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They Will Prophesy

In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy.
-Acts 2:18

The church has the birthright to be a people who prophesy.  We are meant to be a people who forth tell the good news and foretell revelations from God.  Secrets from God, will be told by God's people, in this time.

In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God would come upon individuals, under certain conditions.  There were a few times when groups of people had the power of God come upon them and they all prophesied, and one of these instances is recorded in Numbers 11.  Joshua came to Moses in alarm and Moses made a telling remark:
"Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit upon them all!" -Numbers 11:29
This is what the prophet Joel predicted that would happen in the last days, that God would pour his spirit out on all people, who would all prophesy.  Joel saw that in the last days, God would pour his Spirit out on all and all would participate in the kinds of things that happen to a person who has had the Spirit of God poured on then, one being, prophesying.

The last days church, which began over two thousand years ago and continues until the second coming of Christ, participates in an ongoing series of outpourings of God's Spirit, for the purpose of worldwide evangelism and mission.  When the Spirit is poured out, God pours his Spirit on all types of people, and they will prophesy.

The outpouring of God's Spirit is for everyone- boys and girls, young and old, men and women, and even for servants.
The Spirit will be poured out "even" or "indeed" on servants, both male and female.  Even the lowest classes will be blessed across both genders.  Two often-ignored groups of people, servants and women, will be included... One final point is that these servants, in contrast to the previous two groups, are described as "my" (uov, mou) servants.... God highlights the special relationship he has to those who tend to be forgotten in the social scale.
-Acts, Bock 

The purpose of all the charisma, including the prophecy gift, is service (1).  All the gifts that God gives, and there are more than nine, are 'charismatic', in that they come from God.  To speak of 'charismatic' and 'non-charismatic' gifts, is not biblical; and all Christians are charismatics because we have all received the gift of the grace of salvation (2).

Prophecy from everyone to one another strengthens the whole church (1 Cor. 14:4-5).  All the people in a gathering can prophesy and minister to visitors or to those in the community (14:24), one by one (14:31).

We know that prophecy is not adding to the scriptures, but it is from God; so what is it?  Michael Green wrote:
Prophecy did not always involve prediction, although it sometimes did.  It was primarily a means of the Lord speaking directly to his people in a particular place for a particular purpose.  It was not couched in mysterious speech, like tongues, but was clearly comprehensible.  The medium of that message might be a picture or a vision.  It might be a dream.  It might be a prophetic action, as in some of the Old Testament prophecies.(1)
There is some confusion today about the gift, the calling, and the ministry of prophet.  Genuine prophetic utterances, actions, or writings are always for the ministering to, as in 'deacon-ing', people.  Prophecy is as simple as being prompted by God to tell someone that God loves them.  If God speaks to you to say that to someone, you just prophesied.  Having a detailed vision or dream about someone and then giving that to them, can also be prophetic ministry.  The purpose is to build the person up.

Some people have said that some people are called to the office of prophet, citing Ephesians chapter 4.  But the word "office" is no where in the text.  It actually says that these gifted people are gifted to equip the saints for the ministry.

We have a mistaken notion that the Ephesian 4 gifts are offices, or officials who boss us and entertain us, or whom we get ministry from.  They are supposed to be trainers who mentor the rest of us to do the ministry.  The Kingdom of God is flat.
In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy.
We are living in those days.  When I went to my first prophecy (spiritual gift of prophecy) conference in 1988, it was facilitated by an equipper who taught  on the gift and then we prayed and prophesied to one another.

When someone is very gifted in the prophecy gift, we have made the wrong assumption that the trajectory of the gift is towards a platform, with a microphone.  The New Testament model, first modeled by Jesus, is to disciple, mentor, and train; then release the person to repeat this with new people.  The original mentor then stands back and can play the role of adviser, as a parent does to an adult child who has moved out and is starting their own family.



____________________________

Darrell L. Bock, Acts
Michael Green, Thirty Years That Changed The World: The Book of Acts For Today
1. Green, p. 197
2. Green, pp. 262-3

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