How to handle prophecy when you receive one – Part 1

If you attend a charismatic or Pentecostal church, you may at some point received a personal “prophetic word” from either a pastor or participant. The normal person does not always know what to do when that happens to them and so the purpose of this piece is to give you a few keys to help you know what to do.

What is Prophecy? This can be explained from the dictionary as Common Ideas

a. Dictionary – to speak about the future, to speak the mind of another (ie/God)

b. In most people’s minds – it’s a prediction about the future

B) In Biblical Context;God speaking a “clear message” to a “specific person/group” through a “chosen mouthpiece”

God’s plan has always been to speak to people directly – not through an intermediary. In the beginning – God had personal fellowship with Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel (Gen 3:8). Yet people became hardened and so God only spoke to those who sought for Him. We find these examples: Enoch walked with God: Gen 5:21-24; Jude 1:14; Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord”; Abraham: Spoke – Gen 12:1; Vision – Gen 15:1; Appeared – Gen 17:1; Isaac, Jacob heard from God directly.


How do you deal with prophecy?

1. Do not despise prophecy

Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. 1Th 5:20-21

To despise is to feel contempt or a deep repugnance for. Scorn, disdain, contemn, misprize, detest. Recognize that prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit and a way that God chooses to speak to us today.

2. Test Everything

To the Word of God taken in context
Moses – Deuteronomy 13:1-5
Jesus asked people to test Him in light of the scripture: Mat 5:17; Luk 24:44 ESV
The Disciples did the same – Act 28:23 – trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.2Ti 3:14-17

If someone gives you a prophecy and you aren’t sure what to do with it, here are a few suggestions.

Ask a person with an understanding of scripture (not someone who takes things out of context) if you are stuck
Don’t spiritualize the word to fit the prophecy
Study the prophecy – ask God to open the word to any and every prophetic word you receive.
Ask God to confirm it with a scripture from His word!!!
Don’t run ahead of principles found in the word of God.
Do what God has already spoken to You. You are first responsible for what God has said to you in his word then what he has spoken to you Spirit to Spirit
If God is silent to you or you don’t know God’s voice for yourself

Place a higher value on God’s voice than prophetic words. Pursue His voice. (1 Kings 13)
God may be developing spiritual muscle in you. Don’t bypass what God is trying to teach you in the silence. Don’t stunt your personal and spiritual growth. Seek his voice first.
There may be sin in your life. Seeking prophetic words may release deceitful spirits to speak to you and confuse you. (2 Chronicles 18)
Key Questions

Does the prophecy fall in line with what God is already speaking to me about?
Is the prophecy new material – is it something new?
Does the prophecy enable me to walk in faith / confusion based on God’s voice to me?
Does it confirm my own journey with God?
Is the prophecy clear – or is it convoluted and do I have to figure out what is being spoken about?
Key Actions

Writing down the prophetic word will help you to better test it – separate what you thought you heard from what was spoken.
Discern the Person Giving the Prophecy (these are from Dr. Bill Hamon): Manhood, Ministry, Message, Maturity, Marriage, Methods Manners, Money, Morality, Motive. Recognize that true prophets do not contradict the established Word of God. True prophets prophesy only what they hear, with proper context, direction, accuracy, and timing.
2Pe 1:20-2:3 …knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. (21) For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (1) But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. (3) And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.