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nChrist
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« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2008, 01:41:20 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:1

78. How strong an expression is “follow after love”?

79. Who was to desire spiritual gifts?

80. What does desire have to do with obtaining spiritual gifts? How were they given?

81. The best gift was “prophesy”-- explain why.
..........

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:1

Since it is a grace so excellent, pursue love by every method in your power; and only earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that ye may prophesy.
..........

Comment 14:1

Vs. 1. This is a transition from the subject of the importance of love to the proper use of Spiritual gifts. Love will not be obtained without effort —  we must pursue it to have it. Paul wants to assure the Corinthians that he is not minimizing the value of Spiritual gifts —  they are important and desirable. A strong desire to have and to use properly each gift is a prerequisite to obtaining them. No suggestion is made in this verse as to how such gifts are given. Surely we cannot read into this verse prayer as a means of obtaining such gifts. This is simply an admonition to not treat lightly the obtaining and use of such gifts —  if the Corinthians had been more earnest and sincere in obtaining them, they would have used them in a much more acceptable manner. The best gift is prophecy —  if the reader will refer to the explanation and use of such a gift given earlier in this study he will know why such an admonition was true. The gift of prophecy included far more than just the ability to foretell future events —  it included divine instruction —  the prophet was a teacher. Teaching helps everyone —  most especially when it proceeded from such a divine source.

2. The argument concerning tongues and prophecy, 2-6.

a. The contrasted nature of the two, 2-4.

Text 1 Corinthians 14:2-4

For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and exhortation, and consolation. He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:2-4

82. Why would anyone want to exercise the gift of tongues if it did not benefit man?

83. In what sense was the speaking in tongues “unto God” —  i.e., is this suggesting the gift of tongues was used in personal worship?

84. Is it true that no man could understand the language spoken?

85. In what sense could not man understand?

86. Such utterances are only mysteries to some people —  who?

87. Why call this gift the gift of prophecy if its use is almost solely for teaching?

88. Please define in your own words the three expressions: (1) edification, (2) exhortation, (3) consolation.

89. In what sense would the gift of tongues edify its possessor?

90. Are we to understand that a public meeting is in view in the use of the two gifts —  tongues and prophecy?
..........
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« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2008, 01:43:02 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:2-4

2. For he who speaketh in a foreign language in the public assemblies, speaketh not to men, but to God; for no one present understandeth him. Nevertheless, by the Spirit he speaketh mysteries, or things which, after he hath spoken them, are wholly hidden from the church.

3. But he who prophesieth, speaketh by inspiration to men in a known language, for increasing their faith, and stirring them up to their duty, and comforting them under their afflictions.

4. He therefore who speaketh in a foreign language, edifieth himself only; but he who prophesieth, speaketh in a known language, so as to edify the church.
..........

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:2-4

Vs. 2. Here is the reason for the superiority of the gift of prophecy. We pre-suppose in the situation here described that no interpreter is present when the gift of tongues is exercised —  this being the case, the use of such a gift is very limited in its benefit. The only one who understands the meaning of the words spoken is God. (Shall we exclude the speaker himself? The impression upon the assembled group would be that he was revealing a divine mystery —  all of which was completely unintelligible to those listening.)

Vs. 3.In contrast —  the prophet speaking in the language (or tongue) of the people present can greatly help them by information, admonition and promises from God. What the teacher or preacher of today does as he expounds and applies the word of God from the New Testament, the prophet of Paul’s day did by direct revelation.

Vs. 4. There seems to be some indication from the expression of this verse that the man with the gift of tongues did understand what he said, for Paul says he was built up in his faith by what he said by the tongue. Everyone is built up by the words of the prophet.

b. The argument from the contrast, 14:5,6.
..........

Text 1 Corinthians 14:5,6

Now I would have you all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy: and greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. But now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching?
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:5,6

91. In what sense are we to understand the desire of Paul that he would have all the Corinthians speak with tongues? All of them could not do so —  what is meant?

92. Why mention the measure of greatness between the use of tongues and the use of prophecy? Did some of the Corinthians feel they were “great” because they had the gift of tongues?

93. Could all who spoke with tongues interpret what they said? Why not? Explain.

94. What is meant by speaking “by revelation”?

95. What is the “knowledge” of Vs. 6?

96. What distinction is here made between prophesying and teaching?
..........
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« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2008, 01:45:02 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:5,6

I wish, indeed, that ye all spake foreign languages; but rather that ye were endowed with the gift of prophecy. For, a more useful inspired person is he who prophesieth (see vs. 3), than he who speaketh mysteries (vs. 2), in foreign languages, unless someone interpret what he speaketh, that the church may receive edification. For now, brethren, if I should come to you speaking the dictates of inspiration in foreign languages, what good shall I do you, unless I shall speak to you intelligibly, either by the revelation, peculiar to an apostle; or by the word of knowledge, the gift of a superior prophet; or by prophecy, the inspiration proper to an inferior prophet; or by doctrine, the inspiration proper to the ordinary pastor?
..........

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:5,6

Vs. 5. Paul affirms that he would not object if the whole church had the gift of tongues (of course, this was not the condition, but it indicates the fact that if the Lord directed, the apostles might grant this power to any one of the members.) Therefore, those who had such gifts from the apostles should not think of themselves as especially deserving of such a gift. However, if all were to be endowed, Paul wanted it to be with the gift of prophecy. The apostle plainly affirms the superiority of the prophetic gift —  such being the case, God has actually honored the prophet above those with tongues. It would seem that some in the church with the gift of tongues were thinking of themselves more highly than they ought to think. The ability to speak in a language one had never learned would indeed give some folk a sense of accomplishment which, coupled with pride, would cause them to feel highly honored of the Lord —  such persons could have become very overbearing in their attitude of supposed superiority. To offset such an attitude, Paul stated the position of honor —  it was not with those speaking in tongues.

Some had a double gift —  to not only speak in a foreign language, but to also be able to interpret what had been said. Obviously, the gift of interpretation was not generally held or there would have been no problem.

Vs. 6. Paul was about to visit the Corinthians —  he is now saying: “Suppose when I visit you I use only tongues in my conversation with you —  of what profit would my visit be?” If, on the other hand, Paul exercised any one of the other four gifts here specified, he would greatly benefit the Corinthians —   Revelation refers to the direct communication from God to man. “Knowledge” is supernatural knowledge, perhaps it refers to the understanding of the revelation. We have discussed the meaning of the gift of prophecy —  the “teaching” given by Paul would be of the greatest help because it was infallible.
..........

3. The teaching concerning tongues through illustrations, 14:7-13.

a. The illustrations from musical instruments, 7-9.

(1) The illustrations used, 7,8.

Text 1 Corinthians 14:7,8

Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war?
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:7,8

97. Why begin a discussion of the proper use of a pipe or harp?

98. Why say “things without life”?

99. Meaning of “distinction in sounds.”

100. Is a discussion of identifying a tune on the pipe or the harp?

101. What is the point of the illustration of the proper use of the trumpet?
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« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2008, 01:46:54 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:7,8

For now, brethren, if I should come to you speaking the dictates of inspiration in foreign languages, what good shall I do you, unless I shall speak to you intelligibly, either by the revelation, peculiar to an apostle; or by the word of knowledge, the gift of a superior prophet; or by prophecy, the inspiration proper to an inferior prophet; or by doctrine, the inspiration proper to the ordinary pastor? In like manner, things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, unless they give a difference to the notes, both in tone and in time, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? Such unmeaning sounds are a fit image of unintelligible language, both in their nature and in their effect.
..........

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:7,8

Vs. 7. Paul wants his readers to “see” the truth of his principle concerning the proper use of tongues. Here is an illustration to illumine the point. Think of the playing of a pipe or a harp, when do you enjoy listening to such an instrument? Isn’t it when you understand the tune being played? When the tune is not distinct, the instrument is just making noise.

Vs. 8. Yet another illustration has to do with the use of a war trumpet. This was much in use in Paul’s day. If the trumpeter did not know the “certain sound” for charge or retreat, it would in deed be tragic. Or, if knowing the call for charge or retreat, he did not blow it so as to be heard, it would have been just as bad.

b. The application made, vs. 9.
..........

Text 1 Corinthians14:9

So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking into the air.
..........

