Desire the Fire!
—General James Green—
TODAY’S BABYLONIAN institutional Church does “desire the fire” — strange fire, queer fire, but not the Luke 3:16 and 12:49 kind of fire.
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Luke 3:16).
“I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?” (Luke 12:49).
Luke 3:16, no doubt, referred to Joel’s prophecy (2:28) and was reaffirmed after Christ’s resurrection in Lk. 24:49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” This baptism of “power”was accompanied with “tongues of fire.” But, the “tongues of fire” were merely the outward sign, the inward sign was to be the “desire for the fire,” e.g., to be cleansed from all sin(s) as we walk out, work out, our salvation. This “fire” and “power” is what is MISSING in today’s Babylonian Church.
Fire on Earth
JESUS WAS TO BAPTIZE His true followers with “fire” and at the same time, bring “fire” upon the earth (Lk. 12:49), sometimes interpreted as the “fire of the Day of Judgment” (Lk. 3:17), as the“fire of the Holy Spirit” in Acts 2:3, or as the purifying “fire of repentance” that will prepare the way for the Kingdom of God.
In light of vss. 51-53, it is evident that Luke thinks of it as the “fire of conflict” that will compel men to align themselves for or against the Messiah. The RSV reads, and is correctly punctuated: “I am come to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!”
Verse 49-53 is considered to contain three originally independent pieces of tradition: 1—a saying about fire; 2—the reference to Jesus’ approaching passion as a baptism; 3—a prediction of divisions, even within families. Not only are we to be filled with the Holy Ghost, but also to experience the “fires of persecution,” as first Peter 4:12 speaks of: “the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you.” Now, this aspect is what I want to write about. Why has the Church stopped preaching and teaching about the “Sword that Cuts” (separates families, etc.) and the “Fire that Burns” (burns for a desire to know and serve Jesus, to know God better; burns out fleshly impurities, pursuits, and more)?
Luke 12:51-53 = Matt. 10:34-36. Men and women find it un-Christian to split up families: WHY?Jesus did it—He was that SWORD that CUTS!—He was that FIRE that BURNS.
The WAR Is ON!
THE “BAPTISM” JESUS spoke of (Lk. 12:50) was the “baptism of suffering and death,” something that today’s Church knows nothing about, nor wants to learn about. This verse asserts that His mission cannot be accomplished except by His death—“baptism” is also used in this sense in Mk. 10:38, 39. Most of the passages that represent Jesus as anticipating His death are clearly predictions after the event, some scholars say.
Today’s churchites (at the top of the list would be super narcissists Joel Osteen and wifey-poo, Victoria), who have been raised upon spiritual junk food, are not about to “desire the fire.” They are just TOO IN LOVE WITH THEMSELVES to share that love with Jesus. They are extremely happy in their “snuggie theology” whereby they are comfortable, happy, and healthy and wealthy (at least the preachers / teachers / theologians of such delusions). NO cross to carry, just a fine car to drive or a jet to fly. They tell us (in vain!) that “Jesus did it ALL and we don’t have to do anything except enjoy the good life.” Really? Just where in the Bible do we find such a theology? I thought we were to die to self?, carry our cross DAILY?, mortify self?, consecrate our selves?, separate ourselves from the sins of this world?, love not the world?
Are we disciples of Christ, or followers of CULT personalities? Are we on the straight and narrow way, or on the broad way? Since we cannot serve two masters (Mt. 6:24), which one do we love and which one do we despise? We must choose Christ or Satan, Heaven or Hell. And what about working out our own salvation with FEAR (reverence for Christ) and TREMBLING (Phil. 2:12)?
Hey, churchite, Biblical belief is more than something we confess with our mouths: “blab it, and grab it” bull; it’s something we confess and POSSESS with our lives.
Jesus the Revolutionary
JESUS DID NOT fellowship the “religious” of His day, NO! (read Matt. 23), He lived a consecrated, dedicated, and separated life unto God (He never partook of the sins of either the world, or the religious world). He loved the sinners without doing SIN with them. Unlike the ilk of today’s clergy who defile themselves daily and LOVE IT SO!!
He was that “Sword that Cuts, and the Fire that Burns”…He split families and He split nations. Paul writes: “There is neither Jew nor Greek (Jesus broke down the ethnic / racial wall), there is neither bond nor free (He broke down social walls), there is neither male nor female (He broke down sexual distinction)…” (Gal. 3:28). This was the work of Sword and Fire, dear ones. Where is the Sword and Fire today? Gone my friend, gone!
Get Out of the World
JESUS MADE THIS POSSIBLE by and through His death on the cross. Paul writes about the“mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:9). In verse 4, he wrote, “…ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ,” he continues in v. 5, “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit”, he continues, “that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel” (v. 6). Paul was telling his readers that Christ came to save both Jews and Gentiles (i.e., all people of all nations in the promise of eternal life (see Rom. 16:25, 26; 2 Tim. 1:1). So Jesus, by and through His death, opened the WAY of escape from the world.
