“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: (Matthew 3:11)
“John [who baptized Jesus] declared to the teachers of Israel that their pride,selfishness, and cruelty showed them to be a generation of vipers, a deadly curse to the people, rather than the children of just and obedient Abraham. In view of the light they had received from God, they were even worse than the heathen, to whom they felt so much superior. They had forgotten the rock from which they were hewn, and hole of the pit from which they had been digged. God was not dependent upon them for the fulfilling of His purpose. As He had called Abraham out from a heathen people, so He could call others to His service. Their hearts might now appear as lifeless as the stones of the desert, but His Spirit could quicken them to do His will, and receive the fulfillment of His promise.”
“And now also,” said the prophet, “the ax is laid unto the root of the tress: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s Law, they were not His people.”
“Under his heart-searching words, his hearers were convicted. They came to him with the inquiry, “What shall we do then?” He answered, “He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has one; and he that has meat, let him do likewise.” And he warned the publicans against injustice, and the soldiers against violence.”
“All who became the subjects of Christ’s kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives. They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of virtue and compassion. So the followers of Christ will give evidence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen. Otherwise they are like the chaff that is given to the fire.”
“Jesus would come to baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. The flood did not wipe out the living who trusted in God, to get into the Ark. The water did drown those who figured Noah was a crazy man even though they saw, animals coming into the ark, two by two. The word of the Lord to Israel was, “I will turn My hand upon thee, and prely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tine.” (Isaiah 4:4; 1:25) To sin, wherever found, “Our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29). In all who submit to His power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God,
which destroys sin, must destroy them. Jacob, after his night of wrestling with the Angel, exclaimed “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 43:30). Jacob had been guilty of a great sin in his conduct toward Esau; but he had repented. His transgression had been forgiven, and his sin purged; therefore he could endure the revelation of God’s presence. But wherever men come before God while willfully cherishing evil, they were destroyed. At the second advent of Christ the wicked shall be consumed “with the Spirit of His mouth,” and destroyed “with the brightness of His coming.” (2Thessalonians 2:8) The light of the glory of God, which imparts life to the righteous, will slay the wicked.”
Water: Water of Life, drinking of his Word, is Life
Fire: Purification of character, removing the dross, by His Holy Spirit endeavors to suggest, if we deny the cleansing process of His Holy Spirit, if:
we are choosing to deny His Holy Spirit, this is the only sin that keeps us out of Heaven. Mostly likely it is our pride and vanity, that keeps us bowing down to someone other than Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist boldly came to the Throne of God in humility, then to the Throne of King Herod, to give a message that would end his life, permanently the disciple of Jesus, would give his all, defending the one to come, his cousin, Jesus. In jail John sent messengers asking if Jesus was the one, to come, to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, and helped the lame to walk.
These metaphors, relate to the trials of Jesus, wanting to “heal” the sins of the Pharisees, to give “sight” and insight into real truth, that results in justice and mercy to the victim, and justice to the unjust. Conviction of Truth, brings Justice. But if man denies Truth, he is worthless. And there were those who were convinced, before
Jesus rose from the grave, that his mission was botched by the fingers who pointed to his questionable life style.
In Orthodox icons, he often has angel’s wings, since Mark 1:2 describes him as a messenger.
Messengers are generally not thought of as “angels.” Jesus himself a prophet, with a message can be understood as a man “with angel wings.” The concept of God, reaching man, from space, would require, “wings” or ability to move, fly, as we know today. Men with wings, today are called pilots. They fly through space.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:” (John 3:36)
Artist rarely had the ability to paint a picture with Jesus naked on the cross. His humility reached the hearts of many painters, who covered him with a loin cloth.
The ability of God to reach man, woman, child and youth today, is by His Holy Spirit! I once was moving, in the van was my young son with bottles before him, when the tire went flat. My Mother was following in the car. A man stopped to help us, and without thinking I told him, “You are my angel.” He shook his head and said, “I will have to tell my wife that.” And we laughed! However, when I was without my husband, who was ahead of me, and left alone, to get home, it was a blessing to have an “angel” of a man, to help get us back on the road.
More than ever, in today’s circles, there are women needing men, not to just fix their doors, but to keep unfounded rumors silents, about her character. When a man comes to my door, the eyes of the neighbors are apt to image something that is impure. lol It does keep them guessing. But for a single woman to keep these images of her “supposed wrongs with men,” is quiet a challenge…I don’t know where to begin!
Your questions, comments and reflection on these pages, gives me courage and insight. Thank You!