The Cessation of New Testament Supernatural Gifts - Part one
Study 5 - The Cessation of New Testament supernatural gifts - Part two
Study 6 - The Errors of Tongue Speaking
Study 7 - The Error of Faith Healing - Part one
Study 8 - The Errors of Faith Healing - Part two
Study 9 - The Errors of Demon Possession - Part one
Study 10 - The Errors of Demon Possession - Part two
Study 11 - The Errors of Demon Possession - Part three
Study 12 - The Error of Claiming the Gift of Prophecy
There are nine gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and these are sometimes divided into three classes with three in each class:
1. The Gifts of the Mind or Revelation:
• The word of wisdom.
• The word of knowledge.
• The discernment of the spirits.
2. The Gifts of Action or Power:
• The gifts of healing.
• The working of miracles.
• The gift of faith, that faith that moves mountains.
3. The Gifts of the Tongue:
• Speaking in tongues.
• Interpretation of tongues.
Some Charismatics make a great play upon the fact that there are nine fruits of the Spirit and nine gifts of the Spirit. However, to these nine mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 there can be added those other four mentioned elsewhere, cf. Mark 16:17,18 & Acts 9:40:
i. Casting out of devils
ii. Taking up serpents
iii. Able to drink poison
iv. Raising the dead
We have thus far thought upon the Purpose and the Cessation of New Testament gifts. We proceeded then to consider the Errors of:
Gifts of Prophecy.
As is obvious we have not dealt with these gifts in the order listed above. Next in line for consideration are the errors of claiming 'Words of Wisdom' and 'Words of Knowledge'. These both are gifts which pertain to 'words' or 'utterances' or 'expressions'. You have to say it to have it is the charismatic mantra!
1. The Word of Wisdom, 1 Corinthians12:8: For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit. The Word of Wisdom is often considered by some Charismatics to be the most important charismatic gift, as Wisdom is the first of the seven listed gifts that form the fulness of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 11:2: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. It has been stated by some that this is the main gift of the ministry of the 'Apostles'.
A 'Word of Wisdom' in the ministry of the Lord Jesus is taken to be His preaching and teaching. For example, the 'Sermon on the Mount', the 'Sermon on the Bread of Life', the 'Sermon at the Last Supper', and the 'Sermon on the End Times' are so classed, cf. Matthew chs 5 & 24; John chs 6 & 13. These sermons were intended to give us wisdom, to know the secrets of God, to help us to as a Christian.
The teaching, preaching and writing of the Apostles would also be deemed to be 'Words of Wisdom'.
We have no problem with this. Our difficulty is that there is no warrant for claiming that this gift was to continue in the New Testament Church and is to be exercised today. There are no 'Words of Wisdom' today. There are no new revelations today. God has given to us all that He has to say to us in His Holy Word. God's revelation to sinful humanity is complete. No one today can teach with the same authority as the Apostles. They had a special gift that is not in existence today.
2. The Word of Knowledge, cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8. This appears less often in the Gospels. Examples of it would include occasions when specific knowledge about a person or situation was given to a third party that could not be known otherwise, unless God revealed it.
When the Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly, John 4:18. This was a 'Word of Knowledge'. The woman of Samaria was very excited and went to the village proclaiming: Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? John 4:29.
Again, when the Lord Jesus spoke to Nathanael and said: Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee, this is taken as a word of Knowledge. Nathanael exclaimed in return: Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel, John 1:48,49.
In the times of the Apostles Peter challenging Ananias and Sapphira is taken as a Word of Knowledge. These two false professors were giving the impression that they were doing something apparently good by giving a gift to the Church when in actual fact they were practicing deception, Peter said: Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God, Acts 5:3,4. Both, Ananias and Sapphira died instantly!
Paul's comments foretelling shipwreck in Acts 27:9-12 are taken as another example: Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.
In Charismatic circles 'Words of Knowledge' are claimed when someone claims to have information about a person, maybe in the context of informing them why they are sick, or demon possession or are in need of healing in some way. This is often done by a 'special teacher/preacher/evangelist'. It is akin to the hold that the Romish priest has over Roman Catholics in the past, that was so repugnant to Protestants. Now some Protestants practice a version of it themselves.
Again there is no Scripture warrant for this continuing in the New Testament Church. These things are said to pass away, 1 Corinthians 13:8: Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.