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Paul is not disparaging of tongues, he is thankful that he has the gift. It edifies him.

But in "assembly" he would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct. For the "numbers" people. Five is the number of Grace. What five words would Paul speak if it did refer to God's Grace?

Chuck Missler's guess is:

Note that this would qualify as prophecy as it was revealed to Paul by divine inspiration. (Relaized on Damascus road)
In OT and NT

So stop thinking like children (spiritually immature) and think like adults (spiritually mature)

Cites an Isaiah passage and relates it to "tongues".

Commentators and scholars are all over the map on this one, due to an apparent contradiction with later verses:

1Cor14:22 "Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers." NIV

I have seen some claim that it is scribal error. Hard to believe that that many scribes would make same mistake(s). Others twist and turn the meaning of words to make it agree with later verses.

To me - the passage refers back to the Isaiah citation (KJV uses "wherefore" rather than "then"). Isaiah came upon a bunch of priests and prophets in Ephraim (Northern Israel) that were "drunk as skunks". So drunk they could not control their stomach or their bowels. Isaiah berated them: How could they legitimately teach or reveal to anyone? The priests and prophets mocked him. So he prophesied that "strange tongues and foreigners would speak to them",and this would be their demise. Isaiah spoke in simple Hebrew to the drunkards. Soon would come the Assyrian army with their stammering lips and foreign tongue. That too would be ignored until it was too late and Northern Israel was conquered and dispersed.

Now go back to 1Cor14:22. Working backwards, Isaiah prophesied in understandable language, but the unbelievers ignored Isaiah. If they had been believers they should have heeded Isaiah. So the strange tongues (Assyrians) came as a sign to the unbelievers, but even this they ignored - leading to their destruction. If they had been believers they would have heeded the prophecy of Isaiah and not needed the sign of "strange tongues".

[NOTE: Just like the signs of Jesus were ignored by unbelievers. If they did not believe in Jesus, they should have recognized him by his works, but signs are fruitless to the "hard of heart".]

Now apply it to Corinth. Unbeliever comes in church and hears "tongues". He is not going to get it (strange tongues)anymore than the drunkards and N. Israel did in Isaiah. He will think you mad and probably (unstated) depart. Thus leading to his Spiritual destruction. Signs(tongues)are there for the unbeliever but they do no good to the church - as the unbeliever will not "get it".

But if an unbeliever comes into the "assembly" and hears revealed (prophecy)words, he will be convicted in the Spirit - exposed and examined and fall to the ground a "believer".

Well, this is where there seems to be a contradiction. However, think about it, the prophecy caused the unbeliever to be a believer. As a believer the prophecy had benefited him as it convinced him he was a sinner and he turned to the Lord. If he is a hard-hearted unbeliever, the prophecy will do no good just like it was ignored by the drunkards in Isaiah.

Prophecy is better because you have a better chance of providing "salvation" to an unbeliever.

This is how I resolve verse 22 in my mind. Tough passage.

What is cool is the participation of the Christians in assmebly. Different people bringing something to the table.

The problem was it got crazy in Corinth. Started resembling the pagan worship with everyone jumping up and down trying to speak. Some holding the floor to long (Like this post :), etc.

Paul lays out some rules of order, because God is not a God of confusion. Edification will occur if their is order in the assembly, and as always - that is Paul's main goal for the "assembly".

I disagree with John MacArthur and Bob Deffingbaugh. I think you have to understand the times, why Paul said this about women, and what overall lesson applies today.

In Greek Culture the women were discouraged from speaking in public.

"Not only the arm of the virtuous woman, but her speeches well, ought to be not for the public (µ), and she ought to be modest and guarded about saying anything in the hearing of outsiders ( ), since it is an exposure of herself; for in her talk can be seen her feelings, character, and disposition."
Plutarch, Advice to Bride and Groom 142C-D, essay written somewhere between 75-100 AD.

In Jewish synagouges, the men and women sat on opposite sides of the room. Communication between spouses did not happen. Corinth probably assembled in this way.

