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Doctrine of Quenching the Holy Spirit

January 28, 2011

Quenching the Holy Spirit

When discussing the sin of quenching the Holy Spirit we must of course, note
the person and work of God the Holy Spirit who is the third person of the Trinity.
He is a Person not a thing (John 15:26; 16:7; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2). The Holy
Spirit is the unseen power of God. He reveals the Plan of God on earth and is the
agent for executing the Christian way of life.
The titles of God the Holy Spirit: (1) “Spirit of holiness” (Rom. 1:4) (2)
“Spirit of life” (Rom. 8:2) (3) “Spirit of knowledge” (Isa. 11:2) (4) “Spirit of
truth” (John 14:17).
Titles related to God the Father: (1) “Spirit of God” (2) “Spirit of our God”
(Gen. 1:2; Matt. 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:11) (3) “Spirit of your Father” (Matt. 10:20).
Titles related to God the Son: (1) “Spirit of Christ” (2) “Spirit of Jesus
Christ” (Rom. 8:9; Phil. 1:19) (3) “Spirit of His Son” (Gal. 4:6) (4) “Spirit of the
Lord” (Acts 5:9).
These titles do speak of an attribute because an attribute would not be
designated by a personal pronoun such as “He,” “Him,” and “His.”
The Greek word pneuma is often used in the New Testament to signify the third
person of the Trinity. It is a neuter gender word and would normally require a
neuter gender pronoun according to the rule of Greek grammar called concord.
However, because the Holy Spirit is a person, the New Testament writers
sometimes used a masculine pronoun in place of a neuter pronoun for the neuter
pronoun pneuma. Masculine pronouns are used of the Spirit in John 15:26; 16:7, 8,
13 and 14.
John 14:16-17, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper,
that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world
cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him
because He abides with you and will be in you.”
John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in
My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all
that I said to you.”
John 16:5-15, “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you
asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you,
sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage
that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if
I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world
concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they
do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father
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and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this
world has been judged. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot
bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you
into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He
hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will
glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that
the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will
disclose it to you.’”
God the Holy Spirit is related to the apostles as a distinct and separate person
who thought about what was best and related that to the apostles who were in
accord with the Spirit (Acts 15:28). He is related to the Lord Jesus as a distinct and
separate person (John 16:14). He is related to the other persons of the Godhead so
as to indicate personality (2 Cor. 13:14). He is distinguished from His own power
as a person (Lk. 1:35; 4:14; Acts 10:38; Rom. 15:13; 1 Cor. 2:4).
God the Holy Spirit has the same divine attributes as both God the Father and
God the Son: (1) Sovereignty (1 Cor. 12:11) (2) Righteousness (Spirit: Ps. 51:11)
(3) Justice (Neh. 9:20a; John 16:8-11) (4) Love (Rom. 5:5; 15:30) (5) Eternal life
(Heb. 9:14) (6) Omnipotence (Rom. 15:13) (7) Omniscience (Isa. 11:2) (8)
Omnipresence (Ps. 139:7) (9) Immutability (John 14:16; 1 John 5:7) (10) Veracity
(John 14:17; 1 John 5:7).
His deity is demonstrated by His Works: (1) Creation (Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:30).
(2) Inspiration of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21). (3) Regeneration,
illumination and sanctification (John 3:5-8; Tit. 3:5; R. 8:11; Eph. 3:16-19). (4).
God the Holy Spirit is a separate and distinct Person in the Godhead. He is
called “Lord” in 2 Corinthians 3:17 just as God the Father and God the Son are.
2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the
Lord is, there is liberty.”
The Spirit performs the actions of personality: (1) Teaches (John 14:26; 16:13-
15). (2) Testifies or bears witness (John 15:26). (3) Guides and Leads (Rom. 8:14).
(4) Performs miracles (Acts 8:39). (5) Convinces (John 16:7-8). (6) Restrains
(Gen. 6:3; 2 Thess. 2:6-7). (7) Commands (Acts 8:29). (8) Intercedes in prayer
(Rom. 8:26). (9) He receives ascriptions of personality. (10) He can be obeyed
(Acts 16:6-7). (11) He can be lied to (Acts 5:3). (12) He can be resisted (Acts
7:51). (13) He can be blasphemed (Mt. 12:31). (14) He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30).
