KEYWORDS: god, lord, spirit, prophecy, prophecies, shepherd

Despise Not Prophesying

David Berg

MOJune 27, 1973NO.244—GP

© Copyrighted June 1973 by The Children of God P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or BP 752 71523 Paris, Cedex 03 France


1. DESPISE NOT PROPHESYING! Forbid not to speak in tongues. I would rather have a little wild fire amongst the real fire than to squelch all fire and have no fire! Don't forbid prophets to speak even when you know they're out of the victory!—Of course there are always people who take advantage of it, but you've got to give people a chance. I let them go on as long as the Spirit was moving, but I kept such a strong hand on things they knew they didn't dare prophesy unless they were in the Spirit, because I would instantly rebuke them.

2. BUT UNLESS IT WAS SEVERELY UNSCRIPTURAL, HARMFUL, OR FALSE DOCTRINALLY, if it was just a harmless prophecy that never said much even if it was in the flesh, I'd just kind of pass it off and go right on. They knew when I wasn't too enthusiastic about it. If I wasn't sure, I'd just keep quiet. If I liked it I'd Amen! The only prophecies I judged harshly were those unscriptural or false doctrinally, or containing personal, deliberate, vindictive false attacks on someone in the name of the Lord! But only with those which I considered false doctrinally, anti-Scriptural and really harmful and that would be apt to lead people astray would I have to say: "Now I don't think this is according to the Bible.—I think this person is misled‚ or they've been deceived or confused‚ or maybe I didn't understand it." I tried to let them down in love as easy as I could.

3. BUT I DON'T THINK I EVER REFUSED TO LET THEM SPEAK, because how are you going to know they're not in the Spirit unless they speak?—Or how can the congregation know?—And if they are out of the Spirit one of the best ways to let everyone know is to let them speak! Watch out about limiting the Spirit! But of course when you do allow freedom of the Spirit, you sometimes open the door to false spirits too, and there's quite often somebody who will give some prophecy out of the spirit inspired by a spirit that is not of God. If I knew the party themselves were just dumb and ignorant and deceived themselves and just did it in ignorance, I would just sort of toss it off.

4. BUT WHEN THEY DELIBERATELY BEGIN FALSELY PROPHESYING against certain things and people as not being of God, etc., I socked it to them and rebuked them openly before everybody and humiliated them on the spot and said, "Either take it back or get out!—You're prophesying falsely and you're out of order, and you'd better repent or get out or God's going to judge you!" But you have to have a great deal of wisdom. You better always be sure you have somebody in control of the meeting who knows or senses the Spirit. Even if you don't think much of the person prophesying‚ you have to give them a chance. Where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, and when there is liberty the Devil always tries to take advantage of it.

5. BUT YOU'VE GOT TO GIVE THEM A CHANCE, because you really can't know unless you let them. When it's been proven they're false prophets then you have to put a muzzle on them and not allow them to prophesy anymore until they straighten out. I believe in the liberty of the Spirit: Forbid not to speak in tongues. Despise not prophesying. You must let them speak, then judge it. Because if you don't you're judging a matter before you hear it‚ and it is a shame and a reproach to you! That kind of a meeting takes a lot of faith and you've got to be in tune with the Lord‚ and you've got to trust the Lord that He will lead and there won't be any false prophecies without His permission and that if He does allow them He's doing it to bring out the truth!—And also have faith that He will lead you in judging the prophecies and give you wisdom in how to admonish anyone in love who has gotten out of line.

6. IT IS A HEAVY RESPONSIBILITY‚ but this is the mistake many churches have made: Because they were afraid of wild fire they didn't allow any fire! Even God lets the Devil have his say before the throne of God: Day and night he accuses the saints! God doesn't muzzle him: He lets him hang himself!—He exposes himself and whose side he's on. Just like God has to let FreeCOG have their say so He will be justified in condemning them when He does. Every dog has to have his day: Otherwise you won't know whether he's a dog or not!


7. HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE between a prophecy of God and one of he Devil or your own spirit:

  1. Is it Scriptural?
  2. It is approved by God's chosen leadership?
  3. It is established in the mouth of several witnesses?
  4. It is fulfilled?
  5. Is it helpful?

8. REMEMBER: GOD WILL SHOW HIS MOSES FIRST! There were many times when Moses made mistakes but no time when he was deceived! Ask yourself: Can you find it confirmed in the Letters? Is it in accordance with the way God is moving? Is it Scriptural? Is it helpful and encouraging?

9. TO PROPHESY IS ONE OF THE MOST SERIOUS THINGS YOU CAN DO: You better be sure it is of God or shut up! There should never be more than two prophecies given in a row without stopping to judge them or you'll forget them!—Better still judge each as it comes. In judging prophecies the leader should ask the Holy Spirit to bring to his attention anything that needs comment. The leader must listen carefully, and cannot let his mind wander.

10. AS FAR AS THE PROPHET HIMSELF IS CONCERNED you can ask yourself: Has this prophet generally been a true prophet? Has his prophecy in the past proved true? Has his fruit been good?—By their fruits shall ye know them! Are his prophecies good for us? Do they do us good?

11. TRUE PROPHECY DOES NOT GENERALLY ADMINISTER CONDEMNATION:—The Devil is the Accuser of the saints! It's a rare case when the Lord accuses as Nathan before David, but it has to be very bad and something that has hurt everybody, or the Lord doesn't usually bring it out publicly unless they have to be brought to public repentance! Like "Them which sin before all rebuke before all!"

12. USUALLY A PUBLIC PROPHECY WILL COME WITH GREAT FORCE AND INSPIRATION, and be Scriptural, edifying, instructive, encouraging and uplifting! It's the Father encouraging His Children!—Only seldom is it a scolding!—But even when it is, it will still be in love!—God bless you!—With good prophecies!.



As Children of God we are constantly engaged in a tremendous spiritual warfare. God's Word states that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world‚ against spiritual wickedness in high places."—Eph.6:12. Our spiritual enemy's strength lies in his craftiness and his power to blind, lie to, and deceive those who are ignorant of his devices.—2Cor.4:4; Jn.8:44; Rev.12:9; 2Cor.2:11.

If we are not ignorant of his devices and we don't allow him to pull the wool over our eyes‚ we will "overcome the wicked one" and "God will bruise Satan under our feet."—1Jn.2:14; Rom.16:19,20

The following are the three main devices with which the enemy attempts to hinder, divide, and destroy God's work:

1. lack of communication—Heb.13:16;

2. doctrinal disputations—Ac.13:8;

3. runaway or tripped-off prophecies—Gal.1:8

This class will be dealing with device No.3: "Runaway Prophecies," to help give you the Scriptural backing you need to effectively discern‚ instruct, and deal with this problem. These words should be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path, to help keep you from falling into the snare of the enemy.

I. Power of Prophecy: Throughout the Old & new Testaments, God has always spoken; to lead‚ guide, comfort, encourage, and correct His Children.—Amos 3:7; Mal.3:6. Concerning spiritual gifts we are not to be ignorant, but we are to covet and desire them, especially prophecy.—1Cor.12:1,31; 14:1.

(1) "It's a damnable doctrine of church devils to confine all the truth and revelations of God strictly to the Bible! True prophecy won't teach anything contrary, but it sure can fill in a lot of gaps! The Bible is still going to be the standard of measurement. But that was God's message for them; but today, we have to tell them how to do it under these present circumstances. God can give it out faster than we can receive it!" (THE MONSTER, 20)

(2) "Hearing from the Lord is our spiritual nourishment—and you've got to be able to hear from the Lord!" (Par.1) "Shutting your eyes helps you to see in the spirit and to become unconscious of the things and people around you, and get your mind on the Lord, and in a relaxed position where nothing distracts you..." (FAITH, 2)

