Discern prophecy. It is a vital part of our spiritual maturity. Yet, not much discernment goes on in our gatherings. With prophecy on the internet, even less is the norm.
In the inspired word given to us by the God of the Bible, the Word tells us we are to grow up in all things into Messiah. That includes discernment.
And it is he (the Messiah) who gifted some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, and still others to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints, to do the work of ministry, and to build up the body of the Messiah until all of us are united in the faith and in the full knowledge of God’s Son, and until we attain mature adulthood and the full standard of development in the Messiah. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed like waves and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, or by clever strategies that would lead us astray. Instead, by speaking the truth in love, we will grow up completely and become one with the head, that is, one with the Messiah, in whom the whole body is united and held together by every ligament with which it is supplied. As each individual part does its job, the body builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 ISV
Discerning prophecy requires maturity, sound judgement, courtesy and community accountability.
“… until all of us are united in the faith and in the full knowledge of God’s Son, and until we attain mature adulthood and the full standard of development in the Messiah. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed like waves and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, or by clever strategies that would lead us astray” (Eph 4:13-14 ISV).
“Let two or three of the prophets speak, and let the others discern. But if a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first keep silent. For you all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be exhorted. The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the holy ones” (1 Corinthians 14:29-33 WMB).
What do we discern? The most important is to discern what is of the Holy Spirit and what is not. Was the prophecy in accord with God’ Word in the Bible or not. Then, discern if the word of prophecy was of the Holy Spirit for edification exhortation or comfort. Or, was it of the flesh, appealing to the carnal mind. Did the two or three prophecy in the same gist of the flow of the Spirit or did each go off in a different direction. God is not a God of confusion. The prophetic word from the two or three builds on and reinforces what the Spirit is saying to your gathering.
1Dear friends, stop believing every spirit. Instead, test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: Every spirit who acknowledges that Jesus the Messiah has become human—and remains so—is from God. 3But every spirit who does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist. You have heard that he is coming, and now he is already in the world. 4Little children, you belong to God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5These people belong to the world. That is why they speak from the world’s perspective, and the world listens to them. 6We belong to God. The person who knows God listens to us. Whoever does not belong to God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit. 1 John 4:1-6 ISV
So, what do you do if you discern what is prophesied is right on. You receive it from the Holy Spirit. If it is for edification, you are built up in your spirit and rejoice. If it is for exhortation, you set your spirit to walk worthy of the Lord. If it is for consolation, you feel better.