||"But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay" (Jeremiah 20:9b).||
A PROPHETIC MINISTRY
A PROPHETIC PERSPECTIVE
Examines the progression of pride to rebellion, mans eternally unwise rationale of unbiblical objects of faith and the need for implementation of biblical standards of servant/leader authority and procedures.
And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4,5).
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5).
Prideful fallen man continually imitates their evil father, the devil.
The Old Testament contains approximately a dozen words for the word pride. The New Testament has less than a half-dozen. They bring out its different aspects that when arranged in a sequence, depict its development. From simple silent conceit (thought), it grows into self-praise (word), and finally into unacceptable behavior and ultimately, rebellion (deed). The essences of these meanings are usually manifested in this progressive order:
Conceit An excessively high opinion of oneself.
Boasting Praising ones own worth, verbally.
Haughtiness Having a high opinion of self, mingled with contempt for others. It is the expression of conscious and proud superiority.
Arrogance Offensively exaggerating ones own importance disposition to claim for oneself more than is justly due, and to enforce it to the utmost.
Insolence Disrespect of custom or established authority by contempt, rudeness, disrespect, or brutal behavior or language.
Disdain To consider or treat as unworthy of notice, care, regard, or valuing. Stresses the anger and disgust felt for that which is regarded as beneath one.
Rebellion is the result, as pride is a snare for us leading to plots, intrigues and conspiracies and ultimately to rebellion. This can be open (armed) resistance to authority, control, government, etc. 1 Samuel 15:23 equates rebellion with witchcraft, and stubbornness with iniquity and idolatry. Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Revelation 20:10 describe the end of satan because of his pride and rebellion.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. ... For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before (Matthew 24:4,11,24,25 see also Mark 13:5,22,23,37; Luke 21:8,36).
The warnings of Jesus are clear in that we are not to be deceived by (1) false Christs, (2) false prophets, and (3) deceiving signs and wonders.
Since the inception of the ekklesia of Jesus Christ, the New Testament records mans prideful problems in relating to the true and the living God. When the last book of the New Testament was written, Jesus related to the exiled Saint John in the book of Revelation problems needing correction in the seven ekklesias mentioned there. Pagan influences in the institutional church have continued throughout the centuries. So-called higher criticism of the 19th century birthed atheism as a religion. Secular (soulish) humanism dominated the scene for a while, only for a pendulum swing to New Age (spiritual) practices.
These shifts away from faith in the true God of the Bible come from mans pride and rebellion against God. It shows a reevaluation by human wisdom of the objective of faith. The aggregate effect of prolonged prostitution of the institutional church has led many in a full circle to believe the lie of the serpent, ye shall be as gods. This lie is perpetrated in the press, in publications, and from the pulpit by being stated as fact, inferred or implied.
Mankinds rationale to eliminate God as the object of their faith has not evaluated some areas pertinent to the different objects of their faith.
For as long as you are body, soul and spirit you will think, feel and choose. As a result our mind, emotion and will constantly generate desires.
Your personal value system will determine if these desires are to be satisfied or controlled and your conscience will determine your course of action.
Hope accompanies our desires. We hope for fulfillment of a desire. Therefore, hope is an attitude of favorable and confident expectation.
Faith is the substance, or materialization, of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We have faith in an object to cause our hope to materialize.
Faith and hope are not the absence of all doubt. Faith comes as decisions are made based on the best evidence available that proves the strength of its object. Therefore, faith is, ultimately, only as strong as the proven strength of its object.
Hope is an attitude of favorable and confident expectation i.e., focusing on the positive aspect of things. Unfavorable lack of confidence is doubt which is focusing on the negative aspect of things.
Therefore, the opposite of hope is doubt.
Faith is fulfilled, satisfied hope that has materialized. Unfulfilled, unsatisfied hope that has not materialized is disappointment.
Therefore, the opposite of faith is disappointment.
Youve probably heard that the opposite of faith is fear, but think about it for a moment. The opposite of fear is courage.
Fear is heightened doubt. Focusing so much on the negatives of a thing that you begin to paint painful pictures on the screen of your mind. When you do that, you have destroyed the ability to generate hope in your thoughts.
So fear is not just the opposite of faith. Fear is a destroyer of hope, which aborts any possibility of faith being birthed. In a sense, then, fear is more than the opposite of faith in that it actually aborts (kills) faith.
If you place your hope and faith in anything other than the true and living God of the Bible, and His Son, Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, then you are guaranteed to have doubt and disappointment in your life. As your doubts and disappointments multiply in your life, so will your fear. And that fear has the potential to kill your ability to have faith.
If there is doubt and disappointment in your life, you must lift your self-imposed time limitation and rekindle your hope and faith in Jesus Christ and confidently await the materialization of your faith.
We are attempting to describe the biblical standard set forth by the Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians, chapters 11-14.
When we implement correct biblical corporate authority and procedures it releases the power of God in us.
Then youll reveal the true Jesus, youll refute false prophets and deceiving signs and youll recognize true Godly wonders.
Spiritual Headship And Authority
Establishes the purpose, performance and power of spiritual headship in relation to Gods servant/leader authority structure.
Pauls purpose in writing the material we know as 1 Corinthians, chapters 11 through 14 was to present a practical procedure for personal participation in a meeting of a home ekklesia, with priority on propriety.
In 1 Corinthians, chapter 10, Paul warned the ekklesia against getting involved in idolatry, and in the exercise of conscience to do all to the glory of God (verse 31). His point is summed up 1 Corinthians 11:1: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Be ginomai, in the original, means to become, ye followersmimetes, meaning an imitator. It is always used in a good sense in the New Testament. The verb form, in the continuous sense, suggests a constant habit or practice.
This is timely advice for the ekklesia at Corinth and for the institutional church and ekklesias today. Paul was exhorting them to follow this course of action as they apparently were not pursuing it. He did, however, commend them for keeping the traditions he had entrusted to them. Now he had to give words of correction in observing those ordinances.
In this chapter Paul discussed spiritual headship and the Lords Supper. He emphasized the necessity for order in both. The disorder of the Lords supper particularly dismayed Paul. He spoke very strong words of correction. In verse 34 he stated: ... And the rest will I set in order when I come.
Womens Head Covering
In verses 5-15, Paul presents the case for a woman having a covering.
1 Corinthians 11:5-15:
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
In verse 5 Paul states that a woman with her (physical) head uncovered dishonors her (spiritual) head. In verse 6 Paul equates her uncovered head with having a shaved head.
In verses 7-9 Paul establishes yet another criterion for the case of spiritual headship of a husband over his wife. The husband is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the husband.
In verse 10 Paul states that because of the husbands spiritual headship, it is the wifes obligation to exercise authority (or the privilege of the power of choice) over her (physical) head (as concerns her hair) because of the angels.
The phrase power on in verse 10, according to Strongs Dictionary is from exousia, from 1832 (exestin) (in the sense of ability); privilege, i.e. (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence: its translated in the KJV as: authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength. The word on according to Strongs is epi, a primary preposition; properly, meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], i.e. over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the det.) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.
Its never translated in the sense of one person having, or putting power on some part of their body. Sounds like witchcraft, when you put it that way, doesnt it? I think its pretty obvious that the intent is that she has power, i.e., privilege or authority, over her own head. What authority? Authority to take care of her hair in such a manner that angels arent confused.
This has to do with order and spiritual headship. This is best explained by stating that when things get out of order in local ekklesias, you may (not always, but may) create so much confusion so as to leave the angels perplexed as to what the correct order should be. Some of you may have a problem with my interpretation of verse 10 and my remarks about angels. Please try to love me anyway.
In verses 11 and 12 Paul steps back from what he has said from a focused point of view and explains that, in the Lord, a husband and wife are not independent of each other. He obliquely refers to Genesis in stating that woman came from man, but that men are born of women, but that ultimately everything comes from God Himself.
In verses 13 and 14 Paul restates the fact that it is improper for a woman to pray with her head uncovered and that a mans long hair is a disgrace to him (because it functions as a covering, which is inappropriate for him because he is the image and glory of God. This is not a case of hair is hair, so why isnt it a covering for the husband? Paul is comparing a womans hair with a mans hair, with the further distinction of long hair versus short hair and with a different symbology in each case.
In verse 15 Paul also restates that a womans hair is her glory. Then he wraps up the discussion of hair coverings by the simple statement that: ... for her hair is given her for a covering.
End of discussion: did you get it?
Paul has stated the reasons why a wife needs a covering in a specific circumstance, or situation. He discusses why and then he sums up by saying that, yes, a wife needs a covering and ... her hair is given her for a covering. In other words, her hair is the required covering.
Remember in verse 6 that Paul equates her uncovered head with having a shaved head? So if she wants to not have a covering all she has to do is shave her head. The logic there is simple: if she wants a covering, then dont shave her head.
If youre having a problem with the simple logic here consider this: the word for in verse 15 is the Greek word anti. Strongs Concordance says about the word anti: a primary particle; opposite, i.e. instead or because of (rarely in addition to).
Vines Expository Dictionary says: anti; in place of, instead of, is translated in the room of in (Matt. 2:22).
Verse 15 is better translated: But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her instead, or in place of, a covering.
Its my opinion Paul was answering a specific question about women and head coverings at the ekklesia meetings that had been asked of him. His answer was to affirm that it was proper, (for reasons beyond the scope of this discussion), however in the meeting of the ekklesia a womans hair served that purpose.
Also please note that Pauls teachings in 1 Corinthians 11-14 have to do with correct biblical procedures for personal and corporate conduct during the meetings of a local ekklesia. He reemphasizes headship principles, problems encountered associated with the eating of the fellowship meal, and the proper use of spiritual gifts.
There is a tremendous amount of confusion about Pauls comments concerning women. Many of his comments pertain to wives and spiritual headship principles. Because the same word in Greek is used for women (in general) and wives (in particular) there is a considerable problem in determining whether the word women or the word wives should be used. The same problem exists with the word man and husbands. There is only one word to indicate both. This problem is further compounded with other words which indicate mankind which are translated as man and additional words which indicate simply persons and are translated as man.
Before I get to 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, allow me take a little detour to discuss the term spiritual headship. This is very important because the concept is not understood at all. Those verses by Paul which appear to mean that women are somehow inferior to men are claimed and used by those who really love to put women in an inferior position.
The Purpose Of Spiritual Headship
In spiritual headship, i.e., delegated spiritual authority, Christ is clearly the head of the ekklesia (Ephesians 1:19-23; 4:15,16; 5:21-33; Colossians 1:13-18; 2:8-10,19). As head of the ekklesia, His body, Jesus is head of everyone, both male and female.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God (1 Corinthians 11:3). This statement that the head of the woman is the man appears to conflict with the fact that Jesus is head of the ekklesias, which includes women. We must remember that Paul is discussing order in a gathering of believers in a home ekklesia. Order and authority are related. If you dont understand the truth of the biblical home ekklesias as taught, practiced and modeled for us in the New Testament read the article God by the Spirit of Jesus Christ will build an assembly.
The word man aner, is used in 1 Corinthians, chapter 11, verses 3 through 27, inclusive. Aner means a man, properly as an individual male, is never used of the female sex, and is distinct from a woman, boy or infant. It is also used as a word for husband. In verse 28 man is anthropos, mankind, a human being, male or female, a person. Verses 16 and 34 have no word in the original for man. The word for woman is gune, meaning a married or unmarried woman.
If we use husband where man (aner) appears, and wife for woman (gune) we resolve some conflict. Paul discusses the matrimonial relationship in Ephesians 5:21-33. In verse 32 he makes the statement that This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church (ekklesia). In the light of verses 23 and 24 of Ephesians 5 it appears there is a tandem spiritual headship relation. It exists between Jesus, as head of the ekklesia, i.e., head of the husband and wife, and the husband, as head of the wife. Paul says this is a great mystery musterion, i.e., a divinely revealed spiritual truth of stewardship of the kingdom of God. We have a responsibility to walk in that truth.
Working from back to front in 1 Corinthians 11:3: Christ is equal to God, but God is His Head (John 5:18; 10:30,38; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:15,19; 2:9; Hebrews 1:3). The woman (wife) is equal to the man (husband), but the husband is his wifes head (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:23,24; 5:2; 1 Corinthians 11:7-12; Galatians 3:28). The man (husband) is equal to Christ, but Christ is his head (Psalm 8:4-6 Hebrews 2:6-11; Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21; John 20:17,18,27,28; 1 Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9). The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master (Luke 6:40). We are positionally, but not experientially, perfect in Gods eyes. We are as the Master, but not above the Master.
This scripture in Luke expresses the purpose of spiritual headship in Gods kingdom. God as spiritual head of Christ, Christ as spiritual head of the husband, and a husband as spiritual head of his wife, display factual dynamics. Godly spiritual headship always involves (1) sacrifice of self, for equality, (2) surrender of self, for uniting, and (3) servanthood of self, for anointing. Anointing is equipping, enabling and empowering for doing a specific task.
God, in Christ, sacrificed by giving of Himself to become equal to man (John 3:16,17). He temporarily laid aside the manifestations of His consummate divine identity to unite mankind into His body (Philippians 2:6,7). He was anointed as a servant to perform a specific task (Philippians 2:7,8). God exercised His spiritual headship over Christ. Christ is equal to God, united with God and anointed by God. Christ exercises His spiritual headship over His ekklesia (male and female, and husband and wife). His ekklesia is equal to Him, united with Him and anointed by Him to anoint others. Ephesians 5:21-33 exemplifies the headship role of the husband over the wife. She is equal to him, united with him and anointed by him to anoint others. Colossians 3:1-25 (see also Ephesians 4:20-5:33) give us excellent instruction for accomplishing the goal of spiritual headship.
Scriptural types and antitypes:
Establishing the parameters, by type, of Gods spiritual headship of the first Adam
1. Sacrifice of the Father to effect equality
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them ... This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created ... And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul ... And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed ... And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it (Genesis 1:26,27; 5:2; 2:7; 2:8; 2:15). (See also John 3:16; Acts 2:4; John 14:16,17,23; 20:22).
God reproduced Himself, and in so doing gave Adam His own:
3. Completeness (male and female)
5. Breath, or Spirit, of life
2. Surrender of the Son to effect uniting
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).
(See also John 17:11,21-23,26; Philippians 2:6,7).
This verse brings out that God gave Adam the breath, or Spirit, of life. They then became autonomous living beings. He fashioned their bodies in His image (Jesus) with the same Spirit by Whom He created the heaven and earth.
3. Servanthood of the Holy Spirit to effect anointing
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth ... And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish and earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:26,28)
(See also John 14:26; 1 John 2:20-27; Philippians 2:7,8).
Having made Adam in His image, He gave them dominion. He blessed them, and anointed (equipped, enabled and empowered) Adam. They were to be fruitful, multiply, replenish and subdue the earth and have dominion over it.
Establishing the parameters by antitype of Adams spiritual headship of the woman
1. Sacrifice of self for equality (as an antitype of the Father)
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul ... And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him ... And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man (Genesis 2:7,18,21,22).
To have a help meet (and to manifest the completeness of Gods image) Adam had to sacrifice of himself physically one of his ribs more literally, part of his side.
2. Surrender of self for uniting (as an antitype of the Son)
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh ... Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created ... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Genesis 2:23,24; 5:2; 1:27) (Ephesians 5:21-33).
Adam recognized his unity with the woman, manifesting their completeness.
3. Servanthood of self for anointing (as an antitype of the Holy Spirit)
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it ... And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him ... And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth ... And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth ... And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die ... And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Genesis 2:15,18; 1:26,28; 2:16,17; 3:6).
Perhaps nowhere else in the Bible has man failed so miserably in servanthood of self for anointing. Adams failure to anoint (equip, enable and empower) the woman to carry out Gods Word totally changed the course of mankind and history. Gods wisdom and foreknowledge had predetermined that this would happen because of giving Adam free will.
A husband must responsibly and willfully exercise his spiritual headship. His wife must submit to his sacrifice, surrender and servanthood. Then they will successfully reproduce the completeness of themselves as the image of Christ and His ekklesia (Ephesians 5:21-33).
The significance of Pauls statement that For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels (1 Corinthians 11:10) reflects the proper scriptural headship relationship of Christian husband to Christian wife. As a visible manifestation of the relationship of Christ to His ekklesia, they are witnesses to the angels of God. This passage connects, sense-wise, with Ephesians 5:21-33.
In this matter of Godly spiritual headship there are only two instances Paul discusses in Ephesians 5:21-33. These are (1) Christs relation to His ekklesia, and (2) a husbands relation to his wife. Paul draws a parallel between the two to reveal the husbands proper relationship to his wife as her Godly spiritual head. When a woman has no husband her head is Christ. When a woman becomes a wife her husband assumes a tandem spiritual headship position with Christ. He is to take on the same role as Christs role is to the ekklesia. The husband, in the same way that Christ does, must also sacrifice for equality, by equality, surrender to unite, by uniting, and enter into servanthood by, and for, anointing.
Paul does not discuss other matters such as pastoral, paternal, or parental authority. Much confusion results when these other avenues are explored with this passage. Pauls purpose is clear and simply stated. Mans wisdom should not try to extract a meaning that is not there.
The Corporate Use Of Gifts
Explains Gods system for corporate servant/leader authority and use of individual gifts of supernatural skills and service in His church.
Gods attributes balance the perspective of the fullness of:
1. His character,
2. His compassion and
3. His conscience.
(Exodus 34:5-7; Deuteronomy 7:8; Isaiah 33:22; Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16). We will discuss them briefly.
Gods character is love, subjectively caused by willful choice (thought). It is expressed throughout the Bible and the Living Word, Jesus (word). Gods love is unconditionally activated through the cross (deed). God freely expresses His divine love subjectively caused by His willful choice, and offers us His grace.
The compassion of God is extended to us through His grace and His mercy. Grace, in the New Testament is charis, literally graciousness, from the root chairo, meaning to rejoice. In the Hebrew the word is chen, meaning subjectively, kindness, favor, or objectively, beauty.
Gods conscience deals with good and evil using divine wisdom, judgment and justice. He considers our every thought, word and deed. God is the sum of all wisdom and lacks nothing. God uses supernatural revelation to give us a glimpse of His wisdom, i.e., His mind and counsel. Gods wisdom influences His judgment that is according to truth (Romans 2:2), deeds (Romans 2:6), and enlightened conscience (Romans 2:12-15). He is no respecter of persons (shows no prejudice) (Romans 2:11). Gods wisdom and judgment are the vehicles by which He decides justice. Justice is the use of authority and power to uphold what is good. Gods justice is exercised, executed and expressed through His deeds by a system of rewards (blessings) and punishments (curses), as noted throughout the Bible. Gods wisdom, judgment and justice are recorded in a formal statementHis Word, the Bible.
The gifts God has given to His ekklelsia spring from His attributes.
From Gods character, i.e., His love, He has given us His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the nine gifts of the Spirit, known as the charisma descension gifts.
From His compassion, i.e., His grace and mercy, He has given us the gifts listed in Romans 12:3-8. They have been referred to as motive gifts, but in truth spring from His compassion (grace and mercy). They are known as charisma gifts.
From His conscience, i.e., His wisdom, judgment and justice He has provided us with Jesus gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor (shepherd) and teacher, in the form of doma ascension gifts. The names in the original language of these gifts describe their actions and functions. They have been called offices.
The system for corporate manifestation of Holy Spirit gifts is presented in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12:
1 Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 1:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
Spiritual pneumatikos here (and chapter 14, verse 1) is literally spiritualities. It indicates spiritual nature, character, or quality, spiritual-mindedness. It is contrasted with worldliness and sensuality. Ignorant agnoeo, not to know, here carries the idea of to be ignorant of. In chapter 14, verse 38 the idea is more in line with the thought that because of exposure to the facts there is no longer ignorance through lack of information or intelligence. It is through disinclination to accept the spiritual truths taught by Paul.
1 Corinthians 12:2,3:
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
The ekklesia was unaccustomed to vocal expressions of ...man speaking by the Spirit of God ... for proper spiritual guidance. Paul offers assurance against being comparably ...carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. The criterion is established to recognize Holy Spirit inspired utterance. It is as timely today as when Paul wrote it.
Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 12:4:
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
Diversities diairesis, is literally, to take apart. It signifies to divide into separate parts and distribute. It is translated diversities here and in verse 6, and differences in verse 5. In verse 11 dividing is diaireo, same meaning. Gifts charisma, here and in verses 9,28,30 and 31 show spiritual endowments manifested, by Gods grace. This is through individual believers by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit, as disclosed in verses 7 through 11, are separated and distributed by Him as He wills. In Hebrews 2:4 the word for gifts is merismos, a separation or distribution. It should read and distributions of the Holy Ghost referring to His gifts, but not explicitly stating the word gift. These manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and of Joel 2:28,29 are given by the Holy Spirit. They have been called the descension gifts, i.e., after Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit descended and distributed His gifts.
Servants Of Jesus
1 Corinthians 12:5:
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
Administrations diakonia, refers to the work of a servant, attendant, minister or deacon. Here it refers to the ascension gifts stated in Ephesians 4:11. These are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors (shepherds) and teachers.
The word office in scripture always means individual performance of servanthood. It is not institutionalized position of sovereignty. It is action, not attitude, and function, not form. Pharaohs chief butler (cupbearer) was ... restored unto mine office ... the office of serving Pharaoh as cupbearer, (Genesis 41:13). The office of a midwife (Exodus 1:16) and the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest (Numbers 4:16) speak of servanthood. The office of the musicians for the house of the Lord (1 Chronicles 6:32) and the Levites office of waiting on the sons of Aaron (1 Chronicles 23:28) also refer to servanthood. ...their offices in their service (1 Chronicles 24:3), And the priests waited on their offices (posts) ... (2 Chronicles 7:6), ...the offices of the house of the Lord ... (2 Chronicles 23:18) continue to speak of service. The office spoken of in Nehemiah 13:14 means a guard, the man, the post or the prison. In Psalms 109:8, reference is to servanthood. Peter, in Acts 1:20 refers to this office as bishoprick episkope, literally an overseer. In 2 Chronicles 24:11 ...the kings office ... refers to a place (where the king visits).
