The Baptism of Fire is Ready!
By Pastor F. M. Riley
May 5, 2015
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar……..Annas and Caiphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John, the son of Zachariah in the wilderness.
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make His paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low;
and the crooked places shall be made straight, And the rough ways shall be made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Luke 3:1-7
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire,” Luke 3:16.
On December 8, 2012, I wrote and sent out a Bible Study entitled “The Five Baptisms.” Many of my readers were surprised at that study, for most had never thought about there even being any baptisms other than water and Holy Spirit baptism. Yet all the time the inspired Word of God has clearly stated that there are five distinct baptisms mentioned in God’s Word.
Let’s pause right here to define the meaning of “baptism,” so our readers will have a clear understanding of the subject we are discussing in this study.
The English word, “baptism,” is translated from the Greek word, “baptizo.” This Greek word literally means “to dip, plunge under, submerge, or immerse.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 94, Strong’s No. 907. In Romans 6:4-5, the inspired Apostle Paul refers to baptism as a burial. I couldn’t care less what some denominational preacher or priest says about baptism. There is neither example nor precept found in all of God’s Word for sprinkling or pouring a little water on someone and calling it baptism. If having a little water sprinkled or poured on you, is all the baptism some readers have, then they DO NOT have Scriptural baptism.
Plain “common sense” should tell any reader how unscriptural is the theory of sprinkling and pouring water on someone to “baptize” them. Try this with your deceased loved one. Just take their body to the cemetery, lay their body out on the burial site, and sprinkle or pour a hand full of dirt on them, and go your way. The next time you return to visit their grave site, you will likely find their bones scattered all over the cemetery,
where animals have left them after devouring all of the flesh from off the bones. Folks, the words “baptizo” literally means a burial, and no person dealing honestly with the Scriptures can make it mean anything else. PERIOD!
The Five Baptisms
Now, if our readers have carefully read the Scripture text set forth above for this Bible Study, there four distinct baptisms mentioned in this text alone. Count them for yourself.
The baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, Luke 3:3.
The baptism in water, Luke 3:7; 3:16.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit, Luke 3:16.
The baptism of Fire, Luke 3:16.
Mark, in his gospel, was inspired of God to explicitly say that the baptism of repentence is “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” Mark 1:1-4. Unless one is baptized [immersed] in repentance [Godly sorrow for their sins and lost condition] they cannot even be saved, Acts 20:17-21; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10.
Baptism in water is a public confession by the person being immersed in water, that they are not ashamed to publicly identify themselves with, and profess their faith in, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for their sins, was buried, and rose again.
The baptism with the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit] came upon the Lord’s church on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-4. On that day the entire church of the Lord Jesus was immersed in the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit “filled all the house where they were sitting,” 2:2. Every true believer who then identifies themselves with a Scripturally true church of the Lord Jesus, then becomes a partaker of that Holy Spirit baptism, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.
The predicted baptism with fire has yet to occur. Yes, there were “cloven tongues of fire” which sat upon every member of the Lord’s church on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:3, however, this is not the baptism with fire that John was speaking about. The “baptism with fire” means literal, real, genuine, FIRE, and this baptism has not yet occurred. This baptism with fire will occur in the future Tribulation period, when millions of people on the earth will literally be immersed in fire. Carefully study Isaiah 24, the entire chapter, especially taking note of 24:4-6.
These are the four baptisms clearly mentioned in the Scripture text chosen for this Bible study. But there is one more baptism mentioned in God’s Word, which is not mentioned in this text…..
Our readers should remember that the mother of John and James came to the Lord Jesus on one occasion, asking Him to allow her two sons to sit on each side of His throne when He establishes His kingdom, Matthew 20:20-23; Mark 10:35-40. In the course of their conversation, the Lord asked John and James if they were able to be baptized with the baptism that He was going to be baptized with? They confidently replied that they were able. The Lord assured them that they would indeed experience that same baptism, and they later did! What baptism was this?
It was the baptism of blood! Folks, when Christ was crucified, He was so abused, both before and after He was nailed to the cross, that His body was literally immersed in His own blood. And yes, both John and James were later martyred and did indeed suffer this same baptism. And not only them, but millions of other Christians during the past
two thousand years of this dispensation have likewise experienced “the baptism of blood,”
as they have lain down their lives as martyrs for the Lord Jesus Christ. There are some true believers suffering this “baptism of blood” even today in various countries around the world. Oh, how we ought to be earnestly praying for our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ every single day. What is now happening to them in other countries, could easily begin to happen right here in America at any time. Are our readers ready to experience “the baptism of blood” if the Lord should call upon us to do so? How strong is your faith, and how much do you really love the Lord? Think and pray about it!
Four of these Five Baptisms have “come to pass”
It is, or should be, glaringly obvious that every true believer throughout this present dispensation of grace has been baptized with “the baptism of repentance.” Likewise, most true believers have followed their Lord in receiving “the baptism of water.” Certainly those true believers who have identified themselves with a true, Bible believing, church of the Lord Jesus Christ have become partakers of “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Millions of true believers during this present dispensation have sealed their testimony for Christ with their own blood as they became martyrs for Christ, thereby experiencing “the baptism of blood.”
