Tuesday, September 28, 2010

JUDGING PROPHECY - Kriston Couchey

And prophets let two or three speak, and let the others discern(judge), and if to another sitting anything may be revealed, let the first be silent; for you are able, one by one, all to prophesy, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted... ~Paul~

I am amazed at how prolifically Father speaks prophetically through a gathering of believers and through people He gives messages for His church. I would say in general most prophecy at it's core is genuine. It is my great desire to see the church function even more in the gift of prophecy because we NEED the pure word of the Lord. The command to judge prophecy is not given to prohibit or limit prophecy, it is given so that others may bring a clarity and discernment to a word from God and understand the fullness to what God is saying, while identifying mixture that tends to muddy and change the word of the Lord. Judging or discerning prophesy is not for the purpose of condemning or judging the person prophesying, but to help the body understand what God is saying and what He is not.

If you are like me, you have read and heard thousands of prophecies. We are commanded to judge prophecy for this reason: The one prophesying does not always have an complete understanding of the Lord's motivations behind His revelation. Man's immaturity or lack of understanding can change the meaning of a pure word from God. You probably also have come to realize that not every prophecy is of God, and may have mixture of opinion, doctrinal error, and personal agenda, etc.

Everyone can prophesy what the Lord is saying. Many release prophecy that is from the Lord but do not possess the authority to bring it forth because they do not have the Lord's heart in bringing it forth. In this instance, the mixture added to this prophecy can be more destructive then helpful. For example, years ago I was leading worship in a church and Father spoke to me to leave and go to the wilderness. He also spoke to me that the church was going to shrink to nearly nothing before it began to grow again. When I shared my departure with the worship team and pastor, I also shared the prophesy about the church shrinking in an angry way that hurt and offended the pastor. As a result, the prophesy brought hurt and offense and not brokenness. Brokenness is what God wanted during this time of barrenness for the fellowship. The authority to prophesy has at it's heart a love for people. If you do not love someone, you compromise your authority to prophesy to them even if you have heard the Lord clearly on a matter.

It is easy to vent frustration in the name of the Lord. One of the greatest sources of false or tainted prophecy is offense. I reject or closely judge a prophecy when I sense offense that is not resolved. For example: many who speak the destruction of the institutional church and it's people are still harboring bitterness toward those who have hurt them within it. While God is destroying the system of religion in the Institutional church, God is destroying a system, and loves people. There will be those who go down with the system that refuse to change, but we rejoice in Babylon (the diabolical system) falling, not the destruction of the wicked.

This mixture of offense happens frequently in political, national, or globally significant prophesy. People tend to prophesy their own agenda when they have not resolved a rest in the Lord in a particular arena. It's easy to prophesy gloom and doom when you are angry at your political leaders, or offended at a nation that opposes the nation you love. If you are offended by Islam it is easy to prophesy the death of Bin Laden rather then the salvation of Muslims. Offense is a snare that corrupts and twists prophecy. Jonahs problem was not just being too stubborn to go to Nineveh, he was offended and angry becasue of the evil done to his people by Nineveh. Even after obeying he did not want God to forgive the people, he wanted them dead.

Adding Your Personal Understanding to Prophecy
I know I have done this and have seen it done many times. God speaks forth a powerful word that may only be one sentence. We may add a lengthy addition that promotes a pet doctrine or interpret it by personal experience. It may not be bad what we add, but it is not always God.

Flattery through Prophecy
Prophecy can be given to puff up people or organizations. These prophecies are tainted with the desire to please men and increase your standing with those to whom you prophesy.

Control through Prophecy
Some prophecy demands submission to a leader, church, network, or an organization. This prophecy is tainted by control and can have MANY differing motivations. These motivations can run from a pastor tainting prophesy by informing a prophet of "rebellious" congregants ahead of time, to a prophet that simply does not understand true nature of spiritual authority.

Prophesying False Doctrine
False doctrine taints much prophesy today. Many prophecies are sourced in a religious mind. Being religious does not disqualify you to receive a prophesy from God, it means that your prophesy will be mixed and tainted with your false doctrinal understandings.

There are also others sources of false or mixed prophesy that can come forth in a prophetic word. But, the source of true prophecy is the revelation of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The testimony (witness) of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Holy Spirit revelation witnesses of Christ's nature of and His authority. The only means of truly judging or discerning of prophecy is to know Jesus Christ as He is, for the spirit of Prophecy is found in the testimony or "witness" of who He is.

I personally judge prophecy by what He has revealed to me personally of Himself and His nature. What He reveals of Himself is always testified (witnessed) to in scripture. As we learn to know His heart and ways, we recognize what is of Him and what is not. I pray that as you hear and read prophecy you are edified and challenged as He speaks. I also pray you are able to discern the difference between what God is saying and what is of man.

In His Love
Kriston Couchey

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