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1Cor 14,1-40

(95c) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude >> Speaking in tongues >> Tongues are a spiritual gift – Paul in no way downplays spiritual gifts; in fact, he has devoted chapters 12 through 14 to them. If there were anything that Paul downplayed about spiritual gifts, it was speaking in tongues, probably because it was abused even back then. However, we should make a distinction between three different kinds of tongues. First, there is your personal prayer language (Rom 8-26,27), which you can use as often as you wish without interpretation, so long as you are alone. Second, there is the tongue that Paul is addressing here that is expressed in public, which requires an interpretation. Last, there is the tongue that speaks a foreign language that the speaker has never learned that the audience can hear in his own native language. This third form of tongue is addressed in verses 20-25 of this chapter; we also find it in Acts chapter 2.

(152j) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Speaking a prophetic word from God – Not everyone speaks in tongues, for God is able to communicate with us in other ways. Some have disregarded speaking in tongues, while others consider them from another dispensation that ended. Whatever reason they don’t speak in tongues, we are all called to know the mind of God, for He wants each person to develop the hearing ear. The goal of Christianity is to become sensitive to God’s Spirit. Although we have the Bible, and though we have a simple faith in God and are born-again, yet if we haven’t developed an ear to hear the Holy Spirit, we are essentially lost in the world. There are things God says to us that pertain to His word and to our calling, and we need to know both.

(176i) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Zeal without knowledge (Spirit w/o the word) >> Passion without principles – This entire chapter is essentially about speaking in tongues in the Church. Paul’s instruction about this is if anyone speaks in tongues among the congregation, there must be an interpreter, but how many churches disregard this instruction and allow everyone to speak in tongues at the same time without an interpreter? This is not the format that Paul wanted the churches to follow. It is disorderly, based on rebellion, and has caused many problems in the Church, turning off conservative denominations, such as the Evangelicals and the Baptists. They have seen and heard about these practices and have hindered unity among churches of God. Full gospel, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are just to name a few that are guilty of this disorderly behavior. Paul was emphatic in verse 37&38, distinguishing his opinion from the Lord’s command, saying, “If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.” God is a God of order, and if any pastor does not recognize this, his ministry is not recognized. We should refrain from hosting disorderly services simply from respect for the Lord's will, but if we are unwilling to obey this word, what other rebellion are we harboring in our heart? Anyone who sees this behavior in the Church should treat it like the tip of an iceberg and assume there is far more rebellion just below the surface. They can read for themselves that these things should not occur; they have given the gifts of the Spirit a black eye. See also: Rebellion (Running from God); Lk 9,24-26; 195c

1Cor 14-1

(35j) Gift >> God gives Himself to us >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> Spiritual gifts >> Knowing the mind of God

(77c) Thy kingdom come >> Hunger for the essence of God >> Hunger for His truth -- This verse goes with verse 39

(107c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Word of God creates faith – The one who prophesies edifies the Church more than any other gift, except love, which is not a gift at all but a fruit of the Spirit. It is ironic that speaking in tongues is the least edifying yet the most popular gift in the churches that advocate the gifts. Remember what Jesus said to the rich man in Lk 16,29-31, who asked Him to send someone from the dead to warn his brothers of this hellish place of torment where he found himself? “‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them. `No, father Abraham,' he said, `but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' He said to him, `If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" So then, the word of God is more edifying to the Church and convincing to the world than the effecting of miracles. Jesus' purpose for performing miracles was to prove His identity; therefore, the purpose of miracles, signs and wonders is to authenticate the work of God.

(124d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit At the end of chapter 12 Paul said to earnestly desire the greater gifts, then said, “I will show you a still more excellent way,” referring to the love chapter (13). Now in the beginning of this chapter he started by saying, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” This verse ties all three chapters together, proving that Paul was treating love as a spiritual gift. Although we know love as the primary fruit of the spirit, according to Galatians chapter 5, Paul is temporarily treating it as a gift to make the point that the whole purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is to edify the Church, which is what love does best. 

