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1. Introduction

We can be fire-starters of revival across the nations by carrying the Holy Spirit and the baptism with fire. Do you want the Holy Spirit to move through you to start revival fires? God wants to co-labour with us, and He also wants to take us on a personal journey to the next level, with the Holy Spirit moving within us from glory to glory:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18

A. Fire on the Roof

In 2008, when revival broke out in Arnhem Land, we started to have meetings at the building, which the witch doctors also used. At the first meeting, God gave a sign where an indigenous person saw fire appearing on the roof. The fire did not burn the building, so she testified to others that God was at the meetings throughout the community. It wasn’t long before revival fires started to move from town to town, demonstrating the power of God. When we left Arnhem Land six years later, every community across an area the size of Texas had turned to Jesus. This revival fire then jumped a few thousand kilometres to the middle of the continent of Australia.

If revival is what you hunger for, then please read on!

2. Jesus Baptizes with Fire

As John the Baptist declared, Jesus is the one who baptizes with Holy Spirit and fire:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is
mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the
Holy Spirit and fire.

Matthew 3:11

Fire comes with the Holy Spirit baptism.

3. Every Human Will Go Through Fire

As we have seen, baptism with fire comes with Holy Spirit baptism. But the fire of God is not limited to those who receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Baptism with fire does not mean that those who choose not to accept the Holy Spirit baptism will miss out on fire. Whether a person does not receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit as a believer or chooses not to believe in Jesus, they will still go through the fire. Jesus said everybody would go through fire!

“For everyone will be seasoned with fire, …

Mark 9:49

A. Unbelievers in Jesus

In Judgement of God, we learnt fire consumes those who do not accept Jesus as Lord.

… to be cast into hell fire— where
‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

Mark 9:47-48

Therefore, for those who do not turn to Jesus, the fire will destroy them.

B. Believers in Jesus

In Judgement of God, we learnt that followers of Jesus would also go through fire to receive eternal life with God. This fire is through trials, persecution, and the Father’s discipline. The apostle Peter teaches that it is a refining fire here on earth.

that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that
perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the
revelation of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 1:7

We need to understand that the more we want to be a fire-starter for God, the more we will go through the refiner’s fire to purify us and transform us into the image of Jesus. We need to welcome this refining process, although it can be difficult. During these times, we remember wonderful promises such as:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Jesus also had trials that He could choose not to accept:

saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Luke 22:42

During these times when we would prefer to run from the pain of being disciplined or refined, we need to strengthen ourselves in God, as His grace will be sufficient.

C. Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

The righteousness that comes through the New Covenant allows the Holy Spirit to fill us at the new birth, and then Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit separately. Being baptized with fire happens at the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

4. Purpose of Baptism With Fire

A. Evangelism

The primary purpose of the baptism with fire is to assist you in bringing the gospel. Jesus said these words in the context of persecution:

“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

Luke 12:49

He was saying fire will come when the baptism in the Holy Spirit comes at the first Pentecost. Likewise, enabling us to be effective witnesses is the purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit:

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

B. Making Into the Image of Jesus

Transformation Through Salvation taught us that being made in the image of Jesus is part of salvation. We are reconciled through His death and saved through His resurrection.

So, the purpose of the refiner’s fire is part of the salvation process we all go through.

5. Manifestation of Baptism with Fire

The outward manifestation of fire is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Historically, every significant man or woman of God will refer to an event separate from conversion, where they encountered the Holy Spirit accompanied by the fire burning within.

A. Pentecost

We note that on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, visible tongues of fire appeared upon them:

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:2-4

B. Tongues of Fire

This verse in Acts 2:2 states that it wasn’t just a little flame; it was divided tongues of fire. In other words, it was a raging fire. Once Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit, the fire of God needs to burn intensely in each one of us.

C. Wind of the Spirit

When the wind of the Spirit came, the breath of God also came to fan the flame. The Hebrew name for the Spirit of God is ruach, meaning and sounding like breath.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:2-4

Note that it does not say it was wind but rather the sound of the wind.

I have personally experienced a similar sound at a youth conference in Malaysia. Many young adults had come to believe in Jesus in a revival there. While I was ministering, the new believers suddenly began to speak in their heavenly language. As they did so, a booming sound came into the room. It was similar to the sound of standing one meter from a freight train as it thundered past at high speed. I believe we experienced the same sound as on the day of Pentecost.

