GENUINE LOVE & SPIRITUAL GIFTS

1 COR 13:8-13

I) INTRODUCTION

[1 Cor 13:8-13]:

(v. 8) "Love never fails; but where there are gifts of Prophecy, they will be done away with; where there are tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

(v. 9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;

(v. 10) but when that which is complete comes, the partial will be done away with.

(v. 11) When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

(v. 12) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.

(v. 13) "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.".

1 Cor 13:8-13 gives a temporary perspective of the spiritual gifts of Prophecy, Tongues and Word of Knowledge as contrasted with the permanent value of true godly (agape) love. The subject of this passage is the eternal value of expressing godly love relative to the temporary nature of other types of human expression. And in the light of this subject of love, Paul is admonishing the Corinthian believers for overemphasizing and abusing the spiritual gifts of Tongues, Prophesy and Word of Knowledge which have a lesser and temporary value as opposed to love:

II) [1 Cor 13:8-9]:

(v. 8) "Love never fails; but where there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; where there are Tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

(v. 9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part..."

A) AGAPE LOVE IS ETERNAL - IT NEVER FAILS - BUT THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF TONGUES WILL CEASE AND PROPHECY AND KNOWLEDGE ARE ONLY PARTIAL AND WILL BE DONE AWAY WITH

"where there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with .... where there is [the spiritual gift of] knowledge it will be done away with with" =

The spiritual gifts of Prophecy and Knowledge will be "done away with" = "katargethesontai" = future, indicative, (statement of fact), passive voice = rendered of no effect after their temporary purpose of being partial, (v. 9), is fullfilled. Passive mood indicates that something else will provide the impetus through which the two gifts will be done away with.

"where there are Tongues they will cease" = The spiritual gifts of Tongues [plural indicating variations in language] will cease = "pausontai" = shall cease, future, middle voice = acting upon itself such that the action of ceasing occurs. Note that the other two gifts in view received the passive voice and a different verb rendered "shall be done away with" indicating that Tongues is viewed differently in the context of this passage as to how it will cease.

So the gifts of Tongues have a temporary nature as established by the verb 'shall cease' evidently of their own accord [hence the middle voice as opposed to the passive voice] i.e., when their purpose is fulfilled as opposed to what happens to the other two kinds of spiritual gifts, Knowledge and Prophecy which two are "done away with" by something else causing the action of that verb [hence the passive voice] also establishing their temporary nature.

B) CONTRARY TO THE VIEW THAT VERSES 8-13 POINT OUT A NUMBER OF THE GIFTS AS REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL OF THE GIFTS IN GENERAL, NOT ALL OF THE GIFTS ARE VIEWED IN SCRIPTURE AS FUNCTIONING AND CEASING IN THE SAME MANNER OR TIME AS SPECIFIED FOR TONGUES, PROPHECY AND WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

The view that all of the gifts are being referred to in verse 8 in such a way that just as Tongues, Prophecy and Word of Knowledge are 'partial' and 'immature' and 'poor reflections' and will 'cease' when 'that which is perfect comes', so the entire category of spiritual gifts is characterized in the same precise way and so all will cease in the same precise manner and at the same precise time is not supported in Scripture.

This view cannot be supported upon careful examination except for the general inference that all of the spiritual gifts are temporary and specialized in nature and take a back seat to the universal gift of godly love which is commanded to be exemplified in all individuals for all eternity.

For example, the spiritual gift of Apostle has arguably ceased yet the gifts of Pastor, Teacher & Evangelist etc. have evidently continued on past the historical ceasing of the gifts of Apostle, Tongues, Word of Knowledge and Prophecy. So verse 8 must be applied specifically to the three gifts cited in the manner specified and not to all of the gifts.

Furthermore, after the passage under review, (vv. 13:8-13), 1 Corinthians continues to focus on the specific gifts of Prophecy and Tongues, especially the latter with respect to its being abused and its lesser value as a spiritual gift as compared to Agape, godly love and Prophecy. So the text in verses 8-13 is most likely limited to the specific gifts that are mentioned.

C)CHURCH AGE PROPHECY AND WORD OF KNOWLEDGE DEFINED

1) PURPOSE OF NT PROPHECY AND WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

Prophecy and Word of Knowledge had a new task to perform in the Church Age before the NT canon was completed. The Church Age was brand new at the time Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, so this new task was to communicate new revelation from God which was equal with Scripture and soon to be written down as part of the completed canon of the 27 book of the New Testament Bible: a whole new set of doctrinal instructions and explanations not heretofore revealed by God, the gospel of faith alone in the now resurrected Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, and much much more. This great body of new information - new revelation from God was provided for God's new creation: the Church. The Church Age believers were to learn, live by and proclaim these doctrines to the world. The Mosaic Law period rule of life was now postponed in its 483rd year in favor of the intercalation of the Church Age. So new revelation of the Church Age grace way of life from God had to be communicated and proclaimed to the world first through the miraculous spiritual gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge while it was not available in writing in order to insure the accuracy of God's revelation of these new doctrines; and finally by the exposition of the completed New Testament canon via the other non-miraculous gifts of evangelist, pastor, teacher, etc. - teaching it verse by verse right out of the Bible itself and not by new revelation from God from heaven to the ears of mankind, (Eph 4:11-13).

Furthermore, since there is no particular text which differentiates between Old Testament Prophecy and Word of Knowledge and the New testament use of these gifts; and since the references to these two gifts in the gospels continues in the same way as in the Old Testament yet apply to Church Age times, then we must continue to characterize these two gifts in the Church Age as the same as OT except where specifically noted as to the difference in content.

2) NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECY

COMPARE: DETAILED ANALYSIS OF PROPHECY

a) NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECY IS REVELATORY AND THUS TO BE PART OF SCRIPTURE AND WAS OFTEN ACCOMPANIED BY OTHER MIRACULOUS SIGNS

The N.T. prophet was not simply a preacher or a teacher for which God the Holy Spirit provided gifts for those functions also but the N.T. prophet was evidently inspired by God unto new revelation and thus it was to be part of God's Word:

i) [Cp 1 Cor 14:29-30]:

(v. 29) "Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

(v. 30) And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop."

In the same manner as OT prophecies, the Church Age prophets such as our Lord, Paul, John, Peter foretold of future events as well as taught the newly revealed Church Age doctrines of Scripture which became the New Testament. Scripture relates that they authenticated themselves via the exercise of other miraculous gifts of the Spirit - from which one might infer that all of them provided some kind of miraculous authentication of their Prophecy/Word of Knowledge gift as well. So there is nothing specific in Scripture which differentiates between the prophecies of OT Prophets, Church Age Prophets such as our Lord, Paul, John, Peter and other Church Age Prophets on down through the years until the gifts ceased.

So the foretelling and miracles were an essential element in order to authenticate the individual as God's Prophet and not a false prophet of which in those days there were and today there is a plethora, (Dt 18:20-22). The 'thus saith the LORD' in the O.T. preceded NEW revelation from God as opposed to that which had already been stated, although there was to be no contradiction to existing canon and existing canon was often included to clarify the new Church Age revelation. As a matter of fact, there is no reference in Scripture which indicates that the Prophet was not breaking new ground with reference to revelation from God, although there may be elements of that revelation that repeated previous revelations, there always was a new element in each prophetic message. And it did take a number of years for that new revelation to be disseminated throughout the known civilized world so we find different prophets repeating similar messages to different audiences at different times.

In answer to objectors who insist on expanding upon the biblical teaching of the spiritual gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge to include teaching of already recorded doctrines of Scripture and providing personal applications of those established doctrines, etc:

This function is not the same as the miraculous revelatory spiritual gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge which are bestowed upon certain specific individuals, not all in the same manner or type. This is the non-gift ministry of the Holy Spirit which is part of God the Holy Spirit's ongoing ministry to all believers which has not been taught in Scripture as ceasing in any age.

Finally, if the Church Age spiritual gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge occasionally contained only existing revelation from God as presented in the completed New Testament canon of Scripture, as some maintain, then these two gifts would be redundant as that would make either of them identical to the spiritual gifts of teacher or evangelist.

[Commentary from Cornerstone Commentaries]:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Styx/4119/spirit/proph3.htm

'''Thus we must conclude that the gift of prophecy as found in the New Testament is nothing less than an authoritative speaking forth of God's word. The gift of prophecy is revelatory, and thus canonical. And this is borne out by the rest of the New Testament as it describes the gift of prophecy....

ii) [Acts 11:27-28]:

"And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar." (KJV)

This is the first description of the exercise of this gift in the New Testament after Pentecost. Now brothers and sisters, this passage corresponds with the standards and characteristics that we have come to expect of the Biblical prophet: the work of the Holy Spirit and perfect accuracy. Agabus' ability to prophesy is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit - it is objective, and not subjective as in the case of the false prophet. ( cf. Jeremiah 23:16) Agabus' prophecy was fulfilled with perfect accuracy as a famine occurred during the reign of Claudius (cf. Deuteronomy. 18:21-22; Jeremiah. 28:9; 1 Sam. 3:19-20). Agabus is here functioning as a spokesman of God - one through whom God spoke - and thus, his prophecy immediately became the basis for concrete action on the part of the disciples at Antioch. (cf. Acts 11:29-30; Deuteronomy. 18:19)...

iii) [Acts 13:2-3]:

"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away." (KJV)

Notice the Old Testament characteristics of the true prophet in this text. Once again, the prophetic word came by an act of the Holy Spirit. If you are asked , "How did the Holy Spirit relate this?" The only answer we can give is that which serves as the mode of reception in all Biblical prophecy, "dreams" and "visions."

And yet, some might say, "But the text doesn't say this!" To which the Bible answers, neither did Deuteronomy 18. The standard when it comes to Biblical prophecy is that dreams and visions are the mode of reception in light of the rest of the Old Testament.

And so likewise, we conclude the same here. The prophecy here was authoritative and binding. Thus in verse three, God's people obeyed and sent out Barnabas and Saul....

iv) [Acts 21:10-11]:

"And as we tarried [there] many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver [him] into the hands of the Gentiles."(KJV)

Once again, notice the Old Testament characteristics of the true prophet: prophecy that comes by the Holy Spirit, and that is authoritative. Agabus' ability to prophecy is a result of the work of the Spirit. (verse 11) This is precisely what God said a prophet would do....

v) [Deuteronomy 18:18]:

"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." (KJV)

As the true gift of prophecy always was in the Old Testament, Agabus' prophecy was authoritative-God's people respond. (verse 12)...

vi) [1 Corinthians 14:29-32]:

"Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If [any thing] be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." (KJV)

vii) [1 Cor 11-14]:

1 Corinthians 11-14 contains the fullest treatment of the gift of prophecy in the New Testament. Throughout this text, the gift is presented as the product of the Holy Spirit (just as in Acts 2, 11, 13, 21)...

