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God is a consuming fire, and He desires a people that love what He loves and are like He is. For the Word says to “Be holy as I Am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16). However, we cannot be holy without the blood of Jesus and fire of God. This is a term that many have questioned the meaning of through the years and has been a source of mystery at best. So what is the fire of God and why do we need it?
In order to figure that out, we must define and explain the ministry of the Holy Spirit as well. Let’s take a closer look at what this is and why we need it as believers that desire to be in the Presence of God. Read Part 1 of this series: God’s Consuming Fire: Part 1-Pursuing the Complete Purity & Holiness of God!
God as Fire in the Old Testament
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is woven throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament, God was simply God for these individuals. Since this was before Jesus’ death, they had one way to interact with God. God identified Himself with certain images or symbols. For the Old Testament, it was mainly through fire.
We can see in the Old Testament how God appeared in judgment in fire. He also appeared in fire through acceptance of sacrifices offered by His fire, a calling to service of Moses by the burning bush, leading the Israelites in the desert with a pillar of fire, and then in the temple of the Israelites as fire lighting the menorah.
The menorah was the branched candelabra that was continuously lit within the temple. It was required to be lit continuously as a sign of the Presence of God.
God as a Dove and Fire in the New Testament
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit was given to the new Church as they were baptized in fire (tongues of fire over their heads) and as they spoke with new tongues (Holy Spirit baptism). Also, in The New Testament, at the baptism of Jesus, we see the Holy Spirit as a dove landing on His shoulder.
There are other hints of the Holy Spirit as a dove through various stories in the Bible as well. Therefore, we see that God Himself represents Himself as fire and with a dove.
What Is the Fire of God?
It is the very heart of Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God. His passion and His glory. It is like turning up the volume on everything the Holy Spirit does.
For those filled with it, it compels them to accomplish the service they are called to do by God. They are passionate because they love the Word, Jesus Christ! John the Baptist spoke of this fire in Matthew 3.
“It’s true that I am immersing you in water so that you might turn from sin to God; but the one coming after me is more powerful than I — I’m not worthy even to carry his sandals — and he will immerse you in the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and in fire. He has with him his winnowing fork; and he will clear out his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn but burning up the straw with unquenchable fire!”Matthew 3:11-12 CJB
Jeremiah 23:29 AMP says:
“Is not My word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]?” says the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the [most stubborn] rock [in pieces]?”Jeremiah 23:29 AMP
God’s Word as Fire & a Hammer
I love this verse because it mentions God’s fire as a fire and a hammer. It breaks a stubborn rock into pieces. Rocks are also representative of stony hearts. His Word will change us in so many ways if we allow it, and the imagery of fire and a hammer makes the impression in our minds that it is a serious decision to be Holy.
The Many Ministry Functions of the Holy Spirit in Scripture
Now, let’s quickly list the functions of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. I am listing them quickly for the sake of space:
Old Covenant-Functions of the Holy Spirit (Before the death of Jesus)
1. He judged
2. He cleansed
3. He displayed the power of God
4. He guided/provided warmth/protection
5. Certain people could have Him for limited times to empower them for a task
5. When the Temple was seen, they considered the flame God’s Presence through the menorah in the Temple. It was to be kept burning at all times.
New Covenant-Functions of the Holy Spirit (After Christ’s death & Pentecost)
1. He dwells in us/seals us for the return of Christ
2. He teaches us all things
3. He brings remembrance of all things
4. He testifies of Jesus Christ
5. He Convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment
6. He Guides us in all truth
7. He tells us things to come
8. He glorifies Jesus
9. He intercedes for us
10. He empowers/emboldens
11. He inspires
12. He comforts
13. He gives spiritual gifts
14. He deposits fruits when exhibited in the believer-(Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control-Galatians 5:22-23)
Bring On The Fire!
Now that we have the functions of the Holy Spirit mentioned, we want to get to the fire! The fire is an off chute of the Holy Spirit baptism. One happens because of the other. We cannot sustain the fire without the holy Spirit baptism in place. Why?
