Written by Larry Ollison, Ph.D.
"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith..." (Rom. 12:6).
Some people have difficulty understanding prophecy. Years ago there was a lady who attended a denominational church that did not believe in the gifts of the Spirit.
But she started seeking the fullness of God. She started reading material that talked about people getting a word from God.
One day I was talking with her and she said that after much prayer that she had received a word from God. After asking her what the word was, she replied, "The word I received from God was 'pineapple.'" Well, according to God's Word, all prophecy must be judged and I judged this word a little "fruity."
"Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge" (1 Cor. 14:29). Even though prophecy differs, it still must be judged. Here are three main criteria for judging prophecy.
#1: Does it bring glory to Jesus?
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, 'See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy'" (Rev. 19:10).
All prophecy must lift up and exalt Jesus. Any prophecy that lifts up a man or an organization above Jesus is not of God. A false prophecy will always try to divert the glory, the honor and the attention to another person or group.
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. By this you know the Spirit of God:
Prophecies should never be flatteries or motivated by ulterior motives. The character of a prophet will reflect Jesus. "You will know them by their fruits."
Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
(1 John 4:1-3)
#2: Does it agree with God's Word?
"For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 tells us that we should never believe a prophecy because of a sign only. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 tells us that a true prophecy will always come to pass because God does not lie.
#3: Does it produce liberty or bondage?
Prophecies are given through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Ask yourself this question after hearing a prophecy. "How does it feel in my spirit? Does it agree with the anointing in me?"
"It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil" (Isa. 10:27).
A prophecy from God will always produce liberty because it is soaked in love. "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing" (1 Cor. 13:2).
Larry Ollison Ministries
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