BAPTISM OF FIRE
John The Baptist said of Jesus Christ, "He shall baptise you with The Holy Spirit and with Fire".
The Baptism of The Holy Spirit and The Baptism of Fire are not the same event. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a blessing; The Baptism of Fire is correction and Judgement.
Baptism of Fire is judgement, sanctification, a process employed by God such as trials, temptations, trouble, and persecution that bring believers to maturity for His service.
The presence of trials and distresses are not proof of sin but are tokens of God's love and care so that people will turn to Him and live.
It is God's love when there is chastisement of His own. Chastening is done in such a way that it strengthens our flaws and character, which are weak.
Believers acknowledge their weakness and depend upon God. Through chastisement, correction and perseverance God draws people near to Himself, even though He does sympathise with them as He loves and helps them through the times of their difficulties.
Chastisement is correction for believers; punishment is wrath (righteous anger) for unbelievers.
Chastisement is for the purpose of concern and hope for the most effective development, to refute disobedience and drive out foolishness of a rebellious heart, to deliver a believer from eternal punishment, to teach a person right attitudes and right motives.
Through correction believers learn to trust, love and yield to God as each one comes to know God and His Word. Believers should be yielded and submissive before The Creator.
Correction and testing for maturity of trust and belief includes the testing of faith, works and deeds, all producing what will glorify God.
If disciples are left without discipline, they cannot be partakers of God's holiness and therefore cannot see God. Hebrews 12-14
God sanctifies a believer's will, made holy, set apart and pure, refined, purged and pruned. Holiness describes an inward character. Fire cleanses believers. Sanctification is both instant and gradual. God uses fire for testing in purification and all the works of believers will be tested by fire.
Because of The Holy Spirit, Christians can be renewed, restored and be a new creature in Christ. 'He that began a good work is able to complete it', Philippians 1:6.
Baptism of Fire involves suffering, the giving up of self-ego, pride, jealousy and this produces the maturing fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Fire also is a symbol of destruction, as well as God's holiness, refining, purity both morally and spiritually, to burn away impurities.
The purification by the Word of God in regard to believers is a means of achieving a stronger trust and belief in Christ.
Loving and corrective training leads to responsibility. God disciplines His people through His Word and The Holy Spirit. It is a sign of belonging to God's family. God disciplines all and only His children.
Christ said He had come to bring fire. Luke 12:49.
The Baptism of Fire is also a separation process from the children of The Kingdom and from sons of the evil one, unquenchable fire for the unrepentant. People are either purified in the heart as Christians or resist Christ together with the benefits of The Cross and face a fire that is eternal.
It is a judgement of unbelievers, who are the chaff that John The Baptist mentions. The true believers being the wheat. The chaff was collected and burned, the wheat was collected and preserved by being stored.
Fire in The Bible is often mentioned as symbolic of God's presence, power, The Holy Spirit, judgement of apostacsim (a total desertion of, or departure from God's conviction and principles) and for His purifying work in His people known as refining fire.
Fire can destroy but it can also purify. Just as a refiner's fire purifies the gold, he also separates the dross.
It is also used as an instrument of judgement for Divine punishment, for those who have rejected God and His Christ, for backsliders, for those who blaspheme against The Holy Spirit.
Fire also refers to the coming judgement of God. The Day of The Lord is judgement time.
Although the apostates are sometimes judged in this life, the final conclusion of the wicked and the ungodly will take place at The White Throne Judgement, which is after the millennium reign of Christ. Both the godless and the wicked received their earned wages of unrighteousness and iniquity (the perversion of the heart).
Believer's Result- to represent God's
presence - at Pentecost - to purify and refine His people
Contrary Unbeliever's Summary
- to express God's wrath - to judge sinners on earth
- to punish eternally in hell
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