EXPRESSION OF KNOWLEDGE (WORD OF KNOWLEDGE) - a supernatural revelation of facts past, present, or future which we did not learn through the efforts of the natural mind – this is not to be confused with the knowledge we have acquired through the study of scriptures, Christian writings or other sources of information, including our own experiences. This is a supernaturally imparted Word. If we proclaim a healing or promise of salvation because of what we have studied, we are being presumptuous, not faith filled. True supernatural knowledge starts with knowing God personally, through Jesus Christ. Jesus and the disciples received many ‘words of knowledge’ from the Holy Spirit. See John 4:17-27, Matthew 17:27, Mark 5:36-40, Acts 5:1-9, Acts 3:1-10 (only a few!)
EXPRESSION OF WISDOM (WORD OF WISDOM / WISDOM IN DISCOURSE) - a supernatural insight given to the members of the Body of Christ which reveals God’s timing and method of ministry in a given situation. It explains or illuminates a given revelation such as a word of knowledge, discernment of spirit or the communication of revealed prophecy. This is not the same as wisdom we gain from our experiences in life or intellectual pursuits. It is not to be confused with the virtue (Baptismal gift) of wisdom. The ‘virtue’ of wisdom given at Baptism and affirmed at Confirmation is a lifelong gift which increases in us as we submit to those who instruct us on our spiritual journey. But a ‘word of wisdom’ is a supernatural revelation of God’s timing and method of ministry in a given situation.
DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS – a supernatural ability to recognize whether a person or situation is being motivated by the Holy Spirit, their human spirit, an evil spirit or a combination ofthese spirits. The discernment of spirits is NOT everyday discernment used for making decisions, nor an insight into human nature that one might naturally possess, nor an adept ability to suspect something wrong in the motive of others. It is NOT the natural ability to assess situations. The discernment of spirits is a supernatural gift of revelation given for a specific situation This revelation can come through a vision, a sense, or a specific word similar to a word of knowledge. The gift of discernment of spirits is essential in ministry to people who have been involved in drugs, premarital sex, witchcraft, and other habits of grave sin, when they seek to change their lives. It is also important to pray for the gift of discernment when we listen to teachings or prophecies, read Christian or secular publications, and watch Christian or secular TV programs, movies, videos, or view websites. Discernment of spirits and Wisdom help judge and validate healings and miracles as well as prophecy and words of knowledge. As with the other gifts, a word of wisdom should be sought through quiet prayer before bringing forth what is being revealed. Prayer ministers should expect this manifestation of the Spirit to come forth during prayer / healing ministry. Discretion and compassion to insure the dignity of the person receiving ministry are required. This manifestation gift requires commitment to deep prayer and maturity in the Spirit.