We commenced the study of the gift of the word of knowledge last week by looking very closely and deeply at the meaning of this gift. We were reminded of God’s attribute of being the all knowing God. Also, because of His sovereignty, He choses to reveal certain facts to man only in parts. Since no man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man, even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God (1 Cor.2:11). We can therefore conclude (as mentioned in the last study) that the word of knowledge is the supernatural revelation by the Holy Ghost of certain facts in the mind of God.
In this study today, we will be highlighting various Old and New Testament examples of the operation of the gift of the word of knowledge. We will also look at some present day examples and hopefully, this will create a deep desire in us to crave for and covet these gifts. Heb.13:8
1. As The Spirit Wills
"But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills”
Remember that this is a gift. The type of gift, value and timing e.t.c are all the prerogative of the giver of the gift. In the same way, the gifts of the Holy Spirit operate as the Holy Spirit wills, not as we will.
Also, according to 1 Cor. 12:8, Paul infers that not every man is going to have all these gifts operating through him and no one can operate these gifts without the unction of the Spirit of God (the giver). Also note that the fact that a gift of the Spirit has operated in ones life on occasion does not mean that person can operate it at will. Doing this will open up such a person to a satanic (deceptive) spirit. Please niote once again, that it is as the Spirit Wills, not as We Will! If an entire local body of believers will covet the gifts of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will divide to every man severally as He wills — not as I will, not as you will, but as the Spirit wills.
2. The Word of Knowledge In The Old Testament
There were supernatural manifestations of the word of knowledge in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. In fact, all the gifts of the Spirit were in operation in the Old Testament except tongues and the interpretation of tongues. We do find all the other gifts of the Spirit — the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, special faith, gifts of healings, working of miracles, prophecy, and discerning of spirits —manifested in the Old Testament. These gifts of the Spirit were manifested in the New Testament first in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Then after the Day of Pentecost, the gifts of the Spirit, with tongues and interpretation of tongues as well, began to be manifested through Spirit-filled believers.
A. The Word of Knowledge to Samuel Regarding Saul’s Donkey – 1 Sam.9:3-6, 15-20.
We find here an example of how the gift of the word of knowledge was used to recover a lost property. Saul’s servant said to him while they were out looking for his father’s donkeys, to go ask Prophet Samuel.
“Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying” [vs 15]
Of course, Samuel only knew what God revealed to him, because if Samuel knew everything, that would make him omniscient or all-knowing. Samuel had a word of knowledge for Saul in 1 Sam.10:2. Sure some of us will have memories of how we miraculously recover a lost item through the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
B. The Word of Knowledge to Samuel Regarding Saul – 1 Sam. 10:22.
The word of knowledge also operated in the Old Testament to discover a man in hiding. Although Samuel had already anointed Saul to be king over Israel, when it came time to reveal him as the king, Saul hid ". . . among the stuff. . ." (1 Sam. 10:22). When the people couldn't find him, they inquired of the Lord instead of sending everyone to look for him. (Many times that is the quickest way to find an answer.)
The people knew that the Lord knew where Saul was. And the Lord told them exactly where Saul was. When they looked where God told them to look, they found Saul. That was the word of knowledge in operation. Remember, the word of knowledge reveals certain facts in the mind of God. [Also share a present day testimony of a 16 years girl lost for about 22 years].
C. The Word of Knowledge to Elijah – 1 Sam. 10:22.
Here, we see the how the word of knowledge was manifested to encourage and enlighten a discouraged servant. After a great mountain-top encounter in 1 Kings 18:37-38, Elijah became fearful and depressed after Jezebel threatened to kill him. The thought of being the only prophet left in Israel (1 Kings 19:14) was too much for him to bear under the circumstances. But God gave Elijah a word of knowledge that encouraged and enlightened him. God said,
"No, you aren't the only one left. I have seven thousand people reserved to Myself'(1 Kings 19:18).
Elijah couldn't have known that any other way. I am sure it encouraged him to know that he wasn't the only one left; that God had seven thousand who hadn't bowed their knees to Baal.
Two other Old Testament examples are the exposure of Gehazi’s hypocritical behaviour in 2 Kings 5:21-24 and the exposure of the King of Syria’s plan of destruction in 2 Kings 6:8-12.
3. The Word of Knowledge In The New Testament
Now let's look at some other examples of the word of knowledge in operation in the New Testament.
A. The Samaritan Woman - John 4:7-10, 13-19, 25-26
Jesus, through the gift of the word of knowledge was able to convince the Samaritan woman of the need for a saviour by not only telling her all that she ever did according to the words of the woman (verse 39), but also giving her vivid details of her current situation.
B. Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 5:1-4
It would have been all right if Ananias and Sapphira had sold their property and given only half of the money to the church, but they lied about it. They kept back part of the money for themselves and said they were giving the entire profit from the sale of the land to the church. The entire transaction was revealed to Peter through a word of knowledge. Ananias' wife Sapphira came in and the same thing happened. And both of them fell dead the same day.
The gift of the word of knowledge can also be used as an aid in effectual prayer, either for God's servants in distress or for those in need of spiritual help. That is why the Holy Spirit’s help is very vital. Remember, the revelation that the word of knowledge brings is never future tense — it's present or past tense. The word of wisdom, on the other hand, reveals plans and purposes concerning the future.
By the manifestation of the gift of the word of knowledge, the Church can be purified, the distressed comforted, the saints gladdened, lost property recovered, the enemy's plans defeated, and the Lord Jesus Christ glorified. Hallelujah!
*Teaching is culled from "The Holy Spirit and His Gifts" by Kenneth E Hagin.
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola