What does perfect mean in 1 Corinthians 13:10?

I asked someone for an argument for the cessation of sign gifts, and I was directed to 1 Corinthians 13.

The only verses I can detect that refer to the end of sign (or miraculous) gifts are found in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. The following is from the NASB.

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

The words that seem to have significance to our study are ‘perfect’, ‘done away’, ‘cease’, ‘known’. So we will examine their meaning, as well as where these words are used, to get a good understanding of them.

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon defines the word translated as’perfect‘ found in 1 Corinthians 13:10 as,

Strong’s Number: 5046 Browse Lexicon
Original Word Word Origin
teleio� from (5056)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Teleios 8:67,1161
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
tel’-i-os Adjective
Definition

  1. brought to its end, finished
  2. wanting nothing necessary to completeness
  3. perfect
  4. that which is perfect
    1. consummate human integrity and virtue
    2. of men
      1. full grown, adult, of full age, mature

The Greek word is found in the following places:

Mt 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Mt 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
1Co 2:6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
1Co 13:10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
1Co 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be babes, but in your thinking be mature.
Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;
Col 1:28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.
Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
Heb 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;
Jas 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Jas 1:17 Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.
Jas 1:25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.
Jas 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.
1Jo 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon defines the word translated as ‘done away‘ found in 1 Corinthians 13:8 and 10 as,

Strong’s Number: 2673 Browse Lexicon
Original Word Word Origin
katargeo from (2596) and (691)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Katargeo 1:452,76
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
kat-arg-eh’-o Verb
Definition

  1. to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative
    1. to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency
    2. to deprive of force, influence, power
  2. to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish
    1. to cease, to pass away, be done away
    2. to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one
    3. to terminate all intercourse with one

The Greek word is found in the follow verses:

Lu 13:7 “And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’
Ro 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?
Ro 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
Ro 4:14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
Ro 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;
Ro 7:2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
Ro 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
1Co 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are,
1Co 2:6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
1Co 6:13 Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food; but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body.
1Co 13:8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
1Co 13:10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
1Co 13:11 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.
1Co 15:24 then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
2Co 3:7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,
2Co 3:11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.
2Co 3:13 and are not as Moses, who used to put a veil over his face that the sons of Israel might not look intently at the end of what was fading away.
2Co 3:14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
Ga 3:17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.
Ga 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
Ga 5:11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.
Eph 2:15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
2Th 2:8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
2Ti 1:10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
Heb 2:14 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon defines the word translated as ‘cease‘ found in 1 Corinthians 13:8 as,

Strong’s Number: 3973 Browse Lexicon
Original Word Word Origin
pauo a root verb (“pause”)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Pauo None
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
pow’-o Verb
Definition

  1. to make to cease or desist
  2. to restrain a thing or person from something
  3. to cease, to leave off
  4. have got release from sin
    1. no longer stirred by its incitements and seductions

The Greek word is found in,

Lu 5:4 And when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Lu 8:24 And they came to Him and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.
Lu 11:1 And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”
Ac 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Ac 6:13 And they put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against this holy place, and the Law;
Ac 13:10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?
Ac 20:1 And after the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he departed to go to Macedonia.
Ac 20:31 “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
Ac 21:32 And at once he took along some soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them; and when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
1Co 13:8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
Eph 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
Col 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Heb 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?
1Pe 3:10 For, “Let him who means to love life and see good days, Refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.
1Pe 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon defines the word translated as ‘known‘ found in 1 Corinthians 13:12 as,

Strong’s Number: 1921 Browse Lexicon
Original Word Word Origin
epiginosko from (1909) and (1097)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Epiginosko 1:689,119
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
ep-ig-in-oce’-ko Verb
Definition

  1. to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly
    1. to know accurately, know well
  2. to know
    1. to recognise
      1. by sight, hearing, of certain signs, to perceive who a person is
    2. to know i.e. to perceive
    3. to know i.e. to find out, ascertain
    4. to know i.e. to understand

