These are the gifts that reveal something, and they include Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, and Discerning of Spirits. We’ll start by defining them in order.
Word of Wisdom is the supernatural revelation of naturally unattainable instruction. It is wisdom from above that is communicated to those who need to know what to do, without any knowledge or insight into a given situation. One could say that it is a gift that offers divine direction from the heart and mind of God. It is much like what one would experience according to Isaiah 30:20-21, “The Lord will give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, but your Teacher will no longer hide Himself—with your own eyes you will see Him. And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” It is supernatural in nature, and is not natural wisdom. It is like having an invisible guide, telling you what direction to go in order to provide a favorable outcome in a particular direction. The use of this gift is like having a guide who leads you and others in your charge into the direction, strategy, and method of operation which God desires, giving supernatural assurance that you are doing the right thing, and warning if you are doing the wrong thing.
Word of Knowledge reveals facts that are unattainable to the one ministering. Again, this is not natural knowledge. If it can be earned, it is not a gift. Having a college degree does not mean you have the gift of the word of knowledge. It is also not future tense, as that would fall more into the word of wisdom category, as wisdom speaks to a future outcome. The word of knowledge is a gift that speaks to present, unknown realities which can only be revealed by God. An example of the word of knowledge can be found in Acts chapter 5:
"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But 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. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things" (Acts 5:1-5).
Discernment of Spirits is different from the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge, as it is limited to the spirit world. Again, this is much more than natural, human discernment. It is to see and hear in the spirit realm, regardless of what is happening before your eyes. With this gift, motives, agendas, and even the type of spirit in operation can be exposed so that the minister of this gift can know what to do. It discerns the good (the Holy Spirit, Angels, pure motives, etc.), but will also discern the evil (demonic activity, corrupt agendas, principalities, spiritual wickedness). The one who is used in this gift often is enabled to “see through” individuals and circumstances, and understand from what kingdom people and things are operating. This is helpful, especially in deliverance ministry, as deception and trickery are often used by the enemy so that the spirit in operation cannot be identified. An example of this gift being used is in Acts 16:
"...a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us which brought her master much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. She did this for several days. So Paul, being "grieved" turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he (the evil spirit) came out the same hour" (Acts 16:16).
Again, the revelation gifts must be balanced by love, or they can be used to manipulate for one’s own personal agenda, judgments, and desires. Spiritual gifts are often mimicked in the demonic realm, which is why we have what the Bible describes as “signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9). As is the case with any spiritual gift, if it costs money, you ought to be suspicious of that gift in operation. Also, spiritual gifts are often used by those who are spiritually abusive or manipulative, and those who seek to control people by manipulation and bewitching. The revelation gifts are helpful in being able to expose those individuals in a way that goes beyond human judgement.
First of all, thank you for bearing with us last week. While it is always my pleasure to host a church in our living room, last week was probably the most challenging we’ve ever had, but your kindness and love made it possible. I told someone that I hardly remembered what I spoke about last week, as I was completely distracted and thought that perhaps I was just rambling through the message. However, the Holy Spirit knows how to get His point across, so I am glad we were able to cover some ground.
I’d like for us to remember a few key points from last week. First, according to Acts 4:29-30, the prayer of the church in turbulent times against the gospel was three-fold:
Another point I would like to emphasize is that the gifts of the Spirit are not for the purpose of bringing glory to ourselves. Yes, through the Holy Spirit, we have access to the gifts of God, but they are not there to make our own name great. They are to make His name great. I would suggest that if you notice that you are becoming proficient in a particular gift (miracles, healing, prophecy, etc…), that you find a place to hide away from the glory of man, and constantly point to our Savior and King, Jesus.
Finally, we will go through several scriptures on the matter of spiritual gifts, but I want to be sure we notice the trend of love being emphasized when the gifts are mentioned:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, 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 accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are 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, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). The nine gifts of the Spirit can be categorized into three categories:
Question: Why do you think we do not see healings, miracles, and faith giftings in a prominent way in the churches today? Feel free to comment below!
