Gift of Knowledge for Witnessing?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by matt wade, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. matt wade

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    An acquaintance of mine, whom I don't know real well but have generally respected, said something recently that got me thinking. He said that on several occasions the Holy Spirit has given him knowledge of things about a person in order to open a door for witnessing to that person. An example he gave was that while he was at an amusement park he felt led to tell a woman about Jesus. As he approached the woman he instantly "knew" where she was born, her age, and how long she had been married. He then proceeded to tell this woman these exact things, and when she was surprised that he knew these things, he told her that God had told him these things in order to show His power and then he shared the plan of salvation with the woman.

    He says that other people have witnessed this happening and can verify the truth of it. Interested in everyone's thoughts on the matter.
     
  2. Rubato 1

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    Hmmph!



    ....
     
  3. Deacon

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    The knack is simply a skill used by sideshow acts in fairs all around the country.

    By the way, you're 35, you live in Florida and have been marrried for about 11 years. :tongue3:

    ...and stop laughing!

    Rob
     
  4. matt wade

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    But how about where I was born?

    This guy gives other examples such as knowing that someone doesn't go to church, but that their wife does and she takes the kids. He speaks of other specific examples that can't really be guessed.
     
  5. Rubato 1

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    He's telling you this, right?

    If true, we will expect to hear news of a revival of religion (in FL, I presume), and a large church.

    Maybe Benny Hen can guest speak.


    (OK, that last remark was kind of sarcastic.)
    (I wish I could erase it).
     
  6. matt wade

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    Yes, obviously he is telling me. I'm asking the questions because my "something wierd" radar went up upon hearing it. He openly admits it is wierd and strange and that he has no explanation for it. This isn't something he goes around bragging about. In all my interactions with him, this was the first and only time I even heard him say anything about it and it was directly in context to the current conversation.
     
  7. just-want-peace

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    Only he and God know fer sure the legitimacy of this gift, but I see no reason for a brother, (Christian) that truly believes that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, to be sarcastic about it.

    Narrow-mindedness towards the power of God seems to be a trait of many modern "Christians". Many seem to think that if they don't understand a given phenomenon, then it's just a hoax.

    The God I serve is completely capable of giving someone foreknowledge for the working of His will.

    Maybe your (whoever this fits) god is not!
     
  8. matt wade

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    I completely agree with you that God is able to give him this knowledge if He so chooses. What I guess I'm looking for is if there is any Biblical support for God giving this knowledge?
     
  9. Baptist Believer

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    Yes, it does happen.

    God has used that gift through me before on some occasions.

    I believe the Spirit give this information to let the other person know that the witness has been sent of God to speak to them.

    For instance, back in 1988 or 1989 in Brady, Texas, I was praying for God to work in our community. I felt a VERY strong impression that I should get into my truck and go to where the Spirit led. I was drawn down the main strip to a convenience store, and I had a strong impression I was supposed to talk to the three teenagers sitting at the table inside. I went in, but decided that I was delusional and ended up buying a newspaper and a pack of gum and left. As I pulled away from the store and started back down the street, the Spirit made me extremely restless. I turned around and went back.

    When I pulled into the parking lot, the teen boys were sitting on the curb outside. I took a deep breath and walked over to them.

    "I'm here to talk to you about Jesus."

    They immediately started crying.

    I asked, "What's wrong?"

    They told me that they had been talking about religious things all evening and had decided that if God was real, He would make Himself known to them. They had prayed a few minutes before that God prove He was real in some way.

    I shared with them my story of how I was specifically led to them, and then shared the gospel. All three of them received the gospel with enthusiasm. I prayed with them and gave them some advice for finding a good church in Houston (they were visiting Brady and heading back to Houston the next day).

    It doesn't happen that often, but it does happen from time to time.

    And just in case it needs to be said, having such an experience doesn't make you are a better or worse Christian than anyone else. God uses each of us differently.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    Sure. Two quick examples:

    - The Spirit gave Peter very specific information regarding Cornelius.

