I Corinthians

Chapter 14
11~~ Constantly pursue . . . The Agape Love {as individuals}.
And, collectively, keep on desiring spiritual gifts {plural}.
But my preference is
that you may prophesize {over the gift of languages}.

{Note: Agape love is in the singular which means to do as an individual. And, from chapter 13 we learn agape love only comes from the filling of the Holy Spirit. So, here it means to rebound and regain the filling of the spirit.}

2~~ For he that speaks in a foreign language no one hears
and understands him, but for the advantage of God.
For no man understands him, never the less,
in the {filling of the Spirit} Spirit he speaks mysteries.

{Note: This means that the men in his own congregation do not understand the one speaking in a foreign language. It's advantage was for evangelizing foreigners only. And this did glorify God when the bona fide use of languages was operational.}

{Note: In Greek a 'mystery' was something that someone understands, but most do not - the gift of languages purpose was to warn the Jews of the approaching fifth cycle of discipline and to evangelize the few foreigners coming into the church - all good. But Paul is saying prophesizing helps more people and is the greater spiritual gift.}

3~~ But he that prophesies speaks unto men
to edification {teaching doctrine to assist in spiritual growth},
and exhortation {applying doctrine to life - sometimes is hard to hear
  and hurts, but is necessary for spiritual growth},
and comfort.

{Note: Teaching doctrine upon doctrine, building principal upon principal . . . until you have built the 'edification complex of the soul' and are a mature believer.}

4~~ He that speaks in tongues edifies himself {limited but stimulating
  to the person with the gift and was rewarding to that person}.  But he that prophesies edifies the church.

5~~ I desire from my emotional pattern
that you all spoke with tongues,
but my preference is that you prophesied.
For greater is he that prophesies
than he that speaks with tongues,
if he - maybe he will, maybe he won't - be interpreted . . .
that the church may receive edifying.

{Note: Paul states the exception here. And, that is the doctrine spoken in the foreign language would be useful to the whole church, if someone in the church had the gift of interpretation. Then all could learn doctrine and this would be almost as good as prophesy.}

{Four Sub-categories of Prophesy}
6~~ Now, brethren,
if I come unto you speaking in foreign languages
- maybe I will, maybe I won't -
what shall I profit you?
Or would you rather I shall speak to you
either by revelation {1},
or by knowledge {2},
or by prophesying {3},
or by doctrine {4}?

{Note: This last part is really the 'if' statement in the third class condition again. In the Greek, two third class conditions set up the alternatives. So Paul is still comparing tongues to prophesying.}

{Illustration - a Musical Instrument}
7~~ And even things without life
giving sound {beautiful Greek describing a musical instrument}, whether pipe or harp,
unless they give a distinction
in the sounds {i.e. a child pounding the piano keys},
how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

{Note: Speaking in a foreign language is only beneficial IF you speak the foreign language otherwise it is 'useless noise' like a child beating on the piano keys.}

{Illustration - military life - all movements of troops were by trumpet calls}
8~~ For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound,
who shall prepare himself to the battle?

{Note: This means 'How will the troops know what to do if the trumpet is unclear?'}

9~~ So likewise you,
unless you utter by your tongue words easy to be understood,
how shall it be known what is spoken?
For you shall be speaking to the air.

10~~ There are . . .
if it may be
- I wish it were so but it isn't {4th class condition} -
many kinds of languages in the world
and none of them is without communication.

{Note: This means all languages have great significance}

11~~ Therefore,
if I know not the meaning of the language,
I shall be to him that speaks that language - a barbarian
and he that speaks shall be a barbarian unto me.

{Note: In this day, a barbarian was one you could not understand and did not understand you. The foreign languages sounded like 'bar bar' to the Greeks so they were called 'bar-bar-ians'.}

12~~ Even so you,
as long as you are enthusiastic about spiritual gifts,
seek that you may abound to the edifying of the church.

{Note: Communication of doctrine builds up or edifies the Church. This ties back to verse 4 above.}

13~~ Wherefore let him who speaks in a foreign language
pray that he may be translated.

14~~ For if I pray in an foreign language
 - maybe I will maybe I won't -
my spirit prays . . . but my understanding is unfruitful.

{Note: Praying without 'mind involvement'/understanding is not meaningful.}

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 you shall bless with the spirit
  {refers to any facet of worship - singing or praying} . . .  how shall he that occupies the room
of the unlearned {idiom is referring to the one speaking in a foreign
  language and all around him when the language is not interpreted}
say "Amen" {which means 'I believe'}
at your giving of thanks . . .
seeing he understands not what you say?

17~~ For you verily give thanks well
  {because the words are provided by the Holy Spirit} . . .
but the other is not edified.

