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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 155

The Gifts Part 60

Prophecy continued...

As we continue discussing the ways by which we can biblically judge prophecy and ways by which we can evaluate prophetic utterances, we come upon a modality that is more subjective than it is objective because it has to do with us as individuals. The reason that this particular way of judging prophecy is more subjective than the others is because it has to do with a word bearing witness. Yes, one of the ways by which we can judge, assess, and evaluate a prophecy is whether it bears witness with our spirit as children of God.

Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together.”

Because this modality of judging prophecy is so subjective, because often times especially when we receive a word of rebuke or correction our pride will flare up and attempt to dismiss the word because it attempts to humble the prideful heart, the bearing witness of a prophecy cannot override all the other ways by which we judge it. What I mean by this statement is that if the word is in harmony with the Bible, if it glorifies God, if its ultimate goal is your sanctification, if it draws you closer to God, if it encourages righteousness and repentance yet you say to yourself ‘I will not receive it because it doesn’t bear witness’, search your heart diligently to see if it is the spirit not bearing witness, or the flesh attempting to find a means by which to dismiss and ignore a message from God.

I have known, on occasion, individuals who have wandered from the path of righteousness, individuals who returned to the sins and vices they had been freed from, and when God attempted to correct them, when a word of prophecy came lovingly warning them that the road they were on led to ruination, they balked at the word saying that it didn’t bear witness with their spirit. In such an instance, when an individual is no longer walking in the fear of the Lord, this subjective means of judging a word becomes nullified because only those walking in the fear of the Lord and possessing His Spirit can accurately assess whether or not a word bears witness with their spirit because the selfsame Spirit that is communicating the word is the Spirit living inside them.

For some, judging a word of prophecy based on whether or not it bears witness with their spirit has become the mother of all loopholes when it comes to rejecting prophecies with which they do not agree, or prophecies that seek to correct or rebuke. To such individuals it matters not that the word is in harmony with Scripture, that it seeks to draw them closer to God, that it exhorts them to holiness and righteous living, because the only criterion they choose to use when disagreeing with a prophetic utterance is whether or not it bears witness.

If we choose to use only this singular criterion of judging a prophetic word in lieu of all the others we are able to biblically employ, one, that as I’ve already mentioned is exceedingly subjective, may I submit to you that we are acting in bad faith, being Pharisaical in our actions, not operating in the fear of the Lord or out of a true and sincere desire to know whether or not He has spoken.

When it comes to judging prophecy by whether or not it bears witness with our spirit, so much of it has to do with the heart, where we are in our walk with God, and what our true intentions are for judging the word in question.

Shortly after my grandfather’s passing I began receiving words of prophecy wherein I was instructed to continue the work, and was repeatedly told that I had been called to preach the gospel. Although I loved God with all my heart, I knew the sacrifice required of a servant, I knew the toll it took on one’s family, and being newly married I began to tell myself that the words I was receiving didn’t bear witness with my spirit.

It was never my dream to be a minister or a preacher, to this day I still consider myself unworthy and ill equipped for such a calling, and in my immaturity I attempted to superimpose my own feelings on my spirit and conclude that the words I was receiving bore no witness to it.

In retrospect, my justifications were purely subjective, having more to do with my emotions than with the words of prophecy not bearing witness with my spirit. It took a good while for me to be honest with myself and admit that I was judging the prophesies selfishly rather than out of a true desire to determine their origin, and I had to repent before God for attempting to shrug off the calling that He had placed on my life. I share this only to highlight the pitfalls and dangers of judging a word of prophecy solely on whether or not it bears witness with our spirit, because well all know that the heart is deceitful above all things.

Last but certainly not least when it comes to judging prophecy, is determining whether it brings glory to Christ, and points the way to Him.

John 16:13-14, “However, when He the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

A true word of prophecy will not glorify man, it will not glorify a denomination, it will not attempt to place the spotlight on anyone or anything other than Christ. Whether an edification, an exhortation, or a comfort, whether a word of forewarning, a correction, a rebuke or a revelation of things to come, in the end all words of a prophetic nature will lead back to Christ, because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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