Matthew 3:11 (NIV) “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Hebrews 12:29 (TPT) “For our God is a Holy, devouring fire.”
Mark 9:49 (TPT) “Everyone will pass through the fire and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.”
Luke 12:49 (NKJV) “I came to bring fire to the Earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”
We say Fire of God or we can say Light of God. All light has a source. Something must create light. In the case of the Lord’s Light, HE is the source as an All-Consuming Fire. In Aramaic “fire” can be translated as “consuming light.”
Even in the natural realm, light always has a source. The light of the day comes from the fire of the sun. Lightbulbs produce light from the electricity flowing through them.
Light is a product of a power source—a fire. Indeed, in Bible times, there was no such thing as electricity (at least they had no knowledge of it). Therefore, anyone in Biblical times who heard the word “light” would automatically know that it was also a reference to fire because a fire was always the source of light.
BIBLICAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIGHT AND FIRE
Biblically speaking, what is the difference between light and fire? It’s very simple. Light is the product of fire. The only difference is that light can be seen from a long distance compared to when the fire can be felt. A light is a signal, but a fire is the source.
The Lord is a Holy All-Consuming Fire (Heb 12:29). Therefore, for Christians to be “in” the Lord, they must be in HIS Fire. If Christians are experiencing the Light of the Lord, but not experiencing HIS Fire, then that means they are at a distance from HIM. The Bible teaches that we must be Holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:16). How does the Bible teach to be Holy? We must be refined by His Fire (1 Peter 1:7). His Fire is spiritual, not natural. Therefore, we must be consumed by His Fire to be made Holy.
JESUS’ MISSION TO CAST FIRE
Why did the Lord say, “I came to bring fire” (Luke 12:49)? What does this mean? He is not talking about a natural fire. The Word of God must always be understood in a spiritual context. Therefore, the Lord is speaking about His Fire–His Holy Fire–His Spiritual Fire. How can we say “Holy Fire” if the exact words “Holy Fire” are not found in the Bible? It’s very simple. Is the Lord Holy? Yes. Is the Lord an All-Consuming Fire? Yes. Must we say Holy All-Consuming Fire? No, it’s understood that He is both Holy and All-Consuming. He is also many other things, such as Righteousness, Love, Truth, and The Way. We need not refer to all of His attributes when we speak of Him.
Why would Christians misunderstand the Lord when He said that His mission is to cast Fire on the Earth? It’s because many Christians have not been taught how to understand the Word of God in a spiritual way. Therefore, many Christians read the Bible with a natural mind, and they take the Word literally in a natural sense. That is why some Christians don’t understand “Holy Fire,” because they can’t find where it literally says those words. A Christian that only understands the Bible in natural terms is like one who sees the light but does not feel the fire. They are distant from the Lord because they don’t yet understand His Word in a spiritual sense. But if a Christian never felt the Lord’s fire before, then how would he know whether he is experiencing it or not? Humility is the key.
HUMILITY IS THE KEY
Christians must examine if they are truly born again of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13:5). Once born again of the Holy Spirit, they will begin to understand the Word of God in a spiritual sense and no longer need to rely on a natural sense. This is what the Lord meant when He said to the Disciples in John 16:13, that when the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, would come to them that He would guide them into all Truth. That means that Truth cannot be understood without the impartation of the Holy Spirit because He is the Spirit of Truth. When the Spirit of Truth guides a Christian through the Word of God, then they will no longer experience the frustration of trying to interpret the Word of God in a literal sense. Remember the humility of the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40)? He said to Philip, “how can I understand if nobody teaches me?” Philip, who was full of the Holy Spirit and was empowered by the Spirit of Truth to teach the Eunuch, which lead to his salvation.
We pray that we have this same kind of humility as the Eunuch because the Lord is always doing new things and His people always seem to missunderstand Him. We pray to be humble enough to receive spiritual revelation from the Holy Spirit who leads us into all Truth. We pray that we are not at a distance from the Lord, only seeing His light, but that we are in Him and, therefore, in His Fire—His Holy All-Consuming Fire.
SONGS OF SONGS 8:6-7
6 Fasten me upon your heart as a seal of fire forevermore.
This living, consuming flame
will seal you as my prisoner of love.
My passion is stronger
than the chains of death and the grave,
all consuming as the very flashes of fire
from the burning heart of God.
Place this fierce, unrelenting fire over your entire being.
7 Rivers of pain and persecution
will never extinguish this flame.
Endless floods will be unable
to quench this raging fire that burns within you.
Everything will be consumed.
It will stop at nothing
as you yield everything to this furious fire
until it won’t even seem to you like a sacrifice anymore.
THE PASSION TRANSLATION