Speaking in tongues---
I'm from a very strict Pentecostal upbringing and from day one into this faith I've been told and taught that the speaking of tongues is a sign of the Holy Spirits 'touching or baptizing' someone.
I believe and engage actively in speaking the mysterious language and enjoy my time in the Spirit but a fundamental question that is really hitting me again and again is that to what extent is this belief that only speaking in tongues can truly signify the presence of the Holy Ghost?
Acts 2 mentions that when the Holy Ghost had come upon the apostles they spoke in tongues. Do we take this as the final sign of the Holy Ghost then? After some studying I think there might be a very fundamental flaw in this assumption. There are many brothers and sisters in the Christian faith who lead holy-lives and in submission to God but don't necessarily speak in tongues. Does that mean the Holy Ghost avoids these people and hasn't touched them? No, I feel it obviously doesn't! The Holy Spirit touches and enters any and every believer who asks of Him to do so with a humble heart. Regardless of one denomination or belief system, the Holy Ghost has been given to all of us and touches us differently. To some it causes the spirit to break free from the limitations of the human speech and break into spiritual Glossolalia and xeno-Glossolalia, to others it causes tremors in the body and heating sensations, still to others many other diverse signs. I feel we do wrong to limit the presence of the Holy Ghost to just the one sign of speaking in tongues. I know just so many fellow Christians who don't speak tongues but I find them to be more spiritual and anointed than I am as a tongue speaker.
I Think this is a question worth asking and if any has an answer please do clarify me. I may be wrong but my question isn't.
Thanks in advance to anyone who answers!
Paul said that tongues was a sign for unbelievers, not believers. It's my understanding that the gift of tongues was a first century gift given by the Holy Spirit to some believers as a sign to the unbelieving Jews. The Scriptures show us that it was a sign of coming judgment (destruction of Jerusalem) on the Jews for rejecting Christ. Paul also said that tongues would come to an end. Since it was sign of coming judgment it would seem that after that judgment the sign would no longer be necessary and would as Paul said, end. So, to answer your question, no.
could you give scripture reference where tongues are a sign of coming judgment(destruction of Jerusalem)? also the Bible does say that tongues will cease, but also tell us when that will happen:
1 Cor 13:8-10
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
when that which is perfect is come, is not when the cannon of scriptures was given, for it also says that knowledge shall vanish, knowledge didn't vanish with the fullness of scriptures but rather knowledge increased with scriptures. peter preached Joel's Joel 2) prophecy at Pentecost, and that prophecy spoke that servants and handmaiden prophesy. but also said that the end of those days the sun would darken and the moon turn to blood on the great notable day the Lord come. when that is perfect; is when our fullness comes when I was a child a spake as a child, our fullness comes on the great notable the Lord come.
I've written a paper on this subject that you may be interested in reading It's here, "Spiritual Gifts and Their Purpose". The passages of Scripture that speaking of the signs being to Israel are Isaiah chapters 8 and 28. Both chapters speak of a stumbling stone and rock of offense which according to the apostles applies to Christ. In chapter 28 Isaiah says though stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people. This is what Paul is quoting in 1 Cor. 14 when he says,
21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. (1Co 14:1 KJG)
Paul is quoting Isaiah 28. The sign of tongues was a sign to Israel as Isaiah said. Notice Paul quotes "this people" that's the same thing Isaiah said. "This people" is Israel. Tongues was for a sing to unbelieving Israel, particularly the leadership.
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. (Isa 28:11 KJV)
Judgment is prophesied against them.
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. (Isa 28:14-21 KJV)
KJV Isaiah 29:1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.
2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.
3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.
4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. (Isa 29:1-4 KJV)
The cornerstone is Christ which we know from the apostles. So, we know that this prophecy takes place at the time of Christ. It was in AD.70 that the Lord rose up against Jerusalem. It was just prior to this judgment that tongues would be used as a sign to the Jewish leadership that judgment was coming.
Regarding the cessation of tongues, if you look closely you'll notice that Paul does not say when tongues will end. He says prophecy and knowledge will end when the maturity comes. I believe he's referring to to completion of the Gospel message. The apostles were not given the entirety of the message all at once, it was revealed to them over time. I believe Paul is saying when the gospel message is complete (the perfect is come) then prophecy and knowledge (supernatural) would end. He said, I know in part but when the maturity comes that which is in part shall be done way with. It was prophecy and knowledge that were in part. When speaking of the cessation of prophecy and knowledge Paul uses the passive voice, yet when he speaks of the cessation of tongues he uses the middle voice indicating that tongues would cease of its own accord. It would seem logical that if tongues was a sign to the unbelieving leadership if Jerusalem it would no longer be necessary after the destruction of Jerusalem and the disbanding of the Priesthood.
I am Sorry, we may not see eye to eye on this, I think we all may be guilty to a certain extent of making scriptures fit our belief/doctrine, instead of making our doctrine fit scripture. But I believe your reference to I Cor. 14:
1 Cor 14:21-23
21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
This is confirming Pentecost, which Pentecost had nothing to do with unknown tongues or Angel tongues, it was all different languages that was spoke at Pentecost, that all might hear in their own language/other tongues, and Many knowing the disciples were all from the same area/tongue, then they believed because they heard in their own language. and then even some didn't believe/ wouldn't hear. there are tongues/languages. then there are spiritual gifts of Tongues. rightly dividing the truth/knowing the difference. to say Unknown tongues were a sign for unbelievers, and your interpretation of Paul's teaching in 1 Cor. 14 is right. then Acts 19 makes no sense,
19 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7 And all the men were about twelve.
for there were believers that Spake in tongues after believing, but after Paul giving them the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. paul even contradict your understanding of I cor. by saying if unbelievers hear everyone speaking in tongues they would say that the Church people was mad. so your interpretation would be that the Spiritual sign of speaking in tongues would drive unbelievers from church not to the Church. Also Your reference in Isaiah Is speaking Of Jesus, stammering means mockery, Jesus came making a mockery of the Scribes understanding of scriptures, and he spake in another tongue( Aramaic)
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
14 Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
Here we have "he" speaking(one person) not men, as you refer to, also look to whom is being Spoken, scornful men that rule this people in Jerusalem. Jesus speaking to the scribesof this people (Hebrews)