Easter

Wisdom, Knowledge, and Prophecy – The Same Or Different?

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit…to another prophecy. 1 Cor. 12:7,10

Here we see three different gifts or charisma of the Holy Spirit. Root word is charizomai which means give or forgive as well as to do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favor to, gratify. The other word is charis which is the word grace which means that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech.

From what I’ve seen in the body of Christ is confusion or misinterpretation of these three gifts: Knowledge, Wisdom, and Prophecy. I would add interpretation of tongues but I’ve rarely heard corporate tongues and interpretation of tongues in Church. It may be a more Pentecostal thing but not so much so in Charismatic churches. Also discerning of spirits could be thrown in the mix too but I’ll focus on the three. On a side note, I would love to bring attention to the fact that the Apostle Paul saw that the gifts were being abused or misinterpreted and wrote this passage in the epistle to teach the Church…the Church and not the apostles. So in other words, the gifts weren’t given to prove the Apostles office or the confirm the canon or whatever opinion some believe. The gifts were given for the common good of the Church as a whole. Especially considering 1 Corinthians 14:5 which indicate Paul wanted the Church as a whole to speak in tongues and prophesy even more. And yes there are different tongues, not really different but tongues as a whole has different applications but that may be for another blog.

In my opinion based on what I’ve learned and been taught, is that the gift of knowledge tends to be more diagnostic or it gives a diagnosis which means the identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms. Word of knowledge coincides with the fruit of joy. Knowledge in Greek is gnōsis which means  knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding. So God gives a word of knowledge, then what do we do? Immediately deliver it? Yes and no. While I firmly believe in the saying, “deliver the mail don’t interpret it,” there are times when we should sit back with this diagnostic word of knowledge and ask God to show us what to do with it. Let Him direct you with the word without you trying to understand the word. He may say to release it. For instance, I don’t remember who it was, a speaker got a word of knowledge and it was simply “macaroni & cheese.” ??? Really? So this person just spoke it out in faith without reading it and “macaroni & cheese” meant the world to an individual in the seats. This woman was praying for someone’s salvation or something like that and the person being prayed for drove a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese truck. This was the confirmation that woman needed to encourage her. More on confirmation later. But on the other side I recall a story from Graham Cooke where a man came up for prayer and Graham immediately saw a spirit of lust all over the man (this knowledge came from discerning of spirit mixed with word of knowledge). Graham didn’t release it but stepped back into his spirit and asked God what to do. In this instance releasing it could have cause a lot of damage, heartache, etc. What did God say? To proclaim the opposite (which would be prophecy) and to release what was needed to set the man free. Graham released something like this, “I see an incredible amount of purity coming upon your life. I see you loving you wife and cherishing her.” The man broke down in tears…beautiful healing and life-giving tears. There are some who probably would have said, “Thus saith the Lord God Almighty. You have lust all over you and you will burn for it unless you repent.” Not really life-giving nor seasoned with salt. Again God may have you say something like this to the person not using a microphone, “God showed me a spirit of lust operating in your life. You need to stop it otherwise your life will be in shambles. God is not into public shaming but public redeeming! They only public shaming Jesus did was against religion and the religious structure that promoted public shaming. So we receive a word of knowledge and step back into our spirit and ask God what to do with it. Next will come either a word of wisdom or the gift of prophecy may manifest.

The gift of prophecy is probably the most controversial amongst the three. The gift of prophecy coincides with the fruit of goodness. Prophecy in Greek is prophēteia which means a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events. Most people when you say the word “prophecy” they only think of prophecy in the Scripture foretelling Christ or other events. But of course in New Testament there is both as we see in many epistle, gospels, and the book of acts. We also see prophecy in regards to day-to-day things like in Acts 21:11 which says,

 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Funny thing is the word of knowledge/prophecy pointed to a negative thing but the recipient, Paul, knew full well what would happen and accepted it. Almost like another confirmation for Paul. Personal prophecy is a beautiful thing. Truly beautiful. I call personal prophecy in a meeting a “public honoring.” God points you out and highlights you. He confirms in open what He has spoken to you in private. Beautiful! I love personal prophecy. It is a great thing. I would also like to note that personal prophecy is, generally speaking, conditional. 1 Corinthians 14:29 says

But let two or three Prophets speak and the others discern.

