But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance. The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble, and they will set it on fire and consume it. There will be no survivors from the house of Esau.” The LORD has spoken. (Obadiah 1:17-18)
I’ve thought for a while that maybe there are three baptisms the believer is to go through. I’m thinking of John the Baptist saying, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)
Water, Spirit, Fire
I know people say the Spirit and the fire are one and the same. But consider how the Scriptures speak of fire. Fire destroys and fire refines.
Everyone and everything must go through the fire. 2 Peter says the earth is being reserved for fire. It’s all going up in flames someday. Ouch. But like the house of Jacob, some are delivered from the fire and come out holy.
It’s very similar to another thing John said. “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2)
The good and the bad both get cut. Again, ouch. The one is tossed into the fire. The other produces even more abundant fruit–and I just wrote about this, the fruit of righteousness, or Christ-likeness. Or we could say like those who came out of the fire, they come out holy.
How will you stand in the test of fire?
Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire…? (Habbakuk 2:13)
His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. (1 Corinthians 3:13)