When That Which Is Perfect Has Come
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. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 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. 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 now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Co 13:8″“13)
A Reader Writes:
Dear Bro Jacob,
I hope you are well, and that you enjoyed your trip overseas.
I have tried to find out through the Moriel website and your tapes etc what your position on the above is?
As you are aware I am in the Brethren who view this as a reference to the cannon of scripture. I believe this to be a very silly view and a biblical impossibility because of the two clear statements “Face to face” & ” Then shall I Know even as I am known” I have on the other had been inclined to be open to the possibility of either of the eschaton views and early thought that this could be a reference to the completion of the body as a neuter.
The view that I now take is that this is seems to be a reference to the Eternal State as a result of the fact that, this allows for the two witnesses of Revelation “To Prophesy” Also Isaiah tells us the knowledge of the Lord that shall fill the whole earth. I am not a greek expert I am able to use some tools and I can observe the fact that the term “Telion” Is a neuter whilst most reference’s to the rapture or second coming seem to be feminine, does this therefore make the eschaton views invalid from a greek perspective and would the Corinthian Church have had the eschaton in view here as opposed to eternity seeing as the context of 1 Corinthians 13 seems to be a comparsion between the partial instruments of time contrasted with eternity.
Revelation 22 tells us “We shall behold his face” & therefore all the instruments of time (i.e prophecies) will be rendered inoperative because in the Eternal State they will be fulfilled and knowledge by degree will be rendered inoperative because we will then know as we are know 1 John 3:2
What is your view on this passage of scripture and does this this concur with your view?
I have been asked by the brethren to deal with this publicly and am required to confirm why I don’t believe it to be the cannon of scripture (this part is easy).
God Bless You servant of God.
Blessings in Jesus to you and to our beloved brethren in Scotland, a truly beautiful country with a rich Christian heritage and a soil soaked by the blood of many martyrs for the true tesimony of Jesus. I pray and hope many of its sons and daughters will return to that faith before Christ comes.
In reply to your question regading 1 Corinthians 13, I would preface my own response by solidly affirming the position you yourself have annunciated. I would further reply however, that:
1. In the context of the letter “the perfect” plainly cannot be a prophetic prediction of the completed New Testament; Epistles are letters and the letter to the church at Corinth tells us the gifts (“charism” in Greek) are to exist until the coming revelation (“ho apokalpysis“) of Jesus Christ in 1 Corinthians 1:7. Cessationists, (like any other teachers of error) take one passage out of the context of the overall letter, divorce it from the co-text, and make it a pre-text. Their hideous argument is a logical impossibility demanding an abortive extraction of the term from the text, context, and co-texts in order to construct a demonstrably hollow argument that cannot be exegetically or inductively supported.
Moreover, this “revelation” cannot possibly refer to the Book of Revelation as proponents of this cessationist folly ignorantly sometimes maintain because:
- Rev.1:1 contains no definite article (“ho“) ‚ “” it only says “revelation” and is a self-stated future prophecy of the return of Christ which surrounds and precedes it and is not contained in The Book f Revelation. It cannot therefore possibly be referring to the Book itself.
- The same phrase used elsewhere (“revelation of Jesus Christ“) refers to a future prediction of His coming (e.g. 1 Peter 1:13).
2. Roman 11: 29 tells us these charismaic gifts (the same word in Greek) are irrevocable. Remembering there are no chapter divisions in the original manuscripts, in the immediate following context chapter of Romans 12 it goes on to discuss gifts including charismatic gifts such as prophecy. Thus Cessationists must either ignore or reject Romans 11:29 to teach their error.
3. The term you cite “rendered inoperative” is a particularly key term in Pauline theology, which in Greek is “katargeo“. It is used variously to describe the messianic fulfillment of Mosaic Law (Torah), and of the powerlessness of death by virtue of Christ’s conquest of death. The cessationist position that the future passive voice “katargathasetai” in 1 Corinthians 13 refers to a future finished apostolic canon however, is simply unsustainable. No such terminology is found anywhere in the text; 1 Corinthians 13 is conspicuously devoid of any terms or words anyplace found in Greek New Testament vocabulary such as “logos” or “rhema“. It is just not there in any manuscript because the Holy Spirit did not inspire Paul to write it there. No such thing is stated. Such irresponsible mishandling of God’s Word by eisegetical insertion and purely subjecive opinionated deduction is a brand of pseudo-theological hooliganism more in character with the apostate Church of Rome than with regenerate believers in the Lord Jesus. They just read into the text things not found in it to please their own often moronic religious preferences. This is what cults do.
