14:1-40. PROPHECY OF THE BEST GIFT.
D  F1  1-20. Prophecy better than tongues.
   F2  21-40. Reasons and Cautions.

14:1-20. PROPHECY BETTER THAN TONGUES.
F1  G  1. Every gift to be desired.
     H  2-4. But prophesying best.
    G  5-. Tongues also to be desired.
     H  -5-20. But prophesying best.

1 Corinthians 14)

1 Follow after love (as in 13:1), and covet earnestly (as in 12:31) spiritual gifts (as in 12:1. Love for our people. Thatís to say gifts from God through the Holy Spirit that will help you carry forth Godís work.), but rather in order that you may prophesy. (To prophecy is to teach, or to speak, having divine influence within the speaker concerning the Word of God and the prophets. Itís a gift to be able to teach and a gift always makes room for itself. You donít have to say ďI have the gift of teachingĒ if you actually have it people should recognize it because the gift of teaching with the presence of the Holy Spirit causes the Word to come to life for it is living.)

2 For he that speaks in a tongue speak not to men, but to God (Gr. Theos corresponds generally to Elohim, the Creator, of the O.T.): for no one understand him (see Acts 9:7); but in spirit he speaks mysteries. (Now it is important that you note that the word ďunknownĒ as it is written in this verse is in italics which means what? It means that man added it to the translation to make it carry in English. But I think youíll remember I taught you the word ďtongueĒ as it is used here, that is glossa:

G1100 γλῶσσα - glōssa - gloce'-sah

Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): - tongue.

It means that it is un-acquired. What does that mean? That means that it is a language that was not present where you grew up in a natural sense. But if two languages are spoken where a child grows up they will naturally pick up on both of those languages. One may be more dominant than the other but they will have both those languages.

So, what it is really saying here is that I, being an English speaker, if I go down to where there are people who predominantly have another tongue, letís say I went to Mexico City, and to teach there they would not understand what I was saying. God would know what I was saying because God understands all languages but those poor people would not hear my words else I had an interpreter because the tongue I spoke would be foreign to them. It would not be naturally learned by them for they did not all naturally learn English as they grew up.

Now concerning tongues, many people would say ďWell Iím just prophesying to GodĒ. It reminds me of the verse in Romans 9 where it would say, ďWho are you man that you would question or try to tell God what to do?Ē Remember what He did to Paul when he was trying to run Godís church for Him? He knocked him down and blinded him. Now if you claim people canít understand but youíre prophesying to God, God doesnít need a prophet to prophesy to Him. All wisdom comes from Him. Probably the highest trips of vanity are those that say ďwell I just prophesied to GodĒ. Thatís very dangerous; dangerous when one says, ďIím ministering to GodĒ. Well, I would be very careful if I were you if I had that opinion. God has a way of getting people back down into low gear where they belong.)
3 But he that prophesies speaks to men for edification (lit. building. See 3:9. Here used metaphorically), and exhortation (see Acts 4:36 and 13:15), and comfort. (Cp. Phil. 2:1, and the verb in John 11:19. In other words, the reason that we prophesy in teaching or speaking with the divine presence of the Spirit, or being gifted as a teacher, is that youíre supposed to do it for edification of that person or exhortation to help them understand deeper into the truth, or for comfort, to have a spirit of comfort in teaching. Well, if they donít know what you are saying how can you comfort them? If you're speaking English and they only understand Spanish, pray tell me, how you are going to comfort them? That is what Paul is saying here. They donít have the ďglossaĒ, thatís to say the natural acquired ability to understand English there in Mexico City.)
4 He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself; but he that prophesies edifies the church. (See Acts 9:31. Again, [unknown] is in italics meaning it was added and it is not in the original manuscripts. The word tongue or glossa means ďan unacquired languageĒ, meaning a foreign language to you. In other words, what you are supposed to do is, when you are teaching Godís prophets, if you will, itís supposed to edify the body. The church is not necessarily a building itís a group of people wherever they might be. Thatís the purpose. And if they canít understand you, you have a problem. Communication is a beautiful thing and one that has the ability to communicate with the anointing of the Holy Spirit is a gift indeed. And communication is the name of the game. If people canít understand you then Iím sorry, youíre not a communicator. A person in communicating must always teach on a level that the new person that might be listening can learn. Iím thinking of broadcasting as an example, a teacher must teach where a new person can understand as well as a medium-level student, and then moving deeper to a third level. A teacher must work that within that and it takes the Holy Spirit to be able to teach on those three levels at one time. Thatís communicating. Itís supposed to edify, comfort, and bring the church the Word of God.)

