The American Wisdom Series

1 Corinthians

Chapter 14

Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it?  Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13-14
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

This Bible Study was originally written by Roger Christopherson,
 published at 

 and now edited by people at The American Wisdom Series  

Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.

Now here is our study of:

1 Corinthians

Chapter 14

Editor's Note: Let me say. first of all, chapter 14 of I Corinthians is NOT about speaking "cloven tongues" as per Acts chapter 2.

Acts 2:3 "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them."

"Cloven tongues" are many different languages, and the time it is spoken is when one filled with the Holy Spirit speaks. When cloven tongues is spoken the next time, there will be no confusion to any one as to what is said, for everyone that hears will understand in his or her own language and local accent WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS TO SAY.

I Corinthians 14 is about right now, in this day and time, having church meetings in which the people in attendence don't
speak or understand the  particular language being spoken,

This is prior to Satan's arrival as the spurious messiah. When SATAN arrives God's "elect" will be expected to allow "THE HOLY SPIRIT" access to their mind and mouth to speak through them in "CLOVEN TONGUE", to the multitudes.

Don't confuse the two! This is about prophecy! It is not a "End of Time" warning by God's Holy Spirit!

"Prophecy Better than Tongues [1-20]."
"Prophesying, Reasons and Cautions [21-40]."

This chapter is one of the most mis-taught chapters from God's Word. To teach it as most people do would make me a lot more popular but as a teacher of God's Word I am compelled to teach this chapter, not to offend or defend anyone, but to teach it accurately as Paul wrote it. So open your mind to the Scriptures.

I Corinthians 14:1 "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy."

Remember from the last chapter we studied, "charity" is "love". If you don't have love in your heart, then you don't have anything. Love brings honesty and hope, and it endureth all things in our caring for our people. Paul urges us to desire the spiritual gifts or things.

Lets go to the Strong's Greek dictionary #4395 to understand what Paul is saying about "prophesy". "propheteuo, prof-ate-yoo'-o; from 4396, to fortell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office:"

Did you get the meaning of this word "prophecy"? "to speak under inspiration", and to "fortell events" of prophecy that God has revealed to the prophets of old that are written down in His Word. It is to always speak under the divine guidance from the Word of God. It is to use your gift of God as a teacher of Gods Word, not to jabber from your own mind, but to reveal God's Word to others exactly as it is written from the manuscripts.

There is going to be a time in the future when Act 2 will come, and men and woman alike will speak as the Holy Spirit speaks through them. Peter said that this is the time that Joel the prophet spoke of in Joel 2:28-32 when both men and women shall prophecy.

Joel 2:28 "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see vision:"

Joel 2:29 "And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My spirit."

The book of Joel is prophesy of that time when Satan and his locust army of fallen angels will be cast onto the earth, for the time of the great deception. So this time of prophesying will come while they are here deceiving mankind. After that Locust army of fallen angels has passed, then prophesying will take place. Many clergy say today, "woman can't prophesy", however God says even the daughters will prophesy. This writing then, is written to those living in the final generation that is on earth just prior to the coming of the Lord, during that generation of "the parable of the fig tree". That generation started when the Jews [brother Judah with the Kenites] returned to reestablish their homeland and reclaim Jerusalem in 1948. That generation is now, and you are living in that generation. The one world system of the end times is here and now, and they control all parts of your life is through their agencies or ten horns of power that flow from the United Nations.

Joel 2:30 "And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke."

Joel 2:31 "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come."

Joel 2:32 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."

The point that we should consider here is that we should judge no one, because this doesn't have to be a prophecy as most people consider "prophecy". Prophecy to foretell the future is only one of the parts, but simply to teach the Word of God under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit is also a form of the word "prophecy". So though love is essential to our Christian life, prophesy is another of the top gifts.

I Corinthians 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."

"Mysteries" as given in the Greek text is "divine secrets"; so why would he be speaking in divine secrets? Note also that the word "unknown" was added by the translators for it just wasn't there in the early manuscripts. Another word "tongue" also come in here and in Strong's Greek dictionary it is # 1100. "Glossa, gloce-sah'; a language, (specifically, one naturally acquired)."

