Wednesday: The Baptism of Fire
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Both the Old and New Testaments use a variety of symbols, such as water, wind, and oil, to describe the work of the Holy Spirit.

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

John the Baptist links another image, that of fire, to the work of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11,Luke 3:16).

There are many who have misunderstood John’s statement. The passage does not say, “‘He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit or with fire’” (NKJV) . It says, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” The second expression, “‘and with fire,’” explains the first expression, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism of fire. The word baptism in the New Testament is used 80 times and refers to total immersion.

Read the following passages and describe what the symbolism of fire represents in the Bible. Exod. 3:2-424:171 Kings 18:24Mal. 3:2-3Acts 2:1-4Heb. 12:29.

The symbolism of fire is a symbol of the glory, presence, and power of God manifest in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. To be baptized with fire is to be immersed in the glory of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit in order to witness in His power. Moses met God at the burning bush and then left the glory of His presence in order to witness to Pharaoh. Elijah witnessed to Israel in the glory of God’s fiery presence on Mount Carmel. When tongues of fire fell on Pentecost, the disciples witnessed in languages that they had never before known. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is immersion in the presence and power of God in order that we can effectively witness of His glory. Once again, in the last days of earth’s history, God’s people will be immersed in His presence, filled with His power, and sent out to witness of His glory to the world.

The earth will be filled with the glory of God. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14, NKJV). In prophetic vision, John saw an angel messenger descend from heaven and “the earth was illuminated with his glory” (Rev. 18:1, NKJV).

God’s glory, His loving character, will be revealed through the power of the Holy Spirit to a waiting world and a watching universe. Every person on planet Earth will have the opportunity to both hear and understand God’s last-day message.

God’s glory, His loving character, will be revealed to the world. How can you, right now, in your own sphere, reveal that glory in your life? What will that require on your part?

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Wednesday: The Baptism of Fire — 18 Comments

  1. We christians have to put much emphasis on spreading the gospel and wining soul! For this to happen, we need to be baptized by the holy spirit and fire!

    Like(16)
      • It seems to me that it is not possible for us to put much emphasis on spreading the gospel and winning souls. That's exactly the job that Christ gave us to do. (Matt 28:18-20) When we are consumed with that mission, there will be no room for anything sinful in our hearts.

        We need to pray for the Holy Spirit to enable us to fulfill that mission.

        Like(12)
      • Our hearts must be willing to receive and be cleansed by the Divine Wind, Water, Soap and Fire. Then we will be empowered to be loving witnesses for Jesus.

        Like(2)
  2. Unless the glory of God is revealed to Christians, we cannot understand His grace and love hence the spirit of witness will be low. How i pray that all Christians embark on praying to God to reveal His glory to us and to Ignite the spirit of witness with the baptism of the Holy spirit and fire.

    Like(2)
  3. When we consider fire as a symbol of the Spirit of the Living God we can understand the following three roles that He plays:
    1. Enlightening. As fire has been used to dispel darkness and throw light to the surroundings so that our physical eyes could be able to see, the Spirit also serves the same purpose for our spiritual eyes to see spiritual things. 1 Cor 2: 12
    2. Cleansing. Even in our modern world fire is used to sterilize, to purify and clean. The Spirit of God doe also in the life of believers. Matt. 3: 11,12.
    3. Empowering. Fire is also a source of energy. Likewise, when the disciples of Jesus received the Spirit of God in the form of tongues of fire they were able to speak with power. (Act 2)

    It is my prayer then that we may allow this fire of the Spirit to accomplish the roles mentioned above and to shun from quenching the Spirit. 1 Thess 5: 19.

    Like(14)
    • [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

      Perhaps I am greatly confused. The writer today is suggesting that fire and the Hoy Spirit are symbolic. As I read the word of the Lord my understanding of the fire is cleansing and purifing. The scripture reads " with the Holy Spirit AND fire. That suggests to me there are two. I have been perplexed about this since yesterday. I have taken to searching the Spirit of Prophecy for additional enlightenment. All insight is greatly welcomed.

      Like(2)
  4. receiving baptism of fire simply means to be revived and to be transformed. the glory of God revived as and it shown through the changed in our behaviour ie transformation. winning souls is the most optimum task God has given as. let work towards that.

