1 Corinthians 14:3, NLT: "But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them." When somebody speaks in tongues there must be interpretation. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers." What is the primary aim in the exercise of spiritual gifts? Leave yourselves to my care.”, “I want to teach you to conform to my Son and to know me as your Father.”, “Allow me to be revealed to you and in you. "Now I want you ALL to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy;". But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. Such prophecies may still be valid prophecies. It is also evident by reading 1 Corinthians 14 that the subject of Paul in this chapter is the meeting of the believers. And there’s little doubt the whole experience resulted in the man and his wife being built up and encouraged and consoled (1 Corinthians 14:3). B 3 On the other hand, the person who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, A encouragement, and consolation. 1 Corinthians 14:31 is often cited to dispute this, but 1 Corinthians 14:31 in fact says too much if that is the case. The audience is the church, the body of the believers present in the meeting1. Make your fears known to me. Here is what the Scripture says: 1 1 Corinthians 14:27-33 Prophecy better than tongues (14:1-5) “Follow the way of love, he writes, “and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” 1 Pursue love, yet earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. Finally, there is also another kind of meetings where I have been, this time in my homeland Greece. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. How many should speak in tongues / interpret and prophesy? In 1 Corinthians 14:3, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort -- which may suggest it includes preaching/teaching. Do not reject the gifts of God because of this. What I mean is that it is not in the scope of this prophecy to prophesy about things that will happen in the future or what will happen to the nation or to give prophecies directed by name to one specific person. The gifts that God gave for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the body have been replaced by a rigid program that has the form either of a formal liturgy, where one person does the same week after week (catholic / orthodox church), or, in the protestant church, of a program (it is also a liturgy in some way) that says first we sing, then the pastor and perhaps a couple of others pray, then we have the sermon and then the meeting ends. Many times in these wild meetings, people justify their behavior by saying that “the spirit took over of me and made me do this or that”. “Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 14:1) says Paul. It means to be able to feel with them and be able to encourage them with the fact that you know how they feel. 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? See what Paul says: 1 Corinthians 14:29-31 He is a lonely figure in the Greek Orthodox denomination spreading fervently a very Christ-center message. As 1 Corinthians 14:5 says: 1 Corinthians 14:5 I’m leaving far from my homeland the last 11 years in Germany and apart from a couple of times, I haven’t come across this edification, exhortation and comfort that God designed for the believers through prophecy or speaking in tongues with interpretation. There must be order in operating prophecy (as well as speaking in tongues with interpretation) in the meeting. 26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? The book is called “the charismatic movement from an Orthodox point of view” and it is in Greek. Not the exception! 14 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages. 1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. You will just be speaking into the air. The closest term we would call it by today is biblical preaching that unfolds the mind of God and applies it to the daily struggles of life. Again, this is an illustration of 1 Corinthians 14:24–25 prophecy in action. 1 [] Pursue love, but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, above all that you may prophesy. 1 Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent” (1 Corinthians 14:27, 29-30). 20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. But we need to understand that what Paul or the New Testament defines as church meetings have much more to do with house meetings and active participation from everybody than with our model of Sunday services. This is definitely something we have lost today. People are asking “how can we have in our church meetings what Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians 14”? For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. For permission to use this content, please review RayStedman.org/permissions. As 1 Corinthians 14:3-4 says: 1 Corinthians 14:3-4 1. Chapter Two discusses the psychological state of the prophet. 14 Pursue love, and () desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. So does 'prophesy/prophecy' refer only to spontaneous utterance on behalf of God or is it broader than that to include preaching/teaching generally? Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, and Prophecy meaning 1 Corinthians 12-14 tell us a lot about these three gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. “Each of you” says Paul. 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 14. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement, and consolation. They were all participating with whatever God had given them. In the closing verses of 1 Corinthians 14, Paul gives specific instructions on the use of prophecy in church gatherings: Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. Many people are emotionally torn apart because they do not understand that they are new creatures in Christ; they are no longer what they once were. Follow after charity--as your first and chief aim, seeing that it is "the greatest" ( 1 Corinthians 13:13). 1 Corinthians 14:22, NASB: "So then, tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is not for unbelievers, but for those who believe." Essentially the gift of tongues is a message given by God to the church through a particular believer in an unknown language. Desire them therefore earnestly and apply them with order, according to the instructions. They exist as gifts. Because they still get feelings of being what they once were, they believe those feelings, and they react accordingly. We are trying thus to fit what Paul says in the way we are meeting today and in the structure our meetings have. 9 So it is with you. Love and Prophecy (14:1) Paul has shared the wonderful "Love Chapter" to put tongues in perspective. But that’s not what prophecy, as this is described in 1 Corinthians 14, is. I will close here with the following exhortation from the word of God: 1 Corinthians 14:1 The 'if all prophesy' of 1 Corinthians 14:24 does not mean that all might prophesy. He is the strengthener of God's people. 1. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? This is the closest I have been to the manifestations of speaking in tongues with interpretation and prophecy as this is defined in 1 Corinthians 14. While I do understand why 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 could refer to church meetings, the examples of Priscilla, Agabus, and 1 Corinthians 14:18 may mean it was not church meetings specifically. But here, Wimber was conscious that the Spirit was revealing information to him, and he shared the information with the man. Allow me to love you fully.”, “Do not be afraid of my words. The content of the messages God spoke was indeed always edifying, exhorting and comforting. “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may Yet they are never applied. Prophecy is the noun, and prophesy is the verb. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for edification, exhortation, and consolation. Chrysostom believed that 1 Corinthians 14:36-38 applied to 14:34-35 only, showing that it was an important command, and that women must in submission. We have Paul's mention of it in 1 Corinthians 13:1. I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 1 Corinthians 14 New English Translation (NET Bible) Prophecy and Tongues. Now, I have also been in some other gatherings, where many of the participants behave in a strange manner. People behaving in a weird manner in the meetings claim that “the spirit took over of them”? 12 So it is with you. But what really matters is one: what the Word of God says! Prophecy according to 1 Corinthians 12, 14, is the manifestation of the holy spirit through which God gives a message directed to the body of the believers present in the meeting and with purpose their edification, exhortation and comfort. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 15 So what shall I do? 1. “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. bring forth a message from God for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the local church. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. As he also says in the same chapter: 1 Corinthians 14:31 prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers". For God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:32-33). prophesy.”. As Ephesians 4:11 says: "And He gave some as apostles, and some as I need to say this as I have heard several times that prophecy is more or less a preacher giving a sermon. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. 14 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. There, we were gathering in homes and among other things we were also doing the following: we were taking time in the meeting waiting on the Lord to see what He wanted to say and we were bringing forth messages from God, through prophecy and speaking in tongues with interpretation. 13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. As 1 Corinthians 14:26 says: 1 Corinthians 14:26 They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified. The gift of prophesying is not predicting the future. The purpose of prophecy is to edify, exhort and comfort the audience, the body of the believers. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. This problem warranted considerable space in Paul’s letter. 6 Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? Also, many times the examples of these kind of meetings are used by churches of the first type (the rigid ones I spoke about previously) to justify their rigidity and high control. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”. Love is to be the basic, biblical reason for exercising a spiritual gift. One of the major problems among Christians today is the struggle they have with the sense of their true identity. In fact they may even be accepted theologically by the respective congregation. “If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. Let all things be done for edification.”. The participation of the people is practically forbidden! 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. In the first century church, the active and spontaneous participation of the believers (“each of them”) in the meeting was the normal. ), though, as 1 Corinthians 14:31 tells us, every believer can prophesy in the sense of 1 Corinthians 14 for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the local church. New International Version. All rights reserved. Don’t blame it to God or to the manifestations of His spirit. Prophecy benefits everyone in the room with a revelation from God. That ties this back to the love chapter. In contrast, Paul now describes the gift of prophesying, which Paul says has a threefold effect. D. A Carson, “‘Silent in the Churches’: On the Role of Women in 1 Corinthians 14:33b-36,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991), 140–53.. By:. That may be an element occasionally in it, but it is the explanation of the present in the light of the revelation of God. In the body of Christ, some of us may indeed have the ministry of the prophet but not ALL of us have it (the other ministries are needed too! There the author gives examples of real prophetic messages, expressed in meetings of believers. CHAPTER 14. “How is it then, brethren? In this article we will look at prophecy as this is defined in 1 Corinthians 14. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 1 Corinthians 14:3, NASB: "But the one who prophesies speaks to people for edification, exhortation, and consolation." Prophecy and Tongues. What I find in the New Testament concerning prophecy is The modern gift of prophecy, which is really more akin to teaching, still declares the truth of God. Let two or … Praying in a tongue, when nobody can interpret, only benefits the one praying. Also when we read first Corinthians we must keep in mind that what Paul is calling as church meetings were, in my understanding of the Scriptures, meetings done in houses. Or are you the only people it has reached? In some other gatherings if somebody wants to bring forth a message from God, he has first to tell the pastor or the elders, then they have to think about it and whether it comes from the Lord and then allow or not allow the person to share it. Instead pursue them. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. To build a house on a solid foundation is the idea; and the work of prophesying gives people a foundation. Answer: To prophesy is simply to speak prophecy. "But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and comfort. Desire zealously this (prophecy) more than any other spiritual gift; or in preference to "tongues" (1Co 14:2, &c.) [Bengel]. It was an exaggeration to get over the point. 1 Corinthians 14:3, KJV: "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened." 1 Corinthians 14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) Chapter 14. Allow your hearts to receive from me.”, “Give yourselves to me and I will hold you and I will carry you and you will know my care, says the Lord.”. People may say many things about it. Prophecy has relation to particular points, formerly not well understood, to mysteries to be known finally [and only] by revelation. 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