D. Revival Fire is Public

In Acts 2, we note that people from many different nations and groups saw the fire fall on the first Pentecost. We must share the revival fire, or it will soon die out. Holy Spirit fire is not for ourselves but for spreading the gospel.

And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?

Acts 2:6-7

6. Baptism with Fire Brings Light, Heat and Glory

A. Temple of the Holy Spirit

The anointing of the Spirit burns in an enclosed lamp—your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Matthew teaches us to put the anointing oil into our lamps so the fire may burn.

but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Matthew 25:4

Your body is a vessel, the temple of the Holy Spirit, where the Trinity lives. God wants us to be sanctified oil lamps, walking holy and blameless before Him. This walk of righteousness is honouring to God; therefore, He will honour you for walking in righteousness.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

2 Timothy 2:20-21

B. The Refiner’s Fire

All vessels go through the fire; what remains is gold or silver that God has refined. We see this portrayed in the parable of the one who would not forgive his brother of a small debt, casting him into jail. Jesus had this to say about such a person:

Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

Matthew 18:32-34

The master’s anger would support the idea that God will send you tormenting demons if you do not forgive. I agree that people who walk in unforgiveness are often troubled by the internal conflict that unforgiveness produces. But when we look closely at the Greek word for tormentors, we find an insight not first apparent. The root word for tormentor is βάσανος basanos.

Basanos is referring to testing metals by the touchstone. The touchstone is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver. Once rubbed against gold or silver, the touchstone leaves a coloured streak. Refined precious metals make a different coloured streak than unrefined gold or silver.

C. God Our Holiness

However, the refining process is not about walking in your holiness. One of God’s Old Testament attributes was Yahweh M’Kadesh, meaning God Our Holiness. Yahweh M’KAdesh declares that God provides us with holiness. We need to allow change through His refiner’s fire that He gives to us. Speaking to the lukewarm Laodicean church, Jesus says:

I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Revelation 3:18

The Laodiceans were known for paying money to receive counsel on becoming rich. There is refined gold from heaven available to anyone who diligently seeks it. If you are seeking to be purified and be more like Jesus, you will receive exactly that:

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

John 15:7

D. Trimming the Wick

We need to trim the wick of yesterday’s fire so we burn cleanly with no smoke.

Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.

Matthew 25:7

Spending time in prayer is especially important for leaders. It is futile to try and minister in yesterday’s fire, thinking it is burning bright. In reality, it is flickering with smoke. Although doing this might work for a while, we may not realize the anointing has lifted off us one day, as it did with Samson.

And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.

Judges 16:20

E. Fresh oil

We need to get fresh oil EVERY DAY by spending time with the Holy Spirit.

And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

Matthew 25:8

Our fire will eventually go out if we do not get new oil from the Holy Spirit anointing and Jesus the anointed One.

F. Drawing From Ministry Gifts

The following scripture talks about those who sell oil. Those who have oil to “sell” are like those with an anointed ministry gift.

But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’

Matthew 25:9

The ministry-gifted persons have a responsibility to equip saints for ministry and edify the body of Christ:

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

Ephesians 4:11-12

It is good to draw from the anointed ministry gifts, but this should not be the primary source of the anointing. We must go to God ourselves so that He may give us everything for our personal life (the anointing within) and the power ministry (anointing upon us).

7. Baptism with Fire Comes From Abiding

The fire comes from ABIDING -making a home for Abba Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

A. Abiding on the Vine

In Jesus’ parable of the true vine, Abba Father prunes unfruitful branches to produce more fruit. Therefore this parable is referring to those who are already followers of Jesus.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

John 15:1-2,6

Here Jesus is referring to us as believers. It is not saying that the believers will go to hell because He says they will bear more fruit.

8. Baptism with Fire produces Fruitfulness

God desires to bless us. He does this by making us more fruitful:

If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 3:14-16

9. Summary

  • Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit and fire.
  • Those who do not believe in Jesus will be consumed with fire.
  • Believers in Jesus will be refined by fire whilst alive as part of their transformation through salvation.
  • We are vessels to be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit so that we may burn brightly, bringing the light of the gospel to the world.
  • We are responsible for caring for our lamps, oil, and wick so that they burn brightly and with purity.

In the two witnesses of Revelation 11, we look at an example of two witnesses baptised in fire.

However, in summary, the two witnesses are the two anointings of Zechariah 4. The two anointings are the priestly anointing (Zerubbabel was a royal prince) and the kingly anointing (Joshua was a High Priest).

© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries/Dr Neville van Eerten D.Miss. 2024

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