If a person claims to have received a word from the Lord to give to you, the first important point is to â€śrecognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish youâ€ť (see 1 Thess. 5:12).
Is the person respected in the church and in the body of Christ, or is he or she a rebel on the loose and a self-appointed prophet who left a church in a negative manner because the â€śpastor wasnâ€™t spiritual enoughâ€ť?
At times, pastors detect arrogance and pride and a wrong spirit, and this is why this lone ranger prophet or prophetess was removed from the assembly of the saints! So the first point is not to accept a word just because a person claims, â€śThe Lord told me thus and so . . . â€ť Know something about the personâ€™s reputation and character.
The second point is to examine if the word agrees 100 percent with the inspired Scriptures. Never, and I do mean never, will a word from the Holy Spirit contradict the Bible. The Lord will never tell a person to suddenly leave his or her companion for another â€śmore spiritualâ€ť individual, because marriage is a covenant. (Some have done this in the name of â€śthe Lord told me to.â€ť) The Lord would never permit a person, in the name of Christian liberty, to participate in substances that cause drunkenness and addiction to an individual, for â€śdrunkardsâ€ť cannot â€śinherit the kingdom of Godâ€ť (1 Cor. 6:10).
God is not the author of confusion, nor is He the author of most church splits where individuals are hurt, offended, and quit serving God because of the confusion and distrust created when people divided their loyalty. God is the author of â€śpeace . . . in all the churchesâ€ť (1 Cor. 14:33).
The third point is that a prophetic word must agree with your spirit and will only confirm what you already know. Because vessels are human and subject to fallibility, prophetic words are to be judged by other mature and older people within the church, as it is written: â€śLet two or three prophets speak, and let the others judgeâ€ť (1 Cor. 14:29).
The Greek word for â€śjudgeâ€ť here is diakrino, which can mean to â€śseparate thoroughlyâ€ť and implies the ability to dissect what was spoken and see if it is a correct statement. The root word krino is a legal term meaning to make a decision on the basis of the information presented, similar to the informed decision a jury makes after hearing the pertinent information.
When you tell a person giving you a prophetic word that you are going to judge the message by sharing it with other mature believers, you will be able to tell if that speaker has the right spirit. A humble sincere person will agree, but the â€śprophetsâ€ť who speak out of their own spirits will become angry that you would even question their spiritual integrity and authority!
Perry Stone is the best-selling author of numerous books, including Purging Your House, Pruning Your Family Tree and his book, Exposing Satan's Playbook, from which this article is adapted.