“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
The local assembly, from the very inception, had a structure for how things should function.
Ephesians 4:8 says “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men”. So this clearly reveals that at the resurrection and ascension of Christ, God gave gifts to men. What gifts were given? Why were these gifts given?
Ephesians 4:11-12 answers in clear terms that aforementioned questions.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
Apostle Paul, here, without a shadow of doubt reveals the gifts given and the purpose for the gifts. He says that God gave the church- the body of Christ- ministry gifts for the equipping of the saints and the work of the ministry.
The responsibility of the ministry gifts isn’t to spoon feed but to train. Their responsibility is edifying the saints so that others can be edified through the saints. This is what we mean when we say that the charismatic ministry of a local assembly must be active.
Our opening text is a prophecy by the Prophet Joel about the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. He prophesies about a time when ALL who have received Christ will have the ability to participate in the things of the Spirit.
So, flowing in the Spirit is not restricted to just ministry gifts. Hence, a proper local assembly will be one that encourages and provides platforms for the saints to express their charismatic ministry.
The Lord Jesus before His ascension spoke of the signs that will follow everyone who believes, not just ministry gifts.
Mark 16:17-18 says “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
This is the ministry we have received in the Lord. A local assembly must be committed to seeing her members actively participate in the things of the Spirit.