This morning let’s take a look at what is the word of knowledge. This spiritual gift is probably one of the most exercised gifts in the body of Christ today. When used properly it can be a powerful tool to demonstrate that God really is alive and well and living inside the lives of ordinary people like you and I. When used improperly it can look like charlatanry and fortune telling. I sometimes cringe at the notion of people running around seeking after “words from God”. Trust me! God is a big boy. If He has a word for you, He is more than capable of sending somebody to you to give you that word. You don’t have to go “seeking” after a word. About a year and a half after I went through the pain of divorce, I had an instance where I couldn’t get away from some “words from God”. I had been struggling with the issue if I would ever go back into ministry. I was truly wrestling with the biblical text of whether or not I was disqualified to be in ministry anymore. Well God had an opinion on this subject and proceeded to let me know. On three different occasions in three different churches, with three different people, all who did not know me or my history, I was given a word of knowledge concerning my past and that God was not done with me and that I would be returning to pastoral ministry. So my friends, God is more than capable of bringing a word to you if He has something to say. You do not have to go chasing words from God.
What is the word of knowledge?
In a nutshell, the world of knowledge is a gift given by God where some type of knowledge is revealed to you that you only knew by revelation and not prior knowledge. There are many examples in the scripture of this gift in operation. Jesus used it on many occasions as well as the Apostles. I am going to give you just a couple of examples where both Jesus and the Apostles used this gift and then give you some insight I have personally learned over the years in how you can use this gift both in evangelism and in the building up of your local church family.
Examples of Jesus using the word of knowledge.
One of the most famous examples of Jesus using the gift of the word of knowledge is the story of Jesus meeting the woman at the well in John 4. Jesus is sitting at a well and a Samaritan woman comes up to the well. Jesus strikes up a conversation with her. They talk for a few minutes and then Jesus tells her to go get her husband. She tells him that she has no husband. Jesus then proceeds to use the gift of the word of knowledge and reveal to her that He knows she has had 5 husbands and the man she was with now was not even her husband. This is an awesome example of this gift in operation. Jesus had never met the woman, had no idea her background or lifestyle, yet God revealed to Him knowledge that He previously did not have. Another famous example of Jesus using the gift of the word of knowledge is at the last supper. Jesus, when they were all sitting together at the table, informs everyone that one of them is going to betray Him. Of course they are all shocked which shows that this was not something that they were expecting. Then Jesus says that the one who will betray him is the one that He will pass the bread soaked in wine to. He passes that bread to Judas. This is another example of knowledge about a fact being revealed at a certain point. Now I want you all to remember, that although Jesus was, and is, fully God, He chose to give up the powers of the Godhead to come in human form. He was using and demonstrating the gifts of the Holy Spirit which descended upon Him at His baptism. In examining these examples we do not want to fall into the trap of just thinking that this was just Jesus being God. Yes Jesus was God, but at this moment He was the son of man and operating as a man.
Examples of the word of knowledge in operation in the early church.
In Acts 5 we have the story of Ananias and Sapphira. This couple had been watching people bring gifts to the apostles and receiving credit for their generosity. Ananias and Sapphira decided to sell a piece of property for a certain amount of money but tell the people that they had sold it for a lesser amount making them think that they were giving all of the proceeds from the sale to the ministry of the Apostles. However God knew how much they had sold the property for and He told Peter. Peter then asked Ananias if He sold the property for the amount that Ananias said, and Ananias lied and said yes. Well you know the rest of the story. Ananias fell dead, they took him out, then Sapphira came and told the same lie and she too was planted 6 feet under with her husband. Peter received from the Holy Spirit, knowledge that He didn’t have from a natural source. It was supernatural knowledge. The other example is the one I used with the gift of the word of wisdom. Many times these two gifts go hand in hand. It is the example in Acts 10 where Cornelius was told to send for Peter. He was given the knowledge of where Peter was. Not only that, but Peter was given a vision to prepare him to go to Cornelius’s house. Cornelius was given knowledge that He did not have previously by natural means. It was given to him supernaturally.
Using the gift of the word of knowledge today.
The gift of the word of knowledge can be a powerful tool in evangelism. Just as Jesus spoke the secrets of the woman at the well’s past, so if used lovingly it can be used to open the eyes and make people today more receptive to what you have to say concerning the gospel. It has a way of breaking down the natural barriers people sometimes put up when being told the gospel message. It can also be a powerful tool in the church today. As in my case, it helped me overcome some bad teaching concerning the qualifications of elders and the guilt and unforgiveness I was still dealing with concerning being divorced. When using the gift of the word of knowledge, make sure you are operating in love. Many times this gift exposes people and makes them vulnerable. As with all the gifts, I will emphasize that it is not your gift. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit. He just uses you as a vessel for the moment. As such, this gift is most authentic and genuine when it is used gently and without attracting undue attention. I hope you have enjoyed this teaching on the gift of the word of knowledge. Every time I study on this subject I personally learn something new. Blessings to you. Pastor Duke
- What Are Spiritual Gifts?
- Are spiritual gifts for today?
- The motivation behind spiritual gifts.
- What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- What is the word of wisdom?
- What is the word of knowledge?
- What is extraordinary faith?
- What is gifts of healings?
- What is the working of miracles?
- What is the gift of prophecy?
- What is discerning of spirits?
- What is the gift of tongues?
- What is the proper use of tongues in the church today?
- What is the interpretation of tongues?