Monday, July 30, 2012

Discerning the Things of the Spirit

Alleged angel on water
Sometimes I share testimonies of my own or others, which some people consider to be bizarre.  I am well aware that these testimonies may seem strange.  That should not come as a surprise, since the Scriptures tell us that God has prepared for those who love Him things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man. (1Co 2:9)

However, whether or not they are strange is not the indicator of their origin.  A person’s experience may or may not have come from God.  It could be a product of their imagination or could even be inspired by demons. But you cannot determine the source of their experience through logical analysis or natural, human methods.  The apostle Paul said, “…a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1Co 2:14)

Two women allegedly see angel
Yet we know that God does sometimes give dreams, visions, prophecies, and even performs miraculous signs.  And we need to be careful not to despise these things.  As Peter said, “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;” (1Th 5:19-21).  The range of things the Holy Spirit does is quite broad.  When we gather together, one should have a psalm that the Lord gave, a revelation, a prophecy, a teaching, a tongue, or an interpretation (1 Co 14:26).  These are all to be given in order and for edification. So be careful not to quench the Spirit or reject people’s experiences and testimonies without proper examination.  The only way we can know whether something is authentic is to examine it carefully. 

Most Christians understand that the Word of God is our standard used to test all things.  But even when you read the Bible, you cannot rely upon your human intellect to understand the Word.  Only the Holy Spirit can give revelation, illumination and understanding of the Word and supernatural experiences. This is why we must not make a hasty judgment of anything, but rather pray much about it and seek the help of the Holy Spirit to determine if it is genuine.  Many people spend time in the Bible and have accumulated much knowledge of it, but they do not have a deep prayer life.  They are not spiritual men.  And we know that knowledge has the ability to puff us up with pride. So we must be careful to maintain a strong and vibrant prayer life, being spiritual men and women. He who is spiritual appraises all things (1 Co 2:15).

Alleged angel on hospital security camera
So we can only know spiritual things through the Word and the Spirit.  Paul said, “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” (1Co 2:10-13).  He said we have received the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. 

This is key to understanding everything, including the Word of God and experiences recorded outside the Bible, such as modern day ones we hear today.  God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8-9) We must not expect that God’s ways or thoughts are like ours or on the same level as ours. But the Spirit of God gives us the mind of Christ, so that we may know His thoughts and His ways. 

Alleged angel by car
These things do not lie on the surface. They are revealed to those who earnestly seek the Lord in prayer.  "Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name, 'Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.' (Jer 33:2-3), If you want the Lord to tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know, you must call to Him fervently and He will answer you.

