The Word of Knowledge is the Holy Scriptures themselves.
If we are called by God and sincerely repent, committing to “Go and sin no more,” and diligently study the scriptures and zealously keep God’s commandments, following the lead of God’s Word and Spirit: God’s Spirit will guide or lead us into the knowledge of God.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
This gift is about more than just reading God’s Word; millions have read God’s Word and have not retained it, or have not understood it. The gift of the word of knowledge is the actual knowledge itself including the gift of retaining and understanding and remembering it.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father,
God’s Spirit in us will fill the faithfully diligent of the called out, with the knowledge of God; and write the knowledge of God on our hearts and in our minds.
God, every Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God are truth and the light of truth cannot abide any hint of the darkness of falsehood. The Holy Spirit will never tolerate of co-dwell in the wilful sinner.
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The word of wisdom on the other hand, is the proper Godly use of knowledge. Wisdom is learned through the experience of applying [living by] the knowledge of the Word of God.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
As knowledge of God and his Word is a Gift of God’s Spirit; so God can give an increase of wisdom as a Gift of his Spirit.
God’s Spirit is the very nature of God; and God is truth, love and wisdom personified.
God’s Spirit gives the gift of the Word of God and the gift of godly wisdom to those who diligently seek God’s gifts.
Wisdom is found by keeping all of God’s Word and seeking godly wisdom from God by asking for it; and by diligently studying God’s Word and thinking about its application in various circumstances.
Finally wisdom comes through the practical application of every Word of God in our lives and by living by the whole Word of God, day by day, so that we learn godly wisdom through experience.
God gave Solomon the gift of wisdom when he was faithful and submissive to God and when he asked for God’s wisdom, nevertheless Solomon became lifted up with pride and turned aside like Lucifer.
Seek the godliness of living diligently by the whole Word of God; and seek godly wisdom with all your heart; but beware the sin of pride.
1 Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
The spiritual gifts: the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge” are included in the spiritual gifts that are listed in 1 Corinthians 12. What exactly are these gifts and how do they operate?
There are three spiritual gifts lists in the New Testament: Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; and 1 Corinthians 12:28, is the only list that mentions the gifts referred to as the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge” and this is the only place in Scripture that has these specific phrases. Paul does not elaborate any further as to the definition of what these gifts mean nor does he explain their purpose and application within the Ekklesia in this chapter.
The following Scriptures pertain to false prophets/teachers that desire to lead us astray with false claims of being filled with God’s Spirit.
These verses warn us to turn away from those that want to mislead us from God’s truth by claiming that their own thoughts are from the Holy Spirit.
If any person teaches anything contrary to the Word of God, even if they make great claims about themselves or have spoken prophecies which were fulfilled; first check to see of an error has been made or if the person will repent and if the teaching against any part of God’s Word is wilful and deliberate: Reject them immediately and pay no attention to them.
Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 13:4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
Therefore it is good to study into the whole Word of God to learn, internalize and live by every Word of God in truth, so that when we are presented with counterfeits we can readily recognize them as false because we will have learned the truth through diligent study and the guidance of the Spirit of God the Word of God.
If we know the truth of God, that truth will set us free from heresies and we can turn from these counterfeits and the false teachers that propagate them. There are very many counterfeits; the way to recognize any counterfeit is to learn the real thing; then anything which is different from the real thing can be immediately identified as a counterfeit.
1 John 4:4 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
The true purpose of these spiritual gifts is to learn, live by and communicate God’s truth, and to expound upon it!
Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
The apostle Peter was inspired to write in one of his epistles that grace and peace are multiplied (will grow in us) through the knowledge of God the Father and of Jesus Christ; and that it is according to their divine power that we have received everything we need which pertains to eternal life and true godliness.
2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
If we are looking for new knowledge or prophecy from people who are not zealous to live by every Word of God, then we are trying to mix the teachings of the unconverted who are in darkness, with the light of God’s Word; adding the unclean to the clean and polluting the Word of God.
In seeking out advice from the unconverted we are doing what is forbidden by God’s Word, for it is forbidden to learn the ways of the heathen to follow them, and we declare by our conduct that we believe that God’s Word is no better than the words of the wicked.
