SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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I would like to make a personal comment. I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mk.12:30,33; Lk.10:27). There was a time that this was not so, even though I attended church regularly. Attending church does NOT make you a TRUE child of God. http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
When I finally came to my senses, and really listened to an old man who had taught Sunday School for over 65 years, I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour and Lord, as did my husband. As I look back, I now know that the pastor of that little church was NOT saved. I asked him after his sermon one Sunday: “How can I be saved?” His exact answer: “You have to keep working on it.” That is NOT the answer a saved man would have given me.
Both my husband and I had Catholic backgrounds. I left right after my confirmation, when the priest hit the ceiling because a friend and I went to a different church. Even at my young age of 12 or 13, I knew he had no right to tell me where I should worship God. My husband did not leave the Catholic Church until he was 29.
I despise cults and false doctrines that lead millions to Hell. I have taught the Bible for well over 40 years. I knew what my spiritual gift was almost immediately after I was saved in that tiny church, although I seriously questioned it at first. Why would God choose an uneducated nobody, when there are so many others, much better qualified? I did have questions! But as I increased in faith and wisdom, He gave me some answers. Now, I just gladly serve Him.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (KJV)
The reason I write this, is that sometimes I get pretty radical or testy on the subjects of false teachers and damnable heresies (2 Pet.2:1). I teach the Holy Word of God, and I believe everything God tells us there. I have a deep sense of fear for lost souls, because I KNOW where they all shall go. That is why I truly try to show people the right road to travel if they do not want to go to Hell. That right road is clearly shown to us in the Bible, and that is why I try so hard to get people on it.
Theme of chapter14: Exercising spiritual gifts.
We are still in the section of the Letter concerning spiritual gifts. In chapter 12 we saw the endowment of gifts by the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts were given to sustain the unity of the church in a diversity of its members. Each and every member has a separate gift; but all are to function together, just as the body functions with its many members. The eye cannot do what the ear does, and the ear cannot do what the eye does. Each member must function in its own capacity, both in the body and the Body of Christ, the church.
We are put into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit of God, and we are placed there to exercise our gift. Paul told us at the end of chapter 12 that we should covet earnestly the best gifts, and that he would show us a more excellent way. That way is by love. The entire chapter 13 is on the subject of love. He concludes by saying that the greatest of these is love, and he continues by saying that we are to follow after love.
In Chapter 14 the italicized word "unknown" does not appear in the Greek text, as with all italicized words found in the King James Translation. These were provided by the translators to help clarify the meaning, and in most cases, it does help.
Gift of Prophecy, Superior to Gift of Tongues (1 Cor.14:1-22)
The Church is to be Controlled by Edification (1 Cor.14:1-6)
1 Cor. 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. (KJV)
Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy . . . at Corinth, tongues were passionately sought, far above the rest of the gifts . . . just as they are today. Follow after charity means to pursue (keep after) love. It is good to desire spiritual gifts, but what is much more important than having all the gifts, is the giving forth of the Word of God, the Gospel (prophesy). The TRUE love of God separates the people who talk of God from the people who walk with God. IF a person really loves the Lord Jesus, they would want to pursue God's main concern. This should give us some idea of why Paul begins Chapter 14 with "Follow after love" (charity).
The entire Chapter 14 is God's correction and warnings concerning tongues. Consider this: IF we are willing to follow and obey God's Word: #1. We should earnestly desire to give the Word of God to others. #2. We should have a desire for spiritual gifts. #3. We should gladly accept the gift or gifts God determines for us to have. #4. We should covet earnestly 1 Cor.12:31), that is to pursue to the best of our ability with God's grace, those gifts for His honor and glory.
Since I always put entire Scripture verses in italics, I will put the word unknown in bold type, in all six places of Chapter 14 (1 Cor.14:2,4,13,14,19,27).
1 Cor. 14:2 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. (KJV)
The word unknown is in italics in the KJV of the Bible, meaning it is NOT in the original Greek. NOWHERE in the Greek Bible does it speak of unknown tongues. It should read: "For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." Because no one will understand him, he is NOT to speak in a language that is unknown to the group . . . unless somebody there can interpret what has been said.
We will see in this chapter that there are three gifts that Paul emphasizes: prophecy, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. Have you ever noticed that there is very little reference to tongues in the Bible except in these three chapters (1 Cor.12,13,14)? There are references to tongues (Mk.16:17; Acts 2:1-11; 10:46; 19:6). There was #1. speaking in tongues on the Day of Pentecost when the Gospel went to the nation of Israel. There was #2. speaking in tongues at the home of Cornelius when the Gospel was opened to the Gentiles. There was #3. speaking in tongues in Ephesus when the Gospel moved out into the uttermost parts of the earth. Those are the three instances of speaking in tongues . . . the ONLY 3 instances! Tongues was NOT to be a permanent thing. It was for the baby church.
1 Cor. 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. (KJV)
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort . . . this is the will of God they were too ignorant to acknowledge. Paul is emphasizing the gift of prophecy. He asks them NOT to speak in tongues which seemed to delight them, but instead to speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is for comfort, enlightenment and encouragement of the church. I think today’s charismatic churches should take Paul’s advice!
My husband and I went to one tongues church many years ago. NEVER again! To me, it was an absolute disrespect to God! Blasphemy! We could not get out of there fast enough!
