One of the results of being baptized in fire is holiness, a characteristic that was the primary focus of the Spirit in the late 1800s. It defined the Holiness movement and set the stage for the Pentecostal movement that followed at the turn of the century.
But gradually the emphasis in the Holiness movement changed from seeking to develop a pure heart to simply following a set of rules, and true holiness--taking on the nature of God--was lost. We settled for a doctrine of partial holiness: one that allowed a watered-down purity to coexist with carnal hearts full of compromise, competition and division.
I believe God is visiting us again on this issue. In 1 Pet. 1:16 we are commanded, "Be holy, because I am holy." God desires that we lay our lives on the altar so that He may consume them with His fire (see Heb. 12:28).
When we embrace the fire and allow it to work in us, the limitations of the past and the hindrances of our old nature are taken away. Everything the enemy planted in our lives is destroyed, and the image of God's Son begins to come forth.
The reward is that when the old things are burned out, a new passion for God is released. We desire to stay in close communion with Him because we realize that without continual grace, it is impossible to be holy.
Another benefit is that we receive power, as the disciples did on the day of Pentecost, to be witnesses in the earth. This power will become more crucial as the revival harvest increases and God calls us to do our parts.
During the week we spent in Argentina, Steve and I were impacted afresh with the fire of God. We received renewed passion to see the body of Christ purified and empowered for revival. And we were encouraged to hear that the leaders of the Argentine revival believe it is God's time for the United States to experience the fire of God.
Steve and I believe this, too. It was for this reason that we hosted the first Charisma International Conference in Orlando on Nov. 17-20, with two of the leading voices of the Argentine revival, Carlos Annacondia and Claudio Freidzon. We wanted to help usher the fire of God into this country.
If you were not able to join us, we encourage you to pray right where you are, "Lord, send Your fire!" I know He will both
consume and empower you as He did us.