1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Every Believer following Jesus’ plan for their life should desire to experience all that is in the Word of God. We are living in a time of harvest where God is confirming His Word with signs and wonders. With the manifestations of the Spirit, there can sometimes be a mixture of flesh and an over spiritualization of things. We need to experience all that God has for us in the realm of the supernatural, but we also need to examine to see if it’s all in the Word. We must keep in mind that we are also living in a time of deception so we must prove all things and hold fast to what is good as defined by the Word of God. We are to test everything.
Notice the Word of God presents a balance in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 -22, with “Quench not the Spirit, Despise not prophesying,” with, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” That is spelling out two balancing thoughts:
- Everything that goes on in the manifestations of the Spirit, in meetings, and revival isn’t from God. Some people are not as concerned about what is Biblical as they are with receiving more of what’s happening. We should be more concerned to see if what’s happening is in the Word.
- It is also true that when God reveals truth new to us or recovers some truth, there is usually a tendency to reject it. (Not new to the Scriptures but only to those experiencing it). This rejection can be because of the discomfort with things not birthed by those we’re familiar with; or because we’ve never heard it; or because it may demand something of us we’re not ready to give.
There are three ways we can PROVE ALL THINGS
- Prove it by the teaching of the WORD OF GOD (sound doctrine).
The Word of God is the basis for all teachings, manifestations, and moving of the Spirit and it is a discerner (Hebrews 4:12). The Word is all we need to thoroughly prepare us (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We don’t establish doctrine by our experience; we establish our experiences by doctrine. The Word is the final authority to all our beliefs, practices, and experiences. The Word and the Spirit are one (1 John 5:7). We do not prove or test by our preferences, personalities, emotions, opinions, traditions, likes, or dislikes but the Word. The Word is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true (Psalm 19:7-10). We shouldn’t experience less than what’s in the Book, but what we experience should be in the Book.
- Prove all things by FRUIT.
Fruit is that which is produced; that which can be seen or comes out visibly. People touched by God’s Spirit should be changed and the change made visible. The change and fruit that occurs should remain beyond the service or meeting with the special minister and supernatural manifestation John 15:16. What we experience should not create pride, rebellion to authority, or dishonor towards those we should honor. Jesus also said in Matthew 7:16 that we would know false prophets and wolves in sheep’s clothing by their fruits.
- Prove all things by FOCUS
If you discern a shift in the person’s focus that’s bad, then caution should be taken before you buy into it that what they experienced was from God and it could be dangerous. The experience may also be legitimate but it should not create a wrong focus. Remember the disciple’s experience of the Transfiguration where they saw Jesus, Moses, and Elijah transfigured before them. It was a supernatural experience and it was a good a experience, but their shift in focus wasn’t. We can become so absorbed in our experience we miss the purpose of God giving us the experience. In the Old Testament the Prophet Isaiah had an awesome experience (Isaiah 6:1-10) but it was followed by the right focus. In response to his overhearing the Heavenly conversation saying, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us,” he appropriately responds, “Here am I, send me.”