THIS IS A REPLY TO A FRIEND WHO ASKED ABOUT SPEAKING WITH OTHER TONGUES AND ITS PURPOSE IN SCRIPTURE, TO WHICH I POINTED OUT THAT TONGUES WERE USED BOTH AS A SIGN AND AS A GIFT OF THE SPIRIT.
I am glad there is information on the web for tongues. However, I think you fail to refer to Corinthians:14. This letter by Paul to the corinthians is the "guide" on the use of tongues. I do not see where the bible says one must have the gift of tongues. Paul does not say to seek the gift of tongues rather to prophesy.
Actually, the mention of tongues in 1 Cor 14 is speaking about the gift, as you say, but the tongues in Acts 2:4 is not that gift of tongues, but is evidence one has received God's Spirit -- See also Acts 10:45-46 where you read that tongues told the believers who were already Spirit-filled that these Gentiles now also had the Baptism of the Spirit. Everyone who is Spirit-baptized speaks in tongues as a result. That is something different from the GIFT OF TONGUES which requires an interpretation of the tongues afterwards. Notice that the speaking in tongues in Acts 2:4; 10:45-46 and 19:6 had no interpretation following them, as it is required with the gift of tongues as per 1 Cor 14:13, 27. Nobody interpreted in the instances in Acts, but rather it simply occurred with those who were Spirit filled, and served as evidence that they were Spirit filled.
I am not the only one who promotes this idea. I do not agree with the Roman Catholic Church and its doctrines, but even St. Chrysostom, a favorite Catholic Church Father, concluded:
"Whoever was baptized in Apostolic days, he straightway spoke with tongues; they at once received the Spirit, not that they saw the Spirit, for he is invisible, but God's grace bestowed some sensible proof of his enemy. It thus made manifest to them that they were without that it was the Spirit in the very person speaking."Here is some info on my page written by Ross Drysdale on the subject, http://mikeblume.com/drysd22a.htm :
Pentecostal people have long pointed out, based on scriptural comparison, that there is a difference in tongues as a "gift," and tongues as a "sign." Though in essence, in both cases the speaking in tongues is the same as to function; but as to purpose, it is different. Commentators who are not Pentecostal have noticed this also, but have tried to resolve this apparent difference between the tongues mentioned in Acts and those mentioned in 1 Corinthians by denying the validity of the Corinthian tongues. This, of course, is a false premise, for Paul himself never denied the validity of the Corinthians' tongues, but rather endorsed them as genuine (I Cor. 14:2, 39), however, in need of proper control (1 Cor. 14:32).
The differences between the initial evidence, mentioned in Acts, and the gift of tongues mentioned in 1 Corinthians are self evident. In Acts all spoke in tongues, and in all cases did so at the same time (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6); there was no interpretation of tongues; the speakers exercised the tongues at the time of their conversion; and none occurred during a Christian Church service. However, in 1 Corinthians 14, Paul tells us, under inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that the following rules must be obeyed: all may not speak at the same time (1 Cor. 14:27), there should be no more than two or three, and they must speak in turn (1 Cor. 14:27), and all these utterances must be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:28). Furthermore, the Corinthian tongues occur in Christian Church services, and among believers after their conversion experience. If the tongues in Acts are the same as the Corinthian gift of tongues, then we have the Holy Spirit violating His own rules -- for in Acts there is mass, simultaneous speaking and no attempt at interpretation or control. This is forbidden in the Corinthian meetings. The only conclusion, both logical and scriptural, is that there is a different purpose to the tongues in Acts, than those in 1 Corinthians.
Why should Pentecostals be considered poor exegetes for maintaining tongues are both a subsequent gift and a sign of Spirit Baptism? Didn't Paul also speak of tongues as a "sign" (1 Cor. 14:22) as well as a "gift" (1 Cor. 12:4, 10)? He certainly did. Jesus Himself spoke of tongues as a "sign" to follow true believers (Mark 16:17).
Read the rest of it at, once again, drysd22a.htm
Thanks for your correspondence!