to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:8
The second gift on Paul’s list is that of “word of knowledge. This is simply a supernatural knowledge of something about someone that you would never know on your own. The classic illustration was one that a pastor friend of mine had. This had never happened to him before and never since. He was counseling with a woman one day. After talking with her a few minutes, he blurted out, “you really shouldn’t be having an affair” and stopped.
She was stunned as she wept because his words were painfully accurate. Fortunately, this lady repented before God, got her life and marriage together, and has been restored into the body. He later said the event really terrified him because he had no idea about her life or situation. He also cautioned me that when people give these kinds of words of knowledge that they had better be certain they are hearing directly from the Lord Himself. Otherwise, it can have devastating effects.
In my friend’s case, the word came at the right time and was able to restore someone to the Body of Christ. Often, though, it will be used to encourage people in their faith.
As mentioned before, all of these gifts should be exercised with caution. If they are used for selfish promotion or gain, they will have no effect. If they are used for His glory, they are to His glory.