1 Corinthians 14 summery: (taken from multiple translations of the Bible) all are direct quotes [except in square brackets]

Pursue Love

[Love for God]

[Love for another (ie willing to suffer and die for that person)]

Eagerly desire the gift of prophesy

what God has revealed - GW

testimony - Ber

speak Godís word - Beck

This will result in:

Edification

Strengthening

Build up faith

Constructive

Grow in the Lord

Exhortation

Encouragement

Stimulation

Encourage

Comfort

Consolation

Encouragement

Edify the Church

Help the church grow

How shall I benefit you unless:

What happens if unbelievers or someone who does not understand comes into a meeting where prophesying [compare with SOP testimonial meetings] is taking place?

IN SUMMERY BRETHREN [and sisters!]:

It is possible for all to give testimony, each in his turn

You can all speak Godís Word one after another

And everyone will have his faith stimulated

And all may receive encouragement

And all may be stimulated

* Remember that a person who has a message from God has the power to stop himself and wait his turn. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. Such is the teaching I give in all the churches of the saints.

End of chapter 14 summery. Can you find all five fingers of a cell group in the above? If not look again! Does it sound too simple? Godís methods are often simple.

EGW comments: (I could fill a small book with the quotations from EGW on testimonial (social) meetings. Only two will be given here)

Our testimony is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. When supported by a Christ-like life, it will have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls.

Each should diligently and interestedly attend to his own work, leaving others to their own Master, to stand or fall. There are too many busybodies in -----[surely not in the Pullman Church!], too many who are interested in watching their brethren, and for this reason are constantly weak. They will bear testimony in meeting, and because they have not Jesus in their hearts to confess, they will try to impress upon their brethren their duty. These poor souls do not know their own duty, and yet they take the responsibility of enlightening others in regard to their duty. If such would attend to their own work, and obtain the grace of God in their hearts, there would be a power in the church which is now lacking.

Revelation speaks of a group of people who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy.

 

In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the Testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will and the course that He would have them pursue. {ML 40.6}

Silas had the spirit of prophecy

Simeon had the spirit of prophecy

Enoch had the spirit of prophecy

"Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper." {LLM 33.1}

Isa. 8:20. "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this work, it is because there is no light in them." {LLM 33.2}

Two texts are here set before God's people: two conditions for success. The law spoken by Jehovah himself, and the spirit of prophecy, are the two sources of wisdom to guide His people in every experience. Deut. 4:6. "This is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, who shall say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." {LLM 33.3}

The law of God and the Spirit of Prophecy go hand in hand to guide and counsel the church, and whenever the church has recognized this by obeying His law, the spirit of prophecy has been sent to guide her in the way of truth. {LLM 33.4}

Faithfulness in Social Meeting

The Lord has shown me that great interest should be taken by Sabbathkeepers to keep up their meetings and make them interesting. There is great necessity of more interest and energy being manifested in this direction. All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb.

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{EW 114.2}

We should not come together to remain silent; those only are remembered of the Lord who assemble to speak of His honor and glory and tell of His power; upon such the blessing of God will rest, and they will be refreshed. If all moved as they should, no precious time would run to waste, and no reproofs would be needed for long prayers and exhortations; all the time would be occupied by short, pointed testimonies and prayers. Ask, believe, and receive. There is too much mocking the Lord, too much praying that is no praying and that wearies angels and displeases God, too many vain, unmeaning petitions. First we should feel needy, and then ask God for the very things we need, believing that He gives them to us, even while we ask; and then our faith will grow, all will be edified, the weak will be strengthened, and the discouraged and desponding made to look up and believe that God is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him. {EW 115.1}

Some hold back in meeting because they have nothing new to say and must repeat the same story if they speak. I saw that pride was at the bottom of this, that God and angels witnessed the testimonies of the saints and were well pleased and glorified by their being repeated weekly. The Lord loves simplicity and humility, but He is displeased and angels are grieved when professed heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus suffer precious time to run to waste in their meetings. {EW 115.2}

If the brethren and sisters were in the place they should be, they would not be at a loss to find something to say in honor of Jesus, who hung upon Calvary's cross for their sins. If they would cherish more of a realizing sense of the condescension of God in giving His only beloved Son to die a sacrifice for our sins and transgressions, and of the sufferings and anguish of Jesus to make a way of escape for guilty man, that he might receive pardon and live, they would

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be more ready to extol and magnify Jesus. They could not hold their peace, but with thankfulness and gratitude would talk of His glory and tell of His power. And blessings from God would rest upon them by so doing. Even if the same story were repeated, God would be glorified. The angel showed me those who ceased not day nor night to cry, "Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty." "Continued repetition," said the angel, "yet God is glorified by it." Although we may tell the same story over and over, it honors God, and shows that we are not unmindful of His goodness and mercies to us. {EW 115.3}

I saw that the nominal churches have fallen; that coldness and death reign in their midst. If they would follow the Word of God, it would humble them. But they get above the work of the Lord. It is too humiliating for them to repeat the same simple story of God's goodness when they meet together, and they study to get something new, something great, and to have their words exact to the ear and pleasing to man, and God's Spirit leaves them. When we follow the humble Bible way, we shall have the movings of the Spirit of God. All will be in sweet harmony if we follow the humble channel of truth, depending wholly upon God, and there will be no danger of being affected by the evil angels. It is when souls get above the Spirit of God, moving in their own strength, that the angels cease watching over them, and they are left to the buffetings of Satan. {EW 116.1}