He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire – Matthew 2:11
Verse 12 continues, “But He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” It is worth noting that a promise is made of the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire. When we’re thus baptized we shall burn with fiery zeal for the things and work of the LORD. However, there is more that comes with the fire of baptism with the Spirit than fire us up for the work of the Gospel. The holy or divine fire of the LORD is a consuming fire; unquenchable in its path to fulfil His will.
It’s been said that the sun that melts wax is the same sun that hardens clay. This couldn’t be more accurate of the Lord’s fire in man’s heart. Holy Spirit has come to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Of sin because of unbelief in Jesus, and of righteousness because of His beautiful work of redemption and of judgment because of satan’s foregone judgment or fait accompli. However, satan is being judged together with those who don’t believe and are under his command. So the chaff will be rounded up and bundled into the unquenchable fire of judgment.
On another thought, to the believers the holy fire that accompanies Spirit baptism is a seal of perfection. By contrast, the corner stone, indeed rejected by builders, breaks those who fall on it but decimates those on whom it falls. We’re cognizant that the Holy Scriptures are referring to Jesus here. So the fire of baptism has a twofold work, salvation and judgment. Furthermore, it is a fire of cleansing, refining and purification in righteousness and holiness. A live coal was taken with tongs from the altar in heaven and touched the lips of Isaiah to which thereafter there was a reverberation, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
Indeed, James says that ‘we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body’ (James 3:2). Cloven tongues as of fire descended upon all the disciples at Pentecost, and they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance – as a sign of having received the holy gift of Spirit baptism. They were also perfected in their speech (perhaps even in the manner that Isaiah was) for the work of GOD.
The baptism of fire enables the Holy Spirit to inspire us to speak the words of GOD undiluted and uncontaminated. It burns everything that is not in line with righteousness and godliness in our lives. The LORD makes His ministers a flame of fire when He baptizes them in the Spirit. Now we can clearly see that in the baptism with the Holy Spirit – the “and fire” was not an unintended or vague addition. It was and still is a literal one. The baptism in the Holy Spirit comes with holy fire to purify us, set us ablaze for the Gospel work and make us flames of fire for our GOD. We’re burning and shining lights for our GOD in this very dark world. We’re the salt of the earth and the light of the world. How glorious!
It’s been said that the sun that melts wax is the same sun that hardens clay