Diverse Tongues and the Apostolic: Love, Hunger, and Beginning to Prophesy in Different Languages (Part Two)

In coming days, God will make it increasingly common for prophets to prophesy in known and unknown languages. Through dreams, spontaneous/ecstatic prophesy, and a variety of creative means that only God knows, God will impart tongues to prophets and prophetic people so that sons and daughters in EVERY NATION prophesy. He will raise up pockets of prophets in every nation on the Earth and each will be a unique manifestation of the character and specific anointing of their regions. We will form a prophetic family of nations unlike anything the Church has yet seen.

Today, I’m going to be sharing some of my personal experiences and the formation God has started as he has begun to give me prophetic words in foreign languages. I still perceive myself to be relatively young on the journey to prophesy multilingually. However, I am writing this article now while the learning is fresh so that my perspective will be more accessible to others just starting out. I am convinced that because God so treasures the nations, he sovereignly imparts the capacity to prophesy multilingually only to people whom he deeply trusts. I am sharing these stories with the hope that prophets and prophetic people will read this post, seek after God, and be counted trustworthy to grow in prophesy multilingually.

Lord Jesus, make us trustworthy.

Some Context for how Languages and Nations are Related

In the Hebrew bible, nations resembled tribes more than they did modern nation states. As these tribes developed, they were united by a common ancestry, worldview, culture, and language.

The sons of Javan:

Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites. From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.

Genesis 10:4-5

These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.

Genesis 10:20

These are the sons of Shem by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.

Genesis 10:31

In each of these descriptions, the tribes are defined through their languages. This should be unsurprising, as having one’s own language and culture is part of what delineates one ethnic group from another today. An understanding of nations as ethnic groups with shared cultural and language carries over to the New Testament. In Acts 17:26, Paul mentions the concept of ethnic groups in his address to the Athenians. In this verse, he uses the Greek word “ethnos” (1484 in Strong’s concordance), defined as “people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture and language”.

In the Bible, each nation would have had its own prophets. Prophesy and divination were common in essentially all cultures, and contributed to a sense of national identity. Like faithfulness in a marriage, Hebrew and Christian prophets in the bible were called to prophesy and speak only according to the visual and auditory revelation they received from YHWH. Adopting the divination methods or consulting the spirits of neighboring nations was considered evil (and by definition, witchcraft).

Read more about the differences between Christian prophesy and the mysticism of other religious traditions here.

Hebrew and Christian prophets in the bible would have prophesied to their own nations and to other nations as God prompted them, for his specific purposes. For example, Abraham was a prophet in Canaan long before Jewish immigration. Jonah (eventually) prophesied to Nineveh. Ezekiel prophesies to Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon, and Egypt. In the New Testament, Thomas goes to India. Matthew travels the Mediterranean and ultimately is martyred in Ethiopia.

Jesus’ finished work on the cross created a new covenant where all nations could be reconciled to God through putting their faith in him.

Understand, then, that those who have faith are sons of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and foretold the gospel to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.b 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:7-9, 28

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups [Jews and Gentiles] one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.

Ephesians 2:14

Today, Jesus has created an adoptive family through his body of believers, binding diverse individuals together by the Holy Spirit.

As Jesus’s death and resurrection was an act of reconciling the nations to one another and undoing Babel, Jesus came to provide a common language (through the Holy Spirit) to bring all all languages to the Father. There will be speakers of ALL LANGUAGES represented in Heaven.

**A Personal Opinion** Based on all this and despite our modern model of nation states, I believe prophets should cultivate prophetic words not just for formally recognized nations, but also for existing ethnic groups. For example, this could look like giving a prophetic word to a Korean American community living in Annandale, Virginia (USA). It could look like giving a prophetic word to an African American community living in Michigan (USA). It could look like giving a prophetic word to Turkish immigrants living in Berlin, or the Sahrawi refugee community living in camps in the Algerian desert. As these communities face disproportionate spiritual warfare, prophets should invest in giving timely prophetic words to help them navigate these challenges. From a place of genuine concern and fearsome enduring love, individuals will recognize and respond to the voice of Jesus.

Multilingual Prophesy is a Response to our Hunger for the Nations

In my case, God began to give me prophetic words in multiple languages as a continuation of the decades long process we have been on together to seek the nations. As a child, I grew up in Lawrence, Kansas. While Kansas isn’t necessarily known for it’s diversity, the University of Kansas (KU) draws a significant population of International Students to Lawrence. In the late 1990s and early 2000s when I was young, my elementary school (Hillcrest Elementary) was the sole school of the USD 497 School District to pilot their English as a Second Language program, which taught the sons and daughters of KU’s International Students. My father’s house was literally at the end of the block bordering the school’s property, which meant that from ages 6-12, I attended school with children from 100+ countries.