1 Cor. 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. (KJV)
He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church . . . they wanted to edify themselves by speaking in tongues. This was their will, NOT God's will. It is God's will that the church receive enlightening through the hearing of His Word. 2 Pet. 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (KJV)
The Corinthian church did NOT put others first, which reveals the true love of God . . . instead theirs was a shallow emotionalism which tended to exalt self, no one else. They should have been preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ which would enlighten and encourage all the people there. Again, I think today’s charismatic churches should take Paul’s advice!
1 Cor. 14:5 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. (KJV)
I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied . . . Paul tells them: I wish you could all speak in tongues, but what I rather you would do is to prophesy. For prophecy is a much greater gift in God’s eyes, than speaking in tongues, for unless someone interprets what you are saying, NO one would be enlightened.
For greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues . . . the gift of prophesy is of much greater value, and he really has a more elevated position in the church. He is more useful. Paul’s idea here is, that gifts are not to be assessed by their brilliance, but by their usefulness. Prophesy is a very important gift, and should NOT be underrated. He that prophesieth is one that teaches.
Except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying . . . no matter how important and valuable the truth might be which is spoken in tongues, it would be completely useless to the church, unless he would explain it in language which they could understand. It seems clear from this verse, that at times the person who had the gift of speaking foreign languages, also had the power of interpreting, while from verse 27, it appears that the office of interpreting was sometimes done by others.
1 Cor. 14:6 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? (KJV)
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? . . . God had given Paul the ability to speak with tongues. He asks the Corinthians, “how would it profit you if I came speaking a language that to did not know?” He goes on saying that unless I come and speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine, you cannot profit.
Consider this: the listener could NOT "profit" unless the speaker was speaking by the Holy Spirit and bringing one of the following: #1. Revelation, #2. Knowledge, #3. Prophesying, #4. Doctrine. IF those speaking in tongues been doing it through the power of the Holy Spirit, there would have been NO need for the instructions and rebuke in this verse. If they had been speaking by revelation, knowledge, prophesying, or doctrine, this verse would not be in the Bible!
What is the meanings of these four words?
#1. Revelation is an expression of the mind of God for the instruction of the church.
#2. Knowledge in this Passage means knowledge especially and absolutely of a spiritual truth.
#3. Prophesying means speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God.
#4. Doctrine means teaching the Word of God.
A careful study of verse 6 reveals to us much more than may appear at a casual reading.
Consider that the counterfeit tongues were void of:
#1. The mind of God, #2. Any spiritual truth, #3. The counsel of God, and #4. Did not contain any teaching whatsoever. This is a demonic spirit's favorite activity . . . making a person FEEL religious without understanding what the Word of God states. This is exactly what was taking place in Corinth. But, I am afraid it is also taking place in many of today’s churches!
The Church is to be Controlled by Love (1 Cor.14:7-19)
1 Cor. 14:7 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? (KJV)
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? . . . things without life here mean musical instruments. Whether pipe . . . this was probably in the flute family. Or harp . . . this was commonly used in praise. Except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known?. . . there would be no time, no music, nothing would be indicated by it. It would not be fitted to excite the emotions of sorrow or of joy. All music is designed to excite emotions; but if there be no difference in the tones, no emotion would be produced. So too it would be in words uttered. Unless there was something that was fitted to excite thought or emotion; unless what was spoken was made understandable, no matter how important in itself it might be, it would be useless.
I have had only one other experience with speaking in tongues. It too was a total disaster to me. I had a cow knock me down years ago and my neck was causing me trouble. I had made arrangements to go to a chiropractor, over 500 miles away, because I trusted him completely. The day before I left, I went to visit a wonderful Christian friend who was sick. Her 3 sisters were visiting her. When I told them what I had planned, the 3 sisters (all charismatics), insisted on laying their hands on me and praying for me. I do not turn away any offered prayer, I welcome it. BUT, what they did was NOT prayer in my humble opinion. They ALL gathered around me, placed their hands on my neck, and ALL 3 of them started with their mumbo-jumbo, all different nonsense, NO interpretation whatsoever! What a mess! Again, to me it was blasphemy! I did not know that they were going to do what they did or I would have refused. I will refuse if there ever is another occasion. The chiropractor fixed me, and I came back home.
1 Cor. 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (KJV)
For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound . . . the trumpet was used commonly in the Old Testament (Num.10:1-10), and as mentioned here, in war (Job 39:24-25; Jer.4:19; 6;1,17; 42:14; 51:27; Amos 2:2; 3:6; Zep.1:16). It was used for various purposes in war; to summon the soldiers; to move them in their march; to call them to battle; to sound retreat; and to tell them what they were to do in battle; to charge, advance, or retreat, etc. The trumpet therefore had its own language which was clear to an army. An uncertain sound would be a blaring noise of a trumpet, in which none of the above things were indicated, something which could not be determined, as was/is the tongues movement.
Who shall prepare himself to the battle?. . . Paul chooses a single instance of what was indicated by the trumpet, as an illustration of what he meant. The idea is, that foreign tongues spoken in their assembly would be just as useless in regard to their duty, their comfort, and edification, as would be the meaningless blaring sound of a trumpet to the soldiers, who would not know what to do.
1 Cor. 14:9 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. (KJV)
So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? . . . if you use a foreign language, how will it be known what is said? Of what use will it be, unless it is made clear by interpretation?
