Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is You Is Or Is You Ain't?

Being Baptized with the Holy Ghost AND Fire

There used to be a song called, "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" where a man laments being in love with a woman who seems ambivalent about his affection.  The lyrics are in part:
Is you is or is you ain't my baby?
The way you're actin' lately makes me doubt
Yous is still my baby-baby
Seems my flame in your heart's done gone out
The woman is saying all of the right words, but her actions (and maybe her inaction) lead him to think that her professed sentiments just aren't true.

This is the same issue that Jesus takes up with the last days church of Laodicea. 

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15-16

What is causing the Church to no longer be "hot"?  They have lost that holy fire of God.  They have no passion or zeal for Jesus Christ.  As Jesus puts it, they have become lukewarm or tepid.  Because iniquity abounds, the love of many has simply gone cold (Matthew 24:12).
tepid: characterized by a lack of force or enthusiasm
The Temptations had a song called, "I'm Losing You" which says, "Cause your touch, your touch, has grown cold.  As if someone else controls your very soul."  I don't mean to simply quote a bunch of secular songs, but they really illustrate the issue here.  How could "iniquity abounding" cause the Church to lose its love for the Bridegroom unless iniquity is abounding in the Church?  In other words, something other than Jesus Christ has been given preeminence in the soul and replaced the Lord of Glory.  This is the snare that God says will be most prominent during the end time Church.

Some might say, "This is not possible.  We cannot become lost to God because He preserves the saints."  I tell you that God only preserves those who love Him, so if our love for Him begins to falter, so does the foundation of our security in Him.  This is why Jesus says that He will cast such away from His Body (Revelation 3:16).

"The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy." Psalm 145:20

When we come into the faith, Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16).  Yet as in any relationship, if we don't tend to the flames, the fire can go out.  Sometimes our ferver, our fire, needs to be stirred up (II Timothy 1:6).  Such cannot be done out of some sense of mere obligation or human effort.  If it does not come from a source of burning, all-consuming love (God Himself), then it will fall woefully short.  Remember, God is an all-consuming fire and He makes His ministers flames of fire (Hebrews 12:29, 1:7).

Fire gives light so that we are able to see our way as well as allowing those in darkness to see the light.  Fire provides heat, giving warmth to protect us from the cold and piercing through the cold heart to shine the glorious light of the Gospel in the hearer.  Fire is a combustible fuel, the explosive factor behind God's dynamis power.  Fire consumes, burning off the dross & the chaff as the offering of our lives is sanctified by Him.  Fire amalgamates, making us one with God and with the Body of Christ.

But who can stand the fire?  For it comes with a price.  The way to ensure the fire is to ensure the sacrifice.

Just as the burnt offerings in the Old Testament were a sweet savor unto God, born again believers are likewise the same "sweet savor" for we are to be living sacrifices unto Him (Genesis 8:21; Exodus 29:18; Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17; II Corinthians 2:15; Romans 12:1).  By looking at the Law for Burnt Offerings (Leviticus 6:9), we can get a better understanding of what is needed to maintain the fire in our own lives.
  • The burnt offering was voluntary (Leviticus 1:2-3).  God did not force it, but each gave according to his own free will.  Similarly, God will not "make you" give your life as a sacrifice.  You must choose to do that (Luke 9:23).
  • The inner parts of the sacrifice had to be washed with water just as we are washed with the water of the word (Leviticus 1:9, 13; Ephesians 5:26).
  • It was the only offering which was wholly consumed by the fire, of which no parts could be held back (Leviticus 1:9, 13). Likewise, we also are called to give our whole life to Christ (Matthew 16:25; Hebrews 10:38).
  • It required obligations from both the offerer and the priest.  The offerer puts the sacrifice to death and cuts it up while the priest sprinkles the blood and provide the fire for burning (Leviticus 1:5-6, 12-13).  We also have the obligation to present our lives as a sacrifice and crucify our own flesh (Luke 9:23; Colossians 3:5).
  • It had to be tended carefully each day to ensure that the fire never expired (Leviticus 6:12-13).  In the same way, we are only Christ's disciples if we take up our cross and follow Him daily (Luke 9:23, 14:27).
If there is no fire for God in our lives, it is because there is no sacrifice on the altar.  If we draw back from the fiery trial, if we seek to save our lives in favor of the temporary comforts which placate our souls, then we will lose our fire for God. 

"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10

What was Jesus' counsel to the Church of Laodicea?  "Buy of me gold tried in the fire." (Revelation 3:18)  God is raising up a remnant who not only don't mind the fire, but crave it, understanding that it is their only source of life in this dark, cold world.  To such persons, Jesus will not have to question our love and passion for Him for our lives will be set aflame as the evidence.

"But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:2-3

Please take a minute to hear this short sermon from Brian Doerksen and take to heart his prayer, which is a prayer for our day.  And if you find yourself in a position such as the Church of Laodicea, put your life on the altar and cry out to God for a return of His holy fire.

"And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God." Zechariah 13:8-9


  1. Your all invited to come by which features videos and audio from our homemade ministry. We just consolidated our 3 part series "And with Fire" (10 1/2 minutes) and it is featured at the bottom of our home page! If you're in relationship with Jesus sincerely and yet wondering why the trials keep coming, you will be blessed and others will be shocked to find out we cannot avoid the Lord's purification process! In His Love, Mike

  2. thank you for this message, I myself was telling God when this battle I am
    engaging in is over which will be in a few days I want a break, a vacation,
    this fight have me weary, wounded in every single area of my life, some days I
    just drag home, every part of me goes limp almost telling me to stop but I
    say no, this battle belongs to the LORD and I am going to fight and if I
    die let me die with my boots on not as no coward but you know Maisha after
    hearing God in this message I am replacing my earlier request to make the
    fire 7 times hotter in my life, take me through the furnace of affliction, get all the dross off,
    I ain't taking no vacation from no devil, I ain't becoming lukewarm, I am
    going to fight like a dog and if I die let Christ be glorified in my death, it is all about Christ not me Gal. 2:20

    1. Hi Christhinker,

      I have been praying for and thinking of you often in recent months. It is so wonderful to hear that you are persevering in the Lord. We surely cannot take a vacation from this spiritual war because Satan and his demons aren't taking a vacation from trying to kill, steal, and destroy us. The flesh is always weak Sister, but pray for God for strength for your spirit, that it will push past that. I am not dismissing your comments because they are very real. I too have times when I just feel like taking a break, but God is always moving, and so should we be. Not in busy work, but in growing spiritually.

      Love you Sister and pray that you and your family are well!

  3. nice to hear you again Sister and may the Lord keep you and yours
    when I wrote this comment the server through an email said it was not accepted by your server and on reading it again I said good I am glad it did not go through for it seem should I say not worded well, then Tom at bible study give me a better understanding in his message Lamentations Mourning and Woe that God knows when to give us rest from the enemy because the devil will truly wear us out and lo you had received the comment so Sister is it possible to delay victory in the spirit realm by the words of our mouth, I mean to me it seems like just when victory is imminent I speak words and to me it seems God uses the same situation to continue to purge me, I hope you can hear me, I truly would like this one to be over and move on.
    thank you for your prayers I am thankful God joined us together, the Omega family have truly help me to grow I would say in leaps and bounds and I never cease to make mention of you all in my prayers (quoting Paul), love the church
    be bless Sister


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