Strange Fire burning out of Control

Hi, I’m introducing my first guest blogger, Steven F. Gilbert. Steve attended Florida Baptist Theological College, was a beach preacher in Destin, Florida and Pastor of Beaver Creek Baptist Church. Steve is an avid bible student and likes to describe himself as “a voice crying in the wilderness.” I hope you enjoy his post which you may find controversial,  and as always comments or questions are welcomed!

Biblical Fire

About six years ago I noticed an increased fascination in the church over fire. Let me explain to you what I saw and how it moved my spirit. I was attending a mega church in Houston and it was a special service to announce a move the church was making. This being a special service some very anointed Christian artists were performing. This climaxed when Phil Driscoll came onstage began to blow a shofar. All I could do was sit down and enjoy the Holy Spirit. The louder Phil blew the shofar the thicker the Spirit was upon everyone present. Chill bumps broke out on my arms and tears ran down my face. It was amazing. After Phil’s performance the choir came back and the worship leader ramped it up, the crowd began to build steam. I noticed the still quiet Holy Spirit atmosphere begin to change as momentum was building. The worship leader sensed the euphoria and brought the fire. She started begging God to let His fire fall on us all and bless us with His presence. The congregation began to yell and jump up and down. She fanned this flame to the point where a Holy Spirit filled moment turned into 25,000 people minus one begging God to set them on fire. It was at this moment I felt the Holy Spirit bolt out the door so fast I literally heard the rushing mighty wind of Pentacost hit the exit door. I thought, “what just happened?”

What happened that day was that God opened my eyes to false bible teaching that is setting up the emotional church goers, who are not saved, up for an unprecedented end time deception. Here’s the verse:

Revelation 13: 12 …and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. v:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. v 14: And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth.

With worship leaders and singers begging God to set them on fire, those who do not know the scriptures are ready and eager to be deceived as pictured here in vs. 13. Time and space will not permit me to expound as needed so let’s hit the top’s.

In the bible a rule stands out, it is called the “rule of first usage”. If you believe that God is the same today, yesterday and forever and He never changes, how is fire used first in His word?

Genesis 19:20 Then the Lord rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven.

God used fire as a punishment or judgement 14,000 years ago and He still uses it the same way today. Unfortunately, two verses in the bible have deceived pastors and parishioners alike. Have you ever heard a preacher call for the “fire of Pentecost” Well, it never existed. Acts 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of a fire…Notice the word “like”, Luke was trying to describe what was seen. He was using “like fire” as I would use the word “chicken” to describe the taste of gator tail.

There is no such thing as “Holy Ghost Fire” Matthew 3:11. Before I get into this verse, I will admit I had a hard time discerning it. The Holy Spirit told me to get into the water with John the Baptist. Once I did this, the scene itself explained what John was saying. The point is two types of people are attending this baptism, believers and unbelievers. The misunderstanding of this verse has started denominations and has flames burning up the cross. The Holy Ghost is for those who will be receiving Christ, the fire is for the unbelievers. John points out in vs. 7 calling the unbelieving Pharisees and Sadducees a “generation of vipers”, in vs. 10 he calls these unfruitful believers “that are cast into the fire” and in vs. 12 the chaff “will burn up with unquenchable fire.”

The Lord does the burning. The first usage of fire is exactly like the last:

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerer’s and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake, which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death.

God the same yesterday, today and forever…

Conclusion: Fire from God on a person, is not a blessing, never has been, never will be.

My Habitation

Habitation is a noun defined as the state or process of living in a particular place, with synonyms : occupancy, residency.

I’ve spent most of this summer living out of a suitcase with plenty of time to think about where I live. Where I am comfortable, the places that make me happy. I have found that my true habitation has nothing to do with four walls or a roof, comfortable furniture or a nice kitchen.

My Habitation, my dwelling place has been in the arms of my Father God. Trusting Him, trusting His provision, trusting His word that promises He will make all things right.

The bible tells us that we start with milk and move up to meat as we mature and are ready for “solid food”. Babies progressing up the food chain as we grow. But in this journey, maturing has been a process of regaining my nature as a child.  I cherish this child inside who finds perfect peace in her Daddy’s lap. She is as simple as my writing. Because the beauty of the gospel is simple. Love.

The pure love of a parent for a child. The complete trust of a child in a parent. Occupy this space, make His love your place of residency. Come home.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalms 91:1

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation. Psalms 91:9



Praise in the Pit

4929374625_cca549bba6_m Down in the dumps. Drowning in debt. Upside down on your mortgage, the depths of despair. Hitting rock bottom. Marriage on the rocks…

What do all these phrases have in common? They all describe situations that are down, below something else, away from goodness.  In the bible the Psalmist mentions a “pit” 19 times. The pit is described as a place of the deep, a darkness, a place prepared for you by your enemy. A horrible place that anyone who has ever been in one of the clichéd pits above can tell you is indeed deep, dark and horrible.

Any pit has a  top, an opening, and that is where the light is. There is only one way out of a pit and that is up. You must look up, you must look to the light. Looking down is easier but it gets you nothing but more darkness, more muck, more depression. Even if you cannot reach the light you must look to it, reach for it, strive to get there. But how? Again the Psalmist, who is very familiar with the pit gives us the answer:

“But thou are Holy, O Thou that inhabits the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted Thee: they trusted and Thou did deliver them.” (Psalms 22:3) The deliver inhabits the praises of His people. Even in a pit, we must praise. We must not give to looking down, succumb to the temptation to have a pity party sitting in our muck. We must cry out and trust the One who delivers. If we are going to dig deeper we must dig for the faith to trust that God is there no matter how deep the pit. Keep praising and trust God for your deliverance is at hand!

He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.    Psalms 40:2

This post is an excerpt from “The Little Engine who could Not…” available on in Kindle and paperback.