"The Gift of Prophecy" by Wayne Grudem. Context and Substantiation for Our Charismata Services
A Christian theological, scholarly publication that provides the substantiation needed to assure that Our Charismata services are indeed valid within Christian Spirituality today.
Clarification about how we are using the term "Prophecy" within Our Charismata.
All quotes, as indicated by page numbers are from this publication
The Gift of Prophecy: In the New Testament and Today. Wayne Grudem.
Crossway. 1998, 2000.
S U M M A R Y
"Respected scholar Dr. Wayne Grudem defines prophecy as neither predicting the future nor proclaiming a word from the Lord, but as reporting something that God spontaneously brings to mind. A balanced scriptural approach based on careful and comprehensive exegesis of 1 Corinthians and Ephesians 2, this study suggests how the body of Christ may enjoy one of the Holy Spirit's most edifying gifts without compromising the supremacy of Scripture."
A R R I V A L !
I feel comfortable with the following (below) to describe my services here, and I also feel that the description effortlessly flows through the historical and present day lineage of Christian Spirituality.
As an "ordinary congregational disciple who prophesies by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, without absolute divine authority," any 'inspired messages' that I, Anne Marie, provide are on the basis of 'revelations' imparted to me by the Holy Spirit." 114
I seek no "divine authority" over Scripture, ever. You will never hear me say, "Thus says the Lord." I openly acknowledge that the services provided by Our Charismata do not supersede the Principles and teachings of any religion. The messages that are provided in sessions are not equal with Scripture, and are not meant to be. So, that is my stance, and it is r e q u i r e d to be clear about this because this is a highly controversial, misused, under-discussed, and overlooked topic among Christians, therefore putting it into a gray area of, "heresy? Is she going out of bounds? Is this 'Christian' or witchcraft? Who does she think she is?"
It is precisely that: "Who does she think she is?" < You see, it is not me, but what the Spirit does through me, and you, and you... "I" am not an anomaly, and I see that we are all invited to take a deeper look (and with accountability) about our own relationships with the gifts of the Holy Spirit expressed through each of us. This is not to boast of ourselves, or to puff up with Spiritual pride or vanity, but exactly to magnify the power and presence, and Love, of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:31 Psalm 34:3
Kindly again, all of this is made possible, not by any special quality "I have," but purely
by g i f t : the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4-12 Isaiah 11:2-3
"...Ultimately spiritual gifts are not our presumed strengths and abilities, not something that we "have" (or even have been given), but what God does through us in spite of ourselves." 174
Our Charismata services are made possible by
"...the result of some extraordinary working of the Holy Spirit, [versus] intelligent Christian preaching." 115
"...the possession of information that could only come through a revelation...and need not rely on ordinary means of acquiring information" 115
"In fact, it is the telling of the revelation which is itself called the 'prophecy'..." 117
"Prophecy must affect the lives of the hearers in a positive way. In order to be edifying, it must suit the needs of the moment." 143
"It is important that whoever speaks a prophecy keep in mind an attitude of love that seeks the good of those listening, not the fame or reputation or prestige of the one speaking." 223
"In 1 Corinthians 12:29, 'Not all are prophets, are they?' implies that some people prophesy with enough regularity to be thought of as prophets [of the ordinary congregational apostle variety!]." 174 (parentheses mine)
"In 1 Corinthians 14:1 Paul combines seeking the gift (prophecy) with maintaining the right motive (love), [and that ] they should strive to excel in building up the church...to benefit the congregation." 178-180
"...One who prophesies (as an ordinary congregational apostle by the power of the Holy Spirit) speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation."
(1 Corinthians 14:4 parentheses mine.)
Edification: Latin aedificationem (nominative aedificatio) "construction, the process of building; a building, an edifice," in Late Latin "spiritual improvement," from past participle stem of aedificare "to build". Religious use is as translation of Greek oikodome in I Corinthians xiv.
Exhortation: from Latin exhortationem (nominative exhortatio) "an encouragement."
Consolation: consolari "offer solace, encourage, comfort, cheer."
There is right focus in Grudem's book that the Christian who prophesies is sure to "emphasize Scripture as the place where people can always go to hear the voice of the living God... 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path' (Ps. 119:105)." 226
Our Charismata services are an accompaniment not "instead of"!
A T Y O U R L E I S U R E
Continue to read further to see the progression from "Old Testament Prophet" to "an ordinary congregational disciple who prophesies by the revelation of the Holy Spirit," without absolute divine authority.
Let us examine the word prophet, with the help of Wayne Grudem, for yet more clarity about its usage today, within the context of Christianity.
More Than One Definition for Prophet.
Let us narrow it down.
An Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible Prophet
"...men in the Old Testament who spoke God's very words...with absolute divine authority. [In this context] To disbelieve or disobey anything a prophet says in God's name is to disbelieve or disobey God" (23-24 parentheses mine). ANNE MARIE IS NOT THIS.
"Prophet" in the broadest sense of the word found in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures
"Proclaimer, announcer, spokesman" (39). [Referring to general secular Greek usage.]
How amazing that it was intrinsic to the people of the cultures and time frame of the formation of the Judeo-Christian scriptures to know, by context, which definition of the word "prophet" was being used.
A D E F I N I N G M O M E N T in Christianity "The New Covenant of Jesus Christ" (38)
"In order to emphasize the difference between the New Covenant that Christ established, he [Jesus] may have deemed it appropriate to have a new name to designate the leaders of the New Covenant community, the church.
So the earthly leaders of the church are not called 'prophets of Jesus Christ.'
Rather, the distinctive change from the Old Covenant is signaled in part by a new name,
'apostles of Jesus Christ'" (40 parentheses mine). ANNE MARIE IS NOT A New Testament APOSTLE.
New Testament / Christian Bible "Apostle, apostolos"
"Those with the task of writing the very words of God in the New Testament Scripture...without seeming to conflict with any Old Testament or rabbinic expectations of a wide distribution of prophetic abilities" (41).
Greek apostolos: "someone or something that is sent" (41).
Apostle of Jesus Christ "This new title was then used throughout the New Testament of those men whom Christ sent with his authority to found and govern the church, to write for the church the words of the New Testament Scriptures" (41). ANNE MARIE IS NOT THIS.
New Testament / Christian Prophets
T w o f o r m s
with authority to add to Scripture,
and without authority to add to Scripture.
"...apostles could 'prophesy' with absolute divine authority" (47). They are also called, in Christian theology, "...apostle-prophets" (that is, the apostles who are also prophets by the Spirit)" (46). THIS IS NOT WHAT ANNE MARIE DOES.
"...ordinary congregational prophets did not have that kind of authority" (48). This is the lineage Anne Marie has vocationally been called to carry on by the power of the Holy Spirit only. As an "ordinary congregational disciple who prophesies by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, without absolute divine authority," any 'inspired messages' that I, Anne Marie, provide are on the basis of 'revelations' imparted to me by the Holy Spirit." 114
There is "a sense of awe that comes from seeing God at work at this very moment." 228