John the cousin of Jesus had proclaimed that the Messiah would come with winnowing fork in his hand to separate the evil men from the righteousness and would bring a blazing fire on the world as a baptism of the Spirit of God. When Jesus started his ministry, he declared, The kingdom of God has come! The Kingdom of God is now here!” (Mark 1:15), so that his followers would have assumed he would do the things proclaimed of God in Psalm 97 “Fire goes before him consuming his foes….and all the people see his glory” and that John had proclaimed of Messiah ushering in the kingdom with a baptism of fire. Jesus also said now is the time to “Repent and believe the good news of the King’s arrival!” Wow, double-take! There is time to stop, take stock of what and where you are headed, and turn around to face this King with readiness and acceptance!
That meant the fire which the Messiah that John proclaimed was bringing on earth was either delayed a bit or that it was a different kind of fire than described in the Psalm 97, a deadly fire that consumes his foes. It did seem a different kind of fire that Jesus brought in himself, after his baptism in water and the Spirit. Jesus did casting out evil spirits from bound-up people and healing them, body and mind. He was bringing a fire that chases away the evil from the human, cleanses and purifies him. Jesus showed himself to be Lord over the nature of evil– but also Servant of humankind, to set individuals free from evil inside by his true love for them. Amazing twist!
So was the fire baptism which Jesus brought solely that different kind of fire—one that sends spiritual evil spirits packing, leaving individual humans free to know God? No, for the fire Jesus ushered in with the announcement of the Kingdom of God is so much more!
After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, he sent the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire baptism on his followers to give them power to boldly witness to his identity as Messiah King in the face of evil men—no matter what nationality or language– and that fire instilled powerful transformation of thousands of people simultaneously (Acts 2). What’s more, John the apostle had a revelation of the Second coming of Messiah King (Revelation 19:11-16) where he is bringing the fire of judgment on his foes with blazing fire shooting from his eyes and a sharp sword coming from his mouth to strike down nations who oppose his reign. So the fire that Messiah has brought is so much more than the cousin of John could envision at the first announcement of the arrival of the Kingdom of God.
And the TIME for repentance has been greatly extended by merciful God. There is still time to stop, take stock of what and where you are headed, and turn around to face this King with readiness and acceptance! BEFORE this Messiah returns with the fire in his eyes that literally consumes nations in a bloodbath in an instant! Kiss the Son of God now (Psalm 2:11-12), while there is time to receive his purifying freedom from the evil within you and to be transformed by his redeeming love, before he comes in judgment in the fire of his wrath on wicked lawless nations of which you are a part.
When you do kiss the Son, you can yourself become baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit to boldly witness to his identity as Messiah King. You yourself can become a blazing wonder that brings transformation to thousands and does astounding miracles that attest to His power and glory! Yet, you must keep the Servant heart that walks in righteous Love, like Jesus showed us, for He alone is the One that will come to consume them with the breath of His mouth. So your lightening bolts are meant to wake men up, so that they enter into His kingdom while there is time.