5 I wish that you all spoke with tongues

but rather that you prophesied: for greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, except he interpret (see Acts 9:36), that the church may receive edifying. (In other words, I as an English speaker, if Iím going to a church in Mexico where the language is Spanish, he would rather that I would be able to speak both languages. And naturally if your native language is English youíre going to think in that language but translate it to Spanish as you speak. Itís just nature. Thatís the way it is, thatís the way the cookie crumbles. He said, ďIíd rather all of you didĒ but not all of us know foreign languages nor do we understand them. And you have to remember again that in Paulís day you didnít have to walk very far until you were in a group of people that spoke a totally different language and Paul was one that could handle Hebrew, Aramaic, the Roman language, and he could handle street Greek pretty well. So he could speak quite a few languages, therefore he was able to communicate with people.)
6 Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I shall speak to you either in revelation, or in knowledge, or in prophesying, or in doctrine? (In other words, if I canít speak your own language, youíre not even going to know what Iím talking about, youíre not going to understand. It would be a waste of time. This is why, even on television today when you see certain evangelists make trips to other countries and you hear that televised, you hear the evangelist speak and then an interpreter speaks in another language. That in itself is a very good gift, for the very volume and emotion of the Spirit-given message must have that emotion carry over into the other language. Thatís a gift. In other words we couldnít say in one language: "AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!" and then have someone translate it in another one: ďand-the-Lord-Jesus-ChristĒ... It loses the emotion, so it is a gift. I'm sure you get the point.)

7 Nevertheless 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? (Sound such as from a trumpet, and sounds as in notes. How are you going to know if you canít catch a harmony or a melody if all you hear is a noise? For example, you might hear a small child sometime, having a go at a horn. Thatís what heís talking about; that it doesnít mean anything. Thereís no distinction to the sound. Now horns were used in battle times.)
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for war? (If a trumpeter does not know how to play the battle charge, and itís a special call which is still used in the military today, then how are you going to know when to charge if you canít play the trumpet? Thereís no communication in other words. Thatís Paulís point. Itís wonderful to be able to take the Word and the Gospel forth to all peoples and all tongues and all nations but you always have that problem of communication. Thank God as it was spoken on Pentecost day; "this is that which was spoken of by Joel the prophetĒ. When that day comes [where it will be spoken again] it will not be a problem. But what happened there was the evidence or an example of what shall happen at the time [the elect are delivered up]. So when you hear a noise or a voice, it has got to be in your language or else itís never going to make sense to you. Youíll be blowing in the wind so to speak.)
9 So you also, except you give by the tongue words intelligible, how shall it be known what is spoken? for you shall speak into the air. (You might as well be talking to the air. They arenít going to understand what you are saying. Even if you had the gift as a teacher in English and you stumble down to a place where they all speak Spanish or French or something else youíre not going to be able to help them, with the exception of having an interpreter with you. Heís making this point down where a child can understand. Now it comes to the point, do you believe the Word of God or do you like to believe men? I donít know. Itís up to you. As a teacher I must teach it as I see it. We can still be friends. You do what you feel you have to do. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices

Voices = Strong's G5456 - phōnē

3) speech

a) of a language, tongue

in the world, and none of them [is] without signification.

