For a third of a century it has been my privilege to present, with increasing fullness, certain of the evidences centering in the theme of this book, "The Abiding Gift of Prophecy." Particularlyis this true of those features treated in the early and latter sections, dealing, first, with theBiblical evidences concerning the continuance of spiritual gifts, but more especially of their latter-day bestowal upon the remnant church. For years, ministerial groups and GeneralConference Councils have gone on record asking that these studies be placed in book form.This was duly promised by the author, and the work has been pursued with much pleasureand satisfaction.This volume deals with but one theme -
The Abiding Gift of Prophecy
. That prophetic gift hasbeen God's chosen method of revealing Himself to the human race after man had beenruined through sin. Before being estranged from God by this blighting, alien curse, he hadfree and open access to the presence of his Creator. But after the fall this open way wasclosed. Since then, an obscuring veil has separated man from the presence of God.Only through men chosen and called by His sovereign will has God clearly disclosed Hispurposes and fully revealed the future. The bestowal of the prophetic gift upon an individualhas made that person a prophet. The operation of this gift, therefore, is wholly planned andutilized by the Lord Himself. Concerning those whom He calls to the prophetic office, He says:"Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself knownunto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream." Num. 12:6.At the birth of John the Baptist, the prophetic power of the Spirit came upon his father Zacharias. Being "filled with the Holy Ghost," he "
, saying, Blessed be the LordGod of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people." In the midst of an outburst of joyover the advent of the long-expected Messiah, "to give knowledge of salvation" by theremission of sins through faith in His name, Zacharias testifies that God had spoken "by themouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began." Luke 1:67-70. Thismost expressive and significant statement of the early bestowal and continuance of theprophetic gift was repeated by the apostle Peter, who declared that God "
hath spoken by themouth of all His holy prophets since the world began
." Acts 3:21.This prophetic gift bestowed was to abide with the church from Adam to the second advent of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when He comes to take His redeemed people to Paradise.It did not cease with the apostles, but is traceable through the centuries to the last days of human history, just before the return of our Lord. When that supreme event of the ages shalloccur, then -
and not until then
- shall come to pass that which is spoken of by the apostlePaul:
"Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there betongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. For we know in part,and
we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come
, that which is in part shall be doneaway." I Cor. 13: 8-10, A. R. V.