1 Corinthians 12:8, “…to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit.”
The second gift of the Spirit is the “message of knowledge.” The message (or word) of knowledge according to Howard Carter is, “a supernatural revelation of the existence, or nature, of a person or a thing, or the knowledge of some event, given to us by the Holy Spirit for a specific purpose.” God will reveal His knowledge about someone to correct, rebuke or encourage them with His Word. The message of wisdom and knowledge work together to impart the mind of Christ. The message of wisdom is God’s will regarding the future and the message of knowledge is receiving insight into your past or present circumstances; both are to provide encouragement and guidance.
A biblical example of the message of knowledge was when Jesus sat down and spoke to the woman at the well about the hidden things in her life (John 4:16-19). When Jesus revealed that He had knowledge from the Father about her past (having many husbands), the woman was both confronted with her hidden sin and encouraged to know that God was willing to forgive her. The message of knowledge helped her deal with things she was ashamed of.
Nothing is truly hidden from God, He sees all and knows all. The gift of knowledge is a way God reminds us through other people, that He knows everything about our lives.
The message of knowledge is often used in evangelism to help people know that God is real and that He wants to change their lives (like with the woman at the well). One time God gave me a word of knowledge about a young man I was witnessing to and when I shared it with him, it caused him to stop mocking God and become receptive to the gospel.
Also, the word of knowledge is used to encourage Christians that may be discouraged about something in their life. Many times in church or in home Bible studies, God wants trusted leaders to share a word of knowledge to comfort and strengthen His people. Sometimes the message of knowledge will be given when you are praying with people. For example, “I sense in my heart that God is wanting me to tell you that He knows what you suffered in your childhood and He wants me to let you know it wasn’t your fault. Is this true? If yes, I’m now going to pray for your emotional healing.”
Two things to remember concerning the message of knowledge; (1) When giving a word of knowledge don’t force people to accept what you believe God is saying. Let them honestly give you feedback as to whether or not it is a word for them and (2) When receiving a message of knowledge, don’t feel pressure to accept something that is not true. Sometimes well-intentioned Christians will manipulate people with “words” from their own imagination. Only affirm and believe what you know to be true knowledge from God.
- Ask God to use you in the gift of knowledge.
- When giving a word of knowledge, be humble and willing to hear the person’s honest feedback. After God uses you to give an accurate message of knowledge, be quick to give Him all the credit. Spiritual gifts should always give God glory, not man.
- When receiving a message of knowledge always be sure to test it with the Word of God.