CONT., page 13
THE BAPTISM OF FIRE
We find regarding the second 2,000 year period of Christianity that it is a time of purification and cleansing - the white throne judgment, as well as a continuation of the fire from the Millennium where the "third part" was brought "through the fire." Kindled in the Millennium, this fire must carry on to those who are brought back from the grave or sleep. All Christians must pass through the fire, both those who are alive throughout the Millennium, as well as those who come from the grave in the final Elijah period.
Fire is a common testimony associated with this Elijah work. We find in 1 Kings 17 a very revealing two-part Remnant testimony. The first Remnant is pictured in Elijah at the brook Cherith where the ravens fed him bread and meat. Why ravens and why bread and meat? The raven is a picture of Satan who plucks out the eyes of those who mock the Father - Proverb 30:17. Bread is the word of God and meat is flesh, or the teachings of fleshly men. This is what was eaten in the wilderness - the bread from heaven and the requested flesh for which they were immediately cursed. This is likewise what the first Remnant ate and what Christianity has eaten ever since. It is a diet consisting of a mixture of the word of God - the bread - and the teachings of men - the flesh.
But the brook of the former rain dried up and the long breach of Christianity began, necessitating that Elijah find a new place - the place of the second Remnant, the house of the widow who defeated death and remained alive. We will not dwell on this but to note a most applicable thing about this second Elijah work. The place where the widow lived and Elijah occupied as a second Remnant experience was called Zarephath. What does Zarephath mean? As with the other evidences that the second Elijah work is a period of refining with fire, Zarephath means "place of purification with fire."
Let us add something here that is most revealing. We will be somewhat brief, though it could once again be a writing all in itself. We have said that the 2,000 year period following the Millennium that is identified with fire is the white throne judgment. Indeed it is. And as such we read in Revelation 20:12 that the dead, those Christians who died in the first 2,000 year Moses period, are judged from the things written in a book called "the book of life." It is a most interesting thing that the dead are judged by life! Why? Because this speaks of the very purpose of this white throne judgment in bringing forth life. And notice that it is a "white throne" judgment, not an ill black throne judgment. Why? Because Yahweh is going to effect righteousness in Christians whom He will judge from the book of life, even as He gives to him who overcomes "a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it" (Revelation 2:17). Again, the "stone" speaks of judgment, and this one too is white.
As we continue reading, we see that in order to effect this judgment, "the sea gave up the dead which were in it." What sea? Does this mean a literal sea? Of course not. This is the sea into which the 2,000 swine all went once Legion entered into them, or 2,000 years of Christianity. These who came out of the sea, or death and Hades, were then "judged, every one of them according to their deeds." Christians have often thought that whatever they do wrong, it is automatically "covered under the blood;" but they fail to consider that the blood they refer to, according to the laws of the sacrifice, was only for sins committed unintentionally - Leviticus 4:2, Numbers 15:27, and many others. Thus for the next 2,000 years following the Millennium, Christians will be judged or refined by the fire of the white throne of Yahshua in order that they may be purified. (Following are a few passages regarding the judgment of believers, as well as all men - Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Hebrews 9:27 and 10:26-27, James 2:13, and 1 John 4:17.)
This refining fire is also called "the lake of fire" in verses 14 and 15. It is also called "the second death." Unfortunately, most people equate this lake as some eternal hell or punishment of unbelievers (which is entirely fictitious), and is not at all the case. When John the Baptist spoke of Yahshua in comparison with his own calling, he stated - " As for me, I baptized you with water; but He who is mightier than I is coming, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire" (Luke 3:16).
What is baptism? Clearly, it is death. So what is a baptism of fire? It is death by or in fire! For Christians, this is the second death they must go through. It is a period of death even while they live, as Paul declared - "I die daily" (1 Corinthians 15:31). It is the promised baptism of fire that John said would come via the work of Yahshua. The body of Christ has already gone through a death in a water baptism under the Moses work in its first 2,000 years. This is the baptism represented by John's baptism. Likewise it is the first bird in Leviticus 14 which was slain over running water, or baptismal water. The running water John baptized men into was a picture of death. This too is the water into which Yahshua entered, foreshadowing His own death. The baptism John spoke of, on a higher level was in the end a baptism of literal death.
