The New Testament marked the beginning of the world Christian movement. It also marked the beginning of the age of ‘the ministry of all believers’! To miss this connection is to miss the plot entirely!
The Old Testament saw select ministries such as prophets, priests and kings, endowed with the Holy Spirit to carry out divine activities within the nation. Nothing more was needed as the worldwide ingathering of peoples and people into God’s Kingdom were only promises and prophecies awaiting the ‘fullness of time,’ (Gal 4:4) when the promised Messiah would come! Moses’ cry that all God’s people would be suitably endowed awaited this “fullness of time,” “…I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” (Nu 11:29)
The New Testament was to experience a seismic shift in the outworking of God’s purpose. From nations being attracted in, to God’s people going out. The cry of COME echoes loud and clear from the pages of the Old Testament (1Ki 8:41-43), while Jesus’ commission to GO echoes even louder from the pages of the New Testament!
It was no coincidence, therefore, that Joel’s prophecy was chosen by the risen Christ to inaugurate the Church age! Written some 800 years before, this prophecy’s time had come! The noise from the celebrations in heaven, as Joel’s prophecy finally bursts onto the stage of human history, must have been deafening!
Acts 2:16-18 and 21 “..this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy…….and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”
Understanding the Pattern