Now in these four chapters the gift of prophecy is mentioned ten times. (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:4-5; 12:10; 13:2; 13:8; 14:3-4; 14:5-6; 14:22; 14:24-25; 14:29-33; 14:37-40) Of which 1 Corinthians 14:29-32 emerges as Paul's most sustained treatment on the gift of prophecy.

Let me summarize the teaching of this text. Paul requires that prophets speak one at a time. (verse 31) Ordinarily the prophets would come with messages that God had revealed to them. Thus, they would have a prearranged order in which to speak. (verses 29, 30)

viii) [1 Corinthians 14:29-32]:

"Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge." (KJV)

To judge has been greatly misunderstood today. Most immediately assume that it references the words being spoken. And yet, the Greek term diakrino has the basic meaning of to separate, to sever, to make a distinction. Most frequently it is used to make a distinction among PEOPLE.

Thus, if we keep the regular use of the term for judge, we conclude that the judgment here is not to be made about what is said, but who should speak! Because God is a God of order (verse 33) - and the Corinthians had perverted all semblance of order in their worship services - Paul exhorts the Corinthians that the prophets were to discriminate between persons as to when each prophet should speak.

Now, this prearranged order would be maintained unless God gave a revelation to one of the other prophets seated. (verse 30) In this case, the prophet who was slated to be "first" should "stop" so that the one who is receiving a revelation from God could speak. (verse 30) Now notice the crucial theme that resonates throughout this text - the product of the prophetic gift is revelation!.....

...It is this term that is used to describe the gift of prophecy exercised by Agabus in the book of Acts. And it is this term that Paul uses to summarize all that the prophet does in 1 Corinthians. 14. (cf. verses 26, 30) Before we leave this text, notice also another characteristic of the prophet that Paul references in verses 37-38: they must comport with previously given revelation (which is what was prescribed in Deuteronomy. 13:1-5)....

ix) [2 Peter 1:20-21]:

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost." (KJV)

With this verse, we have in effect Peter's definition of prophecy. In Peter's definition of prophecy we find that he says that there are no exceptions - "that no prophecy of the scripture." And thus, which serves as the standard for ALL Biblical prophecy whether New Testament or Old Testament!

To those who might say that the gift of prophecy as evidenced... in the New Testament "differed" from Old Testament prophecy, Peter unequivocally declares the product of the prophetic gift.. ...to be nothing less than the Word of God - whether written or spoken! The words of the New Testament prophet were of no less authority than his writings. The words of the New Testament prophet were equivalent to all Biblical prophecy. And the words of the New Testament prophet were authoritative for the body of Christ.

x) CONCLUSION OT & NT PROPHECY ARE THE SAME

Each of these five New Testament passages... clearly teach that the New Testament gift or office of prophet was one and the same with the Old Testament gift or office of prophet.

O. Palmer Robertson wrote:

"The prophetic experience that had brought God's word to the old covenant community now communicated the truth about this new era to God's new covenant people." (Ibid., pg. 18)

And thus when it comes to prophecy in the New Testament, we conclude that the characteristics that governed the true gift of prophecy in the Old Testament are one and the same as in the New Testament. As such the NATURE of New Testament prophecy was that it is revelation: a speaking forth of the Word of God. The STANDARD of New Testament prophecy was that it must be one hundred percent accurate: to be wrong just once is to not only prove that you are not a prophet according to the New Testament standard, but also that the message you have supposedly received from God is not from God at all. The DETERRENCE of New Testament prophecy likewise was death: which in the New Covenant was equivalent to excommunication. (For an example of physical death, the account of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) could be referenced as an example of two people "lying" to the Holy Spirit: the essence of false prophecy!) The MODE OF RECEPTION of New Testament prophecy was through "dreams" and "visions." The MODE OF EXPRESSION of New Testament prophecy was that it is an authoritative proclamation of the Word of God. The VERIFICATION of New Testament prophecy was the doing of the miraculous.'''

OT & NT PROPHECY COMPARED
AGE PERS CONTENT AUTHENTICATE PASS
OT DAN
483 YEARS TO OUR LORD'S CRUCIFIXION + 7 YR TRIBULATION PERIOD. DAN SURVIVES LIONS' DEN, FIERY FURNACE SURVIVAL, DREAMS INTERPRETED CORRECTLY, FULFILLED PROPHECIES
Dan 9:24-27
OT
(PART OF MT)
JESUS TRIBULATION PERIOD INCL 2ND COMING AND JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS MANY MANY MIRACLES ESP HEALING, FEEDING OF MULTITUDES, ETC Mt 24-25
OT
(PART OF JN)
JOHN
THE BAP

TIST
LAMB OF GOD TAKES AWAY SINS OF THE WORLD, WILL BAPTIZE WITH HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE NAZARITE VOWS
OF A LEVITICAL PRIEST
Jn 1:29-34
Lk 3:16-17
Church
Age
PAUL TONGUES, PROPHECY, WORD OF KNOWLEDGE WILL CEASE MIRACLES: HEALING, TONGUES, ET AL 1 Cor 13:8
Church Age PAUL THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, THE HOLY SPIRIT'S RESTRAINING INFLUENCE REMOVED MIRACLES: HEALING, TONGUES, ET AL 1 Th 4:13-18

2Th 2
Church Age JESUS CHURCH AGE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM MANY MANYMIRACLES ESP HEALING, FEEDING OF MULTITUDES, ETC Jn 14:
16-17; 15:26
Church Age JESUS RAPTURE OF CHURCH AGEBELIEVERS MANY MANY
MIRACLES ESP HEALING, FEEDING OF MULTITUDES, ETC
Jn 14:1-4

3) WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

With respect to Knowledge or Word of Knowledge: In the same way that 'ekklesia''refers to a general gathering but was also coined into the technical term that in context refers to the body of Christ, the Church; so knowledge is a general term as it appears in Pro 8 & Isa 11, having no special miraculous qualities to it with respect to being new revelation directly from God. But it has been coined by NT writer Paul into a technical term referring to the Spiritual Gift of [Word of] Knowledge with special supernatural qualities and new and special revelation from God often via visions and dreams.

a) [1 Cor 12:4, 7-8]:

(4) "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.

(v. 7) Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

(v. 8) To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit."

Notice that God the Holy Spirit provides 'the message of knowledge' to the believer. Evidently such knowledge must be of a special revelatory and unique nature in order for it to qualify for being a communication as a result of the spiritual gift of Word of Knowledge, otherwise the information would simply fall under the realm of being no more unique that which has already been communicated in the existing Bible.

[Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum stated, (op. cit.)]:

"I think you will find the clue for understanding what the gift of knowledge is in 1 Corinthians 13:2 where he [Paul] connects 'knowledge' with 'knowing all mysteries.' In other words, the gift of knowledge is the God-given ability to understand the mysteries of God. In the New Testament, the term 'mystery' is defined as something totally unrevealed in the Old Testament and revealed for the first time in the New (Eph 3:3-6; Col 1:26-27). This is a God-given ability to understand comprehensively New Testament truth and how it fits within the larger progressive revelation of God throughout the Scriptures. It would be a corollary gift to go along with the gift of teaching [or prophecy for that matter]. While one could have the gift of knowledge without the gift of teaching, one could not have the gift of teaching without the gift of knowledge because you have to be able to know it to communicate it."

This NT gift parallels the provision of special revelatory knowledge and wisdom in Dan 1:17-20, (both gifts apparently being in view in this passage), from God to prophets Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah in the Old Testament period when these Israelites were provided special knowledge and wisdom supernaturally:

b) [Dan 1:17-20]:

(v. 17) "To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

(v. 18) At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.

(v. 19) The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service.

(v. 20) In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom."

So the spiritual gift of Word of Knowledge must be of a unique revelatory character, otherwise all biblical knowledge would have to be a spiritual gift assigned to all believers - but not all have the same gift(s) per 1 Cor 12:12-31. If knowledge in general qualified as the spiritual gift of Word of Knowledge then it would have little unique value since all believers would have such a gift. Furthermore, Paul indicates that not all receive this gift in 1 Cor chapter 12.

Further details on how this gift differs from the similar spiritual gifts of Wisdom and Prophecy are not available from the Bible.

[1 Cor 13:8-9 cont.]:

(v. 8) "Love never fails; but where there are gifts of Prophecy, they will be done away with; where there are Tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

(v. 9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part"

"Where there are Tongues" =

D) THE NT SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF TONGUES DEFINED

1) THE PURPOSE OF THE NT SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF TONGUES

Paul defines the purpose and hence the ceasing point for this category of gifts in chapter 14:

a) [1 Cor 14:21-22]:

(v. 21) "In the Law it is written:

'Through men of strange Tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people [Israel], (Isa 28:11-12)], but even then they will not listen to Me, ' says the Lord.

(v. 22) [Paul goes on to say after quoting this passage from Isaiah 28 as he defines the purpose of Tongues]: Therefore Tongues, [Notice: Tongues = plural, signifying the entire category of the gifts of Tongues = multiple languages] then are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; Prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers."

i) [Isa 28:11]: A SIGN & A WARNING TO UNBELIEVING JEWS OF TEMPORAL JUDGMENT IS QUOTED IN 1 COR 14:21

Verse 21 is a quotation of Isaiah 28:11: God's message of warning and judgment upon Israel hundred's of years before Paul became an Apostle. At that time God pled with the nation Israel and each time she rebelled He sent ever increasing judgment: drought, famine, pestilence and still the Israel rebelled. Finally, Isa 28:11 was God's final warning this time to the Southern Kingdom of Israel before suffering a final stage of judgment at the hand this time of the Assyrians. The message in effect was, 'You are going to hear men speaking in foreign languages at your 'doorstep' indicating severe temporal judgment at the hands of a foreign power.

As a matter of fact our Lord Himself predicted such a judgment in Luke chapter 21:

[Lk 21:20-24]:

(v. 20) "[Jesus said] When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolaton is near

(v. 21) Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.

(v. 22) For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.

(v. 23) How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.

(v. 24) They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

When Titus sacked the city of Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews all over the world in 70 AD the purpose for the gift(s) of Tongues was thus completely fulfilled and so the gift immediately ceased in and of itself as the intransitive verb "pausontai" indicates in 1 Cor 13:8 and as history has recorded.

Notice that in the book of Acts, of the three instances of the gift of tongues being used, Jews were always present. ((Refs: Acts 2; 10, (v. 45); 19;18:28)).

ii) HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ISA 28:11

[G. W. Grogan states, (The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986, Vol 6., pp 5-6)]:

"The death of [Assyrian monarch] Tiglath-pileser in 727 B.C. raised false hopes of freedom for the little kingdoms on the Mediterranean seaboard. When Ahaz [King of Judah who aligned himself with Assyria for protection] dies about a year later... Isaiah uttered a prophecy warning Philistia of the consequences of revolt, and, by implication, counseled Judah against join her (14:28-32). It was some time later that Hoshea withheld tribute from Shalmaneser V, who for three years besieged [the Northern Kingdom of] Samaria, which was later taken by his successor, Sargon. According to the Assyrians, over twenty-seven thousand Israelites were deported at this time, being settled in the northern parts of the Assyrian empire... For about a decade the area was fairly quiet, Sargon being occupied with wars elsewhere; but then Egypt began to encourage the Philistines and others to form a new coalition against Assyria. This coalition was crushed by Sargon in 711 in a battle on Egyptian border. Judah under Hezekiah stayed out of this, heeding Isaiah's warning (20:1-6).

