Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – June 7, 2015
Theme: The Promised Holy Spirit
Topic: The Utterance Gifts
Main Texts: 1 Corinthians 14:1-31
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:10 – “to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
Last Sunday, we studied the three Power Gifts (or manifestations) of The Holy Spirit – Gifts of Faith, Healings and Working of Miracles. The key points from the study are:
- The Gift of Faith is not the same as saving faith – which unbelievers require to be saved. Rather, the spiritual Gift of Faith, as with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, is given to those that are born again; it is an extraordinary faith given to receive miracles. (Acts 14:9-10)
- The Gifts of Healings and Working of Miracles enable the ones so gifted to perform miracles.
- Paul manifested the Working of Miracles (“extraordinary miracles”) when, at Ephesus, handkerchiefs and aprons that touched him were taken to the sick as points of contact, and those sick received their healing. (Acts 19:11-12)
- Refusal to believe in God’s power to heal is a hindrance to receiving one’s healing; we see this in Nazareth where Jesus grew up, but where we are told He could not do many miracles because the people refused to believe in Him. (Mark6:1-6)
- An important observation is that everywhere these Power Gifts were manifested in the New Testament, the manifestations were never the focus of the occasions, but simply happened in the course of ministering the Word. Faith comes from hearing and appropriating God’s Word. (Romans 10:17)
- God is sovereign and can, as He chooses, minister healing to people who are perhaps not in a position to exercise faith, through the faith of others. We see this in the cases of Jairus’ daughter, the Centurion’s servant, and the sick man that was let down through a house roof to reach Jesus for healing.
This Sunday, we will study the three Utterance Gifts of The Holy Spirit – Prophecy Diverse Kinds of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. These are gifts that say something. We will understand the New Testament meaning of Prophecy and examples of its manifestation in the Early Church. We will also see how Diverse Kinds of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues relate to Prophecy.
The three Utterance Gifts – Prophecy, Different Kinds of Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues perhaps cause the most discomfort for those that are generally averse to Pentecostal manifestations. Some consider them to be disruptive of a “disciplined” and orderly fellowship. But, as with other manifestations of the Holy Spirit, an understanding of the operation of these gifts should lead us to not only accommodate them, but perhaps even desire them.
Paul, writing about the gift of Prophecy, defines the gift thus: “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.” (1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV) He re-iterates this understanding when he wrote: “For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” (1 Corinthians 14:31 NIV) We see here that the New Testament definition of prophecy goes beyond the common perception that it is all about predicting the future.
However, the “strengthening, encouraging and comfort” often comes by way of saying things that will happen in future, usually warranting a definite response from the hearers. This was demonstrated in the case of Agabus who, through the Holy Spirit, predicted an impending famine throughout the Roman world – Acts 11:27-28. The same Agabus prophesied that Paul would be bound up in Jerusalem and handed over to be tried by the Gentiles – Acts 21:10-14. We are also told that Philip had four unmarried daughters all of whom prophesied (Acts 21:8-9)! The different kinds of tongues spoken of here is the one that is ministered in public and requires the gift of interpretation of tongues to truly minister to the people. This is why Paul says “… The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.” (1 Corinthians 14:5 NIV). So, it is possible, and happens quite often, that a message spoken in a tongue and interpreted could be for the “strengthening, encouraging and comfort” of God’s people; this makes it equivalent to Prophecy. We could then ask: If a prophecy could come by way of a tongue and its interpretation, why would the Holy Spirit go through that route instead of simply delivering the prophecy in a language everyone understands? See 1 Corinthians 14:22.
Besides an equivalent of prophecy, what other messages could come through “different kinds of
tongues”? (See Acts 2:11).
1. 1 Corinthians 14:29 says we should “weigh carefully” what is said in prophecy. How do we
do this, considering that most “prophecies” we hear today tend to make us “feel good”?
2. Seeing that Paul could not be dissuaded from going to Jerusalem despite Agabus’
prophecy of his (Paul’s) impending suffering there, what was the point of that prophecy?
Father, visit us in the power of Your Spirit, and grant that we may see His manifestation in our midst,
especially through prophecy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.