Prophetic Processing I – Testing the Word

Prophecies are not just words but beacons, providing light and direction for our lives. How can we learn to process the prophetic words we receive?


By: Pastor Dian Botha


Years ago, I heard this phrase, “Turn your prophecies into plans!” It was such a revelation to me that prophecies are not just words but beacons, providing light and direction for my life. The responsibility I have then is to follow these “Words of light” to help me reach my destiny.


The following scripture reflects that very well.


2 Peter 1:19-21 says, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”


Prophecy is a light in a dark place and until Jesus comes back, we will need these lights to help guide and direct us.


Many years ago, when my wife and I were stuck in Taiwan with no money and no mission society, the prophetic words we had were like lights in the darkness. It comprised of several prophecies, visions, and scriptures. They carried us during those difficult days and proved to be from the mouth of God.


Prophecy is a light in a dark place and until Jesus comes back, we will need these lights to help guide and direct us.

Prophecy sets the tone for our ministry:

1 Timothy 1:18 tells us, “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.”


Many times, I have heard people remark about prophetic words, “Just put it on the shelf”. The scripture refutes this “let’s wait and see” attitude. In fact, Paul exhorted Timothy to put aggressive action to his prophetic words!


Paul assigned duties to Timothy according to the prophecies given to him. He directed his life according to what was prophesied over him. This was amazing, and there was nothing passive here, no wait and see attitude. He just says, “this is what God has called you to do, let’s start going that way!” This gives new meaning to Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”


Indeed, we must train, direct and disciple a child according to their God-given destiny which has been revealed to us through the prophetic word.


We must wield our wand and battle the enemy with God’s promises. His promises become prophetic declarations in our mouths!


Secondly, Timothy had to “war” with his prophetic words! It means they were no good on the shelf! These “words of light” are like light sabres in our celestial battle! We must wield our wand and battle the enemy with God’s promises. His promises become prophetic declarations in our mouths!


So, let’s take a good look at how we should “process prophecy”.


Principles in Processing Prophecy.

Prophetic Testing

We need to make sure that what we have received is from God! This is imperative, and we are taught this in several scriptures. Let’s examine a few of them.


1 Thessalonians 5:20-21- Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.


We should not despise prophecies by treating them lightly or neglecting them. Then, we are told to test them and hold on to that which is good!


1 Corinthians 14:29 - Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.


I believe there are several ways to judge prophecy, and here are five useful tests to put a prophetic word through.


We should not despise prophecy by treating them lightly or neglecting them. Then, we are told to test them and hold on to that which is good!

5 Tests for Prophecy:

a) Does it line up with scripture?


We should judge all prophecy in the light of the Bible. True prophetic words from God will never violate or contradict the clear teaching of scripture.


Isaiah 8:20 - To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.


b) Does it reflect and reveal the nature of God?


The foundation of the prophetic in the New Testament is edification, exhortation, and comfort. Prophetic words should reflect this. God is a God of Love; in fact He is love.


Love is the very crux of the prophetic. This is why 1 Corinthians 13, the love Chapter, is placed between 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, the spiritual gifts chapters. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. God speaks because He loves, and prophecy must reflect that. It’s speaking the truth in love!


1 John 4:6-8 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.


The foundation of the prophetic in the New Testament is edification, exhortation, and comfort. Prophetic words should reflect this. God is a God of Love; in fact He is love.

c) Witness of the Holy Spirit


True words from God will ring true in our spirits. The Spirit of God in us say “Yes!” to the prophetic words given by Him. There is also the gift of the discerning of spirits.


Acts 15:28 - For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us.



d) Trusted Counsel


It’s an incredible thought that Paul was so humble that he went and shared his revelations with the Apostles. He wasn’t afraid to share what he felt God gave him. He believed the Scriptures when it says “in a multitude of counsellors there is surety” and “ by the testimony of two or three witnesses things will be established”. He didn’t want to waste his time and therefore he sought wise counsel. He believed that God would tell other Apostles what He had told him.


Galatians 2:2 - And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.


By the testimony of two or three witnesses things will be established.

e) Confirmation


Prophecy doesn’t always confirm what we know, but will always be confirmed! God doesn’t only tell us what we already know. I have heard many people say that prophecy always confirms what is in our hearts. That is not true! Many times, prophetic words can be,” no eye has seen and no ear has heard”. God will tell us things we never even dreamt about!


But having said that, He will always confirm the words He has given us. In Scripture, we read in 2 Corinthians 13:1 that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”


Maybe you never dreamt of being a missionary but God keeps giving you prophecy after prophecy, dreams, and visions to confirm His word to you.


In summary, the first vital part of processing our prophetic words is to judge them and make sure they are from God. Next, we can start turning those prophecies into plans!


Click to read the next part of the article - Prophetic Processing II - Turning Your Prophecies into Plans.

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