Fire Of God
Some think that sinners are cast into an everlasting hell fire because of the judgments of God. We can read statements as found in Hebrews 12:29 which says, for our God is a consuming fire, or as scriptures read in,
MalachI 4:1 For, behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root or branch.
Without looking into the subject, we would never come to a sensible understanding what this fire is.
A minister told me once that we should welcome water baptism, but we wouldn’t want the baptism of fire. That fire is for punishing the wicked. John the Baptist starts to clear the fire subject up.
Matthew 3:11, “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.”
This fire subject can be kind of scary. Does anyone really think that Jesus Christ is coming to burn people up or destroy those that love Him? We need to look at some of God’s disciples who were thrown into the fire.
Daniel 3:12, “There are certain Jews whom thou has set over the affairs of the providence of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these three men, O King, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy god’s, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” 15, “ Now, if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God who will deliver you out of my hands.
The fire that the king made seven times hotter didn’t harm the three children at all, because they were part of the fire. But the kings servants were consumed by the same fire that was meant for Daniel’s three friends.
Daniel 3:22, Therefore, because the kings commandment was urgent, and the furnace was exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
God speaks to us in many ways. One way is through the use of symbols to illustrate a better understanding than words alone can provide. In the case of the three children and the kings servants, fire touched them both. The difference was that one group was part of the fire and the other group wasn’t. God’s word explains why there was a difference.
Deuteronomy 33: 2,
And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. 2: and he said, “ the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shown forth from mount Paran, and He came with ten thousand of His saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them.”
To get a better understanding of what this fiery law is we need to let the Bible interpret it’s meaning.
Exodus 19: 9, and the Lord said unto Moses, “Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud that the people may hear when I speak with thee and believe thee forever.”
Exodus 19: 18, And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
God wanted to speak to the people Himself and not through the voice of Moses. What was the people’s reaction?
Exodus 20: 18, And all the people saw the thundering, and the lightning’s, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it they removed, and stood afar off. 19, and they said unto Moses, “ speak thou with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us less we die.”
God’s fire is a fire that refines not tortures or destroys.
Malachi 3: 2, But who may abide the day of His coming ? And who will stand when He appeared? For He is like a refiners fire and like fullers soap. ( lye ).
When we have dirty hands we get a little water, add some soap and wash our hands. John the Baptist is saying the same thing as Malachi above. John baptized with water but Jesus Christ is called the word of God (Revelation 19:13) and His fiery law acts like soap to remove whatever is not in harmony with that law. Just as we are willing to wash our hands, we should also be willing to allow God to work within us to remove the impurities and dross that separate us from His divine nature. Jesus Christ paid the price on the cross and was given authority by His life to receive the promise of the Scepter as stated in Genesis 49:10. He will return a second time with the authority of His fiery law to cleanse and refine His people by removing the deeds of the flesh. God is our creator and we are His children. His only purpose is to mold us into His image so we may have life and have it more abundantly.
John 10:10, “ The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.
The deeds of the flesh get us in trouble. What are the weaknesses of the flesh in men and woman that would be contrary to God’s divine nature?
Galatians 5: 19, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies. 21, Envying, murders, drunkenness, raveling’s, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I also told you in time past, that they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
At Mount Sinai God wanted to teach Israel His “ fiery law”, but the people refused for fear of death. That was a true statement on their part because God’s law destroys the flesh, or rather the deeds of the flesh. The deeds of the flesh are our weakness and need to be eliminated so the soul or inner man will live.
Ephesians 3:16, That He may grant you, according to His riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.
That day at Mount Sinai when the people of Israel were afraid to have God speak to them was the day of Pentecost. Because the people didn’t want God to speak with them, the feast of Pentecost was never fulfilled until the fullness came as recorded in the book of Acts.
Acts 2:1, And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
These 120 disciples were willing to allow God to give them His fiery law. They would allow God to refine them. They had God’s Holy Spirit to help them not only to be believers but to overcome the deeds of the flesh. God’s fiery law pointed out the weaknesses and the pulls of the flesh.
Matthew 16: 25, For whosoever will save his life will loose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake will find it.
Jesus is telling us that we shouldn’t want to run away from God’s law but willingly allow ourselves to hear His voice. Only then would we work to eliminate our carnal nature, the deeds of the flesh, that enslaves us.
John 8:36, If the son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
God wants to share His holy spirit with all of His children as He did with Daniel’s three friends. But some seem to run away from Him just as the nation of Israel did at Mount Sinai. There will be a time when all men and women will submit to God’s law, if not at this time, then later. We will all eventually be citizens of the Kingdom of God, not because of fire or pushing or shoving, but because of realizing the love our Father has for us. This world’s teaching’s make God out to be a tyrant, one who tortures endlessly in an ever burning hellfire. All that is silly talk. Jesus Christ came the first time to heal, teach, and express His love for the whole world, and not to gather His children through fear. The only things that will be burned up will be the deeds of the flesh and we will welcome it.
1st Corinthians 3:10, “ According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11, For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12, Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay, stubble; 13, Every man’s work will be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be reveled by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14, If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
God’s fire eliminates whatever part of our nature that doesn’t build us up to be better sons and daughters who would be pleasing to Him.
2nd Peter 3: 10, “ But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
We need to keep in mind that we are made of the dust of the ground therefore we are all like little earths. Peter is telling us that we will be citizens of God’s kingdom as we allow God to refine us.