THE BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY GHOST & FIRE

wigglesworth-quote-flames-of-fire

Jesus will not only baptize you with the Holy Ghost, but He will baptize you with “the Holy Ghost and fire” (Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16). It may have only three letters, but the word “and” is a massive word in these passages of scripture. According to Strong’s Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible, the Greek word translated as “and” has a “copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force.” Copulative means, “joining together” and cumulative means, “increasing in quantity, degree, or force by successive additions.”

The scriptures are copulative in describing this baptism. They indicate that the Holy Ghost and fire must be joined together. This baptism cannot be fully expressed without fire—it must be added and incorporated. The scriptures are also cumulative in depicting this baptism. They indicate that this fire increases, amplifies, and multiplies what Jesus initiates in a person’s life in the baptism with the Holy Ghost.

In order for this baptism to be comprehensive and complete—it must ultimately culminate in fire—it must be the Holy Ghost and fire.

Not a flame, but fire. A flame is only the visible part of fire. Wherever a flame is seen, there is something happening at a deeper and invisible level—it is the consequence of an unseen fire. Once ignited, a fire is a chain reaction—it is a sequence of actions and reactions between certain elements. Fire requires heat, oxygen, and flammable material. These elements must be present in the right conditions and in the right proportions. Remove any of the elements, or tamper with the conditions and proportions, and a fire is quenched or extinguished.

Possessed by the Spirit

In the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, something happens to you spiritually at a deeper level. Jesus immerses you in the Holy Ghost. He infuses you with the third person of the Godhead. Jesus provides an actual member of the Godhead as the heat and oxygen. You become the flammable material. Jesus sees to it that all the conditions are met and that everything is in the right proportion—and Whoosh—combustion!

What is this fire? It is the action and reaction of your humanity being engulfed in His Presence—in Divinity Himself. This fire is the Spirit of our Bridegroom preparing us for spiritual marriage.  The Holy Ghost consumes but never annihilates His host.  He purifies, energizes, and beautifies His people. Sin, pride, unbelief, and selfishness are the types of things that are not safe in His Presence. In a very real sense, He is the fire while you become His fuel and flame.

Smith Wigglesworth wonderfully expressed it this way, “There are two sides to this Baptism: the first is that you possess the Spirit; the second is that the Spirit possesses you. This is my message at this time—being possessed by the Baptizer, and not merely possessing the Baptizer. There is no limit to the possibilities of such a life, because it has God behind it, in the midst of it, and through it. I see people from time to time very slack, cold, and indifferent; but after they get filled with the Holy Spirit they become ablaze for God. I believe that God’s ministers are to be flames of fire; nothing less than flames; nothing less than mighty instruments with burning messages, with a heart full of love, with such a depth of consecration that God has taken full charge of the body and it exists only that it may manifest the glory of God.”

It seems that what Wigglesworth was saying is that in the baptism with the Holy Ghost you possess Him, but that in the accompanying baptism with fire, the Holy Ghost possesses you. And no burnout or blowout here—this baptism is to result in you being a perpetual flame.

We Present Ourselves – God Provides the Fire

You’ll find that in the temple of God the Lord never wanted the fire to go out. The fire was indicative of two things: the willing offerings of His people and the manifestation of His Presence.

Without fuel, all fires tend to go out. As long as the people of Israel offered sacrifices, God provided the fire—it literally fell from Heaven. It was as though fire was first kindled on the altar above and then it fell to the earth on their sacrifice. In a similar way, if you’ll continue to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, God will continue to send the fire from above (Romans 12:1).

It was a baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire that the followers of Jesus experienced in the upper room at Pentecost. Acts 2:3-4 NLT says, “Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”

Notice that “flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled.” The Greek word that is translated as “settled” is remarkable! According to the Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon it means, “To make to sit down; to set, appoint, to confer a kingdom on one; to have fixed one’s abode; and to sojourn, to settle, settle down.”

The flaming tongues appeared, but they were not only meant to be seen—they were meant to settle down and remain. It was to be a perpetual flame, a perpetual combustion, a perpetual energizing and purifying. Also, it does not say that these flames settled only on their heads, it says the fire settled on every single one of “them”—upon the whole person.

The disciples were to be permanently and completely consumed by the fire of God.

In 1954, Evangelist Tommy Hicks left the tents of the healing revival in America to answer God’s call to Argentina. From the first night of his meetings in Buenos Aires, the crowd grew from 8,000 to over 100,000 every night. For over 60 days straight the miraculous power of God was on constant display. At the end of each service, truckloads of wheelchairs, crutches, and braces (discarded and left behind by the sick) were removed from the stadium. On the commuter trains back to their homes, the deaf shared that they could hear, the blind demonstrated that they could see, and there were people running up and down the aisles showing that they were no longer paralyzed. In those 60 days, over 6 million people heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tommy Hicks said of the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, “This is not a smoking fire which only lights up occasionally by a passing wind… Human torches are those, which just as this flame, sweep across the dark and dead world around them making common Christianity seem monotonously mild… Men will not be changed by those frivolously interested in the Kingdom of God… There was a need for men, filled with the Holy Spirit and fire, to shake Jerusalem… And once again the Holy Spirit and fiery witnesses will be needed… men with the power of the Holy Spirit. Such men are invincible.”

Ask For Ignition

What if you’ve never experienced this? How can you receive this baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire? First, just ask and receive—it’s really that simple. Jesus clearly stated it’s the Father’s will for you to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. He said that if you ask for the Holy Ghost, the Father would grant Him to you (Luke 11:11-13). In fact, the Holy Spirit has already been sent to the earth and is in anticipation of you being immersed into Him.

In Acts 2:33 in The Message, Peter explains what had happened in the upper room, saying, “Then, (Jesus) raised to the heights at the right hand of God and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He poured out the Spirit He had just received. That is what you see and hear.” Acts 2:39 NLT goes on to say, “This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Over 2,000 years ago Jesus completed redemption, received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and made the Holy Ghost available to you and me today.

Second, discard any apprehensions that you will receive an incomplete baptism and begin to speak in other languages as the Holy Ghost gives you the words.

God is not going to withhold any portion of this baptism from you—not the Holy Ghost, not the fire, and not the ability to speak in other tongues. God does not give imperfect gifts.

James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Many people wait for the Holy Ghost to speak in tongues for them, but Acts 2:4 says, “they” spoke as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. So, the Holy Ghost gives the words, He gives the ability to speak, but you must do the speaking. Remember, God is not going to give you an imperfect baptism, so you will receive everything He has for you. Don’t wait, begin now—it’s your time. In the Name of Jesus Christ, be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire!

Until next time, may you have more kingdom reality, the joy-life of fellowshipping in the family of God, and “MAS FUEGO!” (MORE FIRE!”)

Your Apostolic Revivalists & Equippers,

Nathanael & Michelle Wolf

PS – We hope you enjoyed this post.  God uses people just like you to support the ministry of Sent Ones Unlimited.  Please CLICK HERE to give a single gift of any amount or become a monthly partner.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • David Johnson

    Excellent points Nathaniel. The baptism and fire together as a package deal, even as salvation and healing both came in the suffering and death of Jesus. Thanks for the thought correction 🙂

    • Thank you David! No correction was intended, but I’m glad the article was a blessing.