What are the tests of a true prophet? Here is the test whereby Jeane Dixon knew that her vision of the coming world "messiah" was not only genuine but an extremely important vision: crackling noises inside of light bulbs! In her biography of Jeane Dixon, Ruth Montgomery explains that Jeane Dixon knew that an important vision was soon to come to her, because the light bulbs in the chandelier in her bedroom began crackling. This sound continued for three days. By that time, Jeane was certain that a vision of the highest consequence was about to be given to her. At times the light bulbs would increase and decrease in brightness as the crackling sounds within them continued unabated. On the third morning, she walked over to her bedroom window—and received her vision:
"Stepping out of the brightness of the sun's rays, hand in hand, were a Pharaoh and Queen Nefertiti. Cradled in the Queen's other arm was a baby, his ragged, soiled clothing in startling contrast to the gorgeously arrayed royal couple.
“ ‘The eyes of this child were all-knowing,' Jeane says softly. 'They were full of wisdom and knowledge.'
"A little to one side of Queen Nefertiti, Jean could glimpse a pyramid. While she watched entranced, the couple advanced toward her and thrust forth the baby, as if offering it to the entire world. . Now, rays of light burst forth from the baby, blending with those of the sun and obliterating the Pharaoh from her sight..
"Jeane shifted her gaze back to the baby. He had by now grown to manhood, and a small cross, which formed above him, began to expand until it dripped over the earth in all directions. Simultaneously, people of every race, religion and color.. kneeling and lifting his arms in worshipful adoration, surrounded him. They were all as one .. Jeane remarked that she knew instinctively that this vision meant that she had come face to face with the beginning of wisdom.' " Ruth Montgomery, Gift of Prophecy, pages 179-181.
Here was the explanation of the prophecy, as given to Jeane Dixon:
"A child, born somewhere in the Middle East shortly after 7 A.M. (EST) on February 5, 1962, will revolutionize the world, Before the close of the century he will bring together all mankind in one all-embracing faith. This will be the foundation of a new Christianity, with every sect and creed united through this man who will walk among the people to spread the wisdom of the Almighty Power."—Ibid.
Jeane Dixon has declared that her visions come directly from God Himself. What is the test that verifies that the vision is genuine? —A crackling sound within light bulbs. Where does the future "messiah" come, from? —from ancient paganism. Nefertiti (Nefretete) was the wife of Akhenaton (Ikhnaton), a pharaoh, or king, of ancient Egypt (c. 1377-1361 B.C.) who, during his reign, temporarily substituted another form of heathenism, sun worship, in the place of the regular deities of the Egyptians (frogs, crocodiles, bulls, etc.). In the vision, Dixon saw a pyramid beside "the holy couple" and their child. A number of non-Christian religious systems unite in attributing divine qualities to the pyramids of Egypt. We have here that which is supposed to be a great message from God to mankind, predicting a child born of ancient paganism that is to bring to mankind its greatest blessing. Then, seven years later, someone is supposed to have changed his mind: The message now is that the promised child of blessing—is the antichrist!
It is obvious that we must have a Biblical standard by which to test the prophets. We dare not do otherwise. .
You will find that the psychics regularly use cultic devices to obtain their information (Jeane Dixon normally uses a crystal ball); receive information that contains heathen religious symbolism; and produce predictions that are generally incorrect. And the tests that verify that their information is genuine? —such things as crackling light bulbs or the shape of tea leaves in a cup.
These are tests that are no tests, in the Biblical sense. And if the seer does not come from God, we had better not accept him. What are the tests of a true prophet? The Noorbergen statement, quoted earlier, listed ten of them. But three tests will settle the issue in each and every case:
(1) Physical condition of the prophet when in vision—six physical signs (listed below).
(2) Personal life of the prophet—dedicated to Jesus and in obedience to and in harmony with Biblical principles.
(3) The messages given by the prophet—in full agreement with Biblical standards, promises, doctrines and laws.
Over the years the present writer has heard of or observed a number of modern "prophets." Within the last year alone, he has learned of several new ones. But the first test, above, is immediately conclusive. These are the physical evidences of a person while in vision. Carefully read Daniel 10:8-19. Here you will find six physical signs:
(1) The prophet loses his strength and falls to the ground in a deep sleep.
(2) Despite the sleep, he hears a voice speaking to him.
(3) In the vision, and at times in physical action, the prophet arises to his hands and knees and then to his feet when the being touches him.
(4) At first he is dumb; but when his lips are touched, he is enabled to speak.
(5) Throughout the vision he is without breath of any kind. His breathing totally ceases.