Thought Questions 14:9

102. In what sense “easy to be understood”?

103. Meaning of “speaking into the air.”
..........

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:9

So also ye, when ye speak by inspiration in your public assemblies, unless with the tongue ye utter intelligible speech, how shall it be known what is spoken? Therefore, however important the things ye speak may be, ye will be speaking into the air like madmen.
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« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2008, 01:48:39 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:9

The application of the foregoing illustrations should be so obvious that there should be no question about it. Paul plainly says  —  jf you use your tongue, use it like you would a pipe, a harp, or a trumpet —   make your utterance intelligible. If you fail to do this you will not help anyone —  you will be but speaking into the air.

c. The illustration from different voices, 14:10-13.

(1) The illustration used, 10,11.
..........

Text 1 Corinthians 14:10.11

There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and no kind is without signification. If, then, I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh will be a barbarian unto me.
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:10,11

104. How is the word “voices” used in this verse? Does this mean languages?

105. How are we to understand the word “signification”?

106. How is the word “barbarian” used in this connection?
..........

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:10,11

There are, no doubt, as many kinds of languages used in the world as ye speak, and none of them is without signification to those who are acquainted with them. Nevertheless, if I do not know the meaning of the language that is uttered, I shall be to the person who speaketh a foreigner, who has no knowledge of what he speaks, and he who speaketh shall be a foreigner to me: we shall be incapable of holding any conversation with each other.
..........

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:10,11

Vs. 10. MacKnight indicates in his paraphrase the use of the word “voices” as it relates to the languages —  it can be thus translated; however, we prefer to think of it as referring to voices as “sounds —   i.e., the sound of the voice of an animal, or a bird, or even an insect. Surely there are a multiplicity of these “voices.” Each animal, each bird, has a purpose or significance in the use of the “voice” God has given him.

Vs. 11. The pointed application is “does your voice’ ‘ —  in this case, “gift of tongues” —  have a purpose or significance? If I cannot understand a foreigner who is attempting to tell me something, I appear to him as a boorish person —  an unlearned man. However, I might also look upon the speaker of this foreign language as the boor or barbarian because he cannot understand me any better than I him. There is no purpose or significance in such a situation.

d. The exhortation made, 14:12,13.
..........

Text 1 Corinthians 14:12,13

So also ye, since ye are zealous of spiritual gifts (or Spirits), seek that ye may abound unto the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
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« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2008, 01:50:52 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:12,13

107. In what sense were the Corinthians zealous of Spiritual gifts?

108. What were the Corinthians to seek according to Paul’s instructions?

109. How could the church be edified?
..........

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:12,13

12. Wherefore ye also, that ye may not be barbarians to each other, since ye are earnestly desirous of spiritual gifts (see vs. 32), seek them, that by exercising them properly, ye may abound for the edification of the church.

13. For which cause, let him who by inspiration prayeth in the church in a foreign language, pray in such a manner, and at such a time, as someone who is inspired may interpret his prayer to the edification of the church.
..........

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:12,13

Vs. 12. Paul says —  if you want to be eager and zealous about something (and you surely do, as indicated in your use and abuse of tongues), let me select the subject and object of your zeal —   the gift of prophesy and the consequent building up of all who hear. The whole church is helped in the proper use of these gifts —  in the use made of them by the Corinthians a very few were helped —  even this help was questionable, for they seemed to be puffed up about it.

Vs. 13. Here is a conclusion to the foregoing: Let the man who is supernaturally able to speak in a foreign language also have the ability to interpret such a language for the benefit of those who hear him. The word “pray” in this verse, i.e., “pray that he may interpret,” is used in the same way as “desire” in earlier verses. It does not mean he shall obtain the gift of interpretation through answer to prayer, but that he is to have a strong desire for this gift. How shall he obtain it? The only means of impartation indicated in the Scripture is the laying on of the hands of the Apostles. Such a person with this strong desire could request that an apostle be provided to impart this gift to him.

MacKnight places an entirely different interpretation on Vs. 13, as can be observed by reading his paraphrase. He believes the prayer is made in a tongue (taking his thought from Vs. 14) and the interpretation is made by someone else present who has the gift of interpretation. In other words —  if you are going to pray in a foreign language  —  do it in such a manner and at such a time that the man present with the gift of interpretation may hear you distinctly and may give the meaning of your prayer to the rest of the church.

