We Need Both Power And the Fire of God In
These Last Days That Are Coming Upon Us
If ever there was a time when we needed both God's Power and the Fire of God to fall, it is NOW in these last days. Incredible fiery trials of intense persecution and destruction are coming upon all of us. As Christians we need the power to refute all the minions spreading their evil messages in our vulnerable world. Christ promised to give believers exactly what we need to say in the situations we face. It's time for us to get that power so that we can serve God in the midst of the coming calamities! (NOTE: If you want more of an explanation about exactly what the Bible says about the Baptism With the Holy Spirit click on the link).
John the Baptist announced that Jesus would baptize his followers with the Holy Spirit. Right before the Lord ascended into heaven Jesus promised the disciples that the power of the Holy Spirit would soon fall upon them. Of course, that happened in Acts 2 when the Spirit descended in the form of tongues of fire which rested upon each of the disciples; when they opened their mouths they began to glorify God in languages unknown to them but understood to those outside the upper room who had come to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.
This display of miraculous power through the disciples grabbed an audience and so Peter was moved by the Spirit to jump up and begin preaching a powerful extemporaneous message which broke down the resistance of thousands of religious Jews. In that one day 3,000 repented and trusted Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. The Holy Spirit's impact caused the Church to explode into existence.
After this, the Book of Acts reveals that the Spirit empowered the disciples in many unique ways, motivating them to spread the Gospel message that Christ was alive. We see the Holy Spirit filling the disciples, using them to perform signs and wonders, encouraging them to stand up to corrupt religious authorities and then to handle the persecution and even the stoning of Stephen who was to be the first of many Christian martyrs. While the world around these believers was in turmoil, in Acts you have a sense of their calm inner strength. They had a "wireless" electrical connection straight to the Most High God and everyone both inside and outside of the Church realized it.
The primary purpose of this divine power was so that the disciples could live consistent Christian lives and minister effectively to their world, especially for the purpose of evangelizing the world. God wants to give this same power to all of us. Jesus told his disciples that you can ask for the Holy Spirit and the Father will give him to you (see Luke 11:13). So Jesus wants to give you this Spirit baptism of power.
And when Peter preached at Pentecost he told the crowd,
that after they repented and believed, "you shall receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who
are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself" (Acts
2:38-39). So the promise is for us too. If you haven't taken advantage of
this incredible promise you'll want to do it
How to Receive the Baptism With the Spirit
1. BE THIRSTY FOR THE SPIRIT. Ephesians 5:18 commands us to "be filled with the Spirit." If you really want to have your heart filled up with the Spirit's power, read John 7:37-39. "Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”' But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive..."
Remember those moments in your life when you've been truly thirsty? All you
can think about is water. I've been in that place spiritually where I was so
hungry and thirsty for God's presence and power in my life. When you reach
that point of spiritual thirst, your whole being just cries out for God to
fill you with himself. If you want the gift of the Holy Spirit in your life
and are truly thirsty for him, he will baptize you with his Spirit.
2. BE REPENTANT. In Acts 2:38 Peter said to the crowd: "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Repentance is one of the steps you must fulfill before receiving the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Repentance involves changing your opinion about your sin and seeing it just as the Lord does.
Even as a Christian, sin can take over control of your life. That's what
happened to me and that's why I knew I needed the power of the Holy Spirit
to fall on me. I had to stop making excuses for my sin and turn my life back
over to Christ. If you are filled up with yourself, you can't be filled up
with the power of God's Spirit. He needs you to be an empty vessel.
3. BE BAPTIZED IN WATER. Also in Acts 2:38 Peter says: "let
each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of
your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Water baptism is an open confession of Christ's forgiveness of our sin. By
receiving believer's baptism in water we are telling the world that Christ's
blood has washed away our sin. This act of obedience in front of your world
proclaims your faith in Christ. When we are submerged into the waters of
baptism, we are acknowledging our desire to die to our old way of life.
Similarly, we die to self when we are baptized with the Spirit. While water
baptism is not essential for Spirit baptism, it is still something that the
Lord commands us to do. So if you have not taken your stand with Christ by
being publicly baptized in water, you should do so soon.
4. BECOME OBEDIENT. Acts 5:32 talks about "the Holy Spirit,
whom God has given to those who obey Him." God won't baptize and empower
believers. He wants obedience. Being obedient is a way of life. God
wants you to move towards him in everything that he commands you to do. He
wants you to surrender your own plans and self-will in these times of
trouble and yield yourself wholly to Christ. When you bow in obedience at
his feet, God can then use you in promoting his Kingdom. Brokenness is
necessary for his power to fall upon you.