In this setting, I heard various languages, tasted many kinds of food, spent time in various families’ homes, heard various styles of music, and generally felt rather ridiculous only knowing English.

Food I had a version of this exact cookbook as a kid, and used to dream about the time I would leave my own country to try all kinds of food and meet new people. To this day, Jesus still uses dreams of me learning recipes from different cultures to direct and confirm his desire for me to go to specific regions. One example of this was a dream I had in late February, where I was taught to cook a version of Sujjeonwa (Korean persimmon drink) as a sign of being entrusted specific tools to nurture the next generation in that region. For the record, I have never actually tried this recipe, I definitely had to Google it when I woke up, and I’m very much looking forward to watching how that particular storyline develops.

By sixth grade (age 11/12), my closest friends were from Korea and Mexico. My friend Glenda was my first real friend, and at 11 years old, she challenged me in a way that changed my life. In viewing my behavior issues (there were plenty), she said something similar to “I don’t think this is really who you are.” When she saw through my pretenses and challenged me to rise to her expectations for me, it changed my life. This experience among many others is part of why I believe in children’s capacity to participate in the full life of Christ from an early age. God help us if as adults, we think that we are significantly morally superior to children.

Languages In addition to recipes, God used the rhythms, textures, and sensory element of my friends’ languages to illuminate his design for community. We were raised in a context were it was inevitable and common to learn phrases in each others languages. I remember the feeling of having foreign words in my mouth as a kid, tripping over phrases and being very pleased when finally, it sounded relatively similar. Growing up in this setting made multilingualism expected, so I never doubted that I would learn multiple languages. Ultimately, I chose to learn Spanish because of the love of my friend and her family. Even after we left to go to different secondary schools, I continued learning Spanish through middle school, high school, and study abroad because of the impact of her friendship.

Music With age, my peers and I began to become more interested in the diverse textures of world music. In middle school, I remember a friend bought me a CD from Putamayo Music in an eclectic, international store where I began my love of earrings. At the time, I remember being most drawn to the music of Latin America, with haunting longing songs that today remind me of God’s longing for the nations.

In these songs, I hear a longing of the soul for more of something hard to describe. While secular, these songs still make me think about the the Church longs after the fullness of Jesus.

Today, I am convinced that if you want to love a nation, you must listen to worship music from their languages. There is something so basic in worshipping God in different tongues. On an emotional level, it weaves us together faster than we can do through years of intentional friendships.

On that note, here are some of my favorite new worship songs I have found traveling:

If you are trying to understand a nation or are trying to confirm a calling to that region, listening to their music with your emotions engaged is essential.

I am also convinced that each language reveals something unique about heart of God. Just like nations carry anointings, so do languages! If we love the Church, we must pause to consider how her voice reflects’ Jesus’ voice through her vocabulary and sounds.

As I have traveled through Glasgow, London, Munich, Singapore, and Brazil, my ears have worshipped God. Hearing the Singaporean Dialact of English with “La” as an interjection, listening to Bavarianized German in Munich, and having conversations with individuals at a hostel about how having a regional dialect makes people more approachable has brought even more longing for languages to the surface.

When I was recently in Germany, the Lord showed me how much he loves German’s intensity and their capacity to mirror the full ranges of his emotions. In the German language, you can hear this same intensity, and it’s beautiful.

We must ask God to show us how he wants to be heard through each language. It is not just enough to ask God how each culture of people’s appearances represent his character (responding to him with our eyes), but we must tune our ears to respond and worship him through the diversity of sound.

In my time in the classroom, I shared this missional/apostolic mindset with my students through teaching my students to Pray for the Nations and through worshipping God in a variety of musical styles.

My students loved the playfulness of Ada Ehi’s worship out of Nigeria, the sincerity of Josh Yeoh’s worship out of Singapore, and the vocal and emotional range of Rebekah Dawn’s music of out Kenya.

I really put my conservative Latino students to the test when we found Christian worship music in Reggaeton (the equivalent of Rap to conservative African Americans). Still, God will use all textures and styles of music to draw people to himself, to reflect the diversity of his people.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

1 Corinthians 1:27

Each style is different, and says something about the people’s unique gifts.

Personally, I love to listen to worship in Kiswahili because more than just a calling to a region, I feel called to the speakers of this language. Something about the sound effects and phonemes of KiSwahili just makes sense on an intuitive level. In working with International students at the University and Elementary school levels, I have met my fair share of East Africans who speak Kiswahili. However, I believe that instead of sending me to just one nation in East Africa, God has given me a love for this language as a sign of the work of unity he is developing within East African nations.

From what I have seen so far, sometimes Multilingual prophesy is related to a specific word God wants to give to a nation.

