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the gift of knowledge

Spiritual Gifts Series Part 3- The Gift of the Word of Knowledge

Episode 59

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Hosted by
Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

This supernatural gift enables us to peer into the mind of God. At certain times of His choosing, God can reveal hidden facts by His Spirit that cannot be known by natural means. This gift cannot be attained through higher education or a general working knowledge of the Bible. God can manifest this gift via dreams, trances or open visions, as an opportunity to minister on His behalf. It can also manifest for the purpose of intercession or supplication, particularly for those in danger. Once again, Kings and prophets utilized this gift, extensively throughout the Old Testament and Carl shares various examples. Join Carl now as he expounds upon the gift of the word of knowledge, the second of the three revelation gifts…

Here is a complete transcript of the podcast (below)…

Let’s continue our study of the nine spiritual gifts friend and today we will discuss the gift of the word of knowledge. Let’s read our key passage once more, 1st Cor 12:7-11:

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” 1 Cor 12:7-11.

As I said, today we will focus upon the gift of the word of knowledge. Now there is no mention of the gift of knowledge in the Bible specifically, as some surmise.  Like I said before, God can empower you with wisdom or knowledge as outlined in Daniel 1:17, where he and his three friends, were bestowed with knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. But today I’m talking about the gift of the word of knowledge as outlines in 1 Cor 12.Remember, the word of knowledge falls under the umbrella of the revelation gifts. The revelation gifts are the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge and the discerning of spirits because when these gifts are in operation, they reveal something to us.

Now this gift of the word of knowledge by definition is the supernatural revelation by the Holy Ghost of certain facts in the mind of God, concerning the past or present but not the future. As we mentioned yesterday, the word of wisdom concerns the future plan and will of God but the word of knowledge concerns the past and present. Now God is all knowing but He certainly isn’t going to reveal everything He knows to man. He just gives us a word or part of what He knows. A word is part of a sentence not the whole thing. Remember the word of God says,” we know in part and we prophecy in part, it also says we peer through glass darkly” in (1 Cor 13), so we don’t know it all. We have to trust God and walk by faith 99% of the time and in some instances the Lord will graciously manifest this gift of the word of knowledge for our benefit but we don’t live by words of knowledge or words wisdom in the ‘day to day.’ We live by God’s word and the leading of his spirit within our heart and so you must not become reliant upon spiritual gifts for guidance, but usually but not always, as conformation of what God has already revealed to you.

As I have stated, man can acquire knowledge through the pursuit of education certainly but this is not the word of knowledge. It’s also not the profound ability to quote scriptures or having vast knowledge of the Bible either. No, A word of knowledge by definition, is supernatural information that comes from the Holy Spirit that’s simply impossible for you to know with your natural mind. For example in my own life, there were times when I’ve gone through job changes and the Lord revealed to me there were certain companies who were interested in my skill set and were keen to hire me, but their lack of timely communication seemed to indicate the contrary. I don’t know if you’ve had to deal with HR in the hiring process with some major companies but they don’t always express their interest very clearly because they have so many processes to go through. Knowing this information kept me in peace and caused me not to waste my time elsewhere with more interviews for example, as the Lord by His Spirit, I already had the job.

God has also let me know several times when my tires needed to be pumped up and this may seem trivial to you but who knows how many accidents could have been averted with this information. Friend, God cares about you intimately and what may seem trivial to you, God cares about deeply. God’s also reminded me about promises I made to call someone back over the phone, it’s even small things like that could be categorized as a word of knowledge. Some OT examples of the word of knowledge include when the prophet Samuel informed the future King Saul of the whereabouts of his Donkey’s. In fact there are several instances in the OT where the word of knowledge was utilized to inform people of lost property and I will share a modern day example of that with you shortly, later on in this broadcast, but for now let’s read. .. (1 Sam 9:19-20)

“And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. 20 And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found.”

God let Samuel the prophet and Seer, know via a supernatural word to Saul that the donkeys he’d lost 3 days ago had been found, so he needn’t worry about them. In another instance involving King Saul when it was time for him to be proclaimed as King in front of the people of Israel, he disappeared from sight when it says in 1 Sam 10:22, “...he (speaking of King Saul) hid among the stuff or equipment“. So when the people couldn’t find him, they inquired of the Lord and He revealed to them exactly where Saul was. When they looked where God had said, Saul was there sure enough. Remember, the word of knowledge reveals certain facts in the mind of God and reveals information that cannot be known to the natural mind in the present or past tense. Elijah too had instances of the word of knowledge in operation. Once in 1 Kgs 19:14, he was on the run from Jezebel and climbed under a Juniper tree and begged God to let him die. He falsely claimed that he was the only prophet left in town and everyone else had bowed their knee to Baal. But God revealed to him through a word of knowledge that he wasn’t the only one left, in fact there were still 7000 people reserved to God and faithful to him.

