The Manifestation Gifts Part 1

Perhaps the most misunderstood and in some cases abused of all the spiritual gifts are the manifestation gifts.  The majority of believers fall into two distinct groups regarding the operation of these gifts.  The first view, which we will focus on today, sees these gifts as having ceased.  They support this view using 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, which states, “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”  They interpret “that which is perfect” to be the completed Bible thus making the manifestation gifts no longer necessary.
I believe, however, if we venture further into 1 Corinthians 13, we can discover what the Apostle Paul really meant by “that which is perfect.”  He continues in verses 11 and 12, “When I was a child, I spoke 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 in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

The phrase “face to face” found in verse 12 is used throughout the new testament to denote an encounter with a person (2 Corinthians 10:1; 3 John 1:14).  Considering this evidence, the only logical explanation is the Apostle Paul is referring to an actual encounter with a real person. 

The only being who can know us completely as Paul states in verse 12, “I also am known” is Jesus Christ.  And the only way we can know Jesus Christ completely as he says, “I shall know” is when we have been glorified and are with Him.  1 John 3:2 confirms this, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

It must be noted, this is not an exhaustive look at 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, but even this quick overview shows the belief that the manifestation gifts ceased upon completion of the Bible can be easily questioned.


  • Do you believe the manifestation gifts are no longer relevant for today? Why or why not?
  • How do you feel about those who claim the Holy Spirit is still operating through people in this way? Why?
  • Take a moment to read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.

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