(152e) Prophets (Key verse)

(193l) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to God in your freedom to choose righteousness

(248j) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> The Highest Values >> Top Priority – Paul said to pursue love, “yet earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” That is an amazing statement. There are spiritual gifts other than speaking in tongues and prophesying, such as the effecting of miracles. Why didn’t Paul want the Corinthians to especially pursue the gift of healing, for example? There are always those who get sick in the Church and seeing someone healed of their affliction is a tremendous faith-builder, or is it? Everyone has heard it said that if only they could see a miracle from God, they would believe in Him. Maybe they world and maybe they wouldn’t. The purpose of miracles is to authenticate the word of God, but in the Church the word of God is already authenticated by faith of His believers, and so the only purpose of healing in the Church is for the sake of those who are sick. If we who believe saw a miracle, it wouldn't have the kind of impact on our faith like the word of God already does. This is why Paul encouraged us to earnestly seek to prophesy, because it is more edifying than witnessing a miracle!

1Cor 14-2

(110k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Effect of the spirit on the word -- This verse goes with verses 6-8

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1Cor 14,3-19

(139h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Edification -- These verses go with verse 26. The advantage of prophesying is that people can actually understand what we are saying. Speaking in tongues as a personal prayer language is perfectly acceptable, but not in church without an interpreter, simply because it doesn't edify anyone except the one speaking in tongues. Paul was writing to the Corinthian Church, which was the least mature church in all his epistles, yet they were the most interested in operating the spiritual gifts. They wanted to wield the power of God without responsibility. People who are immature want to wield the gifts of the Spirit, but those who are mature seek the fruits of the Spirit, knowing that the gifts will follow. It doesn’t work the other way; the fruits do not follow the gifts. Quite possibly every church that has sought the gifts of the Spirit has seen at least some level of competition with them. This is why we should seek the fruits of the Spirit and let the gifts follow, being also why Paul said at the end of chapter twelve, “And I show you a still more excellent way (1Cor 12-31),” and then proceeded to write about love. 

1Cor 14-3

(138i) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Exhorting the people to work together -- This verse goes with verse 31

1Cor 14-5

(248k) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> The Highest Values >> Some things take precedence over others -- This verse goes with verse 19

1Cor 14,6-11

(171e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vanity lacks worth -- These verses go with verse 16. Those who are mature seek the fruit of the Spirit, and those who are immature seek the gifts; it is just that simple. To seek the gifts is to seek power, but to seek the fruit is to seek edification in the Church and fulfillment in life. The fruits don’t promise happiness, but love is joyful by nature. In stark contrast, the deception of seeking power through the gifts of the Spirit is that it promises happiness when it simply cannot deliver. People have made movies about this, where the bad guy is a power-hungry flesh-peddler, and the good guy is kind to everyone he meets and is happy. Happiness and fulfillment in life can only be realized by seeking the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians chapter five). Love, joy, peace, patience…, these are the things that make us happy and fulfilled. When it comes to edification, the fruits of the Spirit reign supreme. For example, love is edifying by definition, but speaking in tongues is not. The effecting of miracles can put on a great show; everyone is fascinated and amazed to see the finger of God at work, yet these things can be misinterpreted and edited from our memory, whereas love can be neither misinterpreted or forgotten. To love and serve God is the most edifying thing we can do, and it is the first commandment.

1Cor 14,6-8

(110k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Effect of the spirit on the word -- These verses go with verse 2

1Cor 14-6

(80j) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to minister to people >> To edify one another – This chapter is dedicated to keeping order in the Church. Paul said in 1Cor 14-26, “Let all things be done for edification.” That should be a principle rule for every church. There are gifts of tongues and they have a place in the body of Christ, but when people come together as a church, our aim should be to edify one another, therefore to speak in tongues in church with no interpretation is pointless. We should confine our speaking in tongues to the prayer closet; there is no need for interpretation when we are alone. According to Rom 8-26,27, we pray in tongues when we don’t know what to pray, that is, when we are seeking direction. This regularly happens when life becomes too difficult for us to comprehend. Sometimes all we can do is feel, and without putting our feelings into words God has given us a way to pray in the Spirit. We are spiritual people, and the spirit realm is nebulous to our flesh, and when we add sin and life’s difficulties to the mix, life can get out of hand in a hurry.

