by Nita Botzenmayer

These were posts that were published on the
Trumpet Wind Ministries Prophetic Email List
(which is now TheJourneyList.com)
I thought it was so good, that I wanted to
post it on the web site too.

Posted - September 29, 2000


The article which follows is really good. As she states, it is a good introduction to understand the prophets. One line in here though gives me a challenge: "Prophets are willing to submit to the authority over them."

The very nature of a prophet (office prophet) is not just to give comforting or futuristic words of personal interest, but it is also to reprove the status quo when it is off. Sometimes that means challenging leadership. (Sometimes that means backing off.) The idea is that you CAN do it nicely and with Love.

Trying to "control" prophets really nullifies them. GOD sends His prophets for corrections. Mutual submission, respect for authority and order is all very important, too, though because you honor the "authority of the house." In that, you must count the cost of your words.

The five fold office ministries should work together as a team. (I've noticed it's very hard to do because of the power of it which is resisted vehemently by the enemy.)

The pastor is not "over" the prophet. Nor is the apostle "over" the prophet, nor is the prophet "over" the evangelist, pastor, teacher, etc. When the true five fold ministry learns to work together without lording it over, the Church will explode!


Discerning the Prophetic
by Nita Botzenmayer

In the 'mainline' church environment where I minister, the gifts of the spirit and the five-fold ministry are just beginning to be recognized as something for now, instead of something that happened historically in the Bible. The prophetic voice is being heard, and along with it, satan has reared his ugly head and brought in false prophetic voices to deceive. Some have already fallen into deception. Few know how to tell the difference between the false and the true.

To help teach the truth and expose the lies of the enemy, I sought the Lord for some basics. The mindset of many is still to depend on the pastor for teaching and application from the Word, and many simply don't have time to study in depth. Yet they need the protection of God from deception. So I believe the Lord provided me with this brief "starter kit" on learning to accurately discern the true word of prophecy and the prophet. Perhaps it will be helpful to you to share with others "new" to the prophetic. There will be much to add, I'm sure, but we have to start somewhere!




In these days of increased prophetic activity, it is critically important that we be able to discern the true from the false; else we shall be deceived and misled. Many of us have received sound instruction regarding the prophetic, but to many it is a new subject. I asked the Lord for some good 'bottom line' guidelines for discernment - things that can be quickly read and applied in our lives.

Jesus said:

Matt 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (KJV)

The "if" in this passage is the Greek conditional, which is better translated "since". That means it is possible for us to be deceived! But God's guidelines in His Word, the inner witness of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13) and the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:10), provide us with tools to accurate discernment.

Here are 4 "quick" guidelines from the Word to help in discerning the prophetic.


First are the words of Jesus:

Matt 7:15-16 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (KJV)

Notice it is the Fruit, not the Gift, that gives discernment, for the Gifts are without repentance (Rom 11:29). The fruit of the Spirit must be evident in the life of the prophet. Primary fruit - can you feel the love of God from this person and their words? (This does not mean sinless perfection!)


There are congregations which try to recognize the gifts of their individual members and give them titles, such as "evangelist, prophet, etc.". This can be positive, as it recognizes each person as a valuable member of the Body of Christ, and encourages them to walk in their gifts and callings. However, there is a down side.

Mistakes can be made. Pride can enter in. Jealousy and strife can result, which opens the door to every evil work (James 3:16). We are to desire the higher gifts, but not be jealous of someone else who receives them. We can all prophesy (1 Cor. 14:31), but all are not prophets.

Jesus set the example of humility. The majority of the time, he called himself "the Son of Man". He refers to himself as a prophet (in small caps) only twice: (1) see Matt 13:57, Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24, and John 4:44, and (2) Luke 13:33.

The strongest warning about labels is in Revelation 2:20-23:

    20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.
    21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.
    22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.
    23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. (NIV)

The Strong's concordance reveals the underlying meaning that this false prophet causes God's servants to stray from the truth, to get off the path.

Jezebel is a witchcraft spirit, and its prophetic insight is NOT from God. The word of knowledge, which may be true, comes from the same source as tarot card readers, palm readers, etc. - from familiar spirits (demons). Note: not all false prophets are women. This passage reveals the spirit in operation behind this particular kind of false prophet.

