Baptized with Fire or Fueling the Flames

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)

Proof of a Disciple

How do you know a disciple of Christ?
John 15:8  “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Here’s the scriptural test for proof of discipleship–do you bear much fruit?
That of course begs the question, what does it mean by fruit?
Somehow we got on to the idea that fruit meant numbers of people saved, or maybe I should say, brought into the church (the building kind). But the New Testament talks about the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of righteousness.
In the beginning we were created in the image of God and that image was tarnished by sin. Jesus came to restore us into the perfect image we were created to be in. We are to be transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ. (I’m practically quoting Scripture here, but I’m not labeling the references. I’m assuming my readers recognize the verses.)
If we have in us the fruit of righteousness and the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and have them in increasing measure, then we have proven ourselves disciples of Christ.
How does one bear much fruit?
John 15:5  “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
This verse tells us that the one who “bears much fruit” is the one who abides in Jesus.
So what does it mean to abide in Christ?

John 15:10  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

To keep the commandments is to abide in God’s love.
I feel like a broken record, saying obey! obey! but it’s repeated constantly in Scripture! I remember when the Lord first showed me that obedience is required for salvation.  I went through the Bible making notes of everywhere it talked about it. One day I said to my husband, “Every other verse in the Bible says this!”
Speaking of which, the Lord revealed this to me in a book. One I wrote. He led me to sit at the computer and spoke chapter titles to me. Then I just started writing on the topics. The book came to the logical conclusion that obedience is required for salvation. I wrote it in a week (pretty good for a homeschool mom with a toddler). I then spent the next month adding the Scriptures. I added a link to the book in the sidebar. I haven’t read it recently, but there it is. It’s called, Sin Is Bad.
I’ve also added a blurb about my latest book, The King Will Make a Way. It’s a very different type of book, a novel. It’s an end-times tale. It’s main themes are living by faith, dying to self and living wholly for the King.

Set Apart

“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Revelation 7:3

Who is protected? Who is sealed and set apart?

Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him. Psalm 4:3

“Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” From  Ezekiel 9:4


Who are God’s people? Who are the ones God has set apart? Marked? Sealed? You could say those with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1 says we are marked with the seal of the Spirit. And what’s the mark of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life? Holiness.

Those belonging to God are godly, holy. They prove their holiness in word and deed, like those groaning over the sin of their city.

Does sin make you groan? Or is it something you gossip and laugh about? If you don’t hate sin, you need to consider that there is a lack of the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. God hates sin, and if His life is present in you, you will hate sin too.

Are you holy and set apart or are you in danger?