In I Corinthians 14:29, it talks about prophets speaking. Does the word "prophet" in this context mean Bible teachers in the church? If verse 29 talks about teachers, does verse 30 mean that at any point teachers in a Bible class could be interrupted, and he will be silent to enable the other person speak what has been revealed to him?


"Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints" (I Corinthians 14:29-33).

Paul previously established that prophecy was a temporary gift from God to be used until the perfect comes. "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away" (I Corinthians 13:8-10). The perfect refers to God's word (James 1:25).

In other words, one of the purposes of the gift of prophecy was to fill in the time until all the New Testament could be recorded. So it would be better to think of prophets as living Bibles. They taught people God's word while it was still being recorded.

The later part of I Corinthians 14 discusses how worship should be conducted. "How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification" (I Corinthians 14:26). Each element of a service serves to educate and build up those who are present so they can be better Christians. It isn't a time for a person to show off or to dominate the entire service.

Since God is the source of revelation in prophecy, if a prophet has the floor, delivers a message from God and then another prophet gets a message from God, then the first prophet should give way to the second. Just because he had the floor, it doesn't mean he should talk at length about what God just told him.

What does it mean for today, now that we have the word of God in its entirety and people aren't getting direct messages from God? It means we conduct services in an orderly fashion with one person speaking at a time and not with people trying to vie for dominance. Typically we have someone designated as the teacher in a class (Ephesians 4:11). He conducts the class, making sure the topic follows the Scriptures, addressing people's questions and giving order to who talks next. A teacher would not be doing his job if someone from the audience tried to take over the class, or if he allowed the class to be a platform for someone teaching a false doctrine, or if everyone tried to talk at once so few could be heard.

God has said there isn't modern-day revelations. "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). Therefore, I would not blame a teacher for not yielding the floor to someone who falsely claims to be getting a revelation from God.