In either understanding of the verse, the gift of interpretation is not obtained through a person's praying to God.

Granting, for sake of argument, that a person in Paul’s day were to pray for the gift of the interpretation of the tongue he had just spoken —  how would he conclude his prayer would be answered? The only way in which these gifts were given (according to the Divine record) was through the hands of the Apostles. Would he not then be praying for the coming of an apostle to him for the purpose of imparting such a gift?

4. The Apostle’s use of tongues and prophecy, 1 Corinthians 14:14-19.

a. His determination to use both in worship, 14,15.
..........
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« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2008, 01:52:58 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Text 1 Corinthians 14:14,15

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 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.
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:14,15

110. Does verse 14 teach that a man with the gift of tongues does not understand what he says? Explain.

111. How would it be possible to pray with both the Spirit and the understanding? Explain two ways.

112. Under what conditions was the praying and singing done?
..........

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:14,15

14. For if I pray publicly in a foreign language not interpreted, my spirit which understandeth that language prayeth, but my meaning in such a prayer is without fruit to the person for whom I pray.

15. What is then to be done, when the Spirit moves me to pray in the church in an unknown language? Why this, I will pray with the inspiration of the Spirit, but I will pray also with my meaning interpreted, vs. 13; I will sing with the inspiration of the Spirit, but I will sing also with my meaning interpreted.
..........

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:14,15

Vs. 14. Even in private worship the advantage of understandable expression is evident. The Corinthians were evidently using tongues in prayer (both public and private). But if the one praying did not understand the words he used in prayer, of what value was the prayer to him? It is difficult to explain how this would take place. But, then, we cannot explain the presence of the power to speak in another language except on supernatural grounds.

Vs. 15. When praying (especially in public), the power of speaking in some foreign language could be exercised, but only when the gift of interpretation is present —  either in the one who prays or in someone else present who hears the prayer. The same principle is to follow in singing —  this is obviously some type of individual singing. Paul uses the first person to lend reality and authority to his words.

b. His reminder that edification is the aim, 14:16,17.
..........

Text 1 Corinthians 14:16,17

Else if thou bless with the Spirit, how shall he that filleth the place of the unlearned say the Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he knoweth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:16,17

113. What is meant here by blessing with the Spirit?

114. Who is the one in the place of the unlearned?

115. What is meant by saying the Amen?

116. What is the giving of thanks?

117. How could some not give thanks well? Does this relate to the possession of the gift of tongues?
..........
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« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2008, 01:56:13 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:16,17

16. Else, when thou shalt bless God with an inspiration of the Spirit in an unknown language, he who in the congregation is a private or uninspired person, and heareth thee speak, how shall he assent to what thou speakest, and say the Amen to thy thanksgiving, since he knoweth not what thou sayest?

17. For thou indeed givest thanks in that unknown language in fit expressions, but the other who hears thee is not edified thereby.
..........

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:16,17

Vs. 16. We have so far considered two areas where the gift of tongues was used: (1) in prayer, (2) in singing. We are now introduced to a third area: “giving of thanks.” This is referred to as “blessing with the Spirit” in Vs. 15a. This has to do with expressing in public the gratitude of the heart for the goodness of God —  if such gratitude is expressed in a foreign tongue how shall the one who cannot understand the tongue be able to voice his approval or agreement? It would seem that one person gave expression to the praise and thanksgiving that filled all present —   each listened and indicated to God and those present his approval by saying “Amen.’ We understand the expression “he that filleth the place of the unlearned” to refer to anyone without the gift of the interpretation of tongues.

Vs. 17. The expression of gratitude might be very beautiful and meaningful, as indeed it would be since it was directed by the Holy Spirit, but of what value was it? Unless someone is strengthened in the faith, the purpose of such an expression has failed.

c. His preference for prophecy in the Church, 14:18,19.

