This is an excerpt of Teshima's last public lecture in the Makuya Pentecost meeting in Tokyo, November 1973; fifty days later he passed away on the Christmas morning.

Ikuro Teshima

"I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!"
(Luke 12:49-50)

The greatest desire of Jesus Christ was that the heavenly fire would be cast upon the earth and kindled brightly in the hearts of men. We see from the Biblical passage, "How distressed I am until it is accomplished," that setting this fire on earth was a very serious challenge for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Modern Christianity seems to have forgotten this passage. If Christianity fails to understand these words of Christ, it ceases to be a religion of the New Testament. "The fire from the heaven" was the most important thing that the Lord Jesus desired so earnestly, to the point of distress. By this fire, we too desire to have our hearts kindled, our souls transformed, to become new.

(1973)