Home › Forums › FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT- Works of the Spirit, Gifts, Teachings and More › Gifts of the Spirit – Part 1-4 – Bill Bremer
December 17, 2016 at 1:31 pm #1305
Gifts of the Spirit – Part 1-4
By Bill Bremer
Paul introduces his teaching on the gifts of the Spirit: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Cor 12:1 KJV). In order to understand what he meant by that, we need to consider several factors to get the big picture. In the opening of his letter to the Corinthians, Paul commended them on not lacking any spiritual gift.
I always thank my God for you because of the grace of God given you by the Messiah Jesus. For by him you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind—while our testimony about the Messiah has been confirmed among you. Therefore, you don’t lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus the Messiah to be revealed. 1 Corinthians 1:4-7 ISV
The Corinthians did not lack any spiritual gift. They were ignorant about edification. Edification is the opposite of ignorance. What they lacked was working together for mutual edification in the body of Christ to help each other grow up into Christ (Eph 4:15). They had a poor understanding of how the Spirit worked in their hearts and how to think, feel and relate in harmony in the body of Christ for the edification of all. Paul explains how using the illustration of parts of body being interdependent. Next, Paul shares the love chapter of the Bible, chapter 13, showing love is more valuable than all of the gifts of the Spirit. In chapter 14, Paul instructs how to flow in tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy when gathered together with one another before the Lord. He begins: “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Cor 14:1 NASB). That perspective helps us understand and function in spiritual gifts, decently and in order. (1 Cor 14:39-40).
With the big picture, we will turn to the main points Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 12.
The first thing Paul Paul makes clear is these saints former state as unbelievers.
They were enticed and led astray to worship idols that couldn’t even speak. However, there was demonic activity. Some idol priests and priestesses even prophesying or speaking in tongues. So, Paul helps them and us know if someone is speaking by the Spirit of God.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were unbelievers, you were enticed and led astray to worship idols that couldn’t even speak. For this reason I want you to be aware that no one who is speaking by God’s Spirit can say, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:1-4 ISV
Next, Paul emphasizes that the saints all share the same Spirit, the same Lord and the same God working in all.
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 1 Corinthians 12:5-6 KJV
Then, Paul lists the gifts of the Spirit. He lists but does not define the manifestations of the Spirit, probably because the Corinthians were flowing in them. However, he emphasizes four things. 1. “To each person has been given the ability to manifest the Spirit” (1 Cor 12:7 ISV). 2, The manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 3. The gifts are the work of the same Spirit in and through us. 4. The Spirit gives what he wants to each person.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 KJV
Many of us have not manifested the flow of the Spirit, so we will expand on these spiritual gifts in Part 3 and 4.
By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Here, Paul emphasizes one Spirit and one body of Christ as he begins explaining our relationships in the body of Christ. The Spirit works in the body of Christ as each part is working properly (Eph 4:16). We were are all baptized in the Spirit (Mt 3:11, Titus 3:4-6, Acts 1:5, Acts 2:14-21 and New beings fit for the kingdom of God). We were all made to drink of one Spirit. This partaking of the Spirit is for the benefit of the entire body and of all its parts.
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NASB
Paul uses the analogy of the body to show how Christ ministers to His body through His body. He shows no part of the body can function alone. All parts are mutually interdependent. All parts are needed by the body and cannot work well without each part working properly. This requires participation by all. With his illustration, Paul clearly shows discontent of the less parts and pride of the more parts is inappropriate and divisive. Rather, “that its parts should have the same concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is praised, every part rejoices with it,”
For the body does not consist of only one part, but of many. If the foot says, “Since I’m not a hand, I’m not part of the body,” that does not make it any less a part of the body, does it? And if the ear says, “Since I’m not an eye, I’m not part of the body,” that does not make it any less a part of the body, does it? If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has arranged the parts, every one of them, in the body according to his plan. Now if all of it were one part, there wouldn’t be a body, would there? So there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or the head to the feet, “I don’t need you.” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are in fact indispensable, and the parts of the body that we think are less honorable are treated with special honor, and we make our less attractive parts more attractive. However, our attractive parts don’t need this. But God has put the body together and has given special honor to the parts that lack it, so that there might be no disharmony in the body, but that its parts should have the same concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is praised, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 ISV
Paul lists the best gifts, urges us to earnestly desire them but concludes:
“And I show you a still more excellent way.” As Albert Barnes put it in 1834: “I will show you a more excellent way of evincing your ‘zeal’ than by aspiring to the place of apostles, prophets, or rulers, and that is by cultivating universal charity or love.”
