Quenching the Holy Ghost


Fire-Extinguisher-blaze

The Holy Spirit was central in the creation of this world (Genesis 1:1-2). The Holy Spirit was central in the lives of the Old Testament prophets as he came upon them and they utter life changing words, declaration, miracles, signs and wonders. The Holy Spirit plays the central role in the functioning of the church from the very beginning (Acts 2). The Holy Spirit comes from the Father with the central agenda of testifying of Jesus (John 15:26), a job that nobody can do better!

From the Holy Ghost we get our gifts (First Corinthians 12) and, from the Holy Spirit we get the fruit of the ultimate character… the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit is truth (John 16:13), he is our Helper (John 14:26) and even our intimate fellowship with God belongs to the Holy Ghost (2 Corinthians 13:14). So, why do we, mare men, insist in going on by our business and limit the Holy Ghost to just a sidebar? Why do we resist the full influence of the Holy Ghost?

Beloved, if you don’t have time for the Holy Spirit to move in your ministry, who is running your ministry? Is it even worth it to run a ministry without the Holy Ghost? I have been in many churches; the great majority of them are clearly not controlled by the Holy Ghost, they are controlled by one man… the pastor! Everything is so structured that there is no room for the Holy Spirit to do anything; there is not one drop of spontaneous anything…everything is programmed and predicted.

We as a church, have big problem with quenching the Holy Spirit. I can go in many directions, but for the sake of this article let me focus on the gifts of the Spirit. First Corinthians 14:1-5 tells us,

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the churchNow I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. (NASB)

We are called to pursue love; love is our focus… always! Yet, we are also called to earnestly desire spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are not to be ignored. First Corinthians 14:1-5 tells us what the main function of gifts are for; they are for the edification of the church.

These spiritual gifts are for us and should be manifested amongst us in our congregations. First Corinthians 12:8-10 mentions 9 Spiritual Gifts. there are more[1], but let’s start by focusing on these 9.

For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. (NASB)

  1. Word of Wisdom: This is a word that provides divine wisdom; it gives people direction about a particular situation they may be facing.
  2. Word of Knowledge: This is a word given with specific divine knowledge and insight about a particular situation. This is concerning a situation that without the Holy Ghost there is no other way to know.
  3. Faith: A divine trust in God in spite of the circumstances. Is an assurance that God will work things out; a complete trust in God’s judgments.
  4. Healing: This one focus on the psychical health of a person; a cure a complete supernatural healing without any doctor or medicine intervention. This also includes healing of the soul.
  5. Miracle: If it can be explained is not a miracle.
  6. Prophesy: This gift involves two parts; one is to declare a message from God; a now word! The other is foretelling future events.
  7. Discerning of Spirits: The gift that recognizes whether something comes from God or the devil.
  8. The Gifts of Tongues: This is speaking an unknown language to you. (This is the most minimized gift of all because is really for our own edification)
  9. The Interpretation of Tongues: This is the supernatural interpretation of a supernatural tongue spoken in the congregation.

Notice that out of these 9 gifts 5 are directly connected to our speech. So, it should be normal amongst us as believers to gather and see these giftings move through folks. However, many churches do not allow this kind of freedom. Discerning Spirits is the best Security we can have in the church outside of God himself. A person with discernment protects the church from physical and spiritual danger. Faith is uncheckable; in a way, a person with faith is not so much about talking is about keeping his/her peace or joy no matter the circumstances. Healings and miracles are the visible manifestation of God’s power.

So, if amongst ourselves we are not observing these gifts what are we doing? What is the problem? Beloved, we are quenching the Holy Spirit… that’s the problem. First Thessalonians 5:19 tells us, “Do not quench the Spirit.”  (New American Standard) The word Quench is the Greek word sbénnumi meaning “To extinguish; to hinder, to repress, as in preventing the Holy Spirit from exerting His full influence.”[2] We don’t need a little of the Holy Spirit influence, today more than ever, we need HIS FULL INFLUENCE!

There is absolutely no excuse for leaving the Holy Ghost out. Covid-19 is not the most physically deadly spirit in the history of humanity, but spiritually speaking, this virus is packing a punch that have never seen before.  Covid-19 is the Goliath of our day and we better face this thing in the name of our Lord. We better release the power of the Holy Ghost amongst us. Without the Holy Ghost we are like Laodicea Church, a physically rich and wealthy church, but Jesus says of this church “…you are a wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked…”

 

[1] (I Corinthians 12:8-10, Isaiah 11:2-3, Ephesians 4:7-13 and Romans 12:3-8)

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

 

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