5 Insights About Prophetic Warnings, or “Dark” Prophecies

Prophetic Warnings, see the bright spot, chair in parkRight now, we are in a fragile and fragmented global environment. So, it is timely to consider how to respond to a “dark prophecy”—a prophetic word that is a warning, predicts disasters, or forecasts any kind of negative event.

  • How to weigh them up, what to look for, and how to respond (including when we receive one ourselves)

Because there are plenty of them around!
These are some of my personal suggestions, to help navigate these types of words.
As I’ve written many posts related to this topic over the last 10 years, I include summaries and links for further study. [1]

A Bright Spot in a Dark Prophetic Book

For a few weeks now, I’ve been drawn to the book of Zephaniah.
It is a dark prophetic book, and it foreshadowed the terrifying times that were ahead for Jerusalem.
The prophet called for repentance, spoke of sin, and decreed the results of that sin.
He also spoke of the great “Day of the Lord”—the final judgment.

  • And yet, those dark prophecies of Zephaniah ascended into a glorious finale!

Zephaniah foresaw a faithful remnant, who would return from captivity.
And the prophet portrayed God, as not only a God of justice and wrath, but also of grace and joy.

  • A Refuge; a God who could be trusted
  • He is a God who delighted in His people—who would remove disaster and “appoint them for praise and fame” (Zeph 3:19).

In Zephaniah, we see not only judgment, we but also redemption.
We see darkness—but we also see a bright spot.

The “Bright Spot”

We use the term, “a bright spot” to speak of a good moment—a highlight—in bad times.
Of something good emerging in a time of trouble.

In the Old Testament, prophets like Isaiah looked ahead to the “Bright Spot” (Isaiah 60, 1-2).
Zephaniah’s name means, “The Lord has Hidden”.
But what was concealed in the Old Testament is revealed in the New:
Jesus Christ, our Savior, and Redeemer!

  • And Jesus not only ushers in the bright spot; He IS the Bright Spot.

“…the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death…” (Luke 1:78-79, NKJV)

5 Insights About Prophetic Warnings, or Other “Dark” Prophecies

1. Check, “What is the Purpose of this Prophecy?”

A while back, I wrote about five good purposes of a prophetic warning that are seen in the New Testament.
These were:

1. The prophetic warning may be a means of protection—e.g. to warn of danger and prevent harm (Matt 2:13)

2. God may send a prophetic warning to direct or redirect our actions in accordance with His will (Matt 2:12)

3. It could be given to help us prepare for an incident before it happens (Acts 11:27-30)
One stand-out purpose of prophetic warnings to God’s people in the New Testament, was so they could protect and prepare.
I write more about this in the post, “How to Weigh Up What the Prophets are Saying Pt 2”

4. Also, a prophetic warning may be given in order to call us to partner with Him in prayer or spiritual warfare (Acts 20:23, 2 Cor 1:10-11)

5. The purpose of a prophetic warning may be to lead people to repentance and to reconcile them to God (Rev 3:20)
God’s passion is always to restore and reconcile! [2]

If a prophetic warning is genuinely from God, there will be a clear, bright spot in the warning!
We will be able to see our Father’s intention.

And the prophetic word will not cause us to shake with fear—rather, it will help us to have a faith that is unshakeable.
Even in the face of what is contrary.

(See my post, 5 Good Purposes of a Prophetic Warning” for more on this).

2. Test a Prophetic Warning Before Passing it on

“We’re going to drown!” cried the disciples, when their boat was caught in a storm.

It is easy to believe a negative prophecy when our “boat” is in imminent danger of capsizing.
But it takes a mature son or daughter of God, to stand up and by faith, command the wind and waves to cease. (Matt 8:24-26)
Prophetic voices that draw out that second type of response, are the ones I personally want to listen to.

  • A gatekeeper stands guard at the gate and chooses what to allow in, and what to keep out.

This is something each of us can be, in today’s environment.
Paul wrote to the church, “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thess 5:20-21, NKJV)

Ask: “Does this resonate with the Spirit of God within me?” (1 John 2:27)
”What is the fruit? What does this prophetic word produce in my heart, and in the hearts and minds of other people?”
“How are people likely to respond to this word?”

