The Gift Of Prophecy
Thank God for the gift of prophecy! Scripture calls it the greatest of the gifts. Time after time, prophesy from God’s heart has encouraged me, revealed the desires of my heart, and confirmed what I believed God was saying to me. It has even uncovered what I was ashamed of in order to set me free from the shame.
However, scripture also teaches that we are to judge prophecy. Prophecy must come out of a pure heart of worshiping the Lord, focusing on who He is and what He is doing.
These stories help illustrate how we can judge prophecy. Maybe some of my readers have been hurt by personal prophecy gone wrong. Maybe someone gave you a prophecy and you felt a heaviness come over you. I’ve sometimes had to tell people “That word was not from God” so they could recognize the heaviness that came over them as a lie.
“You Have A Spirit Of Suicide…”
I was in a meeting where someone prophesied to a girl close to me “You have a spirit of suicide.” She had struggled with depression and suicide in the past. When she heard the prophecy, she immediately felt a dark cloud descend over her. She felt despondent, and the thoughts of killing herself returned.
I told her “That word wasn’t from God. When God reveals a problem, it’s to deal with it—not just to tell you what’s wrong with you!” I prayed, releasing God’s goodness and rebuking the spirit of suicide. She tangibly felt the weight of oppression lift off of her.
Some people get a false sense of spirituality from seeing demons and talking about what the devil is doing. Yes, the Lord can show us demons so we can deal with them. But these people are obsessed with what the devil is doing. Be wary of the discernment of anybody who often sees demons, but rarely angels.
Such people give the devil the attention God deserves. The more catastrophic the prophecy, the more spiritual they feel. God does often reveal problems, but be wary of any prophesy or “word of knowledge” that doesn’t point out what God is doing. Be wary of “revelation” that focuses primarily on what the devil is doing.
“I See That You Have A Serious Illness. I Need To Pray To See What It Is, But It’s Really Bad…”
My mother-in-law received a “word of knowledge” like this a few years ago at a church in Brazil. When the lady told her she had a serious illness, she immediately felt sick. Poor old lady! She didn’t know well enough to realize that it wasn’t from God.
I told her “This word was not from God,” and explained that if God reveals a problem, it’s always to deal with it. Besides that, if a person is seeing a disease from God’s perspective, it looks pitifully small! I laid hands on her, released God’s peace, and rebuked the spirit of sickness. The oppression lifted, and she felt so much better!
These stories illustrate that this is serious business. In both cases, the “word of knowledge” which wasn’t from God, released a demon to oppress the individuals.
Of course, God does reveal problems. The Holy Spirit has often revealed people’s problems to me. When I asked about it, they already knew they had the issue! And I told them “Jesus is healing your back…” of “God is setting you free from that depression right now.” Prophecy should focus on what God is doing. A person who is obsessed with the devil and wants to prophesy is like a maniac with a firebrand.
Unintentional Witchcraft Through Prophecy
The spiritual realm works through proclamation. Angels proclaim God’s truth, and demons proclaim lies. God-inspired prophecy can release angels, and prophecy gone wrong can empower demons. Proclamation can be both verbal and nonverbal. It can be expressed in the arts and music, or released through the expression on our face. It can emit from our beings like light, based on the thoughts of our hearts and what we are dwelling on.
Releasing proclamation which empowers demons is like witchcraft. It works in the same way that witchcraft does. The heaviness that came over the people in the stories above was like an attack from witchcraft.
Some people do witchcraft intentionally. Most of us have done it unintentionally, at some time or another. We were acting under deception, and partnering with the wrong spirit.
I can think of three things which make people susceptible to operating in witchcraft when they prophesy. The first is an unhealthy obsession with what the devil is doing. The second is a spirit of control. The third is ungodly judgement.
The church has all too often failed to judge prophecy. It’s understandable that saying “That word isn’t from God” sometimes makes us uncomfortable. But I hope this post helps to point out why we sometimes need to say “That’s not God.”
We will continue to talk about unintentional witchcraft, and how to recognize and overcome witchcraft. Meanwhile, if you’ve found yourself oppressed or hurting after a “prophetic word” that confused you, recognize it as a lie! The first thing that’s important is that you know it wasn’t from the Lord. In Jesus’ name, heaviness and oppression, go! Be filled with God’s peace now.