    - The Spirit gave Ananias directions to Simon the Tanner's house and identified Paul (Saul) by name.

    There is biblical precedent for it.
     
  11. righteousdude2

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    There are Many Possibilities....

    Matt,

    I have been taught that the devil knows us quite well, and uses this knowledge to impress us with words about our past, that lead us to believe they can tell us about our future. This makes sense too, because if you personally knew a lot about a person, you could then, quite easily, tell them things about their future that would make sense, and make believers out of them.

    This is how fortune tellers become so keen and sharp. The demonic forces that they tap into on earth can mimic "good" and give gifts to people that attract unsuspecting hearts looking for signs and wonders. Benny Hinn is an example of a person that is very good at "sucking" trusting people into his ministry for the purpose of bleeding them dry [financially too] spiritually.

    I was looking for the verses, but time is limited, so try searching out words like demonic knowledge, sorcerery, etc. Look at this great Bible Helps Sight: http://www.biblegateway.com/

    The following from Matthew 24:24, gives us some insight to start digging into the ability of the devil to "Wow!" us with the ability to tell us things that know one knows [except God, and the devil]. Matt. 24:24 - "For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (God's chosen ones)." From the Amplified Bible.

    There is also some great explanations on the gift of tongues, knowledge, and prophesy in I cor. 13:1-3 and 13:7-9, the Amplified Bible. And from the Message Bible I found this one, which I think is excellent, and goes somewhat into answering your question [I hope] 1 Corinthians 12:1 - "[Spiritual Gifts] What I want to talk about now is the various ways God's Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often mis-understood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. Remember how you were when you didn't know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It's different in this life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can. For instance, by using your heads, you know perfectly well that the Spirit of God would never prompt anyone to say "Jesus be damned!" Nor would anyone be inclined to say "Jesus is Master!" without the insight of the Holy Spirit.

    Great question, and there are answers that make good Biblical sense. If I have time, I will try to send you additional Scripture.

    Pastor Paul:type:
     
    #11 righteousdude2, Nov 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2009
  12. matt wade

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    This person hasn't said anything about knowing the future. His only claim is that at some very specific times in his life he has instantly known some facts about people. Those facts aren't "future facts", but facts about their life (where they were born, how old they are, how long they have been married, whether they go to church, etc)

    This person is not leading people astry with this information. He is using this information as a tool to directly lead them to a relationship with Jesus Christ. he doesn't dwell on the information with these people, but just uses it as a demonstration that God want him to talk to them. He then shares the Gospel with them in a straight forward and truthful manner.

    Thanks for the input...
     
  13. matt wade

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    Thanks for these and your personal testimony. I really appreciate it....
     
  14. righteousdude2

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    Oh, Please!

    You are Welcome

    I never said your friend was intentionally leading anyone astray. I was just giving you some Scripture to help you in better understanding the good and bad sides of those that use the Gift of Knowledge. Whether this person is bad, or good, is for you, or someone with the ability to Discern it. I don't even begin to think I can make that opinion. I was simply trying to hear what you were asking, and give you a starting point with some Scripture I knew.

    I'll leave this "hot potatoe" alone, and not give you any additional input. I can't afford to get you any more upset with me.

    Pastor Paul:type:

    P.S. I only asked that you call me by the name I sign to my posts; and that is Pastor Paul. The righteousdude2 is only my sign in name.:BangHead:
     
  15. sag38

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    I really don't think a demon would give this knowledge for someone to use to witness to someone. It's along the same lines of accusing Jesus of casting out demons in the name of Satan which make no sense.
     
  16. tinytim

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    The following is taken from the "WV Baptist Magazine" Our state convention's (WVBC) official publication. The author is a very close friend of mine, and we have been working hand in hand since this happened with the Hispanics in our area. We are establishing an Hispanic church through our association, and our churches.. and I have been so blessed to be part of this. This coming Saturday we will meet with this small mission church for a Thanksgiving dinner/Bible study.. and we are expecting between 30 and 40 people to show up.

