Has someone given you a personal prophecy, or interpreted a dream that you have had? Here are some tests that you can put a prophetic word (or dream interpretation) through, to check whether or not it is from God.

In 1 Thess 5:20-21, the Bible says, ‘Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.’

A personal prophetic word, or prophetic dream, has the potential to be a great blessing to you. It can help encourage, strengthen and grow you (1 Cor 14:3), reveal to you that God has you personally on His heart, and remind you that He has a great purpose for your life. When someone shares information about you and your hopes and dreams that only God would know, it is a miracle. You encounter Jesus!

We need to remember, however, that a prophecy should be weighed up carefully (1 Cor 14:29).

7 Tests to Help Weigh Up a Prophecy or Dream Interpretation

Here are some tests that you can apply to a prophecy, or part of a prophecy, to check whether or not it is from God. Note, these principles also apply to dream interpretation when it is given to you by another person:

1. The Character Test

Does the prophetic word or interpretation reflect the character of Jesus? Does it sound like something God would say to you?

He is loving and redemptive (that means He has a good outcome for your life, He has a purpose, He wants to bring you closer to Him). This is true even when a prophecy contains a warning.

A prophetic word given through the Holy Spirit should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).

2. The Bible Test

Does the prophetic word line up with principles God has laid out in the Bible? A prophecy should never go against what the Bible says—for example a prophecy that you should leave your spouse, cause disunity in the church or commit sin would not agree with scripture!

3. The Heart Check Test

1 John 2:20 says, ‘But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.’

Does the prophecy or message sit well with your spirit, or does it make you feel uncomfortable and give you a warning ‘check’ in response? You don’t have to receive a prophecy if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

4. The Confirmation Test

A personal prophecy should confirm what God has already spoken to you, or be consistent with the way He has wired you. If the prophecy does not immediately bring confirmation, it may over time, so feel free to shelve it.

Do not make a sudden change of direction in response to a personal prophecy. If you feel led to make a change in response to a prophetic message brought through another person, remember that God never pressures you. The following test will be helpful:

5. The Leadership Test

Ask, would my church leadership be comfortable with this word? Submitting a prophecy, along with your response to it, to a leader in the church is a wise way to check prophetic guidance. Having another opinion from someone who is mature in their Christian walk and who also knows you can be helpful.

6. The Time Test

Hab 2:3 says, ‘For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.’

You won’t know whether some prophecies are from God until you have given them time to be fulfilled. If you are unsure about a prophetic word, it is OK to shelve a prophecy, put it aside and review it at a later date.

7. The  Prophet Test

Do you know the person prophesying, and are they known to the leaders of your church or recognised in the wider church for their gift? Don’t accept a personal prophecy from just anyone. Jesus said that some people would prophesy in His name but not actually know Him (Matt 7:22-23). He also said to watch out for false prophets (Matt 7:15-16) and that you could tell by their fruit, i.e. their character and what their lives are producing.

If the person who is giving you the prophecy is unknown to you or your church leaders, is not submitted to leadership, or whose life does not reflect the character of Christ, do not receive the prophetic word outright.

A word given by someone who has a prophetic gift but is living an ungodly lifestyle may be partly right, which can be very confusing. If this is the case, the prophecy may contain something that is ‘off.’ It is a bit like emails that come with attachments that contain a virus. The message in the email may be right and good, but when you open it, something that is bad for your computer is also downloaded with the message. So we need to take care WHO we are receiving prophetic input from.

A prophecy that is contaminated by an issue that is out of order in the person prophesying can pull you off the track God has for you unless you put it through the above checks.

  • This is a reminder not to be impressed with an external show of natural charisma or even giftedness, but also to watch for character and integrity.

One time I was listening as a prophetic team brought a prophecy to a young woman at a training session. One of the young guys in the team seemed to have a powerful prophetic gift. However at one part of the ‘prophecy’ he came out with a message that had a suggestive innuendo about the girl’s physical appearance. Although the rest of the prophecy sounded good, I felt that it was probable he had a sin issue, that was coming through in his prophecy.

