Dr. Bill Hamon, Bishop of Christian International Ministries, defines prophecy as:
...simply God communicating His thoughts and intents to mankind. When a true prophecy is given, the Holy Spirit inspires someone to communicate God's pure and exact words to the individual or group for whom they are intended. It is delivered without any additions or subtractions by the one prophesying, including any applications or interpretations suggested by the one speaking. To be most effective, it must also be delivered in God's timing and with the proper spirit or attitude.
What should be our response to personal prophecy, the prophet and the delivery of prophetic ministry? What does the Bible say about receiving prophetic ministry?
So, dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don't forbid speaking in tongues. But be sure that everything is done properly and in order. [Let it be done in order.] 1 Cor. 14:39-40
Is all prophetic ministry of God? How can you discern it?
1. Does the Rhema Word line up with the Logos Word?
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 1 Thes. 5:19-21
2. Is the prophetic Word edifying, encouraging and/or consoling?
But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:3
3. What is the motivation, character and fruit of the prophetic minister?
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Cor 13:2
4. Do you discern God's heart of restoration in the prophetic Word?
And a servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who oppose themselves, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Tim 2:24-26
5. Do you hunger to hear God's voice and desire spiritual gifts as they speak?
1 Cor 14:1-2 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
6. Is the Holy Spirit saying to receive this particular prophetic minister?
Matt 10:40-41 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward ... .
7. If your faith growing as you hear the Word of the Lord for you?
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
8. Are both you and the minister willing to be accountable for the Word given?
1 Thess 5:19-21 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.
Hab 2:2-3 Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
9. Are you warring and cooperating with the personal prophetic Word?
1 Tim 1:18-20 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,
10. Do you believe Prophets can prophesy every day just as a pastor, teacher or evangelist can minister every day?
1 Peter 4:10-11 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
11. Do you receive prophets as five-fold ministers and part of the foundation of the church today?
Eph 4:11-12 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,