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Bible  Spotlight  -  ON  THE  THREE  TYPES  OF  BAPTISM,  part  4  quotes

1)     “I [John the baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose 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 3:11-12.

     These verses reveal that Jesus Christ will not only baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit, but will also baptize them with fire.

2)    What is Baptism by Fire?

     “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD”. Jeremiah 23:29.

     Just where is this fire of God's word to be in relation to us?
     “Thy word have I hid in mine heart...” Psalms 119:11.

     What will God’s fiery word do for us?
     “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.

     God promises to make His word a part of our very life if we will let Him.
     “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people”. Hebrews 8:10.

     With God’s word in our heart, it will act just like a fire, burning up, devouring and finally consuming everything in our thoughts, words, deeds and actions that is flammable.

3)     Exactly what is flammable within us?

     “When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” Isaiah 4:4.

     “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:11.

     All sin, error, character flaws, unrighteous thoughts and actions, will gradually be consumed away from us by God's fiery word, until the only thing that remains will be righteousness, truth, holiness, purity - a perfect reflection of Jesus.

4)     Both God and Christ promises to work within us until we perfectly reflect Christ.

     “For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29.

     “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21.

     “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13.

5)    This consuming process of more and more unrighteousness away from us, is actually having more and more of Jesus enthroned within!

     “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:26-29.

     “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.

     “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  For to me to live is Christ”. Philippians 1:20-21.

     With more and more of God's fiery word within, you will become more and more joyful and willing to share His truth with others.
     “Thy words were found, and I did eat them (allowed them within); and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts....his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay (keep silent).” Jeremiah 15:16, 20:9.

6)     Christ Himself promises to baptize and purify you with this heavenly fire, if you will just ask and then allow Him to do so.

     “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:13-14.

     “...he (Jesus Christ) is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.  Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD”. Malachi 3:2-4.

7)     This fiery process of Christ purifying away everything within you that is not in harmony with God’s word of truth, is likened to the refining process of silver.

     Silver is mostly found embeded in solid rock called ore, and this silver ore also contains within it all kinds of other materials.  These other metals and minerals lessen the value of the silver, and are looked upon as impurities.  In order to obtain just the precious silver from all these other impurities, a refiner has to break up and crush this rock into smaller pieces and then subject it all to heat.
     “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29.

     This crushed silver ore is then placed in a crucible or a fining pot, which is a fireproof melting pot.  Then this crucible is put into a furnace directly into the center of the flame, and is heated up to remove anything that would mar the quality of the precious silver.
     “The fining pot is for silver...the LORD trieth the hearts.” Proverbs 17:3.

     As the temperature rises this ore melts in the crucible, and the refiner sits by and carefully watches.  At various increasing temperatures all the impurities within, referred to as “dross”, rises and forms on the surface.  All these impurities the refiner very carefully skims off and discards as they are worthless to him.
     “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.” Proverbs 25:4.

     This process of heating the ore up to higher and still higher temperatures and then removing away the revealed dross can occur 7 different times!
     “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalms 12:6.

     As more and more dross is recognized and then carefully skimmed away, the surface of the crucible becomes more and more shimmering and reflective.  When the refiner can see a clear and perfect reflection of himself on the surface then the silver has become of the highest purity.  The refiner does not allow the silver to be in the furnace fire any longer than is absolutely necessary to purify it, because if the silver is allowed to heat up past this reflective stage it would become brittle, and would be ruined and worthless..

     But sometimes the silver stubbornly clings to some of its impurity and will not let it go regardless of what the refiner does.  The refiner then rejects this impure silver and casts it out of the crucible into the slag or waste pile, and then begins again with refining a new batch of ore.
     “The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.  Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.” Jeremiah 6:29-30.

8)     If you avoid clinging to any of the dross that Christ desires to remove from your character, He will carefully and lovingly bring you up from one stage of purity to another until you perfectly reflect His glorious righteous image. Then the refining process would end, because you have become a precious treasure to the Lord and will be secured in His kingdom.
     “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory (one stage of character perfection to another)”. 2 Corinthians 3:18.

     “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.

     “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11.

     “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined...they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” Zechariah 13:9.

     But if you stubornly cling to any of the impurities that Christ is trying to remove from your character, then He will give reject you as being reprobate and unprofitable, and cast you out along with all the rest of the wicked.
     “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Hosea 4:17.

     “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:30.

9)     These is another part or a second half to this baptism by fire.

     “For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.  Behold, I have refined thee...I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:9-10.