Recently, while teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit during a 10-week discipleship course on Prophets and Prophetic Ministry, the Holy Spirit reminded me that Jesus baptizes His children not only with the Holy Spirit, but also with fire. He then spoke to me saying, "The remnant church will not experience the outpouring of the glory required for the awakening we have been seeking unless we first experience a fresh baptism of fire."
In Luke 3:16-17, John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize 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."
While the unquenchable fire of God devours His enemies, vindicates His name, validates His sovereignty and catalyzes His messengers, it also consumes the chaff of sin. The prophet Malachi spoke of a messenger who would prepare the way for the Messenger of the covenant. This Messenger would suddenly come to His temple as a refiner's fire to purge and purify His priests, so that their offerings would be presented in righteousness. That messenger was John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the Messenger—Jesus Christ.
This prophetic passage has application today as the Lord has prepared and is commissioning a company of prophets in the spirit and power of Elijah to preach and lead the remnant church into repentance and a baptism of fire that will precede the coming of the King of glory (Malachi 3:1-3, Luke 1:17, Psalm 24:7-10).
The Spirit of Judgment and Burning
In like manner, the prophet Isaiah received the revelation that the filth of Israel's sin had to be purged before the Shekinah glory of God would fill and cover their tabernacles and assemblies. A few chapters later, Isaiah had a face-to-face encounter with the Lord wherein he realized that, as one of God's prophets, he had to be among the first to experience this fire baptism. The sin that Isaiah and Israel needed to be convicted of, confess and be cleansed of was that of unclean lips (Isaiah 4:4-6; 6:5-7).
Interestingly enough, during Isaiah's heavenly encounter he witnessed seraphim crying out before the throne, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!" Indeed, the fullness of the outpouring of the glory of the Lord is inextricably linked to the holiness of God. While the enemy in recent years has attempted to defile the church at large through hyper-grace teachers whose messages condone sin instead of convict of sin, the remnant church is embracing the spirit of judgment and burning—perfecting holiness in the fear of God (Isaiah 4:4; 6:3, II Corinthians 7:1).
In order for the next level of heaven's glory to manifest in our midst with undeniable signs, wonders, miracles, healing, deliverance and conversions, the remnant Church must experience a baptism of fire and a purging of our lips.
James, the brother of Jesus, found it necessary to address the church in his epistle regarding the defilement of the whole body by the tongue—a member that is set on fire by hell. Defile means "to make unclean or impure, to corrupt the purity or perfection of; to violate the sanctity of; desecrate, dishonor or contaminate." Later in his epistle, James identifies accusation as the sin that would bring corporate defilement (James 4:11-12; 5:9).
James 3:6 "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell."
Fasting Accusation & Feasting Intercession
Both the ministry of accusation and the ministry of intercession continue in heaven to this day. While the accuser of the brethren, Satan, will ultimately be cast down, we partake of the ministry of accusation when we speak evil and grumble against one another, thus defiling the Body of Christ. Conversely, when we resolve to intercede for one another, we participate in the ministry of intercession, which Jesus champions from heaven (Revelation 12:10, Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25).
Recently, the Lord prompted me to call our church to a 40-day fast from accusation, and feast of intercession. He revealed to me that accusation, back-biting, gossip, and complaining had brought a measure of defilement to our church, and that a churchwide fast from accusation and feast of intercession would release a spirit of judgment and burning to cleanse our lips in preparation for the next level of glory the Lord desired to bring us into.
Indeed, the remnant church must pursue holiness in this hour, without which we will neither see the Lord, nor experience the fullness of His glory that accommodates the sweeping awakening and revival He desires to bring to America and the nations (Hebrews 12:14).
Let's Pray. Father, we cry out to you for a fresh baptism of fire! Send the spirit of judgment to convict us of our sin, and the spirit of burning to cleanse us of our sin. Grant us repentance to the acknowledging of the truth regarding our sin. Take the coals from Your altar and cleanse our lips. Cleanse us from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Set a guard over our mouths, watch over the door of our lips, and let no corrupt word proceed out of our mouths. Send forth your spirit of grace and supplication, that we might participate with You in the ministry of intercession to hasten the dispensation of the next level of glory, drawing us closer to You and the awakening You desire to bring to the nations, in Jesus name, Amen.
Rob Winters is a prophetic revivalist and senior pastor of the Prepare the Way International Revival Center, an apostolic and prophetic expression of the ekklesia, located in Phoenix, Arizona. He is author of numerous books, including Prepare America! – Hope for a Nation in Crisis, Turning America Back to God and Prophets and Prophetic Ministry. For more information, visit his website at www.preparethewayint.com.
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