Revelation 20:9 states “…and fire came down from God in heaven and devoured them.” This is the only thing comparable to a battle that is found among the final passages from the last book in the Bible. Yet there is no trace of armies and warfare. It says God will have the only weapon (“fire from heaven”), and that he will destroy all who had not worshipped Christ: “the Lamb of God.” So, the final judgment will be completely one sided.
Christ said that he will return in “flaming fire.” Perhaps you may recall the phrase baptism of fire? John the Baptist stated: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matt. 3:11-12). In the vision recorded in Revelation 20, the angel showed the Apostle John that all who would hear the prophecy, and who are on the Lord’s side, would be with God for eternity. The second and only other situation is that those who paid no attention, or who did anything else than what they were told to do in the Word of God, will be baptized in the “lake that burns with fire and brimstone” forever.
Yet some people teach that all believers will receive both baptisms while here: that the two are related, due to the phrasing where John the Baptist said “…he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” They say this is a good thing and the baptism of fire is a must have for believers. I have friends and acquaintances who have been taught this; and some who say they have already been baptized both with the Holy Spirit and fire. Perhaps you may have heard similar things?
Does immersion in fire sound good to you?
I attended fire academy and worked as a volunteer fireman for a few years, and without even thinking about it, I’m sure that immersion in fire is always fatal. Teaching that it is a desirable thing is contrary to the Scriptures and to plain old good sense. Plus, you do not need me or anyone else to point that out. What did Mama tell you would happen if you played with fire? The scriptures state the camp of the faithful “in Christ” will be surrounded by ever increasing wickedness until Judgment comes – “the Day of the Lord,” and then it will be light’s out and game over.
The reward for ignoring God’s Word or getting it wrong is to spend eternity in “the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.” That is where and when souls will be “baptized” or “immersed in fire.” The transliterated word baptize means – to sink or to immerse. So, this is a dire warning. The Word also says the lake of fire will never run out of fuel. In every place where these things are said, we are warned that we need to choose right away – now – before we die and before it’s too late. If we don’t, then a choice will be made for us without our consent.
This was the final wake-up call. The scriptures state: Satan will receive his reward and will be cast in “the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:10). The “beast” and “false prophet” will have been there for a “thousand years.” (That’s a long time even if it does not literally mean an exact period of 1,000 years). Then at judgment we will all receive what is due. Those to whom glory is due – eternity in heaven. Those who fail to recognize and honor God and Christ to a baptism of fire. The point is – the last defeat of evil is in the very capable hands of The Lord God Almighty. It will be accomplished on his schedule, at the end of time, just as he said; and all options will have run out for us by then.
John the Baptizer prophesied that Christ would come and bring along with him a “baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire.” That means two things are on the way. Jesus said so too. On the Day of Judgment everyone will be “baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” You must answer the call here by hearing the Word of God, believing what Jesus left for us by confessing him as Christ, repenting and being baptized in his name, to “put on Christ,” while we are still breathing and alive. That is the only way to escape the other baptism. If we turn away or ignore Christ’s call, then at judgment we will be “immersed in fire.”
Do we get it? Do we understand the words that appear in front of our eyes on the printed page? Can we distinguish good from bad? Will we continue to listen to stories of dreamy images or tall tales and bad teaching from preachers who tell their own version of things and not God’s?
Although I am a simple man, I do not need to be told that the baptism of fire is a good thing. I instinctively know it is not true.