LTBS 12TH JULY 2020: INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES
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Listening friend, in various past episodes of our broadcast, we started studying a series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In today’s broadcast, the Bible shall speak on one of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church, the gift of interpretation of tongues. We will let the Bible speak on what the Bible says on interpretation of tongues. The nature of biblical tongue-speaking and interpretation of tongues, the consequence of speaking in tongues without interpretation. A major question is “what was the consequences of speaking in tongues without interpretation?”
Before we go on with today’s interesting discussion, please join us in prayer:
- What Is Interpretation of Tongues?
“..and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.” (1Co12:10 NASV)
This miraculous gift endows the believer with the ability to hear, understand and correctly interpret God’s message spoken in an unknown tongue, by the working of the Holy Spirit so that the intended hearers can have understanding. LTBS from 1 Corinthians 14:27:
“If any man speaks in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.” (1Co 14:27 KJV)
The miracle here is just as in the case of the gift of speaking in tongues: The one with the gift of interpretation did not get this ability by natural means of learning the language he is to interpret but by the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit.
Dear listener, the difference here as noted is that the accurate interpretation given was not by the ability of the one with the gift of interpretation but by the working of the Holy Spirit. From 2 Peter 1:21 LTBS
“for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2Pe 1:21 KJV)
- An exact picture of relationship between Tongue Speaking and the gift of Interpretation of Tongues in the New Testament Church
One gifted in tongue speaking speaks mysteries. In a congregation probably in Abuja where no one understands the Idoma language, he speaks in the Idoma tongue the following words “Jisus piotu goo.”
The Bible says this will be unprofitable to the hearers and that the speaker speaks to himself since no other member understands what he is saying except himself and God who alone understands him and so the church is not edified since no one understands what is said. The hearer of this message is lost, completely isolated, a stranger to the speaker’s message 1 Corinthians 14:2 and 11. LTBS:
“he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries…Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. (1Co 14:2, 11 NKJV)
This was not God’s intention for giving His revelation to the speaker in an unknown tongue, since it is not God’s intention that the spoken message remains a mystery but that all will come to the knowledge of truth. Scripture instructs that the one who speaks in strange tongue must pray for an interpretation otherwise remain silent so that the church might be edified in 1 Corinthians 14:28 and 1 Corinthians 14:5. LTBS:
“But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.” (1Co 14:28 NKJV)
“I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. (1Co 14:5 NKJV)
Dearly beloved, kindly remember from our previous studies that the apostles were tasked with the burden of giving the whole world the New Testament of Christ. The last revelation of God was through Christ who delegated it to the apostles. The apostles could not be everywhere at the same time and they graciously laid hands on many who then began to receive God’s message directly from heaven in the first century church. This explains why they travelled long distances to lay hands on new converts. One of the gifts of the Spirit was speaking in a tongue that the speaker doesn’t know but to hearers who will be amazed that one who is ignorant of their language could speak it with such miraculous ability and accuracy. This gift was for evangelism. The same gift however could be used to reveal a message from God to the assembled church as a prophetic utterance. If so used, then it must be interpreted so that all members could understand since it is a message designed for the hearers and not for show off as we see in today’s speakers who speak just about anything that comes into their minds. When the New Testament writing were completed, the direct message from heaven ceased and the gifts became redundant.
- The miraculous gift of Interpretations was for maintaining orderliness in the New Testament church.
Dear listening friend, one outstanding role of the gift of Interpretation of Tongues in the New Testament church was to moderate orderliness in the worship activities of the Church. In the book of Habakkuk 2:20, God declares: "But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him."
We worship God who commands orderliness and humility when we are before Him in worship. This is a point of popular agreement for as humans we have learned how to behave ourselves in respect and reverence during the worship of God but in our rebellious nature, many have refuse to show regard for God or allow for orderliness in reverence to God. Some others act out of ignorance of how to behave when we come to worship God. Listen to what the Bible has to say concerning this in 1 Corinthians 14:26:
“How does this apply, therefore, brothers? When you gather each one has something to present—a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, an utterance in tongues, a translation. Let everything be for edification” (1Co 14:26)
Many of the gifted Corinthians were so eager to speak out what God has given them by revelation and became unruly and disorderly! Again, dear listener, the Bible shows orderliness as a mark of authentic Christian worship in 1 Corinthians 14:23. LTBS:
“If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?” (1Co 14:23 KJV)
Beloved listening friend, looking at what the Bible is saying concerning orderliness in the worship activities we do to glorify God, and comparing it to the rudeness in the name of tongue speaking in today’s churches, one can only be left to wonder if this a gathering of sane people. In the name of speaking in tongue, the whole congregation will be so noisy, and you hear every single one shouting at the top of their voices and no one will hear the other, babbling out meaningless utterances without room for interpretations (and that is if there is any truth to the tongues they claim to speak). In this chaotic environment dear listener, where is the place for the silence and orderliness as warranted by the presence of God? The LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him."
How does such worship answer the question asked in the book of 1 Corinthians 14:23? LTBS:
“So, if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” (1Cor 14:23 NIV)
Beloved listener, the majority of the instruction concerning this gift is found in 1 Corinthians 12-14. This gift is tied in with the gift of speaking in tongues thus the guidelines that are given to the gift of speaking in tongues applies to the interpretation of tongues.