Dear readers, that leaves only one baptism yet unfulfilled…..
“The Baptism of Fire.”
Over and over again in the prophecies of the Old Testament, the future seven year Tribulation period is described as a time of “fiery judgment” as our offended and angry
God pours out His wrath upon the unbelieving, rebellious, Christ rejecting, God hating, world. Where is this FIRE coming from? It will be coming from both the heavens above the earth, and from beneath the surface of the earth.
The prophetic Scriptures clearly state that real, literal, FIRE, will fall upon mankind from out of the heavens above the earth, Revelation 6:12-17; 8:1-13.
The prophecies also indicate that the earth itself will experience massive cataclysmic upheavals and FIRE will come up from the depths of the earth, Isaiah 13:6-12; Joel 2:30; Acts 2:19; Revelation 9:1-2; 14:9-11.
In Isaiah 24:1-6 it is explicitly stated that because mankind on the earth has transgressed God’s Law, changed God’s ordinance, and broken God’s everlasting covenant with mankind, “therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.”
The prophet Malachi was inspired of God to speak of this in Malachi 4:1-3, “For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Even as I write today, there are volcanoes erupting in various places around the whole earth. And again today, as it has been for nearly all of this past year, there will be one or more major earthquakes occurring. Folks, 2 + 2 still equals 4. The earthquakes cause
volcanoes to go into eruption. The erupting volcanoes bring fire, and also heat up the atmospheric temperature of the earth. When gigantic earthquakes start occurring, and they will occur, hundreds or even thousands of volcanoes will go into eruption all over the earth. The Hebrew word translated as “pillars” in Joel 2:30, literally means “standing upright columns of smoke.” Look it up in your own Concordance or Lexicon. These columns of smoke will be seen all over the earth, as more and more volcanoes erupt. With the increase in erupting volcanoes, the heat on the earth will become unbearable, so much so that people left on the earth at that time will flee into the caves and dens of the earth to escape and survive the extreme heat. Read Isaiah 2:19-22.
Yes, dear readers, we are speaking of the time when all mankind left on the earth following the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, will literally be immersed in fire. Millions of unbelieving, Christ rejecting, people will be burned alive in this “baptism of fire.”
However, the believing “remnant” of Israel will survive, for the Lord God has preordained that they will be protected from the effects of the fire.
John the Baptist was preaching directly to the masses of Israel in Luke 3:16-17. Because of their unbelief and rejection of their promised Messiah, John then told them directly that the Lord would “baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire, Luke 3:16.
Keep in mind that the Lord’s Church on Pentecost in Acts 2 was composed of 120 Jewish believers, and they were all immersed in the Holy Spirit, 2:1-3. Likewise, the “remnant” of Israel during the coming Tribulation will be immersed in FIRE. However, the Jewish “remnant” will not be harmed by the fire, but all wicked, incorrigible, unbelievers will be burned up as “chaff,” Luke 3:17. See also Zechariah 13:8-9.
The Miracle of Israel’s Preservation
Yes, a notable miracle is going to take place during the coming Tribulation, which will serve as a “witness” to all mankind on the earth at that time. Just as the Lord God made a difference between Israel and the Egyptians as He delivered ancient Israel from Egypt, so once more the Lord God is going to make a difference between the believing “remnant” of Israel and the unbelieving lost world around them. The fires that will come upon the earth during the Tribulation, burning to ashes millions of incorrigible, unbelieving, Christ rejecters, will not have any destructive effect on the repentant, believing Jewish “remnant.” Impossible, some reader may say! How do I know this to be so? Because the inspired Word explicitly says so!
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned: neither shall the flame kindle upon thee,” Isaiah 43:1-2. Oh, glory to God! Praise the Lord!
Read this entire 43rd chapter of Isaiah. Could this be stated any plainer? The Lord God is going to reveal His love for Israel in a mighty miracle of saving GRACE during the coming Tribulation. The same fire that will destroy millions of God hating, Christ rejecting, incorrigible, unbelievers, will merely cleanse the dross off of the repentant, believing Jewish “remnant.” Glory to the God of Israel; to my Father and my God! Is He your Father and your God? Think about it!
Over and over again in the Old Testament, the serious student of the Scriptures is told to “remember the former things of old.” The Lord God has a special lesson for us in
those things that He calls upon us to “remember.” So…..
How many of our readers remember the account of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace as set forth in Daniel 3? “3” is the Bible number signifying “resurrection.”
Who was ruling over Israel and the Jewish people at that time? Babylon? Who is prophesied to be ruling over the whole world during the coming Tribulation period? The anti-christ will be ruling from Babylon, Revelation 17 – 18.
Why were the three Hebrew children thrown into the fiery furnace? Because they refused to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s image. Isn’t there going to be an image erected to the anti-christ during the coming Tribulation? Of course there is! Revelation 13. Will the Jewish “remnant” bow down and worship it? Absolutely not!
