of Wisdom and Knowledge
by John Edmiston
Walking In the Spirit – Series
(A Ministry of Eternity Christian Fellowship)
We have previously discussed how to receive wisdom and knowledge from God at a personal level, for 'our own consumption' so to speak. Now we will study how we can receive supernatural wisdom and knowledge so we can bless others and build up God's Church.
Firstly we need to note that the purpose of spiritual wisdom and knowledge is not 'showing off' (1 Corinthians 8:1) but rather so that we can admonish and encourage one another and build one another up in love.
(Romans 15:14 MKJV) And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brothers, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
Colossians 3:16 MKJV Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Secondly that this kind of wisdom and knowledge is a divine 'spiritual gift':
1 Corinthians 1:4-7 MKJV (4) I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God given you in Jesus Christ, (5) that in everything you are enriched by Him, in all speech and in all knowledge; (6) even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; (7) so that you come behind in no gift, waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:7-8 MKJV (7) But to each one is given the showing forth of the Spirit to our profit. (8) For through the Spirit is given to one a word of wisdom; and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; ….
And thirdly that this gift is listed among the revelation gifts that operate in a congregational setting:
1 Corinthians 14:6 MKJV (6) But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you, except I speak to you either in revelation, or in knowledge, or in prophecy, or in teaching?
It seems that the 'word of wisdom' is a spiritually given rhema word from God that operates to solve a problem in a wise, righteous and understanding way. And that the 'word of knowledge' is a spiritually given rhema word that brings certain facts to light or sheds knowledge on a particular area of life or doctrine. The two seem to be associated and so may overlap somewhat in function.
Words of knowledge are sometimes used in healing situations where God gives the prayer warrior knowledge that a person has a certain affliction. The revealing of the affliction is a sign that God wants it healed (otherwise He would never have revealed it in the first place). And the 'word of wisdom' can be used during counseling sessions to shed light on problems or even in difficult church meetings to bring resolution to an issue.
Words of wisdom can have a huge impact if they are implemented. Joseph's word of wisdom to Pharaoh, interpreting his dream and advising on how to handle the famine, saved many lives. As did Paul's revelation and word of wisdom aboard the ship. The prophets often spoke words of wisdom but were often ignored. When the word of wisdom is ignored disaster often results, either in the individual life or the nation:
Jeremiah 6:19 MKJV Hear, O earth; behold, I will bring evil on this people, the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to My Words, nor to My Law, but have rejected it.
Hosea 4:6 MKJV My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest to Me. Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your sons, even I.
God can teach us what to say:
Matthew 10:18-20 MKJV And you shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the nations. (19) But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. (20) For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
Note the last verse: 'for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father who is in you'. In other words God Himself can speak, via us, into life's situations (even the most harrowing of them). Christians with the spiritual gift of speaking 'a words of wisdom' or 'a word of knowledge' are not speaking from themselves but from the Spirit of the father, who is in them. This wisdom is not based on human wisdom but on Christ Himself so that very ordinary folk can be filled with true wisdom:
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 MKJV (27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28) and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are; (29) so that no flesh should glory in His presence. (30) But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; (31) so that, according as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord."
Acts 4:13-14 MKJV But seeing the boldness of Peter and John, and perceiving that they were unlearned and uneducated men, they marveled. And they recognized them, that they had been with Jesus. (14) And beholding the man who was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
This spiritual wisdom is a 'heavenly download' can be received by believing prayer (James 1:5-8). It is imparted by God's Spirit, to our spirit, and then to our minds and out of our mouths. At times it may seem risky as we may not know if what we are saying is relevant or even if it is true. For instance a friend of mine went up to a woman in a restaurant and said “God says that you have pain in your hand and He wants to heal it now'.
At first the lady denied it, then eventually she went over to his table, requested prayer, was healed and broke down in tears. God did a mighty work through a supernatural ''word of knowledge”. Such words have impact because the person realizes that it had to come from God and therefore that God was watching over them and caring for them.
Words of wisdom and knowledge can bring much needed repentance and be used for admonition, encouragement and edification of the Church and for healing, problem-solving and counseling in the midst of life.
As with all spiritual gifts this takes practice and they are best developed in an affirming small group setting. All such 'words' should be tested by Scripture and a godly sense of inner peace.
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