Holy Fire

Many years ago, my father gave me a book entitled, Don’t Lose That Fish by Ivor Powell, a Welsh Evangelist. Brother Powell loved to go fishing, just as me, so it was very natural for me to be engrossed into this particular work. His book illustrated how to be a better winner of souls from his fishing trips that he had taken while traveling around in the ministry!

This sermon outline is adapted from one of the chapters in Powell’s book dealing with ice fishing. He had traveled to Canada and was invited to go ice fishing. While approaching the lake, Brother Ivor noticed that there were buckets of fiery coals sitting by every fisherman. He asked why this was so and learned that it was to keep your hands warm. After all, you cannot grab your fish if your hands are frozen. This is also true when fishing for the souls of men. If we are cold spiritually, then we will not be prepared to win anyone to Jesus!

Title: “Holy Fire!”

Text: Leviticus 6:12-13Leviticus 6:12-13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

12 And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. 13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.  

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(Leviticus 6:12-13Leviticus 6:12-13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

12 And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. 13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.  

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) “And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”  (KJV)

Introduction:

•    Fire in the Scripture can be used to symbolize several things:

     From The Holy Spirit by John F. Walvoord pages 20-21 Zondervan
          o    Symbol of Lord’s presence – Exodus 3:2Exodus 3:2
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.  

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          o    Symbol of the Lord’s approval – Leviticus 9:24Leviticus 9:24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.  

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; I Kings 18:38; II Chronicles 7:1es 7:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.  

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          o    Symbol of the Lord’s protection – Exodus 13:21Exodus 13:21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:  

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; Zechariah 2:5Zechariah 2:5
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

5 For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.  

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          o    Symbol of the Lord’s discipline and testing – Malachi 3:3Malachi 3:3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.  

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; I Peter 1:7; Hebrews 12:29Hebrews 12:29
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

29 For our God is a consuming fire.  

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Revelation 1:14Revelation 1:14
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  

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          o    Emblem of God’s Word – Jeremiah 5:14, 20:9Jeremiah 5:14, 20:9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,  

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          o    Symbol of God’s judgment – Leviticus 10:2Leviticus 10:2
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.  

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          o    Symbol of Holy Ghost!

•    In our text it speaks of cleansing and purification through the offering on the altar.
•    This cleansing and purification are both prerequisites for fellowship with God!
•    God said that the fire should continually burn upon the altar!
•    So must the fire upon the altar of our heart, if I could use it this way!
•    In Matthew 24:12Matthew 24:12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  

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we find that the love of many shall wax cold. When you take that thought and compare it with Revelation 2:4Revelation 2:4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  

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where it says that the church at Ephesus left their first love, we see that our love and devotion for Christ can often be symbolized by coals upon a fire.

(Matthew 24:12Matthew 24:12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  

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) “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”  (KJV)

(Revelation 2:4Revelation 2:4
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4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  

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) “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”  (KJV)

•    If I could say it this way: “You need to be on fire for God, that is, you need to stay close to God so you can be a useful tool in the Master’s hand!

Transition:

•    I am preaching a message I got out of Ivor Powell’s book entitled, Don’t Lose That Fish!
•    The principle I want to drive upon your heart, the same of which Mr. Powell brought out in his fishing trip, is the fact that you cannot catch fish if your hands are cold!

A church will call a minister, place him in a refrigerator, and expect him to sweat! – Dr. Jowett

Proposition: When holy fire is present in our life it will do four things!

I.    Holy Fire Destroys Within Us That Which Is Evil!

(Leviticus 10:1-2Leviticus 10:1-2
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.  

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) “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”  (KJV)

A.    Nadab and Abihu sinned and the fire destroyed them.

B.    You and I, the closer we get to the Holy Fire of God, will stay away from evil.

C.    We will be less likely to be self-promoting!

D.    The strange fire of our day is found in contemporary music and liberal, carnal and apostate churches which are only concerned about one thing and one thing only – – – FLESH! Much more could be said!

E.    Keep your soul warm by the altar of God and you will stay away from sin!

II.    Holy Fire Promotes Humility In Worship!

(2 Chronicles 7:1-32 Chronicles 7:1-3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house. 3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.  

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) “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”  (KJV)

A.    When the presence of God filled the Temple they all were humbled.

B.    This is a far cry from what we see attributed to God in modern day worship! Dancing a jig in the presence of God is not humility!

C.    When we see Him and only Him everything else means little!

D.    Ivor Powell said it well: “That’s when we learn that what we are to God is infinitely above anything we might ever do for Him!”

E.    Keep your soul warm by the altar of God and you will find yourself humble and better able to worship God!

III.    Holy Fire Is Both Guarantee And Guide!

(Exodus 40:38Exodus 40:38
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

38 For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.  

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) “For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”  (KJV)

A.    God made His presence visible through a cloud and fire!

B.    During the night the glow of the fire was inviting and gave the people comfort of His presence!

C.    During the day the cloud went before them as their guide to the Promised Land!

D.    Ivor Powell: “In BATTLES His presence meant strength, In JOURNEYS His presence promoted fellowship!”

E.    Keep your soul warm by the altar of God and you will find that God is closely leading you and your will have a sense of divine direction!

IV.    Holy Fire Provides Power For Service!

(Acts 2:1-4Acts 2:1-4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 1 And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  

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) “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  (KJV)

A.    Without Holy Fire souls are not saved!

B.    Peter served many times with our Lord near, but when this Holy Fire was present souls were saved!

C.    Many times we drill a hole in the ice and never catch a fish. However, when we have the fire bucket at hand we are ready to catch something!

D.    Thus in order to serve God effectively we must stay close to the fire!

E.    Keep your soul warm by the altar of God and you will be empowered for service!

Conclusion:

To The Christian:

•    If we are to amount to anything for God whether in soul-winning, service, worship, fellowship, or just raising a family we must stay close to the fire!

To The Sinner:

•    Jesus Christ suffered, bled, and died that you might be saved. Repent and place your faith in Him so you will not have to burn in the flames of Hell for your sins perpetually!

Originally posted 2010-09-15 14:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Andrew Schank

Andrew Schank is an Independent Baptist Missionary/Pastor who loves to blog about spiritual matters! His main ministry website is http://www.togetherinthegap.com. Andrew is also a contributing author to two other blogs/websites including http://linked2leadership.com and http://www.ifbkjv.com. Pastor Schank's Church website is http://www.greatcommissionbaptist.org
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