The Greek word is found in,

Mt 7:16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?
Mt 7:20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits.
Mt 11:27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
Mt 14:35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick;
Mt 17:12 but I say to you, that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”
Mr 2:8 And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?
Mr 5:30 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?”
Mr 6:33 And the people saw them going, and many recognized them, and they ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them.
Mr 6:54 And when they had come out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,
Lu 1:4 so that you might know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
Lu 1:22 But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute.
Lu 5:22 But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?
Lu 7:37 And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,
Lu 23:7 And when he learned that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time.
Lu 24:16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.
Lu 24:31 And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.
Ac 3:10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Ac 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
Ac 9:30 But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.
Ac 12:14 And when she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
Ac 19:34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
Ac 22:24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, stating that he should be examined by scourging so that he might find out the reason why they were shouting against him that way.
Ac 22:29 Therefore those who were about to examine him immediately let go of him; and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had put him in chains.
Ac 23:28 “And wanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Council;
Ac 24:8 ordering his accusers to come before you.] And by examining him yourself concerning all these matters, you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him.”
Ac 24:11 since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship.
Ac 25:10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know.
Ac 27:39 And when day came, they could not recognize the land; but they did observe a certain bay with a beach, and they resolved to drive the ship onto it if they could.
Ac 28:1 And when they had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta.
Ro 1:32 and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
1Co 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.
1Co 14:37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
1Co 16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.
2Co 1:13 For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end;
2Co 1:14 just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.
2Co 6:9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death,
2Co 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?
Col 1:6 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 the grace of God in truth;
1Ti 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
2Pe 2:21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.

The word translated as ‘done away’, katargeo, basically means to inactivate, or cease. While the word translated as ‘cease’, pauo, basically means to cease, end, or stop.   So, the use of these terms used as they are to describe what will happen to three different gifts (prophecy – done away, tongues – cease, knowledge – done away), is what is known as parallelism. Parallelism is defined by Dictionary.com, The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/parallelism accessed: February 17, 2009) as, “the use of identical or equivalent syntactic constructions in corresponding clauses or phrases.” This is where either the same or different terms say roughly the same thing. This was a common method of reiterating or comparing things in Hebrew. It is also commonly used today in English, particularly when trying to make a point or in poems. So in essence, ‘done away’ and ‘cease’ mean the same thing.

When we look at the word translated as ‘complete’, teleios,we see it means complete, perfect, or mature. But there is no indication of what this refers to. What we do see is that verse 12 tells us we will ‘see face to face’ and ‘will know fully’. The term translated as ‘known’, epiginosko, means to know, recognize, ascertain. This word is used in verse 12 to indicate we will be ‘fully known’.

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

But to what does this refer? Let us realize the gifts of prophecy, knowledge, and tongues will be done away, cease. So it is obvious this means they will end. Why and when are the questions at hand.

We have to recognize that this will occur in Paul’s future. Otherwise Paul would not have then gone on to present regulations for the use of tongues and prophecy in chapter 14. But we are not told many details of when this would happen. What we ARE told is that these things are only partially effective. That is to say verse 9 tells us

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

Therefore, it is obvious that any knowledge or prophecy is only incomplete knowledge or prophecy – incomplete information sent by God. I say by God because in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 we see,

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

So God gives these gifts, for the common good (most likely of the Church). But this still does not address either when or why they (or some part of them, sign gifts), will cease.

But I think that why these gifts will cease is tied to when when these gifts will end, which we see in verses 10-12

10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

They will cease when we know fully. They will cease BECAUSE we will know fully. We will have no further need for messages from God. We will know fully.

As we’ve seen, the term translated as ‘perfect’ can mean finished, complete, perfect, or mature. The perfect must refer to either Christ upon His second coming, judgement day, the New Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26), or when we are in heaven, or the codification of the Bible.