Many other uses of the word office in the Old Testament are not in the original. The King James translators inserted them. The priests office (Luke 1:8,9; Hebrews 7:5), refers to priestly service. In 1 Timothy 3:1 the word office is not in the original, and literally reads if anyone seeks overseership. There is no such thing as the office of a bishop. The word shows the character of the work undertaken. 1 Timothy 3:10 and 13, refers to the office of a deacon. It would be better translated let them serve as deacons and have served as deacons. Deacon is diakoneo, meaning to serve. Deacons are to be likewise as the overseers (bishops) in qualifications (verse 8). They are subordinates, or helpers of the overseers (Philippians 1:1).
The seven deacons of Acts, chapter 6, were not called specifically by that name. However, they displayed the characteristics of their functions. These encompass a variety of ministries, as discussed later. In Romans 11:13 office is diakonia, a ministry. In Romans 12:4 office is praxis, meaning practice, an act, and denotes a function.
Wherever office and bishop appear, we must interpret them in the light of their true biblical meaning. We must discard the traditions of men.
Propriety of servanthood is established in scripture. We become great by our servanthood, not by exalting ourselves in some alleged office. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant (Matthew 23:11; see also Matthew 18:1-4; Luke 9:46-48).
In Ephesians 4:8, gifts doma, emphasizes the specific qualities and characteristics of a gift. This is contrasted to the fact that it is a present freely given. The influence of the qualities and characteristics of the gift are implied or stated. It is used in describing the gift of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). His influence is clearly and amply described in the Bible. The influence of the doma ascension gifts are explained in Ephesians 4:12-16. The Holy Spirit is also a dorea gift (Acts 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17; Hebrews 6:4). A dorea gift is a supernatural gift emphasizing that it is a present freely given. There is no persuasion, reasoning or a cause.
1 Corinthians 12:6:
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
Effects Of God In The Saints
Operations energema, here, is the effect produced by the active, operative, inworking energy of God in individuals. It is translated in verse 10 as working. Worketh in this verse and in verse 11 is energeo, literally to work in. These effects are discussed in verses 12 through 31 of 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, and in Ephesians 4:7-16.
All Things Work Together For Good
Verse 4 tells us of the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He separates and distributes them to each member of the body (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Hebrews 2:4; Joel 2:28,29). Verse 5 informs us of the ascension gifts given by the Lord Jesus in Ephesians 4:11. Verse 6 outlines how God works in all individuals to produce His desired effect from all gifts given by Jesus. This includes those distributed by the Holy Spirit (verses 4,11) and activated and energized by the Holy Spirit (verse 11). This includes all members of the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and Ephesians 4:7-16). Other individual gifts of Gods compassion, i.e., grace and mercy are recorded in Romans 12:3-8.
1 Corinthians chapters 11-14 provides an orderly system for corporate use of the manifestation of Holy Spirit gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 lists individual gifts within the body which provide the supernatural skills for the local ekklesia. Ephesians 4:7-16 discusses the gift of the five-fold ministry, which provides the servant/leader structure for the local ekklesia. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Ephesians 4:7-16 and Romans 12:3-8 describe the individuals service they are to perform within the local ekklesia. The sacrifice, surrender, and servanthood of Godly spiritual headship is textually, tactfully and thematically underscored.
1 Corinthians 12:7:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Holy Spirit Manifested
Manifestation phanerosis, is from a root meaning to render apparent, meaning exhibition. It suggests not mere appearance, but a disclosure of true character. Given didomi (also verse 8), is to give freely. The phrase every man hekastos means each. Profit withal pros sumpheron, is literally, toward the profiting. It means to contribute, to be an advantage, expedient (not merely convenient). It is useful for effecting a desired result.
The apparent and exhibited manifestation of the true character of the Holy Spirit is freely given to each individual. This is to contribute advantageously and expediently to, and effect a desired result (1 Peter 4:7-11).
In dynamic operation, all of the supernatural manifestations of Gods gifts are not easily categorized, as they are here. They may function at the same time, one after the other, in varying degrees of power or in any combination. Its not always easy to decide how, when or why God is manifesting His gifts. Also for whom or for what sovereign purpose(s) (Deuteronomy 29:29). We classify them here only for identification.
The Corporate Use Of Gifts
The purposes of the gifts are presented as clearly as possible. However it must be remembered that a constantly literal expectation of manifestation as herein described is not always scriptural.
The Bible tells us that John the Baptist would go before Jesus in the spirit and power of Elias, (Elijah). His purpose was to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:17see also Matthew 11:11,14; 17:10-13; Mark 9:13; Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 4:5). Jesus said ...there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist ... (Luke 7:24-28; Matthew 11:7-15). (The word prophet is not in the original). Yet John the Baptist ...did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man (Jesus) were true (John 10:41). Keeping this in mind, the spirit and power of the gift must always be kept in mind.
1 Corinthians, 12:8:
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
Word is logos, which is thought expressed in speech. Sometimes it is a title of the Son of God. Wisdom sophia, is wise. It denotes practical skill or quickness of perception. It is keenness of mind or discernment; insight, hence, wisdom.
The sequence of the gifts listed in this passage are not without significance. We will detail this in the material following.
In mans experience, normally his educational process follows a sequential track. First facts exist independently of opinion, conjecture or theory. They represent the state of things in physical and spiritual reality. Learning is exposure to facts and retaining them in memory. Knowledge is retention of learned facts. Understanding is determining the meaning of facts. Wisdom is the ability to generate cause and effect from knowledge and understanding of facts. We can see that, in the natural, knowledge comes first, then wisdom. However in the listing of the gifts Paul lists a word of wisdom first, followed by a word of knowledge. This immediately alerts us to the fact that there is here a tacit understanding of a spiritual truth.
James in chapter 3, starting at verse 13 contrasts the wisdom from above (Godly wisdom) with earthly wisdom. Reading through to verse 18 we see that Godly wisdom results in righteousness. Proverbs 11:18,19 brings out the fact that righteousness brings life and unrighteousness brings death.
Godly wisdom brings righteousness and life. Earthly wisdom brings unrighteousness and death. This is the tacit spiritual truth that Paul is emphasizing by listing a word of wisdom first in his listed sequence of spiritual gifts.
If we lack wisdom, James 1:5 tells us to pray for wisdom.
We can see from this that a need for righteousness, to bring life, is a necessary prerequisite for operating in the gifts. Those whose lifestyle is not biblically righteous will come to us to minister with earthly wisdom and will bring unrighteousness and death to us.
Those who minister to us and those who minister must have this wisdom operative in their life, manifested by righteousness and bringing the fruit of life. They will have Godly practical skill, quickness of perception, keenness of mind, discernment and insight into the righteousness of God and will minister in a fullness of the Holy Spirit of God that those who do not have this gift cannot possibly attain to.
You must responsibly determine the lifestyle of those who minister to you. And you must responsibly follow Jesus in every way possible in thinking as He thought, speaking as He spoke and doing what He did. His ministry was the Father, and He did only what the Father told Him to do, and what the Father told him to say, and where the Father told Him to go. He was constantly attuned to the wisdom of the Father. As a disciple of Christ, that is also your responsibility.
Knowledge gnosis, is a seeking to know, inquiry, investigation. It denotes knowledge, especially of spiritual truth. Related to ginosko, it signifies to be taking in knowledge, to come to know, recognize, or understand. Inception or progress in knowledge is suggested, in contrast to fullness of knowledge. It also implies an active relation between the one who knows and the person or thing known. This is in contrast with simply coming within the scope of the knowers perception.
1 Corinthians, 12:9:
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
Faith pistis, is from a root, to convince. It means credence by firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing. Healing iama, a healing, is the result of the act. It is in the plural here and in verses 28 and 30 (healings).
1 Corinthians 12:10:
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:
Miracles dunamis, is ability, might and strength, hence force. It specifically means miraculous power of supernatural origin and character. Prophecy propheteia, is from a root meaning a foreteller. By analogy it means an inspired speaker, by extension a poet. Its from pro forth and phemi to speak. It signifies to speak forth the mind and counsel of God in forth-and fore-telling. This is in reference to the past, present and prediction of the future which God supernaturally reveals to man.
Discerning diakrisis, is distinguishing, a decision, judicial estimation. Here it means to judge thoroughly by clear discrimination of spirits as evil, human, or Godly. Kinds genos, kin, is from ginomai, to cause to be, to become, come into being. Here it denotes a family, offspring, or a kind, sort or class. It would probably be better translated as kindred showing they are related by common Holy Spirit origin. Divers in this verse is italicized, indicating it is not in the original, and is in fact, superfluous.
In verse 28 in the phrase diversities of tongues, diversities is the same word, genos, and the meaning of the phrase is the same as in verse 10. Genos is used again with the same meaning in 1 Corinthians 14:10 and translated as kinds. Tongues glossa, the organ of speech, here refers specifically to the supernatural gift of speaking a language without learning it. Interpretation hermeneia (also 14:26) is the noun for the verb hermeneuo which means to explain or interpret (English, hermeneutics). It is used of explaining the meaning of words in a different language. Diermeneuo, the intensive form of hermeneuo signifies to explain fully and is used in 1 Corinthians 12:30 and 14:5,13,27.
The word one in verse 8 is hos and here signifies the one in contrast with another. In verses 8 through 10 the word another is used frequently. It is significant that two different words are used. In verse 8 another is allos, which expresses a numerical difference of objects of similar character. It denotes another of the same kind.
Paul is saying that to one, contrasted with another, is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom. To another of the same kind, but denoting a numerical difference, the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit.
This indicates that the manifestation of the word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge are given to different people (numerically). They would be of the same kind, or sort. And they would be alike or agreeable in their character, type or nature.
To another (heteros) faith by the same Spirit; to another (allos) the gifts of healing by the same Spirit (verse 9). Heteros expresses a qualitative difference of objects different in character. It denotes another of a different kind.
Paul is now saying that to another of a different kind, denoting a qualitative difference, the manifestation of faith is given. To another of the same kind (to whom the faith was given) but denoting a numerical difference, is given gifts of healings.
To another (allos) the working of miracles; to another (allos) prophecy; to another (allos) discerning of spirits; ... (Verse 10).
The separation and distribution of the Holy Spirit gifts appear to develop a pattern of groups. Words of wisdom and knowledge seem to go together. Faith, healings, miracles, prophecy and discerning of spirits are grouped.
Continuing in verse 10: ...to another (heteros) divers kinds of tongues; to another (allos) the interpretation of tongues: Now tongues and interpretation of tongues are grouped.
We have the manifestation of the gifts of:
Wisdom and Knowledge (grouped in pairs)
Faith, Healings, Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of spirits (grouped)
Tongues and Interpretation of tongues (grouped in pairs)
There are three groups of nine manifestations of Holy Spirit gifts. Words of wisdom and knowledge are paired. Tongues and interpretation of tongues are paired. The manifestation of the gift of a word of wisdom must be accompanied by a word of knowledge. Wisdom sophia, as noted, suggests practicality. When the word of wisdom is manifested, it is of a Godly practical nature. The word of knowledge implies a relation between the knower and the thing or person known. It identifies where that practical wisdom is to be applied.
The word of wisdom unaccompanied by a word of knowledge defeats the full revelational purpose of the utterance. A word of knowledge spoken without a word of wisdom fails to correctly apply practical righteous, i.e., Godly, wisdom to the situation.
The scriptural precedents Paul sets here indicate different individuals manifesting the gifts together. This contributes to, and effects, a desired result. Another individual may be reluctant to speak out the manifestation of a word of wisdom or knowledge. The Holy Spirit will then use the original individual to manifest both to effect a desired result.
In pairing tongues and interpretation we find the scriptural exhortation Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret (1 Corinthians 14:13). Why? ...that the church may receive edifying (1 Corinthians 14:5). Also that ye may excel to the edifying of the church (1 Corinthians 14:12). This effects the desired result.
Individuals may operate in the manifestation of the gifts of faith, healings, miracles, prophecy or discerning of spirits independently of each other. There seems to be scriptural interdependence of the paired gifts to fully effect Gods desired results.
Diversities Of Gifts
A study of definitions of the manifested gifts of the Holy Spirit in the corporate function in home ekklesias reveals their attributes. The following observations to bring perfection to the saints may be made:
To give individual and corporate:
(1) Correction (conformity to a just standard by discipline. It removes errors and adds truth to bring us to a state of goodness):
The practicality of wisdom. (Answers the question what?)
The progression and placement of knowledge. (Answers the question where?) (But not always who, when, how or why)
(2) Direction (a necessary activity or attitude. It turns our attention to an immediately desired goal or effect to give us guidance.)
The permanency of faith. (Our starting point an anchor Hebrews 6:12-20; chapters 11,12)
The plurality of healings. (Encompasses all directions within the physical body and also soul and spirit)
The power of miracles. (The cause of the effects Gods power is the cause of the miracles)
The proclamation of prophecy. (Keeps us on a Godly course. It proclaims the mind and counsel of God to man)
The presence of evil, human or Godly, discerned spirits. (Keeps us tuned in to our Godly source of direction and guidance. Alerts us to interference with that source.)
(3) Affection (requires desire, response and activity. It causes us to appreciate, delight in, and crave the presence of another. Causes us to please and promote their welfare. This brings glory to God):
The personal use of tongues.
The public use and interpretation of pronouncements of Gods greatness, magnificent works, and mysteries, spoken in tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:11:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
But alla, means on the contrary. Worketh is energeo, literally, to work in, meaning to be active and operative. ... that one and the selfsame Spirit, ... is emphatic. Dividing is diaireo, separating and distributing. Severally idios, means about self, i.e., ones own. Will boulomai, strongly expresses the deliberate exercise of volition.
Gods Holy Spirit, and He alone, has deliberately chosen to activate and make operative the manifestation of the gift He distributes to each individual. This is the essence of divine sovereignty. We must respond to Him by simple acceptance to attain Gods desired results (verse 6) for His corporate body, the ekklesia. This is the essence of human responsibility.
Tongues And Pentecost
Scriptural precedents, provisions, and purposes for tongues are investigated.
The purpose of tongues is determined by examining scriptural precedents for the purpose of Pentecost.
Mans Efforts To Replace God
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (Genesis 11:4). Up until this time And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech (Genesis 11:1). But man wanted a religion, i.e., godliness, without God and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven. He wanted a reputation, i.e., renown, without God and let us make us a name. He wanted a relationship, societal unity, without God lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. God saw the city and the tower in verse 5 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do (verse 6).
In verses 7 and 8 of Genesis 11 God confounded their language and scattered them abroad from thence. Man has continually attempted to resurrect his own religion (godliness), reputation (renown), and relationship (societal unity), without God, ever since.
Gods Eternal Plan
In Genesis 2:7 God (Father) breathed naphach, to puff, literally, to inflate, the breath neshamah, a puff, i.e., wind, of life chay, into Adam. Genesis 6:17 and 7:15 mention the breath ruwach, breath, wind or spirit, of life. In John 20:22, Jesus (Son) breathed emphusao, to breathe into, from em, in and phusao, to puff, from a root phusa, bellows, on His disciples.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place (Acts 2:1). They autos here meaning the same refers to the 120 assembled there. All is hapas, absolutely all, with sun, together (denotes union). One accord homothumadon, is literally same mind. The verse emphasizes their unity of mind, not the fact they were assembled in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting (Acts 2:2). Sound is echo, a loud noise, rushing phero, means to bear or carry. Mighty biaios, denotes violent, and wind pnoe, is literally a blowing, i.e., a blast. The phrase a rushing mighty wind is more literally a sustained violent blowing of wind (the sound, echo, only, not a physically felt wind). Verse 4 tells us And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
In Genesis 2:7 the Father breathed life into the first man Adam, a type of the ekklesia. In John 20:22 the Son breathed life into His disciples, who were to lead the ekklesia. Here, at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit breathed life into the first apostles and disciples. The commonality of the words used to express this thought all indicate forceful, even violent, breath or wind.
This God-breathed force is Gods provision for religion. This is a Godly religion, with the animating and life-giving force of God in it.
Genesis 3:24 reads: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Keep is shamar, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e., observe, guard. Its the same word used in Genesis 2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. The word dress is abad, to serve, labor, or work and is used in Genesis 2:5 (till) and 3:23 (till). Genesis 2:5 states there was not a man to till (abad) the ground. In Genesis 2:15 God put man into the Garden of Eden to keep (abad) it. In Genesis 3:23, man is put out of the Garden, but is to continue to till (abad) the ground.
God placed shakan, meaning to reside or permanently stay, i.e., tabernacle, settle down, Cherubims in the Garden. They were to keep, i.e., guard and observe it in Genesis 3:24. Mans duty to keep the Garden has been reassigned to the Cherubims, who now reside there. However, the duty of man to serve and labor for God has not been assumed by them. This is mans destiny until we again resume residency in Gods provided place of delight. A covenant sign of this is the flaming sword. It turns every way to keep the way derek, a trodden path. It is used here figuratively as a course of life, of the tree of life.
In Genesis 15:17 other covenant signs are given: And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. Smoking is ashan, smoke, furnace tannur, is a fire-pot. Burning esh, is fire (translated in several other translations in Isaiah 5:24 as tongues of fire). Lamp lappi(y)d, means a torch or flame.
Again, the theme is fire, the smoking furnace (fire-pot) a covenant representation of the veiled glory of God the Father. The burning lamp (torch) is a covenant representation of the revealed presence of Jesus Christ, His Son.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them (Acts 2:3). Cloven is diamerizo, literally in distribution, to divide thoroughly, i.e., distributed. Tongues is glossa, the tongue, the human organ of speech singular, they saw only one tongue. Likehosei, means as if, as hos; fire pur meaning as factual (in resemblance) as fire. They saw one tongue, with a fiery resemblance, which was divided, or distributed. It autos here, means the same. Sat is kathizo, to sit down, figuratively to settle or hover. Upon is epi, superimposition, over, upon. Them autos, means the same.
The literal tongue they saw in this instance represented a language. It originated from a single source, but was divided among them.
Fire, as a covenant symbol, attracts attention. It causes sensory response and is communicable. In this regard it may be compared to Gods love. Fire is untouchable, unapproachable, and in intensity, unviewable Gods holiness. It has great molecular energy and activity Gods power. Fire heats, cooks, illuminates, protects, and is a source of secondary power Gods provisions. It consumes, destroys, and changes Gods judgment. Fire melts, hardens, and refines Gods sovereignty. It purifies by burning Gods purity.
This literal tongue symbolized a language and blazed with the covenant sign of fire. It is Gods provision for mans opportunity for reputation and renown as His covenant people.
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2). Tongues, then, is a Holy Spirit language that God understands. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches (ekklesias) of the saints (1 Corinthians 14:33). The purpose of tongues is not confusion as at the tower of Babel. It is to bring the ekklesia into the possibility of unity, by one Spirit language, with many different vocabularies.
Tongues are Gods provision for societal unity within the ekklesia. This restores Spirit-filled believers to one common (spiritual) language.
A Token Of The Covenant
The flaming sword of Genesis 3:24 represents the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). The flaming torch of Genesis 15:17 represents the Living Word of God (John 1:14; Revelation 1:16). The flaming tongue of Acts 2:3 represents the words of one Godly language with kindred utterances.
The covenant sign of the fiery traits of God was combined with representations of various forms of the Word of God. This gives us scriptural and factual assurance that God has restored to humanity His provisions for godliness, renown, and societal unity. For His ekklesia to be willingly ignorant, declining Gods provisions, is to reject the divine will, plan and purpose for our lives. It is the essence of human irresponsibility displaying ignorance by reliance upon human wisdom.
In Genesis 17:9-14 God initiated circumcision ... and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you (verse 11 Acts 7:8). And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin (Genesis 17:24). Human wisdom surely cries out that circumcision is silly, senseless, unnecessary, and humiliating. If we lived in Abrahams day, there would be some religious circles looking for loopholes in Gods statement. They would attempt to rationalize circumcision as having passed away and protest that love is a more excellent way. But God said And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant (Genesis 17:14).
We are no longer under the law but under grace. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:28,29). Gods covenant symbol is freely available for every child of God and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, ... (Romans 2:29). For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, ... (Philippians 3:3). ... putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: ... (Colossians 2:11). No male of Abrahams house dared refuse the command of circumcision and break covenant with God (Genesis 17:23). How dare we, the ekklesia of God, stand against the token of the covenant betwixt God and us?
In 1 Corinthians 14:2 Paul makes a statement that is an apparent contradiction to scriptural facts recorded in Acts. In Acts, chapter 2, at least 15 different languages were spoken and understood, but Paul says no man understands tongues. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
Men anthropos, is a human being, here, signifying mankind. But alla, means contrarywise, i.e., on the contrary. For gar (connects with a reason), no man oudeis, not even one, i.e., nobody, understandeth akouo. This word means to hear. It is used here in the sense of hearing what is spoken without the ability to grasp the meaning.
Paul then goes on to say that in the spirit he speaketh mysteries musterion. This is a secret through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites, and is known only to the initiated. In the New Testament mysteries is not a secret but is divinely revealed dispensational spiritual truths of stewardship of the kingdom of God. The entire second chapter of 1 Corinthians explains the mysteries and Holy Spirit revelation (see also Colossians 1:25-29; 1 Timothy 3:9; Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:4-8; Isaiah 42:1-9; 49:6; Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 2:1-4; 61:5-6; Micah 4:1-5; Malachi 1:11).
