Four Tests of a Prophetic Message


In almost four decades of following the Charismatic movement from the inside I have observed at least two major cycles of prophetic emphasis. The prophets come and the prophets go. When men and women aspire to be/become prophets, what is in their inmost being comes to the surface, whether it is good or bad. The prophetic office either enhances what is good and fine in persons or brings up deeply embedded flaws in human character.

          In our region we had a local man who envisioned himself to be a prophet and possessor of deep, hidden truths. Only he and his inner circle were in the know concerning these truths. They were prepared to reveal them to the faithful only after hours of rhetoric (brainwashing) and hours of redundant listening.

One of the Sheepfold’s leaders attended FOUR of the man’s teaching meetings. They were over FOUR HOURS long. That’s sixteen hours of intense Bible study. Something happens inside a listener when a meeting goes on for that long. Personal spiritual and emotional boundaries are breached and adherents lose their sense of self.  They become enmeshed into the self-proclaimed prophet’s vision and agenda.

Rev. Joe Remalley went to the meetings and for a week daily “prayer walked” around the meeting place. Within a few months the prophet left our region for two years, and when he returned he moved to the New Castle area to look for proselytes there. Not all the false prophets leave so easily. One leader was in our region almost two decades before showing his true colors and leaving. That so-called prophet scattered confused sheep all over our valley.

This sermon is aimed at equipping God’s saints to be able to discern what is true prophesy from error. There are four strong tests for a New Testament prophet. Check them out.




January 28, 2007

Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland


Four Tests of a Prophetic Message


Deuteronomy 18:18-22 - 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

“Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thess. 5:21-22


 “In the End Times false shepherds will appear and attempt to deceive many.  God’s people will appear to be drawn to that which is false but, God Himself will be able to discern between sheep and goats.  He is the True Shepherd, and His Sheep will follow Him.”     Pastor Phil Roland



First Test of a Word from God:

I.  Conformity to Scripture and Established Christian Teaching

          A. Nicene Creed

          B. The Apostle’s Creed


Second Test of a Word from God:

II.  Resonance of the Holy Spirit Within – 1 John 2:26,27

“These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

            A. The Holy Spirit will teach you all things – John 14:26

          "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will

 teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

B. Gift of Discernment – 1 Cor. 12:10


Third Test of a Word from God:

III.  Do Predicted Occurrences Actually Take Place?

  1. They will if God has spoken through them – Deut. 18:20-22

B. Does the prophet attempt to turn you away from God? 13:1-5

          a. Israel stoned false prophets

          b. There would be a lot of “stone piles” today


Fourth Test of a Word from God:

IV.  Does the Prophesy Bear Good Fruit? – Luke 6:43-46

"For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. "For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”


1. Is the person solid and stable in their Christian life?

2. Is the person free of serious wrongdoing?

3. Is the person’s motivation pure?

4. Is the person submissive to proper authority?

5. Is the person of basic emotional and psychological health?



Four Tests of a Prophetic Message, texts:


Deuteronomy 18:18-22 – Simple OT Test of Prophet

'I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.

19  'And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

20  'But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.'

21  "And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?';

22  "when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 – Fatal Consequences

13:1  "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,

2  "and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods'; which you have not known; 'and let us serve them,'

3  "you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

4  "You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

5  "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.




We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father [and the Son].

 With the Father and the Son

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic (universal) and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. AMEN.









The Apostles' Creed

The basic creed of Reformed churches, as most familiarly known, is called the Apostles' Creed. It has received this title because of its great antiquity; it dates from very early times in the Church, a half century or so from the last writings of the New Testament.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    the Creator of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
    born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
    and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
    whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and life everlasting.


*The word "catholic" refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.



Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA – Pastor Phil Roland