Biblical Signs,Wonders, and Oddities
Consider the following examples of things in Scripture that most Bible believing Christians accept as genuinely from God, but which natural men without the Spirit of God would consider foolish or odd.  As you read these things, think about how you would perceive or view them, if you were present when they actually happened, and had never read them in the Bible.  Or what if you heard testimonies about such things at the time that they happened?  Think about how you would judge these things:
  1. A man lying on his side, tied with ropes, for over a year (390 days), and cooking his own food there on a fire made from excrement (Ezek 4:9-12)
  2. A man going around in public stripped and barefoot for three years and saying God told him to do it (Is 20:2-3)
  3. A man offering his son up to God as a human sacrifice, and being prepared to kill him in obedience to God (Gen 21:1-9)
  4. A man building an ark that floats on water when it had never rained before (Gen 6:14-22)
  5. A donkey that talks (Num 22:28)
  6. Putting spit on someone’s tongue to heal him from muteness (Mk 7:33)
  7. Spitting into someone’s eyes to heal him from blindness (Mk 8:23)
  8. Angels with wheels within wheels that are full of eyes round about (Ezek 1:15-21)
  9. Four living creatures in front of God’s throne with eyes all over their body (Rev 4:8)
  10. The feet of Jesus being like polished brass glowing in a furnace (Rev 1:15)
  11. Jesus having a double-edged sword proceeding from His mouth (Rev 1:16)
  12. Tongues of fire appearing over each person in a prayer meeting (Ac 2:3) 
  13. People speaking in tongues (languages) that they have not learned (Ac 2:4) and which they could not understand (1 Co 14:14).
  14. A man of God taking for his wife a prostitute and saying God told him to do it (Hos 1:2).
  15. A bush that burns without being consumed (Ex 3:3)
  16. A staff that turns into a serpent (Ex 4:3)
  17. A sea parting when a man lifts his staff and his hand (Ex 14:16-21)
  18. A city shaped like a foursquare cube that is about 1,500 miles high! And its length and width are equal to its height. (Rev 21:16)
  19. Mighty walls of a city being brought down flat by men shouting (Jos 6:20)
  20. A man not being allowed by God to cry when his wife dies (Ezek 24:15-18)
  21. A shepherd boy killing a mighty giant with nothing but a sling shot and a smooth stone (1 Sam 17:49)
  22. Fire coming from the mouths of two men and killing their enemies (Rev 11:5)
  23. A man being swallowed by a big fish, remaining inside of it for three days, and living to tell about it (Jonah 1:17; 2:1)
  24. A man being thrown into a den of hungry lions, remaining their overnight, and coming out the next day without a single scratch (Dan 6:16-22)
  25. A man escaping from prison without being seen, when all the doors are locked and he is chained to guards (Act 5:5-12)
  26. A man wrestling with God (Gen 32:24-30)
  27. A man saying you must drink his blood and eat his flesh in order to have eternal life (Jn 6:53)
  28. Making man from the dust (Gen 2:7)
  29. Creating a woman out of a man’s rib (Gen 2:22)
  30. Turning water into wine (Jn 2:7-9)
  31. A river parting when a man strikes it with his cloak (2 Kin 2:8)
  32. A man rising from the dead and walking through walls and locked doors (Jn 20:26)
  33. A man walking on water (Mt 14:25)
  34. Multiplying a few fish and loaves to feed thousands of people (Mt 14:17-19)
  35. Speaking to stormy water and wind and making them calm (Mt 8:26)
  36. Jesus saying He is coming to bring a sword not peace (Mt 10:24)
  37. A man being told that he cannot go to bury his dead father if he wants to follow Jesus (Mt 8:22)
  38. Being told that you must hate your parents to follow Jesus (Lk 14:26)
  39. Drawing a city on a clay tablet and laying siege to it (Ezek 4:1-2)
  40. Making an iron axe head float (2 Kin 6:6)
  41. Laying on top of a dead boy, hand to hand, eye to eye, and mouth to mouth, and raising him from the dead (2 King 4:34)
  42. Calling down fire on soldiers (2 King 1:12)
  43. Being fed by ravens (1 King 17:6)
  44. Earth's rotation stops and time stands still (Josh 10)
  45. Making the shadow go backwards, back in time (2 King 20:9-11)
  46. Three men are bound and thrown into a blazing furnace that is so hot that the heat kills the soldiers throwing them in, but the three men walk around inside the furnace unbound and unharmed.  They come out alive without smelling like smoke, without damage to their trousers, or even a hair on their body being singed. (Dan 3:27)
  47. Being caught up into Paradise and coming back to tell about it (2 Cor 12:2-4)
  48. A man claiming that through his sufferings he is filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Col 1:24)
  49. Tears being stored in a bottle in heaven (Ps 56:8)
  50. A man disappearing from a desert road to Gaza outside Jerusalem and reappearing far away in Azotus without natural means of transport (Ac 8:39-40)
  51. Running faster than a chariot (1 King 18:46)
  52. Quail and flaky food called manna falling from heaven (Ex 16:4,13)
  53. Water coming out of a rock (Num 20:11)
  54. Slaughtering every man, woman, and child in a city during war (Josh 8:24-26)
  55. The Lord speaking face to face with a man (Dt 5:4)
  56. God writing something on stone tablets with his own hands, so that it can be seen, read, and touched (Dt 5:22)
  57. A human hand appearing and writing on a wall (Dan 5:5)
  58. The Lord coming to a city on earth to confirm reports about wickedness that have reached His ears in heaven (Gen 18:20-22)
  59. Striking a proconsul with blindness for interfering with the preaching of the gospel (Act 13:11)
  60. Two Christians dropping dead before the elders for lying (Acts 5:5,10)
  61. A wooden rod that suddenly sprouts and puts forth buds, blossoms, and almonds overnight (Num 17:8)
  62. An army prevailing over their enemy only while their leader’s hand is raised up, and their enemy prevailing when his hand drops down (Ex 17:11)
As you consider the implications of all these things for today, remember that God is the same God.  He hasn't changed.  He says, "I the Lord do not change." (Mal 3:6a).  The psalmist said to the Lord, "You remain the same" (Ps 102: 27a).  And "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hb 13:8). He still does supernatural things in the world today like He did in days of old. 
The Concern Over Things That Are Extra Biblical
Angel with drawn sword caught on security camera
It's very important to keep the Word of God as our sole rule of faith and our ultimate authority for judging everything outside the Bible. But does that mean we cannot trust anything extra Biblical? 

