“ to another the ability to speak with knowledge according to the same Spirit”
Most scholars see the word of wisdom as relating to the truths of Scripture. I agree. But then they mix the word of knowledge with that same interpretation so there is no distinction between the two. Both gifts must be seen as supernatural as they are among the manifestation gifts. I have already stated in Bible Gem 429, “I think the sense of this gift is when God opens up understanding on the significance of certain verses or connection between them in ways that come to you as a revelation in a moment in time. This is not to be interpreted as the understanding that comes as a result of study or man’s intellectual effort . . . This refers to those moments of revelation that come in an instant but take days or weeks of unpacking. The knowledge of mysteries, the depth of prophecies, the significance of types and typologies, the revelation of allusions being made, the connections related to deeper, more mysterious or hidden aspects of the Scripture. But all of this revelation is related to Scripture. It is gaining deeper understanding of the text of Scripture but without necessarily having studied it. Those a-ha moments when God’s revelation hits you hard and deep and stays with you for the rest of your life.” In my humble opinion that is the word of wisdom.
The word of knowledge is gaining specific knowledge of something we could not otherwise know of, except by revelation of the Holy Spirit. There are many examples in Scripture of this but let me give you the classic example from the Master Himself.
“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” “Sir,” the woman said, “You must be a prophet.John 4:17-19
Now that is a word of knowledge. Knowing things you could not otherwise know unless you are connected to the Spirit of God. You have to admit that is a manifestation gift. It made the woman say, “Wow you must be a prophet.” Why because He predicted the future? No because he was in touch with God and brought a specific word into the situation that could only have come from God.
I have experienced many of these in my Christian life, either as the recipient of such words of knowledge, or on the odd occasion when I been the vehicle through which they have come. Let me share a couple of them with you.
In December 1980 a visiting preacher named Larry Allen came to our church and gave a message. After the message he had “words” for people there in the congregation. He had never been to our church before. He did not know anyone in the congregation. Yet the words he spoke over the congregation were so incredibly accurate. The Lord told me through Larry Allen, He (God) was going to make some changes in my life. “He was going to make changes in our business affairs to His glory and He was going to thrust us out in the mission field for the glory of the Lord thy God.” Why would he say that to a person he had never met before? He said many more things that were very accurate. I am just taking a focused portion of it here, because I don’t have space to explain the background to the other aspects.
I have told you other parts of our story in earlier gems. In 1980, but before Larry Allen came we had been challenged to give the back pay to Bibles for China (Bible Gem 253) and then on June 8th, 1981 God specifically called us to work with WBT (see Bible Gems 197 and 198). How could Larry Allen know all that when he didn’t know us at all? He was not privy to what had happened a month or so before. Neither did he know what would happen later the following year and how everything would fit together perfectly like a jigsaw. The answer is he didn’t. But God did. Larry Allen was merely being a faithful servant and speaking out a word of knowledge that was on his heart and in his mind believing it to be from God. How could our pastor in Matamata know things would happen in Wellington that were entirely unforeseen? He couldn’t, but he could play his part in faithfully delivering the word of knowledge that God placed in his mind and let God do the rest.
In August 1981, when planning to go to Wellington (NZ) to attend a Geography Teachers’ Conference I was told by Weston Finlay, the associate pastor of our church that “God would reveal to me clearly the next step” in our mission adventure which we were weighing in the balance “and that I would see the big picture, all things in perspective”. I laughed at him and told him not to get too super spiritual; I was only going to a Geography Conference. Weston was so certain that he told me again the exact same words prefaced by: No the Lord clearly said . . . In fact God led me from the Geography Conference to a Mission Conference (Move Out 1981) and then showed me clearly the next step and indeed gave me an over view of what we would be getting into so that I saw the big picture and saw all the pieces in perspective. Now where did Weston get that from? How did he know to say that? The Holy Spirit prompted him in a word of knowledge.
Here is a more recent word of knowledge I received through Fatima, a woman in Brazil, when I visited there In January 2018. She asked if she could pray for me after a teaching session and while praying she began talking in a higher pitch and fast. The director of the work interpreted for me that Fatima had said, “This year you are going to experience something serious which will impact you and your family, but you don’t have to worry about it because God has got it under control.” That word of knowledge was spoken to me 6 months before I was diagnosed with prostate cancer! I am now totally free and didn’t indeed worry because I was told God had it under control by a simple village woman in Brazil.
That Gemers is what I believe a word of knowledge to be. I have experienced numbers of them in my Christian life. None of them have been contrived or manipulated. They have been very much of and by the Spirit of God and have manifested His glory and left me speechless and in awe of His grace and power of the gifts He has distributed for the building of His body, the Church.
You can accept or reject my input as you see fit and in accord with your denominational or theological viewpoint. I am not seeking to persuade you. I am merely attempting to explain what I believe this verse means. May the Lord bless you and as you ponder this and may He give you a “word of wisdom” or a “word for knowledge”. May He reveal Himself to you.
Please tell me if He does.
Your Gift Will Only Remain A Seed Until The Moment You Choose To Plant It.Ian Vail
Never Allow The Gifts That Have Been Bestowed Upon You To Ever Eclipse The One Who Bestowed Them.Robb Thompson