Have you ever been or known someone that has felt like a prophetic word given was manipulative or not from God?
Have you ever felt that something spoke over you or someone you love was tainted in some way?
How do we know when prophecy is not just fortune-telling?
First of all, God tells us that prophecy is for encouragement.
1 Corinthians 14:2-4
2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.
So right out front, we can see we must encourage
someone even if there is a correction it will always
be in a way that builds up and
not just tear someone down.
The second thing we must look at is that we are no longer under the old covenant. We are to be led by the spirit. This means that prophets are no longer set up on a pedestal as ones that lead and guide our lives.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
We are not just mean pawns but instead sons of God.
He, due to our proximity in relationship to Him, wants to give us direct inside information.
Have you ever heard of a father that is close to his children only speaking and guiding his child through a proxy? No, instead he talks directly to them and conveys not only affection but direction and correction to them.
If we become believers that inquire about God’s direction
in our life or where he wants us to go, then we are looking
to the prophet to be our spiritual guide.
God does not want us looking to anyone but Him as our source. Because of this, He will not talk to us through a Prophet without first talking, or at least trying to speak directly to us first. We are told not to despise Prophecy:
1 Thessalonians 5:20-21
20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.
Just because some people may want the easy way out and always want someone else to do the work for them does not mean that all prophecy is bad or even evil. We must make sure, even as those called to prophecy, that we do not give in to telling people what they want to hear.
We are only to speak the words of God as He speaks them.
We are not to add to it, take away from it, or give anything He has not instructed. Because prophets today are not sent to lead and guide your life, if they try or start moving in that direction, they could open themselves up to operating in occult powers and working with familiar spirits. If someone does start trying to instruct in directing another’s life, then they could be on their way to walking in the footsteps of a fortune teller.
An example is if someone walked in and told you I see by the spirit that you have $500 in your wallet and Holy Spirit is telling you to give it to me. Watch out, familiar spirits know what believers have and are correct most of the time. Just because someone knows what you have, or something from your past does not mean it is from God.
Holy Spirit knows things too and can reveal things when He desires.
However, why would he reveal that kind of information? What is the reason? God is not in the business of shamming you into giving things away, that is the devil’s work. If there is no glory in this revelation or it does not serve a defined purpose to make a positive change for God’s glory then this is easily spotted as the work of a familiar spirit.
Another area we must look to is listening to the inner witness that the Holy Spirit is to us. After all, Jesus lives inside of us.
Acts 13:9-12 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
Look here, why does it say here: Paul filled with the Holy Spirit? It is because the next verse tells us that he was seeing something that was a witness about what was happening inside the other man. So Paul’s inner man was testifying that something was wrong and the Holy Spirit was that voice.
In the same way, we need to listen to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit that is available to all believers.
It is not just available to a select few but all. We are to take advantage of all the tools and armaments He has provided to us. We need to be proactive and use them, not being lazy and wanting someone else to do everything for us.
I truly hope that this post has helped and encouraged you today!