"Tongue" as given in this chapter is one language that you have naturally acquired by learning. So the tongue that Paul is talking about is a language that is not your natural tongue, it is one that you have acquired outside your home. Remember the great commission that Jesus gave; to take the gospel to the world. If Christians could only speak English, then the other peoples of the world simply would not understand what the gospel was all about.

When we try to study the Bible for the truths within its pages, it is a must to have some reference to the original languages of Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek for that is the tongue or language that God's Word was written in. Translators have taken those foreign languages and tried to relate their meanings in English so that the common man could read the Word of God within his own home. This is why when we study the Word for ourselves is it important to have the Strong's numbered concordance and Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek numbered dictionaries right along with it so that we can understand exactly what God intended us to know. An example of this is above in the word, "tongues"; "glossa" in the Greek, and in the true translation "languages" in the English.

So one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to be able to learn another tongue or language than you were brought up with, so that you can teach someone who is not of your language. There are many neighborhoods that have their common language other than English right here in America. There are Spanish neighborhoods, Chinese, and so on, and if you were to go into those people and present the gospel in English, many of them simply would not understand what you are saying.

The reason that it is saying that if you do go out and speak in a place where everyone is of another language then only God would understand; is that only God and the Spirit of God understands all languages. He caused the confusion into the languages at the tower of Babel, and when the true tongue of the Holy Spirit is spoken, it will be as it was at Pentecost. This tongue shall be spoken again when the Elect are brought up to give account of themselves, as recorded in Mark 13:11. When the Holy Spirit's tongue goes forth, every person around the world will listen to it and understand it at the same time and in the very dialect of their neighborhood. This is what is called the "cloven tongue". The "cloven tongue" needs no interpreter for it comes directly from the Holy Spirit.

Mark 13:11 "But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost [Spirit]."

The time that this shall happen is in our generation, just prior to the coming of the Lord. We are not to spend one moment thinking of this time, or in fear of what we should say, for at that moment the Holy Spirit will place within our minds the things that we should say. When the Holy Spirit speaks it will be through our mouths, but His Words.

Acts 2:3 "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them."

"Cloven tongues" are many different languages, and the time it is spoken is when one filled with the Holy Spirit speaks. There will be no confusion to anyone as to what is said, for everyone that hears will understand in his or her own language. The Chinese, Spanish and English listeners could standing be side by side, and each would hear the words spoken in their native language. That is the cloven tongue of the Holy Spirit. This is something entirely different than what Paul is speaking of here in I Corinthians 14. When the "cloven tongue" goes out in all directions it is understood with clarity no matter what language you are in. However here in I Corinthians 14 Paul was referring to one that was speaking in a language whereby the listeners did not understand what was being said to them.

Acts 2:4 "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost [Spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts 2:5 "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven."

This was the time of the feast of Pentecost, and the Jews came from all over the world to be in Jerusalem during the feast of Pentecost. Though they all probably spoke Hebrew, their native tongue was the tongue of the place where they resided in, and had their everyday conversations in. The other tongues are the languages where there can be no misunderstanding what is being said, for it is the tongue of their family and friends back home. There is nothing unknown about it to anyone, and when you hear that tongue, it is the evidence of the Holy Spirit within you, who are Spirit filled.

Acts 2:6 "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and was confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language."

Even a child can understand that when the Spirit of God spoke here that every person, all the people understood. No matter where they were from in the world, they heard the words with clarity. This is what dumfounded them, for it had never happened before. This is why Peter reminded these devout Jews of what the prophet Joel spoke of back in the Old Testament writings. It was a sample of what would come about in the last generation just before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It will be the time when the sons and daughters are going to be delivered up before the false messiah, Satan the false-christ.

Acts 2:7 "And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, "Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?"

Acts 2:8 "And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? "

These Jews not only heard in their own language but in the very dialect of the neighborhood that they were born. This is the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is this tongue that will come upon those that are delivered up to fulfill those prophesies of Mark 13:11.

