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In Acts 2, during the Sermon at Pentecost, Peter reminded his astonished Jewish audience about the well-known prophecy uttered by the prophet Joel:

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17     “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
          that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
          and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
            and your young men shall see visions,
            and your old men shall dream dreams;
18     even on my male servants and female servants
            in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

Many believe that we are currently in the end times, and that Joel 2:28-32's prophecy is especially true today. In fact, testimonies of people claiming to have received rapture dreams, visions or end times prophetic revelations from God abound in the internet. Just to give you an idea, there are several YouTube channels whose primary purpose is searching, collecting and reuploading other people's testimonial videos about prophetic dreams and visions: example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5. You may also try this search to find more testimonies that people keep uploading all the time.

That said, it is difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake cases. It's not always easy to tell whether someone is sharing a genuine experience or if they are simply making stuff up motivated by a craving for attention or revenue.

Question: Are there any documented cases of people receiving prophetic revelations, dreams or visions in modern times (1900 to the present), which are endorsed by a denomination that considers them credible, reliable and divinely inspired? How do such denominations verify the genuineness or falsity of a given prophecy, dream or vision?

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The Bible speaks plainly about how to “validate” a genuine prophecy, dream or vision. First, it must come to pass, but also, it must not promote false worship or detract from the word of God:

If a prophet or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods”... that prophet or dreamer must be put to death because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God... (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).

Here is an example of a modern-day vision or prophecy that does not break that rule.

In 1968 an old woman age 90, from Valdres in Norway, had a vision from God. A respected evangelist called Emanuel Minos spoke with this woman and wrote down what she described. He thought it was so preposterous that he put the document in a drawer and left it there for 30 years. Then he realised he had to share her vision with others. The woman from Valdres was a very alert, reliable, awake and credible Christian, with a good reputation among all who knew her. Remember, it was sometime around 1998 when this document came to light. This is part of what she saw:

I saw the time just before the coming of Jesus and the outbreak of the Third World War. I saw the events with my natural eyes. I saw the world like a kind of a globe and saw Europe, land by land. I saw Scandinavia. I saw Norway. I saw certain things that would take place just before the return of Jesus, and just before the last calamity happens, a calamity the likes of which we have never before experienced.

  1. There will be peace between the super powers in the east and the west, and there will be a long peace. (Remember, this was in 1968 when the cold war was at its peak with the Cuban Crisis in 1962)
  1. A lukewarmness without parallel will take hold of the Christians, a falling away from true, living Christianity. Christians will not be open for penetrating preaching. They will not, like in earlier times, want to hear of sin and grace, law and gospel, repentance and restoration. There will come a substitute instead: prosperity (happiness) Christianity... Churches and prayer houses will be emptier and emptier.
  1. There will be a moral disintegration that old Norway has never experienced the likes of. People will live together like married without being married... TV will be filled with such horrible violence. People will use it for entertainment. We will see terrible scenes of murder and destruction one of the other, and this will spread in society. Sex scenes will also be shown on the screen, the most intimate things that take place in a marriage. (TV had just arrived in Norway in 1968)
  1. People from poor countries will stream to Europe. (In 1968 there was no such thing as immigration) There will be so many of them that people will begin to dislike them and become hard with them. They will be treated like the Jews before the Second World War. Then the full measure of our sins will have been reached. I will not see it, but you will. Then suddenly, Jesus will come and the Third World War breaks out. It will be a short war.

She concluded:

I am so glad that I will not see it, but when the time draws near, you must take courage and tell this. I have received it from God, and nothing of it goes against what the Bible tells. The one who has his sins forgiven and has Jesus as Saviour and Lord is safe. (Translated from German into English in an article in the magazine “Christian Information Service”) http://www.inthebeginning.com/articles/norway1968.htm

Were these prophetic visions fulfilled? Remember, this old lady from Norway had this vision in 1968.

