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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : To know the Holy Spirit

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Matt 3:11-12

I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

From these three verses we will look at three points

The Holy Spirit
His baptism with fire
His winnowing fork
These three points speak of the same thing. Our Lord said of John the Baptist, that of all men born of women, none is greater than him. But in the kingdom of heaven, the smallest will be the greatest and greater than John the Baptist.
Men want to be great and fight for position, but that is foolish. If you desire to be great here on earth, you do not have God's Spirit.
Why was he so great? He did not heal the sick or raise the dead, but his greatness was in what he spoke.
He said that, "He who comes after me is much greater than I , who will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

A certain American preacher called a Dutch Reformed and Baptist minister to the front and asked them, "when you baptise people who uses the most water?" Obviously the Baptists do. But the problem is that when both parties baptise people, the tongue is not baptised. There are both Baptists and Dutch Reformed people who gossip, slander and ruin other's characters by their tongue.

The Holy Spirit: When the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus He descended as a dove, but when He descended on the disciples at Pentecost, He descended as tongues of fire, signifying that the first to be touched and transformed when a person is baptised with the Holy Spirit is a person's tongue.
If you take a stone and put it for a thousand years in a riverbed, immersed in water, it remains bone-dry inside. Water only affects the outside. But if you take that same stone and put it in fire, it becomes red-hot right through.
So too, when God's Spirit works, He melts us together into one red-hot body. There is no more schisms of I'm a White, Black, Colored or Indian. We serve Him as one.
Who is the Holy Spirit Jesus promised?
He is the Comforter. Some interpret it to mean that He patts one on the back and excuse your sin. But Jesus told us what it will be like when He comes.
- He will convict people of their sin. The Greek means to convict and convince you of your sin. He will leave you in no doubt as to your utterly lost state before God. There will be no self-justification and excuse for your sin. He is like a companion, right alongside you and speaks in a very clear way you understand.
- He convicts of Righteousness. Righteousness is uprightness of heart and to be in right standing with God.
- He convicts of Judgment, because the ruler of this world, the devil, is judged, and his power broken and his dominion taken from him.
These are the trademarks and characteristics when the Holy Spirit comes. If you do not know these things in your life, you do not know the Holy Spirit.
Study what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit and make sure that you are filled by Him.

His baptism of fire. Mal 3:2, 3, "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire. And like launderers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Many people were crying to God to send the Christ and to pour out His Holy Spirit when Jesus came. Today many are calling for His second coming. But the prophet asked, "who will be able to stand in the day of His coming?"
When you read the Bible, you must understand that it is not just a book, but the Living God speaking directly to you. God's fire refines the silver and gold and removes all the impurities so that only the pure silver and gold remains.
If you have been baptised with the Holy Spirit and fire, you will know it - there will be no doubt.

When the revival broke out in 1966 we were gathered together in a circle praying, and crying to God to pour out His Spirit. Suddenly one cried out, 'O Lord my tongue is burning. I cannot bear it. I spoke evil and gossiped'. Another cried out about his eyes burning for he looked at evil things and read books and magazines that were evil. Another's feet burned, and he took off his shoes and threw it across the room. He hit his feet as if putting out fire. He cried out, for he had walked into places a Christian should never go to.
People pray for God to pour out His Spirit, but are they able to bear Him?

His winnowing fan (threshing fork) is in His hand. He will purge His threshing floor, and separate the wheat and chaff. He beats the wheat so as to separate it from the chaff. He will burn the chaff in the fire, but gather the wheat into His barn. The wheat that does not separate from the chaff, is thrown into the fire together with the chaff.
When God uses His rod on you, He does so to separate the sin which besets you, lest you are thrown in hell together with the sin. If you do not use the rod prayerfully on your child, you hate your child.
Do not pray God to use His rod on you; rather pray that He will give you a changed heart before the rod is needed. When He does use His rod, it will be very sore.

Let us not be found wanting in this as Belteshazzer.
Each one should ask himself if he knows the Holy Spirit - that consuming fire which consumes all lies, gossip, immorality, etc.

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