Because the HS baptism is empowering! The Fire is simply passionate, unquenchable motivation and the ability to do what God wants to do that one cannot do without it! It takes the Holy Spirit baptism and turns up the volume.
Here are some characteristics of the fire of God that will be a hallmark of its presence on these passionate individuals. If you see these characteristics in someone you know, you will want to spend time with them!
1. Purity & Holiness-
“As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better. Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you.” For Scripture says:
“You are to be holy, because I am holy.”1 Peter 1:15-16 TPT
Malachi 3:2 AMP
“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 launderer’s soap [which removes impurities and uncleanness].”
As they spend more and more time in the Lord’s Presence, they cannot help but become more like Him. They can avoid His Presence when the fire of purity starts to get hot (convicting us of our sin) or they can stay until all their sins are burned up and they come forth like gold.
It all depends on the heart. (Read 14 Pitfalls To Avoid to Help Christians See Into the Spirit for more on the heart and purity) It burns away all that is impure. If it doesn’t do that, it’s really not God’s fire. Those that carry His fire and glory must be purified for use.
2. Removes Lukewarmness & Creates Passion
“As the deer pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after you, O God”Psalms 42:1 NIV
Check this same verse out in the Passion Translation:
I long to drink of you, O God, to drink deeply from the streams of pleasure flowing from your presence. My longings overwhelm me for more of you!”Psalm 42:1 TPT
When sold out hearts become one with His divine nature, fully awakened supernaturally, the trappings of the world completely fade from their interest. All that matters is eternity. It now blazes in their hearts and minds.
They adapt to Kingdom realities, molding themselves into the image of Christ. Now, they are in a place of constant burning that is continual and their love for Jesus is growing daily. They burn for all that He loves. This is a manifestation of His glory upon them!
3. It Marks Them to the World
“For our God is a holy, devouring fire!”Hebrews 12:29 TPT
The Children of Israel had a reputation with other nations around them. Those nations knew they were marked by God’s favor because of the exploits God did for them.
As the Church today, we don’t have to prove our calling to anyone. If God does a supernatural thing though one of His own, that in itself proves to the world that they are His, carrying His heart of love, and that they are marked with His glorious fire!
“The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters!”Romans 8:19 TPT
4. It’s a Contagious Wildfire of His Glory!
After this, the church all over Judea, Galilee, and Samaria experienced a season of peace. The congregations grew larger and larger, with the believers being empowered and encouraged by the Holy Spirit. They worshiped God in wonder and awe and walked in the fear of the Lord.Acts 9:31
When God’s people also are passionately consumed with His fire, it draws attention to them. It inspires others to be the same, and it makes others jealous for God! Like a raging fire that consumes all it comes into contact with, it is contagious!
When holy passion is stirred with intense hunger and pursuit of God, glory fire is kindled. It is a brilliant display of God’s glory! They will be called, equipped, and empowered for evangelism as they burn with the heart of Christ. God cannot resist the dear one consumed by Him!
Which Side of the Line Will You Be On?
The fire of God separates those that follow rules and religion from those who have a living relationship with Christ. It separates from those who like to play Church from the ones who are really are the Church. It separates the ones wanting entertainment from the true doers of the Word, who are true power-filled believers.
Our world is on the verge of revival. Make no mistake about it! Those who are filled with His fire will be primed, equipped, and very much ready to come forward! Will you be one of the sons and daughters revealed to the world performing exploits that only His fire within you can perform?
Draw Near to the Living God!
My heart and words today implore you to draw near the Living God! Pursue Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Press into Him! He promises as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.
It is so worth the effort, dear friends. Souls are at stake, and He needs workers to look to the fields that are now even white with the harvest.
As you press into Him, you will find a loving relationship so sweet and satisfying that it will trump any reward you may receive in Heaven. However, Our Great God doesn’t work that way. He loves to reward. Your lavish reward will be waiting. Can He count you in for His fire? I assure you heaven is watching to see just what you will choose.