In 1971, Saul Alinsky wrote a book called Rules for Radicals. It became the guide book for communist organizers like President Barack Obama.
In the same way that radical communists need rules to help them achieve their goal of world domination, radical Christians need rules to help us achieve our goal of advancing God’s kingdom on earth.
We might not think of ourselves as radical, but anyone who believes their sins are forgiven because a man rose from the dead has to be considered radical. Anyone who believes the creator of the universe lives on the inside of them and even talks to them has to be considered radical.
There are lots of different rules we could list, but the ones I have listed here are all for the purpose of helping us more accurately discern what God reveals in dreams, visions, and prophetic words.
I chose this topic because there have been so many questions raised about prophetic words surrounding this current time and the events coming in the near future. These kinds of questions are only going to increase because the shakings are just now beginning. More shakings means more people will be seeking answers to questions about prophetic words in the days to come. This post is an attempt to answer those questions and provide us with some guidelines to help us keep on track.
So here are my eight rules for radicals.
Rule 1: Do Not Despise the Words of Prophets
The first rule is do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything and hold fast to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).
To despise prophetic words means:
- to regard them as worthless, having no value
- to have little or no respect for them
- to have little or no fear that what they are warning could really happen
We all know prophetic words present challenges with trying to discern which ones to believe and which ones to toss. There are also challenges interpreting what they mean. It seems like it would be easier to just throw them all out, but the Bible warns us not to do that.
Some churches have chosen the easy way out by making doctrines claiming God no longer speaks to His people. They claim all of that passed away after the first century apostles. That way there are no messy prophetic questions to deal with, just reject them all! However, according to the Bible, God has never stopped speaking to His people.
If God no longer speaks to us, why would Jesus say, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). The primary way we hear His voice is through the Bible, the written word of God, but from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is filled with examples of God speaking to His people through prophetic dreams, visions, and words. So He speaks to us by both the written word and by His Spirit.
If God no longer speaks to us why would the Apostle Paul include the prophetic ministry as one of the five primary New Testament ministries along with apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers? Paul says each type of ministry is given by God to equip us for the work of ministry, to build up our faith, to bring us into unity, to help us to know the Lord, and become more like Him (Ephesians 4:11-13).
The scriptures make it clear prophetic words should not be ignored, yet many Christians do it anyway. Some take it even further by openly attacking, maligning, and mocking prophetic ministry. It really makes me wonder whose side they are on.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “God has exhibited the apostles last of all” and “the scum of the world” (1 Corinthians 4:9-13). I cannot argue with him, but I think prophets are not far behind apostles in the race to the bottom. The world seems more willing to accept the ministry of apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers because at least they share things written in a book, which is more like the way the rest of the world does things, but prophets are considered total lunatics because their whole ministry comes by the Spirit in the form of dreams, visions, and rhema words spoken by God. The world has no reference point for that, so they assume prophets are spooky weirdos. So prophets are outcasts, unwanted, and unappreciated. They are widely rejected by the church, by their country, and even by their own family (Matthew 13:57). Only a small remnant pays any attention to what they say. Anyone seeking honor for themselves should find another job because they are not going to find that as a prophet.
Leonard Ravenhill described the prophetic ministry as follows:
- The prophet in his day is fully accepted of God and totally rejected by men.
- The degree of his effectiveness is determined by his measure of unpopularity.
- Compromise is not known to prophets. They have no price tags.
- Prophets are totally other-worldly.
- Prophets are unquestionably controversial and unpardonably hostile.
- Prophets march to another drummer.
- Prophets live in splendid isolation.
- Prophets are ordained by God, but disdained by men.
- Prophets are a scourge to the nation before they are scourged by the nation.
- Prophets are friendless while living and famous when dead.
Since starting this blog in 2012, I have been amazed by how many so-called Christians believe it is their God given mission in life to attack the Lord’s prophets. It really doesn’t even matter what the prophetic word says because they have a problem with anyone who claims to hear anything from God. They attack every prophetic word crying, “False prophet!”
In the first year or so, I used to reply to their comments attempting to show them what the Bible says. However, I soon learned I was wasting my time because none of them cared about that. They could not hear any kind of correction because they already knew everything.
