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Are they True Gifts of the Spirit?

The Bible tells us to earnestly desire the gifts of the Spirit, but especially, the gift of prophecy. Learning more about the gifts and how God uses them may stir up our desire to receive said gifts. It is critical to know:

  • How should we judge these things?

  • Is it dangerous to accept a false prophecy?

  • What can you do to receive all the gifts the Holy Spirit has for you?

There are some big misconceptions and wrong teachings about prophecy. Clearing these out will give the Holy Spirit room to work in your life. Before you begin reading this section, invite the Holy Spirit to grant you wisdom and reveal to you any wrong beliefs or false prophecies.

When the Holy Spirit speaks to us, it can be a soft quiet voice resembling your own, a gentle nudge, or a strong mental voice, sometimes resembling a shout. Here are a few of the most common reasons why He speaks to us in a strong way:

  • When the issue is critical

  • When He expects you to act upon it

  • As a warning

The more you draw close to God – especially once He reveals His plan for your life and you begin walking toward that destiny – the more He will speak to you. The free book “Roadmap to Heaven” discusses this topic at length.

God loves variety. Just look at how many different types of flora and fauna He created. Yet, there is a purpose for every little thing He creates. In the language of the people that God uses to reveal Himself to the world, there is no word for coincidence. Everything is a sign or message, and it is up to us to figure out who it is from and what it means. The ways in which He speaks to us are too numerous to count. Some of the most common ones are:

  1. Word of knowledge

  2. Word of wisdom

  3. Prophetic word

  4. Dreams & visions

In this article we will focus on the first three ways listed, addressing the last one in another class.


Word of Knowledge

This is a gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Often it is about your life or your relationships. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will tell someone else something they can’t possibly know about you. It may be a single word or a sentence.

A word of knowledge should always confirm something that God is already placing in your heart. If someone gives you a word from God that does not connect with something in your life, it could be that the person is:

  • Speaking from his or her own soul (mind).

  • Is listening to a demonic spirit.

  • They have misunderstood for whom the word was meant.

If someone gives you a word from God and then asks you for money or something of value, this is not God’s way. This person may have a gift from God, but he may not be using it for His glory. It is up to us to decide if we have heard from God and then to decide what it is worth.

A word of knowledge is like a satellite dish. It is a gift of being a receiver of information. The person with this gift can tune it into God and receive information from Him, or, because of their actions, they can tune it in to the enemy forces and hear from them. Satan doesn’t know everything, but he is leading a rebellion against God, and one-third of the angels are following him (Revelation 12:4). Since he is a spiritual being, he and his forces can speak directly to our minds.

There are demons assigned to each and every one of us; they listen and report. If one was standing by when you said something unique and quite memorable or when your deceased father said something meaningful to you, demons could give this information to others who will try and draw you away from God.

People can use spiritual gifts similar to the Word of Knowledge to talk to spirits. What they are really doing is speaking to demons who can imitate or repeat things they have seen or heard. Other examples of this are:

  1. Tarot card readings

  2. Palm readings

  3. Ouija board communications

  4. Witch doctors

  5. Shamans

  6. Spirit guides

It would be impossible to list every form of wrong interaction with the spirit realm. It is safe to say that any type of ‘divining’ that doesn’t give glory to God or Jesus may have the enemy behind it. If you accept these words or predictions, you are coming into agreement with that spirit. You will need to confess, repent (turn from or remove all copies of that word) and plead the blood over receiving from a wrong spirit.

Word of Wisdom  

Another type of gift of the Spirit is a word of wisdom. God will speak about a future situation and show you how to deal with it. The Holy Spirit may tell you to say something to someone else about a future situation so that they will know what to do when the time comes.

Satan does not know the future, but he does have a good network. If there is talk of something occurring at a certain date, or if something has been put in the mail and is on the way, he may use this information to imitate this gift. He may also have plans to bring harm into someone's life and bring this information to you through the spirit or someone receiving through him.

The bottom line is: does what you receive line up with what you know is true about God from the Bible? Does it encourage, help, correct, and lift you up?

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and the enabling of the Holy Spirit] for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:7 AMP)

… but rather that you prophesied: for greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. (1 Corinthians 14:5 NIV)

This is why the gifts should be used. They are used for the common good of the body of Christ so that the Body may be edified or built up. Does a message or word condemn you, making you feel worthless or like you aren’t good enough? These aren’t messages of God. If there is any question about where it has come from, put it before the Lord and ask Him for wisdom concerning it.

Just like with words of knowledge, you will need to confess, repent (turn from or remove all copies of that word) and plead the blood over receiving from a wrong spirit. If the word was from God, He will be honored that you want Him and to be holy unto Him more than you want the words. He can still bring it to pass!

Prophetic Word

The Bible is filled with prophecies. There are three types of prophetic words found in the Word of God:

  • Prophecies from the Bible

  • Prophecies from prophets

  • The Spiritual Gift of prophecy

Each one has unique attributes. However, they should all be judged. How do we judge prophecies? Can this lead to trouble? To find out, let’s clearly define each of these.

Prophecies from the Bible

Despite the hundreds of prophecies about Jesus in the Torah (Old Testament), the spiritual leaders of the day failed to recognize the Messiah they awaited. There are several prophecies in the Old Testament that have yet to be fulfilled. The New Testament talks about the “Second Coming” of the Lord when He will return to rule and reign. Could history repeat itself?