For ye shall speak into the air . . . you will not speak so as to be understood. It would be just the same as if no one was present, and you spoke to the air. What comes to mind is Catholic priests speaking in Latin. I presume they still do. It has been well over 60 years since I was in a Catholic church. But to me, that priest was speaking into the air, and he certainly was speaking in tongues, because I could not understand a word of Latin.
The clarity and infallibility of God's Word is what builds up the TRUE Christian. This is the only foundation that will last. No wonder Paul instructs us to "...utter by the tongue words easy to be understood..." Only then, will there be no confusion among those assembled.
Shallow feelings soon fades away, leaving the speakers in want, along with the listeners.
1 Cor. 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. (KJV)
There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification . . . so many kinds of voices (languages). The whole Earth was originally just one language, and of one speech (Gen.11:1), but upon their building the tower of Babel (Gen.11:7), God confounded their languages, so they did not understand each other. Because of this, they scattered abroad, having different languages. So that today there are in the world many different languages, and the words in every language are important to those that understand that language.
Every sound (word) is important and meaningful somewhere. Even though the speaker did not know what he was saying, the sound had a meaning somewhere in someone's language. If the speaker was controlled by a demonic spirit, the demon could actually curse Jesus through the speaker's vocal cords and allow the tongues speaker to have a sensational feeling at the same time. The demon could actually curse the Holy Jesus, and convince the tongues speaker he was speaking by the Holy Spirit, instead of an UNHOLY SPIRIT!
The master plan of Satan is to convince a person they are doing something by the Holy Spirit, while in reality they are absolutely opposing to the Holy Word of God. This is why Paul boldly stated: 1 Cor.12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: (KJV)
1 Cor. 14:11 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. (KJV)
Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice . . . voice is the language that is spoken, or the sounds that are made.
I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me . . . Paul says that what he says will be not be understood by those listening, and what they say will not be understood by me. People speaking different languages cannot understand one another. A barbarian (Rom.1:14), the word here means one who speaks a different or a foreign language. You have to learn a language before you can understand it. Paul says if someone speaks in tongues without an interpreter, he is like a barbarian. Without an interpreter, there was no meaning to the sounds and no one profited. It is the same in todays’ tongues churches.
1 Cor. 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. (KJV)
Even so ye . . . since you desire spiritual gifts, I urge you to speak in a clear and understandable manner, that you may edify the church.
Forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts . . . since you earnestly desire the gifts conferred by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:1).
Seek that ye may excel, to the edifying of the church . . . seek is to pursue, strive for . . . that you may be able to convey, or transfer the truth in a clear and plain manner, really trying to be well-known for that gift. Spiritual gifts are valuable endowments of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 12 reveals the wrong motives of the Corinthians. Tongues proceeded, even though the church was NOT edified. We are told they were "...zealous of spiritual gifts..." but they were NOT concerned about others at all. Since their motive was NOT to edify the church, we must conclude they were only interested in themselves.
1 Cor. 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. (KJV)
Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret . . . to interpret here means to make it understood to the people, that which he first spoke in a different language. But why did he have to pray for that? It would seem probable that the power of speaking foreign languages, and the power of conveying truth in a clear and distinct manner, were not always found in the same person, and that the one did not necessarily indicate the other. Anything that is said in a tongue (different language) should be interpreted; otherwise it does not make any sense to anyone. If the speaker cannot interpret, then there must be someone else there who has the gift of interpretation.If we lay God's instructions alongside what is going on in so-called tongues meetings of today, any one could see they are NOT the same!
The Holy Word of God gives us the doctrinal lesson, but there is also a spiritual lesson that we need to consider. As Christians today, we need to speak words easy to be understood (verse 11). We must be sure our motive is pure in God's eyes, we must seek to build others up in the faith, and we must humble ourselves that others may be exalted (verse 12). Only when we walk in the Spirit of God (Gal.5:16,25), can we actually have a good understanding of: (a) WHERE we are going, (b) WHAT we are doing, and (c) WHAT we should say! All three of these will give comforting peace to our hearts and lives, influence others, and give God the honor and glory that only He deserves.
1 Cor. 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. (KJV)
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful . . . from this and the above verse, Catholics would defend the lawfulness of their Latin service, which none or very few of the common people understand. Some of the Corinthians who spoke with tongues, did not even understand themselves what they said. Paul tells them that if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying. Is unfruitful . . . my prayers produce NOTHING that will be of advantage to others. It would be like a barren tree . . . for a tree that bears NO fruit can be of any benefit to anyone. Paul says that if he prays in tongues, they cannot understand what he says, and they cannot benefit by what he speaks.
I think that this is the answer to those who say that they speak in tongues for their private devotions. IF the "understanding is unfruitful" . . . HOW do possibly get any spiritual benefit out of it? IF the "understanding is unfruitful" . . . it means that the Holy Spirit is NOT ministering to you. If you feel uplifted . . . it is just and emotion that shall soon pass away, and it will do NOTHING to edify you spiritually. And too, I believe any emotion you feel, is NOT brought about by the Holy Spirit of God . . . but instead a demonic spirit of Satan. This is truly what I think of tongues. Paul says your understanding is unfruitful when praying in tongues.
Not only does Chapter 14 cover speaking in tongues, but this section covers praying, singing, and giving thanks in tongues. ALL of which are prohibited in the Word of God.
