[size=large]Handling Wrong Prophecy[/size]
1. As with any spiritual gift, it is inevitable that people will make mistakes and have errors with prophecy. Rom. 3:10
A. Healthy churches will create an environment where people are free to fail. Maturity doesn’t come without growth and growth doesn’t come without growing pains.
B. A “free to fail” environment is marked by grace, acceptance, honesty and loving correction. Col. 3:12-15
C. Growing individuals can cause others hard work and sometimes a little heartache. But all people have worth and value and what God is doing in them is worth the hassle of proper development.
D. Stepping out in the supernatural is like painting a bullseye on our backs while yelling “shoot at me!” We become targets for the enemy and for the religious. When dealing with one another, we should set our hearts on redemption, not persecution.
2. To help properly discern errors with prophecy, we should remember to distinguish between false and poor prophecy.
A. False prophecy is deceptive and deliberately leads people away from God. Jer. 23:16-18,26
– False prophetic ministry can develop where there is a lack of accountability and the lack of being rooted in a local church.
– False prophecy happens when people prophesy from their own spirit; they have seen nothing and are simply inventing words.
– False prophecy deliberately speaks what others want to hear. 2 Tim. 4:3-4
– False prophecy is sometimes used to gain control of people’s lives, usually for reasons of personal gain, wealth and/or ministry advancement.
NOTE: False prophecy is not an insignificant thing. It opens the door to dark human and demonic activity. Such words should be rejected, broken and treated like a curse.
B. Poor prophecy occurs because of inexperience and poor habits that have gone uncorrected.
– Poor prophecy is prophecy that has become impure because it has mixed in too much of our own thoughts and words, distorting the words the Lord has given.
– Poor prophecy can occur among groups that expect that all prophetic words are given spontaneously. Thus a lack of reflection, listening and prayer causes revelational words to be given prematurely, without the full counsel of God.
– Poor prophecy occurs where there is the lack of a on-going Scriptural foundation and a regular prayer time with the Lord. It becomes dependent on the mood of the moment.
– Poor prophecy can occur when it must rely on physical sensations.
3. Some churches work to avoid false and poor prophecy by staying in the preventative mode.
A. Prophesies from the body are often frowned upon.
B. Those who really feel like they must share must pass through the “platform police.”
C. This method lends itself to poor discernment, high pressure, and a lack of follow-up which contributes to meager learning and development.
D. It’s my desire that our church would operate in a loving, corrective mode, not preventative.
4. False or poor prophecy should be corrected, but whether that is done privately or publicly depends on the nature of the circumstance.
A. Many supposed “words” that are discerned to miss the mark should be gently acknowledged as what they truly are, someone’s individual thought or feeling, and then set aside.
B. At all times, such correction or comment should be done without any heat or edge in our voice. We operate in a spirit of love! Remember that a soft answer turns away wrath. We need to stay mild, kind, soft spoken and smiling. Prov. 15:1
C. Occasionally, leadership may be given no choice but to give a public rebuke. The goal in the moment is to neutralize what is said and return the meeting to its original focus. Such rebukes should only take a matter of seconds and work to take the sting out of the situation, not add to it. Further correction will need to be done privately.
– Some words need to be redirected to their proper place and time, such as directional or corrective prophecies.
– Condemning words need to be acknowledged as not being the voice of the Lord. Care should then be given to bring the focus back to Jesus through prayer, worship, or other activity.
– People’s personal opinions and attitudes need to be pointed out as such and presented with an alternative outlet.
5. Private encounters are the place for corrective remarks and constructive criticism. Gal. 6:1
A. Prophetic words should be evaluated.
– Method of delivery?
– Was it screened properly?
B. Growing prophetic people should be instructed.
– What guidelines and boundaries should be considered in the future?
– What suggestions does the person have for increasing the effectiveness of the word?
C. Potential prophetic people need to be loved and valued. It is not right to simply “drop” people because of a supposed difficulty. Matt. 18:15-20
– Friendship decreases tension and helps people to keep from disguising frustration as prophecy.
– Relationships are always a key issue in the spiritual development of people.