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Judging Prophecy

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

All prophetic words must be “judged” or tested to be proven true or false against the perfect standard – God’s written Word. The written Word of God is called the “MORE sure word of prophecy.” (2 Pet. 1:19) The same Holy Spirit who inspired the written Word will never speak contrary to it (2 Peter 1:20-21).

The Holy Spirit has ALREADY SPOKEN – between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22! Anything that is of God that is spoken today must line up with Holy Scripture which is the “more sure word of prophecy.” (2 Peter 1:19-21)

    “No prophecy is valid unless it is positively confirmed by God’s holy Word.” David Wilkerson
      • Because we know that God’s written Word is FINAL Divine Authority, we are not impressed with those who run around with “a word” for people.

Note “NOW” and “THENNNNN”“For NOW we see through a glass, darkly; but THEN face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) When someone, when a ministry is dazzling dupes with this idea that THEY has some kind of inside scoop with God – you know you are dealing with an antichrist wolf! RUN! LOTS of devils parading themselves as special, as having a special place with God and always getting “words,” so they say. But, WHERE are those “words” coming from? WHAT spirit?

Many seek to capitalize on your desire to discern, know, and follow God’s will. Beware.

God’s Word says “despise not prophesyings” and yet in the very next sentence it also warns us to “prove (test) all things.” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21) I don’t even read most “prophecies,” prophetic words, dreams, visions, etc. that circulate these days. Most of these “words” are coming from un-grounded novices, or flagrant flakes who don’t simply “Preach the word” but rather keep the circus wheels of their “ministry” spinning by their continual words (2 Timothy 4:2-4). Not that I despise them and yet the Word of God is inherently prophetic and the primary way God leads and guides His New Testament church (Isaiah 46:9-10; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21, etc.).

“Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21

Prophetic or Pathetic?

“Despise not prophesyings” (1 Thessalonians 5:20) and yet, beware of those who use gifts or supposed gifts to ensnare you, to thrill you with THEIR abilities, and not for the edification of the body of Christ for the glory of Jesus alone (1 Corinthians 14:1-5; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

“For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:31-33

The “sword of the Spirit” is “the word of God.” (Eph. 6:17) God the Holy Spirit will never contradict or speak contrary to the very words He inspired. This would be impossible.

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17

The Bible instructs us to “Despise not prophesyings” and also instructs us to “let the other judge.” (1 Cor. 14:29; 1 Thess. 5:20)

We are hemmed in by these two divine instructions concerning prophecy. On one hand we are to place all prophecy on trial against the “more sure word” to see whether or not it is genuinely from God. On the other hand, we must not despise prophesyings, but be open to God speaking to us through prophecy which will always glorify God in Christ and minister “unto men to edification, and exhortation, andcomfort.” (1 Cor. 14:3; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)

“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater (as a servant) is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” 1 Corinthians 14:1-5

As Christ’s disciples we are exhorted here to “desire spiritual gifts.” v3 We are also instructed to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Pet. 4:10-11)

We must not shun all prophecy because of the false ones we witness, yet we must test all “words” against the ultimate authority of the written Word of God.

“Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove (test) all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Let’s review what we just read in 1 Thessalonians 5:

  • “Quench not the Spirit”
  • “Despise not prophesyings”
  • “Prove (test) all things”
  • “hold fast that which is good”

“All things” must be put to the Biblical acid test to see whether they are true or false. This includes behavior, fruit, teachings, prophecies, motives, etc.

The person who pretends to prophesy for the LORD and can’t even quote a few of His Scriptures from “the more sure word of prophecy” has no business being allowed to function (especially extensively) among God’s people as one who is operating with an authentic prophetic gifting (2 Pet. 1:19-20). The person who does not know God’s Word cannot possibly himself judge what he thinks he is hearing from God against the holy standard if he doesn’t know that standard (the written Word).

