GLHOPI

Gospel Light House of Prayer International

Archive for the category “Praying Through the Bible Series”

How to Help the Work of God, Part 1 (Praying Through the Bible #258)


TEXT: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 257 messages in this series.

This is message #258 titled, How to Help the Work of God.

In this passage, Paul writes to some of his children in the faith, telling them of recent troubles that he and his companions have experienced. Even though many of them are but babes in Christ, he says he ‘would not have them ignorant of the trouble that came to them in Asia.’ It was apparently a very great trouble — one that “pressed” them beyond their strength ‘insomuch that they despaired even of life.’ The trouble was so bad that they thought they were going to die; however, God delivered them. Paul notes that, while their trust was in God, there was something else that also played a hand in their deliverance. He tells the Corinthians, “Ye also [were] helping together by prayer for us.”

Dr. John Walvoord & Dr. Roy Zuck in the BKC, “Rather than gloss over his feeling of despair and helplessness in this situation Paul underscored it forcefully to illustrate how powerless both he and the Corinthians were apart from God and to stress how important is prayer as a means of effecting God’s gracious intervention and aid.
Just what the hardships were is debated. Commentators in the 19th century and earlier held that the phrase in the province of Asia referred to Ephesus. Paul’s experience was linked with that one in which he mentioned fighting with wild beasts, a possible allusion to the contention instigated by Demetrius and his fellow silversmiths. However, no mention is made in that account of any harm coming to Paul. Twentieth-century opinion seems more disposed to locating this experience somewhere in the outlying region of the province of Asia (in the western end of what is today Turkey). One such suggested area is the Lycus Valley, where Paul may have experienced a beating by the Jews, which nearly killed him. Or perhaps he contracted a drastic illness with similar devastating results. All such views are merely conjectures. Being unable to be specific in identifying this experience permits believers today to apply this to themselves, especially when they find themselves in desperate circumstances where deliverance seems impossible.”

The believers in Corinth, whether they knew of Paul’s trouble at the time or not, were “helping” Paul and his companions by praying for them.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 8 (Praying Through the Bible #257)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:18-23

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 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.

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?

7 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?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

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.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

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.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

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.

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?

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

19 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.

20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

21 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.

22 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.

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?

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 256 messages in this series.

This is message #257 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 8.

Today, we will continue looking at the final application of the Biblical teaching regarding speaking in tongues. While some say that the gift of tongues was rescinded after the early church, others believe that the gift persists until this day. Some have prayed in tongues and others claim to speak in tongues in church. Only God knows whether a person’s speaking in tongues is legitimate or not. But, the Bible does provide us with guidelines that govern the use of tongues in the church and in our personal life. Speaking in tongues should always be superseded by understanding, edification, and interpretation in public and in private.

Paul first applies this principle to his personal prayer life, stating that even if he does speak in tongues, he will be sure to get an understanding of what he is praying. Second, he applies this principle to the use of tongues in the public worship of believers stating that, if there is no edification, tongues are useless — and that is not acceptable. Finally, he applies this principle to our communication with unbelievers. In verse 23, he says, “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?” This is self-explanatory: if an unbeliever attends a service where there is speaking in tongues, but no interpretation, he, not understanding the gift, will conclude that the people in the church are out of their minds.

Warren Wiersbe comments, “Paul’s final application was to the unsaved person who happened to come into the assembly during a time of worship. Paul made here another point for the superiority of prophecy over tongues: a message in tongues (unless interpreted) could never bring conviction to the heart of a lost sinner. In fact, the unsaved person might leave the service before the interpretation was given, thinking that the whole assembly was crazy. Tongues were not used for evangelism, neither at Pentecost nor in the meetings of the early church.”

Churches, today, must consider that, at any time, they could be speaking to a lost soul — not just inside the church auditorium, but anywhere around the world via the internet. Just as a good teacher puts the cookies on the lowest shelf, Christian preachers and teachers must strive to, for the most part, speak in terms that even the unsaved can grasp. Speaking in tongues will not impress a lost soul or convince them of their need to be saved. If there is no plain presentation of the Gospel, there can be no understanding of the Gospel, and we make of no effect the Great Commission of Christ.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 7 (Praying Through the Bible #256)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:18-23

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 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.