Once again further on in the Book of 2nd Kings, God revealed that Gehazi who was Elisha’s assistant had taken two talents of silver from Balaam for his services and Elisha saw in the Spirit when this occurred and that Gehazi was lying to him, saying, “Went not mine heart with you, when the man turned again from chariot to meet thee?” How could Elisha sitting in his house know Gehazi did this when he was several miles away, except God revealed it through a word of knowledge? In yet another instance, Elisha was told by God of the tactical strategies of the King of Syria in 2 Kgs 6:8-12, even to the point of knowing what the King was saying in his own bedroom! Friend this is supernatural. One example of the word of knowledge in the NT is the case of the Apostle Peter in the town of Joppa. Lets read, Acts 10:9-19:

“On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12 Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat……. 17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, 18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surname Peter, were lodged there. 19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.”

Peter came out of this trance but and he knew supernaturally in his spirit, without anyone telling him, that indeed three men were looking for him. These men were standing at the gate and he had not seen them with his natural eyes. Now we should bear in mind that a word of knowledge can come to us in a dream, a vision, and trance or even from an angel according to the Biblical record, so we don’t choose how it manifests to us. Don’t forget that Jesus operated in the word of knowledge when he met the woman at the well in Jn 4:18, when he said to her, “Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.” But you might say, this is because he was Jesus and he could do anything, no friend he was a man anointed by and baptized in the Holy Spirit as we are, remember, he laid aside his deity when He came to earth.

Another example of the word of knowledge operating in my own life is a few years back now; my wife and I were sitting together in the living room chatting one night, when all of a sudden we felt a strong urge that my sister-in-law was in imminent danger. As we sought the Lord it became evident we needed to pray for her immediately, which we did for about 30 mins. My wife could see distress on her sister’s face in the spirit, as she prayed and we kept praying until we felt assurance that she was ok. Well, several weeks later, we came to find out that around the time we prayed for her, she was involved in a very serious car accident, where it turned over, fell in a ditch and because of the immense rainfall, she became trapped and was in danger of drowning. Fortunately and due to our prayers I believe, she was able to escape the upturned vehicle and crawl to safety but she later confirmed to us, that she nearly drowned and was very shook up over the whole ordeal. More often than not, when I get a word of knowledge it’s something God is warning me about or something He wants me to pray about ASAP, but not always and this is one example. I’ll give you another example right now, that is kind of funny but true. While I was living in Houston Texas several years ago I befriended a wonderful little old lady called Misses Lu from the Philippines. Now this lady loved God, she was a Catholic lady and she went to church every time the doors were open. I was trying to share with her a few times how God could speak to her directly and she didn’t have to go to the priest every time to confess or hear from the Lord. But anyway, she didn’t really care for that much, but liked to cook for me some food instead to show her appreciation. I was single at the time and my waistline was very blessed because of it.

Anyway, back to the story. So one night, Ms. Lu called me up, at 2:30 am in the morning! That’s right 2:30 in the morning and she was freaking out on the other side of the line. When I got settled, it became clear that she had lost her wedding ring. Now she was a widow and her husband had died many years prior, so this was very important to her and I understood that. I said to her I would ask the Lord and start praying. I put the phone down, got quiet and started praying in the spirit and listening on the inside. I was half awake and not feeling very spiritual to be honest with you. However, after a while I got three words, “under the bed”. It came to me, I called her back and said Ms. Lu have you looked under your bed? She said yes I have, that’s the first place I looked, but I was sure that the Lord told me, so I insisted. I heard her rustling under the bed and she came back really excited saying she’d found it, and it was hidden behind the bedpost. Praise god, this is another example of the word of knowledge and an example of God’s wonderful gift. Friend, these gifts are given for a reason, and sometimes they can mean life or death but not always. This is not a game where we sit around the fireplace and exchange spiritual gifts for fun, these gifts are granted for our benefit, protection, guidance or even safety. Wow what a blessing it is to move in the gifts of the Spirit.

Related keyword searches:

What is the Gift of the Word of Knowledge?
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Episode 59