The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit (4)
Last week, we learnt about the vocal gift of speaking in diverse tongues. The two other vocal gifts are interpretation of tongues and the gift of prophecy. Today, let us do a concise study of both.
Interpretation Of Tongues
This is the gift of a supernatural ability to interpret utterances in languages unknown to the speaker. The Holy Spirit gives both the utterance and the interpretation. It could be through the same speaker or another hearer altogether. The interpretation is always into a language understood by the listeners, 1 Cor.12:10; 1 Cor.14:5, 13-15, 27-28; 1 Cor.14:13. The object is to decode or decipher the message and make it plain.
Gift Of Prophecy
This is a supernatural utterance in a known or native tongue. The utterances are divine; the speaker is merely the messenger of a divine message. The speaker delivers an important message from God to a person or persons by divine inspiration. The message could be intimate and of a personal nature or more universal or corporate touching on issues affecting nations or even continents. It could be informative, instructional or a warning. It is in the best interest of the hearers to take it seriously and note every detail in particular, Acts 3:21; Acts 11:28; Acts 21:11; 2Pt. 1:21; 1 Cor.14:23-32.
Prophesy Versus Tongues
The Bible counsels us to covet earnestly the best gifts. Prophecy teaches the people in clear understandable language. It edifies both the speaker and hearers. All prophecy is profitable to all, but tongues are profitable only when interpreted. A single prophecy is more important than a thousand tongues, 1 Cor. 14:2-4, 5-13, 17-19, 27-28. Prophecy convicts the sinners and leads to repentance, 1 Cor.14:23-25.
Tongues and prophecy are both beneficial, but one is more profitable than the other, 1 Cor. 14:4: “The person, who speaks in another language builds up himself, but he who prophesies builds up the church. Apostle Paul said he wishes all speak in another language, but wishes even more that all prophesied. He concluded in 1Cor.14:18 that though he speaks in tongues more than everyone, yet in church he would rather prophecy in five known words than 10 thousand words in an unknown language.
Covet the best gift and pray for it. And you will receive it in the mighty name of Jesus.
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