Does this title intrigue you? Do you find yourself wondering, “what is the fire of God”? Then, my friend, you have never had it. On the other hand, if you find yourself thinking, ”I don’t have to read this. I’ve had the fire and know what it is.” You are probably in even greater danger. That means it has become old, and no longer real, to you. It is a far away memory and you are no longer hungry for it. You no longer see the need for it. How quickly we can forget! That is a very frightening reality.
I have been watching Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne’s Fall Minister’s Conference this week, on the internet. I have been involved in over twenty years of those meetings, or meetings much like them. I have been a guest minister with him. I have had my own meetings, much like them, for twenty-four years. Yet, I have found myself cooling off. We could all give our reasons that may include; pressures of life, phyical symptoms in our bodies, hurts, dissappointments, missunderstandings, betrayals in the body of Christ, or just the business of life. However, you never know that you are not as on fire as you used to be, until you are in it again. You find yourself thinking, “Dear God! What I have tasted of is worth forsaking everything for, being lonely, being missunderstood, walking alone, whatever!” That’s why it is so important to continue to be around people who challenge you, people of like-faith and passion.
I have heard him talking about holiness, the hour upon us, the soon return of our Lord, the compromise going on in the church, and eternal consequences. Somehow, that always ends up in the same place; YOU MUST LET THE FIRE OF GOD BURN OUT ANYTHING THAT IS NOT OF GOD!
The Bible speaks of fire quite frequently. Fire is represented in many ways. One is judgment. We will face that fire one way or another. I would rather have the fire purge me now. Even on this earth, fire is used to purify minierals. The impurites are removed through fire. Revelation 3:18 says, “ 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.” The purging process is not fun. That’s why some scream in a good Holy Ghost service. You do not look or sound the same, when fire is upon you.
If we do not allow it to purge us now, it will bring judgement later. Matthew 3:10-12 says, “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: 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.”
The Bible speaks of the fire of hell in Matthew 13:42 “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 18:8 “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Matthew 18:9 adds, “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” Matt. 25:41 says, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Also, 2 Thessalonians 1:8 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
The first time that a major minister declared there was no hell, everyone was in shock. Now, unfortunately, that has become common place in many circles. I have heard ministers saying that it is not what we think. They say it does not involve pain, fire, sor uffering. They believe those scriptrues are metaphorical. Then, we might as well throw out our Bibles. It is pretty plain. I have talked to people who died and God allowed them to see hell. They have confirmed that it is a place of terrible torment. We don’t want to go there because we would not allow the fire to do its work now.
The fire can speak of the wrath of God. Revelation 14:10 says, “ The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” It is interesting to me that I have heard many ministers say that God is no longer angry. I believe the book of Revelation is in the new testament and it says that He is still angry at sin, just as He has always been, and will take care of it.
The Bible also speaks of tongues of fire. Acts 2:3 “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them”. Those tongues represented the passionate fire that they were being baptized into. That’s why we come out with boldness and a compassion for the lost. The fire changes it all!
Our works will be tried by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 “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.” I heard a minister arguing that there is no judgment for the Christian in the after-life. I beg to differ, according to the Word of God. We will find out what motivated a lot of people. I don’t want my works to be burned up. I want to have a lasting harvest to lay at the feet of our Savior.
The Bible says that He make His ministers as flames of fire. Hebrews 1:7 “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire”. I have had people tell me that they can see the fire of God in my eyes, as I minister. I have no patience for laxadasical ministers with no fire. Many times it is dead-heads laying hands on more dead heads. When they say, “double portion”, I find myself thinking, “Don’t lay your hands on me. You are already dead. I don’t want to be double-dead”.
Our God is a consuming fire. He often represents Himself by fire. Hebrews 12:29 “For our God is a consuming fire.” Revelation 1:14 says, “ His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; Revelation 19:12 says, “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.” I have actually looked into those liquid eyes of love, burning with holy fire. He is a God of consuming fire. When I get hungry, thirst, and desperate, He comes with that same fire and does a new consuming, purifying, branding, work on the inside of me. Then, the God of fire, can have His way in me and it will result in doing His work and His will. Who will say with me, “Come, God of fire, and do your perfect work in me, right now?”