We get many questions from churches and people attending our Prophetic Activation School asking what prophecy is, trying to understand the finer points. The following is a list of the most common questions we get asked. Click on a question below to reveal the answer.
What is prophecy?
True prophecy is direct form of communication from God via Jesus. He wants to communicate with us.
The Bible tells us to desire prophecy.
1 Cor 14:1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
The Bible also tells us how this should be done 1 Cor 14:3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. Prophecy is a creative word from the creator which should speak life into a person it may contain information from the past, the present and also foretell about the future.
For personal prophecy this may speak into the potential of what God want to do through a person.
How Can I Be Sure God Is Speaking Through Me?
I feel that I might have the prophetic gifting, but how can I be sure that it is God that is speaking through me and not just my own thoughts or imaginations?
This is where most people tend to struggle.
In our prophetic schools we help people to understand how God speaks to them and to be able to recognise God’s voice and the difference between our own thoughts and God speaking.
We are all about making it simple to hear God.
Didn’t the gifts such as prophesying cease after New Testament times?
This is not correct.
1 Corinthians 14 it is all about prophecy for today.
1 Corinthians 14:1 (NKJV) Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
God want all of us to prophesy. We can choose to believe the entire Bible not just the parts we like. Making it simple to hear God
How can I know and trust a prophecy - especially if it hasn't come true?
I once had someone prophesy over me and the words spoken did not come true. How can I know or trust anything that would be prophesied over me in the future?
When personal prophecy is given, this is a conditional word from God.
What are the conditions to be met that are outlined in the prophecy?
What are the promises to be expected when the conditions are met?
What has been done with the word received?
We are to do our part in working with God. Moses worked with God in bringing the people out of Egypt. He did his part.
The Bible says we are to do warfare with our prophetic words.
1 Tim 1:18 “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.” This is saying we need to fight for what God has promised.
The devil wants to rob, kill and destroy.
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Has this word time been given time for it to come to pass? Abraham waited 25 years for the son God had promised.
Am I being obedient to the word of God?
The Bible is full of “If you do this God will do that” language. E.g. tithing, forgiveness, salvation. We suggest reading our “What to do with your prophecy brochure” for more information. See attached page or (this link)
What About People Using Their Gift As An Ego Trip?
I’ve seen individuals who have prophesied in church and they just seem to use prophecy or speaking in tongues to show off, with an element of “Look at me – aren’t I so special”. I find this a bit of a turn off. It doesn’t seem to be consistent with being meek and humble that are core aspects of the Christian faith. What do you say to this?
Unfortunately this can happen.
Prophesying is all about what God wants to say and the attention should be all about pointing people to the goodness and love of God. It is about drawing people’s attention to Jesus not drawing attention to the person prophesying.
A person’s motives for prophesying may be questionable. Is it about them or about God?
It should be about building up the church or the person. Paul says in a corporate setting prophecy edifies the church or builds up the church. This is what should happen.
1 Cor 14:4 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.”
Speaking in tongues is one way we can build up our inner spirit.
When Praying For People I Have Felt A Strong Negative Feeling And It Has Turned Me Off Prophecy - What Should I Do?
I’ve previously prayed (prophesied) over individuals but afterwards felt a strong force that what I had described as dark or negative that turned me off prophesying over people in the future. I’ve been tainted by the experience. Wouldn’t I be better to avoid this altogether?
It sounds like you have a strong gift of discerning of spirits.
We find people with a strong gift of discerning of spirits will often receive communication from God in negative pictures or a negative form.
When prophesying it is important to be able to bring the word in an encouraging way as it says in: 1 Cor 14:3 “But he who prophesies speaks edification (build up) and exhortation (encourage) and comfort to men.”
This should be our guidelines for any prophesying. Prophecy and discernment is best done by practice and having someone to mentor us in this very important area. It is important we have training in this area.
Prophecy can do a great deal of good, but if it is not done correctly can be quite harmful. We are dealing with people’s lives and so we should want to do things correctly as we want the best for them.