Are prophecies, dreams, visions and revelations from the Lord extrabiblical? Are testimonies of salvation, healing, deliverance, and miracles extrabiblical? Sure they are.  But we can judge these to determine if they are valid or not. Just because they are extra Biblical does not automatically mean they are unbiblical.

Here are some other things that are extrabiblical that are commonly accepted by many preachers:
  • The Works of Flavius Josephus, the first century Jewish historian who wrote Antiquities of the Jews, which refers to Jesus in books 18 and 20.
  • Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which affirms that the apostle John "was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury." 
  • Various Bible commentaries
  • Greek dictionaries and lexicons
  • Bible dictionaries
  • Bible Encyclopedias
  • Various Christian books, including testimonies of salvation, healing, deliverance, and miracles
  • Christian hymns, poems, and songs
  • Christian art forms of all kinds, including paintings, videos, drama, dance, etc.
Quoting from these sources does not generally receive any backlash, since it is understood that the Bible is the final authority, not these.  And quoting these sources or mentioning them does not constitute agreement with everything they say, nor does it mean we consider them infallible.
Putting it All Together
You cannot put God in a box.  His ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts higher than ours. Man needs to go to God’s level of thinking and acting, instead of God coming down to man’s level. The Lord has revealed these things to little children, not to the wise and learned. We must have childlike faith to enter the kingdom of God. 

Don’t forget that it was the learned elders who knew the Scriptures well that rejected Jesus and said he did miracles by the power of satan.  They also rejected the message of the cross that the apostles preached.  The cross is a stumbling block to Jews, who cannot fathom their true Messiah dying such a shameful death.  And it’s foolishness to the Greeks, who think that anyone who believes in a God that died on a cross is a fool.  The Lord chose a very unlikely way to save the world through the cross.

And the Lord will often use vessels that we consider unlikely. He may reveal deep things to the uneducated, the simple-minded, the outcast or the poor.  He could even reveal things to someone who is not accepted by the mainstream church. So watch out not to toss out something from one of these people whom you think could not be used by God.  With that said, it does help to know the life and character of the vessel, and whether they are living a life of devotion to the Lord without compromise.  It’s also important to humble yourself and double-check your own life as well.  If there is some hidden sin in your life that you don’t see, this could definitely impair your ability to correctly judge the things of the Spirit.

Prophecies, miracles, healings, dreams, visions and revelations from the Lord did not stop after the first century.  The dead are still raised. Believers still speak with new tongues and cast out demons. The apostle Paul was not the last or only person to be caught up into Paradise. These things still happen today.  And they may seem foolish, bizarre, or strange to us initially. So be careful not to quench the Spirit or despise the supernatural things the Lord chooses to do in His own wisdom and love for His people.  Be very careful not to reject a supernatural phenomenon as though it is from the devil, unless you are certain.  Doing so could be blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, if the manifestation is in fact a work of the Holy Spirit. 

