“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division (Lk.12:49-50).
Baptism of water is a sacrament that Jesus Christ has enjoined the Christians all over to observe. He himself took it under the hands of his cousin John in order to indicate the righteousness that only God can bestow on man. “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one (1 Jn.5:8). So while we speak of the earth baptism by water is a vicarious death we undergo in order to confess we no longer live by our resources or by our abilities but by the power of God that raised Jesus Christ from corruption. Thus the sacrament is our witness that the earth and every corruptible aspect of it shall no more have a hold on us. In a manner of speaking we do not allow room for Satan claiming us his.
The folly of the rich fool in the same chapter was to leave God no room in his calculations.”Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry (12:18)”’He was rich but not rich toward God. Does this not remind us of the Rich man who lived merrily never caring about Lazarus at the gate? After death their roles reversed. Seeing we have body and soul foolishness is to be seized of body, and leave the requirements of soul. By Law of gradation Lazarus entered into the rest of God which speaks of eternity while in body he put up with many deprivations. The rich fool in the Parable invested in the uncertain riches on a body that dissolved in death. The Law of gradation compares these two states of being, of body with soul.
Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?(Lk.12:39-41)” The Spirit thereby is throwing light on the next baptism, which is of fire so we might be forewarned. Where our treasure is there we have our heart set. If we have died to the world at the water baptism what possible rationale can any believer put up for amassing wealth like the rich fool in the parable? Much more grievous is how the so called servants of God pursue prosperity theology. They have a form of godliness but by actions show they deny godliness in fact. Jesus calls them hypocrites, “Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky.” They know how to create wealth but they fail what that does to their souls. Jesus said, “The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.”
Body and soul have their specific demands but where corruptible body demands soul sacrifice its, man is trifling with eternity. Signifying division in your own house is clothed with an everyday symbolism.”From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.(12.52).
Continuous conflict of sin is not only fought between body and the soul but between heaven and earth. This is what we see in the vision of the woman in travail(Re.12). When the seventy other disciples returned Jesus observed Satan like lightening falling from heaven (Lk.10:18). Having said this let us look at the cryptic remark of Jesus, “But I have a baptism of fire to be baptized with (Lk.12:49)”. The verse preceding it is on the topic of fire. It is not with regards to the pouring of the Holy Spirit but about the cost of discipleship. He was warning his disciple about servants who were not watchful. They shall for their negligence be apportioned with the unbelievers (12:46). Is this his intimation of his second coming and the Millennial Reign that should follow? The baptism of fire that was kindled refers to the first advent that had repercussion in heaven as well as on the earth. On the heaven it refers to the memorial of saints of God of which a great many shall lose their place because of the red dragon being cast out. There shall come a day when Satan shall be bound for 1000 years. On the earth it shall cause divisions and catastrophic events taking place one after the other.
The devil has lost his place in heaven; and whatever he does can only succeed with the connivance of the so-called people of God who in their apathy and spiritual sloth shall facilitate his mission. It is what we see around and things shall certainly get worse before God purges the earth with fire.
The seven golden lamp stands in heaven are provisional. Local churches on the earth are to be steadfast and abide in the risen Christ and come back to their first love or they shall be left out here on earth as well as lose their place in heaven.