It can not be the latter, because there will be prophecy in the last days  (Joel 2:28Acts 2:17Revelation 11:3). So we will still not know fully until after the last days. Obviously, the Scriptures do not allow us to ‘know fully’ (verse 12). Additionally, although we cannot be certain, I doubt Paul had the idea the codification of the New Testament  in his mind when he wrote that. We certainly see no evidence of the codification of the New Testament in scripture, nor that Paul thought it would occur.

When the gift of knowledge is done away with, there will be no more knowledge that people get only from God that others do not. But the 144,000 sealed servants of God will know a song that no one else can learn. Therefore, it can not refer to Christ on His second coming (Revelation 14:1-5).

Likewise, since we are with Christ (who is on the throne in heaven), it can not be heaven. I say this because many believers have fallen asleep, as Paul put it. Yet prophecy and knowledge will still be gifts when Christ returns.

It could conceivably be Judgment Day (Revelation 20:11-15), as there is no mention of knowledge given by God to someone that others do not have after that point. However, There is still knowledge that people do NOT have – what each person has done for which they are being judged.

Therefore, I think it is more likely that it is when the new heaven comes (Revelation 21). It is at this point when God will dwell with men and says, “It is done” (Revelation 21). It is at this point when men will see God’s face and there will no longer be any curse (Revelation 22:3-4).

Thus, we see the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge, will be done away when men are with God in the new heaven, when they see Him face to face, when we know fully.

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17 Responses

  1. I can honestly say that is the MOST research I’ve seen compiled in one blog, sermon, or even book EVER! Kudos to you. My head is still spinning, in fact I will let that be the last blog I read today to assimilate it for a while!!!! Peace! cindy

    • Wow, Cindy.

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m sorry if it was too much info at once. The problem is, someone had made a statement discussing the meaning of words while speaking about the end of prophecy. To refute such a thing, we have to look at usage – we have to do a word study for each term to have a full understanding of them. Maybe I should split this post into multiple ones.

      But the research had to be completed and presented to show people the truth.

  2. Well done, Wb. This is why you are a much bettern blogger than I!

    • Thanks Polycarp. I don’t think I”m a better blogger. Your blog is more popular. Your blog certainly get tons more hits than mine (I’m not complaining). We just have different purposes and calls. Both are needed and useful.

  3. NO! For the of God!! Leave it as is!!! It’s perfect, I WISH I had the time to do this and be true to my own calls… actually i plan to print it… somethig i never do… I ran into a pastor that did much the same thing and I love it! gives better understanding to the text and you have it broken down in a clean way. please stick with stuff like this… feeds the rookies like me. I wish i could find a teacher like this in town!

    • Cindy,

      I will leave the post as it is. I might break out different parts into separate posts as well in the future. We’ll see if I find the need to refer to certain parts of it later (that tends to be my deciding factor in putting certain information together).

      Thanks. I’m glad you found it helpful and not overwhelming. I’m honored. But I would encourage you to do your own research. Go look up the texts and read the context and be sure I’m not missing something, or wrong.

  4. I do… The great thing about scripture is that one nuance in the text can mean something completely different to one person that another. (that was supposed to be ‘for the LOVE of God’, by the way) I’m especially talented in class at using one word’s meaning and changing the whole meaning of the texts… not sure my pastors enjoy that or find it annoying. but they let me speak!! : )
    I’ll be back! Glad I discovered you! cindy

  5. Ha! more to read! Man your killing me here!! : ) all kidding aside, thanks I will check them out this week as I have a lighter schedule.
    What I love about group studies is that i’m usually the youngest, and the older and wiser have SO much insight as well, and view it all way different. They seem to like having me to throw in spins. their eyes twinkle when I make it.

    I have enjoyed this conversation, I don’t meet too many as interested in the translation nuances as i am! Thanks!! Cindy

    • Learning how to study the text is critical. Prayer is critical – ask for Gods wisdom in understanding His word (James 1:5). He’ll give it.