(6) Strength is given him during the vision. Add to this the sign given in Numbers 24:4:
(7) During the vision his eyes are open.
It is of interest that a consistent number of Ellen's visions took place in public. In this way the Biblical tests could easily be applied. And they were. When God calls a prophet, He sees to it that opportunity is afforded for people to test that prophet and know whether he be of God. One who claims to receive visions of God and be a true prophet will, for example, have visions from time to time in public, so that others can see that for ten minutes to three hours or more, he is without any breath, and gives no sign of breathing. And yet, although unconscious to all around him, the one receiving the vision can move easily about the room (if he stands up and walks), and he has a superhuman strength far beyond the capacity of anyone else to overpower.
So it was in the case of little Ellen. Tests performed upon her at the time included closing her mouth and nostrils while she was in vision (which could last for several hours). Her movements while in vision were free and graceful as she would speak and describe some of what she saw. And yet her gestures could not be controlled or stopped. It is of interest that, although normally but a frail individual, the vision never sapped her strength or made her ill. (At times, she was healed of sickness while in vision.) In later years, after confidence had been developed in the genuineness of her call, the visions came more frequently at night.
Here are some other Bible verses, which provide tests of a true prophet. They make interesting reading: Matthew 7:20; Isaiah 8:20; 1 John 4:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21; Deuteronomy 13:1-4; Hosea 12:10,13; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Kings 22:14-15; Daniel 2: 27-28; Deuteronomy 29:29; Amos 3:7; Numbers 12:6; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Peter 1:10-11; Daniel 7:1; Revelation 1:1,11; 12:17; 19:10; 1 Corinthians 14:4; Joel 2:28-30: 2 Chronicles 20:20.
Those who personally witnessed the visions carefully observed what took place. And they were given the freedom to examine Ellen while in vision. At times physicians were called for a more thorough and critical examination. Here is a statement by Mrs. Martha Amadon, who witnessed a number of the visions:
“As one who has frequently observed her in vision, knowing the company of people usually present, all deeply observant and believers in her exercises, I have often wondered why a more vivid description of the scenes which have transpired has not been given.."In vision her eyes were open. There was no breath, but there were graceful movements of the shoulders, arms, and hands expressive of what she saw. It was impossible for anyone else to move her hands or arms. She often uttered words singly, and sometimes sentences which expressed to those about her the nature of the view she was having, either of heaven or of earth.
"Her first word in vision was 'Glory,' sounding at first close by, and then dying away in the distance, seemingly far away. This was sometimes repeated. . There was never an excitement among those present during a vision; nothing caused fear. It was a solemn, quiet scene, sometimes lasting an hour..
"When the vision was ended, and she lost sight of the heavenly light; as it were, coming back to the earth once more, she would exclaim with a long-drawn sigh, as she took her first natural breath, 'D-a-r -k.' She was then limp and strengthless." Martha Amadon, Notebook Leaflets.
Here is George I. Butler's description, given in 1874. He too, on many occasions, witnessed public visions that she received:
"For nearly thirty years past these visions have been given with greater or less frequency, and have been witnessed by many, oftentimes by unbelievers as well as those believing them. They generally, but not always, occur in the midst of earnest seasons of religious interest while the Spirit of God is specially present. .
"The time Mrs. White is in this condition has varied from fifteen minutes to one hundred and eighty. During this time the heart and pulse continue to beat, the eyes are always wide open, and seem to be gazing at some far-distant object, and are never fixed on any person or thing in the room. They are always directed upward. They exhibit a pleasant expression. There is no ghastly look or any resemblance of fainting. The brightest light may be suddenly brought near her eyes, or feints made as if to thrust something into the eye, and there is never the slightest wink or change in expression on that account; and it is sometimes hours and even days after she comes out of this condition before she recovers her natural sight. She says it seems to her that she comes back into a dark world, yet her eyesight is in nowise injured by her visions.
“While she is in vision, her breathing entirely ceases. No breath ever escapes her nostrils or lips when in this condition. This has been proved by many witnesses, among them physicians of skill, and themselves unbelievers in the visions, on some occasions being appointed by a public congregation for the purpose. It has been proved many times by tightly holding the nostrils and mouth with the hand, and by putting a looking glass before them so close that any escape of the moisture of the breath would be detected. In this condition she often speaks words and short sentences, yet not the slightest breath escapes. When she goes into this condition, there is no appearance of swooning or faintness, her face retains its natural color, and the blood circulates as usual. Often she loses her strength temporarily and reclines or sits; but at other times she stands up. She moves her arms gracefully, and often her face is lighted up with radiance as though the glory of heaven rested upon her. She is utterly unconscious of everything going on around her while she is in vision, having no knowledge whatever, of what is said and done in her presence. Persons may pinch her flesh, and do things, which would cause great and sudden pain in her ordinary condition, and she will not notice it by the slightest tremor.
