Thousands of sincere people in churches across the land are asking every week, crying aloud to the heavens, that God would send His fire down, igniting a revival in the church. Not just charismatic, pentecostal, full-gospel, and bible-churches are doing this, but many main stream denominational churches are, too.
But do they know exactly what they are asking? God is not just a fire; He “is a consuming fire” . Most of the sheep in the pews do not realize that the judgement of this fire first falls on them; it starts with the house of God, His body, His church. The apostle Peter warns us of the fiery trial of our faith: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” .
“The fiery trial” is when God comes to us to purify us, which means that there is something in us that needs to be gotten rid of.
God is fire; He is also the Word made flesh. So the fire is His word. And He will send His word through His five fold ministry offices. These are His true apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. They are a gift of God to congregations for their perfection and edification, “till we all come in the unity of the faith…unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” .
And God will speak through them, and His word, like a fire shut up in their bones, will blast as a refining fire burning away the dross and impurities. This will be a fiery trial–the getting rid of the childish things that are clung to. Eventually, the blankies, pacifiers, and rattlers must be put away on the road to spiritual perfection.
Just like the prophet elijah
Elijah is a type of this. He came and exposed Israel’s sin and corruption at the highest level, demanding them to repent. But they just could not “abide the day of his coming” . He was a fire burning up their impurities. But what did the children of Israel do to him and other prophets? They hunted them down like dogs, tortured them, and chased them into “dens and caves of the earth” .
They were persecuted by the very people they were trying to help. For few want to change so badly that they will submit to the correction of God’s word of fire–especially spoken through just another man, who they feel is really no better than they are. Anyway, “who made you a ruler and judge over us, Moses?” .
God, the consuming fire from heaven, wants to burn out the impurities of false doctrines, concepts and teachings about Him and His plan. We are told to “purge out the old leaven that the lump may be holy.”
But who will be able to bear it–the correction, instruction and reproof–that the fire brings? This is what the fire-word of God brings. It cleanses and purifies His children, until they are no longer alive just to receive God’s “feel-good spirit.”
Joy, peace, and love will come, for they are the fruit of the Spirit. But the true fruit of the Spirit takes time to develop, grow, and mature. And few modern Christians have any aspirations to wait very long for it. And so that is what keeps them coming back week after week, crying out for God’s fire, thinking that it is a feel-good spirit, not knowing that His word is like a fire that purges out all unrighteousness.
But that is the nature of children. They are mostly alive for what they can receive from their Father. As Paul said, “And yet I show unto you a more excellent way” . It is the way to complete the life cycle of God in you–the way to perfection. KWH
- Deut 4: 24; Heb. 12: 29
- I Pet. 4: 12, 17-18
- Eph. 4: 11-13
- Mal. 3: 2
- Heb. 11: 34-38
- Acts 7: 27
- I Cor. 12: 31