So Paul in I Corinthians 14:2 is addressing something entirely different than what was spoken of in Acts 2. He is not addressing the speaking in the "cloven tongue", but he is saying that if you go out and try to speak and teach without the gift of languages, the ability to speak and understand the grammar of another language, that all you would be doing is causing confusion. Those foreigners listening to you would not even have enough knowledge to say "Amen", and know when you were finished.

I Corinthians 14:3 "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort."

The only reason for your teaching and prophesying in the first place is to build men up in the faith, to exhort them to live a better life, and to give comfort where it is needed. The words that you are teaching are the Words of Almighty God. It is not something that you have made up, but words that come from His Word and given under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Many today feel that they should be letting themselves go and speak and allowing strange uttering. They think that is the voice of the Holy Spirit, but it is quite the contrary. When the Holy Spirit speaks, there is no confusion in any mind present, but just plain common sense.

I Corinthians 14:4 "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifeth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church."

If I went to a foreign land and taught this chapter in English, where no one knows the English language, the only one that would be built up by what I said would be me. However, if I went to a church that spoke English and taught in the English, the entire church would be edified or built up by those same words. If you are truly teaching the Word of God to the body of Christ and speaking in their language, then they would gain from what you would say.

I Corinthians 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."

Paul is saying that he wished that all of his brethren there in Corinth could speak in as many languages as I can speak. However, I would rather that you would be gifted teachers in the Word of God, then to speak in many languages and not be able to teach. In other words, if someone that teaches under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit desires to teach in another tongue, do it with the same emotion, devotion and love that you would in your native tongue. If you cannot do this, then find an interpreter that is also filled with the Spirit of God, and have him interpret so that the church may receive the edifying when they hear you. The whole point that Paul is saying here is that if you can't be understood, then you will not be doing much good. It is just plain common sense.

So what is the subject here, what are you saying? The subject is stated in verse twelve also, for it is talking of the gifts of teaching, evangelism, faith, and all the other gifts that bring forth the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. However you can have all of these gifts, but as we saw in I Corinthians 13:2; "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all the mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."

Without love you will not be a true carrier of God's Word, and the people that you are trying to teach will see right through you. So now Paul will continue on, after he has considered "charity" the taking for of the gifts to reach lost souls. That is the great commission, and the subject. The thought is to communicate with human beings, children of God around the World that do not speak in the same language that you speak, so that they may hear the beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 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?"

Paul is saying that if I come to you with great revelations and knowledge speaking in a in a language that you do not understand, what will it profit you? Of course if you cannot understand what is being said in that foreign tongue, it will be nothing more than a turkey call. You wouldn't know if it was prophesying, doctrine, or knowledge.

I Corinthians 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?"

The "distinction in the sounds" is what we call notes of a song. You have heard the old voice lessons, do, ra me, fa, so, la, te, do; the purpose of each note is to give a distinct sound to each note. Each of these notes have a meaning and is a sign to the singer of the sound that is to be made at that instant. The scales give out a message to be followed, and when you combine all the notes in the order and time sequence required, it makes for a beautiful song. It then means something to the listener.

However when the cat runs over the keys on a piano a sound is still made, only the noise is out of order with no sense or meaning. Instead of being pleasing, it becomes irritating. A lot of times when people speak out of order, not thinking of what they are trying to say, you have the same results. The Christian world today tries to be so spiritual as they mimic others around them, only the results are the same as the cat on the piano keys; full of confusion and out of order.

This is why it is important to teach and study God's Word as it is written, so that we can give order to our lives from God's Word. When you try to mock what mankind has established as the language of the Spirit of God and it is not real, then you become mocking the Holy Spirit and it becomes man's traditions. So what Paul is trying to tell us is that if you don't talk in the language that your listeners understand, you are just like the piano giving out a bunch of strange noises.