Sargon died around 705 B.C. and was replaced by Sennacherib. Immediately there was trouble in different parts of the Assyrian Empire, encouraged by the Ethiopian monarchs who were imparting new vigor to Egypt and also by Merodach-Baladan (Marduk-apal-iddina) of Babylon. This time, despite Isaiah's warnings (chs. 30-31), Hezekiah became involved and prepared Jerusalem for a siege (22:8-11). The Assyrian army invaded Judah, taking forty-six walled cities and devastating much of the countryside. It invested [surrounded for siege purposes] Jerusalem, but Isaiah encouraged Hezekiah to trust in the Lord; and the city was delivered (37:36)."

So Isaiah chapters 8-10 look forward to future Assyrian attacks (e.g., ch 36-37) and chapters 11-12 predict return from exile. Both are future at the time Isaiah writes. Likewise chapter 28 is looking forward, not backward. Israel mocks Isaiah's (God's) message in 28:10 and God mocks back in 28:11, predicting what will happen when He uses the Assyrians to judge His people. Isaiah ministered from about 740 to after 701 when Sennacherib attacked Jerusalem (and soon God destroyed his army. This was in the reign of Hezekiah.) Isaiah wrote about events before they transpired. In Isa 41:21-23,26; 42:9,23; 43:9,12;44:7f,27f; 45:3,11,13; 46:10f;48:3,5; 48:6-8,14-16 he looks back and says his predictions have now been fulfilled.

[John A. Martin states. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, Walvoord & Zuck, Editors, Victor Books, 1987, p. 1029 )]

"The message to Israel of destruction by foreign invaders was also for Judah. Though she would not be completely destroyed, because Jerusalem would not be taken, Judah would face much suffering. The people of the Southern Kingdom had much the same attitude as their Northern brothers. They too were scoffing at God's revelation through Isaiah."

Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum stated, (Email dated 4/27/99) http://www.ariel.org/

"The historical background of Isaiah 28 has to do with the crises of the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah. King Hezekiah allowed himself to be talked into joining an alliance with Egypt and rebel against the Assyrian Empire, to which Judah had been subjugated under King Ahaz. Isaiah warned that such a rebellion against Assyria was contrary to God's will and although Hezekiah normally listened to Isaiah, in this one case he failed to do so. Isaiah states that because of this act of disobedience, the Assyrians will invade and they will hear the Assyrian language outside their walls. When they hear the Assyrian language, it will be a sign of their unbelief.... [of Isaiah's prophecy]

No special revelation came through the Assyrian language on that occasion. The point is that when they hear the Assyrian language in the land, that will serve to them as a sign of Judah's unbelief. [and hence temporal judgment would be at hand] Had Judah obeyed Isaiah the Prophet, there would have been no Assyrian invasion, and no Assyrian tongue in the Land. But because of disobedience, there was an Assyrian invasion and the Assyrian language was heard in the Land. The existence of the Assyrian language is a sign of Judah's unbelief...."

However, Hezekiah repented of his faithlessness and Isaiah interceded on his behalf and God delivered Jerusalem from the Assyrians, (2 Kgs 19) and thus the impending judgment in this particular case was not rescinded - unlike the Northern Kingdom and the rest of Judah.

iii) THE APPLICATION OF ISA 28:11 TO 1 COR 14:21 = SIGN AND WARNING TO JEWS OF TEMPORAL JUDGMENT FOR A SPECIFIC DISBELIEF

Paul then applies this text in Isa 28:11 [ref. 1 Cor 14:21-22] to the existence of the gift of tongues in the Church in order to identify its specific purpose as a sign to unbelieving Jews. His application of this OT text parallels the historical implications of that text but it is not indicated as identical in every respect. It does however have certain points of identity: the message is to unbelieving Jews, foreign language(s) is the sign, temporal military judgment is in view as a result of unbelief of some specific kind. In the case of Paul's time: had Israel believed the Messiahship of Jesus Christ and accepted Him as such, there would have been no need for a new entity to come into being, the Church, with its spiritual gifts, such as the gifts of Tongues. But now the existence of the Church, with its spiritual gifts of foreign tongues being expressed, is a sign of Israel's unbelief in the Messiahship of Jesus Christ.

Notice that whenever there is an historical incident reported of the gift of tongues being legitimately exercised, Jews were present, (refs: Acts 2; 10; (v. 45); 19, (v. 18:28)). Furthermore, foreign tongues to non-Jews would not be so much of a unique sign of unbelief as it would be to dispersed Jews coming from far away lands to Palestine who then heard their second language from that far away land spoken to them in Palestine instead of the customarily expected Aramaic or Hebrew.

The warning from Isaiah to Judah came about 784 years before the Apostle's letter to the Corinthians and Paul is now using it to explain that the 1st century expression of the spiritual gifts of Tongues is in the same manner a sign of unbelief and judgment on unbelieving Jews with a similar invasion of a foreign power in view. This time the judgment is to be Israel at the hands of Rome in 70 A.D. which did come to pass, unlike the Assyrian seige of Jerusalem which was destroyed by God after Hezekiah repented and trusted in God.

So the two scenarios are not identical but the use of Paul's reference to Isa 28:11 as a prophetic one is fulfilled in the sense that the foreign tongues were a sign of Israel's unbelief and that temporal judgment of the kind portrayed in Isa 28, (military from a foreign power) was in view. The OT passage is not identical as Isaiah's Judah repented and Assyria did not complete her destructive intent and the foreign language sign departed with the destruction by God of Assyria's forces at least so far as Jerusalem was concerned, (not so for the rest of Judah or Samaria).

Paul's message to the 1st century Church indicated Israel's disbelief with the impending potential destruction forthcoming this time from Rome which was not prevented by God since Israel did not repent of her rejection of her Messiah. Note that the Church taking over as God's messenger to the world of His revelation especially the gospel cannot be viewed as temporal judgment of the kind that is portrayed in Isa 28; so one must look for fulfullment of the judgment end elsewhere. So the Church could not be a judgment on Israel but rather a replacement, even a blessing - bringing the true message of the gospel and the Messiah to all nations including and especially Israel. The judgment that seems to be in view in this case seems to be AD 70 - also a military conquest as in the days of Assyria.

iv) THE PURPOSE OF TONGUES AS A GENERAL SIGN OF UNBELIEF OF JEWS AND/OR GENTILES IS RULED OUT

Since God is sovereign and since He created the Spiritual Gifts of Tongues as a sign for something specific relative to a certain kind of unfaithfulness of Israel in accordance with Scripture with no other conditions to be met such as some kind of additional cooperation by believers not so stipulated in Scripture

and since we do not have historical evidence for the continued expression of the NT sign Gifts of Tongues in accordance with Scripture for the centuries following the 1st century AD,

and since there had never been a lack of widespread unfaithfulness amongst Jews and/or Gentiles throughout these same centuries

then we must conclude that the Gifts of Tongues were not created by God as a sign of general unbelief and that they indeed have ceased.

So when they did cease is a good time to find the evidence for the precise judgment, and while it was being exercised, (70 AD), and it is a good time to find evidence for the precise content of unbelief, (rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus Christ).

[1 Cor 13:8-10 cont.]:

(v. 8) "Love never fails; but where there are gifts of Prophecy, they will be done away with; where there are Tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

(v. 9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part

(v. 10) but when that which is complete comes, the partial will be done away with."

"Where there are Tongues, they will cease" =

2) THE TEMPORARY GIFT OF TONGUES CEASED AT LEAST AFTER 70 AD

"where there are Tongues they will cease" = The spiritual gifts of Tongues [plural indicating variations = different languages] will cease = "pausontai" = shall cease, future, middle voice = acting upon itself such that the action of ceasing occurs.

When we come to verses 9 & 10, the subject changes to those gifts which are classified as partial:

(v. 9) "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;

(v. 10) but when that which is complete, [as opposed to that which is partial] comes, the partial will be done away with."

Notice that Tongues is not in view in verses 9 & 10 which refer only to the gifts of knowledge and prophecy which are classified as partial and then qualified as becoming "done away with" when "that which is complete" comes. This is supported by the passive voice of the verb rendered "shall be done away with" referring to action affecting knowledge and prophecy as opposed to the middle voice of the verb rendered "shall cease" implying self-imposed action of Tongues, i.e., Tongues will cease of its own accord - when its purpose is fulfilled. Although the gift of Tongues does have prophetic & edifying value when it is interpreted, that is incidental to its purpose as stated in 1 Cor 14:22 and therefore cannot be considered primarily as a partial revelatory gift as Knowledge and Prophecy are specifically designated in this passage:

Later on in 1 Corinthians 14:22, and as previously examined, Paul indicates that the primary purpose of the gift of Tongues is as a warning sign to unbelieving Jews of impending judgment pointing away from it as a gift for the primary purpose of partial revelation from God and away from its ceasing when 'that which is complete' comes.

So the phrase in verse 10, 'when that which is complete comes' is NOT applicable to the ceasing of the Tongues so far as dictating the time when Tongues would cease - especially considering the context, the separate and distinct purpose of Tongues vs the other gifts, the different verb and voice used for Tongues vs the other gifts and the omission of any reference to Tongues in the very phrase which contains the reference to 'to teleion' = "that which is complete".

Furthermore, after 70 AD and for centuries up to the present we have not seen historically the reoccurrence of the expression of this gift in accordance with Scripture. Despite the modern day insistence that there are a number of other uses for the gift of tongues, none of them has historically followed the rules stipulated in Scripture nor are such alternative uses taught in Scripture other than as a sign to unbelievers where Jews are in view and that it must also be edifying to the body of believers - following the general rule for all spiritual gifts.

Compare: detailed examination of the gift of tongues

Considering the sovereignty of God and His decrees in using this gift as a sign to unbelieving Jews for His sovereignly designated purpose and period of time; and in view of the continued unfaithfulness of Jews and all peoples for that matter throughout the centuries yet history showing a lack of the legitimate expression of the gift of Tongues for all these centuries since about the time of 70 AD; we must conclude that the specific purpose and time frame to be expressed for the gift of Tongues has been sovereignly fulfulled at or about that time and it therefore has sovereignly ceased.

[1 Cor 13:8-10 cont.]:

(v. 8) "Love never fails; but where there are gifts of Prophecy, they will be done away with; where there are Tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

(v. 9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part

(v. 10) but when that which is complete comes, the partial will be done away with."