A prophetic word that is from the Father will be filled with the Holy Spirit. It will be infused with Heaven’s atmosphere of “righteousness, peace and joy” (Rom 14:17).
In the warning, there will be a dawning! A bright spot. “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” (Is 60:2, NKJV)

We can reject a prophetic warning if it doesn’t sit right with us—in fact, we have a God-given responsibility to do so.

3. Review a Prophetic Word By Studying the Bible

A word may be received in a dramatic encounter, or have supernatural knowledge in it, but this does not make it infallible!
And in the case of angels, we want to ensure the messengers themselves are truly from God (1 John 4:1).
In fact, the Bible makes clear that this is even more reason to weigh it up.

This isn’t about fear, or mistrusting what God is doing.
It reveals the high value God places upon hearing His voice, as we determine what is of Him!

When the Apostle Paul visited Berea, he came with a revelation of the Gospel—received directly from Heaven.
He had personally encountered Jesus Christ.
And yet, the Bereans were still commended for checking everything he said against the Scriptures (Acts 11:17).

  • So, the need to test a prophetic word against what the Bible says, is true even when a mature apostle or prophet is delivering a message

(Excerpt from “Angels: 5 Powerful Reasons to Test Angelic Encounters”).

Being “Biblical” means that a prophetic word (and the way it is brought) is consistent with what the whole of Scripture teaches us, which means bringing a prophetic word with a New Testament paradigm.

4. Be Aware That a Warning Can be “Incomplete”

This is a key for those of us who have received what we believe is a prophetic warning—or, are leading others who are growing in prophetic or discernment gifts.
A word may be accurate in terms of knowledge or be sourced in a genuine initial revelation, but be incomplete.
For example, a prophetic intercessor receives a warning but has not sought God for His “Bright Spot”—the purpose of that warning. In this case, “incomplete” may mean that it needs the further input of another gift or ministry (1 Cor 12),

We never outgrow the need for leaders and others who can see what we don’t see. This relates, not only to our “blind spots”, but also to the further revelation that will bring completion to our own.

We need the inclusion of others’ contributions, such as discernment, to our prophetic ministry. For the New Testament prophetic community is just that—a community.

  • This is also a reminder that we need to test a prophet, not only the message he or she brings (Luke 6:43-45).

5. There WILL be Words of Warning and Warfare!

We live in a day when the Lord is stepping forth as a Mighty Warrior.
There will be strong, authoritative words.
And there will be genuine words of warning and warfare!
These will do great damage in the enemy’s camp, but cause God’s people to rise up in faith. [3]

And when a prophetic warning relates to spiritual warfare and exposes what the enemy is doing, a “bright spot” will be visible.
It will be the redemptive opposite of what the enemy is doing. Why? Because what is being contended for, is the very thing our God intends to release.
Where there is a battle, there is bounty!
Our destiny. Our nation’s destiny. Our family’s destiny.

Today, I pray that we will continue to grow in love, wisdom, and discernment in the realm of the prophetic.
And to follow Jesus as we keep our eyes fixed on Him, and recognize the tone of His voice (John 10:3-4).


[1] Quotes and excerpts: if you are quoting, please keep the links to my original posts intact.

[2] Calls for repentance: My full study on this topic, along with notes of how God can use all types of prophetic ministry to call people to repentance can be found here: The Trumpet: Prophecy, Repentance and the Coming Move of God

[3] I have written this post as I have felt led by the Holy Spirit to do so this past week. A student asked what I believe was a timely question about this, in one of my courses recently, which stirred me to reflect on this.
I regularly cover the topic of prophetic warnings in the blog here and have a chapter on this topic in the online Prophetic School.

Leave a Comment
Which of these 5 insights about prophetic words of warning, or predictions about negative events, has spoken to you today.?
I’d love to hear from you, so share with us in the comments box here on the blog, or on our Facebook page.

