The Gifts Will Pass Away According to Scripture, Not Men’s Traditions

Concerning Gifts of the Spirit, the Bible clearly says that the Spirit “gives them to each one, just as He determines.”

The Bible is also clear that the gifts are temporary when it says, “Where there are prophecies, they will cease. . .tongues, they will be stilled . . .knowledge, it will pass away.” (13:8,9) The Greek verb for “they will cease” and for “it will pass” is the same word. The verb is from “katargeo” (katargew) which means “pass away, be destroyed, be abolished.” It is used several places in 1 Corinthians to refer to things of the world or of this age that are destroyed by a greater manifestation of God in the earth. For example:

1:28, the things that are lowly, despised and “are not” will “katargeo” (“nullify”) the things that “are.”

2:6, the wisdom and the rulers of this age are coming to “katargeo” (“nothing”).

6:13, In the future God will “katargeo” (“destroy”) food and the human stomach

15:24, All dominion, authority and power of this age will be “katargeo” (“destroyed”) by Jesus .

In 1 Corinthians. 12:8,9 the gift of prophecy and the gift of knowledge will also “katargeo” (“cease” and “pass away”). It would appear that according to Paul’s use of this word in 1 Corinthians that the spiritual gifts would be passing away at the end of the age after Jesus returns.

Paul also uses “katargeo.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8, “The the lawless one (anti-Christ) will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.” “Destroy” is from “katargeo” also and this verse literally says, “bring to nothing by the outshining of the presence of him (Jesus).”

The verb used to describe the ending of the spiritual gifts (prophecy and knowledge) is clearly a word that refers to the time that the world system is reestablished. There is more that follows 1 Cor. 13:8,9 that communicates the time frame even more directly.

13:10, “when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.” The scholars have four typical responses for what “perfection” (“teleios”) refers to: 1) Love, 2) the mature church, 3) the completion of the Bible, 4) the coming of Jesus in the future. If the correct choice is love then is it being said that there was no love when the gifts manifested in the New Testament? If “perfection” refers to the mature church is it referring to when every individual attains perfection or to the establishment of the church hierarchy, organization and modern leadership that has often failed to represent the truth of the Word? If the completed Word of God (canonized Bible, 325 AD) is the time of “perfection” then we would have to assume that the gifts were a temporary substitute for the scriptures. This would mean that the gifts where the source of faith since Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes from hearing the message.” (This idea fails hermeneutically when you consider that neither Paul nor the Corinthians would have understood “perfection” as referring to a complete copy of the Bible). These choices all have unscriptural repercussions.

The word “teleios” means “complete, mature, perfect” and refers to the completing of this age. This is made clear when the next thing Paul writes is “then we shall see face to face.” When do we see face to face? When Jesus appears at the rapture.

“Now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But, we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2,3)

Our time of eschatology began in Acts 2:17. Jesus began to build the church and the Spirit began giving believers gifts. These gifts will “pass away” when Jesus “appears” “face to face” in his “splendor” having “completed” building the church in this age.