The gifts of the “word of wisdom and knowledge” have to do with learning, internalizing, retaining, remembering and living by the spiritual truth of every Word of God and have nothing to do with the false traditions of men.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
The Greek word for wisdom is sophia and the Greek word for knowledge is gnosis. The definitions gives us some indication of what these two gifts are about.
Sophia (Strong’s # 4678) sophia: Definition: wisdom, insight, skill (human or divine), intelligence. (Strong’s Concordance)
True spiritual wisdom involves God’s wisdom for right living and relationships, it requires us to have the same understanding that God has concerning how we are to live and conduct ourselves; it refers to a correct knowledge of God or of the things that belong to God, as contained in the whole Word of God.
The true knowledge of godliness imparted by God’s Holy Spirit is quite different from the self-knowledge and often false traditions of men.
Gnosticism or the ideas and traditions of men about spiritual things, is NOT the Gift of knowledge from God’s Spirit
The Greek word for “knowledge” is gnósis (Strong’s #1108) gnósis: a knowing, knowledge doctrine, wisdom. (Strong’s Concordance)
“Gnosticism at its foundation means that man can become God through his own efforts and his own wisdom. All religions are based on Gnosticism.
Buddhism teaches that through good works a person may attain to God-hood. Masonry teaches the same thing as does Catholicism which makes saints [demi-gods] out of those who are claimed to have done good works.
Most religions deny this, but then insist on keeping their own ways, in place of keeping the Word of God. A common example is keeping Sunday instead of God’s commanded seventh day Sabbath.
All human religions are based on Gnosticism in practice, while most adherents are ignorant of that fact. The masses are taught that salvation is by faith and not by works; while also teaching that the people are to keep the teachings of their denomination above the Word of God.
Gnosticism is to exalt the wisdom of man above the Word of God; Gnosticism is rebellion against the Word of God, to do as we want like Eve in the garden.
Gnosticism is the fundamental underpinning of all rebellion against any zeal to keep the Word of God; it means [Self] knowledge; as opposed to knowledge revealed in God’s Word.”
So many brethren are just not aware of how far we have strayed because of the deception that has been brought in over the many years since the days of the original apostles. Because it is the “way we have always been taught so therefore it is right” kind of mentality, the brethren have a hard time of forsaking the traditions of men to come to a true grasp of what God really teaches in His Word.
True revelations, dreams, visions will always, always complement, harmonize and most definitely confirm what God already teaches in His Scriptures.
The people who claim divine revelation, while insisting on teaching things not consistent with the Word of God are in the darkness of gross error and should not be respected because of their departure from the Word of God.
Brethren, we see this all the time and it is more flagrant in some arenas than others and we must look to God’s Word for the truth of whatever we believe in and practice.
The fact that “word” is used in combination with knowledge and/or wisdom in describing these two gifts of the Spirit indicates that the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge” are based on the Word of God.
All true Christians are to have knowledge and wisdom in the spiritual things of God and His truth, and God freely gives these things to His children that are obeying Him and seeking to live by His truth. The gift of coming to understand God’s truth is awesome! it is supernatural in nature and is good cause for us to marvel at the wonders of God and what He is doing in the lives of those He is calling. We can rejoice greatly at receiving this gift which leads us to the way of salvation if we remain faithful to our calling.
1 Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
While all converted persons will have this gift of knowledge of God by the Holy Spirit, sometimes a special gift of extra knowledge and extra wisdom and speaking the words of the truth of God is given to certain individuals.
When receives an special gift of God’s Spirit, the gift is not for them alone, it is to enable them share that gift with others so that the whole assembly might profit from the gift given to a few. It is for the purpose of building up the entire body of believers that sometimes special extra gifts are given to godly people to help them help others to understand the deep mysteries of God.
Some are given “words” of wisdom and/or “words of knowledge” which are the precepts, principles, laws, ordinances of God that are to be communicated by either speaking God’s Word or writing God’s Word to others so that all the brethren can learn more of God’s truth and the teaching (or words) then help others to understand God’s truth more fully. Others may be given other gifts of God’s Spirit which we will discuss further in this series.
The gift of the “word of wisdom” describes someone who can understand and speak forth biblical truth in such a way as to skillfully apply it to life situations with all discernment.
