40 Days of Hearing From God Join us in the Journey - only 3 weeks away! Study Guide

LIFE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

Learn more about the Holy Spirit filled life.

PENTECOST
Spirit Baptism

HEARING FROM GOD

1- Take time to dwell in God's presence. Scheduling a certain time each day helps us get into the habit of spending time with Him.


2- Spend a portion of the scheduled time with the Lord in worship; singing or speaking praises, reading the Psalms, unto Him.


3- Ask the Lord to speak to you, and tell Him you are listening. Get quiet and listen for His voice. Practice staying quiet for a longer period each day. You'll be surprised how much God really wants to speak to you.


4- Study to show yourself approved unto God. Read and study the scriptures. Ask God to help you become a lover of His word. Search out good books on the subject of hearing God.


5- Develop love for others. Begin to ask God for a new appreciation for His Body. We must prophecy in love. It all works by love.


6- Become sensitive to different feelings within or on your body: pains that were not there prior to ministry time, etc. This may be a word of knowledge.


7- Keep a note pad and pen by your bed to jot down any dreams you may have. Some might be from the Lord. If we do not write them down right away, we can easily forget them. Then when you get up, look up key words or subjects from the dream in your Bible.


8- Do not put limits on how God may or may not speak to you. He is very creative.


9- Stay free from a sinful lifestyle by yielding to Jesus and appropriating forgiveness through His shed blood. Our sins separate us from God.


10- Be sure to tithe. By obeying in the tithe, God opens the windows of heaven and pours out a blessing. We see through these windows into God's plans and purposes for our lives and the lives of others. Is there a better blessing than hearing Him speak?

MODERN DAY MYTHS ABOUT PROPHECY

Myth #1 - Only a few special people are called to prophesy.

What the Bible says: Everyone has a gift and may use their gift.

1 Corinthians 14:26, "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."

1 Corinthians 14:31, " For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted."


Myth #2 - Asking for the gifts opens us up to demonic deception.

What the Bible says: God gives good gifts to His children.

Luke 11: 9-13, "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. For if a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

I Corinthians 14:1, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.


Myth #3 - When the Holy Spirit gives us a gift, He must keep on giving it to us again when we need to use it.

What the Bible says: The Holy Spirit gives the gift; we use it by faith.

I Corinthians 12:11 (Amp), "All these endowments, (gifts) are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same Holy Spirit, Who apportions, (gives) to each person individually as He chooses."

Romans 12:6 (Amp), "Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: He whose gift is prophecy, let him prophesy according to the proportion of his faith."

18 KEYS TO PROPHESYING

by Wendell Smith (edited)


Too often the church has neglected a practical approach to the gifts of the Spirit. This has caused many to fear or abuse this means of building up the body. This article gives explicit guide­lines and keys to give us a better under­standing of the purpose and operation of the gift of prophecy.


Have a Clear Conscience. A person with a clear conscience is a person who is released into confidence in any area of ministry (Prov. 28:1).


Build Up Your Mind. Study Scripture. A person who is going to move in the prophetic must be one who is speaking the Word of the Lord. He, therefore, must fill his mind with God's Word (Eph. 5:18-19, Col. 3:16).


Build Up Your Spirit. Speak in tongues. Speaking in tongues strengthens the spirit, the inner man, to prepare to move into the prophetic (I Cor. 14:4).


Yield To The Holy Spirit. A person who wants to move in this realm must be totally consecrated to be obedient to the initial voice of the Holy Spirit. It is important to be willing to do whatever the Lord speaks to you under the control of the Holy Spirit


Remember the Purpose of Prophecy. The purpose of the prophetic is given in I Corinthians 14:3: 1) edification, 2) exhortation, and 3) comfort. A person moving in the prophetic realm in the congregation should never be involved in rebuke or condemnation. If you feel you receive a word of rebuke or correc­tion, that word should be shared with someone in leadership. It is only the ministry of the prophet that should use the prophetic for this kind of adjust­ment in the church.


Worship Releases Prophecy. During times of worship, the prophetic mantle is released in the presence of the Lord. Anyone who is going to move in the prophetic must be totally involved in worshiping the Lord in Spirit and in Truth (Rev. 19:10).


