Keep the Fire Burning

James Weidner III   -  

Matthew 3:11 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. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

1. Fire is inevitable.

“Holy Spirit and fire… or with unquenchable fire.”

    • It is either going to be the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.
    • Or that of unquenchable fire burning up the chaff.
    • His winnowing shovel is in His hand.
    • Winnowing shovel: A shovel used to winnow rice or grain from the chaff.
    • Ela… the first time we saw winnowing at work in the Philippines. The rice is left on the road

      side to dry out and wether a shovel or sheet they take and continually throw the rice in the air until the rice grains are separated from the chaff. And the chaff is then just blown away.

    • There is a great heap of chaff being stock piled for a day of fire.
    • So the fire we choose is really a no brainer choice when put in terms like that.
    • We need the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.

2. The baptism in fire.

“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

  • John said “One mightier than I will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
  • There is a promised Baptism spoken over and to all believers who would believe upon Jesus.
  • Understand what baptism is:

    to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk) to cleanse by dipping or submerging,
    to make clean with water,
    to overwhelm –

  • There are three baptisms because there are three different substances to be baptized into.

3. The Holy Spirit first baptizes us into Jesus.

John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw him:…”

  • The Father draws us to salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit moving upon the heart of a person.
  • That moment we sense ourselves becoming open and desiring God, whom we later learn to be Jesus, in our life… is the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • This is the reason no man can boast about salvation… it was God who drew you to God.

    Ephesians 2:8 (AMP)nFor it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

• Once we are in Christ…

4. Jesus then baptizes us into the Holy Spirit.

Matt 3:11 …… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

  • Ela… Jesus being the first. Then there is the substance of water that we are baptized into by someone. Then the Holy Spirit is the substance we are emerged into by Christ.
  • Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire.
  • We invite Jesus into our heart at salvation.
  • We invite Jesus to baptize us with the Hot Spirit and fire.
  • Jesus is the baptizer into the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is the source of fire.

5. A fire is kindled in our heart.

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Jer. 20:9 If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

  • God is a consuming fire.
  • He who is consumed by God will be on fire for Him.
  • Fire: a primary word; “fire” (literally or figuratively, specially, lightning): — fiery, fire.
  • The nature of fire is that it does not only consume some, but always all.

6. A fire is never satisfied.

Proverbs 30:16 – And fire never says, “Enough”.

  • Ela… Once a fire has started it will continue to burn as long as there are fuel and oxygen to feed it .The heat of the flame itself keeps the fuel at the ignition temperature, so it continues to burn as long as there is fuel and oxygen around it.
  • So in other words as long as there is flesh on your bones and oxygen in your lungs this fire needs to continue to burn in your life.
  • Fire, though on the surface can be so destructive, has a unique way of bringing forth new live.
  • Fire removes the ramble, from our fields, from our lives, and from our thoughts.
  • Helps us to prioritize from that which is important and that which is meaningless.

7. Baptized with tongues of fire.

Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV) 1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

  • The initial fulfillment of the word John the Baptist spoke.
  • A tongue of fire sat on each of them
  • Ela… like lighting a pilot fire in an oven. The spark is there. Turning up the temperature is up to us.
  • Then they began to speak with tongues of fire.
  • There is undoubtedly a correlation between being a believer and walking with and in the fire

    of the Holy Spirit burning in our lives.

  • At Solomon’s temple dedication a fire burned and consumed the place…
    2 Chron. 5:14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.
    1 Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

8. Keep the fire burning brightly.

2 Timothy 1:5-7 (NKJV) 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

AMPC 6 That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

  • How many of us like a good fire and a cold winter’s night?
  • What do you do when the fire begins to burn out…?
  • You give I more fuel, or you stoke it back to flame.
  • Rekindle the flame
  • Fan to flame the gift of God
  • The fire of desire can begin to wane by not continue to add fuel for the flames.

9. The Lord will not snuff you out.

Matthew 12:20 He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.

  • Jesus is faithful.
  • You will enter heaven with the faintest of flames.
  • Though it is the Lord’s desire that you enter with your flames burning bright.
  • Ela… Though I have known and seen people who at one time had the fire of God burning brightly in their life and today the fire appears to have gone out… at least on the surface Though, this is not the Lord’s doing.
  • Let us also not be one to snuff out a dimly burning fire.
  • Let us remain hopeful romantics always hoping the best for one to return to a brightly

    burning flame.

  • Ela… I once had a dear friend who, at one time, had a brightly burning light. He went the wrong path and we had a falling out. Years and years later when I first saw the guy again I gave him a hug and he apologized and I responded with it is gone, let’s start over and make up for lost time.
  • Let’s hold very loosely to past hurts and offensives yet ever increasing tightly to mercy and grace.

    10. Recognize and stoke the flame when your fire is waning.

  • Ela… Many of you know the story of Christina and I being called to China while in the Philippines. We both heard the voice of the Lord maybe audibly but it was clear and simultaneously. That fire of calling to go burned brightly for the next 4 plus years. We thought we would go straight from the Philippines to China. However, there was a detour in between when we returned to America. At first I was miserable because all I could think about was being in China. Then Hurricane Katrina blew through and provided a worthy distraction. By time we got to the other side of Katrina rebuild we had settled in, not thinking or talking much about China abymore. We were comfortable and the fire had waned. It took a shaking up and very uncomfortable circumstances that once again rekindled the flame and pushed us on into our destiny.
  • There are people who will not admit their desire is waning because that would not be walking in faith.
  • There are the ones who really don’t know how to first acknowledge and admit that their desire that once burned with a fire is now a barley flickering wick.
  • There are those who have never had a burning fire in your heart.
  • Wane = decrease in vigor, power, or extent; become weaker.
  • What do you do when you realize the flame is burning low?

    Rev. 2:5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

  • We are called to be a burning light.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV Strong’s) 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

• To be a people who offer hope through the light shining through our hearts.


  • stir up
  • to kindle up
  • Stoke the fire back to flame
  • inflame one’s mind, strength, zeal