Sunday, January 19, 2014

Spiritual Gift of Knowledge - Spiritual Gift Overview




·         Let's continue this spiritual gift overview. The next spiritual gift listed by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 is the gift of words of knowledge. Previous I spoke about the spiritual gift of wisdom.

Sometimes I am out of my depth. Like the time I was leading The Salvation Army in Palmerston (NT, Australia). We had organised to build a garden area for the children, and in conjuction with that, to build a cubby house. I organised my brother-in-law to fly up from Melbourne and to help us build the structure over a special weekend. Over the phone I organised material that I needed to purchase and he gave me a list of what to buy. There was only a couple of days before the big 'Working Bee' weekend, and I still had a few products I was missing. I didn't have any material for the roof! I didn't know what the description was that I needed, and I didn't know where to purchase it from! So, I did what ever good Christian does; I started to pray. 'Ohh Lord, I'm really stressed, will you help me build this roof. I don't even know where to go and what to buy! Help!' So, here's what happened. I'm driving the car out of a local hardware shop (of which was not helpful at all), and I started to drive. All of a sudden, I heard a whisper in my head, to continue driving down the freeway, until I tell you to stop. I was thinking to myself, that this is a little crazy, but what have I got to lose. I kept driving and driving and driving. All of a sudden, a shop on the side of the road, grabbed my attention. A big sign said, 'ROOF SUPPLIES'. I started cracking up laughing because I knew God had just lead me to the place I needed to be. I went inside, and told them what I needed, and they very quickly said, yes, no problem, and even organised to deliver the roofing parts to the church. Five minutes later, I got back in the car, laughing and crying, and drove home. God had given me a word of knowledge. God lead me to that roofing place that day. God is good.

The spiritual gift of the word of knowledge, as we mentioned previously in relation to wisdom, is a gift imparted by the Holy Spirit and is a word that the Holy Spirit gives. The Lord does not reveal to you ‘all knowledge’, but a word of knowledge.

God is omniscient (that is, all-knowing), and the spiritual gift of a word of knowledge, is really the privilege of being revealed a speck of understanding from the plethora of knowledge that the Lord has. The knowledge is of God and comes from God.

Some would define a word of knowledge as a supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit of certain facts in the mind of God (Hagin, 1974, p. 52).

Let’s have a read of Colossians 1:9-14:
Colossians 1:9-14 -      9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Paul is praying here that the Colossian people would be filled with the knowledge of his will and also that they would grow in the knowledge of God. You must pray these things, because you cannot simply read books to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. You must pray, because you cannot grow in the knowledge of God, without growing in your closeness to God.

See, a word of knowledge, is not found apart from God. You cannot live in ignorance of God, read a bunch of textbooks on Chemistry and then rattle off chemical formulas and think you have a word of knowledge. This is not a spiritual word of knowledge. That is just knowledge. It’s just facts and ideas and thoughts. A word of knowledge cannot be simply knowledge, or ‘natural knowledge’, because otherwise it would not be a spiritual gift. Furthermore, if we went down that track then the other 8 spiritual gifts listed in the 1 Corinthian 12 passage could also be obtained without the Holy Spirit. The gift of healing would simply be related to the advances in medical science. Faith would just be a nice ‘whim’ you have every now and then, believing things are going to work out for the best. Speaking in tongues would just be someone learning another language and speaking it out. No; these are spiritual gifts and thus the word of knowledge is a Spirit-imparted word given to a person.

A word of knowledge differs slightly from a word of wisdom. I think of stories I hear, of someone who goes to the supermarket, and receives a word from the Lord that says, ‘Someone in the store has a problem with their hands, and God wants to heal them.’ Now, that is a word of knowledge, that differs from a word of wisdom. A word of wisdom might come as you speak with someone about their crippled hand, for example, ‘I believe God might say to you, that he wants to strengthen the work of your hands...’ Can you see the slight difference between a word of wisdom and a word of knowledge?

A word of wisdom helps bring application to a word of knowledge. For example of word of knowledge might come when you meet a complete stranger and the word is, ‘I sense you are about to get a divorce.’ Now, let me clarify that you need to be sure of these things before you speak them out, and you need wisdom and compassion in how these thoughts are expressed, and the first point of call may be to pray, ‘God do you want me to even share this with the person?’

