John the Baptist was speaking concerning Jesus to the crowd, that came to him in the wilderness when he said:
“ .. I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Luke 3:16-17 NIV
The Great End Time Harvest is what John was making reference to here. The proclamation of the gospel in the name of Jesus has been given to us, to use in bringing in God’s harvest. As we declare the gospel in His name, we are in fact separating the “wheat” from the “chaff”. And the importance of being baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire, for this to happen cannot be overemphasized.
The Body of Christ today has too many inactive members who are saved, but who are just rocking the pews in their Churches. This is absolutely unacceptable in God’s Kingdom. No one is ever born again into God’s Kingdom for nothing. We are all in His Kingdom for a reason. Have you discovered the purpose for which you had been called into the Kingdom of God?
Some have been called into the business world. Others do have callings into the sciences, administrations, governments, education or directly into the ministry. You are born again to play your own role, as that big puzzle piece of God in His Kingdom.
But no matter what you are doing right now, you need to understand that; it is impossible for you to win souls for God, without the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not only for those, who are directly involved in the ministry full or part time. It is for every born again child of God, including you.
It’s time for you to stop being apologetic about the gospel. Stop making excuses for your inability to do something in the Kingdom. When you get baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire, you won’t be able to be giving excuses anymore for not being involved in gathering the “wheat into God’s barn”.
As the Apostle Paul said:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Romans 1:16 NKJV
It was that very encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, that turned this former persecutor of the Church into Her greatest defender. If Paul could be transformed, you can also be turned into a new person to start playing your own part in the Kingdom of God.
The Holy Spirit wants to breathe through you
When you got born again, your spirit man received the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. That’s how the Holy Spirit came to live inside of you. But there is also an infilling of the Holy Spirit, which every believer in Christ Jesus is supposed to experience.
Without the infilling of the Holy Spirit, you can’t be effectively in communicating with God; even though He lives in you (1 Corinthians 14:2). The infilling of the Holy Spirit gives you the ability to speak in tongues, or pray in the spirit. It is a spiritual experience that opens you up into the world of the spirit, so that you can begin to understand spiritual things, with your born again spirit man.
But the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire, according to John the Baptist, is important for your effectiveness to bring in the harvest of God. The fire of God that comes with this baptism, will burn up everything that is not of God in your life.
He is an unquenchable fire that separates everything, that is not of God in your life from the harvest of God itself. The fire of the Holy Spirit will separate you for God’s use. He will anoint you for service, so that you can begin to carry out God’s purposes for your life. The fire will also remove every hindrances in your life, that are making you ineffective in the things of God. He will consecrate, sanctify and purify you to the Lord.
This is the season for the harvest of God. You can’t afford to be sitting on the sidelines anymore. That’s why Jesus said in the Parable of the weeds:
“Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”
Matthew 13:30 NIV
Jesus is making reference here, to what the Holy Spirit’s fire will do in burning up every “weed”; that the enemy has planted in your life, which are making you ineffective for God’s use. Your life will become through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a demonstration of the power of God. As you declare the gospel of Jesus Christ, God will start something new in your life.
Don’t let the ways of the world stop you
There is no way you can truly obey Jesus’ last command to every believer in His name, if the cunning ways of the world to get things done for God; are more important to you than the presence of the Holy Spirit.
God does not only want to fill up every believer in the name of Jesus with the Holy Spirit. He wants them to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire as well. That was why Jesus told the disciples who saw Him after the resurrection:
“.. Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:4b-5 NIV
The importance of waiting for the gift that the Father promised, was for them to be emptied of every hinderances in their lives; that were preventing them from going to the end of the earth. They learnt to wait on the Lord through prayer and meditation on His promises (Acts 1:14).
This was how they also learnt to recognize the will of God, so as to make the right decisions in those difficult moments, when Jesus was not physically present among them. The selection of a replacement for Judas Iscariot was made, as they were waiting. They learnt how to take care of the spiritual and material needs of one another, through scriptural studies and prayer.
They set themselves apart from the crowd at the center of Jerusalem and its marketplace. The cunning and corrupt methods of the various groups in the Synagogues were not in them. They learnt to devoid themselves of the manners of their world. Whatever God’s word says was what guided and led them.
It is important for every vessel that wants to be used of God, to get emptied of every other things, that are being relied on apart from God. The former lifestyle that’s of the law of sin and death has to go away, as the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets you free completely.
Jesus said again:
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
Matthew 9:16-17 NIV
The wine being referenced here is the Holy Spirit, that the believers are to be filled with, and also be baptized with. For God to work through you, your spiritual life will need to be emptied of all that you think you do know. Otherwise you may do more harm than good to yourself, if you decide to be clenching on to those dead religious traditions.
That’s why the new wine goes into a new wine skin. Your Father in Heaven wants to pour so much into your new life, as a believer in Christ Jesus. But as long as you are holding on to those dead traditions of men, He can’t fill you up with His Holy presence. God can’t fill up a vessel that is full of the dead traditions of men.
Be free from religious bondages
That’s why some are not being filled or baptized in the Holy Spirit today. They keep holding on to the negative doctrines, that they had received from their religious pasts about the Holy Spirit.
Teachings like the belief which says that, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is meant for the early disciples of Jesus alone. And that it is no more relevant to the modern day Church. But if that’s really the case, why did Jesus command every believer in Him to receive the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:15-18).
There is also the false belief that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues is of the devil. But Jesus and the other Apostles approved of this throughout the scriptures. And there are numerous scriptural evidences, to support speaking in other tongues.
Some do not even allow prophesying and the laying on of hands, for the sick to receive healing among them. They are hindering the gifts of the Holy Spirit among themselves. No wonder many of their members are sick and dying all the time. There is not a week or month that goes by, without a funeral among them. Jesus wants to heal them, but they are hindering His Spirit in their midst.
Others will allow only their Church leaders to speak in tongues, or to give prophesies and lay hands on the sick. Whereas Jesus commanded every believer to do it.
That’s why Jesus said again that:
“.. Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”
Matthew 15:13 NIV
Everything in your life that never came from God, will need to be removed before God can do a new thing in your life. There may be many things which you will need to empty your life of, so that the Holy Spirit may be able to fellowship with you. You will have to get to that moment first, when you know that certain things has to get out of your life, for His presence to start guiding and leading you.
And the best way to get there, is by yielding your heart to daily fall in love with Jesus. He will help you get to that moment. It’s possible that you may not have gotten there completely yet.
But as long as your heart is fully committed to Jesus, the experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit may come on you. Many have received Him with the evidence of speaking in tongues, without even realizing it while they were praying or worshipping the Lord.
A yielded heart of love in response to the love of Jesus, will experience the touch of God. God does not expect you to be perfect overnight, but He does expect you to spiritually grow up. And you do this by bearing spiritual fruit. The Lord wants to breathe through your life. Are you willing and open for His Spirit to fill you up. Begin to empty your Christian lifestyle of everything that, those dead religious traditions has used to hold you back from the blessing of the Lord.