The prophetic gifts are manifestations of the working of the Holy Spirit, and are always in agreement with the heart, substance, and essence of scripture. The gifts, or manifestations, most commonly associated with prophetic ministry are word of knowledge, word of wisdom, prophecy, and discerning of spirits. Speaking in various kinds of tongues with the interpretation is prophetic in nature as well.
“For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” 1 Cor. 12:8-11 ESV
The word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits are gifts of revelation. These gifts are concerned with receiving the truth of “as it is in Heaven”.
Word of knowledge is the supernatural revelation of a fact that is already true in the present or past, and possibly known by others, but not naturally known by the person receiving the word of knowledge.
Word of wisdom is the supernatural revelation of wise advice, direction, or knowledge for future action. Wisdom itself is always future oriented. The word of wisdom is wisdom from God about how to approach or handle some current or future situation, whether previously known or unknown. It is understanding for future action, or the application of knowledge which can be independent of a “word of knowledge”. It is often demonstrated in applying scriptures, insight, guidance, or counsel.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” Jam. 3:17 ESV
Discerning of spirits is not discernment in general, but rather discerning of spirits. This includes the type, name, function, purpose, and/or assignment of spirits (whether good or bad), which are commissioned, present, working or operating, in authority, controlling, inﬂuencing, etc. It is distinguishing the motivating spirit behind certain words or deeds; whether human, demonic, or divine.
Prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues are gifts of communication. These gifts are concerned with expressing the truth of “as it is in Heaven”.
Prophecy is speaking ahead of time, or foretelling, what God is planning to do and preparing the way for it to come. It is an inspired utterance concerning God’s plans and purposes. Prophecy is future potential which is being made known and available.
Speaking in various kinds of tongues is the supernatural ability to speak in languages of men and/or of angels (1 Cor. 13:1) that the speaker does not know in the natural. The gift of tongues along with the gift of interpretation of tongues can manifest word of knowledge, word of wisdom, prophecy, and interpretation.
Interpretation of tongues is the supernatural ability to know the message being conveyed by various kinds of tongues that the interpreter does not comprehend in the natural. It is not normally a word for word translation, but rather it is same message being conveyed.
The three remaining gifts of the Spirit are the power gifts: miracles, healing, and the gift of faith. Never limit the Holy Spirit by only allowing Him to manifest the life of Jesus in the form of revelatory gifts and expression gifts. In fact, the prophetic gifts often help create an opportunity to operate in the power gifts.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.