Many times the new and upcoming generation always gets so much hassle about being unlearned and in-depth at life. There are many fads that come and go, many which have been forgotten. Thank God the disco age has passed and Bellbottom pants are a thing of the past. Disco will never come back – I pray.
The power of youth with the zeal and energy is unmatched by any generational time period. We are the church of today – not just tomorrow. Many biblical events we read are of youths doing incredible things for God. Most the time we do not even realize it. I remember older people told me that I was unable to do something or understand something because of my age, but that’s for another time.
Jeremiah was called to be a prophet when he was just a teen, the Lord declared to Jeremiah “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet to the nations” (Jer1:5). What is amazing is after that great proclamation came a simple reply “Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child”. The Lord quickly rebutted this reply “Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shall speak.”
What is interesting about Jeremiah is the time in which he grew up and prophesied. We know Jeremiah as “The Weeping Prophet.” He was a young man that was troubled by what he saw in his nation and saddened by the moral and spiritual decay of the Jews. At the time of his calling, Jeremiah is in his mid-teens. He’s called to the Southern Kingdom, Judah, which had forsaken the Lord God of Israel and followed after other gods.
It is not dissimilar to the current world. This world is serving the prince of darkness. They are concerned with validating feelings and emotions against facts and morality. We live in a time where one moment can jeopardize an entire career and family in the name of political correctness. Churches are sacrificing doctrine and morality for inclusivity and validation. This is in accordance with Paul’s writing to Timothy.
What does ‘prophesy’ mean in these texts?
The word used for prophesy in this passage Acts is prophēteusousin. It means speak under inspiration and foretell events. The passage that Peter is quoting is found in Joel 2:28. The word prophesy in the Hebrew is wə·nib·bə·’ū. It also means speak (or sing) by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse) — prophesy(-ing), make self a prophet. In both passages the meaning is very clear. Paul tells of a time that people will not endure sound doctrine. Peter quotes Joel in saying that young men and women will prophesy or speak under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
We are at this time in history, and we have been for a long while. We have western church that is embracing false doctrine, and according to Peter and Joel – we have a generation that has the power to speak by inspiration of the Holy Ghost against the false doctrine and sin that is being allowed to reside in our churches and the world.
These things are happening simultaneously!
The passages above are not a sequence. They are happening together. While there is a world that is seducing people to serve their god, there is a generation of young men and women who can prophesy through the Holy Ghost.
I encourage us to speak up, pray, fast, and be ready! We see trouble on every side, but we are not shaken. We may be perplexed, but we are not going to give up. God is seeking a people who are willing to be used, and we need prophets and prophetesses in this time who will deliver the messages of God to His people.
That all sounds good, right? But, how do we begin this process? Go back to the meaning of prophesy in both contexts; speak under inspiration and fortelling future events were things that both passages held in common.
Fortelling future events is always a secondary function of a prophet; it acts as a confirmation to the message. The primary function is to deliver the message of God.
Now, we read how there are all these processes to being a prophet from different sources. From my reading of the Bible, it’s quite simple to be a prophet. One must pray, study, and fast. Simple on the face that is, but the spiritual aspect is much deeper.
Once someone commits to prayer, studying, and fasting there will be increased spiritual resistance from Satan. In turn, we will also gain spiritual strength to resist the attacks of Satan and his demons. So, it takes not only prayer, fasting, and studying – it also takes willpower and resilience.
Prayer and fasting put our bodies under subjection to the spiritual man that cries out for God. Studying puts our minds in alignment with the Word of God. God told Joshua to not let the word depart from his mouth and meditate on it day and night (Josh 1:8). If we receive a message that doesn’t line up with the Word; we know that it is from a false source because we have put our minds in alignment with the Word of God. If the message comes from an angel, Paul says that we should know the Gospel and Word of God so well that we immediately know when the message contradicts the Word of God. Angels may be a different blog post.
When we begin these things, the anointing begins to flow freely because we have gotten ‘us’ out of the way.
In the coming age, we will see increased perversion. We will see increased persecution. It is now time for the church of God to see a return of young men and women who exercise the office of prophets and stand for God in a world that is serving flesh.