Concentrate on the Things of the Spirit. It is of benefit to close one's eyes, concentrate, and focus one's attention on the things of the Spirit and on what the Lord is saying, avoiding all distrac­tions.


Listen For the Words of The Spirit. The Holy Spirit will speak to you as you learn His voice and will bring phrases, words, or visions to your mind with a prophetic anointing for you to share them. Many words can come into a person's mind; it's important to try not to make these up or create something similar to the words of the Spirit. A sensitive heart and a finely-tuned inner ear will help one recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit.


Recognize the "Pushing" of the Holy Spirit. There will be times when the Holy Spirit will indicate His presence and anointing upon the vessel for the pro­phetic message. Oftentimes a person's heart will begin beating quickly and he will feel an impulse to speak. It is very important to be totally committed and sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that this subjective confirmation does not be­come an excuse for self-glorification. Read Job 32:18-20.


Practice Prophesying. Although this sounds rather unspiritual, a person who desires to move in the prophetic realm must spend time alone in the presence of the Lord. Even in those times he will find himself anointed by the Holy Spirit to share a certain message. Reading the prophecies of the Bible oftentimes can stir that prophetic spirit in a person.


Look for Confirmation. Many times, in the congregation during a service, other words will come which will confirm the direction of your heart. Songs, ex­hortations, Scriptures, etc., can be con­firming factors in knowing that you are in the flow of the Spirit. However, if several have already prophesied and you simply confirm it, it does not neces­sarily mean that you are to prophesy in addition to those who already have.


Wait for Experienced Ones to Step Out. This is not always a definite rule, but in a large congregation or a major church meeting, and especially in a place where you are not well-known, you should allow those who are in leadership or in experienced and re­cognized prophetic ministries to be the first to set the tone and flow of the Spirit.


Use Your Own Language. It is not necessary to have "thee's" and "thou's" to be spiritual in your prophetic flow. The reason we hear many of those words is simply because of the certain vision that a person may be meditating upon in the Scriptures. It is important to use your own language and be natural when you share a word of prophecy.


Evaluate: Prophecy or Exhortation? Be careful not to prophesy a feeling, a "pet peeve," or something that has just been mentioned and therefore on your mind. Many times we feel a word that we would like to share is an exhortation but it may not be prophecy. A prophetic word should have a certain unction on it that will confirm it as a word of prophecy.


Check Questionable Content with Leadership. Is the content of what I am about to share doctrinal, is it appropriate, is it timely, is it necessary, is it a rebuke, is it in the flow, or is it a personal prophecy aimed at one person? If there are any questions or doubts, such pro­phecy should be screened by a leader in the church.


Refrain From Personal Prophecy. Per­sonal prophecy should be administered by one who is a recognized prophet or under guidance from a strong prophetic minister in the church. 1 Timothy 5:22 says, "Lay hands suddenly on no man." The gift of prophecy in the congregation is not for the purpose of ministering to individuals, although it will in a general sense. All prophecy should be tested by those who are experienced in this gift; therefore, do not give personal prophecy when there is no other to test it.


Speak Loudly and Clearly. It is impor­tant that people are able to hear and understand what you are saying. How­ever, it is not necessary that a person shouts or screams in order to sound spiritual.


Quit When the Flow Quits. Many times the Holy Spirit will give us a partial word or we will not be sufficiently in tune to continue the flow as the Holy Spirit would give it to us. It is important not to keep going in a word simply to make it sound better to our own ears, or to make the "good feeling" last longer or to simply get attention.


Allowing the river of God to flow in the church is the primary function of moving in the prophetic realm. God's design is that there always be a river of life which edifies, exhorts, comforts, and strengthens the body of Christ in the congregation.


Reprinted from Trinity Times, Trinity Church Lubbock, Texas.

PROPHECY VERSES PROPHETS

 

1 Cor. 14:3 - Prophecy edifies, exhorts and comforts. Only the prophet is called to bring rebuke or correction in the church. Individuals w/o recognition as Prophets should not.