Study Online: Classes for Those Growing in Prophecy:

  • Would you like clear and easy to understand, Biblical teaching on the prophetic gift and ministry?
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I’ve been privileged to receive extraordinary prophetic mentoring, as one of a ministry team of prophets and teachers with David McCracken Ministries.

But it hasn’t always been that way. When it comes to spiritual gifts, I know what it is like to go on a long journey, and often a lonely one.

My own experience of struggling to find good mentoring is why I am extremely passionate about helping others learn how to hear God’s voice, and grow in their gifts of prophecy and discernment.

The best mentoring and teaching I can give you is now rolled into this one place, on the Enliven School of Prophecy and Discernment.

Classes include: How to hear God’s voice, How to Begin and Grow in Prophecy, The Character of the Prophet, The Seer Gift: How to Grow in Pictures and Visions, Prophetic Discernment, Discernment, and Prophetic Warnings, and the Prophetic Guidance Master Class.

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© 2020 Helen Calder, Enliven Blog

Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries family

12 thoughts on “5 Insights About Prophetic Warnings, or “Dark” Prophecies”

  1. Francie Robertson

    Hi Helen !
    My name is Francie Robertson from New Zealand. I first must apologise for not taking time to share my appreciation of your ministry and messages to us all. May I acknowledge that your words are all the “BRIGHTS SPOTS” that we need right now. In fact they have been all along. I have kept your testimony in my journal for quite some time. It has been one of the BRIGHTEST SPOTS I have had since 2016 (again I apologise for not giving credit where credit was due much much sooner). I was reminded of it when you brought it up a few months past. Your testimony is the one about your “being bumped” the orphan spirit and especially discovering Father heart of God (His immeasurable grace) for yourself when you hit a big low point in 2008.
    Anyway thank you, thank you. I make it my aim to CONNECT more with my brothers and sisters in the Lord online around the globe as NOW I see my selfishness in not doing so and more-so (“as we see the DAY approaching ” (?)) as we NEED to support one another more than ever. That is the WILL of God!
    I shall continue to stay in touch.
    In Jesus Most Precious Name!
    Kia ora

    1. Hi Francie, it’s wonderful to hear from you!
      New Zealand is close to my heart as we are Kiwis living here in Melbourne 🙂
      I’m so happy to hear that my testimony has been a blessing to you. That was the event that launched this blog and ministry – having a life-changing encounter with the Father.
      Oh yes, you do have so much to offer! I pray you continue to bubble up and over of all the Lord has gifted with, and put in your heart, including your own testimony of His goodness
      <3 Helen

  2. Greetings, Helen! 😀
    Allow me to share and I hope Francie Robertson doesn’t mind, but her opening comment to you touched my heart and it says what I would say to you. The only change I will make in her comment would be replacing her name and location with mine. 😀 …
    “My name is Gail Hamilton from College Park, GA. I first must apologise for not taking time to share my appreciation of your ministry and messages to us all. May I acknowledge that your words are all the “BRIGHTS SPOTS” that we need right now. In fact they have been all along.” 😀
    Your latest email led me to read John 10:3-4. After I read it I was led to read John 20:16 that was at the end of Verse 3. I was then led to read Verse 17. It was at that moment that our Father spoke to my spirit about the assignment He has given me to share Him as Father and Him wanting to be our a Father to those without Him. He told me that back in the Old Testament time and in Jesus time they knew Him as God until Jesus started referring to Him as His Father. So before Jesus ascended back to Heaven He wanted to remind them that His Father is now their Father who they knew and spoke of as God. He is one of the same. A Father AND A God, our Father God. 😀

    1. Hi Gail, how wonderful, it’s great to hear from you!
      Yes, the revelation of His Fatherhood, is priceless, it’s our purpose! I love those passages.
      This has to be one of my all-time favorite moments in Scripture. Wow, so full of His grace, His purpose and all He’s done for us: “My Father and your Father” <3

      Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
      She [Mary Magdalene] turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
      17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'" John 20:16-17

  3. God bless you for this teaching. The spirit of God gives warnings……there has been several times when I heard the spirit of God say watch and pray …. the enemy come to rob; kill; steal; and destroy but I come that you may have life and have it more abundantly. God always see what’s ahead and he wants his people to be aware of the devil devices.