The gifts of the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge” usually function together for knowledge is the foundational material and wisdom builds on it by incorporating that knowledge into skilled applications to any challenge that may come up and in making life’s decisions. “Wisdom is the quality or state of being wise, using knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action, discernment or insight into things.” (Dictionary.com)
This means that through the continual practical application of the knowledge of spiritual things and our knowledge of the laws of God, we learn through practical experience and God’s leading Spirit to make wise decisions and to apply our knowledge of God’s truth to every situation and to every judgment.
The apostle Paul had the gifts of the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge” and he used these gifts to teach the knowledge of Christ and how to apply sound doctrine to all of our conduct and beliefs, expounding the in-depth spiritual intent of God’s laws and godly principles in all of his epistles.
The “word of knowledge” is generally a speaking or writing gift that involves understanding God’s truth with deep insights that come by revelation from God through the Holy Spirit; a deeper understanding to the things already contained in God’s Word and then teaching it to others.
Those with the gift of the “word of knowledge” understand the deep things of God and the mysteries of His Word in more profound ways than those who are newly called or those who do not have this specific gift. It is a Gift of the Spirit and Paul describes it as a grace [gift] from God that was given to him to help others to come to understand the truth of God’s Word; and to turn away from false doctrines and teachings.
Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
1 Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak [impart a higher] wisdom [the knowledge of the divine plan previously hidden] among them that are perfect: [spiritually mature Christians who have been given understanding], yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom [once hidden], which God ordained before the world [decreed before the ages] unto our glory: [that we too may be saved and be glorified as Jesus was (John 17:22)].
The Bible gives us many examples regarding “the word of knowledge” and “the word of wisdom” and there are many instances of these gifts being played out in the lives of God’s servants. We can more fully understand these gifts and how they operate by studying the events that happened in the lives of God’s faithful servants that were given these gifts of the Spirit in the Old and in the New Testaments.
One example is in Acts 8 of the man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, and Philip who was sent to help him. God sent an angel to speak to Philip that he was to go to a certain place.
Phillip obeyed and came upon a man who needed to be guided in applying God’s Word and Philip taught the way of salvation to him. God was calling this man and as the Ethiopian was reading a portion of Scripture, he needed someone to explain the passage to him.
Yes, God could have revealed this directly to the man, but God chose to use Philip. One good reason was so that this man would know that he was not alone in the understanding once it was explained to him.
Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? (Please see Acts 8:26-35 for the whole account.)
Philip helped the Ethiopian man to understand the deep mysteries of God’s plan and purpose. A miraculous thing happened that day as a result of Philip using this gift to help the Ethiopian come to a saving knowledge of the Gospel to the point of being convicted enough to be baptized. This man went back to his country and according to historical tradition preached the Gospel in his sphere of influence to his own countrymen. (Wikipedia)
Back to Ephesians 3:2-10 and continuing,
Paul goes into even more detail as to the purpose of this grace [gift] that was given to him; it was to preach of the “unsearchable riches of Christ” that are hard to understand for most and takes God opening the mind of those He is calling to be able to see. Even then, most will need guidance and teaching by faithful and wise elders, such as Paul, Peter, John, and Philip and so many others who were faithful to do so, back then in their day and down through the centuries.
These gifts of the Spirit, just like all the other gifts, further God’s miraculous works on earth and are instrumental in building up God’s spiritual temple and making a people ready for the soon coming Kingdom of God.
Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Someone with the the spiritual gifts of the “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge” can be described as one who can understand and speak forth biblical truth in such a way as to make complex spiritual matters easier to understand for others.
These gifts often work in conjunction with some of the other gifts of the Spirit just as the “gift of extra faith” is manifested in healing and miracles, etc. This extra measure of spiritual knowledge and wisdom can be expressed in other spiritual gifts such as teaching, exhortation, discernment and in administration (“he that ruleth, with diligence” Romans 12:8)
One example is, of course, in the account of King Solomon who asked for the gift of an understanding heart for the purpose of wisely ruling God’s people and God granted to him the gift of a wise and understanding heart (wisdom) more than any other man that had ever lived.
