-“The Anatomy of a Prophetic Word” by James W. Goll

I just received the following from Encounters Network and James Goll. James and Michal Ann Goll have recently teamed with Rolland and Heidi Baker on a number of occasions, and both are gifted in prophetic ministry. Since there seems to be a continuing discussion about the prophetic on this website (and I certainly welcome it), this short outline message about prophecy- evaluation and application -would seem to be on target and helpful. For some of you, this will probably be quite elementary but still a useful review:

“The Anatomy of a Prophetic Word”

by James W. Goll (Vision Cast November 2006)

There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration considering revelatory gifts. Failure to understand these factors can lead to dismissing a genuine word as being “off” or missing the impact that God intended for it to give. Therefore it behooves us to learn the many facets concerning the anatomy of a prophetic word.


A. Its Source

1. God – I Jn. 4:1clip_image002, “…test the spirits to see whether they are from God…”

2. Self – Jer. 23:21clip_image002[1] “…I did not speak to them, but they prophesied.” See also Ezek. 13:1-2clip_image002[2].

3. Satanic

a. I Jn. 4:3clip_image002[3] “…this is the spirit of the antichrist…”
b. Mt. 16:23clip_image002[4] – “…Get behind me, Satan!…”

B. Modes of Revelation
Numbers 12:6clip_image002[5], “…Hear now my words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make myself known to Him…” through:

1. A vision.

2. A dream.

3. Mouth to mouth.

4. Dark sayings.

5. Parables – Hos. 12:10clip_image002[6].

6. Natural things – Jer. 18:1clip_image002[7].


A. Bring the Two Together
The following scriptural references show how revelation must be wedded with proper interpretation. Numerous genuine words have been judged as false because of a wrong interpretation.

1. Acts 10:9-17clip_image002[8] – …Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen (revelation) might be (interpretation)… (v. 17).

2. I Pet. 1:10-11clip_image002[9] – …seeking to know what person or time (interpretation) the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating (revelation) as He predicted the sufferings of Christ… (v. 11).

3. Zech. 1:8-9clip_image002[10] – I saw at night (revelation)…then I said, “…what are these?”… (interpretation).

4. Dan. 8:15clip_image002[11] – …I, Daniel had seen the vision (revelation)…that I sought to understand it… (interpretation).

5. Acts 16:10clip_image002[12] – And when he had seen (revelation) the vision…concluding (interpretation) that God had called us…

6. Gen. 40:5-13clip_image002[13] – Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it”… (v. 12).

7. Gen. 41:25clip_image002[14] – Now Joseph said…”God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do.”


A. Comparison of Acts 21:10clip_image002[15] and Acts 20:23clip_image002[16]

1. We…began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem.. (Acts 21:12clip_image002[17]).

2. Notice that those who heard Agabus were convinced that God was warning Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Paul, however, interpreted the word differently. This obviously made his application the exact opposite of what others had hoped it would be. Paul received the word not as a warning not to go, but as a confirmation of his sensing that he was to count the cost of what lay ahead.


Various keys unlock God’s prophetic word to be appropriated or fulfilled
in our lives. The following are some simple keys:

A. Faith
Heb. 4:2clip_image002[18] – …the word…did not profit…because it was not united by (with) faith…

B. Right Soil
Lk. 8:4clip_image002[19] – The parable of the sower of the seed portrays the importance of having the proper condition of the soil of your heart. The same seed was sowed to all, but had various results, due to the condition of the soil.

C. Diligence in Seeking
Dan. 9:2-3clip_image002[20],16clip_image002[21] – Here Daniel finds that the desolation of Jerusalem is to be for 70 years. His response was to give himself to seeking the face of the Lord through prayer and fasting.

V. Conditions

What are the conditions that must be met so that the promise can be fulfilled? Sometimes, these conditions are present in the heart of God, but are not spoken to the mind of man. Therefore questions must be asked.

A. Jeremiah 18:8clip_image002[22]
…if that nation…turns…

B. II Chronicles 7:14clip_image002[23]
If My people who are called by My name… (NKJ)

C. Jonah 3:4-10clip_image002[24]
Yet forty days and Ninevah will be overthrown…God relented.

D. II Kings 20:1-6clip_image002[25]
…Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.


There is a ‘Karios’ appointed and strategic timing for a matter to come into being. This takes patience and wisdom to discern.

A. Genesis 37:5-8clip_image002[26]
…Joseph had a dream….”Are you really going to rule over us?”

B. Habakkuk 2:3clip_image002[27]
For the vision is yet for the appointed time…though it tarries, wait…

C. Galatians 4:4clip_image002[28]
…when the fullness of…time had come, God sent forth His Son… (NKJ)

D. Mark 4:28clip_image002[29]
The soil produces…first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain…

E. Isaiah 9:6clip_image002[30]
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given… (NKJ)


God looks deeply into the heart of man. What is our true inner motivation? Do we want glory for the Lord or promotion before man?

A. Ezekiel 14:4-5clip_image002[31]
…Any man…who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet…give…an answer (according to)…his idols…

B. Psalm 106:13-15clip_image002[32]
They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but craved…and tempted God…so He gave them their request…(NASB) but sent leanness into their soul (NKJ).


In some occasions, the Holy Spirit has spoken very clearly. However, the birth of the promise can appear differently than expected, especially in infant stages. Again we must cry out to the Lord that we miss not the day of visitation due to the manner of which that promise has first appeared.

A. Isaiah 9:6clip_image002[33]
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given… (NKJ)

B. Matthew 1:18-25clip_image002[34]
…Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly…(Joseph was changed from being a man of principle into a man of faith).

C. I Kings 18:41clip_image002[35]
…There is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.


We must be careful how we listen. One of the potential problems for the prophetic person is that he is assumed to be in the ‘prophetic mode’ all the time and every time he speaks. This not only shows lack of wisdom on the part of the listener, it also dishonors the prophetic person. Let us prayerfully, and with godly trusted counsel, seek proper discernment.

A. II Samuel 7:1-15clip_image002[36]
…Nathan the prophet…said…”Go, do all that is in your mind…the Lord is with you”…Go…say to…David, “Are you the one who should build me a house…?”

B. I Samuel 16:6-7clip_image002[37] (Samuel)
…He looked…and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is…BUT THE LORD SAID…


When all of these wisdom perimeters are put in place, let’s create an atmosphere of faith and ask the Holy Spirit to move freely. Let us not err on the side of ‘license’, nor on the side by ‘stifling”the Holy Spirit’s presence and power. But with these understandings in place, let us walk on into fruitful prophetic maturation.

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