- And God has appointed (títhēmi - ordained) in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then (épeita) gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. - 1 Corinthians 12:28
The apostles, prophets, and teachers are part of those God-ordained offices which Jesus gave for the perfecting of the saints (cf. Ephesians 4:11-12). The term has appointed (títhēmi) points to the fact that God ordained apostles, prophets, and teachers for the church. The term then (épeita) means soon afterward. In other words, soon after the gift of Christ was given to the church, the gifts of the Spirit were given to individuals. Christ gave His gift to the church following His resurrection. The Holy Spirit gave His gifts to individuals, beginning on the day of Pentecost.
That particular temporary sign gifts, such as prophecies, are inactive, does not mean that the offices of apostles or prophets are inactive. The sign gifts authenticated that the apostles’ and prophets’ message was from God.
- The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. - 2 Corinthians 12:12
With Scripture’s completion, the apostolic and prophetic offices no longer required confirmation.
- Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. - 1 Corinthians 13:8-10
However, the Didache records that the offices of apostles and prophets continued after the close of the New Testament.