P.S.: If you need to reach me, please text/call at 918-523-4623
I don’t know if you are feeling it, but I certainly am. It’s the feeling you get when something big is about to happen, and you are just there, waiting. This country is red-hot right now. Everyone is in the mood for a fight, and no one is in the mood for reconciliation. People want justice, or revenge – and it’s getting ugly. The pride of the USA has reached a peak. Everyone is right in their own eyes. Even in the churches, there are those who gloat and jest about the fact that their candidate “won” the contested, scandalous election. Others are living in fear of what the future holds if the agenda of the sympathizers for ANTIFA and BLM continues to move forward in governance. Truly these are perilous times, but in Christ, we have an advantage that the world cannot have: We are the body of Christ, and as His body, we are gifted.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in various tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who apportions them to each one as He determines. The body is a unit, though it is composed of many parts. And although its parts are many, they all form one body. So it is with Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:7-12).
I have no insight into the immediate future. I have heard prophets speak just like anyone else, and have believed in hope that what they are saying is factual. I have prayed myself, asking God for what is next so that I can warn the church. He has not given me anything except this: Be a shepherd, filled with the Spirit
That was for me, and it was comforting. See, God is not surprised about anything that is happening right now. In this season, it may be wise to ask, not what WE should do, but what YOU should do. Instead of praying for national obedience, pray for personal obedience. Instead of national repentance, pray personal repentance. In going to God, I came to understand the part I play in the grand scheme of things – and that is to care about you, deeply as you obey Him.
Don’t worry about what the enemy is doing. God has a divine strategy to embarrass the adversary. You are His strategy. But for your sake, you will need to be in place. What are you in this story? WHO are you in this story? We don’t have 15 years for you to figure out how to activate your spiritual gift. It’s time, now. Get into place in the body of Christ, and listen to what the Spirit is saying. Find yourself in the gifts of the spirit, and ask God to help you go forward in that gift. This is not the time to hide. It is the time to shine, and become what this time in history is begging you to be. So, join me as a member of the body of Christ and function fully in your glorious role. You won’t regret it.
One more thing: Don't let anyone plant seeds of doubt in your mind that the gifts of the Spirit are not for today. That's garbage theology designed to sap you of your faith and hope. Yes...GARBAGE. Men and women have created an entire world of teachings that are built on the foundation of their own doubt and unbelief. Such individuals are often not teachable, and are full of pride. They also often have a huge platform. God has not ceased His gifts in the church, just as the devil has not relinquished one ounce of demonic signs and lying wonders which he uses against God's people. The Father will not leave us powerless. Please remember that, and pray earnestly for the gifts of God to work through you.
Finally, with all the drama surrounding freedom of speech on social media, 1Body is still free speech. If you are not engaged on 1Body, I suggest you do so. Log in, and encourage the body. You can also join the "Burnett Family Group" in 1Body to communicate, just with our house-church. Remember, it is https://onebody.mn.co/. I’ll see you at Night Watch, tonight. Let’s be ready to pray for His gifts.
So, I wasn’t angry, shocked, saddened or outraged on January 6th. When I heard about the “storming” of the Capitol, I wondered if the elite politicians had finally overplayed their hand. Still, something about it seemed too easy. Like, how could the US Capitol be breached by a bunch of regular citizens? Most of us can’t even storm into COSTCO without a mask, much less the seat of power in the most powerful country in the world. Clearly, evil is at work. There is more to the story. And, the antagonists hate the Church of Jesus Christ.
One thing I have learned in the past four years: DON’T…BELIEVE…THE…MEDIA. We live in a day where the truth is hard to confirm. There are some who benefit financially from keeping people in the dark about a myriad of issues. Sadly, many are deceived, and because of this, good people end up turning against each other. Even among believers, there is controversy and arguing about the election, mask mandates, the events of January 6th, ANTIFA/BLM, abortion, vaccines, homeschooling, LGBTQ, and much, much more. I’ve engaged in conversations about all of the above, and came out winning plenty of arguments, but winning few to Christ.
