Spiritual Gifts Series
Spiritual Gifts: The Gift of
The Word of Wisdom
Category of Gift: Special Revelation
“For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;”
1 Corinthians 12:8, Page 1796
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The Psalmist tells us that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD (Psalm 111:10, page 969). Fools despise wisdom (Proverbs 1:7, page 1002), but every believer should seek wisdom from God. God intends for every believer to come to Him for wisdom (James 1:5, page 1887): “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” God then tied prayer to faith and stated that you will not receive wisdom from God unless you ask in faith, without doubting (James 1:6, Page 1887). This wisdom which God gives to everyone can be distinguished from the spiritual gift called the Word of Wisdom, because the Holy Spirit distributes the spiritual gifts just as He desires among believers (1 Corinthians 12:7, page 1796). Paul spoke of the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, and provides a list of some spiritual gifts. The way Paul grouped those spiritual gifts within the list provides valuable insight into the gifts themselves and their relationships to one another.
Classes of Spiritual Gifts
1.1 Classes of Spiritual Gifts. Paul used different Greek words to separate into three groups the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. He separated the groups with the word “another of a different kind” (hetero–“ἑτέρῳ”) and distinguished between the gifts of the same group with the word “another of the same kind” (allo–“ἄλλῳ”).
1.1.1 Group One (Verse 8)
Word of Wisdom (allo)
Word of Knowledge
1.1.2 Group Two (hetero) (Verse 9-10)
Distinguishing of Spirits
1.1.3 Group Three (hetero) (Verse 10)
Interpretation of Tongues
1.1.4 Special Revelation Gifts. Special revelation means that God has revealed something otherwise unknown through the study of creation, which also testifies to the glory of God. Based upon the grouping above, we can see that the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge must be related to one another as gifts of the same kind. As gifts of special revelation, they communicate to us knowledge about God and creation which we would we would not have known without special revelation from God. We will see below, the Word of Wisdom enabled apostles and prophets to receive the mysteries of God and proclaim them in the New Testament. The mysteries of the New Testament always include special revelation from God.
Wisdom in 1 Corinthians
2.1 Wisdom in 1 Corinthians. In order to understand the use of the term “wisdom” in 1 Corinthians 12:8 concerning the spiritual gift of “the Word of Wisdom,” we should be careful to review Paul’s use of that term “wisdom” in the rest of the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
2.2 Worldly Wisdom and Godly Wisdom. Paul wrote the book of 1 Corinthians to a group of people converted to Christ through the preaching of Christ by Paul when he had visited Corinth earlier. When he visited there and stayed about eighteen months, he was determined to know nothing among the Corinthians except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:5, page 1783). In 1 Corinthians, Paul distinguished the wisdom of men (“σοφίᾳ ἀνθρώπων“) from God’s wisdom (“θεοῦ σοφίαν“), much like James distinguished between the two types of wisdom (James 3:13-18, pages 1890-1891).
2.2.1 Wisdom of Men Defined. Paul defined worldly wisdom and described how worldly wisdom functions in the lives of unbelievers. The people at Corinth, being Greeks, loved worldly wisdom and searched for it eagerly (“Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom” 1 Corinthians 1:22, page 1783).
126.96.36.199 Wisdom of Men: The Wisdom of this Age. In 1 Corinthians 2:6, pages 1783-1784, we learn that Paul did not preach the wisdom of this age (“σοφίαν δὲ οὐ τοῦ αἰῶνος“). He meant that worldly wisdom is not eternal, but a product of what people deem wise at the moment and within the changing world systems of the moment.
188.8.131.52 Wisdom of Men: The Wisdom of the Rulers of this Age. In 1 Corinthians 2:6, pages 1783-1784, we also learn that the rulers of this age act upon worldly wisdom. Paul meant that rulers govern with wisdom from the current moment in time, and not the eternal and unchanging wisdom from God. The rulers of this age, and their worldly wisdom, are passing away.
184.108.40.206 Wisdom of Men: Crucified Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 2:8, pages 1783-17844, Paul tells us that if the rulers of this age had understood true wisdom, then they would not have crucified the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ. Paul meant that the rulers of this age, acting with worldly wisdom, make terrible decisions, not only rejecting Jesus as King and Savior, but also crucifying Him.
2.3 God’s Wisdom. In contrast to worldly wisdom, the wisdom of God brings great blessings to people. Paul highlights many qualities of the wisdom of God.
