Fire and Grace

“John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Luke 3:16 ESV

Dear Lord – ignite your fires, please! As we worship you in study of your word – please reveal to us your fire. – Amen

John the Baptist baptized in water for repentance. The idea is we let our old person die and be buried with Christ and come up out of the water, sharing in Christ redemptive work of the cross and resurrection. What a powerful symbol and act to participate in. And more amazing is that John was doing it BEFORE the death and resurrection of our Lord! Wow!

But John says Jesus is coming next. This same Jesus Christ that we today worship. This Jesus will baptize in the Holy Spirit and with fire. John’s baptism is in water – submerged in water.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is us being submerged in the Holy Spirit – from the inside to overflowing, poured into us. (more detail in my post 2 days ago and in my post on Pentecost Sunday)
In silly ponderings – if submission is baptism, then were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the first to be baptized in fire???  Will we have to be thrown into the fiery furnace?  I suppose we should learn what this “fire” is. The time is now, today is the day of salvation. Because as we shall see – FIRE is for today! Fire is for such a time as this.

25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29 ESV

God is the consuming fire – therefore it stands to reason that baptism in fire is being fulling submersed in God. If you notice the rest of the passage, and many passages about fire have reference to a time such as this, when the world needs a shaking. A big revival / awakening is on our horizon and a good shaking.  Plant your feet firm and do not be shook – because we are inheriting a kingdom that cannot be shaken!   

49 I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” 54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” Luke 12:49-56 ESV

Some are already kindled with the fire, as we see here. There is a baptism to be baptized with, is said immediately after He says He came to cast fire – is He referring to the baptism in fire?  The passage here in Luke then goes on to speak of a time of great division – maybe like the spirit of division that has spread over the earth recently? Maybe. As the passage concludes with understanding the times.  We look at events from the perspective of the United States of America (the most deceived nation) and we probably will miss the signs of the time. When aware of the global climate – woe to this world.  We need this fire! This submersion into God.

“And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.” Acts 2:3 ESV

On the day of Pentecost, after Jesus was caught away into the sky, the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit, as can be read about in Acts chapter 2.  I have been baptized in the Holy Spirit (you can too – and if you aren’t just pray and ask for it).  But when it happened to me, there was no divided tongue as of fire resting on me.  I dare to say, maybe it is a separate thing??  It is time for the sound of rushing mighty wind. It is the time for fire.

Maybe we need to look deeper – this fire and submersion into God.

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29 ESV

Here is Jeremiah – “My Word” is “Like Fire”.  What is the word? The Word is Jesus (John 1). The Word is a sword (Hebrews 12). The Word is creation (Genesis 1). The Word is also the fire! THEREFORE: Jesus is the word, and the sword and creation, and FIRE!!! 
Have I not been saying seek God! Seek Jesus! Focus on Jesus and keep our eyes on Jesus – all this focus is leading us to the FIRE!!! Stay with me, I know it is abstract. We aren’t being literally tossed into some furnace – we are going to a deeper place in Christ.

“There is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” Jeremiah 20:9b

MMmmMmMM – I feel that fire kindled inside me – it is ignited, it is burning, and how long until I am weary of holding it in??? Whoo-hoo!!! It’s the fire of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ all submerged in God! I am burning away – becoming new!

Wake up! Catch this!  Good things are coming and now is the time – today is the day of salvation!!

“Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” 1 Kings 18:38 ESV

Our Lord is an all-consuming fire and we are the sacrifice, sharing in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, for the redemption of this world! Baptism in water is sharing in the death and resurrection, baptism in fire is also a symbol of the cross – but that of the sacrifice. Not the Romans 6 death to self – but the Revelations 12 kind of “love not your life, even unto death” kind of sacrifice.

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Revelations 12:11 ESV

What does it profit us to have this life anyway, if not to be used by God? His grace is sufficient. Time to live by grace – Time to walk in the spirit – walk in truth – walk in newness of life.

This relationship with God is not a joke – this is real. God is real. And the things that are about to happen will transform you and bless you if you let it.

**If you want to have a relationship with Jesus, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ Love one another
~ Watch and Pray ~
Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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