BAPTISM BY FIRE
I want to preface my testimony with a background piece. Some, like Rev. David du Plessis (1905-1987), believed that there were two baptisms available to the believer. First, there is a Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and then a Baptism by Fire. David, in his autobiography ['Mr. Pentecost'] writes of this, and this was his own personal experience.
In my own reading of Mr. Pentecost, I wondered about such a teaching, but did not otherwise give it much thought. Nor, did I consider it necessary to arrive at a Scriptural basis for his teaching. I merely placed David's teaching upon my heart, and quietly asked the Lord for understanding and counsel regarding it. Yet, as I quietly reflected upon this teaching, and since I had powerfully encountered God in my own Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I had no reason to be skeptical about God's ability to manifest His reality in such a powerful and unique manner.
Indeed, on occasion I had heard the testimony of other Christian men and women regarding their own experience of Fire Baptism. So, I now believe that the Holy Spirit has prompted me to share my own witness at this time.
I trust I do so with the requisite humility such a disclosure requires.
December 16, 1997 - After Midnight
I awake, and I am immediately aware of God's presence (the 'hovering' of the Holy Spirit). About a week earlier I had an identical experience–but I was unable to open my heart to receive what God was offering.
This time I pray: 'Lord, I am not worthy that Thou should come unto me, but only say the word, and I shall be healed.'
Then, I hear the Word: 'At last!'
And the Holy Spirit enters my soul and a voluminous River of Life pours into me. It was both painful and ecstatic. It lasted for about five or six seconds. After this experience, I prayed in the spirit for some time.
The day following, I write in my journal:
'Since that time, I am very aware of His Presence and His place in me. My soul rises and falls–I can feel it.'
I also comment that I am hopeful that this extraordinary moment will usher in the kind of healing I so dearly require due to the many wounds I suffered in my childhood, and those wounds self-inflicted due to my errant early adult life.
In my journal, I also write on December 17th: 'His presence always. Trying to get used to what's going on. Prayer in the evening is great.'
I write: 'Tonight awakened again. The Holy Spirit comes–different this time. I am filled, but it is electric and quite painful.
I then hear: 'The Finger of God is upon you.'
In my journal the day following I write: 'Fairly awesome statement. What is to come? Shall I experience more of this? I seem to remember a prayer to be taken away with Him (not death).'
I write: 'I am shown the Lord as alone, utterly abandoned and unable to extend help and grace, and suffering at our loss. I hugged Him to comfort Him. I could not believe that He needed my comforting. He is so Great. Let us worship Him!'
I write: 'Solid Sleep—JOY TO THE WORLD!'