2.3.1 God’s Wisdom in a Mystery. Paul claimed he spoke God’s wisdom in a mystery. The term mystery has a special meaning in the New Testament. Peter confirmed this claim of Paul regarding the inspiration of the Paul’s writings.
220.127.116.11 Peter Confirmed that Paul Wrote by Wisdom. Peter linked wisdom to the writings of Paul. Peter wrote: “. . . just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, . . .” [emphasis added] (2 Peter 3:15-16, page 1903). Peter recognized that God gave Paul wisdom to write his letters to the Corinthians. This wisdom represented a revelatory gift of direct communication from God.
18.104.22.168 Paul’s Writings Are Inspired Like the Old Testament. Peter understood that God inspired Paul’s letters, because Peter wrote: “as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (1 Peter 3:16, page 1903). Peter also recognized that God inspired the revelation given to Paul and recorded in the epistles of Paul. Peter meant that Paul wrote inspired Scripture in the New Testament just like the inspired Scripture of the Old Testament.
22.214.171.124 Peter and Paul Wrote about Mysteries. Please notice that the “these things” which Peter mentioned, and which Paul wrote about, concern salvation and future events (1 Peter 3:11-16). We see here that the Word of Wisdom involved receiving a revelation from God of something previously hidden (hidden in the sense that it may have its roots in the past, but now it has been fully revealed through the prophets and apostles of the New Testament), but now revealed for our glory. At least some of the mysteries in the New Testament may be comparatively unknown in the Old Testament; others appear to have been completely “hidden” and a secret, as we will see below. For example, in Ephesians 3:5, page 1829, Paul used the phrase that the mystery was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as it has now been revealed (“οὐκ ἐγνωρίσθη τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ὡς νῦν ἀπεκαλύφθη“) to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit. Because Paul used the term “as” (“ὡς”), it appears to leave room that some roots of the mystery of Christ were known in the Old Testament, but not as the entire mystery of Christ (Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members, and fellow partakers of Christ) has been fully revealed and developed through the New Testament apostles and prophets. As we will see below, God unveiled mysteries by the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom.
126.96.36.199 God’s Wisdom to the Mature. God spoke wisdom among those at Corinth who were mature (“τοῖς τελείοις“) (1 Corinthians 2:6, pages 1783-1784). Paul carefully distinguished between the wisdom of men and God’s wisdom, speaking the latter only to spiritually mature believers.
188.8.131.52 God’s Wisdom: Hidden. Paul recognized that he spoke wisdom hidden in a mystery (“θεοῦ σοφίαν ἐν μυστηρίῳ, τὴν ἀποκεκρυμμένην“) (1 Corinthians 2:7, page 1784). Paul emphasized the hidden quality of the wisdom of God, which Paul was now proclaiming to the mature. Notice here the wisdom hidden in the mystery. God’s wisdom remains hidden until the mystery is revealed.
184.108.40.206 God’s Wisdom: Predestined. In 1 Corinthians 2:7, page 1784, we learn that God predestined (“προώρισεν”) the revelation of the mystery to the glory of the New Testament saints. Again, Paul emphasized that God controlled the timing, means, manner and procedure of revealing mysteries. He also emphasized one goal of such revelation: the glory of the New Testament saints. As they benefit from the revelation of the mystery, they glorify God through their actions.
220.127.116.11 God’s Wisdom: Previously Unseen, Unheard, Unknown. Paul quoted the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to illustrate the nature of a mystery:
“THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEE AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, page 1784.
Many believers have heard that verse quoted, and walk away believing that we have not seen, we have not heard, and it has not entered our hearts all that God has prepared for people who love Him. The trouble is, those folks walked away with precisely the wrong meaning. The very next verse, 1 Corinthians 2:10, page 1784, tells us that God has revealed now all those previously hidden things to believers through the Holy Spirit.
18.104.22.168 God’s Wisdom: Revealed through the Holy Spirit. As with all mysteries, things hidden for long ages past have now been revealed to us through the New Testament ministry of the the Holy Spirit, and specifically through the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom revealing the mysteries of God to the prophets and apostles for the glory of the New Testament saints. The Holy Spirit searches the depths of God. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we know the things freely given to us by God (1 Corinthians 2:12, page 1784; compare James 1:5, page 1887).