It was done so all could hear. It was limited to 2 or 3 times during a service at the most. It was done in an orderly and non-confusing fashion.
When this was done in the manner that it promoted unity love and learning in the church, great thanks would have been given to God through this gift and other miraculous gifts given to the early church. Today we have the Bible, the perfect law of liberty as stated in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 LTBS:
“Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away For we know in part, and we prophesy in part but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away” (1Co 13:8-10 NASV)
So in the love of God and His church, let any who must speak in tongue today get an interpreter or speak in clear language that the listeners can understand then you can be said to have the Spirit that was with the Apostles on the day of Pentecost (Act 2:1 KJV). Remember the testimony of those who heard them speak in their language: “…Stunned and amazed, they asked, “All of these people who are speaking are Galileans, aren’t they? So how is it that each one of us hears them speaking in his own native language? (Act 2:7-8).
Dear listener, remember speaking in tongues, therefore, is heaven’s gift given by the Holy Spirit to men in order that men will be able to preach the gospel to other men in known human languages in this world. Let us study the fact that biblical speaking in tongues is completely different from all the babbling of meaningless words we hear from self-deceived tongues speakers of today. Please kindly allow the Bible to speak from 1 Corinthians 14:9-13:
So likewise, you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. (1Co 14:9-13 NKJV)
It’s the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space. There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning. But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me. And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said. (1Co 14:9-13 NLT)
Beloved listening friend, is this instruction given to the early Christians not clear enough? They were abusing the use of this gift and were corrected! Today’s highly spiritual believers are above being instructed by the word of God and they flaunt it regularly. When the word of God will no longer be meaningful to you and you persist in going against it, OYO is your name and you know what to expect. LTBS from Hebrews 10:26-27:
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” (Heb 10:26-27 ESV)
The Hebrew writer said no one, even a Christian, will escape God’s wrath if what has been given is neglected. LTBS from Hebrews 2:3-4:
“how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” (Heb 2:3-4 ESV)
Here the Holy Spirit says people should not neglect what had been given to Christians which God confirmed as His word with the signs, wonders and miracles done by these men. I remember one notable miracle done by Paul in Acts 20. A young disciple and Christian fell from a storied building and having fallen asleep and died, probably with a broken neck, Paul went down and “fell upon him, and embracing him said, "Do not be troubled, for his life is in him." and life came into Eutychus. There was no drama, no shouting “In the name of Jesus” seven times etc. (Act 20:10)
The work of God is completely different in appearance and purpose from what we experience in modern-day tongue speaking and interpretation. It is shameful to note that the same bra-bra-bra, ka-ka-ka-ka, santaribobo is spoken every time they claim to be speaking in tongues and since the interpretation must be the same, we see that there is little or no interpretation of the so-called tongues in many of our denominational churches.
Listening friend, you must realize this vital truth: God’s revelation is complete. God is no longer speak directly to anybody, except through His word. It is in line with the completeness of the revelation of God’s word that Jude, penned down an awesome confirmation and admonition in Jude 3 as He was guided by the Holy Spirit. LTBS:
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jud 1:3 KJV)
Dearly beloved, looking at the original text, the Greek, the definite article preceding “faith” points to the one and only faith: “the faith.” Behold there is no other! Jude say’s it was once delivered! It has been delivered! Not being delivered! Today’s apostles are false and they cannot reveal any new thing for God “don spoil dem show” with His word.
The scam of “the Lord spoke to me” has destroyed homes and happy families. The church has been turned into holy shrines with native doctors now wearing suits and carrying Bibles in brief cases. People no longer have the patience to listen to the truth found in the undiluted word to set them free from sin. Will you go scot-free for leading people, whom Christ died for, away from Him? Know that a day will come when you will give account for all you have said and done. LTBS from 2 Corinthians 5.10-11 and Matthew 12:36-37!
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”. (2Cor 5:10-11 NKJV)
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every thoughtless word they have uttered, because by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Mat 12:36-37 ISV)
When a sincere believer goes into any of these churches and wishes also to speak in tongues, he /she will be told to say anything that comes to his/her mind especially when nothing is happening. They claim that they can pray for you and you will be able to receive this gift. Please listen to the word of God! Every idle word or thoughtless word you speak will be accounted for. Do not say since the pastor is saying the same thing you can imitate his tongue speaking and escape judgment! You may be surprised on that day when the Lord say, “depart from me you who work iniquity!” (Mat 7:23)
The Scripture contains all truth, and anyone in search of the will of God concerning his/her life should go to it, because “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.” (2Pe 1:3 ESV)
There are different ways in which people respond to truth. Some only like hearing the truth but they do very little or nothing about the truth. This poor attitude towards the truth has made many to actively or passively reject the truth revealed in the word of God. God however said “Do what God's word says. Don't merely listen to it, or you will fool yourselves. If someone listens to God's word but doesn't do what it says, he is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror, studies his features, goes away, and immediately forgets what he looks like. However, the person who continues to study God's perfect teachings that make people free and who remains committed to them will be blessed. People like that don't merely listen and forget; they actually do what God's teachings say.” (Jas 1:22-25 GW)
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