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Questions about Matthew 3:2-11?

Submitted: 2/22/2010
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Question: Greetings in Christ Jesus! We would like to ask your views and biblical interpretation with the following verse: Matthew 3:2 says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Q: When does the kingdom of heaven comes? Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am – I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.' Q: What does it means to 'baptize in Holy Spirit and Fire.' Is Holy Spirit baptism defferent from baptism with Fire? Should we be baptised with Fire? Is the 'fire' here not what stated in Acts 2:3. We can see three baptism in Matthew 3:11 such as baptism with water, Holy Spirit, and Fire. What is the signifcance of this in our lives?

Answer: 1. The coming of the kingdom that Jesus was referring to was the soon coming of the gift of the Holy Spirit, which actually happened on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). In Matthew 12:28 Jesus linked the Spirit and the kingdom when He said, 'But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.' Luke 17:20-21
says, 'Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, 'The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say,'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.'' We conclude that the kingdom is the indwelling Spirit.

2. We believe the fire Jesus spoke of in Matthew 3:11 is the same fire of Pentecost we read about in Acts 2:1-4. It is not a separate baptism. The point is, the Spirit is like fire: it burns away the impurities of our lives and fires us up to speak the Word of God. When people get the Spirit but don't seem to have any fire, we must wonder about the authenticity of their experience.