Chapter 98

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There are three primary, sequential, and absolutely necessary baptisms of water, the Holy Ghost, and fire that you must experience before you can enter into Heaven


(Mat 3:1-6)  In those days came John [Heb: Jehovah-favored] the Baptist [the six months older cousin of Jesus], preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven [the kingdom of God] is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah [Isa 40:3], saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment [Gk: robe] [the message of his walk] of camel's hair [identifying him with and as a burden bearing animal], and a leathern girdle [Gk: belt] [denoting the security of a blood sacrifice] about his loins [connoting the fruit of his life]; and his meat [Gk: food] was locusts and wild honey [indicating complete dependence on God for provision]. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan [Heb: the descender] [a type of the Holy Ghost], And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

1.      Baptist = Gk: a baptizer /// to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet): baptist, baptize, wash /// to whelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid.

2.      preaching = Gk: to herald (as a public crier), espec. divine truth (the gospel): proclaim, publish.

3.      repent = Gk: to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (mor. feel compunction) /// to exercise the mind (observe), i.e. (fig.) to comprehend, heed:--consider, perceive, think, understand.


(Mat 3:11-12)  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: Whose fan [Gk: a winnowing-fork] is in his hand [ref: ‘the hand ministry’ of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers: Eph 4:11], and he will thoroughly purge [Gk: to cleanse perfectly] his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner [the wooden barn; the antitype of the tabernacle: Mat 13:30]; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable [Gk: not extinguishable, i.e. (by impl.) perpetual] fire.

1.      The Pulpit Commentary: Water-baptism is the type of putting off surface acts of sin. Attention should be fixed on the ministry of water. It washes off; it cleanses surfaces. The result of John’s baptism, even for those who received it faithfully, did not go beyond the change of character and life implied in repentance. Illustrate by the advice given to the different classes who came to John. They were to cease their wrong-doing, to put away their characteristic faults, to wash off their particular sins from the record of their lives. This is the proper beginning of moral reformation; but it is only a beginning.

2.      Commentary: “For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb 12:29; Deut 4:24; 9:3). “God is love.” (1 John 4:8, 16). Let us combine the meanings of “a consuming fire” with “love”: the warmth and passion of God’s love usward burns eternally as an unquenchable fire; and we too are becoming part of that fire, as we grow in love Godward.

a.       (Jer 23:29a)  Is not my word [Jesus Christ: John 1:14] like as a fire [God’s love]?

b.      (1 John 3:2)  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [Christ Jesus] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is [and because He is the only begotten seed of God, He is a consuming fire].

3.      The Pulpit Commentary: Fire-baptism is the type of burning sin out of the soul. Fire (God’s love) is a cleanser; it is, indeed, the supreme cleanser, because it searches into the very substance of a thing.

a.       (1 Cor 3:11-15)  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest [Gk: apparent, public]: for the day [of the Lord’s Second Coming] shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire [God’s love]; and the fire [God’s love] shall try [Gk: test] every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide [Gk: remain] which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire [God’s love].

4.      Commentary: (1.) John’s baptism with water unto repentance cleanses the outside of a man and orders his thoughts, preparatory for the work of the Holy Spirit, i.e., a type of getting back into your right mind: the demoniac of the Gadarenes “in his right mind” (Mark 5:15; Luke 8:35), the prodigal son “And when he came to himself,” (Luke 15:17). (2.) The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the effectual baptism of salvation. (3.) The baptism of fire [God’s love] is the cleansing (sanctifying) of the inside of a man preparatory for his [the man’s] undefiled and perfect works of God in the post-death future Kingdom of Heaven.

5.      The Pulpit Commentary: The severity of Christ’s work: John’s baptism of water was but of a temporary and symbolical character, [whereas] Christ’s baptism of fire [God’s love] would be permanent and spiritually real – a fire [God’s love] that would go on burning until all the world’s evil was burned up [or, subjectively, until the man died]. Apparently John’s [baptism] seems to be more arresting and severe; but really it does not prove to be so. There is all the difference between “washing off” and “burning out.” The very forces themselves, “water” and “fire,” suggest the distinction. Repentance seems more severe; [but] the after-time resolute dealing with sin and rooting it out is much more severe. Christian ‘keeping on is much more stern than Christian ‘beginning.’ Illustrate by the Book of Revelation. The living Christ is actually present in His churches, and at work, making them altogether ‘white;” and all the forces, famine, war, commotions, disease, etc., are the fires [of God’s love] in which He is burning away the dross, and making the silver shine perfectly white. He were no true friend of sinners if He withheld necessary severity. What is presented to thought is, that nothing will stop or check the Devine fire-cleansing. That it will stop when its work is done is assumed. The fire [of God’s love] will keep on consuming as long as there is anything to consume, but no one conceives evil to be eternal. Christ will burn on until His burning work is needed no more [and all the while He is loving us]