Text 1 Corinthians 14:18,19

I thank God, I speak with tongues more than you all: how be it in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:18,19

118. Why thank God that he could speak with tongues?

119. Why did Paul make such great use of tongues? For what purpose did he use them?

120. When are we in church?

121. How could we speak without our understanding?

122. Didn’t Paul know what he spoke when he spoke with tongues?

123. Wouldn’t the instruction given to Paul by God be just as inspired as the tongues? Why the great desire for tongues?
..........
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« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2008, 01:57:57 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:18,19

18. I do not thus speak of foreign languages because I myself am deficient in them: for I worship my God, speaking in more foreign languages than all of you taken together.

19. Yet so far am I from being vain of this gift, that in the church I had rather speak five sentences with my meaning understood, that I may instruct others as well as myself, than ten thousand sentences in a foreign language, however sublime and elegant that discourse might be.
..........

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:18,19

Vs. 18. Correction of an abuse does not minimize the importance of proper use. Paul wants the Corinthians to know that he approves of the proper use of tongues —  he himself is an example. The apostle was equipped with the ability to speak in foreign languages in a manner far superior to that of any or all of the Corinthians. This obviously refers to his use of such languages in his foreign evangelism. No Corinthian had spoken so often or so well in a foreign language as had Paul. We might add here that if someone today was thus endowed and used the power for the same purpose, we would have some of the same results as Paul.

Vs. 19. The church referred to here must be the assembled group in Corinth —  or indeed in any place-why speak to such a group in a language they do not understand? Five words in a short sentence means more to them than ten thousand words —   however eloquent in a foreign language.

d.The comparison of their value to non-believers, 14:20-25.

(1) The appeal for mental maturity, 14:20.

Text 1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men.
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:20

124. Why introduce the thought of being children?

125. Explain how the Corinthians were using their minds like children.

126. How does the thought of malice fit the context?

127. Is Paul suggesting that in spite of the Spiritual gifts such persons were very immature? Why did God grant such gifts to such people?
..........

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, do not, by exercising the gift of tongues with strife, shew yourselves children in understand; but in freedom from evil disposition be ye children, and in understanding be ye full grown men.
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« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2008, 01:59:42 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:20

Vs. 20. There is a way in which one can be commended for being child-like —  but not as it relates to the mind —  a child likes the sensational, the exciting —  so the Corinthians were like children in their preference for the use of tongues. It appealed to the love for the exciting —  ”If you wish to be like a child be like one in his total lack of ill will.” In heart, be like a child; in mind, be mature like a man.

(2) The sign-value of tongues and prophecy, 14:21,22.
..........

Text 1 Corinthians 14:21,22

21 In the law it is written, by men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers will I speak unto this people; and not even thus will they hear me, saith the Lord.

22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to the unbelieving: but prophesying is for a sign, not to the unbelieving, but to them that believe.
..........

Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:21,22

128. Please read Isaiah 28:11,12 and tell why Paul refers to this prophecy as “law”.

129. Who were the men of strange tongues in the days of Isaiah? Who in Corinth?

130. Why didn’t they hear —  i.e., in both cases? Why did God send men to His people?

131. Give the meaning of the word “sign” as here used.

132. Explain how tongues would be a sign to the unbelieving.

133. Explain how prophesying would be a sign for the believer.
..........

Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:21,22

21. In the law it is foretold, Surely with other tongues, and with other lips, that is, by persons whose language is different from theirs, I will speak to this people: Yet not even so will they become obedient to me, saith the Lord.

22. Wherefore, foreign languages are for a sign of the effusion of the Holy Ghost on you, not to convince believers who do not understand these languages, but to convince unbelievers to whom ye speak in their own language, Acts II 8. But prophecy is for a sign of the effusion of the Spirit, not to convince unbelievers who cannot know, but to edify believers who know, that ye are inspired in prophesying.
..........
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« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2008, 02:01:24 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:21,22

Vs. 21. The “law” referred to here is found in the book of Isaiah. We should remember that all God says is important and to be considered as His will for man’s obedience. The men of strange tongues in the Isaiah reference were the Assyrians. God sent the Assyrians to “speak” to Judah —  not so much by their language, for this was unintelligible to them, but by the sword. This, also, they failed to heed. The Jews of Corinth would recall the circumstances of the reference and see its application —  foreign languages in the days of Isaiah were of little value —  even when misused in Corinth, God’s displeasure is present.