But of necessity there must be a "second death" or second baptism for Christians, and this takes place in the next 2,000 years, or the Elijah period that is clearly associated with fire. This is the fire that will purify Christians and prepare them for ascension into heaven to be born from above. This is the fire of the second baptism - the baptism by Yahshua "in the Holy Spirit and fire"! Thus we see on a corporate level both baptisms which John spoke of - the baptism in water unto death in the first 2,000 year period, and Yahshua's baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire in the last 2,000 year period. What Yahweh does for individual men, He performs corporately for the body of Christ. Even as men have individually experienced these two baptisms, they must be experienced corporately as well. For 2,000 years the body of Christ has passed through their Red Sea baptism. In the last 2,000 years they must pass through their Jordan baptism, preparing them as well for entering into the promised land.
This white throne judgment second death refining and baptism of Christians is also seen in Malachi 3:2-3, where we read:
"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap. And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to Yahweh offerings in righteousness."
Once one gets the true understanding of what the white throne judgment really is, along with the lake of fire and the second death, and that its purpose is to prepare Christians to ascend alive, this verse in Malachi 3 is most telling. Yahshua's purpose during this Elijah period of Christianity is to smelt, cleanse, and purify Christians so that they too can ascend before Yahweh and present to Him "offerings of righteousness." Up to this point, the only offering Christianity has been able to present to Him has been two loaves, or 2,000 years, of the leavened bread of Pentecost. This is the offering that must remain in the hands of the priest and can never ascend to Yahweh as an offering. In order for this to change, Yahweh must purify Christians in the second 2,000 year period.
Yahshua declared - "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled" (Luke 12:49). Yahshua will cast fire upon this earth, both in the Elijah work of the second Remnant, as well as in the Elijah period of Christianity where we see they are cast into the lake of fire.
This lake of fire is uniquely in contrast to the sea, which speaks of a place of death and waiting. Fire is never called a sea of fire, because the sea is a time for simply preserving - it is salt - whereas a lake of fire speaks of cleansing.
This contrast is seen in a most interesting way in a comparison of the gospels. We find in first Remnant Matthew and Christianity Mark that the 2,000 swine all went into the sea. But even as we have already seen here in this writing some remarkable contrasts between Matthew and Mark versus Luke, likewise we find that the swine in Luke did not go into the sea! Where did they go? Into "the lake"!
Do you think that this difference is intentional? If it is not, then why is it there? Isn't this "the word of God"? And if it is the word of God, then every word is His word, including these differences; and they are intentional and speak to us, if we have ears to hear.
So why in Luke did the swine go into the lake instead of the sea? Because the Luke work is the Elijah work that does not go to the sea of death like those before them, but rather must be purified with/baptized in the lake of fire of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit! This is the Spirit of whom Yahshua declared - "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment" (John 16:8). This work of the Spirit must undoubtedly be seen in the latter rain of His Spirit.
When Christianity is brought out of the sea as stated in Revelation, they will be thrown into the lake of fire reserved for their Elijah work. They will be judged from the things written in the book of life according to their deeds by Him who sits upon the white throne. Christianity will thus pass through the great white throne judgment for 2,000 years. This is the 2,000 baths uniquely seen in Solomon's "sea" in Christianity 1 Kings. Between that great sea and their place as the holy place in the temple where they belong, is a fiery bronze altar! There is only one way that Christianity can enter into the holy place, and that is through the fire of the altar. After coming out of their 2,000 bath sea of death, they will pass through the fire of the altar, their lake of fire. Only after passing through that fire are they prepared to present their "offerings in righteousness" to Yahweh in the holy place of His heavenly temple.
Following is a graphic summary of these two Moses and Elijah works. Carefully consider each one of these listed items, as each provides a unique perspective of these works.
Baptism of water
West - the setting sun
Baptism of Spirit and fire
Lake of fire
Mercy (see The Conflict)
East - the rising sun
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