If you are called to walk in the office of prophet, God himself will establish you. Others will recognize the gift and authority from the Lord. Giving yourself a title, even if it's true, will not do what only God can do.


Prophets are willing to submit to the authority over them, and to submit their words to other prophets for discernment. Other prophetic voices will confirm a word as being from the Lord, and/or add interpretation and application to it, thereby making it more edifying for the Body, which is the purpose of the prophetic.

1 Cor 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (KJV)

Anyone who resists submitting to other prophetic voices, or who resists, disdains, or defies authority is not a true prophet of God.


A prophetic person will spend much time in prayer. It is key to hearing and recognizing the voice of the Lord. This is another fruit to be examined in the life of a person operating in the prophetic.

EVERY biblical prophet was an intercessor. The scripture below bears witness to this conclusion, as does a quick study of the prophets in the Old Testament, beginning with Abraham.

[Jer 27:18] But if they be prophets, and if the word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.]

This is an important characteristic of the true prophetic ministry - another fruit. This is so important to God. For those just beginning to experience giving prophetic words, this is NOT A GAME! It is an awesome responsibility to give the Word of the Lord.

The power of life & death is in the tongue, especially of a prophetic word. For words of correction, there is a BIG difference between the Conviction of the Lord, and the condemnation of the enemy.

Intercession produces the right heart toward others - God's heart. It eliminates judgment and condemnation. It produces compassion for others. It helps keep the Lord's word pure and untainted by the flesh. It helps the prophet to stay humble and prevents him from falling into pride.

Even though Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, highly exalted above everything, he also is still humbling himself and "ever lives to make intercession for us" (Hebrews 7:25).

There are those called to intercession who are not prophets, but all prophets bear some intercessory burden.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

God does not want us to be led astray - He gives us standards in His Word to help our discernment. These are a start. The Word says we are to test the spirits to see if they be of God, and hold fast to that which is good. (I Thess 5:19-21 & I Jn 4:1)

If you are just realizing you have a prophetic call, this is also a challenge to "examine yourself before the Lord" and ask Him to help you "do it right".

September 30, 2000

Addendum to Part 1


Prov 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. (KJV)

After publishing Part 1, I received some wise counsel regarding the subject of Submission. This is the result.

Scripture says we are to submit ourselves one to another - mutual submission (1 Peter 5:5). We are to show respect for our leaders and those in authority (Hebrews 13:17). Respect for others is still an important attribute of the true prophet. Even Paul showed respect to the office of High Priest, though he refused to back down on the message he had been given to speak, and though the high priest had just ordered him to be struck. (Acts 23:4-5). Much could be written about this subject, but the purpose here is to be as concise as possible.

There are times when the leadership of a body of believers will oppose the prophetic word. There are times when you, as a prophetic person, will be called upon by the Lord to bring a word of correction or reproof. No one enjoys this job! The reaction of the leadership is not your responsibility. It is your responsibility to give the word. It is important to stand on the word you have been given to speak, knowing WHOSE message it is. You may be criticized, called rebellious and disobedient, insulted, etc. Leadership may attempt to discredit you or manipulate you.

Part of the problem is church leadership's lack of understanding regarding mutual submission. Part is from not understanding the "teamwork" of the five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). Part of the problem is lack of understanding, especially in America, of authority, both by those in authority, and those who are under authority. We are all under the authority of God.

You will be called upon by the Lord to forgive, not take offense, and intercede for those who have mistreated you. You will be called upon by the Lord to "touch not the Lord's anointed", as demonstrated by David's respect for Saul. It is not easy to be used in the prophetic, and the price is sometimes high and painful for your obedience.

Remember the heart of the Father and do not deviate from the word you have been given.

Posted - October 1, 2000

by Nita Botzenmayer

The following principles are additional guidelines for discerning the true prophetic word.


The Number One guideline in discerning a prophetic word: it will agree with God's recorded Word. God will never prophesy something that opposes His Word.


Throughout these guidelines, you see the importance of knowing the Word of God. If you have questions about a word given, search the scriptures for confirmation. Use your knowledge of scripture to "test" the word for accuracy.