E) THE GIFTS OF WORD OF KNOWLEDGE AND PROPHECY ARE PARTIAL REVELATORY GIFTS OF A TEMPORARY NATURE

"For we know in part" = 'For we know only part of God's revelation to us through the spiritual gifts.'

"and we Prophecy in part" = 'And we forth tell or prophesy only part of what God has for us to know with respect to the completed Bible. At the time when these gifts were being exercised the entire New Testament was not yet fully revealed or completed. God's New Testament revelation was available throughout the world only in part as a direct revelation from Him to the individual who possessed the gift. So the gift of Prophecy was also characterized by a direct revelation from God on a par with Scripture - later to be part of the 27 books of the New Testament.

"the partial" - "the imperfect" - "to ekmerous" can be translated as "partial" or "imperfect", (NIV), and is best rendered there as it literally means: "that in part" or that which is not complete. The temporary sign and wonder gifts of Prophesy and Word of Knowledge are that which are used to relay a knowledge of the Word of God - 'in part'. The completed Scriptures are that which will thereafter be used to relay the whole counsel of the Word of God.

1) BIBLICAL EVIDENCE FOR CESSATION OF A NUMBER OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN THE BIBLE SETS A PRECEDENT FOR THE POSSIBILITY THAT A SPIRITUAL GIFT CAN BE TEMPORARY IN THIS AGE

a) INTRODUCTION

[Dr. Robert L. Thomas states,

Professor of New Testament,

TMSJ 4/2 (Fall 1993) 187-201http://www.mastersem.edu/journal/j4th2.htm

"No Bible verse specifically states that Tongues, signs, and wonders will continue throughout the Church Age. Nor is there a verse that specifically states they will cease at the end of the apostolic age. However, this does not mean that one cannot take a position on this issue. Many doctrines, such as the Trinity, are not directly stated but are derived from the study and correlation of passages of Scripture. There are several indications in the Scriptures that the gifts of Tongues, healing, and miracles (signs and wonders) will not continue. The charismatic movement in all its forms rests not on exegetical evidence that the gifts will continue, but on the assumption contrary to history that since they occurred in the apostolic age they should also occur today. The foundation for this assumption is nonexistent.

The New Testament church was not characterized by power and miracles as the charismatics assume. It was characterized by the problems addressed in the epistles (including, e.g., the problems that beset the Corinthian church) and the problems of the churches described in Revelation 2 and 3....

The charismatics assume that the church today should be like their imaginary church. They assume that the entire church today should be able to do all the apostles did in the New Testament.

If the church as a whole had performed miracles, it is only an assumption, apart from evidence, that this should be true today. This assumption is not interpretation. The assumption that the miraculous events recorded in the Book of Acts should occur today is "a distinct hermeneutic, a distinctively Pentecostal manner of appropriating the Scriptures." This development of theology on the basis of narrative rather than on direct teaching of Scripture is always a precarious methodology."

b) GENERAL BIBLICAL EVIDENCE FOR CESSATION

"Moses performed a series of miracles. However, they did not continue throughout the Old Testament nor were other believers expected to do the same. The Old Testament prophets occasionally performed miracles, but Israel in general was not expected to do so, nor did the miracles continue throughout Israel's history. The fact that some individuals on special occasions in biblical history performed miracles did not result in others doing the same or in a continuity of those miracles. So there is no reason to assume that since the apostles and a few members of the early church performed miracles, they are to be expected today."

c) SPECIFIC BIBLICAL EVIDENCE FOR CESSATION

i) THE GIFT OF APOSTLE WAS TEMPORARY AND CEASED

"In addition to evidence from history there is also specific biblical evidence that certain gifts were temporary. The term "apostle," commonly used in ancient times in the sense of "representative," in a few passages describes representatives of a local church. This is not the New Testament gift of apostleship. Nor can this term, contrary to its normal meaning and contrary to the New Testament descriptions, be equated with the modern missionary merely on the basis of etymology. The only individuals in the New Testament who clearly possessed the miraculous gift of apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and could perform miracles as required of an apostle (2 Cor. 12:12) were the Twelve and Paul. Perhaps Barnabas and James can be included. Almost every branch of the church, including most Pentecostals, has held that apostles in this sense have not continued in the church. The charismatic reliance on the narrative of Acts is often avoided when defining "apostles" or "prophets," as too restrictive. These gifts can be precisely delineated, however. Imprecise use of Scripture is a common failing among charismatics. No matter how one tries to broaden the term "apostle," there is little doubt that apostles such as the Twelve and Paul did not continue. If they did not, then all things are not as they were in the New Testament church, all miraculous gifts did not continue as in the beginning church, and at least one gift in the New Testament did not continue.

In addition the New Testament sets standards for an apostle that preclude the continuance of this gift. Not only must an apostle be able to perform miracles (2 Cor. 12:12), not only was the early church very careful about granting anyone, even Paul, the title of "apostle" (Gal. 2:1-10), but also an apostle must have seen the resurrected Lord (1 Cor. 9:1-2; Acts 1:22-26). Paul explicitly stated that he was the last one to see the resurrected Lord (1 Cor. 15:8), and he specifically connected this fact with his apostleship. This requirement for apostleship refers to genuine appearances of the resurrected Christ and not to "visions." There have been no resurrection appearances since the apostolic age. Paul clearly stated that the last appearance was to him. (Revelation 1:12-18 refers to a vision, and is not an appearance of the resurrected Lord in bodily form on earth.) Therefore apostles in the sense of the Twelve and Paul cannot occur today.....

Since "apostle" in the full sense of the gift was only a temporary gift and did not continue in the church, the biblical precedent is established that some gifts given in the apostolic age did not continue and were only temporary. It is contrary to Scripture to assume that all gifts and all happenings of the apostolic church are to continue and to be expected in today's church."

III) [1 Cor 13:10]:

(v. 10) "but when that which is complete comes, the partial will be done away with."

A) VERSE 10 SPEAKS OF THE TIME WHEN 'THAT WHICH IS COMPLETE COMES' NOT THE TIME WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT COMES

"that which is complete" = "to teleion" = literally, "that which is complete in all its parts" - neuter gender - i.e., the completed Scriptures.

So "to teleion" is not an absolutely perfect thing which is an alternative meaning. It is most likely defined here, considering the context and usual usage, as 'that which is complete" as opposed to that which is classified here as "that which is partial" = the miraculous spiritual gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge, which it replaces.

1) REASONS WHY TO TELEION CANNOT MEAN "THE PERFECT" IN 1 COR 13:10

[Compare what Dr. Robert L. Thomas states, op. cit.]:

'''The most common definitions of the English word "perfect" applied to 1 Cor 13:10 would probably include:

(a) being entirely without fault or defect

(b) corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept

(c) the soundness and the excellence of every part, element, or quality of a thing frequently as an unattainable or theoretical state.

Either of these three or a combination of them is the usual notion the average person attaches to the word. All three are qualitative in nature, a characteristic that renders them unsatisfactory renderings of 'to teleion'. Four reasons demonstrate this:

(i) No other use of teleios in Paul can possibly mean "perfection" in the sense of the absence of all imperfection. In fact, the meaning of "perfection" in Greek philosophers that of a "perfect" man is absent from the NT. Utopian perfection was a philosophical notion, not a NT idea, for this word. Elsewhere in Paul the adjective is figurative and refers almost exclusively to a grown man (cf. 1 Cor 2:6; 14:20; Phil 3:15; Eph 4:13; Col 1:28; cf. also Heb 5:14). One other time, in Col 4:12, it means "mature" in the OT sense of wholeness and obedience to God's will, and picks up on his ambition for every man as stated in Col 1:28. So six out of the other seven times Paul uses the word, it means "mature." The remaining use is in Rom 12:1 where its meaning is "complete.

This pattern of usage establishes a strong probability that the word includes the sense of maturity [or completeness] in 1 Cor 13:10, especially since its other two uses in 1 Corinthians have that sense.

(ii) In the immediate context of 1 Cor 13:8-13, a qualitative word is unsuitable in light of the apodosis of the sentence in 13:10. "Perfect" is not a suitable opposite to...ek merous, ("partial"). A better meaning would be "whole" or "complete" as antithetical to ek merous.

(iii) The terminology of 13:11 is most conclusive, however, because it is an analogy with the stages of human life (i.e.,...npios = "child" and anr = "child").

(aa) This analogy directly impacts the meaning of 'to teleion' in 13:10, because it sets up a teleios/npios antithesis in vv. 10-11 that is relative, not absolute, and therefore incompatible with the concept of perfection. The difference between childhood and adulthood is a matter of degree, not one of mutually exclusive differentiation.

(bb) The npios/anr antithesis in v. 11 has the same conbackgrdal effect of ruling out the notion of an ideal state as denoted by the translation "perfect."

(iv) The terminology of 13:12 requires an allusion to degrees of revelatory understanding, not perfection or freedom from imperfection. The verbs blpomen (blepomen, "I see") and ginskv (ginsk, "I know") correlate with the gifts of prophecy and knowledge...

[with their partial provision of understanding of the NT doctrines as compared to the complete provision of the NT doctrines through the completed canon making full understanding available in the future for the NT believer]

...This is quantitative, not qualitative, so to teleion must have the same quantitative connotation. Hence both etymological and conbackgrdal considerations argue emphatically against the meaning "perfect" for 'to teleion'.'''

2) VERSE 10 DOES NOT POINT TO JESUS CHRIST

The word "To teleion" = "that which is complete" which is neuter in gender and is contrasted with and replaces "that which is partial" does not point to the Lord Jesus Christ Who is always referred to in His Person in Scripture in the masculine gender, and Who would not merely be referred to as complete, but more as Perfect - which is outside of the context of this passage in 1 Cor 13.

Furthermore, the context refers to a partial impartation of knowledge via the miraculous spiritual gifts of "word" and "prophecy" which was to cease when the complete impartation of knowledge comes. Evidently this knowledge was information about Jesus Christ and the doctrines now contained in the New Testament books since such would be legitimate new revelation from God in the First Century. This message has in view the immediate audience of the Corinthian believers, (and all believers), of the First Century AD when this event is to occur which eliminates the concept of our Lord's return centuries later.

3) AND VERSE 10 DOES NOT POINT TO THE MILLENNIAL AGE OR ETERNITY FUTURE EITHER

Although there are indeed passages which refer to a period of time, an age, in the neuter, even in utilizing forms of the word teleion, ("telous" = 1 Cor 1:8 and "telos" = 1 Cor 15:24 and elsewhere in Scripture), these passages refer to an end of a period of time at which time our Lord will appear, (Rapture, Millennium, Eternity Future), and do not fit the context of contrasting in chapter 13: the partial revelations of God's Word, with that which is complete revelation not perfect.

