Divine Empowerment of Leaders

Divine Empowerment of Leaders, Study of Luke(Page 9)

By Allen Quist 

Comparison and Contrast of Acts 2:17-21 to the Original Source, Joel 2:28-32
(part 2)

Comparing Acts 2:17 to the original source, Joel 2:28, both sources address God pouring out His Spirit on all flesh, sons and daughters prophesying, young men seeing visions, and old men dreaming dreams. In the first phrase, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,” there are two key words, “Spirit” and “flesh.” Thayer defines the “Spirit” (pneuma) as “the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son… [and] never referred to as a depersonalized force” (Thayer G4151). Thayer defines the “flesh” (sarx) as “used of natural or physical origin, generation or relationship” and “the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God” (Thayer G4561). God is pouring out Himself (His Holy Spirit) into humankind (people, His creation) providing a power for specific purposes.

Both the Acts 2 and Joel 2 text address sons and daughters prophesying. Thayer defines the words “sons” (hurios) and “daughters” (thugater), simply as “sons” and “daughters” (Thayer G5207; G2364). However, these are not age related words, thus opening up the possibility this text encompasses every believer. The word “prophesy” (propheteuo) is also a broad word, which Thayer defines as:

to prophesy, to be a prophet, speak forth by divine inspirations, to predict with the idea of foretelling future events pertaining especially to the kingdom of God; to utter forth, declare, a thing which can only be known by divine revelation; to break forth under sudden impulse in lofty discourse or praise of the divine counsels; [and] under like prompting, to teach, refute, reprove, admonish, comfort others (Thayer G4395).

Biblical “prophesy” includes a number of activities besides foretelling future events, such as revealing something, which can only be know if told by God or suddenly speaking God-directed speech (such as Peter delivered in Acts 2). Under the power of the Spirit, “prophesy” can also include teaching, discerning and standing up to false teaching, telling someone to do or not to do an activity, and comforting someone. Much of normal Christian ministry falls within the definition of prophesy and can be an aspect of Spirit-empowered leadership.

According to Thayer, “Young men” (neaniskos) means, “a young man” or “youth” or even a “young attendant or servant” (Thayer G3495). To see (horao) is “to see with the eyes…or mind…” To see a vision (horasis) is literally a vision or a seeing. Pulling them together, we can rephrase the quote with, “your young men will see a seeing.”

Old men (“elders,” presbuteros) can be someone who is older by age or someone of higher rank or position (Thayer G4245). Thayer defines dreams (enupnikon) as simply a dream.

Contrasting Acts 2:17 to the original source, Joel 2:28, we find Luke recontextualized his replication of Joel into Peter’s time. There is a change in wording between Acts 2:17, “In the last days it will be,” and Joel 2:29, “then afterward.” However, while there appears to be a contrast within the text, Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 describe the same thing. Joel had been describing the plague of locusts as “the day of the Lord” (Joel 1:15; 2:11). In Joel 2:29, the author wrote, “then afterwards” and described the chronology of the end times. Peter (via Luke), in Acts 2, used “in the last days” to lead the listeners into the same chronology of end times. Since Luke paraphrased Peter’s message, we can conclude Peter or Luke made the original recontextualization of a replication of Joel. Under the divine empowerment of Christian leadership theory, Spirit-empowered leaders are Next Pageable to hear God from Scripture and recontextualize what God is saying to a contemporary time. Divine-empowerment is triadic—it involves God providing the power to understand His Word, the leader being the conduit of the power, and the recipient of the recontextualization as the third member of the triad.

Contact Allen with any questions or comments
Download full paper The Divine Empowerment of Leaders (pdf) includes works cited.
Scholarly Articles for Spirit Driven Leadership
Enduring Values for Leadership DevelopmentLeadership for the Next GenertationLeading with a Creative and Innovative DesignThe Pig Pen PrincipleDesigning for the UnknownStrategic Thinking – Seeing the Unexpected ComingModel for an Emerging World - Systemic Organizational DesignThe God-Equipped Magnificent ObsessionLeadership Succession from Matthew's GospelGod. Whose Very Name is JealousIce SkatingDivine Empowerment of LeadersRegency Leadership TheoryJesus' Divine DesignChristian Model of Foresight