“Is the Phrase ‘Holy Ghost Fire’ Biblical?”

I hear people, even pastors, speak this phrase “Holy Ghost Fire.” Is this phrase biblical? Because I’ve searched the scripture and haven’t come across it.

Thanks for writing. This particular phrase does not occur in the Bible. It sounds like to sort of thing that Pentecostal preachers might say in reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The biblical basis for this sort of language would be passages like Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16, in which John the Baptist distinguishes his baptism from that of the coming Messiah (Jesus) who will baptize with “the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Later, in Acts 2:1-3, we have the account of what happened to Jesus’ disciples on the Day of Pentecost. We are told that “tongues of fire” came to rest on each of them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other tongues (or languages).

It is probably to passages of this sort that these preachers are indirectly referring. Of course, this raises a lot of questions about the precise nature of the Holy Spirit’s baptism and what it means to “speak in tongues,” etc. If you want to explore these issues further, from a non-Pentecostal perspective, I would recommend visiting bible.org and doing searches on some of the things you’re interested in. This site has a great deal of biblical and theological material, including the NET Bible, all free of charge.

Shalom in Christ,

Michael Gleghorn

Posted July 2, 2014
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