Skip Heitzig - 1 Corinthians 12:8
Turn in your Bibles, please, to the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 12. We began last week. And I warned you that though I've done the Bible from 30,000 feet and taught all of 1 Corinthians in one night, and usually we go about a chapter a week, or sometimes depending on where two chapters a week that we would slow down and do the Bible from three feet. Because of the nature of these chapters, these truths. And maybe even the next couple of weeks, we're going to even go to the Bible from three inches. I mean, we are slowing way down. Because it is an area where Paul the apostle says at the beginning of the chapter, verse 1, now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant. So because of that, we wanted to just to slow down and examine some of these gifts of the Spirit.
Now, again, I told you last week, and I'm going to recap just a little bit to get us up to speed in verse 8. Because we only made it through seven verses. It literally reads, concerning spirituals, I don't want you ignorant. The word gifts in your Bible is italicized I believe. It is in mine. It means it was not in the original manuscript, in the original language. The autographs we call them. So it was added by the translators to make it more understandable. Because the subject of this chapter and the next few chapters, the use and abuse of spiritual gifts within the context of the assembly. And that that use should be moderated by love. That's why the love chapter is right in between chapter 12 and 14. So that's the context. But it's literally spirituals. And the Greek word is pneumaticone, pneumaticone. Pneuma is the Greek word for spirit. It's also the Greek word, same word, for breath. And it's also the same word for wind.
So spirit, breath, and wind in Greek all use the same word, pneuma. It's interesting. Because in the Hebrew language, it's exactly the same. Though the Hebrew word is ruak. And ruak means spirit. It means wind. And it means breath. So when he says, concerning spirituals, I don't want you ignorant, the context demands the added word for gifts. Now last week, we told you about the extremes when it comes to spiritual gifts being exercised in the church. We said the far end extreme are the cessationists that believe that spiritual gifts have, as the word implies, ceased, stopped, that they were there only for the early church. Once the entire body of scripture, the New Testament was written, spiritual gifts ceased. We showed you why they believe that. We told you why that's not a good way to look at it. Because the scripture bears out the fact that spiritual gifts, according to the Old and New Testament, especially the New Testament, predicted to go on to the end of the age.
So we talked about cessationism. Then we said the other extreme is sensationalism. And that is people who think that unless there's a wild display of ecstatic utterances and miracles happening all the time, that the gifts of the Spirit are not being utilized or acknowledged. And the Holy Spirit isn't at work. And so we told you last week, it's always important to walk with balance. And I told you I'm not a fundamentalist per se. Though I am very fundamental in the doctrines of the Bible. And I'm not a charismatic per se. I don't identify with that movement, that I'm probably a fundamatic. I'm in between. I like to balance those two extremes and walk through the middle. When we looked at the first seven verses, we noted the gifts of the Spirit are varied. They're various gifts. They're not all identical. There's a variety of gifts.
It says in verse 4, diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, differences of ministries, but the same Lord, diversities of activities, but the same God who works all in all. So we noted that there are a list of nine gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, the first part. When you get to the end of chapter 12, he adds a few more gifts. When you get to Romans chapter 12, Ephesians chapter 4, a few more gifts are added. So in totality, there are between some say 18 gifts. Some say 21 gifts. I sort of lean around 19. But it really doesn't matter exactly how many there are. There's an infinite number of combinations. Because typically, gifts aren't just singular. There's a multiplicity of them working simultaneously. And I want to demonstrate that a little bit tonight. But you can see that one gift, the same gift in five different people, are going to act five different ways depending on the personality and depending on what other gifts might be present in that person's makeup.
So that there's differences of operation of the gifts. So that's number one. We noted last week gifts are varied. They're not identical. They're not singular. They're not monotone. And then second, gifts are given, not earned. You don't like, if I'm faithful at the gift of evangelism, maybe God will give me the gift of teaching. No, God gives you the gift. You don't earn them or work your way up in the body. You discover the gifts God has given you and whom God made you to be. And you find that out and just enjoy that arena, the uniqueness of the blend of those spiritual gifts in your own life. And then number three we noted last week, oh, and by the way, that is in verse 7. It says the manifestation of the Spirit is given, notice the word given, to each one for the prophet of all. Then in verse 8, for to one is given the word of wisdom. So they're gifts. They're gifts. They're gifts that God, and gifts mean divine enablements, divine enablements.
