Precious Blood and Holy Fire
Originally preached by Lloyd Schuetz
In 1 Peter 1: 18-19 we read; “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”.
In 1 John 1:7-9 we read; “…The BLOOD of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
In Ephesians 1:7 we read: “In Him we have redemption through HI BLOOD, the fogginess o sins, according to the riches of His grace”.
In Acts 2:2-4 we read, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them CLOVEN TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance”.
The Lord Jesus Christ died for us on Calvary’s Cross, and His PRECIOUS BLOOD was shed to redeem us from all our sins. He was buried and then he arose again from the dead and ascended to the right Hand of the Father. When the ascended Lord poured out the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Revival Power, “TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE” came upon each of the Disciples as they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
First came Christ Finished Work at Calvary, when His PRECIOUS BLOOD was shed once for all for our eternal Redemption: Then came the DAY OF PENTECOST, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Waiting, praying Disciples in TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit! First we need to be cleansed from our sins in Christ’s precious blood; then we also need to be baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, as those early disciples on the day of Pentecost so that we might be effective witness for Christ. Acts 1:8.
In both the Old and New Testaments, we have records of God revealing Himself in holy fire. In Scripture, fire is one of the symbols or emblems of the Holy Presence of God. This Holy Divine Fire in the Bible represents God’s presence, power and authority.
In Hebrews 12:29 we read, “Our God is a consuming fire”.
Elijah the Prophet challenged the false prophets of Baal, and the people of Israel with these words; “The God that answers by FIRE let Him be God…” 1 Kings 18:24.
1. Let us consider some Biblical examples where God revealed Himself in Holy Fire.
- In Genesis 15:1-21, When God made a Covenant with Abraham, “A smoking furnace, and burning lamp (a lamp of FIRE)”, came down and passed between the different pieces of the sacrifice, which he had made, sealing and confirming the Covenant.
- In Exodus 3: 1-18, God revealed Himself to Moses in ‘FLAMING FIRE’ and in a ‘BURNING BUSH’, and commissioned him to go to His People Israel in Egypt and bring them out of bondage. Moses life was touched and changed by that Divine encounter at the burning bush and God mightily used him as His human instrument to lead His people Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
- In 13: 21-22, we read that the Lord led His Redeemed people out of bondage in Egypt, by going before them in a ‘Pillar of Cloud by day, and a PILLAR OF FIRE’ by night to lead them and protect them.
- In Exodus 19 & 20 We read that ‘God came down on mount Sinai in smoke and holy FIRE’ revealing Himself to His people in holiness and power, and writing His Laws upon tables of stone and also giving Moses the plan for the Tabernacle. God Spoke to His people out of that Holy Fire (Deuteronomy 4:33).
- When the Lord established His Order of worship, in the Old Testament Tabernacle, His instructions were “The FIRE SHALL EVER BE BURNING UPON THE ALTER; IT SHALL NEVER GO OUT” (Leviticus 6:13). But God did not allow strange or false fire in His house. Compare Leviticus 10:1-3;
- In 1 Kings 18 we see Elijah the Prophet challenging the false prophets of Baal with these words;” The God that answers by FIRE, let Him be God..”. 1 Kings 18:24. The Lord did powerfully answer by Supernatural FIRE that day proving that He was indeed the True God, and Baal was a false god. Today we also need to see the supernatural demonstration of the Holy Spirit working in our midst to convince unbelievers of the reality of the only true God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
- In 11 Kings 2:11-12 we read that ‘a Chariot of FIRE and horses of FIRE came and took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind.
- In Isaiah 6:6-7 – the Lord caused the mouth of Isaiah the Prophet to be touched with a LIVE COAL OF FIRE from Gods alter cleansing away his sin, so that he might speak the Word of God. Today, all who would proclaim the Holy Word of God need to be touched by this HOLY FIRE OF GOD so that they might speak the Word of God with power and authority!
- The Prophet Malachi in Chapter 3:1-4 predicted that when the Messiah would come, “He would be “like a REFINERS FIRE and like a fuller’s 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…”!“Refiners Fire; My hearts desire; is to be Holy;
Set apart to Thee my Master,
Ready to do thy will”!