(109c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelations of the Holy Spirit >> Things revealed by the Spirit -- This verses goes with verse 26

(239j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> The gift of teaching >> The ability to teach is a gift from God -- This verse goes with verse 26

1Cor 14-12

(95f) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> Cooperating with each other -- This verse goes with verse 26. Paul contrasts speaking in tongues with edification, saying that edification trumps speaking in tongues. Paul wanted order to remain in the Church, and his attitude about it was if any church refused to comply with the rules, then that ministry is not recognized (by God). Therefore, we should run from it, for where there is a lack of order, there is also a lack of truth, wisdom, divine direction and reverence. We can pray however we want in our own home, but in church speaking in tongues is restricted to at most two or three, and one at a time with an interpreter. If we seek direction for our personal lives, it has nothing to do with speaking tongues in church, but if we want to pray for the Church, we should speak tongues in the assembly, making sure there is an interpretation. We go to church to be edified, not to hear a lot of people speaking in tongues. If a person speaks the oracle of God, we all know he has a sound mind, but if he speaks in tongues against the order of the Church, how do we know he's not a maniac?

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1Cor 14,13-15

(82d) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Our approach >> How to pray – Paul was speaking to the individual saying that if we speak in tongues, our spirit is nurtured but our mind is unfruitful. When we are alone, we can pray however we wish, but if we pray in tongues only, our mind is not edified. When we pray in tongues, we are speaking the thoughts of God, but there is hope of transferring that information from the spirit to the mind, suggesting that our spirit is higher than our conscious mind. Even unbelievers have an unconscious mind; science verifies that this is where we go while we sleep, but Christians have a spirit beyond that, where God interfaces with us when we pray in the spirit. God has mixed His Spirit with ours, but there is also an aspect of us that is off limits to the mind, and God is calling us to seek that spiritual level where God lives in us that we might understand His thoughts (1Cor 2,12-16). It is good that we speak in tongues, but Paul is asking us to understand what the Spirit is saying. Remember what Jesus reiterated in the first three chapters of Revelation, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This is the objective of speaking in tongues, and this is how we develop spiritual understanding and learn God’s will for us, tuning our ears to His Spirit, and one way of doing that is through the interpretation of tongues. See also: Seeking direction by praying in tongues; 1Cor 14-16,17; 82i

1Cor 14-14

(197f) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Man withers when he is in control >> Fruitlessness >> Neutral is unfruitful – Paul’s major point in First Corinthians is edification, starting in chapters twelve and going through fourteen. He was saying tongues are a spiritual gift, that if they were not useful he would not have mentioned them. If we speak in tongues only, we may edify our spirit well enough but our mind is unfruitful. This is why He taught that if we speak in tongues in church, there must be an interpreter (Vs 27,28), yet how many Pentecostal churches have we visited where everybody speaks in tongues at the same time? Paul would say they they’re out of order! This is the perfect environment for demons to gain a foothold in two ways: through the disorder itself and through rebellion of God’s word underlying the disorder. Perhaps they didn’t study the Scriptures enough to know they shouldn’t be doing this, but this suggests willful ignorance of the Scriptures.

1Cor 14-15

(252f) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship God >> Worship God who is Spirit >> Worship God in the Spirit -- This verse goes with verses 24&25

