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Discerning The Prophetic

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

When people see prophecy misused, their natural tendency is to draw back from it. However, we don’t want to quench the Spirit or despise prophesying. We want to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. We have to judge prophecy in order to protect the church from error, confusion and wrong teaching.

Many moves of God have been short-lived or limited in their scope due to a lack of discerning leadership. If leadership doesn’t step in with some clear discernment God will stop moving and the flesh and the devil will have free reign. We need to get to the place where we can judge what is from God and what is not. Sure, people can make mistakes, but I’d rather have a few honest people

making mistakes, than to have everybody so cautious that nobody ever does anything!

If proven spiritual leaders are there to judge it, then we’re safe. Seven Criteria For Judging Prophecy:

1. Is Prophecy Scriptural?

“These (Bereans)… searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” Acts 17:11

This verse is referring to the Bereans’ diligence in comparing Paul’s preaching to the written Word of God. However, the same principle would apply to prophecy. Don’t just blindly believe it when someone says, “Thus saith the Lord.” Don’t open your mind and believe all that is said. You must screen everything through the Word like a filter.

2. Public Acknowledgement

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

In some churches that believe in prophecy, you will find people huddling in corners prophesying over each other. There is no public acknowledgement and no one present to judge the prophetic words that are given. Here is some sound biblical advice: if someone has a “word” for you, ask a leader in the church to listen to it and publicly acknowledge it. If the person sharing the prophecy is not open to that, you probably should not be listening to them, anyway!

- continued on page 32


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