Last week we picked up Paul’s journey back to Jerusalem in Acts 21: Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. He came over, took Paul's belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, "The Holy Spirit declares, 'So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.'" When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
We discussed how the Gifts of the Holy Spirit were important to the early church and how we need the nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit personally and corporately. I want to continue looking at the nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit before we continue in Acts 21: The nine Gifts are divided into three categories of three: Last week we discussed the Gifts to Say (Speak). This week we study the Gifts to Know or Revelation Gifts and they can often work together.
2. Gifts to Know (Reveal or Revelations Gifts):
The Word of Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8): The supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit concerning the divine purpose and plan of God. It is a divine communication, a message to the Church or believer from God, conveyed by the Holy Spirit to the believer speaking. A word of wisdom is only a fragment of the wisdom of God, given for a specific purpose. The word of wisdom tells about something that is going to happen - certain facts about the future to man. The word of wisdom is always FUTURE TENSE - that which is yet unborn: hidden things we would not normally or naturally know. A word of God's wisdom makes you wise to the future and you know what is going to take place rather than to worry about it or using your own strength to make it come to pass - it will happen exactly as the Lord told you it would. A word of wisdom might be accompanied by a word of knowledge, as spiritual gifts often work together. A believer who consistently speaks out, foretelling the future, is speaking by the word of wisdom. He sees into the future and possesses the gift of the word of wisdom (God's wisdom) to tell the future. This gift is foremost in a Prophet's (Seer's) ministry but can also manifest in the life of a believer for a certain purpose and time even if that believer doesn’t have the call of a Prophet.
The Word of Knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8) The supernatural revelation by the Holy Ghost of certain facts in the mind of God. God is all knowing and possesses all knowledge. A word of knowledge then is a fragmentary part of the entire knowledge or counsel of God. He imparts to us what he wants us to know at a specific time and for a specific reason (such as to meet a need or emergency). Someone working in the gift of the Word of Knowledge at times can see things in a person’s past as the Holy Spirit wills to demonstrate to a person of the omniscience of Father God. Many times a word of knowledge might be accompanied by a word of wisdom, as spiritual gifts often work together. A manifestation of a word of knowledge might be used to reveal sickness or an evil spirit (as opposed to the Gift of Discerning of Spirits where you would actually see the (evil) spirit with your eyes). The revelation that the word of knowledge brings is NEVER future tense, it is either present or past tense. The gift of a word of knowledge deals with that which exists, either past or present – something that a servant could not discern in the natural.
The Gift of the Discerning of Spirits (1 Cor. 12:10): The discerning of spirits gives supernatural insight into the spirit world. "To discern" means to perceive by seeing or hearing. Therefore, the discerning of spirits is the same as seeing or hearing in the realm of the spirits. The discerning of spirits gives members of the Body of Christ insight into the spirit world, a realm which their five senses, feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting cannot reason. It takes this gift to penetrate the dividing of soul and spirit within a person. The discerning of spirits has to do with an entire class of spirits: good spirits (discerning the similitude of God, the risen Christ, the Holy Spirit, or angelic beings/angelic activity), bad spirits (devils, demons, Satan himself), or human spirits (good and evil tendencies). "Familiar spirits" are included in this class of spirits. God talks about these spirits in the Old Testament where he forbids the people of God to have anything to do with them. Familiar spirits are familiar with people and they pass on information about one person to another. Familiar spirits, I believe, are used by psychics and spiritualists.
Prayer Points: Father we need all the gifts working in us personally and as a church corporately. Allow the Holy Spirit to begin to use us as He will in the gifts. We empty ourselves so you can pour into us!