In other words, if you understand the language, you would understand it because they are each specifically set forth.)
10 There are, if it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is dumb. (See Acts 8:32.)
11 Therefore if I know not the force of the voice (If I do not know the meaning of the language), I shall be to him that speaks a barbarian (see Acts 28:2), and he that speaks shall be a barbarian to me. (ďI donít know what heís talking, heís just rambling, I mean itís just a noise. It doesnít make sense.Ē However, as a first example, if I would say to you right now, "EŠ oķn meť eidů teťn dķnamin' ". What did I say? Does that mean anything to you? Iím sure it would to some. Itís a noise or voice that is in Greek. I was quoting verse 11 above in the Greek tongue. Therefore if I know not the meaning, in part, a foreign tongue must be interpreted.

How about, as another example: pÍyak, nÓso, nisto, nÍwo, niy‚nan, nikotw‚sik tÍpakohp, ayin‚nÍw, kÍk‚mit‚taht, and mit‚taht?

That's counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 in the Cree language. And if you are a Canadian Cree Indian, you'd understand that. I spoke the foreign tongues, identified them for you and told you what I was saying in English. Itís that simple. Now, do you understand why? Because Iím a communicator. Thatís the way the Word of God is. It takes a communicator and it takes the gift of the Holy Spirit with the ability to be able to go from the Greek to the Hebrew and the Chaldean to bring that forth whereby you understand the basic truths even when it is translated into English. And it was thus that the writers of the King James Version had a letter in the original, written to the reader stating these facts. (see: http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/pref1611.htm ) The Word of God is fantastic when it is taught. The term barbarian was used of someone that was non-Christian, maybe unfairly, whatever, thatís what it means.)
12 So you also, inasmuch as you are zealous of spiritual gifts (operations of the Holy Spirit), seek that you may abound to the edifying of the church. (In other words, however anxious you are to communicate the truth or to take it abroad, always speak, not to edify yourself if you already know, but to edify the church, that is to say speak and communicate where they can communicate with you.)

13 Wherefore let him that speak in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. (In other words, that you have somebody there that can interpret it with emotion and feeling so that it still stays alive, the Word, to that audience, that helps the church then.)

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. (In other words, I canít pass that wonderful information onto someone if I cannot speak their language. An interpreter basically solves that. Not the best, but it does solve it.)
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. (I am going to pray where my mind is communicating. That is to say it may be unknown to them. In other words, Iím going to speak with the people that can understand what Iím saying when I sing so that the harmony comes forth or when I pray that the Word comes forth, and so forth. Just plain common sense. You that have traveled, probably you can fit into this much better, if you at sometime you were trying to communicate with someone that couldnít speak your language nor vice-versa.)
16 Else if you shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that fills up the room of the unlearned (see Acts 4:13. Lit. "private" as opposed to "official") say "Amen" at your giving of thanks (see Acts 24:3), since he knows not what you say? (In other words, you can preach all you want to, you can pray all you want to, but the congregation of the church will not even know when to say ďamenĒ because they donít understand what youíre doing. You donít have to be a brilliant to understand that.)
17 For you verily give thanks well (see Acts 27:35), but the other is not edified. (They donít know what you are talking about. You made a beautiful prayer to the Father. Yes, He understood, He understands all languages, but it didnít help uplift the church because they understood a different language.)
18 I thank my God, I speaking [as I do] with tongues more than you all: (ďI know more languages than all of you.Ē And Paul did, he spoke what a spokesman and communicator he was. And I listed before, he spoke the Roman tongue, the Greek tongue, the Aramaic tongue, he was a scholar in Hebrew and Iím sure, many other tongues as well. He said ďI speak more than you allĒ. He studied in the ancient Hebrew, and Greek, and Septuagint manuscripts. But you might say:)
19 Yet in the church I desire to speak five words by my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also (see Acts 18:25), than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. (That is to say in their language. Thatís what you want to do is teach others. Now thatís only common sense. I had a brother ďHollierĒ, a Greek scholar, who went into a church and was asked to speak there. He opened his Bible to what was itÖ the third chapter of John and then he began reading it in Greek and the church came apart! I mean there were people interpreting what he was saying all over the room and none of them reporting what the scriptures said. He closed his Bible and he left. Tongues are a wonderful thing. Thatís what we use them for, communication. Paul loved Hebrew.)
20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: but even in malice act as babes, but in understanding become men. (I.e. of of mature age and thought. Donít be childish in understanding, and please donít let Godís Word, properly taught, offend you, because you had better be in agreement with Godís Word. Donít be childish in following traditions. I could say in ignorance, be ye children, but in understanding to men. In other words, of ripe age and growing to perfection in teaching Godís Word, use common sense in taking forth Godís Word.)