And then thirdly, we noted last week that gifts are the gateway, not the goal. The gateway, what do I mean by that? Well, I noted last time that the reason God would give you a gift isn't so you would feel fulfilled in the use of your gift. And a lot of people seek that. Well, when I do this, I feel so fulfilled. That's good. But that's a byproduct. That is not why you have it. You have the gift not so that you get edified as much as other people get edified. That's the gateway. So the gift itself isn't the goal. The gift is only the gateway. And the goal is the edification of the rest of the body of Christ. Again, verse 7, the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the prophet of all. Now, let me tell you further about spiritual gifts.
And we're going to begin in verse 8 tonight. If we make it through verse 8 and 9, it will be amazing. But we're going to look at least two gifts that are in verse 8, and then maybe two more gifts that are in verse 9. But we're going to take them gift by gift. Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents. You might have a natural aptitude, a natural talent. You might be musically inclined. Doyle Dykes is very talented. Our worship team has musical talents. You might have an aptitude toward mechanics or an aptitude toward learning languages. But that doesn't require that you have to be a saved person to be musically inclined, or mathematically inclined, or linguistically inclined. So unsaved people as well as saved people can play the piano. Unsaved people as well as saved people can have an attitude in math, or mechanics, or languages.
So it's not the same as natural talents. Natural talents are what you are born with. They're a result of the natural birth. Spiritual gifts are a result of the new birth. When you are born again, God might work with your talents, but give you spiritual, supernatural capabilities that you should learn what they are and let them interface with your natural talents. So for example, somebody might have an aptitude toward speaking. They're not afraid of public speaking. They're good at it. They like doing it. It could be that the Lord would give them a gift of evangelism or a gift of teaching. They would go, those gifts, or prophecy, or the word of wisdom or knowledge, as we'll describe, those spiritual enablements couple well, or pair well, with natural aptitudes, natural talents. But you need to understand that natural talents and spiritual gifts are different from one another, though they can work in combination with each other. You might be naturally a visionary, as another example.
And as a visionary, you're a leader. You're a pioneer kind of a personality. The gift of faith pairs well with that. But again, one is different from the other. A natural talent is not the same as a spiritual gift. So I'm going to read all the way from verse 1 down to verse 8. And we're going to look at these two gifts that are in the eighth verse. "Now concerning spirituals, brethren, pneumaticone, spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that you were Gentiles carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore, I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus a cursed. And no one can say that Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. Now, there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, differences of ministries, but the same Lord, diversities of activities. But it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit to another, the word of knowledge through the same Spirit".
Let's take the first gift in the eighth verse, the word of wisdom. I think we ended last week by noting that a certain amount of wisdom is guaranteed, or offered, to all believers, right? If anyone lack wisdom, James wrote, let him ask of God who gives liberally to all and does not reproach. It will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. So if you need wisdom, you ask for it. But we also noted as we closed last week that there are, in scripture, certain people who were given unusual wisdom. And the one that is most notable is Solomon. It says in the Old Testament that Solomon had understanding, and wisdom, and largeness of heart more than anyone else on the Earth at that time. He was an incredibly wise person. The gift of the word of wisdom is different than what Solomon experienced and exercised. Solomon had an unusual gift as a leader, the third King of Israel, Saul, then David, then Solomon. He asked specifically for wisdom. God gave him wisdom. But it seemed that Solomon had a reservoir of wisdom.