      Yes, sometime older people DO come to the text with more of God’s wisdom. But sometimes they simply have more predispositions when they read the text, with which they confuse themselves. Age does not necessarily make us better students of the text, sometimes it just makes us sure of our confusion.

  6. Sorry, I have to laugh…. yes, I love my ‘old people friends’ BUT it drives me insane when we’re discussing text and someone starts complaining about clapping in church!!!
    They really don’t like that! Election year was unbareable!!! : ) lol cindy

    • I recall being told by God to go to a church of white haired folks. I really did not like the idea. But God made it clear, so we went. I became an associate pastor there. It was a time of great learning for me. Those folks had an image in their heads of what everything should look and sound like, and it did not match mine. :) But many of them also had a love for God that could not be rivaled. They taught me what it meant to be there for someone in times of difficulty – something of love.

  7. Wow, there is a lot there. I would tend to disagree with you about “the perfect” or “perfection” in verse 10. I believe he is talking about the perfect word of God. He spends so much time in chapters 12 and 13 about the importance of love…God is love so it only makes sense that love is the most important concept to grasp concerning Christianity. We have been in the last days since Christ came, so I don’t buy your argument about the perfect being heaven. We do not receive the baptism of the holy spirit as the apostles did in acts…we are told that there is one baptism (Eph:3-6). The church at Corinth had it all wrong…which is why they got this little note from Paul. They were using the gifts (aka speaking in tongues) as the proof that they were Christians or somehow showing off their faith…but Paul reminded them that Love is the focal point. All the gifts in the world mean nothing without it.

    • There is no indication in the text that Paul was speaking about the codification of text which has become known as the Bible. Does God not speak today? Certainly God has spoken to me in a variety of ways. In fact, God has spoken to me through someone else, and God has spoken through me to others. Paul was clear we would know fully – do you know fully? I do not.

      If you believe the Bible, then you would have to agree it states there will be prophecy in the last days (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17; Revelation 11:3). Revelation 11 speaks of the two witnesses who will be prophesying during the second woe. This would indicate the sign gifts will not pass away until after that – which is to say at least just before Jesus’ return.

      Please show me in scripture where baptism of the Holy Spirit has changed from what we see in Acts?

      Ephesians 4:3-6 states

      3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all

      No where in that passage do we see a change in the body, the Spirit, the Lord, faith, or baptism. Please show me that of which you speak?

      In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Paul is clear the Holy Spirit gives the gifts as He chooses. In fact, Paul states that all parts of the body that seem weaker are indispensible (1 Cor 12:22). Thus, it seems to me the people were not being loving and were rather seeking to put themsevles above/ahead of others which resulted in chaos, and that this is why Paul wrote concerning the spiritual gifts.

      It seems to me that Paul used chapter 11 to speak of propriety in worship. But then Paul used all of chapters 12, 13, and most of 14 to speak of the need for unity in the body, how all the gifts are given for the common good, that each gift was important; that we should be loving and desire to edify the church rather than just ourselves. Then in the end of chapter 14, Paul returns to orderly worship (giving instructions on how to maintain order in the assembly of the people), suggesting to people to desire to prophecy (to edify the church) but to not forbid the speaking in tongues.

      So Please show me in scripture where the Corinthians “were using the gifts (aka speaking in tongues) as the proof that they were Christians or somehow showing off their faith”?

  8. Someone wrote in response to my post in a comment on another post (http://moorematt.com/2012/08/14/homosexuality-is-not-me#comment-3699). Since I dont think that post should be highjacked by this discussion, I am responding here.

    He wrote:

    Respectfully to wbmoore: Your view of this is that spiritual gifts (miraculous gifts) will continue until either Christ comes again, or we are in heaven. The basis for so arguing is the use of the words “perfect” (1 Cor. 13:10a – both Christ and heaven could be described as perfect), and also the use of “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12 – in heaven we will see Christ face to face).

