I’d Like To Prophesy…But* (Part 3)

An Update Rerun Series

Click on following links for: Part 1 and Part 2.

What can we learn about the use of prophetic gifts from Jim Jones’ life?

For clarification, I see Jim Jones as a deceived Christian believer, not as an atheist as many have portrayed him. This belief is supported by the small pentecostal church which he attended as a youth, the Methodist superintendent who supported his ordination, the woman who prophesied to him and William Branham. All saw him as a believer with strong prophetic gifts. (See Part 2.)

An elder must not be a new Christian, because he might be proud of being chosen so soon, and the Devil will use that pride to make him fall. (1 Timothy 3:6, NLT)

Sadly, what seems to have happened to Jones has occurred over and over again throughout church history, and furthermore, still continues today. A man was  elevated not because of his godly character, but rather because of his spiritual gifts.

We can see it in Jones’ ministry as a young child-preacher, as a nineteen year-old student pastor and as a co-minister with William Branham, he was thought of as the man. A man who spoke for God. People were in awe of his prophetic gifts.

Now, this is not meant as a blanket excuse for Jones’ errors, but it should cause us to pause for a moment, and check ourselves. Do we admire spiritual gifts more than godly character?

If so, we need to repent.

Look at the qualifications for an overseer:

An overseer, then, must be above reproach…temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money…manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity…not a new convert…a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

In other words, an overseer is required to have a godly character. Did you notice that there is no mention of spiritual gifts as a requirement for being an overseer?

And by the way, what are the qualifications for the spiritual gifts to flow in a believer’s life?

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:11)

The spiritual gifts are given to us believers by grace, and therefore, are not dependent on our works or character. It is His decision, not ours.

Jim Jones’ life and ministry illustrates an extreme example of how not to walk in the prophetic gifts. But what is the right way?

(Continued in Part 4)

14 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

14 responses to “I’d Like To Prophesy…But* (Part 3)

  1. Such an important teaching. Gifts are awesome, but not as awesome as submitting to God’s Word or submitting to others in love.

  2. Solveig,

    Good points. The gifts are needed, but not as a replacement for godliness.

  3. Amen Brother, very good and timely message. Look forward to part 4

  4. Gods gifts are given without repentance, but it’s our free choice to decide whether to honor God with them or not! I’ve heard it said that big demons guard big treasures, but praise God that greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world!

  5. blesseddad and altonwoods,

    Thanks. The Church needs the gifts, but we need mature Christians handling them.

  6. I do agree with you, Larry. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are needful in our modern church more than even. But they need to be exercised with care especially where young believers are concerned. More over…beyond the gift…God is looking from the fruit.

    Blessings,

    Gladwell

  7. gladwell,

    Thanks. I agree with you.

  8. Pingback: The Book of Esther | Christian Chat

  9. Pingback: I’d Like To Prophesy…But* (Part 4) « Larry Who

  10. Pingback: I’d Like To Prophesy…But* (Part 5) « Larry Who

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  14. Pingback: I’d Like to Prophesy…But* (Part 9) « Larry Who

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