You are absolutely correct in your assertions, my friend.Okay, now I will carry on. The gift of tongues (according to Paul) was a sign for those who did not believe. For example, if I (as a nonbeliever) witnessed a person who did not speak my language (or tongue) very effectively communicate with me about God/Jesus in my language, then this phenomenon may cause me to become a believer. However, what some churches practice today is not trying to communicate with a nonbeliever in a tongue (language) in which he or she understands, but rather simply claim to have the gift to speak in an unintelligible tongue or gibberish (glossolalia) without even bothering to have a translator, right?
That was the significance during Pentecost and afterward. The miraculous gift of tongues was solely to convert others, as it served as evidence that a higher power was not only involved, but also supported the organization.
Again, I agree.Thus, I totally agree with you the tongue must be either understood by the listener or an interpreter must be present to translate as the words are being uttered. However, if the audience and the speaker already speak the same tongue, then their is no miracle, but rather the speaker is making a mockery of God's word. In fact, I dare say that it is ridiculous to claim to have the ability to speak in tongue, when the speaker's native language is the same as those listening.
My contention is that, as I believe the gift of tongues was used solely to convert others, I also believe that the gift of tongues was bestowed upon men only during the first century, when it was necessary in order to establish the Church.
The Holy Spirit was called "The Comforter," so I believe the vocation of the Holy Spirit, during that time, was to assist the elders in establishing the Church, knowing that the elders would face great opposition. The gifts, such as speaking in tongues, healing, so forth and so on, served as evidence (like I said), as it bestowed power upon men that made them like the one they preached about, that being our anointed Savior. But, once the Church became established, I believe the Holy Spirit, in that vocation, was no longer necessary. And that's why I believe it was written, "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 (1Cor 13:8)." And just five verses later, it says, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
I believe Paul was preparing the Church for the departure of such miraculous power while instructing them to rely more (and only) on love and devotion toward one another, which coincides with what our anointed Savior had initially taught. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35)," taught our anointed Savior. I believe Paul was trying to keep the Church from being deceived and persuaded by heretics, so forth and so on. As an example, Paul was already able to speak Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Koine, which was common for Pharisees. It was just as common for the Hellenistes to speak both, Aramaic and Koine. Considering this, it would be rather simple for a person that could speak more than one tongue to deceive and persuade a believer if that believer still believed that the gift of tongues was still active and present. But, if that believer was forewarned, then the possibility to deceive and persuade them becomes little to none?
What say you?