THE FIRE OF GOD (Pt. 3)

“These are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh’”.(Acts 2:15-17 NKJV)

The words of Peter, first spoken on the Day of Pentecost, were like a thunderclap or lightening bolt right in the midst of the mocking crowd. He who had come from heaven as a gracious, prophetic fulfillment of God’s promise to His people caught the crowd by surprise! It left many amused. Others mocked. Little did they realize, that the fire of God had come to melt their cold, religious, indifferent hearts. But, for those waiting, the fire of God rapidly fell UPON them, WITHIN them, and AROUND them. And, like a bonfire, it quickly spread.

DO YOU WANT HIS FIRE?

Be sure of what you are asking for. When the fire of God comes, it will first burn up the stubble of pride and religious hypocrisy. It will mean a fresh baptism of love, leading to forgiveness and reconciliation. The fire of God will also ignite a new passion for prayer. And people will begin to insist on a holy word from a Holy God, spoken through the holy lips of holy vessels.   Remember, it is the refiner’s flame that reduces and melts what it touches in order that it maybe purified to be molded into something new and useful. It is no coincidence, that God closed the last book of the Hebrew prophets with these words, “““Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.”(Malachi 3:1-3 NKJV) God was not interested in the precious metals of silver and gold. He was concerned about the precious souls in His house who were not prepared to meet a holy God.

 FRUIT INSPECTORS

Be warned! Where there is Holy Spirit fire, there is bound to be the smoke of controversy. Every true move of God, throughout Church History, has had its detractors. Some will feel uncomfortable when God shows up in the demonstration of the Spirit’s power. And they will (often in ignorance) openly oppose what they do not understand. They forget the words of Paul, that teach us how to remain, spiritually open but not spiritually gullible. “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophesies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”(1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NKJV) The gifts of the Holy Spirit may always be discerned by the fruit of the Holy Spirit manifest. Jesus taught, “A tree is known by its fruit”. (Matthew 7:20)

GRACIOUS GIFT

Pentecost reminds us of the gracious gift from our heavenly Father. Jesus taught, ““If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!””(Luke 11:13 NKJV)

On the Day of Pentecost, the fire of God fell upon waiting hearts to confirm that God was making no distinction between Jew and Gentile sinners. For both, He was “purifying their hearts by faith”(Acts 15:9 NKJV). The Holy Spirit’s fire fell to comfort the saints and convict the backslidden of their need to return to God. The promised Holy Spirit was a new thing that God was doing in the earth; it was no longer relegated to a few specially selected individuals. But was available to all who called on Jesus by faith. And so, it is true today, “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. (Acts 2:21 NKJV)

© Copyright 2015, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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