Even a large amount of Old Testament prophecy was conditional in regards to current day-to-day things. Do this and that will happen. Do this and that won’t happen. Some get a prophetic word and run with it. Some rely on prophetic words to know what to do. Both are imbalanced in my opinion. Yet some get a prophetic word that makes no sense and they toss it out which is also not a good thing to do. You won’t lose your calling or destiny by throwing out a word that doesn’t make sense but it may cause delay because there was a nugget in there you needed to get to the next step. There are some who have receive prophetic words 5-30 or more years ago that are just now coming to fruition. Personal prophecy is personal promise with conditional and relational involvement. When Scripture says we are co-laborers then we are co…laborers. We are saved by grace through faith yes, but our growth is determined by our plow.

So the gift of prophecy provides an expected end or expected signpost. A glimpse into the future you and the future space around you. I love Graham Cooke’s teaching “Bringing the future into today” which basically means you take your prophetic word and see the character that is needed to walk in it and start acting in that character now. Prophecy speaks the potential and possibilities. It will provide a future and a hope. It can also provided the prognosis of the diagnosis. Prognosis means a forecast of the likely outcome of a situation. I said it before, “do this and that will happen.” So what happens from word of knowledge to prophecy….?

A word of wisdom. This coincides with love. Wisdom in Greek is sophia which means wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters and the intelligence evinced in discovering the meaning of some mysterious number or vision. When I think of the word of wisdom I think of how to get from point A to point B and possible pitfalls in the middle. You get a word of knowledge to diagnose something then receive the prognosis by prophecy but now you need a word of wisdom in order to walk through it all. The word of wisdom can give you a course of action. The remedy for a situation. Supernatural wisdom they may defy logical action. Jesus told different people different things in order to get healed. He didn’t just say you have “this” or you have “that” but said go wash over here or here is some mud…put that in your eyes to help you see. I would say a lot of dream interpretation comes from the word of wisdom as well or even dreams are a word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and/or prophecy. Words of wisdom offer the prescription to get you from the word of knowledge to the prophecy.

I do hope this all makes some sort of sense. Biggest issue I have is getting what is jostling in my brain into something coherent. The illustrations I used hopefully explained the differences and similarities of the three gifts. Three manifestations or diversities of gifts but the same Spirit work in all. There can be much more taught, discussed, and experienced with these three gifts. Let all be done decently and in order, thinking of others before ourselves or platforms. Regarding one another more highly than ourselves. The fruit is always the foundation for the gifts.

Be blessed this Resurrection Sunday for without the resurrection we would still be in our sins and new life wouldn’t be possible. Check out my blog from last year about Great Friday!

 

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A Name Is To Be Desired

What’s in a name? Everything!

Proverbs 22:1 says,

A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.

Ecclesiastes 7:1a says

A good name is better than fine perfume…

I recently thought of the saying “_____, it’s my middle name.” You know the saying people say, “You’re dangerous!” And the reply, “Danger is my middle name.” You can put in whatever thing or name you want in there.

So I looked up my middle name to see what it means and this came up: free man. But a couple of sites had their little spiel about what they believe the name means. This is what they said,

People with this name have a deep inner desire to use their abilities in leadership, and to have personal independence. They would rather focus on large, important issues, and delegate the details.

People with this name are excellent at analyzing, understanding, and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts. When presented with issues, they will see the larger picture. Their solitary thoughtfulness and analysis of people and world events may make them seem aloof, and sometimes even melancholy.

The latter paragraph is me to a T…or whatever the saying is. Names means a lot. Some people are named by their parents while others are named by Facebook polls. Some ask God what to name their children. Then there are times where God changes the name given to them by their parents. But why would He change their name?

Abram to Abraham

Sarai to Sarah

Jacob to Israel

Naomi wants it to change to Mara

Simon to Peter

Some had different names for the culture they were in,

Joseph to Zaphenath-Paneah

Daniel to Belteshazzar

Hananiah to Shadrach

Mishael to Meshach

Azariah to Abednego

Hadassah to Esther

Saul to Paul

Back then, names meant something. These days we name people for coolness factor, not that there is anything wrong with that, but I believe names carry something in the spirit. A name has authority. A name has power. God changes names because He wants them to carry something they didn’t know they could carry before. No one knew they would carry it so God had to change their name. They needed something to carry it. They needed a name that others could look at and realize God’s fingerprint.

