For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8 KJV)
The word of knowledge is the wonderful gift of the Spirit that enables us to know issues related to the earthly lives of people. This is different from the word of wisdom which is principally the ability to know God and His ways.This gracious gift of the word of knowledge works powerfully with many prophets. It is such a beautiful thing to experience and praise the Lord for it. However, many people mistakenly think the word of knowledge is the same thing as God speaking to them. This will be a shocker to many of you, but there is a difference between receiving a word of knowledge and God speaking to you.
The word of knowledge is simply a spiritual endowment on a man or woman with the ability to supernaturally see or know things about people. A person with this gift has that ability in them to know things about others. They might exercise that gift and know things about people but that does not necessarily mean God is speaking to them. Yes, God can and does many times speak to us through this gift but it is not always the case. It does not mean it is not useful because it is not God directly speaking at those times. It is, however, important to understand these two distinct but related ways by which God interacts and operates in our lives.
What is the difference between the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge?
APPLY THE WORD
Many Christians have been completely thrown off by an error that resulted from a word of knowledge. It is our responsibility to understand how the gifts of the Spirit operate. Try, test and judge every word of knowledge you get. It is also our responsibility to be spiritually mature and discerning not to allow the potential error of a well-meaning brother or minister lead you astray.
Pray that the Spirit will multiply the operation of the gifts of the Spirit amongst us and give us a higher understanding of how they operate to equip us to be more effective in ministering to other believers and the world.