Gifts of the Spirit

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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Possible Misconceptions, Half-Truths, and Saying Regarding the Bible Part 2

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This is a continuation of my very first blog: Possible Misconceptions, Half-Truths, and Saying Regarding the Bible. These sayings are from man and tradition but when we look at the Scripture themselves they speak the Truth.

6. The Bible is the Word of God

This one will be a little controversial. The Scriptures say that Jesus is the Word or logos of God. The spoken word is rhema and the Scriptures is graphe. Also the word “promise” is Scripture is epaggelia which means announcement and epistolē is epistle or letter in the Greek.

A red-letter 1611 KJV bible is not coming on a white horse in Revelation…Jesus Christ is. The Scriptures contain rhema and logos and graphe and epaggelia and epistolē. Also I could point out that the Scripture or graphe generally indicates Old Testament writing and not New Testament. One could refer to 2 Peter 3:16 to indicate the epistles were Scripture but I’ll leave that up for you to decide. But we know them now as Scripture. All 66 books of the Bible or graphe or Scripture. I love this George MacDonald quote:

The Bible leads us to Jesus, the inexhaustible, the ever unfolding Revelation of God. It is Christ “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” not the Bible, save as leading to Him.

The Bible contains the many “words” of God and also words of many other people who were false and untrue. The Bible is full of thing God doesn’t condone. Not everything the Bible says is true, but all things it says are truly recorded.

7. There were 3 wise men

Christmas was just a few days ago and we all know the nativity scenes. Three wise men: one with gold, the other with frankincense, and the the other with myrrh. Scripture does not indicate how many wise men or magos. There were three gifts offered but it could have been at least two magi and possibly many other. I suppose that the nativity scenes show three because there were three different gifts. (see Matthew 2)

8. Yeshua and not Jesus

First off I want to say I am not a theologian nor an exegesis expert. I know of some theological terms and I know they are helpful but I don’t have much passion for them.

This one will really make a religious spirit flare up. It has been said that Yeshua is the Hebrew/Aramaic name for Jesus, which is true, but Jesus is also the legitimate version of Yeshua in English. Same as Jesús in Spanish or 耶稣 in Chinese. It is interesting to note what John 19:19-20 says

Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20 Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek.

If Yeshua was the only name He was known by then there would have been no need to display  His name is three different languages.

Here is a good link to read but it is somewhat lengthy: Yeshua or Jesus?

I worship a Person and not a vocabulary or a language. We know that the Son has many names other than Yeshua/Jesus. It is interesting to note that this whole Yeshua is the only name we can use came from the Sacred Name Movement…which, by some, has been labeled a cult. We also know that Hebrew has no vowels so by putting in vowels wouldn’t that mean saying Yeshua is wrong or writing it out is wrong. Also if someone really wants to be religious then one should always write Yeshua as .ישוע

9. Heaven is an eternal resting place and hell is an eternal resting place

We have all heard it especially in alter calls or evangelism, “Don’t you want to spend eternity in heaven?” Don’t get me wrong, but I do want as many people as possible to make it to heaven…but it isn’t an eternal resting place just as hell isn’t an eternal resting place.

To make a long story short, Scriptures say that after the 1,000 year reign there will be a new heaven(s) and new earth. Revelation 21:1 says

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

So the current heaven will be emptied and a new heaven(s) will be created. Hell and Death both will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14). But, Glory to God, there will be no new hell!

10. The Gifts of the Spirit ceased with the last Apostle

AKA Cessationism. Cessationism is the belief that the Gifts of the Spirit have ceased ever since the last Apostle died. The only scriptural argument given for this is 1 Cor 13:8-10 when it says

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

We know love never fails. We also know the perfect hasn’t come yet. Some may say the perfect is the canon of Scripture but if that were the case then the gifts would have been around since whatever canon you believe in since there were several depending on who you talk to but generally around the AD 300s. I would say most think the gifts have cease because of lack of experience or abuse of the gifts. Many proclaim any gift being expressed is a counterfeit but we all know a counterfeit can only exist with a current legitimate. In my opinion the “perfect” spoken above is when full stature of Christ formed within and after the office gifts have worked themselves out of a job. Another point to consider is that if Apostle and Prophets have gone away then why not Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers? I was raised believing in the gifts and have also gone faithfully to a cessationist church as well. Both have beautiful people striving to follow God the best they know how. There is abuse with the gifts, no doubt about that but when we expect perfection from others but giving grace to ourselves then we became a Pharisee preaching the letter and not the Spirit. I believe what was written is for us…OT and NT. If the Apostle Paul says that he desire we all speak in tongues and prophesy then I would say we all need it. (see 1 Cor. 14:5) This would indicate that not only did Paul speak in tongues and prophesy but he wanted everyone to do it…even those who were not writing epistles. The gifts of the Spirit are for today and they are for anyone who wants them. If we say there are no gifts then we could say there is no fruit either…because we see some that aren’t walking in the fruit either. Makes you think again doesn’t it?

The list above a certainly not exhaustive and each subject listed above could take books or at least many pages of study. These are all only brief explanations on what I would say could be possible misconceptions, half-truths, and saying regarding the Bible.

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Fruit, the foundation for the Gifts

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I’ve been thinking about this the past couple of weeks and I was just listening to a Graham Cooke YouTube which is at the end of this blog and it spurred me onto sharing. I’ll start with one quote from this video he said:

People have destroyed with their character what they have built with their gift.

