Jesus said that he would baptize his followers with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Mathew 3:13)
While many Christians see this fire as a type of anointing that is not the only thing that the fire represents. Let me explain.
Jesus told the sons of Zebedee that he had a baptism to be baptized with and then he asked them if they would be able to be baptized the same way. (Luke 12:50)
The disciples agreed. Jesus confirmed that those men would indeed go through the same baptism that he was going to go through.
The scriptures tell us that the fire will come to test every person’s work in the Lord to see what it is made of. (1 Cor. 3:23)
History tells us that James was killed by the sword and John was imprisoned for the rest of his life.
Why this testing or baptism ? God allows it to determine if we really belong to him or not. Are we really a true disciple of Jesus Christ or an impostor?
Jesus was led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested of the devil scriptures tell us. What was the test about? To determine if Jesus was who he said he was. (Matthew 4:1)
The Father knew who Jesus was but Satan and his cronies weren’t sure. After the testing they soon found out what Jesus was made of!
Satan asked Jesus . If you really are the Son of God like you say you are then….don’t fast….stop praying…rise up and eat. Perform a selfish act. Make these stones bread and oh yeah how about jumping off a cliff? Prove it if you are who you say you are. Give up….don’t take the hard way….come and serve me instead. (my paraphrase)
Jesus’ temptation was part of his baptism of fire. The same test which happened to the three Hebrew guys who refused to bow to the king of Babylon. It’s also the same baptism of fire all Christians will go through.
Why you ask does God allow this baptism of fire to happen? Simply because this test by fire will prove that you are who you say you are. Are you really a child of God? Will you cave under pressure? Give up when it gets tough? Run away when the fire gets too hot?
There are many tares among the wheat the Bible informs us. False brethren are everywhere in the church but they are soon discovered when the fire comes to test them. Not only do we find out who were are during the fire but so does every one else around us. (1 Corinthians 3:13)
The outcome of the fire testing will determine whether you really are a child of God or not. Hirelings always run away when persecution and affliction comes. The false Christian will backslide, turn away from God, become bitter and angry. Many atheists consider themselves to have been Christians at one time but were they really?
A true Christian comes forth out of the fire victorious. Job said that after he had been tried he would come forth as pure gold and he did. That doesn’t mean a Christian won’t have questions or feel pain but the fire will purify the true Christian to become even more holy and devoted to the Lord. (Job 23:10)
When the fire falls upon the false Christian, the fire reveals their true nature. They may fall away, get angry, bitter, even in some cases turn to the dark side. Some hard core famous atheists were once preachers. (1 Peter 4:12)
Are you going through the fire right now? Is your faith being tested?
Then look to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith! Don’t give up. Fast and pray. Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Trust in the Lord and be patient for his deliverance. Stand on his promises that are yes and amen. (Hebrews 12:2, 2 Corinthians 1:20)
If you really belong to the Lord you will come through your baptism of fire as pure gold and be prepared as a vessel refined for the service of good works in the kingdom of God. Tested and tried by fire!