Thursday, February 1, 2018

Living Sacrifices in Consuming Fire

Dear God-seekers,

Many of you who love the Lord Jesus have embraced His promise in Scripture to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, and have actively sought Him to receive the promise by faith. I commend you for this, and the Lord will surely answer your prayers. However, one thing I continue to find is how opposed the enemy is to this promise. Even within the Church there are people who speak against it. It's no wonder, because so many are not spiritual men, but are operating out of their natural man. As Paul said,

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." (1Co 2:14)

So I realize that not everyone who reads this is going to accept it, but for those who can accept it, you will receive the promise of God. As for us, we will continue to preach the cross of Christ, and also the cross for every one of His followers. "And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.' " (Luk 9:23)

Meanwhile, there are many who profess His name and yet do not deny themselves or take up their cross daily. They may think they are following Jesus, but they are only fooling themselves. The Lord can see right through to their hearts and knows the true condition of it.

Offer Your Bodies a Living Sacrifice on the Altar
The text I want to focus on today is from the apostle Paul's epistle to the Romans in the twelfth chapter, in which he said: "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom 12:1).

That is an admonition to each one of us who professes to follow Christ. Through the apostle, the Holy Spirit urges us to present or offer our bodies a living and holy sacrifice to God. Indeed this is our spiritual act of worship. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (Joh 4:24)

Consider the animal sacrifices that were offered to God under the Law of Moses. They were laid on the altar and consumed by the fire. When you read Romans 12:1, keep that in mind, because it represents what you and I are supposed to be doing. We are supposed to offer our bodies to God to be placed on the altar of sacrifice and consumed by holy fire. Yet how many believers actually do this? Have you done this yet? And if you have done so, are you still on the altar or have you jumped off because the flames were too hot?

Most of us have an aversion to pain and loss. So when we place our bodies on the Lord's altar for Him to consume, we are prone to want to jerk ourselves off the altar once the flames begin to lick us. But we must not do that. Instead we must remain there and let the holy fire of God envelope us completely until self is consumed and all is of God.

This is further proof from Scripture that the Lord desires to baptize each one of His disciples in holy fire, as I have written about in Holy Fire Baptism and Refiner's Fire, as well as The Burning OnesThe Three Elijahs, and The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer. I should call it the fire series. "Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit." (1 Thes 4:8, NIV78). As I proved in Songs of the Holy Fire, saints have been singing about the holy fire for centuries. Even to this day we continue to sing those hymns, as well as new songs about the fire of God in our lives. The remnant saints still desire the fire.

Bereans or Blasphemers?
Meanwhile, the enemy is busy spreading disinformation and lies about this to the Church. One site that I saw claimed to be Berean researchers, which gives the impression that they search the Scriptures daily like the Bereans to see if these things are true. They have styled themselves to be a site that is exposing heresy in the Church. And one of the things they sought to expose was the holy fire as a supposed heresy. They said many insulting things about the fire of the Holy Spirit. And one claim they made was that the fire of God is not for any believer, but only for the wicked. They also claimed that the expression to be "on fire for God" is a Pentecostal/Charismatic one, and should be avoided or removed from the vocabulary of those who love the truth, because they consider the Pentecostal doctrines of the faith to be false teachings.

Such people should consider the things I have said in this article and the other articles about the holy fire. But it seems that no amount of information will convince some of them, because they have made up their minds that it is evil. Don't they realize they are insulting the Holy Spirit when they do so? They are in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, because some of them are claiming or implying that the holy fire is not from Him, but from the devil. As I have written in Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, they are in great danger of committing this unforgivable sin, when they attribute an act of the Holy Spirit to the devil. My friend, don't follow such people! They have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof (2 Tim 3:5).

Filled with Fire
I don't know about you, but I want to be filled with fire. As I was writing this in my office, my children began to sing the old hymn, Search Me O God, which they had selected in order to start their school day with prayer and worship, although they did not know that the Lord had led me to write this article. The lyrics say in part:

"O Holy Ghost, revival comes from thee.
Send a revival, start the work in me."

and

"Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name."

This is what we should be praying: for the Holy Ghost to fill us personally with fire. Revival comes from Him. How could someone say that this is from the devil and that it is not Scriptural to be on fire for God? Such men do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. They are agents of satan -- wittingly or unwittingly, who seek to put out the Spirit's fire. They quench the Holy Ghost.

Test. Don't Quench
However, the apostle Paul clearly warned, "Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." (1 Thes 5:19-22, NIV78). Of course, we are supposed to test everything to ensure it is from God. The devil has his agents, too, who are imparting things that are demonic, and they can use the same terminology that the Bible uses. So don't assume that everything called the fire of God is really from God. You must test the spirits, and one way you do so is to look at the fruit, as I have already written in my article, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets.

Once you have tested the spirits and know that something is of the Spirit God, then you hold onto that which is good. You don't throw it out just because the devil has a counterfeit version of it. He can only counterfeit that which is genuinely from the Lord. His powers come from God, who is the One who originally gave satan his power. The gifts and calling of God are not revoked. So the Lord has not revoked the devil's powers that he had when he was originally created as a holy angel. However, the devil now uses his power for evil in rebellion against God, and since we must avoid every kind of evil, we must be vigilant and watchful, and test all things. Then avoid the evil and embrace the good.

As for me, I'm crying out:

Come, Holy Spirit, with all 
Your omnipotent and enabling power!
Fill me from head to toe;
Engulf me this very hour!
Set my mind on what You desire;
Grant me more of Your holy fire!

Putting it All Together
If there is no fire, there can be no light. But where there is light, there will also be fire. Indeed, there is abundant evidence in the Word of God that there is such a thing as genuine holy fire, which God intends for every disciple of Christ who asks for it. It's a gift that is available for the asking, the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire. John the Baptist said, "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Mat 3:11; cf. Lk 3:16).

As the Lord taught us, when you ask the Father for a gift, expect Him to give it to you. He said:

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luk 11:9-13).

If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then offer your body today as a living sacrifice to God, holy and acceptable, which is your spiritual act of worship. This is the message of the cross. Lay your body on the altar and ask for God's holy fire to consume you wholly. Then receive from God what He has promised you in His Word. Receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Attribution Notice: Most Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB), unless otherwise noted, where other verses are from the Holy Bible NIV. All lyrics to the hymn Search Me O God are in the public domain.

Author's note:  If anyone does not receive this instruction, do not associate with him. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my other post called Holy Fire Baptism, as well as The Burning OnesThe Happy Hunters on Fire, The Refiner's Fire, Songs of the Holy Fire, The Three Elijahs, Covenant Prayer, and The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer. For more articles of mine, please see the Home page of this blog. You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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