“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. If I alone bear witness of Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the testimony which He bears of Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. But the witness which I receive is not from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. And you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?“
We don’t know and can’t know the Father– and we don’t know and can’t know the Holy Spirit– apart from knowing Jesus. From the farcical, feverishly flailing “in the Spirit,” to the fake Pharisees, if we don’t see Jesus doing it, why would we do it? Twice now in John we have seen that no one has seen the father at anytime and that the Spirit is like the wind. Jesus is one with the father and Spirit but our only, fleshly demonstration of God. Jesus was the one who walked in the garden, made the covenant in spite of Abraham, gave the Law to Moses, met with Joshua and was manifested to the prophets. In summary: Jehovah, more precisely, YHWH, was Jesus.
In my last missive, which was more like a marathon, we saw but probably haven’t accepted, that Jesus does what the father does. That is, if one wants to know that which the father was doing, one simply has to look at Jesus. Jesus was warning about judgement and justifying his works, so that they would understand that his judgment was true and righteous.
Most pastors and preachers, theologians and teachers claim that every word in the Bible is “God breathed” and therefore each word is as important as another. However is what Job’s friends said to Job as important as what Jesus said to Job (remembering that Jesus is YHWH)? Most pastors and preachers theologians and teachers would still say yes, even after reading this because in order to know the wisdom of God, one must know the idiocracy of man. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that Job’s friends words are as important as God’s words. This is why I use the term “dubiously dogmatic.” We don’t elevate examples of idiocracy over the enlightenment of the divine discourse. In today’s text, Jesus the Divine is speaking at a level incomprehensible to the friends of Job. Unlike most pastors and preachers, theologians and teachers, I don’t dabble in dubious dogma but like Job’s friends, I am wholly unworthy to approach, much less explain, today’s text. Good news: Jesus was and is and always will be. We don’t want me to explain it or let the prophecy pundits explain it away or let Joel Osteen do anything with it.
We want to let the Scripture interpret the Scripture. We want to let Jesus say what he is saying to whom he says it. We want to consider the context, ascertain the author’s aspirations to his audience, jive with the genre, examine examples and then divide rightly this divine discourse. Dubious dogmas and taught traditions have kept the Bible CAGED, therefore we utilize the CAGED method of Biblical hermeneutics: Context, Aspirations of Author, Genre, Examples and Divide rightly.
“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
When I study a passage, the first thing I do, even before praying for understanding, is to zoom out. I do this by reading before and after the passage so that I can find out as much of the historical and cultural context as I can, within reason. Let me rewind; I have read the Bible from cover to cover, twice and highly recommend everyone to do the same. Nevertheless it was many moons ago and it is a very long book. Therefore I can’t remember all the settings of historical context. Even when reading through a book of the Bible, taking it in slowly, I tend to forget exactly where I am in the cultural and historical context. For this reason I highly recommend reading much of the surrounding context before zooming back in.
In today’s text, the light of the world has healed a man 38 years in sickness, on a sabbath and during an obligatory feast. The Word has proclaimed himself equal to God and ruffled the feathers of the first-century Pharisees and Sadducees, to put it mildly. They actually want to kill their Kinsmen Creator. Yet as we have read, Jesus is not judging them from his fleshly dwelling but by divine inspiration from the father. Jesus tells them that he is doing God’s will and not the will of man.
Notice again; “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. If I alone bear witness of Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the testimony which He bears of Me is true.”
While Job’s friends and their words are not to be elevated to the level of the divine discourse, they are an integral part of the plan and are quite prophetic. Job’s friends speak to Job in their own understanding and judgement but Jesus doesn’t, he speaks and does the things he sees and hears the father doing and not the things of men. And because Jesus does and says the things of God, they should have known who Jesus was.
Flip back figuratively in this discourse and remember reading, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.” Keep this marveling in mind because it is an essential element, not as much the literal wording but the sentiment.
Jesus performed a myriad of miracles in their presence and on more than one occasion they claimed that he was doing these things in the name of the devil and not God. In Matthew we read; “‘This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.’ And knowing their thoughts He said to them, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Consequently they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.'”
