Monday, September 29 2014
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
In our previous lessons, we dealt with two of the three “Revelation” gifts. Gifts that reveal something: the gifts of the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. In this lesson we will cover the third revelation gift: the gift of DISCERNING OF SPIRITS.
“To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:10 KJV)
Understanding Discerning Of Spirits Gift
What It Is Not: Discerning of spirits is not a kind of spiritual mind reading, it’s not psychological insight, nor is it mental "penetration." It is not the power to discern the faults of others. It is not the spirit of “suspicion”. It is not a spiritual gift to uncover human failures (1 Peter 4:8). As a matter of fact, it’s not the discerning of PEOPLE but SPIRITS. Finally, it’s not the same as “testing all spirits” that 1John 4:1 talks about as we will see later in the study.
What It Is: To discern means to see or perceive, identify or distinguish. It is a supernatural ability enabled by God's Holy Spirit that allows a person to determine the source of a spiritual manifestation, whether it emanates from God, the Devil, or man. It is the ability to detect the presence of and the identity of spirits; giving supernatural insight into the realm of “spirits.” It’s not just a discerning of devils or evil spirits, but a discerning of both good and evil spirits. Discerning of spirits therefore, deals with three kinds of classes of spirits: divine, satanic, and human.
Why Is This Gift Important?
1. Because we live in a spiritual world: We are all spirit beings. We also know that things first exist in the spirit realm before they manifest in the physical. Without being spooky, we know that there's a spirit working behind "all" manifestations on earth. Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) says:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
We will be walking blind into the wrestling bout without the gift of discerning of spirits. Many people held in different bondages today are actually possessed by evil spirits. (See Mark 5:1-10 (unclean spirit), 9:17-26 (deaf and dumb spirit)).
2. There are false prophets all over the world: 1John 4:1(NIV) says: "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." Emphasis mine.
The emphasis on this verse of scripture is that there are "false prophets all over the world" (not that discerning of spirits means testing it). My belief is that with the gift in manifestation we are able to distinguish and differentiate between true and false spirits. But if we do not have the gift, then we should test it based on the yardstick in verses 2 and 3 (Expanded Bible):
“This is how you can •know [recognize] God’s Spirit: Every spirit [ a teacher/prophet claiming inspiration from the Spirit] who •confesses [acknowledges] that Jesus Christ came •to earth as a human [in the flesh] is from God. 3 And every spirit who •refuses to say this about Jesus [does not confess/acknowledge Jesus] is not from God [2 John 7]. It is the spirit of the •enemy of Christ [ antichrist; 2:18, 22], which you have heard is coming, and now he is already in the world.”
Also see Jeremiah 14:14, "And the Lord said to me, 'The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart." And Ezekiel 13:7 & Ezekiel 21:29
3. There are evil spirits in disguise all over the world: There are evil spirits that could take over people and use them against you. Remember the old prophet in 1 Kings 13? He was taken over by a lying spirit as we see in verse 18. Even well-meaning believers could be negatively influenced by evil spirits without their knowing if they are not careful. Matthew 16:23 (KJV):
“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men"
Jesus discerned the spirit that was speaking through Peter and rebuked it
4. Supernatural manifestations can come from different sources: It is good to have a genuine manifestation of the Spirit of God, but we must realize that all supernatural manifestations are not necessarily a demonstration of the Spirit of God. If the discerning of spirits is in operation, we can know the spirit behind a given manifestation or operation. We will recall the story about the possessed girl in Acts 16.
“And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” (Acts 16:16-18 KJV)
Paul discerned that it was a foul spirit of divination manifesting through the girl and dealt with the spirit.
The fact is, there are people who receive supernatural revelation from the devil (though they don't usually understand that he is the source). They call it names like "second vision", "the gift", "the sight", etc. This is really a form of divination or witchcraft that unbelievers practice today. Many are fascinated by it but we should as Christians should be discerning.
How Does The Gift Manifest?
Sometimes the person actually physically sees the evil spirit at work in the person or situation. There have been instances where during ministrations, ministers see demons manifesting from within the bound person. The Bible tells us of one in Acts 8 where Peter exercised discerning of spirits when he encountered Simon the Sorcerer. Simon had believed in the gospel but when he saw the Holy Spirit given through the laying on of hands he wanted to buy that power from the apostles. Peter saw his heart and said; "For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." (Verse 23) In the natural we might have guessed that greed for power was the underlying motivation but Peter saw that the true root was bitterness and iniquity.