If some manifestation or experience does not agree with your theology, first consider the possibility that your theology could be wrong.  Examine these things carefully. Test them with much prayer and the Word. Search the Scriptures. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, determine whether they are from the Lord.  If they are from the Lord, then they are meant for the edification of the Body, even though they will not become part of the Bible.  Therefore, it's appropriate to share them in any format that will be effective, so that others can benefit from it, knowing that there will always be those who will consider these things to be bizarre.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note Also see A Warning to the Nay Sayers, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, Judging Revelations, Visions, and Prophecies, Exposing Heresy, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and Eternal Destinations.  You may also like the other posts in this blog available through the Main Directory for this blog, such as Baptized with the Spirit, Holy Fire Baptism, The Holy Spirit Speaks, The Holy Trinity, and The Spirit without Limit. Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Photo Credits: 
 "Angel on hospital security camera" from Heavenly Angel visits dying girl, Angel caught on video!
"Two Women Seeing Angel" and "Angel by Car" from Angels and Demons Captured on Film
"Angel on the Water" from Real Angels Caught on Tape.
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Holy Fire Baptism

I was first introduced to the holy fire baptism through a book by brother Yong-Doo Kim, called Baptize by Blazing Fire.  I encourage you to read all five books, as I have described in another blog (see here).  There you will see from one church's experience how we receive it, why it is so important, and some of the practical aspects of it in the life of the disciple of Christ.

I have personally experienced this and it has changed my life.  But sometimes I meet people who say that the holy fire is not found in the Bible.  I realize this is controversial, but I want to ask you to be very careful not to deny the Holy Spirit's work.  Consider this matter reverently in fervent prayer to the Lord, searching the Scriptures and seeking to know whether it is truly from God.

In order to help you, I would like to first show you the Scriptures about God's holy fire.  And then I would like to share some people other than brother Kim, who have had divine revelations regarding the holy fire that further corroborate this teaching, and confirm my own experiences.  Lastly, I would like to explain what usually happens when a person receives the holy fire.

Jesus Baptizes in Holy Blazing Fire
John the Baptist said, "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Mat 3:11)

John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luk 3:16)

Some people make the mistake in thinking that when you are baptized in water, you simultaneously receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This is an incorrect belief.  There is a second experience in which the Lord baptizes the believer with the Holy Spirit.  Those who refuse to acknowledge this are missing one of the greatest blessings God has for His people.  For more about the Holy Spirit baptism, you can read my blog about that (see here).

However, some people who have received both water baptism and the baptism with the Holy Spirit also fail to realize that the Lord has a third baptism.  They assume that the fire baptism is one and the same as the Holy Spirit baptism.  This too is error.  The Lord truly has a third baptism for us.  And John the Baptist made that clear when he said, "He [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

God a consuming fire
For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb 12:29)  Therefore it should not surprise you that the Lord is able to baptize His people with fire.  In this same passage, He says that He is once again going to shake both the heavens and the earth, so that everything which can be shaken will be shaken.

Since God is holy, we know that He is a holy fire, as well.  And when He baptizes you in fire, it is a holy fire.

Refiner's Fire
The Lord says that before He comes, He will send His messenger to prepare His people.  We know that He did this through John the Baptist before His first coming, and He is doing it again now right before His second coming.  "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness." (Mal 3:3; cf., Zech 13:9)

When a refiner purifies gold or silver, he places it in a vessel and then puts intensely hot fire beneath it.  The precious metal melts, and the worthless material inside of it comes to the surface, where it is scooped off and removed.  Then the metal is cooled, and the process is repeated again later as many times as necessary until the gold or silver is pure.

I, for one, desire the refiner's fire to burn up all the worthless dross within me.  I hope you do also.

A Burning Coal Purified the Prophet Isaiah

Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven." (Isa 6:5-7)

When the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord, he was ruined.  He sensed his own uncleanness.  But when he cried out in repentance, a seraphim took a burning coal in his hand and touched Isaiah's lips with it.  When this flaming coal touched his lips, it purified him.  The holy fire has a purifying effect, because it is from heaven where Jesus serves as our Great High Priest.