I Corinthians 14:8 "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"

In the military, the trumpet is used for everything from getting up in the morning, to the raising and lowering of the flag. When the troops are ready to charge into battle there is also a distinct sound of the trumpet that prepares the troops for battle. The notes are sharp, and clear with a definite sound. There is no confusion in a soldier's ear that it is time to get up, nor is there any confusion to the raising of the flag. When the trumpet is sounded, you know exactly what to do, and you had better be sharp in getting to attention. It is no different today than it was in Paul's day.

If you have thousands of men ready to do battle and the trumpet sound is nothing but a mixture of many notes without any conformity, the troops won't know whether to charge, go to bed, or salute the flag. Intelligent people that are in tune with God's Word, know the instruction of His Spirit when it is given.

I Corinthians 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."

It is no different in your teaching, except in your communication you speak the language that the listeners understand, it will be nothing but confusion. Why would you ever go and teach if there is no one to listen to you. All you are doing is blowing wind into the air. If you try to use the turkey gobble that many churches use today, and call it of God, there is no clarity in the sounds that are muttered, but only confusion to the listener. That so called "speaking in tongues" has nothing to do with the fourteenth chapter of First Corinthians. There will be an awesome price to pay for mocking the Holy Spirit, and claiming something came from God's Spirit, when it did not; and the Greek text makes this so clear. Every teacher must deal with this barrier of the "glossa", or the foreign language. In that the Holy Word of God is written in Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek, the teacher must continually be going to the text, and the dictionary to be able to relate the meaning of the verses in a simple manner for understanding.

I Corinthians 14:10 "There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification."

Lets take a look at the word "signification", and in the text it is # 880 in the Greek dictionary. "aphanos, af-o-nos; voiceless, mute, by choice without meaning; dumb." So lets now see what this verse is really saying.

"There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is dumb and without meaning." Every language in the world makes common sense to the user of that tongue. Each word in the languages of the world is a sign of something that gives meaning to the one using that word. If every word means something and has a value, then don't blow hot air.

I Corinthians 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."

Paul is saying, if I can't speak another man's language, I am looked on as a barbarian to that man. And if that man speaks to me in his native tongue and I don't understand him, then that person is a barbarian to me. "Barbarian" in the Greek as used here is a "foreigner". You can't understand him and he cannot understand you, you might as well be speaking to the wall. Are you starting to get the picture? If you are going to teach the Scripture, then either know the language, or get a interpreter that understands completely what you are trying to say.

I Corinthians 14:12 "Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church."

Paul is saying that it is nice that you want to get the Word of God out to these foreigners, however see to it that everything that you say is in the language that will edify and build up the body of Christ that you are speaking to. Without an interpreter anything you say is nothing but ignorance. You simply can't go to a Spanish speaking church and teach in English or it becomes nothing but Babel.

We are not talking about what many call "tongues", for that is not what happened on Pentecost day. For on Pentecost day everyone heard and understood clearly every word in their native tongue all at the same time. That is what is called the "cloven tongue", and that was the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 14:13 "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret."

Let him that speaks in an unnatural language pray that what he says will be interpreted properly. Before you go to speak to foreigners, pray that God will give you the understanding of that language before you go. If you go without this preparation, you are wasting your time.

I Corinthians 14:14 "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful."

If you pray in a language that your mind doesn't understand, then of what benefit is your prayer. You uttered words that mean nothing, and have created nothing but noise. When you pray to the Father, know exactly who you are praying to and for what purpose. However if you are just muttering words and sounds that have no meaning, your prayer is in vain. In short, you have to be able to communicate, before people know what you are saying. Remember that this chapter is dealing with teaching those that are foreigners to you, and those that do not speak your language. The ability to communicate is a gift from God.

I Corinthians 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."

When you pray you must be in tune with the Holy Spirit, and your mind must have the understanding of what you are doing. Paul is saying that when he prays in the Spirit, or sings songs to the Lord, he will do it in the tongue or language that gives him understanding of what he is praying and singing. This is just common sense, for you use the language that you know and are accustomed with, when you pray, sing, teach or talk to others. In this way you will be fruitful in what you are doing.

