Saturday, 14 February 2015
For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 1 Corinthians 14:31
Continuing on with the gift of prophesy, Paul says that “you can all prophesy one by one.” This doesn’t mean that all in the congregation have the ability. Rather, it means that all who have the ability to prophesy also have the ability to do so in an orderly fashion; one by one. The reason for this will be more fully explained in the next verse. However, the purpose of prophesying in this orderly fashion is explained in his next words which are “that all may learn and all may be encouraged.”
If everyone prophesied at once, there would be no edification and there would be no encouragement. Instead, there would be confusion. But this is to be the purpose of everything done in the church. Therefore, it would make no sense for people to utter prophesies at the same time. Again, Paul is calling the church to orderly worship and to the use of gifts in a harmonious and edifying manner.
Like the misuse of supposed “tongues” which are spoken in many churches, the disorderly conduct of congregations where many people supposedly “prophesy” at the same time, claiming that it is under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is false. All one needs to do to determine this is to weigh what occurs in these meetings with the words of Paul. As the Bible is of divine origin, then what they are doing cannot be.
Life application: It is far better to learn from a biblically sound teacher than it is to attend a church which has great music, nice people, and an uplifting message, but which message isn’t biblically sound.
Lord, I mourn for the sheep of your pasture who are misguided by shepherds that aren’t obedient to Your word. Give Your people the desire to place the Bible above all else in their pursuit of You and to be willing to read it, contemplate it, and verify what they are taught against its pages. Pastors are fallible, Your word isn’t. Help eyes to be opened and minds to be attentive to this most precious of all gifts. This I pray that Your people won’t be misled by sweet messages which fail to align with Your word. Amen.