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A Heart For God: On Tongues, Interpretation and Prophecy

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Tongues, Interpretation and Prophecy

There is a difference between tongues, the prayer language (1 Cor. 14:2, 4), and tongues, the spiritual gift (1 Cor. 14:5).

Addressing the misuse of tongues, the spiritual gift, in the church at Corinth, Paul was not forbidding its use (1 Cor. 14:39). Of course, tongues is to be interpreted if it is to be acceptable in the corporate gathering/church setting (1 Cor. 14:5, 13, 27). Tongues and interpretation is equal to prophecy (1 Cor. 14:5). One of Paul’s many points in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 is that whatever the spiritual gift is in operation, all should be done in order (1 Cor. 14:32-33, 40) and for the edification/building up of believers (1 Cor. 14:26).

His prescription is the same for tongues as it is for prophecy, “Let two or three speak in turn” (1 Cor. 14:17, 29). It’s because just as there can be a "tongues overload" (as it was the case in Corinth) so there can be a "prophecy overload." ("Pointed preaching" - as some non Pentecostals refer to prophecy - can get carried away, too?)

A person can just take in so much. Where is the line of diminishing return on teaching/exhortation (prophecy) and when/where do you cross the line? How much truth can be absorbed in one sitting and then successfully implemented/applied in a person’s life? I’m talking practically speaking.

And then there’s the whole subject of "technology overload" which I’ll save for another time. Suffice it to say for now, I believe there’s a point of diminishing return when it comes to the use of technology in the worship service as well.

When is a good thing too much of a good thing?

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Blogger Whitney said...


2:52 PM  
Anonymous guidedbyHim said...

Just scratching the surface on this one brother. i was not long ago thinking about this subject and i see how much of a scandel it can due to its miss-use. I have worshiped with quite a few who claim to be speaking in tongues, and i have always ask to myself, if there are so many who claim this gift, why does no-one translate for those who has not been blessed with this divine language. this would no longer leave room for satan to corrupt the saints into doupt and scandel. Just so it is clear, i do believe un the speaking if tongues as a true gift from God, but it fills me with sadness that some have felt it ok to fake such a gift without actually being blessed with it. but in the end, it wil be between them and God. i do not know all the facts about this so if i have come to a wrong conclusion on this subject, please contact me and will very open to hear more on this. i mean that in an honest way. God bless

5:41 AM  
Anonymous guidedbyHim said...

sorry for my spelling in that last message. using my mobile\cell phone ands its quite fiddly. hope you can understand. lol. Peace of God be with you.

5:45 AM  

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