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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Is the Word of Knowledge?

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Don Stewart

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In listing the spiritual gifts the Bible speaks about the gift of the word of knowledge.

To another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8).

Know Facts Supernaturally

The gift of the word of knowledge refers to the ability to know facts about a situation or a spiritual principle that could not have been known by natural means. This allows someone to see a situation as God sees it.

The life of Christ provides us with some examples of this ability:

Nathaniel said to Him: "How do you know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you" (John 1:48).

When Jesus met the woman at the well, He exercised the word of knowledge:

Jesus said to her, "Go, and 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" (John 4:16-18).

Simon Peters confession of Jesus as the Messiah was another example of this gift. Jesus said to Peter:

Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 16:17).

Spirit Of God

This word of knowledge is exercised when the Spirit of God provides information to someone about the condition of another person. It does not have to come with fanfare. In fact, it can be exercised without the person being aware of it. The gift must be used with a humble heart, never to take advantage of another person or situation.

The word of knowledge is not the same as the occult gifts that some spiritual mediums claim. It is not an occult power, but a God-given ability to build up the body of Christ.

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