Vs. 22. The use of tongues is a sign —  they indicate or point to something. When an unbeliever is confronted with the miracle of someone speaking in his own native dialect who has never learned it, he is strongly inclined to heed what is said; thus the divine power of speaking in a foreign language becomes a great aid in evangelism. The use of tongues in a church service only serves to confuse when it is not understood by the listener.

The man who teaches and preaches through the gift of prophecy is the one who helps the believers. The communication of truth is the important action —  either to foreign unbelievers in their language —  or to believers in their native language.

(3) The effect of tongues and prophecy on non-believers, 14: 2 3-25.

(a) The effect of tongues, 14:23.

Text 1 Corinthians 14:23

If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad?
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Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:23

134. How could the whole church speak with tongues —  were not some without this gift?

135. Just how would you classify the “unlearned and unbelieving” men?

136. Why would such men say the tongues speakers were mad?
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Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:23

Well, then, if the whole church be assembled in one place, and the inspired persons all speak in foreign languages, and there come in persons ignorant of these languages, or heathens, will they not say that ye are mad, when they see the confusion ye make by speaking languages which no one present understands?
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« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2008, 02:03:33 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:23

Vs. 23. Please remember the general heading of this section —   i.e., the effect of tongues and prophecy on unbelievers. Here is one very unsavory effect —  just suppose the whole church is assembled and all present are exercising the power of speaking in a foreign language (an admittedly exaggerated situation for such could not be the case) —  one speaking in this language and another in that. Into such a meeting step several unbelievers —   what will they think? Just what most unbelievers think at one of our present day tongues meetings —  ”they are mad.” Indeed they were and are. This presupposes a lack of the interpretation of such tongues —  such must have been the case or Paul’s argument would not carry.

(b) The effect of prophecy, 14:24,25.
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Text 1 Corinthians 14:24,25

But if all prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he is reproved by all, he is judged by all; the secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.
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Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:24,25

137. How could any good effect come of all prophesying at the same time?

138. What is the meaning of the word “reproved” as here used?

139. In what sense is such a person “judged by all.”

140. Does this indicate anything about the content of preaching or teaching? If so, what?

141. What would cause the unbeliever to fall on his face?

142. What is the meaning of the word “worship”? Where is worship?

143. In what sense would God be among the prophesying church?
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Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:24,25

24. But if all who are inspired prophesy, and there come in a heathen, or one ignorant of foreign languages, with an intention to act as a spy, such a person, understanding what is spoken, will be reproved for his idolatry, and other sins, by all who prophesy; and he will be questioned concerning his intention, by all who can discern spirits.

25. And thus the hidden purposes of his heart being made known, he will be astonished, and so, falling prostrate, he will worship God, and report that God is actually among you. Like Nebuchadnezzar he will say, “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods —  and a revealer of secrets” (Daniel II 47).
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« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2008, 02:05:16 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:24,25

Vs. 24. We must assume that all prophesying would be done in order. All of the words of instruction, and correction would be perfectly clear to the unbeliever since it is in his own tongue. As the unbeliever listens, one after another speaks to his heart and conscience. His guilt before God is established time after time. He is weighed in God’s balances and found wanting —  not once, but many times by those who prophesy.

Vs. 25. The motives and intents of the unbelievers’ heart are all open and evident through the words of the many prophets. Again and again he sees himself as God sees him —  what is his response? He falls down (if not literally, at least in his heart) and does obeisance to God. To humble oneself by doing obeisance is the root meaning of the word “worship.” Finally, instead of the words of ridicule —  ’ ‘ye are mad’ ‘ —  he will express words of holy reverence, “God is among or in you.”