When it comes to words for nations, I have experienced God giving me regional words through a nation’s corresponding languages or through national symbols.

Using Languages

As part of the practice of regularly asking Jesus what he is excited to be doing in the nations, I got a word for the Netherlands last October that I immediately had to translate. In the vision, I saw a crowd of people on a ship who were afraid to swim. The name of the ship was “Smeosjes”. Later, I watched as the people became increasingly comfortable and receiving Jesus’ invitation to get in the water.

In this situation, the meaning of the word “smeosjes” was crucial to the main idea of the word and the nation it referenced. After consulting Google, I found out that “smeosjes” is Dutch for “excuses”. After getting a clearer sense of Jesus’ invitation to the people, I contacted friend from the Netherlands to get her feedback. Ultimately, the word did indeed resonate with her sense of how Jesus was inviting the people to abandon their fears of looking improper to enjoy going deeper with him.

Another example of a national word through a different language came to me as a dream. In the dream, I was a man riding a bike with my younger sister on my shoulder. We were both singing a song in a West African language (potentially Yoruba) and celebrating the God’s work of taking the community higher. I believe that this dream was a specific word about the work of multigenerational church family God is creating in Nigeria/West Africa.

Using National Symbols

Apart from just languages, God sometimes includes national symbols to clarify a word’s national audience. For example, I had a dream last August where a Korean woman came to give me a traditional wax seal and scroll for that region. Again, prior to researching the symbols, I did not realize that wax seals were a lasting symbol for that culture.

Another example of God using a national symbol in a dream was through a series of dream I had where the name “Andrew” kept coming up again. In the third or fourth dream, I ultimately saw a picture of a x shaped cross that I later discovered was the St. Andrew’s Cross. This symbol is connected to Scotland’s national history, and as soon as I put this symbol in context, it made way more sense.

Other times, Multilingual prophesy is a fruit of loving a people group and can point towards God’s long term purposes for our lives (calling).

Do you trust God to give you away? Do you realize that your life is not your own?

I ask that because ultimately, God uses languages to draw us to a people group when we have given him permission.

There is no calling that can come to us outside of relationship. When we prophesy multilingually from a place of calling, it carries a greater weight than when we just receive a prophetic word for a nation through their symbology or language. We are able to hear the wisdom, gentleness, beauty, and safety of Jesus’ voice through a different language, and it changes our perception of the Bride permanently. In hearing his voice through a different language and responding to it at the heart level, something changes us.

Prophesying multilingually out of calling is inevitably relational, and originates from the Holy Spirit of Adoption. In this process, God adopts individuals to one another and to a land, and can give us words in that language as a result.

A calling to a people group via multilingual prophesy originates in recognizing the sound of Jesus’ voice through a person of a different culture or through a different language. Again, there is no calling that can come outside of relationship.

Calling Comes From Relationship

As I have mentioned previously, my journey with learning Spanish started when I heard Jesus’ voice through my friend Glenda, whose family is from Mexico. Without saying a word about Jesus, her words had the effect of deliverance ministry on me and challenged me to pursue my true identity in a way that ultimately led me to Jesus. God used the love I had for her and resulting language study to draw me to Chile, where I accepted Jesus. I returned to the US, but continued working with the Latino community in Kansas and DC for six years, most recently in a Catholic, Spanish/English bilingual school in DC. For me, these are several moments in a life long story God used to draw me to Latin America. You can read more about that journey below!

Two nights after I obeyed God to leave my job (following many words about a season of travel and accelerated ministry training), God sent me a dream explaining specific details about deliverance ministry he has given me for Latin America. In the dream, an Angel told me intensely to write everything I saw down. I saw an image of one sheep, then a flock of sheep. I later heard the word “rebañen” in Spanish along with other instructions. When I woke up, I was shaken by the weight of the word. I discovered that “rebañen” means “to herd”, and “rebaño” means flock.

The next day I was having a very real moment of “What do I even do with this?” when the Lord directed me to Ezekiel 34 in my bilingual Spanish/English bible and clarified further. Despite my fluency in Spanish, God used unknown vocabulary so I would seek him. Since then, he has begun to give me other words in Spanish in dreams (not frequently, but still more than before). As God has given me more prophetic words in different languages (including but beyond Spanish), I am learning that multilingual prophesy is devotional and not academic. It is more than rote language knowledge. Multilingually prophesy out of calling is involuntary and it is more random than internally processing information in a language we have studied.

Multilingual Prophesy is like other Holy Spirit given gifts in the category of Tongues in that is devotional and does not come through our natural understanding or rote study. Check out more on the category of gifts of Tongues in this post.

