Summary: How exactly do you "quench the Spirit"?
1 THESS 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
There’s a lot of good stuff here, isn’t there? (Recap 14-18) But I’ve always thought about this in vs 19....what exactly is the meaning of "quench"? I used to think that to "quench your thirst" was to satisfy it....that’s why I looked at the definition of the word quench. Here’s what the online dictionary says....1. To put out (a fire, for example); extinguish.2. To suppress; squelch 3. To put an end to; destroy...
The NIV Bible says in vs 19 "Do not put out the Spirit’s fire." Fire seems to be a recourrent theme or way of describing the Holy Spirit of God, and that’s what I want to look at today: Why fire? I believe there are several reason God likens His Spirit to fire.
When I was in High School, I was a volunteer fire-fighter. It was fun, and it sometimes got us out of class if there was an alarm sounded during school. The school was right across the street from the fire dept and whenever the siren would go off, we could just jump up from our classroom and go! It was great! We also were issued "plectrons" for our homes that were like little radios that would go off in our houses. That wasn’t so great whenever they would go off in the middle of the night! Without getting lost too much in the past here, what I wanted to share with you is some things that I learned about fire regarding this experience.
I’m sure most of you have seen a fire. Usually we responded to grass fires and sometimes structural fires, but one thing I noticed pretty quickly....fires spread fast! Also, they CONSUME quickly, devouring everything in their way. One of the things we would learn as we were rolling to the fire (it was fun holding onto the back of that fire truck!) was what condition the fire was in. This would let us know what stage the fire at that time so we would know what to expect.
It could be a code 1 which was not so bad, or a code 2 (a little worse), or what they called "fully involved" which meant that we were going to have our hands full trying to extingush it whenever we got there. One thing I would like for all of us to ask ourselves this morning is what stage are we at in God’s Spirit? Are you a spiritual code 1 or 2 or are you "fully involved’?
First I want to do a little more back ground on fire as it relates to God. MATT 3:11I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire
This is the first mention of fire in the NT, and it is made by John the Baptist (who wasn’t Pentecostal yet because the day of Pentecost hadn’t happened). But notice something here...he makes a distinction between the Holy Ghost and....fire. Why? Isn’t it the same thing? How do we disinguish between the two? Let’s go on....
In the OT, God is described by fire.....EXODUS 24:17 The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. It would seem odd to say that "the glory of the Lord was like the Holy Spirit" on that mountain. Here’s another one...DEUT 4:24For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
The prophet Jeremiah felt the fire when he was trying not to talk about God.....JER 20:9 Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. You can’t hold a fire back unless you purposely try to extinguish it, and Jeremiah’s fire was so strong that he couldn’t hold it back! Would that we all felt that today! That’s the kind of fire God’s looking for!
We all know about ACTS 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.