PraiseGate International Ministries

Prophesy Validation Process

"You should seek after love, and you should truly want to have the spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy" (1 Cor 14:1).

"Where there is no word from God, people are uncontrolled..." (Prob 29:18 NCV).

The Bible warns for false prophets and in fear for the counterfeit some has rejected the prophetic completely, and by doing so missed out on the benefits. In the same way as a prophetic message can encourage and build up, there can be false messages that confuses and ruin lifes. Each believer needs to know the biblical principles for validating the message and the messenger.

Prophecy Validation Process

Both the message and the messenger have to be tested. It is possible to give a correct prediction but be in the wrong spirit, the slave girl in Acts predicted accurate the future (Act 16:16) but was beset. Also the opposite is true, a know prophet could sometimes be wrong. Miriam, a known as a prophetess (Ex 15:20) turns out to be wrong with her accusations against Moses and his choice of wife (Num12:1).

The following tests should be done for a prophetic message and the messenger:

The Message

  • No contradiction to the bible. A true prophecy lines up with the word of God. Note that the devil tempted Jesus by using bible verses out of context, it is possible to extract sentences and words from the bible to build up a false prophecy.
  • Strengthen, encourage and comfort. There are positive boundaries on the message. "But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men." (1 Cor 14:3). Of course a message could be about repentance, but it always shows a way out and is encouraging.
  • Edifies the church. "... but those who prophesy are helping the whole church." (1 Cor 14:4).
  • Specific, the message must be specific.
    • Predict future events (Acts 11:27-29, coming famine)
    • Reveal past events (John 4:18, Jesus encounter with the Samaritan women at Jacob's well)
    • Prepare for calling (Matt 16:17-19, Jesus predict that Peter will be the rock where he will build the church)
  • Confirming, a prophetic message often confirm something that the Holy Spirit already has imparted.

The Messenger

The reason why the prophetic is designed to be used within the local church is that the fruit is more important than the gift. Within the church the full character of a person can better be known and proved.

  • Good fruit. A good tree bear good fruit (Matt 7:15-17). The fruits of the sprit in are defined in Gal 5:22,23: "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control". These must be visible in the prophets life.
  • Character. Rooted and grounded in love (Eph 3:17). To prophesy in love is emphasized in 1 Cor 13, just after Paul has been writing of the gifts.
  • Righteous living. A true prophet spends time in prayer and the word.
  • Not self centered, Jesus didn't had his own agenda, he came to do his Fathers will, the same must be true with a prophet.
  • Interest in the church (Jer 23:30-40, Ezra 5:2, helped building the temple).
  • Not involving money to perform the gift (Act 16:16)
  • Belongs to a local church (Ef 2:22, Ef 4:10-12). There are traveling prophets, but they should have a home church. See also "Questions to ask a traveling Prophet?"

Prophecy in the bible

The prophet ministry was started in the Old Testament and continued in the New Testament. John the Baptist was the last Old Testament prophet. Jesus was the first New Testament prophet.

Jesus functioned in all the five gifts mentioned in Eph 4:10-12 "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ". Some examples of Jesus ministry as a prophet are when he said that the women at the well that had 7 husbands (John 4). Another example when gives a promise for the Church, "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matt 16:18)

The prophetic ministry has been restored and changed through the cross and is now working under the new covenant. This is important when reading in the old testament since now the grace is active.

The prophet works together with the other ministries. Some examples from Acts:

    "Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. (Acts 15:32).

    "Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." (Acts 13:1-2 )

    "And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar." (Acts 11: 27-29)

From these portions we can see that the prophetic is used to:

    Reveal to prepare for calling.
    Prophesy the place in the body
    Predict the future.

The prophetic is important for the church, "Without prophetic vision people run wild" (Prob. 29:18 God's word translation)

Music and Prophecy

There are many examples in the bible where song and music is associated with prophecy. In 1 Chronicles 25 David and the leadership sets aside certain musical Levites specifically "for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps lyres and cymbals".

After Samuel has anointed Saul he prophesies what will happen to him so he would be sure of God's calling: "... And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man." (1 Sam 10:5-6).

At one time Elisha was not in a mode for prophesying, but he know how to still his soul. In Kings 2:15-16 we can read "... But now bring me a musician." Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said, Thus says the Lord: ...".

Three levels of revelatory of prophecy

There are tree levels of revelatory: The Spirit, gift and office of prophecy:

1) Spirit of prophecy

    Available for all believers.
    Given by the Holy Spirit.
    Often in the high points of praise and worship in the local church. In Num 11:25 describes how the presence of God comes down to Moses and seventy of the elders: "... and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again".
    In Joel 2:28 we can read "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.".

2) Gift of prophecy (one of the 9 spiritual gifts)

    Available for all believers.
    Given by the Holy Spirit.
    We should desire this gifts (1 Cor 12:31).
    There are boundaries in this gift (as in others) to protect us. In 1 Cor 14:3 we can read "But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.". The positive boundaries are:
    If this boundaries are crossed we will be in the witchcraft zone where people are being manipulated.

3) Office of Prophecy

    This is one of the five minister posts in the church "And He Himself (Jesus) gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers". (Eph 4:11 emphasizes added).
    Given by Jesus (the first two are from the Holy Spirit).
    Prophets are within the local church. "And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. " (1 Cor 12:28 emphasizes added). See also Acts 13.
    Impartion of gifts "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" (1 Tim 1:18).

True and false prophets

There exist both false and true prophets, in Matt 24:24 Jesus says "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (emphasizes added). That's why God's word is encouraging us how vital it is to test everything and hold on what's good.

    "Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good." (1 Thes 5:2)

    "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)

    "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge." (1 Cor 14:29)

Another reason why we also need to test is that the NT prophet, might be wrong sometimes, the prophet is not infallible, but is under grace.

Most cults are based on a false prophets teachings.

Signs of a false prophet

Below are some typical signs of a false prophet:

    Predicting a date for Jesus return.
    The prophet says that he or she stands above the biblical principels. For example terms like "heavenly love" is used to excuse adultery.
    Uses bible verses out of context.
    Comes in sheep clothing "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Matt 7:15. Often false prophets are not pastors, but rather a fellow believer on the outside but inwardly is a wolf seeking for the old, young and wounded.
    Will not prophesy in public.

Questions to ask traveling prophet

If there is someone unknown that wants to prophesy there are two questions that could be asked that quite fast reveals if it is a true or false prophet:

    Who are you submitted to? From which local church are you coming?
    Do you get invited back to churches you've been ministering in?