1 Corinthians 14 by Pastor Don Moore
My notes from a Bible study taught August 24, 2012
Pastor Don began by telling us that in the last days there will be:
A spirit of poverty and depression
A spirit of offense
A spirit of murder and violence.
This chapter talks about how spiritual gifts operate. We are to desire spiritual gifts so we can prophesy, speak forth the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 14:1-2 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 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.
We are in need of spiritual gifts and must pursue them in love. When we speak in tongues we speak to God. Spiritual gifts all work by faith. We must believe that God speaks through the Spirit and He speaks mysteries to us.
1 Corinthians 14:3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
There is a purpose – edification and exhortation and comfort to men. A word of correction is a happy thing if you receive it. A word of correction can bring someone who is out of order into the light.
1 Corinthians 14:4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
Tongues help us to edify ourselves; it is how Christians build up their spirit man. That is why the church has not progressed. If we refuse the way God said to get there, we don’t progress.
Pastor Don said that in all his study, it wasn’t until after Pastor Don got baptized in the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit said lay hands on this person and they will be healed.
God is brilliant. He says to do something that makes no sense and do it by faith, then God can trust you with His supernatural plan. Speaking in tongues makes no sense to the natural man but if you believe it and do it, you operate in spiritual gifts.
Where is your faith to do the supernatural?
1 Corinthians 14:5 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.
Prophecy – preach the Gospel. Paul is not saying it is a gift for some; it’s available for everybody. If you are not yielded to tongues it doesn’t make you a bad person, just a powerless person. Paul wanted everyone to speak in tongues and prophesy.
Supernatural salvation – you can be minding your own business and people walk up to you and ask you how to get to heaven.
Everyone can prophesy – tongues with interpretation. All in the Kingdom can operate in spiritual gifts. Things can be felt and telt by prophets and people can be edified as they hear what is being prophesied.
We can pray in tongues and pray with understanding, asking God for the interpretation of the tongues.
Supernatural manifestation – hear tongues and hear the interpretation. One prays in tongues, another interprets. As we speak mysteries to God, He reveals hidden mysteries to us.
If by faith we believe for small things, yield and do what God says. Obey the Spirit and then take the next step. Our obedience opens the door to the supernatural.
Individuals believe for interpretation of prophesy, God gives it to us so we can operate in a way that edifies others. Interpretation of tongues helps us to bless the church.
1 Corinthians 14:6 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?
Paul is telling people to speak the way that is most effective.
Any time you go to the holy place, the devil tries to weaken or impede your purpose. The devil wants confusion so people don’t come back. Paul is not saying don’t speak in tongues, but to speak in tongues and then interpret them so that the knowledge and prophecy is available to all present and can profit all present in a service.
We can speak in tongues in our private worship and that edifies us. Pastor Don suggests even asking God to help us interpret our private tongues. Tongues is a perfect way to speak to God – the devil doesn’t know what we are saying. He can hear our desperate prayers and respond to them, but when we speak in tongues, the devil has no idea what or spirit is saying to the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 14:7-8 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? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?
When revelry is playing, you can’t go back to bed. You know the sound and you learn to respond to it. By practice and through meditation (not yoga meditation, but rather speaking and reflecting on the Word of God) and speaking in tongues, you learn to hear that still small voice.
1 Corinthians 14:9-11 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. There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 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.
This is an illustration.
1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
Zealous is the key word in this passage – we are to be zealous for spiritual gifts, but the purpose of attaining them must be for the edification (building up) of the Church. It is not to puff oneself up. So, the problem is, how do we get there? We edify ourselves so that we grow spiritually and then are able to bless the church.
James and John (at their mothers’ prompting) go up to Jesus and ask if they can sit on His right and left side. Jesus tells them that it is not His to determine who sits on His right and left side. He also tells them that they would have to drink the cup that Jesus has to drink and be baptized in what Jesus was baptized into. James and John say that they are willing. The other ten disciples get upset when they hear the request of James and John. Jesus tells the disciples that the way to excel is to be the greatest servant. Jesus tells them that He did not come to be ministered to, but to minister.
God has no problem with your desire to be biggest and best. You can’t get it the way the Gentiles get it. The way to becoming the biggest and best in the Kingdom of God is your servanthood – to take the lower seat.
It is a progression. First we become a doulos (a slave) – then you become a servant, then a bondservant, and then a steward. A steward is as far as we can get for God is the master. A bondservant is a servant who willingly submits themselves to a master for life (In the Old Testament a servant was for a specific period of time, when that time was over if the servant and the maser liked working together, the servant would put his ear next to the doorpost and the maser would punch the earlobe with an awl and give him an earring for status and the servant and the servant’s family would remain with the master for life), and then as a servant progresses he becomes a steward who is in charge of the master’s goods and business. The steward knows the master so well that he can anticipate how the master would act in a circumstance and do what the master wants even if the master is not present or asked what the servant should do.
God will not trust the power of God to you without your being longsuffering (patient). We want to be spiritual giants. If we get that kind of power without spiritual growth there is a risk that the power would be used in error.
What is the purpose of elevation? It is for the sake of the church. Usually a person is not elevated until they are already walking in the position that they are being elevated to. It is a recognition that the person is already doing the job.
1 Corinthians 14:13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
It is possible to pray that God gives you the interpretation of tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
The whole thing is supernatural. If you believe it, it will work for you. Your spirit prays, but you may not understand what your spirit is praying so your understanding is unfruitful (unless you receive interpretation of tongues).
Jesus did not have to pray in tongues, He had the Holy Spirit on Him, and acted spirit to Spirit. But in that day the Holy Spirit was not in everyone. Jesus had to go away so that He could send the Holy Spirit to indwell with us.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the tomb, He said that He knew His Father (God) would answer His prayer.
God answers our prayers. We may pray for ten years before receiving an answer, but from God’s point of view, that is just a few seconds.
Our goal is to demonstrate the mind of Christ. Faith is I know that I know that I know. It isn’t woman’s intuition, it is believing God in faith and God will respond.
I hope this teaching blesses you. Have a great day.