1 Cor. 14:15 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. (KJV)
What is it then? . . . what shall I do? IF my "understanding is unfruitful", what is the proper course for me to follow? What should be my practice and my desire? Paul uses the same form of expression in (Rom.3:9; 6:15). It shows the end result to which reasoning had led him.
I will pray with the spirit . . . I will pray in the Spirit (Rom.8:27; 1 Cor.2:11), and I will also pray in words I understand . . . NOT strange languages!
I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also . . . Paul says I will also sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand, so that others may also understand me and be edified by words I speak. My understanding will then be fruitful!
1 Cor. 14:16 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? (KJV)
Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit . . . blessing is explained in the latter part of the verse, giving of thanks to God, which is either in prayer, because thanksgiving is a vital part of prayer, or well should be, or in singing of psalms. Blessing with the spirit either means giving of thanks with the inner man (Eph.3:16), or giving of thanks in a different language, by the extraordinary influence of the Spirit of God. I think we bless God when we love Him, obey Him, and are grateful for what He does for us and thank Him for it. Do YOU bless God? Blessing God: (Ps.72:17; 106:48; Dan.22:19; 2 Cor.1:3; 11:31; 1 Tim.1:11; 1 Pet.1:3; Rev.5:12-13; 7:12)
How shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks? . . . it is very clear here: #1. That the teachers in the apostolical churches had separate places and seats from the common hearers, for the convenience in speaking, that they might so speak as all might hear, understand, and be profited. #2. That in those churches there was only one who would speak audibly, and the work of the others was only from a devout heart to say Amen, wishing or praying that God would do what, in the name of all, he that ministered had asked of God for them. Amen: (Num.5:22; Deut.27:12-26; 1 Ki.1:36; 1 Chron.16:36; Neh.5:13; 8:6; Ps.41:13; 72:19; 89:52; 106:48; Jer.28:6; Mat.6:13; Rom.11:36; Gal.1:5; Eph.3:21; Phil.4:20; 1 Cor.14:16; 2 Cor.1:20; Heb.13:21; 1 Tim.1:17; 6:16; Rev.1:18; 5:14; 19:4; 22:20)
Seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest . . . people should NOT say Amen to anything, unless they clearly understand the petition. When a person adds their Amen, it makes the petitions theirs, being a part of the wishing, as well as affirming.
1 Cor. 14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. (KJV)
For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified . . . when you give thanks in tongues, you will be giving thanks very well, but it will NOT edify or strengthen the people who hear you. If you do not understand something, it cannot do you any good, it cannot make any spiritual improvement.
1 Cor. 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: (KJV)
I thank my God . . . Paul here shows that he did not undervalue or despise the power of speaking foreign languages. It was with him a subject of thanksgiving that he could speak so many different languages; but he felt that there were many, more valuable gifts than this.
I speak with tongues more than ye all . . . Paul tells them that he was able to speak more foreign languages than all of them. Nowhere does it tell us how many languages Paul could speak. He never told us. It really is not that important for us to know that. He had been commissioned to preach to the Gentiles, and it is quite likely that he was able to speak the languages of all the nations where he travelled. Tongues was a much needed gift in the primitive church, but it is not needed today.
1 Cor. 14:19 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. (KJV)
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 . . . the word church does not refer to the building where Christians worshipped, but to the organized body of Christians. I had rather . . . I would rather speak five words that you understand instead of ten thousand words in a foreign language you do not understand! Again . . . if you do not understand something, it cannot do you a bit of good, it cannot make any spiritual improvement. Spiritual gifts are to edify and encourage believers. IF a gift does not do this, something is WRONG!
Comment on the 5 words: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words . . . not the five books of Moses, as some say; and certainly NOT as the Catholics say in the five words, "for this is my body", by the mumbling of which they teach that the bread in the Lord's supper to be transubstantiated (actually changes) into the body of Christ. THAT is NOT taught in the Bible! When Paul says: I had rather speak five words . . . he means a very few words of Truth that can edify the Body of Christ (church), whereas 10,000 tongues words that no one could understand, would help NO one!
I bring forth an excerpt from one of our web sites on the heresy of transubstantiation: http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_cults_catholic.htm
Catholic tradition: The mass. Through transubstantiation, the wafer/host and the wine supposedly become the actual blood and body of Jesus Christ when the priest supposedly prays over them. Ridiculous! That would make Catholics cannibals!
What the Bible says: Hebrews 10:12 But this man [Jesus], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (KJV) Jesus died ONCE for sins, NEVER to be repeated. He sits on the right hand of God and absolutely does NOT reappear in the mass as a mass of blood and flesh.
The Church should be Controlled by Maturity (1 Cor.14:20-26)
1 Cor. 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (KJV)
Brethren, be not children in understanding . . . be not childish, do NOT behave like little school children. The Corinthians valued and were amazed at what was striking, different and what was of no real usefulness. They like children, were pleased with anything that would amuse them, and with little things that gave them play and pastime, so their curiosity of a foreign language, and the ability to speak it, fascinated them.
Howbeit in malice be ye children . . . Paul tells them not to be children thinking evil, but instead be men of understanding. They were innocent as babies when it came to evil, so Paul tells them to be grown up in their thinking.
There are 3 stages of human growth:
#1. An infant who cannot yet speak and who knows nothing of sin.
#2. A child starting school to receive education.
#3. A man of mature age and thought; man of growth and understanding.
