1 Corinthians 14:35


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. 1 Corinthians 14:35

Like the previous verse, this is a command. Far too many scholars and teachers say that this is merely a cultural or geographically isolated command. Where does such manipulation of Scripture come from? Paul says nothing of this. Rather, his words are clear, contained within an epistle to the Gentile church (which is prescriptive for the entire church age), and it contains nothing that can justify it being temporary or not all-inclusive.

Again, who is the ultimate Author of Scripture? It is the Holy Spirit working through the hand of a human author. In the case of 1 Corinthians, He is working through Paul. There is no need to point angry fingers at those who hold to the sanctity of these words. Rather, there should be willing obedience to them. Paul, having brought up the issue of women not being permitted to speak in the church, now gives further clarification of that. Not only are they to not prophesy or speak in tongues (which is what this chapter has been discussing), they have even further limitations placed on them. “If they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home.”

As the men are conducting the affairs of the church, it would be disorderly for the wives to be having side conversations with their husbands. Anyone who has spoken in public will surely note that having people talk while they are speaking is a distraction to their attention. Cell phones ringing, babies crying, etc, all cause the mind to get sidetracked. Paul has already shown that those who speak in tongues and those who prophesy should do so in order. This is so that others will be edified. If someone is having a side conversation, it will be just as difficult for others to concentrate as if two were prophesying at the same time.

Instead of women asking their husbands about a matter during the church, he says that they should “ask their husbands at home.” This will keep the church from being disorderly and it will allow the speakers to do so without breaking their concentration. But Paul goes further in his explanation. He not only says that they should ask their husbands at home, but he explains why. It is because “it is shameful for women to speak in church.”

Understanding the roles of men and women in the Bible, which reveals a patriarchal society is the appropriate one, it is unruly, disorderly, and improper for women to speak in the congregation where men are present. It is actually a shame upon themselves and thus it then reflects shame on their head; the husband. Paul explained this in detail in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.

His concern is for order and propriety in the church, leading to edification. If his words are ignored, there will always be a breakdown in that respect. Nobody would expect students in a university to be chatting during an important lecture on some great scientific principle, and yet the Bible is far more important than that. Time spent in a church each week for instruction is limited. Therefore, anything which detracts from those precious moments is to be restricted. This is Paul’s intent and aim in his words.

Life application: The command in 1 Corinthians 14:35 is given for order and propriety. To violate it is to show a disregard for what God deems important. Let us always seek His will through His word, being obedient to it out of love and respect for Him.

Another day in Your presence, O God! Thank You for this gift. May I use it wisely and bring You the honor that You are due. Let me do nothing that will diminish You in the eyes of others. Amen.




1 Corinthians 14:34


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 1 Corinthians 14:34

Paul’s words here are as clear and as positively stated as any other prescriptions found in the New Testament. They bear the weight and authority of the Lord who inspired the words, and they are universal in scope. There is nothing stated here to indicate that what he says is cultural, limited in geographical considerations, or temporary – as many claim in order to ignore what is stated. Rather, they are universal in all ways and binding on the church in all ages. Further, the intent and substance of his words are repeated in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12. This shows that it is a matter of paramount importance. To reject these words will inevitably lead to greater problems within the church and within society, as has been plainly evident in recent generations.

Paul has been speaking on the issues of “tongues” and “prophesying.” This is exactly what he is referring to here. Nothing has changed in the direction of his dialogue and he will continue to speak on both prophesying and tongues until the end of the chapter. His words for the universal church is to “Let your women keep silent in the churches.” This is clear and cannot be taken in any other way than what it says. But Paul, understanding the wickedness of the human heart, knew that there would be people who would take his words and twist them if he didn’t re-explain them. And so he does just that, repeating the prescription by saying “for they are not permitted to speak.”

Understanding this, the exact same logic that was previously applied to tongues can be applied to this verse –

1) The words of the Bible are inspired by the Spirit of God.
2) The Spirit of God will never violate a precept which is found in the Bible, which He has inspired. Therefore,
3) Any practice or occurrence which is seen in a church and which violates the prescriptions of the Bible cannot be inspired by the Spirit.

With this in mind, we can use it as a tool concerning the matter at hand –

1) The Bible says that a woman is not permitted to speak in a church.
2) The Spirit of God will never violate a precept which is found in the Bible, which He has inspired. Therefore,
3) Any church gathering where a woman either speaks (particularly in a tongue or prophesying), violates the prescriptions of the Bible and what is said cannot be inspired by (nor condoned by) the Spirit.

In reading this one must ask, “Do I know more than God?” The answer is obvious. He has spoken and we are to obey. In today’s modern church, many women claim the titles of “pastor,” “reverend,” “bishop,” “prophetess,” or whatever. These titles are false and these women directly disobey the word of God. They are to be rejected.

As a third way of repeating his thought, Paul continues with “but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.” In Genesis 3:16, the woman was placed in a subordinate position to the man. Throughout the law, this precept continues to be seen in various ways. For example, Numbers 30 goes into some detail on the matter. What Paul has said is not an arbitrary decision made by a male chauvinist, but rather it is the proper order of things which has been ordained by God.

In three different ways, he as shown that women are not to be in any type of authority position in the church. They are not to speak, but are to remain silent. In the next verse, he will continue with his explanation, clarifying exactly what is expected in this matter.