A word of wisdom may then be, ‘God wants you to invest time into your marriage...’

A word of knowledge might be, ‘I sense that you’re broke, because you’ve been spending all your money gambling...’ A word of wisdom may help to bring some application to the situation and the word of wisdom may be, ‘Have you thought of getting some help with this, and talking to a professional to help you?’

Can you now tell the difference between a word of wisdom and word of knowledge? Reinhard Bonnke says, ‘If a special word brings to light a particular circumstance, a word of wisdom may well be needed also to do what should be done’ (Bonnke, 1994, p. 114).

Remember a word of knowledge, is a supernatural gift, and so you may begin praying for someone, and be given a word about them, that you could not possibly have known without the Holy Spirit revealing it to you at that moment.

*****

Some of you may turn off at this point. Theologians may choose to skip over what I’m saying, because it does fit rationally into a logical, theological framework. It is not safe theology.
I mean, you’re telling me, God can tell someone something that they could not possibly have known without the Holy Spirit revealing it? YES.

I firmly, absolutely believe that. I believe that this is the spiritual gift of a word of knowledge.

*****

So, why do we not see this gift exercised much in our churches and furthermore, why do we not see it expressed in the marketplace? Well, that question could be asked for all the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12. The word of knowledge will only come when you learn how to hear God. You must learn to hear the still, small voice. You must tune your ear to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying; what God is saying.
One of the reasons is when the push comes to shove, we have adopted a ‘sola scriptura’ kind of mindset, that is, that it is only Scripture that can speak to people today. A word of knowledge, from my understanding, is a word that pops into our spirit, that actually leads people to Scripture. It is not Scripture itself, but a word that the Holy Spirit gives, and it is not something to be concerned about, as long as it is pointing people back to Scripture and pointing people to the central figure in Christian theology, namely Jesus. If the word of knowledge someone has is truly of God, then this will happen.

One of the other reasons we do not see words of knowledge exercised often in our churches, is because deep down many Christians simply do not believe it. They have not experienced the gift in use, and live naive to the potential that this kind of gift has when it is fanned into flame.

Biblical Examples of the Spiritual Gift of a Word of Knowledge


Acts 9:10-15
     10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
     "Yes, Lord," he answered.
     
11 The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."
     
13 "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
     
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
Acts 10:4-6          4 Cornelius stared at him [the angel] in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked.
     The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea."
Daniel 2:19-23     19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:
"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
     wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
     he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
     and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
     he knows what lies in darkness,
     and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers:
     You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
     you have made known to us the dream of the king."

Smith Wigglesworth says, ‘The revelation of the mysteries of God comes by the Spirit, and we must have a supernatural word of knowledge in order to convey to others the things that the Spirit of God has revealed’ (Wigglesworth, 1998, p. 76).
·       
·        
Rienhard Bonnke shares the story with the spiritual gift of knowledge at work:
‘One afternoon in a hotel room I was praying, and the Holy Spirit began to speak to me. He put in my mind that that night a young man would come to the service whose name was John. The Lord gave me a message for him. I said to the Lord that half the men in that city were called John, and if I just called his name it would sound ridiculous. The Lord replied, ‘But his name is John!’ ‘Very well,’ I said, ‘I will obey you’.
What I did not know, however, was that that very morning a mother was praying for her son, and the Holy Spirit told her, ‘Ask John, your son, to come with you to the service, because the Holy Spirit will call him out by name.’ Her boy was eighteen. She then begged him to come and, full of disbelief, he declared, ‘All right Mum, I’ll come. If God calls me out by name, my life will belong to Him.’
In the evening service, I gave the word that the Holy Spirit had given me, and called out for John. Not surprisingly, John was awed. This was a manifestation of the Spirit, and the word of knowledge. He gave his life to Jesus that day. This account is true and I still have the mother’s letter on file...’

Let me finish by repeating the words of Colossians 1:
Colossians 1:9-14 -      9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

God has given opportunity for the spiritual gift of words of knowledge to be given to his people today. Tune your voice to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying. Maybe it will simply be a word of encouragement for your own spiritual journey, and maybe God has more to show you.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Translate

PeteBrookshaw.Com

Popular ALL TIME Posts