There is a marked difference between the different inspirational and revelational gifts of the Spirit. Inspirational or "utterance" gifts happen by way of a spontaneous unction of the Spirit of God. They are prophecy, tongues and interpretation, and divers tongues. Prophecy is not something you think up, and then get up and prophesy in church. Prophecy is actually a "spontaneous bubbling forth". It takes FAITH to prophesy because we usually don't know what's going to come out of our mouths next, but the words just pour out when we are under or yielded to the anointing of the Spirit of God.
So I don't have to keep looking up references, I suggest you simply read 1 Corinthians 12-14 to confirm to your heart all I'm saying.
Prophecy is powerful to reveal secrets of the heart, and is for exhortation, edification and comfort. The gift of tongues is for personal self-edification, praying according to the mind of the Spirit of God, and when speaking in tongues, we are speaking mysteries by the Spirit unto God. However, when tongues are followed by an interpretation, it is very much like prophecy, and edifying to an assembly of believers, or a local church.
The Bible also tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:22 that tongues are for a sign to the unbelievers. If someone tells you that they do not want speaking in tongues in their church because it will offend unbelievers coming in who might get saved....well, read them that scripture!!! Somehow, some way, God is using tongues as a sign to the unbelievers!
The gift of divers tongues, is a spiritual gift causing you to be able to speak in different languages. It comes upon one who spiritually ascends into the heavenlies to do spiritual warfare. I have had incidences in my life where I had a strong spirit of prayer come upon me, and I found a radical change in the language of tongues I was speaking, and I knew by the Spirit that I was addressing something in the spiritual realm .
Divers tongues also comes upon believers to enable them to give a word, or preach the gospel in a language they do not know in the reality of their flesh life, or that they have never studied. I was quite surprised one time when a brother in the Lord came to visit Grace News Network where I was employed at that time, and told me that I was speaking in tongues in Hebrew! Because he knew the Hebrew language, he knew exactly everything I was saying!
The revelation gifts, which are the word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge, are words that will roll around in your spirit, and usually will address actual events, or issues. When someone comes and can tell you your address, where you work, how many kids you have, and what is ailing you, that is a word of knowledge. When someone comes telling you what to do in a situation, or how to apply knowledge, that is a word of wisdom. These are the revelation gifts. (A lot of what we read of prophetic articles coming forth from prophets in the body of Christ which bring understanding to our times are most often "words of wisdom". If there is an element of keen insight that brings unknown things into the light, that could also be considered a "word of knowledge." I love that old Bible Testament story where the King of Syria was wondering about "leaks", and his servants told him...It's Elisha!!! He was telling the King of Israel everything that was spoken in the bedchamber of the King of Syria. (See 2 Kings 6:11-13) We might say that Elisha was operating in the word of knowledge. He knew words that were actually being spoken when he was in no way able to know them through his natural senses.
I recently had the Lord reveal something to me: The reason that the word of knowledge operates in healing meetings is not just so we can be impressed that the man of God can so amazingly call out our illnesses.
The word of knowledge is meant to be a FAITH builder!!! If God can show His servant what's wrong with you or me, then God can certainly heal us of that affliction! So, the next time you're in a meeting listening to your favorite healing evangelist speaking things by the Word of Knowledge, let it stir FAITH in your heart that God loves you, and He wants to heal you, and that is why He sent His servant to minister to you in such a profound way! Don't be in awe of the man. Rather be in awe of God who works through mere vessels of clay that He might accomplish mighty things to the praise of His Glory!
The gift of discernment is also a gift of revelation. Notice, the Bible calls it the WORD of knowledge, the WORD of wisdom, but not the WORD of discernment. I believe that is because discernment is usually given to us more for the purpose of praying for a situation than speaking out about a situation. Discernment, most simply put, is for the purpose of identifying the root of spiritual activity. It is God's Spirit? Is it from the human spirit? Is it from the soul realm? Or is it a work of the enemy? Is it a counterfeit spirit, or a foreign spirit?
Discernment is not suspicion. Discernment is not sour looks at someone because you believe God is showing you something bad about that person. Discernment is not God's rallying call to start a whisper campaign against a saint of God, or to activate a spirit of shunning. There are things as believers we should definitely shun. I won't get into that here, as this article is already getting longer than I intended it to be. You can find reasons to withdraw yourself from a person in your Bible. Just go to a good concordance, and look up the words "come out", and "withdraw" and you can probably come up with a few more.
Discernment is a gift of God so you can minister TO a person, and bring them to deliverance, and how can you deliver someone if you've alienated them by giving them the refrigerator treatment? No, the discernment that comes from the Holy Ghost will give you a burden to PRAY for a person, so you get a word from God on how you are to proceed to minister to them so they can be free. (For those of you who knew Sister Ellen Gamble, I learned this little lesson from her and so much appreciate that great woman of God whom the Lord used so profoundly in my life in one of my darkest valleys.)
When discernment is operating in a meeting, it will keep things on track and it usually operates through spiritual authority that can identify spiritual intruders that intend to take the attention away from Jesus, abort the purposes of God, or take a meeting off track in some way.
I can recall years ago a church I attended where the pastor had great spiritual authority. It seemed whenever he would go away to minister in another place, something flaky would almost always happen in the church service. It was as if the devil couldn't wait until he was gone to disrupt things. Those left in charge could usually reel it in. But the difference was when he was there, those spirits didn't dare even SHOW up, let alone ACT up!!! Discernment usually flows more often through seasoned saints, and we are trained in discernment by comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (See 2 Corinthians) .
I've also seen people attend a church service convinced they had some special insight and discernment into everything going on when all that was in operation was a critical spirit very anxious to find fault. They would sit there like they just ate 10 dill pickles marinated in lemon juice. Now, what if the Lord truly WAS showing them something wrong, and wanted to use them as His vessel to help fix the problem. Why should any pastor, or any flock trust anyone walking in the door when they don't even feel like they are LIKED by that person??? The walls would go up.
Discernment is not meant to alienate people, or put people on the defensive so that they dread seeing you come to their meeting. It's meant to bring deliverance to people, and set them free from any form of control of the enemy or manipulative human spirits.
So, there you have it....a little bit about prophecy, tongues and interpretation, divers tongues, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discernment.
We thank You that when You ascended up on high,You "led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men". We thank Ypu that these gifts are for today and are expressly given that the body of Christ for the work of the ministry, and that we might be encouraged, edified, built up as we come into the maturity of full sonship, reflecting always the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Give us faith to be used of God as You pour our Your Spirit in our time! We ask this in the Name of Jesus, and for His Glory,
Amen and Amen.
Always in the Lord of Jesus,
Amen and Amen.
Always in the Lord of Jesus,