To build a would-be case by presenting the opinion “it is implied” replaces the objective, exegetical, and inductive with the subjective, eisegtical, and deductive. It is exactly what extreme Pentecosals do by trying, without textual basis, to doctrinally maintain that praying in tongues is the definitive categorical proof of being Holy Spirit filled, even though not a single verse in Scripture states this and there are places in the Book of Acts where no manifestation of tongues are recorded as accompanying Holy Spirit infilling. (Which is not to deny a valid and genuine scriptural gift of tongues still being in operation today even though most of what we witness today is neither scriptural or authentic.) Cessationsts and hyper-Pentecostals engage in the same antics.
Both seek to establish faulty doctrinal positions derived not from anything stated in Scripture but from what actually amounts to nothing more than people’s own opinions. In Greek this is “Lao” (“people’s“) – “Dikaomai” (opinionated personal judgments to which they claim an imagined right). Putting the two terms together we have: LAO + DIKAOMAI = LAODICEA ! ( Just read what Jesus said of such churches in Revelation 3).
4. If the perfect has already come (as such people teach) with the canon of the New Testament, then the content and context of 1 Corinthians 13 states we should therefore no longer need faith or hope either. If we already fully know as we have been known and see face to face and no longer through a glass dimly because we now have the New Testament as they claim, we no longer require faith or hope because the New Testament clearly and without mitigation states that faith and hope have to do with the unseen not the already seen (Hebrews 11:1). Cessationsts must in effect rip Hebrews 11 and Romans 11 out of Scripture for their erroneus position to make any sense. Are they thus prepared to say we no longer require faith or hope? If so, no one can be saved because we are saved by grace through faith which gives us our blessed hope.
Indeed, Romans 11:29 links the irrevocability of God’s election of Israel and the Jews that immediately preceeds verse 29 with the irrevocability of the gifts (inclusive of “charismata“) that immediately follows it. It is not a coincidence therefore that so often the same doctrinally (and therefore spiritually) pathetic churches teaching the error of Cessationism not infrequently also teach the Supercessionist doctrinal error of Replacement Theology that God has disposed of His promises to the Jews and abandoned His divine and sovereign election of Israel. This is often true of those subscribing to the peversions of Covenant Theology held by extreme Calvinists.
Cessationism is a false and irrational teaching invented by scripturally ignorant babblers (such as the late B. B. Warfield and other of the same ultra-Reformed ilk) who are often just as silly and unscriptural on one extreme as hyper-Pentecostals and ultra-Charismatics are on the other extreme. Both have false man-made doctrinal theology of their own ridiculous fabrication and both should be ignored as promulgators of error by all who love the Lord and who cherish the precious truths of His Word.
Finally, while we can never base doctrine on any extra-biblical source and we must recognize that patristic tradition hellenized the Church and initially introduced most of the bogus beliefs into the Church that gave rise to Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, mainstream Protestanism and other such abominations and perversions of scriptural Chistianity. As a purely historical (and not doctrinal) source however, the Church Fathers recorded the charismatic gifts as continuing to be operational in the Church beyond the First century life time of the Apostles and after the writing of John’s Apocalypse.
Again, with only a few early partial exceptions (such as Irenaeus), the Church Fathers can be characterized as anti-Semites who twisted a theologically Hebraic faith into a philosophiclly Helenistic one, who turned Christianity into “churchianity”, and who perverted the scriptural concept of “church” into what is best described as “Christendom” with their putrid man-made, spiritually diluted, philosophiclly abject, doctrinally bankrupt, and practically corrupt garbage. I reject patristic authority outright (I particularly despise the legacy of Augustine, Ambrose, and Chrysostom) and over all I lend absolutely no doctrinal credence to the so-called “Church Fathers” or “doctors of the church” whatsoever (especially the post-Nicean fathers). Paul warned the Ephesians and us that after the time of the Apostles such deceivers would arise (Acts 20:29).
Having said this, with cautious qualification, I refer to some of them as a mere source of post-apostolic history which positively notes that charismatic gifts did not cease with either the Apostles or the completed authorship of the New Testament canon by divinely inspired apostolic autograph. Again, I emphatically appeal to this source for limited historical reasons only and not as any docrinal, theological, or philosophical source. But the record of post-apostolic Church history this otherwise largely depraved collection of religious frauds bequethed us shows that only a much later generation of false teachers concocted the false belief that the charismatic gifts concluded with the original Apostles.
What did in fact end with the original Apostles however, is the completion of scriptural canon. There is no new doctrinal revelation, nor can there be any. Any charismaic revelation today cannot be doctrinal in nature and must be firmly and prayerfully weighed and tested in light of the doctrines of Scripture.
I trust this clarifies matters adequately and responds effectivly to your question.
Sincerely In The One Who Saved Us,
J. Jacob Prasch