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A Gift for Today...continued

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Interpretation of Utterances in Tongues

The interpretation of an utterance in tongues can best be described as a supernatural showing forth of the meaning of the tongues. It must be noted that this is not a translation nor is it word for word but rather an interpretation of the meaning of what was said. It is as important to weigh the interpretation, as it is to weigh prophecy, a point that is often overlooked.

The same criteria may be used with one addition and that is that biblically most references to tongues are towards God and only one is towards man. Therefore if someone continually interprets tongues towards the congregation, it may be that the person doesn't have the interpretation but a prophetic word. There may be a need for teaching in the orderly administration of the gifts.

W.R. Jones in the book Pentecostal Doctrine in the chapter headed 'The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit' (14) states:

""To another the interpretation of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12: 20), and this gift again is absolutely supernatural. It is the power of the Holy Spirit enabling the possessor of the gift to interpret into a known tongue a message given in an unknown tongue, without that person possessing the least knowledge of the language spoken.

It is called the gift of interpretation of tongues. It is not so much a translation of the language as the Holy Spirit making clear what was spoken in tongues. Its main purpose is to make the message in tongues clear to the church, for, unless it is made clear, how can the church be edified (1 Corinthians 14:5)? So once again we see that the underlying factors are order and edification, so this is why only one interpretation to each message in tongues is permitted (1 Corinthians 14:27). Since there can only be one, two or, at the very most, three messages in tongues in one service, there can, therefore, only be a similar number of interpretations."

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