The greatest trick of the enemy is to make the world believe that he does not exist; so that he can ride on their ignorance, control and destroy them. He executes his plans by employing various demons who carry around all sorts of evil spirits. And although we cannot perceive the spirit world with our natural senses, the realm of the spirit (both positive and negative) is very real. Discerning of spirits is such a vital gift to the body of Christ. The enemy has gotten away with a lot of demonic manifestations in church services because the gift of discerning of spirits was not in operation. God has provided the gift of discerning of spirits to give the Church supernatural insight into this spiritual realm, as His Spirit wills. And when rightly used, is a great protection to the body of Christ; better equipping us to wage war against the wiles of the enemy. Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Thursday, September 11 2014
Contributor: Martins Olubiyi
Last week we were told that we ought not to run a flat service because ‘with great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all’. Act 4: 33 (NIV). Also we were told that to operate successfully in these gifts our faith must work by love. Gal 5:6. This truth is exemplified in the writings of Paul. He started his message on the gifts of the Spirit from chapter 12 and spoke about love (charity) in the whole of chapter 13 before he concluded it in chapter 14. It is important we bear this in mind as we continue in our studies. Today we shall be examining the gift of the word of wisdom.
Text: 1 Cor 12: 7-11.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit THE WORD OF WISDOM; ……… But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, DIVIDING TO EVERY MAN SEVERALLY AS HE WILL.
The scripture made us to realise that all these gifts work by the same Holy Spirit and He gives to every man severally as He wills. Also He will not use everyone the same way. We must realise that the choice of which gift to operate in is at the prerogative of the Holy Spirit.
This is not the gift of wisdom or the gift of knowledge as some people call it. Also it is not talking about natural wisdom and knowledge. It is the word of wisdom, and it is word of knowledge. They are given supernaturally. They are not natural gifts. God is omniscience. He Has all knowledge. He knows everything. He never reveals everything He knows. He may choose to just give only a word, a part, or a fragment of what He knows. For instance, a word of knowledge as we are told is just a fragmentary part of God’s knowledge. This also applies to word of wisdom. It is not the gift of wisdom. It is the word of wisdom. God Has all wisdom. He can decide that at a given time He will reveal a part of it to any of His children.
The Word of Wisdom Is Not Wisdom in the Affairs of Life.
It is observed that the word of wisdom many times is confused with simple wisdom in the affairs of life, but simple wisdom in the affairs of life is not a spiritual gift. Case of Joshua in Joshua 1: 8. One translation read ‘‘…Thou shalt make thyself prosperous and thou shalt be able to deal wisely in the affairs of life.’’ (emphasis mine). Also in Exodus 36: 1-2, the wisdom given to Bezaleel and Aholiab can be classified as general wisdom. In James 1:5, the Lord promised to give this general wisdom in all affairs of life to anyone that asks for it. This is not the supernatural wisdom that we are considering today.
The Word of Knowledge vs. The Word of Wisdom.
The Word of Knowledge is a supernatural revelation by the Spirit of God concerning certain facts, plan and divine purpose in the mind and will of God. The facts could be about people, places, or things in the past or present. The difference between the two gifts is that, the revelation the Word of knowledge bring is always present tense or concerning something that has happened in the past. The Word of Wisdom speaks of the future. However, the two gifts can operate together. In the New Testament and in the Old Testament, we see instances where these two gifts were in operation together as the prophets prophesied. The Old Testament Prophet operated in the two gifts along with the gift of prophecy. For example Prophet Isaiah prophesied about the New Covenant and the coming Messiah.
Prophecy can be a vehicle through which other gifts can flow. It should be noted that the Prophet of Old testament had to have the word of wisdom in manifestation in his ministry to be able to stand in the office of the prophet because he made predictions concerning the future, and the simple gift of prophecy does not include with it the element of predicting or foreseeing into the future. So the prediction is actually a word of wisdom in operation.