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts.
And I show you a still more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 NASB
December 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm #1307
- This topic was modified 10 months ago by Ron McGatlin.
Paul began this teaching: “Fellow Christians, I want you to know about the gifts of the Spirit” (1 Cor 12:1). He concludes: “But try to have the better gifts. And now I’ll show you the best way of all (1 Cor 12:31 AAT).
Cultivating love is the best way to function in the gifts of the Spirit.
Without love, manifestation the gifts of the Spirit counts for nothing and good works count for nothing. What counts is anything we do that is motivated by God’s love.
If I speak tongues of men and angels but don’t have any love, I’ve become a loud gong or a clashing cymbal. Even if I have the gift of prophesy and know every kind of hidden truth and have every kind of knowledge, even if I have all the faith to move mountains but don’t have any love, I’m nothing. Even if I give away all I have to feed the hungry and give up my body but only to boast and don’t have any love, it doesn’t help me. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Love is the stuff of good character.
Love motivates us to do what we should do and not do what we shouldn’t.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t brag or get conceited. It isn’t arrogant or rude. It isn’t selfish. It doesn’t get angry. It doesn’t plan to hurt anyone. It doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It bears everything, believes everything, hopes for everything, endures everything. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Practicing that love makes for shalom in the community of our king.
Now, we look at the eternity of love. Love never ends.
The gifts of the Spirit will end because we will no longer need them when that which is perfect comes.
Love never ends. If there are prophecies, they will come to an end; or tongues, they will stop; or knowledge, it will vanish. We learn only a part of anything and prophesy only a part. But when that which is perfect comes, what is only a part will vanish. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, think like a child, reasoned like a child. Now that I’m a man, I’ve given up the ways of a child. Now we see by a mirror and are puzzled, but then we’ll see face to face. Now I learn only a part of anything, but then I’ll know as He has known me. 1 Corinthians 13:8-12
Paul compares ways of a child with the way of maturity in Christ in view of the major change from now to then by picturing how we see in a mirror versus face to face. He reinforces this concept with; “Now I learn only a part of anything, but then I’ll know as He has known me.” Knowing face to face is the knowing of life in the world to come (Rev 21 and 22).
When that which is perfect has come, faith, hope and love will go on eternally.
And now these three, faith, hope, and love, go on, but the most important of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
From all that has been urged in the previous verses it follows that these three graces—faith, hope, love—remain imperishable and immortal.
There need be no difficulty in understanding that “faith,” in the sense of trust in Christ as our Saviour, may continue in the heavenly state; indeed, when we see Him face to face, and see actually how great a salvation He hath obtained for us, that faith may’ be expected to glow with a new and increasing fervour Hope, too, need never cease if that new life is to be progressive. If hope lives by feeding on the present as the promise of the future, surely it will have a more abundant sustenance in that life than in this. Yet love stands supreme; indeed, both faith and hope would perish without her. (See Matthew 26:35; Galatians 5:6.) Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
All Scripture quoted on this page is from AAT An American TranslationDecember 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm #1308
I began functioning in the gifts of the Spirit back in 1974. I flow in several of the gifts of the Spirit and have seen them all in action. I have also seen and heard way to much weirdness and charismatic razzel dazzle. So, here, I present the solid wisdom and insight of men who were there in the 70’s.
