What is Interpretation of Tongues?
By Daniel Sweet, President God's Word First
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What Interpretation of Tongues is: Interpreting the speaking of tongues is generally done in a believers' meeting as God gives the utterance to the speaker in a different language, then immediately following, the same speaker brings forth the interpretation in the dominant language of either the speaker or of the people present.
1 Corinthians 14:5 (“unless he interprets”), and verse 13 (“that he may interpret”) makes it very clear that the one who speaks in tongues is the only one who can bring forth the interpretation of that particular message. Speaking in Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues are two of the Nine Manifestations of the Gift of Holy Spirit that is given to all who become born again believers. These two manifestations, along with the Manifestation of Prophesy, form a power trio package of worship and inspiration.
So it stands to reason that before you interpret tongues you must first speak in tongues, in a foreign language. Right? Right.
What you are doing when you speak in tongues:
a) Speaking to God and not to men. 1 Corinthians 14:2.
b) Speaking the Wonderful works of God. Acts 2:11.
c) You are magnifying God; Acts 10:46
d) Edifying yourself, building yourself up. 1 Corinthians 14:4
e) Giving thanks well to our Heavenly Father. 1 Corinthians 14:17.
f) You are saying that Jesus is Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:3.
A side note: If you are not speaking in tongues, then in your spiritual prayer life you are not truly and completely confessing Jesus as Lord. Because as it says in 1 Cor 12:3 “no man can say Jesus is Lord but by the holy spirit.”
So then, when Speaking in Tongues, you are saying in another language some or all the above, then when you interpret, meaning to make known the sum and substance, or the gist of what you said, not a direct translation, but an interpretation in your own language...
What should that message in tongues be? What would it sound like?
It will be something along the lines of Speaking to God and not to men, praising God, calling Jesus Lord, giving thanks to the Father, etc. It will be a message to God, not a message to the congregation. A message to the congregation is the manifestation of Prophecy, not Interpretation of Tongues.
If you hear someone speak in tongues then interpret, and it is a message of exhortation, comfort or instruction to the people around you, then that person just spoke in tongues and prophesied. That was not an interpretation of the tongues just spoken because interpretation of tongues is not exhortation, comfort and instruction to the congregation but rather praise and worship from you to God.
Interpretation of tongues is not a message from God to believers. 1 Corinthians 14:2 says that “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God.” That’s very clear, and, obviously, the interpretation of tongues follows suit: it is not to men but to God. What’s really cool about this is that God makes it mind numbingly easy for us to praise and worship Him because through speaking in tongues He tells us exactly what to say to Him that He wants to hear. If only it were that easy in our other relationships!
Learn what interpreting tongues is for and how to do it
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About the Teacher:
Daniel Sweet is the President and founder of God's Word First. He is an Ordained Minister, Biblical Scholar, Teacher and an expert author on the subject of Leadership. Daniel Sweet and his wife, Debbra Sweet, have overseen the growth and development of multiple in home fellowships and have been instrumental in helping many people come to the knowledge and truth of God’s Word.