Paul has already said in Chapter 11 that women could pray and prophesy. If they prophesy and are judged credible they certainly have the right to help control the prophets.

1Cor14:32 "The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets." NIV

So what is the "silence" and "not speak" that Paul states to be done? The greek words give no clue as to what type of "speech" is being employed. But given the section on orderly worship - it must have been disruptive in some way. If disruptive, it is better to be quiet and discuss it at home per the roles of authority in the Scripture. Christ - Man - Woman.

Yes, this requires submission, but in those times the women were not allowed the education of the men. Perhaps there would be confusion in understanding certain presentations. Perhaps a lot. Rather than disrupt the whole assembly constantly, it could be resolved at home. Remember the man is to love wife like Christ loves the church. He should lovingly explain and discuss points of confusion by wife in private. Perhaps this is better than some stranger yelling out - 'What a stupid question lady?'

I have to leave it at that - Have no better explanation. Today, I just don't see this as an issue in most assemblies of Christians. Couples sit together. Most service are structured in an ordered pattern. I would assume any assembly that allowed a word from God from the Congregation would have some structure within their individual church.

Paul states that these rules of order are the Lord's command.

Summary: "Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way." NIV


Now we get into the Hebrew Poetic form in Scripture. Wish I knew and understood Hebrew Poetry better, but I do not. Going to go with general ideas of what is going on. If someone else comes up with added insight - I, for one, would be very interested to see the comment(s).

1) Theme in chapter 4: Follow your own line of thinking. You have advised others, now apply it to yourself.

Trouble comes only from sin; all misfortune is punishment.

Ergo: Job has sinned.

This is a shallow concept - a primitive theology if you will - I think perhaps that one of the purposes of this book is for God to deepen the understanding (theology) of Job and friends (and readers).

There are deeper reasons for suffering than it is just because of sin. (more later)

In the times before Mosaic covenant, apparently that was the belief. God punishes the wicked, and blesses the innocent (or good people).

2) In Chapter 5 Eliphaz continues: Might of God is irresistible; Infinite Justice rules the heavens.

Can't play games with God.

Chastisement of God is a blessing, we should be happy about it as it will correct our path.

God exalts those that are lowly. If Job repents of his sins (obvious by punishment), then God will restore Job.

3) So far I believe Eliphaz is sincere but misguided.

Job initially ignores Eliphaz's comments.

1) Job prays for death. In 6:10 - he could have joy despite the pain, knowing he had not denied the words of the Holy One (blasphemed?)

2) Job seeks pity from his friends. What did I do to deserve this? You are my friends - don't resort to platitudes. Look me in the eye and tell me what I did? Tell me how I sinned? Reconsider your statements Eliphaz, tell me the truth- for my integrity (righteousness) is at stake.

3) Job continues in chapter 7. Life is fleeting. Death is permanent. Some think verse 9 implies Job does not believe in ressurection. To me it just means the permanence of death compared to life on earth. Once I die, you will never see me here on earth anymore. Once in the grave, I will not cross the threshold of my house (on earth) again.

4)Man is nothing.

5) Job although he walks upright is not pure. He has sinned, but he has confessed and made sacrifices? So why has God done this to him? Why have you not forgiven my offenses and sins? Why have you not accepted my atonement offerings? What have I done to you?

Job 7:21
Why do you not pardon my offenses
and forgive my sins?
For I will soon lie down in the dust;
you will search for me, but I will be no more."

Again Job is questioning God, and again I think that is OK for anyone to do. Job has not cursed God.

Job 4:1-7:21

Eliphaz says twice in his first response to Job, “my experience …,’ (4:8; 5:3) and sums up his response by saying in the fifth chapter,

27 "We have found from experience that all this is true. Listen to my counsel, and apply it to yourself."

Do I use “my experience” as the end all and be all of the universe? If I do that, I have placed myself in God’s seat. I have stated that all knowledge is summed up in my little pea brain, I definitely know that it is not. However, if I flippantly do what Eliphaz had done then I am like him, presumptuous. According to the Word, that presumption is a sin.

