The Word of Wisdom

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Understanding the Word of Wisdom

Can you tell when a leader’s utterance is the word of wisdom? Today, I’ll utilize four biblical criteria to explain what is the word of wisdom and how it operates.

If you would rather watch the video of this Bible Study, click this link.

Welcome to my blog. If you are just visiting or a returning visitor, my name is Leroy Daley and on this website, I utilize scriptures to explicate scriptures, line upon line, here a little and there a little.

I am going to show from the scriptures how the word of wisdom is different from the word of knowledge. How do you identify it when you hear a leader speaks the word of wisdom?

How do you know that this is it? Stick with me as I go through the scriptures and explain this using biblical examples.

And I hope you will learn something today. So let’s dive right in. If you stick with me to the end, I will have a bonus for you.

What is the Meaning of the Word of Wisdom in the Bible?

Let’s define the word of wisdom. By doing this we’re all on the same page, and the first thing I want to say about this is that the word of wisdom is not a single word. It’s not a word.

It’s an explanation. So it could be a group of words or a phrase, it’s never a word. I know that The Lord is very sparse on words, but it’s not a word. It’s an explanation, a phrase, a sentence or two.

Bearing all this in mind, then, the word of wisdom is a minuscule quantum of wisdom that the Lord gives to a leader in the church to solve a problem he or others are experiencing or they are going to experience. That is the word of wisdom in a nutshell.

So, using these three examples from the church, I am going to demonstrate how the word of wisdom operates in the Bible or in real life.

Four Guidelines To Know The Word of Wisdom

I shall utilize three examples from scripture to explain how it operates. These will include Peter with Ananias and Sapphira; Apostle Paul with Eutychus; and Apostle Paul on a ship going to Italy.

But, I will examine these three examples, according to four guidelines.

  1. First, what is the word of wisdom?
  2. Second, did the word of wisdom come by the Holy Ghost See, (1 Corinthians 12:8)?
  3. Third, did it come through a leader of the Church?
  4. Finally, has it motivated faith in God?

I shall utilize these four criteria to explain how these examples are indeed the word of wisdom.

These Leaders utilize them and we can always follow these and examine them and prove that they are words of wisdom. They are wisdom from God.

Examples of Word of Wisdom in the Bible

First, Apostle Peter with Ananias and Sapphira. So we’re going to read Acts five verses one through twelve.

And I always use the King James version. I think it’s the most complete version and this version has some principles that I admire.

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.”

Acts 5:1

And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

Acts 5:2

Note, that Ananias did not say a word. He did not address anyone.

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled [your] heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Acts 5:3

So at first, we didn’t know what the possession was. But Apostle Peter is telling us now that he sold land and brought the price of it and placed it at the Apostles’ feet.

Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? [A]nd after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? [W]hy hast thou conceived this thing in [your] heart? [T]hou hast not lied unto men, but unto God?

Acts 5:4

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”

Acts 5:5

What Is The Word of Wisdom In This Incident?

So, according to my guidelines, what is the word of wisdom in this example? In verse three, Peter says,

Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?”

Acts 5:3

That is the word of wisdom in this example. Why is this the word of wisdom? Because this wisdom comes not from Peter, but from the Holy Ghost.

How Did The Word of Wisdom Come To Us?

The Bible tells us this. Now, the word of wisdom always comes from the Holy Ghost. So that’s the next criterion.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:8

Remember, Peter is a leader and he’s a Spirit-filled Believer. So here, the Holy Ghost is merely speaking through him.

How did Peter know that it wasn’t someone who had influenced Ananias to do this? But it was Satan who had filled his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?

Peter knew this because he was Spirit-filled. He had the Holy Ghost, and He brought this to his knowledge.

The Holy Ghost Reveals a Secret

The Holy Ghost informed him about this. This was a secret between Ananias and his wife. Nobody else knew.

We will see later on that the scripture said that his wife, Ananias was privy to it. She knew, but no one else knew.

Yet the Holy Ghost brought this knowledge to Peter and hence Peter is saying to him, why are you trying to lie to the Holy Ghost?

Why did Peter say that Ananias was lying to the Holy Ghost instead of lying to them? We will bring this out later.

And this also shows too that the word of wisdom comes via the Holy Ghost. But the back story of this is that in Acts Chapter Four, all the brethren had things in common.

They Had All Things Common

Barnabas, the son of Consolation, had land, sold it then brought the price of it and placed it at the Apostle’s feet.

Then they shared from the fund of money they had. They used that pool of funds to distribute to members who had needs.

