BAPTIZED WITH FIRE
BY: LENNY ANTONSSON
The following was given to Lenny in Meditation for the men in the
Sunday School class, to which he has been sent.
God is a trinity. He is father; He is son; and He is Holy Spirit. He can come to you as Son and Savior; He can come to you as Holy Spirit and counselor and teacher; He can come to you as Father, as a consuming fire. It’s just like you yourself. You are made up of body, soul, and spirit; you are physical, soulish, and spiritual. I can come to you as a physical being; I can come to you as a soulish being; or I can come to you as a spiritual person. God is the same way and this is what I’m talking to you about. You have part of God in you: Jesus, the Christ, the anointed one, the Savior part is what you have in you, but you also need the counselor, teacher, Holy Spirit part, and you need the consuming fire, father part. Jesus said, “I have to die so that the Holy Spirit, the comforter, the Spirit of Truth can come.” What was He talking about? He was saying I am a human being. I am limited to one place at one time. I cannot be everywhere at the same time, so I have to go away and come back in the Spirit so that I can be everywhere and in everyone at the same time. This is the kingdom of God in action. The kingdom of God is Omnipresence; the kingdom of God is omnipotence; the kingdom of God is omniscience. You have to understand that.
This is why what Jesus experienced must be your experience. You have to die; you have to be crucified with Christ so that you can become omnipresent. There is a place in God where this takes place. Philip was omnipresent for a moment when he was translated from one place to another. Love is omnipresent when it operates through God. God’s love is not conditional love, but it is omnipresent. Whether a person is next to you, touching you, or whether they are a thousand miles away, you still love that person exactly the same amount. Can you understand that what the Bible is referring to when John the Baptist said, “When Jesus comes into your life, He will immerse you into the Holy Spirit; He will immerse you into fire.” (Paraphrase of Matt. 3:11) He will dip you into the Holy Spirit; He will dip you into fire so that you can become omnipresent. That omnipresence will operate in and through you. You can pray for somebody today and it is affecting somebody in Japan or China or anywhere at any time. This is what we’re talking about. I know it may sound strange to you but this is part of God’s plan. This is part of the kingdom of God, this is omnipresence.
Because He was fully immersed in the Holy Spirit, Jesus had the fullness of the Spirit, the fullness of the godhead within Him and on Him. That was the power in His ministry. These things cannot happen to the new Christian instantly. Sometimes God has to wait awhile for some maturity to take place before He allows the rest of Himself to operate in and through you. Up to now, if you prayed for somebody and they were healed or whatever took place, you might think or say, “I did it; my prayer did it.” But when you come into the fullness of the godhead and He flows through you in these gifts of the Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit, you totally recognize that you had nothing to do with it, nothing at all. God just decided to flow out of you and do something at this certain time, and He receives all the glory. But before that, you were stealing glory from God, even if it was just a little bit. Now you are beginning to see that it is the Holy Spirit that is doing things through you. The Holy Spirit is leading and guiding you into this, so that you can experience the POWER of the godhead in your lives.
I am not talking here about what other people see in you or coming out of you, because they will interpret things differently, but this is for you yourself to know that it is strictly God in you, and operating through you. If another person is envious of your gift, they don’t want to know that God is flowing through you, and they will convince themselves that it’s not God operating through you. This is strictly for your benefit to know that it is God who is the One doing all the time in and through you. It is God speaking through you; it is God doing through you; it is God’s love flowing through you; it is God’s light flowing through you; it is God’s life flowing through you. It is God’s being flowing through your being. This is what you need to know; this is what you need to see, and when you grow into this, you see clearly that you are totally in God.
Up to now, all you have known is that Christ is in you, but you will come to a place where you will know that you are totally in God; where you are totally operating within God and you are in the Holy of Holies. You are having a wonderful time right now in the Holy Place. You have come from the outer court where you have made sacrifices. You have given up this in your life and that in your life: lying, cheating, cursing, lusting, all kinds of things like that. Now, you are in the Holy Place and you are fellowshipping with God but there is a mixture of you and God flowing together. This is wonderful, but there is a place, the Holy of Holies, where you will be willing to leave your natural man, your self efforts outside the curtain and step in into the Holy of Holies and recognize that it is all God in you, flowing and doing and saying and being. This is the reality of the fullness of God in your life. He becomes totally you; you become totally Him. Yes, you are still breathing in and out in the natural; you still have natural thoughts because you have to go to work or you have to get your clothes washed or you have to make a meal or you have to sit down and eat. That is still there, but beyond that, you know that you know that you know that you are totally in God and God is totally in you.