1 Corinthians 14:3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.


1 Cor. 14:29 “…let the others judge…” Prophecy should be delivered either in the presence of leaders or in such a way as to allow for their discernment of the message.


1 Corinthians 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.

   

  1. Personal prophecy should not be given or received by anyone unless he or she is recognized as a prophetic leader (minister) in the church.
  2. Novices often project feelings; they should get their thoughts screened by a leader lest they:
  • share doctrinal error
  • often lack appropriateness
  • act w/o “covering”

    

Guidelines:

  1. If the messenger has to notify you of their “giftedness,” they have none.
  2. If the message does not point to Christ it is not of the Holy Spirit whose ministry is to glorify Him.
  3. If it does not conform to the Word (written), it is in error. Scripture, not private revelation, is the ultimate test of doctrine and practice.
  4. If it is not based in love it is not of the very Nature of God.

PROPHETIC MINISTRY TEAM GUIDELINES

1 - You are encouraged to prepare yourself for ministry during the week before your scheduled ministry time. This can be done through fasting, prayer, and having times of praise & worship. It is also important to remember that we are able to minister to others only because of His grace. So, sometimes we minister regardless of what kind of week we have had.


2 - Please come dressed appropriately. Have breath mints handy. No heavy perfume or aftershave.


3 - There will be a minimum of three members on a team and one will be a designated Team Leader.


4 - Team Leaders welcome the person who is being ministered to and introduce the other team members.


5 - First, ask the person what they are there for: a prophetic word, a prayer for healing, or for intercession for a specific need/situation. The team leaders minister first, opening in a short prayer for that particular ministry time and praying/prophesying for the person. Next, team members minister 2 to 3 minutes each. After everyone has ministered, if the team leader feels that there is something necessary to minister, he or she is to finish. Keep the entire time slot to a total of 10 minutes or less.


6 - There should be no talking or counseling AT ALL. If prophesying, you can say, "I see," describe your picture and then say, "Son or daughter," or For the Lord would say," or decree, declare, or cut something off. Do not say, "I think this means" or try to explain what you think. If a team member is uncomfortable in giving a prophetic word, or they do not receive one for the person, they may be released by the team leader to just pray and seal what words had been given.


7 - If you feel you have a sensitive word or a corrective word, please do not give it at that time. We are seeking to minister to people out of love to edify, exhort, and comfort. No one is to walk away, after being ministered to, feeling beaten down or condemned.


8 - If you feel you should explain something, please submit it to the team leader first for his or her permission to do so.


9 - Every ministry session is to be taped. NO EXCEPTIONS! Please do not shut the recorder off and then continue talking or sharing. When the recorder is shut off, you are done, say "God Bless you."


10 - If the person ministered to has never received a prophetic word, make sure that they receive the handout on handling a personal prophecy.


11 - If they were prayed for concerning healing, then they should receive the handout for receiving the healing.


12 - If you are ministering on a team, please do not be distracted by people, walk off from the ministry team, and then come back in to minister. Continue standing with your team until all ministry is complete. If there is an emergency and you must leave for a moment or talk to someone briefly, wait until your team has done ministering to that particular person. That way, you both stay in the flow of what is happening for each individual, and we can give them our undivided attention.


13 - If you feel to lay hands on a person, please ask permission to do so. Gently lay your hand lightly on the head, shoulder, or back. Men, please be particularly sensitive when laying hands on ladies when you minister, as this can be intimidating or frightening to some women because of past experiences. Male team members may request for a woman team member to place their hand beneath theirs when praying for a woman. Remember that we don't have to touch to minister to someone.


14 - If you feel to do something unusual during ministry, like slap a person's hands or clap loudly around them, please explain and ask their permission first. Remember that we don't have to touch to minister to someone.


15 - Team Leaders, you are responsible for gathering up your recorder, tapes, and handouts at the end of the ministry time and bring them to the designated area.


16 - Team Leaders, you are responsible for your team adhering to the guidelines. Please go over the guidelines before your ministry time, and pray as a team for a few minutes. If a member makes a mistake during ministry time with the guidelines, please gently re-­instruct on the matter after the person being ministered to has left the room (unless it is something that really needs to be corrected immediately. However, we do not expect this to happen because you have been trained before being asked to serve on the ministry team).


