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1 Corinthians 14 - "prophecy"

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  • Discussion 1 Corinthians 14 - "prophecy"

    Here's a thought that was posed to me recently. In chapter 4 Paul talks about two things: speaking in tongues and prophecy. Now the question...

    Is prophecy in this chapter to be understood as future prophecy -OR- to interpret tongues?

    *Vote for future prophecy:

    1) vs. 5--"The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, [unless someone interprets], so that the church may be built up." I added the brackets to show that interpretation is being talked about as a separate subject from interpreting tongues (at least that's how I see it with this passage)

    *************

    *Vote for interpret tongues:

    1) vs. 4--"building up the church", in this context of talking about tongues and interpretation, it would fit.

    2) vs. 6--> "Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?" This seems to describe prophecy as interpretation.

  • #2
    I believe a natural reading of the text is that Paul is distinguishing the two different activities of prophecy and speaking in tongues. No doubt both are going on in the church at that time, but speaking in tongues seems to predominate the church at Corinth. They are not being faithful to prophesy as much though, and vv. 1-4 show that Paul is encouraging them to grow in this area.
    ~Clay

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    • #3
      Does anyone know if the Word of God says that a particular Spiritual gift is a life-long gift? What if God decides to prophecy through someone in June, but then gives them the gift of teachinig in December with no gift of prophecy?

      Why do we assume Spiritual gifts are cast in stone and unchanging?
      Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by keck553 View Post
        Does anyone know if the Word of God says that a particular Spiritual gift is a life-long gift? What if God decides to prophecy through someone in June, but then gives them the gift of teachinig in December with no gift of prophecy?

        Why do we assume Spiritual gifts are cast in stone and unchanging?

        I think here we would run into several definition problems which are never spelled out in Scripture. For instance, the fruit of the Spirit (no doubt Spiritual gifts in themselves) are defined in Gal 5:22-23, and are expected every Christian have. Other gifts ought to be unique to different job categories (cf. Eph 4:11). So as to whether spiritual gifts overlap (i.e., speaking in tongues and prophesying during the same service, if not at the same instance) then I think Paul shows us that he is able to do both (1 Cor 14:18-19). I think gifts change as we grow in the Spirit. Not that any one gift stops, but that others are added on as we are able to grow. For instance, one person's gift of prophecy might be complimented by speaking in tongues as they learn new languages. So I understand gifts as a variable phenomenon instead of a having a fixed/unique quality.
        ~Clay

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        • #5
          In other words, let God have His way with us.
          Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

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          • #6
            prophecy can either be foretelling the future, which is by revelation via word of knowledge, or forthtelling, bringing a message from God to inspire the congregation that is present which is done through the inspiration of Holy Spirit.

            the manifestation of prophecy has the same effect as tongues with interpretation. tongues with interpretation is used when there are unbelievers present.
            Christianity is a leap of faith, not the abandonment of logic.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Clay Blucher View Post
              I believe a natural reading of the text is that Paul is distinguishing the two different activities of prophecy and speaking in tongues. No doubt both are going on in the church at that time, but speaking in tongues seems to predominate the church at Corinth. They are not being faithful to prophesy as much though, and vv. 1-4 show that Paul is encouraging them to grow in this area.
              Nice posts Clay.

              I think one of the things that is missed sometimes about prophecy is that it is not fortune telling. A look at the prophets reveals that what the prophets brought by prophecy were moral messages. Which is why we see them many times being rejected by Israel in the OT. And which also led to them becoming martyrs.

              For instance, besides Jesus (the final Prophet), look at Amos who went to both kingdoms of Israel and Judah and was run off because of his message. The priests who were tired of his prophecies clubbed him to death.

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              • #8
                I rather like that term "Jesus, The final Prophet". Who could possibly add more?
                I can rest in that.
                Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Speaking in tongues became 'prophecy' when it was interpreted. But the gift of prophecy was a different gift. The prohet spoke in his own tongue. But it should be noted that 'revelation' is distinguished from prophecy (prophets had to stop when a revelation came through) so that it is clear that prophecy was normally forth-telling rather than fore-telling.

                  As men spoke they were guided by the Spirit (something which had to be tested out by the other prophets). This was limited in a meeting of several hours to 'by two or at the most three'. It was not the main preaching.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by petepet View Post
                    Hi Speaking in tongues became 'prophecy' when it was interpreted. But the gift of prophecy was a different gift. The prohet spoke in his own tongue. But it should be noted that 'revelation' is distinguished from prophecy (prophets had to stop when a revelation came through) so that it is clear that prophecy was normally forth-telling rather than fore-telling.
                    Can you please guide me to the Scriptures that descibe this? Thanks
                    Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All prophecy in scripture relate to:

                      1) God's plan of salvation through Christ.
                      2) God's dealings with Israel as their relationship with Him strayed from what it should be.
                      3) God's chosen leaders as they relate to God's plan for salvation and the relationship that His people have with Him.

                      There are no examples of "telling the future" in the Bible. except that it deals with one the 3 points listed above.
                      You were made to think. It will do you good to think; to develop your powers by study. God designed that religion should require thought, intense thought, and should thoroughly develop our powers of thought.

                      Charles G Finney



                      http://holyrokker.blogspot.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Teke View Post
                        Nice posts Clay.

                        I think one of the things that is missed sometimes about prophecy is that it is not fortune telling. A look at the prophets reveals that what the prophets brought by prophecy were moral messages. Which is why we see them many times being rejected by Israel in the OT. And which also led to them becoming martyrs.

                        For instance, besides Jesus (the final Prophet), look at Amos who went to both kingdoms of Israel and Judah and was run off because of his message. The priests who were tired of his prophecies clubbed him to death.

                        Jesus is not the final prophet... because Paul says in Ephesians 4, that he appoints some to be prophets.... it's not the biblical standard that changed... but our understanding and lack thereof of the subject
                        The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you,And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by holyrokker View Post
                          All prophecy in scripture relate to:

                          1) God's plan of salvation through Christ.
                          2) God's dealings with Israel as their relationship with Him strayed from what it should be.
                          3) God's chosen leaders as they relate to God's plan for salvation and the relationship that His people have with Him.

                          There are no examples of "telling the future" in the Bible. except that it deals with one the 3 points listed above.
                          i don't know completely about that... to say that Jesus is coming is prophesying a future event... there's nothing grandiose about it... but it's what God is going to do and the word and the spirit confirm it... just because the Bible says it doesn't mean it don't need sayin again...
                          The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you,And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 1of7000 View Post
                            prophecy can be forthtelling, bringing a message from God to inspire the congregation that is present which is done through the inspiration of Holy Spirit.
                            This is correct and this is the use of prophecy in 1Corinthians 14. It is a gift that is often associated with teaching and/or preaching. It is used to build up, strenghten, comfort and exhort the body.

                            It does not necessarily only occur in a congregational setting but can be done through gifted writers, etc. It is the most desired gift...

                            Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
                            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.
                            But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
                            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.
                            1Corinthians 14: 1-5
                            ~ My testimony~

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