The word for dispensation in the New Testament is oikonomia (English, economy) meaning a house-distributor, i.e., manager, or overseer. It primarily signifies the management of household affairs. Vines Expository Dictionary tells us: Note: A dispensation is not a period or epoch (a common, but erroneous, use of the word), but a mode of dealing, an arrangement or administration of affairs. Cp. Oikonomos, a steward, and oikonomeo, to be a steward.
And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand (Luke 8:9,10 see also Matthew 13:10-17,34,35; Mark 4:10-12,33,34). But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). Unto us, the ekklesia, is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. The ungodly, seeing, might not see, and hearing, they might not understand.
There are implications associated with this spiritual impediment. A curse (Deuteronomy 28:49); rebellion (Isaiah 6:9,10; 28:11,12; Ezekiel 12:2); judgment (Jeremiah 5:21); hard hearts (Mark 8:17,18), and ungodly lusts and sensuality (Jude 17-21).
The Godly And Ungodly
Acts 2:5-12 tell us of the devout men eulabes, devoted to God. They heard and understood the spoken tongues (verse 5). Every hekastos, each, every, man heis, meaning one, heard them speak in his own language dialektos. This means discourse, denoting the known language or dialect of a country or district (verse 6). In verse 7 one is allos, expressing a numerical difference of objects of similar character. It denotes another of the same kind. And to another is allelon, plural of allos. In verse 12 one to another is allos pros allon.
In verse 13, however Others is (heteros) expressing a qualitative difference of objects different in character. It denotes another of a different kind. They mocking said, these men are full of new wine. There are two different groups of men represented here: the godly and the ungodly. The godly men heard and understood the spoken tongues in their own dialect. The ungodly heard only a drunken babble.
... we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11). The wonderful works megaleios, are magnificent works, or great deeds. What this godly group of men heard were the disciples praising the greatness of Gods works. According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:2, they were not speaking unto men, but unto God. God, in His sovereignty, allowed these men to scripturally verify what Paul was to later say.
... they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God ... in Acts 10:46. Magnify megaluno, means to make or declare great. Those who came with Peter understood the tongues in this instance.
It is an objective truth of the Bible that men have understood spoken tongues in their own dialects. It has been subjectively experienced in current societies. In Acts 19:6 ... they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
The Purpose Of Tongues
1 Corinthians 14:2 states that tongues is speaking unto God (also 14:28), and speaking mysteries. Verse 4 says the tongues speaker edifies himself. In verse 5 Paul makes it clear that prophesy in home ekklesia meetings is preferable to tongues (except if interpreted). This is in order that the ekklesia may receive corporate edification. In verse 22, tongues are a sign for them that believe not, and in verse 39 Paul admonishes us to covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
Summing up, the purpose of tongues is to:
(1) Gods covenant symbol for:
(a) A religion (Godly provision for eternal life with Him in His place of delight, wherein is the tree of life)
(b) A reputation (Godly provision for renown as His covenant people)
(c) A relationship (Gods provision for societal unity within His church)
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; (mans religion) and let us make us a name, (mans reputation) lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (mans relationship) (Genesis 11:4).
(d) A reminder for redeemed mankind to exercise as often as desired as a memorial of Gods loving provisions
(1) Unto God, and to the speaker for personal edification (1 Corinthians 14:2,4,28)
(2) The magnificent works, the great deeds of God (Acts 2:11)
(3) The greatness of God (Acts 10:46)
(1 Chronicles 16:7-22 Psalm 105:1-15;
1 Chronicles 16:23-33 Psalm 96;
1 Chronicles 16:34-36)
(4) Mysteries, i.e., Divinely revealed spiritual truths of stewardship of the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 14:2)
(1) Edification, i.e., spiritual growth and character development:
(a) Individually (1 Corinthians 14:4,28; Romans 8:26; Jude 20)
(b) Corporately, when interpreted, i.e., explained (1 Corinthians 14:5)
(2) Intercession for the saints (Romans 8:27; Ephesians 6:18)
(1) As a sign to them that believe not (1 Corinthians 14:22)
(E) Prioritize preeminence:
(1) Covet to prophesy, for the edification of the church, and forbid not to speak with tongues, with interpretation, i.e., explanation, in the church (1 Corinthians 14:1,4,5,12,19, 31,39)
Prophets and the gift of prophecy as Gods method for speaking His mind and counsel to mankind are discussed.
Prophecy propheteia, as already mentioned, is, literally, to speak forth. Its from a root meaning a foreteller, by analogy, an inspired speaker, by extension, a poet. In Matthew 15:7 and Mark 7:6 Jesus referred to the prophet Isaiah using prophesy or prophesied. In Matthew 12:39; 16:4 and Luke 11:29 He referred to the prophet Jonah. In Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 He referred to the prophet Daniel. Jesus used the above word, or one related to it every time. This is the same New Testament word used in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 to refer to a prophet, or prophecy.
Others refer to Jeremiah in Matthew 2:17; 27:9; Isaiah in Matthew 3:3; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; Luke 3:4; 4:17; John 1:23; 12:38; Acts 8:28,30; 28:25. This is the same or related word. It is used in reference to Samuel in Acts 3:24; 13:20; and Joel in Acts 2:16. New Testament writers did not differentiate between Old and New Testament prophets, applying the Greek term to the ministries of both.
We are not to conclude, however, that there is no distinction between the Old and New Testament prophets, and of the gift of prophecy. They differ in priority, power and purpose. A common denominator linking prophecy is speaking forth the mind and counsel of God.
Old Testament prophets were:
(1) prepared by maturity
(2) proclaimed the true and living God manifesting in history
(3) prepared humanity for the coming(s) of the Messiah
(4) exercised supernatural power over death, disease and nature
(5) anointed leaders and gave political and personal guidance, instruction and correction
(6) proclaimed divine revelation of current events (forth-tellers)
(7) predicted future happenings (fore-tellers).
God established Old Testament prophets to play a prominent role in declaring fundamentals of the kingdom of God and to proclaim repentance, righteousness and restoration.
Old Testament prophets proclaimed the law until John the Baptist. Then Jesus, and His ministry of grace, began a new era of the administration of the kingdom of God. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John (Matthew 11:13; see also Luke 16:16). John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:15-17). I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (Galatians 1:6). ... for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14b). For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9). Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).
Jesus had spoken of the ministry of the Old Testament prophets: But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them (Matthew 13:16,17).
The Apostle Peter expands on this thought: Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; ... (1 Peter 1:10-12).
The Apostle Paul confirmed the witness: But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (Romans 3:21-24).
The manifestation of the secret of the mystery attested to by the Old Testament prophets establishes the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His grace: Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen (Romans 16:25-27).
Jesus fulfilled the law (and Old Testament prophets) (Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44). Refer to Daniel 9:24 and the six prophetical promises fulfilled by Jesus. The word vision used here means the method and the message of prophecy. Prophecy means a prophet. ... seal up the vision and prophecy ... means to close up the method and message of prophecy, and the prophet. This brought the Law and the Old Testament prophets to an end, to be fulfilled in Jesus ... and to anoint the most Holy. The doma gift of the New Testament prophets is an ascension gift of the ministry of Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 13:57; 21:11,46; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24; 7:16; John 7:40; Ephesians 4:7-11). As such, it has no basis in law, but in grace.
New Testament prophets (including todays ekklesia) were given a prophetical portion of the personal ministry of Jesus as an ascension gift. They are to continue to proclaim repentance, righteousness and restoration. They are anointed (equipped, enabled and empowered) in a way corresponding to Jesus ministry of teaching repentance, preaching righteousness, and healing for restoration (Matthew 4:23; 9:35).
The effects of the spirit and power of the prophetic are revealed in scripture. In Luke, chapter 1 an angel speaking to Zacharias about the birth of his son (John the Baptist), says in verses 16 and 17: And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. The angel seems to be rephrasing Malachi, chapter 4, verses 5 and 6: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Notice how the Holy Spirit (author of the verses) adds to the meaning of the Old Testament verses in Luke. He adds And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. As part of the prophetic movement, which will also herald the coming of Jesus, one of the effects will be to turn (restore) the Jewish people to their Messiah Jesus Christ.
Superimposing a portion of Luke 1:17 over a portion of Malachi 4:5 produces an expanded meaning of that part of the Old Testament verse: ... turn the heart(s) of the fathers to the children, and the (disobedient) heart of the children to the(ir) wisdom of the just fathers, (to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.)
Restoration of spiritual headship of fathers (husbands) will provide them wisdom to be just and change (turn) the hearts of the disobedient children. This is to make ready a people (fathers and children) prepared for the (coming of) the Lord. With proper spiritual headship, all members of a family will walk in the fullness of the knowledge and gifts of God.
In Matthew 17:10-13 (see also Mark 9:11-13) we read: And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
In the same way the prophetic, in the spirit and power of Elias (Elijah) will first come, and restore all things. The word restore is a key to the purpose of the prophetic.
Subjective experience of prophets and their ministry by todays institutional church does not negate their scriptural role as objectively stated in the Bible. Prophets will continue to teach repentance and preach righteousness to bring healing of body, soul and spirit to individuals so they may be restored back to their Creator.
Abiding of Holy Spirit, Father and Son
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (John 14:15-17).
If a believer loves Jesus and keeps His commandments Jesus will pray the Father and He shall send the Holy Spirit to abide (live in) the believer.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him (John 14:18-21).
Again we see that he that has the commandments of Jesus and keeps them, is the one that loves Jesus. And because of this love and obedience that person shall be loved of the Father. And Jesus will love him and manifest Himself to the person.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (John 14:22).
The disciple asks how Jesus will manifest Himself to those who love Him and are obeying His commands.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (John 14:23).
So we see from this dialogue that Jesus will first send His Holy Spirit to those who love and obey Him.
Because of this love and obedience that person shall be loved of the Father. Jesus will love him and manifest Himself to the person.
Still stressing love for Jesus, and obedience to His commands, Jesus says: If a man love me, he will keep my words:
Continuing to stress the love of the Father for the believer, He says: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
The believer has received the Holy Spirit. Continuing to love Jesus and obey His commands, the Father will love the believer, and then the Father and Jesus will come unto him, and live with him.
Applying this to the prophetic, there appear to be three levels of prophecy. (Also two levels of teachers).
1. The Holy Spirit charisma descension gift of prophecy (the Holy Spirit).
2. The compassion, i.e., grace and mercy charisma gift of prophecy (the Father).
3. The doma ascension gift of prophecy (Jesus).
The Holy Spirit Gift Of Prophecy
The manifestation of the charisma descension gift of prophecy is given to all Holy Spirit filled believers (the body). It is a gift for the body, regardless of maturity.
The Compassion Gift of Prophecy
The compassion gift of prophecy, also a charisma gift, but springing from the compassion of God, i.e., His grace and mercy. (Which would ascribe a different motive for prophetical utterance). This would come with more maturity in the Lord.
The Doma Ascension Gift of Prophecy
The doma ascension gift of prophecy carries with it a higher level of biblical authority and corresponding greater responsibility and encompasses the other two. It takes many years for God to develop a man or woman to this level, with considerable training in different areas. We are not going to study this training as it is a lengthy subject.
An additional thought will be added here, but not fully developed.
There is support for a concept known as triune sanctification. It suggests that time and circumstances are necessary to bring about a full sanctification of a believer. Their body is sanctified immediately; however it takes time and maturity to come to a full sanctification of ones soul (mind, emotions and will). And then also ones spirit. This concept has merit, however, we are not going to develop it here.
It is introduced here for the sole purpose of further categorizing the prophetic levels. If this concept is correct, then it is possible to have a Holy Spirit charisma descension gift of prophecy on three different levels. A Spirit-filled believer may be on level one of triune sanctification, another on level two and yet another on level three. This may hold true for all three levels of prophecy. It would seem that the doma ascension gift of prophecy would require a high level of personal sanctification. However, this may not necessarily be true.
These are spiritual possibilities that may or may not be true. It is brought up solely for its consideration as a matter of personal belief.
The Purpose Of Prophecy
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3). Paul is speaking of the orderly flow of the exercise of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit gift of prophecy.
Edification oikodome, is literally the things of building up. Exhortation paraklesis, is a calling to ones side. It is an invitation to encourage one to a course of action. It comforts, relieves, and eases grief, loneliness, discomfort, etc. Comfort paramuthia, (para, near, muthos, speech), signifies speaking closely (to someone). It denotes comforting with a greater degree of tenderness than paraklesis. It stresses the process or progress of the act of comforting.
... but he that prophesieth edifieth the church (1 Corinthians 14:4). ... but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1 Corinthians 14:22). Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace (1 Corinthians 14:29,30).
Revealed apokalupto, here, is to unveil the mind of God for His ekklesia. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted (1 Corinthians 14:31). Learn manthano, is to increase knowledge, frequently by inquiry, observation, use and practice. Comforted parakaleois the verb form of paraklesis, translated in 1 Corinthians 14:3 as exhortation.
There is a teaching prophecy is for confirmation only. This teaching states a prophetical word must confirm something God has already revealed to you. If not it is not a true word of the Lord. Analysis of scripture fails to prove this teaching. In fact, it reveals the opposite. The first Messianic prophecy given by God to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15) did not confirm something they already knew. Jacobs prophecies to his sons (Genesis 49) were a new revelation and confirmed nothing for them. All the prophets including Jesus spoke forth the mind and counsel of God. They spoke of things foreordained from before the foundations of the world. They didnt wait for someone else to speak it first so they could confirm it.
Yes, a mature prophet may speak out that which is new to you (but not to God) as a timely word for you. It may be a revelation that is days, or years away, and, it may have conditions attached to it.
Beware, however, of false prophets you shall know them by their fruits (false doctrine, teaching and utterances Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20-22; 1 Peter 1:3-7) (Matthew 7:15-20; 24:11; Mark 13:22). Diligently seek God for the manifestation of the gifts of a word of wisdom and knowledge and discerning of spirits. Then you may, among other things, truly discern if a prophetical word spoken is from the Holy Spirit, a human spirit, or an evil (familiar) spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8,10; 1 John 4:1).
In summary, the purpose of prophecy is to:
(1) A way for man to speak forth the mind and counsel of God for:
(a) Repentance to be taught,
(b) Righteousness to be preached and,
(c) Restoration, to heal (Matthew 4:34; 9:35), ... for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (King James Version) (Revelation 19:10.) In the Amplified Bible it reads: Then I fell prostrate at his feet to worshipto pay divine honorsto him, but he [restrained me] and said, Refrain!You must not do that! I am [only] another servant with you and your brethren who have [accepted and hold] the testimony borne by Jesus. Worship God! For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecythe vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching and interpretation of the divine will and purpose [including both mine and yours].)
(2) A way for the priorities, the present-day utility of Gods power, and contemporary purposes to be communicated to man as history progresses (Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.; Hebrews 1:1,2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
Note: Those items are manifested in greater power and permanency in the doma, ascension gift of the prophet than in the charisma gifts of prophecy.
(B) Profess, or declare:
(1) Unto men (1 Corinthians 14:3)
(2) Exhortation an appeal, encouraging a course of action. It also comforts, relieves, and eases grief, loneliness, etc. (1 Corinthians 14:3)
(3) Comfort comforting with greater tenderness than exhortation. It stresses the process or progress of comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3)
(4) Revelation unveiling the mind of God, to the mind or senses of man, for His church (1 Corinthians 14:30)
(1) Edification spiritual growth and character development:
(a) Individually (Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.; 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do., 19-21 Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.)
(b) Corporately (1 Corinthians 14:3,4)
(2) Learning increasing knowledge by inquiry, observation and use
(a) Individually (1 Corinthians 14:31)
(b) Corporately (1 Corinthians 14:31)
(3) Comfort (verb usage of exhortation) (1 Corinthians 14:31)
(D) Prove, or demonstrate:
(1) A sign for believers (1 Corinthians 14:22)
(1) Covet to prophesy, for the edification of the church, and forbid not to speak with tongues, with interpretation, i.e., explanation, in the church (1 Corinthians 14:1,4,5,12, 19,31,39).
One Spirit, One Body, One Head
Analyzes how bodily unity in diversity is accomplished by the sovereign power of God when we demonstrate love, establish order, prove our service and focus on Jesus, our spiritual head and giver of the five-fold ministry gifts, as we exercise the spiritual gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit.
God Works All In All
1 Corinthians 12:12:
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
For is gar (connects with a reason) as is hos, meaning in that manner. One is heis, the first cardinal numeral, a single unit, forming a whole, united. We are one, not two (or more). All the members of our one body, are many. Paul reemphasizes, (we) are one body, ... so also is Christ. Our standard of unity is Christ, not denominations.
One Spirit, One Body
1 Corinthians 12:13:
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
In verse 11, we read one and the selfsame Spirit, and in verse 13 one Spirit is mentioned twice. Verse 12 states the body is one. In the same verse one body is mentioned twice. In verse 13 one body is mentioned once. Paul rightly labors the point, as it is against mans logic, that the ekklesia of Jesus Christ is one. We are many members, as so also is Christ.
We have all been made to drink potizo, to furnish drink, i.e., to give (or make) to drink, into one Spirit. This river of living water is to be a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14; see also John 7:37-39). We have been furnished living water from One Holy Spirit, to be one body.
If there is a remote possibility that Paul has not made himself clear we read again:
1 Corinthians 12:14:
For the body is not one member, but many.
Unity In Diversity
Paul is intent that we understand our unity in Christ, and illustrates this fact to us in a way we can all relate to:
1 Corinthians 12:15:
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
As a foot, and envying the hand, you cannot justify your difference. Your disclaimer of bodily membership shows you are overlooking the obvious.
1 Corinthians 12:16:
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
Those of you who are ears, desiring to be eyes cannot separate yourselves from the body.
1 Corinthians 12:17:
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
Everyone cant be an eye, or a nose. We are to quit lusting after what we consider to be a more desirable or more important place in the body. We are not to attempt to please ourselves in this matter of our place in the body. Why, you ask? Because:
1 Corinthians 12:18:
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
Now nuni, means at this present moment (emphatic), the immediate present. It is contrasted with the past. It does not exclude and frequently implies the future (constancy of something). Pleased thelo, is to will, wish or desire, implying volition and purpose, frequently, a determination. It is not by accident that you are where you are in the body. The sovereign wisdom and power of God determined where He desired and placed you.
Bodily Strength Through Weakness
1 Corinthians 12:19-22:
And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
Much more mallon, meaning more (in a greater degree), or rather, is used of increase or comparison. Feeble asthenes, is strengthless, without strength, i.e., weaker. Those members of the body that are, by comparison, weaker, are increasingly more necessary.
Honor Through Dishonor
1 Corinthians 12:23:
And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
Less honourable atimos, means without honor, in the best manuscripts it is atimoteros, meaning less honorable (valuable). Bestow peritithemi, is to put around, or on, by implication to present. More abundant is perissoteros, superabundant in number, degree or character. Honour time, is primarily a valuing. Uncomely aschemon, shapeless, is figuratively, inelegant. Comeliness euschemosune, is from a root meaning well-formed or fashioned, elegant.
The less valuable members of the body are to have put around them, or presented to them, greater value. Our shapeless and inelegant members are to have put around them, or presented to them greater elegance.
If youre thinking Isnt it wonderful the way God honors those other less valuable and inelegant members of the body? youve just exposed your own hypocrisy. First, what makes you think youre not in that category? And second, read the first part of the verse. We hemeis, emphatic, i.e., we ourselves, thinkdokeo, primarily, to be of opinion. It means to suppose, implying a subjective opinion based on thought. It expresses from the viewpoint of the observer his own judgment about a matter. Members we think to be less valuable and inelegant, we place around and present greater value and elegance.
Paul is saying that if you are looking down on a member of the body, it is your duty to lift them up. Give them greater value and elegance. Failure to do so could stop many gifts from manifesting in your life. Those members of the body that are, by comparison, weaker, are increasingly more necessary. We may not understand that, but we are to walk in it.
1 Corinthians 12:24:
For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
Tempered (the body) together sunkerannumi, is literally to mix with, to commingle, combine or assimilate. Having given didomi, is to give freely, more abundant honor is the same meaning as verse 23. Lacked hustereo, to come or be behind, in want, is here used in the sense of being inferior.
God has commingled His body and gives greater value to those members which are in want and inferior. As we saw from verse 23, we are the instrumentality by which God accords this greater value to those inferior members of the body which are in want.
Why did you do that God what earthly purpose can it serve?
Equal Value And Care
1 Corinthians 12:25:
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
Schism is schisma, a split or gap, metaphorically a division, dissension. The phrase the same is emphatic and care is merimnao, to be anxious about, to have a distracting care.
1 Corinthians 12:26:
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Suffer is pascho, to suffer, to experience a sensation or impression, usually painful. The second usage of suffer sumpascho, is to suffer with. It means to experience pain jointly, or of the same kind. It specifically means persecution. Honoured is doxazo, to render or esteem glorious, to glorify. Rejoicesunchairo, is to rejoice with, to sympathize in gladness, to congratulate.
Pauls words are explicit in that we should have no splits, divisions or dissension in the body of Christ. Its clear, however, that this is not so. The problem is our opinions of one another. We are looking down on other members of the body. It is our duty to lift them up and give them greater value and elegance.
We are to have, emphatically, the same anxious and distracting cares, one for another. We are to join in fellow members suffering, and rejoice with their honoring. With self-interests, self-pride and self-assertiveness guiding our lives, how can the manifested gifts of the Holy Spirit of God flow freely through us?
Linked By Love
1 Corinthians 12:27:
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Paul returns to his theme in verses 12 through 14, having departed briefly in the verses following them to illustrate his point. In particular ek merous, is literally, out of a part.
We are the singular body of Christ, and members out of a part. However we are connected in the spirit by the love of God. We cannot function independently from each other. Our standard of unity must be based on the love of God for us, and in us.