I received a prophetic word in November 2021 from Emma Stark about having a deliverance ministry in Latin America. While I had been getting dreams about returning for months, I wasn’t expecting to return to Latin America so quickly. In the final part of the word, I remember that she asked me (from the Lord) multiple times, “Are you brave enough for the level of the leap?” At the time, I did not realize that that leap would require quitting my job, traveling for months, and ultimately having open doors to Latin America when God had grown my trust enough to bear it. However, God continued to speak in urgency about returning to Latin America in February, March, and April, as well as the work of exchange he is developing between Latin America and Asia. As I kept searching, a door opened up for me to visit El Shaddai school in São João de Boa Vista, in the state of Sao Paolo, Brazil.

With my natural mind, I really expected to return to Spanish speaking countries in Latin America, given my Spanish fluency and that I was saved on study abroad in Chile. However, the Lord explained that he has brought me to Brazil specifically to expand my ministry and be able to minister in Portuguese so that I will be more effective for the whole continent. Who knew.

In Calling, We Resonate with the Land

Prophets experience different levels of calling to geographic regions. Prophets with a national responsibility can develop prophetic words for nations without being geographically bound to one region. However, when you are called to a region, your natural disposition and underlying beliefs will mirror the values of the people to whom you are called, like being called to a specific person in a marriage. It is the difference between responding to a region as an inhabitant, a visitor, or (worst) as a tourist. When your feet are on the soil of a place you belong, it will feel like you have been there for years because of the way that your insides have been prepared to be grafted. We intuitively resonate and are drawn to specific land.

I was able to return to Latin America about a week ago, and am currently writing this post from Brazil. I can tell you that while I’ve traveled to various places, I have not intuited the emotions of the land as easily as when my feet have been on Latin American soil (regardless of language). As my plane descended to a lower altitude (about 400 miles out of Sao Paolo) last week, I remember being hit with the lands’ emotions in a way that sank into my chest. Right now, I can sense the yearning and the desire of this continent for release. I remembered that sense of resonance from when I first got saved about 8 years ago, and was really hoping that it would come back. Anecdotally, being back on Latin American soil is a relief and a blessing. I feel that I am able to breathe for the first time in 5 months, since I decided to follow Jesus into the unknown.

Personality-wise, I was hoping that my intensity would find a steady home in this continent, which I struggled to find in D.C. (USA). In prophesying my call to Latin America, Emma Stark said, “You actually have the fire, and the passion, and the determination for Latin America. And you have the breakthrough anointing for there as well.” Since I’ve been in Brazil, my emotions are aligned to the emotiveness of the people. I can blend in and not stress about overwhelming people. I don’t have to mince words or step on eggshells. Being here has given me freedom to relate to God’s emotional range more deeply and in a way that feels so much lighter. As I rest in the Lord in this region of calling, he is polishing aspects of my personality (like strength, passion, and freedom) to be a gift to the rest of the body of Christ.

RECENTLY

Some Final Thoughts

Prophesy is emotional, and multilingual prophesy must come out of God’s love for a people group. You can and should read the bible in multiple languages. You can and should listen to worship in multiple languages. And you can and should listen to prophets prophesy in their native languages.

However, none of these spiritual disciplines can be a substitute for loving a people group or a land. If we want more love, we have to ask Jesus.

**Side note** Currently, my favorite Latin American prophet is probably Magda Felix. She carries such fire that I sincerely hope God elevates her ministry through greater use of technology (ie, Youtube). She has a marvellous breaker anointing and I am sincerely praying God gives her an even greater platform for this region.

Praying for More Love

So Jesus, would you change our insides so that we will be aligned to what you are singing over the nations?

We want to hear your voice through many tongues and people.

We are grateful for English as a temporary lingua franca, but we will see your Kingdom come powerfully through ALL tribes and ALL tongues.

We are grateful for Western prophets, but we will see pockets of prophets springing up in every corner of the earth.

We love you. We are excited for the nations to know you through miracles, signs and wonders.

Show us the part we each have to play and bring us to our right regions.

Make us trustworthy and give us prophetic words in many languages that will bless the nations.

Use us to draw them to your Son.

In the wonderful name of Jesus,

Amen.

Published by Haley Nus

Previously... [I am a bilingual Christian Educator in the heart of D.C. who longs to see revival transform K-12 education both domestically and internationally. I believe that inquiry-based and experiential teaching methods pair seamlessly with godly awe and point us through the gospel towards a Creator who invites us to taste and see his goodness (Psalm 34:8). While I love sharing the gospel with people, I take Jesus's invitation to welcome children in his name (Luke 9:48) and Jesus's exhortation to become like children (Mathew 18:3) literally! In order to shape the world well for adults, we must serve the youngest among us so that we will truly understand who we are as sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18).]

2 thoughts on “Diverse Tongues and the Apostolic: Love, Hunger, and Beginning to Prophesy in Different Languages (Part Two)

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