I Corinthians 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 sayeth?"

When you are speaking in English and the rest of the non-English speaking people have no idea of your thoughts, they simply will not know when it is time to say "Amen". It is hard to understand why anyone cannot understand this chapter and what Paul is saying, with just a little effort. Paul is telling us that if we cannot communicate with another person to were they can understand what we have to say, then just don't say anything.

I Corinthians 14:17 "For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified."

If you are praying and give thanks in the presence of foreigners, then they have not gained one thing from your prayer. In fact they have no idea of what your even talking about.

I Corinthians 14:18 "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:"

Again Paul is referring to the many languages that he spoke. Paul was a Roman, and spoke Latin, and as a Jew he was trained in the Hebrew, Chaldee and the Greek. His father came from Tarsus which is in Turkey of today, and that gave him another tongue, so we see that Paul was fluid in many languages through his home and training.

If you are all wrapped up in the traditions of men, it is time for you to get a Strong's Concordance that is numbered to the Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek Dictionaries so that you can check our King James translation out for yourself.

I Corinthians 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."

Even though I can speak many different languages, when I am in the church I would rather speak five words conveying my understanding to you, than ten thousand words in a language that you do not understand. The object of this chapter is "to teach others" of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you can't convey the words with complete understanding, how can you teach anything? You simply cannot. It is only when the believer hears the words with understanding that they become lifted by your teaching.

I Corinthians 14:20 "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."

This needs a little explanation. A child is very open and will believe and trust anything that the parent says. However at other times when a child hears something, he just doesn't take what is said as serious as it should be taken. "Howbeit in malice" doesn't mean in a destructive way, but rather in a mental state of a small child's mind. But Paul is telling us to look at the Scriptures with maturity, with the sense and knowledge of an adult. Common sense again tells us that if you cannot communicate with someone, they just will not understand those things that you are saying.

I Corinthians 14:21 "In the law it is written, "With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto the people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord.."

"With men of other tongues and other lips," means "men of other languages". Paul is quoting from Isaiah 28:9-11.

Isaiah 28:9 "Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts."

Isaiah 28:10 "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:"

Isaiah 28:11 "For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people."

Isaiah was making irony of the matter, for the message that was brought forth in a different language was one of the judgment of God, and not God's mercy. The teachers of the end times will not care to look deep enough into the emotions of our Father to know his true feelings, to know what the Father desired. This is why they would come with their stammering lips and foreign tongues.

I Corinthians 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."

You can even use "the cloven tongue" used on Pentecost day as being a sign, for it is a sign for the end time generation. When that tongue is spoken it is the Holy Spirit doing the talking, at a time when the false Christ is right here on earth. If the spurious messiah is not on earth in person, and the world is not in a one world system; then what is presented as tongues is not what was given in Acts 2. It is time to cut out the traditions of men, and read carefully Acts 2 to prepare you for that time that is coming.

The sign will not be in what is said, but will be that every person understands what is said in their own language. It stated that all of the languages under heaven were present in Jerusalem when this speaking took place. This same clear speaking experience will happen again very shortly when Satan and his fallen angels are here on earth and the saints, God's elect, are delivered up to give answer before the religious leaders.

Speaking in the Pentecost day cloven tongue was not a sign given for the sake of the believer but to the non-believer. However the teaching and prophesying is not for the unbelievers sake for no matter what is said, there will be no understanding, but it is given to those that believe. Now Paul is switching from the subject of tongues or languages to prophesying. "Prophesying" is teaching, and speaking under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Deeper teaching on the higher levels of the Word of God is not for the unbeliever, but for those that have been weaned off the milk of the Word, and are seeking the meat of the Word for spiritual maturity.

I Corinthians 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?"

If the entire church all comes together and everyone speaks in their own natural tongue, and a non-believer comes into the church and sees the confusion that is going on, they will think that the believers are all mad. Remember that Corinth was a great economic center of its day, and people of many languages were part of the church at Corinth.