Now, Ananias is a part of the church. He and his wife were members of that assembly. They were Believers.

He saw when Barnabas did this, and he said in his heart, Ah, so you are men of God, huh?

Well, I’m going to test you to see whether you are men of God. I will know if God speaks through you.

So he went and sold his land as Barnabas did, came, kept back a part of it, and laid the rest at the apostles’ feet.

Remember at the first, I said Ananias didn’t say a word. He just, laid it there to see how they would react. But the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of Christ in the apostle spoke through Peter.

The Word Of Wisdom Comes By Whom?

Peter, was a leader of the leaders because he was a leader of the Apostles. Therefore, the Holy Ghost spoke through him.

The Holy Ghost revealed to him what Satan had done and what Ananias had done as a result of that action.

He said, “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost and to keep back part of the price of the land?”

Ananias had kept back a portion of the sale price of the land to see if the apostles would know what he did.

That is why the scripture said he lied to the Holy Ghost. The amount he presented was not the full amount.

He is keeping back a part of it and he is not lying to Peter, but he wants to see if God was in them.

If God was speaking through them. So he was lying to the Holy Ghost. So Peter, through a word of wisdom exposed what was in Ananias’ heart.

Now, we can’t know what’s in a person’s heart unless the Lord reveals this to us. And that’s what the Holy Ghost did with Peter.

We Can’t Hide Anything From God

The Holy Ghost through Peter revealed what was in Ananias’ heart. That covers the word of wisdom, the word of wisdom always come through a leader.

Now we have established that Peter was a leader.

In this incident, we observed that Apostle Peter, despite being one of the leaders of the early church was wise beyond natural human wisdom because he was filled with the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is always important in our lives as Christians.

How can we function effectively and above the noise of the world and the traps of the adversary, if we don’t have the Holy Ghost and are directed by the Holy Ghost?

We can’t because we stumble over our own feet oftentimes.

How Did This Word of Wisdom Motivate Faith in God?

So the Holy Ghost communicated to Peter what Ananias had done. He exposed his heart and this motivated faith in God.

Thus, Ananias fell down and died and they took him up and buried him. About three hours later, his wife not knowing what was done came in.

So she wasn’t aware that her husband was dead.

“And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.”

Acts 5:8

Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?”

Acts 5:9

There it is again, to tempt the Spirit of the Lord because they wanted to show by what they were doing, whether or not the Spirit of God was operating through these apostles.

That’s what they were trying to accomplish.

[B]ehold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.”

Acts 5:9

The Words of God are powerful! Words generally are powerful.

Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.”

Acts 5:10

And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”

Acts 5:11

They Were of One Accord

Going down to verse fourteen,

And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.”

Acts 5:14

Earlier, in this Bible Study, I told you that the word of wisdom always motivates faith in God.

Acts 5:14 tells us that “believers were the more added to the Lord multitudes, both of men and women“.

Why? Because they heard about this incident with Ananias and Sapphira.

They heard how Peter, operating through the Holy Ghost, expose what was in their heart and how they fell dead at his feet.

This definitely tells you, it says, and great fear came upon all the church. Great fear came upon all the church and not only the church but upon as many, as heard these things, fear, they were fearful, fearful of God fearful of the power of God, not afraid, but fearing God, in a godly manner; and where you have fear, it will breed faith.

People will start to believe it. Even if they didn’t believe Peter was a man of God before; having heard of this experience, having had this experience, many of them will grow in faith.

Many of them will start to believe, oh, this man served a living God. So the word of God always motivates faith in the hearers.

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Apostle Paul With Eutychus

Now, let us go to the second example. I’m trying to use examples in scriptures to show that the word of wisdom follows four main criteria.

So, we’re going to look at Apostle Paul and Eutychus and we are going to read from Acts twenty verse five to twelve.

Luke writes, “These going before tarried for us at Troas” (Acts 20:5).

And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days” (Acts 20:6).

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7).

So he was long in preaching.

And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together” (Acts 20:8).

Concerning Eutychus What Was the Word of Wisdom?

And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep, and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead” (Acts 20:9).

And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him” (Acts 20:10).

When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed” (Acts 20:11).

And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted” (Acts 20:12).

So this is the background of this. So what is the word of wisdom in this incident?

And this comes in verse 10, where Paul went down and said, “Trouble, not yourselves for his life is in him“.

Who Brought The Word?

That’s the word of wisdom because it’s the Holy Ghost speaking through Paul. And I’ll explain why. First Eutychus fell from three floors up, fell to the ground and he was dead.