1 Kings 2:7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 2:8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
2:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 2:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 2:11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 2:12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
A demonstration of his wisdom came shortly after when two prostitutes were brought before him to judge over their dispute as to who was the rightful mother of the living son after one son had died. Solomon was given divine insight and then used that insight in wise handling of the situation that brought out who the true mother was and he was able to judge in her favor. (1 Kings 3:16-27)
1 Kings 3:28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.
In the story of David and Abigail we read how Abigail used great wisdom in the handling of her husband’s refusal to help David and his men, and by her circumspection, she was able to save herself and her household. (1 Samuel 25:1- 27) Her words of wisdom were offered to David as she very humbly gave David advice as to what would happen if he were to take out his anger in slaying her husband Nabal along with the innocent household members and the servants who happened to work for Nabal.
1 Samuel 25:28 I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. 25:29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
25:30 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; 25:31 That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
25:32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: 25:33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. 25:34 For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
25:35 So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
Somehow she perceived who David was and she knew, or had heard of David’s anointing as king by Samuel, and she said to him “the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house” (See 2 Samuel 7). She knew that David would some day be delivered from the hand of Saul and become the king over Israel (verse 30), which means that she had FAITH in God’s promised kingship for David. So she told him “Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live.”
A selfish and foolish man provoked David and it made him so angry that he wanted to kill Nabel and everyone associated with him. Just in time, God sent a wise woman full of godly knowledge to counsel him and save him from a great sin.
It is never wise to make rash decisions based on the emotion of the moment and David was warned about this by this very wise woman. He was about to do something that he would regret for the rest of his life. Abigail showed him the foolishness of slaying a household of people based on being offended by one member of that household.
Abigail convinced David with her words of wisdom to avoid making a terrible mistake that would have been a unfortunate burden on his conscience for the rest of his life and would have given him a reputation as being an unfair and brutal man and therefore not fit to rule. Later, David could say with a clear conscience:
2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
Psalm 72:1 Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. 72:2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. 72:3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. 72:4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
How did Abigail know these things? We are not told but her decisive reaction to her dilemma demonstrated a correct application of the word of knowledge and wisdom, and she offered David the words of wisdom, which were based on the truth of God’s Word and upon godly principles.
Her words totally changed the course of events in the life of David (for the better) preventing him from doing something that would have had detrimental consequences for him later when he became king. Her wisdom also changed the course of events in her own life, saving herself, her household, and her servants; and then a little while later (after she became a widow) she was asked by David to be his wife.
There are many instances of God’s servants and prophets using these spiritual gifts recorded throughout the Old and the New Testament and if we look for examples of how they were used in other places of Scripture we can find many.
Both of these gifts are related and work in tandem with each other in helping to build up the body of Christ. The giving of extra spiritual insight that enables one to speak words of “wisdom and knowledge” are given to some to share with the whole Ekklesia, not merely for personal advantage.
In the early years of the church, perhaps these two gifts were abundantly poured out on the apostles and elders in the Ekklesia. The knowledge of deep spiritual truth that was imparted to them was shared as words of wisdom and knowledge taught in their congregations and written in their letters to help others grow in Christ. The giving of these spiritual gifts to faithful men would have been especially important during the early stage of the growing brotherhood during which many such letters were canonized as Scripture to be preserved for us to this day.
The writings of the apostles are the sharing of these gifts of the Holy Spirit to bless others that were being called at that time and for all the called-out that have come after, right up to our time. Their inspired words of instruction, biblical truth, doctrines, correction, and warnings now make up the Divine Word of God and are readily available to all who read and study the Bible.
In our modern day Ekklesia, it does not seem that these gifts have been given in abundance as the assemblies, is for the most part, are in a state of confusion with many false ministers, infighting and division, and much error has been accepted over the years which the assemblies refuse to recognize and repent of.
The more we internalize the nature of God and incorporate sound biblical doctrine and become at one with God our Father and His Son FIRST, the more we will have peace and cooperation within the body and then the spiritual gifts will be given in abundance.
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
It seems fairly obvious to most of us that the modern day Ekklesia needs more people who are abundantly wise and knowledgeable regarding God’s truth and are fearless in communicating the doctrines and ordinances that are true according to the whole Word of God.
It is up to God to decide who should receive the spiritual gifts of the “word of knowledge” and/or the “word of wisdom,” but we do know that God definitely wants us to seek out His wisdom and to grow in the true knowledge of Him and in godly wisdom.
The more diligent we are in seeking godly knowledge and wisdom, the more God will reward us with knowledge and understanding of His truth.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
The giving of spiritual wisdom by God is also dependent on how much we keep God’s commandments and obey God’s Word in the things that we have already been given knowledge of.