Revelation gifts can also come through those who are called to the fivefold ministries. But it is common for it to operate frequently in the office of the prophet. Prophecy is used to bring edification, exhortation, and comfort and not revelation. The word of wisdom can come through the vocal gift of an utterance i.e. through prophecy or through tongues and interpretation. Word of Wisdom can also come through vision or by dream or audible voice or messages through Angel. Dream- Case of Joseph in the Old Testament. Audible Voice- Moses and the Law. We have example in the New Testament whereby Word of Knowledge and Word of Wisdom operate together. Vision- Case of John on the Isle of Patmos. Case of Ananias in Acts 9: 10-16. Messages through Angel- Case of Philip in Acts 8: 26-29. Before we read that passage, we can familiarise ourselves with the progression in Philip’s ministerial calling; He was appointed to serve tables (Act 6: 2,3). Later God moved him into the office of the evangelist (Acts 21: 8).
“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them’’ (Acts 8: 5).
Thereafter Philip received an instructional message from the Lord through an Angel as recorded in Acts 8: 26. The angel gave instructions regarding God’s plan for Philip’s immediate future. The angel said ‘’Go down to the desert’’. This was a word of wisdom about something that was to happen in the near future. Philip obeyed. Then a word of knowledge was given to Philip by the Voice of the Holy Spirit. ‘’…Go near, and join thyself to this chariot’’ (vs. 29). The instructions were more spectacular than the inward witness or inward voice of the Holy Spirit that every believer has.
Noah’s story in Gen 6: 13-18 was another Old Testament example of how the gift of word of wisdom can be manifested. Also Lot and his family (Gen 19: 29).
The New Testament example is about Prophet Agabus in (Acts 11: 28 and in 21: 10, 11). We also have in record the word of wisdom to Paul in (Acts 27: 10, 23, 24).
Conditional Word of Wisdom.
Some manifestations of the word of wisdom are conditional, depending upon the person’s obedience. For instance in the case of Prophet Isaiah and King Hezekiah in (2 Kg. 20: 1, 5, 6)
Conditional Word of Knowledge and Wisdom to help a dying man. (Illustrative purpose) (James 5: 14- 16; 1 Cor 11: 30, 31 & 2 Cor 5: 17).
Blessed be the name of the Lord who Has not left us in darkness, as we can hear from heaven through the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit. How desperately we need supernatural manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit today such as the word of wisdom. As we learn to yield to God, His plans and purposes will be revealed to us through the word of wisdom as His Spirit wills. But we need to take very seriously God’s message to us that come through these gifts and stand as a watchman to preserve those words from decadence.
This study was extracted from Kenneth E. Hagin’s book; The Spirit and His Gifts.
Wednesday, September 10 2014
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
Last week we focused on another gift of the Holy Spirit; divers kinds of tonques. The emphasis was being able to separate our prayer language from the operation of divers kinds of tongues. We can pray in our prayer language at will but we can’t operate the gift of divers kinds of tongue whenever we want. It was also noted that this is the only gift that was not in operation until the day of penticost according to Acts 2.
This week, we shall examine the gift of the Spirit that works with the gift of divers kinds of Tongues; Interpretation of Tongues
1) Prophecy, Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues ; 1 Cor. 14:5
". . . greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret. . ."
The three utterance gifts — prophecy, divers kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues —are very closely associated. The Bible plainly tells us that tongues with interpretation is equal to prophecy. By definition;
• Prophecy is supernatural utterance in a known tongue.
• Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue
• Interpretation of tongues is the supernatural showing forth by the Spirit the meaning of an utterance in other tongues. It is not translation of tongues; it is the interpretation of tongues.
2) The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues; 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; TO ANOTHER THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
The gift of interpretation of tongues is the only gifts of the Spirit that depends upon another gift — divers kinds of tongues — in order to operate. It does not operate unless divers kinds of tongues have been in operation.
The purpose of the gift of interpretation of tongues is to render the gift of tongues understandable to the hearers so that the whole church congregation, as well as the one who gave the utterance in an unknown tongue, may know what has been said and may be edified thereby. Paul said,". . . greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, THAT THE CHURCH MAY RECEIVE EDIFYING" (1 Cor. 14:5). Another way of delivering supernatural message is by the manifestation of the gift of prophecy. For example, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are also given by the Holy Spirit through the gift of prophecy.
3) The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues In Our Private Prayer Life; 1Corinthians 14:13 "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret."
In private prayer, it is not necessary that everything we utter in other tongues be clear to our understanding, because Paul said, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful" (1 Cor. 14:14).
