What is the Contentious Baptism of Fire?

There has been a new teaching and practice operating in the church circa 2005 but it could have been much before this date. Christians are getting baptised with “FIRE” as a separate event to the baptism with the Holy Spirit with accompanying strange signs. Many Charismatic and Independent Churches have started teaching about it and then imparting it to their congregations or conference attendees. They have strange experiences from body spasms, hysterical laughing and shouting to name but a few.

In the 1960’s onward the Pentecostals and Evangelicals churches taught that Christians who got baptised with the Holy Spirit also got the fire due to an incorrect interpretation of Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 linking Holy Spirit and fire together. This all came about when John the Baptist says “I baptise you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me…will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” Matthew 3:11Luke 3:16, they understood this to be one event for each believers that they will be baptised both “with the Holy Spirit” and “with fire.”  However, when read in context these are two separate events. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a positive promise to believers who will receive the Spirit as per Jesus promise from the Father. The baptism of fire, however, is a negative statement of judgement to the unbeliever. You either receive the Spirit from Christ or else He will cast you into the fire. However as we see later it has morphed into something a lot more dangerous.

Looking at the context Matthew 3:7-12 demonstrates the point that John the Baptist was trying to make. Note all the imagery Matthew uses when John spoke these words:

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:7-12

This passage is primarily a warning about coming judgement and the need to repent before it’s too late. In it, fire is mentioned three times in swift succession:

  1. The trees that do not bear fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
  2. Jesus will come to baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
  3. The wheat will be brought to the barn while the chaff is burned with fire.

What is the fire in these contexts? And what is Jesus coming to do? In the first instance, Jesus comes with an axe. The trees bearing fruit stand while those that do not are cut down and burned. Thus, Jesus comes to make a distinction between those who bear fruit (the “fruit in keeping with repentance” already mentioned in the passage) and those that do not. He preserves the one and destroys the other. That destruction is represented by fire. The third instance is quite like the first. In it, Jesus comes with a winnowing fork to separate the wheat from the chaff. The wheat is preserved, and the chaff is destroyed by fire. Fire here is clearly divine judgement.

The Gospel of Luke gives us a similar picture. After presenting the same image as Matthew about the axe and the casting of unfruitful trees into the fire, Luke 13:7-9, Luke expands more fully on John’s call to repentance, Luke 13:10-14. Luke then concludes:

Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptise you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. Luke 3:15-18

So here is the same theme as in Matthew where John warns of a coming judgement if they do not heed the call to repentance.

Definition of Chaff

The definition of Chaff is as follows: – “the refuse of winnowed corn”. It was usually burned (Exodus 15:7; Isaiah 5:24; Matthew 3:12. This word sometimes, however, means dried grass or hay (Isaiah 5:24; 33:11). Chaff is used as a figure of abortive wickedness (Psalms 1:4; Matthew 3:12). False doctrines are also called chaff (Jeremiah 23:28), or more correctly rendered “chopped straw.” The destruction of the wicked, and their powerlessness, are likened to the carrying away of chaff by the wind (Isaiah 17:13; Hosea 13:3; Zephaniah 2:2).

The Same Teaching with No Judgement and No Fire in Mark and John

It is also worth noting that the gospels of Mark and John present far less detail on the content of John’s preaching. Neither of them mentions John’s warnings of impending judgement or his vivid image of trees and chaff being cast into the fire. So, when they present John’s words about Christ, they leave out the reference to fire:

“And he was preaching, and saying, ‘After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptised you with water; but He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit,'” (Mark 1:7-8).

“John testified saying, ‘I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognise Him, but He who sent me to baptise in water said to me, “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptises in the Holy Spirit.” I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God,’” (John 1:32-34).

Thus, when judgement is not in view, we are not told about a “baptism of fire.” Similarly, Luke later reports the similar words of Jesus echoing John’s comments. The context of these quotes, however, is specifically directed to the disciples and the hopeful promise of the Holy Spirit. Thus, in those contexts, Luke says:

“Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now,'” (Acts 1:4-5).

“‘And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ Therefore, if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?’” (Acts 11:15-17).