Jesus was totally able to change Himself, to glorify Himself before Peter, James and John. And yet, when that was over, He was still that human being who got tired when He walked too far; or got sleepy when night time came along; or got hungry and He had to eat. Do you see what I mean? But within that human confine was the total godhead, and that’s the place that I want you men to come into. He will do through you what you cannot do; His wisdom will flow through you which you do not now have; He will say through you what you cannot say; He will be through you what you cannot be. I am not saying that you have to have this in your life. What I am saying is that it is here for you to receive, just like salvation was. Right now, He is freely giving you something out of love, out of mercy, out of kindness because you need it.
What you have to see is that at the present time, the Holy Spirit is in you as the representative of Christ, the Savior, but He is not there as the representative of Himself or as the representative of the Father. That is Jesus’ job in you right now, to immerse you into the Holy Spirit and FIRE! God is a consuming fire; you have one part of the trinity in you and you need the other two parts.
I love you men with my whole heart. I’ve been here a long time with you. That’s why it is so difficult to say what I have to say today, but this is what the Lord wants me to say and I have to say it. The reason it’s difficult for me to say is because there are some Christians who want God with their whole hearts; with their whole souls; with their whole minds; they hunger and thirst after God all the time, and there are other Christians that have a religious duty towards God. They feel that the religion they have is satisfying to them and that’s all they need. This is why it’s so hard for me to say these things that are necessary to be said, and I’ve put it off and put it off but God wants me to say them now for some reason.
I realized that God was up to something when He said to me earlier, “I am not relating to them as Savior anymore, but I’m relating to them as an older brother.” That, I saw, was something different than what God had been saying, and last Sunday, when you told me that you had over 700 people on the church roll and not even half of them are coming to church, it devastated me. I came home from church and I really had a hard time with that. I had to seek the Lord on it, and He showed me that He wanted me to know that so that He could proceed from there, and talk to me. You have to realize that religion is made up by man’s natural mind to try to communicate with God and to please God. Religion is not God; it is about God, but it is NOT God. God is “an other” from religion.
I’m not criticizing it. Religion serves a purpose, because a young converted person that has come to God is a natural being whose spirit has just been quickened, but that is all that has happened. All he has are his natural abilities to try to please God and this is where we have all started out, in this place of trying to please God through religion, but now you men are grown up. I am not saying that you should give up religion. I am saying that there is something beyond that, something higher and more glorious.
Jesus said there is going to come a day when those that worship the Father will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and that day has come for you men, to worship God strictly in Spirit and in Truth. The only way you can do that is to have the total fullness of God operating in and through you, not part of it, but all the fullness of God. God is a trinity. He is Father, Son and Spirit, and this is how He wants to flow through you, as Father, Son, and Spirit, not just as Jesus your Savior. That’s where you are right now. For all these years, you have walked with God as Jesus your Savior. There is much, much more to God than that. Jesus said, “I must go away so that the Spirit can come.“ (Jn. 16:7) Now, what was the reason for that? He had to go away because He was a natural human being and He could only be in one place at one time, but He had to die, rise again, and go back to the Father so that the Holy Spirit could come. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is omnipresent and this was God’s plan.
You say that the Holy Spirit came into your life when you were saved, when you were born again, when you gave your life to God, and that is true, but He came as a representative of Christ your Savior. You have Jesus living in you. Jesus returned in the Spirit as Savior in your life, but John the Baptist said, when Jesus comes, when He comes into your life, He is going to immerse you into the Holy Spirit and immerse you into fire. The real word means “to dip,” to be dipped into the Holy Spirit and to be dipped into the fire. Now the Holy Spirit is the counselor and the teacher; the fire is God the Father. God is a consuming fire. You can never come before God the way you are. You must be purified in the fire; you must be dipped in the fire and be purified before you can stand before God and I’m not talking about at the judgment; I’m talking about now, here and now in the present. The same thing is true with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the omnipresence of God. If you are only relating to God as Savior, just like Jesus was a human being and could not be in more than one place at a time, it is the same thing with you. As Savior, you are limited to being a human and limited to one place at a time, but when you are immersed into the Holy Spirit, who is omnipresent, you become omnipresent.
Last week, the chapter we read, Hebrews 3, started out by saying, “Holy brethren.” How did they become holy? By being immersed into the fire of God. They had been purified by God; that’s why the writer of Hebrews was able to call them Holy Brethren. You know as well as I do that you don’t feel holy right now; you don’t feel clean. I know you don’t, but the reason you don’t is because you have not been immersed into the fire of God and been purified so that you can stand pure and clean before God. Those who have not been purified, have to go through the lake of fire. These are things that God wants to happen in your lives right now. This is why I am sharing this with you. He never gave me this to share with you until now. His timing for you is now. You can accept it or reject it. Now, I’ve always said to you that we don’t have a will of our own, but what God said to me is, “They think they have a will of their own, so they will have to make a decision whether they want to be immersed into the Holy Spirit and into the fire.” These things are strictly for you. It has nothing to do with anything or anyone else in life. It has to do with you, period.
