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Thoughts Archived > Tongues & Proper Order

6 Sep 2009



September 6, 2009

1 Corinthians 14

Tongues & Proper Order 


* - denotes footnote

1 Corinthians 14

Tongues and Prophecy
1 Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.2 For if you have the ability to speak in tongues,* you will be talking only to God, since people won't be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit,* but it will all be mysterious.3 But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.4 A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.
  5 I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.
  6 Dear brothers and sisters,* if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language,* how would that help you? But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful.7 Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.8 And if the bugler doesn't sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle?
  9 It's the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don't understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space.
  10 There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning.11 But if I don't understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me.12 And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church.
  13 So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said.14 For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don't understand what I am saying.
  15 Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit,* and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.16 For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don't understand you praise God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don't understand what you are saying?17 You will be giving thanks very well, but it won't strengthen the people who hear you.
  18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you.19 But in a church meeting I would rather speak five understandable words to help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language.
  20 Dear brothers and sisters, don't be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind.21 It is written in the Scriptures*:

"I will speak to my own people
  through strange languages
  and through the lips of foreigners.
But even then, they will not listen to me,"*
  says the LORD.

  22 So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers.23 Even so, if unbelievers or people who don't understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy.24 But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don't understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say.25 As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, "God is truly here among you."

A Call to Orderly Worship
26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.
  27 No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say.28 But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately.
  29 Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said.30 But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop.31 In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged.32 Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can take turns.33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God's holy people.*
  34 Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says.35 If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings.*
  36 Or do you think God's word originated with you Corinthians? Are you the only ones to whom it was given?37 If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself.38 But if you do not recognize this, you yourself will not be recognized.*
  39 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don't forbid speaking in tongues.40 But be sure that everything is done properly and in order.






I recently had occasion to be part of a prayer and praise group.  Years ago I left this group because some of the things they were choosing to do were not scriptural.  I find they are doing them still, but I see there is one in the group that is promoting it strongly.  This person read scripture out loud and then said that what it said was not what it said, and that it is all right to do what they said instead.  Their interpretation is wrong. It is not Holy Spirit direction, because Holy Spirit cannot and will not go against himself.  It's blasphemy.  This concerned me greatly.  This leads people astray.  It says volumes about that person and does not speak to the heart of the people in the name of God. 

To this cause, I have provided directly from scripture what the New Living Translation says, having copied it directly from their website, lest anyone think I am changing it for my own purpose.  Please read it through slowly and thoroughly committing it to the Lord for personal understanding.  And feel free to read it in any translation you prefer.  It says the same thing, tho' perhaps not using the same sentence structure.  I have conferred with the NIV and the New American.  They all say the same.

To me, it is perfectly clear that everybody at one time should not speak/sing in tongues because there will not be an interpretation, and it could cause new Christians, or non-Christians, or even vested Christians not having the gift, to not learn, and fear, and fall away.   It will not fill them up with understanding, knowledge and wisdom.  God forbid that anyone should cause another to sin or to walk away from God....be lost.  It is very clear that one should speak and one should then interpret.    

Paul gives further evidence by the words of the Lord that people will not listen to what the Lord is saying if speaking in unknown languages.  Makes sense to me.  If I go to a country where they do not speak English, I will not know what they are saying, so why listen?  If I open my door is this country, I have occasion to not know what is being said.

Paul is commanding us by the power of the Holy Spirit in him to listen to him and do as he directs.  God and Jesus put him in the position of teaching us through them.  If we go against what Paul says, are we going against God and his commands?  Yup.  Paul is just the vessel.  We all are just vessels.  Our job is to be an open vessel through which Holy Spirit can flow.  Having flowed, 'listen up'.  But you do not need me to tell you these things.  Paul has told you and Holy Spirit has told you through him.  

In 1 John 2: 26-27 it reads:  I have written these things to you because you need to be aware of those who want to lead you astray.  But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true.  For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie.  So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ. 

If you do not have the Holy Spirit in you, let us pray now.  





Let Us Pray  


Dear God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.  Please forgive me of my sins.  Please come into my life now.  I believe God that you sent Jesus to die for me to forgive me of my sins, and give me the opportunity for eternal life.  I also believe that Holy Spirit can come into my life, if I but ask, and that he can give me all the fruits and gifts I need to live a good Christian life.  I ask now.  Holy Spirit come....fill me to overflowing.  I turn my life over to you.  Thy will be done.  Make me new again.  Heal me and make me whole.  Make me a new vessel by which you can flow, so I can learn and grow, and help others to do the same.  Teach me your truths and help me to correct that which is not of you.  Go with me every step of every day...take my hand, lift me up...and bear me in your arms as I sleep.  Never leave me please. But surround me with your angels, in case you have a busy moment and I may need you.  Thank you.  I love you.    


A song for today.....


On Eagle's Wings

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord / Who abide in His shadow for life / Say to the Lord:  "My refuge, my rock in whom I trust."

And He will raise you up in Eagle's Wings / Bear you on the breath of dawn / Make you to shine like the sun, / And hold you in the palm of His hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you / And famine will bring you no fear / Under His wings your refuge / His faithfulness your shield.


You need not fear the terror of the night / Nor the arrow that flies by day / Though thousands fall about you, / Near you it shall not come.


For to his angels He's given a command / To guard you in all of your ways / upon their hands they will bear you up / Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

And He will raise you up in Eagle's Wings / Bear you on the breath of dawn / Make you to shine like the sun, / And hold you in the palm of His hand.  And hold you in the palm.....of his hand.  




Please read Psalm 91 to further understand how loved and protected we are when we live in the shelter of the Most High Almighty God.






Let us hear from Paul as he prays:  

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resouces he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.  Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT         




Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rythms of Grace'.




Definition of a Christian:  Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Regardless of church name or religious affiliation.  








If you feel that the Church of the Holy Spirit has inspired or helped you, we'd like you to prayerfully consider tithing regulary to us or gifting us, so that we can further the work and carry out the will of the Father as proclaimed in Matthew 28:16 NLT


 "Go and make disciples out of all the nations

baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age."




  Our NEW Current Cause

My family and I, and the church, are in crisis and could desperately use your prayers and financial support.  Due to medical concerns, employment crisis, and economic devastation,  I do not have funding to meet everyday expenses right now for the church, or family, and home, nor those necessary to keep this website afloat, for those shut-in or needing spiritual support, nor the ability to help others along the way.  But I am confident that, with your help, balance can be achieved.  As God touches your heart, I hope you will pray earnestly for the church, my family and me, and send any amount of money you can to help.  Please note 'Church and Family' on your check, and, I will see that all funds get divided appropriately.  The church, I and my family, as well as to those to whom we reach out, will be sincerely grateful for anything you can do to help.  

Please accept my sincerest thanks....and may God bless you!




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Church of the Holy Spirit

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In the meantime, we hope you will trust us to direct them to where the need is the greatest.




  One last thing....


Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving

'The Unforced Rythms of Grace'


"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:  "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.  You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people.  Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.  "The Father has given me all these things to do and say.  This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.  No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.  But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."

"Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:  25-30

  The Message


And the people said,









I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God.  Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.




Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.



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