There is no doubt that our great and mighty Creator is communicating to the Church on the foundation of the inspired writings of the Holy Bible. Christians rightly expect for God to minister to them from its study, from an active prayer life, and consistently gathering with other committed believers. But the idea of a more direct kind of communication is typically regarded by many churches as perhaps some kind of mental illness, the deception of demons, or at best reserved for an outstanding person of God on an infrequent basis.
       This is said because of the sincere belief that the Holy Spirit no longer uses some of the spiritual gifts employed when Christianity first began. Many born again and knowledgeable scholars of the Bible teach that God’s use of these particular gifts—the speaking of an unknown language, the interpretation of this tongue, and/or prophesying—were intended only for the Christians of the first or second century A.D. until the written New Testament was firmly established.
       Unfortunately, with these kinds of strongly held beliefs, biases, and worries about the deception or distortion of the Biblical truth, these manifestations can become very divisive within the Christian community. In addition, the modern Christian mind in general seems to be uncomfortable with them, perhaps because they are so distinctly supernatural and therefore unpredictable, and cannot be scheduled into the program of a church meeting.
       Yet there is a significant, vital, and growing part of the Church that knows that all of the original gifts of the Holy Spirit as seen in the New Testament are intended to be exercised today, and that they are meant to be an active part of its spiritual arsenal. In fact, it has been estimated that millions of Christians are using the gift of tongues throughout the world today, though it seems the gift of interpretation of the tongues and/or prophecy is given to far fewer. These Protestant or Catholic believers are usually known as Pentecostals or Charismatics. But even within these various groups and churches, there would still be differences of scriptural and/or personal conviction as to how much importance these spoken gifts should have, in addition to how and when they should be used in a public setting.
       Although their ability to function comes from the power of the Holy Spirit, there is still a lack of understanding of what elements are actually at play when these spiritual gifts are active. One might wonder if the process could possibly be tampered with by the forces of darkness? Could the message-giver’s own subconscious or character weaknesses unintentionally influence what is spoken? Should Christians make allowances if there are occasional factual mistakes or minor inconsistencies—for whatever reason?
       As a disclosure, a very small portion of these messages do have biblical and mathematical errors. But unlike the grammar issues, this was felt to be far too relevant to merely correct, since it deals (among other things) with the issue of credibility, even if one already accepts these kinds of gifts as genuine. Though none of these errors were included in the Lips of Clay Transcriptions book, the full-length transcripts will show the occasional errors that either the editor has left as is but footnoted the needed correction OR the correction was inserted and the original wording footnoted. Of course, it is expected that people will ask, “If these messages are really from God, why do they have these problems?” Frankly, the Hardin family does not have conclusive answers from their current understanding.
       Although there were some feelings of embarrassment to disclose this, they had to remind themselves that the Lord has chosen to work in and through his people, despite their sinful nature, weaknesses, fears, or outside hindrances. Few Christians could claim that they have never had any sort of resistance, distortion, or ineffectiveness in the use of a spiritual gift—of any kind. Does not the Lord train and teach, and are not mistakes an expected part of this learning process? This is probably why Paul, in I Corinthians 14:29, stated that prophetic utterances were to be judged or evaluated by the Christians who heard them, not just blindly embraced.
       If you are not familiar with these kinds of spiritual gifts and want more information in general, there are many well-reasoned Christian books and websites that will offer in-depth scriptural examination -- pro and con. A Google search for phrases such as “gift of tongues or prophecy,” “gifts of the Holy Spirit,” or “prophetic utterances” will bring up scores of hits, some Christian, some not. But don’t be content to just read about it. Experience the utterances first hand and meet the people who have these gifts. Contact the leaders of your local Pentecostal or Charismatic churches.