Recently, I was chatting with my colleague, Ariel Blumenthal. Ariel is a budding theologian within our Tikkun Global Family. We were talking about prophecy and he said something akin to, “The greatest prophetic utterances in the New Testament era are the proclamation of the Gospel.” He based that on the angel’s words to John in Revelation 19:10:
For the testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of Prophesy. (TLV)
I had to meditate on that for a while. That afternoon, I felt the Lord redirect my Bible reading to the Book of Acts. I read the first four chapters and then three more today. And, BOOM, like lightning, I saw it!
The Transformation of Peter
The difference between pre-Shavuot/Pentecost Peter and post-Shavuot/Pentecost Peter is probably one of the most under-appreciated stories or testimonies of the entire Bible. Before the Shavuot outpouring in Acts 2, Peter was quite underwhelming. He is an uneducated fisherman. He is overly dramatic and impulsive:
He rebukes the Lord (Matt 16).
He declares he would die with Yeshua, hours before he denies him three times (John 13, 18).
He blurts out something about building tabernacles on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17). God Almighty had to rebuke him.
Even after the resurrection, he is confused and, with the others, goes back to fishing (John 20).
In fact, just days before Shavuot, on the day Yeshua ascended into heaven, he and the disciples did not understand the Gospel message and began to ask Yeshua if he would now restore the kingdom to Israel.
The Rock Emerges
Then, on the day of Shavuot, they were all gathered in one place and the Spirit empowered them for ministry. Fire came and rested on them, and they spoke in tongues. Something happened to Peter. Yeshua nicknamed him “Rock” and said He would build His congregation on that ‘Rock.’ No, that doesn’t mean that Peter was the first pope. It means that a prophetic anointing would come on Peter, whereby he would teach, preach and testify of Yeshua at a level that would birth revival in Jerusalem. And the worldwide ecclesia would be built on that foundation.
If you read Acts chapters two through four, it is remarkable how he speaks. Remember, he is no Bible scholar. We never heard Peter expound upon scripture before this. But now the spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Yeshua, comes upon him in power.
Suddenly, he is an expert on Old Testament prophecy. He boldly tells his hearers that this is God pouring out his Spirit on all flesh, as prophesied by Joel. He then quotes five verses from Joel 2. When did he memorize these verses? He didn’t, of course. This is the Spirit of God revealing the Gospel to Peter. Yeshua promised:
When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth. (John 16:13 GNT) At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matt. 10:19-20)
Peter speaks of the prophecies of King David, predicting the resurrection and showing Yeshua to be God. Listen to him:
Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. (Acts 2:29-32)
He speaks as, not only a seasoned theologian, but as a bold evangelist. Three thousand men, plus women and children, were “cut to the heart” and responded to his call that day. Immediately, they were immersed in water.
End-Times Expert in Just a Few Days
In Chapter three, he expounds on the end times. Just about two weeks before this, as stated earlier, he and the other disciples expected Yeshua to take over the world (Acts 1:6-7). Yeshua tells them, it is not the time. First, go preach the Gospel (Acts 1:8). But now, he is an end-times expert:
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:19-21)
Oh, that we would know this power of the Holy Spirit to speak through us.
Uneducated Man Speaks with Authority
Next, they are arrested. Peter boldly preaches to the Sanhedrin. His words are awesome! And it is because of the first thing we read in the next passage:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus the Messiah of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:8-12)
While Peter is the vessel, the words are coming by the Spirit. The Sanhedrin is blown away. Just as it was said of Yeshua, he spoke not like the rabbis, but as one with authority (Luke 4:36, Matt. 7:28-29). The Sanhedrin could feel the anointing.
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
Yes, prophecy has other functions in the New Covenant era (1 Cor. 14), but if “the testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of Prophesy,” we should be seeking more and more of His Spirit to prophetically call all men to follow Yeshua—as Peter and the disciples did. If you are a fivefold gifted evangelist, I hope this message will cause a new authority and anointing to arise in you.