Another thing to be wary of, is prophecy that is flattering or that attracts you to the person prophesying rather than drawing you closer to Jesus. When it comes to personal prophecy, it is OK to ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones.’ Exercise wisdom and discernment.

Read more on: How To Make The Most Of Your Personal Prophecy

Related Posts:

4 Types Of Dreams And Their Meanings

Is Personal Prophecy Biblical

What To When You Have a Prophetic Dream

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family

51 thoughts on “How Do I Know a Personal Prophecy or Dream Interpretation is From God?”

  1. Right now am in a middle of a court case I pray over my court case to be done . so I was sleeping on the cough in the morning when I dreamt of my prophet actually he told my mam that “it is well” I was there with my mam after that my prophet gave my mam money even me I was given money by the person he was going with
    ..Please help me to interpret this dream

    1. Hi Dikekedi, we don’t give dream interpretations on this website. I encourage you to pray about the dream – it does seem to be an encouraging one!

  2. Hi

    I was told by the leader of our house group that I should not leave the country if I wanted to avoid the plagues that hit those who chose Babylon rather than Egypt. I will ask her where this exact scripture is. She is a godly woman, but rather dominating. She passes all the tests you have laid out, except one, which is that I felt uncomfortable with the prophecy. Firstly, we wish to leave the country, and secondly, I felt fear when it was made. I know fear is not from the Lord, but on the other hand it may be from me, and I would not want to despise the prophecy.I am also aware that Paul was warned by Spirit filled believers not to go to Jerusalem , but notice that he did! I would not want to put you in the position of asking advice but I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

  3. A prophetess spoke over my life the other day. Saying when I was talking in a church meeting she saw in the spirit a crown with diamonds within it on my head. I asked her was that good or bad! She said good. But I’m still buffaled. It really didn’t make much sense to me.

    1. Hello Faye,
      Well, a couple of things come to mind. Firstly, you can rest assured that if a prophetic insight or picture is from God, it will be for good, not bad! (Jer 29:11, 1 Cor 14:3)
      And the next thing is, prophetic insights do sometimes come as pictures. These may be symbols that you need to pray about and seek an interpretation. What does the Bible say about crowns?
      Is 61:3 and 62:3 comes to mind. A crown speaks of authority and beauty. So be encouraged, that is a great word. If you are unsure about a prophecy, we recommend asking a pastor or leader to help you weigh it up.

  4. Helen, you have a very nice blog! Maybe you can help me better understand my dreams? Overall, I have somewhat of an understanding. My last dream has me confused I’m not really sure what to make of it.

    Dreams started January 2016 around the second week of January…

  5. I think everyone needs a high-level of discernment when letting someone else pray or give a prophecy over them. I think too often in charismatic places you are encouraged to let “older believers,” minister to you, without testing it or maybe even knowing them personally.

    I had an instance where a couple wanted to minister to me. They said they moved in the prophetic, went to all those “Toranto” meetings, etc. Over time, they gave me many words. A lot of them had to do with my supposed “calling” and “ministry” and relationships I would have (romantic and otherwise).

    However, 13 years later, none of them had come to pass. In one I would be an author to a best-selling novel before I was “old.” In another, a famous artist. In another married with several children, and in yet another have a close friend. There was zero truth to any of them.

    Why I say zero? The friend one is the one that truly jacked me up. For years I wanted a good and close friend, having felt alone for a very very long time. The prophecy told me that this person would be close to me and we’d travel together, etc. Someone came in my life who I wanted to believe was this person so bad, that I ignored the voice of God telling me this person was destructive on more than one occasion. I kept thinking “this is the person from that prophecy since we will travel together and they are my friend.” Needless to say we are not friends anymore and the whole relationship was a mess!

    In a horrible spin of irony, had I just believed God for the right friends I would have had better relationships with the people God had put in my life, AND i would have met one of my closest friends 4 years sooner.

    I really believe this “word” was not from God. It appealed to my flesh and later proved to be detrimental.

