The Cessation of Prophecies,Knowledge and Tongues

1 Cor 13: 8 “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

I am a cautiuous cessationist. Though John Macarthur had already discussed the exegetical grounds for cessationist stand-some had always brought unnecessarily healing and other gifts to the cessationist position- when in fact it does not. The other gifts are deemed to have ceased because of its connection as a Sign of Apostles who wrote the New Testament Scriptures.

Prophecies, knowledge and tongues will pass away or ceased when the perfect comes-and then we will see “face to face” -an adverb of manner -not objective noun. The whole Scripture was completed before AD 70 when Apostle wrote “Revelation”-and thus the “perfect” had really come-and through it we can have a better understanding of our Lord and His ways. Through the Scriptures we can ‘see’ the Lord “face-to-face” because through it  we can know His heart and mind for this generation. It does not nullify the need for enlightenment from the Holy Spirit-but it precludes a new revelation- a new additional-and required knowledge from the Lord to understand our world.

Tongues and Prophecies-if they ever exist in our times can no longer be revelatory-authoritative and “Thus saith the Lord” type of revelation. It still points to Hid Diuvine intervention into our situation-but it is in the secondary meaning. It tends to illuminate what the Scripture had already revealed. Thus -tongues-especially Pentecost Day-type of tongues had served its purpose as witness to the 1st Century Jews who rejected their Messiah.

New “prophets’ are needed only to make clear and relevant the previous revelation shown by the Lord-and this is being done by preachers and pastors who are faithful to the Scriptures and are listening tot he Holy Spirit how to apply it to God’s flock. This has been done by Augustine, Calvin, Spurgeon, Wesley, Barth and the like. But they don’t want to be called “prophets” out of respect for the priority and necessity of Holy Scriptures.

If we will turn away from the Scriptures- Old and New Testament-we will remain like children. Scriptures will help us speak, think and reason to our Lord like mature men. Let us not run after so-called “apostles and prophets” that will go against the mature wisdom of the Scriptures. Their tongues and prophecies is no match to a full-orb exegesis and application, using the help of the Holy Spirit ,of the revealed Scriptures.

Let us not despised and grieved the Holy Spirit by neglecting the priroty and necessity of the Scriptures. Only there can the secondary place of the so-called modern tongues and prophecies have their place.


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