5. ASK FOR THE SPIRIT. Luke 11:13 says "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" In Acts 4:31, after the believers had prayed, "the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness."
Wow, that's what I want in my life, don't you? I want the walls of the place where I'm praying by myself and with other believers to be shaken. I want the Holy Spirit to fall upon me and to fill up my heart with him. And that's exactly what I have received by following these biblical steps of commitment. God is faithful to his Word. I am here to testify that the Father answers our prayers and empowers us with his Spirit!
6. BELIEVE YOU HAVE THE PROMISE BY FAITH. This is a constant spiritual principle by which all believers receive answers to our prayers with God. "And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him" (1 John 5:14-15).
Wow. What a promise. We know that this prayer to receive the power of the
Holy Spirit IS the Lord's will because he told us it was. He wants it for us
more than we want it for ourselves. So if we'll just meet his conditions,
the power will fall upon us.
The Apostle James made it plain that doubting God (James 1:6-8) is the
reason many don't receive what they ask for from Him. If all of the other
conditions (listed above) are met, you will HAVE your request for the
baptism with the Spirit. Simply put, after you fulfill all his requirements,
believe God at His word—just as you believed him for your salvation—and the
Spirit will fall upon you.
Experiencing the Fire of God
In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist predicted about Jesus: "He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." What is this fire?
We are warned in the book of Hebrews that we should "show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 11:28-29 NASB).
Now the phrase about God being a consuming fire is not just symbolic. Those words are quite literal. Our God is a consuming fire. In the Old Testament when Moses went up on Mt Sinai into God's presence, the Lord had to shield the man from his awesome holiness with a rocky outcropping and cover Moses so that the Lord's glory did not burn him up (Exodus 33:20-23). After being in God's presence for a period of time, Moses' face actually glowed! (Exodus 34:29-35).
Later, God literally sent fire down upon those who rebelled against him. Both unbelievers (like those in Sodom and Gomorrah) and also disobedient Jews suffered the fate of fire falling from heaven for their actions. Two of Aaron's sons were consumed in this way because they offered up "strange fire" on the altar breaking God's commandments. (Leviticus 10:1-3)
God specifically promises that he will judge the world with
the end of the age. "But by His word the present heavens and earth are being
reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly
men." (2 Peter 3:7 NASB. See also 2 Peter 3:10 and 12).
How can a loving God consume men with fire? You might want to read How Can A Loving God Condemn Sinners to Hell? God’s judgment protects his holiness. And he is a consuming fire which will burn up anything that is unholy. Fortunately, God doesn't do that literally to believers when we are in the middle of sin. But we should apply this to our hearts as we desire to have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit fall upon us. Take care to let the Lord cleanse out your conscience. God is not likely to empower defiled vessels.
The Coming Fire of Persecution
When John the Baptist announced that Jesus would baptize us in the Holy Spirit and with fire I think it also very likely that he was also speaking of the fiery trials that await us. Peter says, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:6-7).
"Beloved, 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... If you are
reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory
and of God rests upon you." (1 Peter 4:12- 14).
The fire of persecution is already upon the Church worldwide and it is going to get worse, much worse. What we need more than anything right now as we face into the future is the power of the Spirit to overcome the evil ones who are going to assault us. That's why I believe it is SO important for you to make absolutely certain right now that you have taken care of all the conditions and that you are filled up by the Holy Spirit.
The Purpose of the Power
The baptism with the Holy Spirit is a work of the Holy Spirit always connected with giving your testimony and serving the Lord. This is one of the big reasons I work at keeping myself in tune with the Lord's Spirit. In putting together this website I have to have God's power. I know that my words will fall on deaf ears if they are not energized by the Holy Spirit. He alone is able to convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. And that's what I wanted to design this website to do, to be a vehicle to conviction of sin and the changing of men's mind about what's wrong in their lives. So it is extremely important to me that I allow the Spirit to speak through me in everything that I write here.
Jesus spoke of dynamic power being released in Acts 1:8 and it was to be used to witness about the Lord to the whole world. In Acts 2, when the power first fell, it was used to lead thousands of souls into the kingdom. When you look at the many conversions through the Book of Acts you see that the disciples were continually being filled and empowered to preach the message of Jesus.
Read this heavy passage about the last days, which we are in right now, about how the Spirit should be wielded against our foes:
"There will be great earthquakes, famines
and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from
heaven. But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They
will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be
brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so
you will bear testimony to me.
"But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life."
(Luke 21:11-10 NIV).
We know the fire is coming. As believers, why should we cower in fear? We must be ready and so empowered with the Spirit that we fearlessly respond letting his words pour out of us. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!