The Scriptural Purposes for Sign Gifts (Part 5)



a. The extreme charismatic view

b. The charismatic view

c. The limited charismatic view

d. The non-charismatic view

e. The anti-charismatic view


a. A sign gift was to authenticate God’s messenger.

Romans 15:18-19 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, (19) in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Hebrews 2:4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

b. A sign gift was to authenticate the message.

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.

Revelation 22:18-19 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;(19) and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

2 Corinthians 12:12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.

God doesn’t shake miracles into nature at random as if from a pepper caster. They come on great occasions: they are found at the great ganglions of history – not of political or social history, but of spiritual history which cannot be fully known by men.


a. Tongues in the New Testament were genuine miracles

1 Corinthians 14:1-2 (NASB) 1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.

1 Corinthians 14:1-2 (KJV) 1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

b. The purpose of tongues in the New Testament

1 Corinthians 14:22 (NASB) So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.

c. How tongues were exercised in the New Testament

  1. Public tongues speaking was to edify and build up
  2. Only two or three were to speak in tongues in a service

Deuteronomy 19:15 “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.

Deuteronomy 17:6 “On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.

Matthew 18:16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.

2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.

1 Titus 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

  1. They must also speak in turn
  2. Tongues were only to be spoken when interpreted
  3. Tongues were not to be forbidden but given a lower place
    than prophecy
  4. All things in a church are to be done properly and in order


a. Why did Paul wish that everyone could speak in tongues?

1 Corinthians 7:7 Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.

b. Why did Paul thank God that he was better than everyone in speaking tongues?

c. Did Paul encourage a private prayer language?

Matthew 6:7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

d. Should the gift of tongues be used today?

e. How do we account for the tongues we hear today?

  1. Satan could be counterfeiting this gift
  2. It could be humanly induced
  3. Some tongue speaking is genuine

f. Is it possible that tongues have ceased all together?

1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.


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