"There are none of the disgusting grimaces or contortions which usually attend spiritualist mediums, but calm, dignified, and impressive, her very appearance strikes the beholder with reverence and solemnity. There is nothing fanatical in her appearance. When she comes out of this condition she speaks and writes from time to time what she has seen while in vision; and the supernatural character of these visions is seen even more clearly in what she thus reveals than in her appearance and condition while in vision, for many things have thus been related which it was impossible for her to know in any other way.
"Peculiar circumstances in the lives of individuals, whom she never before had seen in the flesh, and secrets hidden from the nearest acquaintances have been made known by her when she had no personal knowledge of the parties other than by vision. Often has she been in an audience where she was wholly unacquainted with the individuals composing it, when she would get up and point out person after person whom she never had seen before, in the flesh, and tell them what they had done, and reprove their sins. I might mention many other items of like nature, but space forbids. These things can be proved by any amount of testimony, and we confidently affirm that they are of such a character that they could not be accomplished by deception." George I. Butler, in "Review and Herald," June 9, 1874.
Over the years, many physicians carefully examined her while in vision. One was Dr. Brown of Parkville, Michigan, a medical doctor who was also a practicing spiritualist. Hearing of her visions, he declared confidently that they were from spiritualism and that if he could examine her while in vision he would be able to prove it—for he would quickly get in contact with the “floating spirit" guiding her, and then directly control her himself.
Soon he had the opportunity. On January 12, 1861, Ellen spoke at a meeting in Parkville. As it was concluding, she was taken off in vision. Those present mentioned Dr. Brown, so he was asked to come and examine her. J.N. Loughborough, a witness who was present, wrote down afterward what happened:
"Before he had half completed his examination, he [Dr. Brown] turned deathly pale, and shook like an aspen leaf. Elder White said, 'Will the doctor report her condition?' He replied, 'She does not breathe,' and rapidly made his way to the door. Those at the door who knew of his boasting, said, 'Go back, and do as you said you would; bring that woman out of the vision.' In great agitation he grasped the knob of the door, but was not permitted to open it until inquiry was made by those near the door, 'Doctor, what is it?' He replied ‘God only knows; let me out of this house!' " Statement by J.N. Loughborough.
Merritt G; Kellogg, M.D., mentions a similar experience that took place in Tyrone, Michigan on May 29,1853:
"Sister White was in vision about twenty minutes or half an hour. As she went into vision every one present seemed to feel the power and presence of God, and some of us did indeed feel the Spirit of God resting upon us mightily. We were engaged in prayer and social meeting Sabbath morning at about nine o'clock. Brother White, my father, and Sister White had prayed, and I was praying at the time. There had been no excitement, no demonstrations. We did plead earnestly with God, however, that He would bless the meeting with His presence, and that He would bless the work in Michigan. As Sister White gave that triumphant shout of 'Glory! g-l-o-r-y! g-l-o-r-y!' which you have heard her give so often as she goes into vision, Brother White arose and informed the audience that his wife was in vision.. After stating the manner of her visions, and that she did not breathe while in vision, he invited anyone who wished to do so to come forward and examine her. Dr. Drummond, a physician ..who (before he saw her in vision) had declared her visions to be of mesmeric [hypnotic] origin, and that he could give her a vision, stepped forward, and after a thorough examination; turned very pale, and remarked, 'She doesn't breathe!'
"I am quite certain that she did not breathe at that time while in vision, nor in any of several others which she has had when I was present. The coming out of the vision was as marked as her going into it. The first indication we had that the vision was ended, was in her again beginning to breathe. She drew her first breath deep, long, and full, in a manner showing that her lungs had been entirely empty of air. After drawing the first breath, several minutes passed before she drew the second, which filled the lungs precisely as did the first; then a pause of two minutes, and a third inhalation, after which the breathing became normal." M. G. Kellogg, M.D., Statement dated December 28, 1890 at Battle Creek, Michigan.
Commenting on her visions, her husband, James White, said this:
"..On coming out of vision, whether in the daytime or a well-lighted room at night, all is total darkness [for her]. Her power to distinguish even the most brilliant objects, held within a few inches of the eyes, returns but gradually ..She has probably had, during the past twenty-three years, between one and two hundred visions. These have been given under almost every variety of circumstances, yet maintaining a wonderful similarity." James White, Life Incidents, page 272, 1868. .
