July 27, 2022

Is God your little campfire that you can stay warm around and sing songs? Or is He ridiculously overpowering and consuming you and your world?

Sally Pearson, leader of Wellspring’s youth, talked about how the Lord is a consuming fire not a campfire. The Kingdom is all about the King and His people, and the presence of God burns up everything that is not in common with the Kingdom. The Lord is giving us an unshakeable Kingdom, we worship Him with gratitude, reverence and awe, and He comes as a consuming fire. As we step into this cycle, we are transformed and refined as His family and His agents. We become His tribe that is focused more on Him and His family than we are on ourselves. To watch her message, click on the image above.

We often look at the early church as a model. We see first a focus of developing intimacy as a spiritual family, spending time together worshiping and studying the Word together. Then that gets shaken and is reformed around the full Spirit of God, including the Spirit of the fear of God. And then that gets shaken and they are dispersed and given a heart for the world.

Each step has its hits and misses, but God is unrelentingly faithful in moving them forward. For example, in its first manifestation the church sold everything and moved in together because they were convinced Jesus was coming back for them very very soon. They kind of looked like a recent cult called “Heaven’s Gate”. That cult was completely convinced that Jesus was an alien that was going to return and beam them up. Unfortunately, Heaven’s Gate was deceived and after living together in a commune for many years, they committed group suicide. Movements can begin with the best intentions but step into deception.

The early church also sold everything and moved in together and waited for Jesus to beam them up. Then they began having lots of infighting as Jesus didn’t return as quickly as they had thought. That’s when “deacons” were set in place, just to make sure that the neglected groups in the church were cared for. God really shook up that first commune when he literally killed two of its visible members, Ananias and Saphira. That was when He restored His Holy Spirit as the center of the community. Then the next shaking was the persecution that broke out. This pushed that introverted Jewish sect to take hold of God’s worldview and pursue the salvation of every nation.

Three steps of the early church:

  1. Needy infants in a spiritual family.
  2. Children in reverence and awe of Father.
  3. Kingdom Agents with the King’s vision and mission for the world.

In Sally’s message she pointed out that God is not a campfire — He is a consuming fire. The early church treated God like a campfire and they just wanted to party around Him until Jesus came back. But that fire would not be contained, and some people got burned. And then God used persecution to tear down the walls they’d built around the church. The fire of God would not be contained but exploded out of their Jewish sect into a forest fire that spread across the earth.

Now you and I need to recognize where we are. We need to recognize where our church is. Like I preached a month ago, God is not a fire to be played with. This past summer, we’ve talked over and over again about how the Lord God is all consuming. But we still learn from the model. We settle ourselves in committed relationships built in reverent awe around the full Spirit of God, and we maintain the greater vision and mission as Kingdom agents. The steps the early church went through prepared them to change the world. They were transformed into the world consuming fire!

Holy fire come!

Matt Neese


  • 08/03 — 512 Youth – sally@512youth.com
  • 08/17 — 512 Youth – sally@512youth.com
  • 08/27 — Men’s Coffee Talk – darren1421@gmail.com
  • 08/28 — Youth @ Texas Rangers – sally@512youth.com
  • 08/29 — Women’s MORE on Monday – carolynjbarry@gmail.com

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