Satan. In the letter to the Ephesians, it is mentioned in connection with the armor of God. Only when we are filled with the Spirit can we realize what Paul means when he teaches: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ (Eph. 6 : 12). Everyone who has learned to use praying in tongues as a sword realizes how mighty a weapon this is. So many times we have seen devils flee when tongues were used with authority. This weapon is indispensable when powers of darkness are being bound and demons cast out in the Name of Jesus. Two weapons of attack are mentioned with the armor of God; namely, the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God), and prayer in the Spirit (praying in tongues) (Eph. 6: 17, 18).
The promise of Jesus was: ‘But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you’ (Acts 1 : 8). This power of the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with our feelings. So many people who seek the baptism with the Spirit think that they must first feel the Spirit before they can speak in tongues. In the original text it says: ‘Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit has come over you.’ This power ofthe Holy Spirit is released after we are filled. We become powerful witnesses of Jesus. The power is revealed through the use of the nine gifts. On the first day of Pentecost, the power was disclosed when they all began to speak in tongues and Peter began to preach, after which three thousand souls were saved. Sick people were healed and demons cast out. This was power and certainly not feeling. Let everyone who is seeking the baptism with the Holy Spirit know that it is not something strange which overpowers us, but rather the new spirit in us through the new birth which comes to fullness at the baptism with the Holy Spirit. ‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God’ (1 John 5: I). A born-again person has received the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of adoption, through Whom we know God as our Father. Through this Spirit, we belong to Him (Rom. 8: 9). The Spirit, Who dwells in us, fills us to overflowing when we are baptized in or with the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus says of the believers: ‘Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water’ (John 7: 38b). The spring is not outside
The spring is not outside us, but in us. An unconverted person cannot receive this. ‘But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God’ (1 Cor. 2: 14). Through praying in tongues we are ‘strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man’ (Eph. 3 : 16). This Spirit will lead us into all the fulness of God (Eph. 3: 19). ‘Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’ (Eph. 4: 13). This power, which works in us, is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Eph. 3 : 20). It is the same power which raised Jesus from the dead and set Him at the right hand of God, far above all principalities and powers (Eph. 1 : 19-20). This resurrection power has already placed us with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2: 6). It gives us power now over all demons and rulers of the darkness of this world. Our body has renewed through this power also. ‘But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you’ (Rom. 8 : 11). It is therefore good for people who are seeking divine healing to receive also the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This power, which conquered even death, is able to conquer every weakness and disease and all mortality in us. There are many people who think that the gifts and powers, the signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit were only necessary to start for the early Church. They refer to: ‘Tongues, they shall cease’ (l Cor. 13 : 8). But when shall tongues cease and prophecies fail? When that which is perfect has come, and we shall see our Lord face to face and know Him even as we are known (l Cor. 13 : 10). ‘For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known’ (1 Cor. 13 : 12). Until we shall see Jesus face to face, praying in tongues remains the most intimate communion with Him for every child of God. And the supernatural operation of all the gifts of the Spirit remains the most powerful connection with the Head of the Church, which is His Body. We need the gifts of the Spirit to lead us to perfection, until this corruptible has put on incorruption and we shall meet the Lord in the air
There are many people who think that the gifts and powers, the signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit were only necessary to start for the early Church. They refer to: ‘Tongues, they shall cease’ (l Cor. 13 : 8). But when shall tongues cease and prophecies fail? When that which is perfect has come, and we shall see our Lord face to face and know Him even as we are known (l Cor. 13 : 10). ‘For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known’ (1 Cor. 13 : 12). Until we shall see Jesus face to face, praying in tongues remains the most intimate communion with Him for every child of God. And the supernatural operation of all the gifts of the Spirit remains the most powerful connection with the Head of the Church, which is His Body. We need the gifts of the Spirit to lead us to perfection, until this corruptible has put on incorruption and we shall meet the Lord in the air
(l Cor. 15: 50-53).
