Paul didn’t say, “if there is no one present who can interpret a tongue,” but “If there is no INTERPRETER…” There is a big difference. Just because you may be used in interpreting a message in tongues does not mean you are an interpreter. We have learned that in our Holy Ghost Forums. Most of our ministry panel can either give a message in tongues and/or interpret, but there are only one or two who are interpreters. What’s the difference? An interpreter knows which way the Spirit is moving and they interpret the flow.

For example, my wife and I usually moderate these Forums, meaning we interpret the flow of each session. It’s not always perfect and we are ever learning, but we usually know when it’s swerving off the main path, or the theme the Holy Ghost wants emphasized. It’s important that our guest ministers flow with us. If not, there will not be maximum fruit and edification.

I try to instruct new guest ministers to not come with pre-arranged sermon notes, but to just be prayed up and filled up and ready to flow with the Spirit. Believe it or not, most ministers do not know how to do that. They are so used to preaching and teaching a one hour sermon, that they have a difficult time flowing with a team of ministers. If there are too many ministering at once they tend to get in each other’s way. I’m convinced this is why Paul puts a limitation on the prophets. We will share more on the prophets in a later chapter. Actually , the same guidelines could apply to any of the Ephesians 4:11 ministry gifts.

Notice Paul’s instructions to the prophets:

Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (1 Corinthians 24:28-32)

We will look more closely at these verses in a later chapter.