The Holy Spirit: Wild-eyed Fanatics
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.—1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
This is a crude illustration, but let me tell you what we did after planting a field of corn when I was a young fellow in Pennsylvania. To save the field of corn from the crows, we would shoot an old crow and hang him by his heels in the middle of the field. This was supposed to scare off all of the crows for miles around. The crows would hold a conference and say, “Look, there is a field of corn but don’t go near it. I saw a dead crow over there!”
That’s the kind of conference that Satan calls, and that is exactly what he has done. He has taken some fanatical, weird, wild-eyed Christians who do things that they shouldn’t, and he has stationed them in the middle of God‘s cornfield, and warns, “Now, don’t you go near that doctrine about the Holy Spirit because if you do, you will act just like these wild-eyed fanatics.” The Counselor, 63.
“Keep us, Lord, from shying away from such valuable truth and experience as the ministry of the Holy Spirit because of the excesses of a few fanatics. We lose too much, and we can’t afford the loss. Amen.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-11
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For the Lord Himself will descend fro heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction come upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
But you brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breasplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain.
But our exhortation did not come from deceit or uncleanness, nor was it in guile.
But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.
For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness— God is witness.
Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.
But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
So affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;
as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,
that you would have a walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men,
forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.