Think about this simplistically sublime statement by Jesus. In turn, think about the idiocracy of the Pharisees. It is so simple that we often discount it and gloss over the glorious truth. First, that Jesus is absolutely against the devil and proved it and second, the kingdom of heaven had come upon them. The signs Jesus performed were promised previously by the prophets. This is why the people present were asking if Jesus could be the son of David.
In the divine discourse of today’s text, Jesus is explaining this to the Pharisees, that his works are evidence that he is doing the works of God. Yet the witness of the father is more than the miracles and healings, it’s where Jesus is going and where he has been. Matthew’s account gives us more than a glimpse of Jesus as the true Israel; born in Bethlehem, fled to Egypt, return from Egypt, baptized, wandering the wilderness, giving the law on the mountain. Every single step Jesus made was witness from the father, if one was watching.
In this divine discourse, Jesus is saying, behold! Look! Mira! Kijken! Κοίτα! תראה! Vultus! or as I would say, notice! Jesus has the witness of the father because Jesus is doing and saying that which the father said and did. Beyond this, Jesus is doing the things that the prophets promised.
The prophecy pundits don’t follow the Pharisees as far as thinking that Jesus was doing the works of Satan, nevertheless they believed that the majority of prophecy remains to be fulfilled but is being fulfilled in our days. This is not only incredibly egocentric but also against the divine discourse. Not only do the actions of Jesus bear witness that he was sent from the father but also the words of Jesus. We have to listen to the words and notice the notions. We have to understand the author’s aspirations to his audience; Jesus to the doggedly dogmatic Jewish people present. As we continue remember the continuing context, that Jesus is working as the father works and that the father bears witness of Jesus.
“You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. But the witness which I receive is not from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.”
John the Baptist: in these missives we have seen John the Baptist over and over and over again. One may even think that I am overly obsessed with John the Baptist. But here, we consider the context and if we consider the context, John the Baptist must be consistently contextual. Prophesied about in Isaiah and promised in Malachi, John is an integral part of the coming of Jesus and the kingdom. Yet of the integral John, Jesus said in today’s text, “the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
Yes, the father also sent John but the words of Jesus are easily understood. Nevertheless let’s let John the Baptist help us out: “And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ And he confessed, and did not deny, and he confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.’ And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ And he said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No.’ They said then to him, ‘Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?’ He said, ‘I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, “MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,” as Isaiah the prophet said.’ Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him, ‘Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?’ John answered them saying, ‘I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.'”
I know just how John feels, only worse. John leaped in his mother’s womb when his mother met with Mary in her maternity with the Messiah. John drank no wine but ate locusts and honey. John proclaimed the Savior of the world to the world and died a martyr, a witness and foreshadowing to the Messiah. John made the mountains flat and lifted up the valleys, creating a super highway for Jesus, yet he was unworthy to strap the sandals of the Savior. How dare I attempt to explain the divine discourse? Let’s say it’s better to be a sheep in wolf’s clothes than a wolf in sheep’s clothes. I humbly hope that after reading any of my missives, you think less of me, less of the prophecy pundits and more about Jesus. And as for “my explanation,” it is not my explanation but rather me pointing out the context, aspirations of author, genre, examples and the dividing rightly I will leave to you.
However in utilizing the CAGED method, I make many remarks concerning the context or examples; let me do it now, in the category of “things we may have missed; they certainly did.” Let’s also look at their overreactions and under-reactions.
They overreacted to John’s baptism, thinking that he was the Messiah. Yet Jesus baptized more than John according to John the apostle (whether Jesus physically baptized anyone is irrelevant). Yet they under-reacted to John’s baptism as paving the way for the Messiah. They overreacted to the miracles of Jesus, thinking that he was working with Satan but absolutely under-reacted to the works of Jesus in their context. Think about it, they were ready to crown John the Baptist as the Messiah but the one who not only baptized more but also cast out demons, healed the truly sick and confessed his diety, with proof, they wanted to kill– “But the witness which I have is greater than that of John.” Amen.
And that is an absolute understatement. Notice that they didn’t put the pieces together, much like our modern-day prophecy-pundits. How much clarity comes from considering the continuing context? How much was said about Jesus in the Old Testament tutor that was fulfilled in Jesus in John’s gospel account alone? Actually, table that thought because it is more than what is necessary to understand this divine discourse. Jesus, prior to his death is pointing to his life. He is foreshadowing his death to be sure but he is hitting the highlights of his ministry to offer salvation to the doggedly dogmatic. Look, mira, kijken, Κοίτα, תראה, vultus, “the witness which I receive is not from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.”