Peace between the superpowers in the East and in the West: The “cold war” period is generally considered to span the 1947 Truman Doctrine (12 March 1947) to the 1991 Dissolution of the Soviet Union (26 December 1991). The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 sparked genuine fear that it would result in a nuclear war between America and Russia. Then, in November 1989, the unimaginable happened – the Berlin Wall came down, resulting in a distinct thaw between the east and west. On 3 December 1989, Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush declared the Cold War over at the Malta Summit. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War#Thaw_in_relations

Churches closing and the rise of the “Prosperity Gospel” – health and wealth style Christianity: A 2015 analysis of the European Values Study in the Handbook of Children and Youth Studies identified a "dramatic decline" in religious affiliation across Europe from 1981 to 2008 – however, this Wikipedia article does not focus on specifics such as number of churches that have closed in Scandinavia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_Christianity_in_various_countries

The view that many churches have closed in Europe since 1968 is probably supported by documented evidence, but I can’t find anything specific. That church attendance has dropped due to apathy is also fairly obvious but difficult to quantify. Pew Forum organisation is probably the best source: https://www.pewforum.org/2018/05/29/being-christian-in-western-europe/

Many healing evangelists of the 1940s and 1950s taught that faith could bring financial reward. Then a new prosperity-oriented teaching developed in the 1970s that differed from the one taught by Pentecostal evangelists of the 1950s. During the 1960s, prosperity gospel teachers embraced televangelism and came to dominate religious programming in the United States. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology#Televangelism

Moral disintegration and an increase in violence – proliferation of sexually explicit and violent television programmes: In 1968 the number of television channels was quite low compared to the hundreds of channels now available. Scenes of violent or sexual conduct were heavily censored. Today, not only do television, video and films exploit both violence and sex, the world wide web has a deeply dark and sinister side. Why, even “social media” is being used to pervert children. Media is saturated with scenes of immorality and violence – and it’s all taken for granted, as being an acceptable form of entertainment. Evidence can be found by turning on your television.

Mass immigration from people in poor countries into Europe: Causes for the displacement of people include natural disasters, conflict and economic poverty due to climate change. The number of unofficial border crossings by sea and land detected by Frontex at the external borders of the EU peaked at a total of 141,051 in 2011. The migrant crisis was part of a pattern of increased forced migration to Europe from other continents which is said to have begun in 2014. At the peak of the crisis in 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) observed that the top three nationalities among over one million refugees arriving from the Mediterranean Sea were Syrian (46.7%), Afghan (20.9%) and Iraqi (9.4%). According to the UNHCR, the EU countries with the biggest numbers of recognised refugees at the end of 2014 were France (252,264), Germany (216,973), Sweden (142,207) and the United Kingdom (117,161). Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_migrant_crisis

I do not know which particular denomination this lady may have belonged to, only that she was a Christian. In order to validate what she described, one only has to consult recent history.

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Yes, there are, and many books have been written about such modern-day prophecies, dreams or visions. But a difficulty is in stating specific denominations that endorse individual ones. There are a lot of para-church Protestant groups that support various denominations (not just one, but many) and will endorse or applaud those reported from other denominations. However, I have isolated two such examples endorsed by the group who printed their respective journals.

The Acid Cloud, a Vision – Richard Smith This vision emerged with an unusually vivid degree of clarity on Thursday morning the 29th September 1994, just before I was about to go out and do some studying. Following a period of pouring out my distressed feelings about the condition of the Church to Jesus, I saw ahead of me a large billowing black cloud which carried lots of soot and other pollutants. Its sulphurous stench revealed that here was no natural cloud, but rather it was the type of acid cloud which arises from the explosion of some chemical plant or oil installation. Blown by its own momentum, the acid cloud was rapidly heading towards a low waterless desert plain which lay beneath some rocky mountains. Filling the plain were all types of people, whom I understood represented the Christian population of England…”

This article takes two A4 pages so I will just summarise now. The four groups of people stood for the intoxicated (closest to the cloud); then the fearful, then the angry, and at the back a smaller group who were the prepared.

Group 1 were laughing, dancing and singing, some lying prostrate while making animal noises. A conga-type line of them made their way into the cloud, not realising the spiritual danger they’d been sucked into.

Group 2 panicked in the face of the evil that was symbolised by the cloud.

Group 3 were angry at the menace of the cloud, shaking their fists, shouting, and vainly trying to fight the cloud in their own strength.

As those three groups were successively ‘eaten-up’ by the cloud, there would be silence, followed by ear-piercing howls of pain, silence, then moans and groans.