- In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist said,” 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;”
- In Acts Chapter 2, when the ascended Lord poured out the Holy Spirit upon the praying disciples, “TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE SAT UPON EACH OF THEM AND THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST and began to Speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance”. These Disciples were filled with boldness and Holy Fire, and went out into Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria and then into their World as bold witnesses of the Resurrected Christ. They were touched and changed by the Fire of the Holy Spirit, and they in turn became like flames of fire for their Lord. They set their then known world on fire for God. Their enemies accused them of “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).“O Lord, touch us again with your Holy fire! Baptize us with the Holy
Ghost and with Fire, so that we too in our day may become bold witnesses
For you, so that our world also will be turned to you in true repentance
And faith and glorify you”!
- In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 we are exhorted to: “Quench not the Spirit”. The New International Version of the Bible puts it this way: “DO NOT PUT OUT THE SPIRIT’S FIRE”!
O Lord, help us never to quench your Spirit-the fire of your Spirit, in our hearts, and ministry for you, we pray in Christ’s Name.
- In Hebrews 1:7 we are told that God’s ministers are to be “FLAMES OF FIRE,” for Him. If we are to “Shine as Lights in this world, in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation”, then we also need to be on fire for the Lord, With His Word (Jeremiah 23:29) and His Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:8)
burning within our hearts, and working in, and through us, for the glory of God.
- In Revelation 1:1320 John received a vision of the Risen, glorified Christ, our Great High Priest and Head of the Church, and his Eyes were as a FLAME OF FIRE. John sees Him in the midst of the Churches (the seven golden candlesticks) .Nothing is hid from His eyes which are like a FLAME OF FIRE. He searches out the true condition in every local Church. He searches, convicts, and then cleanses those who repents, restores, and then sets them on FIRE so they can be bold witnesses-lights in a world of spiritual darkness.
2. Now let us consider some characteristics of Fire
Some Characteristics of natural fire are also applicable to the Fire of the Holy Spirit:
FIRE ATTRACTS: In the Natural, people are attracted to fire; We see this also in the Spiritual realm: In Exodus Chapter 3 we see Moses attracted to the Burning Bush; The Holy Presence of God was there in that burning bush, and as Moses drew near, God spoke to him, and commissioned him to go down into Egypt to Lead his people Israel out of Bondage. We today need such encounters with the Holy presence of God.
John Wesley used to say, when preaching on Revival; “Get on fire for God and the world will turn out to see your burning”!
On the Day of Pentecost, when the Fire of the Holy Spirit fell upon the praying disciples, and transformed them into bold witnesses for Christ, the multitude gathered, attracted by the supernatural presence and power of God. Peter preached the Gospel unto them and three thousand were converted to Christ. Today also, people are attracted to where the Holy Spirit is working in power.
FIRE MELTS: Natural fire will melt rock:
The Fire of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit will melt hardened hearts, causing them to yield to Christ:
In Isaiah Chapter 64 the Prophet prays; “ Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence; as when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy Name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence.” Today we too need to pray this prayer!
Those who witnessed the great Welsh Revival near the beginning of last Century; Or, who have written about that Revival, when God so powerfully worked, Say that “One of the notable things that happened when, as they say in Wales, ‘the fire fell’, was that ‘peoples hard hearts were wonderfully softened. Some of the Welsh miners who were notorious for their use of blasphemous language and hardness of heart, would, when touched by the Spirit, take off their helmets, fall to their knees in the mines, and with tears coursing down their faces, cry out to the Almighty, ‘O God save me’. During the time of the Welsh Revival there lived a man in one of the towns who was known for miles around as one of the hardest hearted individuals it was possible to find. ‘That man will never be converted’ said some. ‘His heart is as hard as granite’. One day he was passing an open air meeting where a 12- year old girl was reciting the words of John 3:16. The Words burned inside him like fire and melted his heart. Subsequently he became a great minister of the Gospel, and carried to his dying day this label: “The preacher with the soft heart!”