I think that there IS a time and place for us to be as a little child. Jesus says so! Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (KJV) . . . Are you humble? Do you love and obey God?
1 Cor. 14:21 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. (KJV)
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 . . . this refers to: Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. (KJV) . . . The words of the Isaiah was a threat to Israel, because God had brought them into Canaan, and promised them rest there, IF they obeyed His commandments . . . BUT . . . but they would not hear Him, so now He would take another course with them, speaking to them with men of stammering lips, and of another language; meaning the Chaldeans and Babylonians, with whom in captivity they spoke afterwards for 70 years.
BEWARE!!! We ALL must HEAR what God says to us in His Holy Word, or His wrath shall come down on us, just as it did on Israel, many times. God does NOT change! (Mal.3:6; Heb.6:18; 13:8; Jam.1:17; Rev.20:15).
And yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord . . . the Corinthians would NOT hearken to and obey God. Some think that the gift of tongues in the New Testament, is within the prophecy of Isaiah, as if Isaiah’s words contained both a threat, to speak to the Israelites with the strange tongues of the Chaldeans; and a Promise under the Gospel, to speak to them with the tongues of the apostles and others, so men of several nations could understand. Others consider this as if Isaiah complained that the people were so angry, that they wanted no more of God speaking to them, for they considered Him as one chattering with a strange language.
1 Cor. 14:22 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 believe. (KJV)
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not . . . the gift of tongues was a proof that God had imparted this power, and that He intends the preaching of the Gospel to Gentiles. Tongues was a sign, or a miracle, which, like all other miracles, may be intended to convince the unbelieving world, that Christianity is absolutely from God. See: Religion or Christ: http://www.hisservants.org/religion_or_christ_h_s.htm
But prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe . . . the term prophesying, means speaking the Holy Word of God in a calm, edifying manner, in a language that is understood by all under the influence of inspiration of love (verse 1). For them that believe not . . . prophesy (bringing the Word of God) is not particularly intended for unbelievers; but is intended mainly to edify (build up, enlighten) the church (those who were already saved), whereas the gift of tongues was to get the attention of unbelievers, so that they could be saved.
1 Cor. 14:23 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? (KJV)
If therefore the whole church be come together into one place . . . for public worship,
And all speak with tongues . . . the idea is, that the church would usually speak the same language as the people among whom they dwelt. And IF for some reason, they made use of foreign languages which were not understandable to their visitors, it would leave the impression that the church was in chaotic turmoil.
And there come in those that are unlearned . . . unlearned means those who do not know foreign languages, and so, to whom what was said would be meaningless.
Or unbelievers . . . heathens, or Jews, who did not believe in Christ. It is clear from this that such persons often attended on the worship of Christians. Curiosity might have brought them there; or maybe they had relatives among the Christians.
Will they not say that ye are mad? . . . they will not understand what is said; it will be confused nonsense; and they will infer that it is the result of insanity. Even though it might not be in itself improper, yet a respect to the honor of Christianity should have led them to not use foreign languages in their worship when it was not needed. The apostles had also been accused of being intoxicated (Acts 2:13).
1 Cor. 14:24 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: (KJV)
But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all . . . Paul tells them that if they all proclaim the Gospel (verse 1), when unbelievers came in, they would be convinced of their sin by what they hear. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV) . . . Prophecy speaks the truths of religion in a language understood by all. Or one unlearned. . . . one not acquainted with the Truths of the Gospel. He is convinced of all . . . he will be convinced by what he hears, because he understands what is said. He will know what is said it true, and he will believe what is said about Jesus.
He is judged by all . . . by all who speak, and by all they say. The result of what the speakers say shall pass judgment on his former life, or to condemn him as a sinner (Rom.3:10,23). What is prophesied, will be accepted by his own conscience, and will have the effect to condemn him, in his own eyes, as a lost sinner. The result of faithful preaching of the Gospel, produces deep self-condemnation in the minds of sinners.
1 Cor. 14:25 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. (KJV)
And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest . . . made clear to himself in a surprising and remarkable manner. Prophesy allows people to see the true motives of their heart. The conscience is awakened, which makes a person see that his former way of life was evil, and the new state of his heart would be made known to himself. New heart: (Deut.30:6; Ps.51:10; Jer.32:39; Eze.11:19-20; 18:31; 36:26; Jn.3:3-5; 2 Cor.3:18; Gal.6:15; Eph.2:10; Rev.21:5).
It is very likely, then and now, that the person listening would suppose that the speaker was aiming straight at him, and was revealing his feelings to others. It seems that prophesy often produces such an effect. The convicted sinner quite often supposes that the preacher mainly intends him, and wonders how he knows so much about his feelings and his life.
It could be possible that Paul here may mean that the prophets at that time, by inspiration, would be able to reveal some secret facts in regard to the stranger; or to state the evil plan which he might have had in coming to the meeting; or to state some things in regard to him which could be known only to himself; as was the case with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5).
And so falling down on his face . . . this was the usual position of worship or reverence in eastern countries. It was performed by sinking on the knees and hands, then placing the face on the ground. This might have been done publicly; or maybe Paul may mean that it would lead him to do it in private.
He will worship God . . . he will be converted, and become a Christian.
