One final teaching of Dispensationalism, which Paul’s teachings will refute, involves God’s gifting of His people. He writes regarding the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Cor chapters 12 -14. Dispensationalists teach that the gifts basically ended with the conclusion of the Apostolic first church Ephesus, which they see as being represented in this first of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. So once this church era was complete then the gifting supposedly ceased. They also associate the ending of this first apostolic era with the completion of the Scriptures, and identify the Scriptures as “that which is perfect” in the following verse:

1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (KJV)

So according to Dispensationalists the completed Scripture fulfilled this prophecy, leaving no more need for the gifts. Their take: the gifts have basically ceased. My question is: is this what Paul taught?

Before we get to Paul and the Spiritual gifts, there is one aside that you should consider. Remember God will not contradict His own word. If Jesus’ return was to be taught as being imminent in Paul’s day; then how could the Holy Spirit establish to be taught these seven separate periods of history as represented within these seven churches and require them to be carried out in sequential order before Jesus would return?

These seven periods (if taught by God to be consecutive periods in history) would destroy imminence. Imminence by definition says that nothing further must happen before Jesus’ coming. When a teaching of the church is confused you may rest assured that man and not the Holy Spirit is behind it.

Now what is Paul’s meaning of that which is perfect which will render useless God’s gifting to the Church? He should give us clues as to just what he is referring.

1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (KJV)

The first clue is the answer to a question. Has “that which is in part” been done away, in fact what is “that which is in part”?

Paul had said: 1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (KJV)

So, is what we know today complete, without any misunderstanding? Is prophecy fulfilled without any questions on our part? Have knowledge and prophecy been made complete within God’s people? Can Scripture accomplish this perfect condition within us? Is it not more likely that Jesus in His coming is really to what Paul is referring in this verse as being the coming of that which is perfect?

Dispensationalist’s believe Scripture to be that which is perfect. Scripture, in fact is pretty amazing; yet it does not nor can it be inclusive of all that Jesus, who is the word of God, does represent. In fact Scripture bears witness to it’s own inability to be the perfect representation of all that Jesus had done. Listen:

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (KJV)

Scripture as perfect as it is cannot begin to tell all about Him who is perfect: the perfect Lamb of God.

The question that I would ask then would be: have the gifts of God’s Spirit to us ceased? If they have it is not that God does not want us to be gifted, but because we have stopped being accepting of them. We ourselves reveal that that which is perfect has not yet made His bride to be perfect and without spot or wrinkle.

Dispensationalists would say yes these gifts have ceased. What do you say?

The Irony of what we have seen in these last seven posts in this series is this: the one segment of the Church that adheres closest to Paul’s teachings concerning the gifts and the salvation provided His people, still has its attachment with the dispensational camp concerning the Rapture’s timing and the future of His people.

If believers in Christ truly are seeking the truth concerning all of doctrine, it is there. Paul outlined the various aspects; the components and the truths surrounding these things, as well as for the consummation of this age.

He who endures to the end shall be saved. We in the free world have just begun to realize what is coming that will test our endurance. James speaks us:

James 1:20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and [all] that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. (NASB1995)

James 1:12 Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial [and] perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test [and] been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which [the Lord] has promised to those who love Him. (AMP)