All right ? tongues ? easy if you take the Bible as it stands and understand how God deals with Israel as a nation. Most make issue of prayer languages, interpreter or not and never cover what tongues are really for. Let?s get down to the basics. Remember, God deals with Israel as a nation differently than he deals with the body of Christ today.
According to the Bible tongues are for a sign (1 Cor 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign,?). The verse didn?t say tongues were for your personal edification, prayer time, public worship service, etc. Tongues are for a sign. Now, who require signs in the Bible? The Jews require a sign (1 Cor 1:22 For the Jews require a sign,?.). Why did the Jews require a sign? It was a part of their history. When God and Moses had their conversation at the burning bush Moses said (and I paraphrase), ?They are not going to believe me.? The Lord said, ?I will give you some signs to authenticate your ministry.? Moses went to them and did signs and wonders and they believed. When the Lord came to Israel in the gospels he came with signs to authenticate his ministry and some believed. In fact the Pharisees came seeking a sign - Mat 12:38 ?Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.? After Christ arose he gave the apostles the signs to authenticate their ministries they went about doing signs and wonders.
Next, tongues were not for believers but for unbelievers ? ?not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: - I Cor. 14:22. This is the clincher. Moses went to Jews who were unbelievers of his ministry. Jesus went to an unbelieving Israel with signs. Paul went to unbelieving Israel with signs. Also, the Jews were ?unbelievers? in the sense that they did not believe that God would not bless the Gentiles. In Acts 2 where the signs and wonders took place Peter preached to thousands of ?unbelieving Jews? and they believed after the message with signs and wonders (Acts 2:43).
Today tongues are used in churches for believers ? in other words done for the edification of the speaker or hearer, which is contrary to I Cor. 1:22 and 14:22 (note both verses are 22 ? can?t beat the book!)
Now, when you use your ?tongues? in your church service are there any unbelieving Jews there? Maybe and maybe not but most likely not. When you are using ?tongues? in your private prayer closet are there any unbelieving Jews there?
Let?s wrap it up ? When God deals with Israel as a nation he uses signs and wonders as authentication. God is not dealing with Israel as a nation today ? God is dealing with individuals. Tongues are for a sign and to unbelievers, not believers. Tongues are a sign of judgment to the unbelieving Jews. Also, unbelievers are ?believing ? Jews in Acts who were didn?t believe the Gentiles could get in on the blessings.
Tongue speakers are not following this today one bit. I really don?t care about how good tongues feel to you and how excited you get when you utter your ?tongues?. When you pray and speak in tongues are you doing it as a sign to unbelieving Jews? I don?t care if you saw millions at once speaking in tongues. What you saw were millions of deceived people led by an unclean spirit. They may be nice, polite, Bible-quoting people but they were deceived while they were nice, polite and quoting scripture.
I know you have a lot of verses you get from I Cor 14 but remember Paul is rebuking a carnal church of a misuse of a doctrine to the point where he calls them children in malice. Why you think you can find anything positive there to support your tongues beats the fire out of me.
Don?t judge tongues by your experience ? judge your experience by the Bible. Anybody can think they speak in tongues. I?ve even seen people ?practicing? their tongues so they wouldn?t lose them! Please, people! The great men of God of old wouldn?t and didn?t mess with that stuff for a minute and God used any one of them more then 10,000 tongue speakers today.
But you say, ?Yes, but I still know what I know and I speak in tongues and others do so that proves it!? Fine, base your doctrine on feelings and experience and ignore the plain teaching of scripture.
Again, one last time with feeling ? UNTILL YOU UNDERSTAND THAT GOD DEALS WITH ISRAEL AS A NATION DIFFERENTLY THAN HE DOES WITH THE BODY OF CHRIST TODAY THEN YOU CAN FORGET UNDERSTANDING THE GIFTS!
May God bless