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The Working of the Holy Spirit: Charismatic Theology

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

The Working of the Holy Spirit: Charismatic Theology

Submitted to Dr. Lee Mitchell in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of

THEO 510
Survey of Christian Doctrine

by

Teri Washington
July 4, 2015

Table of Contents

Thesis Statement 1
The Need for the Study 1
The Procedure for the Study 1
Introduction 1
Defining Charismatic Theology 1
History of Charismatic Theology 2
Declarations 2 Baptism of the Holy Spirit 2 Speaking in Tongues 3 Gift of Healing 4 Gift of Prophecy 5 Slain in the Spirit 7
Personal Views 7 Opposing Views 9
Conclusion 10
Selected Bibliography 11

Thesis Statement Charismatic Theology gives contemporary Christians faith that they may experience declarations of the Holy Spirit in the same manner as first century Christians.
The Need for the Study There is controversy surrounding the declarations of Charismatic Theology. This research will provide ways in which Scripture is manipulated to meet ones individual needs. Biblical exegesis will be utilized to provide clarification between Scripture and its alterations.
The Procedure for the Study
Introduction
Charismatic Theology takes an in-depth look at the supernatural experiences explained in the Bible. These experiences are considered gifts that Christians receive from God. Not everyone agrees on the meanings of these references. Controversy comes into play when scripture is manipulated to meet the needs of the person reading it. A better understanding for Charismatic Theology can be gained by reviewing its history, exploring the declarations and examining the different viewpoints.
Defining Charismatic Theology
Charismatic Movement was originally defined as “the practice of spiritual gifts and the baptism in the Spirit in the older, ‘historic’ or ‘mainline’ churches.” Over the years nondenominational charismatic churches have evolved thus the way in which they are defined had to change too. Charismatic is now used “to refer to all those movements outside denominational or ‘classical’ Pentecostalism where spiritual gifts are exercised.”
History of Charismatic Theology
The history of Charismatic Theology as it relates to Pentecostals began in the early twentieth century and by 1989 grew worldwide to approximately 353 million people. “Classical Pentecostalism began on January 1, 1901 when Agnes Ozman spoke in tongues at Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas.” It spurred in 1906-07 during a Revival in Los Angeles by William Seymour and from there spread worldwide. This was termed the “first wave”.
The “second wave” was the charismatic renewal which is a more recent movement. It began in 1960 with Dennis Bennett. “Originally beginning with the Pentecostal movement, the charismatic movement broadened its boundaries to impact many Protestant and Catholic denominations. Believing the sign gifts of speaking in tongues and healing are not restricted to the apostolic age, charismatics affirm these sign gifts as valid throughout the centuries and into the present.”
The “third wave” as named by Peter Wagner is similar in belief to both the first wave (Pentecostalism) and the second wave (charismatic renewal) when it comes to the gift of healing and the gift of prophecy. However, they have some differences with it comes to some of the charismatic gifts.
Declarations
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are sometimes called pneumatikos meaning spiritual things or things pertaining to the spirit. This word explains the spiritual nature and origin of spiritual gifts. They are not natural talents but have the origin of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit is also called charisma which means grace gift. These are not natural developed abilities that one can master with much practice and but rather are gifts given by God’s grace. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.”
The gifts of the Holy Spirit can be used in two ways. “First, a spiritual gift to an individual is God’s enablement for personal spiritual service. Second, a spiritual gift to the church is a person uniquely equipped for the church’s edification and maturation.” It should be noted that one’s ability or talent and gift for doing something is not the same as possessing a gift of the Holy Spirit. A natural gift is usually one that someone is born with; whereas a spiritual gift is given by God at the moment of conversion.
Speaking in tongues is the first gift of the Holy Spirit and probably the most debatable gift that I will address. Parham developed an idea about speaking in tongues which has greatly influenced present day beliefs. “This is the new idea that baptism in the Spirit would be exclusively proved by speaking in tongues.” This idea was taken over by Bill Seymour and marks the division between “the Holiness Movement from the early Pentecostal Movement.” Like Parham, many pastors preach the evidence of the gift of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. While preaching the importance of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is important that Christians do not seek tongues but instead worship Jesus Christ and he will fill us with his Holy Spirit. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Although tongues are the most controversial of the gifts, it is lesser of the gifts. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Along with the gift of tongues is the interpretation of tongues. The gift of the interpretation of tongues was the supernatural ability for one to translate the language or unknown tongue spoken by the believer. This was done for the benefit of the people who were there and did not understand the language of the tongues. This also limited confusion around speaking in tongues in the church. Paul tells the church “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.”
The next gift is the gift of healing. The gift of healing was a supernatural gift that gave one the ability to heal or cure another person’s sickness. In the New Testament, Jesus preformed many acts of the gift of healing. These healings were instantaneous, complete, permanent, limited, unconditional, purposeful, subordinate, significant, successful and inclusive. Jesus heals a man with leprosy immediately. “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from hi, and he was cleansed.” Jesus heals completely. “And when the men of that place had knowledge of hi, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; and besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many touched were made perfectly whole.” Probably the most amazing act of the gift of healing perform by Jesus was to unbelievers who did not know Jesus much less have a relationship with him. Jesus heals a man who was born blind and whom later is questioned by the religious leaders. The religious leaders tell the blind man to give God praise for his healings. Doing this would have resulted in the blind man being put out of the synagogue. The blind man answered and said, “Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not, one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” It is important to mention that the gift of healing was not always done by the laying on of hands. This is shown when Jesus heals the woman with the issue of blood. The woman touches the hem of Jesus garment but he never touches her and she is made whole. Jesus not only heals Lazarus but he raises him from the dead. Jesus never touches Lazarus but called him forth from the grave. This displayed the inclusiveness of Jesus’ healings. Along with the gift of healing, “footwashing served as the sacramental activity by which we continue to experience God’s redemptive cleansing and healing.”
