“One of the famous Greek stories…is the story about the conquering of the city of Troy. Greeks, you remember, laid siege to the city of Troy for over ten years. They were unable to capture it. In exasperation, a man by the name of Ulysses decided to have a large wooden horse built and left outside the city walls ostensibly as a gift to the unconquerable Trojans. And then the Greeks sailed away in apparent defeat, leaving this horse as a gift.
“The curious and proud Trojans felt confident enough to drag the horse inside the walls, though a priest named Laucoon warned them not to. He said, ‘I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts.’ That night, Greek soldiers crept out of the horse, opened the city gates from within and let the rest of the Greek forces into Troy. The Greeks massacred the population of Troy, looted, and burned the city.”1
We are continually surrounded by deception and error as a result of the working and influence of “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). Our enemy, Satan, presents his lies like a gift, similar to that of the Trojan horse. Unfortunately, for the last 2000 years, the Church, the Body of Christ, has opened the gates and pulled in deceitful and devastating Trojan horse doctrines. However, our apostle challenges us to
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thes. 5:21).
The term “prove” means to test, examine, or scrutinize. This challenges the Church not to be gullible, naïve, or accepting of every new or interesting teaching that comes along, but rather to be discerning. We are to test and examine all things in light of the unchanging, infallible truth of the Word of God, rightly divided. Like the Bereans, we are to receive the word with all readiness of mind, but then search the Scriptures whether those things are so (Acts 17:11).
Here are some good questions to ask when proving a doctrine: Is it honoring to Christ? Is it consistent with the character of God? Is it based on Scripture? If yes, does the doctrine fit with the immediate context of the Scripture it’s based on? With the dispensational context? With the teaching of the Bible as a whole?
After proving a doctrine, Paul’s instruction is that we “hold fast that which is good.” “Hold fast” means to retain, to keep firm possession of. As teaching is proved to be good and in line with the truth of the Word, then it’s imperative that we embrace it, stand for it, and live it out.
1“A Call for Discernment, Part 3,” https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/52-34/a-call-for-discernment-part-3.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.