Text: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."  

Matthew 3:11  (KJV)

It was reported that the heat of London's great fire in 1666 so penetrated and warmed the soil that unknown flowers sprang up from long and deeply buried seeds. The seeds lay asleep and forgotten in their earthy grave until the heat of the fire called them forth.

Fire awakens. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44).
When a believer is baptized with the fire of the Holy Ghost their is an awakening of desire to feed on God's Word and follow the commands of Jesus. It is unexplainable. The soul awakens to the glory of God and the seeds of the Kingdom truth that lodged in the soil of religiosity are called forth by the energy of fire by the Holy Spirit of God. Fruit production takes place in the new believer's life: love, joy, peace of the Holy Spirit.

Fire Reveals "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is" (1 Corinthians 3:13). Motives will be tested when God sends the fire test. Paul goes on to say that the believer will suffer loss if  his works did not stand the test of God's fire.

Fire Consumes "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever" (Isaiah 40:7). The fire of the Holy Spirit destroys the product of the old nature or growths that were in the heart. After the destruction comes the new blades within the soul; fresh and green. Marvelously, old things pass away and all things become new.

I witnessed a controlled forest fire in Florida. The conservationist set fire to areas of the forest to rid the forest floor of weeds, brush and  hindrances to healthy rich growth. The tall stately mature trees endure the flames of the fire. However, the rubbish floor is burnt to make room for fresh new growth. This destruction is a necessary procedure each year. Otherwise, the unhealthy growth would retard the healthy production. This is controlled fire of nature can be compared to the controlled fires of the Holy Spirit that helps eliminate the old so the new life can produce fruit.

Fire Purifies "But who may abide the day of His coming and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap. And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." (Malachi 3:2-3)
In the refining process, the metal is put over red-hot fire and as it begins to melt, the dross can be sifted off from the top. Thus, the metal is finally pure. When Christ establishes His Kingdom there will be nothing impure within it. There are two processes of purifying mentioned in these verses: cleansing and purifying. Cleansing, as expressed in this verse, is used for cleaning something up; scrubbing and washing. The fire is used for testing and making the inward part right. God uses both procedures to make us ready for His Kingdom.

Fire Softens The Holy Spirit can melt the hardest of hearts,  making the heart soft enough to take the impression of the image of Christ. "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fullfil the lusts thereof." (Romans 13:14) As the fire of the Holy Spirit's fire softens ones heart, desires begin to change. Enthusiasm for the Kingdom principles are awakened within the inner man. A flaming love for others and service to others take priority over a self life. 

Yes, it is necessary to have the fire of the Holy Ghost working in us to awaken us to revelations of God's Word. As the Word works in us the old nature becomes purified. As our nature is purified, a softening transpires that can take on the image of Christ. Thank God for the fire of the Holy Spirit!

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