Can selling prophetic words lead to quenching the Holy Spirit?

The greatest fear that Satan has is encountering people who are filled with the Holy Spirit, because they have the power to heal and deliver people from Satanic oppression.

When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of a higher ranking satanic being, Beelzebub, Jesus responded that He was actually casting out demons by the finger of God (Luke 11:20).

Matthew, citing this same incident, provides further illumination by telling us that the finger of God is actually the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28).

Christ is the source of our spiritual authority and the Holy Spirit is the source of our spiritual power.

So if Satan wants to strip believers of their power, certainly one effective way of doing this would be by compromising their relationship with the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul provides one example of how we can do this when he warns, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 ESV).

According to Thayer’s, the Greek word, ‘sbennumi’, means ‘to extinguish, quench a fire or things on fire.”

Literally, Christians have the ability to put out the Holy Spirit fire in their lives?

Paul then provides an example of how we can do this, when he adds in the very next verse, ‘Do not despise prophecies” (1 Thessalonians 5:20 ESV).

Paul connects despising of prophecy to quenching the Holy Spirit.

If this connection is true, then all Satan has to do to render Christian’s powerless is to start discrediting prophecy, leading some to potentially despise the gift.

So, how would Satan go about doing this?

In an article for Charisma News, James Lash writes about individuals claiming to be Christian prophets who are selling prophetic words for as much as $555 a word.

As Lash explains, they are “Taking cues from television psychics of the late 90s such as Miss Cleo.”

I even had an acquaintance tell me that he paid a much smaller fee, under a $100, for a person to give him a prophetic word on whether he should make a significant geographical move.

The individual who claimed to be a Christian prophet advertised the service on his website.

Perhaps these could be classified as donations, but this type of activity has the potential to discredit prophecy, with some people accusing them of peddling their spiritual gift for money.

We see a similar incident involving the prophet Elisha and his apprentice Gehazi.

Elisha had been the prophet Elijah’s apprentice, and when he was taken to heaven, Elijah’s prophetic mantle was passed on to Elisha (1 Kings 19:19-21).

Similarly, I suspect that Elisha intended to pass on his prophetic anointing to Gehazi, but something happened to change that, and it involved money and the prophetic.

When a general in the Syrian army by the name of Namaan came down with leprosy, his Jewish slave girl told her master to consult the prophet Elisha for healing (2 Kings 5:1-27).

After a bit of consternation, Namaan eventually obeyed Elisha and was miraculously healed after dipping in the Jordan River seven times.

When the Syrian general wanted to make a donation to Elisha of tens sets of clothing, ten talents of silver, and six thousands shekels of gold, Elisha said no, and that seemed to be the end of it.

Namaan didn’t pay this in advance for the prophetic healing, it was a donation after the fact.

However, as Namaan was journeying home, Elisha’s apprentice Gehazi ran after the Syrian general, stating that Elisha had changed his mind because of the arrival of two sons of prophets at their camp.

Elisha wanted two sets of clothing and two talents of silver for the individuals. Notice how Gehazi worded it, so Elisha wasn’t seen to be personally benefitting from this gift.

Obviously, there was more going on here than just payment, as Gehazi was lying about Elisha changing his mind, and the two men showing up at their camp.

But in the end, the root of this lie was Gehazi’s desire for money. His sin was eventually exposed, and he was cursed with leprosy, stopping the prophetic succession.

As Paul explains, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:10 ESV).

Money for prophetic is not only a potentially dangerous path, it can also result in the prophetic being discredited, even despised.

We saw another example of the prophetic being discredited in 2019 and 2020 when several individuals prophesied that Donald Trump would be reelected as US president.

People will make mistakes prophetically, and some like Jeremiah Johnson did the right thing. They apologized, and in Johnson’s case he even pulled back from the prophesying as he reexamined where he went wrong.

However, the real problems started when others doubled down on their false prophecies and predicted that God would miraculously restore Trump to the presidency by inauguration day, January 20, 2020.

When that didn’t happen, some took a new path and stated that Trump was still God’s elected president, even though he wasn’t actually president.

Of course, all this did was make a mockery of the gift of prophecy, potentially leading some to despise all prophecy, even the legitimate ones.

This is why Paul continues in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “but test everything; hold fast what is good.”

In other words, don’t despise all prophesy because of a few bad apples. Keep the good, throw out the bad.

If we despise all prophecy because some are selling their gift and others won’t admit their error, we will quench the Holy Spirit in our life. This is because we are essentially blaming or associating the Holy Spirit with these actions.

We are entering days, when we will need more of the Holy Spirit, not less.

“As we move deeper and deeper into the end times, just as the Bible warns there will be false teachers and false prophets rising from the shadows,” Lash warns.

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