1Cor 14-16,17

(82i) Thy kingdom come >> Prayer >> Thankfulness >> Giving thanks for His blessings – Paul said, “In the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.” Now we now know the significance of speaking in tongues; it bypasses the mind in prayer. Why would anyone want to do that? Speaking in tongues is a prayer to God for direction when we don’t know which way to go, hence the reason for bypassing the mind. It is also a type of giving thanks, and so we say, ‘Speaking in tongues gives thanks to God for giving us direction.’ We pray in tongues, searching for direction and for understanding of God's word, which dovetails at the juncture of His will. We enter by the narrow way Jesus said in Mat 7-13, as a trail of good works that cuts through the darkness. One good work leads to another, so when we look back we see a straight and narrow trail, but sometimes we can’t find it, so we pray in the spirit and ask God for the interpretation. At its core, speaking in tongues is an exercise in forming phonemes without knowing which one we will say until we say it, just like not knowing which step we will make until we take it, trusting God that we are laying our foot on the exact spot that He intended. See also: Seeking direction by praying in tongues; 1Cor 14,13-15; 82d

1Cor 14-16

(171e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vanity lacks worth -- This verse goes with verses 6-11

1Cor 14-19

(248k) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> The Highest Values >> Some things take precedence over others -- This verse goes with verse 5

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1Cor 14,20-25

(142c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> Prophesy about evangelism – Paul quoted a verse from the Old Testament in regard to speaking to people in a foreign language, introducing a spiritual gift that enables the preacher to spontaneously convey the gospel in a foreign language that he doesn't know but is native to his audience. An account of this gift is found in Acts 2,1-12, during Pentecost when the Spirit rested upon many of the saints and they prophesied in a foreign tongue to strangers who could hear the gospel preached in their own native tongue. This is a totally different gift from heavenly tongues that has been the subject of conversation for the last couple chapters. Paul did not do well to communicate this shift in topics from speaking in a heavenly tongue to speaking in a foreign language. This should clear up any confusion in verses 22-24. Paul said that the gift of tongues is a sign to unbelievers that God is among those who preach the gospel in a foreign language, and then he described the scenario of an unbeliever wandering into an assembly with all speaking in their prayer language, concluding that they are mad. If you speak your prayer language in people’s hearing, they will think you are mad, but if you speak in their native tongue by the Spirit of God, they will fall on their faces confessing that God is certainly among you. Speaking in a known language that you have never learned is a miracle, whereas speaking in your prayer language does not edify the hearers. See also: clarifying Vs 22,23; 1Cor 14-22,23; 53i

1Cor 14-20

(42f) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent of all evil – We are to be children when it comes to evil but adults in our thinking. Of course it is too late to be innocent of sin, since we have already sinned and come short of the glory of God, so Paul is urging us to keep our experience of sin to a minimum by being mature in our thinking. This is just another way of talking about renewing our minds in the word of God to avoid the sinful nature directing us back to the elementary principles of the world.

(62l) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Grow up

(79d) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Monitor your thoughts – If we dwell on sin, we will eventually do what we are thinking. Conversely, if our mind is dwelling on the thoughts of God, we cannot help but walk in His ways. Jesus spoke to the Jews in His day and said that the heart of man brings forth any and all forms of evil, for the heart is the origin of sin (Mat 15,18-20). The heart is not just the origin of sin but also the origin of righteousness, holiness and truth. It is all in how we program our minds. In this life and in this world we have an affinity for evil, but we can resist it, despite the sinful nature that dwells in us. We can live for Him regardless of what the world says and regardless of what our flesh demands of us, but we cannot live for Him while we dwell on sin. We must renew our minds, for whatever is in our heart will ultimately manifest.

(137i) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing in Jesus is hard work >> Maturity is a training process – Satan thinks he has depth, but God would say that he is only surface-deep (Rev 2-24). Paul wanted us focusing on the simplicity of the gospel (2Cor 11-3), but the elementary principles of the world are even simpler. People accuse Christians of being simple-minded, but God says they are following elementary principles of greed, lust and pride (Col 2-8). God has for us in this life more than we could ever want in the way of stimulating our mind with His thoughts, but this life is not the only one we will have. There are thoughts that God has prepared for us in eternity that will be so sublime, they will transcend our greatest thoughts in this life. A day is coming when God will speak plainly about Himself in a way that we will understand and with a depth of meaning that we could never grasp in this life.