22.214.171.124 God’s Wisdom: The Mind of Christ. Paul also indicates that the natural man cannot accept spiritual things, because he relies upon the wisdom of this world and the Holy Spirit does not abide in an unbeliever. As a natural man, the unbeliever cannot accept the things of God, because they are foolishness to the unbeliever. As believers, we appraise all things and have the mind of Christ. Because we have the Holy Spirit working within us and the mind of Christ leading us, we receive and accept the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 2:13-16, page 1784). We have seen that the wisdom of God relates directly to the mysteries God has now revealed. Let us take a closer look at the New Testament mysteries.
126.96.36.199 God’s Wisdom: Christ Crucified. Paul also preached Christ crucified to the Corinthians,
“the power and wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24, page 1783). God had chosen the Corinthians believers to be in Christ, as part of His divine plan to shame the wise and strong of this world, and to nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, page 1783). By God’s action, Christ had become to the Corinthians the “wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:29, page 1783–Christ also became to the Corinthians righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that the Corinthians may boast in the LORD).
188.8.131.52 God’s Wisdom: The Foundation of Faith. Paul continued his explanation of his preaching of Christ in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, page 1783. He denied that he preached with “persuasive words of wisdom,” but rather His preaching demonstrated the Holy Spirit and His power, so that the Corinthians’ faith would rest not upon the wisdom of men, but upon the power of God. Compare the cleverness of speech (“σοφίᾳ λόγου”) which Paul disdained in 1 Corinthians 1:17, page 1782. We may learn from this passage that God distinguished between the wisdom of men and the power of God. In the following passage, Paul explained he spoke wisdom to the mature.
New Testament Mysteries
3.1 The Mysteries and Revelation from God. Please keep in mind that in the New Testament, a mystery always means some truth not well developed in the Old Testament, but now preached by the apostles and prophets of the New Testament (Ephesians 3:5, page 1829).
3.1.1 Only Believers Can Understand Spiritual Truth. Paul emphasized that only believers, that is, spiritual people born again by faith in Christ Jesus, can accept the things of the Spirit, because they are spiritually appraised. Unbelievers simply treat all things taught by the Spirit as foolishness, and they are incapable of receiving the things taught by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:14-16, page 1784).
3.1.2 Jesus and the Mysteries of the Kingdom. Jesus also drew a distinction between the disciples and the crowds: the disciples had been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but the crowds were only taught in parables (Mark 4:11-12, page 1563; Luke 8:10, page 1612). I understand that in some sense, all the mysteries pertain the to the kingdom of God, and we will review the particular mysteries revealed in the New Testament below.
3.1.3 Mysteries and the Spiritual Gift of the Word of Wisdom. So far, we should understand that the Holy Spirit reveals mysteries to spiritually mature believers through the preaching of the apostles and prophets in the New Testament. One of those mysteries relates directly to the wisdom of God, underlying the preaching of Paul at Corinth. Notice that the Word of Wisdom concerns divine revelation of something new and previously hidden. It also involves communicating now that new wisdom hidden from prior generations. Indeed, Paul emphasized that Paul, Sosthenes, Apollos and Cephas should be regarded as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of the God (1 Corinthians 4:1, page 1785). The New Testament reveals several mysteries through the preaching and teaching of the prophets and apostles.
3.2.1 The Definition of the Term “Mystery.” In Romans 16:25-27, page 1781, Paul defined the term “mystery.” He identified several important elements of a mystery. Briefly, the term “mystery” means: (a) something kept secret for long ages past, (b) but now revealed (c) to the apostles and prophets of the New Testament, (d) all according to the wisdom of God. We will examine those elements more closely below.
3.2.2 Mystery: Always a Revelation from God. In Romans 16:25, page 1781, Paul explained that a mystery (“μυστηρίου”) involves the revelation (“ἀποκάλυψιν“) of God, and that revelation cradled Paul’s preaching of the gospel and his preaching of Jesus Christ.
3.2.3 Mystery: Something Kept Secret for Long Ages Past. A mystery always concerns something that has been “kept secret for long ages past” (Romans 16:25, page 1781–“χρόνοις αἰωνίοις σεσιγημένου“). A mystery always involves new revelation from God, with the same authority of the Old Testament Scripture.
