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-- © GodSpeak International 2000 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net GodSpeak International [http://www.godspeak.net/]
Michael Gerner MGerner@aol.com
Editors: ALison Bowling, Teresa Seputis

Prophetic-School MiniTraining Series

Judging Prophetic Words

by Michael Gerner

Part 3

More Thoughts On Testing Prophecy


In my first teaching, I covered the following matters:


Now I want to cover some more ways to test prophecy...


Does The Prophecy Uplift Jesus Or Somebody Else?

Rev 19:10 (NIV)
...For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

If a prophecy exalts anybody else other than Jesus (especially if it flatters the prophet's reputation) be on your guard. This is one of the most difficult tests to apply if the prophecy is exalting you (the recipient) or your church! But be especially careful in such cases, as the temptation to pride is real.

The Character Of The Prophet

Matt 7:15-17 (NIV)
15. "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17. Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

Look for the fruits of the Spirit in the prophet's life:

Gal 5:22-23 (NIV)
22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23. gentleness and self-control...

Look for good fruits in the prophet's ministry (previous prophecies come true, people turned to Jesus, etc.).

By the way, one of the first tests of a prophet's character is to tell him (or her) that you are going to test the prophecy - if the prophet reacts badly then that's a pretty strong negative indicator!

An Inner Witness Of The Holy Spirit

I Jn 2:20 (NIV)
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
John 16:13 (NIV)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Be careful with this one. Because the voice of the Holy Spirit is discerned in the inner being, His voice can be confused by soulish things. For example, if manifestations offend you, it is highly probable that an inner dislike of these manifestations could come across as a "check" in the Spirit that what is happening (or being said) is not of God, while in actual fact it is of God! The same thing can happen if the mannerisms of the prophet offend you.

It is important to grow in discernment and walking with the Lord to make it easier to hear His voice on these things. Practice makes perfect - or, at least, better!

Heb 5:14 (NIV)
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

The above is obviously incomplete but I trust they will be helpful to us all as we learn together how best to handle this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit.

Independent Witnesses

Deut 19:15
...A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (NIV)

This is a fundamental scriptural principal which was obviously greatly respected in the early church (Matt 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1, 1 Tim 5:19). It is a very important test of any prophecy. It is so important a test that, quite frankly, I was annoyed with myself that I left it out of my first list, even though that list was incomplete. I suspect the LORD wants to teach me some humility. Anyway...

If a word of prophecy is given, especially if it is a major life-changing one, it would seem reasonable to me to "put it on ice" until independent confirmation has been received. Such confirmation could be another prophecy, a bible reading or something similar which clearly reflects the guiding hand of God.

One thing to watch out for here is that the other witnesses must be truly independent. This is why a prophecy given by somebody who in the natural does not know anything about a given situation is so powerful.

Of course, the absence of independent witnesses does not necessarily mean that a prophecy is false. But I do feel that there are scriptural grounds for seeking independent confirmation from the LORD on such matters.

One strange thing about false prophecy is that often the devil will generally arrange for some form of seemingly independent witness to it (1 Kings 22, especially verse 22). You see, he knows that these witnesses strengthen his case. However, something about the prophecy will not "ring true" (verse 16) or a small part of the fruit will be bad - it might cause fear, for example (2 Tim 1:7). Which leads onto the next point:

The Word Sets Us Free

Remember, the LORD's will for us His disciples who hold on to His teachings is:

John 8:32
...you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (NIV)

As we seek to obey the LORD and to hold onto His teachings then I believe that we are entitled to live in the good of that promise! At the very least, we have helped create a favourable environment in which to hear accurately from the LORD.

The Prophet Testifies That Jesus Is God In The Flesh

I Jn 4:1-3
1. Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2. This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
3. but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. (NIV)

This is the litmus test for every religion or religious group in the world: what do they say about Jesus? Do they acknowledge that He is really God incarnate, fully man and fully God? If there is any wavering on this central point of how we view the LORD, be very careful - something false has got in.

What Does Your Church Leadership Say?

Heb 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (NIV)

It is a pretty sure principle that those whom the LORD has raised into leadership in the church will have a good insight into your life and can judge a personal prophecy spoken over you. That's NOT to say they are always right (leaders are imperfect too) but a confirmation from a leader can be a pretty strong indicator that a word spoken over you is accurate.

The ideal situation here is for your church leader(s) to also minister in the prophetic, since this will further equip them to judge the prophecy.

1 Cor 14:29
Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. (NIV)

Even if a church leader is not a prophet, I do believe that his or her input is valuable in weighting up a prophecy since they are moving in an anointed position (if they are God appointed that is!) and that anointing from the Spirit can show them the truth in matters pertaining to their area of authority (such as their oversight for you):

I Jn 2:20
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. (NIV)

I have often found spirit-filled leaders who are not in themselves prophets to have real words of wisdom when evaluating prophecies.

What Is The Prophet's Attitude Towards Other Brothers/Sisters?

I Jn 2:11
But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. (NIV)

This point is really a particular aspect of the earlier point B4, but it has a more detailed emphasis on the prophet's attitude towards others in the church.

It seems to me that somebody who walks around in darkness is not exactly a good person to be relied upon to give me clear guidance from the LORD!

And Finally

Please understand that the above represents the state of my knowledge on this topic as it stands at the moment. I have much more to learn on testing prophecy and my subsequent lessons may well modify what I have written here, but this is the best that I know at the moment and I trust that it will be helpful.

Eph 3:14-19
14. For this reason I kneel before the Father,
15. from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
16. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17. so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18. may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19. and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God. (NIV)
[Please Note:
This is intended as a discussion series. Please feel free to send your discussion (comments or questions) to prophetic-school@godspeak.net. ]

-- © GodSpeak International 2000 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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