(194e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Hate evil >> Condemning sin >> Hate evil by being innocent of it

(196f) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to seek God >> Unable to know the mind of Christ -- This verse goes with verse 32

1Cor 14-22,23

(53i) Paradox >> Opposites >> Contradicting your own standards >> Making accusations against things you believe – Paul seemingly contradicts himself within a couple verses, saying that tongues are a sign to unbelievers, and in the very next verse saying just the opposite. How do we reconcile this seeming contradiction? There are two types of tongues that he is discussing without differentiating between them: our common prayer language, and the less common speaking a foreign language without learning it, such as happened at Pentecost. Act 2,3-6. They were amazed and fell on their faces and dedicated their life to Christ. Paul was saying that those who speak in a foreign language without having studied it is a sign to unbelievers, not our prayer language. Therefore, each case that the hearer falls on his face declaring that God is among us refers to someone speaking a discernable foreign language. See also: clarifying Vs 22,23; 1Cor 14-23; 2i

1Cor 14-22

(20f) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Seeking a sign

1Cor 14-23

(2i) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Do not touch the apple of His eye >> Do not offend the weak in faith – This is a difficult passage, saying in one instance tongues are a sign for unbelievers, and the next saying if we speak tongues in front of unbelievers, they will think we are mad. Therefore, Paul was speaking about two different kinds of tongues, one a foreign language, the other a heavenly one. Paul is saying that if members of our congregation speak in their prayer language, the visiting unbeliever will think they are mad. Therefore, we are to refrain from speaking tongues in church, unless there is an interpretation. See also: clarifying Vs 22,23; 1Cor 14,20-25; 142c

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1Cor 14-24,25

(35h) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> The anointing

(89k) Thy kingdom come >> God convicts us of sin >> Conviction makes us conscious of sin – Paul gives the scenario of a stranger coming into the assembly and being stunned by the prophecy that he hears, because it speaks directly to him about his sin; however, prophecy that is given in most churches these days almost never convicts anyone of sin. Instead the prophesies speak about the wonderful things of God, such as: ‘He loves you,’ ‘He means the best for you,’ ‘All His plans for you are good.’ If God were really speaking through the prophet, wouldn’t He be inclined to tell us something we don’t already know? Not always, Paul said that the goal of prophesying is to edify the congregation. One aspect of prophecy is that it will never contradict the word of God. If we hear somebody prophesying against the Scriptures, we know the person is not speaking the word of the Lord. He needs to get in tune with the Spirit of God before he prophesies again and mature in his walk with God. People who misuse the gifts of the Spirit are actually practicing witchcraft, which is defined as trying to move the hand of God by the arm of the flesh. Who speaks to our flesh but the devil? God doesn’t speak to our flesh; He speaks to our spirit. Our flesh will one day die, and for this reason the devil speaks to it, because he is dead and is trying to get us to walk in his ways, but God is eternal and is not interested in talking to something that is destined to perish. He speaks to our spirit that will live forever. Therefore, we need to know the difference between a message that comes to our spirit and one that comes to our flesh.

(105d) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart >> Secrets of His heart are disclosed

(110a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through you >> Word of knowledge >> knowing their thoughts by the mind of Christ

(154g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is rebellious against God >> Witness against sin

(193g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> God grants repentance

(212g) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> God is all knowing >> Nothing hidden >> God knows your heart

(252f) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship God >> Worship God who is Spirit >> Worship God in the Spirit -- These verses go with verse 15

1Cor 14-25

(32k) Gift of God >> Father will honor your devotion to Him >> Honor a fruitful life

(68f) Authority >> Jesus Delegates the Holy Spirit to us >> He guides you into all truth

1Cor 14-26

(95f) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> Cooperating with each other -- This verse goes with verses 37&38

(109c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelations of the Holy Spirit >> Things revealed by the Spirit -- This verses goes with verse 6. This short list of ministry items belongs to the people, but generally there is no ministry in the Church today, except to take charge of potlucks and other fundraising events, such as folding chairs and giving tithes. However, there are some larger churches that supplement their ministries with home Bible studies, which are usually more edifying than the regular Sunday service, because they tend to correspond with the format that Paul presented here that the early Church enjoyed, which we know was the Church's finest hour to date. This format presents opportunities for everyone to share their giftedness, faith, wisdom and insight with the group, which is essential for spiritual growth, both for the one who shares and for those who hear. For the one who shares it is an outlet for the things he has learned from his studies in the Bible and in prayer, giving him a reason to develop a closer relationship with God, and it encourages those who hear, giving everyone an example of spiritual maturity.