Now for a moment, I would like to share some extra-biblical testimonies that further corroborate this Biblical teaching.  These are people who have had divine revelations.  If you believe the Lord gives divine revelations like dreams, visions, prophecies, and visitations, according to Joel 2 and Acts 2, then you must acknowledge that this is one of the works of the Holy Spirit.  Of course, we need to test these experiences.  But if they are genuine, then we need to heed their message.

Holy Fire of God – from Anna Rountree’s books
The first one I will share is that of Anna Rountree.  In the mid-1990's she visited heaven.  During one visit, the Father said to her:

"The fire of My holiness, the fire of My love, the fire of My compassion, the fire of My wisdom, the fire of My understanding, the fire of My knowledge, the fire of My zeal, the fire of My purity, the fire of My mercy."

This fire will burn all that is wood, hay, and stubble in the lives of His children (1 Co 3:15). They must desire the fire and long for His holiness. His heart is turned toward them, and the fire of His love will reveal this. The hearts of the children will long to turn toward Him, to walk through the fire of purification, and to rest in His arms. As the enemy hates the fire, so must God’s children love it, for in and through the fire, they will see God. She went on to say that we must learn to live in the fire by allowing it to burn away all that will not pass through it as purely of the Lord.  Learn to love the fire of God.

In her vision of judgment, she saw a plumb line being let down to earth.  "As the plumb line reached earth, great rejoicing began in heaven. It was as though every created being there was singing, and the sound began to shake the celestial realms: 'His righteousness is from everlasting to everlasting. His judgments are sure and will be withheld no longer.' As the thunderous rejoicing increased, fire came out of heaven and traveled the plumb line, passing before us and sweeping down the line to the earth. Suddenly the whole world was aflame."

Her books are available online (see here and here).

Holy Fire -- from Yong-Doo Kim’s books
As I mentioned earlier, I first heard about the holy fire through brother Yong-Doo Kim in his books called Baptized by Blazing Fire.

In his book, he and other learned the following lessons:
  • Shout, “Holy Fire” whenever unnecessary or hindering thoughts come to you during prayer.
  • If you are having a bad day, feeling sick, or anxious, then shout out, “Holy Fire!”
  • The Fire that you long to receive is the power that the evil forces are most afraid of and fear. Therefore, once you receive it, you have to continuously accumulate it daily. Charge it up everyday!
  • One of the most powerful weapons used in Spiritual Warfare is Blazing Fire.  When this gift is granted to a saint, their entire Spiritual Body is fully engulfed in holy fire, with a blazing intensity.   The fire is so intense, that a mere touch of a demonic spirit will incinerate it to ashes.
  • The Holy Blazing Fire is enormously, unimaginably powerful and can be used as offensive weapons.
  • The Fire that the Lord grants us can completely devastate the forces of evil. In fact, it is more than just fire. The fire is a powerful layer of light that can burn up all kinds of diseases on earth, which can heal.
  • Any person who prays diligently and persistently will receive the power of fire.
  • The fire ministry is a ministry that has the greatest reward in heaven, as well as on earth, but also the trials and testings are highest.
  • Even though we once confessed and accepted the Lord as our Savior -- even though we believed in Him -- if we cannot get out from our sinful habitual lives, then our lives are not completely holy. The only way to save ourselves is to repent. If you repent and shout out, "Holy Fire," the evil spirits will have to leave and healing will come.
Holy Fire – from Howard Pittman’s testimony
Then there is a pastor named Howard Pittman, who was raised from the dead.  You can listen to his complete testimony online (see here).  But one of his conclusions is this.  He says, "He’s going to shake this world one more time.  These things He did, you will do greater than these.  But the church must be without spot or wrinkle or blemish.  He’s getting ready to cleanse the church.  How will He do it?  He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire, according to Matt 3:11.  You’ve been baptized in water.  You’ve been baptized in the Holy Ghost.  But now He’s going to baptize you with fire.  Get ready.  Yonder comes the fire!  The third and final baptism with which He’s going to clean up His church is the baptism of fire.  He’s going to take a blow torch!  He’s going to scorch us up one side and down the other to make us ready to turn loose this world.  But if you think God can do this with carnal-minded Christians, you’re mistaken.  God’s got enough fire to get rid of all the chaff.  If you don’t want the fire, get rid of the chaff."