But the 4th group prepared themselves with anti-chemical suits, gas masks, safety helmets with lamps on. A bright red spot was above the lamps. Strapped to their sides were first-aid cases with red crosses on them. They carried transparent riot shields and weapons to fight the various principalities hidden in the cloud, while rescuing people. At God’s timing, they formed a line, linked shields, and marched into the cloud, ready to work very closely together.

The writer then applied 1 John 4:1-3 (to test the spirits). He was given to understand that the cloud covered much more than “the Toronto” phenomena which was but a beginning. Also, although many of the people were mainly from the charismatic / evangelical group, many clergymen in long robes, and with self-important looks on their faces, were included. Far more detail was provided but in summary, he was seeing that God’s judgement would pass over the church, to remove the evil within it. He concluded:

“This means that taken as a whole, the Toronto phenomenon does not represent a time of refreshing, rather it represents what is perhaps the first instalment of a VERY severe judgement on the churches in this country.” [Author’s emphasis. He is part of Integrity Teaching Services, of Leeds, which provides a Bible-based teaching service… by invitation to various groups and churches (which is what I mean by a para-Church support group, not a particular denomination).] Mainstream magazine, pp 7-8, 1994 Winter, Banner Ministries

Another magazine I have is called Prophecy Today, with an article by Clifford Hill detailing a vision he had of sheep in a field, just a few days before he first heard of the Toronto phenomenon. He believes it was given to him as a parable to warn of a great division coming upon the church – one which would bring much confusion and suffering among the flock. However, he is still a supporter in large measure of such charismatic events/groups, despite saying in that article that leaders like Benny Hinn use a method remarkably similar to the Hindu practice of using group laughter as a means of control to bring worshippers under the power of the guru. See Vol. 10 No. 5, September/October 1994, pp 10-13

Please let me add my disclaimer to such visions that are claimed to be prophetic – just because I report two of them does not mean to say I support the groups or individuals endorsing them. I have my own thoughts on their significance, more than quarter of a century later, for hindsight is a wonderful instructor, when viewed from a dispassionate stance. I say nothing about Joel 2 here.

In conclusion, an American Christian author e-mailed me on 20 April 2021, requesting prayer for the following:

“I’m privileged to be participating in a seriously ongoing behind-the-scenes conversation with several other ministers to understand how to biblically think about and address concerns many have within the prophetic movement, particularly the gross errors and false prophecies that have been coming out of the movement for many years and seem to be reaching a dangerous tipping point in recent times. This is both a learning curve and a sharing-of-wisdom moment.” [private e-mail]

Enough said.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in modern revelation; the church sustains its leaders (the First Presidency & the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) as prophets, seers, and revelators; many examples from their actions & teachings have been taken by church members as inspired. I'll cite 2 prominent examples.

Major reorganization prior to the pandemic

  • A complete overhaul of church curriculum & classes to focus on home-centered, church-supported learning
  • Modifying service organizations (High Priests Group & Elders Quorum) to streamline their work
  • Changing the home teaching program to the ministering program, in which the requirement to visit each member's home monthly was removed
  • Reducing church meetings by ~33%

Note that all of these changes were made in 2018.

Vision of the Spirit World

I'll cite an older example (from 1918 so it's still in scope!) because it is so well-documented.

Then church president Joseph F. Smith (not the church's founder, but his nephew), spoke in a general conference of the church and indicated that he had received a vision of the spirit world, and many details of the afterlife had been revealed to him. His teachings based upon this vision are now part of the church's canonized scripture in Doctrine & Covenants section 138 -- a written account of his vision is available here.

Why are they trusted

Latter-day Saints believe in a living prophet who is as much an authorized representative of God as was Moses. Latter-day Saints are not expected to blindly trust in their leaders, but are asked to gain their own divine witness of the truth of the principles taught in the church. Millions attest that they have done so.

My own thoughts on coming to know truth for oneself are described in the latter half of this video.

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Have any children testified of receiving divinely inspired prophetic revelations, dreams or visions in modern times (i.e. 1900 - present)?

(This post was make prior to the many changes to the original question as was first published, so please keep that I mind, when reading this response.)

The youngest person I can think of is Ellen Organ also known as Little Nellie of Holy God.

Ellen Organ (August 24, 1903 – February 2, 1908), known as Little Nellie of Holy God, was an Irish child, venerated by some in the Roman Catholic Church for her precocious spiritual awareness and alleged mystical life. Particularly dedicated to the Eucharist, the story of her life inspired Pope Pius X to admit young children to Holy Communion. In 1910, Pope Pius X issued the decree Quam singulari, which lowered the age of Holy Communion for children from 12 years to around 7.

