All spiritual gifts work (operate) by faith (not logic) through love.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (NIV)
Now about the gifts of the Spirit (special abilities), brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation (expression) of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message (word; logos) of wisdom, to another a message (word; logos) of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these
are the work (effect; display) of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each (every) one, just as he determines.
3 Categories of Spiritual Gifts:
Word of wisdom
Word of knowledge
Discerning of spirits
Interpretation of tongues
Everything within the realm of knowledge, whether facts, events, purposes, motives, origins, or destinies — human, divine, or "satanic"; natural or supernatural; or past, present, or future — comes within the focal range of one or the other of these three revelation gifts.
God will use revelatory gifts to accomplish many purposes: to lead people to Christ, to build up faith, to heal, to expose the inner heart, etc.
Word of Wisdom (Sophia)
Supernatural revelation of the future.
It is a word from the realm of the spirit that the recipient would have no other way of knowing. It is an instant word for a particular time or person or to accomplish a special purpose.There is no academic or intellectual requirement to receive the word of knowledge. It is a gift operating purely in the spiritual realm. As it is a gift it is unearned.
- wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters
- the wisdom which belongs to men
- spec. the varied knowledge of things human and divine, acquired by acuteness and experience, and summed up in maxims and proverbs
- the science and learning
- the act of interpreting dreams and always giving the sagest advice
- the intelligence evinced in discovering the meaning of some mysterious number or vision
- skill in the management of affairs
- devout and proper prudence in intercourse with men not disciples of Christ, skill and discretion in imparting Christian truth
- the knowledge and practice of the requisites for godly and upright living
- supreme intelligence, such as belongs to God
- to Christ
- the wisdom of God as evinced in forming and executing counsels in the formation and government of the world and the scriptures
- the wisdom which belongs to men
Word of Knowledge (gnosis)
Supernatural knowledge of facts – particularly those in the mind of God about people, places, or things in the past or present.
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them,"Why are you thinking these things?"
Jesus operated in the spiritual gift of the word of knowledge because he knew what they were thinking and saying without a natural explanation.
Operating in the Word of Knowledge
The word of knowledge can be received in different ways.
- Physical Symptoms
The word of knowledge can be received through simply feeling the pain as a physical symptom. This is most often felt in association with the gift of healing.
Of course, as with all revelatory gifts discernment and common sense are necessary... a pain in the chest might be a word of knowledge or it might be a heart attack!
- Empathetic Feeling
Sometimes a word of knowledge is received as an empathetic feeling. An overwhelming feeling which is not related to our circumstances, often experienced in a ministry situation. Whilst praying with someone there is a strong feeling of sadness, or heaviness, or joy. That is the word of knowledge as the Lord allows us to feel something of what the other person is experiencing.
- With the mind
A word of knowledge can also be received through the mind. The mind and thought processes can be used in a number of different ways. It can be through meditation and study of the scriptures, or God may address the mind through dreams and visions or perhaps through a clear word or thought.
- Spiritual intuition
This is when we receive a word of knowledge in the deepest part of our being. We can't explain in words how we received it, we just 'know' it from deep within our being. All we can say is 'we know, because we know, because we know', it is deeper than our rational thought.
Discerning of spirits
The discerning of spirits gives us supernatural insight only into the realm of spirits. Remember, the discerning of spirits is seeing or hearing into the spirit world. It also reveals the kind of spirit that is in operation behind a supernatural manifestation.
This gift has to do with the entire class of spirits, including good spirits (angels), bad spirits (demons), and human spirit. It is supernatural insight into the realm of spirits.
"Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"
"Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
Jesus recognized the spirit which was speaking to him. It is not clear if He saw the spirit of had a word of knowledge. Generally, if you discerned a spirit, you would see the spirit, because the discerning of spirits includes seeing into the spirit realm. If the word of knowledge is in operation, you may know that a spirit is present or is involved in a particular situation, but you wouldn't see the spirit. The word of knowledge is revelation by the Holy Spirit of certain facts in the mind of God.
1 Corinthians 14:3
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
Notice prophecy is not just telling the future.The revelatory gifts often function along with prophecy. Prophecy is essentially the vehicle the other gifts drive. Also note, the spiritual gift of prophecy is not the same as the ministry gift of the office of prophet.
- Spiritual gifts can be taught and learned
- All gifts are within us
- Faith level activates gifting level
- Everyone should operate intentionally in spiritual gifts