And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
(Deuteronomy 17:12 KJV)

Job declares something that almost all of us do when faced with hardship, we blame God and we assume wrongly that all our hardships come because we did something wide of the mark. When we think like that we long for death or we desire to go back in time to will our non-entry into the world. Suicide, a permanent solution to a temporary problem... All who trust in the Lord should have hope based on the Words He has spoken to us in the Bible.

I Corinthians 14:18-40
I am not going to get caught up in the debate on speaking in tongues, though I confess, I do speak in tongues in the privacy of my devotional time. However, my salvation is not based on Speaking in Tongues, or Laying on of Hands or giving someone a “Word of knowledge.” I am Saved because of what Jesus Christ did for me on Calvary. My walk in Christ grows deeper by keeping myself attached to the Vine, that is Christ, and the evidence to others is the Fruit of the Sprit I should be producing. Am I a fragrance of Christ to others, or am I an Odor?

Since this letter is one of correction, the point of this passage is correction and balance, which is the key to life. Truth taken to the extreme is error. Speaking in tongues was something Paul did, but not to the exclusion of everything else and certainly not in a public form, where there was no one to interpret what was being said. The key phrase here is “Decently and in Order.”

Psalm 37:30-40

32 Those who are evil spy on the godly,
waiting for an excuse to kill them.

Boy did this verse hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m seeing this played out everywhere, in business, in government, and yes, in churches. People are not suppose to deal in truth and if they do or those holding the power (they just think they have power), may not kill them bodily, but they will attempt to kill by character assassination.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 KJV)

Proverbs 21:27

When we treat God like this verse states, bringing sacrifices and offerings to get something from God or to appease God for an evil we have done, then we are treating Him like idolaters treat their gods. We, in effect, are trying to “bribe” God to overlook an offense. Our religion then is not one of obedience but one of wiping the slate clean by our own “works.” That may be good enough for idols but it “Ain’t” what God is all about.

For we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away [far from God's favor, hurrying us toward destruction]. [Lev. 13:45, 46.]
(Isaiah 64:6 AMP)

If our “righteous” acts are not good enough for God, how much more are the acts we do in our attempt to appease God when we have willfully sinned? Something to think about.

Job 4 – Eliphaz the Temanite's first response to Job
“Does your reverence for God give you no confidence? Shouldn't you believe that God will care for those who are upright?"
"Stop and think! Does the innocent person perish? When has the upright person been destroyed?
"If God cannot trust his own angels and has charged some of them with folly,
how much less will he trust those made of clay! Their foundation is dust, and they are crushed as easily as moths.
They are alive in the morning, but by evening they are dead, gone forever without a trace. 21Their tent collapses; they die in ignorance.

Job 6 – Job’s response:
"If my sadness could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales,
they would be heavier than all the sands of the sea. That is why I spoke so rashly.
For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. He has sent his poisoned arrows deep within my spirit. All God's terrors are arrayed against me.
Don't I have a right to complain? Wild donkeys bray when they find no green grass, and oxen low when they have no food.
At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

I note this comment on the Newsweek article:

This type of experience may be produced in the name of God and with fleeting reference to the Bible, but this is not what God desires of us....
Let's not lose sight of this, as our culture becomes increasingly desirous of experience that we cannot provide if we are to remain faithful to our Guide.

The article concludes with the type of line we have come to expect in a postmodern society. "So let us say together: Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Sh'ma Yisrael. Allahu Akbar. Om. And store up the light against the darkness." After all, Americans agree that all (or most) roads ultimately lead to the same destination. And they are right: most do. Thankfully, God has seen fit to show us the one road, the narrow road that runs straight to Him.

All of this makes me think of these things:

I. Ulterior motives: Why do
we worship God? Do we worship Him for what we can get from Him?

II. God IS ABSOLUTELY TRUSTWORTHY – In fact, He cannot break His covenant and be God. However, HIS TIMING IS DEFINITELY NOT OURS. But He is NEVER late... always on time!