THE GIFT OF INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES
The interpretation of tongues is, like the gift of tongues, a supernatural gift. “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (l Cor. 12: 11). The gift of interpretation does not enable us to understand the tongues which are spoken. “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue … no man understandeth him” (1 Cor. 14: 2). The language of tongues remains an unknown language, even to the one who has received the gift of interpretation of tongues. The gift is not an ability to interpret literally into the native language or tongue. It is, instead, the inspired ability to expound the contents of a message given in tongues. Through this gift we give an interpretation, which does not need to be a literal translation. Therefore, never judge these things critically with your understanding, but receive it in faith. No one needs to doubt whether the gift of tongues and interpretation is meant for men or women. God”s Word says: “I would that ye all spake with tongues” (1 Cor. 14: 5). It is very clear that the Lord desires that we all should possess and use this gift. Therefore, let no one hesitate to receive this gift from the Lord.
Edifying the Body of Christ
Everything the Holy Spirit works is to edify the Church; therefore, prophecy is more important than tongues, unless tongues are interpreted. “For greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the Church may receive edifying” (1 Cor. 14: 5b). When tongues are interpreted, it is equal to prophesy. Paul exhorts us to endeavor to edify the Church as much as we can. “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the Church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret” (1 Cor. 14: 12, 13). When two, or at the most three, people speak in tongues in the Church, then there must be an interpretation. Should no one be present who has or uses the gift of interpretation, then one must remain silent. “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. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the Church; and let him speak to himself and to God” (l Cor. 14 : 27, 28). Paul does not speak here of tongues with interpretation; those messages are not limited to two or three. However, it is better not to continue speaking in tongues in the Church when there is no interpreter present. If the same person who speaks in tongues also brings the interpretation, there will never be confusion and everyone will receive a full blessing.
Sometimes the Lord so leads it that one of the people present understands the message in tongues as well as the interpretation. This happens when the Lord wants to speak to someone in a very special way. It happened with us once when a sister visited a meeting for the first time where the gifts were in operation. She was full of doubt and had prayed that the Lord would make it very clear to her whether these meetings were really of God. A friend, who had been wonderfully healed and was baptized with the Holy Spirit had brought her along. But this sister had so many objections and people had warned her so much that she did not know what to believe. During our time of worship, someone gave a Holy Spirit-inspired message in tongues, in which the Lord spoke especially to her. The speaker had, without being aware of it, spoken in perfect Hebrew, with the interpretation in Dutch, our own language. The woman was Jewish and understood Hebrew. She was convinced through the Holy Spirit, when the Lord spoke to her in a supernatural way and confirmed it by repeating it in the interpretation
It happened that we would have a meeting in a city in Friesland (The Netherlands). A helper who worked in the place of serving a preserving church was very angry about it. He went everywhere to warn people not to go there because “that tongue talk, what they do there is of the devil”. Thus he came to a brother who was filled with the Holy Spirit and a loyal visitor to these gatherings, where he received blessing. This brother took over the preacher to join in to taste and judge himself. “Good,” he said, “I’m going there with some brothers and disturbing the whole thing.” We heard of his intentions and in our praying before the meeting, we prayed whether the Lord wanted to take everything in His hand. We began to sing and praise the Lord. Then the worship service, in which we listened to the words of the Lord in tongues, interpreted tongues and prophecy. A young girl spoke a wonderful message in new tongues, it sounded very different from what we had ever heard of her. Then she brought the interpretation, a very serious, warning word against someone who opposed the Spirit of God.
Everyone was silent and the preacher turned out to be very dismayed, he did not disturb the meeting and continued to listen intensively. The next morning, the brother who invited him to the meeting went to ask him how to find the service. He did not answer, but asked: “Who is that girl who spoke old Latin last night?” The brother understood who he meant and brought him to the girl who had pronounced the seriously warning message. He asked her where she had studied Latin-Latin. She began to laugh and stated that she had never learned ancient languages. “But you spoke old Latin, with a pure translation.” She made it clear that she had spoken in new tongues, as the Spirit expressed her as she did on Pentecost. The preacher understood that the Lord had spoken to him in this supernatural way, for there was no one else in the room than he understood the old Latin. The event impressed him and he dared no longer fight against the gatherings.
This man had to acknowledge that it could only be a miracle from God for someone to speak this language without having learned it, and to follow with a perfect interpretation into Dutch. Still, he was not converted. We saw a passage of scripture literally come to pass: ” “With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me”, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Cor. 14: 21, 22). To one it is a sign through which he is drawn and convinced; to another it is a sign which shall testify against him, through the hardening of his heart.
