Third, Paul lists “revelation.” That could mean anything that is revealed by God to some member of the body. For example, Paul specifically mentions how an unbeliever might visit a Christian gathering and have “the secrets of heart…disclosed” by means of gifts of prophecy. The result is that he would be “convicted” and “called to account” and “will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you” (1 Cor. 14:24-25).

Here we once again see that the real presence of the Holy Spirit was an expected feature of church gatherings, and that supernatural things would occur because of His presence. The early Christians really believed Jesus’ promise that, “Where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst” (Matt. 18:20). If Jesus Himself was in their midst, miracles could happen. They literally “worshipped in the Spirit of God” (Phil. 3:3).

In any case, prophecy, which I will say more about shortly, might contain revelation about people’s hearts. But revelation could be given about other things and by other means, such as through dreams or visions (see Acts 2:17).