21 In the law it is written (the Scriptures of the O.T. are called "the law", "the law and the Prophets", "the law, the Prophets, and the Psalms". Here the law includes Isaiah, just as in John 10:34; 15:25, it includes the Psalms), "In men of other-tongued and with lips of others will I speak to this people; and not even so will they listen to me, says the Lord." (Elohim. Quotation from Isa. 28:11,12)
22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that are unbelieving: but prophesying is not for them that are unbelieving, but for them which believe. (When you can speak all the languages at one time heard by the ear of the hearer regardless of what his tongue is, then thatís a sign and itís the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit as it is well recorded in Acts chapter two verses six and seven. No man can copy that. No man can con their way into that. It takes the Holy Spirit. In other words, the deep teaching is understood if you understand the language more readily.)
23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place (see Acts 2:1), and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are mad? (See Acts 12:15. They sure would. And do you know something? If you are not communicating and you are not teaching Godís word, well, there would be a madness there alright. It would sound like a madhouse. Always remember, God is not the author of confusion. And if you go into a house thatís confused, I would worry about it and Iíd be concerned.)
24 But if all prophesy, and there come in any one that believes not, or one unlearned, he is convinced by all, he is discerned of all: (He hears. He can understand. In other words, if he is unlearned concerning Godís Word but he still understands the language that you are teaching in, it might strike him.)
25 And thus the secrets of his heart become manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and declaring that God is among you indeed. (Cp. John 8:36. They can tell. Godís gifts make room for themselves. You donít have to push it. Understanding and clarity comes from true teaching with the presence of the Holy Spirit.)

26 How is it then, brethren? when you come together, each one has a psalm, has a doctrine (Maybe have different thoughts), has a tongue (A language), has a revelation (Can understand Godís revelation), has an interpretation.

Let all things be done to edifying. (Let it all come together with common sense.)

27 If any one speak in an unknown tongue (Thatís a foreign language), let it be according to two, or at the most by three, and that in turn; and let one interpret. (No more in other words. Itís a little boring and the church gets tired if you have three different speakers, at the most. Then get someone that can teach with fire of the Holy Spirit in their own tongue so that they can get back in the swing because again, itís a little boring.)
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. (You keep your mouth shut! Because if you canít speak their language all you would be doing is making a noise.)
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others discern. (In other words, theyíre going to know, so let it be one at the time. And discernment by the people will know whether they are successful.)
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace. (That is to say, let the Word of God flow but with understanding.)
31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. (Donít ever get a madhouse going!)
32 And the spiritual gifts of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (I.e. under the control of their possessors. So there was no warrant for the scenes of excitement sometimes exhibited in ancient, as well as in modern, days. In other words, a gift will give way to the true Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit only speaks one at the time.)
33 For God is not the author of commotion (see Luke 21:9), but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (See Acts 9:13. In other words, Godís truth always brings the Spirit of peace not turmoil, not confusion. Let me cover Isaiah here very quickly. Many people think that this gives them the right to do whatever they choose but it was mockery. It was God mocking the people and itís a dangerous thing not to be aware of it. Because you donít mock God and get away with it, thatís my point. Does God wink at ignorance? I donít know. He chastises those Heís going to use. This is what Paul was talking about in the Old Testament when he was correcting the people because they had gone astray and had taken in a bunch of stuff the preachers and the teachers were teaching in error. See Isa. 28:8.)
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be subject as the law also says. (Ref. to Gen. 3:16. Cp. 1 Tim. 2:11-13)
35 And if they wish to learn any thing, let them ask their own husbands in the home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

36 What? went the word of God out from you? or came it to you only?
37 If any one think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to 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 according to order.

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