Baptism By Fire

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!


Is it God’s Will For You to Prosper?

Is it God’s will for you to prosper? Let’s examine this controversial topic based on the Bible. First of all let’s define prosper. In the Greek the word is euodoō and it means to be successful and in particular in business affairs.

3 John 1:2 John says that he prays for the brethren to prosper and be healthy in body according to the prosperity of their spirit man. 

In other words if the spirit man is prospering then that prosperity will be evident in the natural realm as well. 

Jesus never said money or wealth was evil. In fact what he did say was to make use of mammon or worldly money for good purposes, make wise investments with money and be faithful with it. This your faithfulness with money will return to you a benefit. Matthew 6
Luke 16

God said the love of money was the root of all evil. To serve money and put it before God is the sin. Not having money. I Tim 6

If we use money for fleshy indulgences and greed this is sin but to use money for God’s kingdom this is not sin. 
James 4

Matthew the tax collector restored what he stole and when he repented he said to the Lord that he would give of his riches to help the poor. This pleased Jesus. Mark 2

According to the Bible poverty is a curse. Many times Christians are dirt poor because of un dealt with sin in their lives, mismanagement of what they did have (story of the talents) or simply because of ignorance of the Bible.

Deuteronomy 28
Galatians 3

Prosperity is also relative. A person living in a western nation may have to make more money than a person from a third world nation in order to live. For example the price of a days wages in one country may be the cost of a loaf of bread in another. The cost of a rental house for one month in one country may be a years wages in another. 

The point is that prosperity and health while relative is a sign of God’s blessing. Many sickness and diseases are caused by sin and demonic power such as unhealthy life choices, occult practices, generational sins, and word curses. 

Exodus 15
Deuteronomy 7
1 Peter 3
Colossians 4

God says that his people perish for lack of knowledge and so many Christians suffer at Satan’s hands due to their ignorance of God’s word. Hoses 4:6

Does God allow suffering sometimes? Yes he does and scriptures tell us some reasons that he does this; such as for his glory to be revealed, to further the work of God, and chastisement for disobedience.

John 9
Job 42
Dan 4

God promises to supply our needs. Not our greeds. If he wants to give someone a lot of money in order to further the kingdom of God then that’s his buisness but if some of us have to pray for our needs to be met every day because the Lord wants to increase our faith then again that is his buisness. We each have been given different gifts and we should just accept that.

Phil. 4
Romans 12
1 Corinthians 12 Ephesians 4

It is not wrong to pray for your needs to be met but you don’t have to live up to the Jones. A guy with a ministry to the poor may not need a Cadillac but an ambassador to the rich and famous maybe he does. 
2 Cor. 10 :12
1 Timothy 6

Paul said that he became all things for all people that he might win them to Jesus Christ. We need to take that into consideration. 

1 Corinthians 9

Paul also said in the Bible to be content in your situation whether you have a lot or not. 

Phil. 4

The important thing is to live for Jesus and be in the center of his will. 

Matthew 6

Heaven’s streets are paved with gold and all God’s children have shoes so in eternity we have an inheritance incorruptible to look forward to and since that’s the final outcome we all prosper in the end anyway . 
(1 Peter 1:4 )

Things God Cannot Do

Did you know that even though God is sovereign (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent) that there are certain things that he cannot do?

The Bible tells us that God can be limited and grieved. When we doubt God we limit him and make him sorrowful. He is sad because he cannot do any mighty works on our behalf. 
(Ps. 78:41)

All heaven is blocked by unbelief. Angels can’t move and God can’t move. Faith is the vehicle in which the miraculous moves. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God but with even just a tiny bit of faith God will move a mountain on our behalf. (Heb. 11:6 Mark 11:23)

There are two kinds of faith that the Bible talks about. Our faith and God’s faith. When we trust God to work on our behalf he will do great things for us. Faith is not a feeling. It’s an action word. I believe therefore I have spoken. I believe therefore I take up my bed and walk. (Mark 5 :34, John 5 :8)

God’s faith is much more powerful. It is a supernatural endowment to believe a specific thing. Sometimes in order to do a supernatural feat we need a supernatural faith. (1Cor. 12:9)

Faith comes by hearing. Taking time to bend our ear to heaven. Hearing or getting the answer to our seeking comes from getting a word from God. We need to seek God through prayer, fasting and Bible reading to get a word from heaven. (Romans 10:17)

When we get a word from heaven faith comes. We know that we know that we know we have our petition granted.

Another way that God is limited is through unforgiveness. If we do not forgive others then God will not forgive us. 
(Matt. 6:15)

Sometimes the reason we don’t get our prayers answered is because we are still holding on to grudges and offense. Forgiveness is not a feeling either. It is also an action word. I choose to pray, bless and do good regardless of feelings.

Now that does not mean we have to be a carpet for other people to walk on. If there is no repentance from the other party we separate ourselves from the relationship and just continue to pray for them. That is Biblical protocol.

(2 Thess. 3:6)

Another way that God is limited is by failing to give. When we do not give the Bible says that he shuts the window to his blessings. When we give he gives back to us in good measure. (Mal. 3:10)

What we give, how we give and by our heart attitude determines the out come of the measure of blessing we get from God as well.

Another way we limited God is by our speach. God says that he will honour those who honor him. If we have wholesome conversation then the Lord will bless us. He says that by our words we will either be justified or condemned. By our words we will be blessed or cursed. (Ps. 50 :23 Matt. 12:23
Prov. 18:21)

Our speach reflects our heart attitude. What ever comes out of our mouth is what’s in our heart. When will fill our heart with God’s word and line up our conversation according to his agenda we will find ourselves walking in victory. (Luke 6:45)

Praying the word is a powerful weapon of faith against demonic powers. When we walk in forgiveness and pray for others we will live victorious in this life. When we give into God’s kingdom for his purposes we will be blessed. We will be more that conquerors because the battle is already won! Jesus defeated Satan and all we have to do is walk it out by faith in his victory. (Rom. 8:31 -39)