Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire, Part I
"I indeed baptize 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 baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Matthew 3:11
The beginning of a new and living way had begun with the advent of Jesus, the Son of the living God stepping out on to His mission field to make disciples and to build His church of living stones. The old way was to be done away with and new wine was about to be poured out into a totally new wineskin. No more temple, ritual or dead man-made religion, the Holy Spirit was going to reside from now on in the hearts of men who are washed with the Savior's own blood and purified with the very fire of Heaven!
His kingdom had come and His will was being done on earth as it was in Heaven. God came down clothed in flesh to cleanse mankind from the generational curse of Adam with His own blood to set the captives free once and for all from the bondage of sin! The world was about to be turned upside down and the entire religious landscape would change from a dry and lifeless ritual to a vibrant living breathing temple of human beings filled with the Spirit of God! Unbelievable to many, impossible to the established religious leaders, but life changing to the poor and needy of the world, a Savior had come from Heaven to set them free, deliver and heal them, and even raise their dead!
I don't think we can grasp the full understanding of what Jesus did when He came to earth as a God-King to rule the world because we are so infected with religion and sometimes I think people believe this old, old story is just a fable or a fairy tale for children because if we really believed that Jesus died, was buried and rose again to give us life eternal we would act like Him! The assembly of the saints of God are now the same as their Lord, they have been resurrected from their fleshly graves, delivered by the power of God, washed in His blood and empowered with His Spirit to do the greater works that will continue His kingdom on earth until He returns!
The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death, Light has dawned. Matthew 4:16
THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS NO LONGER A PLACE TO GO
"Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2
When Jesus was dying on the cross, the angels of God were tearing the veil of separation in two in the temple to signify that man no longer needed a fleshly priest to go before the Most High. The old priesthood was done away with along with it's rituals, traditions and laws and man was free to go before the throne of God by grace alone. When Jesus told the disciples that there would not be one stone upon another He meant that the whole religious system was coming down and a new and living way was about to be established in Him!
Man was the new temple made of flesh and blood and the Spirit of God would dwell in them, building a house with living breathing organic material that would ultimately become His body. A spiritual man was created by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. When He arose He became the Head and we became His body in the earth, an exact replica of Him, empowered with His Spirit and commissioned to do the greater works that He said we would do. What we have today is a cheap imitation, demonically inspired to seduce man back under the bondage of the old priesthood, complete with temple, priest, (Senior Pastor) and rules, regulations and laws. This is why the modern day consumer driven, event-motivated, pastor ruled churches are dead and lifeless, because Jesus destroyed this system 2000 years ago!
The most powerful assembly of believers that ever lived upon the earth, filled with the Spirit of the living God and free from the bondage of religion, turned the world upside down, seeing thousands saved and delivered without the aid of Bibles, leaders, (the apostles didn't lead, they prayed and interceded for the saints) deacons, (deacons didn't come along for years) pews, buildings and media to distract them, and all they left was transformed new creations in Christ! There are no Cathedrals to see, no monuments to men or ancient artifacts to be amazed by, just the story of a Savior and His body of believers who changed the world by His Spirit. Sadly, today the only signs we see in front of the millions of man-made temples are the time and temperature.
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your spirit, which are God's. I Corinthians 6:19,20
YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER
"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
I am convinced that if Jesus had built a building and named it the First Church of the Firstborn Pentecostal Assembly of New Creations in Christ that that's all Christianity would have today, a dead and lifeless monument to a dead Savior, a museum of man's accomplishments and the memory of a potted plant instead of a living vineyard of the Lord of Hosts!
Jesus built a building of flesh, men and women sold out, blood bought and filled with power, sent to give testimony of His resurrection and preach the gospel of the kingdom around the world. The kingdom of God is not static, it is a living breathing organic vineyard that cannot be contained, boxed in or potted. Jesus is continuing His ministry upon the earth through us, walking about in His living stones while all the while millions sit in darkness in man-made temples of wood, hay and stubble, rotting away in a lifeless ritual of good intentions, always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth! This is the reason for all the hype and promotion that these modern day CEO'S of "Mega Mania" are desperate for, to fill these temples of doom with nice clean white middle class tithers to pay their bulging overhead and pay their six-figure incomes. It doesn't matter that they are lost, it only matters that they show up and give and if they put on a good enough show they will eventually join up and stay in their comfortable little sheep pens, get counted, die and have a nice funeral!
If you are tired of this nonsense and the fact that the church of the living God is being mocked and scorned because of the wolves and devils, false profits and charlatans, then do this: shake off the dust and bonds of man-made religion and escape into the arms of the Savior who will bring you into the true fellowship of His sheepfold. The truth will make you free and making Jesus the Head, Master and Lord of your life will deliver you and allow you to ask to be filled with His glorious Spirit and become a true follower of Christ! The body of Christ was not meant to sit in a pew and die, you were meant to exercise your gift by becoming involved in His harvest, making disciples and build the kingdom according to His divine specifications. This is God's will for His blood bought saints!
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? (Satan) Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God. And they shall be My people." Therefore, "Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." II Corinthians 6:14-18