Another spiritual gift is the gift of prophecy. The meaning of prophesy is to proclaim a divine revelation, prophetically reveal what is hidden and foretell the future. “Prophecy is for the purpose of building up and strengthening people, exhorting and encouraging certain actions, and bringing consolation and comfort. Hence prophecy, as a direct word from the Lord, serves first to build up people.” It builds up and edifies the church. Paul teaches about prophecy. “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” Kenneth Hagin who is a charismatic taught that revelation continues today. He explained after he was filled with the Holy Ghost, he would know things supernaturally about people, places and things. This was not the only way that revelation of the gift of prophecy was displayed. It was also displayed through visions and dreams. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” In these scriptures, prophesy, dreams and visions are directly related to the Holy Spirit and will be given to many people, not just a select few. God’s spirit will be upon all flesh, man, woman, both young and old, boy and girl.
There are two types of visions, open and closed vision. Open vision is when one receives a vision with his or her eyes wide open. A closed vision is when one receives a picture or vision in their mind’s eye. Neither one is more powerful than the other but sometimes it is easier to understand the closed vision. The closed vision is sometimes accompanied with a picture. Like the sayings go “A picture is worth a thousand words and seeing is believing”. Sometimes visions may need interpretation and other times it may not. The Holy Spirit will give you a witness so you will know the vision is from him.
The Holy Spirit also communicates through dreams. The Bible gives many examples of people receiving dreams from the Lord. God used an angel in a dream to tell Joseph to flee to Egypt right after Jesus was born because Herod was getting ready to kill all of the first born. Another instance is when King Nebuchadnezzar was given dreams of the end of times and he needed Daniel to interpret his dreams. If a dream is really from the Lord, it will not fade away and at some time in the future the dream will present itself. There should also be a personal message in the dream for you. Like God promised Joseph that he would rule over his brothers. This dream came forth after he interpreted the king’s dream.
Slain in the Spirit is the final gift of the Holy Spirit that I will elaborate on. The term “slain in the Spirit” is used by Charismatics and the Pentecostal denominations, such as the Assemblies of God, Church of God, and Church of God in Christ to name a few. Slain in the Spirit is a claim that the Holy Spirit moves upon the person and the person is “slain". This does not mean slain as if the person dies, but slain means that the person is overcome by the presence of the Spirit he or she falls down to the ground being completely overcome. Normally a preacher or evangelist who is anointed puts his hand usually on peoples' foreheads causing them to fall down and be incapacitated for a while. They are slain in the Spirit as they are overcome by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Usually being slain in the Spirit occurs in a church service after a period of singing and preaching where the congregation has reached a spiritual emotional high. “Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” Like the gift of tongues, there is debate about whether or not being slain in the Spirit is legitimate or just a hoax.
Personal Views My personal view of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is that it happens at the time of conversion. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” I believe this to be true because Jesus told his disciples he would leave the comforter, the Holy Ghost when he leaves. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” And then Jesus tells us that we will have power: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” I believe that speaking in tongues is a sign of having the Holy Spirit; however, I do not believe that a Christian does not possess the Holy Spirit just because he or she does not speak in tongues. I personally have never spoken in tongues but have received the utterance. One reason I feel I have not spoken in tongues is because I am a member of a Baptist church where the gifts of the Spirit were never taught makes it somewhat difficult to exercise certain gifts. Because speaking in tongues was not taught or practiced in my church, the congregation have reservations about it authenticity. The other reason I have not spoken in tongues is for the fear of it not sounding like other tongues I have heard. This probably sounds somewhat silly but it is a real fear of mine. I do know that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but sometimes my flesh flares up and brings about fear. I believe and support the gift of healing and the gift of prophecy. There are many scriptures that support healing and prophecy. Looking back as far as the Old Testament, healing and prophecy was displayed. Because of Sarah’s faith, God healed her womb. She was naturally and physically unable to have children in her old age but God healed her and allowed her to conceive. Isaiah prophesizes about the coming of the Lord. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” The final experience by the Charismatics is the being slain in the Spirit. I truly believe in this and have experienced the act several times. Each time I was at church and walked up to the front of the church for prayer. Someone, usually the preacher laid his hand on my forehead and I went backwards and fell to the floor. For a period of time it was as if I was asleep but I knew that I was not actually asleep. Sometimes during this time God would speak to me and give me direction and guidance of issues that I was dealing with. I can vividly remember one instance where God told me to just “be still”. Yes, I believe in all the gifts of the Spirit. It is just unfortunate that people misuse God’s gifts and causes people to doubt their legitimacy. Opposing Views The greatest opposing views about the gifts of the Spirit is that it lacks sound Bible teaching. Many think that Pentecostals confuse baptism of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit. Some Charismatics think “modern tongues are not known to the hearers but are supranational utterances.” People that oppose prophecy say that it has ceased and it not a part of the world today. Scriptures John 1:8 and Hebrews 2”3-4 are used to support their claim. The same is the case with being slain in the Spirit. Those opposing this act of the Holy Spirit says it lack biblical support. They do not believe Christians were given the command to ask Jesus for the Holy Spirit. Even though the scripture tells us the Jesus teaches his disciples to ask for the Holy Spirit. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
Conclusion
The Charismatic Movement is a Christian theology based on embracing spiritual gifts from God. This movement evolved over three waves; first the Pentecostalism; second the Charismatic renewal and the third being a combination of the two. Throughout these waves the gifts of the Holy Spirit are manifested in various ways. Speaking in tongues, the gift of healing, the gift of prophecy, and baptism in the Holy Spirit are the five gifts that can be received. My personal views provided in this paper supports the role of each of these gifts within the Charismatic movement. The opposing views challenged their validity. In support of the personal views, biblical references were implemented to show the strength with the Charismatic movement. With many things, people justify or find ways to support what they believe in. It is imperative that we as Christians study the word of God and pray for understanding of his word.