Holy Fire – from James Agboola
In my article, James Agboola Revelation of Heaven and Hell, I wrote about how this brother was shown the international conference of the kingdom of darkness, presided over by the devil himself.  Here is an excerpt of James Agboola's testimony about what he heard in that conference:

"Now, as they were saying all these things where I was seated, I was not happy at all.  One demon said something that gave me a little joy.  He said, 'Master, we are having some problems in the world.'  The devil said, 'What is it?'  The demon said, 'Master, we have discovered there are some end-time evangelists and they are just appearing.'  He said there are some end-time evangelists and they are just appearing, and they are clothed with clothes of fire.  He said, 'Master, these end-time evangelists, we find it difficult to talk to them.'”

Holy Fire – from a woman named CJ
A woman named CJ, who saw Jesus in person and was born again, testifies to her experience in an interview online (see here).  It's a very powerful testimony.

She had searched for the Lord all her life.  And on the night she saw the Lord in her friend's living room, He spoke the following things to her: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Lk 13:5); “You must keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17; Jn 14:15; 15:10); and “I will not share My temple with idols” (2 Co 6:16).  She then repented and gave her life to Jesus.

In 1981, after she saw Jesus and had become born again, she had another experience where she had about 40 days of tests and trials.  At the end of that time, Christ was really pleased with her obedience.  He came and laid His hands on her and His fire went all through her. This is consistent with the experiences of many others who have received the holy fire.

She also gave warnings the Lord has given her in 2008 or 2009 about coming judgment against the United States (video 33:39).  The Lord also gave her two Scriptures from Ezekiel and Jeremiah to confirm this: And say to the land of Israel, 'Thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am against you; and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. "Because I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore My sword will go forth from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. "Thus all flesh will know that I, the LORD, have drawn My sword out of its sheath. It will not return to its sheath again."'  (Eze 21:3-5) "Perhaps their supplication will come before the LORD, and everyone will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and the wrath that the LORD has pronounced against this people." (Jer 36:7)

Holy Fire in the Arctic
Pond Inlet is a small, predominantly Inuit community in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada and is located at the top of Baffin Island.  On February 28, 1999, in Pond Inlet, believers had gathered for a week of revival meetings at the Anglican church, hungry for God and troubled by new reports of community drug use.  They decided to add a special Sunday afternoon youth service.  An invitation was offered for youth who wanted to come closer to God.  The worship leader was praying over youth who had gathered around the altar.

Something started to happen that was out of their control.  A sound like a jet started softly and gradually became very loud.  It was so strong!  The whole place was shaking and everything in it.  The youth leader says that fire went right through him and he started to shake.  He began to shout, "Fire!! Fire!! Fire!! Hallelujah!"

All of this was recorded on a dual cassette deck used to record the service.  In fact, it continued to record the event, even after the sound board was turned off.  You can watch and listen to a short, three-minute video about this event, which includes the original recording of it (see here).

Holy Fire - from Charles and Frances Hunter
Charles and Frances Hunter "spent nearly forty years leading 'healing explosions,' where they prayed for the sick and taught Christians about the ministry of healing. Known as the Happy Hunters for their ready smiles and quick humor, the couple wrote more than 50 books about divine healing, including the best-seller How to Heal the Sick." -- Charisma Magazine, July 14, 2009. "Charles and Frances Hunter were the most effective couple I ever saw among healing evangelists," said Pentecostal historian Vinson Synan, dean emeritus of the Regent University School of Divinity.