The experience of having a vision never weakened or debilitated Ellen. Instead, each one was usually followed by increased natural strength and improved health.
On several occasions, while in vision, Ellen held a Bible on her hand, while her arm was outstretched—straight out—from her body. Twice, in vision, she held large open Bibles for long periods outstretched in one hand.
"One experience. . carries us back to the early part of the year 1845, and had to do with the large Harmon family Bible weighing 18% pounds. One morning at her own home in Portland, Maine, while in vision, Ellen Harmon stepped over to a bureau upon which rested the large volume, picked it up, placed it on her left hand, and then, extending it at arm's length, held the closed book with ease for half an hour. During the vision, in short exclamations, she referred to the value of the Word of God..
"Under ordinary circumstances she was unable to pick up this book, for she was in frail health and at that time weighed only eighty pounds. She was in no way fatigued by this experience."—Spirit of Prophecy Treasure Chest, page 23.
The above-mentioned Bible is stored in Washington D.C. The present writer personally met the only individual who has, since that time, held that same Bible outstretched in his hand over ten minutes. He was a former weightlifting champion. As I recall, his record was 13 minutes. This was back in the 1950s.
At the Sabbath Conferences, held in New England in 1848, major doctrinal studies were carried on by a number of faithful Christians. At these meetings, Ellen was taken off in vision, whenever the group was hopelessly locked in their discussions, and given the solution to the problem. But on one occasion that summer, they finally came to the point where it seemed personalities and views clashed so decidedly that any further advance was totally impossible. Alexander Ross, who was present at this particular meeting later related the incident on January 4, 1884. Here is his statement:
"Sister White, while in vision, arose to her feet and took the family Bible upon her left hand; the book was one of ordinary size. While holding it open, high up, without looking toward it, with her right hand she would turn from text to text, and placing her finger on the scripture, would repeat the same. I looked at many of the texts to see if she was repeating the one to which she pointed. Myself or some of the company looked at them all. In every case she not only repeated the text to which, she pointed, but she did so while her eyes were looking upward and in an opposite direction from the Bible. It was these scriptures which she repeated that overthrew the false theories. . at Volney [New York], in August, 1848, and caused us to unite upon the truth." Spirit of Prophecy Treasure Chest, page 122.
In the following quoted statement, Arthur L. White describes the manner in which the information that Ellen received in vision was written down:
"1. Visions given in public and accompanied by marked physical phenomena. 2. Visions given during a period of prayer or writing, unaccompanied by physical phenomena. 3. Visions given during the quiet hours of the night, often referred to as 'prophetic dreams.'
“ 'It has been supposed by some that in Mrs. White's experiences she wrote while in vision,' he pointed out, 'but this is not true. Some have concluded that when she wrote she was recording words which she heard repeated to her by an angel. This, too, is erroneous, except in rare instances when short, direct quotations are given of what the attending angel said.
Some have been of the opinion that there was a mechanical force which guided the pen which she held in her hand. Such a view is also entirely out of harmony with the facts.
“ 'The revelation consisted of the enlightening of the mind, and then, when not in vision, it was the task of the prophet—with the aid of the Spirit of God, of course—to pass on to others instruction, admonition and information of a divine origin which she had received. A wide range of subjects was covered in the visions."
" 'At times, the events of the past, the present and the future were opened up to Ellen White in a most dramatic way, . giving her the impression that she was actually witnessing in rapid succession a vivid reenactment of the scenes of history.' Prophet of Destiny, pages 73-74.
D.T. Bourdeau settled the matter in his own mind in a very direct and definite way. The following incident took place at Buck's Bridge, New York, in 1857 while Ellen was in vision:
"June 28, 1857, I saw Sister Ellen G. White in vision for the first time. I was an unbeliever in the visions; but one circumstance among others that I might mention convinced me that her visions were of God:, To satisfy my mind as to whether she breathed or not [while in vision] , I first put my hand on her chest sufficiently long to know that there was no more heavings of the lungs than there would have been had she been a corpse. I then took my hand and placed it over her mouth, pinching her nostrils between my thumb and forefinger, so that it was impossible for her to exhale or inhale air, even if she had desired to do so..I held her thus with my hand about ten minutes, long enough for her to suffocate under ordinary circumstances; she was not in the least affected by this ordeal. Since witnessing this wonderful phenomenon, I have not once been inclined to doubt the divine origin of her visions." Statement by D.T. Bourdeau, Battle Creek, Michigan, dated February 4, 1891.