III. All blessings are rooted in the SPIRIT; God is our ONLY Source. There is ONLY ONE SOURCE, and that is God alone. He will use many instruments – but they are only that… tools that God can use.

IV. Satan can also use people against us—we need to be careful we are ROOTED IN and WALK IN the love of the Lord. Otherwise, we, too, might be used to tear somebody down instead of use God’s Wisdom to build them up.

V. GOD DOES WANT US TO EXPERIENCE HIM! Knowing “about” God is ESSENTIAL. We must know TRUTH ABOUT GOD in order to truly know Him. Some people “experience” God and then are taught the Bible—the Word of God (like what happened to me). Others are taught the Word of God and then “experience” the reality of God.
==> Either way, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” That work “know” means ALL of the following—which is what the Protestant reformers taught about THE LEVELS OF KNOWING GOD:
b. KNOW – to know about AND
AGREE WITH that knowledge
c. KNOW – to know about,
agree with that
knowledge, and GIVE
ONE’S SELF to that truth
and the God of truth.

VI. EXPERIENCES ALONE will NEVER lead us to God. Yet, WITHOUT TRULY EXPERIENCE GOD—rooted in God’s Person and in God’s Truth—how can we relate to a world that could care less about what we believe. They want to know—and we should be able to demonstrate the answer—IS GOD REAL AND HOW CAN I KNOW THIS GOD?

VII. GOD IS NEVER THE AUTHOR OF EVIL, He allows it so we can have the OPPORTUNITY to “share the Inward Likeness of the Ideal Servant of the Lord—Jesus”.
==> What helps me is
understanding this
about the word “tempt”

a. In Genesis 22 (KJV), it mentions that “God tempted Abraham” and told Abraham to offer his son—his only son, the one that he loved

b. Since we know that “God cannot be tempted with evil, and does not tempt others to sin”—how is this possible?

c. I heard this as an answer which has ALWAYS BLESSED ME:

1) Satan tempts us, FOR THE PURPOSE OF tearing us down and DESTROY US

2) God allows temptation, but FOR THE PURPOSE of BUILDING US UP and making us stronger

It comes back to a question of “ulterior motives”. Satan’s motives are always to destroy us—no matter how attractive or promising the temptation appears. God’s motives are always to build us up—even though He may need to allow temptation to come to us in order for us to be strong.

==> There is no shortcut to developing strength.
In order to be strong physically, we must willingly put ourselves through pain in order to be strong.
In order to be strong against disease, we must willingly accept the pain of a small infection so our bodies can develop antibodies.

Faith is a gift. But it is also like a muscle.
In order to be strong spiritually, we must not run away from temptation but (in a sense) embrace it.
==> Of course, when I say “embrace it”, I am not talking about “searching for a woman or a man to have sex with” or some other way of embracing sin.
NO! As the Holy Spirit through Paul said, “How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

Rather, we must embrace GOD’S PURPOSE FOR ALLOWING the temptation… we can EXERCISE OUR FAITH in believing and receiving God’s WILL FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

“The JUST shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2, Romans 1, Hebrews 10). There is no other way to live before and in God.

Actually, there is no way to live at all, even in the physical. We all trust that the E-mail we are sending is going to be sent.
We all trust that the food that we have carefully selected is good for us.
We all trust the elevators we enter will not free fall and plunge us to our deaths.
We all trust our driving and the driving of others, etc.
==> If we did not trust these things as a general rule, we would never get out of bed, and we would be continually stay in bed overcome and ruled by fear.