And report that God is in you of a truth . . . will become your friend, and an advocate for the Christian religion. An enemy (unbeliever) will be turned to a friend (a TRUE child of God). There is no doubt this was often done, just as it is done today. I think what Paul is trying to get across to them is, that they should so conduct their public devotions and forget about tongues which cannot produce this result. See TRUE Children of God: http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
God is in you; God is with you: (Deut.20:4; 1 Chron.22:18; 2 Chron.13:12; 36:23; Isa.41:10,17; Zec.8:23; Rom.8:9; 1 Cor.6:19; 10:13; 14:25; 2 Cor.1:21; Eph.4:6; Phil.2:13; Col.1:27; 1 Thes.2:13; 1 Pet.3:15; 1 Jn.2:14; 4:4; Heb.13:5).
1 Cor. 14:26 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. (KJV)
How is it then, brethren? . . . (verse 15), Paul asks them: what actually happens among you? Do the things exist which I have just described? Is there that order in your public worship which is demanded and right? It seems that in his asking this question that there were most likely some things there which were NOT proper, and which needed correction.
When ye come together . . . for worship.
Every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation . . . this seems to mean that all the things stated would be found among them. It is clearly not meant that all these things would be found by the same person, but that they would all happen at the same time . . . so that confusion and disorder would be unavoidable. Instead of waiting for an signal from the presiding officer, or speaking in order, each one probably considered himself to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit; as having an important message to communicate, or as being called on to bring forth the praises of God; and thus confusion and disorder prevailed. Many people would speak at the same time, and a most unfavorable impression would be made on the minds of any strangers who should be present (Verse 23). This indirect reproof to the Corinthians is certainly a reproof of those public assemblies today where many speak at the same time; or where some are praying and others were exhorting. The Holy Spirit is the Author of order, NOT confusion (verse 33). My dear friend, the worship of Christ Jesus is Christianity and is TRUE religion, and TRUE worship of God always stimulates God’s children to peace and order, NEVER to discord and commotion. Anything other than peace and order in the worship of God is blasphemy!
Hath a psalm . . . is inclined to sing and praise (verse 16).
Hath a doctrine. . . has some religious truth on his mind which he thinks of special importance to teach (verse 6).
Hath a tongue . . . has a power of speaking a foreign language, and exercises it, even though it produces great confusion.
Hath a revelation . . . a truth which has been especially revealed to him; an explanation of some mystery, or a revelation of some future event, or a prophecy, or a power of explaining some of the truths contained in the types and figures of the Old Testament. Some false teachers today claim this happens to them.
Hath an interpretation . . . interpreting foreign languages (verse 10).
Let all things be done unto edifying . . . Paul states here that IF all things were done to edify the church, it would prevent any and all confusion and disorder (verse 12).
By what follows in the two next verses, it would seem that some of them in their church meetings were absolutely ridiculous. The members, being endued with several gifts, would be using them all at once: one or more singing, others preaching, some speaking with tongues, etc. This ungodly way of doing things was nothing but utter chaos and confusion.
1 Cor. 14:27 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. (KJV)
If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three . . . two, or at most three in one meeting. It is likely that many were endowed with the gift of tongues; and it is certain that they were willing to exercise their gift even when it could be of no real advantage, and when it was done only for show. Paul had shown to them (verse 22) that the main plan of the gift of tongues was to convince unbelievers. Here Paul shows them that IF that gift was exercised in the church, it should be ONLY to promote edification. They all should never speak at the same time; nor should they think it necessary that all who had the gift, should speak at the same meeting. It should never be done so as to produce disorder and confusion; nor should it be so as to detain the people beyond a reasonable time. So, the tongues speakers, in any one meeting, should not exceed two or three at the most.
And that by course. . . separately; one after another, in order! They should NOT all speak at the same time.
And let one interpret . . . one who has the gift of interpreting foreign languages (verse 10), must be there so that they may be understood, and the church be edified.
Concerning the use of their gift of tongues, Paul gives wise directions on three things: #1. That every one that had the gift of tongues, should NOT be determined to show it at all times, but two or three at most at a time. #2. That they should do it by course, one at a timein order, NOT all of them together, which would only cause confusion. #3. Never without one to interpret, that people might understand and be edified.
1 Cor. 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. (KJV)
But if there be no interpreter . . . IF there is no one present who has the gift of interpretation, tongues were NOT to be spoken.
Let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God . . . (verses 2,4). Let him communicate with himself, and with God. Let him meditate (consider, ponder), on the Truths which have been revealed to him, and let him in secret express his desires to God.
1 Cor. 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. (KJV)
Let the prophets speak two or three . . . (verse 1). Again here, Paul limits the prophets to two or three, the same as the tongues speakers (verse 27), on the same days, or at the same meeting.
And let the other judge . . . the word "other" most likely refers to the other prophets that were at the meeting, meaning that there were probably more than just three prophets at a meeting. The other prophets, or qualified persons, were to judge of the correctness of what had been said by the prophets who had spoken.
It seems to have been taken for granted, that a man might PRETEND to have this spirit of prophecy who was NOT sent of God; and therefore it was the duty of the qualified teachers to examine whether what was spoken was truth. For the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (verse 32), every man's spiritual gift was to be judged by those whose age, experience, and wisdom, gave them a right to decide. And, although the person who spoke might do it from an impulse from God . . . if he was not well known, his testimony should be received with caution; and therefore the older prophets should judge his gift, lest false doctrines slip into the Church. It seems that all these requirements, were imitated in the practice of the Jewish synagogues; for there it was customary for them to object, interrogate, judge, refute, etc.
