THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS OF THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVERS BEING THE WORD OF WISDOM AND THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE
The two most important items of the manifestation of the Spirit in the believers are the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. Those who are engaged in the Pentecostal movement often hold on to 1 Corinthians and refuse to let go. They have not seen, however, that although 1 Corinthians talks about the spiritual gifts, it actually depreciates their value to almost nothing. Those in Pentecostalism uplift the spiritual gifts to the highest place. Yet 1 Corinthians shows us that among the nine items of the manifestation of the Spirit, the two most important ones are the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge, and the two least important ones are the speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues (12:8, 10).
The Scriptures clearly show us that the first two items of the manifestation of the Spirit in the believers are the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. Those in the Pentecostal movement absolutely do not have these; they have neither the word of wisdom nor the word or knowledge. Our meetings, however, are filled with the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. After I started the work in America, I released several hundred messages during a period of only two or three years, and every message was a word of wisdom and also a word of knowledge. Today those who are engaged in the Pentecostal movement are unceasingly speaking in tongues and interpreting the tongues. In Paul’s time, the speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues were genuine; however, most of today’s speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues are false. The tongue-speaking today is merely the sound of the tongue. The tongues spoken in the New Testament were words which could be understood by people; if they were not understandable, Paul would not have talked about interpretation of tongues. If tongues are spoken, they must be interpreted; if what is spoken cannot be interpreted, then it is not the tongue-speaking referred to in the Scriptures.
According to research it was discovered that those who speak in tongues are mostly middle-aged women, yet those who interpret tongues are mostly men. The contents of the interpretations are all about the same; most of them say, “My people, the time is short; I am coming. Be watchful and pray. The gospel must be preached to the whole earth.” Furthermore, although different languages are used, such as Chinese and English, their intonations are the same, and the phrases are almost identical. A later research found out that in America there is a school for prophesying which specializes in teaching people these techniques.
In the New Testament Paul encouraged every one of us to prophesy, to speak (1 Cor. 14:31). This is not to speak the so-called tongues, but to speak the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. First Corinthians 12:8 says, “For to one through the Spirit a word of wisdom is given, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit.” The Recovery Version of the New Testament has a footnote on that verse, which says, “According to the context of this book, the word of wisdom is the word concerning Christ as the deeper things of God, predestined by God to be our portion (1:24, 30; 2:6-10). The word of knowledge is the word that imparts a general knowledge of things concerning God and the Lord (8:1-7). The word of wisdom is mainly out of our spirit through revelation; the word of knowledge is mainly out of our understanding through teaching. The former is deeper than the latter. However, both of these, not speaking in tongues nor any other miraculous gift, are listed as the first gifts and the topmost manifestation of the Spirit because both are the most profitable ministries, or services, for the edification of the saints and the building up of the church to carry out God’s operation” (note 1). This really shows us that our meeting is a matter of speaking, which consists mainly of two kinds of words: the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. These two kinds of words require our labor. The word of wisdom concerns the deep things of Christ, and the word of knowledge concerns the general knowledge of God and of Christ. This requires us to labor on the Word of God, spending more time to study, to learn, to compare, and to know. Then, either the Holy Spirit will give us revelation in our spirit for us to have the word of wisdom, or He will give us teaching in our mind for us to have the word of knowledge. The words we speak in the meetings, that is, the “balls” we use, are of these two kinds: one is the word of wisdom, and the other is the word of knowledge.
(Speaking for God, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)