Prophecy Guidelines. How to receive personal prophecy. How to discern false prophets and prophecy. What to do when you receive a personal prophetic word.
It is important to discern any prophetic words you have received by these guidelines:
- Your Pastor or Spiritual leader is Present. Your Pastor is the shepherd of your soul and is accountable unto God for your soul (1 Peter 2:25). Therefore if the prophetic word is true, and your Pastor is able to also hear clearly from God, they should be able to confirm what has been said to you. If you are at a conference or event where your Pastor is not present, then you can record or write down your personal prophecy and take it back to your Pastor for review. If a Prophet has been invited to speak at a church, they must get approval or permission from the Pastor of that church before prophesying to individuals in that church.
- The Holy Spirit inside of you bears Witness. Once we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, and become a member of the Body of Christ, we now have the Holy Spirit dwelling on the inside of us. It is important that we know the role of and respect the Holy Spirit, who is our Helper and Comforter. Prophecy is one of the gifts of “The Spirit”. If the Holy Spirit on the inside of you does not bear witness to what is being said, then you should proceed with caution (Romans 8:16). Our God is a God of confirmation!
- There are other Prophets present to test the released Word. There is a difference between a “Prophet” and having the universal gift of “Prophecy”. Once we have been trained, we can all prophesy with the aid of the Holy Spirit as the New Testament Church. However, a Prophet is someone who has been chosen by God AND confirmed by Men (Church Elders), to be God’s spokesperson. Find out more about the role of the Prophet here. Ideally, Prophets should travel in Apostolic Teams so that one can prophesy and the other can judge the word that is being released. Beware of lone-ranger prophets who travel alone (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).
- The Prophet has been affirmed by their local church leadership, and is connected to an Apostle or Apostolic spiritual covering that they submit their gift to for accountability protocol. If someone is claiming to be a Prophet but is not in relationship to a local assembly or their gift is not submitted to an Apostle, Pastor, or Elder they are operating in the Spirit of Error and the Spirit of Divination. Do not receive a personal prophecy from them and do not let them lay hands on you. Laying on of hands represents a spiritual transfer, and you do not need the wrong anointing transferred onto you (Hebrews 13:17, Romans 13:2-7).
- The Prophet is giving a balanced Word. Prophecy is to edify, exhort, and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3). However, it is also to admonish, correct, and warn (Colossians 1:28, 3:16). If you have received a personal prophecy that is ALL exhortation and encouragement but does not address the sin, disobedience, or turmoil in your life as well, you should proceed with caution. If God is “speaking” to you through a Prophet about blessings, then God must also address those things in your life that may prevent or block your prophecy from coming to pass. He is concerned about the state of your soul first. Therefore, an unbeliever or backslider should ONLY receive prophetic words concerning salvation and repentance (Philippians 2:12).
- You can reject a prophetic word. You have the free Will to either accept or reject the prophetic word that has been spoken to you. If your Spirit does not agree, or your Pastor isn’t present or doesn’t confirm, or if the person is operating in “error” you should reject that Word.
- Your Prophecy is conditional. Prophecy is the mind of God concerning situations, people, churches, and nations. When you receive a personal prophecy there is a part that you must play in bringing it to pass. You must seek the face of God concerning the instructions on bringing your prophecy to pass. More than likely, God will gradually give you revelation, piece by piece. If God has spoken to you through a Prophet, He is inviting you to Partner with Him and His Holy Spirit to bring it to pass.
- Your Prophecy is for an appointed season. All prophecies are for an appointed time and season. Learn how to discern that season here.
- Prophets can sometimes get it wrong. The area where Prophets most consistently get it wrong is with timing. They can confuse whether something is past, present or future, or they confuse whether it is in the distant or near past, or distant or near future. Even mature and accurate prophets sometimes get the timing wrong. Does this mean that the prophetic word should be abandoned and forgotten about? No, absolutely not! Even when the timing is wrong prophetic words often convey something from God that we really need to hear and notice. When receiving a prophetic word, rather than get overly focused on the details, ask yourself the question, “God, what is it You are wanting me to hear from this word?”
- Prophecy is free. There is no amount of money that you need to give to receive a personal prophecy. Some churches bring in Prophets in order to help raise funds for the ministry, which is fine if you are in a mature church. However, determining an exact amount of money to receive a prophecy or charging more money for the quality of the prophecy received is witchcraft. This makes it equal to fortune-telling, which is a form of divination. In the Bible, Simon the Sorcerer is a good example of this (Acts 8:9-24).
- We can all prophesy. But we are not all Prophets. (1 Corinthians 14:31) Learn how to grow this gift here.
- Your Prophecy is not the complete picture. We know in part, and we see in part (1 Corinthians 13:9). This means that we only receive a portion of what God is doing or wants to do in our lives. 1 Corinthians 13, as a chapter, is actually referring to the utilization of the Spiritual Gifts. They are to be exercised with Love.
- Prophets are led by the Holy Spirit. Genuine prophets are lead by the Holy Spirit and do not walk around prophesying 24/7. They only speak when the Spirit prompts them to speak. They cannot give you prophetic words at-Will. They have to hear from God, and are moved by the Holy Spirit ONLY. So it is possible to be in a service where only a few people, or even a single person receives a prophetic word.
- Prophets are humble in nature. Prophets should have the heart of God, which requires them to constantly walk in a state of humility. They are to speak the truth in love. If a Prophet isn’t humble and loving do not receive words from them.
- The prophecy will agree with Scripture. Your prophecy will not contradict the principles of scripture.