1 Cor. 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. (KJV)
If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by . . . if, while one is speaking, an important truth is revealed to another, or is suggested to his mind by the Holy Spirit, which he feels it to be important to communicate,
Let the first hold his peace . . . let him that was speaking finish his speech, so there is no confusion arising from two persons speaking at the same time. Two men were NOT to speak at the same time, but the one who was speaking was to finish before the other one said anything.
1 Cor. 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. (KJV)
For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted . . . they should prophesy one after the other, for there is time enough for all. There is no need of speaking out of order for that just brings confusion and disorder. Every person can have an opportunity of expressing his sentiments at the proper time.
1 Cor. 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (KJV)
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets . . . (verse 1), the clear meaning of this is, that they were able to control their feeling to speak; they were not under a need to speak, even though they might be inspired. There was no need of disorder. This verse gives confirmation to the belief, that the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were subjected to substantially the same laws as a man's natural talents. Spiritual gifts were given by the Holy Ghost; but they were conferred on free agents, and they did not interfere with the person’s free will.
I think that the direct reference of this Passage is to those who are called prophets in the New Testament; and the interpretation should be confined to them. It is not improbable, however, that the same thing was true of the prophets of the Old Testament; and that it is really true as a general declaration of all the prophets whom God has inspired, that they had control over their own minds, and could speak or be silent as they desired.
1 Cor. 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (KJV)
God is not the author of confusion, but of peace . . . confusion is chaos, tumult, unquietness. My friend, our awesome God, in anything that He does, NEVER tends to produce confusion or disorder. He is a God of peace and love; and Christianity should ALWAYS promote order. TRUE Christian churches are calm, peaceful, considerate, NOT chaotic, rowdy and disorderly.
As in all churches of the saints . . . Paul here pleads with them, and says that the fact was, that wherever TRUE Christianity was spread, it tended to produce peace and order. This is just as true now as it was then. And we may learn, therefore,
#1. Where there is disorder, there is little faith. Religion does not produce faith, and any tendency of turmoil and confusion, simply drives faith away.
#2. True Christianity will not lead to tumult, outcries, or irregularity. It will never prompt many to speak or pray at once; nor will it ever justify tumultuous and noisy meetings.
#3. Christians should respect God as the Author of Peace. They should always in the sanctuary humble themselves in a reverent manner, and with such dignity as becomes men when they are in the Presence of a Holy and pure God, and involved in worship of Him. Jesus IS God:
1 Cor. 14:34 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. (KJV)
Let your women keep silence in the churches . . . what is Paul talking about here? I really do think it is tongues. I do not think he is saying that a woman is not to speak in church. I think that he is saying that she is not to speak in tongues in the church. If women were removed from the tongues movement, it would die!
For it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law . . . in public meetings, in the church of God, they should not speak with tongues, nor prophesy, or preach, or teach the word. All speaking was not prohibited; they could speak of their experiences to the church, give an account of the work of God upon their souls; they might speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Col.3:16); but should not speak in it direction, instruction, government and authority . . . over men.
It seems to me that this in some respects contradict Paul’s statements in chapter 11. This is a very difficult Passage to try to explain.
Think about it this way: Women were not allowed to speak in the primitive churches, but were to be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to ask questions about something, they were to ask their husbands at home; for it was disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
When we first look at this, it seems to be a blanket command that women are never allowed to speak at all in the church. But, earlier in the same Letter (1 Cor.11:5), Paul mentions women’s praying and prophesying as allowable activities, and we know that older women are to teach younger women (Tit.2:4). So, verse 34 must NOT be an absolute command for women to always be silent in church.
The concern of Chapter 14, and much of the Letter, is order and structure in the church. The Corinthian church was noted for the chaos and lack of order so widespread in that assembly (verse 33). It is interesting that no elders or pastors are mentioned in the book, and the prophets who were there were really not exercising power to control the situation (verses 29, 32, 37). Everyone in the church service was playing a part with whatever gift they had, whenever they wanted to. As a result, those with the gift of tongues were speaking all at the same time, those with a revelation from God were shouting out randomly, and no one was concerned with interpreting what was being said in tongues, even if what was said could be heard above the noisy babble. The meetings were total chaos.
A big part of the confusion in the Corinthian church was women speaking in tongues and prophesying. These women were taking the lead in the services instead of being submissive to the authorities in the church (1 Tim.2:11-15). Seemingly, certain women in the Corinthian church were also out of order in disruptively asking questions during the already chaotic services. God’s instruction through Paul is that the women should “keep silent in the churches” (verse 34). This rule is for “all the congregations of the saints” (verse 33), not just for Corinth. If anyone truly had the gift of prophecy, he or she will recognize the apostle Paul’s authority in this matter (verses 36–38).
I do not think that the command in verse 34, is not that women be absolutely silent in the church all the time. I think that at that time, women may have been participating in the giving of prophecy, the speaking of tongues and the interpreting of tongues in the general assembly, over and above the men who were supposed to be in authority (1 Tim.2:11-12). Women can take on many roles in the church and are great “co-workers” in the ministry (Phil.4:3). It seems that the one restriction is that they do not assume a role of spiritual authority over adult men.
1 Cor. 14:35 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. (KJV)
And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home . . . if anything had been spoken which the women did not understand; or if on any certain subject they want more information, they were to ask their husbands in their own home, where there they may speak freely; and their questions will not bring about disorder that would occur, should they interrupt the order and soberness of public worship service.
