So why were some gifts in operation before Pentecost and some after?
Hi, my original reaction – even after thinking for a while – was “I haven’t the faintest idea!”
However, perhaps some background thinking will enable us to work towards an understanding.
I’m going to reject the view which I have found which is that Tongues were only ever intended to function from around AD 30 to AD 70 as a “sign” to Jews that judgment had arrived (“Through men of strange tongues…”Isaiah 28 12, 12, quoted in 1 Cor 14 21). I find it unconvincing that all the gifts were to stop after the Apostles, which is the rather head-in-the-sand argument which this entails.
I am also going to reject the notion that the primary purpose of Tongues was to be able to preach the gospel in all the world. It is true that the disciples were understood while praising God, but there are no recorded instances in Scripture of Christians using the Gift of Tongues to preach the Gospel.
One interesting association we could make it that in the OT days, the world was divided into peoples of different “tongues” as a sign of judgment, as they were gradually starting to put themselves in God’s place at the Tower of Babel.
In some way, the speaking in Tongues of the NT reverses that, which is interesting, but I can’t as yet go further to draw conclusions on this alone.