The three Revelation Gifts of the Spirit, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, are:
- Word of Wisdom
- Word of Knowledge
- Discerning of spirits
Definition of the Word of Wisdom
Defined as: “The word” of wisdom from God concerning a particular situation, circumstance or subject.
It’s not just natural wisdom, but it is a directional word from God as to what to do in a specific matter.
The Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge often go hand in hand. They are dual gifts. Those who have the Gift of the Word of Wisdom usually also have the Gift of the Word of Knowledge.
Knowledge is a revelation of facts and information about a person or matter. Wisdom is knowledge in action. Wisdom is knowing what to do with that information. A Word of Wisdom tells one what to do in a given situation.
A good example of the Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge working together in action given by Jesus in His earthly ministry was in the account of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:6-30) who was an outcast. His Word of Knowledge was that she had had five husbands, and the man she was now living with was not her husband. His Word of Wisdom was that those who drank from Jacob’s well would thirst again, but the water He would give them they would never thirst again (the water speaking of the Holy Spirit). Jesus also told her that God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.
After Jesus had a Word of Knowledge about her life, He spoke with the Word of Wisdom and told her what she needed to do to find the love, satisfaction and wholeness in her life. She responded by going into the town and telling everyone that she met a man who told her everything she had ever done, and that He was the Christ. Everyone then came from the town to see Jesus.
There are five primary ways in which the Word of Wisdom is manifested:
- By the Holy Spirit speaking within
- As a revealed application of Scripture
- By an audible voice or an angel
- By dreams, visions and trances
- By the unanimity of the Spirit among spiritual leaders
Definition of the Word of Knowledge
Defined as: A fragment of supernatural knowledge imparted to a person with this Gift concerning facts, details and information about someone else or a situation that you would normally have no knowledge of.
Six examples of the Word of Knowledge involves:
- Facts about the past, present or future – John 1:1-5
- Whereabouts of men – Acts 9:10-18
- The inner thoughts, or plans, of men’s hearts – Luke 5:22
- Warning of coming danger – Acts 20:28-30
- Exposing hypocrisy – Luke 12:1-12
- Revealing deception – Acts 5:1-10
The Word of Knowledge could include knowledge about someone’s personal life, business or ministry. This Gift is not meant to embarrass or discredit anyone, but it is God’s way of letting that person know that He is aware of and understands their situation, and that He cares.
There are four primary ways the Word of Knowledge is manifested:
- Impression by the Holy Spirit
- Vision or dream
- Quickening of Scripture
- Audible voice
Guidelines in operating in the Word of Knowledge:
- Privacy and confidentiality is essential if a word of knowledge is for an individual.
- Avoid pride. Our own words should be few and humble.
- When receiving a word of knowledge, ask God for wisdom in what to do with that knowledge.
Definition of Discerning of Spirits
Defined as: To perceive, distinguish or recognize the spirits which are behind manifestations, activities, or people’s behavior. It is a supernatural God-given ability. The spirits could be angels, demons, or the human spirit. This gift shows you what is of God, or what is of the devil, or what is of human flesh.
Prophets, seers and intercessors usually have this gift. God shows them the spirits behind people’s behavior, the spirits governing cities, government, education, economics, the arts and entertainment industry, churches and nations.
The Bible reveals several things about the spirit world. Five of them include:
- The Bible confirms the fact that the spirit world exists.
- The spirit world is more real than the physical realm we live in.
- The Bible teaches that God is a Spirit, and His entire realm is spirit realm.
- The realm of Satan is also a spirit realm.
- Mankind has a spirit which will live forever (whether in Heaven or Hell depending on whether or not one has accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior).
In light of the purpose of discerning of spirits, how would the church be affected if this gift did not operate?
Answer: Deception and false prophets would go unrecognized and enter right into the church.
There are examples of the operation of the Gift of Discerning of spirits in the Word of God.
- In 2 Kings 6:16-17, Elisha literally saw the angelic armies of the Lord surrounding them.
- In Matthew 12:25, Jesus discerned the spirits of the Scribes and Pharisees.
- In Acts 5:3, Peter discerned the lying spirits of Ananias and Sapphira.
- In Acts 16:16-18, Paul discerned the spirit of divination operating through a young woman and he cast it out of her.