THE GIFT OF PROPHECY - BY JOHN WIMBER

CHARISMA, NOVEMBER 1992

Personal revelations are biblical and profitable, but we must be vigilant in testing them against scriptural guidelines.

The Bible teaches that God communi­cates with us in a variety of ways. For example, God speaks in a general way to all men and women through cre­ation (Ps. 19:1-2), through our consciences (Rom. 2:14-15) and through His continuing providence (Acts 14:17). He commu­nicates more directly through the written Word, which is not only the writ­ten record of His acts, but also the authoritative reve­lation of who He is and how we may have com­munion with Him.

But it does not end there. In the Old and New Testaments, we see God speaking to His children in dramatic, sometimes startling ways: prophecies, dreams and visions, inner impressions, angels, tongues and interpre­tations, among others.

The gift of prophecy, mentioned by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:10, is one method of God's communica­tion that is receiving a great deal of emphasis in the contem­porary church. Unfortunately, there has been neglect, misunderstanding or misuse of this manifestation of the Spirit-everywhere from Corinth to California, and from the first century to the 20th.

At the heart of the debate over contemporary prophecy is the question, How can we know if we are hear­ing from God?

The apostle Paul says that if an unbe­liever comes into the church when people are prophesying, he or she may be convinced that they are telling the truth and may discover God there (1 Cor. 14:24-25). In our own Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Anaheim, California, this has happened repeatedly. Not long ago, a church member approached a female visitor and told her the secrets of her heart. As a result, the woman knew God was speaking to her, was converted and is now happily settled in our church.


Such a prophetic word is not a prepared message or a learned skill. Nor should it be considered to have the same authority as Scripture. It's simply an immediate report of some revelation the Spirit has given in regard to a contem­porary situation (1 Cor. 14:29-30).


The gift of prophecy is generally a message of strength­ening, encouragement and comfort (14:3). It's an inspired message for the moment in the common language and could be prefaced by "Now hear this."

Unfortunately, the idea that God can and does speak to us in such a way frightens some Christians because it involves subjective experience. They readily accept preaching, teaching, wit­nessing and Bible study as authentic ways God speaks because they appear to be so clearly rooted in Scripture. Yet even these "objective" means of revela­tion are affected by the more subjective element of the Spirit's quickening the hearts of both the speaker and hearers. And while all Christians agree with the authority of Scripture, not all agree with how to interpret it.

Some Christians even maintain that belief in more subjective expressions of God's communication opens the door to emotional delusion or, worse yet, satanic deception. Fearing the worst, they retreat to the position that the Bible is the sole source of revelation today. (Their position is not that God could not speak today in these ways, but that He has chosen not to.)


But are their concerns actually rooted in the teaching of Scripture? Or is their interpretation based more on their anxieties or bad experiences?


The most casual reading of the Bible teaches that in biblical times God spoke to His people through the prophetic gifts. The Bible also teaches that He will speak to us in a similar way even today.

But how do we avoid the pitfalls of subjective revelation? How can we know if a prophetic message is truly from God? If prophecy, dreams, visions and other forms of direct reve­lation are biblical, then it's reasonable to look for biblical guidelines regarding their authenticity.


Guidelines

What safeguards, then, does Scrip­ture provide to ensure that we are not led astray by "prophetic" words?


1. Personal prophecy should glo­rify the Word of God, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit's primary mission is to bring glory to the Son (John 16:14), so any prophecy, dream or vision should point us toward Jesus.

A good test for knowing if we are crossing the line on this point is to ask two questions:

Does the prophetic person often talk about himself (or herself), subtly lifting up his experience and ministry at the expense of Jesus' glory? If so, we will have an uncomfortable feeling, getting more caught up in his or her story than in the life of Christ.


Are we constantly seeking after and hoping for words from the pro­phetic person, so much so that we suf­fer disappointment and even depression when we don't receive one? Then he or she is undermining our ability to hear from God through His Word and through the "still small voice" of the Holy Spirit.


