“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit… to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”—1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (emphasis added)
Have you claimed victory by the blood of Jesus? If so, then according to the Bible, you have access to the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues. This spiritual gift is given to you by the Holy Spirit as part of your inheritance through Christ.
For this gift to operate in your life, you must know how it manifests and what purpose it serves for the Church in our modern age. Let’s examine what God’s Word reveals about the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues.
What is the Interpretation of Tongues?
The interpretation of tongues is a supernatural ability—distributed by the Holy Spirit who dwells in you—to decipher and interpret a language that is otherwise unknown to the person operating in the gift.
To be clear this is not a translation, meaning that there is not a word for word explanation for the unknown language. Rather, there is the ability to recognize the intent and message of the language that is being spoken.
The apostle Paul gives a detailed description of the gift of interpretation of tongues in his letter to the Corinthians…
- “In the law it is written: ‘With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; and yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,’ says the Lord.
“Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.”—1 Corinthians 14:21-24
Paul is quoting Isaiah 28:11-12 here, which recounts Assyria (a people who spoke a language not understood by Israel) defeating the rebellious Israelites. Based on this, speaking in another tongue is a sign to unbelievers, while the gift of prophecy is for Believers.
In other words, the gift of the interpretation of tongues is to discern and reveal God’s truth to unbelievers.
It is important to note that this gift comes and goes as the Holy Spirit distributes it. Meaning that just because you have been able to interpret different kinds of tongues in one situation does not always mean that you will in the next situation.
What is the Purpose of the Interpretation of Tongues?
The purpose of all spiritual gifts is for the edification of the Church. The interpretation of tongues accomplishes this by affirming God’s ultimate power and authority to unbelievers.
- “And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.”—1 Corinthians 14:25
Does the Interpretation of Tongues Operate with Other Gifts of the Spirit?
Yes, the gift of interpretation of tongues always operates in agreement with the gift of speaking in different kinds of tongues. However, it also operates in tandem with many other gifts.
Quite often, you will see the interpretation of tongues reveal a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge, witnessing to Believers and strengthening their faith.
How to Activate the Interpretation of Tongues
The key to activating this spiritual gift is to earnestly desire it, then petition the Lord for the gift to manifest in your life. However, if you feel that you have been diligently seeking this spiritual gift and it is not manifesting in your life, consider asking the Spirit to reveal what is blocking it. Expect Him to reveal this knowledge to you for a purpose.
As He exposes the obstacles that may be standing in the way, be ready to “ACT.”
- A- Apply: Apply the truths that the Spirit revealed to you. Have confidence in HIs guidance. Ask Him for wisdom and discernment as you spend time in His presence. Finally, repent for anything that feels unresolved.
- C- Change: Make the necessary changes in your life that will allow your spiritual gift to manifest. Ask God to reveal any roadblocks that may be getting in the way of your ability to operate in in the gift of interpretation of tongues.
- T- Transform: Petition the Holy Spirit to resolve any doubt and make you a vessel of truth. Be mindful of opportunities to develop and strengthen your gifts through obedience.
The interpretation of tongues is a supernatural ability to decipher and interpret a language that is otherwise unknown to the person. This gift can be given to the same person that is operating in the gift of different kinds of tongues or to a different Believer all together.
The manifestation of this gift is variable and is only distributed through the Holy Spirit. Its purpose is to reveal God’s true character to unbelievers by serving as a witness of His absolute power and authority over all things.
What a beautiful picture of RESTORATION and REVIVAL!
We pray Psalm 80:19 with expectancy…
“Restore us, O Lord God of hosts, cause your face to shine, and we shall be saved!”
The Body of Christ is experiencing a new beginning and renewed spirit as we make a daily choice to be obedient to the Spirit’s leading. Praise the Lord!
As we wash our souls by the blood of Yeshua, God renews our spirits. As a result, we can expect great rejoicing, which will release more of the Spirit’s power within us, witnessing to the world.
Some of you may be operating with the gifts of the Spirit, such as the interpretation of tongues, for the first time in this new season. Take a moment to pause and give thanks to the Lord for His power. Discover more about this supernatural gift and walk empowered…