2. The orderly employment of tongues and prophecy, 14:26-36.

a. The principle of orderliness in worship, 14:26.
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Text 1 Corinthians 14:26

What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
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Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:26

144. Why introduce this section with the words “What is it then”?

145. Is the coming together the public meeting of the saints at Corinth?

146. What is meant by the expression “hath a psalm”?

147. What is “a revelation”?

148. Why not mention the gift of prophecy?

149. What is the point of this verse?
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Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:26

What then is to be done, brethren? When ye are assembled, one of you by inspiration bath a psalm; another bath a discourse; another bath something made known to him in a foreign language; another a revelation of some future event; another bath an interpretation of what was uttered in a foreign language. In such cases, let all these gifts be exercised to edification.
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« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2008, 02:07:01 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Comment 1 Corinthians 14:26

Vs. 26. Paul is saying —  here is the proper way to use these gifts in a public service (probably in contrast with the way they were using them). Let each one who possesses such a gift see that he uses it to build up the listeners. Perhaps the psalm, the teaching and the revelation are but expressions of the gift of prophecy. A psalm was a song —  probably from the Book of Psalms, a teaching refers to some special instruction to be given from the word of God; revelation could refer to some direct word from God —   the tongues are always to have an interpreter that those who hear might be edified.

b.The specific instructions concerning their services, 14: 27-36.

(I) The instructions concerning tongues and interpretations, 14:27,28.
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Text 1 Corinthians 14:27,28

If any man speaketh in a tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that in turn; and let one interpret: but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
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Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:27,28

150. Why the limitation on the number who spoke with tongues?

151. Meaning of the expression “in turn.’

152. In what sense could a tongue speaker speak to himself and to God?
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Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:27,28

27. And if any one be moved to speak in a foreign language, let him speak by two, or at most by three sentences at a time, and separately; and let one in the same manner interpret what he says, that the church may be edified.

28. But if there be no interpreter present, let the inspired person be silent in the church at that time: Yet, for his own edification, he may speak inwardly to himself and to God, what is given him by the Spirit.
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Comment 1 Corinthians 14:27,28

Vs. 27. Very plain and specific instructions are given for those who would exercise the gift of tongues —   let only two or three speak. This was for the purpose of allowing time for other parts of the service. No one was to speak in a foreign language unless there was an interpreter present. Now, just how would the tongue-speaker know there was an interpreter present if he was not speaking in a known foreign language? If it was some heavenly unknown language there would be a need for a direct revelation from heaven as to what was meant —  would this always be given to the same man? Could this be the gift of interpretation? Interpretation pre-supposes a knowledge of a language —  who could say he knows the language of heaven?

Vs. 28. If no interpreter were present (a fact to be ascertained by the one with the gift of tongues), let him be silent and use his gift at home for his own edification —  i.e., in private devotions.

(2) The instructions as to prophecy and revelation, 14:29-33a.

(a) The orderly procedure in prophesying, 14:29.
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« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2008, 02:09:01 PM »

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES

Text 1 Corinthians 14:29

And let the prophets speak by two or three, and let the others discern.
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Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:29

153. The same orderly procedure is to be followed in the use of the gift of prophecy. Why such a limitation?

154. How long would such a service last?

155. What is the meaning of the word “discern”? Is this the discerning of spirits?

156. To whom does the little phrase “the others” refer?
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Paraphrase 1 Corinthians 14:29

Now, let only two or three prophets speak in succession, at one meeting, and let the others who have the gift of discerning spirits, discern whether they have spoken by inspiration or by private suggestion.
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Comment 1 Corinthians 14:29

Vs. 29. Why limit the use of prophecy to two or three? Is it to show fairness to those who were so fond of the use of tongues? MacKnight solves the problem by referring the “two or three” to two or three sentences —  which hardly seems likely. Perhaps it was because there was a certain element of prophecy in the use of tongues —  i.e., when they were interpreted —  what was to be said when tongues were used? Some edifying revelation of God was given to all through the interpreter —  hence the purpose of speaking with understanding was fulfilled.

We believe the use of the word “discern” does indeed refer to those who had the gift of the discerning of Spirits —  it evidently was possible to pretend to have a revelation from God and yet be self-deceived. Those with the supernatural power to discern would soon indicate the deficiency.
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Text 1 Corinthians 14:30-33a

But if a revelation be made to another sitting by, let the first keep silence. For ye all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets; for God is not a god of confusion, but of peace.
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Thought Questions 1 Corinthians 14:30-33a

157. What is “a revelation”? Why would it be superior to what was being said?

158. How would the prophesying “one by one” cause all to learn?

159. What is meant by the word “exhorted”?

160. Does Paul here mean that the prophets could control the use of the gift of prophecy? In what manner?

161. Why appeal to the nature of God in 33a?
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