10 Tests of a Prophet
The Bible provides 10 key indicators that determine whether a person is truly receiving visions from God.
They are …
- A true prophet’s predictions will “come to pass” (Jeremiah 28:9)
- He will glorify God rather than himself (John 16:13)
- He does not give his own private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20, 21)
- He points out sin (Micah 3:5-8)
- He warns of coming judgment (Isaiah 24:20, 21)
- He edifies the church (1 Corinthians 14:3, 4)
- His message harmonizes with the Bible (Isaiah 8:20)
- He teaches that Jesus came in the flesh (1 John 4:1-3)
- He has a Christian character (Matthew 7:16-20).
- He is obedient to the will of God (Deuteronomy 18:18).
Modern psychics simply don’t measure up!. Their predictions fail often. They sometimes seem more interested in acquiring fame than in glorifying God. They rarely point out sin or warn of judgment. They often espouse astrology, palm reading, reincarnation, and spirit communication — all of which are condemned in the Word of God.
What’s worse, they don’t adhere to biblical teaching, nor do they generally teach the Christian doctrine of the incarnation of Christ. And the fruits of their teachings, as well as their lives, are often out of harmony with the Bible. Jesus says of them, “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” (Matthew 7:16).
Would There Be Prophets After Jesus?
It’s valid to ask if we should expect new prophets after Jesus, since He is the Lord and the ultimate messenger and revealer of the Father.
However, notice Jesus’ warning about knowing false prophets by their fruit. He is speaking to what will soon become the New Testament Church. Why should He warn us of false prophets if there would be no prophets after Him? On the same point, in Ephesians 4:8–13 (also 1 Corinthians 12:28), Paul said that the gifts of the Spirit would be present “till we all come in the unity of the faith.” He details those gifts, listing “prophets” second only to “apostles.” Even more explicitly, Paul wrote that the Christian church “waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” would “come short in no gift.”
Apparently, the gift of prophecy is as essential to the present-day church as it was in the Old Testament. And according to the prophet Joel, the gift of prophecy will continue to be manifest until the end of time. He predicted that “sons and daughters” would “prophesy” when God’s Spirit was poured out prior to the second advent of Jesus, which he called “the great and terrible day of the Lord” (Joel 2:28, 29).
If indeed the prophetic gift is alive and well, is there anyone in recent history who manifested this gift, whose ministry bears the marks of a true prophet of God? It is our purpose to examine the ministry of Ellen White in this fashion, to determine whether she truly did receive visions from the Lord.
A true prophet’s predictions will “come to pass” (Jeremiah 28:9).
The fulfillments of this test in the ministry of Ellen are many, but one of the most startling may be the 1906 San Francisco/Oakland earthquake. Having received warnings of impending judgment upon the city for many years prior, she had her final and most detailed vision regarding its destruction on April 16, 1906. She saw houses “shaken like a reed in the wind” and buildings falling to the ground. “Pleasure resorts, theaters, hotels, and homes of the wealthy were shaken and shattered. Many lives were blotted out of existence, and the air was filled with the shrieks of the injured and the terrified. … It seemed that the forbearance of God was exhausted, and the judgment day had come.”
Historical accounts reveal that two days later there was no sign of impending doom until 5:12 a.m., when the San Andreas fault slipped over nearly 270 miles, crumbling the very foundations of the city. In its wake, the quake left 490 city blocks in a state of total devastation and more than 225,000 homeless people, along with over 800 dead and 1,500 injured. Several insurance companies went bankrupt trying to meet the claims.
If this was the only example of a prediction fulfilled, we could chalk it up to a lucky guess. But consistently, Ellen’s predictions concerning political, religious, and personal affairs were fulfilled. The exception to this are conditional prophecies, which we will discuss a little later. We’ll also share many more of her incredible visions later too.