    Please read the following, and see how God gave this friend of mine a "word of knowledge"... and then read how God is moving in my life.

    http://wvbc.ab.edu/WV Baptist/My Webs/Current Issue/OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2009 OC.pdf

     
    #16 tinytim, Nov 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2009
  17. windcatcher

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    When God through the holy spirit gives one a revelation which opens others to the gospel, then you may consider it was from God. The order of the godhead is the holy spirit leads to Jesus Christ and magnifys Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ magnifys and brings glory to the Father. The Father magnifys and reveals himself through the Son, and the Father and the Son direct and send the holy spirit. The holy spirit does nothing to bring attention to himself: He is a comforter, a director when we are yielded to in obediance to Jesus Christ, and he works to glorify the Son in his death, resurrection and preservation. A person so yielded is likely to have some extrordinary occurrances which he cannot explain outside the work of the holy spirit, and he cannot brag of 'powers' as though they belong to him or are exclusively under his control or predictable.

    This is where I believe some fail even though they may seem to get a large following. There might have been a time when God used them..... but pride turned them and they start using God....... and when they become self serving, they are no longer true instruments of faith yielded to God's leading .... but become manipulators to appease an audience they amass for their own gain. Even in such cases, it is possible, God may do a work for his glory and a few really come to Jesus, but in many cases, their own self deceipt is magnified in those who are seeking after signs instead of seeking faith and truth..... and are falsely satisfied in following a man or men instead of truely opening up to God and the truth.

    The Bible does speak about 'familiar spirits'. While this does not seem to be specific to those of us who have not had such experience, I think such is responsible for the so-called contact with the dead, or revelations about the secrets of ones life which encompasses spiritism and fortune tellers and even 'prophets' who 'work' for their own gain...... and is likely to be demonic in origin. A real key to discerning is 'who is being glorified? Who or what is the focus of this exercise or experience? What is the outcome ....as far as a change in life for those who receive this experience? Does the power of their witness increase for Christ or does it decrease? Does their life show an increase in relationship to Jesus and a holiness and humbleness which is evidence of yielding to him, or is their magnitism based upon an unexplained but powerful charisma which draws more people to their person than it does to the gospel?' These are just some of my thoughts..... But most important....... What does the Bible say. Truely the Bible teaches that Jesus taught his disciples that the things he did, they would also do once endued with power from on high. Yet he also rebuked those who asked him for a sign.... and, clearly, he didn't heal every sick person, or address every wicked person in a life changing way.... but chose specific individuals and did a special work in each which brought glory to his Father and declared the authority given him by his Father. In all his ministry, he was obediant to the Father. In that, he brought no attention to his power as separate and existing without the Father although we know he had all power and all the fulleness of the godhead bodily. One of the most potent warnings he gave his disciples before he left them was 'do not be deceived.' He warned them that many would come in his name....... teaching ..... false wonders ..... in his name..... purpose to deceive, even the very elect, if possible. In his name...... what does this mean? It can mean that some are false christs, pretending themselves to be the messiah. But it can also mean that some are claiming to be Christian, bought and paid for by the sacrificial blood of Christ but lacking the faith, the truth, and the power...... IOW, presenting themselves as sheep who follow the true Shepherd..... they are wolves, self deceived, and any power they seem to possess is a distraction from the gospel and the working of the holy spirit.

    A brother or sister who confidentially shares with me his personal experience of feeling used by the holy spirit in an extrordinary way.... I would encourage in prayer and fellowship, as long as their was nothing which jumped out from his profession and testimony to ignite the cautionary spark to withdraw. Remember, God is consistant with his Word and a person who is yielded to the holy spirit will not present a defense to error, and, if in error, will accept the truth, given in love, when rebuked. I guess I am a skeptic..... a personal sharing of an unusual experience is one thing..... asking me for endorsment or bragging to me or others about it and my caution flags shoot up. Another person's testimony which includes a particular minister or person who ministered to them is one thing..... but a close relationship with all such persons suggestive of collusion is another cautionary flag (not entirely a veto). All true ministries focus on Jesus Christ and are consistant with the Word of God. All evidence of power belongs to the Lord and to no person, so that nullifies anyone who claims the power as his own.