Now, since we’ve come out of the world and unto / into Him, there remains the “getting the world out of us!” This is the warfare I write of. And don’t even try to tell me “Jesus did it all, and we do nothing” bull.
The NT is a warfare manual…how to defeat the world, the flesh, and the devil…something that today’s ecclesiastical whorehouses never teach.
Bastards of Rebellion
SINCE GOD IS NOT today’s churchite’s Father, but mere men and women are, we have a whole new crop of bastards — who, instead of trying to get the world out of themselves and their churches, have brought it into their lives and churches. They have brought it in even “BIGGER and BETTER” than before.
Now she (the so-called Church) is a mixture of saved and unsaved (mostly UNsaved). She has grown comfortable; her “Reverends” are “Ravening Wolves” (Mt. 7:15), her “Clerical Elitists” are “Rebels with a Cause”— a cause TO DAMN THIS GENERATION OF GOATS, LAMBS, AND SHEEP!
Bring On the Fire!
UNLESS THE HOLY GHOST FIRE burns in the midst of what calls itself the Church, or the Body of Christ, then damnation and hellfire will BURN the so-called Church with unquenchable fire.
Jesus faced His baptism of fire—the religious of His day were full of the devil, as are today’s religious leaders. Knowing full well that He would DIE for the revolution, He faced His mission with joy. He set His face like flint to go to Jerusalem knowing that death awaited Him…He knew it was the will of God. Should we not know this as well? Are we afraid of this baptism of fire? Why are you “Church”-folks AFRAID to “desire the fire”?
The TRUTH stares us in the face unmistakably—IT IS TIME FOR REVOLUTION. If we do not embrace the fire, the same fire will burn us in HELL.
THE BIG PROBLEM IS THIS: running the risk of losing friends / family and making foes is just too great. Well, just who do you love? Jesus did not come to bring PEACE, but the SWORD (Lk. 12:49).This HOLY FIRE is what’s missing, dear cowards—missing in the ministers, in the congregations, in the worship / prayer—at home and abroad. If this Holy Fire was allowed to BURN in today’s churches, no rebel, no sinner, no formalist, backslider, hypocrite, GLBTQ, fornicator, adulterer, liar, thief, drunkard etc. could live and breathe in the presence of Pentecostal fire…tongues of fire…hearts on fire.
FORGIVE ME, but it is time for a soap box sermon. What causes one’s FIRE to go out? I believe that the lack of DYING to SELF is the main demon. Colossians chapter 3:1-17 pretty well sorts things out for us. Verse one starts out with: “…SEEK those things which are above, where Christ sitteth…” What KILLS the “desire for the fire” is that we seek those things which are below, earthly, not above, Heavenly. Verse 2 carries this truth thusly: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Why aren’t today’s ministers preaching this? Because they are IN LOVE with the world!...they have a desire for “strange fire.” Oh!
Now, dare we read verse 5?: “MORTIFY therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication (which includes all heterosexual and homosexual sex sins), uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” These sins deal with the spirit of man, what he / she LOVES to do and think upon. Be warned: “For which things sake the WRATH of God cometh on the children of disobedience” (v. 6).
We’re commanded to MORTIFY such things; an awful word indeed! It means “to make DEAD.” If “Christians” allow self to rule and reign God’s fire will eventually go out. And, if we do not allow sanctification to work in our lives, it is impossible for the Holy Ghost fire to burn. Second Thess. 2:13 tells us that “God chose you (us) from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth.” The Greek, “hagiazo,” means “set apart;” the Latin, “sanctus,”means “holy,” and “facio,” means “to make.” So, sanctification is a process by which God makes us holy, and “fire” plays a large part in this process—burning out worldly desires, purifying us. But, who knows this in today’s Church? Very few.
Unless men / women make themselves DEAD, dead to sin, they cannot begin to live…and continue to live according to the Gospel. Old time preachers taught this Biblical Truth with fiery conviction.
The Bible also tells us that we must HATE our own lives in order to LOVE Christ. Jesus explains this in His John 12:25, 26 discourse, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
Hating one’s own life points to the attitude that values Heavenly and Spiritual interests far above those of the world. But, why isn’t this being taught today? Guess! We’re taught “have your best life now” junk; we’re taught a narcissistic philosophy, “self is God!”
Jesus makes it plain that if we’re to be His disciples, we’re to DENY SELF, and TAKE UP OUR CROSS, and FOLLOW HIM (Matt. 16:24). Verse 25 gives the consequence of “saving” or“keeping” one’s self-life: we will LOSE it eternally. Why is this not being taught in churches today? Rebellion, dear ones, rebellion.