Like at any time, he could just make wise decision or write down wise things. And people would come to him and ask wise counsel. I see in the scripture the word of wisdom as being a supernatural enablement for a very particular time when wisdom is required. It's not a reservoir of wisdom. It's an episode of wisdom. It's a special anointing to say something that is wise to diffuse a situation or to bring something that's just perfect for that moment. Let me give you what I think is an example of somebody doing that in the New Testament, somebody who's unique. And that is the Lord Jesus Christ. And you would expect Jesus to be wise. The book of Colossians says that Jesus was the repository of all knowledge and wisdom. It dwelt within Him. But on one occasion, they came to Jesus. And they said, Rabbi, is it right? Is it lawful? Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?
Now, Jesus called the people who ask Him that question hypocrites. Because He knew why they asked that question. They asked Him the question, should we pay taxes to Caesar, because they knew that they were putting Jesus in a catch-22 situation, a difficult situation. No matter how He would answer it, if you would say, yes, you should or no, you shouldn't, that that would trap Him with certain people. If He were for instance, and say yes, you should pay taxes to Caesar, He knew that he had a lot of people following Him who were very anti-government, anti-Herod, anti-Rome, kind of revolutionary type, who would immediately turn against Him. If He were to say, no, I don't think you should pay any taxes to Caesar, only give your allegiance to God, forget Caesar, well, then He could be guilty of subverting the Roman government and could get arrested, could get into trouble.
So Jesus gave this answer, show me a coin. And He said, whose face is on the coin? Whose mug is on it? Whose inscription is on it? It's Caesar's inscription. Handed it back to them and said, then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God. It says the people marveled at that. They marveled that His wisdom. It was just the perfect answer was just the right thing to say, so wise. Well, where does that play into a spiritual gift? Well, if you remember, the Lord Jesus promised His followers that they would be in difficult situations, but that God would give them wisdom during those situations. Now, I have pre-marked my Bible, and you can turn there if you'd like, to Matthew, chapter 10, where Jesus makes this promise. This is Matthew, chapter 10. I'm reading Matthew 10 verse 16. "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves".
That's the command, be wise as serpents. Well, how do you do that? Listen to what He says. "But beware of men. For they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. And you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given you in that hour what you should speak. For it is not you who speaks, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you". Well, do we see this happening? Do we see this promise happening, this wise episodal kind of experience of speaking wisdom? Yes, we do. In the New Testament book of Acts, Steven, who was one of the deacons in the early church, says he was a man filled with faith and wisdom.
And also in that chapter, filled with power and wisdom. And when he spoke in the synagogue and he gives his testimony in Acts chapter 7, it says, and they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which Steven spoke. He spoke such, this young man spoke such words of wisdom and such Spirit-filled words, it's an incredible testimony. In that moment, God gave him the ability to do that. Later on, we find in Acts chapter 15 there was a problem in the early church. The problem is, how does a person get saved? How do we in a Jewish culture tell people, non-Jewish people, how to get saved? That was a problem. Because Paul and Barnabas had been up in Antioch. They preached the gospel. Gentiles were coming to Christ. People from Jerusalem came up to Antioch and said, unless you are circumcised and keep the laws of Moses, you can't be saved.
So Paul says, let's take this to the council down in Jerusalem. So Paul and Barnabas went down to Jerusalem. And the very first council meeting of the church took place in the 15th chapter of the book of Acts. Paul told them what was going on and this division that had occurred. Because now you have non-Jewish people who don't keep the laws of Moses, haven't been circumcised. But they believe in Jesus. And now you have these legalists saying, no, you have to go through Judaism to be saved. So Peter stands up and exercises, I think, a word of wisdom followed by James standing up and also speaking a word of wisdom. Peter says, why do you test God and place upon the disciples a yoke, which neither our fathers nor we were ever able to bear? So then James, the leader of the council in Jerusalem, says, let's send a letter to the Gentiles in Antioch and say abstain from things offered to idols, abstain from blood, taking blood, drinking blood.
