Jentezen Franklin - What Happens When The Fire Falls?
I want to share with you what happens when the fire falls, what happens when the fire falls. Look in 1 Kings 18, and I will read in 1 Kings 18, for the sake of time, the 38th verse. "Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood and the stones and the dust and it licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and they said, 'The Lord, He is God. The Lord, He is God.' And Elijah said to them, 'Seize the prophets of Baal. Do not let one of them escape'". And I want you to notice that the fire of the Lord in verse 38 falls, and the people saw it. They fell on their faces and they cried, "The Lord, He is God".
Several years ago, the story is told of something that happened in Yosemite National Park. They had a spectacle called the Fire Fall. And they would gather all of the trees that had fallen throughout the year and they would pile them up on a granite mountain in Yosemite National Park and it would be this huge stack, just massive, massive pieces of wood that had been gathered from all over the forest. And they would pour gas and kerosene on those trees. And they would wait until the sun went down and they would light the massive, huge bonfire on the cliff of this mountain. And they had bulldozers that were ready to push the massive burning trees off of the side of that granite mountain and they would come flying down like a cascade of fire and waterfalls of fire is what they said it would look like.
But just before they would do that, all of the people that were gathered in a safe distance to watch the fire fall would cry out with a loud voice, this was the tradition. "Let the fire fall". And when they would say that, the bulldozers would push the burning trees off and the fire would fall and they would have a big celebration. And there was a man who was there and he came back some years later and he came at the same time, expecting to see the fire fall. And he asked the ranger, the forest ranger, he said, "When is the fire fall"? And the man said to him, "I'm sorry, sir. We don't have that fire fall here anymore. We don't have it here anymore. The fire doesn't fall here anymore".
That could be said of so many churches, so many places, and so many believers. At one time, they had a bright burning experience with God. The fire was falling, cascading, raining down on their souls. But then they looked around and firefighters had extinguished the fire and firefighters who felt like even in the church that it was their job to put the fire out, stop the fire from falling, and it could be said over many churches, "We don't have the fire fall here anymore". No longer is there a bright burning bonfire of praise and glory in many places and worship and joy and the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Now it's just a flickering ember of a once red hot fire. Gone is the praise. Gone is the glory. Gone is the enthusiasm and innocence and excitement of serving the Lord. Listen to this verse, Matthew 28:8. The five virgins that ran out of oil in the story of the bridegroom coming and they didn't have oil in their lamps. And the Bible said they said, "Give us your oil, for our lamps are gone out". One translation said, "Give us your oil", listen, "for our flame is dying". Dying flames; flames that were once ignited by the power and the fire of the Holy Ghost today no longer burn brightly for God. Their countenance does not shine. Their spirit and their light does not shine in a dark world.
We need a fire fall in our midst. We need the fire of God to fall on us again. "What is the fire of God, Pastor Franklin"? Number one, the fire of God is the symbol of deity. Listen to these verses. Hebrews 12:29, "Our God is a consuming fire". Malachi 3:2, "He shall sit as a refiner's fire and fullers' soap". Isaiah 4:4 said the Holy Spirit is "the spirit of burning". Isn't that something? He's the spirit of burning. Matthew 3:11, "He", speaking of Jesus, "shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and in fire".
Fire, secondly, is the symbol of acceptance and approval by God. When they offered an offering unto the Lord, the way that they knew that the Lord approved and accepted that sacrifice is fire in the Old Testament would fall from heaven and consume that offering. It was a symbol of the acceptance and the approval of God. Leviticus 9 said, "A fire went out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the sacrifice and the people shouted and fell on their faces". It was the approval and the acceptance of God upon their sacrifice.
In Genesis 15, Abraham split five animals and laid half on one side and half on the other, and he offered it as a sacrifice to God. And the Bible said, "There came a flickering fire". God descended in the form of a flame of fire and walked between the sacrifices. There was nothing but a flame of fire. God was saying, "I approve of this sacrifice". When the father of Samson offered God a sacrifice, the Bible said that fire shot out of the rock and the scripture said "and an angel came down in the fire", and it says, "and the angel of the Lord did wondrously", King James version says. Another translation said that he "shouted in the fire" or he "ascended in the fire".
