A. WHAT IT IS NOT
1. NOT NATURAL KNOWLEDGE - This gift is not education, which is the assimilation
of mere natural knowledge. This gift is not teaching, which is the conveyance of mere
natural knowledge. It is not psychology, or a science of the mind. All of these can be
performed by people who do not even have the Holy Spirit.
2. NOT FORTUNE TELLING - This gift cannot be fortune telling because God's word
condemns fortune telling as being of the devil. The devil counterfeits God's gifts and
would make fortune telling seem like the word of knowledge, but there is a difference.
If a fortune teller knows anything at all supernaturally, you can be sure that it is not the
supernatural Spirit of God that gives him that knowledge. The devil uses fortune tellers
to tell you something that will worry you and break up your home, break your heart,
break your finances, and mess up your future, but God, by the word of knowledge, is
generally trying to build His people up in these areas.
3. NOT THE GIFT OF ALL KNOWLEDGE - This gift is not the gift of knowledge,
but the gift of the WORD of knowledge given by the Holy Spirit. God does not give us
all of His knowledge, but just a word (part) occasionally; although, the part will be
changed into the whole during the perfect age (1 Cor 13:9-10) when we will know Him
even as we are known.
4. NOT THE ABILITY TO MAKE GOOD GUESSES - This gift is not making good
guesses, having a good imagination, or the working of the mind. It does not work through
one's mind any more than speaking with tongues does. God speaks to one's spirit by His
Spirit without the help of one's natural mind or ears. You simply know it, that's all.
5. NOT SIMPLY KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD - This gift is not a knowledge of God,
or of God's Word (although those are good and necessary things). Those come by
learning, hearing, studying, and experience. For instance, Eli, the priest had vast
knowledge of God and His Word through experience; but the child Samuel, who had
neither, was given a Word direct from the throne of God by the Holy Spirit. Eli had
come to the place where he had no open vision (1Sam 3:7, 11-14).
6. NOT A VOCAL GIFT - It is not a vocal gift, as it causes you to know things rather
than to speak things. If someone speaks the word of knowledge after the Lord has given
it to him, that part would come under a different category of ministry such as teaching,
exhorting, or preaching.
B. WHAT IT IS
1. DEFINITION - The spiritual gift of the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE is the bestowal
of certain facts from the mind of God which He sees fit to reveal to one of His servants
supernaturally by His Spirit. It is only a word, or a portion of God's endless storehouse
2. METHODS - God speaks in divers manners, such as dreams, visions, revelation, or
sometimes even in an audible voice. It is always conveyed supernaturally as is any other
3. ABILITIES - This gift can tell the whereabouts, conditions, nature, or thoughts of a
person, animal, place, or thing even when it is impossible to learn it in the natural.
4. PURPOSES - It helps one to look into the heart, mind, or nature of a man and to
know his secrets and intentions. It has helped find lost articles, as in 2 Kings 6, but
its main purpose is to help find lost souls as in the book of Acts.
C. BIBLE EXAMPLES
1. SAMUEL We find examples of the word of knowledge throughout the O.T. In
1 Samuel 9 and 10 we see at least 2 dozen things that the Lord showed the prophet
SAMUEL through the word of knowledge. Samuel told Saul all that was in his heart.
He told him many things about himself. Samuel knew that Saul was hunting his asses;
that they had been lost three days; that they had already been found; that Saul's father
had left home worrying about him; that Saul had been chosen of the Lord to reign over
His people; that he should anoint Saul king; that Saul would save the people out of the
hands of the Philistines; the time of day that he was going to meet Saul; that Saul would
meet two men just after he left to go on his way; that the two men would speak to Saul;
that Saul would meet three men as he went up to Bethel; that one of the three men
would be carrying three kids; that he would meet them at Tabor; that one man would be
carrying three loaves of bread; that another would be carrying a bottle of wine; that they
would salute Saul; that they would give Saul two loaves of bread; that Saul would come
to the hill of God; that he would come to the city; that he would meet a company of
prophets; that these prophets would be carrying musical instruments (namely a psaltery,
tabret, pipe, and harp); that the company of prophets would prophesy; that the Spirit
of the Lord would come upon Saul; that Saul would prophesy with them; and that Saul
would be turned into another man. All of this was revealed to the prophet Samuel by
the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE.
2. ANANIAS - The gift of the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE is also found in the N.T.
In Acts 9:11-16 the Lord speaks to ANANIAS and tells him the name of a man; the
exact house where the man was staying; the name of the man who lived there; the name
of the street on which the house was located; the name of the town which Paul was from;
that Paul was there praying; that Paul was blind; that Ananias' name had already been
revealed to Paul; that Paul knew Ananias would lay hands on him, pray for him to be
healed of blindness, and pray for Paul to receive the Holy Spirit; that Paul (then named Saul)
was chosen by the Lord to suffer for the Lord; and that Paul was called to have a ministry
to the Gentiles. The Bible says that God spoke to Ananias, but the natural man is always
ready to discredit such reports. Our carnal side always tries to explain away such things as
an illusion or say such things are the work of the devil. The carnal mind is not subject to the
law of God. It is enmity against God (Rom 8:7). Nevertheless, when Ananias did what he
was told by the Lord, he found it all to be true.
3. PETER - In Acts 10:9-17, PETER receives a WORD OF KNOWLEDGE while he was
up on the house top praying. The Spirit of God showed him that three men were seeking
him; that the Lord had sent them; that God had granted salvation to the Gentiles; and that
all people were equal in God's sight. If Peter had gone to school all his life, he couldn't
have learned such knowledge from natural means. The all-knowing God gave this
knowledge to Peter and helped him get Cornelius household saved.