Judgment is coming to them soon but it is only after Jesus offers salvation to them, exactly as prophesied, and I mean exactly. The only problem is that the prophecy has been so distorted and repeated in its distortion that we don’t see Jesus in the prophecy but the Beast of Revelation 13, the one from the sea not the land, who has also been erroneously dubbed, “The Antichrist.”
I find it fascinating and utterly ironic that the burden of proof is on me, to prove that the one who makes a firm covenant with Israel is the Messiah and not the alleged Antichrist. Nevertheless taught traditions run deeper than the Mariana Trench. But suspend your beliefs, taught traditions and preconcieved notions and consider who it is that is able to make a firm covenant with Israel, God or the imaginary Antichrist, Beast of Revelation, false-prophet concocted compound.
Gabriel tells Daniel, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place. So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; [total of 69, however it is laid out as arithmetic] it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
Notice the one who makes desolate comes after the firm covenant…I digress. Nevertheless, clearly and contextually, the prince is not the one who makes desolate.
But what’s the context? Daniel 9 comes after Daniel 7 and Daniel 9:24 comes after Daniel 9:2; “in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.” And Daniel 9:24 follows Daniel 9:4: “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
God, not some conglomeration of an imaginary Antichrist, beast, false-prophet hybrid, makes firm covenants with Israel. We see how by considering the continuing context in Daniel.
In Daniel 7 we read, “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up [Not down] to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”
The question is how? flip back figuratively to Daniel 9. “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
Jesus ministered for about three and a half years, almost exclusively to Israel. The apostles ministered for about three and a half years, almost entirely, exclusively to Israel. But then Simon Peter Bar Jonah received a vision and was sent to the gentiles, just like Jonah, only Peter eventually understood. But like Jonah and the Pharisees, our modern-day prophecy pundits don’t. Certainly those who insist on speaking in tongues don’t see what has happened. We will come back to this.
Jesus is laying it all out in his divine discourse. He came with the witness of God and the prophets, was doing the works of God and offered salvation to the Jewish people first. But as Jerusalem rejected him, he sent Rome to destroy Jerusalem about 40 years after they killed him. Do you see how my numbers work without a parenthetical gap, a gap never mentioned in the Scripture? Jesus warned them that they were adding to and subtracting from the Scripture, as the prophecy pundits do.
“You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. And you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.”
If Jesus was not the fulfillment of the Scriptures, he wouldn’t be justified in saying these things. We are just like them, we search for ourselves and our lives in the Scripture but fail to see the completeness in Jesus. Everything written from Genesis to Malachi, points to Jesus, the man, the Messiah, the master. It’s no mistake that John begins his gospel account with “in the beginning was the word,” and soon thereafter states that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Could John really be saying that Jesus was the Word before the word was written but came in the flesh, fulfilling the word? That’s what he said and that’s what he meant. Look at the divine discourse, Jesus confirms it. The Old Testament Scriptures are fulfilled in Jesus, and the majority not the minority, in his ministry.
“I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
In my first draft of today’s missive, written over a week ago, I wrote about Moses first but after an inadvertent deletion, I realize that Moses is not the basis for Jesus’ discourse but the icing on the proverbial cake, therefore I will treat it in the same way. You don’t have to believe me, you can believe Moses. And after you believe Moses, you will believe John. And after you believe John, you will believe Peter. And after you believe Peter you will have a better understanding of this divine discourse. We’re going to connect many dots with the sublime string.
Many pastors and preachers, theologians and teachers would point to what Moses wrote about Jesus in Deuteronomy 18; “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And it shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.”
I love keeping it simple and absolutely on point, but to only examine this example is slothfully sloppy. Nevertheless we can’t examine every example due to time restraints and our attention spans. Moses met Jesus and everything he wrote was about Jesus. Let’s stick with the themes laid out by Jesus in today’s divine discourse.
Exodus 33; “Then Moses said, ‘I pray You, show me Your glory!‘ And He said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.’ But He said, ‘You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!’ Then the LORD said, ‘Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.'”