  4. We never outgrow the need for leaders, and others who can see what we don’t see. This relates, not only to our “blind spots”, but also to further revelation that will bring completion to our own.

    I am aware of these blindspots in myself. How does one find this accountability you mention here? In my experience many leaders are dismissive of or choose to ignore most prophetic people.

    This has left myself and many others I know mistrusting of leaders. Is there such a thing as leaders who are as accountable to maturing us and much as they want us to be towards them??? If so, how do you find them??

    1. Hi Marlene, this is such a great question!
      I’ve written a few articles on prophetic mentors and ideas for what to do if you don’t currently have one – you can see them here https://www.enlivenpublishing.com/blog/tag/prophetic-mentoring/

      Also, if you haven’t come across my early book “Prophetic People in a Changing Church” let me know and I’ll send you a copy as it has some insights re being hurt by leaders (my story)

  5. Thank you for this very helpful article. I am sort of new to hearing prophetic workds from the Lord. Just the past 2 days I receive a 3 part series of warnings that when I tried to ignore I had no peace until I delivered them or released them. BUT now I am gravely concerned because they did not appear to have the “bright spot” you mention.
    They were for my son who is 27 and involved in manifesting your own destiny and smoking marijuana and he hangs out with people who sell it. There warnings were:
    1rst one was “Warning…jail is ahead if you contine.
    Guilty by association.”
    I igored it and it came back the next day and was a feeling like if i didn’t pass it along I would not be obeying God. I wasn’t fearful for my son…more like that if I don’t obey and something happens it is on my hands? So i sent it….and told him to test it and bring before the Lord to see if He would confirm it.

    Then next day
    2nd warning “Trust NO ONE The truth is they really deapise you and are pretending. They are planting something in your car of home to incriminate you.”

    Right after that was
    3rd warning “I will put you in jail for playing the middleman.. It will not be the enemy’s doing but I. REPENT and turn before its too late.”

    No one knew about these warnings then my daughter called me later in the day and said she had a terrible dream that her brother (my son) had mug shot in orange suit and his eyes looked sad with red pinky eyes and the words said intoxication/drugs. she said she felt like she was to warn him but told God she didn’t want these dreams and why her and she didn’t tell him. I urged her to tell him based on what was going on with the warnings I was getting and she did and surrounded it with lots of love and concern for him and to be wise.

    My son didn’t respond well at all and said it was the negativity in the universe trying to bring him down and make him fearful and anxious and even if he went to jail he would just bail out and go on with life and not be kept down by it… used people in jail in bible and Gods sovereignty etc……

    Any input or helpful links would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Hello and thank you for these teachings. I came across them as I was confronted with several things and was trying to not only understand them, but also my role, my fault. However, I didn’t trust the word given because of one word that made it absolute (going to happen as opposed to if/then). There was no bright spot (redemptive way out). Also i experience the messenger who brought it to me as having overwhelming emotional extremes from rage to weeping tears. When this word was brought up again. It was presented as a list of insults and offenses this individual believed I imposed on her – one being that I didn’t receive her word the first time because I didn’t think highly of the messenger, looked down on them and that those thoughts and feelings the messenger claims I have towards them are from the pit of hell. It’s a much longer story than this but I am trying to search my heart and mind for how I truly feel. As I said, I do experience this person’s emotions with very, very extreme intensity whether directly or indirectly. And I don’t trust them. However, I need to understand what the Father wants me to do or what can be done to avert and save my loved one (not the messenger) from the doom that was pronounced. For now, I can only pray and ask Him for protection, for help, for deliverance and to not make those dooming words come to pass but rather life and life more abundantly. I ask him for peace, deliverance and the blessed manifestation of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I sincerely need help to discern the words and rightly divide them. Is it even prophetic? My support system is arrested (in spirit) by this messenger who tells them that they’re only trying to help me. I don’t know who else I can trust that doesn’t have an emotional connection to the matter that will be holy and spiritually direct with me. Thank you for what you’ve shared thus far. I am reading thru these posts and other things to understand.

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