Life application: Fame or exceptional teaching skills are not reasons to disobey God’s word. Allowing women such as Beth Moore, Joyce Meyers, or a host of other supposed pastors and teachers, to preach from a pulpit shows direct disobedience to Him. Let us put aside star-struck eyes and return to obedience to Scripture.

Heavenly Father, it’s not popular in today’s world to hold to Your word, especially in areas which the modern world has decided are out-dated. But I would rather be obedient to Your word and be pleasing to You, than have all of the fame and riches of this temporary, fallen life in which I walk. Let me be unpopular toward the masses, but pleasing in Your sight. This is my hope and my joy. Amen.


1 Corinthians 14:33


Monday, 16 February 2015

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33

Too often this verse is taken out of its intended context to mean something other than what Paul is implying. It has been used, for example, to deny the doctrine of the Trinity because the Trinity is confusing. Because it is, it is claimed that it cannot be of God because God wouldn’t promote confusion in the minds of His people from what stems from His very being. First, just because something is difficult for us to grasp, doesn’t mean that it isn’t of God. Secondly, the concept of the Trinity is clearly laid out in the pages of Scripture. And thirdly, this verse has nothing to do with such a matter.

Paul has been speaking about order in the church. When tongues are spoken, there is often disorder because they are either false tongues or because they are real tongues which are not translated. Likewise, prophecies are to be given one at a time so that they can be assimilated by the other members of the church. It is these, and the other related principles, which Paul is referring to. In other words, he is writing about order and propriety in the conduct of the church.

Why is this needed? Because “God is not the author of confusion but of peace.” The term “confusion” is literally translated as “unsettlement.” It indicates that which is mixed up rather than that which is harmonious. The Holy Spirit will never fill someone with a tongue that isn’t a real language. He will never give a tongue which is not understandable to the congregation unless it will also be translated. And He will never give a prophecy which overwhelms the recipient to the point where he cuts others off as he spouts out his words.

These, and other such displays are merely attempts to draw attention to oneself. They are confused and they are not of God. As James says concerning such things –

“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” Jams 3:16

Such things are not of God. If you attend a church where people speak out of order, where people speak false tongues which have no meaning, or where people draw attention to themselves through supposed “ecstatic” displays of the Holy Spirit, leave that church. Their activities are not of God. We know this because Paul finishes with the notion that this is the case “in all the churches of the saints.” No church will be conducted in such a disorderly manner if it is guided by the Spirit of God.

Life application: Context drives the meaning of verses. Always check the context when analyzing or quoting Scripture.

Heavenly Father! How absolutely wonderful it is to know that I am Yours. I once was far from You, but You brought me near through the blood of Christ. That bond can never be dissolved and it will never end. I have the eternal hope of glory, bestowed upon me by grace. I receive the Gift, I call on Jesus. Thank You that in His cross, I have restoration with You! Hallelujah and Amen.

1 Corinthians 14:32


Sunday, 15 February 2015

And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 1 Corinthians 14:32

To understand this verse properly, it should be considered with the instructions Paul has just given. Taken together, they read –

“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”

Those who have a word to impart should not start speaking at the same time as others who are speaking. But Paul has shown that they must remain silent as others are speaking. He then explained why by saying that in speaking one at a time “all may learn and all may be encouraged.” However, someone may claim that the power of the Holy Spirit has taken them over like a rushing tide and they simply couldn’t control themselves. In this ecstatic state, they claim they lost control, yielding to the greater power which was present.

This sounds pretty great, yes… “Look at me, I’m filled with the Spirit, even to overflowing! Why I simply couldn’t control myself!” Paul says that this is not the case and it will never be the case because, “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” The Holy Spirit will not usurp the spirit of the man. Instead, He will work harmoniously with the man to accomplish His purposes. As Paul’s words are guided by the Holy Spirit, they are true and they precede any such display found in churches today. Therefore, any event in a church which violates Paul’s prescriptions cannot be of the Holy Spirit.

Now consider this more fully. If this is true with prophecy, a greater gift, then it must be true with tongues, a lesser gift. As this is so, then “ecstatic tongues” and other violent reactions to “Holy Spirit power” such as being “slain in the spirit” are shown to be false. The Holy Spirit will not violate a precept in the word of God, ever. If someone is “slain in the spirit” it is because they have willingly allowed themselves to be duped by a charlatan, not the Holy Spirit. It may be a form of hypnosis, or it may be a form of self-induced delusion, but such an event is not of God.

Paul is clear concerning the spirit of the man; it is subject to the man.

Life application: Don’t be duped by those who would make you feel you have less of the Holy Spirit than they do. The Holy Spirit is given upon belief. A believer will never get more of the Spirit than at that moment, but the Spirit can get more of the believer, just as a person can never get more married once they are married. Instead, a person can continually get more of their spouse (love, respect, bonding, etc) as the spouse yields to them.

Lord God, Your word shows me that the moment I believed in Christ as Lord, I was sealed with Your Holy Spirit and that I belong to You. Help me to yield myself to You as I walk in this life, and to yield to Your presence from moment to moment. Keep me from putting up barriers to this wonderful relationship, but rather help me to keep my heart receptive to You always. I never want to head back in the direction I was saved from! Thank You. Amen.

1 Corinthians 14:31


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.