THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE
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 (Matthew 3:11).
Many Christians have asked, “Having been baptized in the Holy Ghost, when does one get baptized with fire?” You have to understand the language of the Scriptures and the style of writing of the writers of the Gospels and of the Epistles. Matthew as John or Paul, often used two images to express a character of the one presented.
This is exactly what Matthew did in our opening verse when he said, “The Holy Ghost and fire”; he was referring to the same thing. He wasn’t saying you’ll first be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and then with fire; no! When you’re baptized with the Holy Spirit, you’re baptized with fire, because the Holy Spirit is the fire of God. One of the ways He manifests Himself is by fire.
On mount Carmel, when Elijah prayed and called upon God, He sent down fire that consumed the water in the trench dug around the altar, and burnt the sacrifice and wood on the altar (1 Kings 18:24-38).
When God revealed Himself to Moses, He used a burning bush to get his attention. You might say, “Well, that was in the Old Testament; how about today?” In the New Testament, when the Holy Spirit came on the disciples in Acts 2:1-4, the Bible says, “…Cloven tongues like as of fire appeared unto them and sat upon each of them.” When this happened, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Having been born again, and having received the Holy Spirit, He’s in you with all of His “fire-power.” You don’t have to see Him with your physical eyes, but He goes with you and in you everywhere. Halleluiah! When you go out to preach the Gospel and bear witness to His resurrection power, be conscious that you’re not alone. As you speak under His authority, the words from your mouth will be as fire, and people’s hearts will burn within them as they listen, and they’ll be turned to the Lord.