(139h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Edification -- This verse goes with verses 3-19. Edification is the bottom line. Paul never spoke like this to any other church. These were things that were instituted by the apostles who first formed the churches, and then Paul continued on his way establishing new churches elsewhere, and none of the churches but the Corinthians needed to be retold how to conduct their services. They needed a reminder of what they learned, the rule of thumb being edification.

(239j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> The gift of teaching >> The ability to teach is a gift from God -- This verse goes with verse 6

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1Cor 14,27-33

(10d) Responsibility >> Keeping order in the Church – This passage is talking about speaking in tongues and about maintaining order in the Church. Paul put the kybosh on the Corinthians who were losing control of the services, using their spiritual gifts as weapons instead of tools. God is a God of order; for example, Paul did not enjoy entering a congregation and hearing a lot of hoopla. The gifts of the Spirit were given for the sake of edification. Consequently, if we use them in a way that is not edifying, we are abusing the gifts, and to abuse the gifts is to use them in ways that the Holy Spirit has not directed, and if the Holy Spirit is not directing us, then what is directing us? Satan operates through disorder, which creates confusion; conversely, “The spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.” That is, God works with us, whereas Satan just takes over. When we don’t give control to the Holy Spirit, Satan will take over our services, and we we will lose control of the doctrines that we have come to believe. If anyone is a prophet in the Church, then he should speak the word of God so all can hear, and if others want to prophesy, they must wait their turn, for what good is a lot of simultaneous prophesying if no one can hear what being said?

1Cor 14-29

(69f) Authority >> Righteous judgment >> Meditate on discernment >> Judging what is true

(152k) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> True prophets >> Confirming the prophets -- This verse goes with verse 37. Some people try to make themselves prophets, but the true prophet is someone whom God has made. He has chosen that person to carry His message and deliver it to the right people at the right time. True prophets have very few choices in life regarding their role as prophets. God asks only a few things from His people, but from His prophets He asks much. Therefore, the prophet should ask how much he has sacrificed in order to be the prophet that he considers himself. If it was a decision based on personal choice, he may well have the gift of prophecy, but he is not God’s prophet. The one who shares a word from God and follows the rules of the Church God recognizes as one who prophesies, and there were many prophets in the days of King Saul, but Samuel was the only prophet we know by name, and he always knew what God was doing. Also Elijah, there were times when he failed, but failure is not the mark of a false prophet; rather, is it his false words. The issue is whether the prophet is faithful and willing to set himself apart for God's purposes and is willing to replace his will for the will of God.

1Cor 14-31

(138i) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Exhorting the people to work together -- This verse goes with verse 3

1Cor 14-32

(60b) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Prophecies are subject to interpretation / Spirit of prophecy is subject to the one who prophesies – When a prophecy is given, others in the Church should judge whether it originated from heaven. We are not to whimsically accept prophecies as though they all came from God. Paul is handing down a principle of Scripture that is often misunderstood, “The spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets” (note the word “spirits” is in lower case, meaning not the Spirit of God). So, to what “spirits” is Paul referring? The spirit of the prophet (the person prophesying) is ultimately in control of the prophecy. A person does not fall under the spell of the Holy Spirit when prophesying; his eyes do not take on a glazed, cold stare, nor is the person held in captivity as we have seen on Hollywood movies. Satan might be interested in controlling the will of man and forcing people to do his will, but God would never take away a person’s faculties or force anyone to prophesy or transgress our will under any circumstances. Even demon possessed people have a will. Casting out demons can be tricky, not because the devil has power, but because the person will not release him. The devil either has the person convinced to let him stay, that no one can make him leave, or that if allowed to be exorcised, something worse will befall him (the later case is possible if he doesn't get saved). Once the possessed man realizes he can be free and allows the demons to be exorcized, the demons have no choice but to leave. In a similar way, when God places a word in a person’s heart, that person has a choice to prophesy, and if he chooses not to prophesy, then the prophecy simply will not be delivered. God has put us in charge of His gospel, and He will guide us by His Spirit, but He will not make us do anything. The will of man is far more important to Him than it is to us, unless we lose our freedoms; then suddenly we start to realize the importance of freewill and understand its importance to God.

