Building People of Substance for Works of Power
She seemed like a very nice lady. She was a friend of my wife’s mom, who said she was a prophetess. God spoke through her directly to others. Now you must understand I had only been saved a few months, and Spirit-filled a few weeks. This was all brand new to me. As I sat in the Bible study led by this holy woman, I figured these were experts and should be heeded. At the end of the meeting, she laid her hands on me and began to speak, “Thus saith the Lord.” Having never seen this before, I was wide-eyed. She rambled on about the anointing and calling on my life, then said that I would have a ministry like Moses, I would stand alone with none to help, but to stay strong.
Well, being biblically illiterate, I was both proud and scared. I surely wanted to be a great man with a great ministry, but I was going to have to do this all on my own. Oh, me! Fortunately, I got around some people who taught me to read my bible and reject any prophecies that conflict with the Bible record. Moses was not alone. From Jethro to Aaron to Joshua and all the rest, Moses always had able helpers to fill in the blanks in his capabilities. This dear, sweet, prophetic lady was just flat wrong.
This points up one of my personal pet peeves about Spirit-filled church life: people being led, entertained, or even manipulated by so-called “personal prophecies.” The Old Testament mentions Samuel to Saul, Nathan to David, and Isaiah to Hezekiah, and a few others. In the New Testament, where every believer has the Spirit within, we see Agabus to Paul, and the eldership to Timothy, but that’s about it. Timothy was told to use these prophecies to wage warfare (1 Timothy 1:18). That’s a good thing. Paul, however, had to discern that this apparent warning from God should not deter his inner conviction (Acts 21:11-14). So how do we respond when someone prophecies over us? It can mean the difference between victory and defeat, integrity and excuse.
Here is your New Testament check list to begin judging prophecies you receive:
- Submit it to the test of the Word. Does it line up with the Bible? 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16
- Submit it to the test of your own spirit. Does it bear witness with what you have on the inside? Romans 8:16
- Submit it to the test of family. (Assuming your family are Christians) Does your spouse agree? If you are still at home, do your parents agree? Colossians 3:18-21
- Submit it to the test of pastoral eldership. Do the authorities God has set in my life bear witness to this word? Hebrews 13:17
If the answer to any of these questions is “No,” then stop a minute. Don’t get nervous and don’t do anything. If it violates the Word, just forget about it and pray for the prophet. If it violates your inward witness, then put it on the back burner and tell God you are willing, but He needs to change your heart. If the family and spiritual authorities in your life disagree, then take it to the prayer closet and pray anti you have a clear leading or God speaks to them. Don’t ever move on personal prophecy alone. Period. Over and out.
Somebody Said: The manifestations of the Holy Spirit are as He wills; we can’t make them happen. But whether there is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit or not, we always have the Word to act upon. Kenneth E. Hagin
Scripture Reading: Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NLT)
There is so much more to say on this subject, I know Iwill write more. As a Pastor for many years, I have seen too many people harmed, and it is not necessary. Learn the Word of God and the voice of God. They will keep you safe.
Pastor Virgil Stokes