    I notice that in a lot of charismatic churches there is zero oversight about supposed prophecies. Everyone is encouraged to give them, with little to think about the consequences or for it to be judged or the person giving it to be judged as truly from God or not. It seems like manifestations are valued more than hearing from God. Or, if someone has an accompanying “manifestation” they must be hearing from Him…but this may really not be the case.

    Years later the same oddball couple wanted to pray for me again, and I had a horribly STRONG feeling to not let them. It was just a very strong “don’t let them lay hands over you.” I could feel something coming from them- but that “feeling” I do NOT believe was from God.

    In another instance, some random person came up to my friend’s dad and gave him a prophecy supposedly for him. It sounded all positive, but something about it bothered me. For one, my friend is not someone who actively practices his faith…he’s a fence sitter. The second part made it sound that someone significant other would come into their life and be part of their destiny and calling. While it sounds really nice and great- and probably played on his father’s fears about his son’s singleness, it spoke nothing of what has been going in his life- a ton of strife between the son and father, a major need for reconciliation between the two of them (which I’m sure could potentially lead to his returning to church) and the father’s own life being lead entirely out of fear 24/7. If the prophet had said that, before the so called secondary word, I might have believed it.

    Shouldn’t it be that prophecy doesn’t just speak to our fears, but how we need to change before God? Isn’t that what “laying your hearts bare” means? Isn’t it out of those changes that something good can happen? Isn’t that how God really “reads our mail.?” So to speak?

    So many people have given me happy-go to lucky prophecies about finding a mate, having a “calling,” ministry, you name it……

    I think the church needs to consider what they are saying first, test the prophets before they even allow them to “minister” into someone’s life, and really be aware that prophecy isn’t just feel good future predictions or thinking you are “seeing something” for someone’s future.

    1. Hi Jaeson, I’m sad to read of your experience with so-called ‘prophecy’. We encourage those who are growing in prophetic ministry to pick up the guidelines we use for ourselves…’no dates, no mates, no babies..no directive words, no corrective words…’ Prophecy needs to be a healthy and safe environment and I’m sorry you’ve experienced this.
      It reminds me of John Bevere’s book ‘Thus Saith the Lord?’ in which he points out the very same things you do.

  6. Hello there. I see this is a older blog and I’m wondering if you still continue to operate it. Do you have prophetic visions as well? I’d really like to discuss a few things with you if you’re willing,

  7. please help,
    since i became a born again christian,my wife has been dreaming about me been a prophet and she says that in the dream,am praying for the people and perfoming miracles.Sometimes when she is sick,i lays my hand on her and she gets healed at the same time.So does this mean that am called to be a prophet or what?please help

    1. Hi Peter, a prophetic call is a journey that has many confirmations along the way, and ultimately seen in your service and ministry and leaders affirming and releasing you in the gift. So this could be one confirmation, but it has to resound firstly in your own heart as being from God. If not – wait and don’t allow it to pressure you.

  8. hello… iam 18 years old… i had a dream and in the dream an unknown prophet came into my house and began to tell me that at the age of 28 i’ll have a surgery, die and become a ghost and start hauting people..

    does this dream mean anything?

    1. Hi Thandeka,
      That’s not a dream from God, and it’s not prophetic, so you don’t need to worry that it’s something that might come true. In fact, what it tells me, is the opposite, that God has got an amazing purpose for your life, you are significant, He is going to use you powerfully!
      It may be helpful to pray (or have someone pray with you) and break the power of any fear associated with the dream.
      In fact, right now I pray for you, that any fear related to this dream be broken and leave in Jesus’ Name, and I also pray for protection over your life, that Father’s purposes be sealed and protected and that you would have peace, In Jesus Name..
      There may be some thoughts to help in this article: https://www.enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2015/08/04/tips-bad-dreams-prophetic-warnings-nightmares/

  9. sekitooleko stephen konde

    thanks so much for the teaching however i have a question
    i normally get dreams praying and delivering people in jesus’s name as well as giving prophecies .does that mean i have a spiritual gift or a calling from God ?

  10. I dreamed that I was in church ,testifying that God was with me through thick n thin ,and does fulfil his promises, what does that mean

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