This gives each one an opportunity to prophesy. God will ever send a message of salvation by each of his ministers to every faithful, attentive hearer. Chicago, Ill. : Moody Press, 1997, c1989, S. 276, who articulates this view. Let me illustrate. Church authorities alone claimed the right to prophesy, and when doing so falsely, claimed immunity from being judged. Answer: I believe indeed that henceforth we shall not have prophets like those the Jews had in times past in the Old Testament. We are not to be judged by this church lest we imperil our own salvation and be found to deny Christ.3. In Ephesians 4:11 (note) the prophets are named next to the apostles as Christ's gift to the church. The Olivet Discourse is one of the great prophetic utterances of Scripture dealing not only with the age as a whole in its progress and signs of the end but portraying the great truth of the second coming of Christ later to be expounded in greater detail in the Book of Revelation. Then in Acts Jesus told them that when they received the Holy Spirit, they would be His witnesses (Acts 1:8 – the term witnesses here is the root of the same word for “testimony” in the passage in Revelation). Do not despise that, says the apostle. ), the only part of the Greek Scriptures already written was Matthewâs Gospel. (Paul is saying that during the time of trial in connection with my physical disability, the Galatians showed no disdain.). Unfortunately, because of certain cultic tendencies in our day, we think of prophesying as some special power to predict the future either for ourselves individually or for the world at large. Comment: As an aside I spoke recently to the secretary in a local Bible church in which the leadership has made the decision that they want to avoid teaching too much doctrine! In his second letter Paul wrote... Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together (episynagoge) to Him (referring to his previous letter where he had explained the Rapture - see 1Th 4:13, 14, 15, 16, 17-see notes 1Th 4:13; 14; 15; 16; 17), that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the Day of the Lord has come. 5:20. In 1Corinthians 12:10, “discerning of spirits” follows “prophecy.” Comparing that passage to 1John 4:1, we have further evidence that prophecy is to be judged by objective standards. Paul prayed, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. They prophesy as they bring the claims of the gospel (using the keys of the kingdom) to the minds of the lost. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. In that passage, “examine” is a translation of dokimazo_ which means “to put to the test” and has the connotation of testing to prove or verify what something is made of. 1 Thessalonians 5:21(NASB) Verse Thoughts In his final greeting to the Church at Thessalonica, Paul gives various warnings and exhortations to the body of Christ on how to live a godly life, that is worthy of our position in Christ. (Living Christianly) (Bolding added). Matthew Henry saw prophesying as taught in 1Thessalonians 5:20 as a means of grace: Despise not prophesyings (v. 20); for, if we neglect the means of grace, we forfeit the Spirit of grace. 9. This means that implications are binding on believers.14 An invalid implication would bind people in ways God has not bound them. The emphasis on prophesyings corresponds with that in 1 Cor. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers. Those who teach this and also believe that prophecy contains special, new revelations subjectively revealed to prophets, thereby use the subjective to judge the subjective. What does 1 Thessalonians 5:20 âDo not scoff at prophecies,but test everythiing that is saidâ mean? In short, prophetic utterances are to build up, encourage and comfort believers. Walter J. Chantry, Signs of the Apostles, (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1973; 1993 ed) 50, 51 espouses the view that gifts such as prophecy have ceased upon the completion of the New Testament. Another translation has them treating certain prophecies âwith contempt.â But during the worship service, the Word is expounded by someone called and equipped in public proclamation to a bigger audience. 1 Thessalonians 5:20 - Understand the meaning of 1 Thessalonians 5:20 with Christian Bible study, teaching, sermons, and commentary search on hokma.com. The ground for the teaching that “all may prophesy” is the work of the Holy Spirit in every believer. How is this answered by those swelling enthusiasts, in whose idea the only true illumination consists, in carelessly laying aside, and bidding adieu to the Word of God, while, with no less confidence than folly, they fasten upon any dreaming notion which may have casually sprung up in their minds? We can all “bind and loose.” We can use the keys of the kingdom, declare with prophetic authority the terms of entrance, the terms for forgiveness, and show from Scriptural implications the binding terms of the New Covenant. In a congregation the seemingly lowliest person can correct the teachings of a church authority if that authority teaches what is contrary to Scripture. The difference is that, whereas the message of the prophet was a direct revelation of the mind of God for the occasion, the message of the teacher is gathered from the completed revelation contained in the Scriptures. The basic function of the prophet was to "speak forth" the counsel of God. By divine authority we confidently conclude and boldly declare: “Thus says the Lord of Hosts, monastic vows made and kept apart from faith are sins, and therefore such vows are pointless and blameworthy.”16. (It is captivity to the obedience of your own understanding.) The final arbiter of truth is Godâs Word. