I Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
There was a headline in the news from a young author who thought it was a bad idea to ban certain books from children’s reading lists. This author certainly has no moral compass. She has seared her conscience and chosen a path of self-destruction which she wants to impose on others even younger than she is.
One book that should be read by all is the Word of God. Yet most have no idea of what God has said. Someone asked me recently if I had ever heard God’s voice. I told him I had not and that I did not need to hear it because I have the Word of God.
This past Sunday we were studying from Isaiah 58. In verse 14 of that chapter, God declared: “for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah was directed by God to write those words, but they came directly from the mouth of the LORD. That is the testimony of all of the Bible. If a person takes the Word of God (the King James Version for English speaking people) and reads that book, they are reading the Word of God. It has been translated from the original Hebrew and Greek into English, but it has been done in such a way that God’s Word is still intact in the English language.
The apostle Paul was directed to write that the Word of God is “profitable” (II Timothy 3:16). All people would be well served to read and believe the Word of God. All people would be well served to attend a true, Bible-believing, local church where they can be taught the truth. One day all people will wish they had done just that. Sadly, for many it will be too late.
Paul was directed to remind the saints not to quench the Spirit. You notice the word “Spirit” is capitalized here. This is in reference to the Holy Spirit. The writer mentioned above is working under some spirit as well, but not the Holy Spirit. To “quench” the Spirit is “to suppress or to stifle” the work of the Holy Spirit in the saint’s life.
Lost people do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The Holy Spirit is outside working through their conscience to help them to see their need to be saved. The saved person has the Holy Spirit indwelling them and they need to be sensitive to following the guiding of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will never guide any saint contrary to God’s Word.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
The Charismatic movement and many other religious groups speak of things that are not found in the Bible. They teach heresy, rather than the truth. Sadly, many people blindly follow these false teachers. They cannot discern truth from error due to their lost nature. God will guide His children. His child can be deceived, however they will be pricked in their heart about their deception. The true child of God will be exposed to God’s Word and that Word will help him or her to see the deception they have believed. This is again why a true local church is so important. True saints need the teaching and preaching of God’s Word to keep them from being tossed about with every wind of doctrine. You can see that in Ephesians 4:11-24. God has provided the means by which His child can know the Truth and walk in the Truth.
We can see from I Thessalonians 5:19 that a saved person can quench the Spirit. However, the saved person is also confronted with the need to stop doing that. The saved person may not like that warning in the flesh but the Holy Spirit, Who indwells them, will help them to see the importance of humbling themselves and receiving the Truth.
Verse 20 is a verse that is taken out of its context and used by false religions like the Charismatics to support their heresies. Until the Scriptures were completed, God had prophets to proclaim things that were yet future. That was His way of proclaiming His truth to man. The apostle John was the last living prophet and he was directed to give the last of God’s prophecies, which is the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. That was written at approximately 96 AD.
In I Corinthians 13 God directed Paul to write that prophecies will fail. When the Word of God was completed there was no further need for prophecy. God finished His revelation to man with the end of the book of the Revelation. That was God’s declaration, not man’s opinions.
In the time of the apostle Paul, it was needful for the saints to accept true prophets. There are many since the completion of the Bible who also despise prophesying in that they do not see the importance of studying Bible prophecy. It is true that there have been many false interpretations of Bible prophecy. The Seventh Day Adventists have built an entire false religion on a false understanding of Bible prophecy. They have been date setters over the years and have been proven wrong every time. Herbert W. Armstrong was a false teacher who also abused Bible prophecy to develop quite a following with the aid of his media arm.
Rather than dismiss Bible prophecy because of those who have abused God’s Word, it is important to be a part of a true church that rightly divides the Word of Truth. In my adult lifetime, there have been many prophecy conferences. Most of those conferences have proven themselves to be wrong because they reject a very important Bible doctrine regarding Biblical separation. Those who speak at those conferences hold various views on different Bible doctrines, but they set those aside for the purpose of luring people into their prophecy conferences. Many people have taken a very weak and unbiblical position regarding the importance of the true local church because they have been lured into these ecumenical conferences. A true local church will teach the whole counsel of God. That will include the many prophecies that are given. We need to pray and approach the study of God’s Word with humility. We need to keep the context in mind and rightly divide the Word of Truth. Over the centuries God has given more insight into some of those prophecies.
God told Daniel to shut up the prophecy that He had given him because the time was not at hand then. God revealed much prophecy to the apostle John because the time was at hand. There are still some things that we do not understand regarding John’s record of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can know some of what is said there, but some of it is given in such a way that we cannot be sure what all the symbolism is. We know that various individuals have tried to speculate on some of that and they have been proven wrong. It is not a bad thing for a pastor to say he does not fully understand a certain passage of Scripture that is not clear. There is much that we can know, and sadly too many preachers claim ignorance on that.
Those who walk humbly with the Lord will see the importance of a true local church where they can be fed and challenged and where they can also discuss the different passages and learn together with other true saints. God’s design is for the pastor/teacher to be directing the studies in such a way as to honour God’s Word.
II Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
There are many self-made scholars who think they know what the Scriptures are saying, but they are in danger of God’s judgment because they take liberties that God has not given them.
Rather than quench the Spirit, get into a good local church and submit yourself to the authority of God’s Word and let Him bless you in the faithful study of His Word.