We are Baptized WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT ~and~ WITH FIRE:
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but HE THAT COMETH AFTER ME IS MIGHTIER THAN I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU ((WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT)), ((AND WITH FIRE)):
WHOSE FAN is IN HIS HAND, and HE WILL THROUGHLY PURGE HIS FLOOR, and GATHER HIS WHEAT INTO THE GARNER; ~but~ HE WILL BURN UP THE CHAFF WITH UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.
Those two things (THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST and FIRE; the gathering of the wheat into the garner and the burning up of the chaff with unquenchable fire) seem to be talking place at the same time, as I read/understand this verse. And it sounds to me like these things are already well underway, that the harvest has begun and Christ has sent forth HIS ANGELS TO REAP.
But didn’t Paul say that he HAD NOT attained to the resurrection of the dead?
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may KNOW HIM, and the power of HIS RESURRECTION, and the fellowship of HIS SUFFERINGS, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. NOT AS THOUGH I had ALREADY attained, either were ALREADY perfect: BUT I FOLLOW AFTER, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I COUNT NOT MYSELF to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, AS MANY AS BE PERFECT, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, WHERETO WE HAVE ALREADY ATTAINED, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
So did Paul say that he HAD NOT attained unto the resurrection of the dead or did he simply COUNT IT NOT and tell us to “walk by the same rule”?
Job 9:20 IF I JUSTIFY MYSELF, mine own mouth shall condemn me: IF I SAY, I AM PERFECT, it shall also prove me perverse.
John 5:31 IF I BEAR WITNESS OF MYSELF, my witness is not true.
Not even John the Baptist bore witness of himself:
John 1:21-23 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I AM NOT. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, NO. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.
Christ bears witness of us, just as the Father bore witness of him:
Mat 11:13-15 For all the prophets and the law prophesied UNTIL JOHN. And if ye will receive it, this is Elijah, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
We can further examine who “the dead” are and what “the resurrection of the dead” is by looking at the resurrection of Lazarus.
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, HE WHOM THOU LOVEST is sick. [Ever wonder if it was Lazarus who wrote the book of John? ;-)]
When Jesus heard that, he said, THIS SICKNESS IS NOT UNTO DEATH, BUT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode TWO DAYS still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
Jesus answered, Are there not TWELVE HOURS IN THE DAY?
If any man walk IN THE DAY, HE STUMBLETH NOT, BECAUSE HE SEETH THE LIGHT OF THIS WORLD.
But if a man walk IN THE NIGHT, HE STUMBLETH, BECAUSE THERE IS NO LIGHT IN HIM.
These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus SLEEPETH; but I go, THAT I MAY WAKE HIM OUT OF SLEEP.
Then said his disciples, Lord, IF HE SLEEP, HE SHALL DO WELL.
Howbeit JESUS SPAKE OF HIS DEATH:
but they thought that he had spoken of taking rest in SLEEP.
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, LAZARUS IS DEAD.
And I AM GLAD FOR YOUR SAKES that I was not there, TO THE INTENT YE MAY BELIEVE; nevertheless let us go unto him.
Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, THAT WE MAY DIE WITH HIM.
Then WHEN JESUS CAME, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
Then MARTHA, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but MARY sat still in the house.
Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, IF THOU HADST BEEN HERE, MY BROTHER HAD NOT DIED. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
Jesus said unto her, THY BROTHER SHALL RISE AGAIN.
Martha said unto him, I KNOW THAT HE SHALL RISE AGAIN IN THE RESURRECTION AT THE LAST DAY.
Jesus said unto her, ((I AM)) THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE: HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE: And WHOSOEVER LIVETH and BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE. Believest thou this?
She saith unto him, YEAH, LORD: I BELIEVE that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. [Did she even understand what He was saying?]
And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, THE MASTER IS COME, AND CALLETH FOR THEE.
AS SOON AS SHE HEARD that, SHE AROSE QUICKLY, AND CAME UNTO HIM.
Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, AND SAW HIM, SHE FELL DOWN AT HIS FEET, saying unto him, Lord, IF THOU HADST BEEN HERE, MY BROTHER HAD NOT DIED.
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.
Then said the Jews, BEHOLD HOW HE LOVED HIM!
And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, HAVE CAUSED THAT EVEN THIS MAN SHOULD NOT HAVE DIED?
JESUS THEREFORE ((again groaning in himself)) COMETH TO THE GRAVE.
It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, ((TAKE YE AWAY THE STONE)). Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
Jesus said unto her, SAID I NOT UNTO THEE, that, IF THOU WOULDEST BELIEVE, THOU SHOULDEST SEE THE GLORY OF GOD?
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I KNEW THAT THOU HEAREST ME ALWAYS: but because of the people which stand by I SAID IT, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
And when he thus had spoken, HE CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, LAZARUS, COME FORTH.
And HE THAT WAS DEAD CAME FORTH, BOUND HAND AND FOOT WITH GRAVE CLOTHES: and HIS FACE WAS BOUND WITH A NAPKIN.
Jesus saith unto them, LOOSE HIM, AND LET HIM GO.
Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, AND HAD SEEN the things which Jesus did, BELIEVED ON HIM. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council and said, What do we? for THIS MAN DOETH MANY MIRACLES. IF WE LET HIM THUS ALONE, ALL MEN WILL BELIEVE ON HIM: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR US, THE ONE MAN SHOULD DIE FOR THE PEOPLE, AND THAT THE WHOLE NATION PERISH NOT. And THIS HE SPAKE NOT OF HIMSELF: but being high priest that year, HE PROPHESIED THAT JESUS SHOULD DIE FOR THAT NATION; And NOT FOR THAT NATION ONLY, BUT THAT ALSO HE SHOULD GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE THE CHILDREN OF GOD that were scattered abroad.
All Blessing in Christ, who IS THE RESURRECTION and THE LIFE!