Summary: The Holy Ghost is the power. The fire is what cleans us up to receive the power.
The Fire of God
**BEFORE READING TEXT**
If I were to ask how many here want more of Father, Son, Holy Ghost, most of us would shout “amen”. And if I asked how many wanted more of the fire of God, most would again shout “amen”. Yet, (not to anyone’s discredit, etc.) if we had a full understanding of what the ‘fire of God’ is, and what it’s purpose is, a lot of us would not shout “amen” but would rather say, “not me”. But the fact is we need the fire of God, more now than ever. I need it, you need it, this church needs it, the body of Christ needs it. Tonight, we are going to look at what the fire of God is all about, and then in altar service I am going to pray it will burn in us like never before.
As we look in the scripture, we need to begin by getting a full understanding of the story. There are only 2 people spoken of in OT that were manifested in 4 Gospels, one was Jesus Christ, other the forerunner to Jesus Christ, John the Baptist. Remember John was the cousin to Jesus, born of an old woman Elizabeth, conceived by an old man Zechariah the priest. His sole purpose in life was to prepare the way for the lamb of God which would take away the sins of the world. And as soon as Jesus came to full strength in popularity & ministry, John was killed. That was all he was here for. And his whole life exemplified that. **There is a great significance to everything you read about him in this chapter, all of which proved his roll in life to be merely the forerunner. (1)Location of ministry: In wilderness of Judea. Scarcely populated area, w/ 6 cities & their villages. He was not in the temple preaching, always in wilderness, by the river, etc. Jesus often preached in large crowds, in synagogues/temple, etc. (2) His dress: raiment of camel’s hair, leather girdle about his loins. He didn’t go in long/soft clothing. Even Jesus wore robes, but not John for he was the forerunner. (3)His menu: Locust & wild honey. He didn’t eat in nice houses, w/ good food selections. Jesus spent his time this way often. Remember, John’s only the forerunner.
He tells the people there, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I’m not even worthy to loose. He will baptize you with Holy Ghost and with fire…”
**I’m going to say something that will explain why most folks want the Holy Ghost but not really the fire. EVERY PERSON IS FILLED WITH SOMETHING! No matter if saint or sinner, everyone is filled up. Few are truly filled completely with Holy Ghost, some are filled with ½ Holy Ghost, ½ something else, and most are filled with other stuff. Some w/ lust, laziness, strife, anxiety, doubt, negativism, or hypocrisy. Everybody is filled with something! Now comes the reason for the fire. Because the Holy Ghost is the power, but the fire is the purifier/cleanser. And in order to be truly filled up with the Holy Ghost, you need the fire to come down and burn out the chaff, the junk, the mire that is built up in your heart. **You will never see the power like you could see the power in your life if you don’t let the fire come and burn in your heart.
“Why wouldn’t I want the fire?” Because when fire starts burning, it destroys everything in its path. A house fire is not going to save the things you don’t want damaged, but it will burn it all up. And the fire of God when turned loose in your life will even more burn everything, and spare nothing. And the truth is, there are some things we don’t want destroyed, for we have lived in its comforts for a long time, and most likely have self-justified it by saying “the Lord hasn’t convicted me of it…” But the fact of the matter is, some folks will never have more of the spirit in them than they do now until the give it all up, and let the fire burn/destroy everything in there!
Here’s the thing: if you have bowl that is ½ filled with dirt, but you want a bowl full of potting soil, you must empty all the dirt out 1st, for right now there is no room for a bowl full of potting soil. The same is w/ Holy Ghost. If your soul has a lot of junk in it, there is no room for more Holy Ghost. And until you make more room, you are not getting any further than you are now.