THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT
First Corinthians 12:7-10 is concerning the manifestation of the Spirit, which is the issue of the essential and economical aspects of the Spirit. Essentially, we received the Spirit of life as our essence. Economically, the Spirit descended upon us to accomplish the baptism in the Spirit. Our function comes out of the essence plus the economy. Your physical birth is essential, and your education is economical. After receiving an adequate education, we can do many things, and our doing of these things is our function. This function comes out of our essential birth plus our economical education. In all the corporations people are functioning, and their functioning is the manifestation of their ability.
In 1 Corinthians 12 is the manifestation of the Spirit. First, the Spirit of life regenerated us essentially, and second, the Spirit of power descended upon us economically. Now we are believers regenerated and empowered, so we can function. Our function is the manifestation of the Spirit. Thank the Lord for the regeneration of the Spirit of life, the baptism of the Spirit of power, and the manifestation of the Spirit. The essential Spirit of life is for our regeneration, and the economical Spirit of power is for God’s economy. The manifestation of the Spirit requires both aspects of the Spirit—the Spirit of life and the Spirit of power. The manifestation of the Spirit is by the Spirit of both life and power.
First Corinthians 12:7 says, "But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for profit." This is mainly for the profit of others, for the profit of the church’s building up, not mainly for our own profit. Verse 8 tells us that to one through the Spirit is given a word of wisdom and to another a word of knowledge. The word of wisdom is the topmost aspect of the manifestation of the Spirit. A dead thing could never have wisdom. A computer is marvelous, but it cannot have wisdom. To have wisdom, you must be a living person, and you need to be mature. There is the need of the stature of life through the growth in life. Older people generally have more wisdom because wisdom comes from the stature of life, from the maturity of life.
We need to realize, though, that wisdom is much higher than knowledge. Wisdom in 1 Corinthians refers to Christ as the deeper things of God predestined by God for our portion (1:24, 30; 2:6-10). The deeper things of God are Christ. God foreordained that Christ as the deeper things of God would be our portion today. We have already seen that the Son came with the Father and by the Spirit to be with us. This is the word of wisdom. Wisdom is deeper than knowledge. Knowledge is simple; wisdom is profound. In a meeting for ministry some words are words of wisdom, and some words are words of knowledge. The word of wisdom and the word of knowledge are the first two items of the Spirit’s manifestation.
I have been asked in the past whether or not we have the manifestation of the Spirit in our meetings. What these persons meant by the manifestation of the Spirit was speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophesying, healing the sick, and performing other miracles. When they asked me whether or not we had the manifestation of the Spirit in our meetings, I pointed out to them from the Word that the topmost items of the manifestation of the Spirit are not speaking in tongues or interpretation of tongues but the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. In every meeting the first manifestation of the Spirit we have is the word of wisdom and then the word of knowledge.
(The Divine Economy, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)