The Lord gave a great promise that Peter quoted from Joel on the Day of Pentecost, which we see in Acts 2:17:
“‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind;
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.”‘
In the last days these prophetic experiences will become much more frequent because we are going to need them during this time. The gifts of the Spirit are not given just to make our meetings better, or to make our lives more interesting, though they certainly do this. They are given to us because we need them to accomplish the purpose of the Lord in our time.
That His Spirit is poured out upon “all mankind” could have literally been translated, “all of the body.” (The Greek word translated “mankind” in this text is sarx, which is defined as “flesh, i.e. the meat of an animal, or the body…”). This is not implying the Lord is going to be pouring out His Spirit on every human being, but He is going to pour out His Spirit on His whole body, the church. At the end, every true believer, regardless of their denominational affiliation, or even their beliefs about the present working of the Holy Spirit, will be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
As the Spirit is poured out on “the whole body” the result will be prophetic revelation such as dreams, visions, and prophecies. This is why it is so crucial that we learn to discern, interpret, and apply them properly. If you have not already started having such experiences, you will, as the prophecies from Joel and Acts make clear.
If we are going to dwell in the heavenly realm we must learn the language of the Spirit, which is very different from human language. With the Lord, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is even more true. The Lord conveys many of His messages to us in this way. These do not just convey facts or commands, but they also reveal His heart and the reasons behind His actions, so we can be in unity with Him.
There are still many who believe that since we have the Scriptures, we have no need for the Lord to speak to us. We certainly do not want to in any way detract from the immeasurable value of the Scriptures. But this kind of argument is not only in conflict with the teaching of the Scriptures from beginning to end, it misses something fundamental in the very relationship between God and men. The church is called to be His bride. How would any bride feel if on her wedding day her bridegroom handed her a book saying, “I wrote this for you so I will not have to speak to you again.”
The Scriptures are complete, and are alone the basis for our doctrine. The gift of prophecy is not given to establish doctrine — we have the Scriptures for that. Prophecy is given for revealing the strategic will of the Lord in specific situations. Even those who claim they do not believe the Lord speaks to us in this way will usually say they are in ministry because the Lord spoke to them in some way.
However, prophecy is not just about the strategic will of the Lord. The quality of any relationship will be measured by the quality of the communication. Much of what the Lord is saying to His people is simply “love talk,” by which He is wooing us closer to Himself.
It is certainly important for us to be solidly established in sound biblical doctrine. It is important for us to know the plan of God, and the strategic will of God for our own lives. Even so, there is nothing in our lives more important than getting closer to Him, and abiding in Him day-by-day. That is why it is written in Matthew 4:4,
“But He (Jesus) answered and said,
“It is written, man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Note that the Lord did not say we are to live by the words that proceeded out of the mouth of God, but by every word that proceeds, present tense. It is certainly important we honor all that the Lord has said, but we live by what He is saying presently. Again, this is not just about doctrine or teaching, but about relationship. This is not an either/or choice.
We need both to know Him and abide in Him.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|