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1. Will there be prophets in the last days? Joel 2:28-31 NKJV
“I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall … Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
God promises to send His message through prophets in the last days. Jesus also warned that false prophets will seek to counterfeit the work of God’s true prophets. “For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).
2. How can we tell the true prophet from the false?
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 NKJV
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 19-21 NKJV
We are to test those who claim to be prophets to see if they are from God. God sends prophets to instruct His church. To despise them is to reject the very blessing God sees we need. The devil, however, seeks to confuse us by sending false prophets. The Bible gives us criteria for testing whether a prophet is from God or not.
3. Will God send prophets to His church in the last days?
“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest [“remnant” KJV] of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17 NKJV
“I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of .” Revelation 19:10 NKJV
God’s remnant church in the end time “have the testimony of Jesus,” which is the “spirit of prophecy.” The gift of prophecy is given to the “brethren” who are “the prophets” (Revelation 22:8, 9). The testimony of Jesus is confirmed in the end-time church as it waits for Jesus’ return (1 Corinthians 1:5-8).
4. Were there prophets in the early church?
“Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain and teachers.” Acts 13:1 NKJV
“Now Judas and Silas, themselves being also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.” Acts 15:32 NKJV
“Now this man had four virgin who prophesied.” Acts 21:8, 9 NKJV
Not only was the apostle John a prophet, but there were also many others. Some of them were women. If God thought the early church needed prophets to get it started, how much more do we need the gift of prophecy in the last days?
5. Why don’t we see many true prophets today? Lamentations 2:9 NKJV
“The is no more, and her prophets find no vision from the Lord.”
Prophets are sent to tell people to obey God. If people persistently reject God’s law, eventually the prophets will be withdrawn (Jeremiah 26:4-6; Ezekiel 7:26). “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). When Israel was at the height of apostasy and was breaking the Sabbath and worshiping the sun, God said, “I will not be inquired of by you.” His prophets would not speak to Israel because they refused His holy Sabbath (Ezekiel 20:3, 11-13; 8:16). Even today churches teach God’s law and His Sabbath don’t need to be kept. This is why we don’t see much of the true gift of prophecy today.
6. Will people obey God and have the gift of prophecy in the end time? Revelation 12:17 NKJV
“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who the commandments of God and have the of Jesus Christ.”
In the last days God restores in His remnant church the commandments, the Sabbath, and the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy.
7. What is the first test of a prophet? 1 John 4:1, 2 NKJV
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that has come in the flesh is of God.”
The first test is that a prophet must confess Jesus. They can’t deny Jesus’ divinity or claim that they are Jesus, as so many false prophets are inclined to do.
8. Must a true prophet agree with the Bible and God’s law? Isaiah 8:20 NKJV
“To the and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
The second test for a prophet is their messages will agree with the Bible and they will teach people to obey God’s law. Prophets are sent to build up the church with biblical messages and not to give predictions on the stock market, politics, or movie stars (1 Corinthians 14:3, 4).
9. Will a prophet’s predictions come true? Jeremiah 28:9 NKJV
“When the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has sent.”
The third test is a prophet’s predictions will come to pass (Deuteronomy 18:22). This test disqualifies every single one of the modern tabloid prophets!
10. What is the fourth test for true prophets? Matthew 7:20 NKJV
“Therefore by their you will know them.”
A true prophet will pass this fourth test by living a life that is consistent with Christian teachings.
11. How should we relate to those who pass these tests for a true prophet? 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 NKJV
“Do not the Spirit. Do not prophecies. Test, all things; hold fast what is good.”
God will have prophets in the last days that testify of Him. We need to test all modern prophets and hold fast to those that pass and reject those who don’t.
12. Is there a person in the remnant church who passes the test of a genuine prophet? (See Hint)
In A.D. 1844, when earth entered its last judgment hour and God began calling His remnant people back to His law and Sabbath, God also restored the gift of prophecy through a young woman named Ellen Harmon White (1827-1915). Along with several other prominent leaders, Ellen was used to help start and guide God’s remnant church. From the age of 17 until she died 70 years later, God gave Ellen approximately 2,000 visions and dreams. She never claimed for herself the title of “prophet”, but humbly said she was “a servant of God.” With 70 years of ministry, we have ample opportunity to examine whether she passes the tests of a true prophet.