    Like(4)
  5. God has never worked with many but with the faithful few. the church at Jerusalem was there busy with their man made rules exhibiting self righteousness when the holy spirit descended on the few disciples of Christ. i think that the baptism of the holy spirit should be a personal appeal because once i or you received the promise, my works, your works will be effective and productive to the church and by so doing others who are willing will receive theirs too.

    like moses, who turned to go and see the wonder of the burning tree which is the presence of God, we should refocus our attention from measuring our Christian life with the world's standard of Christianity. is not all about what the world is doing or what i think is right but all about 'thus says the Lord'

    the burning tree is before us now and God is waiting for us to draw nearer so that He will call us by our name so as to experience the wonder working power of His presence in our lives in order to influence others through the holy spirit.

    Like(9)
  6. when we compare the power of HOLY SPIRIT to that in water,fire ,wind etc it calls for conscious living ,careless approach to these elements have always had dire consequence,as such there is no limit to what GOD can do with later rain .

    Like(1)
  7. I cannot do anything to reveal the glory of God in my life. As I'm understanding from the scripture, this is a natural consequence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I need to pray for greater infilling of God's presence. Luke 11:13 Acts 1:14, 4:31

    Like(5)
    • Joy, it is true that the revelation of the character of God in people is a natural consequence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. But we do have choices to make.

      We will never receive the Holy Spirit through prayer, unless we do what the Holy Spirit tells us to do right here and now. As we are faithful and obedient in the little things, He can fill us with greater power.

      Like(10)
    • Joy I don't want you think you can do nothing, you can. Let me read to you from the wounderful book Christian Service.

      There is something for every one to do. Every soul that believes the truth is to stand in his lot and place, saying, “Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8.—Testimonies for the Church 6:49. ChS 10.7
      It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 69. ChS 11.1
      He who becomes a child of God should henceforth look upon himself as a link in the chain let down to save the world, one with Christ in His plan of mercy, going forth with Him to seek and save the lost.—The Ministry of Healing, 105. ChS 11.2
      All may find something to do. None need feel that there is no place where they can labor for Christ. The Saviour identifies Himself with every child of humanity.—The Ministry of Healing, 104. ChS 11.3
      Those who have united with the Lord in the covenant of service are under bonds to unite with Him in the great, grand work of soul-saving.—Testimonies for the Church 7:19. ChS 11.4

      The Gather song goes like this: I will serve Him because I love Him He is more than life to me...

      We choose Him, then we do something. Because as James 1:22 says: and yes John Gilmore from memory. " Be ye doers of the word not just hearers of the word." Our logo is: Seventh-day-Adventist, Doers Of The Word.

      The early believers did something, they prayed, they fasted, they were bestoed the fire, then they went out and told the world what Christ did for them.
      Good Day

      Like(5)
    • I love the balance of action and dependence that the Bible teaches are a part of God's great plan for us every day. Apart from Jesus, I am nothing and can do nothing to be saved. Still, God will not do anything in me or through me without my choice. I must choose Him and step out in faith to obey--trusting that the Holy Spirit will give me the power to follow through and obey. When I ask for help in the process, God never leaves me hanging. Still, I must ask because the scriptures teach that succeaa comes not by my might or power, but by the Holy Spirit. (See Zech 4:6.)

      Like(2)
  8. I can reveal His glory in my life right now by first asking for the Holy Spirit to reign in my life. When the Bible refers to ask and it shall be given it mentions praying for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). So starting there seems like a good first step. Then spending time with God in the word. Finally, actually asking God to show me how to live for him and walk in him.

    Like(5)
  9. it is very good to witness and preach to other people but the best we can do is to make our hearts and minds clean for the habitation of the holy spirit. for miracle of receiving this baptism of fire to take place in our lifes we the vessel must be clean , before jesus performed his first miracle the vessels we clean.

    lawrence mupatsi pelandaba sda church

    Like(1)
  10. Dear God, baptize me anew with the Holy Spirit and Fire that i may reveal your glory and power by my lifestyle and proclamation...

    Like(7)
  11. A statement in the lesson hit home with me:

    "The symbolism of fire is a symbol of the glory, presence, and power of God manifest in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. To be baptized with fire is to be immersed in the glory of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit in order to witness in His power."

    We will never be "baptized with fire" while we go on our own way, doing our own thing. We need to spend time focusing on Christ our Lord, so that "beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (2 Cor 3:18)

    It is our privilege to behold the glory of the Lord daily, because His glory is His character, and that is revealed in the Scriptures.

    Like(9)

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