1 Corinthians 12:28:
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
It is immediately apparent that not all the five-fold doma ascension gifts of Ephesians and the charisma descension gifts of 1 Corinthians are listed. There are also two new listings, helps and governments.
Hath set tithemi, means to place, or put. It is used of appointment to any form of service. Some ho men...ho de, is some indeed, as contrasted with others that could have been included. Among other places, it is used in Ephesians 4:11. This lets us know that this is a deliberate and planned partial listing. It is not meant to be all-inclusive. This fact, however, does not negate a logical spiritual reason for its partial listing, and the sequence in which listed. First proton, means first in time, place, order or importance. Secondarily deuteros, is second in order. Thirdly tritos, is a third part. Here it means absolutely. After that ekpeita, is thereafter, then or afterwards. It is used only of sequence. Then eita, denotes sequence, i.e., next.
The Headship Of Jesus:
The five-fold doma ministry gifts that Jesus gave to His ekklesia were all ably performed by Him.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him (John 13:16 see also John 17:18; 20:21). Sent apostello, literally to send forth, is used of Jesus and others throughout the New Testament. It is related to apostolos, literally one sent forth. It means an ambassador of the Gospel, from which we get the word apostle. Surely, Jesus was speaking of Himself, and those who would follow in His apostolic footsteps. As the writer of Hebrews declares Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus (Hebrews 3:1).
Jesus called Himself a prophet (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24). Others also recognized Him as a prophet (Matthew 21:11,46; Luke 7:16; John 7:40).
In Matthew 11:5, Luke 4:18,19,43 Jesus refers to Himself as euaggelizo. This is translated as preach(ing), which is from euaggelistes, literally, a messenger of good. It denotes a preacher of the Gospel, and is translated as evangelist.
As a shepherd (poimen) Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14); the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20); the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls (1 Peter 2:25); and the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). The word raah in the Old Testament is variously translated as shepherd or pastor (and almost a dozen other words). It means to tend a flock, to pasture it. It also means to graze, rule or associate with. Abel was apparently the first shepherd. ... And Abel was a keeper (raah) of sheep ... He is commended throughout scripture for His righteousness (Matthew 23:35; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12).
The teaching (didaskalos) ministry of Jesus is mentioned in Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 21:23; 26:55; Mark 6:6; 14:49; Luke 5:17; 13:10,22; 21:37; 23:5.
Gods Scriptural Pattern
The fact that the five-fold ministry for His ekklesia has been in the heart of God from the very beginning is established by His Word. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:27,28).
Fruitful parah, means to be fruitful, bear fruit. Multiply rabah, is to increase numerically, in greatness or in quantity. In specific instances it signifies the process of growing up (Job 39:4). It can also be used of the end product (Ezekiel 16:7), or of a parents care for an offspring (Ezekiel 19:2). Also, of a continuing process (Exodus 36:5). Replenish male, means to fill, be full of. Its used in the sense of having something done to one. It is also used of filling to overflowing. Subdue kabash, is to conquer, subjugate, violate, i.e., bring under the authority of another. Dominion radah, means to rule, tread down, specifically, to crumble off (break or divide into small fragments or parts). It implies ruling authority.
Genesis 1:26 reads: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Gods expressed intent in this verse is for man to have dominion over all the earth.
In Genesis 1:28, God blessed them (man) and gave the steps necessary to have dominion. Bear fruit (be fruitful). Increase in all respects, providing continuing parental care during the growing up process until the end product is complete (multiply). Bring fullness to overflowing (replenish). Conquer and bring under authority to another (subdue). Exercise ruling authority by dividing the whole into smaller parts (dominion).
Scripture reveals that these steps moved man farther away from Gods physical and spiritual presence. Being fruitful, multiplying and replenishing required more physical space. Subduing prompted farther geographical movement to new areas. Dominion expanded mans territory to the entire planet.
This natural, orderly and logical progression established mans ruling authority over the whole earth. It also spiritually distanced man from fellowship with God, bringing Gods judgment (e.g., the flood, tower of Babel, etc.).
Nations have historically followed this pattern to dominate others. They have subsequently fallen from positions of domination because they have not understood the powerful spiritual principles involved. They continued to follow the way of the fallen first Adam instead of the risen last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).
The resurrected Jesus told His disciples All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18). He then gave them the great commission in verses 19 and 20 (see also Mark 16:15). Since Jesus has all power in heaven and on earth (1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 1:18) we are to move out equipped with His supernatural power, gifts, and dominion. We are to follow the same steps established in Genesis 1:28. For His ekklesia to go in a God-ward direction we must reverse the original order and in Gods sovereign wisdom according to the pattern of the five-fold ministry.
The apostle, sent by God, establishes the foundation of proper ruling authority by demonstrating his responsibility to the members of the body of Christ. He divides the whole into smaller parts. He establishes local ekklesias, local assemblies of called out ones (dominion).
The prophet, speaking the mind and counsel of God, evaluates the servanthood functions. He sets the proper individuals into their places of servanthood (by the Spirit). He exhorts the body, corporately and individually, to be in subjection to examples of truly demonstrated servanthood/leadership (subdue). Restoration is the key to the prophetic. The prophet continues to teach repentance and preach righteousness to bring healing of body, soul and spirit to the individual and to restore them back to their Creator.
The evangelist emancipates the fearful who are under the control of the god of this world, satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). He preaches the Word of God and fills them to overflowing with the Holy Spirit of the true and living God. He brings them into the place where there is availability of properly organized Godly structure (replenish).
The shepherd (pastor), in conjunction with a plurality of other elders, effects a fullness of the body of Christ. They function as overseers of the individuals. This increases their fullness and provides continual parental care through their growth process toward maturity in Christ (multiply).
The teacher function examines the fundamentals of the established servant/leader authority structure. This promotes fruit-bearing in, and of, individuals (fruitful).
In the phrase pastors and teachers the word and in the Greek is the article kai. This word is used in a copulative and also an informational sense. So it doesnt mean just and. I believe what Paul said was that Jesus has given gifts to mankind, some to be sent, some to speak the mind and counsel of God, and some to be itinerant preachers and some shepherds. In the phrase pastors [shepherds] and teachers the word kai is used in the informational sense and would be better translated as namely or some such intent. In other words, Jesus has given us those four gifts apostles, prophets, evangelists and shepherdsnamely as teachers for the maturing (perfecting) of the saints and etc. In the framework of this understanding, five-fold may be a misnomer. However in actual function there still remain five distinct giftings. The actual identification would be more along the lines of apostle-teacher, prophet-teacher, evangelist-teacher, shepherd-teacher, which is four distinct doma ascension gifts, each however, combined with a teaching gifta total of five servanthood gifts given by Jesus to His ekklesia for the purpose of maturing the saints.
Other charisma gifts springing from Gods compassion, i.e., His grace and mercy, are mentioned in Romans 12. In verse 6 Paul tells us Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith ... The proportion of faith refers to the measure of faith in verse 3. This is a qualifier on prophecy (propheteia). The intent is to remain within the boundary of faith God has given us. We are not to step out beyond that in our zeal to deliver Gods utterances. If we do then we shall be self-oriented instead of God-oriented. There is a danger we will begin speaking out of our flesh instead of by the Spirit of God within us.
Verse 7, Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering ... Both words for ministry here are diakonia, meaning attendance, the work of a servant, attendant, deacon or minister. Continuing in verse 7 or he that teacheth, on teaching ... Teacheth (didasko), is to give instruction, teaching (didaskalia), that which is actively taught. It stresses the act of teaching.
Verse 8, Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation ... Exhorteth parakaleo, to call near, is the verb form of exhortation paraklesis. This is an appeal to encourage to a course of action. It also means to comfort, relieve, and ease grief, loneliness, discomfort, etc.
Continuing in verse 8, he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity ... Giveth metadidomi, means to give over, i.e., to give a share of as distinct from giving. Simplicity is haplotes, singleness, (subjectively) sincerity, or (objectively) generosity. He that ruleth, with diligence ... Ruleth proistemi, is literally, to stand before. It means (in rank) to preside, to lead, attend to, or direct, indicating care and diligence.
Continuing in verse 8, diligence is spoude, speed. By implication it means dispatch, eagerness, zeal, and sometimes haste. It indicates promptness, watchful interest, and earnestness. He that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Mercy eleeo, is sympathy for the misery of others, active compassion. It assumes need on the recipients part and adequate resources on the givers part. Cheerfulness is hilarotes, hilarity, cheerfulness, joyousness.
The word whether in verse 6, and the word or in verse 7 (twice) and verse 8 (once) is the same, eite. On en, denotes position and instrumentality.
A partial paraphrase could read: We all have gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us. If the gift is speaking forth the mind and counsel of God (prophecy), then prophesy according to, but not beyond, your faith.
If the gift is servanthood (ministry), instruction (teaching), or encouraging to a course of action and comforting (exhortation), use the gift in the correct place. Be a yielded instrument of God to minister, teach, or exhort.
The use of these gifts requires that you be correctly placed in the body by God. You must be properly yielded as an instrument of God for Him to use. You cannot place yourself in the body in these positions, and you must yield to God.
In verse 8 with is sun, with, or together (denotes union). We could paraphrase this part as follows: If the gift is sharing (giving) what you have (as distinct from giving), share together (in union with) sincerity and generosity (simplicity). If the gift is leading, directing and attending (ruling), rule together (in union with) zeal, promptness, watchful interest and earnestness (diligence). If the gift is giving of your resources to those who are in need of them (mercy), give together (in union with) cheerful and joyous hilarity (cheerfulness).
The use of these gifts requires a union with other attributes to be a true gift.
Sharing (giving), resources, lacking sincerity and generosity, is not a charisma gift.
Leading, directing and attending (ruling), lacking zeal, promptness, watchful interest and earnestness is not a charisma gift.
Giving of your resources to the needy (mercy), lacking cheerful and joyous hilarity, is not a charisma gift.
In these instances you are trying to accomplish something in the flesh and it is not a gift. Proper understanding of these seven charisma gifts listed in Romans Chapter 12 will save many heartaches. Many sincere, but misguided members of the body are attempting to serve Christ out of their flesh instead of by the Spirit of God.
Helps And Governments
Two more terms in 1 Corinthians 12:28 require study. Helps is antilepsis, literally, exchange. It means relief by aid, assistance or support. It encompasses a variety of needs. There are needs within the leadership function of the ekklesia, the saints, the community, and the city. Governments kubernesis, means to steer. It refers to pilotage (as relates to a pilot who steers ships through difficult waters), i.e., a guide, a director.
Diversities Of Operations
Examination of the listing and sequence in 1 Corinthians 12:28 reveal a purpose, priority and progression. We see here the operations energema, the effect produced by the active operative, inworking energy of God in individuals mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:6.
Reviewing the gifts of Romans 12:
(1) Prophecy (speaking forth the mind and counsel of God)
(2) Ministry (servanthood)
(3) Teaching (instruction)
(4) Exhortation (encouraging to action and comforting)
(5) Giving (sharing)
(6) Ruling (leading, directing, and attending to with zeal, promptness, watchful interest and earnestness)
(7) Mercy (resourceful giving).
Servanthood (ministry), encouraging to action and comforting (exhortation), sharing (giving), and resourceful giving (mercy) appear to be the helps of 1 Corinthians 12:28. Prophecy and teaching are in the verse.
Ruleth in Romans 12:8 must be the gift of the shepherd (pastor). He leads, directs, and attends to with zeal, promptness, watchful interest and earnestness. The pastor would be an apostolically appointed proven elder. He has oversight of, and shepherds, a local ekklesia.
Scripture states a plurality of elders were appointed by the apostles upon return to previously established ekklesias (Acts 14:21-23). These elders (presbuteros, indicates the character of the persons maturity and spiritual experience) were recognized by the apostles as gifted of God. Their leadership functions and ability were evidenced by their performance. They had been made overseers (episkopos, literally, an overseer) over the ekklesia by the Holy Spirit and were to shepherd Gods ekklesia. (The word feed is shepherd in the original text.) (Acts 20:17,28). They are mentioned again in Philippians 1:1 and there called bishops (episkopos), the same word. In 1 Timothy 5:17, the elders that rule well are mentioned. Paul instructed Titus to ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee (Titus 1:5; 1 Peter 5:1-5). James stresses the plurality by stating ... let him call for the elders of the church ... (James 5:14).
Paul then continues and in verse 7 refers to these same elders as bishops, (episkopos), i.e., overseers. We may conclude that the elders (presbuteros) have the oversight (episkopeo, literally, to look upon), as overseers, or bishops (episkopos). They shepherd (poimen), or pastor, the local ekklesias. Theirs is a constant ministry to read, lead, feed, seed and weed.
The sequential listings of 1 Corinthians 12:28 with their attendant purpose and Pauls established priority in the home ekklesia meetings, appear below:
Gifts of HealingsEffects fulfilled
Diversities of TonguesEdifies family
Progression is from individual to corporate manifestations.
First, the apostle lays the foundation of proper ruling authority by demonstrating his servanthood responsibility to the saints, and dividing the whole into smaller parts, i.e., he establishes local ekklesias. (Ephesians 2:20-22; Romans 15:20; 1 Corinthians 3:10,11; 4:9).
Second, the prophet evaluates the servanthood functions and sets the proper individuals into their places of servanthood (by the Spirit). He exhorts the body, corporately and individually, to be in subjection to examples of truly demonstrated servanthood/leadership as they teach true biblical doctrine. Obviously, if they depart from the truth, they are not to be obeyed. The apostle and prophet lay the foundation upon which everything else is built.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Paul then completes the building analogy: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21,22).
The apostles and prophets laid the foundation for the building of which Paul speaks in verses 21 and 22.
The following is excerpted from the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on Ephesians 2:20:
20. Translate as Greek, Built up upon, &c. (participle; having been built up upon; omit, therefore, and are). Compare 1Co 3:11, 12.
foundation of the apostles, &c.that is, upon their ministry and living example (compare Mt 16:18). Christ Himself, the only true Foundation, was the grand subject of their ministry, and spring of their life. As one with Him and His fellow workers, they, too, in a secondary sense, are called foundations (Re 21:14). The prophets are joined with them closely; for the expression is here not foundations of the apostles and the prophets, but foundations of the apostles and prophets. For the doctrine of both was essentially one (1Pe 1:10, 11; Re 19:10). The apostles take the precedency (Lu 10:24). Thus he appropriately shows regard to the claims of the Jews and Gentiles: the prophets representing the old Jewish dispensation, the apostles the new. The prophets of the new also are included. BENGEL and ALFORD refer the meaning solely to these (Eph 3:5; 4:11). These passages imply, I think, that the New Testament prophets are not excluded; but the apostles plain reference to Ps 118:22, the head stone of the corner, proves that the Old Testament prophets are a prominent thought. David is called a prophet in Ac 2:30. Compare also Isa 28:16; another prophet present to the mind of Paul, which prophecy leans on the earlier one of Jacob (Ge 49:24). The sense of the context, too, suits this: Ye were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (in the time of her Old Testament prophets), but now ye are members of the true Israel, built upon the foundation of her New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets. Paul continually identifies his teaching with that of Israels old prophets (Ac 26:22; 28:23). The costly foundation-stones of the temple (1Ki 5:17) typified the same truth (compare Jer 51:26). The same stone is at once the corner-stone and the foundation-stone on which the whole building rests. Paul supposes a stone or rock so large and so fashioned as to be both at once; supporting the whole as the foundation, and in part rising up at the extremities, so as to admit of the side walls meeting in it, and being united in it as the corner-stone [ZANCHIUS]. As the corner-stone, it is conspicuous, as was Christ (1Pe 2:6), and coming in mens way may be stumbled over, as the Jews did at Christ (Mt 21:42; 1Pe 2:7).
Excerpted from Vines Expository Dictionary:
FOUNDATION (TO LAY), FOUNDED 1. themelios, or themelion is properly an adjective denoting belonging to a foundation (connected with tithemi, to place). It is used ... metaphorically, (a) of the ministry of the gospel and the doctrines of the faith, (Rom. 15:20; 1 Cor. 3:10,11,12; Eph. 2:20), where the of is not subjective (i. e., consisting of the apostles and prophets), but objective, (i. e., laid by the apostles, etc.); so in (2 Tim. 2:19), where the foundation of God is the foundation laid by God,not the Church (which is not a foundation), but Christ Himself, upon whom the saints are built; (Heb. 6:1); (b) of good works, (1 Tim. 6:19).
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians states that Jesus Christ is the only foundation to be laid:
1 Corinthians 3:10-12:
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The New International Version states verse 11 more clearly: 1 Corinthians 3:11 (NIV): For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
We find the same thought expressed by Paul in his letter to the Romans:
20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another mans foundation:
21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
Pauls thought is consistent: where someone has laid the foundation of Christ, be it apostle or prophet or another servant of God, then that is all sufficient. No other foundation can be or should be laid.
The sense of the meaning of Ephesians 2:20 then is: You were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (in the time of her Old Testament prophets), but now you are members of the household of faith of the true Israel having been built up upon the foundation, which is Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, laid by the New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets.
It should be easily understood by this short study on Ephesians 2:20 that the New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets were responsible for laying the foundation of Jesus Christ Himself as the chief corner stone in the household of faith of the true Israel. Jesus is the foundation, not the apostles and prophets, who were simply the instruments by which the foundation was laid. No servant of God can or should attempt to build another foundation. We are to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ which has already been laid in place.
Third, the teacher function examines the scriptural fundamentals of servant authority established by the apostle and prophet. This promotes fruit-bearing in, and of, individuals.
The foundation, functions and fundamentals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be established. They are then evaluated and constantly examined for scriptural focus, faithfulness and fruit-bearing. Then miracles (dunamis, ability, might, strength) of God are made manifest. The force of God will not be made manifest where the functions of the apostle, prophet and teacher are ignored, neglected or replaced.
In this scripturally structured powerful spiritual atmosphere gifts of healings (the results of the act of healing) will flow as a mighty river of living water. They will bring life into sick, diseased, infirm and pain-ridden bodies. Hurt and troubled minds and spirits will be restored.
The Spirit of God will stir up gifts of helps. Individuals will exchange the facts of their natural abilities, learned skills and God given supernatural gifts. They will offer their servanthood, and encourage others to action and comfort them. They will share with sincerity and generosity, and give of their resources with hilarity.
The power, the healings, the aid, support and assistance of this correctly ordered body expresses Gods will for His obedient children. In a very real sense, they are from, to and for the body. The teacher function will continue to evaluate and examine for scriptural focus and faithfulness. The fruit-bearing of these activities will continue to become evident.
The gift of governments will be corporately stirred. Input will be given that will keep the body on the correct course. As the shepherds lead the flock, which follows them, the flock will admonish one another as they see incorrect courses taken. The local shepherds will continue to be followed. Their effectiveness will be constantly compared with the Good, Great and Chief Shepherd, Who is Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, by the prophet and the teacher function.
Diversities of tongues, i.e., kindred tongues, will manifest strongly, for the intended purpose. Messages in tongues (with interpretation, i.e., explanation) will be a constant reminder of Gods covenant symbol to the assembled body. The greatness of God, His magnificent works, and divinely revealed spiritual truths of stewardship of the kingdom of God (mysteries) will edify the body. They shall be a sign to them that believe not. The private prayer life of individuals will enable them to speak unto God and to themselves for personal edification.
Where are the evangelists? They are out emancipating the fearful from the control of the god of this world. They are filling them to overflowing with the Holy Spirit of God. They bring them into the place where there is a proper Godly servant/leader structure.
Where are the deacons? For all practical purposes, every one of these ministries that assists the leadership falls in the category of a deacon ministry (Philippians 1:1). Powerful anointing for service will surely bring leadership recognition as a deacon. Proper qualifications and faithful performance will be noted (1 Timothy 3:8-13; see also Acts, chapter 6).
Power Of God
Man, in his flesh, can not cause this supernaturally functional assemblage of Christs body. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we effectively display to the world the unity and power available through serving the living God. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8). We have been given that power (dunamis, ability, might, strength) of the Holy Spirit (Gods sovereignty).
We shall be witnesses (martus, one who confidently declares the truth of something they have seen, heard or know; by analogy, a martyr) ... unto the uttermost part of the earth (human responsibility). We are to be powerful witnesses for our indwelling Lord and not pathetically wet-nursed for our individual lusts.
The established scriptural guidelines Paul has delineated in verse 28 have been, with a few exceptions, ignored by the ekklesias today. The purpose, priority and progression of Holy Spirit order has been replaced. Programs, prejudices and patterns are carnally desired and designed to bring about self-satisfaction.
Institutional church leaders are self-satisfied with their fleshly efforts to promote a social gospel. They compromise with cults and cultures, instead of cultivating true disciples of Jesus Christ. Cult values teach all gods for all men and cultural values teach all things are godly for men. Cultivated values teach all of the true and living God for all men.
Spiritual and physical adultery abound as fleshly activities thrive through the institutional churches and most home ekklesias. Ever more busywork is started to bring ego satisfaction to its errant members. Failing to reach satisfaction, efforts are directed to meeting the needs of the community by more fleshly works. The true and living God of the Bible is humanized for universal acceptance on mans terms, instead of on Gods terms.
Jesus, The Focus Of Christianity
The institutional church and home ekklesias must must return to the central focus of its existence, namely Jesus Christ. This eliminates emphasis on self. Focusing on Jesus, in spirit and in experiential truth, will prompt the appropriate worship of Him. This will help us develop true Godly character. The influences and effects of our manifested Godly character will evidence to the world the desirability of being a disciple of Jesus. The gifts of God will become operative. Godly signs, wonders and miracles will attract the unrepentant. This will place them in a position to hear the Word of God, which will save their souls.
