Exploring Prophecy #3 – The Word of Knowledge:
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Without getting into a big discussion or teaching today on all of the gifts of the Spirit, let me draw your attention to the three gifts of revelation Paul talks about in this passage of Scripture—the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits. These are three of the ways that God speaks to us by revelation. Let us begin by looking at the word of knowledge.
What is a Word of Knowledge? It is a specific fact about a person, place or event that was not obtained through natural means. It is facts and information, not directional guidance. We see an example of this in the life of Jesus, when he ministered to a Samaritan woman. “Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” (John 4:16-19). What happened when Jesus communicated information with this woman that He did not learn by natural means? She came to the conclusion that He was a prophet.
Wow! What would happen in our gatherings if, when we came together, we began to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Surely this is the plan and purpose of God for us. “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25). One of the purposes of a prophetic word from God is to reveal the secrets of people’s hearts and to encourage people with the truth that there is a God who knows their name.
One Sunday in the fall of 2003, I had an opportunity to minister in a Chinese Church through an interpreter, and my message was, “The Mysteries of the Kingdom of God.” I taught the Gospel of the Kingdom, going through the Scriptures in the four Gospels that explain what God’s Kingdom is all about, and specifically focused on the three fold ministry of Jesus who went about teaching, preaching and healing the sick. At the end of the service, the Lord showed me by a word of knowledge that there was someone in the service who was having severe back problems, and so I called it out. When I did, the young man who was interpreting for me said, “That’s me!” He then asked me this question, “Are you serious? Did God really show that to you?” He was amazed. I said to him, “Of course. I wouldn’t make something like that up.” One of the things about a word of knowledge that I have learned is this—what God reveals, God heals. God didn’t show me that this young man had back problems so that he could stay in that condition. I prayed for him in faith and believed for the Lord to heal him, and encouraged him to go to the doctor and get checked out to confirm that he was indeed completely healed.
First Corinthians 14:26 tells us, “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” Let us respond to God’s word and, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Corinthians 14:1).
To learn more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, check out my book “Supernatural: Contending for Signs and Wonders Today.” Ask me for a free copy of the e-book!
Pastor Chris Jordan
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