(15) He can be insulted (Heb. 10:29).
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The Work of the Spirit
God the Holy Spirit is the divine author of the Word of God (2 Pet. 1:20-21).
2 Peter 1:20-21, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is
a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act
of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
Forty days after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven
and was seated at the right hand of the Father, He received power and authority
and the title of kurios, “Lord” over history and creation. Ten days later on the day
of Pentecost in June of 30 A.D., the Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to
permanently indwell those who had exercised faith in Him for eternal salvation.
On this day, the baptism of the Spirit first took place.
Jewish believers were the first to receive it and this event is recorded in Acts 2.
It took place among Gentile believers not too long after this and is recorded in Acts
10. Therefore, when a person trusts in the Lord Jesus as his Savior, the Spirit
proceeds from the Lord Jesus Christ to permanently indwell that person.
There are several passages, which state that the Spirit proceeds from the Lord
Jesus Christ.
John 14:16-17, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper,
that He may be with you forever that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world
cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him
because He abides with you and will be in you.”
John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in
My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all
that I said to you.”
John 15:26-27, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the
Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify
about Me and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the
beginning.”
John 16:5-7, “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you
asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you,
sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage
that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if
I go, I will send Him to you.”
John 16:13-15, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you
into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He
hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will
glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that
the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will
disclose it to you.”
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Acts 1:8, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon
you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and
Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 2:33, “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and
having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has
poured forth this which you both see and hear.”
Romans 8:9-11, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if
indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit
of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is
dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the
Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised
Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through
His Spirit who dwells in you.”
1 John 3:23-24, “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of
His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The
one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know
by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
1 John 4:12-13, “No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another,
God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we
abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”
God the Holy Spirit’s role in man’s salvation: (1) Common Grace: Makes the
gospel understandable (John 16:7-11; 2 Cor. 2:14b). (2) Regeneration: Creates a
human spirit at the moment of salvation (John 3:1-16). (3) Efficacious Grace:
Makes the believer’s faith in Christ effective for salvation (2 Cor. 6:2; Eph. 2:8-9).
Seven Salvation Ministries of God the Holy Spirit:
(1) Efficacious Grace: Makes faith in Jesus Christ effective for salvation (2
Cor. 6:1-2; Eph. 2:8-9).
2 Corinthians 6:1-2, “And working together with Him, we also urge you
not to receive the grace of God in vain — for He says, ‘AT THE
ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF
SALVATION I HELPED YOU.’ Behold, now is ‘THE ACCEPTABLE
TIME,’ behold, now is ‘THE DAY OF SALVATION.’”
(2) Regeneration: Creates a human spirit for the purpose of the imputation of
eternal life (John 3:1-16; Titus 3:5).
Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in
righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and
renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
(3) Baptism of the Spirit: Places every believer in union with Jesus Christ
(John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:5; 1 Pet. 3:21).
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Galatians 3:26-28, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ
Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves
with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free
man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
(4) Indwelling: Creates a temple for the indwelling of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:11;
1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:16).
1 Corinthians 6:18-20, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man
commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in
you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have
been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
(5) Filling: Influences the soul of the believer in executing the plan of God for
the church age (Eph. 5:18).
Ephesians 5:18, “And do not permit yourselves to get into the habit of
being drunk with wine because that is non-sensical behavior, but rather
permit yourselves on a habitual basis to be influenced by means of the Spirit.”
(6) Sealing: Puts His stamp on the believer to guarantee their salvation (2 Cor.
1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
Ephesians 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were
sealed for the day of redemption.”
(7) Distribution of Spiritual Gifts: Gives every believer a spiritual gift (1 Cor.
12:4-11).
God the Holy Spirit’s post-salvation ministries on behalf of the believer: (1)
Empowers the believer to execute the plan of God (John 14:16, 26; Gal. 5:16, 25;
Eph. 5:18; Phlp. 2:13). (2) Reproduces Christ-like character in the believer (Gal.
