- 1 Corinthians 14:31-40
- 1 Cor 14:31 (KJV)
For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be
Here Paul is telling those with the gift of prophecy that each will have a
turn to speak, so each one in the congregation, along with those who are
prophesying may learn from the one speaking and may also be comforted. The
word “comforted” may also be understood as “Exhorted.” There is no need for
simultaneous speaking as that would engender confusion in the congregation.
- 1 Cor 14:32 (KJV)
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
This means that not only are the prophets in control of their own spirits,
it also means that the message, the teachings, the doctrines, are all
subject to the scrutiny of the other prophets. Since the spirit of the
prophet is subject to the prophet, it indicates that the prophet may choose
to speak or not, depending upon the situation. The false prophet is not
subject to anyone and normally has a message which is out of control, simply
because they are not accountable to anyone, whereas the true prophet of God
- 1 Cor 14:33 (KJV)
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all
churches of the saints.
God requires order in the churches because He does not author confusion. The
word “confusion” may also be rendered “disorder, tumult, or unrest.” When
the entire church service is done in an orderly fashion, it creates a
peaceful atmosphere. When you are in church and something goes accidentally
wrong in the service, doesn’t it sometimes give a moment of anxiety? When
all is going smoothly, it is a peaceful experience. God never commands his
people to act in any uncivil manner in the assembly. There are many churches
today which hold services which seem like you are in a sports stadium. This
type of assembly is definitely not of the Lord. Wherever order is lacking, a
careful look must be given and you will probably find that the whole church
is not of the Lord.
- 1 Cor 14:34 (KJV)
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.
Here Paul is commanding the women to be silent in the churches. This does
not only apply to the married women, which we see in the next verse that
they are to ask their husbands but also to single women which would be under
the authority of the elders in the church and their fathers until such a
time they become married. This verse also comes in the context of
prophesying publicly and Paul is stating that women are not to prophesy or
speak in tongues in addressing the church with some type of teaching. The
women are to be subject to their husbands and also to the elders. This means
that they are under their authority. If a woman speaks publicly in the
church then she is causing men to be under her authority and this is
expressly forbidden. (1 Tim 2:12 KJV)
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but
to be in silence. This is part of the order that
God has ordained in the church. In the modern church many women become
pastors but that places the whole congregation under her spiritual
authority. If her husband is a member of that church, then if she is the
authority, it places her husband under her authority, which violates the
marriage since the wife is to be under the husbands authority.
- 1 Cor 14:35 (KJV)
And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at
home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Now Paul is speaking to the married women. Since they are under their
husbands authority, they are to ask the husband at home if there is anything
that they do not understand. They are not permitted to speak in the church.
This is a command to keep order in the church. Speaking in church would be a
shame. The word “shame” carries with it the idea of “disgraceful or
dishonorable.” This is how serious God is about keeping order in the church.
The women are to be meek and humble and not have a spirit of usurpation.
Many feel that this command was only for the contemporary times that Paul
lived in, but have you noticed in our day that since women have been placed
in leadership roles in the church, confusion and false gospels reign in
every church they lead.
- 1 Cor 14:36 (KJV)
What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
Paul now asks a rhetorical question of the Corinthians. Are they the
originators of God’s Word or are they the only ones that the Word of God
came to? He was asking in this manner to get them to think. The Word of God
came to them but they are not the only ones it came to. He wants them to
understand that as others are required to obey the Scriptures, so are they.
They are not an exclusive church. The word of God comes to all the churches
and all must obey in the same manner. This verse tells us that the same
rules which apply here, also apply in every other church. There is no one
who God saves that doesn’t have to obey the guidelines He gives us, this
applies to the individual as well as the local assemblies. So Paul is
emphasizing that God is not being any more strict with this church than He
is with the other churches.
- 1 Cor 14:37 (KJV)
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
Paul now appeals to those in the church who have the gift of Prophecy or
those who can understand spiritual things, that the words he is writing is
truly of the Lord. The prophets in this church should confirm his words as
being legitimate commandments from the Lord. When these prophets confirm the
words, then they are to put them into practice in the church assembly. By
the prophets confirming the words of Paul, they are also confirming his
authority in these matters. In the modern church today, those who are
spiritual will understand the spiritual nature of true teachings of the Word
of God, and will bear witness when the truth is spoken. Those who do not
understand the Bible, will no doubt, disbelieve, and will bring confusion
into the church.
- 1 Cor 14:38 (KJV)
But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
Here Paul is beginning his summation that if someone is ignorant, not
understanding the word of the Lord, then let him remain that way. The church
must never change the rules for those who do not wish to grow in the faith.
The word “ignorant” means “not understanding.” If a person wants to
understand and grow, then the elders should teach them, but if they choose
to remain ignorant, as many do today, then let them remain that way to their
- 1 Cor 14:39 (KJV)
Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with
Paul says to these Corinthians that they should desire to prophesy which
would edify the congregation but he also says that they should not forbid
the speaking of tongues, since at this time it was still a legitimate gift
of the Holy Spirit. Paul wanted to make sure that none of the spiritual
gifts were quashed in the church but that all had a proper chance to be
- 1 Cor 14:40 (KJV)
Let all things be done decently and in order.
Here was the final command, that all the spiritual gifts are to be done in a
fashion which is appropriate for the church of Christ. That means,
everything was to be done in an orderly manner. I have visited charismatic
churches and they all seem to be very disorderly and these are the very ones
who claim they are following the dictates of 1 Corinthians 14. I