    The basis for this view is the simple truth of scripture. Do you know in full? No. We have scripture, but this is not knowing everything. We can see scripture is very clear that we will know fully when the perfect comes, but we dont yet.

    Miraculous gifts of the Spirit were given by the laying on of the hands of the apostles (Acts 8:17-18; 19:6; Rom. 1:8-11).

    Let’s take a look at the verses you mentioned, in context.

    Acts 8:14-20 tells us that it was not spiritual gifts that were given by the laying on of hands of the apostles. Indeed, spiritual gifts were not what was given, but the HOLY SPIRIT Himself.

    14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

    We see the same thing in Acts 19:1-7. Paul prayed so they would receive the Holy Spirit. As evidence of this, they spoke in tongues and prophecied.

    1 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 There were in all about twelve men.

    This is what we saw in Acts 2:1-4, on the day of Pentecost – The HOLY SPIRIT came upon the believers and they spoke in tongues, as the Spirit moved them.

    1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

    This is even more clear when we look at Acts 10:34-48, where we see Luke writing about Peter sharing the gospel with Gentiles. Notice how Peter never laid ands on his listeners. That being the case, your whole premise breaks down yet again. The gifts came from God when the Holy Spirit came upon believers. The evidence was the speaking in tongues and exalting God. This was evidence Peter used to show the Holy Spirit had come upon the gentile believers and he baptized them.

    34 Opening his mouth, Peter said:
    “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.36 The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)— 37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.38 You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the [ad]land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a [ae]cross. 40 God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

    44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

    More than that, the gifts that people get are determined by the Holy Spirit,

    4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

    Now let us look at the spiritual gift that Paul mentioned in Romans 1. He actually tells us what it was, when you read the text in context. Notice, Paul wants to see the Roman Christians to impart some spiritual gift to them, but then he tells us what that is: that they be established, encouraged by Paul’s faith and Paul by theirs.
    Romans 1:8-12

    8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

    So no. the spiritual gifts (sign or otherwise) did not come from the laying on of hands of the apostles, but by the coming of the Holy Spirit., and as determined by the Holy Spirit.

    When the last apostle (evidently John) died, the age of passing on miraculous gifts ceased; when the last man on whom an apostle had bestowed such a gift died, the age of miraculous gifts was totally gone.

    Actually, no.
    I have known people to have the gift of healing and the gift of tongues. I myself have had the gift of prophecy and of knowledge. Others have been used by God to give me a direct message.

    These are not necessarily things that occur all the time, just as the Holy Spirit decides.

    1 Corinthians 14:39 tells us to not forbid the speaking in tongues, but earnestly desire to prophecy.

    39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues.

    Being told to earnestly desire to prophecy tells us we should seek to have the gift of prophecy, indicating gifts can come to us long after the Holy Spirit.

    When the last of these men died, that which was in part was gone, and, of necessity “that which is perfect” had come . . . and it wasn’t the second coming of Christ, nor was it heaven. “What Is ‘That Which Is Perfect’?” Already we know what is not. Neither the second coming of Christ nor heaven appeared with the cessation of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. Niether of these meets the divine requirement.

    What, Jesus is not perfect? Heaven is not perfect? It seems both of those meet the divine requirement to be perfect, and we will at that time know fully, as we are told is necessary in 1 Corinthians 13:12 (“… now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”).

    The purpose of miracles was to confirm the spoken word; miracles produced faith (Acts 9:42; 1 Cor. 14:22) in those who beheld or heard of the miracle. Today we have the written word of God, a record of the miracles (Jn. 20:30-31; 2 Tim. 3:16-17) to produce faith.

    Yes, tongues are for a sign to the unbeliever, according to 1 Corinthians 14:22. But prophecy is a sign for believers.

    22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.

    We still have believers, so we still have need for prophecy.

