I believe John the Baptist mentioned three baptisms in this verse:
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”(Matthew 3:11)
Jesus experienced all three baptisms, and so will we if we follow Him completely.
There is often a backlash when we decide to follow Jesus’ example and become baptized in water. We also need to receive the Holy Spirit, which was expected-- and is even promised. Both baptisms require yieldedness and submission, which is what the enemy is fighting against.
Both baptisms can strain relationships, separate the generations, divide churches, and greatly complicate our lives. However, if we follow Jesus and let the Holy Spirit teach us, He will show us how to conduct ourselves and keep us from over-reacting. If we react, we can become misled, go to extremes, and bring reproach upon our experience.
This will wreck your life -- in the most wonderful way!
The third baptism is the baptism with fire. I believe that this largely pertains to how we are mistreated and misunderstood by those who do not appreciate the new life we have come into. I don’t think we can avoid it and remain true to our experience. We cannot compromise, deny our experience, or conform to the way things used to be. I don’t think we can minimize the amount of fire we are immersed into while trying to maximize the amount of power we want to come out with.
Let’s face it, the devil is not going to just sit back and let us come into more spiritual power. His goal is to shut us down. He momentarily uses the mouths of people around us to say what he wants to have said. It is always interesting to hear what they say, which reveals what the devil is afraid of most. God’s goal is to use whatever he throws at us to purify our motives and to cause us to depend more completely upon Him.
It is the price for the privilege!
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