So now I have learned to be more efficient with my time. I just hit delete and move on. No reply sent. No explanation given. No time wasted. Now I can focus on helping people who have ears to hear, which is far more productive. Other visitors don’t have to be bothered by reading all of that nonsense either.
So here is a reply to the prophecy haters whose comments have been deleted without any explanation:
This site strives to help people believe God and understand what He is saying to us today. Since you do not share that goal, please find another website to express your opinions. Any comments you submit here will be deleted. You are wasting your time here, but you are no longer wasting mine. Please go away!
That might sound harsh to some, but the sad truth is not everyone wants to believe the Bible or follow the Lord. We need to cut the troublemakers loose so we can be more effective in helping those who truly want help.
The prophetic ministry can get messy, but we have to learn how to deal with it. Rejecting the prophetic ministry is a mistake because God says He does nothing unless He first reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
Rule 2: Prophecy is Not a Shortcut to God
We all have a tendency to follow the path of least resistance, seeking the easiest way to do things. Some people follow prophetic ministries seeking an easy way to hear from God without taking time to seek the Lord for themselves. Unfortunately, it will not go well for them.
Just as it is a mistake to ignore prophetic words, it is also a mistake to rely on them too much. God requires each of us to come to Him directly, spend time with Him, and stay in right relationship with Him, so we can hear from Him for ourselves rather than relying on someone else to do it for us.
That was okay during Old Testament days, but it is not okay today. In those days, the Lord spoke through prophets because the people did not have the Holy Spirit living in them. But when the Lord was crucified the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom. Then after the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead, He breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Then the Holy Spirit entered into the hearts of those who believed. So today we have been given much more and God requires much more from us.
Rule 3: True Prophecies Never Contradict the Bible
Since God speaks to us through prophecies, we must learn to discern the true from the false. The first test that must be passed is the scripture test. True prophecies never contradict the scriptures.
The Spirit of God never says anything that contradicts the Bible because God never contradicts Himself. So if a prophetic word is truly from God it will always agree with His written word.
To apply this test, we must know what the Bible says, which means we have a responsibility to study. The more we know the scriptures, the more we can recognize false prophecies. The less we know the scriptures, the more likely we are to be deceived by false prophecies.
For example, several people made comments on this site recently claiming the rapture would happen on the day of atonement 2015. In each case, I replied with an explanation why that could not happen based on the scriptures, which I documented in my previous post, Ten Things that Must Happen Before the Rapture. The scriptures reveal many things that must happen before the rapture and many of them are major events that take years to unfold. So those words were easy to expose as false prophecies because there is no way the rapture could happen this year.
In that example, the prophecies involved an event revealed in the Bible, but that is not always the case. If the event is not identified in the Bible we must rely on other ways to discern the prophetic words.
Rule 4: Prophecies Must Bear Witness With Our Spirit
If a prophetic word passes the scripture hurdle, the next rule is it must bear witness with our spirit. This requires discernment, which means we have a responsibility to learn how to discern.
Babies have no discernment. They pick up anything they find on the floor and put it in their mouth. Discernment is something we learn from experience. That means we are going to make some mistakes along the way. However, if we stay humble in asking the Lord to help us, we can learn from our mistakes and grow in our ability to discern.
There is a gift of discernment given in special situations for the work of the ministry (1 Corinthians 12:10), but that gift is specifically for discerning what kind of spirits are operating in the unseen realm for the purpose of binding, loosing, and casting out unclean spirits. The gift of discernment is not necessary for accurately judging prophetic words. The gift of discernment is given for special situations, but the kind of discernment required for judging prophecies is available to every believer in every situation. This kind of discernment can be learned simply by training ourselves through constant practice.
13 For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)
My wife and I have an old friend named Peggy who is very skilled in discernment. Her skill was not given to her as a gift. She developed it through constant practice. One day she found a snake had crawled up into the engine of her parked car. Most people would not think much about it, but Peggy immediately started practicing discernment asking what does it mean, why did it happen, and what should she do about it. She was always practicing, always seeking to understand why things happened, always asking the Lord to reveal the meaning of things to her. Her eagerness to learn caused her to develop discernment faster than other people who were not paying close attention.