Therefore, it isn't necessary that everything we pray in tongues be clear to our understanding or be interpreted because we are not talking to ourselves, we are talking to God. What we pray in tongues is clear to God and that is sufficient: "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, BUT UNTO GOD: for no man understandeth him; how-beit in the spirit HE SPEAKETH MYSTERIES" (1Cor. 14:2).
On some occasions God may desire that we interpret our prayers. Paul suggests this in 1 Corinthians 14:13 "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret."
There may be times, if it is as the Spirit of God wills, that we know what we are praying about in tongues in our personal devotions, and God will give us the interpretation.
4) The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues In Public Ministry; 1CORINTHIANS 14:27 ” If anyone speaks in a tongue, two — or at the most three — should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.” NIV
“If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.” KJV
Based on these scriptures, if three people have already spoken publicly in tongues, a fourth one should not join in and give out an utterance in tongues. If something else needs to be said, one of those who has already spoken should say it. That maintains good order and is consistent with this passage of Scripture where Paul was laying down principles of proper order for supernatural utterances in the local assembly. Notice that Paul said, " . . let one interpret" (1 Cor. 14:27). There is nothing in the Scriptures that would negate the thought that a person may speak with tongues and interpret the utterance himself. In fact, one of those who is giving the message in tongues may certainly interpret it himself. Or there may be more than one person who could interpret it. According to 1 Corinthians 14:13, those who speak in other tongues are instructed to pray for the gift of interpretation: "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret."
What Paul was saying here was that the reason a person is to seek for the gift of interpretation is not necessarily so that he can interpret publicly, but so that he can interpret his own prayers privately if God so wills. That would mean a great deal to his spiritual edification. Then if God did will to use him publicly, he would be equipped to operate in that realm as well. Actually, in First Corinthians 14:27 when Paul said, ". . . let ONE interpret," he was admonishing us not to have competitive interpretations; that is, two or three people trying to
Outdo one another by interpreting an utterance.
When someone is speaking with tongues, a person who is used often in the gift of interpretation of tongues should immediately begin to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's moving, if he is not already in tune with what the Holy Ghost is doing in the service. He should make himself available and be ready for the Lord to use him in the operation of that gift.
The interpretation of tongues is not a translation. Interpretation is simply showing forth supernaturally by the Spirit of God the meaning of what was said in tongues, and it may not take as many words to declare what was said.
A final point about tongues and interpretation of tongues is that Paul said, ". . . Let all things be done unto edifying" (1 Cor. 14:26). When the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues is manifested by the Spirit of God (and this is one way to judge if it is by the Holy Spirit or not), the utterance will be edifying, inspiring, and a blessing. Of course, if we ourselves are out of tune with the Spirit, we will not always be in a position to judge.
This study was extracted from Kenneth E. Hagin’s book; The Spirit and His Gifts.
Monday, September 01 2014
Our last study was focused on the word of Knowledge. This is the supernatural revelation by the Holy Ghost of certain facts in the mind of God to man. It must be noted that its operation is at the instance of the Holy Spirit not according to our will. The operation of this gift does not make the vessel to become all knowing. This gift was in operation both in the old and new testament.
This week, we shall focus on another gift of the Holy Spirit; divers kinds of Tongues. It must be noted that this is the only gift that was not in operation until the day of penticost according to Acts 2.
1) The Gift of Tongues Is a Supernatural Sign; I Cor. 12:10, Mk.16:17
10 TO ANOTHER DIVERS KINDS OF TONGUES; to another the interpretation of tongues
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils
THEY SHALL SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES
Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit in languages never learned by the speaker, nor understood by the speaker, nor necessarily always understood by the hearer. Speaking with tongues has nothing whatsoever to do with linguistic ability; it has nothing to do with the mind or the intellect of man. It is a vocal miracle of the Holy Spirit.
We might ask, "What is the good of speaking with tongues?" Jesus said in Mark 16:17, ". . . these signs shall follow them that believe . . . they shall speak with new tongues." Speaking in tongues is important because Jesus said this is one of the signs which should follow believers.