3.2.4 Mystery: Now Manifested. While some people think a mystery means something hidden, actually a mystery in the New Testament means something now manifested (“φανερωθέντος”). Notice too that “the Scriptures of the prophets” God used to manifest the mysteries. Just as Peter wrote about Paul, God used the Scriptures of the New Testament prophets and the apostles (Ephesians 3:6, page 1829) to manifest the mysteries (Romans 16:26, page 1781).
3.2.5 Mystery: Command of God. God commanded that the mystery has been made known to all the nations, leading to the obedience of faith (Romans 11:26, page 1781). God determined both the time and the manner of the manifestation of the mystery.
3.2.6 Mystery: Obedience of faith. God intended for the New Testament manifestation of the mystery to lead to the obedience of faith. God purposed to produce obedience of faith by means of the mystery. In other words, God revealed specific truths hidden in the past for the New Testament salvation of those who believed the mystery and lived in obedience of faith (Romans 16:26, page 1781).
3.2.7 Mystery: The Only Wise God. Paul again linked the term mystery to “the only wise God” (Romans 16:27, page 1781). The wisdom of God controls all aspects of special revelation, including the timing, manner, and content of the revelation. Men foolishly tend to worship creatures, rather than accept the revelation of God and worship the only wise God.
3.3. The Relationship of Mysteries to the Word of Wisdom. So, we may see that God used the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom to communicate the mysteries of the New Testament. God communicated those mysteries through the apostles and prophets to the early church, to our glory (even the Old Testament prophets eagerly sought to understand what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow–1 Peter 1:10-11, page 1894; those prophets served us, the church age believers, and even angels longed to look into these things–1 Peter 1:12, page 1894). Now let us look briefly at some of the mysteries communicated by the Word of Wisdom.
3.4.1 The Mystery of the Partial Hardening Jewish Hearts. To the Romans, Paul explained the mystery of the partial hardening of the hearts of the Jews. The Jews had crucified the Lord of Glory, and had rejected the Messiah and His Kingdom. Paul then placed their partial hardening of heart into the larger plan of God. Over three chapters, Romans 9:1, page 1770 through Romans 11:36, page 1775, Paul expounded this mystery of the partial hardening of Israel, resulting in the time of the Gentiles (and their salvation), to fulfill the greater purposes of God.
184.108.40.206 Never Be Wise in Your Own Estimation. Paul developed the relationship of the Gentiles to Israel and explained that God communicated wisdom to dispel ignorance of God’s plans concerning Israel and their partial hardening of heart. God did not want anyone to be wise in their own estimation or uniformed concerning the partial hardening of the people of Israel after Messiah suffered, died and was raised from the dead (Romans 11:25, page 1774).
220.127.116.11 The Larger View of God’s Plan for Israel. Paul explained that God’s plan for the period the partial hardening of Israel started with Israel’s rejection of the Messiah and His crucifixion and ends with His return in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, page 1849-1850). The Gentiles and the whole population of earth then will fall under the severe judgments of God for seven years, and experience tribulation (Matthew 24:1-51; Revelation 5:1, page 1919-19:21, page 1938). Near the end of the Tribulation, Israel will look upon Christ Whom they pierced (Zechariah 12:10, page 1491), and will as a nation turn to Christ and experience the blessings of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:27-34, page 1238), with Christ ruling the earth in His millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:1-3, page 1938). Notice particularly Romans 11:33, page 1775, where Paul linked up this revelation to the wisdom and knowledge of God. Remember, both of those spiritual gifts (the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge) are of the same type in the chart above. They are both gifts of revelation from God.
3.4.2 The Mystery of the Resurrection. To the Corinthians, 15, page 1880, Paul explained the mystery of the resurrection of all believers (1 Corinthians 15:1-58, page 1800-1803). By means of the Word of Wisdom, Paul received this new and broader revelation of resurrection, mentioned in the Old Testament (for example, Daniel 12:2, page 1411), but not fully developed until God revealed it to Paul, and the Apostles and Prophets of the New Testament preached it to the church.
3.4.3 The Mystery of God’s Will. To the Ephesians, Paul declared that in all wisdom and insight (“φρονήσει”) God made known to us the mystery of His will, so that we would understand the “administration suitable to the fullness of times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth” (Ephesians 1:8-10, page 1827). This sweeping revelation allows us not only to know about the redemption we have in Christ, but also the outworking of the plan of God for the Church and His people. God’s will controls history and brings history to God’s intended plans.