(3) "The power's always on. The message is always there. God's Spirit is like a broadcasting station, broadcasting all the time. All you have to do is throw the switch and tune in. You have to have the vacuum and sincerely open your mouth and He'll fill it." (Faith, 14)

(4) "Turn on whatever little power or strength of the spirit that you have that He's already charged your tiny little battery with—your own spirit, so that your circuits might be activated to receive His powerful signals as you tune in to His messages dropped out of the Heavens!" (KEY OF DAVID, 12)

(5) "The hand of faith turns the knob which makes the contact and throws the switch and turns on what little power you have. The hand of hope tunes with expectancy‚ feeling for the frequency upon which God is broadcasting and suddenly, His great broadcasting station booms in with tremendous, positive volume and power and certainty—and the messages come through loud and clear! Hallelujah!" (KEY OF DAVID, 13)

1Cor.14:26—"Let all things be done unto edifying." Make sure that it strengthens and draws the body closer to Jesus. V.29—"Let the prophets speak two or three and let the other judge." After the Lord speaks two or three times‚ the responsible shepherd that is present in the group should stop and review and exhort on the contents of the prophecies. If the Lord has more to say, through another prophet, the other prophet can wait because!... V.32—"The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." The prophets can hold and control it until their shepherd gives them the signal to go ahead. V.33—"God is not the author of confusion but of peace." Beware and remember, edification is the result of a Godly prophecy—v.26. The devil's game is confusion.

"Back in Huntington Beach‚ we'd get around a hold hands and praise the Lord a little bit—prime the pump—please Him by praising Him—like coming before the King and salaaming‚ and shut up and see what He has to say. That's the way it usually works! You praise the Lord first of all—maybe somebody leads in prayer—then the stream of praise begins to die down and you wait for the Lord to speak. And then maybe somebody gives a little application of judgement of it." (STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN, 14)

II. Judging a prophecy: Scripture warns us, "Beloved, believe not every spirit but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."—1Jn.4:1. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, for grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."—Ac.20:28-30.

It is the attending shepherd's God-given responsibility for the flock's sake, to discern, question, and judge outcoming prophecies.

Remember‚ a true shepherd is never led by his flock. God will not break His duly constituted chain of command. He will speak, reveal His will to‚ and stand with His leaders first.—Num.12:2-8; Rev.1:1.

In 1Kgs.13 a prophet was slain by a lion for following a prophecy that contradicted what God had already shown him.

When there were only a few of us in the Revolution for Jesus and a prophecy, vision, or revelation was given during a prayer meeting, the flock would not always automatically lunge into a uproar of shouting and praise immediately afterwards, but we would wait until we heard an approval from our shepherd. This was usually a "Amen, amen. Thank you Lord, for speaking." Then we were fully assured that the Lord had indeed spoken, and then the rivers of praise would freely flow. By waiting for the shepherd's cue, the flock was spiritually safeguarded from being misled.

To effectively pass judgement on a prophecy, check these points:

1. Does it contradict the Word?

(a) Is.8:20—If it's not according to the Word, it's in darkness.

(b) Gal.1:8—If it's against the Word, it is accursed.

2. Does it contradict the apostles' doctrine which God has given us through His shepherd?

(a) Ac.2:42—Continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine.

(b) 1Tim.6:3-5—If someone goes against the God-given doctrines, he is a proud, envious disputer from whom you should withdraw yourself.

3. What are it's fruits?—Mt.7:20

(a) Gal.5:22,23—"Love, joy, peace, longsuffering‚ gentleness, goodness‚ faith, meekness, temperance."

(b) 1Cor.14:33—A Godly prophecy usually flows with and confirms what God has already said. Unity and peace, never confusion.

(c) 1Cor.1:29—Does it lift you up in pride?

(d) Ezk.33:11; Rev 12:10b—Does it condemn you and the flock?

