How is it when you come together?
26 ¶ How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1Corinthians 12: 26-33)
How is it when you come together?
Is it like this?
"when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation."
The Bible tells us that when we come together--any one of us may have.....
a psalm (a song)
or perhaps a doctrine (a teaching )
or a tongue (a message in tongues)
or maybe a revelation (a manifestation of God--a revealed truth)
or an interpretation (an understanding of what someone else has spoken)
Is your church prepared and ready and have they made room in the meeting for all of us to have one of these things? Now here are the rules presented about how all these things might be done--
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
1. We need to take turns when we speak in tongues, because we are trying to get the interpretation, so 2 or 3 should speak one at a time (of course we should realize that the apostle Paul is dealing with a church which is meeting in their home--probably of a small size)
2. " But if there be no interpreter,"---We ought to know people within the church who are interpreters of tongues! This is a gift of the Spirit and we ought to recognize it as such and know who can do this gift! Of course if this person is not present, then we shouldn't speak to everyone in tongues--just to ourselves and God.
rules for prophets
(interesting to note that this is the same Greek word "prophetes" which is listed as one of the 5 gifts of ministry in Ephesians 4---note that it is not given any special distinction--it is not a "title of ministry"--it is not a title of leadership within the church--it is a function which has been described as something which "anyone" within the church has the right to do.
within the same context, this verse is found--
v31 "For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted."
It is very clear that "all" may prophecy within the church, that the gift of a prophet is not a special designation of leadership.
v29 "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge."
Again we see that more than one person ought to be able to "prophecy" (when someone "prophecies" than are called a "prophet" it's just that simple--ministry is an action--NOT A TITLE OF RULERSHIP!)--but the simple rule is that they should do it one at a time.
v30 "If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace."
This is saying that when the Spirit of God moves on another person, after the first person is speaking--the first person ought to have respect for the prophecy coming through the other person, and be quiet and allow the second person to speak.
The missing line---again!
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
This simple line of the Bible is most often ignored and not stated. But it is an incredibly powerful statement and one that needs to be stressed and respected when we meet together.
We will not be comforted---nor will we learn--unless all are allowed to prophecy!
We will not hear all that God has to say unless all are allowed to speak!
This also means for us personally that we will not grow unless we are allowed to speak and teach others!
These rules are clearly for home meetings. The "house of God" in the new testament was the home of every Christian--not the centralized temple of the old covenant (the temple of the Holy Spirit moved from a building in Jerusalem, to the heart of every born-again, Spirit-filled beleiver--if only we would live this out fully!!) The problem is that the home meeting is considered the "ugly sister' of the grand assembly hall (the church)--often discouraged and put down--but this promise is incredibly important, and it makes perfect sense--we need to be in an environment where any of us can prophecy or speak--so that we will learn to pray or teach or preach the word--to develop the gifts (which is what these chapters are all about) that the Bible tells us we ought to seek after with diligence. These rules are the basis of the apostolic network of operation that the church worked by.
3 Steps to apostleship
1. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20, KJV).
This is the starting point for apostleship. The real recognition that it only takes 2 or 3 of any of us, for Christ to be in our midst. (If He is there--then so is the potential for all of His ministry---right!?) Now, most of us have "experienced" this---but the question is: what do we do with God's presence? Do we just "feel it"? Do we schedule it for when it is convenient for us? (God will show up promtly at 10 am on sunday morning--and leave at noon--so we can go watch the football game!) Or, do we take the next step with the presence of God--and carry it on to apostleship?
2. Let God speak!
"How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of
you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath
an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying." (1 Corinthians
Most of us speak to God. But the rules for doing church, are the rules for prophecy--for the prophetic gift (within all of us) to be allowed to give US, His instructions. Do we have allowance for God to speak to us---through whomever He chooses?
"For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted." (1 Corinthians 14:31, KJV).
3. Be Ready to Act!
The name of the book is ACTS of apostles. It's not a record of their Sunday meetings---it's a story of God, moving as He wills, through groups of people. But bpeople who relase one another---who are ready to hear from God--and quick to do what He says. This isthe key to apostlship. Meet together in small groups---groups that are ready to carry out His instructions---immediately...
"Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus." (Acts 13:1-4, KJV).
Does this kind of stuff happen in your church? Notice, they are a small group of people, who know their ministry--respect one anothers annointing--pray in the Spirit---allow Him to give them an instruction---and then they carry it out! This is an act of apostles---people working together--serving God's will--as brothers and sisters in Christ---as sons and daughters who prophecy---as apostles--people willing to carry out what God tells them to do. They are operating in the apostolic network that Jesus demonstrated.
Apostleship is easy---try it some time!