13. Did Ellen White pass the first test and confess Jesus? (See Hint)
Everyone who knew Ellen White or who has read her books will testify that Jesus was the central focus of her ministry. Listen to what she wrote about Him.
“Christ is the preexistent, self-existent Son of God… The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father.” Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, p. 46.
“Search the Bible, for it tells you of Jesus. I want you to read the Bible and see the matchless charms of Jesus. I want you to fall in love with the Man of Calvary, so that at every step you can say to the world, His ‘ways are ways of pleasantness’, and all His ‘paths are peace.’” Ellen White, In Heavenly Places, p. 354.
14. Did Ellen White agree with the Scriptures? (See Hint)
Mrs. White consistently pointed people to the Bible for the source of all doctrines.
“The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience.” Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. vii.
She saw her work and writings as a way to lead people back to the Bible and not to take its place.
“Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.” Ellen White, Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.
For those who criticize and doubt the Bible she wrote: “Cling to your Bible, as it reads, and stop your criticisms in regard to its validity, and obey the Word, and not one of you will be lost.” Ellen White, Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 18.
15. Were Ellen White’s predictions accurate? (See Hint)
Ellen White wrote on current events, health and science, education and numerous other subjects. In 1904 she wrote, “Soon great trouble will arise among the nations—trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes” (Review and Herald, February 11, 1904). Shortly thereafter, the world’s fiercest wars began. She warned in 1902 that San Francisco and Oakland, California would be visited with judgments of destruction because they were becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. On April 18, 1906, the great San Francisco earthquake rocked the Bay area!
Modern science is still learning that Ellen White was light years ahead with insights on health. During a time when physicians prescribed tobacco smoke for people with emphysema, Ellen White counseled in 1886, “Tobacco is a slow, insidious, but most malignant poison” (MS 29, 1886, pp. 1-4). It wasn’t until 1957 that the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association said smoking was a cause for lung cancer! News commentators, professors, doctors, and others often quote her as an authority who was ahead of her time on many topics.
16. Was Ellen White’s life consistent with God’s Word? (See Hint)
People not of her faith recognized Ellen White was a true Christian. She ministered as God’s servant for seventy years, and her life was open for inspection. Listen to how a secular newspaper eulogized her.
“The life of Mrs. White is an example worthy of emulation by all. She was a humble, devout disciple of Christ, and ever went about doing good… honored and respected by all who appreciate noble womanhood consecrated to unselfish labor for the uplifting and betterment of mankind.” Saint Helena Star, St. Helena, California, July 23, 1915.
Paul Harvey mentions her often with admiration. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Her writings cover a broad range of subjects, including religion, education, social relationships, evangelism, prophecy, publishing, nutrition, and management.
Prophecies of Hope lessons are all based on the Bible and have never appealed to Ellen White to prove what the Bible teaches. Mrs. White taught we should get our doctrines from the Scriptures. As God’s messenger, her role was to instruct, build up the work of God, and reprove the church when it tended to stray; it was never to overrule or contradict the Bible. While Adventists respect Ellen White as a prophet and benefit from this gift, they don’t require people to base their faith on her writings. For more information on Ellen White’s life and ministry and to read some of her books, visit http://www.whiteestate.org .
God’s perfect plan was for humanity to be able to communicate directly with Him, just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden before sin. Sadly, sin cut us off from God. But God has never stopped communicating with us, His wayward children. Throughout the Bible times He sent many prophets to guide, help and warn his people. The gift of prophecy did not end with Bible times but continues to be manifest. Ellen White is a prophet of more recent history who beautifully passes all four Biblical tests of a prophet.
17. Is it your desire to not quench the Spirit or despise prophecies, but to test all things, and hold fast what is good?
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