Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Quenching the Spirit
There's this passage and it certainly seems as though God keeps returning it to my mind in recent days.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 "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."
I had been challenged, maybe even provoked, to look at an aspect of what I believe and why. This passage wasn't the first to come to mind but it was there at the beginning. I read throughout the book of John, at the very least, concerning the hard heartedness of the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were in their own rut concerning the Old Testament Scriptures. Reading on into the letters to the Church's in Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, those in Thessolonica. It was an underlying message to all since the letters were shared and eventually became the Bible we have today.
The question that came to the top was this: Are churches today quenching the Spirit by their rules and doctrines they have established?
The Spirit is known as the Paraclete. Literally "another of the same kind as" Jesus Christ. He would teach. Yet there's many who try to put Him in a box because of what it is He's teaching or how He goes about doing it!
It's a grievous error to dismiss a lesson that the Spirit is teaching someone. To say that even a particular translation is to be revered about all others is literally to do the same as what the Jewish leaders were accused of by Jesus Himself. They were so stuck on the letter of the Law they had that they failed to see the work of God. They failed to see His coming. They failed to see the Truth when the Truth showed up in bodily form. They quenched the Spirit.
I have been graced with Biblical learning from many Godly Men. Some are former Professors from Grace Theological Seminary. Godly Men as Pastors who taught the value of searching the Scriptures to see if things are so. To not be limited by one type of translation but to ask the Spirit if what I am understanding is right. Even if it means going across several translations to get the meaning.
The job of the Holy Spirit also is to protect the Word of God. Be it New American Standard, New King James, King James, Christian Standard Version, Authorized Standard Version or the many study Bibles that are out there. The message of the Gospel will be protected by Him. He has all the power of the resurrected Christ Jesus. He aided in the creation of this Universe.
It is through Him that we who have come to Christ are sealed til the day of either when we are called home to Jesus or the Rapture of the Church.
There were those in the beginning days of the Church who were trying to establish new requirements for believers. It's quickly evident by what we read that those requirements were shot down. As it was written that why should they impose on new believers what they and their forefathers couldn't live up to?
You are never in danger when you rely on the Spirit to guide your thoughts and understanding of the Bible. Remembering that we are using mainly English translations. It's incredibly rare if you can read and understand the original languages of the Bible to have as your daily intake of God's Word. Symbolism and taking things literally are parts of what are in the Bible for us to understand. Trusting the Spirit to teach accurately is part of the Christian life. The same as trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation.
Being sensitive to the things of God means being sensitive to the Spirit of God.
Look at your own understanding of things. I had to. Jesus loves to teach us through His Spirit. The Spirit loves a tender heart that is teachable. The Father is pleased by all the above. There's only one absolute truth concerning truth. It's that Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life. No man comes to the Father but through Him.
So what I would suggest is what God did with me. Ask Him. Be open to His answer. It may surprise you. It did me.
Be ready to learn. Because the Spirit is a phenomenal Teacher when the Students are attentive and ready to learn.