Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NIV
Do not quench the Spirit. To quench is to extinguish or to put out, like dumping water on a fire. Paul is warning us here against hindering the work of the Holy Spirit. Within our own lives, the life of the church, or the world around us. While there might be many ways we can quench the Spirit, the following verse would seem to be what Paul had in mind.
Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Prophecy, as used here, is a divinely inspired message. It does not imply any new revelation. Nor does it necessarily need to come from someone we recognize as having the gift of prophecy. As an example, I am not a prophet. I am a teacher. And, as a teacher, I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide my thoughts and words. That I would teach, not in my wisdom, but with his inspiration.
One way to quench the Spirit is to treat with contempt the message that the Spirit delivers to us, either through people or the Scripture. Treating that message with contempt would essentially be to reject it. To say that it was not from the Spirit. Or by choosing to ignore it.
Indeed the message delivered to you may not be from God. Test it. Is it faithful to the whole of the Scripture? Then hold on to it, responding as appropriate. Does it fall short or contradict what you find in God’s inspired word? Then reject it as evil.
When we honor the Spirit-inspired word given to us and obey it, then we are allowing the Spirit’s fire to burn brightly. But when we reject or ignore it, we quench the Spirit.