While in vision, Ellen White was given solutions to immediate problems, a knowledge of recent events, as well as views of, things that ranged far into the future. "As inquiries are frequently made as to my state in vision, and after I come out, I would say that when the Lord sees fit to give a vision, I am taken into the presence of Jesus and angels, and am entirely lost to earthly things. I can see no farther than the angel directs me. My attention is often directed to scenes transpiring upon earth. At times I am carried far ahead into the future and shown what is to take place. Then again I am shown things as they have occurred in the past. After I come out of vision I do not at once remember all that I have seen, and the matter is not so clear before me until I write, then the scene rises before me as was presented in vision, and I can write with freedom. Sometimes the things which I have seen are hid from me after I come out of vision, and I cannot call them to mind until I am brought before a company where that vision applies, then the things which I have seen come to my mind with force." Spiritual Gifts, Volume 2, pages 292-293. 1860.
W. C. White, one of her sons, tells of a vision she had while in group prayer in a Minnesota meeting in the summer of 1870. Praying earnestly for guidance in regard to certain problems, she suddenly paused in her prayer for about thirty to forty-five seconds, and then broke out into a triumphant conclusion to that prayer,—thanking God for answers He had just given. She had been taken into vision and had been shown what needed to be done. As soon as the meeting was concluded, she and her husband went to the nearby home of a friend and there she remained for about two weeks, during which time she wrote out the information given her in that brief vision.
Later we will learn of her important health vision of 1863, in Otsego, Michigan, which lasted forty-five minutes, yet provided her with the subject matter for a number of major books on health, medicine and temperance. And we shall consider her twohour vision at Lovett's Grove, Ohio, in 1858, that opened to her view the history of uncharted centuries, from before the fall of Lucifer, down to the final end of sin, and beyond.
The gift of prophecy will remain in the church till the end of time—Ephesians 4:7-16.
Paul compares the church to the body; the various parts being parts of the body. —1 Corinthians 12:1-17,28.
Prophets are the eyes of the church—1 Samuel 11:9 (compare Luke 11:34; Proverbs 29:18).
Peter promised prophets in the last days—Acts 2:17-18.
The warning Christ gave against false prophets proves there are true ones. There is no counterfeit without a genuine—Matthew 7:15.
The following scriptures indicate that God's law and God's prophets are always found together. If His people do not obey His law, then they will not have the guidance of His prophet—Lamentations 2:9; Ezekiel 7:26; 20:3,12,13-16; Jeremiah 26:4-6; Proverbs 29:18; Revelation 12:17.
The true church just before Jesus returns will have the gift of prophecy, because it keeps the commandments of God—Revelation 12:17; 19:10.
We are commanded not to despise prophets—1 Thessalonians 5:20-21.
We must test them by the Word of God—Isaiah 8:20.
In vision, a prophet has no breath (Daniel 10:17), can speak (Daniel 10:16), keeps his eyes open (Numbers 24:16), and is unconscious of his surroundings (2 Corinthians 12:2,4).
Both men and women have received this gift—the gift of prophecy. Here are some of the women prophets that are mentioned in the Bible: Miriam—Exodus 15:20; Deborah—Judges 4:4: Huldah—2 Kings 22:14; Anna—Luke 2:36; The daughters of Philip—Acts 21:9.
The abiding gift of prophecy provides needed counsel and guidance before a crisis: Noah—Genesis 6:9-17; Moses—Exodus 3:4-12; 4:10-16; Deuteronomy 34:10-12; Elijah—1 Kings 17:1; 18:20-41; 2 Kings 2:11-13; John the Baptist—Mark 1:2-5; Luke 7:28. Look for it among the remnant—Revelation 12:17; 19:10; Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 11:10-12.
It may be given to the weakest of the weak—1 Corinthians 1:27-29.
This gift helps us in several ways—2 Peter 1:19; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Ephesians 4:12-16; 1 Corinthians 14:3-4.
To refuse a true prophet is to Fail to prosper—2 Chronicles 20:20.
A true prophet will: Speak in harmony with the Bible—Isaiah 8:20; Deuteronomy 13:1-3. Exalt Christ and not self—2 Corinthians 10:5; Jeremiah 1:4-9. Will reprove men of sin—Ezekiel 3:17-19. Will emphasize necessity of Jesus in the heart—1 John 4:1-3.
Their lives will be above reproach—Matthew 7:15-20. Their predictions will come to pass—Deuteronomy 18:21-22; Jeremiah 28:9. Will confess that Jesus is come in the flesh—1 John 4:2-6. Will have visions and dreams—Numbers 12:6. Will be known by their fruits—Matthew 7:15-20.