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?

7 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?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

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.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

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.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

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.

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?

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

19 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.

20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

21 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.

22 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.

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?

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 255 messages in this series.

This is message #256 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 7.

Today, we will look at the final application of the Biblical teaching regarding speaking in tongues. In our discussion of this passage of Scripture, we have learned that speaking in tongues was a special gift dispensed to the church in order to communicate the Gospel to those who did not speak Hebrew or Aramaic as the Jewish disciples of Jesus Christ did. We know that the “unknown tongues” spoken by the apostles at Pentecost were the languages of the diverse group of people gathered in Jerusalem. Each person heard and understood the Gospel in their own language.

Before we get into that, let me give you a little background on the early church and these issues. The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “Tongues were of benefit in an assembly of believers only if they were interpreted. But this seems not to have been the Corinthians’ practice. Instead they apparently poured forth their gift of tongues in unrestrained fashion. As a result believers with some other gifts were nonplussed by the behavior of the tongues-speakers. Furthermore, newcomers and other unbelievers who were aware of but as yet unconvinced by the gospel message would find their behavior positively ridiculous. Will they not say that you are out of your mind? This, Paul suggested, would certainly not advance the cause of Christ in Corinth. But prophecy was desirable because it would not only benefit believers but would also expose unbelievers not to a scene of chaos but to one of conviction and judgment—which would lead to personal disclosure (the secrets of his heart will be laid bare) and the worship of God.

Propriety in the use of gifts. In this section Paul drew to a conclusion his discussion of gifts . He also concluded the whole section dealing with Christian liberty in relation to worship . What is most striking to a modern reader is the apparent lack of any fixed order of service and the absence of any reference to particular individuals being responsible for specific ministries. The whole church seemed to exercise their gifts by spontaneously ministering to one another.

As he had done throughout the letter, Paul addressed the Christian community in Corinth as brothers, a general term including both sexes. When the church met, anyone was free to participate by contributing a hymn, or a word of instruction; probably a lesson based on the OT), a revelation from one gifted in prophecy, or a word from one gifted in a tongue followed by an interpretation of what was said. The controlling principle in this free participation was the rule of love. All that was said and done was to have as its goal the need of strengthening others.

Though there was no established order for a service, it was to be conducted in an orderly way. The services were to have balanced participation on the parts of gifted members. Those gifted with a tongue who wanted to contribute to a service could do so but only two or three at any one service and then only if individuals gifted in interpretation were present who could translate the language. If no interpreter were present, the tongues-speaker was to keep quiet. Though his gift was without benefit to the church if uninterpreted, it did have some other benefits.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 6 (Praying Through the Bible #255)



TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:8-19:

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 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.

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?

7 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?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

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.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

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.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

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.

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?

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

19 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.

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 253 messages in this series.

This is message #255 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 6.

Today, we will continue looking at the application of the Bible’s teaching regarding speaking in tongues in the church. We have seen that Paul values understanding, edification, and interpretation above the mysteriousness of speaking in tongues. The first place that Paul applies this to is his personal prayer life. He says that even if his spirit prays in a language that he cannot speak, he will demand understanding. He will not stop praying until he has an understanding of what his spirit has communicated to God.

The second place where the principle of understanding must be applied is in the assembly of believers. Paul says, “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? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.” In many churches, there is a whole lot of shouting and saying “Amen” when the preacher utters something in tongues. But, if you ask those people what the preacher meant, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. (And some people can’t tell you what the preacher means when he’s speaking English either.) That is what Paul is getting at.

Dr. Warren Wiersbe comments, “Paul assumed that the believers would listen to the message and respond to it. But if they did not understand the message, how could they respond? The ‘unlearned’ person was probably a new believer, or possibly an interested ‘seeker.’ He could not be edified unless he understood what was being said. Again, it was a matter of priorities. While Paul did not oppose the ministry of tongues, he did try to put it into a right perspective. The issue was not quantity of words, but quality of communication.”

