A Beginner’s Guide for learning speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, and prophecy. These are 3 of the 9 Manifestations of the Gift of Holy Spirit. Speaking in Tongues, Interpreting Tongues & Prophecy are given to every born again Christian for divine communication, worship and inspiration. Learn what they are and how to do them.
Speaking in Tongues
What it is:
Speaking in Tongues is a phrase meaning speaking in a foreign language. When used in the bible it means speaking in a language other than your own, and you don’t know what it means. Speaking in tongues is physical proof that a Christian is born again and that the gift of holy spirit is inside you.
What you are doing when you speak in tongues:
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) You are praying in the spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:14
f) Giving thanks well to our Heavenly Father. 1 Corinthians 14:17.
g) You are saying that Jesus is Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:3.
Since speaking in tongues is perfect prayer, then it’s best to speak in tongues a lot. Because when you pray with your understanding in your own language, you might miss a few things or heaven forbid pray wrong! When you are praying in tongues you are getting it 100% right every time. Guaranteed.
How to speak in tongues:
Step 1: Get born again.
Step 2: Believe the ability is inside you and that you can do it.
Step 3: Just do it. Set your mind to it and start speaking knowing that the Spirit will give you the words, one word at a time.
Honestly, it really is THAT easy. Don’t over think it!
Interpretation of Tongues:
What it is:
Interpreting what was said while you were speaking of tongues, immediately following what you just spoke. This is generally done in church, fellowship or in a believers’ meeting although sometimes it can be one person to another, as God directs you. The one who just spoke in tongues is always the same person who does the interpreting.
1 Cor 14:5 says, “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”
1 Cor 14:13 plainly states, “Wherefore let him that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue pray that he may interpret.”
So then, when Speaking in Tongues, you are saying in another language some or all the above. When you interpret, you are making known what you said in tongues. This will probably not be a direct translation, but rather an interpretation in your own language.
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 of people in the church. A message to the congregation is the manifestation of Prophecy, not Interpretation of Tongues. We’ll talk more about Prophecy in a few minutes.
What’s really cool about this is that God makes it super 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. How easy is that?
What it’s for:
The reason why you would interpret tongues for a group of people is found in 1 Cor 14:16. You are including others in praying along with you so they can say “amen” to your prayer. When you interpret, others are built up by what you are saying in praise to God through the spirit. They are built up by being part of their worship to God along with you. This builds a sense of family and community.
How to do it:
You open your mouth and speak in tongues. When you are done you immediately speak the first English (or whatever) words that are “on the tip of your tongue,” and they will be there, because God is faithful in his promise. Then just keep speaking the words that come to you. And you know that the words will be in the category of praise and thanksgiving to God. Remember to not pause after you are done speaking in tongues or your brain might become involved and mess up the interpretation. This does not come from your mind but from the Spirit within your heart.
Try to not get caught up in listening to what you are saying or worse yet, trying to think about or anticipate what you will be saying next. Just let it flow. Disengage your mind and engage your heart. That’s where it’s at.
What it is:
Prophecy is simply getting a message from God and then delivering that message. Whatever way you deliver it is fine. By speaking, writing, sign language, whatever. The message will be to any person or group of people that God directs you to deliver his message to.
It is very important to realize that there are 2 forms of prophecy: fore-telling the future or forth-telling a current message. So how do you first receive this message that you are to deliver? Usually it comes to you by revelation though the holy spirit. In really rare cases, it can come through your five senses, like seeing or hearing it. But that would be an odd and rare occurrence. God gave us holy spirit so he can bypass the gunk in your brain in order to have perfect communication with you through your spirit.
There are 2 Types of Prophets:
- There is the occasional act of delivering a prophecy, and
- The Ministry of Being a Full Time Prophet
The Difference between a Single Act of Prophecy and the Ongoing Ministry of Being a Prophet
Just because someone prophesies a message from God, that act does not necessarily make that person a life long career Prophet. Being a Prophet is a gift ministry given to a select few by God (“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” Ephesians 4:11) whereas the manifestation of prophecy is given to all who become born again and receive the gift of holy spirit.
Yes, it seems like a fine line between the two. But not really. The difference is quite vast when you know a few simple details. How do you know if you have the ministry of a Prophet? Because God treats His Prophets differently.
Numbers 12:6 “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, [and] will speak unto him in a dream.
Proverbs says that God sometimes communicates in obscure messages: Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” God communicates many “matters” in ways that take diligent searching to discover their full meaning. Read the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation for more examples of this.
So if you are a Prophet of the Lord, then your job is much harder that just prophesying through the spirit… and WAY MORE is expected from you!
Is All Prophecy From God?
The answer is NO! Both God and the Devil can give prophecy. God’s word is true, the devil’s is false. The Devil always works to undermine what God is doing and has a counterfeit for almost everything God gives. The Devil wants glory and worship for himself, he wants to lead people astray from God.
Here’s an illustration of how it works:
|True Prophecy||False Prophecy|
Other examples of receiving false prophecy include such things as tarot cards, tea leaves, Ouija Boards, crystal balls, etc. In those cases, a demon influences the environment to produce the satanically inspired result. A Christian should never seek information from a demonic source. It is a sin against God (Deut. 18:12) and will eventually end up in his ruin. So watch out and keep away from that stuff.
What Prophesy is For:
So now that you know what a Prophet of God is, and what the difference is between being a prophet and simply delivering a message of prophecy through the gift of holy spirit, what is the manifestation of prophecy for?
The Greek Interlinear version states it best: “3) But he that prophesies, speaks to men for building up and encouragement and consolation. 4) He that speaks with a tongue, himself builds up; but he that prophesies, the assembly builds up.”
When prophesying in church or in fellowship, it will usually be forth-telling; a message from God toward his people that builds them up; strengthens them, encourages and comforts them.
How to Do It:
Much like Speaking in Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues, Prophecy is done in pretty much the same manner. Be calm, if God reveals something to you in church or fellowship then speak it out. But only when it’s your turn. As the “apostle” Paul tells us concerning these things in church, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
In the manifestation of prophecy, you get inspired to speak but you will not know what you are going to say. That is because your brain should be in neutral while your heart is in gear. Don’t think about what you are going to say, or might say, or what you think everyone wants to hear or maybe even what YOU want to say…
No. Speak from the spirit within you. Turn off your mind, open your heart to receiving God’s message, take a breath, open your mouth and speak. And that which you say will be a message from God to the body of believers present or to a specific person. The message will be something along the lines of edification (building up), exhortation (strengthening and/or and a promise of defense) and comfort. It could be any one of them or a combination or all three.
Learn More and Practice with Audio Sermon
Great home bible study simplified for kids & for adults as a quick overview. Especially great for those who are new to the subject of holy spirit gift manifestations so you can be ready for the deeper lessons on how to speak in tongues, interpret tongues and speak words of prophecy.