Part II. “The Blueprint Prophecy: Is It Really Up to Code?”
In order to interpret the blueprint prophecy accurately some more preliminary understandings are needed. First, there is nothing wrong or inherently dangerous in a Christian ministry desiring to form a mission statement. This is actually a standard practice. Certainly wise saints, graced with the sanctified common-sense of the Holy Spirit, can compose both God-honoring definitions of faith and doctrinal statements. It is reasonable to also conclude that God is ‘in’ such methods. The document in question may be a very godly standard of practice. However, attaching God’s autograph to the document creates a something that is almost inspired, but not quite. When an individual sets the framework and future of a Christian ministry organization upon a document given by God through men which is not the Scripture then we have what is known as tertium quid, a ‘third kind’.
The ‘third kind’ in this case is neither mission statement nor Scripture, however, it is in effect a blending of both in application. The first line is very telling, “God shall confirm in your spirit; and do not proceed until He does.” The confirmation for this message is to be found from God in the spirit of its readers not in the objective text of Holy Scripture. Now, if someone were to ask me if I agreed with a mission statement ‘in my spirit’ I believe I could provide a fairly honest answer. Certainly I would be more careful and reverent if asked the same about Scripture. But, if I were asked to critique a tertium quid such as the ‘blue print prophecy’ I would definitely hesitate to offer a candid evaluation of the subject matter before examining its presuppositional underpinnings. I believe that brain must engage before the ‘spirit’ in this case.
Now a bystander might say, “Why not, are not the spirits of the prophets subject to the prophets?” “Furthermore, since all have received the spirit of prophecy are you not qualified to judge also?” My reply to such a question would be a careful analysis of the verse applied, in this case 1 Corinthians 14:32. The overarching context of this verse is Paul’s message of self-control to the gift zealous Corinthians. The immediate context of 1 Cor.14:32 deals with the ordered giving of ‘tongues’ and ‘prophecies’ preceded by a more specific list of the forms which ‘prophecy’, or ‘preaching the message of God’, took on in the various meetings (giving of psalms, teachings, revelations). Paul is telling the eager proclaimers to wait their turn. In so doing he assures them that the spirit that wants to get up and proclaim, a very real desire, is actually under their control—it is subject to them. The Greek word pneumata—the accusative of πνευμα—is also readily translated as ‘self’ or ‘disposition’. The context certainly allows that rendering in this case since Paul’s entire point is one of self-control.
This is all to say that our task as Christians, from this specific verse, is to be controlled in our preaching the message of God and especially controlled when speaking on His behalf. Paul’s teaching here is certainly not that ‘we all have the subjective ability to decide for ourselves whether a proclamation is from God or not’. How does one judge that a ‘third kind’ of directional statement has been confirmed by God other than through the Scriptures? Perhaps the framers of the blueprint prophecy presuppose this necessity. However, that presupposition, to my knowledge, has not been expressly set.
By this understanding it is safe to say that the bible is definitely from God. Any pastor will relate that a task of individual interpretation of the Bible can often be confusing enough without adding the extra burden of interpreting ‘third kinds’. The idea that each believer should individually judge a prophetic utterance according to the confirmation ‘they feel in their spirit’ is simply un-biblical. Granted, the blueprint prophecy was delivered to the leadership of IHOP prior to its wider circulation. However, to my knowledge, there has been no standard methodology revealed from IHOP for how, to what extent, and why it was edited. What criteria did they use to o.k. this ‘third kind’ of direction which falls outside of the bible. And when they posted it on their website the edited version still lacks clarity for the general reader. Why is it printed in a way similar to prophetic portions of our English literal translations with line separation and even a hanging indent? Perhaps this an accident, but it certainly is a curious one if it is.
Well, with this paltry offering, I hope to foster vibrant dialogue on these matters at the very least. I am realizing that a thorough, point-by-point, examination of the blue print prophecy will be no small work. Perhaps our readership will grant me the time needed to address its contents over a period of time. If not, then hopefully they will study this document on their own time and perhaps bring their observations to bear in a helpful way to the ongoing discussion.