I won't explain that now. I have in the past. They did it back then. Abstain from animals that have been strangled and from fornication. If you do this, you do well. That's all they said. Those are only the things they said to do. You believe in Jesus Christ, don't offend your Jewish brethren by, just stay away from these things. If you do that, you do fine. It says, when they read the letter, they were greatly encouraged by that letter. So there's a few instances right there of the word of wisdom, just the right wise thing to say to quell the disturbance or to give a witness for the gospel. Here's another example of the word of wisdom I believe. And the reason I'm giving you these examples is because unlike the gift of prophecy or tongues, which are written about in detail, prophecy, tongues, and a couple of others, miracles in faith, those are written about in detail in the scripture. These aren't. It just mentions word of wisdom, word of knowledge, et cetera.
So I need to take you to these different portions of scripture. That's why I'm having you turn. Here's another example. In Acts 23, when Paul is in Jerusalem and he's been arrested. And he's been arrested because they brought an accusation saying that he had brought an Ephoesian, a Gentile, into the temple court, the court of the men. It was a false accusation. Anyway, Paul gets arrested. And he is brought before the Jewish Sanhedrin. And they are ready to tear into him. They already started beating him up. The Romans took him. And now he's standing trial again before the Jewish Sanhedrin. It says in Acts 23, Paul perceived that one part was Pharisee and the other part were Sadducees. And so he said this. Men and brethren, I am standing here today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead, faith in the resurrection of the dead. He goes, I'm a Pharisee. I'm the son of a Pharisee. And I am being judged, because I believe in the resurrection of the dead.
Well, at that point, the Pharisees said, we don't see any problem with this guy. He's a Pharisee, son of a Pharisee. And the Sadducees who deny that there is a resurrection, deny spirits, deny the miraculous, it says, the group was divided and instead of trying to kill Paul and fight against Paul, there was a division between the council itself, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And this division caused them to fight and argue with each other. So that sort of quelled the disturbance as far as Paul was concerned. And the Roman soldiers could extricate Paul to safety after that. So he said just the wisest thing to take the spotlight off of himself. So that his life would be spared. So that he could continue in his witness for the gospel. And that set them at odds with each other. So I think all of these are examples of the word of wisdom.
Again, it's not a reservoir of wisdom. It's an episode of wisdom. It's where God gives you the wisest thing to say at that time. How does one get such a gift? Well, you ask for it. And you see if the Lord will give that to you. In fact, I'm guessing that some of you have exercised the gift of the word of wisdom before in your testimony, in your witness, in conversations with people, in some kind of a teaching capacity. And you really weren't even aware of it while you were doing it. But the Lord like, somebody asked you a question. The Lord just gave you the right answer. And maybe you walked away from that situation going, wow, I was really good. And you were really good. But it wasn't because you were really good. It's because a good God gave you the right thing to say at the time. So you ask Him. The Bible says that you have not because you ask not. And so like James says, you ask. Like Paul said, Romans chapter 12, you dedicate your body as a living sacrifice, Holy and acceptable to Him, which is your reasonable service.
And you see what gifts God will give you. But it seems that this gift is given for the ability to give testimony, a testimony of faith, to the unbelieving world or to quell arguments among the believing world in the church, like we see in the examples. So those, I believe, are examples of the word of wisdom. So that takes us to verse 8, the second part. So to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit. To another, the word of knowledge through this same Spirit. The word of knowledge, now, you know that there's a difference between wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom is the application of knowledge. But what does it mean to have a word of knowledge? Well, it's interesting. I have in my study, and I went and looked just to make sure, I counted how many books I have on the Holy Spirit, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit and the life of the church, et cetera.
I have a section in my library. I have 64 books that deal with the Holy Spirit and many of them the gifts of the Spirit. And when it comes to the idea, or this gift of the word of knowledge, the scholarship is evenly divided. On one hand, you have people who say the gift of the word of knowledge has to do with the application of Bible study and teaching. It's associated with the gift of teaching and preaching. And it's the ability to analyze, and to summarize, and to systematize scripture. It's insight that God gives you, knowledge that God gives you, of the word of God. That's how some see this gift. I do not. Others in those 64 books that I have say that the gift of the word of knowledge is a supernatural enablement of knowledge, a spiritual endowment of knowledge. It's not knowledge you acquire by study or by normal acquisition.