2. Prophetic messages should con­form to the Word of God, the Bible. Paul says elders must "encourage oth­ers by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it" (Tit. 1:9, NIV). The content of extra-biblical revelation should always be in accordance with and submitted to Scripture. A so-called "word" that encourages someone to commit adultery or to believe that Jesus was not raised from the dead is rejected because it is a direct refutation of Scripture.

Some personal words of prophecy, however, deal with issues not addressed by the Bible. Those revela­tions that can be neither contradicted nor verified by Scripture should not be rejected out of hand. For example, prophetic words that warn someone about a dangerous business dealing or a hurtful relationship may or may not be legitimate. There are other criteria for judging their authenticity.


3. Prophecy should not be used to establish doctrine or practice. This is more subtle than the previous point.

The apostle Paul warned Timothy about anyone who "teaches false doc­trine and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching" (1 Tim. 6:3). In that day as this, some experiences and so­ called revelations are outside the scope of both Scripture and everyday experi­ence, and thus should not be looked to as authoritative truth for understanding major doctrine and practice. In other words, private prophecy can never con­trol our interpretation of Scripture.

I've observed that Christians don't always recognize when prophetically gifted people are allowing private reve­lations to control their understanding of Scripture. After hearing remarkable and accurate prophetic words, for example, it's easy to lower our guards and not think biblically when a prophetic person begins teaching from the Bible.

We are dazzled by their prophetic gifts and blinded to their biblical igno­rance. If they are so right about all the details of my life, we think, how could they be wrong about Scripture? This is especially a temptation when a prophetic minister speaks about doc­trines surrounding the second coming of Christ, a subject rife with specula­tion about which church leaders have never been in agreement.


We must resist the temptation to allow a "private revelation" to over­come the most basic principles of bibli­cal interpretation. Scripture, not prophecy, is the ultimate test of all doc­trine and practice.


4. Those who deliver a prophetic word should be of sound moral char­acter, submitted to the lordship of Jesus and producing good fruit in their ministry. Jesus warned that false prophets would come in "sheep's cloth­ing" (Matt. 7:15-23), meaning they would be camouflaged to look like one of us. So how are we to know the dif­ference between a true and a false prophet?

Jesus said we are to be fruit inspec­tors: "By their fruit you will recognize them" (Matt. 7:16). Does their ministry point people to Jesus and His Word? Are folks led to repentance and deeper faith in God?

This means that a person delivering prophecies should be willing to have his or her words tested by the elders of the church (1 Cor. 14:29-32). Pastoral oversight tests prophetic ministry and guides its recipients in appropriate responses. Complaints or questions about specific prophetic ministry should be thoroughly investigated and brought to clear resolution by responsi­ble pastors.


If a prophetic word predicts a future event, it should be fulfilled. If the predicted event does not happen, either God has not spoken (Deut. 18:21-22), or unspoken conditions of the prophecy were not fulfilled (Jer. 18:7-10; Jon. 2-4).

The quality of a person's fruit is determined by his or her character. A good test of mature character is to see if the messenger is submitted to pas­toral oversight. Independent, unteach­able and self-proclaimed "prophets" are dangerous. To protect the body of Christ, the pastors and elders of a congregation should check out the character and fruit of anyone who prophesies. A failure to do this leads to all kinds of abuse and hurt in the body of Christ.

The problem of independent, trav­eling people who stir up significant pastoral problems in congregations is not confined to the prophetic. The phenomenon of traveling teachers, evangelists and self-styled apostles who abuse Christians and cause con­troversy and division is widespread. In this regard, independent prophetic figures are only a part of the bigger problem of hyper-individualism in Western Christianity and the unwill­ingness of pastors to give proper oversight to their ministry.


5. Prophetic messages should be given in the spirit of love (1 Cor. 14:3; James 3:17). Even a word of rebuke is to be given in the spirit of love. Information about individuals that is negative or that may be embar­rassing should not be spoken publicly without first confronting the individual in private.

Prophetic gifting should never be used for controlling purposes. It should be overseen to ensure that believers' personal responsibility and authority for their own lives (as well as pastoral authority over a church) are not undermined.