4:19; 5:5, 16-23). (3) Teaches the believer the doctrines of Christ (John 14:26; 1
Cor. 2:10-16; 1 John 2:20, 27). (4) Convicts the believer of sin (John 16:7-11;
Rom. 8:4-14; Eph. 4:30; 1 Th. 5:18). (5) Leads the believer in worshipping the
Father (Jo. 4:24; Phlp. 3:3; Rm. 8:4-13). (6) Promotes spiritual maturity (Gal. 5:1-
5; Heb. 5:11-6:6). (7) Applies truth to the believer’s experience (John 14:26; Rom.
8:16; Eph. 6:18). (8) Gives power to the believer’s prayer life (John 15:7; Eph.
6:18; Jude 20). (9) Promotes worship of God (John 4:23-24; Eph. 5:18-21; Phlp.
3:3; Is. 59:1-2). (10) Gives capacity, burden and direction for witnessing (Acts 1:8;
1 Thess. 1:5). (11) Gives capacity for ministry (1 Cor. 1:12-14). (12) Provides
fellowship for the believer (2 Cor. 13:14; Phlp. 2:1).
God the Holy Spirit teaches the believer through the Word of God (John 14:26;
15:26). Several passages state that the believer is to give heed to what the Spirit is
saying to the churches because of this spiritual principle that the Spirit takes the
doctrines of Christ and makes them understandable to the believer. The Spirit
speaks to the church through the communication of the Word of God.
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Acts 21:11, “This is what the Holy Spirit says.”
Acts 28:25, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to
your fathers.”
1 Corinthians 12:3, “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking
by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is accursed’; and no one can say, ‘Jesus is
Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
Timothy 4:1, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will
fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of
demons.”
Hebrews 3:7, “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘TODAY IF YOU
HEAR HIS VOICE.’”
Revelation 2:11, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to
the churches.”
Revelation 2:17, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to
the churches.”
Revelation 2:7a, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to
the churches.”
Revelation 3:6, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the
churches.’”
Revelation 3:13, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to
the churches.’”
Revelation 3:22, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to
the churches.”
The church age believer is totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit in order to
attain Christ-likeness and as a result execute the plan of God (Gal. 5:5, 16; Eph. 3;
16-17). He is the believer’s true teacher (John. 14:16-20, 26; 15:26; 16:7-16; 1 Cor.
2:10-16; 2 Cor. 13:14; Gal. 5:5, 16-25; Eph. 3:16-19; 5:18; 1 John 2:20-27).
The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to produce Christ-like character in the
believer (Gal. 5:22-23; Phlp. 2:13).
Philippians 2:12-13, “Therefore, my virtuously loved ones, in the same
manner that all of you have consistently obeyed, not only when in my
presence, but now, much more in my absence, you yourselves continue
executing your own spiritual life by means of respect (for God) and with
trembling. Since God (the Holy Spirit) is the one producing in all of you not
only the determination but also the (resultant) production for the attainment
of the grace purpose (of God the Father in eternity past).”
He takes the Word and empowers, guides and directs the believer in the process
of executing the Father’s plan (Acts 8:29; Rm. 8:14, 26; Phlp. 3:3; 2 Per. 1:21; cf.
Heb. 4:12).
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Philippians 3:2-3, “Beware of those dogs, beware of those evil workers,
beware of the mutilation because we are the circumcision those who are
serving (God the Father) by means of the Spirit of God, who are priding
themselves in the nature of Christ Jesus, who have no confidence in the flesh.”
He calls attention sin in the life of the believer by taking the Word of God and
using it to convict him (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; cf. John 16:7-11; 1 Cor. 2:10-
16; Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19).
Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the Member of the Trinity Who reveals whether
the believer is living in accordance with the doctrines of Christ or not (John 16:7-
16; Rom. 8:14).
Philippians 3:15, “Therefore, as many as are mature, let us consistently
think this. Nevertheless, if-and let us assume it is true for the sake of
argument anyone of you are thinking otherwise at the present time then God
the Holy Spirit as a rule will reveal this for your benefit.”
God the Holy Spirit produces peace in the soul of the believer who applies the
Word of God and in particular applies the doctrine of prayer.
