“The gift of prophecy ended when the Bible was completed.” That is an oft-recited phrase I’ve been told several times over by a good number of believers who are of the opinion that God no longer speaks directly to any of his people in the present age of the church. That idea is based on the following scripture:
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13
Many believers think “that which is perfect” has come in the form of the now complete scripture. I believe this scripture is speaking of the time when believers will receive resurrected bodies, since that is the only time we will see God face to face and know God even as we also are known by him.
The gift of prophecy is such a vital part of God’s work in the church that I seriously doubt he would keep it from the body of believers who have to endure the trials of the last of the last days–the days Jesus prophesied would be the most severe ever so much so that he would have to shorten them for the elect’s sake (Matthew 24:22). It’s true that God’s word is complete and no one should ever add to or take away from them, but I believe God will work within the confines of his completed holy word to give his church prophetic warnings and admonitions until he returns and here are the scriptures that convince me of this:
27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord‘s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! Numbers 11 (Moses expresses the desire God has for his chosen)
7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3 (Last I checked, we believers are his servants.)
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16 (True of all disciples, not just the 12.)
5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. …24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 1 Corinthians 14 (We need this today as much as they did back then.)
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. Revelation 18 (This speaks of the future Babylon, the Romish system, founded after Revelation was complete so the prophets would have been in the future, after John’s Revelation.)
10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19 (The true body of believers have the testimony of Jesus and therefore have the spirit of prophecy.)
We must test spirits who prophesy to avoid prophelying or prophets wanting to profit, like Balaam, but I believe God still desires the prophetic for his people in our time.
Harry A. Gaylord