Fire in the Soul
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. Matt 3:11 NKJV
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:4-8 NKJV
Jesus promised His disciples that He would pray to His Father to send to earth the promised Holy Spirit (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit was sent to convict, convince, and reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. The Holy Spirit was also sent to abide in the believer to impart the nature of God in our spirit and soul and to fill us with the fullness of God. In our text above, John the Baptist called this fullness “fire.”
What is the fire? First let’s dispel what the fire is not: it isn’t necessarily jumping and shouting in a church worship service, dancing, being emotional and loud, acting unseemly, nor speaking in tongues for the sake of just speaking in tongues.
The “fire” is a burning zeal implanted into us at the baptism of the Holy Spirit, much like what the 120 disciples experienced on the Day of Pentecost: “then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:3-4).
Jesus told His disciples that the “fire” would be power to be a witness (martus): one that is willing to decrease in the self-nature so that the Spirit can increase. The word “witness” also implies that one has seen or heard something firsthand and would be compelled by the “fire” in his soul to witness–in Jerusalem (his city), in all Judea (state/province), even in Samaria (undesirable places down trodden places), and to the uttermost parts of the world– Christ’s resurrection and the advent of the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
When God sent the “fire” on the Day of Pentecost, it was in fulfillment of the Prophet Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28). Prior to Joel’s prophecy, men of God were only empowered selectively and infrequently. For example, shortly after Saul was anointed as king over Israel, the Lord spoke to Saul, through the prophet Samuel and he said, “the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.” This was not a permanent infilling of the Spirit but only a promised infilling for the specific assignment that God gave to Saul for the time that he would be in the city of Gibeah (1 Sam 10:6-7).
“Fire” in the soul will also manifest in Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 12:7). When the “fire” burns and churns within the soul, it will cause fruit to grow as it abides in the vine (John 15:5). It will also cause gifts of the spirit to be exhibited by and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Just know that Fruit Grows and Gifts Show the “fire” in our souls!