The Word of Knowledge

Spiritual Gifts Series

In February of 2016, the prayer team at my church went over to our sister church for a prayer event. These types of events could seem ‘charismatic’ to the typical evangelical, as we pray in faith for healing- both physical and inner healing. We realize that God still heals today and so we want to be faithful in coming together to ask for more of His healing presence in our lives.

After the assigned time of teaching, we split into small groups for ministry time; a time for leaders to pray over those who have specific prayer needs in each group. My small group had Cerina and Fred in it –  a married couple who expressed how they have been wanting to have children, but nothing has happened yet. It had been a difficult journey for them so far and they only wanted to seek God’s will for their family.[1] It was at this time that the leaders, and I, silently listened to the Holy Spirit and started praying over them.

After a few of the leaders prayed over them, I heard certain words, ‘drop in my spirit’; it’s as if these words were given to me and were not of my own. I wanted to be faithful to reveal it, but when you are in the midst of the situation, you can become unsure. Yet it was a word that was full of hope and so I stepped out to give it to them just as it was given to me. I was simply being the messenger of what I had received.

The word that was given to me was, ‘new life.’ I spoke this over them and prayed that new life would be God’s will for them. We all prayed this together in faith. Perhaps this is what the Lord wanted for this beloved couple, to give them the strength they needed to persevere and retain their hope in Him.

A year later, I got a message from Cerina as an update from that ministry time. Amazingly, two weeks later from the prayer event, Cerina found out that she was pregnant! What an answer to prayer! Hallelujah! They had a precious little girl named Evie and since then, have a baby boy named Nixon!

God did His mighty work so that He could get all the glory. The Lord revealed to me through the Holy Spirit that ‘new life’ was already taking place – this word confirmed what God was already doing in their midst and that the Lord plans to see His word, regarding the baby, come to life. So how do we make sense of what took place? Is there a biblical precedent for what happened?

During the prayer time, the Holy Spirit revealed words called ‘a word of knowledge.’ We find that Paul lists this spiritual gift, in one of his lists, in 1 Corinthians 12:7-8 – “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a word of knowledge by means of the same Spirit.”

Words of knowledge is a spiritual gift that reveals hidden insight into someone’s lifein a way that no one could ever figure out on their own! God reveals this gift “in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

The word ‘knowledge’ isn’t only factual information, but has a relational quality to it. The word comes from the Greek word gnosis, which mean, “to know experientially.” Biblically, to ‘know’ someone is to have a deep connection or intimacy with that person. When we pursue the gift of the word of knowledge, God is revealing an aspect of His heart for that person conveyed through a message.

A word of knowledge is, typically, categorized in the prophetic realm of giftings. Meaning, it is a gift that is based on the revelation of God from the Holy Spirit. While it is similar to the gift of prophecy, it is identified differently. A word of prophecy is ‘present to future’ oriented, while a word of knowledge is ‘present to past.’ Therefore, depending on where the word is given, one can determine if it is prophecy or a word of knowledge.

We see a clear example of the gift of the word of knowledge in Jesus’ ministry on earth. As Jesus went to the well in Samaria in John 4:1-42, he began a casual yet intentional dialogue with a Samaritan woman. Although considered taboo in that culture because she was a woman[2], a Samaritan[3], and ostracized by her community because of her lifestyle. But Jesus wanted to reveal Himself to her, regardless. During the discourse, Jesus asks her to call her husband. She replies, “I have no husband” (v.17). This is where the supernatural word of knowledge comes in:

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true” (v.17-18).

For those who are logical minded, you might try to rationalize your way around how Jesus could have perceived that she had 5 husbands. However, there is no humanly possible way to know that this woman had 5 husbands in the past and that she was, currently, living with her boyfriend. It would have been quite radical in those days to assume a woman had such a broken past.

How did Jesus know? Jesus only does what the Father is doing (John 5:19) and He was empowered by the Spirit of God after His 40 day fast in the wilderness (Luke 4:14) to minster and to do the works of God (Luke 4:18-19). It is the Holy Spirit upon Jesus that gave Him authority to drive out demons (Matthew 12:28), to heal the sick (Matthew 4:23), and to perform miracles (Acts 10:38).

We might begin to say… “Well of course Jesus could do it… He’s the Son of God!” However, Jesus gave each of us the Holy Spirit after His resurrection after He died on the cross (Acts 1:4-5). The same Spirit of God who raised Jesus, lives in you! (Romans 8:11). Because we have access to the Holy Spirit, we can use the tools – the spiritual gifts He has given each one of us – to do His mighty works… all for the glory of God! (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

You might be thinking… how can I be possibly used by God with this gift? First, you ask. It is the Holy Spirit that gives spiritual gifts accordingly (1 Corinthians 12:4), but many times, we don’t have because we don’t ask! (James 4:2) Second, you need to be willing to learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit. You can start with someone you are comfortable with and let them know that you are learning to hear God’s voice. After some time of silence, begin to rely what came to your mind to them for them. Was it a picture, a verse, or a phrase? Remind them that you are learning and get their feedback. Remember a word of knowledge will be present to past oriented and will most likely be specific… this helps in knowing if you were accurate or not. If not, don’t give up. We all have to learn how to use our different spiritual gifts, so this could be the case for you. My hope is that the Holy Spirit reveals something wonderful to you so that person can have a greater awareness of the love God has for them.

Have a blessed week!      


[1] They have given me permission to share this wonderful story God did for them!

[2] In those days, men did not speak with women in a public setting, which is why the disciples were ‘surprised’ in verse 27.

[3] The Jews and Samaritan’s bitter history for one another goes back to when the  Babylonians took most of the Israelites captive, except the lowest classes of society in 597 B.C. Those that were left behind intermarried with other peoples who came into the region and they became known as Samaritans. Most Jews in Jesus’ time despised the Samaritans and considered them ‘half-breeds’.

2 Comments

  1. This shows that our God is so Faithful because he keeps his words. I Glorify his name for this Miracle happened to these Couple!!
    And thank you so much Man of God Nathan for the sharring may God bless you so much with your Family.

    1. Author

      Yes, God is faithful indeed! I hope this testimony and the explanation of how we can pursue and use this spiritual gift encourages you in the faith.
      Blessings Lee!

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