Philippians 4:6-7, “At this very moment, all of you stop continuing to be
anxious about absolutely anything, but rather, concerning anything at all by
means of reverential prayer in the presence of the Father and by means of
petition accompanied by the giving of thanks, let your specific detailed
requests be repeatedly made known in the presence of the Father and as a
result the peace produced by God the Holy Spirit, which is always superior to
any and every human conception, will as a dogmatic statement of fact cause
your hearts to be protected and as a result your thoughts by means of the
doctrine of Christ Jesus.”
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The Sin of Quenching the Holy Spirit
When the believer commits an act of sin, whether mental, verbal or overt, they
prevent themselves from being influenced by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures speak
of three sins committed by the believer against the Holy Spirit: (1) “Lying” to God
the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3) (2) “Grieving” the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) (3)
“Quenching” the Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19).
“Quenching” the Spirit is another sin committed by the believer that prevents
him from being filled with the Spirit and walking according to the Spirit. In the
context of 1 Thessalonians 5:19, the prohibition to not “quench” the Spirit is a part
of a series of exhortations which concludes Paul’s message to the Thessalonians. In
1 Thessalonians 1:2-9 Paul praises the Thessalonians for their spiritual walk and
witness. But he also challenges them throughout the rest of the epistle to continue
to live obediently, orderly and in harmony with one another and with those in
leadership. These praises and challenges are given in light of the rapture, which is
the resurrection of the church, which is imminent and alluded to in every chapter of
1 Thessalonians.
Paul does not employ the adjective hagios, “Holy” in the prohibition of 1
Thessalonians 5:19 because he is not emphasizing the effect that sin has upon the
Person of the Spirit and thus our fellowship with Him, but rather it emphasizes the
negative impact that sin has upon His various post-salvation functions that He
performs on behalf of the believer.
Grieving the Spirit emphasizes the negative impact sin has on our relationship
with the Person of the Holy Spirit, namely, our fellowship with Him while
quenching the Spirit emphasizes the negative impact it has upon the Spirit’s work
in our lives, which is to manifest the character of Christ in our lives.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, “But we request of you, brethren, that you
appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in
the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in
love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you,
brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be
patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but
always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is
God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise
prophetic utterances. But examine everything {carefully;} hold fast to that
which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace
Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be
preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. Brethren, pray
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for us. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord to
have this letter read to all the brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be
with you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Spirit.”
The phrase “do not quench” is composed of two words in the Greek: (1)
Negative particle me. (2) Second person plural present active imperative form of
the verb sbennumi.
The verb sbennumi has the following meanings in classical literature and the
Septuagint (LXX): (1) Of fire: “to quench, to be extinguished, to go out.” (2) Of
fluids: “to suck dry, to dry up.” (3) Of men, plants, and cities: “to die, perish.” (4)
Of foods in cooking: “to steam.” (5) “To still, to damp down, to restrain, to rest, to
lie down, to abate.” (6) Of emotions and moods: “to still, to calm.” (7) “To
suppress, to restrain, to fade, to die out, to disappear” of the influence of
personality.
The verb appears 8 times in the Greek New Testament where it is always used
in relation to fire, either in a literal or metaphoric sense. Here in 1 Thessalonians
5:19 we have the metaphorical usage of the verb. The English translations use the
word “quench” to translate the word. This is a poor choice. The English word
“quench” has the connotation in our day and age that is related to thirst. We are not
talking about quenching the Spirit’s thirst here.
The term sbennumi in the Greek New Testament is always used of
extinguishing a light or fire. In using the word here in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Paul
pictured the Spirit of God as fire. One of the figures that is used for the Holy Spirit
in the Scriptures is fire. John the Baptist is reported as having explicitly linked the
coming of the Spirit with fire.
Luke 3:16, “John answered and said to them all, ‘As for me, I baptize you
with water; but One is coming ho is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie
the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’”
The “tongues of fire” that rested over the heads of the disciples on the Day of
Pentecost was sign of the Spirit’s presence in the church. The Baptism of the Spirit
thus was linked with fire.
Acts 2:1-4, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in
one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing
wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there
appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested
on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to
speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”
In the Old Testament, fire was a symbol of the Lord’s presence and the
instrument of His power, either in the way of approval or judgment. The Lord pre
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incarnate Christ appeared in the burning bush to Moses in Exodus 3:2-5, which we
call in theology, a theophany.
