Summary: "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev 19:10). A true prophet will be known by the fruit of the holy spirit in his/her character and conduct (Matt 7:16)
Series: How To Judge Prophecy
TEST 3 - ALL TRUE PROPHECY CENTRES IN JESUS CHRIST, AND EXALTS AND GLORIFIES HIM.
A) In John 16.13-14 Jesus says: "When he, the Spirit of truth, is come ... he shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."
The primary ministry of the Holy Spirit within the church is to reveal and to glorify Jesus Christ.
B) In Revelation 19.10 this principle is applied specifically to prophecy: "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
The central theme of all true prophecy is Jesus. Therefore we must always be on our guard against any kind of revelation which lays greater emphasis upon something or someone else, rather than upon the person of Jesus Christ. Experience shows that there are various things which may be allowed to displace Jesus from the centre of revelation. Sometimes the wrong emphasis may be upon a human personality, a church or institution. All true prophecy must exalt and glorify Jesus.
TEST 4 OF 9 – A TRUE PROPHET WILL BE KNOWN BY THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN HIS/HER CHARACTER AND CONDUCT.
A) To be recognised as a true prophet of God, the messenger carrying a prophetic word from the Lord must be living a godly lifestyle, and has a reputation as a person who loves and lives for God.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
"Sheep" are a picture of true disciples of Christ. "Wolves" are a picture of their enemies, the false prophets. The fact that these wolves wear "sheep’s clothing" indicates that these false prophets represent themselves as real Christians. However, their real, inward nature is the opposite of what they profess. This inward nature is revealed in the "fruit" which they manifest, both in their own character and conduct, and in the lives of those who come under their influence.
B) The kind of fruit produced by the Holy Spirit is clearly described in various passages of the New Testament. In Romans 14.17 Paul says:
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
“These are the three main products of the Holy Spirit: righteousness, peace, and joy. Notice that righteousness comes first. The peace and the joy produced by the Holy Spirit result from righteousness — i.e. right living and right relationships. Any forms of peace or joy that are not founded on righteousness are false, carnal substitutes for those which the Holy Spirit produces.” (Derek Prince).
C) In Galatians 5.22-23 Paul specifies nine kinds of fruit produced by the Holy Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Where fruit of this kind is not forthcoming in the lives of those who minister in prophecy, or of those who are ministered to, we know that it is not the Holy Spirit who is at work.
Among aspects of character or conduct that are clearly not the fruit of the Holy Spirit, we may mention the following: pride, arrogance, boastfulness, exaggeration, dishonesty, covetousness, financial irresponsibility, licentiousness, immorality, addictive appetites, broken marriage vows, broken homes. Any prophetic ministry that is responsible for results such as these is the ministry of a false prophet. ***
BIBLIOGRAPHY: How To Judge Prophecy –Derek Prince