Paul lists the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 but does not explain them or show how the Spirit works them in us. He tells us each person has been given the ability to manifest the Spirit and the manifestations are for the common good. He emphasizes “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NKJV
Explanations of the gifts of the Spirit*
Word of wisdom
Jesus manifested a word of wisdom when, to the Pharisees who were intent on tripping Him with their questions about paying a tax to Caesar, He gave His famous reply: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to god the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21 NASB). He promised us similar wisdom for times of emergency, “for the Holy spirit will teach you in the very hour what you ought to say” (Lk 12;12 NASB). See Mt 10:16-20. Acts 6:17 is an outstanding example of the need of a word of wisdom to settle particular problems that arise in a church congregation. The answer of the twelve apostles manifest wisdom of the highest degree—deep spiritual principles coupled with sound common sense. The Spirit’s bless is evident in that their statement found approval with the entire congregation and enabled the word of God to keep on spreading so that many more became obedient to the faith. James, acting as a moderator of the first church council at Jerusalem, manifested a word of wisdom (Acts 15:13-21) which was accepted by all and which settled the controversy regarding legalism. The possibility of receiving a word of wisdom, however, should never cause one to stop seeking wisdom for life in general (James 1:5). We cannot depend on this charismatic gift for every situation because it is only a word of wisdom. As Donald Gee says, it is “a spoken utterance through a direct operation of the Holy Spirit at a given moment, rather than an abiding deposit of supernatural wisdom.
Word of knowledge
Dennis Bennett defines a word of knowledge was a “supernatural revelation of facts past, present, or future which were not learned through the efforts of the natural mind. It may be described as the Mind of Christ being manifested to the mind of the believer, and is given when needed in a flash of time (1Cor 2:16). This gift is used to protect the Christian, to show how to pray more effectively, or to show him how to help others.” A word of wisdom often is given in conjunction with the word of knowledge in order to show how to apply the information God has revealed. In the Old Testament, Nathan the prophet received a word of knowledge regarding David’s affair with Bathsheba, as well as wisdom to know how to bring the king to repentance (2 Sam 12:1-14). The prophet Elisha knew in his heart about Gehazi’s greedy act and therefore was able to expose his hypocrisy (2 Kings 5:20-27). Jesus our Lord knew the evil thoughts of the scribes (Mt 9:2-6) and the natural history of the Samaritan woman (John 4:17-19). A word of knowledge enabled Peter to rebuke Ananias and Sapphira for their lying wickedness (Acts 5:1-9).
Gift of faith
The three dynamic gifts provide extraordinary powers to effect changes in the lives and circumstances of both saints and sinners. The gift of faith is not saving faith, which a man exercises when on the basis of God’s word he trusts in Christ to redeem him. Nor is it the faith of Gal. 5:22, one of fruits of the Spirit, which develops in the believer as faithfulness or fidelity. The gift of faith, according to Dennis Bennett, is “a sudden surge of faith, usually in a crisis, to confidently believe without a doubt, that as we act of speak in Jesus Name it shall come to pass.” This is the wonder working faith that Jesus said can move mountains (Mt 17:20; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Lk 17:6; 1 Cor 13:2). As Lenski says, by means of this charisma, things that are otherwise impossible are actually accomplished in the course of our service unto the Lord. This gift frequently operated through Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament. Think of Elijah’s faith when he prepared for the fire to fall from heaven and when he announced that rain would come! (1 Kings18:22-38, 41-45). Daniel had the gift of faith when he “stopped the mouths of lions” (Heb 11:33; Dan 6:22). George Mueller’s orphanages at Bristol, England, for 2000 children, and Hudson Taylor’s obtaining 100 missionaries to evangelize the interior of China are modern-day examples of the gift of dynamic faith in action.
Gift of healings and workings of powers
The next two gifts appear in the Greek as plurals: literally, “charismatic gifts of healings’ and “workings of powers.” The plurals indicate that all healings and all miracles are in each separate case a supernatural operation of the Spirit. As Bittlinger says, “Every healing is a special gift. In this way the spiritually gifted individual stands always in new dependence upon the divine Giver.” Lenski explains: “In each instance a specific intimation came to them from the Spirit that the act should be performed, and not until that moment did it occur, but then I always too place without fail.” Peter and John for instance, had passed the lame beggar at the Gate Beautiful many a time, but not until a certain day did the spirit prompt them to channel healing to him (Acts 3:1-8). This principle explains why a Spirit-filled Christian cannot go into a hospital and administer healing to every sick person he sees. The plural nouns also indicate the different kinds of diseases and afflictions, requiring different sorts of healing. The implication may be that a certain person is especially used in bringing healing to those suffering from a certain disease or group of diseases.