Burning the Hell Out of You!!!
THIS IS BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY— allowing, yea, desiring the fire to burn the Hell out of us so as not to spend eternity in Hell’s fire.
Jesus used graphic, even crude and hurtful language to get His message across (see Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23 and 14:22; 1 Thes. 3:3; 2 Tim. 3:12). In fact, Jesus tells us that we’ve got to hate (love less) our natural family plus our own life, in order to be His disciple.
If preachers (actually cheerleaders) like Joel Osteen were to teach what Christ taught, he would be up the creek without a paddle.
Let me point out 4 great words found in the New Testament, ones Jesus and His disciples used:“humble” (himself), “deny” (himself), “crucify” (himself), and “mortify” (himself). The WAR against the BIG FOUR has been won long ago by the religious snakes, fakes, and flakes called preachers, teachers, theologians, reverends, priests, evangelists, etc.
Today’s backslid, reprobate ministers are a disgust. Odious and reptilian, hubris and overweening, abysmally hypocritical and recalcitrant, resistant to the Spirit’s and Word’s authority, thus, the people are like-minded.
Friends, those of us who love the Lord have a Herculean task before us—bring the fire back into the Church.
The fact is this: the whole world is PERISHING for want of FIRE!! I truly believe that the world would love to see “Christians” living like Christ. I believe they, in the deep recesses of their darkened hearts, would love to see Jesus in the professors of Christianity. Sure there are those who literally HATE God, Jesus, Christianity, but for most part, I think the world is needy for the same. I believe the world is sick of this Hollywood Churchianity, the money-grabbing vultures, the “Christian” stars” who flaunt their wealth, looks, and weight around. These people are demon possessed—they are filled with false fire, which is an offence and affront to our Holy God and Savior.
“GENERAL JIM,” you say, “We’re not betraying Christ!” HA, you’re no better than Judas who had 15 pieces of silver in each hand to betray innocent blood. You crucify our Savior afresh every time you fail to crucify yourself. Every time you fail to deny yourself, you deny Him. Drive the nails in deep, O backslider, you’ll pay in the end.
Fan or Follower?
MIKE CHRISTOPULOS, editor of The Sword out of Brown Deer, WI, ran an article called “Are You just a Fan, or a Follower of Jesus Christ?” (Aug. 2013) by pastor Kyle Idleman (Louisville, KY). Kyle has a pretty good handle on the current situation regarding the state of the Church. He made mention that “fans (“an admirer”) grow tired of trying to maintain an outer appearance that doesn’t match an inner passion.” Idleman deplores the fact that some churches become “fan factories”because they separate the message of “believe” from the message “follow.” Well said. If one cares to check it out, the four gospels contain “believe in Me” = 5 times and “follow me” = 20 times.
One of the greatest reasons for NOT allowing the FIRE to burn is the lack of desire to live godly.
If one desires to do this, one HAS TO DENY the SELF, that Truth-murdering beast that lurks within all of us. “And,” let me finish my thought here, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Philippians 1:29 states: “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to BELIEVE in Him, but also to SUFFER for His sake.” And who, pray tell me, wants to suffer for Christ these days?
Suffer? HA! Not today’s comfort-loving churchites. No way! Today’s ministers have set a wrong example before the people by hugging Political Correctness and blessing all the vileness of the world. But what about Luke 6:22? Just when does this happen?
Let’s face the truth here, MOST “Christians” are not following Christ, they merely believe in Him. Well, the devil believes in Christ too!!
Holy Spirit and Fire
IN THIS PORTION of our study, I want to delve into three aspects of the Holy Spirit and Fire:
1. Symbolic use of fire in the Bible
A. Old Testament:
1. used to represent God;
2. used to represent protection of God;
B. New Testament:
1. symbol of testing one’s faith;
2. God a consuming fire;
3. tongues of fire;
4. tongue is a fire;
5. ministers of fire;
6. fire of vengeance;
7. world to be destroyed by fire;
8. eternal punishment by fire;
9. Christ’s coming in fire.
2. Double function of symbol
1. destroys evil / wickedness;
2. purifies the obedient.
3. Baptism in fire
A. Holy Spirit baptism:
1. the two contrasted;
2. the two classes.
B. Jesus the Judge and Savior;
C. suffering by fire;
D. judgment of wicked;
E. punishment in Hell / Lake of Fire.
I’ve already touched on some of the main points, but it will do us good to go S-L-O-W-L-Y over the Scriptures and ponder what they say. We can’t treat His Word like a quick T.V. show, we’ll leave this up to the recreant televangelists—the dolls and guys who have their “personality” fans.