Nor can "to teleion" be the Millennial age which REVIVES the sign & wonder gifts through a COMPLETE pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon ALL mankind, not just upon a few as in today's Church Age:

Compare Joel 2:28-32 for complete details ;

Refer also to Mt 24:29-30; Ez 39:29 and Zech 12:10.

Furthermore, the millennial age has imperfections and incompleteness of its own and therefore would not be referred to as teleion. At the end of the millennium, Satan is loosed from the Lake of Fire and the unbelievers of the world rebel once more against our Lord Jesus Christ to their own destruction, (compare Rev 20:7-15).

Eternity future must also be ruled out primarily because "that which is complete" as opposed to "the partial" is in view which the Eternal Age or state which is perfect in quality is far more than 'that which is complete' which the context is looking for.

4) AND VERSE 10 CANNOT BE THE COMPLETION OF THE BODY OF CHRIST SINCE THE CONTEXT IS LOOKING FOR A SOURCE OF COMPLETED REVELATION AND NOT THE FULL COMPLEMENT OF CHURCH AGE BELIEVERS

It is also true that subject of nearby 12:27 is the Body of Christ [= "soma Christou"] which is indeed neuter and is certainly not complete until the end of the Church Age punctuated by the Rapture of that body.

Nevertheless, the context is looking for the completed counterpart of the partial instruments of God's revelations to that Body of Christ so that it can be edified and not the completed Body of Christ itself. Furthermore, the partial gifts evidently have had hundreds of years of non-expression while the Body of Christ continues to remain incomplete as evidenced by the Rapture being yet future. So evidently it is not the completed Body of Christ which is to replace the incomplete ways of revealing NT Church Age truth but the NT canon itself.

5) VERSE 10's MAJOR FOCUS TIMEWISE IS THE TIMESPAN OF THE CORINTHIANS TO WHOM PAUL WAS ADDRESSING

Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is admonishing the Corinthian saints in THEIR PRESENT TIME not to misuse the sign & wonder spiritual gifts of word of knowledge and prophecy and to view them with a perspective that they are incomplete in their nature and will be replaced IN THEIR PRESENT TIME with that which is complete. If the miraculous gifts that the Corinthians were being admonished for abusing were to cease far beyond their lifetimes the strength of Paul's immediate admonishment of the Corinthians' abuse of the gifts would very weak.

Since the purpose of prophecy and knowledge was as a partial revelatory gift relating to the church those doctrines which were being written down at that time in the NT epistles and gospels, then the most immediate replacement for such revelation was right there within the lifetime of those first century Corinthians: the NT bible.

So if these special gifts that Paul is stipulating in his letter to the Corinthians were ordained by God to continue beyond the life span of the Corinthians, (much more for 1900 more years), then they could not be described to the Corinthians as temporary relative to their own concerns to which the Apostle Paul was specifically addressing. Consider then, since there is predicted a time when the sign and wonder gifts will cease, and since they will revive during the millennium, then the only time available for the gifts to cease is during this present age. And the only viable replacement would be the testimony of God through the New Testament Books.

B) OBJECTORS MAINTAIN THAT THE COMPLETION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITINGS COINCIDING WITH CESSATION COULD NOT IN BE VIEW IN 1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 13 NOR IN PAUL'S OR THE CORINTHIANS' MINDS

1) THE CONCEPT OF COMPLETION AND CESSATION IS IN THE TEXT OF 1 COR 13

[Dr. Thomas, op. cit.]:

'''Objection:

The context says nothing about the completion of Scripture.

Response:

Here is another superficial objection. Completion is in the context. Note the four occurrences of ek merous [= in part, partial] that require an opposite "completion": 13:9 (twice), 13:10, and 13:12. It is not a matter of completion's not being in the context; it is rather a question of the completion of what.....

[The phrase from 1 Cor 13, "Now we see but a poor reflection" in verse 12 speaks of obscured = limited, incomplete prophetic revelation and knowledge versus a "face to face" = unobscured = complete, (with all the gaps filled in), written body of the 'mysteries' of the whole Church Age New Testament]

...V. 12 does not speak of seeing God face to face, which would be more of a qualitative condition that is inappropriate to this context [suggesting absolute perfection rather than completion, thus violating the context]. This would break the continuity of the earlier part of the paragraph where revelatory gifts are in view.... What is not in this context is a contrast between perfection and imperfection. It is not talking about a qualitative set of conditions.'''

2) THE CONCEPT OF COMPLETION COINCIDING WITH CESSATION OF REVELATORY GIFTS IS A PRECEDENT FROM OT TIMES

[Robert L. Thomas, cont., op. cit.]:

"Paul knew of an earlier period when God spoke directly to His prophets, a period that had come to an end with the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, being followed by the 400 silent years (cf. Matt 23:35, 37; Heb 1:1-2). He also knew that the close of the OT canon coincided with the cessation of OT prophecy (e.g., Luke 24:44) long before the first advent of Christ. He was conscious that he was now in the midst of a new period during which God was speaking directly to His apostles and prophets, resulting in inspired utterances that in part were taking their place alongside the OT canon as inspired Scripture:"

[1 Cor 14:37]:

"If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command."

[2Pet 3:15-16]:

(v. 15) "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

(v. 16) He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own distruction"

3) THE NEW CHURCH AGE DOCTRINES WERE REVEALED TO PAUL AND THE NT APOSTLES IN ORDER TO RELAY TO THE WORLD AND IT WAS BEING TRANSMITTED IN WRITING AND VIA THE REVELATORY GIFTS

The unique doctrines of the New Testament were in the process of being conveyed to the world through the spiritual gifts of partial revelation, Word of Knowledge and Prophecy at this time as well as being written down by Paul and the other New Testament writers. Copies of those writings were at that moment being distributed to the churches throughout the world. Being a prophet of God and having received his instruction directly from the Lord Jesus Christ in these doctrines, (Gal 1:11-18), it is not out of the question that the Apostle Paul and for that matter the rest of the New Testament writers, considering they were inspired by God, would have had a perspective of the historical completion of the New Testament canon within their own lifetimes and that of the Corinthians:

a) [Compare Gal 1:11-16]:

(v. 11) "I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.

(v. 12) I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

[Notice that Paul received his information by divine revelation from the Lord Himself]

(v. 13) For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.

(v. 14) I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

(v. 15) But when God, Who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace, was pleased

(v. 16) to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,

[Notice that God revealed to Paul that he was to preach the gospel to the Gentiles which he had learned]

b) [Compare Eph 3:1-12]:

(v. 1) "For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles -

(v. 2) Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you,

(v. 3) that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly,

(v. 4) In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

(v. 5) which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets.

[Notice that the Church Age New Testament doctrines were 'revealed to God's holy apostles and prophets' by God and the rest of this passage indicates that they were commissioned by God to make those doctrines known to the Church who together with the Apostles and the Prophets were then to make these doctrines known to 'the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms' obviously by preaching it to the world so that the heavenly realms could learn them as well]:

(v. 6) This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus

(v. 7) I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of His power.

(v. 8) Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

(v. 9) and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, Who created all things.

(v. 10) His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

(v. 11) according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(v. 12) In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence."

So it is evident that Paul and the other Apostles and Prophets had a perspective on their divine purpose which must have included an idea of the time frame for them to relay the New Testament doctrines to the Church and the world as they were commissioned to do so - especially considering the letters they were writing and passing on to the churches throughout the world:

c) [Compare Col 4:16]:

"After this letter [which Paul wrote to the Colossians] has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea."

Note Paul's command in the above verse to circulate his letters which contained New Testament Church Age doctrines.

[1 Cor 13:10 cont.]:

(v. 10) "But when that which is complete comes, the partial [i.e., Prophesy and Word of Knowledge] will be done away with."

C) HISTORY SHOWS THAT THE MIRACULOUS SIGN GIFTS HAVE NOT BEEN PROPERLY EXERCISED IF AT ALL SINCE THE 1ST CENTURY AND ARE THEREFORE NOT AUTHENTIC

It is historically arguable that the gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge which often included 100% accurate predictions to authenticate the prophet and purveyor of the Word of Knowledge and always included new revelation from God that was on an equal level with and soon to become Scripture: the written Word of God, have not continued since the 1st century AD. The exercise of these gifts since then has not been miraculous at all, but rather full of false predictions and false information that contradicted Scripture or was characterized by an improper nonexpository rehashing of what was already revealed in the Bible. The true prophecies in the early church period were designed to be partial and to be new revelations from God, eventually becoming part of the completed canon of New Testament Scripture. These gifts also phased out about the time that the miraculous gift of healing phased out. Note that the gift of healing which was used to authenticate the individual as God's chosen one to communicate revelation from God required 100% effective instantaneous curing of organic as well as other diseases including raising from the dead is not evident today. All of these gifts have apparently ceased as today's 'practices' have not lived up to the actual requirements stipulated in Scripture for these gifts to be authentic. They were to authenticate the possessor of the gift as God's appointed man to deliver new revelation from God in part. These gifts are stipulated as ceasing when "that which is complete" = "to telion" (Gk) comes, (1 Cor 13:10). The first possibility that comes to mind that is complete and therefore more than partial which can be described as "to teleion" is the 27 books of the New Testament canon. And the NT canon was completed about the time the miraculous sign and wonder gifts phased out. It is also neuter in gender satisfying the gender of "to teleion". So the New Testament canon must first be definitively ruled out as well as one having to definitively prove that the spiritual gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge have not indeed historically ceased for thousands of years in order for the other possibilities of the millennium and eternity future be in view. Finally, one must consider the individuals to whom Paul was speaking - admonishing them about the misuse of the miraculous gifts in question, telling them that they were only partial and that they would cease - in their and Paul's perspective - their lifetimes. The perspective of the millennium or eternity future being in view is not as likely as the perspective of the completed New Testament. It qualifies as that which is complete, (not perfect), which completion happened within the lifetimes of those individuals being addressed which immediately satisfies the ceasing point. And the miraculous gifts relayed part of that NT Canon, satisfying that requirement.

[Thomas R. Edgar states,

(Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis Capital Bible Seminary, Lanham, Maryland

Bibliotheca Sacra / October-December 1988

The Cessation of the Sign Gifts

http://www.bible.org/galaxie/journals/sample/bibsac/8594/88d2.htm]:

"If the miraculous gifts of the New Testament age had continued in the church, one would expect an unbroken line of occurrences from apostolic times to the present. If they are of God, why should such miracles be absent for centuries?

The entire controversy exists because the miraculous gifts of the New Testament age did cease and did not occur for almost 1,900 years of church history and certainly have not continued in an unbroken line. Questions about their presence today as well as differing opinions, even among charismatics, regarding the nature of Tongues, prophecy, and certain other gifts are due to the fact that they ceased. Chrysostom, a fourth-century theologian, testified that they had ceased so long before his time that no one was certain of their characteristics.