THE GIFT OF PROPHECY
It is often suggested that the gift of prophecy is the ability to preach. Actually, it is something entirely different. A sermon is prepared beforehand, with the help of the Word of God. To prophesy is to utter words which the Holy Spirit inspires at that particular moment, and of which nothing is known beforehand. The gift of prophecy is the God-given ability to give a message from the heart of God to the people in our own language. Such a message is always to the edification of the Church. “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort” (l Cor. 14: 3). How wonderful that the Lord desires to speak to us with comforting, exhorting words. How we need this encouragement in the world in which we live, full of hardship and struggle. Satan goes about as a roaring lion, and he shall try to antagonize people against us in order to hinder our work and witness for the Lord. When we then come to a meeting where the gifts of the Spirit function, we receive new power through the words of the Lord, which He speaks to us through prophecy or the interpretation of tongues.
Also, when the Lord warns us, He does not threaten us with judgment or damnation, but rather stimulates us to go on in the power of Jesus Christ, to stand in His victory, to fight and witness more. Perhaps you have noticed, that in the Bible we can find many prophecies of judgment and doom. Indeed, the Lord often speaks about darkness and judgment which shall come – but not for the children of God. Jesus has carried away all our punishment. We can be clothed with His righteousness and stand on victory ground against all the works of the evil one. “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53 : 5b). The love of God for His creatures is so great! Jesus has borne all the punishment of our sin and now we only receive blessing and good gifts from our God. Everything the Holy Spirit gives is to bless us and to build us up. So many times, when we were discouraged in the battle and disappointed, we received encouragement and joy when we went to a meeting where the Lord spoke to us in loving words during our time of worhsip. “Let all things be done unto edifying” (l Cor. 14: 26b).
Examples of prophecies in the Bible
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; ,yea I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isa. 41 : 10). “And thou shalt glory in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 41 : 16b). “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk … Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live” (Isa. 55: 1-3). “And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22: 17b). There is nothing which strengthens and encourages our faith more than to listen to the words of the Lord. There are people who say that under the New Covenant, the Lord does not speak in the form of “I” anymore. But we read in the New Testament that the Lord speaks in the same way as He did in past times. On the first day of Pentecost, Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, repeats the words of Joel: ” “And it shall come to pass in the last days”, saith God, “I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh (Jew AND Greek); … I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath”. (Acts. 2: 17, 18, 19).
When the Lord appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, He said: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? … I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9: 4b, 5). Later the Lord reveals Himself in a vision to Ananias and says: “Go (to Saul): for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My Name”s sake” (Acts 9: 15). Peter also receives a vision and a word from the Lord when he is called to preach the Gospel to the first group out of the Gentiles. The Spirit speaks to Peter: “Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them” (Acts 10 : 20). Sometimes it is an angel, sometimes a man, who brings the message, but they are the words of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord. “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19: l0b).
Give heed to prophecies
Prophecies played an important part in the life of the first Christians. Paul writes to Timothy that he should be guided by the prophecies which had been given to him; should he not do this, his faith could be shipwrecked. “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (1 Tim. 1 : 18, 19). Paul himself knew that he was sent through the Word of the Lord: “And as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said: “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them”, (Acts 13: 2). “For so that the Lord commanded us saying, I have set thee to be light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth” (Acts 13 : 47).
Prove all things
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (l Thess. 5: 21). Prove prophecies by comparing them with Biblical prophecies. Never try or judge anything according to your own feeling or understanding. We can test the spoken prophecies by looking for any of these characteristics: edifying, exhorting, and comforting. Edifying means directing the upbuilding of the faith. An example of this is the prophecy Elizabeth spoke to Mary through the Holy Ghost (Luke 1 : 42-45). We read further in vs. 46-55 Mary”s wonderful song of praise. When we compare this song with the song of Hannah, the mother of Samuel in 1 Samuel 2 : 1-10, we sense and recognize that they were inspired by the same Spirit. Exhorting means stimulating to a higher goal, as in the following scripture from Rev. 22: 12-14: “And behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life.” Prophecy is a means for God to give us a word of comfort and encouragement that can compare to the words of angels, such as in Luke 1: 13-17 and 28-38. God often spoke through Isaiah to comfort His people: “O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine” (lsa.43: 1). After John the Baptist was born, his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophesy. In Luke 1: 67-79 we read his inspired utterance, which starts with praise and ends with a prophetic word about the child. This is an example of a blessing pronounced over a small child, as in Luke 2: 29-35 about the Child Jesus.