Interestingly, Paul declares, “I speak with tongues more than ye all.” But Paul refrained from speaking in tongues in the church. He did not act, as some do, as if he couldn’t help himself. He believed that all things had to be done decently and in order, and breaking out in speech which no one else understands is not decent or orderly. Paul says, “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.”

Speaking in tongues is not a sign of spiritual maturity, as some believe. It is not a sign of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is not evidence of salvation. You can have a powerful and impactful church service without speaking in tongues because something more important is present — understanding of what the Lord has in store for His people to hear through the ministry of the Word.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 5 (Praying Through the Bible #254)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:8-19:

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 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.

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?

7 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?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

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.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

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.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

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.

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?

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

19 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.

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 253 messages in this series.

This is message #254 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 5.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 4 (Praying Through the Bible #253)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 (verses 14-15 here):

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 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.

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?

7 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?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

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.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

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.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

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.

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?

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

19 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.

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 252 messages in this series.

This is message #253 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 4.

In this passage, Paul has soundly admonished us regarding the use of gifts in the church. He has underscored, again and again, the main reason for which these gifts should be used. That reason is edification. As he continues in this vein, he uses another word that makes the meaning of this teaching even clearer. That word is “understanding.” We all know what it means to understand something. We desire clear, understandable communication in our workplace, in our families, from those who are training us, from our government, and from the media. We don’t like it when things are confusing, when people talk out of both sides of their mouth, when you hear one thing but the person speaking says they meant another. Why should it be any different in the church?

Dr. Warren Wiersbe comments, “Eight times in this section, Paul used the word understanding. It is not enough for the minister to impart information to people; the people must receive it if it is to do them any good. The seed that is received in the good ground is the seed that bears fruit, but this means that there must be an understanding of the Word of God. If a believer wants to be edified, he must prepare his heart to receive the Word.” I hope you go to church intending to, not just hear, but understand what is being prayed, preached, and sung.

What does this understanding look like in reality? How can we reconcile speaking in tongues with edification and understanding. Paul applies his teaching to three specific scenarios, the first of which we will look at today. The first scenario in which understanding is necessary is that of personal prayer. Paul writes, “If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” We see here that Paul allows for the possibility that someone could pray in a tongue that they do not know — whether it is a special prayer language, another earthly language, or even the language of heaven.

We must also note here that the “spirit” Paul refers to is not the Holy Spirit, but rather the human spirit. If you listen to a song that you like, and the song makes you feel happy and swept up in joy, that is your human spirit reacting, not necessarily the Holy Spirit. That is what Paul is talking about here. If a person prays in tongues, the activity of their spirit may cause them to feel as though they have had an encounter with God. But, we cannot base our actions on feelings. The special feeling that may come after praying in tongues will fade. What will you be left with then? How will you direct your life? In these instances, you need understanding.

Paul says in verse 15, “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also.” If you pray in tongues — if your spirit communicates with God in a way your mind cannot grasp — make sure you pray for God to give you understanding. It is not wrong to pray in the spirit, but you must have an understanding of what you are saying. (You don’t have to worry about what God is saying; He will make plain what He wants you to know.) You must consciously make the choice to include your mind in the process of prayer. Or else, as The Clark Sisters sang, “all your praying will be in vain.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #252)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 (verses 1-9 here):

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 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.

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?

7 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?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

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.

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 251 messages in this series.

This is message #252 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 3.

By way of introduction, Dr. John Walvoord & Dr. Roy Zuck, editors of the Bible Knowledge Commentary, said about this passage, “Paul had no intention of depreciating the gift of tongues; he was simply interested in appreciating the gift of prophecy. There was nothing wrong with the gift of tongues; in fact Paul thought it would be good if everyone had the gift. Of course he had said the same thing about celibacy, but in neither instance did he expect universal compliance with his statement. Since both were gifts from God, neither should be despised. In a church gathering, however, the gift of prophecy and its exercise was greatly to be preferred to uninterpreted tongues simply because the former built up others. As already stated, the tongues gift was confirmatory and thus temporary. Thus those instructions, specifically directed to the Corinthians’ misuse of tongues, are not directives for the use of tongues today.”

