Order in the use of Tongues
26: How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, everyone 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. 34: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35: And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 36: What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37: If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38: But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39: Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40: Let all things be done decently and in order.
Paul continues to teach how the believers are to be in harmony when they meet together in worship. He says when you come together everyone of you is to bring something. Some might bring a psalm to sing that the Lord has laid on their heart. Another might bring a message from the Lord in the form of doctrinal teaching. Another might bring a language. Another might bring something in the form of a direct revelation from the Lord. Another might bring the interpretation of the foreign languages that have been spoken. Whatever is brought let everything be to the spiritual encouragement and teaching of the believers. And if any believers bring languages that are unknown by the congregation then let two speak or at the most three. (In other words he is to check before he speaks that there is another believer present who can interpret the language that he is going to speak.) And let them speak one after another (there is to be no chaotic cacophony with everyone speaking at once) and there must be somebody that can interpret each message. If there is nobody with the gift of interpretation then let the language speaker be silent. He can speak in his heart to himself and the Lord. (He can speak to the Lord in his ordinary speech in his heart and the Lord understands all languages) In a similar way the prophets should speak by direct revelation from the Lord or by the exposition of the scriptures, one after the other and at the most three. And let those which have the gift of discernment judge the message given. (The elders of the curch are to excersize control over the meeting and cause to cease anything that is unedifying) If another prophet receives something directly from the Lord while a prophet is already speaking then let him wait his turn to speak. There is opportunity for him to speak in his turn. Only one prophet can speak at once and in this way everyone will learn from the Lord and everyone will be comforted in the Lord. The gift of prophesy like all gifts are to be controlled in the heart of every man. God does not bring about confusion in the congregation but peace and order as he does in all the other churches. Your women are not allowed to speak in the congregation but they are to be silent when you come together - silent in terms of public ministry, not silent in terms of conversation or personal worship. Women are to be in subjection to their husbands. (It was the same in Judaism.) If they want to learn something specifically they can ask their husbands at home, because it is a shameful thing for women to speak in public ministry in the church gatherings. Are you the originators of the Word of God? Did the word of God come only to you at Corinth? If a christian man thinks of himself as a prophet and as spiritual then let him acknowledge that the things that l am teaching are the commandments of the Lord. (They are not my personal opinion; I have not made this up, says Paul) However, if a man wishes to be ignorant of my teaching, then let him remain ignorant. Paul says, if you really want to have a gift then wish for prophesy - that is, the ministry of the Word of God. But do not forbid the use of the gift of languages, (during this Apostolic age). Whatever you do let everything be done decently and in a proper order.