Paul says that prophecy is a provisional gift. A 2nd temporary gift is knowledge, from gnosis, which refers to special, revelatory knowledge before the New Testament was completed. Today, the gift of knowledge is “the ability to understand and speak God’s truth, with insight into the mysteries of His Word, that cannot be known apart from God’s revelation (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:3; Col. 1:26; 2:2; 4:3; cf. 13:2).” (MacArthur, 1747)
This gift was critical in laying the foundation of the church and completing the New Testament. The apostles and prophets exercised their gifts of knowledge in understanding the mysteries of the kingdom, the gospel, the church, and the end times, among many others (1 Cor. 15; Eph. 3). “Mysteries” refer to the things that were previously hidden, but now made known by the Spirit to the apostles and the prophets (1 Cor. 13:2). It includes the revelation of God’s Word in the New Testament.
Many Bible scholars throughout church history have drawn out the meaning of Scripture from the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic). They have produced biblical commentaries and journals, based on careful research. Theologians over the centuries have formulated the great doctrines of the Christian faith. I believe they all possessed the gift of knowledge.
The gift of knowledge is not the ability to know new revelation, for God no longer adds any new revelation to His final revelation—the Bible (Rev. 22:18-19). Rather, this gift is the ability to understand God’s complete revelation of the Scriptures.
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