You must discern the spirit of the prophecy or the attitude it was given to you in – 1 Corinthians 14:3. Even though the one prophesying speaks to people for their upbuilding, encourage and console them.
You must also discern the type of Prophetic Word: Whether it is Forth telling (1 Tim 4:14) or Foretelling (prediction).
Discern the Conditions vs. Promises. What is stated in the prophetic word What is implied by scripture? What is the promise and what are the conditions? What is potential vs. actual
Discern the responsibilities: What is God’s role and what will He sovereignty do? What is my role and responsibility?
Discern the time frame: Is it stated / implied in the prophecy: test it according to Deuteronomy 18:21-22 – If a prophet’s prophecy doesn’t come true in the time it is appointed to come true, he/she is not a true prophet. If timing is not stated put it on the shelf.
Submit it to the Elders. All prophecy needs to be given publicly not privately – for the interpretation and application (1st Corinthians 14:29). Because elders are given the task of overseeing the church (1st Peter 5:1-3), prophecy should be submitted for the discernment of the elders of a church.
3. Hold fast what is good
Before Timothy was sent to Ephesus, church elders (the presbytery) surrounded him and prayed over Him. In that time of
prayer, the gift of teaching was given to Him. Other prophecies also proceeded to foretell what He would face. Paul
encouraged Timothy to
1) Walk in Faith – Paul encouraged Timothy to stay true to Word of God that was there before the prophecies came. To stay
strong and grow in faith. If we need multiple confirmations, we need to ask for it. If the circumstances are overwhelming, we
need to ask for grace to go on.
2) Persevere under circumstances – In spite of the circumstances Paul reminded Timothy to keep doing what He was called to do which was; Preaching and Teaching the word – operate in His spiritual gifts.