6. No one should make major decisions based on personal pro­phetic words alone (1 Cor. 14:27­-32). Personal prophetic words should be weighed by elders, pastors and other prophetic people, as well as the person who is receiving the word. Per­sonal words should be given in a way and in a setting that allows for this to happen.


For example, the prophet Agabus warned Paul that if he went to Jerusalem, he would be arrested, and the other disciples pleaded with him not to go (Acts 21:10-14). Paul accepted the prophetic word but still went on to Jerusalem, where he was later arrested. He accepted the revela­tion of his coming suffering, but he rejected the disciples' application - that he therefore should not go.


A friend of mine recently told me of a simultaneous dream that he and his wife experienced one night last March. The dreams were almost identical, with the exception of a few details. The dreams came at a time when they were deciding among several job opportuni­ties. The dream seemed to indicate he should reject a job that, by most other criteria, he should accept. When he approached a prophetically gifted per­son, he was told the interpretation was "obvious"- he should not accept the job he thought was for him.


"But," he told me, "the older I get, the less I trust 'obvious' answers." So he and his wife instead trusted the quiet leading of the Holy Spirit. They took the job that the prophetic person warned them about, and decided to wait and see if there was another inter­pretation to their dreams. Six months later, a series of events occurred that gave an entirely different and accu­rate understanding to their dreams. Had he relied on the "prophetic" insight into their dreams, they would have missed out on God's call for their lives.


7. Many, if not most, personal prophetic words given today are con­ditional and, as such, are invita­tions - not certainties (Jer. 18:7-10). We must continue to seek God for the promised blessings to come to pass.


I'm a little uncomfortable when­ever I teach this point because it can be construed as an easy out for missed prophecy. "The prophet wasn't wrong," we hear. "The disobedience of the person who received the prophecy prevented the word from being fulfilled." This argument is similar to the one that blames any lack of healing on the paltry faith of the person being prayed for.

The problem with this thinking, though, is that the primary responsibil­ity for healing in Scripture is laid at the feet of the person who prays, not on the sick. Likewise, in the majority of instances where a prophetic word is unfulfilled, it should be attributed to inaccurate prophecy, not disobedience on the receiver's part.


The gift of prophecy and other per­sonal revelations must be received and understood in a biblical way. And we must be vigilant in testing all that we believe and do against Scripture.


If we do that, our lives will fulfill Paul's prayer in Philippians 1:9-11: "That your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to dis­cern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God."

GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO PERSONAL PROPHECY

1. Immediately write out your prophecy and ponder it. Seek Bible verses that may coincide with your prophecy. Write them down next to the areas they confirm. Keep the written prophecy in a note book or folder along with others. This keeps an ongoing record of what God is saying to you during your life.


2. War a good warfare with your prophecy. Pray it back to the Lord during your private prayer times. Declare the scriptures you've found that confirm God's plan for your life.


1 Timothy 1:18 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.


3. Be diligent and faithful. Don't give up because things don't happen like we thought, or in the time frame we expected. All prophecy is conditional. We must seek to nurture our relationship with the Lord in obedience and faith to see it come to pass.  Matt. 6:33 Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.


1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.


4. Review your prophecy with your spiritual covering (Pastor/Eldership). Your pastor is a source of caring input into your life with regard to prophecy, particularly in relationship to the timing of certain words being fulfilled. It should be noted that personal prophecy does not replace the need for pastoral counseling and oversight, and that receiving a valid, genuine word from the Lord is not license to become independent and return home feeling spiritually superior. Prophecy is one way that we can know the will and heart of God. Pastoral counsel is another complimentary way and the two should flow together.


5. Don't take immediate action on a word without confirmation and counsel from your Pastor/Eldership. God's process for prophetic fulfillment is usually later than we would expect. God is never in a hurry, but He is always on time. Our frustration or urgency we might feel to fulfill our prophecy does not move God.  Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.


6. Prove every word with Biblical principles and a witness of the spirit. God will not speak a prophetic word that is contradictory to the written Logos Word of the Bible.  Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.


1 Thes. 5:19-21 Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.

7. Remember that prophecies are always conditional. As Abraham continued forward in his relationship with God, his prophetic destiny unfolded step by step by obedience and faith.  James 1:22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.


Hebrews 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them, but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.