We need the fire from heaven to do a work in our congregations.
There is no substitute for the Holy Spirit’s fire from heaven.
Fire is used as a symbol to represent a very important work of God.
We do not need the “wild fire” which Satan uses to deceive the people.
We need Holy Ghost fire which will purge and cleanse the temple of God.
We are the temple of God; and, God will not dwell in an unclean temple.
The need of congregations and individuals in our day is to teach them to make themselves a holy sacrifice and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
The congregations of the church of God cannot prosper and increase without the special work of the fire of the Holy Ghost. The carnal nature is represented by the “flesh” and the “works of the flesh”. The flesh is contrary to and is the enemy of the Spirit. No person can walk in the Spirit and in the works of the flesh at the same time. The influence of the flesh is very strong and it will not allow you to crucify the flesh without a great struggle. The flesh will try to hide from being discovered. It will excuse itself as being absolutely necessary to life and happiness. The flesh is self-centered and selfish. It will demand that you protect and please it. The flesh must be burned with fire. When the Holy Spirit gives you understanding that some action or attitude needs to be purged, don’t draw back from the fire. Let Him burn it up.
1 Corinthians 3:12-17
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Wood, hay and stubble are symbols of the works of the flesh. They will not survive the fire of the Holy Spirit. Let it burn so you can be saved. We will be saved, if we submit to the purging fire of God.
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I 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:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
What is this chaff and what is this unquenchable fire? The chaff is the flesh, the carnal nature. The unquenchable fire is the Holy Spirit. When you find yourself in the furnace of Zion, let it burn up all the chaff in your life. The judgments of God may be hot and death to the flesh, but let it burn so that you can be saved.
And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.
Where does the Holy Spirit work? His work is in Zion and in Jerusalem which represent the church of God. God is where His people are. He will work with them who keep His commandments and will submit to the work of the Holy Spirit. The “furnace in Jerusalem” will keep the congregation from becoming lukewarm and overcome by cold hearted iniquity. When you feel the heat of the battle, when the Holy Spirit is purging and cleansing you from the influence and power of the carnal nature, tell God thank you
19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.
21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you.
The Holy Spirit will do His work. He will either burn you up as chaff or He will purge you as gold tried in the fire. Which way will you choose? You will either suffer for Christ in this life by denying your flesh all of its pleasures; or, you will suffer in eternity for denying Christ the obedience He deserves to receive from you.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Do you have this gold tried in the fire? You cannot obtain it except you go through the furnace.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
This may sound like the final judgment at the end of time. Although these things are said to take place “in the end of this world” it is not “at” the end of this world. When God sends forth His ministers to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, there will be a gathering out of all those things which offend God and also the gathering out of them which do iniquity. The preaching of God’s judgments will cause people to get in or get out. We don’t want people to get out; however, we also do not want people to pretend to be in when they still have willful sin in their life.
7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
The truth of this gospel is like a two edged sword. It will cut sin from your life or it will cut you down so that you will be cast into the fire of God’s furnace. King David said in Psalms 1:4-5 “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The gifts of God always come to us from the coals of the golden altar. This passage in the second chapter of Acts is the work of God which the Apostle John spoke of in the Revelation chapter eight.
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
When the ministry and the people of God allow the angel of God to take fire from the altar and purge our hearts with this Holy Ghost fire, we will once again hear and see “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” We must be willing to let the Holy Spirit burn up all false religion, every false doctrine and ever selfish act and attitude.