I Corinthians 14:24 "But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convienced of all, he is judged of all:"

Remember the subject here has changed, and we are now discussing prophecy and not tongues, don't get the two confused. Prophesy meaning deep teaching from the Word of God. When teaching is going on in a church in many different languages at the same time, the effect will be the same as it was in Acts 2, for it will be something that has never been seen before. However if the one that is prophesying is teaching the true Word of God in a language they understand, then those coming in that are unsaved hear what is being taught, will be convicted and repent and turn to Christ.

I Corinthians 14:25 "And thus are the secrets of the heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth."

Those things that are hid in your mind can be expressed as you teach it to someone else. When a person hears the real Word of God and comes to it's full understanding, he will turn from sin and seek to worship God. He will be convicted and convinced of his need for salvation, and anxious to hear the true report that God is in you. The point that Paul is making here is that the man heard with clarity the teaching of God's Word, and not some traditions that confused him. A non-believer will know the difference between the truth that is anointed by the Holy Spirit and a fairy-tale, and so can you when it is taught.

I Corinthians 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."

When the whole body of Christ comes together, each of you have something that is important to share with the congregation. Instead of allowing confusion take hold, let one speak at a time, so that the whole congregation can be built up spiritually through the Spirits working in each of you individually. Paul is telling them to put order to their services. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace of mind. Your services should be done with dignity, and with the thought of the unlearned and unbeliever in mind, to bring them to Christ and allow them to grow in His Word.

I Corinthians 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."

If we are an English speaking audience, and teachers or evangelists comes into our midst speaking in unknown languages: Let there be no more than two or at the most three speak, for when they do speak there must be someone that can interpret what is being said. The reason is obvious, for if someone is speaking in a foreign language, and then the congregation has to wait for the interpretation, it is very distracting. There is a lot of emotions lost in the translation from the speaker to the translator, and the waiting for the translator's words. What is said is quite often mishandled by the translator. This is a good way of driving the people away from the church.

I Corinthians 14:28 "But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God."

If a person comes into your church and he doesn't speak your language nor is there a translator, then let him be quiet in the church. God can read his mind and know his thoughts, but don't let him be a distraction from the service where others are being taught.

I Corinthians 14:29 "Let the prophets speak two or three and let the other judge.."

There should be no more than two or three teachers teaching in any service, and let there be only one speaking at one time. As they speak, let the congregation listen and be a discerner of what they have to say, whether it is from the Spirit of God or not.

I Corinthians 14:30 "If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace."

In groups when an idea comes over one of those being taught, let him or her keep quiet until the teaching is over, or the time is given for questions. However this is one of the benefits of having a small group for studies, for it gives a better contact between the teacher and the student.

I Corinthians 14:31 "For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted."

This is dealing with the format of questions and answers, and in this way when one has a question, the answer can be shared with the entire group. There are two advantage to this to this method, for not only does the entire group receive the answers to the problems, but the teacher also sees where the weak spot is in his or her teaching.

I Corinthians 14:32 "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets."

If the Spirit is truly the Holy Spirit, the truth in what the prophet says will be revealed in his teaching. If those words are of the Holy Spirit, then the gifts of the others will be also working in unison, giving support to each of the other gifts and discernment. If you go into a church that sounds like a madhouse, you had better be careful for the Holy Spirit doesn't work that way. The gifts of the Holy Spirit do not bring confusion.

I Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."

God is not the author of commotion and turmoil, He just doesn't work that way. Again, be aware of those churches that do not have peace and order to them. However, it might well be that you were are sent there, by God, to bring the peace. When confusion exists, the mind just cannot learn and concentrate on what is being taught. God's Word should be taught with dignity and boldness and with clarity.

I Corinthians 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."

Where does the law say this? The way that this is brought forth in the Greek makes this a figure of speech. This is very often mis-taught.

I Corinthians 14:35 "And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for woman to speak in the church."

