The Exercise of Gift in the Assembly
Corinthians 14


The Goal of Prophesy is for the Edification of the Assembly (14:1-5)

CHAPTER 14
 Follow after love, and be emulous of spiritual manifestations, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2 For he that speaks with a tongue does not speak to men but to God: for no one hears; but in spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he that prophesies speaks to men in edification, and encouragement, and consolation. 4 He that speaks with a tongue edifies himself; but he that prophesies edifies the assembly. 5 Now I desire that ye should all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy. But greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, unless he interpret, that the assembly may receive edification. 


Prophecy Should Give a Clear Sound (14:6-14)

6 And now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I shall speak to you either in revelation, or in knowledge, or in prophecy, or in teaching? 7 Even lifeless things giving a sound, whether pipe or harp, if they give not distinction to the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8 For also, if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for war? 9 Thus also *ye* with the tongue, unless ye give a distinct speech, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking to the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of undistinguishable sound. 11 If therefore I do not know the power of the sound, I shall be to him that speaks a barbarian, and he that speaks a barbarian for me. 12 Thus *ye* also, since ye are desirous of spirits, seek that ye may abound for the edification of the assembly. 13 Wherefore let him that speaks with a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray with a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 


Prophecy in the Assembly Should be Understandable (14:15-20)

15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray also with the understanding; I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing also with the understanding. 16 Since otherwise, if thou blessest with the spirit, how shall he who fills the place of the simple Christian say Amen, at thy giving of thanks, since he does not know what thou sayest? 17 For *thou* indeed givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18 I thank God I speak in a tongue more than all of you: 19 but in the assembly I desire to speak five words with my understanding, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20 Brethren, be not children in your minds, but in malice be babes; but in your minds be grown men


The Purpose of Tongues (Sign Gifts) and Prophesy (14:21-25)

21 It is written in the law, By people of other tongues, and by strange lips, will I speak to this people; and neither thus will they hear me, saith the Lord. 22 So that tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers; but prophecy, not to unbelievers, but to those who believe. 23 If therefore the whole assembly come together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and simple persons enter in, or unbelievers, will not they say ye are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and some unbeliever or simple person come in, he is convicted of all, he is judged of all; 25 the secrets of his heart are manifested; and thus, falling upon his face, he will do homage to God, reporting that God is indeed amongst you. 


Ministry in the Assembly Should Be Orderly (14:26-33)

 26 What is it then, brethren? whenever ye 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 to edification. v.26 The subject changes in v.26 to order. while it may be profitable for all to prophesy (definitely not for all to speak in tongues), god insists that order should govern the use of Gifts.

27 If any one speak with a tongue, let it be two, or at the most three, and separately, and let one interpret; 28 but if there be no interpreter, let him be silent in the assembly, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. v.29 It appears that only prophets are to speak, but the rest of the assembly judges. There is not a certain “panel” of spiritual ones that judge… it is the assembly’s responsibility.

30 But if there be a revelation to another sitting there, let the first be silent. 31 For ye can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all be encouraged. v.31 we learned in v.24 that it is profitable if all prophesy, but this verse tells us the timing… one by one.

32 And spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints. 


The Sister's Place in the Assembly Meetings (14:34-35)

 34 Let your women be silent in the assemblies, for it is not permitted to them to speak; but to be in subjection, as the law also says. 35 But if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is a shame for a woman to speak in assembly. 


Paul's Authority to Enjoin these Things on Them (14:36-38)

36 Did the word of God go out from you, or did it come to you only? 37 If any one thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him recognise the things that I write to you, that it is the Lord’s commandment. 38 But if any be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 


The Orderly Exercise of Tongues and Prophecy (14:39-40)

39 So that, brethren, desire to prophesy, and do not forbid the speaking with tongues. 40 But let all things be done comelily and with order.