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Examine Everything


1 Thess. 5:19-22

Vladimir Lenin who was the leader of the Russian Communist Party in 1922, and who was an expert in propaganda made this statement: “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.”

 Tragically, this same thing holds true when it comes to religion and tragically people just simply believe what has been repeatedly told.

Here in this passage that was read the apostle Paul says, “Don’t do that! Don’t just simply believe what you are told just because “it is popular.”

Look what Paul says again starting in vs. 19. Paul says, “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances.”

Well, the word “quench” literally means “extinguish” or “put out.”

Over in Eph. 4:30, Paul uses a similar statement when he says:  “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit”.

Look at this found in 1 Cor 2:12-13. Paul says: Now we (the apostles) have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual {thoughts} with spiritual {words.}

Some of these brethren here in Thessalonica may have been prone to doing that.

Paul told them to stop their immoral conduct, and to stop being idle and to stop being busybodies.

And people today, perhaps some of us, do the same thing.

The Holy Spirit tells them that no man is justified by his works…justification is found only in Christ…and they ignore that and think they can save themselves.

Listen…the Lord is coming back…the Holy Spirit through His word is trying to make sure we are ready…and you and I cannot be ready if we “quench the Holy Spirit.”

Now look at verse 20. Paul says: “Do not despise prophetic utterances.”

A prophet was “someone who spoke forth” and what Paul refers to here is “someone who, by inspiration and revelation, spoke forth the word of God.” They were “forth-tellers” speaking the mind and will of God.

And what Paul is saying is, “Do not hold contempt for…do not “count as naught”, do not reject the word of God.

Listen, the hope of eternal life is revealed to us through the Word.

If you despise something…what are you going to do?

What if you love it? What are you going to do? You are going to embrace it.

Now, with this in mind, how do you feel about the word of God?

If you are shoving it away…staying away from it…refusing to obey it…you cannot and will not be ready when the Lord comes again.

Now, look at verse 21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

These brethren’s situation in Thessalonica was not much different than ours.

Paul says: “Examine everything.” “Prove everything.” “Do not take anything for granted.”

You “examine everything…and hold fast to that which is good…and abstain from every form of evil.”

Now, how do you do this?

How do we know what to hold on to today and what not to?

Well, Paul doesn’t tell us here how to examine everything…but we have some instructions found in other places that will help.


 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, {to see} whether these things were so.

What they did is, they had the OT scriptures…and Paul would teach them something…maybe something the prophets of old said about the coming Messiah…and they would check the scriptures to see if they agreed…if they confirmed what he was teaching.

Look at this passage found in: Deut 13:1-4

1 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3  you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 “You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

 It doesn’t matter if they perform a sign or a wonder…it doesn’t matter how convincing they are…

If you are going to know whether some thing that is taught is good or evil…you must open your Bibles and check it out.


1    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2           By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;   3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the {spirit} of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

 There are many faiths…and beliefs.

If what they say does not uphold His deity, His humanity, His Messiahship, and His uniqueness as the way to salvation…it is not from God and you need to disregard it.


Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

 Gal 1:6-8   I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is {really} not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

 Any news that undermines the “good news” is not His news.

If what they say does not hold up the gospel of grace it is evil and needs to be abstained from.


Matt 7:15-20  “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn {bushes,} nor figs from thistles, are they? 17″Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18″A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20  “So then, you will know them by their fruits.

 There are a lot of groups that will open their pulpit up to anyone who would like to speak.

There are a lot of teachers and preachers and self-proclaimed prophets telling us all these things and whatever they say…whoever it is…needs to be governed by the principle that Paul teaches in Eph 4:30-31:  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…

So here are the guidelines again for testing those things that are spoken by men claiming to be sent from God:

Brethren: the Lord is coming again and these are things that we must do to be ready when He does.

And as we think on these things, let’s close with Paul’s prayer for each of us. Verse 23:

 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.