Another nugget comes from Wade Taylor’s book, “Secret of the Stairs” as least I think so. I don’t want to misquote or say the wrong book but I believe it’s from his book. When walking with God comes a revelation or riser of a stair then a walking out of it first step before a another riser of revelation comes and then walking that out and so on and so on.

So I’ve had this picture of a beautiful house. Decked out on the outside with fancy and exquisite windows, doors, shutters, etc. Looks great from the outside. But when on the inside it’s empty without even drywall or proper supporting beams, trusses, etc. Looks good on the outside but inside it’s full of the bones of dead men, if I may borrow Jesus’ estimation of things. To add some grace, those bones can be seen with flesh and sinew coming back to them.

I do want to say I love those who God is downloading pioneering revelation and preparing the way for His second coming. It’s a hard road to be on when the pioneers are trudging through new territory and the settlers mock them from a distance. We need to intercede for them.

Intercession, my brother, often means bearing the scorn of another’s enlightenment.” – Baxter Kruger

In the Old Testament (Ex. 28) we see the priestly garments had a breastplate, robe, a turban with “Holy to the Lord” written on it and bells and pomegranates attached to the hem of the robe. What I want to focus on are the bells and fruit.

We know they are 9 gifts of the Spirit(that are active on earth now) and 9 fruits of the Spirit(which are active on the earth now). You can’t have one without the other (cessationism is heretical but I’m not going to go there). I grew up in the non-denominational charismatic church all my life with a brief stint in a beautiful Methodist church full of beautiful people. I’ve seen the fruits, flakes, and nuts in Charismatica. I’ve also seen the beautiful bride within cleansing herself of every spot and wrinkle. And I love them all the same. But what I see these days is great and needed but needs refinement. (Heb. 5:14) People are seeking the Father like never before and He is revealing Himself like never before. God is revealing Himself in the Scriptures more and more. God is doing new things and more and more people are stepping into them. But some lose the fruit on account of the gifts.  When the fruit should be the foundation and furnishing for the gifts to operate in full capacity and glory. We see in the OT Tabernacle two tent pegs holding up the tent poles all around. One being Spirit and the other Word. We do not live 50% Word and 50% Spirit but 100% of both. We do not live 50% gifts and 50% fruit but 100% of both. I am sure there are many studies on how the 9 fruit line up with 9 gifts like this one: 9 Gifts and 9 Fruits. This isn’t my teaching and I’m unsure of the other stuff on that site but it’s a reference.

But I would say some walk around as revelation junkies. Almost like a fix. Addiction to experiences can lead to an unhealthy dependency if not fueled by a passion for Presence. We need to seek the gifts! (1 Cor. 12:31). But need to seek the agape Love that God is. They act offensively to expose the religious spirit but, in doing so, expose their lack of fruit. They use middle fingers and equate God with a drug which I believe is offensive and grieves the Holy Spirit. A true father knows the current state of his son and responds to him appropriately.  Nevertheless the Holy Spirit still dwells in them but only in the corner of their housetop (Prov. 21:9). Truth is offensive in and of itself. Let your light shine, don’t make it shine I say. Revelation apart from the testimony of Jesus can lead to an improper balance in life and lead to a twisting of divine truth. (Col. 2:18). That scripture is not say we can’t have visions and walk after what we saw but it must lead to humility and fruit and submission to the character of God. Gifting apart for character leads to pride which is before a fall. Don’t get me wrong there is a grace for pioneering in the Spirit. Almost all pioneers get ridiculed and it’s not my heart to come against them but provide a foundation in which gifting can be supported. Now this isn’t a works righteousness here. All things come through grace and faith. Faith is dead without works because you know them by their fruit. All of us need healing in our lives and without healing, gifts because our validation apart from the approval of God. Be warned though that if you pray for fruit expect the ground around you to become hostile. In order to move in the opposite spirit there must be opposition. We must be broken in the sense that we know why don’t have it all figured out…and there are many who think they have it all figured out, me included. You know how the world will know we are His disciples? By our love for one another! (John 13:35) Yet do we see this today? We build bigger boxes then the next person and point finger while saying, “At least I’m not where that person is” meanwhile we are choking under the weight of own pride. But God’s grace is ever-present to lead us all out of our boxes into glorious liberty which Christ purchased for us. And I speak with three fingers pointing back at me. If you need milk then enjoy it to its fullness but then get on with the meat course. But with meat comes a chewing process. It must be broken down to be receptive. Our experiences and revelation of God must not be a pedestal or esoteric secret knowledge because we are His friends and freely we have received we freely give. The enemy doesn’t attack our gifting, he attacks our character. The world looks at character. The world looks for stability of fruit.

We must walk out our current revelation with character  in order for us to be trusted with the next step. The fruit of the Spirit is the only launching pad where the gifts can fly with accuracy.

You want gifting and revelation and experiences with God? Build a foundation of fruit in your life. Attach some pomegranates to your robe of righteousness. Mellow out your tongues with some love. Show grace. Be love. Be kind. Be gentle. Be self-controlled. Be joyful. Be patient. Be peaceful. Be faithful. Against such there is no law.

I will complete my loving rant with this 🙂 Psalm 103:7 says

He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.

Many seek his hand while denying His face. Moses knew that his face to face relationship was all he needed. Bill Johnson says, “When you catch sight of His Eyes there’s nothing He blesses you with that could ever distract you.”

Relying on gifting promotes your crown while character casts your crown upon the feet of Him who purchased it. For once it’s cast it become refined for a greater measure. And this must be a continual process.

 

 

 

 

 

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