The Holy Spirit (or Ghost)
TOO OFTEN THE HOLY SPIRIT is neglected, but He is mentioned in the Bible at least more than 400 times under 41 different names and titles. He or His works are mentioned in one verse out of every 26 verses in the Bible. Yet, there is so little said or written about the Holy Spirit.
FIRE IS MENTIONED many, many times in various ways; fire is connected with the Holy Spirit both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. References to the place and work of the Holy Spirit in the life and teachings of Christ are, however, limited; likewise, reference to the “baptism in fire” is even smaller. But this does not indicate that they are not important.
1. THE SYMBOLIC USE OF “FIRE.” Actually, the Bible is a book of symbols and “fire” is one of them (we can use symbol or emblem). The reason it is so is that we can grasp divine thought more fully. This is why Jesus used common, physical symbols, emblems, and illustrations from nature. Early Biblical records use “fire” to represent God. Moses, in Ex. 3:2-5, encountered God in the burning bush, which did not burn up. And in the escape from Egypt, we find God’s protection round about the children of Israel (Ex. 13:21; also Neh. 9:12, 19:
“Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go…Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go;” and Zech. 2:5). Truthfully, we have personally encountered the “fire of protection” in our walk-war- work of God, not a few times.
Purification / Destruction
“AND I WILL BRING the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: 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” (Zech. 13:9).
“But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he 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” (Mal. 3:2, 3).
Again, “fire” is used in the Old Testament to signify destruction in Ex. 27:17; Deut. 9:3; Isa. 30:27,“Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire.”
Fire is used as a horrible judgment against those vile (GLBTQ) cities of Sodom and Gomorrah(see our Gay Way series) in the Gen. 19:24, “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of Heaven.”
Before the above “terrorism” from the LORD God, He, Jehovah, “sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down unto the earth,” and Egypt was PUNISHED; “so there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation” (Ex. 9:23, 24). Please read the following texts: Deut. 32:22; Ps. 21:9; Isa. 29:6, “Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire”).
The Old Testament is replete with “fire” texts.
New Testament “Fire”
WE’VE ALREADY MENTIONED some of these texts, but for the sake of study, here we go.
“Fire” is used in 1 Cor. 3:13, 15 as a symbol of proving / testing one’s faith; also 1 Peter 1:7,“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Corinthians is one of the “best for the test.” It proves that one can build his / her whole work upon a non-Jesus Christ foundation…building a wood, hay, stubble work…which will NOT endure the fire of God! Do you really believe that all this Hollywood Churchianity building will stand in the day of judgment?
Heb. 12:29 tells us that, “Our God is a consuming fire” (Gk. katanalisko; from kata, which = mighty; denotes opposition, distribution or intensity).
Acts 2:3 speaks of tongues of fire: “And there appeared unto them (disciples at Pentecost, v. 1) cloven tongues like as of fire…”
Once this “fire” appeared, v. 4 says, “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost (or Spirit), and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
So, the external manifestations—“wind” (v. 2) and “fire” (v. 3) demonstrated that God was present and active in a most powerful way (see Ex. 3:1-6 and 1 Kgs. 18:38, 39). The “fire,” no doubt, symbolized consecrating and separating believers unto God for His glory and for His work (Jn. 16:13, 14) and for witnessing for Him (1:8).
The significance of the “filling” was the beginning (in a larger way) of the fulfillment of Joel 2:28, 29. My wife and I received this Spirit promise shortly after our conversion back in 1971. We received “tongues” and thru the years, we have received all the gifts of the Spirit (working in this ministry)mentioned in 1 Cor. chap. 12 (“spiritual” = Gk. “pneumatika,” derived from “pneuma” (“Spirit”).“Gifts” or “grace gifts” are called Gk. “charismata,” derived from “chavs,” “grace”). It is a shame that churches don’t believe in these gifts today. Even “Spirit filled” churches hardly even practice these gifts. Tongues are mocked by non-Spirit filled “Christians.” I know of many Pentecostal churches that don’t teach on tongues, let alone speak in them.
There is much I could write about here, but I want to keep on the subject of “fire.” The modern Church certainly needs the baptism in the Holy Ghost with all the supernatural and actualized enablements.
We don’t find anywhere else in the New Testament where “fire” accompanied the baptism, but we know that the baptism sets one ablaze inwardly!
Cloven (Gk. “diamerizo”)
THE GREEK VERB for “cloven” means “to divide, separate, distribute,” or in the passive sense,“to be divided,” (see Bauer, Gk.-Eng. Lexicon of New Testament, p. 185). Greek scholar F.F. Bruce says, “The tongues as of fire were distributed among them;” rather than “cloven” (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 81).
Horatio B. Hackett says, “This probably indicates that the fire-like appearance presented itself at first, as it were, in a single body, and then suddenly parted in this direction and that, is that a portion of it rested on each of those present” (Commentary on the Original Text of the Acts of the Apostles, p. 51).