In every one of these cases where the judgement of the wicked is not discussed and only the baptism in the Holy Spirit is being talked about, the language about baptising in fire is absent.

There are no references to a Baptism of fire from the Gospel of John onward in the New Testament. There are 79 verses with the word “fire” in the New King James Version of the bible of the New Testament and 99% are related to judgement in some form. One is just about Jesus starting a fire to cook the fish that Peter caught.

So what do Christians get when they are imparted or baptised with fire via the laying on of hands or in some cases just by someone commanding it to come upon Christian. It is believed they get some sort of false evil spirit and some call it the Kundalini spirit. Whatever it is, it is not from God and so cannot be good and their actions and words that are linked to this initial baptism are not Godly at all.

How do This False Spirit Into the Church

It is thought the growth and acceptance of Hinduism and Buddhism practices is one way that has allowed this evil spirit to enter the church. Yoga and certain special types of meditation are practised by Christians contrary to biblical teaching. Martial arts are another way that the enemy has used to bring in false spirit. All martial arts are demonic in nature.

We also have not been sensitive to the Holy Spirit and what He is telling us about people and spiritual experiences. He has experience of everything as He has been around since the creation of the world and He knows everything. Ask Him and He will let you know if something is OK. We should be building ourselves up praying in the Spirit often and spending time in the Word.

How Do Christians Get The Baptism in FIRE?

They form things called fire tunnels which people who want to receive walk or run through and have hands placed on them to get a false spirit. This false spirit is like a virus as it spreads so easily via hands being laid on someone who wants this baptism of fire. People react differently based upon their personality and seemingly their gender. Twitching, bending and uncontrollable body movements, uncontrollable laughing, walking as they are drunk and much more. The impact on their daily lives is difficult to access but it is not uncommon to see them twitch and have uncontrollable body movements as seen in one or two of the videos. There is also seems to be a abnormal amount of energy that some people demonstrate.

These people all need deliverance.

There are many Christians who believe that a Christian cannot be possessed by evil spirits. This is incorrect and that has led to many of the problems we see today with strange manifestations that are ungodly and in some cases very scary. In Mark 16:17 it states that those who believe will cast out demons. Therefore people can have demons and this statement does not exclude Christians. Furthermore my experience has shown that Christians do have demons and there can be more than one.

It is important to state that all these Christians involved in this practice are well meaning and have impacted the world and helped people came to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. However they are deceived on this teaching and belief. They are seeking after supernatural experiences and signs. Sign and wonders should be following after us when we preach the Gospel and Jesus confirms that the Kingdom of God has come near them.

What the impact is on a Christians overall spiritual life is difficult to access, however we must ensure that what they teach is based on scripture and that their lives line up with the Word. We should expect to Godly character and the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. ” Galatians 5:22-23
Many Christians over the centuries have done great signs and wonders but these do not necessarily translate into disciples being made who grow up to be mature and run their race to the end of their lives.

Please view the below videos which are just a few out of many. All of them are short and demonstrate what takes place every time this fire baptism in imparted. I have picked these as they are YouTube and these are ministries that are very active in this area. Other ministries are involved but I have not found any video footage of this type of phenomenon.

Jesus Culture Awakening 2011- Holy Spirit Fire Tunnel

Tunnel of fire at Bethel Church 20/Jan/2012

Fire of The Holy Ghost tunnel Todd White JESUS Conf

IHOP & KHOP College Manifestation Testimony

Bethel Redding Fire Tunnel with Puppets

Todd White 2018- Power & Love Fire Tunnel.

Warning and Conclusion

Christians should always read/study what the bible teaches on any doctrine but especially anything linked to manifestation or sign or gift of the Spirit.

Never let anyone lay hands on you that you do not know what they believe, just in case you get something that is not from God. Normally someone will ask you can they lay their hands on you to give you the option.

Always be led by the Holy Spirit on everything but especially when it comes to supernatural experiences.

Manifestations are not proof of maturity of the believer at all. The Christians in Corinth as stated in 1 Corinthians by Paul are called carnal, but Paul writes a whole chapter on the Gifts of the Spirit. They were using the gifts but not in an orderly manner and causing chaos.

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