In times of revival blessing when the Holy Spirit is deeply convicting and working in the hearts of those present, we have witnesses again and again hardened hearts broken, melted, cleansed and changed as they bowed in the presence of God, and submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ.
FIRE PURIFIES: Gold and silver are purified in very hot fire: The Word of God and the Spirit of God are like FIRE and as we open our hearts to them, we will be purified and set apart for the purpose of God. Malachi the Prophet predicted that the Lord would be as a purifying fire to purify the ministers of God so that they might minister acceptably in the house of God. Today we also need to experience the purifying impact of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
FIRE WARMS: Natural fire warms: We love to sit near the fire on a cold day, and warm ourselves.
Some times our hearts become cold; But if we will draw near to God, and open our hearts to the Word of God and to the Fire of the Holy Spirit, our cold hearts will be warmed once again by that first love for Christ, and we will once again become burning witnesses for Him.
FIRE PRODUCES POWER: In the natural, when fuel is ignited in a Vehicle, it produces power so that it can now move powerfully down the road.
In the Spiritual realm, as we open our hearts to the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, who is like Holy fire, He will produce within us supernatural power-divine ability, so that we can effectively witness for Christ. Acts 1:8
FIRE GIVES LIGHT: In the natural we know that fire gives light: For example, we read in Exodus 13:21 that, ‘the Pillar of Fire’ gave Israel light.
In the OLD testament Tabernacle, the Golden Lampstand, with its seven lamps, when supplied with Oil and lit, gave Light within the Sanctuary Exodus 26:35; Exodus 40:4,24-25.
The Church is to be filled with the Oil of the Holy Spirit, and set on Fire with Divine fire, so that we might give Divine Light in this world, which is filled with spiritual darkness. Compare Matthew 5:14-16 & Philippians 2:13-16; & Revelation 1:20; Revelation 2:5; we need to ask ourselves this question. Are we giving forth Divine Light as we should? We need to be filled with the Word of God and with the Spirit of God and become bold witnesses for Christ in our world of darkness, pointing lost Souls to Jesus Christ.
FIRE CONVINCES: When the people of Israel saw the supernatural FIRE fall upon Elijah’s sacrifice and consume it, “ they fell on their faces and said, the LORD, He is the God; the LORD He is the God”( 1 Kings 18:38-39). This powerful demonstration of God sending DIVINE FIRE convinced them that Jehovah was indeed the true and Only God.
When the Holy Spirit is powerfully working empowering His servants, who proclaim the Word of God, and confirming His Word, there will be deep conviction of sin, righteousness and judgments, and lost souls will be converted to Jesus Christ; Compare Mark 16:15-20; John 16:7-14; Acts 1:8;Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5;
How can we individually or collectively be touched and filled by the Fire of the Holy Spirit, so that we might become effective witnesses for Christ, and serve Him in the power of the Holy Spirit
We need to humble ourselves in the presence of God and seek His face in earnest persistent, believing prayer until the Holy Ghost falls upon us in power and blessing and we are filled with that Holy Fire from the Throne of God!
A Servant of God by the name of William Arthur once wrote, “It is only by waiting before the throne of grace that we become endued with the Holy Fire. He who waits there long and believingly will imbibe this fire and come forth from his communion with God bearing tokens of where he has been. The only way to get spiritual power is by secret waiting at the Throne of God for the enduement. If you would have your soul kindled with the fire of God you must draw near to the source of that fire, to the Throne of God and of the Lamb, and shut yourself out from the world- that cold world which so swiftly steals our fire away! Enter into your closet and shut the door and there isolated before the Throne await the Fire! It will fill you and when you come forth, holy power will attend you and you shall labor not in your own strength, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
1 Corinthians 2:4.
William Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army wrote these powerful words in the Song – “SEND THE FIRE”
“Thou Christ of burning cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy Blood bought Gift today we claim!
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost
We want another Pentecost!”!
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire”
In closing we would like to say that the ‘outpouring of the Holy Spirit’ on the Day of Pentecost was not intended to be only an Historical Event, but a present day reality and experience for all of Gods people.
Word in Season – Lloyd Schuetz