Instead, the collective gifts of God have been used, as far as possible, to create institutionalized positions of sovereignty. We publicize, preach and practice human attitudes, and follow a form of godliness. These are based on self-satisfaction and self-worship for self-glorification. As stated before, the gifts of God are for individual performance of Godly servanthood, not institutionalized positions of sovereignty. They are for action, not attitude, and for function, not form.
All of our attitudes, activities and associations must bring glory to Jesus Christ, or Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Mark 7:7; Matthew 15:9; Isaiah 29:13). The call for repentance, and to turn again to righteousness, for restoration of the body, sounds loud and clear in the institutional church and home ekklesias of Jesus Christ today.
Unity With Diversity
1 Corinthians 12:29:
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
With these rhetorical questions Paul returns to the theme of unity with diversity in verses 12-27. The obvious answers to the questions are no, all are not apostles, prophets, teachers, or workers of miracles.
1 Corinthians 12:30:
Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
Many would agree that all do not have gifts of healings, and all do not interpret. However, insistence is strongly voiced by some that all must speak with tongues. It is (1) evidence of salvation and, (2) as evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit or, (3) both of the above. Speaking in tongues is further classified as (4) initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, (5) the gift of tongues, (6) the gift of diversity of tongues and (7) ministry tongues. Elaborate arguments are advanced based on a strange mixture of objective evidence (the Bible) and subjective evidence (personal experience). Ho hum (pardon the yawn), it sounds like variations on a theme of syncretism. The scriptural purpose, provisions, professions, promotions, proving and prioritizing of the gift of tongues are presented plainly in scripture.
Paul spoke of those members of the body he called unlearned in the gift of tongues and prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:23,24. Scripture records an instance of believing and (water) baptism and converts subsequently receiving the Holy Spirit as a separate act (Acts 8:12-17). If a member of the body chooses, however, to reject Gods sovereign token of His covenant, then that individual is humanly responsible for their decision. They are responsible, however, to God, and not to you. Your responsibility is to love them, whether you like it or not.
Paul said I would (thelo, to will), wish or desire, implying volition and purpose, frequently a determination) that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying (1 Corinthians 14:5). Paul did not say he was glad that everyone in the ekklesia at Corinth spoke with tongues. He said that he wished they did, but rather mallon, more (in a greater degree) that they prophesied, that the ekklesia may receive edifying. It may be inferred from this verse (1 Corinthians 14:5) that prophetical utterances may be articulated by those who do not speak in tongues.
Covet To Prophesy
Be bold, if all you do is speak out a message in tongues in an assembly of the ekklesia and wait for someone else to interpret (explain) what you said, you are scripturally incorrect. Quit speaking into the air (1 Corinthians 14:9) and pray that you may interpret (1 Corinthians 14:13). Better yet, Paul says, prophesy ... and speak out the mind and counsel of God in a known tongue. Yes, youll be judged (1 Corinthians 14:29) and may need some loving correction. But be not children in understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20) but aspire to spiritual growth.
Activate Spiritual Gifts By Love
1 Corinthians 12:31:
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
But alla, on the contrary, here contrasts the idea in verses 29 and 30 of individual members of the body possessing (or desiring) the same gift. Covet earnestly zeloo, here, is to desire earnestly, to have a zeal for, to burn with jealousy. (Jealousy desires to have the same thing, not deprive another of what they have, which is envy). The term may be used in a good sense (as here) and also an evil sense. Best is kreitton, stronger, more powerful, figuratively better. In some manuscripts) it is meizone, greater in importance and value. Gifts is charisma.
We are not to aspire to a gift because of its prominence, power or personal satisfaction. We are to desire earnestly the best gifts. Since best is defined as stronger, more powerful, better, greater in importance and value it becomes apparent Paul means the most needful gift for the occasion. And is kai, here, implying addition, yet is eti, here used in the sense of further. Shew is deiknuo, here, to show by making known, unto eis, means (in) regard (to). The phrase more excellent is kath huper bolen, literally a throwing beyond. It means thoroughly excelling, very surpassing, and signifies preeminence. Way is hodos, meaning a natural path, road, or way. By implication it means a progress (the route, act or distance). It is used here metaphorically of a course of conduct, or way of thinking.
Paul is saying: And in addition to desiring earnestly, with zeal and jealousy (coveting), the most needful gift for the occasion, let me make known to you a preeminent road to travel. It is a surpassing course of conduct, a thoroughly excelling better way of thinking (in contrast to simply coveting a gift). It will bring you to your desired destination (of the ability to operate in the needed gift, in a timely manner).
Earnest Desire, Or Love?
This verse is quoted to contrast desirability of love over tongues, a severe injustice to the text. Paul is stating alternative ways to become operational in much-needed gifts in the ekklesia. He instructs the ekklesia to desire earnestly (covet) the most needful timely gift. He provides a more excellent way, (a means, not an end). It is the way of love, in contrast to simply desiring earnestly. Paul is contrasting desire with love, love being preferable.
The Eternal Power Of Love
Probes the desirability, duty and determination necessary to acquire the dynamic attributes of eternal love in order to operate in the temporal gifts.
1 Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 1:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Love, Not Loudness
Pauls apostolic gift of establishing foundational principles brings us to a bedrock truth. You may speak with an angelic tongue, but you must have charity, i.e., love, agape. This is love subjectively caused by your own willful choice, regardless of the worthiness of the object. Otherwise, you are nothing but a loud, empty and nerve-jangling noise.
In a home ekklesia meeting, publicly spoken tongues must be interpreted that the ekklesia may be edified. An appeal for the members to pray or sing in the spirit may be initiated by recognized elders. Confidence must be placed in their ability to hear from the Holy Spirit in reference to this corporate praying or singing. There will probably be spoken instructions and utterances with the understanding that will eliminate confusion for all (1 Corinthians 14:15,16). Sometimes the exhortation may be to praise God in the spirit. It may be to intercede for someone, to pray a warfare tongue, to send words of healing to someone, or any of a number of requests. 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 is the blueprint the leaders are to follow
Is this scriptural? A mystery (1 Corinthians 14:2) is a divine revelation of spiritual truths of the stewardship of the kingdom of God. Anything that relates to the operations of this stewardship by the members of the body is proper. We dont have to concern ourselves with what we say in the spirit For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself (should be Himself) maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:24-28).
There are many, who upon receiving the gift of speaking in tongues, think they have arrived. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you had arrived and were perfect, you wouldnt need tongues. The purpose of tongues has been established, and it is only by the scriptural exercise of tongues that edification is enjoyed. Tongues spoken as a show-off of ones supposed spiritual superiority or anointing is not having love. According to Paul, it is nothing but offensive noise. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2). Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue (1 Corinthians 14:19).
Tongues are for your private prayer closet and personal edification. And also for ekklesia meetings with interpretation, for the assemblies edification. Or at the discretion of the spiritual leadership, for group utterance. The prohibition is not against speaking in tongues in a private way, to yourself and to God, in a home meeting of an ekklesia (1 Corinthians 14:2,28). It is against speaking publicly for unscriptural reasons noted elsewhere. This edifies no one and is not Godly in that it adds confusion and disrupts peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? (1 Corinthians 14:22,23). How will those that are unlearned, not taught in the scriptural exercise of spiritual gifts, or an unbeliever, relate to whats happening? They will say you are mad mainomai, one who so speaks that he appears to be out of his mind.
It is implied in Pauls statement (that tongues are for a sign to them that believe not) that those tongues are to be interpreted for the reasons stated in 1 Corinthians 14:7-13. The scenario Paul paints in verses 22 and 23 would appear to the unlearned or unbeliever as raving mad religious fanatics. They would group these in the same category as the chanters of cult religions. If proper scriptural priority, precedence and procedure is followed, then God will be seen as the author of peace, not confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). That is why Paul limited the number of utterances in tongues and stipulated that they must be interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:27,28). With love (agape), you will subjectively cause within your own self, and by your own willful choice, that proper love for the body (unlearned) and those outside the body (unbelievers). They will then recognize God as the author of peace eirene. This word describes harmonious relationships, with friendliness, freedom from molestation, order and a sense of rest and contentment. It corresponds to the Hebrew word shalom, primarily signifying wholeness and completeness.
Paul Powerless Without Love
1 Corinthians 13:2:
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Understand oida, is properly, to see. By implication it means to have full knowledge of what has come within the scope of the knowers perception. Knowledge gnosis, is the same as 1 Corinthians 12:8, i.e., word of knowledge. Paul is now moving from the least (but most practiced, personally practical and prolific) of the gifts, tongues (1 Corinthians 12:28). He is moving into the gifts of prophecy, all (words of) knowledge, and all (mountain moving) faith (Matthew 17:20,21; 21:21; Mark 11:23). He mentions understanding of all mysteries. If all these powerful gifts were working in his life and he didnt have agape love, Paul says I am nothing. With all these wonderful, powerful and exciting charismatic gifts operating, if you dont have agape love, Paul says, you are a big, empty, nothing. Paul is emphatic in his statements, as this was a problem with the Corinthian ekklesia, just as it is a problem in ekklesias today. Follow Christ, as His disciple. Make Jesus the focal point of your worship. It will lead you to that love, as you imitate Jesus.
Good Works Useless Without Love
1 Corinthians 13:3:
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Lest we forget, Paul now moves from the area of gifts to the area of good works. Give my body to be burned may be a reference to voluntary burnt offerings of Leviticus, chapters 1-6. Good works without love profiteth opheleo, denotes assistance, to be useful, i.e., to benefit, me nothing.
Attributes Of Love
1 Corinthians 13:4:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Suffereth long makrothumeo, is the verb of the noun makrothumia, literally long-temper. It is self-restraint in the face of provocation without hasty retaliation or prompt punishment. It means patience regarding antagonistic persons or circumstances. It is the opposite of anger. Kind chresteuomai, is the verb form of the noun chrestotes, kindness, usefulness, goodness of heart, pleasant, gracious. Both nouns are a fruit of the Spirit, translated long-suffering and gentleness in Galatians 5:22.
Envieth not zeloo, is the same word translated covet in 1 Corinthians 12:31. It is used here as an undesirable trait. Paul had previously upbraided the Corinthian ekklesia in 1 Corinthians 3:3 about envying (zelos, same family). Vaunteth not itself perpereuomia, is to boast, from a root meaning vainglory, braggart. Puffed up phusioo, means to inflate. It is used here in the sense of being puffed up with prejudice or pride. Paul had previously addressed the Corinthians on this issue (1 Corinthians 4:6,18,19; 5:2; 8:1).
1 Corinthians 13:5:
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Behave itself unseemly is aschemoneo. It is related to aschemon (1 Corinthians 12:23, there translated as uncomely), properly shapeless, inelegant. Here it means to behave inappropriately, disgracefully.
Seeketh zeteo, is to seek after. It also signifies to require or demand, not her own, i.e., is not self-seeking. Is not easily (the word easily is not in the original) provoked paroxumo, which signifies to rouse to anger. Thinketh logizomai, is to take an inventory. It means to reckon to account, by calculation or imputation. Evil kakos, is evil in character, worthless, shameful and disgraceful.
1 Corinthians 13:6:
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Rejoiceth chairo, is cheerful, happy. Iniquity adikia, is literally, unrightness, injustice. But is alla, on the contrary. Rejoiceth sunchairo means rejoicing together. Truth aletheia, is truth, as essence.
1 Corinthians 13:7:
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Beareth stego, properly denotes to protect by covering, then to conceal, then to bear up under. Figuratively, it means to cover with silence. Believeth pisteuo, is to have faith, to believe, to entrust. Hopeth elpizo, means to expect, i.e., to hope. Endureth is hupomeno, to bear up courageously (under suffering).
1 Corinthians 13:8:
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Faileth is pipto, to fall. In some manuscripts it is ekpipto, to fall out, specifically, be driven out of ones course.
Paul has given us in these verses eight things that love is and does. Also eight things that love is not and doesnt do. To summarize the things that love is and does:
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love is happy with others when truth prevails.
Love protects by concealing while enduring under pressure.
Love is trusting.
Love is hopeful.
Love is courageous under suffering.
Love is never driven, or falls away from, its course (of love).
The things that love is not and doesnt do:
Love is not jealous.
Love doesnt praise its own worth.
Love is not inflated with self-importance.
Love does not behave inappropriately.
Love does not demand its own way.
Love is not provoked to anger.
Love doesnt keep an account of wrongdoings or slander anothers character.
Love is not happy with places and acts of injustice.
Gifts Temporal And Partial
Going back to verse 8, but alla, on the contrary, prophecies shall fail katargeo. This means literally, to reduce to inactivity, i.e., be rendered entirely idle (useless). Tongues shall cease pauo, meaning to stop, to make an end. It signifies to come to an end, to take ones rest, a willing cessation (in contrast to a forced cessation). Knowledge gnosis, same meaning as 1 Corinthians 12:8, i.e., word of knowledge, shall vanish away katargeo, same as above.
Prophecies and word of knowledge shall be reduced to inactivity by being rendered entirely idle. Tongues (and interpretation) shall come to an end by willing cessation.
Why is that, Paul?
1 Corinthians 13:9,10:
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
For gar, connects with a reason. We hemeis, we, emphatic, know ginosko, signifies to be taking in knowledge, to come to know, recognize, or understand. It suggests inception or progress in knowledge, in contrast to fullness of knowledge. It also implies an active relation between the one who knows and the person or thing known. It is contrasted with simply coming into the knowers perception. In part is meros, a portion, contrasted with the whole.
We also prophesy in part, Paul says. But alla, is contrarywise. When hotan, means whenever, implying hypotheses or more or less uncertainty. Perfect is teleios, meaning the state of completeness, the consummated result of a process. Come erchomai, signifies the act, not the arrival. Then tote, means at that time. Done away is katargeo, reduced to inactivity by being rendered entirely idle.
One camp says that which is perfect refers to the completed canon of scriptures. Since thats been accomplished, prophecies, tongues and words of knowledge have passed away.
Prophesies and words of knowledge are not reduced to inactivity by being rendered entirely idle. Tongues (and interpretation) havent come to an end by willing cessation. Nobody has all the answers (or all the right questions). We still know in part without fullness of knowledge. We are still implying hypotheses and more uncertainty (not less) so when hasnt come as an observable act. When is most probably the coming of Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:7).
The scriptural uses of perfect teleios, and related words telos, teleo, teleiotes, teleioo, seem to indicate completion and/or perfection of people (Matthew 5:48; John 17:23; Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 1:28; Hebrews 12:23; James 1:4; 1 John 4:18). In Hebrews 7:28, referring to Jesus the word teleioo is translated consecrated; in John 4:34 it is translated finish.
In reference to the scriptures being fulfilled teleioo, in John 19:28, it is used in the sense of fulfilling prophecy from Psalm 69:21. Revelation 17:17 indicates that at that point in the future the words of God are still in the process of being fulfilled teleo.
Subsequent selection and canonization of 27 of the New Testament books in 367 A.D. was outside the Apostle Pauls sphere of knowledge. Institutional church history reveals early translations and compilations were far from perfect.
Indicators are that Paul had in mind the consummation of the purpose of the written scriptures, not the completion of the writing of the scriptures.
1 Corinthians 13:11:
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Child nepios, denotes a little child. Its always associated with immaturity. Understood phroneo, signifies to think (of) with sentiment, opinion or concern based upon moral reflections. It implies a certain way of thinking. Thought logizomai,( same as verse 5), translated there thinketh, It means to take an inventory, to reckon to account. But is alla, on the contrary. Put away katargeo, means reduced to inactivity, rendered entirely idle (useless).
The Temporal Now And Eternal Then
1 Corinthians 13:12:
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
For gar, connects with a reason, now arti, denotes strictly present time. We see is blepo, to look at. It stresses the thought of the person who sees in intent, earnest contemplation. Through dia, is by means of. A glass esoptron, is a mirror. Darklyen ainigmati, is literally, in an enigma, i.e., obscurely.
But is alla, contrarywise, then tote, means at that time, face to face. Now arti, is strictly present time. I know ginosko, is the same as verse 9, taking in knowledge, suggesting inception or progress in knowledge. It is in contrast to fullness of knowledge, etc. In part meros, is a portion, contrasted with the whole. But alla, is contrarywise, then tote, at that time. Shall I know epiginosko, is to fully recognize a thing for what it really is. It implies full knowledge and stresses personal participation in the truth. Even as hos, is in that manner, also I am knownepiginosko, same as above.
Pauls use of the words now and then for contrast reveals the intent of his statements. Now at this present time we see obscurely, as through a dark mirror. We have knowledge of only a portion of the whole of acquired (and word of) knowledge. Then at that time we shall clearly see face to face. We will have full knowledge and personal participation in the fullness of that truth, even as we are fully known.
Those who promote the idea of that which is perfect referring to the completion of scripture also classify the knowledge that shall pass away, as special knowledge. The words Paul uses, however, differentiate between the two words. The now knowledge (ginosko) suggests progress in contrast to fullness of knowledge. The then knowledge (epiginosko) is full knowledge and personal participation in the fullness of that truth. This seems to be more special than knowing in part.
When we have full knowledge and personal participation in the fullness of all that God has for us we wont need acquired (or the word of) knowledge. We also wont need tongues (and interpretation), or prophecy, for their previously stated scriptural purposes.
Faith, Hope And Love Eternal And Permanent
1 Corinthians 13:13:
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Now nuni, means at this present moment (emphatic), the immediate present, contrasted with the past. It does not exclude and frequently implies the future (constancy of something). Abideth is meno, to remain, continue, dwell or stay. Faith is pistis, firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing. Hope is elpis, favorable and confident expectation. Charity agape, means love subjectively caused by willful choice, regardless of the worth of the object loved. But is alla, contrarywise. Greatest is meizone, the comparative degree of megas, great in size, intensity or rank. Of these touton, means concerning these.
Paul has told us that the manifestation of the gift of prophecy, tongues, (and the need for interpretation) and (word of) knowledge will willingly cease. They will be reduced to inactivity and rendered entirely idle. Paul did not specifically mention the word of wisdom, gifts of healings, miracles, and discerning of spirits. However, its logical that they wont be needed when we have full knowledge and personal participation in the truth of all that God has for us. The only remaining gift is faith, which Paul now groups in with hope and love.
Is there a possibility the word of wisdom, gifts of healings, miracles, discerning of spirits and interpretation of tongues will continue? Since Paul did not specifically mention them, the answer has to be yes. If so, then they would exist in a new spiritual dimension (as our bodies) that is beyond our ability to understand.
Paul reminds us of the eternality, importance and constancy of unseen faith, hope and love, and the superiority of love.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Hebrews 11:1,3). Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). Author archegos is a chief leader who leads, providing the first occasion of anything, originating. Finisher is teleiotes, to bring to an end by completing or perfecting.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13).
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (1 John 4:7,8). But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ... For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:8,10).
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us (1 John 4:10-12). And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (1 John 4:16).
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also (1 John 4:20-21).
God Is Love
We see from these passages that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, He is our God of hope, but He is love, thus the preeminence of love.
The Priority Of Edification And Order
Emphasizes building up the church by speaking in an understood language and proper scriptural order to eliminate confusion and maintain peace so that all spiritual activities may be pursued and exercised in the ekklesia home meetings.
1 Corinthians 14:1:
Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
Pursue Love And Desire Gifts, Particularly Prophecy
Follow dioko, here is to pursue, follow after. Desire zeloo, is to desire earnestly, to have a zeal for, to burn with jealousy. But alla, means on the contrary. Rather mallon, (from a root mala, very, very much) means more (in a greater degree) or, rather.
The intent of the verse is to pursue love and also (in addition to love) desire spiritualities. But (in contrast to seeking spiritualities in general) desire specifically more (in a greater degree) that you prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:2:
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
The Tongues Speaker Edifies Himself
For gar, connects with a reason, the reason Paul emphasizes prophecy over tongues in the meeting of the ekklesia. Tongues is Gods covenant symbol for Godly religion, reputation and relationship. You are speaking to God (and no one who hears you understands), and are speaking mysteries, i.e., divinely revealed spiritual truths of stewardship of the kingdom of God. You are also speaking of the magnificent works of God, and His greatness. You are edifying yourself, however, unless there is an interpretation (i.e., explanation which brings understanding), there is no corporate edification. It is a sign for them that believe not, but is credible as such only when scripturally limited in number of utterances, and with interpretation. Otherwise it contributes to confusion and disturbs the peace of the orderly flow of spiritual gifts in the ekklesia home meeting. Unknown is not in the original (also verses 4,13,14,19,27).
1 Corinthians 14:3:
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Prophecy Edifies The Ekklesia
But alla, on the contrary, when you prophesy you are speaking to men and every one who hears you understands you. You are speaking forth the mind and counsel of God, and His priorities. Also, how He is currently using His power to attain contemporary, Godly goals to accomplish His eternal sovereign plan. You may speak of repentance, righteousness or restoration. You may speak unto men for edification, which is spiritual growth and character development. You may speak for exhortation, i.e., encouraging to a course of action and easing grief, loneliness or discomfort. Or you may speak comfort, tenderly stressing the process or progress of that Godly comfort. You may speak out a revelation and unveil the mind of God to the mind or senses of fellow believers for His ekklesia. All will learn by inquiry, observation, use and practice. As you prophesy, and reveal secrets of hearts, it will be a sign for unbelievers that God is in you of a truth (1 Corinthians 14:25). (Even as for believers, and they will be encouraged to also edify the ekklesia by prophesying).
1 Corinthians 14:4,5:
He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
But alla, on the contrary, in verse 4, contrasts the essence of Pauls teaching on tongues and prophecies. The tongues speaker edifieth himself; but, i.e., on the contrary, he that prophesieth edifieth the church. Paul says he would thelo, to will, wish or desire, implying volition and purpose, frequently a determination, that all spake with tongues. (This implies that some didnt). But alla, on the contrary, rather mallon, more (in a greater degree), that you prophesied. For gar, connects with a reason, greater meizone, greater in importance and value, is he that prophesies. Except ektos ei me, literally, outside, i.e., unless, he interprets diermeneuo, explains thoroughly. That the ekklesia may receive edifying oikodome, literally, the things of building up.
