Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jesus Jones!

I was reminded today of the miracle performing Jim Jones who claimed to be an incarnation of Jesus.

James Warren "Jim" Jones was the founder of the Peoples Temple, which became synonymous with group suicide after the November 18, 1978 mass murder-suicide by poison in their isolated agricultural intentional community called Jonestown, located in Guyana. Over nine hundred people died from cyanide poisoning or gunshot wounds in the aftermath of Jones ordering his men to kill visiting Congressman Leo Ryan and numerous members of his entourage.

In 1 Corinthians 12.10 the apostle Paul then refers to the “ability to distinguish between spirits”. The Bible talks of other extraordinary things appearing in an alternative or even counterfeit form. For example, in Exodus we see that some of the miracles that God performed through Moses were imitated by the court magicians of Pharaoh. More explicitly, Jesus himself says, in Matthew 7:21-23 21.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ ‘And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Clearly, amazing and diabolical things can be done in Jesus’ name by people that do not even know Jesus - which is a sobering thought. And that sort of reality renders the gift of being able to “distinguish between spirits” - i.e., the ability to determine the authenticity of a particular thing - as a valuable gift for Christ to give to His church.

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