Baptism of Fire

John the baptizer said in Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry: he shall baptize you with the Set-Apart Spirit, and with fire." We should surely want the baptism of his Spirit! But what about the baptism of fire? Is it something to be desired or avoided?

The Witness of John

Some teach that the baptism of fire is reserved exclusively for the wicked. They will point to the testimony of John the baptist in Matthew chapter 3...

But when [John] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, "Oh generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham to our father.' for I say unto you, that Elohim is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." (Matthew 3:7-9)

"And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry: he shall baptize you with the Set-Apart Spirit, and with fire. His fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:10-12)

Was Yahushua the the Messiah going to immerse (in fire) only the wicked, or was this immersion to be for everyone? I will agree that John made it sound as though it was only intended for the wicked. But, let's look into the Word of YHWH to see if that is correct.

1st Corinthians 3:11 - For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Yahushua the Messiah. 
12 - Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 
13 - Every man's work shall be made clear: 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. 
14 - If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 
15 - If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

It can be seen that all our works will be made clear (whether good or evil) when tried with fire.

Jeremiah 23:29 - "Is not my word like as a fire? saith YHWH; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?"

The Word of YHWH is as fire... "and the Word was made flesh" (John 1:14). It would seem that anyone who is exposed to the the Word of YHWH will (eventually) either get consumed or refined.

The following is a prophecy (about the future), concerning the people of the land, two thirds of which will perish and a third of which will come out of the fire...

Zechariah 13:8 - "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land," saith YHWH, "two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein."
9 - "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, 'It is my people', and they shall say, 'YHWH is my Elohim.'"

Notice how the third (who survive) are to be refined in the fire.

When we are afflicted, we need to remember the following...

Psalm 66:10 - For thou, O Elohim, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 - Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 - Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

Job 23:10 - But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Proverbs 17:3 - The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but YHWH trieth the hearts.

Isaiah 48:10 - Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

So, when we find ourselves being afflicted, we need to consider the possibility that YHWH is trying us.

Hebrews 12:5 - And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of YHWH, nor faint when you are rebuked of him;
6 - For whom YHWH loves he disciplines, and scourges every son whom he receives."
7 - If you endure discipline, YHWH deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father does not discipline?
8 - But if you be without discipline, of which all are partakers, then you are illegitimate, and not sons.
9 - Moreover, we indeed had fathers of our flesh disciplining us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 - For they indeed disciplined us for a few days as seemed best to them; but he does it for our profit, that we might be partakers of his being set apart.
11 - Now no discipline for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.

Yahushua said that he came to kindle a fire, and this fire apparently divides those who are on YHWH's side from those who are not...

Luke 12:49 - " I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 - "But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!"
51 - "Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division."
52 - "For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three."
53 - "Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

The following messenger could be referring to John the Baptist (or someone still to come), or both...

Malachi 3:1 - "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Master, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to this temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come," saith YHWH of hosts.
2 - 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:
3 - And he shall sit as a refiner and purifer of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto YHWH an offering in righteousness.

Temptation is also a type of fire...

James 1:12 - Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which YHWH hath promised to them that love him.

 Kepha repeats the same idea...

1Kepha (Peter) 1:6 - Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 - That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and esteem at the appearing of Yahushua the Messiah.

In conclusion, it seems that everyone is going to experience the baptism of fire. We need to pray that we be found worthy! Yahushua said...

Luke 21:34 - "And take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down by gluttony, and drunkenness, and worries of this life, and that day come on you suddenly."
35 - "For it shall come as a snare on all those dwelling on the face of all the earth."
36 - "Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

Study by YermeYah

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