It is my strong conviction that in the end, the secular-humanist, left-leaning liberal democratic socialists who currently influence this culture will take a more aggressive stand against the church. In fact, if you seek the information, you will see that it has already started and has been going on for years. For holding a biblical worldview, you are being called homophobe, anti-science, racist, sexist, chauvinist, and now, perhaps a terrorist sympathizer. While these things should be true of none of us, the narrative is now set in stone.
How do we engage the issues of our day, and the persecutions of the church beyond our verbal outrage? It should not surprise you that the early church faced the same challenge and in response, they asked for more. I believe that we also ought to ask for more.
And now, Lord, behold their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:29-31).
In the movie, The Patriot, the character Anne Howard stands in the church and says, “Will you now, when you are needed most, stop at only words? Is that the sort of men you are?” My spirit jumped when I heard those words. Is that the sort of men and women we are? How do we function by design as the church of God?
In these uncertain times, I keep wondering what type of action I must take to respond to the issues of our day. See, I am not a politician or lawyer. So, I don’t always understand the political nuances associated with all the controversies in our nation. I am also not a soldier or armed militia member, so you won’t see me storming Washington DC with guns blazing, demanding one thing or another. I am no medical professional, so I honestly don’t have an answer to COVID-19 except to live a healthy lifestyle, and take supplements that strengthen the immune system. As a pastor, I felt that I had preaching, but it did not feel like that was enough. I strongly believed there had to be more than a sermon and a song. Funny thing is, Anne Howard in The Patriot said the above quote inside a church.
See, as church people , we often stop at words. Whether they are sermons, talks among friends, social media posts, or blogs, we have a tendency to believe that our words are enough. And yes...they are powerful, and often right! But, there is more that God wants out of us. Military victories are not won with insults. They are won when brave, skilled men and women use their abilities to achieve a goal. We are those people, but we must avoid being content with complacent prayer and talk. We are the most spiritually powered people on the face of the earth, but we must not neglect the power.
“and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 ESV
We have the Spirit and power for a reason — to cause the faith of others to be established, not in our wisdom, but in God’s power. Therefore, we must use the gifts to strengthen the church, and win the world.
When persecution arose, the prayer that arose was for more boldness to preach the Word. (So much for staying safe-at-home, huh?). God’s answer was to shake the place and fill them with the Holy Spirit so they could do healings, signs and wonders – and that’s the part that takes us beyond words. In the coming weeks, we will be diving into the Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit. We will do so with the intention of praying for and trusting God to operate in these gifts. But first, let’s learn what they are. Tonight, we will start in 1 Corinthians 12. As we progress, we will be studying Romans 12, and Ephesians 4, and many other verses that affirm that the gifts of God are not only for today, but they are necessary for the present trouble in our world. Yes, the answer to persecution and crisis was the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit.
Many believers and churches across denominations follow the Read Scripture App from Crazy Love Ministries. In 2021, I would like us to join the body of Christ in our scripture reading and get through the Bible in a year. It will be exciting to journey through the pages of scripture as a local body, and grow together. This way, we can exhort each other weekly through what God has shown us in our private devotions. It also keep us together, having the study of the Word of God in common. Each day requires about 20-30 minutes of time, and can be done in the morning or evening. Most of us spend more time on Facebook and Instagram, so this should be easy for us to do -- eventually. Spiritual disciplines are not always easy, but in time, it becomes second nature. Of course, doing this together makes things all the more exciting, as we can talk among each other about what we have read for the day inside of 1Body!
Of course, you are free to also read and study as God leads you, but this reading plan will help us to be accountable and diligent in SLOWING DOWN daily, and making time for communion with God, which is vital for your spiritual growth. So, I am asking that we all follow the Bible reading plan in this app so that we can be on the same page. We may have some catching up to do later, as we are now in the second day of the year! But, let’s all do this! We can make 2021 a year where we did a LOT of Bible reading, and a LOT of growing. As we learn about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it will be urgent that we are reading and studying the scriptures, diligently.
The link to the app is below, depending on the platform you require.