3. Knowledge

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"If there is knowledge, it will be done away."
1 Corinthians 13:8

As we saw with the gifts of prophecy and tongues, the apostle Paul spoke of the day when special knowledge or wisdom would be done away with:

"Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away." 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 (NAS)

At that time, before the entire New Testament was written, the congregations of Jesus' church knew things in part.  In the scripture above it says that they knew in part and they prophesied in part.  But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with.

By around AD90, all of the New Testament letters or epistles had been written.  The letters were circulated among the congregations at that time and were later assembled into what is called today the "New Testament." The New Testament is a collection of 27 letters or epistles written by Jesus' apostles and close disciples that record the life of Christ and His teachings.  These writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit with a special knowledge...and also the ability to remember the things that Jesus spoke to them...and the things they witnessed.

Many of the New Testament writers were persecuted, imprisoned or martyred as a result of their proclamation of Jesus and the gospel.  When they died, Jesus' words did not die with them; but instead, they were passed on through the text of the New Testament.

Following are some of the examples of special wisdom and knowledge referred to in the New Testament (the special wisdom or knowledge that would later be "done away").
Examples of Special Wisdom or Knowledge Given By The Spirit
1. When the congregation in Jerusalem appointed seven men (possibly the first deacons) they looked for men full of faith, full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom. It is unclear as to whether or not this was special miraculous wisdom

"But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task." Acts 6:3 (NAS)

"And the statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch." Acts 6:5 (NAS)

"But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking." Acts 6:9-10 (NAS)

2. When Peter (a Jew) was approached by the men of Caesarea (Gentiles), the Holy Spirit told Peter what to do (according to Jewish law, Jews were not to associate with Gentiles):

"And behold, at that moment three men appeared before the house in which we were staying, having been sent to me from Caesarea. And the Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings. And these six brethren also went with me, and we entered the man's house." Acts 11:11-12 (NAS)

3. Agabus was told by the Holy Spirit that there would be a famine all over the world at that time:

"Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders." Acts 11:27-30 (NAS)

4. The Holy Spirit directed Saul and Barnabas to be set aside for the work.

"Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. And when they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper." Acts 13:1-5 (NAS)

5. The Holy Spirit directs the apostles and church elders in Jerusalem:

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." Acts 15:28-29 (NAS)

6. The Holy Spirit forbids Paul from speaking the word in Asia and Bithynia at that time:

"And they passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and when they had come to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas." Acts 16:6-8 (NAS)

7. The Holy Spirit warns Paul of what lies ahead for him.

"And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me." Acts 20:22-23 (NAS)

"And after looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem." Acts 21:4 (NAS) 

"And as we were staying there for some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" And when we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, "The will of the Lord be done!" Acts 21:10-14 (NAS)

The gift of knowledge given by the Holy Spirit would be "done away" according to 1 Corinthians 13:8 (NAS).  The timing of this would coincide with when the "perfect comes" (1 Corinthians 13:10 - NAS).

Is the "perfect" referring to the New Testament scriptures (e.g., the perfect law, the perfect of liberty) being written and available to the congregations?

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:23-25 (NAS)

 For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19 (NAS)

We know that Jesus' words (and the wisdom that would come from them) would abide forever:

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.  Luke 21:33 (NAS)

A Christian is to pray for wisdom...the wisdom that comes from God above:

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. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  James 1:5-6 (NAS)

"Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." James 3:13-18 (NAS)

See also the book of Proverbs for a discussion of worldly wisdom vs. godly wisdom.

Click on "Purpose of Miracles" to continue...

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