A sign to unbelievers.
February 2, 2020
Grace Prison Ministries
Grace Prison Ministries works to change the lives of prisoners through evangelism and sound Bible teaching.
Keithian is planning to visit us in two weeks – Sunday February 16th
In April he will hold a conference at a women’s prison in Nashville.
A sign to unbelievers
Today, at long last,
Tongues was different. That gift would simply cease of its own accord when its purpose had been achieved.
But verses 21-25 consider the impact of tongues and prophecy on unbelievers .
The key phrase
Since Paul did not speak in tongues in the church, …
his tongues ministry had to have been outside the church.
One more time, Paul is appealing to the saints to grow up in their thinking.
1Co 14:20 admonishes the saints to grow up in their thinking about spiritual gifts.
In verse 21, Paul gives a loose rendition of Isaiah 28:11-12.
Isaiah 28 shows that “this people” refers to the nation of Israel.
This people – the nation of Israel - to whom the Lord speaks in foreign tongues WILL NOT LISTEN TO HIM!
In 1 Cor 14:21 they are Jews who refuse to hear the message that Jesus is their Messiah.
It is quoted several times in the New Testament.
Each time it marks a decisive turning point in God’s dealings with the nation of Israel.
Jewish leadership reject Jesus as their Messiah, and God pronounces a judgment upon the nation of Israel.
Mat 13:14-15 ; Mar 4:12; Luk 8:10; Joh 12:40; Act 28:26,27;
In Acts 28:26-27, Paul speaks these words to the Jewish leaders in Rome after most had rejected Paul’s entreaty.
Isaiah 28 is a judgment oracle directed particularly against the scoffers (priests and prophets) who ruled the people in Jerusalem.
So instead, the Lord will speak to this people through the stammering lips and foreign tongue of the Assyrian army.
Tongues are for a sign. Who asks for signs?
Each time tongues are spoken in Acts, Jews are present.
Paul says that tongues in Corinth have the same purpose as tongues did in Isaiah’s time.
Tongues are for a sign to hard-hearted Jewish unbelievers who will not listen to the Lord.
There are TWO KINDS of unbelievers in view here in 1 Corinthians 14:21-25.
You have hardened unbelievers who do not have ears to hear.
And you have unbelievers who desire to hear.
Tongues were a sign that warned the Jewish unbelievers in Isaiah’s day of the coming judgment and destruction.
Tongues in Paul’s day were also a sign that warned Jewish unbelievers of coming judgment and destruction.
That judgment and destruction would befall the nation of Israel in a matter of years – about 15 years later, in 70 AD.
It was the fulfillment of a prophecy that Jesus gave to His disciples.
The overwhelming majority of those who witnessed the sign of tongues ignored the warning.
By 70 AD, the purpose of tongues had been fulfilled.
Act 28:25-28 stands as God’s last words to the nation of Israel for nearly two millennia.
When God set aside the sign people for a time, the sign of tongues passed out of His program.
So tongues ceased operating some time on or before AD 62.