(196f) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to seek God >> Unable to know the mind of Christ -- This verse goes with verse 20. The prophet has no choice but to prophesy within the realm of his knowledge, for "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the [knowledge of] prophets." We think that to prophesy is like a medium, where God dominates the person’s mouth and speaks through the person without having any control over what he is saying, but that is a better description of what demons do. God always incorporates our will whenever He uses us, otherwise it would be pointless to Him. On the one hand, God would have him prophesy within the realm of the Church’s knowledge, and hopefully the prophet has a relationship with God that is richer than the average person in the church, so he has something edifying to offer. On the other hand, it is possible for a prophet to prophesy slightly beyond his own sphere of knowledge, otherwise how would he grow and learn without pushing the boundaries of his knowledge? In order to learn and grow we must expand our knowledge, and that can happen during prophecy.

1Cor 14-33

(158i) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Divide and conquer >> Division (Cliques) >> Satan is the origin of division

(199b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus >> Frustrating the Father -- This verse goes with verses 37-40

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1Cor 14,34-40

(10b) Responsibility >> Bringing order to the Church >> Issues between men and women – Paul is speaking to women reminding them that the word of God came through Abraham, and Sarah his wife was faithful, and so Isaac was born through her, for she followed her husband wherever he went. Paul is very bold and commands woman not to speak in church; he wanted the doctrines and the teachings to remain with men. That is a harsh statement for a lot of women, especially for those who have much to offer a congregation in the way of wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures. There are women pastors today, which represent the absolute opposite of Paul’s command, so should we say they are wrong for being pastors? Personally I find no problem with woman pastors, and Jesus never addressed the matter either way, and many women followed Him during his earthly ministry. Nevertheless, Paul taught that women’s place is to do good works and to be an example of a servant, and if she wants to rebel against his instruction, it just proves she really has nothing to say. Men too are obligated to be an example of good works and serve their families even more than their wives, because of their greater authority. Today, however, it seems that every aspect of society, the Church included, is out of order and out of tune with God’s word. People are in a state of confusion, where nobody knows his or her place. If we are unwilling to accept our place in God’s church, the only thing that can result is confusion, spiritual abuse and false teachings. Some things we are quick to believe, while others we are unwilling to believe at all, violating the Scriptures, because people are unwilling to take their designated place in the body of Christ. They are not content with being an example of good works, but in heaven everyone is a servant, and what did Jesus say in the Lord’s Prayer? “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Is anyone trying to fulfilled this verse? No, it is easier just to quote it on Sunday mornings. Jesus doesn’t want us to wait until we get to heaven to become good servants; He wants us to serve one another in this life. If we can garner an obedient attitude, God will reveal everything we need to know about His word, but if we become jealous and want what we shouldn’t have and reject our own place that God stationed for us, how is it we have made the first step beyond the sin of Adam and Eve? 