To fear God in a proper way is to fear to disobey Him, and if we have a proper awe and respect for God and all of His ways; we will want to please Him in everything we think, say and do, therefore we will want to obey Him in all things. And as we do, we will be given more understand of God’s Word [truth] by the power of His Holy Spirit.
In Acts 5:32 it says very clearly that God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him, and in Psalm 111:10 we are told that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments.”
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Please see Job 28:20-27 to see Job’s question regarding wisdom.)
If we diligently seek to increase in the knowledge of God and His wisdom and we do the work of studying His Word and seeking these things more than all riches or the pleasures of this world, we will come to have spiritual riches and treasure that are far more valuable than anything this world could offer us.
Whether we are given extra spiritual “Gifts” of the “word of knowledge” and/or the “word of wisdom” that is up to God and only He knows what gifts we should have, but we all very much need the spiritual wisdom that only God can provide. This wisdom is what brings eternal life if we embrace it and wholeheartedly apply it to our lives.
We should seek wisdom diligently, hunt for it and dig for it as if digging for rubies or fine gold; and if we do, we will be rewarded. Peter tells us to grow in grace and knowledge [of the Lord]. (2 Peter 3:18)
Proverbs 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 2:6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 2:8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
Yes, God freely gives the gift of wisdom and understanding but it is up to us to seek, ask for, strive for and cultivate the gifts of God’s Spirit.
Proverbs 25:22 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Isaiah prophesied that when Jesus Christ would come to earth as a man in the flesh, and again as the King appointed of His Father to rule over the whole earth in the kingdom of God, He would have a spirit of wisdom and knowledge; the spirit of counsel and might; and also the spirit of understanding and the proper fear of (awe and respect) for God the Father and that this wisdom and understanding would make Him of a “quick understanding” enabling Him to judge righteously and to annihilate all evil from off the earth when He sets up His kingdom.
Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 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; 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
As we read in the Gospel accounts, there were numerous times that Jesus mightily exhibited the gifts of the “word of knowledge” and the “word of wisdom” especially in his interactions with Satan and then with the religious leaders that tried to trip him up. And not only with them, but in everything He did and everything He said, He showed a “quick understanding” of not only how to answer hard questions and in his dealings with all those that he came into contact with.
Somehow Jesus was able to discern thoughts, motives, hidden agendas and even the fact that the Samitarian woman at the well had had five husbands and was living with a man that was not her husband. He used every situation to teach a message, refute falsehoods, rebuke sin or to bring some wise point to home.
At the very beginning of His ministry Jesus was tempted by Satan and whenever Satan thought he was throwing a curve ball at Him, Jesus had an instant reply that refuted the words of Satan every time.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Jesus knew exactly how to answer Satan because Jesus knew the scriptures and lived by every Word of God the Father. Jesus had a thorough knowledge of all the Scriptures and used the wisdom that they contained to answer Satan, to rebuke him and later to outwit the religious leaders that tried to trap Him with their deceitful questions and accusations.
We also need to be full of the “Word of Knowledge of the Scriptures” when facing enemies just as Jesus did. Jesus said that He would give us words of wisdom to defend the truth when brought before magistrates and kings. These words would come to our “remembrance” just when we need them; if we have studied and learned God’s Word and internalize it into our very natures.
God says that He will give us His words of wisdom and no one will be able to refute the wisdom of those words if we are not ashamed of the Gospel and if we are depending on Him to supply the words.
Luke 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
The key is to ask for and diligently seek understanding from God and to diligently study and live by God’s Word, to the point that God’s Word becomes an integral part of our own being, continually growing more and more in the knowledge, wisdom and the very mind and nature of God.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Those that are maturing in the faith and are growing in the knowledge of God’s Word will be able to rightly put all the Scriptures together on various subjects to correctly discern the intended meaning of the Scriptures. As we fill ourselves up with the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will help us to connect the dots, to see and understand biblical things.
Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 28:13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little…
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit in its complete fullness and He is our example for us to emulate as we seek to have the kind of knowledge and wisdom that He had.
The more wisdom and knowledge we attain, the more skilled we will become in these things.
God can use those skilled in His Word to help others to grow in their Christian walk as well.
James Malm and Constance Belanger
Note- Constance submitted the original rough draft of this article in 2015, which I then completed for posting.