You cannot know too much scripture. You cannot study God's Word too much. Remember, Satan used scripture to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, but Jesus knew the "whole counsel of God", and defeated him with scripture (Matthew 4:1-11)!

The trick Satan used was to take a partial scripture and misapply it. It is important to know the "big picture" of scripture, so you won't be tripped up by one scripture taken out of context.


With individual prophecies, determining if a word is accurate and "right on" may be more difficult, unless there is some obvious discrepancy with scripture. Some individual prophetic words are very specific and directional. Some are general and vague, and the interpretation and application may not be evident.

These directional words are potentially life-changing, very important to you and to God. So how do you tell if the word is right?

An accurate individual prophetic word given to you will give an "Inner Witness" by the Holy Spirit within. It will be a confirmation of something you already know in your spirit, even if you have not verbalized it yourself.

As another has said, if it is from the Lord, His Presence will accompany the words. You may even feel His manifest presence in the natural.

If you don't have an inner witness, but think it MAY be from the Lord, and it lines up with scripture, what do you do? Sometimes, the only way to tell is to "put the word on the shelf ", pray, and wait for the Lord to reveal it to you.

If the word causes confusion or distress of spirit, it is not from the Lord, as God is not a God of confusion. A word of correction, even if painful, will bear witness to the Spirit within, and your conviction and repentance will bring restoration and healing from the Lord. Do not confuse "Confusion" with the pain of facing the correction brought by the Lord to help you, and miss the word you need.


The appearance, gender, age, or other outward appearance of the person giving the word is not grounds to receive or reject it. You must weigh the word, not judge the giver of the word.

Speaking of John the Baptist, who wore rough clothing, ate a weird diet, and lived in the wilderness (strange appearance!):

    Matt 11:7-11 As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: "'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (NIV)

From this scripture, we see that odd appearances cannot be a reason to receive or not receive a word from the Lord. Speaking of odd appearances, can you imagine what Jonah looked like to the Ninevites after spending 3 days in that whale?

It is also important to note that "he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (John the Baptist)." This means God can use "baby" Christians as well as mature Christians, children, youth, old people, and everyone in between to speak His words of prophecy.

He requires obedience, not a certain appearance or age. I have had prophetic words given to me by children. I almost missed the word of the Lord because I looked at their youth instead of weighing the word given.


Remember Satan used scripture to tempt Jesus. He will use it against you, too, if he can. If the word lines up with scripture, and sounds good, there is yet another question to ask: Is this word appealing to my flesh?

Example: A man I know had a word given to him promising a large financial blessing, which was supposed to occur within a certain period of time. He received this word joyfully, as it seemed scriptural, and he needed money at the time.

When this word did not come to pass by the appointed time, he became bitter toward God, until the Lord revealed to him that the word spoke only to his fleshly desires. It encouraged him to have faith in money and not in God.

This example does not mean God does not want to bless us financially. It just illustrates how the fleshly desire of greed was spoken to in that word, which caused the receiver to get out of focus with the Lord, and even get angry and bitter toward Him. It shows the subtlety the enemy will use to cause us to go astray.

Scripture says the flesh wars against the spirit (Romans 7:23). A word that appeals to the flesh should automatically be suspect, and carefully examined.


There is no substitute for prayer. The Lord does not play favorites. He speaks to each one of us. He is not insulted when you have questions. In fact, He delights that you ask Him FIRST! As part of your "test" of the words, it is good to submit them to the Lord in prayer.


Ask the Lord for His wisdom in how to receive, interpret or apply the word given to you, or if you are to receive the word at all.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (NIV)


In the Old Testament, a prophet was to be 100% accurate. If one word he spoke was not right, he was declared a false prophet. Thankfully, we are under the law of grace.

We are all human beings, subject to error. We are not sinless perfection. No matter how long we have been used of the Lord to prophesy, we may still "not hear right" occasionally. Our lives may be above reproach, and we still might "miss it".

Every word should be tested, regardless of the reputation of the prophetic voice giving it. A true prophet will not be insulted, he/she will rejoice that you are obeying the command in scripture to do so.