I indeed baptize you with water for repentance: but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to wear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Matthew 3:11
The baptism of fire is different than the baptism of the Holy Ghost. John baptized with water. The whole world was immersed in water at the time of the flood. It was the time of cleansing and the reset of the world’s civilization. The world will be immersed a second time, by fire. Zephaniah 3:8, 2 Peter 3:7
He was speaking of the Day the world would be judged and punished by fire; when the Lord will send fire to destroy His enemies. Isaiah 66:15-17 As it was in the days of Noah, this will be His Day of vengeance and wrath upon all the ungodly people in His holy Land and all the world will be affected.
Everything that was offensive to God at the time of the flood was destroyed. Was there anything spared? Only that which was on the Ark. God had a place for His creation to be protected through the flood while He cleansed the whole earth.
When God brought Israel out of Egypt, the first thing He did was to baptize them in the Red Sea. It was God’s way of baptising the whole nation of Israel. It is a type of our coming out of the world, (Egypt represents the world) and being baptized into the death of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
That Spiritual Rock was Jesus. Ancient Israel was under the cloud of God’s protection and guidance.
How this “Day of Fire” affects you, again, is based on your relationship to God. There are three places you can be when this fire comes:
One place is in the world, having no relationship with the Father or the Son, lost, having no hope.
The second place is to be saved; only knowing the Son, but having no relationship with the Father; no Spiritual walk, no Spiritual leading, not hearing the Father’s voice.
The third place is knowing both the Father and the Son, having been baptized in the Holy Spirit and having Kingdom principles operating in your lives, having Christ Jesus as your Lord.
For the first group, it is a day of judgment. Just as the judgment came at the time of the flood, they will all die. These are the unsaved, the worldly, and the ungodly.
In 2 Peter 3:7, the judgment (destruction) comes upon the ungodly, but not upon God’s people. Isaiah 9:18-19 also spoke of our day: For wickedness burns in the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall burn the thickets of the forest. Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire.
God hates sin. But He said His hand (of judgment) is stretched out still. He is willing to forgive. He is talking here about the hypocrites; those who are play actors. Those who say they are His, but are not in His will; the evildoers.
Why on earth would somebody not serve God? God has proclaimed His judgment and has made it plain and simple.
“It shall devour the briers and the thorns…” Isaiah 9:18
This is speaking of the vast multitude of people on the earth today.
For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29
He is going to burn the briers and thorns. The thorns and the briers God is speaking of are the worthless ones of His creation. They are worthless to Him because their sin has separated them from God. He is going to consume the godless . Those who have nothing to do with God, as Romans 9:22 says.
“And shall consume the glory of His forest… Isaiah 10:18 The forest is His creation.
“The rest of the trees of His forest shall be few, that a child may write them.” Isaiah 10:19
The word to write means “to count them“. Do you wonder how many are going to be left after this fire? A child will be able to count them. How far can a child count?
This may sound like a message of gloom and doom, but it isn’t. We are being shown the kind of people God is protecting.
This is not a message of gloom, but a warning as to the kind of people God will call unto Himself; a Christian Church without blemish.
Many Scriptures declare what is going to happen to the wicked. We need to be warning these people that are unsaved exactly what is going to happen. Whether they hear or whether they forbear, they need to be told what is coming upon the earth.
Many of the unsaved are calling themselves Christians. They have been hood-winked. They have been told by the church system that if they act this way, think that way, or come to church every Sunday and call themselves a Christian, they are acceptable to God . . . What a lie the people have been given to believe!
Let no man deceive you with false words: for it is because of these things the wrath of God will fall upon those who rebel. . Ephesians 5:6
Today, many people are following vain traditions and vain teachings. They are following vain men with worthless words.
These vain teachings and traditions, such as “rapture”, where God is going to take an ill-prepared, lukewarm people, place them in heaven and teach them all things, is not preparing people for what is coming upon the earth. Now is the time to learn. Now is the time to change. Now is the time to rely on Spiritual direction; not at the time of wrath!
“For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” Colossians 3:6
How much plainer can it be? If the world still has a hold on our life, we are not totally, absolutely, solely sold out to God. The wrath of God will come upon these children of disobedience.
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 2:2
The spirit that works in the children of disobedience is the spirit of the prince of the power of the air. It is the same spirit that is in the world. This is a lying spirit that says you are okay, you do not have to change, your sin is all right. God knows you have weaknesses in the flesh. You can continue to do your sin because it’s okay. God understands. . .
NO, HE DOESN’T! He does not accept it! He does not wink at your sin, He does not wink at your weakness. He expects you to become strong in the Faith. He is not coming back for a weak people. He is coming back for a strong people. If you want to go on in your weaknesses, you can. Weakness is not an excuse before God. There are two spirits. You will either be serving one or the other. You are either going to be walking in the Spirit of Light, or in the spirit of darkness. The children of disobedience have not overcome the prince of the air and are listening to satan’s lies and will not be overcomers.