No fortune-telling God gives us spiritual gifts for spiritual matters. Do not misuse these gifts as some kind of fortune-telling. Sometimes they are used to give guidance to others; e.g., when they must fast, whom they must marry, etc., as if the one who possesses the gifts of the Spirit is a mediator. So often people are inclined to ask a word from the Lord for all sorts of things. Do not allow yourself to misuse the gifts in this manner. This only leads to fanaticism and to situations where one dominates the other. There are circles in which those who possess the gifts have everything to say and rule the whole church. Everything they say is taken and received as the word of the Lord, which everyone anxiously obeys. Out of this arise the most terrible situations. That is not why the gift of prophecy is given. The Lord wants not lead us all personally, by making His will known to us in our hearts. To us, children of the New Covenant, applies this word: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31 : 33b, 34). Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord desires to reveal His guidance and His will personally, to each one of His children, without any medium. Yet very often the Lord does want to confirm to us in a word of prophecy, that which He has already put in our heart is truly His will. When we all desire to receive the gifts of the Spirit and use them as God intends, we shall never arrive at such situations as described above.
The ministry not the same as the gift The gift of prophecy does not make us prophets. A prophet is a person with a special ministry. In Ephesians 4 we read of five ministries, which the Lord has appointed, to preach the Word in the Church. “And He gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4 : 11,12). The ministry of the prophet is, among other things, to preach or teach in the Church because of a special insight or revelation of Gods Word which he has received. Confusion had entered the Church at Corinth. Many people thought they were prophets. They wanted to preach in the meeting but could not wait until the other person had finished speaking. This was no longer an endeavor to edify the Church to the utmost of their ability, but an urge to outrival others. In this church, the ministry of the prophets had to be put in order again: “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If anything is revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace” (1 Cor. 14: 29, 30). We can see from this that the Lord wants to give His words and revelations when the Church comes together. Before bringing into the Church the revelations which are received outside of the meetings, judge first to determine if these are from God. There were people in the Church of Corinth who called themselves prophets or prophetesses and only brought confusion, but no edification. Therefore Paul writes: “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14: 32, 33).
“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14 : 37).
All may prophesy As far as the gift of prophecy is concerned: not only the prophets, but all can prophesy. Paul writes: “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied” (1 Cor. 14: 5). “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted” (1 Cor. 14: 31). Prophecies should not be spoken all at the same time; but one by one, the one after the other. Nobody needs to say: “I could not wait to give out a prophecy, I had to speak at that moment, because the Holy Spirit prompted me.” I say to you: God is a God of order and does not want us to interrupt the prophecy or preaching of someone else with our message. We must wait until the other has finished. The desire of God is made known to us here – that we should all prophesy. He gives us the ability so that we all can prophesy.
The woman in the Church
When we see that Paul was trying to bring back good order out of confusion we realize better why he forbade the women to speak in the Church. It was because of the tremendous disorder that women especially had to be called to order and even had to be referred to the law (1 Cor. 14: 34). Paul writes many times in his letters that children of God are free from the law. “For ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6: 14b). “The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners” (1 Tim. 1 : 9). Because they were not spiritual, but carnal (1 Cor. 3: 2b).
Paul had to restore the order and harmony in the Church through various instructions. When we are spiritual, and completely led by the Holy Spirit, then there is no other law than the leading of the Holy Spirit. “For the law ofthe Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8: 2). For a spiritual person, there is no difference between man and woman, but neither of them shall rule the other. When the Spirit of God is in control, everyone shall endeavor to serve the Church as much as possible in the place where God has put him. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3 : 26- 28). To the spiritual person, there is no difference between male and female, and therefore Paul”s warning that the women should be silent in the Church remains no longer in force. During the time of the Acts of the Apostles, there were also prophetesses who took their place in the Church (Acts 21 : 9).