3.4.4 The Mystery of the Gentiles. Also to the Ephesians, Paul described the mystery that Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body of Christ, and fellow partakers of the promise of Christ Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:3-6, page 1829). We see that God now reveals the participation and role of the Gentiles in the program of God. To make that revelation, God used the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom with Paul, and worked through the vision to Peter at Joppa concerning unclean animals (10:9, page 1718 through Acts 10:48, page 1721), which may be an example of one way God communicates the Word of Wisdom through a vision. Please keep in mind that Paul told the Galatians that he received the Gospel by direct revelation from God (Galatians 1:12, Page 1819). Through Paul, God “brought to light what is the administration of the mystery of which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” [emphasis added] (Ephesians 3:9-10, pages 1829-1830).
3.4.5 The Mystery of Christ and the Church. Also to the Ephesians, Paul wrote about the great mystery of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32, page 1833). This mystery concerns the way that Christ is the head of the church, and lives as the Savior of the body of Christ, in the same way that a woman submits to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-23, page 1833). In that way, the church should be submissive to Christ (Ephesians 5:24, page 1833). Furthermore, Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word (Ephesians 5:25-27, page 1833). Christ intends to present the church to Himself in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:27, page 1833). Christ loves the church (His body), and nourishes and cherishes her, because believers in the church are members of His body (Ephesians 5:28-30, page 1833). The church began at Pentecost, when Jesus baptized the believers in the Holy Spirit and so constituted a new assembly of believers called the church (Matthew 3:11, page 1504; John 14:16, page 1685; Acts 1:4-8, page 1699; Acts 2:1-13, pages 1700-1701; 1 Corinthians 12:13, page 1797).
3.4.6 The Mystery of the Gospel. Also to the Ephesians, Paul revealed the mystery of the Gospel and requested prayer for his preaching of it (Ephesians 6:19, page 1834). As Paul taught, the Gospel consisted of the glad tidings of Christ dying for sinners, and being raised from the dead by the power of God, all according the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, page 1800). For everyone who believes in Christ and receives forgiveness from Him, it is the power of God for salvation, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16-17, page 1758).
3.4.7 The Mystery of Christ in the Gentiles. To the Colossians, Paul preached the mystery of Christ in the Gentiles, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27, Page 1842). Paul told them that God willed to make known to His saints the riches of His glory, that Christ would be in them. This knowledge had been hidden from the past ages and generations, but now has been manifested to His saints (Colossians 1:25-27, page 1842).
3.4.8 The Mystery of Christ Himself. Also to the Colossians, Paul unveiled the mystery related to the full assurance of understanding God’s message, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ Himself (Colossians 2:1-2, page 1842). In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3, page 1842). So we see again this pattern of the mystery of God being linked directly to the wisdom and knowledge of God, just as the spiritual gifts of wisdom and knowledge are linked as spiritual gifts of the same kind in 1 Corinthians 12:8, page 1796). Paul considers Himself imprisoned for his speaking forth the mystery of Christ (Colossians 4:3, page 1845).
3.4.9 The Mystery of Lawlessness. To the Thessalonians, Paul warned of the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:7, Page 1852). This mystery concerned the future and the apostasy preceding the Day of the Lord. Before the Day of the Lord, the man of lawlessness must be revealed. He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, page 1852). This mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but is restrained in the present. In the future, when this restrainer will be taken out of the way, he will be revealed. Finally, the Lord will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring an end by the appearance of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8, page 1852).
3.4.10 The Mystery of Faith. To Timothy, Paul wrote about the mystery of faith (1 Timothy 3:9, page 1856). Deacons must be men of dignity, holding to the mystery of the faith (1 Timothy 3:8-9, page 1856). The Bible describes faith as the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, page 1882). By faith we not only receive Christ, but the righteous shall live by faith (Romans 1:17, page 1758 ; Galatians 2:20, page 1821).
3.4.11 The Mystery of Godliness. To Timothy, Paul also spoke of the mystery of Godliness in the life, death, resurrection and glorification of Christ Jesus, and the spread of faith in Christ among the nations (1 Timothy 3:16, Page 1856). Paul declared: “He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16, page 1856). Paul proclaimed this mystery as a matter of common confession (1 Timothy 3:16, page 1856).
3.4.12 The Mystery of the Seven Stars. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus revealed to John the mystery of the seven stars. Jesus revealed that the seven stars John saw were in fact seven churches (Revelation 1:20, page 1915). Jesus again reveals Himself, and explains the destiny of the seven churches of Asia Minor.
