Word of Knowledge Q & A


Hey church below you'll find a question from the podcast on Words of Knowledge. I wanted to provide this dialogue here in case any of you have struggled with these same questions. There is no audio for this podcast, sorry.

QUESTION:

Using the airplane example you used; If I was praying for someone and got a picture of airplane and asked that person if it meant something and they replied, "Yes. I'm going to ride on an airplane for the first time and anxious about it." Could that not lead to an opportunity to pray for peace for that individual? Or I got the same airplane example and did have some interpretation could both examples be words of knowledge?

I was thinking about the squirrel reference as well. Let's say you are shopping and you walk by a women. And get a picture of a squirrel....weird right? But you decide to take a risk and ask her if it means anything to her. She says yes it does and that squirrels are her favorite animal. She mentions that she collects squirrel figurines and has a whole glass cabinet full. She proceeds to ask how did you know that and why would you ask. You say well I'm a Christian and I believe God speaks. I feel that it's Gods way of letting you know He loves you and that He knows every detail of your life. Also I believe it's His way of inviting you into relationship. The person over taken with Gods love and how personal He is gives her life to Jesus. Word knowledge? Confusion? Just food for thought. I hear what you are saying. Kinda like the debate. Maybe I'm just wrong and lack understanding.

ANSWER:

First we have to distinguish between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom (sophos) in 1 Cor. 12 is defined as skill or expertise, also the formation of plans. Knowledge (gnosis) also in 1 Cor. 12 is defined as general intelligence or awareness of a thing.

It would not be altogether strange then to say that one could have intelligence and awareness (gnosis) but not have skill or expertise (sophos). What I mean is that wisdom could be defined as applied knowledge but knowledge alone is merely intelligence and awareness. Also the fact that these are Spiritual gifts leads us to believe that this is Spiritual intelligence and awareness.

Now for a word of knowledge or a word of intelligence or awareness via the Spirit, with respect to your example, what we find in scripture seems quite a bit different than that of the modern church's ideas of words of knowledge. Although technically your examples can been interpreted as intelligence and awareness these modern expressions i.e. squirrel or airplane appear at best to be human guesses so as to produce some spiritual phenomenon. The story of Simon the sorcerer comes to mind.

I believe that the scripture interprets itself and thus will give us examples of what God intends by these gifts. Upon a closer look we can see very fine tuned examples of God giving divine detailed knowledge. The examples I have below also prove two alternate points 1. God is not a God of confusion (nor of vague personal interpretation which leads to confusion) and 2. Man cannot manufacture these phenomenon under any circumstance.

Read 2 Kings 5:21-27, 2 Kings 6:9-12, Matthew 16:13-17, John 1:47-50. There are many more but these should help us to start. All of these words of knowledge (intelligence or awareness) could never be construed as human in origin nor are they left so vague that the speaker is unclear himself of the instruction. Notice I do not say that the speaker knows what the word is completely about in all cases. But nothing of these examples has any relation to this modern idea of a word of knowledge.

I'd love to continue this thread so feel free to challenge the ideas I've put forth.


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