Bibliography

Anderson, Allan Heaton. An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity. 2nd ed. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Archer, Kenneth J. "Nourishment for our Journey: The Pentecostal Via Salutis and Sacramental Ordinances." Journal of Pentecostal Theology, no. 13 (October 2004): 79-96. Religion and Philosophy Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed June 28, 2015).

Cartledge, Mark. "PRACTICAL THEOLOGY AND CHARISMATIC SPIRITUALITY: DIALECTICS IN THE SPIRIT." Journal Of Pentecostal Theology 10, no. 2 (April 2002): 93. Religion and Philosophy Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed June 7, 2015).

Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Revised ed. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2014.

Fettke, Steven M. "The Spirit of God Hovered Over the Waters: Creation, the Local Church, and the Mentally and Physically Challenged, A Call to Spirit-led Ministry." Journal Of Pentecostal Theology 17, no. 2 (April 2009): 170-182. Religion and Philosophy Collection, EBSCOhost(accessed June 7, 2015).

Foltz, Howard. "Spirit-Shaped Mission: A Holistic Charismatic Theology." Pneuma: The Journal Of The Society For Pentecostal Studies29, no. 1 (Spring2007 2007): 141-142. Religion and Philosophy Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed June 7, 2015).

Kaiser Jr., Walter C. "The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament." Evangelical Quarterly 82, no. 4 (October 2010): 308-315. Religion in Philosophy Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed June 7, 2015).

Pinnock, Clark H. Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009.

Suurmond, Jean-Jacques. Word and Spirit at Play: Towards a Charismatic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing, 1994.

Williams, J. Rodman. Renewal Theology: Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011.

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Allan Heaton Anderson, An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity, 2nd ed. (New York, Cambridge University Press, 2013), 144.
[ 2 ]. Ibid., 144.
[ 3 ]. Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Revised ed. (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2014), 679.
[ 4 ]. Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Revised ed. (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2014), 743.
[ 5 ]. Romans 12:3,6 (KJV).
[ 6 ]. Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Revised ed. (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2014), 283.
[ 7 ]. Jean-Jacques Suurmond, Word and Spirit at Play: Towards a Charismatic Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing, 1994), 5.
[ 8 ]. Acts 1:4.
[ 9 ]. 1 Corinthians 12: 28-29.
[ 10 ]. 1 Corinthians 14:5,13.
[ 11 ]. Mark 1:41-42.
[ 12 ]. Matthew 14:35-36.
[ 13 ]. John 9:25.
[ 14 ]. Kenneth J. Archer, "Nourishment For Our Journey: The Pentecostal Via Salutis And Sacramental Ordinances," Journal of Pentecostal Theology, no. 13 (2004): 92.
[ 15 ]. Williams, J. Rodman Williams, Renewal Theology: Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011).
[ 16 ]. 1 Corinthians 14:1,3
[ 17 ]. Joel 2:28-29.
[ 18 ]. John 18:3-6.
[ 19 ]. Acts 2:38.
[ 20 ]. John 14:26.
[ 21 ]. Acts 1:8.
[ 22 ]. Isaiah 7:14
[ 23 ]. Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Revised ed. (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2014), 683.
[ 24 ]. Luke 11:13

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