3.4.13 The Mystery of the Finish. Also in the Book of Revelation, God revealed the finish of the mystery of God, as He preached to His servants the prophets (Revelation 10:7, Page 1925). We see that some mysteries pertain to events today, and some mysteries pertain to events still future. In all cases, the mystery focuses upon knowledge revealed today, for our glory and understanding.
3.4.14 The Mystery of Babylon the Great. Also in the Book of Revelation, God revealed the mystery of Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the abominations of the earth (Revelation 17:5, page 1933). God devoted two chapters to the destruction of Babylon, and disclosed the mystery of her identity and destruction (Revelation 17-18, pages 1933-1936). He speaks of the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns (Revelation 17:7, page 1934). This judgment upon Babylon, and the related mystery of the woman and the beast, remains yet future, but God wants us to know about it now.
Peter and the Mystery of the Gentiles
3.1 The Mysteries and Revelation from God. Please keep in mind that in the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom provided revelation from God of mysteries. Both Paul and Peter received revelation from God that allowed them to proclaim the mysteries of God. Peter received a revelation of the mystery of the Gentiles, and it helps us understand the working the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom.
3.2 Peter’s Vision of Animals. In Acts 11:5, Page 1721, Peter the apostle received a revelatory vision that all of the animals were clean to eat. He interpreted this vision to mean the Gentiles were welcome in the kingdom of God. This constituted a significant change in the practice of the early church, and signaled a time of spiritual regeneration for Gentiles, while the Jews were provoked to jealousy (Romans 11:11, page 1774). No longer would the Jewish believers in Christ consider the Gentile believers unclean, but rather fellow members of one people of God in Christ. Peter understood from his vision that God was now incorporating the gentiles into the church, and those gentiles were saved and baptized by Jesus in the Holy Spirit just as the Jewish believers were added to the church. Peter used that revelation concerning the gentile believers to help the Jewish believers welcome the gentile believers into the church. So, we see the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom in action.
New Testament Mysteries and The Gift of Tongues
5.1 The Mysteries and Revelation from God. The New Testament identifies the content of the spiritual gift of tongues: mysteries. According to 1 Corinthians 14:2, page 1798 the one speaking in tongues speaks mysteries. Perhaps this single instance of the term “mysteries” (“μυστήρια”) does not mean what it means in every other instance in the New Testament. I find that conclusion very unlikely. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 14:2, page 1498 provides the content of what is spoken during the use of the spiritual gift of tongues. When speaking in tongues, the believer speaks revelation from God (mysteries) to God, and not to men. In doing so, the believer edifies himself, but does not spread the revelation to others because they cannot understand his tongue, unless the message is interpreted by another believer with the spiritual gift of the interpretation of tongues.
Summary of the Spiritual Gift of the Word of Wisdom
6.1 Revelation of Mysteries. With all these mysteries, we see how God uses the New Testament apostles and prophets to disclose truths hidden from long ages past to New Testament believers. God predestined the time, manner and goals of the revelation of the mysteries to bring about obedience of faith to the world. God told New Testament believers things we would not have known otherwise, for they are from the depths of God, and revealed by the Holy Spirit. God used the the Word of Wisdom, distributed to the New Testament prophets and apostles, to reveal mysteries to the Church and recorded His revelation through the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom in the New Testament.
Hallmarks of the Spiritual Gift of the Word of Wisdom
The Word of Wisdom concerned special revelation from God to the apostles and prophets of the New Testament. The spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom allowed those apostles and prophets to write the New Testament and guide the early church. The hallmarks below summarize the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom given to the New Testament apostles and prophets.
♦ The spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom concerns the revelation of something hidden from long ages past, but now is proclaimed by the apostles and prophets of the New Testament.
♦ The preaching of Paul rested upon the Word of Wisdom, and the spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom was bestowed upon the apostles and prophets to disclose the mysteries of God. The gift of the Word of Wisdom always contained a revelation from God, and the content of the Word of Wisdom was equal to the authority of the Old Testament.
♦ The Word of Wisdom allows us to know about Christ, and Him crucified. Jesus forms the very center of God’s revelation in the Word of Wisdom, and allows us to see Jesus triumph over sin and evil in all its forms. God predestined this revelation through this spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom to our glory.
Spiritual Gifts │ The Gift of the Word of Wisdom