    Today we have the written word of God, a record of the miracles (Jn. 20:30-31; 2 Tim. 3:16-17) to produce faith.

    Yes, John wrote the book of John about Jesus so people would believe (John 20:30-31). And All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness, so men of God can be prepared (adequate) for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17), but no where does it say God doesn’t speak today.

    And not every place or language has a Bible. So certainly even if what you claim is true, then the perfect has not come for those people.

    When we see the what (the written word of God, the New Testament) and the why (it begets faith unto salvation) we can readily understand James speaking of the “perfect law, the law of liberty” (Jas. 1:25). James is speaking of the very same thing as was Paul (1 Cor. 13:10); both are perfect.

    uh… no. They are NOT speaking of the same thing. The perfect law of liberty is to the freedom we have in Christ, but the perfect spoken of by Paul is either Christ or heaven.

    Does the New Testament meet the divine time qualification? The “perfect” was to come at the cessation of “the part.” The New Testament was fully written by the time of the death of the last apostle, or by the time of the death of the last man who received the laying on of apostolic hands.

    But not every person had the Bible. Not every person has the Bible. Even having the Bible, we do not fully know – which is what Paul said would happen when the perfect comes (1 Corinthians 13:12).

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

    The ‘perfect’ could not be the codification of the New Testament, because Paul said, “now I know in part, but then *I* will know fully, just as I also have been fully known.” Since the last book of the New Testament was written after Paul’s death, it could not refer to the New Testament. It MUST refer to either Christ or heaven.

    There are two “now . . . then” comparisons in 1 Corinthians 13:12. It is not a comparison of physical, earthly life (“now”) versus spiritual, heavenly life (“then”). It is “now” (the condition in Corinth, with the miraculous spiritual gifts, that which was “in part”) compared with I ‘then” (the time when “that which is perfect is come,” the condition possible when men would have “the perfect law, the law of liberty” – Jas. 1:25). In actuality, it is a comparison between Paul’s now and our now,- we have, beloved, the perfect law of liberty. God has given us, the recipients of the “perfect law,” complete instructions (2 Pet. 1:24) on how to live before him.

    As I have shown, you are mistaken concerning what James and Paul were discussing, as well what is meant by perfection.

    Therefore, I respectfully disagree with your dissertation.

    You are free to disagree, but you are mistaken. And that’s ok.

  9. No, sir… you haven’t been scriptural in much of your response…which has leaned heavily upon your own personal interpretation and rejecting that which remains written and non-compromising. Therefore, my disagreement remains both scriptural and correct. I hope that the blinders will someday be removed so that you will be able to recognize the truth for what it is rather than what you want it to be.Thanks for the opportunity to make a comment on your blog.

    • :) Respectfully Gene, I believe I addressed every point you brought up.

      I have used the context of scripture for much of the scripture you provided to show you were mistaken – it was the Holy Spirit who gave gifts as He decided, and it was not gifts that were given at the hands of apostles, but the Spirit Himself, and that was not needed, as the Holy Spirit came upon people without apostles laying on of hands and the gifts gave evidence of that.

      I also used scripture to show we will know in full when the perfect comes, yet we do not know in full yet.

      As for law of liberty (James 1:25), this refers to the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ (Romans 8:2), or to the law of Christ (1 Cor 9:21; Gal 6:2). When we follow the Law of Christ (love God abd love others, trusting in Christ), we are made free (Jn 8:31-32).

      It seems to me that it is unscriptural to tell people to not speak on tongues, when Paul explicitly tells us to not forbid it in 1 Corinthians 14:39.

      I have heard the voice of God, I have been used by God to deliver a message, and God has used others to deliver a message to me. I interpret that using scripture, not the other way around.

      I pray God softens your heart to the truth of a supernatural God who does not change and who interacts with His creation today as He always has. I pray if I am wrong, God will make this clear to me. I pray if you are wrong, that God makes that clear to you.

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