Friday, December 30, 2011

Spiritual Gifts #2

We continue on to discuss the gift of knowledge. There are those who seem to feel as if this is a residential gift in the mind-heart of an individual. As if God places an occasional smarty pants in the body of Christ who knows things. Now, I want to thank God for the hundreds of people who are smarter than me in the church where I serve. They have been a resource to the church and to myself in confusing times. But though they are operating in knowledge they are not operating in the gift of the Word of knowledge. The Word of Knowledge is a revelation based gift- much like the Word of Wisdom that we wrote about earlier. The Word of Knowledge comes usually in a time of prayer although, occasionally it just shows up in our minds while we are about the business of ministry. It isn't, as one author writes " the ability to understand scripture in a way that only comes by revelation". That is a dangerous and unbibilical doctrine! Scripture is to be used to judge revelation not the other way around. The objective standard of the Word of God always is the measuring stick of the subjective revelation of the prophetic and revelatory gifts.

The Lord moves among his church in profound ways. His purpose is to work his will of strengthening, encouraging, comforting, healing, etc among the body of Christ. He does so by revealing a bit of knowledge to someone open to the gift so that it may be used by God to instigate the process of healing or strengthening. For instance, we read of Jesus knowing that he had been touched by someone with faith. The woman with the issue of blood was revealed to Jesus by a word of knowledge. Clearly the Spirit revealed that to Jesus. (We know that many of the miracles of Jesus were done by the anointing of the Holy Spirit on his life because he claimed in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4) that that is what drove him to do the miraculous. And we have Luke's synopsis of Jesus' ministry  in Acts 10.38 where it clearly says that his ministry of "doing good, healing all who were under the power of the devil" was Spirit directed.) But we also see similar working of these gift in the body of Christ in the book of Acts. Peter should have been pretty impressed with the offering placed at his feet in Acts 5. But he knows something is amiss. He calls Ananias to task saying things that could only be known by a revelation of God.

Thankfully, the Word of Knowledge doesn't always end with someone being struck down by God! Often it is used to establish trust in the heart of someone so they may receive a prophetic directive or a Word of Wisdom which is to follow. " I saw you under the fig tree..." Jesus said to Nathanael. This fact known by revelation opened up Nathanael to the rest of Jesus' ministry. So as your seeking the greater gifts in obedience to God command in 1 Cor 12.31 include an openness to the Word of Knowledge.

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