Paul is not saying tongues and interpretation are equal to prophecy. He is saying that a tongue interpreted (explained) into a known, understood language edifies the ekklesia. A prophecy in a known understood language edifies the ekklesia. The common denominator of interpreted tongues and prophecy is edification of the ekklesia. They are not, however, to be considered as equal. They differ in provision, profession, promotion, proving and priority.
Sounds Must Be Understood
1 Corinthians 14:6:
Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
Now is nuni, now, at this present moment (emphatic) the immediate present. It contrasts the past, but does not exclude and frequently implies the future (constancy of something). Profit is opheleo, useful, i.e., of benefit. Revelation apokalupsis, is unveiling the mind of God to the mind and senses of man for His ekklesia.
Knowledge gnosis, (apparently referring to word of knowledge), is a seeking to know, inquiry, investigation. It denotes knowledge, especially spiritual truth, etc. Doctrine is didache, instruction or teaching. It stresses the authority of the subject matter taught and also the act of teaching.
If I come to you now (and keep doing it in the future) and speak to you with tongues, what benefit is that to you? I will speak (in words that you can understand) an unveiling of the mind of God, a word of knowledge, the mind and counsel of God or a teaching.
1 Corinthians 14:7,8:
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
Paul illustrates his point by referring to sounds made by musical instruments. They give a distinction diastole, a variation, or an uncertain adelos, hidden, figuratively, indistinct sound. In using the examples of musical sounds, Paul alludes to the fact that musical notes have a technical distinction and also a cultural meaning. If the sounds we hear are indistinct because of lack of variation, or technical distinction, i.e., a monotone, then no one will know what they mean. They cannot respond appropriately to the meaning the sound conveys.
1 Corinthians 14:9:
So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
So houto(s), means in this way, referring to what precedes or follows. Likewise kai, here means also, and easy to be understood. Eusemos, means well indicated, and primarily denotes conspicuous or glorious, then distinct, clear to understanding.
In the same way also, Paul is saying you must utter by the tongue words that are conspicuously technically distinct. They must have a clearly understood cultural meaning. If not, how shall anyone know what you are speaking? Youll be speaking into the air.
1 Corinthians 14:10:
There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
May be is eimi, to be, to exist. Kinds genos, means kindred, and voices phone, a sound, is used of the voice. Without signification aphonos, is literally voiceless or soundless, i.e., without meaning. None of the voices (sounds) that exist in the world is without meaning.
1 Corinthians 14:11:
Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
Therefore is oun, certainly, accordingly. Meaning dunamis, is ability, might and strength. Here it is used of the force of what is spoken. Barbarian is barbaros, a foreigner.
Seek To Excel In Edifying The Ekklesia
1 Corinthians 14:12:
Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
Even so is houto, in this way. Forasmuch is epei, since. Zealous zelotes, means a zealot, one excessively eager and enthusiastic. Seek zeteo, to seek, implies a search for something hidden. Excel perisseuo, means to be over and above, i.e., to superabound, be in excess, to the edifying of the ekklesia.
Pray To Interpret Your Tongue
1 Corinthians 14:13:
Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
Wherefore dioper, for which very reason, if you speak in tongues, pray that you may interpret (explain). Its clear the Corinthian ekklesia was unbalanced in their desire to manifest spiritualities. Paul did not admonish them for that. Instead he redirected their priorities to true Christian agape, love (1 Corinthians 13). He taught the vocalization in understood speech of those spiritual gifts that would build up the ekklesia. Pauls encouragement to exercise those vocally understood gifts included the proper order necessary to avoid confusion among the saints assembled in the home. Pauls shepherd heart in prophetically encouraging the Corinthian saints is revealed in his words of edification, exhortation and comfort to the ekklesia.
1 Corinthians 14:14:
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
For gar, connects with a reason, understanding nous, is the intellect, i.e., mind, by implication, meaning. It is used here in the sense of the faculty of knowing. Unfruitful is akarpos, barren, unfruitful.
The latent power of the words spoken in tongues will not be revealed to the human intellect. The individual will not be able to appropriately respond in thought, word, or deed.
1 Corinthians 14:15:
What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Paul is using an illustration of what to do in a situation where a prayer of thanksgiving is being given. What should you do? Pray with the spirit (in tongues) and with the understanding also. Sing psallo, is to play on a stringed instrument. It denotes to sing a hymn or praise. The use of the words with and also emphasize the use of tongues and the known language.
1 Corinthians 14:16:
Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
Include All In Your Prayer
How is pos, in what way, occupieth anapleroo, means to fill completely, here, one who fills the position or condition of being unable to understand tongues. Room topos, is a place, spot or location, i.e., the place a person occupies. Unlearned idiotes, means a private person as contrasted with a state official. It denotes a person without professional knowledge, unskilled, uneducated, unlearned. Here it refers to those who lack knowledge of the spiritual facts evidenced and experienced in a the ekklesia meeting.
Thanks eucharistia, is to give freely, and denotes gratitude or grateful language, i.e., giving of thanks. Understandeth oida, to see, implies to have full knowledge of what has come within the scope of the knowers perception.
When you pray (a prayer of thanksgiving) speak also with the understanding, Paul says. Dont exclude the unlearned (the non-tongue talkers) from participating in the prayer.
1 Corinthians 14:17:
For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
The power (prayer) is there, but the purpose (understanding) and priority (edification) will have been bypassed.
Seek Godly Maturity
1 Corinthians 14:18,19:
I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
Paul acknowledges he speaks in tongues with great frequency more than ye all. Then he says yet alla, on the contrary in the church ... This indicates his tongue-speaking times were not in the ekklesia. A fair assumption is that he spoke in tongues privately. Rather is thelo, to will, wish or desire. It implies volition and purpose, frequently a determination. With understanding he might teach katecheo, to teach, instruct or inform orally, others also. He could not do so with ten thousand words in tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:20:
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
Be Innocent Of Evil
Children paidon, is a young child, understanding phren, is the mind, denoting understanding. Malice kakia, is badness in quality, depravity, malignity. The second use of children is nepiazo, to act as a baby, i.e., immaturely, innocently. Men teleios, means ended, having reached its end, complete. Howbeit and but are both alla, on the contrary.
Rearranging the sequence of the sentence, and paraphrasing for sense, Paul is saying, Brothers, dont be children in the understanding of your minds. Be completed and perfected, i.e., (here) mature, but on the contrary, be immature and innocent in evilness.
In the next few verses Paul teaches the ekklesia the maturity of understanding of which he spoke. It may be inferred that failure to understand and to remain children and ignorant of mature understanding implies a maturity and non-innocence in evilness.
1 Corinthians 14:21,22:
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
Paul refers to the law as a reference to Old Testament scripture(s), i.e., Deuteronomy 28:49; Isaiah 28:11,12; Jeremiah 5:15, Ezekiel 3:5,6. Wherefore hoste, means so that, but (3 times) is alla, on the contrary.
The contrast is emphatic. Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe. But, Paul says, on the contrary, to them that believe not. But, on the contrary, prophesying is not for them that believe not. But, on the contrary, for them which believe. Paul appears to be laboring the point in laying the foundation for mature understanding and to keep us away from evilness.
1 Corinthians 14:23:
If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
Whole holos, means complete. Come together into one place sunerchomai, is come together and assemble All pas, is all, every, the whole.
Paul is portraying a vivid picture of the whole ekklesia, assembled in one place (at one time) and everyone speaking in tongues. The door opens and in come those that are unlearned, who lack knowledge of the spiritual facts evidenced and experienced in a meeting of the ekklesia. Or they may be unbelievers, and they view this scene.
Their reaction will be to say you are mad mainomai. This means one who so speaks that he appears to be out of his mind. This relates to Pauls exhortation to spiritual maturity. We must understand how operation of the gifts in the ekklesia affects the unlearned. He includes unbelievers who do not understand anything about God.
1 Corinthians 14:24:
But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
But alla, on the contrary, instead of speaking in tongues, suppose everyone is prophesying. They are speaking forth the mind and counsel of God. The unbeliever or unlearned is convinced. This word is elencho, convicted or admonished orally. It usually carries with it the suggestion of putting the convicted person to shame. It has an implied rebuke which carries a conviction. In addition to that he is judged anakrino, scrutinized, examined. It is used here in the sense of the prophetical statements probing, scrutinizing and examining his conscience.
1 Corinthians 14:25:
And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
Thus houto, means in this way. Secrets kruptos, is concealed, private, secret, hidden. Made ginomai, is to become. Manifest is phaneros, open to sight, visible, i.e., apparent. It suggests disclosure of true character.
With the evidence of the testimony of the concealed, private secrets of his own heart, he will fall down on his face. He will report apangello, announce, that God is in you of a truth ontos, really, actually.
Paul is saying: Yes, tongues are for a sign to the unbeliever and unlearned. An excess produces clamor, confusion and cynics. Yes, prophecy is for believers. When the unbeliever and unlearned are exposed to an excess it produces clarity, credibility and converts.
If tongues speaking is done as an immature fleshly exercise the unlearned and unbelievers will surely announce that you are mad. If, however, all prophesy they will announce that God is in you of a truth. The warning is clear. If you err, err toward an excess of prophecy, not an excess of tongues, which, unfortunately, appears to be the modern trend.
All May Contribute To Edifying
1 Corinthians 14:26:
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Here Paul prefaces what he says by saying (in the original language) that if and when you all come together as an assembly, then each one has a spiritual gift to contribute. There is no idea anywhere that there is a commandment to meet together with stunning regularity, although the very early ekklesia did so for awhile.
Every one hekastos, each or every, of you, has a psalm psalmos, a song. Each has a doctrine didache, instruction or teaching, which stresses the authority of the subject matter and also the act of teaching. Each has a tongue, i.e., an utterance in tongues. Each has a revelationapokalupsis, an unveiling of the mind of God to the mind or senses of man. Each has an interpretation (of the spoken tongue).
Each and everyone has a song, a teaching, a tongue, an interpretation, and a revelation. In verse 5, Paul said I would that ye all spake with tongues ... implying that some didnt. Here he says every one has a tongue, has an interpretation. Paul is not contradicting himself. He is simply alluding to the fact that every Spirit-filled believer has the potential (by their own will and the power of the Holy Spirit residing within) to speak and interpret tongues. The essence of Pauls statement is that all in the ekklesia meeting have some spirituality to contribute to the edifying of the body. We are to let all things be done unto edifying oikodome, literally, the things of building up.
Limitation On Public Tongues Speaking
1 Corinthians 14:27:
If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
If any tis, some or any person, i.e., anyone, (the world man is not in the original) speak in a(n) (unknown) tongue, (let it be) by two. This is kata duo, used distributively, i.e., divided among two or more, or at the most pleion, more in quantity, number or quality, (by) three. By course is ana meros, by turn, (not everybody talking at the same time). Let one heis, one as a unit, interpret (the implication here is that anyone may interpret).
1 Corinthians 14:28:
But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
But alla, on the contrary, if there is no interpretation, let him (the one of the two or three that spoke in tongues) keep silence sigao, to be silent, in the ekklesia.
The point Paul makes here is that if no one (including you) interprets your tongue, you are not to give another utterance in the hopes that someone will interpret your second utterance. You are to keep silent in the ekklesia (refrain from the public speaking of tongues) and speak to yourself, and to God (in tongues). If yours is the last public utterance, it will simply go without interpretation. If it is not the last public utterance then the next speaker will give his utterance to the ekklesia, subject to interpretation, and the same rules. These rules, when followed, eliminate confusion, establish order and maximize edification for the ekklesia.
All May Prophesy
1 Corinthians 14:29,30:
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
The prophets are to speak two or e, either (a disjunctive particle used to differentiate mutually exclusive or substitutionary things), three. Other is allos, here plural, denoting numerical distinction of others of similar character. They are to judge diakrino, the verb form of the noun diakrisis (used in the phrase discerning of spirits in 1 Corinthians 12:10). Here it refers to discerning what is of the Holy Spirit. Another is allos. Revealed is apokalupto, an unveiling of the mind of God to the mind or senses of man. If anything is revealed to another let the first hold his peace. First is protos, first in time, place, order or importance. Here it denotes before, the former or previous speaker. Hold his peace is sigao, keep silent.
1 Corinthians 14:31:
For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
For is gar. It connects with a reason. May is dunamai, to have power by personal ability, permission or opportunity. All is pas, all, any, every, the whole. Learn manthano, means to increase knowledge by use and practice. Comforted parakaleo, tenderly stresses the process or progress of Godly comfort. The last two uses of may are not in the original.
The phrase two or three in verse 29 does not stress the distributive use and sequence (of use) as noted in verse 27, concerning speaking in tongues. The prohibition against more than two or three prophets speaking in public utterance appears to be lacking. Two or three could refer to the number of times an individual speaker prophesies. It is clear from verse 30 that if a prophet has a revelation, and someone else is speaking, that the one with the revelation is to wait until the speaker has stopped. Then he is free to prophesy his revelation. At that point the previous speaker is to remain silent, the inference being that he may have had more to say in subsequent utterances. The reason for this is that all have the personal ability, permission and opportunity to prophesy (verse 31). In this way, Paul says, all learn (increase their knowledge by use and practice). All are comforted (by the process or progress of tender comfort, from the mind and counsel of God.).
Old Testament types substantiate the uninhibited vocal utterance of the prophets. In 1 Chronicles 25:1 David and the captains of the host separated for temple service the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun. They were to prophesy with harps, psalteries and cymbals. In verse 2 Asaph is noted as prophesying according to the order of the king. In verse 3 Jeduthun prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the Lord. Verse 6 states Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the kings orders. Verse 7 says there were 288 brethren instructed in the songs of the Lord, of a total of 4,000 who praised the Lord with their instruments (1 Chronicles 23:5). In King Hezekiahs reign And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the kings seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets (2 Chronicles 29:25).
1 Corinthians 14:32:
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
Subject hupotasso, primarily a military term, means to rank under, i.e., to set in orderly array under. There are really no hard and fast rules here, only simple courtesy towards each other. If you have a prophetic word you feel is from God, just wait for an appropriate moment to give it. You may mention that you have a word you feel is from God prior to giving it. Simply shouting out the word, as it the custom of many, doesnt contribute to order.
There are those who speak public utterances in tongues without an interpretation. They should be lovingly, firmly corrected. Those who speak out self-serving prophesies or interpretations judged not to be of the Holy Spirit must be admonished by the elders immediately. If they allow the incorrect public utterance to stand as a true Word from the Holy Spirit, it will lead astray the hearers and contribute to confusion.
1 Corinthians 14:33:
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Confusion akatastasia, denotes instability, disorder, disturbance. Peace eirene, describes harmonious relationships, with friendliness, freedom from molestation, order, and a sense of rest and contentment. It corresponds to the Hebrew word shalom, which primarily signifies wholeness, completeness.
For the sake of order it should be noted that New Testament precedents for Holy Spirit baptism are (1) by a sovereign act of God (Acts 2:4), (2) while hearing the Word (Acts 10:44-46; 11:15) and (3), by laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 9:17, 19:6). Many current practices are questionable, and at the very least, do not contribute to peace (as defined above) in the ekklesia.
1 Corinthians 14:34,35:
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. 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.
If we attribute these two verses to a quotation of secular origin, by Paul, or in any other way remove these two verses by various means of logic, regardless of how sincere or well-crafted, all of Pauls teachings on spiritual headship of the male of the species will continue to stand as scripturally valid. However, in discounting, or removing these verses, it will create a vacuum in Pauls teachings which covers the conduct of Christian wives in a biblical home meeting of the ekklesia of God.
There are no historical precedents for women (in general) being silent in the ekklesia. Lets look at the roles of women in scripture as far as them being silent in the assembly.
First, understand that the church, the ekklesia of Gods people, was born when Israel was led out of Egypt. Mention of this is made in Acts.
37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
Jesus did not come to earth as a human being to birth a New Testament ekklesia. One of His accomplishments, among many, was to open the door to the existing true household of faith of Gods ekklesia to the Gentiles. If you have a problem with that read the article God by the Spirit of Jesus Christ will build an assembly.
Women prophets mentioned in the Bible include Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Anna, and, negatively, Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14) and Jezebel (Revelation 2:20). In addition there are others who contributed to the welfare of Israel.
Nelsons Bible Dictionary comments on Miriam:
Miriam: 1. A sister of Aaron and Moses and daughter of Amram and Jochebed (Num. 26:59; 1 Chr. 6:3). Called Miriam the prophetess (Ex. 15:20), she is described as one of the leaders sent by the Lord to guide Israel (Mic. 6:4). Although the Bible does not specifically say so, Miriam was probably the sister who watched over the infant Moses in the ark of bulrushes (Ex. 2:4-8). Miriams song of victory after the Israelites successful crossing of the Red Sea (Ex. 15:20-21) is one of the earliest fragments of Hebrew poetry.
Miriam was involved in a rebellion against Moses when he married an Ethiopian woman (Num. 12:1-2). Both she and Aaron claimed to be prophets, but God heard their claims and rebuked them. Because of her part in the rebellion against Moses leadership, Miriam was struck with leprosy. However, Moses interceded for her, and she was quickly healed (Num. 12:1-16). She is not mentioned again until her death and burial at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin (Num. 20:1).
Miriam was a co-leader, along with Moses and Aaron. As a leader, she did much more than just not be silent before and in the ekklesia of God. Contrary to some commentators remarks, she was powerfully used by God to help lead the Israelites out of Egypt. She had her problems as stated in scripture, just as did Aaron and Moses. But Moses interceded for her, she was healed, restored and punished. But the congregation in the wilderness would not, could not, move on without her and waited the seven days it took for her to complete what God has proclaimed.
The daughters of Zelophehad were very vocal about demanding an inheritance among their fathers relatives.
God not only said nothing about their being so very vocal, but He told Moses that they were right, to give them property and to make the legal precedent a statute of judgment, as the Lord commanded Moses.
Numbers 26:33: And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.
2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.
5 And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.
6 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their fathers brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.
8 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.
9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.
10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his fathers brethren.
11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the Lord commanded Moses.
Deborah, a prophetess, was a judge of Israel, and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. Not only did Deborah not keep silent in the ekklesia of God, she was a prophetess and the people of Israel came to her for judgement. As a mother of Israel, she continued to do this for forty years, And the land had rest forty years.
4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Judges 5:7: The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
Judges 5:31: So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.
From the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on Judges 4:8:
8. Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will goHis somewhat singular request to be accompanied by Deborah was not altogether the result of weakness. The Orientals always take what is dearest to the battlefield along with them; they think it makes them fight better. The policy of Barak, then, to have the presence of the prophetess is perfectly intelligible as it would no less stimulate the valor of the troops, than sanction, in the eyes of Israel, the uprising against an oppressor so powerful as Jabin.
There is, however, an implied rebuke of Barak by Deborah for his not executing the order that God had given him (Judges 4:6) through Deborah:
Judges 4:9: And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
Some commentators have obliquely cast some doubt upon Deborahs calling by stating that the text does not implicitly state that God raised her up and that all of the judges had a military function, whereas Deborah was instructed to defer to Barak in military matters. In looking over their list of judges to prove their point, I was apalled to notice how many they left out in order to attempt to make their case. In fact the same could be said for Tola, Jair, Izban, Elon and Abdon.
Ive listed the pertinent scriptures listing the judges in the book of Judges:
Judges 3:9: And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Calebs younger brother.
Judges 3:15: But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
Judges 3:31: And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.
Judges 4:4: And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
14 And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Judges 8:33-9:57The account of the wicked Abimelech.
1 And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim.
2 And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir.
3 And after him arose Jair, a Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty and two years.
Judges 11:29: Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.
7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.
8 And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.
9 And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.
10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.
11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.
12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.
13 And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel.
5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.
6 And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.
Huldah, another prophetess, was chosen for prophetic counsel over Jeremiah, a contemporary. The king charged the priest and four others to inquire of the Lord for him. They went to Huldah, received the word of the Lord, reported to the king and he acted upon it. I dont see this as a private prophecy. Nor do I see Huldah being silent before the ekklesia the king sent to her.
2 Kings 22:14-20:
14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.
15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,
16 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:
17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard;
19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord.
20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
2 Chronicles 34:22-28:
22 And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect.
23 And she answered them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me,
24 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah:
25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.
26 And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard;
27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord.
28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again.
The Woman Of Abel
The wise woman in the city of Abel, mentioned in 2 Samuel, chapter 20, who spoke up in the ekklesia, and got to the root of a problem and solved it by tossing Shebas head over the wall to Joab, who was about to siege and destroy the city was not silent.
2 Samuel 20:13-22:
13 When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Beth-maachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him.
15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maachah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.
16 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.
17 And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.
18 Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.
19 I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?
20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.
21 The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.
22 Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.
Anna, in the temple when Jesus was brought in by His parents is another example. She was in the temple and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem, instead of keeping silence in the ekklesia.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
The Prophetic Function
Comments have been made that the prophetic role of women in scripture is such that it precludes speaking it publicly. In those instances, where prophetic utterances were made privately its obvious they were made to the person that received that word as fit the situation. The male prophets also spoke privately when appropriate. To attempt to differentiate between men and women prophets in their Godly function is a severe injustice to the texts so misused.
Is Gods House Divided?
The question naturally comes to mind: In the instances of women speaking out just quoted, hasnt God violated the very principles that Paul is teaching about women being silent in the assemblies of the ekklesia?
