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In the last program, part two of the gifts of the Spirit, we talked about the gift of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing and miracles.  Today we will talk about prophecy, discerning of spirits and speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. 

Prophecy is speaking, writing, or otherwise communicating a message from God to another person or persons.  There were many prophets in the Bible; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel and so on.  In Acts 2:17-18 it says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”

Prophecy is speaking a message from God to people or an individual.  It comes from the Holy Spirit living within you.  Prophecy is to strengthen, encourage and comfort people.  Prophecies can cover many situations such as predicting future events like you read in the Old Testament; giving someone counsel or encouragement.  It could be for confirmation of what God has been speaking to you or for instruction or possible correction. 

All prophecy needs to line up with Scripture.  God will never go against His Word.  Does it mean that only certain people can prophecy?  No, I believe if you open up yourself to doing God’s will and have an intimate relationship with Him, He will speak to you and through you to others.  There is the office of the Prophet and some people operate in this gifting all the time.  We should always test what someone prophesies over you.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment.  If it does not line up with Scripture or it goes against what God has been telling you, then reject it.

Why is it important for us to seek to prophesy or listen to others who do?  It gives us spiritual vision; it edifies; it comforts; it can confirm what God is speaking to you; it guides you.

Discernment of Spirits:
Discerning of spirits helps to discern whether it is God’s Spirit; a human spirit or an evil spirit in a given situation.  This gift, combined with prayer for deliverance is often used to help people become free from the oppression of evil spirits.

Discerning of spirits is such an important gift, especially living in the world we are now living in where there are so many voices out there on television, social media and so on.  Remember, Satan comes as an “angel of light” to deceived.  Just because something looks like it is okay does not mean that it is. 

For example, the New Age Movement appears to be spiritual but it is really misleading people.  Even Yoga, which seems pretty harmless, is really seeking other spirits rather than God.  The philosophy of the New Age Movement is basically---- God is in everything (pantheism); All things are one (monism); Man is God; Mind creates reality; One’s own experience validates the truth.  In another program, we will go more into New Age Philosophy and why it is so dangerous to be involved in it.

Through the discerning of spirits, the believer will know what is motivating a particular person or situation.  A believer may be operating under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, his own feelings, thoughts and desires or receiving thoughts from a wrong spirit, an evil spirit.  This gift is very important because we need to know the source of what we are hearing or seeing and if it is discerned that someone is being oppressed by a demon, we have the authority in Jesus Christ to cast that demon out.

I have encountered a demon working through another person several times.  In each of these times the person confronted me and I spoke boldly back to them with words that were not coming from me but from my spirit---the Holy Spirit in me.  I have also prayed with others and when a spirit of infirmity was commanded to leave in Jesus’ Name from someone, another person actually saw, in the spirit realm, an evil spirit leaving that person.


Speaking in Tongues
It is also known as praying in tongues.  It can be exercised at will and used in private or in public prayer situations.  It is used in this situation to build up the person.

On Pentecost, the Apostles who were part of the 120 who gathered in the upper room received the gift of speaking in tongues.  There were many people from other places who came to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost and when they heard them speaking in tongues they were astonished because they hear their on native tongues being spoken.  

At other times, praying in tongues is the “language of angels.”  It is an unknown tongue, a heavenly language so to speak.  It is your spirit praying a perfect prayer that the Holy Spirit in you is praying.  Wow.  How awesome that we can pray the perfect will for our lives!!

Jesus said in Mark 16:17, “And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages.”
In Romans 8:26, it says, “So too, the Holy Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.”

There have been testimonies of people being prompted to pray for a particular situation or person and then find out later that there had been divine intervention.  A friend of ours had the gift of speaking in tongues and when he would go out to pray for some Native Americans, he would be praying in their native language.

If you want to receive the gift of praying in tongues and someone prays for you or you ask on your own, don’t be discouraged.  If you really seek it, it will happen.  Just trust God.  It is really a faith exercise.  It may sound like gibberish but do it like a child learning to talk or walk.  Next time you are alone, put a worship CD on and just start saying Alleluia, Hosanna, just open up your mouth and let the Holy Spirit fill it.  You never know.  One day you may wake up and start speaking in tongues!

Interpretation of Tongues
This gift is either given to you in your personal prayer or in a community.  When people are gathered for example in a prayer meeting and someone speaks a tongue out loud it is important that it is interpreted because the Holy Spirit wants to speak to us with understanding.   I Corinthians 14:13-14, says, “Therefore, the person who speaks in an (unknown) tongue should pray to interpret and explain what he says.  For if I pray in an (unknown) tongue, my spirit (by the Holy Spirit within me) prays, but my mind is unproductive (it bears no fruit and helps nobody.)”

The interpretation can be delivered by the person who spoke in tongues or another person.  It isn’t necessarily a direct translation but a sense of the message being given.  If there is no one to interpret, then maybe it was not intended for everyone.  Listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling you.

When you are praying in tongues, the Holy Spirit is praying through you.  There have been scientific studies of the brain showing that when a person prays in tongues, there is a certain area of the brain that lights up.  Also, it has been shown to boost the immune system and when someone is speaking in tongues it is not in the area of the brain where the brain processes and produces language.  This shows me that it is not a biological function but a supernatural experience.

The Gifts of the Spirit are given for a particular moment of need in the Body of Christ.  Not every person exercises every gift all the time or one person may be more able and/or motivated than another in exercising a specific gift such as the office of the Prophet.  Remember that in I Corinthians 13 Paul said that we can speak in tongues and have many of the gifts but if we do not have love, then we are nothing.

In our next program, we will talk about the Baptism of The Holy Spirit and how to receive it.


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