Working of miracles
The “working of miracles” covers those wonderful works which are not strictly healings. Included under the category of miracles would be the exorcising of demons and the restoring of persons from death, such as Dorcas and Eutychus (Acts 9:36-41).; 20:6-12). Quite a number of authenticated cases of the raising of the dead have taken place recently in Africa and Indonesia, as well as in America. The creation of new bodily parts or organs much better be explained as an instance of the gift in operation instead of one of the gifts of healings. Since the beginning of the Indonesian revival in 1965, the Christians have repeatedly trusted God to turn water into wine for their communion services, in that tropical land where grapes do not grow.
Distinguishing of spirits
The third gift which operates by a direct revelation from God is the “distinguishing of spirits” (v.10 NASB margin). It goes without saying that this not a critical spirit in the natural or even the true intellectual discernment of the child of God that is developed through Christian fellowship and through study of the Bible. Yes, is is essential for us to partake of the word of righteousness and to train our senses or faculties to discern good and evil, i.e., to make moral decisions (Heb 5:13-14). The spiritual gift of discernment, however, does not come through training but is imparted in the moment when it is needed. The Greek word for “discernment,” diakrisis, literally means a “judging through,” a seeing right through to the inner reality with a judgment based on that insight. Dennis Bennett explains that by this gift the believer is enabled to know immediately what is motivating a person or situation. Those responsible for the orderly progress of a meeting of the brethren need to know whether a person is operating under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, whether he is expressing his own thoughts or feelings, or whether he is controlled by a wrong spirit. The Holy Spirit will manifest himself by this gift through those who pass judgment on the messages of the prophets in the assembly (1 Cor14:29). Usually the discerning of a false or evil spirit brings a sense of heaviness, unrest, or even sickness, whereas the sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit is one of joy and peace and love. This gift, then, is the gracious provision of the head of Church to arm her against the subtle deceptions of the enemy.
A striking example of the gift of discerning of spirits in operation is found in Acts 16:16-18. A slave girl having a spirit of divination met Paul and his party in Philippi, evidently desiring to follow them to the place of prayer. Even though her shouts to the crowds about Paul seemed lofty and spiritual, yet Paul detected the true nature of the motivating spirit and at last commanded it to come out of her. Probably he waited until the day she was ready to be saved so that when he exorcised the demon it would have no right to reenter her. See 1 John 4:1-6.
*From The Layman’s Commentary on the Holy Spirit, included in the Logos International Study Bible published in 1972.
In Part 4, we will consider prophesy, tongues and interpretation of tongues.
Link to good article by Charles Carrin on the word of knowledge.December 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm #1310
Speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophesy are the gifts of the Spirit Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 14. He begins by referring to what he taught in chapter 13—pursue love and in chapter 12—desire earnestly spiritual gifts, then urges, “but especially that you may prophesy.” Then he shows the purpose of the gifts—edify—edification, how the Spirit works them in and through us, how to use them when we come together before God and proper decorum in such a gathering.
Edify is the action of building up ones self and one another in love (Ro 14:19, 1 Th 5:11) which results in edification, (Rom 15:2, 1 Cor 14:3, 1 Cor 14:12, 1Co 14:26, Eph 4:29).
Prophesy is inspired by the Holy Spirit and spoken in the tongue/language of those assembled together. “One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church” (1 Cor 14:4). Prophesy is for edification, exhortation and comfort. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus ( Rev 19:10). The testimony of Jesus is what we call the New Testament, especially what Jesus said while He was on this earth. Everything in Jesus proclaimed while on this earth is the testimony of Jesus. Even the works He did testified He was the promised Messiah (John 10:25).