Can you see an angel as fire shoots out of the rock and consumed the sacrifice and meal that Samson offered God and God consumed it with fire and then an angel starts dancing in the fire? It was a sign of God's approval. It was a sign of God's acceptance. When our lives get to the place that He can approve of us, He accepts us, He receives us because, not just because of the inward work but because we are at some point in our life so transformed that it begins to manifest outwardly and God sees our whole life as a sacrifice. When we get to that place, He accepts the fire and the will of God for our life, the fire will consume that sacrificial life that we live.
The fire is a symbol of God's presence. Wherever God was, there was a demonstration of fire. Zechariah 2, "I will be unto Jerusalem a wall of fire round about and the glory of the Lord in the midst of her". When the children of Israel walked through the wilderness, the Bible said that God led them by a pillar of fire. Egypt didn't see the fire. They were in darkness. They couldn't see it. Their enemies couldn't see it. But there was a fire over the nation of Israel and the people of Israel in the wilderness and they followed that fire and that fire led them. That fire had a guiding effect. That fire had an illuminating effect. That fire had an energizing effect upon God's people. It's a sign of God's presence.
The only fire that some churches have left is the fire in the kitchen. There's no fire in the pulpit. There's no fire in the pews. There's no fire in the singing. There's no fire in the choir. Come on. There's no fire in people's prayers. There's no fire in their praise. One preacher named Charles Spurgeon said, "Put some fire in the sermon or put the sermon in the fire". We need the fire of God. Come on and clap your hands if something in you says, "Lord, I would love for Your fire to ignite my soul".
Programs have replaced passion and power. It's time for the fire to fall. When worship becomes highly mechanical, it's time for the fire to fall. When we're bathed in immorality and our heart is no longer convicted, it's time for the fire to fall. When nudity is called art and believers are okay with it invading their homes, it's time for a fire fall. Timothy said in Timothy 1:6, "Stir up the gift of God that is you". One translation said, "Rekindle the fire that is within you". Stir up the gift or in other words, fan the flame. Keep it burning. Fire comes from the Lord, but we have to keep it burning. God will send the fire, but you have to put wood on the fire.
Proverbs 26:20 says, "Where there is no wood, the fire goes out". Isn't that profound? If you don't put wood on the fire, it's just a matter of time before all you have is ashes. And some of you have ashes were there used to be fire because you're not putting wood on the fire. The Bible reading is the wood on the fire. Prayer is the wood on the fire. Praise is the wood on the fire. Living holy and forgiving your enemies is the wood on the fire. Resisting temptation when nobody's looking is wood on the fire. Take a praise break and say, "Let the fire fall on my soul again, Holy Spirit". Glory. Keep the firebox full of wood. Clean out the firebox. You can't neglect it.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 said, "Quench not the Spirit". Don't put fake logs in there. We need the real thing in this hour. We don't need to be a fakey Christian. We don't need to be a fake that acts like we've got real heat and fire but we don't have it. O God, don't distinguish the Spirit's fire; help me not to in my life and in my church. Do not subdue the Spirit's fire. There's an old song that they used to sing in the church, and the words go like this: "I've got a glad new touch of fire. Bless His name". Turn to somebody and say, "I hope you get a glad new touch of fire. Then you'll bless His name".
How many of you'd like to have a brand new touch of fire? Come on. O Lord, that's what we need. It'll heal our families. It'll burn out addictions and habits and give deliverance to people who've got demons clinging on to 'em. There's something about the fire of God that makes the snake run. Hallelujah. Jeremiah had a Pentecostal fever. He said, "I've got the word in me and it's like a fire shut up in my bones". He was a preacher running a temperature. Jeremiah 5:14, he said, "I will make my words in your mouth a fire". We need the tongues of fire that Acts 2 talked about.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus had holy heartburn when they talked with Jesus. They said, "Did not our hearts burn within us as He spoke the words of life"? We've got a lot of hot heads, but we need some hot hearts; holy heartburn. David, the Bible said, had a band of men whose hearts God had touched, a band of men whose hearts God has touched. Have I become too calloused, have I been in this too long, have I become, has it become too commonplace that God can't touch my heart anymore, that God can't move me anymore, that God can't change and transform me anymore? Isaiah got a touch of fire and the angel flew and took a live coal from off the altar of heaven in Isaiah 6 and he touched his lips and he had blazing lips and he said, "Here am I. Send me".