Miriam, along with Moses and Aaron was introduced into the biblical record at a low point in the spiritual life of Israel, having been in bondage to the Egyptians for hundreds of years. The daughters of Zelophehad sought justice in the legal matter of inheriting property because they were not male. By vocally and publically stating the injustice of their situation because they were women, Moses was forced to inquire of God. This was another low point in Gods justice not being executed. Their appeal was brought to God personally by Moses. Deborah was raised up by God during a low period of Israels history, which reflects upon the lack of responsible spiritual headship of the men of Israel (Judges 2:11-23). Huldah was consulted when the lost book of the law was found. This was also a low point in the history of Israel and would reflect upon the lack of responsible spiritual headship of the men of Israel in keeping the word of God alive and in the forefront of all activities. The incident with the wise woman of Abel occurred at a time when king David was having a lot of problems within his kingdom. When Anna spoke up in the temple it was at another low period in the life of Israel.
I think the key to understanding the heart of God in this matter of women ruling over men is best explained by the text in Isaiah 3:12.
The first two chapters of Isaiah set the stage for understanding what is said in chapter three:
Isaiah 1:4: Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
This sad commentary is a summation of the problems of Israel at that time. Because of their backslidden condition, God has determined that those people who are not willing and obedient and who continue to rebel against His will and purpose for Israel shall be devoured with the sword. He will bring the remaining people low and humble their pride so that only God is exalted.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Isaiah 2:11-12; 17-18:
11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
Isaiah, chapter 3, describes the judgment and punishment that begins in the household of God as a result of her many sins.
Verses 6-9 are a powerful indictment against the men of Israel.
6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:
7 In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.
8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
In verse 10 the righteous are reassured that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. The wicked are admonished.
10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
As I mentioned, verse 12 is the key to understanding Gods heart concerning the laxity of men functioning as spiritual heads:
Isaiah 3:12: As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
Isaiah 3 shows us that one instrumentality of judgment is when women rule over His ekklesia.
Because the leadership functions were not performed by the men of Israel as God intended, they were removed, which created a void which was filled by those who were not qualified to do so, i.e., children and women.
The women rule over them would include Maachah (1 Kings 15:13, 2 Chronicles 15:16) and Athaliah (2 Kings 1,13; 2 Chronicles 23:12-15) who were considered to be evil rulers. Both these women had contributed to Israel going very far astray from God.
In verses 16-24 the worldliness of the females brings divine judgement which punishes not only the women, but also in verse 25: Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. This includes the totality of the men of Israel, civilians and those in the military.
Isaiah 4:1 comments on the results of Gods punishment:
Isaiah 4:1: And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
Verse 2 speaks of the overcoming remnant bride (consisting of repentant women and repentant men):
Isaiah 4:2: In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
When things get out of order in Gods ekklesia, He will do what He feels necessary to get things back into righteous balance. Repentance and righteousness will bring healing and our restoration back to God.
Women are not to be placed into the male spiritual headship role. When God allows that to happen it is a form of punishment for Israel, i.e., the ekklesia. If the men dont wake up and begin to function as men in their male spiritual headship capacity, then God will allow the situation to become evil. Scripture mentions several women who have been an evil influence upon their husbands. Although in the verses below the women were not in a position of rulership, its clear that they were virtual rulers because of their influence upon the male leaders:
1 Kings 11:4: For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.
1 Kings 21:25: But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.
2 Chronicles 21:5-6:
5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord.
Judges 16:18: And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
A Scriptural Pattern
The pattern I see here (and this is not the totality of women used by God throughout the Bible in various capacities to bring balance and Godly justice to the Israelites) is that when the men of Israel were negligent in performing the duties of true spiritual headship, then God temporarily utilized women in spiritual headship positions to bring the spiritual climate to a more balanced and healthy state by provoking the males into action. God is apparently more concerned with keeping his ekklesia balanced and healthy than He is concerned with keeping a bunch of proud, negligent, irresponsible and rebellious males in their headship position. He is looking for responsible men who recognize their responsibilities.
So, no, I dont think that God violated His own headship principles. He has utilized women throughout biblical history in order to preserve His people and His laws, ordinances, statutes, precepts and commandmentsand His own headship principles. Its ironic that God has had to use, and will continue to use, women, so that men can continue to be spiritual heads to them, isnt it? As long as Christian men continue to allow themselves to remain ignorant of spiritual headship principles, much less function in that capacity, then God will continue to use women to maintain that principle. But only for as long as is necessary to bring balance and healing to His ekklesia. Continued apathy by the men of the ekklesia will allow the women to be an evil influence upon the ekklesias and upon the women in those ekklesias as we saw in Isaiah 3. The ekklesias will go astray and destroy the way to the path of righteousness.
Why is this principle of male spiritual headship important to God? Possibly because He wants His highest creation to have learned from the example of the first Adam that husbands have a responsibility to their brides to not allow her to make a wrong decision. Instead, He wants us to imitate the last Adam, Jesus Christ, and encourage His bride to make the right decision.
As stated in Chapter 2 concerning 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, Paul is discussing order in a gathering of believers in a local ekklesia. Order and authority are related. Its obvious that Paul is referring to wives and husbands in a meeting of a local ekklesia in a home. In 1 Corinthians 11:5 its clear a wife prays and prophesies, which cant be done without speaking. What is the intent and purpose of Pauls statement here? Paul has just stated that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (verse 33). With that thought in mind, he goes on to pinpoint an area that could (or did) contribute to confusion and disorder in the meeting of a local ekklesia in a home.
If the usage of wives and husbands used in the text isnt correct then it would mean all women and all men. If this is the case the unmarried women, the divorced women and the widows would have to inquire of their male relatives at home. However, this would make the assumption that one (or more) of their male relatives were in a spiritual headship position over them which doesnt fit the biblical requirements of them having a husband. One exception would be an unmarried womans father, as there is scriptural support for this from the Old Testament (Numbers, chapter 30).
For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to make the assumption that Paul is talking about husbands and wives, however I wont totally discount the possibility that it may refer to an unmarried womans father. I think that scriptural support for other male relatives is lacking.
A Commandment Of The Lord
Let your wives keep silent in the ekklesias for gar, connects with a reason, it is not permitted unto them to speak laleo, talk, i.e., utter words. Probing the meaning further, it means extended or random speaking. It also sometimes signifies the utterance as opposed to silence. It also refers to the words conveying the utterance, not without reference to the word spoken, or the sentiment of the words. The wives should not speak in the meeting of a local ekklesia in a home ... but not speak of what? What utterance (as opposed to silence), what words (conveying the utterance), and in reference to what word spoken, or what sentiment of the words? (Paul reveals our answers in verse 35).
The wives can publicly speak in tongues, interpretation, prophecy, revelation, (word of) knowledge, doctrine, prayers, singing, psalms and a word of wisdom. Why cant they speak whatever it is that Paul is referring to? But gar, connects with a reason, (they are commanded is italicized and not in the original) to be under obedience hupotasso, set in orderly array under (the spiritual headship of their husbands). As also saith the law, refers also to the spiritual headship of the husband.
Will is thelo, to will, wish or desire, implying volition and purpose, frequently a determination. Learn manthano, is to increase knowledge by use and practice. Ask is eperotao, a strengthened form of erotao. This word frequently suggests equality of petitioner with the petitioned. It means to interrogate, inquire, or consult, virtually signifying to demand. If the wives wish or desire of their own determined volition to increase their knowledge by use and practice, they are to demand, as equals, of their husbands that the husband teach them that knowledge, at home. It is a shame aischros, base, here, opposed to modesty, shameful, i.e., lacking harmony, propriety, or good taste, for women to speak laleo, in the ekklelsia. While Paul does not specifically say so, I think it would be understood that it would be a shame before God, shameful for the woman concerned, and shameful for her husband, as it would indicate he was not functioning as his wifes spiritual head.
Laleo is qualified by eperotao. They are not to speak (by breaking the silence and interfering with the orderly flow) demands for learning of spiritualities in the meeting of a local ekklesia in a home. They are to keep silent sigao, the same as the tongue talker in verse 28 (who can speak laleo, to himself, and to God), and the prophet who is to hold his peace sigao, in verse 30.
Rather than admonishing wives, Paul is reprimanding the Corinthian husbands. As a matter of scriptural teaching, the reprimand is not limited to them. Husbands have universally and historically failed to responsibly exercise their spiritual headship at home. Because of this wives are not equipped, enabled and empowered to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a public meeting of the ekklesia. The application is obviously not limited to an ekklesia assembly.
Paul gives a reason for this restriction on wives in 1 Timothy 2 and discusses women and ministry in chapter 3 and in Titus 2:3-5. (See Appendix). Click here to go to Appendix to Chapter Eight
If you have a problem with that Paul already answered your question:
1 Corinthians 14:36:
What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
Let God Be True, But Every Man A Liar
(Paraphrased) What? Did the Word of God come out from the midst of you (your denomination), or to you (in a private revelation from God) alone? Again Paul corrects the foundational posture that is necessary for order and peace in the meeting of a local ekklesia in a home.
1 Corinthians 14:37:
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 the Lord.
(Paraphrased) If one is of the opinion they are a prophet, or spiritual, let them fully recognize what I write to you is a commandment of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 14:38:
But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
But is alla, on the contrary. Ignorant agnoeo, is not to know. Here it is used in the sense of disinclination to accept the spiritual truths taught by Paul.
Connecting with verse 37, it may be inferred that if one rejects Pauls teachings here, they should change their opinions and cease to consider themselves as a prophet, or spiritual.
1 Corinthians 14:39:
Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
Wherefore hoste, so that, expresses the effect or result of anything. Covet zeloo, is to desire earnestly, have a zeal for, burn with jealousy to prophesy. Forbid is kolou, to hinder, restrain, withhold, i.e., prevent by word or act.
1 Corinthians 14:40:
Let all things be done decently and in order.
All pas, is any, every, the whole. Done is ginomai, to cause to be, to become (come into being). Decently is euschemonos, decorously. It denotes gracefully, in a seemly manner. This is to be in contrast to confusion in the ekklelsia. It is to be in order taxis, in an orderly manner, in regular arrangement. It means (in time) fixed succession (of rank or character).
These last five verses stress the Godly authority of Pauls statements (verses 36,37). Some will prefer to remain ignorant and reject the spiritual truths taught by Paul (verse 38). They will manifest themselves transparently non-spiritual. They also reemphasize the importance of coveting to prophesy, and not preventing speaking in tongues (verse 39). There is final emphasis on allowing the manifestation of all spiritualities in a graceful, orderly manner (verse 40).
Scriptural Authority Needful
A scriptural analysis, analogy and allegory dramatize the need for corporate servant/leader authority, individual faith and dependence upon God as a prerequisite to full operation of the people, power and plan of God to fulfill the great commission and restore His ekklesia.
And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months (Exodus 2:1). And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaohs daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water (Exodus 2:10).
And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds (Acts 7:22). And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand (Exodus 2:11,12). Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well (Exodus 2:15).
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:24-27).
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb (Exodus 3:1).
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush (Acts 7:30).
Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt (Acts 7:33,34).
And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace. And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life (Exodus 4:18,19).
Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned (Hebrews 11:28,29).
He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years (Acts 7:36).
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening (Exodus 18:13). Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: ... So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said (Exodus 18:19,24).
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth) (Numbers 12:3).
And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated (Deuteronomy 34:7). And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel (Deuteronomy 34:10-12).
Moses was a Levite, learned in wisdom, mighty in words and deeds. He was headstrong, attempting to accomplish Gods purposes by the strength he had learned in Egypt. Nonetheless he rejected the pleasures of the sin of Egypt.
By Gods sovereign plan and purpose Moses spent 40 years tending sheep on the backside of the desert. He had the benefit of the advice of an elder, the high priest of Midian, Jethro, his father-in-law. Because he had good advice and 40 years of training in tending sheep, Moses had a supernatural encounter with God. He was commissioned by Him to deliver the Israelites from their Egyptian bondage. Moses continued to have problems with his flesh but in time learned to depend upon God. He became the meekest man on the face of the earth. Moses died healthy and with a powerful scriptural tribute as to his uniqueness as a prophet.
AnalogyThe Institutional Church
As Levites (servants of God), the institutional church today is learned in wisdom, mighty in words and deeds. It is headstrong, and attempting to accomplish Gods purposes by the strength it has learned in Egypt (the world). However, todays institutional church is not rejecting the pleasures of the sin of Egypt (the world).
Gods sovereign plan and purpose is for the ekklesia to submit to His authority and training. The ekklesia is to have a supernatural encounter with Him that He may deliver us from Egyptian (worldly) bondage.
We must lose our self-pride, self-assertiveness and self-interests. We must submit to Gods authority, become dependent upon God and develop meekness. Then we will be healthy, and earn powerful tributes as to our uniqueness as Gods prophets.
The high priest of Midian, Jethro, Moses father-in-law, told Moses: Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: (1 Intercede on behalf of the people) And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, (2 Instruct them in Gods decisions and laws) and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, (3 Inspire righteous behavior) and the work that they must do (4 Inform them of their duties). Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: (5 Induct them into leadership) And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee (6 Involve them in the decision-making process). If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace (7 Initiate and implement a vision). So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves (Exodus 18:19-26).
Moses, attempting to be singular ruler over multiplied thousands of Israelites, was wearing himself out. He was not properly ministering to the people. His father-in-law elder, Jethro, gave Moses Godly advice ignored by most institutional church leaders of the same mind-set today:
(1) Intercede on behalf of the people
(2) Instruct them in Gods decisions and laws
(3) Inspire righteous behavior
(4) Inform them of their duties
(5) Induct them into leadership
(6) Involve them in the decision-making process(es)
(7) Initiate and implement a vision (goals, purpose, direction, priorities, etc.)
He was to teach men of his own congregation. He was not to run an ad and solicit men with experience or levels of education from the four corners of the world. The men of his own congregation were to be trained by him. He was to provide out of all the people who had been trained able men. These were men of ability, capable of responsibly exercising servant/leader authority and making decisions as leaders. They were to be men of truth stable, honest and trustworthy, hating covetousness men who personally hated dishonest gain.
These men so selected were to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. There was one person appointed head over a group of 1,000 people. 10 persons under him were appointed head over groups of 100 people. 20 persons under them were appointed over groups of 50. 100 persons under them were appointed as head of groups of 10 (all from that same group of 1,000). That adds up to 131 leaders (plus Moses, who was in charge of the whole nation) for every 1,000 persons. Every group of 10 persons had able men, i.e., a trained leader (ruler, judge).
Godly Truth And Order Necessary
The life of Jesus, seen as the antitype of which Moses is the type, reveals the fulfillment of the spirit of the truths that Moses learned. We see the incorporation of Godly order in the areas mentioned throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus.
The analogy of the institutional church shows us that the institutional churches of today are falling from grace and attempting to get the saints back under the law of Moses.
One of the lessons to be learned from this is that we are to follow Jesus, Who fulfilled the law and the prophets. We are not to follow Moses, but we are to be disciples, i.e., learners, supporters, followers and imitators of Jesus Christ, and Him alone.
For many, the Old Testament Mosaic Law is apparently no longer seen as types and shadows of which the antitypes and substance are to be found in the New Testament. We, however, are under the New Covenant or Testament, and that is our focal reference point. From the New Testament we explore the Old Testament for details revealed in the types and shadows to be found there.
The practice of attempting to make the Old Testament our primary focal and reference point leads us back to bondage under the Mosaic Law. This is totally contrary to the purpose and teachings of Jesus and actually creates another gospel of which Paul the apostle spoke:
2 Corinthians 11:3-4:
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
There are many aberrant teachings today that are corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Instead, they substitute another Jesus, another spirit and another gospel.
Paul warned us about those who would pervert the gospel of Christ. He said that even if an angel from heaven preached any other gospel different than that which is preached in the New Testament that they were double cursed (Galatians 1:8,9).
The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on Galatians 1:8:
8. Buthowever weighty they may seem who trouble you. Translate as Greek, Even though we, namely, I and the brethren with me, weighty and many as we are (Ga 1:1, 2). The Greek implies a case supposed which never has occurred.
angelin which light ye at first received me (compare Ga 4:14; 1Co 13:1), and whose authority is the highest possible next to that of God and Christ. A new revelation, even though seemingly accredited by miracles, is not to be received if it contradict the already existing revelation. For God cannot contradict Himself (De 13:1-3; 1Ki 13:18; Mt 24:24; 2Th 2:9). The Judaizing teachers sheltered themselves under the names of the great apostles, James, John, and Peter: Do not bring these names up to me, for even if an angel, &c. Not that he means, the apostles really supported the Judaizers: but he wishes to show, when the truth is in question, respect of persons is inadmissible [CHRYSOSTOM].
preachthat is, should preach.
any other gospel thanThe Greek expresses not so much any other gospel different from what we have preached, as, any gospel BESIDE that which we preached. This distinctly opposes the traditions of the Church of Rome, which are at once besides and against (the Greek includes both ideas) the written Word, our only attested rule.
The word accursed in Galatians 1:8,9 in the Greek is anathema. Paul uses the same word in 1 Corinthians 16:22:
22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
Its fair to say that preaching another gospel is expressing the fact that Jesus is not loved by those who do so. The ultimate end of not loving Jesus and obeying the gospel as taught in the New Testament is the lake of fire.
The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary makes some astute observations: A new revelation, even though seemingly accredited by miracles, is not to be received if it contradict the already existing revelation. For God cannot contradict Himself (De 13:1-3; 1Ki 13:18; Mt 24:24; 2Th 2:9).
What a simple, simple, simple rule! Why dont we use this standard?
This distinctly opposes the traditions ... which are at once besides and against (the Greek includes both ideas) the written Word, our only attested rule.
The traditions being taught today are also besides and against ... the written Word, our only attested rule.
... when the truth is in question, respect of persons is inadmissible ...
What a reflection of the carnival atmosphere of todays institutional church! We have new revelations which for the most part are purely subjective backed up with isolated scriptures taken out of context. Some attempt to make their new revelations seemingly accredited by miracles most of which really strain credibility if not the truth itself. These new revelations are besides and against ... the written Word, our only attested rule.To top it all off, we exercise a supposed respect of persons simply because they promote and advertise themselves as some great one!
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
The institutional church is also bewitched ... with sorceries.
Those who teach another gospel and those who receive it, bewitched with sorceries are destined to spend eternity in the lake of fire. If we will but learn and apply the teachings of the New Testament and accept its scriptural authority this eternal fate can be avoided. The choice is fully and squarely up to you.
The Tabernacle Of David
Nathan the prophet told David of Gods plans for Solomon to build His temple (2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17). Solomon received the Word of the Lord (1 Kings 6:11-14), and subsequently dedicated the temple (1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 5-7).
David appointed Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord in the tent he had prepared for it (2 Samuel 6:17; 1 Chronicles 15:1; 16:1,4-7,37). These ministers continued their work in Solomons temple when it was completed and the ark transferred into it (1 Chronicles 6:31,32; 1 Kings 8:1-6; 2 Chronicles 5:1,5). In 1 Chronicles 22-29 multiplied thousands of Levites were deployed by David to do and oversee the work of the service of the house of the Lord. There were officers and judges, gatekeepers, praise musicians and priests. Levites were also placed in charge of the temple treasuries.
In addition, other Israelites were placed over the kings army. This consisted of 12 units of 24,000 men (1 Chronicles 27:1-15), and there were leaders appointed over the tribes of Israel (verse 16). Another leader was appointed to be in charge of the kings treasuries, and another over the storehouses in the fields, cities, villages and castles (verse 25). There were those who tilled the soil (verse 26), were in charge over the vineyards, over the produce of the vineyards and the wine cellars (verse 27). Others were in charge over the olive and sycamore trees, the stores of oil (verse 28), the cattle in the plains, and the cattle in the valleys (verse 29). Others were also over the camels, the donkeys (verse 30) and the flocks (verse 31).
All these were the rulers (having and exercising dominion) of the substance which was King Davids (verse 31). There was also a counselor and a tutor to the kings sons (verse 32) a counselor and companion to the king, and a general for the kings army (verses 33,34).
Every one of these rulers offered willingly to consecrate his service unto the Lord, by giving of their substance (1 Chronicles 29:6-9).
A Literal Application
God will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen (Amos 9:11) (see also Isaiah 9:6,7; Zechariah 12:7,8; Luke 1:30-33). David was anointed by God as (1) a shepherd (1 Samuel 17:34-36), (2) a musician (1 Samuel 16:14-23), (3) a poet (the Psalms of David), (4) a general (2 Samuel 8,10), (5) a king (1 Samuel 16:12,13; 2 Samuel 5:1-5), (6) a prophet (Acts 2:29-31, e.g., prophetical references to the Messiah made in the Psalms: 16:10; 22; 27:12; 34:20; 35:19; 38:13,14; 41:9; 68:18; 69:4,21; 109:3-5; 110:1,4), and (7) a politician (2 Samuel 1-10; 1 Chronicles 11-29).
This passage of scripture has application to the literal Israel. It has been presented as an antitype of kingly order and applied to the institutional church. As such it would incorporate the shepherd, music, poetry, generalship, prophetical and political abilities of King David among Gods people with scriptural precedents for order.
The question arises: can this scripture in Amos be applied literally to the institutional church today?
In Acts 2-7, we see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the believers at Pentecost and the foundations of the tabernacle of David being put into place. Powerful anointing, preaching and fellowship were accompanied by common possessions, healings, prayers and servant/leader structure. With the coming of persecution in Acts 8:1, all were scattered throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. As the ekklesia spread and grew, the conversion of Paul to evangelize the Gentiles stimulated the growth of the body of Christ. All of the epistles, especially Pauls, helped the ekklesia to continue to build the antitypical tabernacle of David.
If the institutional church returns to foundational principles and building materials of the tabernacle of David, and rejects secular influences, it would grow according to scriptural patterns. However, this is not the case today.
As stated, the institutional church preaches another Jesus, another spirit and another gospel based upon fantasy-based new revelations which violate clear scriptural guidelines.
