Bethany Hicks

hicks prophetic company Feb 20, 2024

Thus Saith the Lord… or Did He?

In the world of prophecy, our choice of words carries immense power. When stepping into any church or ministry, one can quickly discern that ministry’s view on prophecy. It doesn’t take long to catch whether or not the ministry actively engages in the prophetic, what their protocols are surrounding this gift, and whether they follow an Old Covenant or New Testament model when it comes to prophetic practices. Much of this is communicated through the language used.

One common statement you’ll hear when someone is prophesying is, "The Lord says..." (or “Thus saith the Lord…") Here’s the question: should we use this type of strong phrasing in our prophetic messages? It's important to think about this. Declaring “thus saith the Lord” might seem powerful, but it can make the person receiving the prophecy feel responsible to accept the message without question. However, under the New Covenant, everyone has a role in testing and judging prophetic words–both the receiver of the message and the giver of the message. 

You may be wondering, isn’t prophecy all about “The Lord says…”? Isn’t prophecy the act of hearing what God is saying and sharing that with another person? The answer lies in understanding the shift brought about by the New Covenant. Unlike in the Old Testament where prophets were the sole communicators of God's message, today, all believers in Jesus Christ have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them enabling them to discern God's voice. This means that the responsibility of testing and judging prophetic words rests not only on the giver but also on the receiver.

"Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said." 

1 Corinthians 14:29

So, again, what's the problem with using phrases like "The Lord says..."? The misuse of this phrase has contributed to many abuses in prophecy, including bad geographical moves, failed business decisions, and even tragic marriages. But that's not how it should be. In the New Covenant, the listener has permission to test the message to see if it's truly from God before taking action.

That leads us to ask, “Is it ever appropriate to use this kind of phrasing in a prophetic word?” Let’s explore why people use the phrase “The Lord says…” in order to come to that answer. 


Most people who use this kind of phrase in prophesying don’t know that it is disempowering. They may have been taught that “Thus saith the Lord…” is the proper way to prophesy, or they have seen it modeled that way. Either way, it has probably become a habit or is mostly done as a style of prophecy rather than with any intention of limiting the receiver’s response.


Some people intentionally use this phrasing because they think it makes the prophetic word more powerful. They believe that starting with a strong statement gives more authority to God's message. At Prophetic Company, we trust that God's voice and words are powerful in and of themselves, and that anyone who knows His voice will recognize its authority no matter how it comes—even if in less “authoritative” ways, like through a child, a song, or a whisper. Let the word speak for itself, and let the Lord add His authority to it. If it's truly from Him, the heavenly authority will be evident.


Once a word has been confirmed as the word of the Lord, it's fine to say, "The Lord said to me..." or "The Lord revealed..." This might seem contradictory to what was mentioned earlier, however, listen closely: it's not a matter of if you'd use this strong phrasing, but when. After a word has been tested and confirmed by the receiver, it's important to acknowledge that God indeed spoke to you.

In conclusion, when it comes to sharing prophetic words and impressions, consider using phrases like "I am seeing..." or "I perceive that..." This type of approach shifts the focus to how the giver is receiving prophetic revelation, which can then empower the receiver to freely test and judge if the message truly resonates with them as from the Lord.