Sunday, 3 September 2017
Do not despise prophecies.
1 Thessalonians 5:20
Paul now turns to prophecies. He just said, “Do not quench the Spirit.” It is the Spirit who worked through the apostles and prophets to give us the word of God. This is noted by Paul in the book of Ephesians –
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.”
A foundation is laid only once. The chief Cornerstone is Christ. Upon Him the foundation is laid. The early church was given prophecies to establish the church. Those which were recorded in the Bible are then the foundation of which Paul speaks of. The words of the New Testament apostles, and the prophetic utterances of the Old Testament prophets are the work of the Spirit. Despite ten jillion claims of prophetic utterances, “a word from the Lord,” visions, dreams, and supposed divine revelations since the completion of the Bible, not one of them has added anything to the foundation which was laid. We have the word of God, and we are to not look for another word in addition to it.
In that now-complete word are the recorded prophecies which Paul speaks of. As they were given by the Spirit, not accepting them would be to “quench the Spirit, and it would further be to “despise prophecies” which are valid utterances of God, recorded for our instruction, reproof, edification, etc.
Paul’s words of this verse are not speaking about supposed claims of prophecy by people today, except in the interpretation of those which have been given. His words are given to us as an exhortation to rely on the word of God “which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Let us be wise and discerning, and not be blown around by false claims of supposed “prophets” today. There is one word, it has been received, and we are to hold fast to it alone for our life, doctrine, and edification.
Life application: If you want to hear prophetic utterances from the Lord, open your Bible and read. Let the word speak to you the word which God has spoken.
Heavenly Father, help us to be wise and discerning concerning supposed prophecies that people claim come from You. You have spoken, and Your word is complete. The foundation has been laid, and it is a sure and wonderful word which came from You through the apostles and prophets. What more do we need to be built up and edified in You? Thank You for Your precious word. Amen.