I Received Negative Words And Felt Discouraged - What Should I Do Now?
I had someone prophesy over me once but their words were quite negative, and I felt discouraged as a result. The experience was negative and I actually felt like God was harshly judging me. Why should I go and seek a prophecy again?
Some people may receive communication from God in a negative way and they may not have learnt to correctly communicate this using the nature and manners of God. 1 Cor 14:3 “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” This says prophecy should build us up, encourage us and bring comfort.
We have found the nature of God is to draw us to him and He will correct things in our life in a loving manner. God is love and that is also His nature.
Sometimes if we have misunderstandings of our earthly father or a bad experience we can sometimes have a misunderstanding of our heavenly father.
God’s nature is the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, etc. Gal 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
God may convict our spirit, to bring change for the better, but he does not condemn us.
We have the Bible. Why do we need prophecy to reveal additional things to us?
What we have found is often many people do not read the Bible or seek God for answers to their own lives.
God can and does speak to us through the Bible. However, the Bible tells us to desire prophecy. 1 Cor 14:1 “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
Prophecy can bring new revelation to a person, which may be outside of their current understanding or capacity to grasp at the time.
We have found that God will faithfully confirm the new revelation in some way. God wants to communicate with us, to have a relationship with us. Prophecy should encourage this.
When we learn to hear from God this should enhance our personal relationship with God, just as we can enhance our relationship with our spouse or a friend through communication. God wants to speak directly to us as individuals.
Does prophecy expose my weaknesses, my sins and failing, causing me embarrassment in front of others?
When a prophecy is delivered, it should be done displaying the nature of God. God’s nature is love.
Exposing somebody’s weaknesses, sins and failing should not happen as it does not represent the true nature of God, especially in public. This is a sign of an immature person, one with a lack of training in the prophetic.
1 Cor 14:3 “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” … should be our guidelines for prophesying.
When people are prophesying, they should use great care when dealing with people’s lives. God does not want to embarrass people.
God may convict people through words spoken because God wants the best for us. He wants us to grow in our relationship with him.
We have found people already know what their sin is, they do not need to be told. God’s nature is loving and kind. Embarrassing people in front of others does not line up with the nature of God.
I’ve seen people who have been prayed for (prophesied over) and they do strange things. How can this be of God?
God can and does move in unusual ways at times and not always like we would expect.
Unfortunately what can happen is God will move on people in an unusual ways but sometimes people keep this going in a weird way when God has stopped, or they may do things that they say is God but it is not God.
The presence of God is very real and God does do things to demonstrate His power and bring change.
It is when people who do not understand correctly God and His nature do weird things and say this is God that makes it appear God does weird things.
Can revelatory prayer or the prophetic be used to manipulate people?
This should not happen. Unfortunately this has happened in the past.
This is why training is important. It helps people to deliver a word correctly and also helps people understand what to do with the prophecy they have received.
Proper training also helps to know how to test a prophetic word. Schools of the prophets were the only schools in the Bible – training people to hear from God. Training is still very important for the safety and protection of all.
I have seen some prophetic people and they seem a bit weird? Are all prophetic people like this?
Unfortunately this can be the case.
This perceived weirdness is normally a sign of an immature spiritual person or one who lacks proper training.
We have found when people have good training and proper understanding, this weird behaviour disappears and they become respected for the correct use of the gift
What are spiritual gifts? Is prophecy one of these?
Spiritual Gifts are special abilities that God gives Christians by the Holy Spirit to use in His service.
God gives these gifts to His people in order for them to be a blessing to others and advance what He wants to do in the church, in individuals, in businesses and other specific situations.
Prophecy is one of the spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthian 12: 7-11 often referred to as a manifestational gift as it brings something from the Holy Spirit.
It is also mentioned in Romans 12:6-8 often referred to as a motivational gift as it brings motivational input from the Holy Spirit.
All spiritual gifts should be used in conjunction with the fruits of the spirit listed in Gal 5:22