But God’s Word declares: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens Me.” Philippians 4:13 “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:8
This Scripture reveals to whom the wrath will be poured out upon. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God.” Are these the unsaved? No! We do not expect the unsaved to obey the Word of God. They do not know it and have no interest in it.
John speaks of those who abide not in Christ, “If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6
The world is not expected to abide in Christ. Paul was speaking of those children of disobedience who call themselves by His name and obey not the Gospel. Christ must be the center of everything we do. If Christ is not the center, then He is not abiding in us, nor we in Him.
These, the children of disobedience, will be cast forth as a branch to be burned in the Wrath of God. Not only the unsaved, but also the children of disobedience will be cast into the wrath. Are they part of the lost? Will they be destroyed? Will these lose their souls because they are cast into the wrath? NO!
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
I Corinthians 3:12 speaks of 6 foundations: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble. The first 3; gold, silver and precious stones are purified by fire. Wood, hay and stubble are destroyed by the fire.
Paul was speaking of man’s works. Those who go through the fire will be purified but their works will be destroyed. Our works should be gold, silver and precious stones, for when the fire comes, these precious metals will be purified and hardened. Fire hardens.
If your works are gold, silver and precious stones, the things of God, they will survive the fire and you will be rewarded. But, if your works are of wood, hay and stubble, the things of the flesh, they will fail and be lost. There will be no reward for your fleshly works upon the earth. You will be saved by the purifying and cleansing of the fire of your soul.
There are those who have never told anyone about the salvation plan of God. They call themselves Christians, yet they act like they are ashamed of being a Christian. These are not led by the spirit. The Day of Fire will try their works, but their works will be lost. They will be purified and cleansed by the fire, but they will be saved by the fire.
II Thessalonians 2:3 states that there will be a great falling away. When the “Day of Fire” comes, there will be a great number who will go back to the world.
The fire is going to destroy the works of the flesh. If your trust is in big houses, big cars, all the fancy this, and all the fancy that, it will not go through the fire. Those works being accomplished in the name of God, but that are not of God, will be destroyed. The book of Revelation reveals those being spoken of: I saw a vast multitude of people from every tribe, race, nation and language……They cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10 When the angel asked John who this great multitude of people were standing before the throne, John answered:
“Sir, thou knowest. And He said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14
These are Servant Saints who have gone through the wrath of God; the Sixth Seal. These passed through great tribulation, or the great wrath of God, and have been cleansed and purified in the winepress of the wrath of God. All of the Lord’s faithful Christian people, now in all of the holy Land.
GROUP THREE – DAY OF FREEDOM FOR THE OVERCOMERS
We have considered the effect the fire will have on the world and the children of disobedience. But there is a third group; those who will walk through the fire, those on whom the fire has no power. It will be a day of overcoming, of freedom, and rejoicing. They will be set free from the bondage that the world has put on them.
A type of this third group is seen in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The attributes of the people who will walk through the fire are hidden in the Hebrew children’s names. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego represent one man. They are not mentioned separately, but always together. Their names reveal those whom God is going to take through the fire.
The name Shadrach means “a tender breast”
The name Meshach means “a drawing, a picture or vision”
The name Abednego means “a servant of brightness”
Shadrach had a tender heart toward God.
Meshach had the vision.
Abednego, a servant of brightness, had become so bright, there was no darkness in him.
These three men were taken out of Judah before destruction came to Babylon. Those whom God will take through the fire will be tender hearted toward God, having a vision, and will have come into the image and likeness of God. They will become the servants of brightness. These are the people God will take through the fire when His Wrath is poured out.
“And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.” Daniel 3:27
The king of Babylon made the fire seven times hotter than normal. Seven is God’s perfect number. The king of Babylon made the perfect, all-consuming fire to put God’s people through. We know this perfect, all-consuming fire as “Nuclear”. It will have no power on the bodies of those saints who are tenderhearted, have a vision and have come into the image and brightness of God. These are the overcoming Saints that will walk through the fire.
Isaiah 33:12-14 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire. Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge My might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us can survive the test by fire?
Isaiah speaks of three groups:
The unsaved are found in verse 12; they will be destroyed.
The second group is found in verse 14; the “Sinners in Zion”, those who have not been purified or cleansed. They still hold on to the old ways and ideas. He calls them hypocrites. They are full of fear and are the children of disobedience.
The third group are those who believe in God and keep the Commandments. They have helped to spread the Gospel and worked for the Kingdom to the best of their ability.