Holy Ghost Fire

By Ray McCauley

Harrison House, 1998 | ISBN 1-57794-025-3

Reviewed by Merle Harton, Jr.

Some books are rivers. Others are like swamps—full of water, pooled up against the banks, but without the movement that evidences a link with a living source. Holy Ghost Fire is a river. It flows. And it flows because Ray McCauley has learned not only how to live in the spirit, but also how to express that life through the written word.

As Christians, we frequently forget what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and even less do we know what it is like to live every day in the spirit. McCauley's central theme is that the outpouring of God's spirit is not a one-time experience, but a continual walk—an achievable lifestyle. Drawing on nearly twenty years of personal ministry, McCauley, who heads the large Rhema Ministries in South Africa and also pastors the Rhema Bible Church near Johannesburg, brings forth a lively revival message within a compact, powerful book.

We know from John 14 that we are promised the presence of the Holy Spirit, but McCauley reminds us (reading John 16) that Jesus himself considered this to be a valued good and possible only because of his death and resurrection. This is one of many scriptural reminders McCauley has for us, and each one hits home. He hits home when he reminds us that we can grieve the Holy Spirit when we refuse his fellowship and cooperation in our lives. Again he hits home in reminding us that we are not living as children of God ("sons of God" in Romans 8:14) when we do not let the Spirit of God lead us. He hits home in reminding us that we can neither please God nor accomplish his will through our own acts in the flesh; we can achieve these ends only by allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us.

He has a balanced message for Charismatics, Pentecostals, and others who proclaim a living relationship with the Holy Spirit, for he has recognized the importance not only of life in the Spirit, but also of disciplined worship and the need to test prophesy and to counsel with other believers.

Christian Friends will find this book helpful and important for a more complete understanding of our own form of worship, especially unprogrammed worship. But we share much with McCauley's real message in Holy Ghost Fire: "The only place unbelievers can see God is in us," he says. "When they see us manifest Jesus as we live, talk, act and respond, that's when their lives will change, too."

McCauley's little book is rich in scriptural references, timely in its ecumenical message for all Christians today, and full of counsel on administering the Holy Spirit's gifts and understanding God's anointing. His many personal encounters with God's powerful presence in the Christian church bring an electric immediacy to his call for us to know the Holy Spirit in our daily walk with the Father.

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Copyright © 1999 by Merle Harton, Jr.  All rights reserved