The prophecies in the Bible are judged and are true. The difficulty comes in interpreting them accurately. We must be careful not to presume to KNOW exactly how it will be fulfilled. We can be aware of how it MAY come to pass but be open to variations! Suffice to say, God isn’t done with prophecy.

Prophecies from Prophets  

When Paul speaks of the offices meant to edify or build up the Church (worldwide body of believers), he mentions five specifically:

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… (Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV)

In the middle of this group are “prophets,” which means God is still using prophets in the Church today. Most notably, there are three things that prophets do: perfecting the saints, operating in a ministry, and edifying the body. This is different from the operation of the gift of prophecy, which is only meant to edify and lift up. The first thing you must do is determine if the person is a prophet or just someone operating in the gift of prophecy. This can help you judge what is being put forth.

Just because someone gives many prophecies that come true, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a prophet.


Any member of the church may operate in the gift of prophecy, but a prophet is a calling from God. Did the person have a meeting with God where He said, “You are my prophet?” Or has the person been labeled a prophet because he/she is operating in the gift of prophecy as noted above?

I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14:4 ESV)

This chapter in Corinthians speaks about edifying or building up the body of Christ. This is what a prophecy should do. It is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit:

  1. Message of wisdom

  2. Message of knowledge

  3. Faith

  4. Gifts of healing

  5. Miraculous powers

  6. Prophecy

  7. Distinguishing between spirits

  8. Speaking in different kinds of tongues

  9. The interpretation of tongues

(1 Corinthians 12:8-10)

These gifts are available to every Christian. We should desire to prophesy over others, not with the intention to condemn but to lift up. It doesn’t mean that God won’t occasionally use you to deliver a word of wisdom that may be critical or constructive, but it also shouldn’t be the focus of your gift.

Judging Prophetic Words  

If we accept a wrong prophecy or prophetic word, we are also accepting the spirit with it that urged us to receive or to give that prophetic word. This can bring consequences. How should we respond to a word or prophecy given to us? When the Holy Spirit brings a word from another person, it can do several things:

  • Convict us - We know we have been doing wrong.

  • Irritate us - Another spirit is in danger of being removed, so it stirs up pride.

  • Motivate us - It urges us towards our destiny, moving us to seek God more.

  • Edify us - The Holy Spirit inside us leaps for joy upon hearing it.

Conviction happens when the Holy Spirit has already been speaking to us about something we need to change. The prophetic word is not a surprise, just a confirmation that urges us to turn something over to God.

If there is a spirit in our lives other than the Holy Spirit, when we receive a prophetic word, the other spirit may react, pushing us to become offended or irritated. This is pride poking its nose out of hiding.

A false word may “tickle our ears,” boosting our egos because the spirit behind the word knows what we want to hear. The leaping of the true Spirit is different. It touches a part deep inside, and we KNOW it is God, and it is DONE. It will motivate us to pursue God and even build up our spirit or edify us. There are several appropriate ways to respond when receiving a word.

  • Accept it: A “prophetic word” causes the Spirit to rise up in you, causing you to immediately accept it

  • Rebuke it: The Holy Spirit may rise up in great force if the word hampers your destiny. In this case, you will renounce the words against you. You don’t want to grieve the Spirit if it is a word from Him, so this should only be done when the Holy Spirit says so in a very strong voice.

  • Neither accept nor reject it: saying, “I will keep this in an open hand before the Lord,” which is saying that you will take it to the Lord in prayer and give it to Him.

Judging Prophecy  

There are many ways we can test a prophecy:

  • The Word of God

  • Past Prophecies

  • Coming true

The Bible is the first and primary source by which we should judge all things. We know it to be true, and God will never contradict what He has always said. However, there are often conflicting sides to a prophecy. Jesus was both the Lamb of God and the Ruling King (Lion). While both are true, they seem to contradict each other.

One must also look at the past success rate of prophecies from that prophet. Remember, there is a difference between the attribution, “Thus sayeth the Lord,” and teaching. A teaching can be imperfect, and while that may not be good, it’s still better than stating something as a fact when the Lord hasn’t really said it. In the Old Testament times, if a prophecy did not come to pass, all their writings were burned, and they were stoned.

Many prophecies contain a series of events. If the prophecy stated that America would face a Depression in 2020 and it didn’t happen, you would throw out the whole prophecy that contained this miscalculation. In other words, judge the entire prophecy by the accuracy of each part: when some of it has been shown to be false, don’t believe any of it.

With this type of prophecy, often the Holy Spirit will move strongly to testify that it is from Him. It is helpful if our spirits are strong so we can strengthen our spirits to easily receive from Him. Log on to our website for our event page and select “Bread of Life” to hear scripture read!

Receiving These Gifts

These gifts are vital because they allow you to see and hear what the enemy has against you. Once you know where the enemy has access, you rightly use the blood of Jesus as payment for that sin as you confess and repent and remove attacks (see the course Removing Attacks). This makes you free to move forward in your destiny and walk closer to God. After thousands of visits, one thing is clear, when we step up to help the body of Christ, God supplies us with all we need.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 ESV)

It is the Holy Spirit to brings the gifts that are necessary to help the body of Christ for the good of all. Many of our team members were not moving in these gifts before they volunteered to help others in prayer sessions. However, after volunteering to help others for a few months, every single one of them began to receive words of knowledge and words of wisdom. To receive these gifts, you should seek to work for the Lord and trust the Holy Spirit to bring them.

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