{Note: If they do not understand, they do not benefit from the doctrine being spoken in a foreign language}

18~~ I thank my God,
I speak with the gift of languages more than you all.

{Note: Paul was grateful because he was a great evangelist and the gift of language assisted him.}

19~~ Yet, in the church,
I desire to speak five words from my intellect,
with the result that I might verbally teach others also,
than ten thousand words in a foreign language.

{Note: If the congregation does not understand the ten thousand words, what is the benefit?}

20~~ Brethren, stop becoming children in intellect!
But keep on becoming men {mature believers}.

{True purpose of the Gift of Languages- verses 21-22}
21~~ In the law it stands written
- in the past with the result that it abides forever -
"With of other tongues {foreign languages}
and other lips will I speak unto this people,
yet for all of that they will they not hear and obey me,"
says the Lord.

{Note: This refers to the Jews. The Jews were responsible for evangelizing the world. Instead, when THEY were being evangelized in foreign languages, it was prophesized that this was to be a warning of the coming of the fifth cycle of discipline.}

22~~ Wherefore tongues keep on being a sign,
not to them that believe, but to unbelievers.
But prophesying serves not for them that believe not,
but for them that believe.

{Note: Prophesy was a gift for believers. Languages was an evangelism gift for unbelievers.}

23~~ If therefore the whole church be come together
into one place - maybe it will, maybe it won't -
and all speak with tongues . . .
and in comes a stranger who minds his own business
or an unbeliever . . .
will he not say that you are mad? {'Yes' they will say you are mad!}

24~~ But if all prophesy {All 4 types - declarations of doctrine},
and there come in an unbeliever,
or one unlearned,
he is convinced by all he hears,
he receives discernment from above of all.

{Note: The unbeliever will not leave thinking you are crazy people. He can not understand doctrine without a human spirit, but he may become saved and then he can learn doctrine.}

25~~ And falling down he is impressed and will worship God,
and report that God is in you truly.

26~~ How is it then, brother? {believer}
when you come together {church service},
every one of you has a psalm {doctrine with a tune},
has a doctrine {Bible categorically presented},
has a tongue/language {in this day, the evangelizing of a Jew in a
  gentile language that the unbeliever understands},
has a revelation {prophesy relating to events yet to occur},
has an interpretation {interpretation of the Gift of Languages}.
Let all things be done unto edifying.

27~~ If any man speak in a foreign language, let it be by two,
or at the most by three, and that by rotation, 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.

{Note: Speak to himself is an idiom for think it only . . . do not mumble out loud. And from this we know that the gift of languages was subject to the volition of the one with the gift.}

29~~ Let the prophets speak two or three,
and let the others of the same kind listen with discernment.

{Note: In this day, one person would present doctrine, then the next would present doctrine, and then a third. Paul is indicating to limit it to three sermons.}

30~~ If something is revealed to another that sits by,
let the first keep quiet and peace.

31~~ For you may all prophesy one by one,
that all may learn,
and all may be helped.

32~~ And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

{Note: Prophesy was resident in the human spirit and was taught by the Holy Spirit. It also was subject to the volition of the individual with the gift. So again Paul continues with his comparison of the two temporary gifts.}

33~~ For The God is not confusion,
but peace and order,
as in all churches of the saints.

34~~ Let your women keep silence in the churches . . .
for it is not permitted for them to speak,
but to be under authority,
as also says the law.

{Note: Paul is stating that woman were never granted the gift of languages and should not speak in the church period. They, as all believers, are under the authority of the Pastor and Teacher while in church.}

35~~ And if they will learn any thing
- and they do -
let them ask their husbands at home.
For it is a shame for a woman to speak
in the church {while the pastor speaks}.

{Note: This is a matter of respect and authority. If one person is in authority and teaching, then everyone must be quiet and listen. It is really not just referring to women here.}

{Response to doctrine}
36~~ What? Came the word of God from the ultimate source of you? {Did you think up doctrine or did you learn it?}
Or, came it unto you? {Yes, you learned it!}

37~~ If any man think
himself to be a prophet {a teacher of doctrine},
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 {of doctrine} - and he is -
let him continue to be ignorant.

{Note: If you do not have doctrine, you do not respond to new doctrines. Principal is spiritual growth is building one doctrine upon another - progression from baby to adolescent to mature believer.}

39~~ Wherefore, brethren,
you all covet to prophesy {desire the gift that profits the church}, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

{Note: Paul is saying is ok to use the gift of languages in its proper sequence when an interpreter was there so congregation could be edified - but prefer the gift of teaching (prophesy) over a more limited gift- tongues.}

40~~ Let all things be done in a becoming manner
and in order {with structure, organized, not a group of loonies
  sounding like 'noisy gongs'}.


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