The Apostle Paul continues giving instruction on the use of the gifts of prophecy and speaking in tongues in the church. He reiterates again in verse 5 that he preferred that the people in the church pursue the gift of prophecy rather than that of speaking in tongues. He says, “for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” The Greek word that Paul uses that is translated as “greater” means larger or stronger. It is not to say that the prophet is more important in value, but in capacity. Prophecy is of benefit to more people than speaking in tongues.

Some of those who desired the gift of speaking in tongues appeared to be doing so because it seemed glamorous or was celebrated more than other gifts. But, Paul’s concern is only about how many people can be edified with the gift. If the tongue is not interpreted, no one will be edified by what the speaker is saying. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon lists the definition of edifying as “the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, and holiness.” Whatever you do in the church, you must ask yourself whether you are doing it to improve the spiritual growth of others or whether you are just doing it to show off and gain praise for yourself.

Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes, “Paul did not deny the value of tongues to the speaker, but he did place a greater value on building up the church. Unless the tongues are interpreted, the message can do the church no good. Paul pointed out that an interpreter must be present before the gift of tongues may be exercised.” He goes on to use himself in a hypothetical situation. He says, “If I come to 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?” Speaking in another tongue would have done no good for Paul’s listeners.

If Paul wanted to benefit the church, he would have to come with revelation directly from God, knowledge based on the study of God’s Word, prophetic speech directed toward a situation the church was facing, or the explanation of some doctrine the church needed to abide by. All of this, of course, would be delivered in the people’s native language. The point was not how dramatic the speaker could be, but whether or not the people could understand what the speaker was saying and apply it to their lives. There is no merit in being mysterious or complicated when it comes to Christian teaching (or any other kind of teaching); such teaching only comes across as confusing and unbeneficial.

A piano only has 88 keys, yet a pianist is able to play an infinite number of songs. You and I would instantly be able to recognize, understand, and enjoy the sounds of “Amazing Grace,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” or The “Star Wars” Theme Song. Why? Because the notes of each song are played in an orderly and organized fashion. Out of this order comes beautiful music. If someone bangs around on the piano keys, no matter how much they claim they are making music, everyone will see it for what it is — cacophony, and no one will be able to understand or enjoy what is being played. In the house of God, we ought to be committed to making beautiful, orderly, music that all people can understand and by which all people can be benefitted, edified, and uplifted.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 2 (Praying Through the Bible #251)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 (verses 1-4 here):

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 249 messages in this series.

This is message #251 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 2.

In our last message, we talked about the importance of prophecy in the early church. Prophecy was direct revelation from God through the Holy Spirit for the believers. This was necessary because the early church did not have access to Scripture like we do today. Prophecy was a valuable gift because it was beneficial to all believers. Out of all of the virtues, Paul desired that the Corinthian church seek charity or love one for another. And out of all of the spiritual gifts, Paul desired that they seek prophecy.

However, it appears as though many were seeking another gift — that of speaking in tongues. Paul was not opposed to this gift, but he was opposed to the way in which people desired it and misused it because it did not edify all members of the body. He says in verse two, “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.”

Before we get deeper into this verse, we turn to Dr. John Walvoord for some background on speaking in tongues. He writes: “Probably the most controversial of the gifts of the Spirit is the gift of tongues. On the day of Pentecost Jews who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were amazed to hear the apostles speak in their languages, and they asked the question, ‘How is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?’ Two other instances of speaking in tongues occurred in Acts. It would seem reasonable to conclude that in these three instances in Acts there was a supernatural manifestation of the Spirit in the form of empowering men to speak in languages that were not known to them. It should also be observed, however, that these are the only three instances mentioned in the Book of Acts, and that apart from the discussion in 1 Corinthians 12-14 there is no other reference to speaking in tongues in the New Testament. The purpose of speaking in tongues is clearly defined in the Scriptures. It was to be a sign to attest to the gospel, a proof to the unsaved of the genuineness of the Holy Spirit’s work. Though words were expressed and the glory of God was revealed, there is no instance in Scripture where a doctrine was revealed through speaking in tongues, and it does not seem to have been a major vehicle for the revelation of new truth.”