In their video series, "How to Heal the Sick," Frances talked about the time when she saw liquid fire coming forth from the hands of her husband Charles in a meeting.  It appeared like blue flames about four inches long, coming off his finger tips.  Although the flames were not visible to him, she could see it.  He prayed for the sick at that meeting, and they were powerfully healed.  Many of them fell under the power of God.  You can watch the three-minute section of that video (31:30 - 34:15), where she shares this wonderful testimony (see here).

On October 16, 1984, the Happy Hunters ministered at a church in Rotterdam, Holland, called Kom en Zie.  On the final day of the conference, they ministered the baptism with fire. Let me encourage you to read what they said at that meeting on my other post called The Happy Hunters on Fire (see here).

Holy Fire - from Neville Johnson
In this podcast, brother Neville Johnson of the Academy of Light aptly teaches on the baptism of fire. I encourage you to watch it!



If you would like to read more of Neville's preaching on the baptism of fire, you can find it on my post called "The Burning Ones."

Experiential Evidence
When people receive the holy fire, they usually sense some sort of tangible evidence.  I have personally experienced this and witnessed it in others.  It is not the same for everyone.  Some people feel warmth or heat in their hands.  It sometimes feels like heavy fireballs in their hands. Others get a stinging feeling in their hands, as if they have just clapped them together.  Still others feel the fire on their lower back and a tingling sensation over their entire body. Others feel the presence of the Lord or a peace that passes all understanding. Still others find it difficult to stand straight.  Some find it difficult to hold out their arms or even to stand.   Some are completely unable to stand under the glory of God. Others begin to shake beneath the power of God. Some people begin sweating. Others feel the great joy of the Lord inside. The glory of God falls upon many who receive the fire. Most people have wonderful experiences receiving the holy fire.

It should be noted that if the person has any demons in their life, they cannot stand the holy fire and sometimes manifest themselves, so sometimes there can be demonic manifestations when the holy fire is imparted. Once the demons are cast out of their life, they will experience a wonderful freedom they did not know before.

You may also listen to Neville Johnson's personal testimony about being baptized in fire in the audio clip below:

 
Other Scriptures:
Now let's continue with more Scriptures about the holy fire.

Fire will devour Your enemies
Isaiah said, "O LORD, Your hand is lifted up yet they do not see it. They see Your zeal for the people and are put to shame; Indeed, fire will devour Your enemies." (Isa 26:11).  So we know that God's holy fire will consume His enemies.  It does not consume His people though.   But in warfare against spiritual forces of wickedness, the holy fire certainly consumes God's enemies.

Fire consumed the 250 rebels
Fire also came forth from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense. (Num 16:35)

The holy fire of God consumed the 250 rebels that came against Moses and Aaron.  They are an example to us not to rebel against the Lord.

Fire consumes Sabbath breakers
"But if you do not listen to Me to keep the sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not be quenched."'" (Jer 17:27)

The Lord hates it when His people don’t listen to Him and make money on Sundays.  In doing so, they fail to keep the Sabbath day (now Sundays) holy.  So He will kindle a fire in the gates of their city that will not be quenched.  It’s the judgment of God against the disobedient.  You can read more about keeping Sundays holy at my blog on the topic (see here).

Elijah commanded holy fire to consume the captain and his fifty
Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him, and behold, he was sitting on the top of the hill. And he said to him, "O man of God, the king says, 'Come down.'" Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. So he again sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he said to him, "O man of God, thus says the king, 'Come down quickly.'" Elijah replied to them, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. (2Ki 1:9-12)

In this passage, we learn that the holy prophet of God was able to command holy fire to come down out of heaven and consume the enemies of God, which in this case were soldiers.

Shouting, "holy fire!"
The disciples of Jesus knew that Elijah had called down fire on the Lord's enemies, and they were ready to do the same.  When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them (even as Elijah did)?" (Luk 9:54).  The Lord did not tell them that this is impossible.  He simply told them that they were operating in a wrong spirit to think they should do such a thing to people.

