| 1 ¶ Follow after charity,
and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
.2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
.3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
|1 - That ye
may prophesy Thus the purpose for the gifts
is to prophesy or to make the prophecy better. "Prophesy," we should note,
means more than telling the future. A prophet speaks for God to strengthen
or warn the people as in v5. Paul certainly had the gift of prophecy. Others
may read the Scriptures and speak to the people to help them, too, without
the same kind of direct inspiration that Paul had. Thus, in a sense, they
"prophesy" without the special gift. To avoid misunderstanding we need
to think of prophecy as the ability of only those particularly appointed
3 - Speaketh ... edification The point here is that the true gift of tongues results in spiritual growth for those who hear. The gift to seek is to be able to help people grow. Tongues (languages) only facilitate this gift.
5 - Greater ... prophesieth The basic meaning of speaking in tongues was demonstrated at Pentecost ac0204-12. More important than language skills is to witness, to share Bible truth with people we can influence for Christ. To prophesy is basically to speak for God.
¶ Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall
I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge,
or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
.8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
.11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
| 6 -
Revelation From apokalupsis, meaning
"an unveiling" or "an uncovering." God would reveal what humans cannot.
6 - By knowledge Perhaps the gift described as "the word of knowledge" 1co1208.
6 - By prophesying Similar to "revelation."
6 - Doctrine From didache, teaching 1co1229.
11 - Barbarian A language of the non-Greek. See ro0114. "the name among the early Greeks for all foreigners. The word is probably onomatopoetic, designed to represent the uncouth babbling of which languages other than their own appeared to the Greeks to consist. Even the Romans were included in the term. The word soon assumed an evil meaning, becoming associated with the vices and savage natures of which they believed their enemies to be possessed. The Romans adopted the word for all peoples other than those under Graeco-Roman influence and domination. It has become synonymous with general lack of civilization." (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, vol 1, p. 382).
Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 ¶ What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
.16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
- Understanding ... unfruitful In other words, more than feelings
are involved. The person speaking in a tongue (language) must understand
specifically what he is saying. And it must be the same as what the interpreter
translates. Can modern emotional tongues speakers meet this standard? I
don't think so.
16 - Unlearned From idiotes, that is without being taught to speak in tongues. So if a person experienced in tongues speaking spoke, the unlearned would not understand.
18 - I speak in tongues Paul's gift didn't include understanding the people of Lycaonia ac1411. He spoke languages of people he ministered to. The type of tongues the Corinthian people were involved in was like the speech of evil spirits which God had forbidden. is0819.
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children,
but in understanding be men.
.21 ¶ In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
- Be not children in understanding The Corinthian people were proud
of their wisdom 1co0120,
Here their behavior was immature. They were emphasizing the more sensational
gifts, giving the trumpet an uncertain sound v8,
20 - Men From telioi. Literally "full grown" or "mature."
21 - In the law Specifically is2811. Paul apparently did not remember just where in the "law" or the Old Testament.
| 22 Wherefore tongues
are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:
but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which
23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
.25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
|22 - Sign It had been evidence of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. The gift was no longer needed among believers. Trying to get the Spirit for behavior that was not for winning souls would result in getting the evil spirit. God never works miracles (or endorses their working) simply for the interest of people lu2308. Tongues were foreign languages in Acts 2 ac0208. In fact the apostles spoke their own language because people from various languages heard in their own tongue. After the first few chapters of Acts, when people had made their choice to accept truth, further tongues speaking among them would have been in vain. God performed a miracle for Paul's snake bite ac2803 but it was for people who had not heard the gospel.|
¶ How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you
hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an
interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
|26 - Edifying See beginning v3. The Holy Spirit speaks to the heart with a quiet voice 1ki1912 backed by the Scriptures he0412.|
| 29 Let the prophets
speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
.33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
- Prophets speak The goal was order and reverence v33, v40.
Those who had something to share could divide up into pairs and discuss
each other's ideas.
33 - Not ... author of confusion This means clear communication with unity of understanding based on the Bible 2ti0107.
¶ Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted
unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also
saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
36 ¶ What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
.40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
- Women keep silence Why? It would cause confusion v33
or be contrary to the "law." What law? Perhaps as in v21,
but the reference does not seem to apply. I suggest that it was a local
rule or one made by the Jewish rabbis. Ignoring it may have caused misunderstanding.
On the other hand this is not an issue in 1co1105
which leaves us with only the confusion problem, confirmed in v40.
35 - Learn ... ask their husbands at home This supports the confusion idea just mentioned. Paul's original readers understood the whole situation. We don't and need to avoid making rules based on incomplete information.
40 - Decently Always important for spiritual activities and reverence.
Evidence of Spirit possession is God's work in individual lives Gal. 5:22.
The Holy Spirit leads into all truth John 16:13. Truth is in the inspired word John 17:17.
The Holy Spirit works in the background. He never draws attention to Himself John 16:13.
Miracles are part of the false, end-time religious movement 2 Thess. 2:9, Rev. 16:13.
In the original gift at Pentecost, the disciples spoke other known languages Acts 2:4. About a dozen native countries are listed.
Many sincere Christians follow the practices of speaking words they themselves do not understand.
Tongues speaking is generally a learned behavior, not learning vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, but repetition of nonsense syllables. Contrast 2 Tim. 1:7.
Linguists who have diligently studied the phenomenon conclude that the babbling is not in any known or unknown language (vehicle for intelligent communication). After listening to a tongues session, a Jewish visitor remarked that the individual, in that case, was speaking Hebrew but was cursing God instead of praising him.
Some of us can learn a lot from Pentecostal Christians when their spiritual enthusiasm is based on the Bible. It is important to be excited about truth.
- - - - - -
“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4). We can't take some words and not others. I think you agree. Also see Isa. 8:20.
On TV I have seen people “slain in the spirit" become unconscious. This is not at all a Bible concept and is contrary to 2 Tim. 1:7.
I helped my father write a book on satanic mind control, esp. hypnosis. I see the same processes involved.
As I understand it, the process of becoming a member of the Latter-Day-Saints church involves a confirmation or initiation which gives the new person some kind of feeling. I believe that the unholy spirit produces this feeling, and would be pleased to learn more. contact
The formal Catholic system of worship is in some ways opposite to the Pentecostal one. Churches and cathedrals provide an awesome atmosphere where worshippers experience another kind of feeling being led to seek salvation through the church ignoring the only channel of salvation Acts 4:12.