(e) 2Tim 1:7; Jn 4:18—Did it bring fear in your hearts?

4. Consider the Source or the prophet.

(a) 1Cor.1:10—Is he of one mind with his leaders?

(b) Mt.7:15-20—What are his fruits?

(c) 1Cor.10:31—What are his motives?

"We are not to ever take credit for anything, but to always give God the glory else we would become like the false prophets. Even some of these had started with the truth but were then led astray. Some of them began to take the glory unto themselves and they perverted His words and they lost His inspiration; so then they continued to speak of themselves without God's power, lies and false prophecies, because God was no longer with them, because they were disobedient prophets; and they became false guides to the people who no longer knew the way, because they themselves could not find it because of disobedience, because they "loved the praise of man more than the praise of God." (BAHAI TEMPLE PROPHECY‚ 18-19)

III. False Prophecies: "If you're not skilful to tune in your fine tuning and absolutely zero in at the dead centre or rather live centre‚ of God's perfect frequency—with tremendous concentration and without distraction—if you allow any other signals to pull you off course or distort with static, God's message may become faint, distorted‚ interrupted, unclear, or even totally jammed by the static and power of the Enemy!" (THE KEY OF DAVID, 14)

"You cannot be turned in on two stations at the same time! The Devil is just like another station trying to butt in and cover up. He tries to jam the circuit, to jam the frequency, so that you can't hear God's station. He deliberately tries to come right in on God's frequency and jam God's station with His false signals and false impulses!" (THE KEY OF DAVID, 18)

If the prophecy is not according to God's Word, goes against the apostles' doctrine‚ or the spirit of it bears bad fruit, action must be taken. How severely the prophet is dealt with, largely depends on how serious the false prophecy is.

1. If it is obviously false, of the devil, and the flock is confused, frightened, or notably affected in a bad way, it is necessary to STOP the prophecy immediately and expose it.

(a) Ecc.8:11—Execute judgement speedily, for their sake!

(b) 1Tim.5:20—Sin before all‚ rebuke before all.

(c) Tit.1:11—Deceiving mouths must be stopped.

(d) Eph.4:27 Neither give place to the Devil.

(e) "We can resist all the devils with just the Name of Jesus." (9) "The spirits are subject unto us!" (10) "It's so ridiculous to think the House of Baalzebub can fight the House of David!—That the Lord of the Flies can fight the Lord of the Living!" (12) (BAALZEBUB—LORD OF THE FLIES)

"It makes me furious when people take the attacks of the Enemy lying down and let the Devil walk all over them without resistance, or go pussy-footing around trying to appease him of trying not to disturb or upset him or arouse him! Let's declare war on the Evil one! Let's declare war on the Old Boy himself! (BAALZEBUB—LORD OF THE FLIES)

2. 1Cor.14:33—If it is scriptural, yet not edifying‚ or in tune with the general flow of God's current, the shepherd can openly judge and comment on it as he feels led. Sometimes its effective to point out that although scriptural, it was not for the whole body and the prophets should be more prayerful before they speak.

(a) Heb.3:13—Exhort one another daily.

(b) "Occasionally it is necessary for the shepherd to feed a sheep with the rod and with the bread of affliction. So instead of bawling everybody out he just takes a staff and strikes the one sheep. But that one gets the point! (3) The main job of a shepherd is to keep in touch with the Lord" (4) (MORNING PRAYER)

(c) Gal 6:1—The shepherd should do it humbly—we all make mistakes!

(d) "If he seems to be completely delivered, confesses, apologises to all, and truly repents (stops it) you may forgive him and restore him to fellowship, on probation, watching him prayerfully until sure." Do not permit him to prophesy or lead spiritually again till sure." (BAALZEBUB—LORD OF THE FLIES, 7)

—Amen! God bless you with good prophecies!—And God bless dear Apollos for this good Lesson!—Amen? "We love you!"—too!—MO.—(Now's a good time to sing that song of his!—Amen?)