It's some knowledge that God gives to a person they couldn't know any other way. They couldn't get it by study. They couldn't get it by natural acquisition. It would have to be spiritually revealed to them. I lean toward that. I lean toward that because of the context of the rest of the gifts. And I also see examples of that in the scripture. And by the way, Dr. Vincent, who wrote some of the best Greek word studies that are available called Vincent's Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, translates, no, that was a different gift I think he was translating. But he sees this the way, I can't even tell you exactly the translation. He sees this as a supernatural endowment, an ability that God gives you at that moment. OK now, let me give you some examples of that. Let's go to the Old Testament. First of all, it was not unknown in the Old Testament, even though it's before the age of grace, it's before the dispensation of the Holy Spirit we might say.
In the Old Testament, there was this unusual prophet by the name of Elisha. Elisha, S-H-A, E-L-I-S-H-A, Elisha, Elicia in Hebrew, was the protege of Elijah, the Tisch by prophet. Remember, one followed the other. Well, Elijah seemed to have the ability to know things that were happening that he couldn't know by study. It was just given to him by God. So in 2 Kings chapter 6 when the Syrian king, Ben Haddad, is attacking the Israelite armies, God revealed to Elisha where the enemy was posting their position. And he would tell the King of Israel. So every time Ben Haddad and the Syrians would mount an attack against Israel, the Israelites would be ready for the attack. Well, this really bothered the king of Syria, Ben Haddad. He goes, I got a rat on my staff. Somebody is feeding information to the enemy. Who is it? Which one have you been ratting and telling the King of Israel where I am? And one of his advisors said, it's not any of us. We're all loyal subjects. But there's a guy in Israel by the name of Elisha. And Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the King of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom, oh king. Nothing is kept a secret. He knows at all. He's the guy.
In 2 Kings chapter 5, we have another example of Elisha having that kind of knowledge. There was a Syrian by the name of Naiman who had leprosy. And he comes down to Israel, because he hears that Elisha, the prophet, can heal people of leprosy. And you know the story probably how he tells him to dip in the Jordan seven times. He comes out whole. And when he comes out whole, he's well. He's healthy. Naiman says to Elisha, man, this is amazing. This is a miracle. Let me reward you and give you lots of gifts and money. And he goes, you keep your gifts. I don't want anything. This is a gift of God. Don't give me anything. So he sends him away. But the servant of Elisha is named Gehazi. And Gehazi goes, man, my master just like didn't take even an honorarium, didn't take a check, didn't take a gift, took nothing. It's like we could have got a lot of money out of this guy. We could have made bank. But he didn't ask him for anything.
So he didn't tell Elisha. But Gehazi ran after Naiman the leper. And Naiman sees the servant of Elisha come. And he goes, yeah, how are you doing? What's up? And he comes down from his chariot. And he goes, can I help you with something? He goes, well, yeah, there's a couple of prophets that have come to my master's house from the mountains of Ephraim. And it'd be really neat. My master asked if you wouldn't mind giving us a couple of talents of silver and some changes of clothes. And Naiman said, yeah, no problem. I'm happy to do it. And so he gave him a bunch of money and new clothes. And he was lying, of course. Gehazi was misrepresenting. Elisha didn't send him. But he gets back to Elisha's home. And Elisha, the prophet, sees his servant, Gehazi come, and he goes, Gehazi, where have you been? Nowhere. What have you been doing? Nothing. And he goes, wasn't my spirit with you when you asked Naiman for those gifts? Is now the time to be taking clothes and gifts of silver?
He knew everything that had gone on, even though he stayed home and his servant went out and was lying. In 2 Kings chapter 4, and I'm sort of working my way backwards, sorry, 2 Kings chapter 4, there was a woman who had a son who Elisha had predicted that she would have a child. This child had died. And Elisha did not know that she had a son that died. She knew that she had a son. He knew that she had a son, but didn't know the son died. And this woman comes and rushes toward Elisha to say, my son died, my son died. And Gehazi sees this woman coming and tries to shoo her away from Elisha. And Elisha says, no, no, no, no, let her come and ask me whatever it is she has to ask me. Because look at her. She is in deep distress and sorrow of heart. Listen to what he said. And the Lord has not told me her problem. He has not revealed it to me. And Elisha was in shock.