2) Tongues Is the Evidence Of Being Filled With the Spirit;
There are five recorded instances where believers received the Holy Spirit and three with the evidence of speaking in tongues in the book of Acts. This shows us a pattern of the Holy Spirit’s dealing in the early Church.
a) Acts 2:1-4; The 120 on the Day of Pentecost: These were men and women, including Mary, the mother of Jesus. Gathered in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost, they were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
b) Acts 8:5-17; The Samaritans: Saved under Philip's ministry, they received the Holy Spirit when Peter and John laid hands on them. Simon saw physical evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, which was probably speaking in tongues.
c) Acts 9:3-18; Saul (later called Paul): When Ananias laid hands on him, Paul received the Holy Spirit. We know Paul spoke in tongues because later he wrote to the Church at Corinth, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye r. 14:18).
d) Acts 10:44-46; Cornelius and his household: This incident occurred years after the Day of Pentecost. As Peter was preaching the gospel to these first Gentile converts, they were all saved (Acts 11:14) and filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke with other tongues.
e) Acts 19:1-7 The Ephesian disciples: This incident occurred many years after the Day of Pentecost. These Ephesian disciples were saved and baptized in the Name of Jesus after Paul explained the gospel to them. Then when Paul laid hands on them, they were immediately filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke with other tongues.
3) The Purposes of Speaking in Divers kinds of Tongues;
Apart from being the initial evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirt, there are other purposes of tongues for today.
a) Speaking Mysteries Supernaturally to God; 1 Corinthians 14:2:
"For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but UNTO GOD: for no man
understandeth him; howbeit IN THE SPIRIT HE SPEAKETH MYSTERIES"
b) Magnifying God; ACTS 10:45,46
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished . . . because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them SPEAK WITH TONGUES, AND MAGNIFY GOD....
c) Edifying Ourselves; 1 Corinthians 14:4, JUDE 20
"He that speak-eth in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH HIMSELF. . . ."
20 “But ye, beloved, BUILDING UP YOURSELVES on your most holy faith, PRAYING IN
THE HOLY GHOST.”
d) Helps us to Praying in the Spirit; Eph. 6:18, Romans 8:26
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication IN THE SPIRIT. . ."
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
e) Spiritual Refreshing; ISAIAH 28:11,12
For with stammering lips and ANOTHER TONGUE will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, THIS IS THE REST wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and THIS IS THE REFRESHING....
There is a very real spiritual rest and a spiritual refreshing in communicating with God our
Father, as our spirits pray distinct and separate from our understanding.
4) Private vs. Public Operation Of the Gift of Tongues; 1 CORINTHIANS 14:18,19
18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:19 YET IN THE CHURCH I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
In this passage, Paul was explaining the difference between tongues used as a devotional gift: ". . . I speak with tongues more than ye all" (v. 18), and tongues used in public ministry: "Yet IN THE CHURCH I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that... I might teach others .. ."
Conclusion Every believer can pray to interpret his tongues in his own private devotions (1 Cor. 14:13). However, God will not use every believer in public utterance in tongues, for that is a gift and is
not given to everyone: "But all these [spiritual gifts] worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, DIVIDING TO EVERY MAN SEVERALLY AS HE WILL" (1 Cor. 12:11). As with every gift of the Spirit, the gift of tongues operates only as the Spirit wills. No one should try to operate this gift in the public assembly without the unction of the Holy Spirit.
This study was extracted from Kenneth E. Hagin’s book; The Spirit and His Gifts.
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
Monday, September 01 2014
We commenced the study of the gift of the word of knowledge last week by looking very closely and deeply at the meaning of this gift. We were reminded of God’s attribute of being the all knowing God. Also, because of His sovereignty, He choses to reveal certain facts to man only in parts. Since no man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man, even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God (1 Cor.2:11). We can therefore conclude (as mentioned in the last study) that the word of knowledge is the supernatural revelation by the Holy Ghost of certain facts in the mind of God.
In this study today, we will be highlighting various Old and New Testament examples of the operation of the gift of the word of knowledge. We will also look at some present day examples and hopefully, this will create a deep desire in us to crave for and covet these gifts. Heb.13:8
1. As The Spirit Wills
"But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills”
Remember that this is a gift. The type of gift, value and timing e.t.c are all the prerogative of the giver of the gift. In the same way, the gifts of the Holy Spirit operate as the Holy Spirit wills, not as we will.
Also, according to 1 Cor. 12:8, Paul infers that not every man is going to have all these gifts operating through him and no one can operate these gifts without the unction of the Spirit of God (the giver). Also note that the fact that a gift of the Spirit has operated in ones life on occasion does not mean that person can operate it at will. Doing this will open up such a person to a satanic (deceptive) spirit. Please niote once again, that it is as the Spirit Wills, not as We Will! If an entire local body of believers will covet the gifts of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will divide to every man severally as He wills — not as I will, not as you will, but as the Spirit wills.