Discerning whether or not a prophetic word bears witness with our spirit is not as black and white as passing the scripture test. With the scripture test we are dealing with things we can see and know because they are written in the Bible. However, when it comes to bearing witness with our spirit we are dealing with things we cannot see and have no way of knowing in the natural realm. We must learn to discern based only on the inner witness.
How is this possible? For man it is impossible, but for God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). We have to learn to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit within us to either confirm or reject a prophetic word. A strong sense of peace and confidence about a prophecy is a positive indication the word is bearing witness with our spirit. Feeling uneasy and anxious indicates something is not right. We might not know why it is not right, but we don’t always need to know why. We can just learn to trust the inner witness even when we don’t know anything more than that.
For example, consider the prophetic warnings shared in my previous post published on September 11, Watch Out for Global Economic Collapse Starting in Germany on September 25. In that post I shared a prophetic word posted on a Catholic website, locutions.org, claiming a global economic collapse would begin while the Pope was in the United States, which included the day of atonement.
About a week later on September 20, I started feeling uneasy and anxious about the prophetic warnings in that post, but I could not explain why I felt that way. It was not based on any new information in the news, just an inner witness. So I sought the Lord about it and He gave me the answer, which I shared in my previous post, Go Back to What You Saw at the Beginning.
Sure enough, the prophetic word posted by the Catholic site proved to be a false prophecy. Obviously, it would have been better to discern this before sharing it on this site, but this is an example of the process of learning discernment.
In hindsight, I can see I ignored other warning signs, such as their comments that Pope Francis was a good guy being used by God. I dismissed that as just something Catholics believe, even though I knew it was not right.
The good news is we can learn from our mistakes to be more precise the next time. We don’t have to keep making the same mistakes again and again. If we ask the Lord to help us, we will learn and develop our skills.
So now we have the scripture test and the inner witness test, but even if a prophetic word passes both of those tests there are more tests we can apply.
Rule 5: Prophecies Are Validated by the Testimony of Two Witnesses
Two witnesses are better than one. A prophetic word received by two people is more sure than a prophetic word received by one person.
Jesus quoted the Old Testament law stating the testimony of two witnesses is valid (John 8:17). This is the old rule of safety in numbers.
Many of the posts shared on this site share similar prophetic words from different people in an attempt to validate the words. Other prophetic words shared with me have been discarded and not posted on this site because they lacked a second witness.
If the prophetic word reveals events already identified in the Bible, such as scenes from the Great Tribulation, the person who recorded it in the scriptures is the second witness. Those kinds of words are easy to validate.
If the prophetic word reveals an event not found in the Bible, then a second witness is needed. Without that it should not be shared or acted on. Since the Lord gave us this rule, He understands we need it and He is able to provide a second witness.
The more I learn about prophetic ministry the more reluctant I am to share words without a second witness. Not only that, but both witnesses must be saying the exact same thing. Otherwise it does not count.
Rule 6: Look for Proven Track Records
A prophetic word shared by a person with a proven track record has more credibility than a prophetic word shared by an unknown person. This rule is one I am learning to appreciate more and more.
Some visitors to this site have asked me to stop sharing prophetic words from nobodies, people they have never heard of before. They only want to hear from big name ministries with proven track records, but big name ministries are the only people that have track records. God has an army of believers who have learned to recognize His voice and have proven themselves to be faithful witnesses even though we have never heard of them before.
As stated previously, we all have a tendency to follow the path of least resistance, seeking the easiest way to do things. It is easier to find the prophetic track record for a big name ministry than for an unknown person, but with a little extra effort we can learn a lot about people who are not well known.
Many unknown people are receiving amazing prophetic insights for our nation, our leaders, and the world. God gives those kinds of words for the enlightenment of the whole body of believers, not for personal edification. Those kinds of warnings are meant to be shared with everyone who will listen. There is not question about whether or not God is speaking to His people The only question is, are we willing to listen?
