What is Baptism with Fire7 min read

Baptism of Fire

What is Baptism with Fire7 min read

Baptism with fire is an experience just as salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit are specific experiences. Just as we need to seek the baptism of the Spirit, we need to seek the baptism of fire. It is the igniting of a deep and abiding passion for all things heavenly.

Different Baptisms

The word baptism comes from the Greek word that means ‘to immerse’. When a believer is baptized in water they are totally immersed in water, symbolizing the death to self and rising to a new life, having repented of all sins. It is the burial of the ‘old man’ and the symbol of new life.

Then there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, when the believer receives the gift of the baptism of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is usually accompanied with speaking in a heavenly language of speaking in other tongues.

Some theologians refer to the Baptism of fire as unbelievers ending up in the lake of fire, Revelation 20:10. However, that does not equate with baptism of the Holy Spirit. It has to be a baptism into a deeper walk with the Lord.

Soldiers at War

In wartime soldiers are said to go through the baptism of fire when they are placed in the firing line for the first time. When someone is firing live bullets at you, there is a very good chance you will be wounded or killed. The natural instinct would be to turn and run and who would blame them? As time goes on the soldiers become hardened to the danger and take it in their stride. For them it is the throw of the dice.

Followers of Jesus also find themselves in the firing line. Satan is our arch enemy and determined to annihilate faith in our loving heavenly Father. Believers go through fiery trials, for untested faith is of little value. This was proven in the Garden of Eden when the perfect Adam was tested and failed, Genesis 3.

The followers of Christ’s struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers. Against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness. Against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:12. However, we are given spiritual weapons, such as the wonderful name of Jesus and the spiritual armour of God.

Baptism of Fire

All tests are for a purpose, for what Satan designs for evil, God designs of good, Genesis 50:20. Calvary is the greatest example of this.

God in His wisdom allows those who are called to serve Him to be tried and tested, for maturity comes only from time and testing. Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you, 1 Peter 4:22.

To the degree you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation, 1 Peter 4:13.

Wild Enthusiasm

Have you ever watched a huge crowd at a football match when their side makes a score. Then watch them when their team wins. Those who are normal, respectable citizens during the week, go berserk at a football match.

Not only are followers of Christ to be wildly excited about the things of God, the bible says that God will exalt over you with joy. He will be quiet in His love. He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy, Zephaniah 3:20. God, who knows all things and the end from the beginning, Isaiah 46:10, and still gets wildly excited over His children. Fire is not passive, and your passion for what God has done for you should shine through exuberantly.

Fire Purifies

The fire of God is a cleansing agent in the lives of believers, that they might become true lights of God in a dark, sin-ridden world. Everything that can go through the fire, you shall pass through the fire and it shall be clean, Numbers 31:33. Not every Christian is tested the same way, for not every Christian desires to die to self and live for God. There are always those who are 30 fold, some 60 fold and the few 100 fold.

No one enjoys being put through the fire, but if we submit ourselves to the hand of God, He will cleanse us any way He desires. A diamond is produced through intense pressure. The dross of gold is poured off through intense heat. Iron is strengthened through intense heat. The list goes on and on. It is the cost of the process of being tried and tested that gives something its value and you are very precious to God. You are His possession, 1 Peter 2:9.

It is not until you reach the end of yourself that God can really get a hold of you and you become a willing tool in His hand. Jesus said, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me, Matthew 16:24.

Inspirational Fire

To be around someone who is a moaner and a winger quickly drags you down and depresses you. However, stay around someone who is alive, and excited about God and it uplifts you.

Fire begets fire in the natural. If the fuel supply, heat and oxygen levels are stable, a typical house fire will double in size every minute. You start with a tiny flame and soon you have a raging inferno if it roams unchecked in a dry and thirsty land.

So, it is in the spiritual world. As a believer gets on fire for God, it becomes infectious. The valley of dry bones is set on fire by the presence of the Holy Spirit, Ezekiel 38:1-10.

Baptism of Fire is Internal

Baptism of fire is where you meet God face to face, as Moses did at the burning bush, Exodus 3. Just as salvation and God’s gift of justification are an internal experience, so too is Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Baptism of Fire. Yet, all this manifests itself in the physical life.

When you seek the baptism of fire, the Holy Spirit ignites something so deep in you inner being, that you have difficulty containing it. It becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in and I cannot endure it, Jeremiah 20:9.

Jesus said the water that I will give will become a well of water springing up to eternal life, John 4:14. He also said, He who believes in Me, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water, John 7:38. That living water flows best when all the rubbish has been cleansed away by being baptized with fire.

How to Get on Fire

The way to get on fire for God is to experience His glorious, holy presence. That means spending time in the Word of God, for the word is a fire, Jeremiah 23:29.

Fires need stoking or they die away. You need to feed the fire by spending time daily in the word of God. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. But the glory of kings is to search out a matter, Proverbs 25:2. The bible is a living word and you will always discover new treasures when you spend time in it.

And there is still more. If anyone loves Me he will keep My word. And My Father will love him and We will come to him and make our abode with him. John 14:23. How can you not get excited at the thought of the Godhead desiring to take up residence in you?

There is no greater aim than to be filled with the Fire of God. It prepares the repentant sinner for an eternal life in the intense presence of God for where God is there is fire. The other alternative is to reject God and be cast into the eternal lake of fire, Revelation 20:14,15.

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Wendy Stenberg-Tendys is a freelance writer who enjoys researching a topic and sharing words of encouragement, particularly from the Word of God.

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