    I believe each of us are instructed to 'try the powers' and our being instructed in the Word and the holy spirit, we'll be guided well as to under what spirit they be.
     
  18. righteousdude2

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    Preach It Windcatcher

    That was an excellent discourse, brother!

    Pastor Paul
     
  19. windcatcher

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    Thank you pastor Paul.

    I don't know if this belongs or not:
    I think it may be an interesting part of such an experience to think 'this doesn't make sense. I'm afraid of appearing foolish if I do as I feel led. What if this is just my mind and imagination playing tricks on me? What if this is not from God?"

    I remember being told that a classmate from hs had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and the date of his surgery. I was being included in the prayer chain. I am not one to practice fasting.... and have trouble staying away from food. But Danny and his family was on my heart and I just couldn't shake the gravity of the situation. I couldn't eat.... and found prayerful thoughts concerning him returning to my mind again and again. That passage in the Bible in Isaiah kept coming back to me again and again, 'and by his stripes we are healed'...... I felt led to go visit him and read aloud that whole passage, several verses of scripture. I also felt a bit foolish for some reason. i even told God so. I asked the Lord to prepare my way.... that he would be available for visitors with none present...... that he would welcome the reading of the scriptures.

    Sure enough, when I arrived, the day after his surgery, he was alone although he'd had visitors before me and one arrived as I was leaving. He was alert and welcomed me and stated he'd be happy for me to read the scriptures. I visited briefly with him and read the scriptures and left. A short while later, I was delighted to hear him testify before church how 'Jesus is my healer.' He told how he'd have boughts of stomach pain in recovering from his surgery and when lying down to relieve the pain would comfort himself by declaring 'Jesus is my healer' and would feel the pain lift.

    Then, about 6 months later, a friend called me urgently, and told me Danny was taken to emergency and expected to go into emergency abdominal surgery. For a moment I felt confused and uncertain whether I should go to church to the prayer meeting that Monday night or go on to the hospital to sit with his wife and family. I went on to the prayer service and participated until the middle at which time I felt the leading to leave and attend the family. At that very point I had mixed thoughts...... had the cancer returned?...... but I had felt the assurance that God had healed him.....did I believe God could/had healed him or was I being doubtful?.... yes, I believed...... then what is God's purpose in this? ........ all the while I'm praying as I drive.... feeling a growing confidence in God despite my own confusion born of human logic...... During the prayer service I had received an impression that Danny's cancer had not returned but that this was for God's glory and would be a witness to someone skeptical of God's healing ........ When I arrived at the waiting room, I had faith and confidence and shared with the family, who were also at peace......... that I felt that this wasn't a return of the cancer but was for God's glory.

    Sure enough, the surgeon came out with good news that the obstruction seen in the x-ray was not cancer but a small growth of scar tissue creating an obstruction which was easily removed...... but the doctor was more pleasantly surprised how complete the healing had been, relative to what he had anticipated ..... and having expected the return of the cancer was pleasantly surprised at the health of the bowel. It was the same surgeon who had done his original surgery. His schedule at the hospital did not include late hours on weekdays under normal circumstances, but some other involvement had held him over that day when the staff alerted the need for a surgeon with his qualifications and he was already 'in-house'. Did I have anything to do with Danny's healing? I'm sure I had nothing to do with it. It was already in God's will. It wa okay with me if I felt 'foolish'. I think it could also be said that the doubts I might have entertained as belonging to another.... could just as well have been my own.... so I feel humbled and accepting that whatever God's purpose was in this.... it was to his glory. There may be nothing miracalous in this experience......... except the miracle of faith which God provides to encourage us and others in times of need. But, even that is a miracle.

    That was way back about 1984. Danny is still living. Healthy. His children are now grown, married, and he has grandchildren.
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    If it aint in scripture I don't buy it regardless of anyone's experience.
     

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