Look at Jabez. His name meant sorrow. But I believe God totally redeemed that name and that person. His prayer (see 1 Chron. 4:10) is one of the most popular prayer today. There are whole books on it. Sometimes a name carries a stereotype. “Oh look at Mr. Smith. I know another Smith in town who is related. Got to watch out for those Smiths.” Sometimes you are called to break the pattern of a name.

We can also be called names. Bad names. A popular rhyme we say is, “Sticks and stone may break my phone but words will never hurt me.” Wrong! I’ve been called names and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Names carry something. Isaiah 65:15 says something interesting

You will leave your name for a curse to My chosen ones, And the Lord GOD will slay you. But My servants will be called by another name.

Isaiah 48:9 says

For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off.

Name is Hebrew is shem which means name, reputation, fame, glory, memorial, and monument. Greek for name is onoma which means everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellencies, deeds etc.

We use our name to make covenants with people. We use our name to sign things and agree to terms. Our future is determined by the fact that our name is written in a book (see Luke 10:20). In our western thought, names are but something on a birth certificate. But in the Hebrew mindset names are everything. It denotes calling or past. It indicates situations or outcomes.

What does  your name mean? How have you used your name? How have others used it? What names have you been called? How has a name labeled you? How has a name defiled you? How has a name influenced you? How has a name confused you or others around you? When have you been called by the wrong name? When has your name been confused with another name?

I’m pondering, as I’m typing, about the possibility of blessings and curses attached the names we have been given. Is there a blessing that comes with a name? Is there a curse or defilement? Obviously when someone labels us or calls us a bad name then, yes, there is defilement. That can be broken off easily by simply saying this

I reject all names I have been labeled with and called by. I do not receive them, nor the spirits attached. I call those name null and void and command all labels and names to fall to the ground and turn to dust. I pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be smeared all over me and that all things spoken over me, not of God, would bead off and have no affect. I receive blessings and God’s labels and names over my life in Jesus’ name!

I want a good name in my life. I want my name to be an inheritance, to leave an inheritance. I want God to guard my name. I want my name to point to His Name! I want my name influenced and possessed by His Name. I want my name cleansed of all defilement and ungodly labels. I want His Name to rule over my name. I desire a good name. I want a name better than the choicest of perfumes. I want a name that cherishes other names and calls those names into blessings. I want His name for me. And I can’t wait for that stone with my new name (see Rev. 2:17 , Isaiah 62:2). I embrace my name.

Do you embrace His name over you? Do you know His name over you? Ask Him and He will give it in His timing. I waited and got it. He said my name means and is Possessor, and that is what I will do. I will possess all He has for me by saying “Yes!” to Him. He will work on me when I say “no” because He is faithful. I choose the good report and that the land is for the taking. As the river Jordan was held back to Adam (see Joshua 3:16) so I pray all things holding us back will be held back to Adam…the first Adam.

 

 

 

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Great Friday

Good-Friday-Wallpaper-06Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. I would call it Great Friday. It is when the God of the Universe chose to suffer at the hands of men our wrath. He truly was bruised for our iniquities. By His stripes we are healed. He didn’t have a Jewish lynching…it was the world’s lynching. Flesh was ripped from his muscle, bones, and tendons. He was so whipped that he didn’t even look like a man. God, in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. Can you look into His eyes and see the Passion? Can you see the fire in His eyes? Can you see that He is and has made all things new? Can you read between the lines that were upon His body? Can you see Him looking at you while on the cross? Can you see His lips saying, “I did this for you.” You know what I see?

I see Love. Not some ooshy gooshy love but the kind of love that makes someone fight to the death for you…even while a person reviles and spit upon them. The kind that loves despite the lack of response. The kind of love that beckons you to be loved. The kind of love that sets you free. The kind of love that one weeps out of pure joy. The kind of love that is patient, kind, gentle, and not holding things against kind of love. The kind of love that when you see it you rise above things. The kind of love where you no longer see yourself apart from it. The kind of love that provides the lens by which live our life. Love. The kind of love that shows you open cell doors and beckons you to just walk out of them. The kind of love that shows you your worth and purpose. The kind of love that literally permeates your whole being and changes you inside and out. Love. The kind of love that heals the deepest wound of your soul. The kind of loves that loves you just as you are. Love. The kind of love that only One can provide and sustain. The kind of love where nothing else matters. Love. The kind of love that, once felt, is never a memory, but a constant companion. Love.

Great Friday

But this Great Friday is but a precursor of glorious Sunday. Death thought it won…but oh how it lost.

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