They will always agree with scripture or what the Lord has previously spoken. Such was the case in 1 Kings 13 when God told a certain man to deliver a message to King Jeroboam and to leave without eating or drinking in that town. A lying prophet approached him and told him that God said it was okay for him to eat at his house after all. The man believed the prophet and ate with him, which resulted in devastating consequences. The man should have realized the lie and stuck with what God had already told him.

If what they speak is truly from the Lord, it will come true 100% to the letter. "So a prophet who predicts peace must carry the burden of proof. Only when his predictions come true can it be known that he is really from the LORD." Jeremiah 28:9

Their prophetic words should be confirmed. One time someone told me about a sin that God wanted to deal with in me that I hadn't even seen in myself yet. Over time, it became an apparent theme that God was indeed showing me this sin and dealing with it. On another occasion, I had asked God to show me the answer to a question, and someone came up to me out of the blue and said, "I have the answer to your question…" and they proceeded to confirm an answer that God had already been showing me through prayer and His word.

Their lives will be aimed at godliness. Jeremiah 23:14 says, "And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me..." God cares about hypocrisy among those speaking in His name, and so should you.

They will speak truth in a spirit of humility. Many of the prophets in the Bible spoke with authority and boldness, but all of them spoke in humility. Jesus was the ultimate example.

They announce sins before promising blessings: A blessed life is no good if you're still lost in your sins. God has always had the condition of obedience before blessing. In Lamentations 2:13b-14 we read, "Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you? The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading." (Also see Jeremiah 23:16-17, 22)

They offend many. People do not want the truth; hence, prophets are not usually popular. Isaiah 30:9-11 says, "These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD's instruction. They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!' and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!'" (see also Luke 4:24, Acts 7:51-52, 2 Timothy 4:3)

They won't predict "new truths" about end times and their words will not conflict with or go outside the bounds of scripture. Revelation 22:18 says, "If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book."

Their gift isn't "one size fits all." Consider King David. Acts 2:30 tells us that David was a prophet, yet during his life you don't find him foretelling events to individuals like say, Isaiah or Ezekiel, or displaying special powers like Moses or Elijah. But throughout the Psalms, David prophesied about the future Messiah and His kingdom. So there are different kinds of prophets, and different kinds of messages.

Remember, the gift of prophecy can work out in many different ways. A few examples might be in dreams, special insight either in the Bible or in life situations, direction for future events, declaration of sin, and even just "truth-telling." And it can come from many different vessels, according to Acts 2—men, women, elderly folks, and even children.