Posted by: Brad Beaman | October 25, 2011

Spiritual Fire

There must have been a news flash in the Paleolithic Press: The discovery of fire. You could imagine that it was all the buzz in every cave and that every caveman was talking about it. Not only is fire the greatest discovery known to man, but it is what Jesus uses as an analogy of His work on earth.  

Jesus said, “I have come to bring fire on the earth.” Luke 12:49

Getting this fire going was something that Jesus was eager to do. If fire is the work of Jesus on this earth then we should become spiritual pyromaniacs doing everything we can to see His fire spread. We become something like when Samson caught 300 foxes and tied torches of fire to their tails and released them into the fields to start fires (Judges 15:4-5). We are leading people to Jesus, training them in the scriptures and sending them out to tell others about the savior who brought light and rescued the darkness in the bondage of sin.  

Jesus never said the Kingdom of God is like a fire, but that is very similar to what Jesus meant when He said, I have come to bring fire on the earth. When Jesus spoke these words He wished the fire had already been kindled. He was looking ahead to His death on the cross. He mentions his “baptism” He must first undergo, which in this context is his death on the cross.

Jesus was eager to see the spiritual fires spread through the earth. His last words before the Holy Spirit came “like as of fire” He spoke “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 Nothing more was said by Him until the Holy Spirit came, the church was born and this fire spread through the world as recorded in the book of Acts.   

John made reference to fire is a symbol of the coming Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to those who have put their faith in Jesus and allowed his work on the cross to pay the spiritual death penalty due for sin.  When John the Baptist introduced Jesus as the Messiah, he told of a “baptism of fire” which Jesus would perform. John told us that Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

This fire Jesus referenced was kindled on the day of Pentecost, They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And the gospel fires spread:

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  Acts 2:41

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:47

…so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.  Acts 4:4

.. More and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. Acts 5:14

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing Acts 6:1

So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.  Acts 6:7

Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it (the church) increased in numbers.  Acts 9:31

The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. Acts 11:21

But the word of God continued to spread and flourish. Acts 12:24

The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. Acts 13:49

They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Acts 14:21

In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. Acts 17:30

Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.  Acts 19:8, 10

In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. Acts 19:20

And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia.  Acts 19:26

The fires had burned in the first century to the extent Paul could say…But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions. Romans 15:23

This fire is the source of divisions. The fires spread but as Jesus had predicted this fire came with the results of a sword that divided families. Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51-53)

Those who are passionate followers of Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit are “on fire for God.”  

When the fire jumped into the gentile field Peter remembered, 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Acts 11:16

Are you spreading the spiritual flames?

 

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