1Cor 14,34-36

(3h) Responsibility >> To the Family >> God addresses both genders >> Instruction about women – This is another difficult passage for women to accept, at least at face value, but I believe there is a story behind these verses. Since Paul never spoke like this to any other church in any other epistle, this could be an isolated incident. There may have been a period when women dominated the Corinthian Church and ran roughshod over men. This was a blatant disrespect for men’s role in the Church; therefore, Paul commanded the woman not to speak in the Corinthian Church. Comparing verses 1-19 with 34,35 of this chapter, Paul compares speaking in tongues with women speaking in church. His instruction is: don’t do it without an interpreter, the husband in this case being the interpreter. According to his instruction about speaking in tongues at home, women should ask their questions at home to their husbands. Paul seemed severe on women, as though they had very little to offer the Church. In our day women make up the majority in attendance at Sunday service in many churches, and in the world today women have at least as much authority as men. At the same time we are fast approaching the end of days, so is there a correlation? Is Paul right in his instruction about women? The Bible does not give women any room to achieve a status of authority over men, so they must have achieved it apart from biblical principles. Perhaps this is one reason the Bible has less of a place in our society, and is continuing to slide as an influence in social consciousness.

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1Cor 14,37-40

(199b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus >> Frustrating the Father -- These verses go with verse 33. If anyone will not recognize Paul’s writings as the Lord’s command, then God will not recognize him or his ministry. There are some who want to be prophets but don’t want to follow the rules of the Church. The commandment to maintain order was simple, but if he will not honor that instruction, God will not entrust His word to him. Paul is saying that if anybody will not follow the rules of the Church, he has nothing to say, and for God not to recognize a prophet is the antithesis of a true prophet. God never takes away any gift, which can actually work against the person; that is, if we are not faithful with the gifts God has given us, they could turn into a curse. When God says that He does not recognize the prophet, it means the man goes to prophesy and no words fill his mouth. If the man humbles his heart and repents, perhaps God will fill his mouth again with the prophetic word, but if he doesn’t humble his heart and refuses to follow the rules of the Church and God refuses to put words in his mouth, will he prophesy anyway inventing his own words as it were the oracle of God? His message will sound hollow to anyone who has a remnant of the spirit.

1Cor 14-37,38

(6f) Responsibility >> Being spiritual >> Ministering to God by obeying His word – If you consider yourself a prophet but don’t obey the Word of God, how are you a prophet? Is there such thing as women prophets (Lk 2,36-40; Act 21-9)? The Bible says that women should not instruct men. Women can have their own Bible studies and exercise their gifts as prophets in their own assemblies, but God will not recognize a prophet who doesn’t follow Paul's instruction, because it is the word of God. If you must violate the Scriptures to fulfill your calling, then you should ask where you got those gifts and calling in the first place. We are obligated to express the gifts that God has given us in a way that exonerates the word of God and His church.

(95f) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> Cooperating with each other -- These verses go with verse 12. What does it take to be a prophet? Jesus said in Jn 16-13, "When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." This verse says that if we are a blood-bought child of God, then we are a prophet. Therefore, Paul encourages people to seek the gift of prophesy. Paul’s point in chapters 12&14 is that the man who prophesies edifies the church more than anyone else. The word “edify” means to encourage or build up one another. We need encouragement in this world, which can beat the faith out of us.

(222f) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> Do not recognize dogs 

1Cor 14-37

(152k) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> True prophets >> Confirming the prophets -- This verse goes with verse 29. There are those who prophesy and then there are prophets, just as there were people in the Old Testament who prophesied and prophets such as Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. So when Paul asks, ‘If someone thinks he is a prophet,’ he is referring to someone who has the gift of prophecy, not one who is an actual Prophet. Paul was both an apostle and a Prophet. That didn’t just mean he could prophesy (though he could), but that God gave him foundational truths that were applicable from horizon to horizon, changing the complexion of the Church worldwide, whereas the one who has the gift of prophecy ministers to his local church only, revolving around the ministry of exhortation, edification and consolation. For example, Paul’s greatest contribution to the gospel was that the gentiles have been included in God’s salvation. Without Paul’s input the gentiles’ inclusion may have been understated, overlooked or forgotten, but it never became a point of contention. This revelation became the direction and force of his ministry that had a profound impact on the faith of nearly every nation in the world for the past two millennia. 

1Cor 14-39

(77c) Thy kingdom come >> Hunger for the essence of God >> Hunger for His truth -- This verse goes with verse 1

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