Photograph of Ellen Organ, aged 4 c. 1907

Photograph of Ellen Organ, aged 4 c. 1907.

Even though she died over 100 years ago Ellen Organ, best known as Little Nellie of Holy God, continues to inspire devotion among a significant number of people in both Ireland and abroad, with a growing number calling for her to be made a saint.

The four-year old also called the chapel on the convent grounds ‘the Holy House of God’ and referred to God as ‘Holy God’. When she first heard about the Passion of Christ, it said that she burst into tears. Little Nellie also claimed to have visions, one of which she saw Christ as a child and the Virgin Mary and on several occasions said she saw the Infant of Prague dancing for her. - Little Nellie… continuing to inspire devotion for more than a 100 years

Addendum: Little Nellie was deemed to have reached the age of reason at an exceptionally young age!

According to the rules of the Roman Catholic Church no child could receive Communion before a certain age. A four-year-old child was thought to be at least six years too young. The sisters spoke with a Jesuit priest who ministered to the community, and while he was hesitant, he decided to come to speak to the child. After spending some time with her he came to the conclusion that she had reached the age of reason, albeit at an extraordinarily young age. He brought the matter to the bishop's attention who, after thinking about it for a short while, consented, and Ellen Organ made her First Communion on December 6, 1907. - Ellen Organ

If one desires an example of children somewhat older, then may I suggest the Children of Fatima: Lúcia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos, along with Francisco de Jesus Marto (11 June 1908 – 4 April 1919) and Jacinta de Jesus Marto (5 March 19101 2– 20 February 1920).

From left to right: Jacinta Marto, Lúcia dos Santos and Francisco Marto, holding their rosaries in 1917

From left to right: Jacinta Marto, Lúcia dos Santos and Francisco Marto, holding their rosaries in 1917.

The brother and sister, who tended to their families’ sheep with their cousin Lúcia in the fields of Fátima, Portugal, reported seeing several apparitions of an angel in 1916. Lúcia later recorded the words of several prayers she said they learned from this angel.

Sister Lúcia wrote in her memoirs that she and her cousins saw the first apparition of Mary on 13 May 1917. At the time of the apparition, Francisco was 8 years old, and Jacinta was 7.

During the first apparition, the children said Mary asked them to pray the Rosary and to make sacrifices, offering them for the conversion of sinners. She also asked them to return to that spot on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months. - Francisco and Jacinta Marto

In 1917, at Fátima, Mary foretold to these children the arrival of World War II. A prophecy that obviously has been fulfilled.

You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pope Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. - Second secret

The night of an unknown light occurred on January 25-26, 1938.

“The blood-red sky lasted for many hours, and was seen around half of the world at the same vivid intensity. Lucy and the Sisters watched the pulsating, violently hued inferno from Tuy. Of all the descriptions of that night, the most precise one had been prophesied over 20 years ago by the beautiful Lady at Cova da Iria. A ‘night illumined by an unknown light’, the Virgin told Lucy, would be ‘the great sign given by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and the Holy Father…’ … Within two months of the great sign, Hitler’s armies invaded Austria. As the Blessed Virgin had prophesied, the Second World War began ‘in the reign of Pius XI’.”

Also, during the same night of January 25-26, 1938,

“in Moscow’s Lubianka prison a man by the name of Kristian Rakovsky was being interrogated by Josef Stalin’s chief interrogator. During the interrogation Rakovsky revealed Germany’s plan to dominate Europe. He proposed that the Soviet Union join Germany in an invasion of Poland, which would lead to Europe’s retaliation against Germany and not the Soviet Union. According to Rakovsky’s plan, France and England would wear each other out, after which the Soviet Union would turn on Germany and collect the spoils of the war. This fateful interview began at the same time the unknown light in the sky was beginning to fade. It resulted in the Soviet Union’s instigation of and participation in the war, and Rakovsky’s plan was carried out to the great benefit of the Soviet Union. Again, this decisive step toward World War II occurred during the reign of Pope Pius XI.”

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  • "Mary foretold to these children the arrival of World War II." - Can you give more detail as to what was said? – kutschkem May 3 at 8:15

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