Exodus 3:2, “The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire
from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning
with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.” The Exodus generation was guided
at night by a pillar of fire.
Exodus 14:24, “At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the
army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the
army of the Egyptians into confusion.”
Fire was also equated with the Lord’s judgment.
Numbers 11:1-3, “Now the people became like those who complain of
adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard {it}, His
anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and
consumed {some} of the outskirts of the camp. The people therefore cried out
to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD and the fire died out. So the name
of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among
them.”
God is compared to fire not only because of His perfect integrity but also on
account of His anger towards sin.
Hebrews 12:29, “for our God is a consuming fire.”
What does fire produce? Light of course. Light enables us to see where we are
going. In the same way that the pillar of fire provided light and guided the Exodus
generation through the darkness of the desert so the Spirit provides light for the
church age believer’s soul in order to guide him through the darkness of the cosmic
system of Satan. When we sin, we are extinguishing the light that the Spirit
provides in our soul when we are in fellowship.
1 John 1:5-2:2, “Now, this is the proclamation, which we have heard issue
forth from Him and we are imparting at this particular time for the benefit of
all of you, namely that God (the Father) is light. In fact, there is absolutely no
darkness inherent in Him, none. If, any of us enters into making the claim that
we have been experiencing fellowship with Him and yet we have been living in
the darkness (of the cosmic system of Satan), then we do lie to ourselves and
furthermore, we unequivocally do not obey the truth. On the other hand, if
any of us does at any time live in the light (in the presence of the Father by
living according to the standards of His holiness) just as He Himself is in
essence that light (holy), then, we do experience fellowship with one another
(with the Father) and furthermore, the blood of Jesus, His Son does cause us
to be purified from each and every sin. If, any of us enters into making the
claim that we have never possessed a sin nature, then, we do deceive ourselves
and furthermore, the truth is unequivocally not in us. If any of us does at any
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time confess our sins, then, He (God the Father) is faithful and just with the
result that He forgives us our sins and purifies us from each and every
wrongdoing. If, any of us enters into making the claim that we have never
sinned, then, we make Him out to be a liar and furthermore His Word is
unequivocally not in us. My little children, I am providing information in
writing at this particular time concerning these things for the benefit of all of
you in order that all of you might not enter into committing an act of sin.
Now, if anyone does enter into committing an act of sin, then we possess as an
Advocate with the Father, Jesus who is the righteous Christ. Furthermore, He
Himself is the propitiation with regards to our sins. In fact, He Himself is the
propitiation not with regards to our sins only in contrast with the rest of
unregenerate humanity, absolutely not, but also with regards to the entire
world, without exception and without distinction.”
Job 29:3, “When His lamp shone upon my head by His light I walked
through darkness (of the cosmic system).”
Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation whom I will respect.”
1 Thessalonians 5:5, “In fact, all of you are sons of light and son of the day.
We are never of darkness or of night. So then we should never sleep as the
rest but we should keep on being alert and keep on being sober-minded.”
Not only are we depriving ourselves the guidance and direction of the Spirit
when we sin but we are also hindering the Spirit’s work of manifesting the light of
Christ in our physical bodies while we live in the midst of the darkness of the
cosmic system of Satan. The light of Christ is the Person of Christ or more
accurately, the character of Christ. When we are out of fellowship, the light of
Christ, which refers to the character of the Person of Christ, cannot be manifested
in our physical bodies.
Remember what the Lord Jesus Christ said in John 8:12, “Therefore, Jesus
addressed them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. The one who keeps
on obeying me (as a lifestyle) shall no never walk in the darkness, but will
possess the light of life.”
The Spirit’s job during the church age is always to manifest the light of Christ
through the body of Christ. The responsibility of us as members of the body of
Christ is to manifest the Person of Christ. The Spirit enables us to, but this is
hindered and brought to a complete stop when we sin and are out of fellowship.
Paul exhorts the Roman believers to put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12, “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore
let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
When we are filled or more accurately influenced by the Spirit, we can discern
the lies from the cosmic system of Satan.