The other brethren that were there, took him up. It says in verse nine that he was taken up dead.

So the brethren knew that he was dead because they took him up, saw that he was dead.

Later on, Apostle Paul came down, after it was declared that Eutychus was dead. He went down and fell on him and embraced him and said, trouble not yourself for his life is in him.

Now, how could Paul say this when they had already declared that this man was dead?

That’s the word of wisdom because Paul is expressing the words of the Holy Ghost. This is not Paul’s words, because Paul is going contrary to what everybody else around him is saying, this is how the Lord operates.

The Word Of Wisdom Comes By The Holy Ghost

This is the Lord, the Holy Ghost speaking through, Paul. So the next point is that the word of wisdom comes by the Holy Ghost, this is another spirit-filled leader. Speaking by the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 12:8).

Because some of them took up Eutychus, and he was already dead. They pronounced him dead. But later, Paul came down, fell on him and hugged him, and said, Oh, don’t worry guys he is alive.

How did Apostle Paul know this? The Holy Ghost told him. But the thing I want us to realize is that Eutychus didn’t come back to life immediately as Paul, went down, hugged him, and expressed this.

No, he didn’t come back to life immediately. And how I know this because the Holy Ghost told me too. But the scriptures supply a clue. Let’s go to Acts 20:11.

When Did Eutychus Come Back to Life?

Now, I want you to observe how this scripture verse starts and pay attention to its structure.

When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed” (Acts 20:11).

The verse starts with “when“. When is key at the start, because Apostle Luke wants us to realize at what time Eutychus came back to life.

So, Paul went down, hugged Eutychus, and declared the word of wisdom that he is alive. Then he went back up.

This strategic usage of when tells us the time of Eutychus’ resurrection. When Paul had gone up again; when he had broken bread; when he had eaten; when he had “talked a long while till break of day”, then he came back to life.

Paul Gave The Word Concerning Eutychus

He had been dead since midnight, but he was resurrected at the “break of day” (Acts 20:7, 11).

Then, Eutychus came back to life. He didn’t come back to life immediately.

The scripture told us that Paul continued preaching until midnight.

Now, this happened after midnight, but he was long in preaching tells us that even after Paul went down and hugged hug and there sat and talked for a long time.

The Word that Paul Gave Breeds Faith

Then at the light of day when Paul was ready to depart, Eutychus came back to life and they brought the young man alive and were not a little comforted.

So they brought the young man after Paul had gone up, eaten, sat, and chatted. Eutychus came back to life and they brought him.

And then Paul departed. So we see here that the word of wisdom, came via the Holy Ghost, it came by a leader and it promoted faith in God.

Why? Because here again, can you imagine how these Believers are going to talk about what Paul did at this preaching or at this session?

People all over are going to believe in God because of this.

Even if they didn’t believe that God was speaking through Paul at first, when they hear of this, they will start believing in the God that Paul preached.

Apostle Paul On a Ship

Let’s go on to our final example. We’re going to look at Apostle Paul on a ship going to Italy. And we are going to read from Acts twenty-seven.

At the start of the journey to Rome, Paul gave his opinion concerning the voyage.

He says,

Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.”

Acts 27:10

Now in this incident, this couldn’t be the word of wisdom. Why? Because Paul tells us at the start of this sentence, he says, “I perceive” that this voyage, “I perceive“, this is not the Lord speaking (Acts 27:10).

This is Paul’s opinion of the situation. We are going to see as we continue that when the Lord speaks, Paul explained that the Lord speaks so that we can differentiate the word of wisdom from opinions.

And that’s exactly what Paul did in this incident. Let’s move on to explain what is the word of wisdom in this situation.

The Word of Wisdom On a Ship!

And for that, we are going to go to Acts 27 and we are going to go to verse 21.

“But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss” (Acts 27:21 ).

And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship” (Acts 27:22).


For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve” (Acts 27:23).

Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee” (Acts 27:24).

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).

Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island” (Acts 27:26).

So there you have it. Paul declared unto them that this wasn’t his opinion.

This Wasn’t Paul’s Opinion

Now, this was the word of God.

What is the word of wisdom in this situation?

And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.”

Acts 27:22

That’s the word of wisdom and remember, the word of wisdom always comes via the Holy Ghost.

Therefore, Paul explained that an angel of God spoke to him. That’s the Holy Ghost.

Remember what’s an angel, a spirit from God. So there’s no distinction between the Holy Ghost and the angel from God, they are from the same source.

They are both from God. So an angel of God gave Paul that word of wisdom.