Like the gift of prophecy, as we have previously defined it, the gift of speaking in tongues was important to the early church for a specific reason — for testifying to the truth of the Gospel and the reality of the Holy Spirit’s work in the world. It was not to be used for showing off or as a symbol of a person’s status or level of spirituality. Some in the Pentecostal tradition have elevated this gift above others, even to the point of claiming that it is proof that someone is saved and/or filled with the Holy Spirit. However, in the New Testament, speaking in tongues was never seen as more important than any other gift. In 1 Corinthians 12, it is listed as one of many gifts, and it is listed as the eighth in Paul’s ranking of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28.

In verse two of our passage, we see the reason why Paul de-emphasizes the use of speaking in tongues in the church. It is because, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God.” Commentators have pointed out that the word “unknown” is an unfortunate addition in the King James Version. That word is not in the original Greek, and it has caused confusion down through the years. The “tongues” that Paul speaks of are simply other languages, although the case can be made that one of these tongues is the language of angels or the language of heaven. Whatever you believe these tongues are, Paul’s point is that they should not be used in public worship (without interpretation) because it is not beneficial for those who cannot understand those languages. The one who speaks in tongues speaks “mysteries” to God alone. The church is a place where mysteries are revealed through the plain teaching of God’s word. Believers ought to leave a church service with clarity and understanding, not with more confusion than when they arrived.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 1 (Praying Through the Bible #250)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 (verses 1-4 here):

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 249 messages in this series.

This is message #250 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 1.

By way of introduction, Warren Wiersbe said, “Prophecy speaks to men, tongues to God. “If you are zealous for spiritual gifts, at least desire the best gifts,” was Paul’s counsel. Prophecy was best because it built up the church. It gave the listeners encouragement and comfort—something that everybody needs. It is unfortunate that our translators inserted unknown in 1 Corinthians 14:2, because the New Testament knows nothing of an “unknown tongue.” From the very beginning of the church, tongues were known languages, recognized by the listeners. The tongue would be unknown to the speaker and to the listeners, but it was not unknown in the world. It is also unfortunate that people have the idea that tongues were used to preach the Gospel to the lost. Quite the contrary was true: Paul was afraid that the excessive tongues-speaking in the church would convince the lost that the Christians were crazy! At Pentecost, the believers extolled “the wonderful works of God,” but Peter preached the Gospel in the Aramaic language his listeners could all understand. The believer who speaks in a tongue speaks to God in praise and worship; but the believer who prophesies shares the Word with the church and helps those who listen. This leads to the second contrast. Prophecy edifies the church, tongues edify only the speaker. Paul did not deny the value of tongues to the speaker, but he did place a greater value on building up the church. “Greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues”. Unless the tongues are interpreted, the message can do the church no good. Paul pointed out that an interpreter must be present before the gift of tongues may be exercised.

Like the last passage that we went through in Corinthians, this passage is one that embodies complex and often controversial issues in the church. We approach these passages through the lens of prayer — praying better and praying more. Yet, God has seen fit to help us learn about a broad range of issues and, as we do so, we grow in our faith and in our understanding of the Christian life. From this passage, we will address the issues of prophecy, prayer, and speaking in tongues in the church. As we do so, we do well to remember that only prophecy and speaking in tongues are considered “spiritual gifts.” Prayer is not a gift; anyone can pray and pray effectively.