He wants to freely give you these things so that you can come into the complete Sabbath rest of God; so that you can “leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.“ (Heb. 6:1) The Bible clearly says that “when the Spirit of Truth comes into your life, He will lead you into all truth.“ (Jn. 16:13) He is the only one who knows the Father; He is the only one who can share the Father with you completely. Up to now, you have been going from teacher to teacher, from preacher to preacher, class to class, seminar to seminar, trying to learn and you still have not learned much. Why? Because these men to whom you go for teaching, for knowledge about God and for help in living the Christian life, don’t know God the way the Holy Spirit does. He knows the Father completely; He is the only one who can lead you into all truth (I Jn. 2:27), but at the same time as you are being led into all truth, God will purge you with fire so that you can keep coming closer and closer and closer to Him, until you knock, and He will open Himself up to you and allow you to enter into Him, and then you will start seeing the scriptures in the Bible with a whole new eye for truth. There are over 70 scriptures in the New Testament, speaking of us being “in God, in Christ, in Jesus, in the Father, in the Holy Spirit.” He will start revealing these scriptures to you and you will recognize that you are in Him and of Him, and the most beautiful thing that can ever happen to you is that every time He teaches you something new; every time He gives you a revelation of Himself; every time He gives you a vision of Himself or a dream of Himself, the next day you feel like a brand new person, like you are starting your life all over again, just like you felt when you were born again. That same feeling keeps coming back over and over again. Jesus keeps coming back to you, revealing more and more and more things to you until you begin to realize that you are so totally in Him that you can only be what He is. These are the things that He said to His disciples, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.“ (John 16:12)
He is the all in all. If you want it all, this is the way you have to go about receiving it. This is God’s way of doing it. Walking this way, down the road a piece, all of a sudden, you will actually see yourself as a king and a priest; you will actually see yourself as a son of God; and you will know that Jesus is your elder brother. A complete assurance comes over you that you are totally in God and that everything that happens to you is done by God and through God. You will clearly see what Paul said, when He said, “In Him, do we live and move and have our being.“ (Acts 17:28) That is so true. There’s a great peace and a great joy that comes over you when you feel that you are a joint heir with Christ. These are not just words that I’m speaking. This is the reality of God in your life.
To summarize it, when we were born again; when we were saved, the Holy Spirit came as the representative of Christ and entered into us. He brought Christ into our inner being. Now Christ is there living in us, but Paul said that “The Lord is the Spirit.“ (II Cor. 3:17) Christ is the Spirit as well, do you see? The trinity is totally one; they are all God the Father. Christ wants to immerse you into the Holy Spirit and He wants to immerse you into the Father as fire. “God is a consuming fire.“ (Heb. 12:29) The Father is fire. The Holy Spirit is a teacher and a counselor. Yes, you have Christ and you have the Holy Spirit in you as the representative of Christ, but Christ now wants to immerse you into the rest of the trinity. As the glorified Christ, this is His job, and that’s the part that you men have not received yet, and this is what Christ is eager to do for you. When this takes place, then you will have the power of the trinity. This is the difference between what you have already experienced and what you will have with the fulness of the Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit will start operating in you. The fruits of the Spirit will have much more and greater power at that time. This is what your desire should be right now so that you can be complete Christians in the Trinity; complete beings, light giving spirits in the trinity; life giving spirits as well as light bearing spirits. This is the place that we’re at right now. I’m not telling you that you have to; God does not force anything on you, but if you want to be the full representative of the godhead, this is what has to take place in you. The Apostle Paul clearly understood that when he came to the people at Ephesus and said, “Have you received the Spirit since you believed?” They were believers; they were born again, but they said, “We have not even heard of the Spirit” (Acts 19:1-2), and he put his hands on them, and prayed with them and they received the Holy Spirit, and they manifested the Spirit. A similar thing happened in Samaria where Philip had preached, but the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them. “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:14-15) Last Sunday, you talked about the Sabbath rest. This is part of the Sabbath rest, to have the complete fullness of the godhead in you and through you, to operate in you and through you. You have part of the godhead, but you do not have the fullness of the godhead. When this happens to you, you realize how Christ walked with God; how He walked when He was here on earth. He clearly said, “In and of myself,, in and of my own flesh, I can do nothing. I do what the Father does; I say what the Father says.” (My paraphrase of Jn. 8:28; 14:10). God wants to make this true of your life as well.
BAPTIZED WITH FIRE [Lenny Antonsson] Nov. 2000 1