[Chrysostom Homilies in First Corinthians, Homily XXIX, in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 12:168]

"...Though some have attempted to prove that Tongues and other miraculous gifts have occurred in the postapostolic history of the church, the very paucity and sporadic nature of alleged occurrences is evidence against this claim. Referring to alleged instances of Tongues-speaking, Hinson, a church historian, sums up the situation this way: "The first sixteen centuries of its history were lean ones indeed. . . . if the first five centuries were lean the next were starvation years for the practice in Western Christendom and doubtful ones in Eastern Christendom."

[Frank Stagg, E. Glenn Hinson, and Wayne E. Oates, Glossolalia (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1967), pp. 45-46. ]

After a few alleged instances in the second century there is a gap of almost 1,000 years before a few more occur. Obviously it would not have been difficult to produce evidence for these gifts during the apostolic age. Why then is there such a dearth of evidence if the gifts continued throughout church history? The alleged instances are even more rare if restricted to genuine believers, and if hearsay evidence is omitted. If instances of the gift of healing rather than supposed answers to prayer are considered, the alleged instances all but vanish.

[In other words healing in answer to perayer can account for these instances of healing rather than the direct application of the gift of healing]

That these miraculous workings ceased in the past can hardly be refuted, and this is recognized by many charismatics. Dayton feels that many charismatics actually prefer to grant that certain gifts ceased, since they regard today's phenomena as a latter-day pouring out of the Spirit."

1) THE EXPLANATIONS OFFERED TO VERIFY THE MODERN "EXPRESSIONS" OF THE SIGN GIFT ARE NOT BIBLICAL

a) THE ARGUMENT THAT THE GIFTS FADED AWAY BECAUSE OF A FAILURE TO BELIEVE IN MIRACLES IS UNBIBLICAL

[Edgar, cont.]:

"It is one thing for a doctrine such as justification by faith to be temporarily lost due to man's frailty. It is another thing entirely for miraculous signs and wonders to be missing. Those at Pentecost were not expecting to speak as they did.

In Acts no Tongues speaker was previously aware of the existence of the gift; yet they spoke. They could hardly have had faith in their ability to perform miracles or to speak in Tongues, since they were unaware of such gifts. They did not obtain or lose the ability because of their belief or lack of belief in the charismata. If God gave these gifts during the history of the church, they would have occurred regardless of man's frailty. To argue that the gifts faded away in the postapostolic church because of a failure to believe in miracles evades the facts of history and has no biblical support.

First Corinthians 12-14 implies that the early church was only too inclined toward such gifts rather than against them. In almost every religion men have been inclined toward the miraculous rather than toward rejecting obvious miracles. And yet some argue that miracles ceased or nearly so in the early church--an era when belief in the supernatural was rampant and when the signs and wonders actually occurred--because of disbelief in miracles! Yet it is claimed that in the most rationalistic of ages, when no miracles were occurring, 19- and 20th-century Christians believed to the extent that the gifts reoccurred, and reoccurred on the scale of today's claims. Since modern Christians are so receptive to signs and wonders and modern man is so willing to believe the charismatic claims, on what basis can one assume that the early Christians would refuse to do so? Those willing to believe religious miracles are always plentiful. To claim that this "miraculous infusion" of the Spirit gives joy, purpose, power for service, and revitalization of the church, and at the same time claim that such a tremendous working was ignored, rejected, and allowed to drop out of the early church which experienced it, is illogical."

b) THE ARGUMENT THAT AN ALTERNATIVE USE FOR THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS A SOLELY SELF-EDIFYING PRAYER LANGUAGE EVEN A LANGUAGE OF ANGELS THAT 'TAKES OVER' AS AN EXPRESSION BY THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVER IS UNBIBLICAL

i) [1 Cor 13:1]:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

The word 'if' in this statement of hyperbole and the hyperbole itself is totally ignored:

Paul is indicating especially evident in the Greek that he does not speak in all of the kinds of tongues of men nor of the language angels, but if he did, and he does not, it would be worthless if done without the greatest expression of all: love.

If Paul can be said to speak in all of the languages of all men and even the language of angels as a result of this verse then he must have burned himself to death as a result of verse 3 which is said in the same context:

ii) [1 Cor 13:3]:

"If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."

Clearly this is hyperbole - for there is no record of Paul committing suicide by burning himself to death nor of speaking in the language of angels or of all the languages of the earth

And then we have Ro 8:26 which tongues advocates today claim as supporting their use of tongues as a prayer language:

iii) [Ro 8:26-27]:

(v. 26) "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We don't not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

(v. 27) And He Who searches our hearts [God the Father Who answers our prayers] knows the mind of the Spirit [Who intercedes on behalf of the saints' prayers], because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

[i.e., the Holy Spirit reconstitutes the saints' prayers so that they are in accordance with God's will yet coinciding with the hearts of the saints who are praying - but not always knowing precisely what to pray when they do pray].

God the Holy Spirit is simply hearing the prayers of the saints - which are imperfect relative to the will of God, the situation, etc. and reconstitutes them so that the situation and requests align totally to the will of God and can be answered to best suit the needs of the situation within His will.

The language and context is about the Holy Spirit interceding for the prayers of all believers and reconstituting the prayers into the will of God to best provide for the needs of the saints. Not all believers speak in tongues/prayer language so this could not be about tongues in the first place.

In the second place, the Holy Spirit overtaking the believer's own voice box so that unutterable groans, ("stenagmois alaletois" = "groanings inexpressible, unutterable"), can be non-expressed yet somehow come out as incomprehensible sounds out of the mouth of the individual would make this verse simply nonsensical, twisting the language beyond its capacity.

Thirdly, tongues is supposed to be comprehensible as defined by Paul in 1 Cor 14:13-17. Paul admonishes tongues users to be cognitive of what they are saying and not to utter mysteries to God:

iv) [1 Cor 14:13-17]:

(v. 13) "For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says

(v. 14) For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.

(v. 15) So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.

(v. 16) If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say 'Amen' to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? [And apparently neither do you Paul is saying]

[Notice that the context is praying in Tongues = a heretofore unknown foreign language within the local church congregation so that others can hear it and be edified and NOT privately to oneself]

(v. 17) You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified [and neither are you if you are not cognitive of what you are saying]."

At the beginning of chapter 14, Paul specifically indicates this: that if one speaks mysteries, i.e., incomprehensible sounds, to God instead of comprehensible things to man for whom the gift is intended per Paul's instructions, then how can one exercise the gift of tongues properly which is meant to be discernible to the human mind - the desired effect of the gift when it is properly expressed? One cannot be properly edified or informed, which must include cognitive understanding, if the one who does the speaking does not understand himself nor the others understand who hear him.

Objectors to this teaching of Paul, force their own interpretation on the following verses in order to claim that the gift of tongues has as a purpose of the speaking of mysteries to God. But this would directly contradict the context of the entire section on tongues to do it in an orderly and cognitive fashion for the edification of men. It would especially violate what Paul says later in vv. 13-17 which we have already examined. The obvious interpretation which follows is therefore ignored as are vv. 13-17 by prayer language and tongues advocates alike:

v) [1 Cor 14:3-4]:

(v. 3) "For anyone who is speaking in a tongue [in your congregation or by yourself] is not speaking to men [like he is supposed to] but [instead] to God...

["For anyone [in the way you are improperly doing it now, (as vv. 13-17 indicates that it should be done with cognitive understanding)] who is speaking in a tongue is not speaking to men ((like you should be doing)) but to God. ((Who is not the designated audience, 1 Cor 14:21-22, unbelieving Jews back in time during the early Church Age are who make up a large part of those being preached in tongues to))]

(v. 2 cont.) "...Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit."

[Notice: Paul is admonishing the Corinthians here for misusing the gift of tongues causing no one to understand what is being said due to ecstatic nonsensical uttering/and or lack of interpretation. He is not explaining that this is the proper use of tongues - to utter mysteries to God, but that it is improper!]

Fourth, since the Tongues are categorized as spiritual gifts and since all spiritual gifts are to edify the body of believers, then Tongues are not to be privately expressed to edify only oneself. Spiritual gifts are given to edify the body of believers - for the common good:

vi) [1 Cor 12:7]:

"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good."

c) EXPLANATIONS THAT THE GIFTS DID CEASE AND THEN WERE REVIVED IN 'LATTER DAYS' ARE INADEQUATE

Many Pentecostals hold that the sign gifts did cease and that they have reoccurred in these "latter days." This must be demonstrated from Scripture, however. There is no biblical evidence that there will be a reoccurrence in the church of the sign gifts or that believers will work miracles near the end of the Church Age. However, there is ample evidence that near the end of the age there will be false prophets who perform miracles, prophesy, and cast out demons in Jesus' name (cf. Matt. 7:22-23; 24:11, 24; 2 Thess. 2:9-12). During the Church Age there will be false leaders who fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:13-15). During the Tribulation period, there is no indication that believers, other than the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-12, will perform miracles. Those performed by the two witnesses are exceptional, and their actions are comparable to those of Old Testament prophets rather than to those of the apostles. The two witnesses are not part of the church, and if they were, they could hardly be considered typical of the church.

The "latter rain" arguments are incorrectly based on verses that actually are referring to seasonal rainfall in Israel. Hosea 6:3 and Joel 2:23, for example, refer NOT to some unusual outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days of the Church Age. They refer instead to spring rains, in contrast to early rains in the fall.

The arguments based on the expression "in the last days" in Acts 2:16-21 are also invalid. If the "last days" referred to in Acts 2:17 includes the day of Pentecost, the beginning of the Church Age, and "if this is that" (v. 16) includes Pentecost, then it cannot mean at the same time the "last days"of this Church Age. On the other hand if the "last days" do not include Pentecost, then Pentecost was not a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy, and Acts 2:16-21 refers specifically to Israel and is still future.

[Furthermore, the historical setting of Joel 2:28 is AFTER THE SECOND COMING. Verse 2:28 indicates afterward = after the Day of the Lord = His Second Coming as indicated in verses 30-32)]

So that the restoration of the gifts will be revived after the church age)Either way this passage gives no evidence for a reoccurrence of miraculous gifts during the "last (latter) days" of the church. The present charismatic movement is characterized by phenomena that began in the church about 100 years ago, which apart from any historical connection or evidence are claimed to be the same as the miracles performed in the apostolic age. It is simply naive to accept this claim without some direct historical link or solid biblical evidence that these present phenomena are the same as those in the days of the apostles. The most reliable evidence would be a direct historical link with the apostolic gifts due to their continuity in the church. However, as already argued, history testifies to the contrary. The gifts ceased and there is no reason to expect their presence or reoccurrence today.

d) LACK OF SIMILARITY WITH THE NEW TESTAMENT FALSIFIES THIS IMAGINARY 'REVIVAL' OF THE GIFTS

i) INTRODUCTION

[Edgar, cont.]

