Words of Knowledge


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"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 faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills." - 1 Corinthians 12:8‭-‬11 I remember hearing a story once about a young woman preparing Thanksgiving dinner for her family. She was a bit of a rule follower, so like her mother before her she began her preperation by cutting both ends off the ham before putting it into the pan. However, as she looked at the wasted ham she began to wonder why this needed to be done. So she called her mom to ask. "Mom" she said, "why do we cut off the ends of the ham before putting it in the pan?" Her mother paused for a few seconds and then responded "I don't actually know. I'll have to call your grandmother. I've always done it because she did." So the mother called her mother and asked, "Mom, why do we cut the ends of the ham before we put it into the pan every Thanksgiving?" The grandmother curiously responded, "I'm not sure why you cut the ends off the ham, I always did because it didn't fit my Pan." To me this story communicates the power of tradition without truth. That is to say the power of doing something because it's always been done without ever searching for truth or the right way. I was raised within a psuedo pentecostal/charismatic church environment. In which many people (because of a genuine desire to experience God and to see Him move) desired to operate in the gifts of the Spirit. However it was my experience that it often led to strange interpretations and altogether weird expressions. (Now I've made it clear up to this point that the gifts are given to all people, but they are given to all people meaning that God is not going to withhold gifts from some if they are truly desiring. God is no respecter of persons. I do not mean to communicate that everyone has a hidden gift inside of them somewhere and they just need to discover it. No! Seeking is required. God is required. This would make no sense alongside Paul's instruction to eagerly desire the spiritual gifts or his emphasis that God gives gifts as He wills. In my opinion this "discovery of the gift inside us all" approach has caused us to drift into a strange pagan spiritualism not biblical Christianity.) Back to weird expressions, what I mean is this, when we see that Spiritual gifts include things like "words of knowledge" or "prophetic words" or "speaking in tongues" it is very easy to reject the hard strict understanding as taught in scripture in favor of interpreting them to mean whatever we want or rather whatever we've been taught. After all if it means whatever I want it to mean then I can say I operate in all gifts. As I was growing up we had a service called prayer and communion. In it people would come to the front of the church and receive prayer from a prayer team member. Each prayer team member would pray in a more meditative way in an attempt to receive a "word of knowledge." Often what you would hear were things like, "I got a picture of an airplane. Does that mean anything to you?" No connection, no correlation to anything else in life, no clarity from God as to its meaning, just a random word picture and a question that left the whole matter in confusion. Sadly this became the definition of what a word of knowledge was. The truth is, at best, while the prayer team member was praying and "listening" to God, in my opinion, their ADD kicked in and they saw the image of an airplane. Who's to say the next prayer doesn't end up with the image of a squirrel. Remember God is not a God of confusion! I don't mean in any way to take lightly the honest and genuine nature of the person seeking these things. However what has often happened is that they have understood a faulty view of Spiritual gifts, it's been reinforced by a pastor and then they practice this nonsense. Sadly when this "word of knowledge" is taken as something meaningful from God the hearer then validates this false interpretation of what a word of knowledge is. In truth it's no more significant then when we get goosebumps upon a mere coincidence. And by the way coincidence does happen. Solomon tells us in scripture that time and chance happen to us all. Back to the point... So where does this put us with say, a word of knowledge? We must 1st begin with the definition of the biblical word knowledge. It's from the Greek word gnosis which signifies general intelligence and understanding. More importantly (within our context) we would understand that it means a general knowledge of Christian life, of lawful and unlawful things for followers of Christ including moral wisdom such as "right living." Within the context of the letter written to the Corinthian church (who were struggling with immorality) Paul himself speaks a word of knowledge that these people have gone off the rails. Another way of saying it is that these people should have known these truths but it required a special voice speaking into their lives. Anyone who believes in the inspiration of scripture would realize that this very letter written to the Corinthians was a kind of word of knowledge given by the Spirit to the people. We've all had what we call "aha" moments. These are moments when a truth is spoken to us and it's in such a clear and profound way that we just sit back in awe and we say, "aha!". This is what happens when a true word of knowledge is communicated. Not when somebody's ADD communicates they saw an airplane. With respect to words of knowledge and many other spiritual gifts what we have done is the equivalent of cutting the ends off a ham solely because we've always seen it done that way. It's time to call grandma, or rather it's time to rightly divide the word of truth to find out what these gifts truly are and how they work. Here's my theory: there are many within the church that operate in accordance with true spiritual gifts. The problem... they never knew they were operating in it because according to modern definitions it's not weird enough or "spiritual" enough or what have you. Last thing, I hope we all know as Christians that the devil is the father of lies. One of the best ways a liar can continue to hold people within their prison is by confusing them with false ideas. The devil doesn't want us to understand what it looks like to truly operate in Spiritual gifts because he doesn't want our common good. He doesn't want to see God's church edified and built up. He's quite happy and amused when we continue to walk around in our strange pagan spirituality knowing that none of it actually helps us. Questions: What's the difference between wisdom and knowledge? Have you ever spoken a word of knowledge? Have you ever received a word of knowledge? Do you consider the scriptures (take for example Proverbs) as words of knowledge? I love to know your thoughts and ideas so please comment the comment section below or send an email to piercepointchurch@gmail.com

#piercepointchurch #spiritualgifts #knowledge

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