Yet this is something we can do to our invisible, spiritual enemies. When we have genuine faith and desire a weapon against the enemy (demons), we can call for it aloud and it will be given to us.  We simply shout “Holy fire!” or "Fire of the Holy Spirit!"

How is that possible?  The word is near you, even in your mouth.  I believed therefore I spoke.  When you speak what you believe, and you do it in genuine faith, there is spiritual power.

Your fire or God’s holy fire
“Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the Word of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with firebrands, Walk in the light of your fire And among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand: You will lie down in torment.”  (Isa 50:10-11)

If you fear the Lord and obey His Word, you must trust in the name of Jesus, rely on Him, and walk in His Light. But if you kindle your own fire and surround yourself with it, then the Lord says to go ahead and walk in the light of your own fire.  He will let you do that, if you choose your own light, your own fire instead of His holy fire.  Here is what you will receive from His hand: in the end, you will lie down in torment.

God’s holy fire or strange fire
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. (Lev 10:1)

And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD. (Num 26:61)

The punishment upon these two newly inaugurated priests was very severe.   Their sin was that they offered unauthorized incense with fire that was not holy.  This is why we must be very careful that we receive God's holy fire and do not operate with strange fire.

Fire to consume gates of Nineveh, the bloody city of lies
Behold, your people are women in your midst! The gates of your land are opened wide to your enemies; Fire consumes your gate bars. (Nah 3:13)

This verse speaks of the gates of the city of lies consumed by holy fire.  Lying spirits cannot stand before the holy fire of God.  They are consumed by it just as the gates of the city of lies were.

Fire to burn and devour God’s enemies
Therefore the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors; And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame. And the light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame, And it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day. (Isa 10:16-17).

His holy fire terrifies the sinners in Zion.  As the Holy Spirit said through Isaiah: "The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: 'Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?' Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion     and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil..." (Is 33:14-15). 

One commentator says, “The same God that is a rejoicing Light to those that serve him faithfully will be a consuming fire to those that trifle with him or rebel against him.”  Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?  The righteous who serve Him faithfully.

"Fire goes before Him And burns up His adversaries round about." (Psa 97:3)

God will repay our enemies with flaming fire when Jesus returns
"For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire," (2Th 1:6-7)

We know that when the Lord returns, he will be revealed from heaven with His angels in flaming fire.

Fire from the mouths of the two witnesses
And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. (Rev 11:5)

This is how the two end-time witnesses will function.  They will have a gift to be able to devour their enemies with holy fire that comes forth from their mouths.  Notice there are only two who will do so against human enemies.  But the idea is the same when dealing with evil spirits. This should not seem strange to anyone acquainted with the Word of God and spiritual warfare.

The Lord appeared as a fire
At the burning bush. “The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.” (Exo 3:2)

The angel of Lord appeared to Moses in a blazing fire.  Just as the bush was on fire but was not consumed, when a child of God is baptized with holy fire, they are not consumed.  Only the chaff in their lives and the demons are consumed by it.

The Lord's Fire is in Zion
The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Isaiah, saying that the Lord is the One "whose fire is in Zion" (see Is 31:9b).

Putting it All Together
The Lord is going to shake this world one last time.  He is coming right away.  Only the ones who are truly seeking the Lord with all their heart will be spared from the coming judgment.  The Lord is coming only for a holy people, ready, without blemish, without wrinkle and without defilement.  He is not coming for those who have walked away from Him.

The only way we can have purity in our lives in these last and evil days is through repentance and the holy fire.  The third and final baptism with which He’s going to clean up His church is the baptism of fire.  He’s going to make us ready to turn loose this world. 

It is a holy fire, because it is not produced by man. It is produced by the one, true, holy God.  It is a promise for the believer, according to Mt 3:11.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Songs of the Holy FireThe Refiner's Fire, The Three Elijahs, The Burning Ones, Living Sacrifices in Consuming FireThe Fiery Sufferings of the Believer, and Restored Truth. You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Revival painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.  Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.