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. In the well respected theological journal Bibliotheca Sacra, the late Dr John Walvoord makes the following statements... Divine revelation, of course, received a tremendous addition when Jesus Christ came in the flesh. The word âdespiseâ means to make of no account and frequently signifies to despise. ÏÎµÎ¯Î±] denotes prophetic discourse. When they are applied to a given sinner, they constitute a valid and authoritative application. In other words, he was a Christian preacher, endued with wisdom, fervor, and tenderness; and his spiritual addresses were among the Lord’s best gifts to the Church. 1 Thess. 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 Questions. (Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature). What does 1 Thessalonians 5:20 mean? If I say to someone, “According to the Law of God, everyone is a sinner and stands condemned as a law-breaker. But such circumstances are not to be assumed without cause. This is why they “may all prophesy” as Paul wrote. Judging prophecy is by objective scripture, not subjective means.13. This fits with our definition of the content of prophecy as “the testimony of Christ.” So the “revelation” they share prophetically is a deeper understanding of the glories of Christ and of the many aspects of His saving work in their lives. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. (2 Kings 2:23). Since every believer has the Holy Spirit, every believer has the “keys of the kingdom” and can authoritatively declare the terms of entrance into the kingdom. Context Summary. 44, Page 276). . All are anointed and all have the authoritative teachings of Christ and His apostles. For example, in our Sunday Bible studies we all open the Scriptures and explore together the implications and applications thereof, sharing them with one another. Further evidence that prophecy is judged by objective standards is found in Romans 12:6 – “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith.” There are interpretive issues with this verse, depending upon how the Greek is understood and translated. The OT has a pointed example of despising or showing contempt for prophetic utterance in 2 Kings... Then he (Elijah) went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!" 1996). God is perfectly just and cannot lie. (NASB: Lockman), Greek: propheteias me exoutheneite; (2PPMM), Amplified: Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning]. 1 Thessalonians 5:20 Context. 16. Dr. F. F. Bruce, who is one of the great expositors of our day, says prophesying is. In those early days, before the New Testament was written, this was done orally; prophets spoke the mind of the Spirit in an assembly. The Reformation Teaching on Prophecy in the Church. This would be abusive and constitute falsely speaking for God. Now despise is a strong word; it is, literally, to set utterly at naught, as Herod set at naught Jesus, when he clothed Him in purple, or as the Pharisees set at naught the publicans, even when they came into the Temple to pray. With the completion of the divine revelation in the New Testament canon such direct communication of new spiritual revelation has ceased. Why did Paul not tell them the hour and day of the coming of Christ? His higher, spiritual part (pneuma), and his moral intelligence (nous), and his speech (logos) worked in harmony. Quenching is often used in the Bible in its proper physical sense, as illustrated in Matthew 12:20, where Christ spoke of not quenching flax, and in Hebrews 11:34, the heroes of the faith are revealed to have âquenched the violence of fire.â Every member of the congregation, whether in a position of leadership or not, has access to the authoritative Scriptures and may bring forth valid implications and applications from them. Those words are not inspired Scripture, but they are valid implications from Scripture. We are rather to assume that he who stands up in the Church to speak in God’s name has had a word of God entrusted to him; it is not wise to despise it before it is heard. Or, could anyone claim to have achieved perfect obedience to the two great commandments, to love God with your total being and to love others as mucâ¦ For example, consider how Luther used the passage here: Also, “You can all prophesy, one by one” [I Cor. Do not treat it lightly. J Vernon McGee applies this passage writing that believers today are not to... look down upon Bible study as something that is beneath you. Jesus made this clear: “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me” (John 15:26). They have the authority of God not because I uttered them, but because they correctly describe the certainty of the consequences of either faith or unbelief. This does not mean, like some falsely assume, that the content of the prophecy was the secrets of someone's heart. So much for your understanding of the words of God, namely, captivity to the obedience of Christ. Bible Gateway Recommends. To get what 1 Thessalonians 5:20 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity. 30, page 164). It is possible that in Thessalonica, as appears to have been the case subsequently in Corinth, (cp. This verse puts a qualification on the previous verse. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. The relation between Aaron and Moses illustrates the relation between the prophet and God, Exodus 4:16; 7:1... With the completion of the canon of Scripture prophecy apparently passed away, 1Corinthians 13:8, 9. But some of the Bibles commands are not just difficult, but impossible. They authoritatively declare that those who repent and believe the gospel shall be saved and that those who reject the gospel will be damned. Our Price: $12.99 Save: $27.00 (68%) Buy Now. The word “proportion” is analogia, from which our word “analogy” is derived. In 1John 2, John warns against “antichrists” (false anointed ones) and reminds believers that they all have an anointing from the Holy One and need no man to teach them. They who slight or neglect the means of grace, and especially the preaching of God’s holy word, are generally vain, empty, self-conceited people, and exceedingly superficial both in knowledge and piety. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren. Our role is to “prophesy”—to declare the valid implications and applications of these teachings to be binding on our hearers.9. See CIC issue 63, Antichrists and The Antichrist, HTTP://CICMINISTRY.ORG/COMMENTARY/ISSUE63.HTM for an extended discussion of this matter in 1John 2. Prophecy in the apostolic church was directly inspired instruction, exhortation, or warning. NIV The Journey Bible: Revealing God and How You Fit into His Plan, Softcover. We need to return prophecy to the members of the church. 11. See also, Paul P. Enns, in : The Moody Handbook of Theology. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:24, KJV: "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." 5:19, 20). See "Paradoxical Principle of 100% Dependent and 100% Responsible" (100/100) (See also the related discussion of God's commands and our need for the Spirit), Williams paraphrases it "Stop treating the messages of prophecy with contempt.". Earlier Paul warned the Corinthians to not go beyond what is written (1Corinthians 4:6). 1996, McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson, Critical Issues Commentary- The Prophetic Calling of Every Believer, 1 Thessalonians Devotionals & Sermon Illustrations, 1Thes 4:8; Nu 11:25, 26, 27, 28, 29; 1Sa 10:5,6,10, 11, 12, 13; 19:20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Acts 19:6; 1Co 11:4; 1Co 12:10,28; 13:2,9; 14:1,3, 4, 5, 6,22, 23, 24, 25,29, 30, 31, 32,37, 38, 39; Eph 4:11,12; Rev 11:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ,11). This interpretation is false on two fronts. Without it ye cannot preserve the Christian life, nor go on to perfection. Building up the saints is to be his sole aim, 1Corinthians 14:5, 12, 26; Ephesians 4:12; to this end his words must be distinctly spoken, and his language must be suited to his hearers, 1Co 14:7, 9, 11, 16; he must avoid confusion of every kind, since confusion is of the flesh, not of the Spirit, 1Co 14:32, 33. Furthermore, we understand all Scripture. Paulâs conviction is that âthe God of peaceâ will keep the âspirit and soul and bodyâ blameless during the cataclysmic return of Christ. We ought not to lounge or fidget while the word of God is spoken, or to turn over the leaves of the Bible at random, or to look at the clock; we ought to hearken for that word which God has put into the preacher’s mouth for us; and it will be a very exceptional prophesying in which there is not a single thought that it would repay us to consider. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House. (1 Thessalonians 5 Commentary). Let every one, therefore, who is desirous to make progress under the direction of the Holy Spirit, allow himself to be taught by the ministry of prophets. Not only she, but each of us, one by one, may prophesy, says Paul, a master and corrector even of Peter when he acted insincerely [Gal. (See notes 2 Peter 1:20; 21). See 1 Thessalonians 5:20 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Martin Luther, (1999, c1967). We can treat the Bible as nothing. 1 Thessalonians 5:20-28 New International Version (NIV) 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. That is their life theme. The expression found in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 is nowhere formally explained in Scripture. It is found in this passage: “I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994 reprint, written in 1835) 390, 391 makes a strong argument for “the faith” being the objective content of the faith once for all delivered to the saints. There are 6 uses in the Septuagint = 1 Sam. It is opening the mind of God from the Word of God. 19 Quench not the Spirit. For example, if we fail to give thanks in everything (and instead grumble or complain or dispute), we certainly will quench the Spirit. To make something of no account (disregard, reject with contempt, despise). Occasionally I hear such a person saying, “You just spend all your time in Bible study and you don’t do anything. That is something Luther insisted on as a necessary protection against potential wolves. Do not suppose that ye have no need of continual instruction. Paul, in Ephesians, uses the term “revelation” in a way that will help us understand how this relates to prophecy. Retail: $39.99. And we should rejoice more, if we prayed more. The reference here seems to be to preaching.
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