"For any phenomena to make credible claim to be the same as the gifts and miracles of the apostolic age there must be great similarity between the two. Any phenomena can be intentionally duplicated or copied. Therefore similarity alone cannot prove the modern phenomena are genuine. Conversely a lack of similarity is definitely evidence against the claim that they are the same as the New Testament gifts and miracles."

ii) MIRACLES AND SIGNS WERE CLEARLY AND OVERTLY MIRACULOUS - BUT NOT DUPLICATED AS SUCH TODAY

[Edgar, cont.]

"An examination of the New Testament reveals that the modern charismatic phenomena are not sufficiently similar to those of the apostolic age. Where are the Tongues of fire and the rushing of a mighty wind as on the day of Pentecost? Do missionaries blind their opponents as Paul did? Do church leaders discern hypocrisy and pronounce the immediate death of members as in Acts 5:1-11? Do evangelists amaze an entire city with miracles as did Philip (8:5-8)? Are they then taken to another place of ministry by the Holy Spirit (vv. 39-40)? Are entire multitudes healed by merely being in the shadow of the healer (5:15)? Do prophets give specific prophecies which come to pass soon after (11:27-28)?

[Are people raised from the dead, organic diseases and crippled limbs immediately healed without notice or faith required]?

The miracles and signs of the apostolic age were clearly and overtly miraculous. Even the opponents of the gospel could not refute the miracles of the apostolic age. But today's "signs and wonders" cannot be verified even by those who are neutral or friendly to the movement. A detailed comparison with specific individual gifts shows an amazing lack of similarity between the New Testament gifts and the modern "charismatic" gifts.'''

iii) THE SO CALLED REVIVED GIFT OF TONGUES TODAY IS NOT THE SAME AS PORTRAYED IN SCRIPTURE

[Edgar, cont.]:

'''The Tongues of the apostolic age were genuine miracles, since they were the ability to speak previously unlearned foreign languages, rather than the "charismatic Tongues" of today, which can easily be duplicated. The only passage describing the nature of Tongues speaking is Acts 2:4-11, where they are definitely languages. Peter stated that the Tongues-speaking in Cornelius's house (10:46) was the same as on the day of Pentecost (11:17). And there is no reason to assume the instance in Acts 19:6 was different. Since 1 Corinthians 14 repeatedly states that the Tongues-speaking in Corinth was in an assembly of believers, why then was it mysterious and why was there lack of understanding? It was because the believers did not understand the foreign languages of the Tongues-speakers. The mystery was not because the Tongues in 1 Corinthians differed in nature from the Tongues in Acts.

New Testament Tongues were verifiable foreign languages. The term glw'ssa means "language" and is never used for ecstatic speech. By contrast, today's "Tongues" have never been verified as actual languages. All objective studies by impartial linguists indicate that they do not have the characteristics common to languages.

The New Testament gift of Tongues is specifically said to be a sign for unbelievers (1 Cor. 14:22). This is how it functioned at Pentecost. All instances were public, not private. The people who spoke in Tongues in Acts (2:4; 10:46; 19:6) were not previously aware that the ability or gift existed, and in Acts 10:46 and 19:6 the people were not previously aware of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They could not have been seeking or in any way exercising belief in such a gift, and yet they received it. There is no indication that the New Testament speakers spoke in a trance; they were in control of the phenomenon. Perhaps the most outstanding contrast is usage. The gift of Tongues in the New Testament functioned, as did all the other gifts, for ministry to others (1 Cor. 12:1-30; 1 Pet. 4:10), rather than primarily for the benefit of the speaker as in the modern charismatic movement.

There is no similarity between today's Tongues and the New Testament gift. Today's charismatic proponents are wrong regarding the nature, purpose, use, and every other aspect of Tongues. There is no reason to assume merely on the basis of their claim that they are correct in identifying their Tongues-speaking- which can easily be duplicated and is common to man--as the New Testament gift of Tongues.'''

2) CONCLUSION: THE CHARISMATIC GIFTS OF TODAY ARE NOT SIMILAR TO THE AUTHENTIC NEW TESTAMENT EXPRESSION OF THE MIRACULOUS SIGN GIFTS

[Edgar, cont.]:

'''The "charismatic gifts" of today are not similar to the New Testament phenomena either in general perspective or in the details. There is no evidence to conclude that they are the same; there is every reason to conclude that they are not. The historical fact that the New Testament gifts ceased long ago and the fact that there is no historical link whatever between the charismatic phenomena and the New Testament gifts require the same conclusion. The only remaining possibility for giving credence to the modern charismatic claims would be to produce direct statements of Scripture that the apostolic phenomena will always be present in the church, or that they will specifically be in the modern church despite their cessation through most of church history. Even if this were produced, there must also be evidence that the charismatic phenomena are somehow the same phenomena referred to in the passages. However, there is no specific biblical evidence such as this. There is no biblical statement that requires a denial of historical fact or that requires an equation of such dissimilar entities merely on the assertion of the proponents. All objective evidence is contrary to the charismatic claims. It is not sufficient to assert that by faith their claims must be taken contrary to the evidence. This is existential naiveté, not faith. Faith is trust in biblical evidence rather than in experience.....

James 5:14 does not instruct the sick to look for a healer or for someone with the ability to heal. Rather it instructs the sick to call for the elders and they are to pray for him. This is basically in accord with the procedure in noncharismatic churches, but is in direct contrast to what would be expected if the gift of healing were available for believers. Either the gift was not to be used to heal believers, or the only other option is that it had ceased.

Paul had the gift of healing (Acts 19:11-12) and was able to use the gift at will....until he lost it: At the end of Paul's ministry Apaphroditis became sick near unto death and Paul did not heal him. All Paul could do was pray just as you and I can only do (Phil 2:27). Furthermore, Paul left Trophimus at the city of Miletus because Trophimus was sick rather than heal him. Evidently, Paul did not have the gift of healing anymore. (2Tim 4:20).'''

D) IF GOD IS SOVEREIGN - AND HE IS - THEN THE ABSENCE SINCE THE 1ST CENTURY OF THE EXERCISE OF HIS SOVEREIGNLY DECREED MIRACULOUS SIGN GIFTS IS INDICATION THAT HE DID NOT INTEND TO HAVE THEM EXERCISED AFTER THAT AND THEY HAVE INDEED CEASED

"The only reasonable explanation for the lack of these gifts in church history is that God did not give them. If He had given them, they would have occurred.

Since these gifts and signs did cease, the burden of proof is entirely on the charismatics to prove their validity. Too long Christians have assumed that the noncharismatic must produce incontestable biblical evidence that the miraculous sign gifts did cease. However, noncharismatics have no burden to prove this, since it has already been proved by history. It is an irrefutable fact admitted by many Pentecostals. Therefore the charismatics must prove biblically that the sign gifts will start up again during the Church Age and that today's phenomena are this reoccurrence. In other words they must prove that their experiences are the reoccurrence of gifts that have not occurred for almost 1,900 years."

E) CONCLUSION = THE BIBLE POINTS TO THE CESSATION OF THE MIRACULOUS GIFTS SOMETIME DURING THE EARLY CHURCH AGE

There is ample biblical evidence that the miraculous gifts ceased with the apostolic age. To assume that such gifts are permanent is contrary to the Scriptures in general and to the biblical precedent that some gifts such as full apostles of the Lord definitely ceased....

The dissimilarity between the New Testament gifts and the alleged gifts of the charismatics also contradicts their claims. The assumption that because these gifts existed in the apostolic age they should also exist today is a gratuitous assumption contrary to objective evidence. It is also an assumption contrary to scriptural principles and specific biblical evidence. There is no teaching in Scripture that the church should look for such miraculous gifts, nor are they referred to in the passages discussing the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-18), the life of faith (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:12-17), and requirements for church leaders (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9) as necessary for the believer to lead a spiritual life."

IV) [1 Cor 13:11]:

(v. 11) "When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things."

A) FROM CHILDISH THINGS TO ADULT THINGS = FROM PARTIAL TO COMPLETE

This verse points to the period of time in the infancy of the church when the Scriptures were incomplete and the believers were growing up as the Word of God was being relayed to them bit by bit through the temporary gifts and circulating letters - the 'child' which was to be replaced by the 'mature' - the completed Bible.

"When I became a man, I did away with childish things." - Now when the Scriptures will be completed in the time of the Corinthians, then there will be no longer any need for the use of the incomplete ways of relaying God's word via prophesy, knowledge & Tongues and in circulating letters.

V) [1 Cor 13:12]:

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known."

A) FOR 'NOW WE SEE IN A MIRROR DIMLY' REFERS TO THE EARLY CHURCH PERIOD WHEN THERE WAS ONLY PARTIAL 'SEEING' OF THE NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE THROUGH THE PARTIAL GIFTS

"For now we see in a mirror dimly" - mirrors in Corinth were only polished bronze and showed a poor reflection. This parallels the period of time when God's Word was not yet completely available to believers. It came to individuals in bits and pieces, i.e., partially via the gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge and the writing, copying and distribution of the New Testament letters and gospels. So a picture of themselves relative to truths from God's Word was reflected to them as 'in a mirror dimly' - not as yet a clear reflection until the complete set of New Testament doctrines were set down in writing and disseminated.

So the phrase from 1 Cor 13, "Now we see but a poor reflection" in verse 12 speaks of obscured = limited, incomplete prophetic revelation and knowledge versus a "face to face" = unobscured = complete, (with all the gaps filled in), written body of the 'mysteries' of the whole Church Age New Testament.

B) 'FACE TO FACE' REFERS TO THE TIME WHEN THERE WILL BE A FACE TO FACE AVAILABILIY TO 'SEE' THE TRUTHS FROM GOD'S WORD IN THE COMPLETED NT BIBLE

"But then face to face" = "face to face" might be applicable to believers of this Church Age in at least 4 ways in Scripture. The first 3 ways are face to face encounters of resurrected believers in perfect bodies with our Lord during the millennium and in eternity future.

1) SEEING GOD FACE TO FACE IS RULED OUT

As previously stated by Dr. Thomas:

"V. 12 does not speak of seeing God face to face, which would be more of a qualitative condition that is inappropriate to this context [suggesting absolute perfection rather than completion, thus violating the context]. This would break the continuity of the earlier part of the paragraph where revelatory gifts are in view.... What is not in this context is a contrast between perfection and imperfection. It is not talking about a qualitative set of conditions.'''

2) THE PERFECTION OF ETERNITY FUTURE AND/OR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS RULED OUT

Eternity future must be ruled out primarily because "that which is complete" as opposed to "the partial" is in view which the Eternal Age or state which is perfect in quality is far more than 'that which is complete' which the context is looking for. Furthermore, the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ must also be ruled out as He would be referred to not as "that which is complete", neuter but "that Whom is Perfect" in the masculine. Since both the Millennium Age and the Eternal Age are times when believers will be face to face with "That which is indeed Perfect" = our Lord, and since the Millennium Age comes before the Eternal Age the context in verse 12 must indicate which ever encounter comes first, ruling out the Eternal Age if verse 12 has such a perfection in view.