As he opens this chapter, Paul expresses his approval of the Corinthian believers’ desire for spiritual gifts. He says, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” Why does Paul tell them to desire the gift of prophecy, and what is prophecy as Paul thought of it? Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes, “Paul detected that the church was neglecting prophecy and giving a wrong emphasis to tongues. We must not think of a New Testament prophet as a person who foretold the future, for even the Old Testament prophets did more than that. The ‘prophets’ [of the New Testament’ received God’s message immediately, through the Holy Spirit, and communicated that message to the church, usually in a tongue, but not always. Prophecy was not the same as our modern-day ‘preaching,’ because today’s preachers study the Bible and prepare their messages. No preacher today should claim that he has immediate inspiration from God.”

The gift of prophecy was extremely valuable in the early church because the Christians of that day did not have much of the written word of God within reach. They did not have the collection of epistles that we refer to today for Christian life and practice. They relied on the Holy Spirit as He spoke spontaneously and as needed through men. The gift of prophecy was one that edified the body of Christ as a whole. However, as Dr. Wiersbe continues, “The mistake the Corinthians were making was to emphasize their own personal edification to the neglect of the church. They wanted to build themselves up, but they did not want to build up their fellow believers. This attitude, of course, not only hurt the other Christians, but it also hurt the believers who were practicing it. After all, if we are all members of the same body, the way we relate to the other members must ultimately affect us personally.”

This is why Paul said he would rather that believers desire the gift of prophecy instead of the gift of speaking in tongues. He wanted them to be mindful of their brothers and sisters in Christ and to be aware that what they did or did not do, what they said or did not say would affect them all. All of us will not receive the gifts of prophecy or speaking in tongues. But that should not hold us back from having a spirit that is concerned about the edification of the body of Christ. Prayer is something we all can do that will be a blessing and a help to each member of the family of God.

Melody Green wrote:

Make my life a prayer to You
I want to do what You want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers, no compromise

I want to shine the light You gave
Through the Son You sent to save
From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know You’re there

I want to die and let You give
Your life to me so I might live
And share the hope You gave to me
The love that set me free

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 6 (Praying Through the Bible #249)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 11:1-16:

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

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.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

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.

16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 247 messages in this series.

This is message #249 titled, Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 6.

In verse 16 of this passage, Paul delivers his final reason why the roles of men and women in the church should be separate and why women during that time should wear head coverings in public worship. As we have already seen, the first reason is because of the divine order of authority: God, Christ, man, and then woman. The second reason is because of Creation: God created man first and woman second. The third reason is because of nature itself which teaches us that men and women are distinct from each other.

The fourth reason that Paul gives is expressed in these words: “But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” The contentious people of the Corinthian church were those who wanted to challenge the norms or traditions in the church. In the case of head coverings, it was a tradition that the church shared with the wider culture. Neither society nor “the churches of God” had a custom of women not wearing head coverings, and in this case, Paul says it is best to let custom stand in order to prevent confusion among church attendees.

Regarding Paul’s reasoning, Dr. John Walvoord writes: “Paul was not trying to foist a new behavioral pattern on the Corinthians but simply to hold the line against self-indulgent individual excess in the name of freedom. As in the case of food offered to idols, Paul dealt with the immediate issue but also put his finger on the root of the problem, the Corinthian pursuit of self-interest which was unwilling to subordinate itself to the needs of others or the glory of God. Throwing off the head covering was an act of insubordination which discredited God.”

Jesus often rebuked the religious leaders of Israel for their adamant keeping of traditions and customs without having the right heart before God. But, there is nothing wrong with keeping good traditions — even those that don’t have a strong Biblical basis — as long as we keep them with the right heart before God alongside our obedience to His commands.

Of course, for us today, the time for defending the custom of women wearing head coverings in worship is long gone. In fact, if someone tried to impose such a custom in churches now, they would be, in Paul’s words, “contentious.” However, we can still apply this principle to disputes over non-essential issues in the church. God cares more about the unity of the body than He does about individual members’ preferences in how the church is run. We all ought to be willing to sacrifice what we prefer in order to prevent confusion and disunity in the church. All things may be lawful unto us, but all things are not expedient.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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