How to Test Prophecy
By: Alan Smith
Many have asked me, “How do I know if a prophecy is from God?” Also I have been asked about the prophesy and prayer in LA, the AzusaNow. My reply is as follows: we must first consider scripture.
1 Corinthians 14:3-4: But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1-Edification—improvement, instruction, or enlightenment, esp. when morally or spiritually uplifting.
2-Exhortation—A speech or discourse that encourages, incites, or earnestly advises.
3-Comfort—To soothe in time of affliction or distress. To ease physically; relieve: comforted the feverish patient with a cool cloth.
In the New Testament scripture, we see that prophesying does include edification, exhortation, and comfort. It is interesting to note that it does not include “future telling”. Here is where we need to be very careful. New Testament prophecy is to be divinely inspired edification, exhortation, and comfort. New Testament prophecy is to be prayed-in. By this I mean when someone gives me a prophecy, it means that it is a possibility to be prayed-in. It also means that the prophecy is a spiritual possibility and through prayer, sometimes much prayer, the prophetic word will come true. A true word of prophecy is the Lord letting me know what is possible in my life through prayer. When I apply faith through prayer, it means that I am praying for what I cannot see to become real. Our faith and belief is what calls the prophetic word into being. Therefore, we see that a true prophetic word should be divinely inspired and the content should be something that I can agree with through prayer. Let me give you an example.
a-I am at church and someone comes up to me and says, “The Lord told me to tell you that He loves you very much, and that He is here to heal your pain of the loss of your husband.”
b-To agree with this prophecy, my response would be, “Dear Lord, thank you for seeing me here and loving me. I pray and receive your loving kindness and I pray that you would begin to heal my pain, in Jesus name. Amen.”
To test the prophecy, the prophecy should be of a nature that I would want to pray it into my life. If you do not feel you can pray it in, it is probably a false prophecy. Remember, it is the nature of the prophecy you are testing. Let me give you another example.
a-I am at church and someone comes up to me and says, “The Lord told me to tell you that He is going to bring judgment on your house because of your husband’s drinking.”
b-To test the prophecy, we use prayer. Can you feel good about praying-in judgment upon your house? Of course not. I don’t feel good about agreeing with this prophecy. Therefore, the prophecy fails the test.
Azusa Now was and is trying to agree with a prophecy and pray it in. Into our lives, our country and our churches. The goal is to keep praying until we see it come in.
Always remember, you can judge prophecy with the prayer test. Also, if it is “future telling”, we are warned in the Bible against this.
There you have it: my understanding on how to test prophecy.