Yet in the divine discourse Jesus said that they love giving glory to themselves and their false prophets. Unfortunately this is familiar to us as well…again, I digress.
John writes; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not ccomprehend it…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Figuratively flip back to Moses; in Exodus 34, Moses would place a veil over his face when he addressed the people because it reflected the glory of the Lord’s backside. But when Moses entered into the presence of Jesus (“no one has seen the father at any time;” “You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form”), he would remove the veil.
Now figuratively flip forward to Peter’s second epistle: “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased–‘ and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
Peter was writing about the Transfiguration in Matthew 17 et al. Remember that Moses and Elijah, Law and prophets, were with Jesus and Peter suggested temporary tents for the glorified to dwell in. That was backwards thinking.
Back to Moses in Exodus 34 as he wrote down the word of God; “Then God said, ‘Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth, nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the LORD, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.'”
I know what you are thinking, “Russell P, you are not considering the context or aspirations of the author to his immediate audience.” While it is true that Jesus was speaking to the people in the days of Moses, he was also pointing to himself.
The author of Hebrews states: “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become as much better than the angels.”
What did the Son speak to them in those last days? For one thing, today’s text and the divine discourse. “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
They weren’t looking to God but to themselves and their ability to obey the Law. They weren’t looking for Jesus, plain and simple, because if they were, as Jesus stated in his divine discourse, they would have seen him, his works, his majesty, his glory and his grace offered to them– they missed it. How much do we miss by not considering the context, aspirations of the author, genre, examples and dividing rightly the word of truth?
It’s the time of year where we celebrate Jesus’ coming. Don’t worry, I am not going to start on my own discourse that will divide us of Christmas. Nevertheless we have to hold up our traditions to the mirror of Scripture and reassess them. Frankly, I don’t think our Christmas celebrations go far enough but have been thoroughly corrupted. Every day is Christmas for us because Jesus came, saw and kicked butt. Our problems are greater than not fully appreciating what Jesus did, we leave him in the manger on Christmas but place a halo on his head, assume he didn’t cry and think a virgin had a quick labor at night. We get stuck in his birth and don’t consider his life, ministry, struggles, pain, rejection from his brethren, fasting, temptation, baptism, miracles, being thrown under the bus by those whom he healed, death and burial.
We certainly don’t think about the resurrection of Jesus and the judgment to follow in his coming to them, in the last days of the Old Covenant. We don’t think about his glory or his kingdom. Especially in the year 2020, we are focused more on ourselves and how we can see our families and go to our churches. Maybe this is a gift from God, like the first “Christmas.”
In part, I absolutely believe that we are reaping what we have sown, due to our sins. But rather than punishing us, perhaps God is disciplining us in his great love for us. Either way, it’s time to reflect on what God promised. And if he promised it, it is real, despite what we see out our windows and on Twitter and in the headlines.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”
Yet in the context of these sublime verses, we read; “The Lord sends a Word against Jacob, And it falls on Israel. And all the people know it, That is, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, Asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart: The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with smooth stones; The sycamores have been cut down, But we will replace them with cedars.”
Jesus is the one who put an end to the sacrifice, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law, Jesus was the fulfillment of prophecy, Jesus upholds all things, Jesus was the prince to come who made a firm Covenant with Israel and offered them grace. Jesus sent the man of lawlessness to Jerusalem just as he sent Nebuchadnezzar. Jesus was a baby boy in a manger for a minute but he is King of kings and Lord of lords for all eternity. He did away with the Old Covenant and established a New Covenant in his own blood.
One last thing concerning modern day prophets and the practice of tongues (I told you we would come back to tongues): Search the Scripture! Prophecy points to Jesus and judgment, tongues only point to judgment.
In the last days, Paul wrote to the Corinthians; “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be babes, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, ‘BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME,’ says the Lord. 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.”
Paul is quoting Isaiah but what was the context? “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.”
It is about Jesus and his coming, giving grace for the humble, true Israel and just judgment against apostate Jerusalem.
We see this in the ministry of Peter (Simon Bar Jonah) when he was sent to the gentiles. The gentiles spoke in tongues when they received the Spirit. Remember that tongues were judgement and watch what happens. “And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.”