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Prophetic Ministry: an interview with John Paul Jackson

 

 

Do you think that the Christian church as a whole is becoming more receptive to prophetic ministry?

Yes, I do believe that is happening. I say that for several reasons, four of which I’d like to address here. The first is obvious to me personally—I am speaking in many more denominational settings. Ten years ago, theological boundaries would have precluded most from speaking on the topic of prophetic ministry, but this year alone, I will be speaking in Baptist, Nazarene, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, Episcopal and Church of Christ churches or conferences, in addition to Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.

Second, the interest level on this topic is no longer superficial. Pastors are admitting that they themselves have had a variety of supernatural spiritual experiences. As a consequence, they are asking some tough and probing theological questions. With these questions comes a heightening demand for intellectual integrity and consistency between recognizing that the Holy Spirit’s gifts are available today and applying that belief to current church life. In other words, if it is for today, how is it meant to function in order to aid the church?

The journey to discovering true, genuine and honorable prophetic ministry is a journey that will take you right into the center of God’s being.

Third, in many circles, there is an emerging understanding of the “Spirit and the Word.” Comprehensive teachings have developed that logically link the manifestation with scriptural evidence, so the chasm between a seeming lack of intellectualism on one hand and spiritual manifestations on the other is closing. Pastors are now seeing more clearly what the very intelligent Apostle Paul meant when he reminded the Corinthian church that he did not come with convincing words of men but in the demonstration of God’s power.

Finally, there is the newfound recognition that three separate issues have to be addressed in any gift, especially the prophetic gift. I call these the Three Pillars of Prophetic Ministry: the prophet and the man, the prophet and the gift and the prophet and the church.

God values one’s character more than one’s gift.

The prophet and the man concerns matters of integrity and character. Here we find that God values one’s character more than one’s gift. The gift will lessen or even disappear in crisis, but character is clearly seen in difficult times. There have been too many Samsons in prophetic ministry—those with great and even stunning gifts, but very little character—and it cost them their ministries and in some cases their lives.

The prophet and the gift espouses that gifting is not instantaneous. People do not stand before world leaders the day after their gifts are bestowed. Moses waited 40 years; Samuel waited 25 years; and even Jeremiah, who the Lord said was not too young, waited 17 years before his first prophetic utterance. During the interval between the gifting and the releasing, the gift must be studied. Biblical, spiritual knowledge must be gained to help lay the foundation for any future task the Lord might give. The novice must learn the difference between the gift of prophecy and the gift of being a prophet, as well as the differences between a trance and a visitation, a dream and a vision, a translation and a transportation. All these things are described in Scripture and happened in Scripture—what if they happened again?

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Category: Fall 2007, Spirit

About the Author: John Paul Jackson went home to be with the Lord on February 18, 2015, after helping people discover and develop their spiritual gifts for more than a quarter of a century. He directly impacted the lives of millions of people around the world with his best-selling books and audio resources, public speaking engagements and television appearances. He was the founder of Streams Ministries International. Some of his books include Needless Casualties of War (Streams Publishing, 1999), Breaking Free of Rejection (Streams Publishing, 2004), and The Art of Praying Scriptures: A Fresh Look at the Lectio Divina (Streams Creative House, 2014). Daystar TV program: Dreams & Mysteries with John Paul Jackson. Twitter: @JohnPaulJackson. Facebook.

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