When you read something of this nature and you are only of the English tongue, it should be obvious that something is missing from the Greek. Back in I Corinthians 11:5, 13 we were told that women were to pray and prophesy in the church. However they were to have the veil over them, which is to say "Christ in them" all of the time. Now did Paul change his mind? Of course not. The course or figure of speech that this was written in the Greek is saying, "woman should not chatter in the church while the service is going on". However this applies to men also. No one should chatter in the church during the service, not the women, nor the men or even the children.

Remember that the whole church is the bride of Christ so the order is given in the feminine gender, but applies to the entire bride of Christ. This is why women get a bad rap when the men do the interpretation of the Word. Chatter is a distraction to the one teaching, and also to those who are trying to learn something that may be a bit difficult to understand with clarity. The course of the subject is to convey the message from God's Word and chatter interferes with that course.

I Corinthians 14:36 "What? came the word of God out from you? or came it out from you only?"

Paul is asking the church at Corinth, Do you think that the Word of God originated with you, from your church? Paul is being a little sarcastic with them because he is the one that brought the Word to them in the first place. Everything that they had learned came from Paul and the apostles, and now they are acting like they are the ones that founded the body of Christ. Of course it did not come out of them when they were allowing incestuous affairs and divisions to go on right within the body of the Church.

I Corinthians 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."

So if any person in your church claims himself to be a teacher or of a high spiritual position, let him acknowledge that the things that I have written to you are the commandments of the Lord. Those things Paul taught are right in line with the teaching of Jesus Christ, and the prophets of the Old Testament. Paul is saying that what you heard came from me and I heard it from God. We see that Paul is trying to get his church that he founded back in line, and on the right path.

I Corinthians 14:38 "But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant."

Isn't that beautiful, for it breaks up many arguments. If you want to play the role of the fool, then go right ahead. If any man will not believe the truth, then let the man believe what he wants to believe. Just don't pay attention to him, and in that way you won't pick up his traditions and hang on to them for many generations, such as in the rapture doctrine. Let the Word speak for itself. Any revelation that does not check out with the Word of God is ignorance, and just don't listen to ignorant people.

I Corinthians 14:39 "Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues."

We should desire to teach others. We are also not to forbid an interpreter to follow a teacher that is teaching in another language. But whatever method and process that the teaching takes, let it be done with order, and deliver the message with dignity.

I Corinthians 14:40 "Let all things be done decently and in order."

Remember that many of the thoughts that are in God's Word are deep in understanding, and we must think of the others when the Word is being taught. You may get some understanding quickly, however many of those around you may take much longer in time and deeper in concentration. "Decently" in the text would be better translated "honestly". Strive to have a peaceful atmosphere when you study God's Word to help you concentrate to get the things and advise of God.



To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

The "American Wisdom Series"


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The American Wisdom Series

 "The Two Sowers of Seed", both the Good (Adam's sons) and the Tares (Satan's sons) in one Combined  Pamphlet #7000/7007  (Jesus Christ told His disciples (which means you if you are one) that unless they understood the "Parable of the Sower" they would not be able to understand any of His parables.) You can't understand "The Parable of the Tares" until you understand "The Parable of the Sower" and you will be lost comprehending "The Parable of the Fig Tree" until you know who both sowers were and their deeds.
You must understand  "The Parable of the Sower" Click this link to open Pamphlet 7000
in order to understand "The Parable of the Tares" Click this link to open Pamphlet 7007
in order to understand "The Parable of the Fig Tree" Click this link to open Pamphlet 1031
Jesus said Learn it! Mark 13:28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree;...'

Notice to our readers: If you come across and links in our studies that you can't open, go to You will find the files there on our web site.

Here at the American Wisdom Series our goal is to make you think about and question the wisdom of the current:
doctrine of many of our Christian churches, (The Man on a White Horse)
political direction of our country,
(The Man on a Red Horse)
economic direction our country has taken, (The Man on a Black Horse)
 and teaching of our schools and media, (The Man on a Pale Horse)

The Four Hidden Dynasties of the New World Order Revelation 6:1-8
"The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse"
Did you know all four are being ridden by Satan?
Click #1848, &#1011 or #1012 to learn more.