Prove All Things

There is a lot of prophecy being spoken right now. What's correct and what's in error? First, we must know that prophecy and the office of the prophet is ordained by God.

1Th 5:20 says, "Despise not prophesyings."

And we read in Ephesians, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Notice the purpose - to help the saints mature (perfect), to do ministry, and to edify UNTIL we come into unity of faith and knowledge.

Now go back to 1Th and read verse 21 of chapter 5. The next verse says, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."

We are to prove, or scrutinize, all things we hear. We hold onto the good and discard the rest.

We see this again in 1Jn 4. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) The word "try" is the same word translated "prove."

The sad truth is there are false prophets. We must examine what we hear and compare it to the Word of God. It must encourage and help us mature. Those are important qualifications.

1Co 14:3 repeats this. "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." Comfort is added in. Prophecy should not make you afraid. God does not give fear.

Now add in 2Ti 3:16-17. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

What is prophesied should line up with these instructions. If it doesn't and you have any doubts, then move on. Another good key is to look at the speaker's life. Do they consistently preach the Word? Do they tell you to seek God on your own? The ministry gifts are never for self-promotion. (Mt 6:1-2)

The gift of prophecy is important but it does not replace pastors, teachers, or your personal prayer time. The body of Christ is many members with different functions. We need eyes, ears, and hands or we are incomplete. (Rm 12:4-5; 1Co 12:12, 20)


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Suzanne D. Williams, Author