This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 27th 2022 by click hereLasya D via zoom. For the audio & video please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.
Revelatory Gifts - Words of Knowledge and Discernment of Spirits
The deepest desire of the human heart is to be known and to be seen. The God who created us alone knows how to meet this need. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the first thing they did was to cover themselves up and hide. So in our own knowledge of good and evil, we chose shame instead of freedom. Isn’t that tragic? The gifts of the holy spirit that we will address today have the power to meet that very need that we have forsaken in the garden, to know God and be known by Him, to see God and be seen by him. We are talking about the gift of the word of knowledge and the discerning of spirits.
Word of Knowledge:
This is a really exciting gift. It works very closely with the prophetic gift and the gift of healing. But we need to be very careful with it. A prophetic word reveals the heart of God while the word of Knowledge reveals the state of man. So we must be careful to bring the word of knowledge with the heart of God. A word of knowledge done right communicates to the listener that God knows them intimately and cares for them.
How does this gift work?
1 Corinthians 2:11- 12 “ For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”
We have access to the unknowable by having access to the thoughts of the omniscient God. I want us to think of the gift of the word of knowledge as a surgical knife that comes to take out something that is blocking you or to pour out something you need. God does not perform any unnecessary surgeries.
Where do we see this gift in operation in scripture?
● 2 Samuel 12 - Nathan Rebukes David. V.7 “Nathan said to David, “You are the man!.... You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.”
○ A slight detour - Heb 12:10 “He disciplines us for our good so that we may share in His holiness” The response of saul v. the response of David. When Samuel bring the word of knowledge 1 Sam 15:20 “But I did obey the Lord, Saul insisted” he was trying to defend himself and cover up. But when Nathan confronted David with the word of knowledge it says in 2 Sam 12:13 “Then David confessed to Nathan - I have sinned against the Lord”.
● Matthew 12:24 - 25 “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”
How to receive the gift of the word of knowledge:
1 Cor 2: 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
❖ Ask for the gift
❖ Be sensitive to the holy spirit - be alert to anything you might sense in the physical or spiritual. You may receive a vision, you may sense heat or pain or something in your body, you may just have a feeling that is not normal, etc.
❖ Use wisdom and ask God about how to bring the word of knowledge. If it is about someone’s sin, take a leader along, do not do it in front of 100 people, etc.
❖ Take a risk.
❖ Be open to asking for feedback.
❖ Don't lose heart if it is incorrect. The gift is for the purpose of loving and serving the other person, it’s not about you.
❖ Sharpen your gift by asking God for more details about the word of knowledge.
❖ Above all, do it in love.
What is the purpose of a word of knowledge?
It is grounded in love for the person and not shame. You’re not taking a machete and cutting the person into pieces. It is a specific word that God has specific grace for the person.
● In the church, God gives this gift to protect connection, holiness and his purpose for our lives. It invokes a response of repentance and draws the person to worship wholeness and holiness. It is NOT to invoke shame, guilt, embarrassment.
● In the world: An opening for the gospel - The Samaritan woman’s testimony John 4:29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”
The word of knowledge is powerful to bring down defences and make way for the love of God and the grace of God.
Discerning of spirits
1 Corinthians 2: 14 “14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. We are spiritual people who live in a spiritual environment that can only be discerned by the spirit. India’s involvement with spirits. That is why this gift is so essential. We need to discern if what we are experiencing is from God, the Devil, the flesh or my own thoughts. This gift gives us the ability to distinguish between the spirit of God, angels, demons, the spirit of man.
Why do we need to discern these things?
2 Corinthians 10: 3-4 “3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” We are waging war according to the spirit. Trojan horse effect - satan parades as an angel of light and we can get confused if we are not spiritually discerning.
Discernment is very powerful because it is the birthplace of deliverance.
Where do we see this gift in operation in scripture?
● Acts 16:16- 18 “As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.” Distinguishing between God and the new age.
This gift is not only to distinguish between evil spirits or good from evil but it discerns the good spirit that is on someone. Barnabus discerned the spirit in Saul when he spoke to the apostles about him. He did the same with Mark. He had a huge fight with Paul over Mark and went their separate ways and raised him up until Paul himself says in one of the gospels that Mark is very useful to him.
How to use the gift:
Discerning spirits is through the spirit and not the flesh. It means that we cannot just examine the physical phenomena and discern what is happening in the spirit. Even though there is usually physical evidence of supernatural activity, it is the effect and not the indicator of spiritual realities. Story of when Samuel goes to anoint the next king of Israel God says that man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. So the way to discern spirits is by the Holy Spirit.
❖ Ask for the continuous infilling of the Holy Spirit.
❖ Be aware of the spiritual realm. Do not assume everything is a demon but ask God.
❖ Speak / prophecy the opposite spirit. When you sense a spirit of fear in the atmosphere… Don't say I sense fear, speak out words of love and confidence in the nature of God. deal with spirits spiritually, not physically.
❖ Pray Mark 9: 28-29 “After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” Eg: Sons of sceva in Acts 19 We gain authority by growing in maturity. We need to be a people of prayer to grow in spiritual authority.
● In the church - Identifying and raising up leaders in the church (Jesus sees Nathaniel - guileless spirit, the apostles choose men who were full of the Holy Spirit); casting out demons and rightly interpreting spiritual phenomena.
● In the world: Shifting atmospheres by discerning/ distinguishing between spirits. 1 John 4:4 “ for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. This is our mandate from heaven. Whether in the church or in the world, we are called to display His heart and His rule on the earth and these gifts help us to do that well.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.