For it is a shame for women to speak in church . . . if the women wanted to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home. It was a disgraceful thing for a woman to speak in a church meeting at that time. The same rule is still observed by the Jews in the synagogues.
1 Cor. 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? (KJV)
What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? . . . these words look like a clever resemblance on various members of this church of Corinth, who thought they were wiser than all the world. Paul might expect, that out of the high opinion they had of themselves, they would much rather look on him with contempt, and not pay attention to his directions. So, he asks them, what they really thought of themselves. Did they think that they were the only church in the world, or were they the first that believed in Christ, so that the Gospel went out from them, and they might give law to all churches? There were churches at Jerusalem, and in several other places, before there was any church at Corinth, so that the Gospel really came to them from other churches, and did not go out from them to other churches.
1 Cor. 14:37 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. (KJV)
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 . . . (verse 1). If any man profess to be a prophet; or is reputed to be a prophet. Or spiritual . . . regards himself as under the influence of the Spirit. Let him acknowledge . . . Paul tells them that they will show that he is truly under the influence of the Holy Spirit, by acknowledging Paul’s authority, and by yielding to the commands which he speaks in the Name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus (Acts 9). They would be willing to acknowledge the right of Paul to speak to them; would regard him as an apostle; and would show that God had influenced their hearts, IF they listened to Paul’s commands, and obeyed his orders. Paul did NOT speak by his own authority, or in his own name. He spoke in the Name of the Lord; and told them to obey the commands of the Lord as a proof of his being influenced by His Spirit. TRUE Christianity everywhere, and the most passionate and enthusiastic zeal that is prompted by TRUE Christianity, will show their genuineness and purity by a sacred and continual regard for the commands of the Lord. Any passion or desire which disregards those commands, and tramples down the authority of the Scriptures, and cares NOTHING for the peace and order of the church, demonstrates that it is NOT of Godly love, NOT genuine, NOT honest! It is a made-up zeal, and no matter however ardent, will NOT do good to the cause. There are MANY of these churches today!
1 Cor. 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (KJV)
But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant . . . Paul says that they were moving to be ignorant of his authority, and ignorant of his right to command. They doubted whether Paul was inspired, and whether what he spoke was in accordance with the will of God. Let him be ignorant . . . at his own peril, let him remain that way and live with the consequences. Paul is telling them that he would not take any more time and trouble to argue with them. Paul had stated his authority. He had delivered the commands of God. If anyone disregards them, and doubts whether all this is said by Divine authority, let him abide the penalties of rejecting the law of God. Paul had given full proof of his Divine commission. There really was no more that he could say. If they chose to remain in ignorance, doubt or unbelief, the fault was theirs and they would answer to God for it. This Passage comes to mind: Rev. 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (KJV) . . . “He that is unjust --- filthy” ----? A terribly, frightful condition of lost souls is revealed here, maybe even more so than at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev.20:15). The sinful circumstance of lost souls is a permanent thing. It is eternal! Their condition just gets worse and worse with each passing day. Only Jesus can change this around, but their hearts are so hardened by sin, they refuse to look in His direction for help; because they really do NOT think they need any help! The filthy and unjust will be more so, but it will confirm and strengthen those who are upright with God. A dead or disobedient faith will never save us, ever, for the First and the Last has declared that only those who do His commandments are blessed. The Book of Revelation states that all wicked and unrighteous persons will be shut out of Heaven. As Christ’s return gets closer, there will be a greater division or alienation between God’s followers and Satan’s followers. We must be prepared for Christ’s imminent return (1 Thes.4:13-18).
Man has a free will to do as he sees fit. We can either: Believe God . . . or call God a “liar.’ (1 Jn.5:10). Our choice!
1 Cor. 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. (KJV)
Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues . . . (verse 1). This sums up all that Paul had said in chapter 14. It was desirable that a man should wish to be able to speak, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, in such a manner as to edify the church. And forbid not . . . we are not to think that the power of speaking foreign languages was useless, or was to be despised, or that it was to be prohibited. In its place, at that time, the gift of tongues was a valuable gift; and on right occasions the talent was exercised (verse 22). Tongues is simply different languages, and in the primitive church this gift was needed to reach the Gentiles. Today the gift of tongues is NOT needed any more! IF it were, all the missionaries would be given this spiritual gift.
1 Cor. 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order. (KJV)
Let all things be done decently and in order . . . let all things be done in an appropriate and becoming manner; fittingly, as becomes the reverent worship of God. Let all be done in order, without confusion, discord or turmoil. There might be a thousand questions about the modes and forms of worship, and the customs in the churches, and much difficulty might occur in many of these questions; but here was a simple and plain rule, which might be easily applied. Their mature good sense (verse 20), would tell them what was suited in the worship of God; and their holy feelings would restrain them from any excesses and disorders. This rule still applies today, and it is quite safe in guiding us in many things in respect to our devotion and reverence of God. There may be some things which cannot be subjected to this rule, for many things must be left to a deep feeling within, prompted by the Holy Spirit, to good sense, and to the views of Christians themselves, about what will promote the edification and the conversion of sinners. The rule in any such questions is plain. Let all be done correctly and decently, as becomes the worship of the One Great and Holy God; let all be done without confusion, noise and disorder.
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