Tongues are for a SIGN to them that believe not.--1 Cor 1:22
It is apparent from the below scripture references that sign gift ministry, including the speaking in tongues (an unknown language) was for the Nation of Israel.
Ex 4:1-9---God calling Moses to deliver Israel giving signs so they would believe Moses
Ex 31:13---to know something by the sign---possess knowledge...so Israel can believe because they see
Ex 14---Unbelieving Israel seeing deliverance at the crossing of the Red Sea
Judge 6---Gideon as a judge of Israel putting out the fleece to see if God was telling him the truth
Is 7:10-14---a virgin conceiving a SIGN to Israel; JESUS himself was a SIGN
Psm 74:9---see not our sign
John 4:48---the circumcision would not believe unless they see a sign
Matt 12:38---religious leaders asking Jesus for a sign
Mk 16:20/Heb 2:4--post resurrection commission to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of the Circumcision with SIGNS being performed by those that believe.
Zech 8:23/Isa 2:1-4----Israel's KINGDOM role speaking in the languages of the nations the Law of God coming from Jerusalem during the 1000 year rule of Christ over this earth.
Yet why did sinners, whether jew or gentile, who believed Paul's Gospel of the Grace of God in the beginning of the Dispensation of Gentile Grace under the MYSTERY of Christ receive spiritual gifts, but especially the SIGN gift of Tongues?
- To make manifest before all in the Dispensation of Gentile Grace God's judgment coming upon Israel's demonstrated unbelief. (see Rom 11:15 and 1 Thess 2:16)
Gentiles receiving Israel's SPIRITUAL GIFTS shows Israel that God had judged her to be in unbelief in Acts 7 when they consented to the death of Stephen.
"For as ye [Gentiles] in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [Israel's] unbelief: Even so have these [the majority in Israel that are in unbelief] also now not believed, that through your [Gentile] mercy [manifest by Paul preaching the Gospel of the Grace of God to the Gentiles] they [the unbelieving Israelite] also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded [Acts 7 with the stoning of Stephen] them all [Jew and Gentile] in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all [every person in the world regardless of religion practiced]." (Rom 11:30-32) [emphasis mine]
- To provoke Israel to jealously so some might be saved. When a member of the body of Christ spoke in tongue before the unbelieving Jew it was a sign to that unbelieving Jew so they might see the Grace of God in the Uncircumcised, be jealous of it, want it, and then believe like all other saved Gentiles.
1 Cor 14:16, 21-25...room of the unlearned/unbeliever; a jew who is eternally lost and needs to be saved by Grace through faith in the Gospel Paul was preaching; the Gospel of Christ--Romans 1:16]
- To facilitate Paul getting the ministry fully established among the Gentiles who spoke many languages and dialects. To communicate to the heathen Paul possessed the gift of tongues and spoke in tongues more than any one else. 1 Cor 14:18
It was by Paul that the preaching of the Gospel of the Grace of God under the Mystery of Christ was fully made known among the Gentiles-2 Tim 4:17/Col 1:25]
- To EDUCATE and EDIFY the WHOLE BODY in a local ASSEMBLY while the full revelation of the Mystery was being given to PAUL.
In addition, Paul wrote of six rules for godly tongue talking in 1 Cor 14:20-34. The Holy Spirit in the believe would desire the believer to follow the instructions Paul wrote. That manifestation would not violate the rules. If tongue talking experience violated the six rules, then God the Holy Spirit was not doing it. He would not violate His own written word.
The final authority was not their gift, them experiencing a gift, nor a sign seen, but the WRITTEN word through Paul their apostle who God appointed and ordained as His mouth-piece during this Dispensation of Grace. It was Paul who wrote, "I give you to understand..." spiritual gifts. 1 Cor 12
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