Hebrew 6
For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear,
Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.(B)
And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him.
Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final [ending strife].
Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath.
This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].
[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot [c]break down under whoever steps out upon it--a hope] that reaches [d]farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,(C)

In Jesus, VANCE

"God loathes the sacrifice of an evil person, especially when it is brought with ulterior motives."
Like Mike,I also feel an ouch at the "ulterior motive"part.I have come to wonder now if giving isn't fast becoming investing these days.If you give a person a gift with all your heart,you really don't think about what gift he's going to give back right...yet these days,we hear about giving so God will bless you...etc.
My dad(yet to become a believer)got even more convinced that christianity is just another business of getting what you can from God or people...the first tv sermon he heard was about first fruit and their benefits,the second about how God will prosper you and kill off your enemies.
I have to admit early in my christian walk I did give to the prophets to get a prophets reward...yet now I wonder are we giving or investing expecting divine returns...I know I did that and I guess when God talks about ulterior motives,yep I was very guilty...
God bless you all

Job 6 (NKJV)
“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, like the streams of the brooks that pass away,
Which are dark because of the ice, and into which the snow vanishes.
For now you are nothing, you see terror and are afraid.

I hope and pray that when I see somebody suffering like that, I will not automatically assume it is because they have sinned against God. And I pray that I will not try to offer “advice” to them all the time on how to “repent”.

I pray I will BE a friend and ask God to minister His love through me through the MINISTRY OF PRESENCE. Then, may I pray and really seek the Lord, and only speak what God has given me. I pray that I will make sure to ENCOURAGE as much as possible.

It is true that we can respond to people or things we don’t understand in fear instead of waiting on God and listening to the Spirit, and responding likewise.

Psalm 37 (NKJV)
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice.
The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them, because they trust in Him.

I like this quote from the article about Billy Graham entitled “Pilgrim’s Progress”:

“[T]he core message of the Gospel, and the love of God ‘for all people’ should take priority: ‘The older I get, the more important the eternal becomes to me personally.’ His mind is on the heavenly more than the temporal, on the central promises of Christianity more than on the passing political parade.”

The only way we can truly interpret our individual lives and our family lives on earth, as well as life on the world, is through the lens of living and operating in the mind of Christ.

As the Holy Spirit said through the Psalmist: “The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”

Salvation is a many-faceted diamond, and it has many facets: Strength, help, deliverance, forgiveness. This is what I hear the Spirit of God saying in the last verses of Psalm 37.

So, no matter what God allows that we do not understand, God will completely, totally, and thoroughly save us. He is God. He may not do everything in the way we thought He would—but He is righteous and He can be trusted!

Proverbs 21 (NKJV)
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with wicked intent!

This makes me think of the need to live with true, inner purity of heart. If I do that every day, then I will see God more and more clearly, and I will interpret the world and people around me with the mind of Christ.

Even the Lord Jesus waited until He was filled with the Spirit before He ministered to people. We should do likewise.

We cannot be who Jesus wants and minister as Jesus wants unless the Spirit of Jesus fills us and works through us.

May we walk more in this way!

Matthew 5 (NKJV)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Isaiah 28 (NKJV)
To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing”; yet they would not hear.

May we not refuse intimacy with the Spirit of God, and the inner rest God promises for all of life which wisdom produces from the Spirit.


On a lite note--I love the videos. I look forward to them every day. Today was especially fun!
Keep up the good work. Reading the Bible and comments on this site is how I start my day.

Good book on speaking in tongues- Power to Praise by Merlin Carothers! I read it and my personal prayer life has been transformed.
Thanks for your ministry Mike- praying for you!

Noticed I made a mistake on my last post- The book is Power in Praise, by Merlin Carothers.


Thank you for todays video. I am doing a bible study on the book of Romans and this morning there was reference to Abraham being "God's friend", (2Chronicles 10:7;Isaiah 41:8; and James 2:23) I was sort of humming that song while reading and now this afternoon I hear it on your blog. Wonderful!! Thank you once again, Mike, for all the work you put into this, and always giving us food for thought and references to read. God bless you. Karen

I have grown to enjoy contemporary praise music. However, different people express themselves differently and I found Chris Tomlin's remark patronizing and somewhat of a put down. Just because someone doesn't dance and clap doesn't mean that they are boring people! Response please...

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