“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee and escape from the wrath and indignation [of God against disobedience] that is coming? 8 Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart]; 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, We have Abraham for our forefather; for I tell you, God is able to raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones! 10 And already the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins]. But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fan (shovel, fork) is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out and clean His threshing floor and gather and store His wheat in His barn, but the chaff He will burn up with fire that cannot be put out. Matthew 3:7-12 AMP
Many people wondered whether John the Baptist was the Christ – the Messiah (Luke 3:15) – but he settled that issue when he told them that there was one coming who was mightier than himself. John baptized with water, but Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit and fire! Every one of us has two choices. You can be baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire here and now and allow the Lord to do a purifying work in your heart, mind and life or you can resist the Spirit of the Lord and be consumed by fire in the Day of Judgment. It is far better to yield to the Spirit of God here and now and allow Him to cleanse you – no matter how painful it is on your flesh and your self-will – than to resist Him and His work in your life and have to burn in hell for eternity.
It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter how important you are, how learned you are, how many degrees you have, how many titles you carry – or if you are nobody and have nothing at all –everyone has to go through the fire. You are the one who chooses which fire you go through – the fire of God now or the fires of hell later. The wheat will be gathered and stored in God’s barn – those who have placed their life in God’s hands will live with Him in His presence forever. The chaff will be burned up – those who have rebelled against God will burn in hell. Hell was not prepared for men, but for the devil and his angels, however, unless men submit to God and resist the devil, God has no choice but to leave them to their fate – the tormenting fires of hell.
Another parable He set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while he was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed also darnel (weeds resembling wheat) among the wheat, and went on his way. 26 So when the plants sprouted and formed grain, the darnel (weeds) appeared also. 27 And the servants of the owner came to him and said, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then how does it have darnel shoots in it? 28 He replied to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and weed them out? 29 But he said, No, lest in gathering the wild wheat (weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat along with it. 30 Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers, Gather the darnel first and bind it in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my granary. Matthew 13:24-30 AMP
God allows the wheat and the weeds to grow up together, unhindered, but again, at the time of harvest, there is a separation – the wheat is gathered to be stored safely in the granary, but the weeds are pulled out and burned.
The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil. 20 For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved. 21 But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are–wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him]. John 3:19-21 AMP
Don’t wait until it is too late – come to the light now, come to the Lord now. Allow Him to do a purifying work in your life, allow the fire of the Holy Spirit to purge and burn your weeds and your chaff and make pure wheat out of you, so that you will be gathered into the presence of the Lord at the time of harvest and be stored in His granary – abiding in His wonderful presence forever, even throughout eternity!