Now, just imagine being so tuned in to God that you are actually shocked when God doesn't tell you that kind of knowledge that you can only know supernaturally. And he was shocked. He goes, I can't believe that this has happened and God didn't tell me. And of course, the Lord used him to provide healing. But that is a gift of the word of knowledge. Now, we come to the New Testament. In the New Testament, once again, you would expect Jesus to exhibit knowledge. Because again, He is filled with wisdom and knowledge it says in Collosians. And of course, He did. Classic example, when Philip found Nathaniel and said, I have seen the Messiah, the Son of God. We know who he is. It's Jesus of Nazareth. And Nathaniel says, can anything good come out of Nazareth? Remember that story in John chapter 2?
And so later on, Nathaniel meets Jesus. And Jesus sees Nathaniel coming. And our Lord says, ah, behold, an Israelite in whom there is no deceit. And Nathaniel, sort of shaken by Jesus' words to him, because they had never met before. And Nathaniel says, well, how do you know me? And Jesus said, before Philip talked to you when you were unto the fig tree, I saw you. It was a private experience he had at some fig tree. Jesus knew all about it, told him all about it. And Nathaniel said, oh, you are the Messiah. You are the Christ. You are the Son of God. And He said, you said this because I said I saw you unto the fig tree? Stick around, buddy. You're going to see a lot more amazing things than this, but just that kind of knowledge. Now, you would expect the Lord Jesus to have that. But this is the kind of gift, I believe, that the word of knowledge is and how it is exercised. Back to Vincent and his word studies. Vincent in his Greek word studies calls this a wonder working ability.
Now, let me give you a couple more examples. Peter, in Matthew, chapter 16, remember when Jesus said, who do men say that I am? Who do you say that I am? And Peter said, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus said, blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. Peter, you didn't study this in a book. You didn't learn this at seminary. My Father has revealed to you who I am. Now, I don't know that was necessarily a spiritual gift of the word of knowledge. But I wanted you to see. Here is Peter. Usually we think about Peter as this bumbling disciple who puts his foot in his mouth and says dumb things. And he did quite often. But here's a guy at that moment who had the perception, spiritual perception, that none of the other disciples had. And Jesus said, the only way you could know that is for my Father to have somehow revealed that to you. And Peter knew it. It was revealed to Peter.
Later on in the book of Acts, I think you have an actual working example of the word of knowledge. It's in the early church when Ananias and Saphira sold a portion of land and gave the money to the early church in Jerusalem. They sold it for a certain amount. But they kept back part of the proceeds. No problem with that. The problem was they miscommunicated and misrepresented what they had done to the church. They said they sold it for this amount and that they gave the entire amount to the Lord's work. But they had kept back a portion of it. Now, if they said, look, we sold it. But we're going to keep some to live on. And we're going to give the rest of the church, not a problem. But they lied. And they said, yes, we sold it for this amount. And we're giving this to the Lord's work, all of it, all of it, all of it.
So people thought, wow, what a spiritual couple. So they come before Peter. And Peter said, Ananias, did you sell the land for this amount? Yes. And you gave it all to the Lord's work? Yes. And then Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? You haven't lied to men. You have lied to God. Peter knew what was going on behind the scenes. The only way Peter could have known that was God giving him a word of knowledge. And that's why I say I don't think it's just insight into the scripture, or acquisition through normal means, or the ability to logically systematize spiritual truth. I think it's the ability to know something supernatural about a situation or about a person that you couldn't know by any other means. Another example is Paul the apostle. When Paul is traveling through the area of Asia Minor and he comes to Listra and Derby. So this is found in Acts, chapter 14. And again, I pre-marked it. So I can read it to you. It says, and in Listra, a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking.
