When Believers Can't Tell the Difference Between Prophets and Psychics

Why do some people, even some believers, put stock in what a psychic would say.
Why do some people, even some believers, put stock in what a psychic would say? (iStock photo )

Prophets and psychics can both make accurate predictions. Accuracy is not the only test of a true prophet. Test the spirit behind the word because there are many false prophets making true predictions (1 John 4:1).

I posted that on my Facebook page last week, and it stirred up a hornet's nest I never would have expected. I thought I'd get a few thousand hearty "amens," open the eyes of some people who had not thought to judge prophecy in this crucial hour and stir up a few devils. As it turned out, it stirred up more than a few devils who seem to enjoy swimming in impure prophetic pools.

Several people asked me to give Scripture to back up the comment. Of course, the Scripture was listed in the comment. In 1 John 4:1, John the apostle clearly states by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Many False Prophets Are Rising

The backlash against the post caused me to realize just how much confusion there is over prophetic ministry, the source of true prophecy, the function of prophet and how some will defend soulish prophecy to the death.

Listen to Jennifer's podcast on this topic: The Difference Between Psychics and Prophets.

As I always say, we wouldn't have to test the spirits if it wasn't for all the prophets who have gone out into the world. Jesus warned that false christs and false prophets would rise in the end times (Matt. 24:11). We're seeing that now. 

Indeed, I'm seeing blatant misuse of the gift of prophecy. Some who carry the title of prophet have been caught looking over the shoulders of closed-eyed congregants to get an up-close look at their offering envelopes. Later, these prophets give a word to the ones whose envelopes they peeped. Some faithful believers are falling for it hook, line and sinker. 

We're seeing some who call themselves prophets encouraging people to sow $54.17 so they can tap into God's protection promised in Isaiah 54:17, which reads: "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me, says the Lord." Some faithful believers are falling for it hook, line and sinker. We don't need to pay God for protection like He's a mafia boss—we just need to obey the Lord and believe His Word.


Yes, I'm seeing all manner of foolishness in modern-day prophetic ministry, where prophets are operating in deceptive practices for false profits. Jezebel's puppets are running rampant in the church. And some faithful believers are not only falling for it hook, line and sinker to the detriment of their lives and pocketbooks, but they are defending it vehemently. 

Unmasking the Spirit of Divination

Remember my original post: "Prophets and psychics can both make accurate predictions. Accuracy is not the only test of a true prophet. Test the spirit behind the word because there are many false prophets making true predictions (1 John 4:1)." Now consider this Scripture:

"On one occasion, as we went to the place of prayer, a servant girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, shouting, 'These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.' She did this for many days. But becoming greatly troubled, Paul turned to the spirit and said, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And it came out at that moment" (Acts 16:16-18).

So you see, even someone tapping into a spirit of divination—which the Interlinear Bible defines as "to practice divination, divine, observe signs, learn by experience, diligently observe, practice fortunetelling, take as an omen"—can offer an accurate word. Psychics and some false prophets practice divination. They are tapping into a spirit other than the Spirit of God to prophesy. 

The woman with the spirit of divination in Acts 16 was correct—she offered an accurate word—but the spirit behind the word troubled Paul. Ultimately, the apostle cast the devil out of her and set her free from this bondage.

Testing the Spirits

So how do we test the spirits? I wrote an entire book on judging prophecy called Did the Spirit of God Say That? It goes in-depth on the topic with specific real-life examples. But let me give you some starting points because this subject is especially vital in this hour. 

The primary way to test the spirits is to test it against the Bible. The Holy Spirit does not speak with a forked tongue. The Spirit of God and the Word of God agree. In Acts 17:10-11, when Paul and Silas preached the gospel to the Bereans, they were "daily examining the Scriptures, to find out if these things were so." 

If the word breeds fear, for example, we know it's not from God because God did not give us a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7). If the word exalts the person delivering it, we know that's not God because the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 19:10). If the word causes strong confusion, we know that's not of God because God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). When you know your Word—when you know the Lord—you'll recognize what's coming from His Spirit and what's coming from a different spirit.

It's a dangerous game to knowingly turn to prophets who are operating in a false anointing. Leviticus 20:6 says, "The person who turns to spirits through mediums and necromancers in order to whore after them, I will even set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people." 

It's also dangerous to do this unknowingly. The Bible warns us over and over and over again not to be deceived. We're told the test the spirits (1 John 4:1). We must obey the Word and not automatically believe any and every prophecy we hear. We must exercise the gift of discernment and know the Word of God, lest we fall prey to false prophets.

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