(mr 02/05/18)

What is the baptism of fire and how it is different from the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Even though on the day of Pentecost the fire came, it was a special, spectacular manifestation to commemorate the beginning of the Church. Thereafter, you don’t see it occur again. Down through the years in Pentecostal circles, there have been occasions when people experienced such fire. Ministers like Kenneth Hagin in America and others would tell us stories about being in church and the fire brigade would arrive and say they saw fire on the top of the church building. They would see a fire, but the fire was not a consuming fire; much like Moses’ experience at the burning bush. That fire they saw was a manifestation of the glory of God!

Down through the years and the ages, we’ve had only occasional manifestations of the fire of the Holy Spirit, but the speaking in tongues is constant.

To understand the meaning of baptism of fire, the first thing is to understand the meaning of the word, ‘baptism’. The scripture talks of doctrine of baptisms in:

Hebrews 6:2 KJV: Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The word ‘baptism’ means ‘immersion’. For example, if you put a tumbler in a bucket of water, water will fill and surround the tumbler: that is what is called baptism.

There are four baptisms revealed in the scriptures:

The first is baptism into Christ which is when you get born again, you become a branch of the Vine, you are immersed into the Body of Christ (Rom.6:3; Gal.3:27).

The second is baptism in water which we are most familiar with, where the pastor or some church leader completely immerses you in water and brings you out because of your profession that you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Saviour. It is a physical ceremony that is indicative of the inward spiritual reality that you died and rose again with Christ.

Mark 16:16 KJV: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

It is very important to be baptized in water to avoid a question mark on your salvation. Remember that Satan disputed the body of Moses.

Jude 1:9 KJV: Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

It is important to obey the injunction of the scripture in this regard so that there will be no dispute with Satan over your body because you did not obey God’s Word when you had the opportunity to do so!

The third is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is very different. In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you are filled and covered with the earnest of the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph.1: 13-14; 2Cor.1: 22), and this gives you the ability to speak in tongues.

The difference between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of fire is, when you get baptized with fire, you are filled and covered with the power of the Holy Spirit without measure and not just the earnest! That is why John the Baptist said, referring to the Lord Jesus, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire”.

Luke 3:16 KJV: John answered, saying unto [them] all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

The Spirit without measure is the fire:

Zechariah 2:5 KJV: For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

The Minor Prophets: Joel, Zachariah, Hosea, Zephaniah, Malachi etc. contain within them prophetic declarations and indicators of what God is going to do in the end time Church! These were the scriptures that the Lord Jesus was opening up to His disciples when He taught them after His resurrection concerning things of the kingdom.

Notice in the Book of Acts that when Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost quoting from the book of Joel, he was merely speaking what the Lord Jesus had taught them all! Therefore, the apostle Peter quotes in Acts 2:17 the scripture in Joel 2:28:

Acts 2:17 KJV: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Joel 2:28 KJV: And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

Note however that whilst the original scripture in Joel says, ‘And it shall come to pass afterward’ [that] I will pour out my spirit..’ Peter quotes And it shall come to pass in the last days..’

This was so because the Holy Spirit, speaking through Peter, used the words ‘in the last days’ because it was then only a first outpouring at that time: marking the BEGINNING of the last days, and there would be a second, greater outpouring to come, as revealed in:

Joel 2:23 AMP: Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.

Hence, there was to come, and the hour is now, a second outpouring of the Spirit without measure, prophesied as the former and latter rain together!

Therefore, what Peter was saying in effect, when he spoke to the people as recorded in Acts 2:17 was that, ‘This is the BEGINNING of the last days’; and now we are still experiencing the former rain. Every outpouring and move of the Spirit from Passover until now in 2018, has all been the former rain! We are now about to experience the former and latter rain together as the outpouring of the Spirit without measure!


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