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New Testament prophecy is intended to encourage, build up, strengthen and comfort the body of Christ. God gave the gift of prophesy to His church to bless and encourage them. This is spelled out clearly in 1 Corinthians 14. Most modern-day prophecies follow 1 Corinthians 14 guidelines; they build people up in their walk with God and breathe His life into His own.
But from time to time, things are presented as prophetic words that are not really from God. Some of them come from well-meaning people who want to encourage someone, but draw from their own soul instead of hearing from God. Some come from people with bad motives (such as a desire to manipulate or control or hurt) or from someone trying to validate their own personal misunderstanding of Scripture by presenting it as God's interpretation. Other "false words" come directly from the devil, as part of his strategy to deceive, kill, steal and destroy.
I want to look at one category of those words that come from the devil: curse words. The devil can imitate God's voice, and at times he does so to deceive a well-meaning but inexperienced prophetic person. He will give them a message that has some measure of God-truth in it, but that also has his own evil agenda attached to it. One of the things that the devil likes to do is to curse a person in the guise of a prophetic word.
Let me give you a real-example. This is the jest of a "word" that was given to me about a week ago:
God wants you to know that He loves you. It doesn't matter what happens to you, He still loves you. God loves you even when your health fails and you become horribly sick and completely unable to function. He loves you in the midst of financial disaster and complete economic ruin. He loves you even when all of your friends turn against you and begin to speak evil of you. God loves you even when your loved ones die premature, horrible and painful deaths. He wants you to know that He loves you no matter what terrible things happen to you. Yes, this stuff may happen to you sometime soon, but if it does, God wants you to know that He loves you.
On first glance, this may look like a prophetic word talking about God's great love for you. And there is a measure of truth in it. God is love and He loves each of us very much. But if you look closer, you will see that there are several curses spoken in this word: serious health problems, financial ruin, relationship problems and loved ones dieing horrible painful deaths.
The enemy has woven several curses along with a spiritual truth. He is hoping you will receive the word because of the truth that is contained in it--God's unconditional and all-encompassing love. He is betting that you will come into agreement with this word because of the truth of God's love. But this word is not a God-word, it is a devil-word; and if you come into agreement with it, you are coming into agreement with the curses contained in it. That is the same as giving the devil permission to curse you in those areas. If you do come into agreement with it, that agreement empowers the devil to act against you in those areas he spoke in his false word to you.
Why would the devil do that? It is because his job description is to kill, steal and destroy. We find that in spelled out in John 10:10, which says, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." You can see elements of the devil's job description spelled out in this false "word:" sickness, financial ruin, failed relationships, death. That is what he does, and he is not beyond trying to do it to you in the disguise of a prophetic word.
By the way, John 10:10 also gives Jesus' job description, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Jesus job description is to make us truly alive in Him, and to give us abundant life.
If you are still considering the possibility that my "example word" might really be from God, then ask yourself this: does it bring life or abundance to someone who's heart is set after the Lord?. Is it in accord with Jesus' job description from John 10:10? Or does it line up better with the devil's job description?
The answer is obvious...Jesus doesn't curse those who's hearts are set after Him to obey Him. He wants to encourage them in that behavior; but the devil wants to discourage it. The devil will do all he can to sabotage your walk with God, and he will do all he can to keep you from walking in the abundant life that Jesus has procured for you.
It is particularly devious when he does this in the guise of a prophecy. The devil knows that most believers won't reject a word that they are not sure is form God. Many believers "put it on a shelf" to "wait and see."
[By the way, "shelving a word" is a practice that I don't agree with most of the time. I believe that we do our best to judge a word and then either accept/receive it or reject it. If we accidentally reject a word that was really from God, He is pretty faithful to bring it around again, usually in a way that is easier for us to see that it really came from Him.]
You will probably get a check in your spirit (or a bad gut-feeling) about a curse word as is spoken to you. Pay attention to that sort of thing, as that is one of the ways that the Holy Spirit lets us know that a word is not from Him. Scripture is another way of judging those type of words. The bible makes it clear that when we believe in Jesus and honor Him as our Lord and Master, He doesn't condemn us (Romans 8:1). His plans for us are good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11), and that we are not under a curse (Galatians 3:13).
Yes, God loves us, that part of the word is true. But the other part of the word, the part that foretells all sorts of bad things happening to us because of His love--that part is suspicious and must be judged on it's own merits. The devil loves to weave his lies in with God's truths, hoping that if we find part of the message true, we will receive his lies as well.
He used that strategy with Jesus when he tempted Him in the wilderness. The devil quoted Scripture to Jesus (truth) but he weaved in lies and misinterpretation of the Scripture to try and get Jesus to sin. Jesus agreed with the truth in the devil's message--that the Scripture he quoted was God's true and living word. But He did not receive the falsehood that was woven into it. It fact, Jesus used Scripture to unveil and reject the lies the devil tried to attach to God's truth.
The devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus as a basis to get Him to jump off the top of the temple, saying that God's angels would not allow Him to be hurt. It is true that God does "give His angels charge over you, to keep you." But it is not true that the reason He does that is so that you can intentionally do dangerous and stupid things. Jesus accepted the truth of Psalm 91, but He responded with Deuteronomy 6:16--"You shall not tempt the Lord your God."
In short, Jesus did not receive the lie along with the truth--and neither should we.
It is dangerous to "wait and see" with curse words. They should be rejected immediately, so that you do not open any doors for the enemy to attack you. At the same time, don't worry or be anxious because someone tried to speak a curse over you. If you don't receive the curse, you are under protection from it, because "A curse undeserved cannot land" (Proverbs 26:2).