Testing a prophetic word is a difficult thing. First, some people don't believe in modern-day prophets or prophesying today so naturally for these people it would be difficult.
However, even for the people who do accept them as being
biblical today there is still the difficulty in gauging what
is a true word and which is not.
2 Tim 2:15
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
1 John 4:1
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits
whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into
How do you know what word is true and which is not? First
you must know what a prophet is, his attributes, his manifestations,
inner workings, and mannerisms, which I have discussed in a prior message.
What is a basis for determing the word's validity?
Is it a word that lines up with what you believe? A word you like? A word that is in line with the Bible?
Here are major misconceptions about spotting true or false words...
I. A true word lines up with what you believe.
This is very demonstrably false. The Methodist hierarchy
has been pushing for ordination of gays for several years. If this was a
basis for them to determine the validity of a prophetic word, then they
would have to throw out most of the Bible, including the Gospels,
Epistles, and the Law. This is NOT a basis for determining a word's
validity. That is to say, any Methodist-centric prophetic word
would be easily accepted by a Methodist but it is not accredited as
being true because a Methodist would agree with it.
II. It sounds good and conversely a false word is false
on the basis of you disliking it. You have a predisposition to believing
what sounds good and subconsciously reject what you view as bad as
This is also false as the words of the prophets were very often not friendly, polite or uplifting.
The Jews accepted the word of Hananiah and rejected Jeremiah because they did not like what he had to say about the Babylonians.
Hananiah prophesied, "I have broken the yoke of the king
of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all
the vessels of the LORD's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon
took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: And I will bring
again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with
all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I
will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jeremiah responds: " Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD
perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels
of the LORD's house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon
into this place. Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in
thine ears, and in the ears of all the people; The prophets that
have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many
countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of
pestilence. The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the
word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known,
that the LORD hath truly sent him."
Then Hananiah takes the yoke from Jeremiah's neck "and brake it" in v 10.
"Thus saith the LORD," Hananiah says, "Even so will I
break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all
nations within the space of two full years."
Jeremiah responds in the prophetic fashion, as all the
prophets did and would, "Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou
shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the
God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these
nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they
shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. Then
said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now,
Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to
trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will
cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die,
because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD. So Hananiah the
prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
So then often the opposite is true. As Jeremiah makes
clear in the first bolded line, and as all Scriptures testify, the
prophet rarely had anything good to say to anyone. He made no apologies,
he never held back, he gave the whole unadulterated truth largely to
his own detriment (Jeremiah for instance being cast into a cistern and
into prison for lengthy periods). The false word always uplifted,
comforted, and filled
the ears of the people with peace and fables. Their ears were itching
and the liars always had much to gain by scratching the ears
of the people.
This is not a basis for truth.
III. Your spirit bears witness with the word.
This again is not a basis for truth. The most glaring
inconsistency here is this: What if my spirit bears witness but yours
does not? Then one of us is wrong. Anything open to such an obvious
objection can never be a solid basis for judging anything.
Then what is a basis for judging the truth of a word?
If, and only if, the Word bears witness with it. The Word
is our basis for all objective truth and if the word of the prophet
does not line up with the Word it is definitely false.
Mark Kay Baxter reports that she was taken into Hell. As
you read the story you may be influenced by mixed emotions, questions of
doubt, etc. But we can't reject it because we dislike it, doesn't fit
our own theologies, or on some other entirely subjective and
contradictory basis. It is judged entirely on what the Word makes clear.
This is the problem: In one of Mrs. Baxter's
conversations with Jesus, He refers to the coming of the Pre-Tribulation
Rapture. There is not necessarily a problem here unless you
don't believe in the pre-trib Rapture (i.e. you dislike it or disagree
with it). We can't throw out the word on this basis alone.
The problem becomes even more difficult as you compare
her testimony with the word of Dimitru Dudeman where Christ explicitly
that there is no pretrib Rapture, it is post-trib.
The natural problem is Christ couldn't have told both
Mary and Dumitru to opposing points. One of them must therefore be a
liar or deluded.
The natural basis for rejecting Mary Kay Baxter's word is
this: It doesn't line up with anything Jesus or Paul taught, and in
fact, just the opposite while on the other hand Dumitru's words do line
up with the Word.
So then the natural rush-to-judgment is this: "Then if a
word is judged solely on the basis of the Word, then all words not lining up with my
Infallible view of the Word must therefore be rejected".
This touches on the subject of hermeneutics and veneration of
interpretation we will discuss later. Be clear, we are not rejecting any
prophetic word on the basis of our own surmisals of Scripture's
meanings but on the basis of the plain-text reading of the Book.
There is a very big difference between our personally held beliefs and what the Bible truly says. That much should be obvious.
What is not a basis for objection is the most explicit of
all teachings, i.e. ones that one has no basis for disputing such as
the Resurrection or Virgin Birth.
Where there is a basis for rejection/difference of opinion, these are not
doctrines we should be entirely adamant about. These can never be used
as a gauge for truth and never should.
The Bible teaches much explicitly and some of its
teachings are only discovered through investigation. What I am saying is
that that word that contradicts the plain meaning of the words is a
false word, but what violates what we have discovered through
investigation which may itself be wrong can not be a basis to reject a
word from a prophet.
One "prophet" said Yeshua appeared at one of his conferences. Yeshua said if anyone comes to you saying "Look, here is the Christ," or "There!" do not believe him. For as the lightning strikes in the east and shineth even into the west, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.
There is no room for speculation here. Does the man mean well? Maybe. Does he believe this garbage? Maybe. Does it contradict the plain words of Scripture? Absolutely. In this same way you will know if a prophet is false.