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Ephesians 5:13, “But all things become visible when they are exposed by
the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”
So the church’s function as the body of Christ is to manifest the Person of
Christ or in other words, the Light of Christ. This is why Paul desired that Christ
would be manifested in his physical body in Philippians 1:21.
Philippians 1:19-21, “In fact, I know without a doubt that this (situation)
will result for my benefit in (soul) prosperity through your supportive prayer
by means of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. According to my confident anticipation
that I will be put to shame in nothing but with all courage, as always, even
now, Christ will be glorified in my body whether by life or by death because
as far as I am concerned to keep on living is Christ and to have died is profit.”
This is why Paul exhorts the Philippians in the following manner:
Philippians 2:14-16, “Keep on performing all activities without murmurs
resulting from doubts so that you might demonstrate yourselves to be
uncensurable and uncontaminated, students of God (the Holy Spirit), virtuous
in the midst of a corrupt and depraved generation. Among whom you
yourselves keep on appearing as luminaries in the cosmos by all of you
continuing to exhibit the Word of life as a boast for me on the day of Christ
because I have not run in vain, nor have I worked diligently in vain.”
We know it is impossible for mortal man to extinguish the Holy Spirit of God
so there must be a figure being employed here by the apostle Paul. The verb
sbennumi is used in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 in a figurative or metaphorical sense of
“hindering” the Spirit’s work in our lives.
Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary lists the following definitions
for the verb hinder: (1) To cause delay, interruption, or difficulty in; check, retard,
hamper (2) To prevent from doing, acting, or happening (3) To be an obstacle or
impediment.
The verb “hinder” emphasizes causing harmful or annoying delay or
interference with progress. When we sin and get out of fellowship, we are
hindering the activity of the Spirit in our lives.
What is that activity? Well we know one of His activities is to provide light for
our souls meaning guidance and direction in doing the will of God as we live in the
darkness of the cosmic system of Satan. The other activity that the Spirit is
performing in our lives after salvation as we noted in Paul’s use of the figure of
fire and light is that He produces Christ-like character in us. When we sin and get
out of fellowship we are in effect hindering the Spirit’s work of manifesting the
Light or the virtuous character of Christ in our physical bodies!
Remember what Paul said in Galatians 4:19, “My children, with whom I am
again in labor until the character of Christ is formed in all of you.”
The fruit of the Spirit is the production of Christ-like character.
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Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things
there is no law.”
Ephesians 5:9, “(for the fruit of the Light {consists} in all goodness and
righteousness and truth).”
Hebrews 12:11, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but
sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the
peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
James 3:18, “And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by
those who make peace.”
The Father is glorified when we develop more of the character of Christ in our
lives.
John 15:8, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and
{so} prove to be My disciples.”
When we sin and get of fellowship, this activity of the Spirit of fruit bearing is
hindered or prevented from continuing.”
If we paraphrase Webster’s definitions of the verb “hinder” and relate them to
the Spirit’s work in our lives, we could say the following: (1) Sin causes a delay or
an interruption of the Spirit’s work in producing Christ-like character in the
believer. (2) Sin hampers the Spirit’s work of producing Christ-like character in the
believer. (3) Sin prevents the Spirit from producing Christ-like character in the
believer. (4) Sin is an obstacle or an impediment to the Spirit’s work of producing
Christ-like character in the believer. (5) Sin causes harmful and annoying delay or
interference to the Spirit’s work in producing Christ-like character in the believer.
(6) Sin interferes with the progress of the Spirit’s work of producing Christ-like
character in the believer.
The negative particle me negates the verb sbennumi and is used to here to
express a prohibition. Now the present imperative can express two different
concepts: (1) Cessation of Activity in Progress: cessation of an act already in
progress. (2) General Precept: Makes no comment about whether the action is
going on or not.
There is no indication throughout the entire epistle that the Thessalonians were
already living in their old sin nature or committing this particular act of sin. There
is no implication whatsoever.
As in Ephesians 4:30, Paul is performing preventative maintenance by issuing
this prohibition. Paul He is warning them ahead of time not to hinder the Spirit’s
work in their lives. He is not implying that they were already involved in this sin of
hindering the Holy Spirit but rather he is expressing a general precept. This is a
customary present tense used to express habitual action. Paul does not want the
Thessalonians to get into the habit of hindering the Spirit’s work in their lives.