If we limit the prophetic ministry to a handful of big name ministries we will miss many of the treasures the Lord is revealing through His people. It just takes a little extra effort on our part to give them a chance to share what they have heard and get to know more about them. Then we can begin to rely on their prophetic words.
We have developed a community of forex traders on Z3news.com who have shared their prophetic revelations about future price movements by posting comments on our forex articles. Several traders have proven to be very accurate with their revelations. Their insights have proven to be very valuable, but since anyone can post comments it is easy for trolls to post phony revelations and for sincere believers to post wrong revelations. I have already deleted at least one person’s comments for this reason. So we have to keep our guard up and proceed with caution, but in time we can discover new people who hear the Lord clearly. For anyone tracking these revelations, my recommendation is to take notes on what is shared, but do not take action until a proven track record is established.
In the past, the church has relied heavily on big name ministries. However, I believe big changes are coming soon that will change all of that. Jesus warned about increased persecution coming as we get closer to the time of His return. I believe we have already entered into the beginning of a time of increased persecution, which will require believers to rely more on smaller gatherings in secret locations. The only church that will be given a big platform in the days ahead will be the false church, which rejects the Holy Spirit. In other words, the days of big name ministries are soon coming to an end.
In the days ahead, we are going to see the Lord moving through a nameless, faceless army of nobodies. We might not know their name, but we will recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking through them. We are going to see what we should have had all along, the ministry of the Holy Spirit through His people. Then the Lord alone will receive all of the glory for what He has done.
Rule 7: Separate the Words of the Lord from the Words of the Prophet
We must learn to discern the difference between a word from the Lord and a word from the person who received the word. They are not the same thing.
The Apostle Paul shared revelations he received from the Lord, but he also shared his own opinions. He identified when he was giving his own opinion because he wanted us to know it was not to be received on the same level as a word from the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:10). In the same way, many revelations shared today include words from the Lord along with the opinions and assumptions of the person who received it. We must discern the difference, hold onto what the Lord says, and judge carefully what the person is saying.
Whatever God reveals is always true and right, but our own opinions and assumptions are often wrong. Yet, I often see comments where people seem to be unable to tell the difference between the two. They call someone a false prophet because they made a wrong assumption or shared a wrong opinion, but that does not make anyone a false prophet. It only shows they are human. What makes someone a false prophet is attributing words to God that God never spoke.
It would be great if every prophetic word clearly separated the word of the Lord from their own assumptions. Unfortunately, they don’t always make is as clear as the Apostle Paul did. So we must watch out for that and learn to discern the difference.
Rule 8: Accurate Interpretation Requires Humility
Prophetic words often do not mean what we think they mean when we first hear them. We even hear things that were not mentioned in the prophetic word. We fill in the gaps and make assumptions about what we think we heard.
Later, when events do not unfold the way we expected we wonder what happened. Some people even accuse the prophet of being a false prophet without ever even considering they might be the one who failed to properly discern what the Lord was saying. It never occurs to them there could be more to it than what they know because they are so prideful they think they already know everything.
Not only is this is a sign of immaturity and arrogance, but it is also very dangerous because anyone who attacks the Lord’s servants becomes a servant of the adversary, the devil. We can be so blinded by our pride that we take sides against the Lord.
We must remain humble to admit we do not know everything. Our own understanding of what the prophetic word meant could be completely different from what it really meant. When it does not happen like we thought, the first person we should confront is the one in the mirror.
We only know in part and prophesy in part (1 Corinthians 13:9). Even the person who receives the prophecy does not know everything about what God is revealing. If they don’t know then what makes us so sure we know? Only God sees the whole picture.
If we humble ourself, we will recognize we did not get it all the first time, so we will make extra efforts to go back and listen to the word again and again. By paying close attention to every detail, we can separate what we thought we heard from what was really said. Our diligent attention to the details helps us avoid adding anything to the word or taking anything away from it (Proverbs 4:20). As a result, we get a better understanding what God revealed, which helps us get the full benefit of the word while keeping our expectations in line with reality.
Author: James Bailey
James Bailey is a blogger, business owner, husband and father of two grown children. In 1982, he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. In 2012, he founded Z3news.com to broadcast the message of salvation by reporting end time news before it happens.
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