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-- © GodSpeak International 2003 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Compiled by: Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net http://www.godspeak.net

God Speaks To Us Through The Prophetic

Lesson 1
Judging Prophecy

Compiled By Teresa Seputis

Someone recently told me about a book that is supposed to be God talking to people in the form of letters, sort of like a "Dear Abby" column in a newspaper. Each chapter contains a letter from a person that asks God a question or presents a problem to God. And then the chapter continues with a letter back from God answering the question. The problem with this particular book is that the letters "from God" are really not from God at all. They are New Age and humanistic in content and directly contradict what God has said in the bible. That particular book must be rejected as false prophecy, because God would never say anything through prophecy that contradicts what He has already said in the Bible.

However, that conversation got me to thinking -- people really want to hear from God about relevant issues and problems they face. And God has already said so much to us on those topics through corporate prophetic words that He has released to the body of Christ. In fact, God has so much to say to His church that there are several different email lists that distribute prophetic words to the body of Christ on a regular basis. These lists tend to encourage and build up the body of Christ as God speaks His words of life to His church.

The problem with these lists is that we don't really have a good way to categorize their words for easy reference. Many of these words are archived on various www pages, usually by the date the word was given. So, when you want to go look for what God has said on a given subject, it is not always easy to find words by topic. It becomes like going on a treasure hunt, where you have to sort through a whole bunch of archived words to find the topics you want. GodSpeak has one of those lists, called the prophetic-word list. It has an extensive archive that records every word sent out to the prophetic word list since March of 1999 on a www page. To date, that contains over 1200 prophecies. Unfortunately, it is organized by date and it is really hard to find words on a given topic in it.

I started thinking about how neat it would be to go over some of those words and select a few on relevant topics that seemed like powerful words, then present them in a teaching series as God's comments on various subjects. And that is what I am going to do for this "teaching" series. The words in this teaching series were distributed on the prophetic-word list somewhere between March of 1999 and December of 2002. They are organized by topic, so that you can get a feel for what God says on five different topics.

However, anytime anyone claims to speak for God, we need to look at it carefully and decide whether or not they really are speaking for God. The question arises, "Just how much validity am I supposed to put on prophetic words?" The ones we get today are delivered through New Testament prophets, who are fallible humans operating under the gifting and direction of the Holy Spirit. Each prophet desires to reflect God's message as clearly and accurately as possible. But there is always the chance that they could make a mistake on one of their words. (Putting it in the popular lingo, they might "miss it" on a given word.)

Anything that comes from God is precious, so we don't want to discard prophecies outright. But they are delivered by humans, so there is a chance that God's message could get corrupted or miscommunicated. So how much credibility do we want to give to prophetic words? How do we process them?

The bible gives us the answer in 1 Cor 14:29, where Paul instructs us to judge prophecy. The verse says, "... prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said." In Old Testament times, people did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them, so they did not have a way to evaluate whether or not a given word was from God. His prophets had to be 100% accurate or they were to be put to death. The reason that God commanded any false prophets to be executed was so that people would not claim to speak for Him when He was not speaking and lead people astray.

But today we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. The Holy Spirit will "teach you all things and will remind you of everything [Jesus has] said to you" (John 14:26). In other words, He will teach you to discern what is from God and what is not from God. He will teach you to recognize God's voice and He will speak directly to you. He will help you to know if a prophecy is really from God or not. But you still have to go through the process of judging prophecy with Him, as per 1 Cor 14:29.

Since the remaining lessons in this particular teaching series are presented as God speaking to us on various topics, we need to make sure we understand how to judge those prophecies. That is what we will cover in the rest of this lesson.

Judging Prophetic Words

All prophetic words are to be prayerfully judged. If you have any questions or discomfort about judging a word, I strongly recommend you take the word to your pastor or spiritual overseer and have them pray it through and evaluate it with you. Here are some helpful guidelines for judging prophecy:

  1. Be sure to bounce it against scripture... Scripture is the final authority and anything that contradicts scripture must be rejected.

  2. Look for the inner witness of the Holy Spirit to your spirit. Also look for a witness of His peace with the word (Col 3:15).

  3. Pray it through. Take the word back to the Lord and discuss it with Him. Ask Him to show you if there are any conditions He wants you to meet, any changes He wants you to make in your life or thinking. Ask Him to show you if any parts of the word are not from Him and to confirm the parts that are from Him.

  4. Compare the word against other things God has spoken into your life through prior prophecies, personal devotions, pastoral counsel, etc.

  5. If you have any question/alarm/fear/discomfort about a particular word, run it by your pastor or a leader from your church.

  6. Do NOT act on any predictive, directive or calling/gifting definition words unless you get confirmation from other sources. If this is a word from God, He will be happy to confirm it to you.

  7. Do not "read into" the word what you want it to say. Do not make assumptions about the word that it has not actually said. Let me give you an example from Bill Hamon's life, somewhat early in his ministry.

    Bill was involved in a building project and began to encounter financial difficulty; the money stopped coming in and he was about to default on the loan. About that time, Bill received a word that God would "protect that which was most precious to him and not allow it to be lost or destroyed." He took that to mean God would supply the needed money for the building project, since that was the circumstance that was prevalent in his mind, and since his ministry and this building project were very precious to him. However, the money did not come in and the bank foreclosed on the property. He lost it all.

    Bill felt devastated that God did did not keep his word and to make matters worse, his daughter ended up in a life-threatening situation, and he had to spend months nursing her back to health. He finally confronted God as to why God had not kept His word to him regarding the property. Then God replied the word was never about the property.. it was about his daughter who had nearly died.

    When he got the word, the circumstance it applied to was not yet in his life, so he assumed it applied to his current circumstance. He read a promise about the property into the word, but that was not what it was talking about.

Processing Prophetic Words

  1. If you decide it is a valid word after judging it, then review it often. Also, pray regarding it. Invite God to work in your life to bring it to pass and ask Him to show you any conditions in it that He wants you to meet to fulfill it.

  2. Ask the Lord to reveal any prerequisites that must be accomplished before the word can be fulfilled. For instance, if the Lord gives you a word that you will be used to bring revival to the nation of Mexico, He may require that you learn to speak Spanish first. Sometimes the prerequisites are spelled out explicitly in the prophecy. Other times they are not. Ask God to show you what (if anything) your part is and then ask Him to empower you to do it.

  3. Ask the Lord what His time frame is for the word. So often people have jumped the gun and tried to fulfill a prophecy in their own strength (or by their own resources) before it was God's timing. This often creates messes to clean up. An example of this is Sarah's attempts to have a child through her maid .. she had a true word of God (that Abraham would have a son) but she tried to fulfill it in her own time and through her own resources. It is important to know (and follow) God's time table and His strategy for fulfilling His word.

  4. Once you are sure it is a word from the Lord, stand in faith for God's word to be fulfilled in your life. This is "warring" over your word, as per 1 Tim 1:18, which says, "This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare" (NKJV).


This teaching series collects some of what God has said in prophecies given in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 and distributed on GodSpeak's prophetic-word list. The words in this teaching series are organized by topic, so that you can get a feel for what God has to say on the following topics:

As with any prophetic word, you need to judge it to decide if it is really God speaking. So please use the (above) guidelines for judging words when you read the remaining lessons in this series.

-- © GodSpeak International 2003 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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