Often we have heard it said that one must wait for the prompting of the Holy Spirit before one can prophesy. But Gods Word says: Ye may all prophesy one by one. We need not wait for anything, but may act in faith according to the Word of God. “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying” (1 Cor. 14: 26) .. The Holy Spirit gives something to everyone, all to the edification of the Church. What matters is that we take God at His Word and speak out in the Church that which we have received in faith. The use of all the gifts of the Spirit, but especially the gift of prophecy, is an act of faith. In Romans 12 we read something of the ministries and the gifts, especially that prophesying is through faith. “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Rom. 12: 6). The prophecies that patriarchs uttered at the end of their live about their sons and grandsons are mentioned to us in the letter to the Hebrews and reckoned among the acts of the heroes of faith. “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come” (Heb. 11 : 20). “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph” (vs. 21). No one needs to be afraid. When we ask God for a word, then He is a loving Father Who does not give His children stones instead of bread. “For every one that asketh receiveth” (Matt. 7: 8). “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, . will give him a stone?” (vs. 9) “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (vs. 11) We must trust the Lord for these things. Christ lives in us. He is the Word of God. (John 1: 14). “Not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2 : 20b).
Everything was not quite so easy under the Old Covenant. We read of the prophet Balaam that he first had to climb the mountain to have a meeting with the Lord, and only after that was he able to speak the word which God had laid in his mouth (Numbers 23). Moses climbed Mount Sinai to receive Gods Word for Israel in the midst of fire and tumult, smoke and earthquake (Ex. 19 and 20). But praise God, we need not climb up to heaven anymore to bring Gods Words down; the “Word of God”, Jesus, has come down to us. Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, this Word had forever been laid in our hearts. “Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above), or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead). But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart” (Rom. 10 : 6b-8). It is wise, in order to build up our faith and to cleanse us of our own will and thoughts, to pray in the Spirit before we give out a prophecy.
Despise not prophesyings
We must on no account neglect the prophecies. “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5 : 19-21). We have to be very careful here. When we reject or disregard the Spirit-inspired prophecies, we quench the Holy Spirit. It is much better to receive everything from the Lord in child-like simplicity, than reject one word from God and so grieve and quench the Spirit. Trust in the fact that the Holy Spirit divides everything, as the Word of God tells us: “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (1 Cor. 12 : 11). “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy man of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1 : 20, 21). If there is something of which the meaning is not immediately understood, ask the Spirit to explain it to you. He is the Author. He will make everything clear.
It is wonderful to notice how the Lord fulfills His words literally. God stands behind His own words and He fulfills them, too. “I will hasten my word to perform it” (Jer. 1 : 12). Neither can we reject the prophecies of the Old Testament, because these prophecies are a ministry unto us, the Church of the End Time. “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. Unto who is was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into” (l Peter 1: 10-12). “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day-star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1 : 19).
Seek after prophecy God desires that His words should be known on this earth in these last times. We read this in many passages of the Bible: Your sons and daughters shall prophesy” (Acts 2: 17b). “And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (vs. 18). In some measure it is true that God is hindered in fulfilling His plans, as when there is nobody to speak the words of God. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets” (Amos 3 : 7).
It has been proved that churches where the gift of prophecy is in operation are churches that are full with the power of God that is the knowledge who The Father and the Son is in Their Power. The goal to edify the church with the gifts for everyone and the five-fold ministry hand in hand. Certainly not Kundalini manifestations like laughing, falling etc. in the spirit. If this is the case than Hermetic false spirits has invaded the church, see the book left of Andrew about Andrew Strom.
The true worship meetings open with the words of the Lord, inspired by the Spirit and spoken by the people and won’t be disturbed by weird manifestations. Is not the highest form of worship to listen reverently to the words which He speaks to us and to answer with praise, honoring Him?
No prophesying for ourselves
Do not misuse the gift of prophecy by speaking for yourself. The Lord does allow this sometimes and that is wonderful, but we should not make a habit of this or seek guidance along this way. We must use the gifts for the purpose for which God had given them; namely, to the edification of the Church. Sometimes the Lord uses a prophecy to convince an unbeliever. “But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” (1 Cor. 14: 24, 25).
The gift of prophecy is for all Spirit-filled believers
All that is happening in our time, in the Church as well as in the world shows us that time is short. Daily the Lord is baptizing people with His Spirit and prophets are being raised up all over the world. We find encouragement in 1 Corinthians 14 to use the gift for the fulfillment of God” purpose: “Follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts” (vs. 1). “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied” (vs. 5). “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted” (vs. 31). “Wherefore brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues” (vs. 39). “Let all things be done decently and in order” (vs. 40).
What the gift of prophecy in this utterance is NOT in this weird manifestations on youtube:
Shaking and out of control prophesizing, be aware of these manifestations.