Now I have seen some abuse, and that’s what really hurts. It hurts when people abuse the gifts of the Spirit. And you may have seen it, and it may have turned you off just like it has turned me off over the years.
But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Okay? Don’t dismiss the operation of the gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues just because you have seen it abused. Okay?
Look, there are some crooked lawyers in America, but that doesn’t make every lawyer a crook. There’s some crooked medical doctors, but that doesn’t make every doctor a crook. There’s some crooked bankers and some crooked people who have gone to jail in the business world, but that doesn’t make every businessman and every doctor a crook.
There are some crooked preachers, but that doesn’t make every preacher a crook. But we Americans have a tendency to paint everyone with the same brush.
You know, when the Enron scandal happened, there were many who just painted every major business in America as being crooked. Well, every business in America is not crooked. Enron was crooked. The leadership was crooked. They were sentenced to jail.
In fact, when one of them was sentenced, he died. And I’m not making any comment on that. I’m just stating the fact. Yes, there were crooked things going on in Enron, but that doesn’t make Shell, that doesn’t make IBM, that doesn’t make Microsoft all crooks.
We Americans and the general media have a way of painting everybody with the same brush. You know, just because President Clinton did some things that America didn’t like doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with the office of the President of the United States. Just because one Congressman in Florida got into a sexual thing doesn’t make every Congressman or Congresswoman, you know, a sex pervert. We have to be very careful that we don’t paint everybody with the same brush. And it’s important.
And so I began to pray, and then afterwards he asked her to pray, and she began to pray. And as she began to pray, she began to prophesy over me. Now this was on live national television, going into millions of homes.
And here’s what she said, knowing nothing about me, knowing nothing of the desires of my heart, knowing nothing about what God had put in my heart, she said, “You have been dreaming of a healing ministry. And God has heard your cry, and God is going to manifest a mighty healing ministry through you.
“And it will be different than the healing ministry that I have given your father. It will be a word of knowledge ministry.” I didn’t even know what the word of knowledge was. She said, “You will speak, and people will get healed.”
Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when she said it. I thought she was a fake, you know. And, you know, I began to cry, and it was an awesome moment. There’s no way on this earth she could have ever had any idea, except God revealed it to her through prophecy.
Well, when the program was over, we went back behind the set, and I called her over and I said, “I owe you an apology.”
And she said, “Why?”
And I said, “I don’t like you.” And I said, “I have judged you, and I’ve been wrong.” And it was an amazing thing. And that woman and I are still great friends today. Thank God for that. But God will do it in an unusual way.
So, anyway, the gift of prophecy is still operational today, and I thank God for that.
Now let’s move on and deal with the gift of tongues and the gift of the interpretation of tongues. The gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues should be looked at together since they should always be manifested together.
What good is an operation of the gift of tongues unless you have the interpretation to go along with it? Now I have been in services where one person in the service would stand up and give what would be classically called a message in tongues. And then there will be a momentary pause, and someone else will rise and give the interpretation.
“Me? I’m up here, I just started my sermon.” I talk to God like this all the time. I always wind up repenting afterwards.
And here he kept getting closer. He got about to where the second or third row is here, and I just put my hand out and pointed and said, “In the authority of Jesus’ name, I speak to this foul spirit that is in you. I call it out of you now.”
You could hear like a rush in the room. You could have heard a pin drop in that room because everybody was watching to see what I was going to do. And I was watching to see what I was going to do too.
Well, when I commanded the spirit to come out, it did. And the man just fell flat out on the floor. And, of course, people began to cheer. “What are you cheering for? Man, I’m up here scared half out of my mind.”
Well, they helped him up. And by this time, the foam had all dried up. And the whip was down on the floor. And he looked up, and he honestly looked at me and he said, “Where am I?”
And the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Stop and give an altar call.”
I said, “Lord, I’ve just started preaching.” Now you all don’t really know me very well. You don’t really know this snide sense of humor that I have with God. I talk to Him—I don’t mean it in disrespect, but if it’s in me, I need to say it and get it out. You know, I wind up repenting. But I said, “God . . . (End of Side #1) . . . because, see, everyone had seen this great miracle.
And so I gave an invitation. A thousand people gave their hearts to Christ. Well, I learned a great lesson that day. All right, that’s how that God works through the discerning of spirits, and that gift has been operating through you at some time in your life, or possibly even now.
Now many of you will say, “Oh, that’s what that was. That’s what I felt when I walked in that room, or when I shook hands with that person, or suddenly I knew something about somebody on my wing.”
There was a reporter there who was going to interview me afterwards, a newspaper reporter. We sat down together afterwards, and the man was not a Christian. He was very critical and cynical. You could see the look on his face.
And he said to me, “Dr. Roberts, how does the word of knowledge work?”
Students, it’s very difficult to explain to the secular world how God operates, because the Bible says that the carnal mind is at enmity with God. And when you try to describe it to a secular world, they think you’re crazy.
And so most of the time when I deal with the media, I don’t know how to answer those kind of questions. But the Lord handled it for me when he asked the question. He said, “How does the word of knowledge work?”
The Lord spoke to me and said, “Don’t answer his question. Instead, ask him how long he’s had arthritis in his right shoulder.” And I did.
And he said, “I’ve had it for years. How did you know that?”
And I said, “Well, never mind how I know that. To answer your question, the Lord is healing your shoulder now.”
Well, he put his pad and his pen down and he began to move his right arm and move his shoulder. His eyes just came out. You talk about shock!
He said, “What did you do?”
I said, “I answered your question. That’s how the word of knowledge works.”
So you can’t explain it, but you have some kind of idea. And I’m sure there are times in your life when you’ve had those kind of experiences, and you’ve not known what to do. Ask God, “God, what are You trying to show me, and what do You want me to do with it?”