Peter urges: If you speak, say what God says. “Serve one another, each with the gift he received, as good managers of the various gifts of God. If you speak, say what God says. If you serve, do it with the strength God gives you so that in every way you glorify God through Jesus Christ. His is the glory and the power forever”! (1 Peter 4:10-11 AAT). John wrote: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV).
The gift of tongues is speaking a language unknown to the speaker. It may be a tongues of men or of angels (1 Cor 13:1). “One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself”(1 Cor 14:4). “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also” (1 Cor 14:14-15).
Interpretation of tongues is speaking forth the gist of what has been spoken in tongues. Paul counts tongues with interpretation as prophesy (1 Cor 14:26-28).
1 Corinthians 14
The role of prophecy and tongues in a church gathering.
1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
Tongues without interpretation do not edify a church gathering.
6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? 7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? 8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. 12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. 13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Tongues are for a sign to unbelievers. Prophesy is for a sign to believers. But it convicts unbelievers and brings them to worship God.
20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature. 21 In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. 22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you
We assemble for mutual edification through orderly flow in the Spirit. This flow is not limited to prophesy.
Here Paul includes, “each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.” In Ephesians, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph 5:19 NKJV). In Colossians, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col 3:16 NKJV).
26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Tongues are limited to two or three and each in turn and one must interpret.
Prophesy is limited to two or three prophets and the others judge. Prophesy must be evaluated because, while the Spirit prompts, the mind forms the word of prophecy. Sometimes what the Spirit is saying doesn’t come across right. The prophet is not clearly saying what God is saying (1 Peter 4:11). In that case, one who understands what the Spirit is saying may add to or modify what has been prophesied. This is done in love, so as to minimize embarrassment. Sometimes someone will give what is purported to be a word of prophecy with subversive motives (Acts 20:28-30). That is why we are to test the spirits (1 Jn 4:1). That person should be called down as a false prophet.
“The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” This makes for orderly flow int the Spirit rather than rude interruptions with ecstatic outbursts of the flesh.. It also shows we are not controlled by the Spirit as some Bible translations put it. Further, it illustrates the lack of understanding most charismatics have about prophets. In America, one is not generally considered a prophet until he or she becomes a nationally known celebrity.
Here Paul wrote, “Whenever you come together.” The saints came together in agape/love feasts hosted primarily in homes, like the communion Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 11 and the church that met in Aquila and Priscilla’s home (1 Cor 16:19). At the most, a huge home could accommodate 100 saints. Yet Paul taught that in a come together, “Let two or three prophets speak” and the rest should judge. That means Paul taught even a local church gathering of under 100 saints had at least 3 prophets and the rest of the prophets evaluated the words of prophecy,
Women’s role in a church gathering.
“Let your women keep silent in the churches.” On the face of it, that is a hard word. To understand it we must consider Paul was not saying women should not participate in the flow of the Spirit. Earlier he wrote: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (1 Cor 12:7). “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification” (1 Cor 14:5).
Peter said of the outpouring of the Spirit: “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16-18 NKJV).
Both Greek and Roman as well as Jewish custom forbade the public appearance of women, especially their participation in public speaking. It seems that the Christian women of Corinth had a wrong idea of the meaning of Christian liberty, assuming that the ancient distinction made by God had been abrogated. But this rule made by God, that man is the head of woman, holds good for all time and under all circumstances. It is not a question of superiority or inferiority, but of headship and of government in the affairs of the church. Let women keep silence in the congregations; they shall take no part in public teaching in the church, they shall not be given authoritative direction. The public speaking and teaching in the congregation on the basis of the Word of God is a ruling and governing which is at variance with the position which God has given to woman, not only since the Fall, but before as well. And a Christian woman, knowing the high esteem in which she is otherwise held according to the Word of God (Eph. 5:22-33), will not attempt to break this rule, Gen. 3, 16, but will gladly acquiesce in His will, knowing that it is not permitted her to be a teacher in the public worship of the congregation (1 Tim. 2:12), but to be under obedience, leaving the leadership, the teaching, and the government to the men. Kretzman, 1924
34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
Paul’s conclusion of 1 Corinthians 14
36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
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