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1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not make it a habit of hindering the Spirit.”
We are hindering the Spirit’s efforts to bring us to Christ-likeness when we sin
and get out of fellowship. In hindering the Spirit the stress is upon rendering
inoperative the various post-salvation functions of the Spirit.
Post-Salvation Ministries of the Holy Spirit: (1) enabling power (Acts 1:8; Rm.
15:13, 19; Ga. 5:16; Eph. 3:16). (2) Mentorship or Guidance (Jn. 14:26, 15:26;
16:13-15; Rm. 8:14; 1 Co. 2:10-16). (3) Fellowship (2 Co. 13:14; Phlp. 2:1). All of
these post-salvation ministries are essential in developing Christ-like character in
our lives as believers.
Quenching or more accurately hindering the Spirit looks at the effect of sin
upon the Spirit but from the standpoint of His work that He is sent to perform in
our lives.
Philippians 1:6, “And I am confident of this very same thing that He (God
the Holy Spirit) who began a good work in all of you will completely finish it
up to the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 2:12-13, “Therefore, my virtuously loved ones, in the same
manner that all of you have consistently obeyed, not only when in my
presence, but now, much more in my absence, you yourselves keep on
executing your own spiritual life by means of respect (for God) and with
trembling. Since God (the Holy Spirit) is the One producing in all of you not
only the determination but also the (resultant) production for the attainment
of the grace purpose (of God the Father in eternity past).”
When we are quenching the Spirit, we are denying ourselves the Spirit’s
omnipotence, which is essential in developing Christ-like character in us, which is
the Father’s, will for our lives.
Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Ephesians 3:14-16, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He
would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with
power through His Spirit in the inner man.”
This enabling power of the Spirit provides the believer with divine omnipotence
necessary to do the Father’s will. Remember, a perfect plan designed by a perfect
God demands perfect power. When we are disobedient to the Word of God and
thus sin, we render inoperative the power of the Spirit in our lives, which power is
designed to enable us to do the Father’s will. What is the Father’s will? That we
bear fruit which as we noted is developing the character of Christ in our lives.
Quenching the Spirit not only deals with the rendering inoperative the
omnipotence of the Spirit in our lives but also it refers to depriving ourselves of the
mentorship of the Spirit.
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Romans 8:14, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are
sons of God.”
John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you
into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He
hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
The mentorship of the Spirit deals with the post-salvation ministry of the Spirit
where He guides and instructs the believer into doing the will of God. The Spirit
teaches and guides the believer in doing the will of God through the
communication of the Word of God. Quenching the Spirit also involves loss of
fellowship with God.
2 Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of
God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”
Philippians 2:1, “Therefore, if…and there is, any encouragement in Christ,
if…and there is, any motivation from divine-love, if…and there is, any
fellowship through the Spirit, if…and there is, any compassionate affections.”
The Holy Spirit provides us the opportunity to have fellowship with both the
Father and the Son as well as Himself. He provides access to this fellowship. When
we sin we are denying ourselves fellowship with the Trinity. When we are
hindering the Spirit we are conducting ourselves contrary to the will of the Father.
Quenching the Spirit means that our thoughts, words and actions are contrary to
the will of God. It means that we are obstructing the Spirit’s influence or work in
our lives. We are not walking in agreement with the Spirit. We are working
independently from Him. In the same way that grieving the Spirit prevents Him
from influencing us so quenching or more accurately, hindering the Spirit does not
permit the Spirit to influence our thoughts, words and actions. The Spirit is trying
to conform our thoughts, words and actions to the image of His Son.
The Spirit is able to produce Christ-like character in the believer when he is
filled with the Spirit. The Greek word for “fruit” is the word karpos, which is in
the singular. The “fruit” of the Spirit is nine-fold. There are nine different
manifestations of the “fruit” of the Spirit and not nine “fruits” of the Spirit. God
the Holy Spirit produces fruit in the believer. It is not the fruit of the believer, but
the fruit produced by the Spirit.