Because of this todays institutional church is anathema, i.e., cursed, and displays a distinct lack of love for Jesus as Creator, Saviour, Lord, Master, Redeemer and Teacher.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary discusses Amos 11-15:
11. In that dayquoted by James (Ac 15:16, 17), After this, that is, in the dispensation of Messiah (Ge 49:10; Ho 3:4, 5; Joe 2:28; 3:1).
tabernacle of Davidnot the house of David, which is used of his affairs when prospering (2Sa 3:1), but the tent or booth, expressing the low condition to which his kingdom and family had fallen in Amos time, and subsequently at the Babylonian captivity before the restoration; and secondarily, in the last days preceding Israels restoration under Messiah, the antitype to David (Ps 102:13, 14; Jer 30:9; Eze 34:24; 37:24; see on Isa 12:1). The type is taken from architecture (Eph 2:20). The restoration under Zerubbabel can only be a partial, temporary fulfilment; for it did not include Israel, which nation is the main subject of Amos prophecies, but only Judah; also Zerubbabels kingdom was not independent and settled; also all the prophets end their prophecies with Messiah, whose advent is the cure of all previous disorders. Tabernacle is appropriate to Him, as His human nature is the tabernacle which He assumed in becoming Immanuel, God with us (Joh 1:14). Dwelt, literally, tabernacled among us (compare Re 21:3). Some understand the tabernacle of David as that which David pitched for the ark in Zion, after bringing it from Obed-edoms house. It remained there all his reign for thirty years, till the temple of Solomon was built, whereas the tabernacle of the congregation remained at Gibeon (2Ch 1:3), where the priests ministered in sacrifices (1Ch 16:39). Song and praise was the service of Davids attendants before the ark (Asaph, &c.): a type of the gospel separation between the sacrificial service (Messiahs priesthood now in heaven) and the access of believers on earth to the presence of God, apart from the former (compare 2Sa 6:12-17; 1Ch 16:37-39; 2Ch 1:3).
breaches thereofliterally, of them, that is, of the whole nation, Israel as well as Judah.
as in days of oldas it was formerly in the days of David and Solomon, when the kingdom was in its full extent and undivided.
12. That they may possess remnant of Edom, and of all the heathenEdom, the bitter foe, though the brother, of Israel; therefore to be punished (Am 1:11, 12), Israel shall be lord of the remnant of Edom left after the punishment of the latter. James quotes it, That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, &c. For all the heathen nations stand on the same footing as Edom: Edom is the representative of them all. The residue or remnant in both cases expresses those left after great antecedent calamities (Ro 9:27; Zec 14:16). Here the conversion of all nations (of which the earnest was given in Jamess time) is represented as only to be realized on the re-establishment of the theocracy under Messiah, the Heir of the throne of David (Am 9:11). The possession of the heathen nations by Israel is to be spiritual, the latter being the ministers to the former for their conversion to Messiah, King of the Jews; just as the first conversions of pagans were through the ministry of the apostles, who were Jews. Compare Isa 54:3, thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles (compare Isa 49:8; Ro 4:13). A remnant of Edom became Jews under John Hyrcanus, and the rest amalgamated with the Arabians, who became Christians subsequently.
which are called by my namethat is, who belong to Me, whom I claim as Mine (Ps 2:8); in the purposes of electing grace, God terms them already called by His name. Compare the title, the children, applied by anticipation, Heb 2:14. Hence as an act of sovereign grace, fulfilling His promise, it is spoken of God. Proclaim His title as sovereign, the Lord that doeth this (all these things, Ac 15:17, namely, all these and such like acts of sovereign love).
13. the days comeat the future restoration of the Jews to their own land.
ploughman shall overtake reaper treader of grapes him that sowethfulfilling Le 26:5. Such shall be the abundance that the harvest and vintage can hardly be gathered before the time for preparing for the next crop shall come. Instead of the greater part of the year being spent in war, the whole shall be spent in sowing and reaping the fruits of earth. Compare Isa 65:21-23, as to the same period.
soweth seedliterally, draweth it forth, namely, from the sack in order to sow it.
mountains drop sweet winean appropriate image, as the vines in Palestine were trained on terraces at the sides of the hills.
14. build the waste cities (Isa 61:4; Eze 36:33-36).
15. plant them no more be pulled up (Jer 32:41).
thy GodIsraels; this is the ground of their restoration, Gods original choice of them as His.
While it may be commendable that the institutional church wants to apply this scripture as a promise to the institutional church, it cant be done by the will of men today. As described in Amos this application to Israel will be by the power, will and sovereignty of God Himself. How futile for mankind to attempt to make this prophecy fit their apostasy in todays institutional church! The overcoming remnant body of Christ, those who will become the bride of Christ will see the spirit of this prophecy occur among themselves as they continue in obedience to the rules of the kingdom of God and His Christ, as given to them in the word of God, the Bible. The wannabees will simply institute some type of fleshly application that meets the parameters of human wisdom, which according to James is earthly, sensual and demonic.
Authority And Faith
For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it (Luke 7:8). Set tasso, means to place in regular order and arrangement, and signifies to appoint. Under hupo, here, is used in the sense of place. Authority exousia, means privilege, i.e., a right to exercise power based on demonstrated ability. The centurion indicated to Jesus that he was properly placed and appointed in regular order under authority. He had demonstrated his ability to be given authority over others.
When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel (Luke 7:9).
Jesus was a Man under authority Who stated that He did nothing of Himself. He sought the will of the Father, and did what He saw the Father do and taught Him to speak. He always did those things that pleased the Father (John 5:19,30; 8:28,29; 12:49,50; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:22-26). Because Jesus was a Man under authority and spoke the Words of the Father, the Father did the works (John 14:10).
Jesus, in the flesh of His humanity, was our example of total dependency upon God the Father, honoring Him as the only true God. His constant reference to Himself as Son of man sharply contrasted His humanity with His deity as God. Since Jesus Christ, sinless God incarnate, demonstrated dependency upon God the Father in His human form, should not we, as sinful redeemed humans in the bodies of our flesh, follow His example in thought, word and deed?
Christians are not little gods. We are justified human beings, going through a sanctification process. At some future time this will result in our becoming experientially glorified human beings. We will be the bride of Jesus Christ, under His eternal spiritual headship. (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:9 where wife is gune, a married or unmarried woman; Revelation 21:2,9; 22:17 where bride is numphe, a married or betrothed woman. She was usually adorned with embroidery and jewels, and was led veiled from her home to the bridegroom). We are now His body.
Christ is the power and wisdom of God, and the foolishness and weakness of God is wiser and stronger than men. No flesh should glory in His presence. Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption and we should glory in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:24,25, 29-31). His grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect through us when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). We can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). The energetic work of the righteous, who humbly and earnestly petition God for needs, causes much power and strength (James 5:16).
The prophet warned us: Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit (Jeremiah 17:5-8).
When you are submitted to biblical Godly servant/leader authority structure you will have authority. Authority and responsibility are opposite sides of the same coin. You cant have one without the other. If you have responsibility for something, then you automatically have the authority to get it done. Stated another way, if you have authority for something, then you automatically have the responsibility to do it.
When you responsibly (and intelligently) submit to Godly servant/leaders in the local ekklesia then you are demonstrating one aspect of your ability to have true biblical authority. There must be a pre-supposition here that you are intelligent enough to recognize true biblical and Godly leaders. The thrust of Hebrews, chapter 13 is not to mindlessly Obey them which have the rule over you, which is a deliberate mistranslation by the King James translators in order to preserve the then established religious hierarchy put in place by authoritarian control freaks. The whole idea of Hebrews 13 is to allow yourselves to be persuaded by the lifestyle of those who stand before you, which is what it really says and means in the original language.
The author of Hebrews is speaking of elders/shepherds/pastors/overseers/bishops, all of which are one and the same and recognized as such by the majority of those who assemble themselves together. That is to say that those who perform those functions are not self-appointed. They are recognized as elders and shepherds of the flock, et al, because of their responsible maturity in Christ, not because they say they are elders and shepherds and pastors and overseers and bishops. That is nothing more than pure ego attempting to aggressively assert itself as an authoritarian leader where the Bible clearly says the opposite. Obviously, if their lifestyle is not the salt and light spoken of by Jesus, then use your common sense and dont follow them!
You must first demonstrate your responsibility by discerning those elders who are true disciples of Jesus and then allow yourself to be persuaded by the outcome of their lifestyle, i.e., follow their example. Secondly, you must actually walk out that learned responsibility for some period of time, at which point you may have some degree of biblical authority exousia, privilege, i.e., a right to exercise power based on demonstrated ability.
The result will be great faith, and the Holy Spirit of God will work in and through you. Gifts will be a part of your life. Its your choice to be involved in the servant/leader structure God has established.
We must have the faith to let God be God, in His sovereignty, and we, as His ekklesia, must be humanly responsible to Him, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27).
In these verses the word men is used three times, and the word man (in reference to Christ Jesus) is used once (stressing His humanity). In each instance it is the word anthropos, meaning mankind, i.e., a human being, male or female, a person.
The subject is supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks ... for all men.
1 Timothy 2:8:
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
The word for men here is aner. It means a man, properly as an individual male, is never used of the female sex, and is distinct from a woman, boy or infant. It is used as a word for husband. The introduction of the word aner into the text at this point shows a shift in focus from human beings (anthropos) by the usage of the word aner, to that of husband.
1 Timothy 2:9,10:
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
The word women is gune, meaning a married or unmarried woman.
1 Timothy 2:11:
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
In the original the definite article the is before the word women (gune) in this verse. If we were to interpret the phrase to read Let the woman we have a problem in determining who the definite woman is. However, if we interpret it as Let the wife it continues the logical flow of thought from verse 8, where transition from the word anthropos to the word aner surely indicates husband. The word learn is manthano, to increase knowledge, frequently by inquiry, observation, use and practice. Silence is hesuchia, stillness, suggesting inner tranquility. Subjection, hupotage, is the noun from the verb hupotasso, meaning to rank under, i.e., to set in orderly array under. Here, again it refers to the spiritual headship of their husbands.
1 Timothy 2:12:
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
Paul is saying: But (on the contrary), I do not allow a wife to teach or to act on her own authority and assume a position of dominance over the husband. But (on the contrary) she is to maintain a state of stillness and inner tranquility.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
This verse has perplexed theologians for years and there are various interpretations assigned to it. It seems to provide a rationale for Pauls insistence of spiritual headship by the husband, which is based upon the natural order of creation in Genesis (see also 1 Corinthians 11:3,7-12). Paul also states that Adam was not deceived. This is apatao, deceived by a false impression of appearance, statement or influence. Paul says that the woman (definite article, indicating wife of Adam) was deceived exapatao. The intensive form of apatao, it means thoroughly deceived, and was in the (definite article) transgression. This is parabasis, meaning violation, inferring violation of a (the) specific command, not a range of violations.
The wife shall be saved sozo, to save, deliver or protect, commonly translated as salvation in childbearing teknogonia. This word is from teknon, a child, which gives prominence to the fact of birth, and a root gen, from which we get gennao to beget. It denotes bearing children, and implies the duties of motherhood. This phrase is open to many interpretations. Taken in a literal sense it indicates that a woman suffers discomfort in the act of childbirth (Genesis 3:16). However, God will protect her if she meets the conditions, or characteristics, described in the words following.
It seems irrational to infer the wifes salvation is dependent upon meeting conditions. These characteristics are coupled with sun, in union with sobriety sophrosune, soundness of mind, literally sanity, or figuratively self-control. As a Christian wife, her faith, love and purity would have been established and maintained. The stress and discomfort endured while having a baby would imply that she must exercise self-control and a sound mind to continue to maintain the Christian characteristics mentioned.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
This word for men is anthropos, a human being, male or female, a person. In verse 11 Paul describes the doma, ascension gifts given: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. In this quotation from Psalms 68:18 that reads in part ... thou has received gifts for men ... the word for men here is adam, meaning a human being, an individual or the species, i.e., mankind.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
The word for man here is aner, a man, properly an individual male, is never used of the female sex, and is distinct from a woman, boy or infant. It is used as a word for husband. Paul is describing the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (implying Christ personally). Its apparent that the use of the word aner is the proper word to denote His gender.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
These are headship gifts of male spiritual headship and are to be understood as functions, not titles. The gift of pastor (which encompasses the range of functions of elder/pastor/shepherd/bishop/overseer) is specifically mentioned by Paul as being excluded for a womans function in the ekklesia (and also deacon).
There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
The word male here is arren or arsen, variously translated male, man or man-child. Female is thelus, an adjective from thele, a breast. Both words are used in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6 where Jesus is explaining that at the beginning God made them male and female. There can be no confusion here, as the contrast between the sexes is obvious.
The word neither, is ou, meaning no or not, and expresses an absolute denial and implies nonexistence. Nor is oude, meaning not even, or not so much as. The Interlinear Bible by Jay P. Green, Sr. translates the verse as: There cannot be Jew nor Greek; there is no slave nor freeman; there is no male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Are men and women equal in Christ? Yes. Do scriptural precedents clearly reveal spiritual headship is invested in the male of the species? Yes. Just as God and Christ are equal, but God is the head of Christ.
5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
1 Timothy 3:2:
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1 Timothy 3:12:
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
Pauls teachings and instructions on Gods plan for spiritual headship of the male is based upon the creation account in Genesis. Notice that Paul skipped through all of the possible cultural, societal and traditional reasons that would indicate spiritual headship of the male and went directly to Gods word as recorded in the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis as the authoritative source of his teachings.
1 Timothy 2:13:
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
Its also based upon the redefining by God of the roles of male and female after the fall:
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Spiritual headship of the male is also restated in the New Testament:
1 Corinthians 11:3:
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Arguments for women to be utilized in Gods ekklesia in male spiritual headship roles are many times based upon possible cultural, societal and traditional reasons that simply avoid or ignore Pauls presentation of the scriptural record as his support.
Scriptural quotations of women utilized by God in the Old Testament are quoted as sufficient biblical authority. However, there is no biblical rationale presented as to why God put those women into leadership positions over men. If we can correctly understand it as being brought about by failure of the men to responsibly exercise their male spiritual headship roles, then it becomes a matter of shame upon men, rather than rationale that God will use women over men as a matter of biblical doctrine. In effect, they are glorying in the punishment that Israel, as the ekklesia, received from the hand of God.
The utilization of the fragile verses in the New Testament (discussed below) are not presented with the honest questions that the text demands. Rather, this biblical approach is sloughed off in a desperate attempt to utilize them as proof-text so that males may continue to ignore their male headship responsibilities and let women take over those male roles, thus bringing punishment and shame to the ekklesia of God.
One denomination that ordains women as pastors simply ignores Pauls statements, and buries pertinent scriptures within a quotation of a range of verses, then makes a general statement of conclusion based upon other factors (including Old and New Testament scriptures to endorse their error) rather than Pauls statements and the biblical record which Paul uses. This same denomination has embraced other false doctrines that come from experiential, rather than scriptural sources. Their churches are filled with women, which is a horrible misrepresentation of the family unit.
Another reason stated is the false logic that women are already functioning in male spiritual headship positions so it must be acceptable. However, it is contrary to scriptural commands. This is like saying robbing a bank is not wrong because people do it every day, therefore its acceptable. There are consequences for not obeying God. The fruit of the institutional church system has been rotten from the very beginning.
Further arguments are based upon a subjective statement by a woman that God has called her to be in the role of spiritual headship. God does not contradict Himself, the gift of discerning of spirits is needed if a woman makes such a claim. Scripture tell us Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). Many, many errors have been introduced into the body of Christ by the statement that, God told me or God showed me ... when the alleged revelation was clearly not substantiated by scripture.
Another argument is that its only fair and just for women to assume male spiritual headship roles because there is no male and female in Gods economy. That is human wisdom (which James tells us is earthly, sensuous and demonic) caught in the act of utilizing scripture out of context. The entire Bible must be our source of spiritual instruction, not just isolated verses quoted out of context.
Romans 16:1 commends Phebe our sister, who is a servant the same word translated deacon in 1 Timothy chapter 3. The word deacon applied to Phebe may fall within the broad range of meanings of the word in Greek. If, in fact Phebe was a biblical deacon, then her ministry, would have been, by necessity, restricted to women. But in view of Pauls statement that a deacon must be the husband of one wife, the whole concept is not acceptable.
Vines Expository Dictionary says this about the word deacon: diakonos (Eng., deacon), primarily denotes a servant, whether as doing servile work, or as an attendant rendering free service, without particular reference to its character. The word is probably connected with the verb dioko, to hasten after, pursue (perhaps originally said of a runner). It occurs in the NT of domestic servants, (John 2:5,9); the civil ruler, (Rom. 13:4); Christ, (Rom. 15:8; Gal. 2:17); the followers of Christ in relation to their Lord, (John 12:26; Eph. 6:21; Col. 1:7; 4:7); the followers of Christ in relation to one another, (Matt. 20:26; 23:11, Mark 9:35; 10:43); the servants of Christ in the work of preaching and teaching, (1 Cor. 3:5; 2 Cor. 3:6; 6:4; 11:23; Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:23,25; 1 Thes. 3:2; 1 Tim. 4:6); those who serve in the churches, (Rom. 16:1) (used of a woman here only in NT); (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8,12); false apostles, servants of Satan, (2 Cor. 11:15). Once diakonos is used where, apparently, angels are intended, (Matt. 22:13); in (v. 3), where men are intended, doulos is used.
From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 91.
Diakonos is, generally speaking, to be distinguished from doulos, a bondservant, slave; diakonos views a servant in relationship to his work, doulos views him in relationship to his master. See, e. g., (Matt. 22:2-14); those who bring in the guests (vv. 3-4,6, 8,10) are douloi those who carry out the kings sentence (v. 13) are diakonoi.
Note: As to synonymous terms, leitourgos denotes one who performs public duties; misthios and misthotos, a hired servant; oiketes, a household servant; huperetes, a subordinate official waiting on his superior (originally an under-rower in a war-galley); therapon, one whose service is that of freedom and dignity. ...
The so-called seven deacons in (Acts 6) are not there mentioned by that name, though the kind of service in which they were engaged was of the character of that committed to such.
Romans, chapter 16 mentions several other women involved in various ministries: Priscilla (and Aquila) who together expounded to Apollos (Acts 18:26), and who had an ekklesia in their house (Romans 16:5). In verse 7 Junia(s) is mentioned as of note among the apostles. In verse 12 Paul mentions Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord, and Persis, who labored much in the Lord.
Referring to Apollos, Luke says:
Acts 18:26: And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Aquila and Priscilla expounded unto Apollos, not just Priscilla herself. There are different opinions as to whether or not expounded means the same thing as teaching him. The word expound according to Vines Expository Dictionary is ektithemi, meaning to set out, expose (ek, out, tithemi, to place), is used (a) literally, (Acts 7:21); (b) metaphorically, in the middle voice, to set forth, expound, of circumstances, (Acts 11:4); of the way of God, (18:26); of the kingdom of God, (28:23).
In Acts 18:18-19, 26; Rom. 16:3; I Corinthians 16:19; 2 Tim. 4:19 Priscilla (Prisca) and Aquila are mentioned. Much is made of the fact that Priscilla is mentioned first in Acts 18:18, 26; Romans 16:3;2 Timothy 4:19. This prominence, its argued, proves that Priscilla was the leader of the two. Therefore, Paul really didnt mean what he said about women not teaching men. Because Priscilla is mentioned first in the biblical text in four of six verses is of questionable significance.
Whether Priscilla taught Apollos or not really doesnt make any difference. She was with her husband, and Im sure they both understood the concept of the male spiritual headship function and were in agreement and in order. Also, she wasnt teaching her husband, which is the point Paul made about women teaching.
Romans 16:7: Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
There is considerable controversy as to whether Junia was a man or a woman. Also controversial is whether the phrase of note among the apostles means outstanding among the apostles, or well known to the apostles.
The significance of the mention of Phebe, Priscilla and Junia(s) in relation to their functions in local ekklesias is not clear. To place total confidence that this is text proof of anything is not rightly dividing the word of truth.
To make claims of some type of female spiritual headship on the basis of the textual mention of these women is foolish, especially in the light of Pauls clear statement to the contrary.
I have struggled with this women in leadership roles issue for many years and have flip flopped back and forth like a tennis ball. In researching this issue Ive forced myself to read why women should be in male spiritual headship functioning positions [read: leadership roles] and also why they shouldnt be.
All of these New Testament examples of women apostles, teachers and deacons are very ambiguous in interpretation for justification of a valid scriptural principle that is clearly stated and supported by biblical types and antitypes involving God Himself and His highest creation, adam. As such, being weak and isolated, to use them as an iron-clad rule violates the biblical principle of having two or three witnesses.
The doma ascension gifts by Jesus Christ, Himself the head of the ekklesia, are all intended to be male functions of spiritual headship. Thats the apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher in Ephesians chapter 4.
However, the biblical record is clear that when the balance in the application of the principle of the male headship function begins to become terribly lop-sided because the men of the ekklesia become negligent, irresponsible and rebellious against the purposes of God, then He will raise up women to function in those capacities to accomplish His will and purpose.
Can a woman function in a male spiritual headship capacity? Yes, and it violates the biblical male headship principlebut God will use a woman in order to bring balance and healing into His ekklesiato among other things bring about obedience to that same biblical principal of male spiritual headship. The same can be said for the doma ascension gift of prophet, evangelist and teacher. To do so, however, jeopardizes the proper relationship of men and women as God wants it to be. If the men are not provoked into assuming their proper spiritual headship function, then it will lead to evil. However, there are clear scriptural prohibitions against a women functioning in the male headship position of elder/pastor/shepherd/ bishop/overseer and also deacon.
In summing up what Ive brought out: