|God Is A Consuming Fire|
"There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of FIRE, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance," Acts 2:3-4.
Before I comment on what exactly happened in the Upper Room, I want to quickly remind you how important FIRE was throughout the Old Testament.
The first instance of FIRE in the Bible occurred in the story of Adam and Eve.
"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and A FLAMING SWORD which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life," Genesis 3:24.
So God protected the way of the Tree of Life with a FLAMING SWORD. We can understand that the flaming sword is a symbol of the Spirit-anointed Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
Eternal life is guarded and protected by the anointed (fiery) Word of God.
The second time FIRE occurs in the Bible is in the story of Noah.
The word FIRE does not occur in that story, but "Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and OFFERED BURNT OFFERINGS on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake," Genesis 8:20-21. So Noah set the sacrifice on the altar, and burned it up. He set fire on it until it was consumed.
So this SECOND lesson teaches us that FIRE CONSUMES SACRIFICE.
The THIRD occurrence of fire is in the story of God's fiery judgment on the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19).
God destroyed a wicked community by FIRE, because of its nauseous sins.
The FOURTH instance of FIRE in the Bible was the FIRE that Abraham took with him to Mount Moriah in preparation to offer his son, Isaac, to the Lord.
You will remember that God did not ultimately require Abraham to slay Isaac, but instead, provided a ram caught in a nearby bush. Abraham "went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son," Genesis 22:13. Abraham set fire to the sacrificial ram, and burned it up.
The FIFTH instance of FIRE in the Bible is in the Burning Bush.
"The angel of the LORD appeared unto [Moses] in A FLAME OF FIRE out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed," Exodus 3:2.
Of course there are hundreds of other references in the Bible to fire, but we can see the precedents already, just in these first five stories.
I am going to make a QUICK ANALYSIS of this. I won't belabor the point.
- God PURIFIES with fire.
- He BURNS up things that He does not want or need.
- He CONSUMES sacrifices.
- He MANIFESTS His glory in fire.
So when the Holy Ghost fell on the Day of Pentecost, it fell on 120 people who had been in prayer and fasting for seven days. Jesus had told them not to leave Jerusalem before they received power from on high (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).
The outpouring of the Holy Ghost was accompanied by the physical sign of fire. Now, since that time, it is rare to visibly SEE the fire when the Holy Ghost comes, but make no mistake about it - the Holy Ghost is the fire of God.
The FIRE OF GOD consumes flesh. It consumes sin. It consumes worldliness. It consumes carnality. It consumes things that offend God.
The FIRE OF GOD purifies. It protects and preserves the holiness of God.
GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE
Almost every book in the Bible mentions the fire of God's judgment in one way or another. One of the most recurrent prophecies is that God will judge the earth by fire shortly before Jesus establishes His earthly kingdom at Armageddon.
Malachi 4:1-3 - “The day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, ...the wicked ...shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts."
Here is my conclusion:
Almighty God has made it abundantly clear that every one of us needs to be baptized in the fire of the Holy Ghost. John the Baptist introduced Jesus to his generation saying, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire," Matthew 3:11.
I could write a book on this subject, but instead, I must make this very brief, so I beg you not to miss the point.
If you have never been baptized in the Holy Ghost, (which is always accompanied by speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance), you have not been baptized in THE CONSUMING FIRE OF GOD.
The outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the 120 in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost was a consuming of the fleshly wills and ways of the believers, and was an endowment of the supernatural power of God. The baptism of the Holy Ghost set them on fire to do the will of God, and to burn up the vain, futile, worthless works of the flesh.
The baptism of the Holy Ghost will consume your flesh, your carnality, your pride, ego, selfishness, etc., etc. As you walk daily in the Spirit, led by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit, God will continually purge you from dead works.
The Holy Ghost baptism is a life-long purification process.
The Holy Ghost will burn up the dross (as the dross on silver in a refiner's fire). The Holy Ghost will convict and convince you of sin. The Holy Ghost will cause you to separate yourself from worldly, carnal, sinful ways. The Holy Ghost will draw you away from worldly, carnal, sinful people, to a life of holiness, godliness, righteousness and Truth. And the Holy Ghost will endue you with supernatural, miraculous power - the presence and power of Jesus Christ. Having been baptized in the Holy Ghost, you will become an ongoing witness to the mighty works of God - signs, wonders, and miracles that are rarely seen or believed in by those who have never received the Holy Ghost.
If you are not in an Apostolic Pentecostal Church where this Holy Ghost baptism is preached and practiced, you are in the wrong Church. Find a Holy Ghost-filled Church immediately, and be filled with the Spirit, in Jesus' name.
Oh, I could say so much! But I will leave you with these few thoughts.
Selah. Think on them!
If you need more explanation, see this article:
Is Speaking In Tongues Necessary?
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