[1 Cor 13:12 cont.]:

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face..."

3) THE MILLENNIUM AND/OR THE PERFECTION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS RULED OUT

The millennium must also be ruled out because Jesus Christ is masculine; second because the sign and wonder gifts are revived at that time not ceased; and third because at the end of the Millennial Age there is to be sin and rebellion thus disqualifying it as being referred to as "to teleion" = complete or perfect.

4) THIS LEAVES THE COMPLETED NEW TESTAMENT CANON

So we are left with the completed New Testament canon, which is definitely neuter. It is the most feasible time wise also since the canon was indeed completed during the lifetime of the Corinthians to whom Paul was addressing the letter and since they were the ones who evidenced the ceasing of the authentic gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge.

5) 'FACE TO FACE' CAN REFER TO THE COMPLETED NT BIBLE

So "face to face" can clearly be demonstrated as referring to the completed New Testament books in the sense that now a believer has the full (epignosis" = full knowledge" of the words of God's Word for him for this age, which he can "know fully" himself, having the mind of Christ with which to exercise the understanding of:

"But then face to face... ...I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known." =

But when the Word of God is completed, then through the understanding of the completed Bible, Paul says, 'I shall know as if I am 'face to face' with God Himself revealing His truths to me.

a) [Compare Heb 4:12-13]:

(v. 12) " For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

(v. 13) And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do."

b) [Compare Jer 23:29]:

" 'Is not My Word like fire?' declares the LORD, 'and like a hammer which shatters a rock?' "

c) [Compare Gal 4:8-9]: which teaches that the Galatians came to know God through what the Apostle Paul taught them from the Word of God]:

(v. 8) "However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods

(v. 9) But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?"

d) [Compare Jas 1:22-25]: which directly refers to the Word of God as "teleion" = perfect]:

(v. 22) "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

(v. 23) Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror

(v. 24) and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

(v. 25) But the man who looks intently into the perfect ["teleion"] law that gives freedom [the bible], and continues to do this, [obey it] not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does."

So a precedent has been set here that the Word of God can indeed be referred to as "teleion", which in this case is rendered "perfect" due to the context of the word of God being the perfect body of information for an individual to examine and obey in his life, thus being 'face to face' with the mind of Christ.

[1 Cor 13:12 cont.]:

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known."

6) 'FULL KNOWLEDGE' CAN REFER TO THE NT BIBLE

"Now I know in part" - Paul's thought in 12b may be expanded as follows: 'Now I only know in part as a result of the fact that God's Word, the Bible, has not yet been completed....

[The word 'know' here - 'ginosko' is the normative word used for knowing something

..But when the completed Bible is available, I shall know fully who I am with respect to now having the mind of Christ to inform me - the Bible... just as I have been fully known by God

..i.e., I shall know fully who I am because the full counsel of God's Word reflects to me the knowledge of myself when I meditate on truths from it to give me a picture of myself just as God views me.'

Objectors maintain that the word 'know' here refers to knowing Christ when one comes fact to face with Him. However, the context is developing a contrast between incomplete knowledge versus complete knowledge of God's Word and it is not specifically addressing the concept of a face to face meeting with the Lord. The incomplete knowledge is associated with the expression of the miraculous spiritual gifts, the complete knowledge, the neuter 'teleion', the completed Scriptures.

The phrases 'shall know fully' and 'have been fully known,' are translations of the Greek words 'epignosomai' and 'epegnosthen' respectively, both of which come from the same word previously used to translate into the 'know' of 'know in part' except with the prefixes 'epi' and 'epe' added for emphasis in order to indicate fullness and completeness in the verse later on:

1) 'shall know fully' - 'epignosomai' - A condition of knowing fully of the truths of God.

2) having 'been fully known' - 'epegnosthen' - A condition of being fully known by God

Now note that the same word for 'knowing fully' and 'being fully known by God' is translated into the word 'understood' relative to understanding the Word of God - the 'Word of Truth' - the gospel in Col 1:5-6:

a) [Col 1:5-6]:

(v. 5) "Because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the Word of truth, the gospel,

(v. 6) which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood ['epegnote' - lit., 'FULLY KNEW] the grace of God in truth" So one can have a 'face-to-face' full knowledge of the grace of God via the Word of Truth, the completed Bible, as it says in Col 1:6.

[1 Cor 13:12 cont.]:

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known."

"just as I also have been fully known" = Just as I have always been fully known by God can I now know fully through the completed Word of God - the mind of Christ.

b) [Compare Jas 1:22-25]:again which infers that if one looks intently into the "perfect" [=teleion"] Word of God and obeys it then one can get a clear reflection of who one is and furthermore be blessed. Notice James' use of the word "mirror" which is similar to Paul's use in 1 Corinthians 13]:

[Jas 1:22-25]:

(v. 22) "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

(v. 23) Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror

(v. 24) and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

(v. 25) But the man who looks intently into the perfect ["teleion"] law that gives freedom [the bible], and continues to do this, [obey it] not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does."

So if one comes "face to face, i.e., looking intently at the words of God's Word and then obeys those words, one can indeed get a clear reflection of who he is [in Christ] and be "blessed in what he does"

[W. Harold Mare states, (Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 10, Romans-Galatians, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1976, p. 270)]:

"The repeated verb... (epignosko)..."know fully" in the NIV, refers in its first occurrence in 12b to the limited horizon of a... ...finite human being; in its second occurrence it shifts to the boundless horizon of the infinite Lord, the difference being accentuated by the aorist passive form... (epegnosthen, 'I am known"); i.e., 'I am known [by a greater one - the Lord].'

7) SCRIPTURE INDICATES THAT YOU CAN KNOW JESUS CHRIST BEFORE YOU MEET HIM IN HEAVEN

In answer to objectors who state that you cannot know Jesus until you meet Him in heaven:

No one can fully know our Lord in an absolute sense, being finite and our Lord being the infinite Son of God, so it is spoken of in Scripture as knowing God in a relative sense.

Furthermore, no where in Scripture does it state that you cannot know Jesus in this finite sense through the knowledge of Scriptures and that you can only know of Him by actually meeting Him face to face. This is not true especially considering the fact that believers are permanently indwelt by Christ at the moment of trusting in Him for eternal life, becoming part of His body.

a) [Compare Gal 3:27]:

"For all of you [believers, (v. 2)] who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

Furthermore, Paul refers to the Galatians as knowing God, the inference being that they came to know Him by learning of Him through what Paul preached to them, (which is now contained in the completed Bible):

b) [Compare Gal 4:9]:

(v. 8) "However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.

(v. 9) But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?"

The theme of First John is about the believer having fellowship with God in this mortal life through the confession and submission of one's life to God which is tantamount to knowing God:

Ref: FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD 

And James chapter two encourages believers to be like Abraham: to become the friend of God - to know Him - through a faithful lifestyle.

Ref: SAVED BY WORKS

This is not to say that the knowing of Christ is not an eternally ever increasing one which will have a dramatic increase at the point of meeting Him face to face in a physical sense once this mortal life is over with.]

VI) [1 Cor 13:13]:

(v. 13) "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

A) SO FAITH HOPE AND LOVE ARE ETERNAL - ALL THE OTHER SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE TEMPORARY - AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE

[David K. Lowery states relative to this verse, (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament Edition, Victor Books, 1988, Walvoord and Zuck, editors, p. 536)]:

"Paul completed his three-paneled portrait of love (vv. 1-3, 4-7, 8-13) with a final triad: 'faith, hope, and love.'... Faith is an expression of love (the word 'trusts,' pisteuei, v. 7, is the verb form of the noun 'faith,' pistis), as is hope (cf. Gal. 5:5-6). Faith and hope, as manifestations of love, will endure eternally. So too everyone who follows the way of love (1 Cor. 14:1) finds 'the most excellent way' (12:31b), because every individual characterized by love carries that mark eternally. The spiritual gifts will one day cease to exist, but love will endure forever."

B) OBSERVATION OF THE LAST 1900 YEARS RE: THE MIRACULOUS SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

So if Scripture is described as eventually completed and if this occurred approximately 2000 years ago, then anything additional in the way of new revelation from supposed spiritual gifts afterward would not be an acceptable addition to God's Word.

Careful observance of today's expressions of supposed 'sign and wonder' gifts will show that they are not scriptural. These supposed revelations from God are either exactly what one finds in Scripture or that which contradicts it or an application of what is already in Scripture which is not new revelation at all. Compare the chart below:

OBSERVATION OF THE LAST 1900 YEARS RE: THE MIRACULOUS SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
SCRIPTURE TODAY AND THE LAST 1900 YEARS
HEALING: INFALLIBLE, NO RELAPSES NOT ALWAYS SUCCESSFUL, FREQUENT RELAPSES WHERE INDIVIDUAL GETS WORSE, NOT PROVEN AS EXERCISE OF A SPIRITUAL GIFT
(GOD DOES HEAL W/O THE GIFT EXERCISED)
HEALINGS INCLUDE RAISING FROM THE DEAD, ORGANIC HEALINGS INCLUDING INSTANTANEOUS LIMB AND BODY PART REPLACEMENT NOT INCLUDED
INSTANTANEOUS NOT ALWAYS INSTANTANEOUS, OFTEN GRADUAL.
UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS MADE FOR INSTANT HEALING
ANYTIME, ANY PLACE OFTEN FAR AWAY AT SOME UNREACHABLE SPOT OR
IN LARGE 'WELL FUNDED' RELIGIOUS MEETING WITH MEDIA ATTENTION
PURPOSE IS TO AUTHENTICATE THE PERSON, PLACE OR EVENT TO BE OF GOD PURPOSE: OTHER THAN AS AN AUTHENTICATION THAT THE ONE WITH THE 'GIFT' SPEAKS FROM GOD
NOT DEPENDANT UPON THE FAITH OF THE INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING THE MIRACLE RESULTS BASED ON THE FAITH OF THE INDIVIDUAL TO RECEIVE THE MIRACLE AND KEEP IT
TONGUES: AN ACTUAL KNOWN LANGUAGE TONGUES: AN ECSTATIC 'HEAVENLY' LANGUAGE LACKING SUFFICIENT VOCABULARY AND GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURE TO CONVEY INFORMATION ADEQUATELY
TONGUES: A SIGN TO UNBELIEVING JEWS WHO WERE FAMILIAR WITH THAT LANGUAGE OF GOD'S WORD BEING COMMUNICATED NOW THROUGH GENTILE LANGUAGES TONGUES: A SELF-EDIFYING EXPERIENCE CONVINCING ONE THAT HE IS SAVED AND FAVORED BY GOD OVER OTHERS
ORDERLY EXERCISING OF THE GIFTS FOR THE EDIFICATION OF THE BODY OF CHRIST WHEN LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

DISORDERLY AND SELF-EDIFICATION IS THE RULE OF THE DAY: I.E., NOT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - NOT LEGITIMATE

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