GOD already told us in His Word all we need to know about these final days (Isaiah 46:9-10; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 19-21, etc.). Gauging all things by the written Word is key to escaping the prophesied end time apostasy. Some people choose to be led astray by the “MANY false prophets” Jesus warns us about who would “deceive MANY.” (Matthew 24:11)


God’s method of teaching His children to discern is primarily through His holy Word:

“But strong meat (deeper Biblical truths) belongeth to them that are of full age (spiritually mature)even those who by reason of use(of the written Word) have their senses exercised to discern (discriminate between) both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14

Remember to always “prove (test) all things.” The word “All” here can refer to doctrines, fruit, dreams, visions, prophecies, etc. As wise virgin believers who are diligently watching and staying ready by keeping their lamps full, we must never be naïve, but discerning in all things concerning the will of God (Prov. 14:15; Col. 1:9-10; 1 Jn. 4:1, etc.). Knowing the will of God assures that we will be able to discern what is not His will.

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6

You know who is under Christ’s authority and who isn’t – by what Jesus told us in John 8:47: “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” The men whose conscience’s are captive to the Word of God are God’s men and all others are counterfeits.

False prophets and teachers, who are Satan’s agents (2 Cor. 11:13-15), constantly attempt to whittle away at the doctrinal walls which keep the righteous safe from deception. In this the enemy of our souls, like a skilled boxer, is seeking to get us to drop our guard (God’s Word), so that he can move in for the kill. Remember that it is “Satan” who “cometh immediately, and taketh away the word.” (Mk. 4:15) Our LORD desires and expects us to know His will so that we are not duped by men or devils (Eph. 4:14). To know His Word is to be able to distinguish between evil and good, holy and profane (Ezek. 44:23).

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:17

“What is His will?”, you might ask. God’s written Word is His will (see Rom. 1:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3-4; Prov. 22:19-21; Ps 33:11; 119:105; Joshua 1:8). There is no mystery here. You never again need to wonder what God’s will is. He has seen fit to have His Word on record for us. This is to allow us the privilege of possessing His written will (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11). And, in knowing His will, we are able to discern what is not his will. Consequently, we will not be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine (or prophecy), by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Eph. 4:14)

“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” Psalms 33:11

The Holy Spirit will never speak contrary to His eternal oracles given to us in written form (in the Bible). The written will of God is what is referred to in Scripture as the “more sure word.” (2 Pet. 1:19) Though He does inspire prophecy today (1 Cor. 12:7-10, etc.), God will never inspire anyone to speak contrary to His unchanging Word once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). The Holy Spirit and the Word work hand in hand (Eph. 6:17). In fact, it was God the Holy Ghost who inspired the written Word (2 Pet. 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:16). So, any prophecy that does not align with Scripture is clearly not from God and must be exposed as such to warn others, lest they be deceived and misled by it (2 Cor. 10:5; Eph. 5:11; Gal. 1:6-9). If the person who gave the false prophecy refuses to repent and publicly recant after being confronted, he must also be removed.

“To the law and to the testimony (written Word)if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

The written Word, which reveals the LORD and His will, must always be earnestly contended for and defended (Jude 3; Phil. 1:17). Pray for discernment and be exercised in the performance of His Word (will), so that you will not be beguiled. If you do not know the written Word (LOGOS), you will have no basis or standard to discern doctrines and prophecies against, so you will consequently be vulnerable to deception. Here is God’s prescription for this deficiency:

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Okay beloved, be exhorted to always walk in discernment. “Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23) “Keep thyself pure.” (1 Tim. 5:22) Remember to prayerfully and with the Holy Scriptures “Prove (test) all things; (and) hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21)

Does all prophecy have to be literal Scripture? No. Prophecy, if it’s from God, will never contradict His written Word and yet, does it have to be verbatim Scripture? Don’t think so. there’s never going to be anything better than simply quoting God’s Word, amen. Yet note “according to” and “as of” in Isaiah 8:20 and 1 Peter 4:11.

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” 1 Peter 4:11

When Agabus prophesied to the apostle Paul, it wasn’t verbatim Scripture and yet it was according to Holy Scripture.

“And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.” Acts 11:27-28

“And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.” Acts 21:10-12

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