John the Baptist prophesied of the Coming of the Christ and how He would baptize His disciples with the 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).
The initial fulfillment of this event occurred in Jerusalem two thousand years ago during the Hebrew Feast of Pentecost. We read in Acts 2:1-4, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
Unharnessed, fire is a potent force capable wreaking enormous destruction. James said, “See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” (James 3:5). When controlled, fire is of great benefit to mankind. For example, fire produces power as well as heat; it also generates light. Furthermore, fire is capable of consuming dross and alloys resulting in the purification of metals.
Each of the properties of fire just referenced has a corresponding spiritual fulfillment that reflects a characteristic of the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit in the world. Let us examine these in detail.
In the natural fire produces power. Internal combustion engines, for example, run on the power of fire. Jesus said to His Church just prior to His ascent to the Father’s right-hand, “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).
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire is needed today more than ever in order to reap the end-time harvest. The power that God wants to demonstrate to the nations of our world is comparable to nothing ever witnessed in modern times.
As I travel to cities and nations preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, I am amazed at the grace that God demonstrates to men and women. Just as in the Book of Acts where we read, “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33), so it is today! I have witnessed the restoration of sight to the blind, the deaf receiving their hearing, the crippled walking and so much more.
I am completely convinced if we are to penetrate the spiritual darkness that has blinded the hearts of so many in this generation then the Gospel must be preached not only in word, but with signs following as well. Miracles are the Lord’s ways of testifying to the veracity of the message of the Cross. The writer to the Hebrews stated, “God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Hebrews 2:4). An example of this is seen in the ministry of Philip. “And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did” (Acts 8:6). Multitudes today will also be convinced of the truth of the Gospel of Christ crucified and risen for them as a result of experiencing such irrefutable Kingdom phenomena.
PRAYER FOR POWER
Lord God, I hunger and thirst for your power! I desire to walk in a place of victory over sin and all the powers of darkness! Baptize me now with the Holy Spirit and fire! Fill me a fresh and set me ablaze to serve You! Amen.