John the Baptist had the fire, and people came from the cathedrals to the caves to hear him preach. The fire is necessary for growth. In California, where the great redwood trees grow, they had a problem some years ago because they were becoming extinct. Rangers were so careful to put fires out when lightening would strike. They would quickly be on it through modern technology and they could put the fires out quicker and quicker and quicker and fire could not burn the crustation off of the seeds, and the seeds couldn't germinate and therefore new trees were not springing up.
I want you to understand what I'm saying. Before the park rangers had all the technology and all the modern things that they had, lightening would strike in the forest and start a fire, and that fire would burn and get hotter and hotter and hotter and any of the seeds that had fallen, the fire would get so hot that the callousness, the hardness of that seed would be burned off and then that seed would germinate in a new crop and a new generation of redwoods would come up. But when they started putting the fire out and not letting it burn hot, notice the next generation of trees were too hardhearted...
They tried to control the fire and manipulate the fire. And some have grown cold and calloused and allowed encrustation to grow around your heart and around your soul. But if we will let the fire fall again, it can burn the shell of coldness. It can burn the shell of worldliness. It can burn the shell of indifference off of our heart. And if we get on fire, our children will get on fire, and our children's children will get on fire. When they used to go to the spirit-filled Pentacostal churches, back when I was a child, people used to come just to see what was gon' happen on Sunday night.
Anybody know what I'm talkin' about? People would just come, just... it was best show in town. You never knew when somebody was gon' run into the wall, you never knew when somebody was gon' break out in dance, you never knew. And it was so ecxiting. If people come to church, now at a Pentacostal church, they'd be bored out of their mind. You would think, in those services, I've been in some that were so red-hot, "My God! We're about to get raptured, at any moment"! Anybody know what I'm talkin' about?
Now, people thumbin' through books, pullin' out their I-Phone, readin' their text messages. Durin' worship, scrollin'. Notice lastly, the people acknowledge God. The people fell on their faces and they said, "The Lord, He is God". The fear of the Lord came to 'em. The Lord, He is God. They acknowledge God in Acts 2, in verse 37. The Bible said that when Peter preached, then tongues of fire came upon the 120 in the Upper Room and they stepped out into the streets and started preaching and speaking in languages they had not learned. But every man heard them speak in their own foreign language. And the Bible said that they were pricked in their hearts and said, "What must we do"?
Conviction comes when a manifestation of God's holy fire begins to fall in a church and in a ministry. What convicted you? How many of you remember when you were convicted? Do you ever get convicted of sin? I'm afraid that in so many churches, we're trying so much to make the world comfortable that if we're not careful, we forget that we can't change nobody by being their buddy. Salvation is a supernatural thing and you must be born again. You must be born again, and you can't do that head talking to head. It takes the Holy Spirit taking a rotten sinner and washing him in the blood and cleansing him and transforming him and giving him a brand new life.
Come on. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit doing His work. This thing was born in the fire. It's sustained by the fire. And today, ashes won't do. We are people of the fire. Stir up the gift. Fan the flame. Awaken your hearts. Fall on your faces. Cry out to God. Ask Him for the fire to fall in your family. Ask Him for the fire to fall in your life. Everybody stand to your feet, please. Ask Him for the fire. Ask Him for the fire. You've got something you can't conquer, you get the fire and the fire will take it over.
Reach over and put your hand on someone's shoulder right now and pray for them. Lord, I ask You for miracles, signs, and wonders and healings all over this room and those streaming live. No man can heal you. If you get healed, it won't be because of a man that touched you. It will be that that person was the vessel that the Holy Spirit could work through and all glory goes to Jesus Christ. But right now, I just feel the authority of the Lord to say to sickness and disease, "Go". "But He was wounded", Jesus Christ, "for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we're healed".
We're healed physically, we're healed mentally, we're healed emotionally from trauma. We're healed relationally: marriages, homes, families. We're healed from addictions and bondages. We're healed by His stripes.
Jesus, we thank You for it. Fill every vessel with the Holy Spirit in this church until their cup runs over. I thank You for it. I praise You for it. And I thank You for the fire. May we not just get a touch on Wednesday night, but may the fire burn all week and all of our lives. Let us be like that burning bush that Moses saw. It burned but was not consumed, in Jesus' mighty name.
How many of you receive right now the ministry and the work of the Holy Ghost in your life and in your body and in your family and in this church? Let's just clap our hands in honor, in praise, in appreciation. Oh, bless the Lord.