SEND IN THE FLAMES!
BY: LENNY ANTONSSON
In Matthew 3:11, it speaks about our being baptized in the Holy Spirit and with fire. John said Jesus would come for that purpose. Now, I had no problems with being baptized in the Holy Spirit, but I said to God, “What is the fire for?” And He showed me. “You have been dipped into me as Savior, Jesus Christ, and you are being dipped into me as Holy Spirit so that I can lead you into all truth, but you need to be dipped into me as fire because I am fire!” The Bible says that, “God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:29) Yes, I can accept that, but why? What God showed me was that all those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life must be dipped into or baptized with fire, and that fire is the same fire as the lake of fire! This is amazing since we know that all those whose names are not written the Lamb’s book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20: 14,15). When I looked up the word for fire in Strong’s Concordance, it was as God had said to me. The same Greek word (#4442) is used in both places for fire. In fact, this same word is used in too many scriptures to include here. Look it up for yourself and you will see what I mean. The Greek word that is translated hell fire, (See. Matt. 5:22; 9:47; Mk. 9: 43,47,48; Acts 2:3; I Cor. 3:13; II Tim. 1:8; Rev. 20:9, 10, 14, 15; 21:8, to name a few) for example, is the same one used in Heb. 12:29, which refers to God as a consuming fire, and also the same as “cloven tongues as of fire” in Acts 2:3. Why the need for fire? because everyone has to be purified with fire before he can stand before a pure and holy God. That’s how simple it is. God is a trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or we can also say, Fire, Son, and Holy Spirit, or we can say, Fire, Savior, and Teacher, leading us into all truth.
God opened my understanding about the purpose of fire, when He spoke to me about being baptized in the Holy Spirit and in fire. In Mark 9:49, it says “For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” Now, this is very interesting because the church has always led us to believe that only the wicked, the sinners, the unrepentant will be cast into the fire, but in this verse, Jesus says that EVERYONE will be salted with fire. Even the righteous? even the obedient? even the saved? EVERYONE WILL BE SALTED WITH FIRE! This cannot be possible or even reasonable unless fire is for our good; unless it is truly a blessing rather than a place of endless torment which the church has always threatened us with if we don’t repent. What Jesus meant by this statement was foreshadowed in the law, and was pictured there for us to see and to understand. Lev. 2:13-15 reads: “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. “‘If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, offer crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire.” Just as Israel was the firstfruits unto the Lord under the Old Covenant, (Jer. 2:3) so, we are the firstfruits of the new covenant, (James 1:18) offered unto God and the Lamb. (Rev. 14:4).
It is so clear that the fire is a purging, a refining of us, and that’s what’s taking place in our lives right now. We are being refined by fire. We are being melted down, and the dross is being skimmed off. And later on, those that have not been dipped into the fire are going to have to be cast into the lake of fire and have their dross burned off, because it is impossible for anyone to stand before a pure and holy God without being refined, without being purified. I did not see this before, but now, I see it clearly. Now, the reason why I did not see this truth that the fire which Jesus baptizes with and the lake of fire is the same fire that is being used to purify us, is because God had closed off my mind to it. It was not time for me to see it. God’s timing is always perfect. He is revealing this to us now so that the fear of hell which has been preached by the church for many, many hundreds of years can be replaced by the matchless, redeeming love of God! The Holy One of Israel would never expect us to clean ourselves up before we are presented to him, because He well knows that we are incapable of it. He himself will do the purifying. He, himself will present us faultless before His throne with glory and exceeding joy! (Jude 24). Fire is not a fearful punishment! No, it is a glorious deliverance! A cause for rejoicing! Even the lake of fire is a cause for celebration among the lost!
We have a tendency to confine ourselves to just what we’ve been taught that the Bible says about a subject. Notice I did not say what it says, but what we’ve been told it says. Our fear of hell has made it very difficult for us to allow the Holy Spirit to expand us beyond what we’ve been taught, and the saints we read about in the Bible were not any different than we are. God allowed them to understand a certain amount and not any more. In fact, the Hebrew writer says that they have had to wait until we “get it” to understand it themselves. (Heb. 11:40). And now, we are 2,000 years beyond that. Who could doubt that the Holy Spirit has expanded our understanding in this past 2,000 years? He has not allowed us to remain stagnant, to stand still, and not see additional things.
However, the church fears these additional things, these revelations of the spirit. They forget, or ignore what Peter said on the day of Pentecost, when he quoted from the prophet Joel, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit and they shall prophesy.” (Acts. 2:17-18) These kinds of manifestations from the Spirit were common place in the early church. It was the normal operating procedure. Somewhere along the way, among the generations which followed, there grew suspicion about these “extraterrestrial” visitations. Perhaps this was because the church feared losing control over the people, and could not allow this freedom of expression to continue unchecked. People who spoke from their spirits were often hanged, burned at the stake, and driven out, branded as strange, possessed, or full of the devil, and excommunicated or disfellowshipped. God will not be quenched like that forever, and He will speak to us, whether we feel comfortable with it or not, whether the powers that be allow it or not. God cannot be caged. He will spring forth in glory and in power. The other night, I had this dream, which I offer on its own merits.
I dreamed about being at some type of convention, where they were building miniature doll houses. I passed one that was very pretty. It was a modernistic doll house. It had no furniture in it, but the paint was beautiful, and right next to it, I started building my own. I built a three or four story high doll house, and I dressed it up with all types of furniture and put beautiful things on the walls, and put very many lovely things inside to decorate it. I stepped aside and looked at it, but I was not satisfied. So, I started another one right next to it, just a small one story house, and I put a person in it, but when I stepped back to view it, I was not satisfied. So, I took the person out and I put him out by himself off to the side, like in a field or a meadow. I looked at the person and I still wasn’t satisfied. Then I was in the field, myself, and I stood there and I knew that I was in God, and God was all in all, and I was totally satisfied. I knew I did not need anything else but God. God was my total satisfaction. I had no need for anything else. It was such a blessing to stand there and know that I was completely satisfied with my life because God was the only thing in my life that I had need of. There was nothing else that I needed to carry around, or care for, or be concerned about. I was totally free to be in God all the time. End.
When the fire has done its cleansing work, we will all be free, and we will be in God all the time! The Father will be in us, and through us, – the body of Christ, – He will reveal His manifold wisdom, hidden from the ages, unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places. (Eph. 3:10). That is the end result of the refining fires and the lake of fire as well, that all should come to know the power and the glory and the majesty, the honor, and the wisdom, and the love of the Father as revealed in the Son, through us, his body, now and forever more. Amen.
SEND IN THE FLAMES [Lenny Antonsson] July 1998 1