Did the Lord God Himself walk with the three Hebrew children in the furnace of fire? He sure did! Did the fire then kindle upon the three Hebrew children? It did not! It did nothing more than burn off their bonds and set them free. Will the “baptism of fire” kindle upon the repentant, believing, Jewish “remnant” during the coming Tribulation? It will not! Rather, it will burn away their bonds of unbelief, and set them free “in Christ” for time and eternity. Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank you Lord Jesus!
Sorting out the Baptisms…..
Dear readers, each of these five baptisms are assigned a particular place to occur in God’s great Plan of the Ages. This is called “rightly dividing the Word of truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15.
Mark was inspired of God to explicitly state that “the baptism of repentance” is “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” Mark 1:1-4. Under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, as the word of God is preached in truth, men and women, are made aware that they are lost sinners, and in Godly sorrow for their sins, they come to Christ Jesus for salvation, John 16:7-15. Thus “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” is experienced in the life of every true believer, Mark 1:4.
John the Baptist came “baptizing with water,” Luke 3:16. Water baptism was to continue throughout this dispensation of grace, as a “mark” or “sign” or public confession of one’s having placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior. Christ Jesus clearly stated that if one was ashamed to confess Him before men, He would not confess them before the Father in Heaven, Matthew 10:32-33. No, baptism in water is not the means of salvation, but it is a public confession of one’s faith in Christ, which faith does save the soul, Ephesians 2:8-10. After I was saved at eleven years of age, I immediately confessed my faith publicly by following my Lord in water baptism.
As I united with a Scriptural, Bible believing, Bible preaching, church of the Lord Jesus Christ, following my salvation and baptism in water, I became a partaker of “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” with which the Lord’s church was baptized in Acts 2.
Most believers living today have never had to experience “the baptism of blood,” yet we are very much aware that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ in other countries are experiencing that baptism today, and that the possibility of being called upon to
experience it right here in America is very real. If we should be called upon to experience this baptism today, would our hearts, minds, and souls be ready? Think about it, and pray for yourself and for your fellow believer.
Since all four of these baptisms are, or have been, in operation in this present dispensation, this leaves only one baptism which has not yet come into effect. But dear readers…..
“The Baptism of Fire” is now Ready to Begin
Whether some readers will like it or not, or want to believe it or not, mankind on the earth is right now staring the beginning of the seven year Tribulation period in the face.
Every “sign” in the inspired prophecies of God’s Word, which was predicted to precede and warn of the coming Tribulation period, has come to pass, or is coming to pass with every passing day. Read again in Matthew 24:4-8, what the Lord Himself had to say about world conditions which would immediately precede the Tribulation period. Folks, they are here! They are being fulfilled daily right before our eyes, in our cities and streets, and are being reported on daily by the world news media. They are not coming! They are here! Stop playing silly little “religious” games, and wake up to reality!
Dear readers, I am not making a claim to knowing the exact “date” that the Lord is coming, but I do claim to know that the Lord’s coming is very near. God’s people [true believers] are supposed to know “the times and the seasons,” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4. If any reader claims to be a true believer, and is not aware of where mankind is at in relation to God’s great Plan of the Ages, maybe it is because they are not serious about STUDYING and BELIEVING the Word of God.
Dear believers, VERY SOON NOW your lost loved ones, friends, neighbors, and even casual acquaintances, are suddenly going to find themselves in “the baptism of fire.” How many of them will be saved? Only those who truly seek the Lord during the terrible Tribulation period, Joel 2:30-32. Yes, some will be saved during that time. But do you have any guarantee that it will be one of those lost loved ones, friends, or neighbors, that you love and care for so much? If YOU do not “witness” to them about the Lord NOW, then what real hope do you have of ever meeting them again in glory?
Dear unsaved friend, why have you “put off” settling the question of where you are going to spend eternity? Death IS NOT, and will not be the end of your existence. In spite of what the “willingly ignorant” evolutionists tell you, life continues right on after the death of one’s physical body. And God’s Word makes it explicitly clear that there are only two places for the eternal soul of men and women to go after the death of the physical body. True believers will pass into Heaven above, but lost unbelievers will pass into the fires of eternal damnation and torment, Revelation 20:15. I am not writing this to condemn you, but rather I write because I care about your eternal soul. I have no desire to see anyone spend eternity in Hell or the lake of fire. Please, please, seek the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, right now while you still have time and opportunity to do so. Read John 3:3-7, 3:16, 3:36, 5:24, 14:6, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31, Romans 10:8-13, and Ephesians 2:8-10. I would like to meet YOU in Heaven when the Lord comes to resurrect and rapture His people to glory. Please don’t disappoint me.
Any reader needing spiritual help, please feel free to contact me. I will study the
Word with you, pray with you, and help you in any way I can, to find salvation and peace
in Jesus Christ, or to find assurance of your salvation. God bless you all.
Permission is granted to any true believer, or Bible believing Christian ministry, to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
Thank you beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, for being so dear to me over these many years. By the way, it was 61 years ago this month of May, that I surrendered my life to the Lord’s ministry. Many have been my blessings over these past 61 years, and yes, many have been my trials and sorrows, yet I would not trade places with any person on this earth. It is almost time for me to lay down my cross and take up my crown. Glory to the Lord Jesus Christ, to my Heavenly Father, and to the blessed Holy Spirit. Pray for me.
Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org