Now, listen to this. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, stand up straight on your feet. And he leaped. And he walked. Now, how did Paul know that this man had faith to be healed? He just looked at him intently and said, that guy has faith to be healed. Was it a hunch? Was it some strong impression? Don't know. But it was some manner whereby Paul knew, he had the knowledge revealed to him by God, this man has faith to be healed. And he gave him a command, stand up. Grabbed him by the hand, lifted him up, and the man was healed. Now, here you have an example of several gifts working together. You have the gift of faith. That's what Paul has. No, that's what this man has, the gift of faith. He has faith to be healed. So you have the gift of faith given to this man that God is going to heal me today. You have the gift of the word of knowledge. That's what Paul is exercising. He knows the man has the faith to be healed. You have the gift of miracles. And you have the gift of healing. All of these four gifts working in concert together to do something supernatural.
So there are, I think, several examples of the gifts of the word of knowledge. How does it manifest today? Well, I can't tell you all the ways. But let me tell you personally in my own life. I have seen in my preaching ministry and my teaching ministry the Lord use the gift of the word of knowledge, where I'll incorporate something into my message. And then somebody afterwards will say, can I talk to you? And then I've had on many occasions people say, have you been following me? Has my wife told you about me? Or questions like that, like somehow I had insight. And I was preaching at them, using them as the example. And I felt like the Lord was speaking at that moment. But I didn't know exactly what it was. But it's as if the Lord said, the person says, gosh, it's like the Lord was speaking directly to me. I think there are instances where the Lord is using the gift of the word of knowledge like that, by using that kind of a gift.
I years ago had a friend named Steve Carr, who's now a pastor in northern California. One day, he was going about his business. And he said, I felt the Lord speak to my heart. I just had this impression. And it was like the Lord said, pray right now for your wife. She's in danger. So he stopped. And he prayed for his wife. Later on, he talked to his wife. And she was on the 405 freeway, if you know Southern California, the Orange County area, getting off at Harbor Boulevard when a truck pulled out in front of her. And she almost got in a deadly accident. And she came very close to ending her life. And it was at that moment that the Lord spoke to her husband and said, pray for your wife. She's in danger. And as they coordinated stories, they realized, wow, that was the Lord giving a word of knowledge at that moment for the purpose of prayer.
Now, let me give you a personal example early in my Christian walk. When I was a young Christian, I smoked. I smoked cigarettes. I actually started smoking when I was 10 years old. And I got saved when I was 18. And I did a lot of other substances in between that era, those years. But I smoked. And then I quit. And after I had quit and I was doing really good not having a cigarette, doing really good with it, I was dating a girl. And we were getting to know each other. And she knew about my, I never told her that I used to smoke. But we were getting to know each other, going to Bible studies, growing in our relationship. And then she went on a vacation for two weeks. And while she was gone, just that impulse came one night. It's like, man, I miss a cigarette. And so I picked one up. And I smoked. And then I smoked another one. And for the next few days, I smoked.
And then she came back from vacation. She didn't see me. But she called me on the phone. And she goes, you know, Skip, while I was on vacation, the Lord really laid you on my heart. I go, oh good. And she goes, and I prayed for you during these two weeks. Oh, that's great. I'm glad you did. Prayed for you too. What else do you say? She goes, no, no, no, no, the Lord, I was praying for you. And then she goes, can I ask you a question? I said, sure. She goes, do you smoke? And I went, how in the world, how could she have known? I had quit when I met her. She didn't see me. I never talked about it. I haven't seen her for two weeks. And she gets on the phone. She goes, I don't know. I was just praying. And I just thought I needed to ask you, do you smoke? And I said, nope. Because I just then decided I'm going to completely give it up and walk away from it. That has got to be the Lord who has my number.
