“He Shall Baptize You With The Holy Ghost, And With Fire.” Matthew 3:11
By Kenneth F. Haney
One of the worst forest fires on record took place in 1988 around Yellowstone National Park. Wildfire engulfed 1.4 million acres of beautiful forestland. Although local civilians and thousands of the National Guard fire fighters with the availability of all modern fire fighting equipment fought I to put the fire out, they found it to be an impossible task. The conditions, winds, temperatures, dryness, and years of fallen limbs and trees made the forest vulnerable to the destruction of the fire.
It was speculated that lightning ignited the fire. Early on the fire was small. If discovered early enough it possibly could have been contained, but in the matter of a few brief minutes it built into a vicious, gigantic forest fire. Driven by winds the fire ignited into a burning inferno creating its own vacuum of twirling winds. The intense heat devoured everything in its path. The wind-driven heat was so intense that aged trees, hundreds of feet tall and enormous in diameter, exploded from inside out before the flames ever touched them. Fire fighters could only hope the uncontrollable fire would burn itself out by reaching areas of limited vegetation where the surface was covered by shale or rocks.
This national forest fire can serve to help us understand the force and momentum of the spiritual fire that swept the world in the first and second century. How could this be? It was certainly not technology for they had none. It seemed that everything and every person that was in the path of the mighty FIRE was consumed. The heat was so intense, the FIRE so hot; however, it was a different kind of FIRE. Its origin was heaven-sent by God himself, and converted everything it touched. It was the FIRE John spoke about in Luke 3:16 and Matthew 3:11.
This baptism of fire was the force that propelled the early Christians to fulfill Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19. They were as torches of fire with zeal, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the whole world. It was through the power of the holy Ghost and FIRE! The Baptism of FIRE possessed by the early Church could not be extinguished by all the fire fighters of the world.
HOW FIRE IS PRODUCED
Three conditions must exist to create a fire. First, there must be a fuel, a substance that will burn. The fuel must then be heated to a kindling temperature. This is the temperature at which oxygen will rapidly unite with the fuel. Then there must be plenty of oxygen. The supply of oxygen for a fire usually comes from the air, which is about one fifth oxygen. If enough oxygen is not available, then the normal procedure is to fan the fire to move more air to it.
Just as oxygen is needed to ignite fire, so the hot breath of God is needed to breathe upon the modern day church. When Ezekiel was told to prophesy to a valley of dry bones, he did so. “And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them” (Ezekiel 37:8).
They needed the hot breath of God breathed into them. “Then said he unto me prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came unto them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, and exceeding great army” (Ezekiel 37:9,10).
The three things needed for a FIRE to be started were present on the Day of Pentecost: Fuel, kindling, and oxygen.
–The Fuel: 120 people (The substance that could burn.)
–Kindling for Heat: Fervent p to God.
–Oxygen: The breath of the Spirit demonstrated by the two most powerful elements: fire and wind.
When the rushing mighty wind of the Spirit, the breath of God, blew through that room and cloven tongues like as of FIRE sat upon each one, spontaneous combustion took place that ignited into a worldwide revival. The FIRE of the Spirit became uncontrollable, unpredictable, and irresistible to those who felt its power. The Sanhedrin could not control the FIRE, nor could they predict where the FIRE would break out next. It was a raging, massive FIRE that could not be quenched by persecution, false accusations, or even death!
The Above Material Was Published By The Indiana Apostolic Trumpet, May 2002, Page 6. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.