This Word Of Wisdom Came By Whom?

And Paul shared it with them. This last pronouncement of Paul is different from the first one because, in the first one, he explained what he perceived; now, he is explaining that it was conveyed to him by God. So there we have it.

The word of wisdom comes through an angel of God.

However, there are two words of wisdom in this instance. If we continue to look at verse 27, the angel says,

… Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.”

Acts 27:24

That is also a word of wisdom from the same incident. So we have a bonus here. Two words of wisdom in one incident, and both coming from the Holy Ghost or an angel or from God.

Paul continues to explain that they must be cast upon some Island.

So we have it here. The word of wisdom came from a leader of the church, and the word of wisdom motivated faith.

Which Leader Spoke It?

Now can you imagine if you continue to read the incident in Acts 27? Through this incident, many people, when they hear about it, will definitely believe in God.

Anytime you have a word of wisdom, going out and the man or woman of God explaining that this will happen, as Paul said, we’ll be cast upon some Island.

Later you will realize that they actually were shipwrecked and stayed on an Island.

As a result, many people start to believe, in God, and their faith in God will grow.

The Bonus

And this is one of the main ways the church grows, even today. Earlier, I told you that if you watched this video to the end, I have a bonus for you.

And this bonus is directed toward women. Throughout the Bible, you’ll find that it’s predominantly a man’s book until the day of Pentecost.

Women, there is a place for you in the church, and there’s a place for you too regarding preaching and teaching.

Don’t let anybody, they tell you that you shouldn’t preach and you shouldn’t teach because they are misunderstanding first Corinthians, which tells you that women must be silent in the church.

I have a video on that, the link is in the description.

That was Paul, trying to correct a church, a rogue church that isn’t operating the way they should.

The women were gossiping in the church and to address this problem, through his Epistles he declared that women should be silent in the church and ask their husbands questions at home.

It had nothing to do with the ministry. It had nothing to do with women being very active in the church.

Changes on the Day of Pentecost

There is a place for women in the church in preaching and teaching and in pastoring. In every facet of every office, there is a place for women in the Church.

On the Day of Pentecost, women were there. Acts one tells us. But Acts two tells us that the status of women changed at Pentecost.

Before Pentecost, the spirit of God never came on any woman in the Bible.

Neither did He come on any child. But at Pentecost, everybody becomes priests, and Kings before God.

Even women.

Revelation chapter one, verse eight, thereabout, of course, God doesn’t see us as male or female.

He sees us as living or dead souls or sees us as priests and Kings. So we are all priests and Kings before God, despite our gender.

The Word of Wisdom Stimulates Faith In Whom?

So, women, this is what I want to say to you. Don’t feel left out. Don’t feel like your role is only to help with the, you know, help in ministry in the church.

There’s a place for you because I’ve known some powerful women who are preachers and teachers; find your place women, find your place in the church.

But the one thing the scripture advises us, advise you not to do, is trying to push a man out of position. Yes, don’t. You serve a man.

So if there’s a man who is a teacher and you want to be a teacher to push him out, no your motive is wrong.

Outside of that, it’s wide open. So to conclude, the word of God is unique.

It emanates from the wisdom of God. The source is not humanity’s wisdom, but God’s wisdom.

Only the Holy Ghost can convey the Word of Wisdom to our hearts. It always operates via a leader of the church because it’s one of the nine manifestations of the duties of these offices.

The Ultimate Purpose for this Spiritual Gift – the Word of Wisdom!

Any office could manifest it. Therefore, any spirit-filled leader could utter it.

Finally, the word of wisdom always motivates faith in God because its purpose is to edify the body of Christ.

The word of wisdom. Most time, if not at all times speaks to future events. But when people hear it and note it and observe that event, these events occurred in the future. Exactly. As that leader said, it would, they can’t help but to believe in God.

At first, they may not even believe that this leader is a true man or woman of God until this happens.

This is one of the ways sinners become Believers and the church of Christ grows.

These four criteria when used together ensure that an utterance is indeed the word of wisdom.

In closing, like my channel, subscribe to my channel, and hit the notification bell to receive notifications

when new videos are out. Thank you for stopping by, God bless you.

Leroy A. Daley

Leroy A. Daley is an author, blogger, YouTuber, and Bible teacher. Globally, he's helped hundreds of Christians understand the Bible better. He has been studying and teaching the Bible for more than forty years. He is passionate about the Lord and spends quality time with the Word of God every day. His Books are available for purchase wherever books are sold.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Milford

    Keep on writing, great job!

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