Now, having said that, yes, the Lord can give people those kinds of insights with wisdom to say just the right thing, with knowledge to know certain things they couldn't acquire by any other means, just a supernaturally endowment of knowledge. But I will say be careful with that and and don't fall for every supposed example of a word of knowledge. Hey, the Lord's given me a word about you. I've had a lot of those that turn out just to be really flaky. Like, right now the Lord is showing me it's raining somewhere. Yeah, OK, there's probably a good possibility. In fact, it is raining somewhere. Or the Lord is showing me that tonight somebody here has a cold. OK, I mean, that's just so general and goofy. I've had over the years people give me words of knowledge and words from the Lord, either verbally or through mail or email.
I've had somebody say, the Lord is showing me that we're in the last days. This is a letter that came. We're in the last days of human history. We're in the tribulation period of the Book of Revelation. And Calvary Chapel is the great harlot written about in the Book of Revelation. That was the word from the Lord. And so I didn't have an address. I would've said, I've got a word for you. Take your medication. You have to balance out words that people have, supposed insights and revelatory things that people have to say with what you know God is doing in your life, what the Lord has shown you, and what you know of scripture. Because yes, with that girl, the Lord had my number with that smoking thing. And I believe the Lord gave her that insight, that supernatural knowledge. But the Lord has my number too.
And if there's something amiss in my life and wrong in my life, though I am open to the Lord using other avenues and people to do it, I pray every day. And I ask the Lord for wisdom. And I ask the Lord to guide me. So why would the Lord not reveal it to me if I have that kind of an open heart and have to use somebody else? He can. But again, just be balanced. I remember I did a Bible study years ago in Garden Grove, California. And it was growing and growing. And there was a lot of young people involved in that Bible study. And one guy came one week. And then he came the next week. And I could see that he had eyes for this one girl who was in the study. And so he kind of made his way over the following week and the following week to get to know her. And one evening after the study, he went over to her and said, the Lord has shown me that you're to be my wife.
Well, it's convenient, right, to say the Lord has told me you're to be my wife, instead of saying, hey, let's go out on a date. That's what a man would do. Hide behind, the Lord told me you're going to be my wife. Well, I knew the Lord didn't tell him that she was going to be his wife. Because I knew her husband. But he was going, the Lord told me you're going to be my wife. And so she held up her ring. She goes, I'm married, buddy, back off. And he had the audacity to say, well, you've married the wrong person obviously. I'm the Lord's choice.
So I gave him the left foot of fellowship immediately. We got we got him out. Not the right hand of fellowship, the left foot of fellowship, booted him out of the Bible study, told him never to come back. So you can use discernment to find out a false prophet from somebody that has a legitimate word of knowledge and/or word of wisdom. Anyway, there are two gifts. I've only made it through one verse. I wanted to go through more. We'll speed it up as the weeks go by.
But next week, we're going to look at chapter 12, verse 9, to another faith by the same spirit and to other gifts of healings by the same spirit. And I'm going to venture to say we'll even get into verse 10 with the working of miracles and maybe prophecy. But we'll speed it up. Because prophecy, and tongues, and interpretation are given the great detail in the 14th chapter. But word of wisdom and word of knowledge, we just have those titles. But we don't have any descriptive material added to it. So we have to find our way into other scriptures to see how they apply. But anyway, I think I have given you enough that I can feel satisfied that you are not ignorant of these things, brethren. All right:
Father, thank you. Thank you for the ability to go through these with a fine tooth comb and see how these gifts apply, the gifts of the word of wisdom, the gift of the word of knowledge. Lord, thank you for how uniquely you make each person in the church the body of Christ, and how as we open ourselves up to you, you may give us a gift for one season, one moment, one episode that isn't repeated the next day, or the next week, or the next month, but comes intermittently. Then there are other gifts that we find that are exercised frequently. And there's just that great blending of your Spirit. And we marvel and we love to see the uniqueness of how You put it all together in people's lives. Lord, I pray that You would help us to discover how these things work personally and how we can edify one another. So that what Paul said would indeed come to pass. It would be for the prophet of all. And in so being for the prophet of all, it would be to the glory of Yourself. We ask in Jesus's name.