To answer this question from last week, I looked at some passages in the Old Testament. From there, I learned that there were three guideposts to prophesying.
First, Exodus 4:10-17; Exodus 7:1-2 and Ezra 6:14 show that prophesying is speaking God’s message, on his behalf, to his intended hearers. The one prophesying is being God’s mouth-piece or his spokesman. He speaks what God commands or “puts into his mouth”, not his own thoughts or opinions.
Second, 1 Chronicles 25:1-6 and 1 Samuel 10:5-7 show that prophesying, in these instances, was accompanied by musical instruments and thus, praising and exalting God through music & song is another aspect of prophesying too.
Third, 1 Samuel 19:19-24 clearly shows that a distinguishing characteristic of prophesying is that God’s Spirit moves and carries the one who prophesies.
When I connect these to the account in Acts 2, I see that the disciples indeed prophesied when the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, as Joel said!
Disciples were vociferously “declaring the wonders of God”.
For firstly, the disciples were vociferously “declaring the wonders of God” (2:11)! They praised and exalted God in the Upper Room as they were moved and buoyed by the Spirit (2:4)! This lines up to the 2nd and 3rd guideposts of prophesying above.
Secondly, beyond the Upper Room, Peter, empowered by the Spirit, preached powerfully, “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah…. Repent and be baptized, every one of you…” God has spoken by his Son (Hebrews 1:2) and Peter became God’s spokesman as he preached to the Jews. This too, lines up to the 1st and 3rd guideposts above.
So what, you may ask. Well, it’s significant that there was prophesying at Pentecost because it shows that God has indeed poured out his Spirit as he promised! Of course, the fact that the disciples prophesied in various languages made it all the more dramatic and miraculous!
Be moved by the Spirit
This is for all New Testament believers (2:17-18) and it’s a privilege that few Old Testament saints enjoyed! So now, we can all look forward to being moved and buoyed by the Spirit to praise & exalt our God with energy, zest and vigor! Whether in season or out of season, we can also eagerly anticipate being God’s mouthpiece to preach and to proclaim his divine message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by the power of his Spirit!
Aren’t you thrilled that we can prophesy in at least these two ways today? It’s available for all of us believers! And thus, we should covet this privilege, desire it and finally, exercise it for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!
This message is prepared by Pastor Mok Kok Hoong on 3rd Feb 2021.