2. The Word of Knowledge In The Old Testament
There were supernatural manifestations of the word of knowledge in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. In fact, all the gifts of the Spirit were in operation in the Old Testament except tongues and the interpretation of tongues. We do find all the other gifts of the Spirit — the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, special faith, gifts of healings, working of miracles, prophecy, and discerning of spirits —manifested in the Old Testament. These gifts of the Spirit were manifested in the New Testament first in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Then after the Day of Pentecost, the gifts of the Spirit, with tongues and interpretation of tongues as well, began to be manifested through Spirit-filled believers.
A. The Word of Knowledge to Samuel Regarding Saul’s Donkey – 1 Sam.9:3-6, 15-20.
We find here an example of how the gift of the word of knowledge was used to recover a lost property. Saul’s servant said to him while they were out looking for his father’s donkeys, to go ask Prophet Samuel.
“Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying” [vs 15]
Of course, Samuel only knew what God revealed to him, because if Samuel knew everything, that would make him omniscient or all-knowing. Samuel had a word of knowledge for Saul in 1 Sam.10:2. Sure some of us will have memories of how we miraculously recover a lost item through the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
B. The Word of Knowledge to Samuel Regarding Saul – 1 Sam. 10:22.
The word of knowledge also operated in the Old Testament to discover a man in hiding. Although Samuel had already anointed Saul to be king over Israel, when it came time to reveal him as the king, Saul hid ". . . among the stuff. . ." (1 Sam. 10:22). When the people couldn't find him, they inquired of the Lord instead of sending everyone to look for him. (Many times that is the quickest way to find an answer.)
The people knew that the Lord knew where Saul was. And the Lord told them exactly where Saul was. When they looked where God told them to look, they found Saul. That was the word of knowledge in operation. Remember, the word of knowledge reveals certain facts in the mind of God. [Also share a present day testimony of a 16 years girl lost for about 22 years].
C. The Word of Knowledge to Elijah – 1 Sam. 10:22.
Here, we see the how the word of knowledge was manifested to encourage and enlighten a discouraged servant. After a great mountain-top encounter in 1 Kings 18:37-38, Elijah became fearful and depressed after Jezebel threatened to kill him. The thought of being the only prophet left in Israel (1 Kings 19:14) was too much for him to bear under the circumstances. But God gave Elijah a word of knowledge that encouraged and enlightened him. God said,
"No, you aren't the only one left. I have seven thousand people reserved to Myself'(1 Kings 19:18).
Elijah couldn't have known that any other way. I am sure it encouraged him to know that he wasn't the only one left; that God had seven thousand who hadn't bowed their knees to Baal.
Two other Old Testament examples are the exposure of Gehazi’s hypocritical behaviour in 2 Kings 5:21-24 and the exposure of the King of Syria’s plan of destruction in 2 Kings 6:8-12.
3. The Word of Knowledge In The New Testament
Now let's look at some other examples of the word of knowledge in operation in the New Testament.
A. The Samaritan Woman - John 4:7-10, 13-19, 25-26
Jesus, through the gift of the word of knowledge was able to convince the Samaritan woman of the need for a saviour by not only telling her all that she ever did according to the words of the woman (verse 39), but also giving her vivid details of her current situation.
B. Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 5:1-4
It would have been all right if Ananias and Sapphira had sold their property and given only half of the money to the church, but they lied about it. They kept back part of the money for themselves and said they were giving the entire profit from the sale of the land to the church. The entire transaction was revealed to Peter through a word of knowledge. Ananias' wife Sapphira came in and the same thing happened. And both of them fell dead the same day.
The gift of the word of knowledge can also be used as an aid in effectual prayer, either for God's servants in distress or for those in need of spiritual help. That is why the Holy Spirit’s help is very vital. Remember, the revelation that the word of knowledge brings is never future tense — it's present or past tense. The word of wisdom, on the other hand, reveals plans and purposes concerning the future.
By the manifestation of the gift of the word of knowledge, the Church can be purified, the distressed comforted, the saints gladdened, lost property recovered, the enemy's plans defeated, and the Lord Jesus Christ glorified. Hallelujah!
*Teaching is culled from "The Holy Spirit and His Gifts" by Kenneth E Hagin.
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola