DAY OF FIRE
-by George Kirkpatrick
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." *** Isaiah 43:2
The prophet, Isaiah spoke of a time when God's people would walk through the fire and the fire would not hurt them. Jesus also spoke of "the coming day of fire".
"I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?" *** Luke 12:49
The word for fire is PUR. It means "a flame, fire". It is the same word used for the eternal fire of judgment. Jesus says, "I am come to cast fire upon the earth."
God's Word talks much about the "Day of Fire". There are three places you can be in this day. It all depends on where you are in the Lord.
1 - Day of Judgment 2 - Day of Cleansing 3 - Day of Freedom
In the book of Josephus, the sons of Seth built two pillars, one of brick, the other of stone. They inscribed their discoveries on both. This was done in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone would remain.
Adam had predicted the earth would be destroyed by a quantity of water and another time by fire, (Josephus, Volume 2, page 72). "If the pillar of brick was destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone would be preserved through the fire."
The flood is a matter of history. Every culture and every civilization has records and pictures showing a man and an Ark loaded with animals to protect them through the flood. All history has recorded the flood.
But Adam foretold of two judgments, one by water and the other by fire. The judgment of fire has also been foretold in every generation all through history. Peter spoke of the day in which we live.
"That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." *** II Peter 3:2-7
Peter revealed that the prophets foretold this as well as the apostles and the Lord Jesus Christ. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament speak of the "Day of Fire".
*** II Peter 3:3 says in the last days there will be scoffers. The church and world today are full of scoffers saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For all things continue as they were from the beginning." People refuse to acknowledge the Judgment of God that is coming upon the earth. Many continue to say, "I have heard about this all my life." Many have heard of this "Day of Fire" since they were little children.
*** II Peter 3:5 says that they are willingly ignorant. "Willingly ignorant" means they are not only ignorant, but willingly ignorant of the fact of the flood. All ages have known of the flood, but there are those who have rejected the knowledge of all generations. They have rejected the knowledge recorded in the Bible. They accept man's knowledge and reject God's Word, being willingly ignorant.
*** II Peter 3:6 states the world that existed, perished; just as the world that exists today is going to perish. It is fact, but many are willingly ignorant.
*** II Peter 3:7 says the heavens and the earth which we now see are kept, or reserved, by the Word. It has been reserved unto fire against the day of judgment of ungodly men.
"...The day of judgment and perdition (destruction) of ungodly men." What about us, the godly, the ones who are desiring to know Him and to serve Him, to walk and to be pleasing in His sight? What affect will this Day of Judgment have on us? It all depends on where we are in the Lord. It could be a day of cleansing or it could be day of freedom. But wherever you are in the Lord it is a Day of Overcoming.
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God..." *** II Peter 3:12
We should be in a place in God where we cannot wait for that day. It may not be pleasant, but we are to look forward to that day and hasten toward His "Day of Fire".
"And as it was in the days of Noe (Noah), so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot..." *** Luke 17:26 & 28
Both Noah and Lot were taken through God's wrath. Noah and Lot were in God's protected place and not partakers of God's judgment, even though the judgment was all around them.
"I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" *** Luke 12:50
The word straitened means CONSTRAINED. How is Jesus to be constrained till it be accomplished? When you study these scriptures, you might think Jesus is referring to His own death.
Where was Jesus headed? On His way to Jerusalem. He was going to His death. So, to think He was talking about His own death is only natural. But when the understanding of this scripture is revealed, we realize He was speaking of the "Day of Fire" coming upon the earth; a baptism of fire upon the whole earth.
He spoke that He has a baptism to be baptized with. He was speaking to His disciples and it was His disciples who had to be baptized with the baptism of fire. In Matthew, John the Baptist spoke,
"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 Ghost, and with fire." *** Matthew 3:11
The baptism of fire is different than the baptism of the Holy Ghost. John baptized with water. The whole world was baptized in water at the time of the flood. It was the time of the cleansing and the complete emerging of the world. The world will be baptized a second time with the baptism of fire. Baptize means "to immerse, to completely cover over".
He was speaking of the day the world would be baptized by fire; when the earth would be completely immersed in fire. This will be His day of judgment upon all that remains ungodly in our lives. As it was in the days of Noah, all offensiveness will be destroyed by the purifying, cleansing fire.
Everything that was offensive to God at the time of the flood was destroyed. Was there anything spared? Only that which was on the Ark. God had a place for His entire creation to be protected through the flood while He cleansed the whole earth.
When God brought Israel out of Egypt, the first thing He did was to baptize them in the Red Sea.
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." *** I Corinthians 10:1-4
That Spiritual Rock was Christ, the Holy Spirit. Paul did not want us ignorant about these things.
Ancient Israel was under the cloud. They passed through the sea and were baptized. The cloud was the Glory of God. They were completely baptized into the Glory of God. But when they passed through the sea, the waters stood in heaps on both sides. The water was above them. It was God's way of baptising the whole nation of Israel. It is a type of our coming out of the world, (Egypt represents the world) and being baptized into the death of Jesus.
When Israel came out on the other side of the Red Sea, they began to dance and sing praises unto God because the old world they had known was covered over with the water.
The Holy Spirit anointing followed Israel the forty years in the wilderness. God's anointing and protection was upon Israel just as it is upon us today.
Israel was baptized unto Moses in the water, just as the whole earth was baptized in water at the time of the flood.
On the day of Pentecost, the 120 in the upper room received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It came as cloven tongues of fire. That was the baptism of the Holy Spirit that John said Jesus would baptize with. But there is still a Baptism of Fire that the world, and all the "world" left in us, must go through.
Jesus said "I am come to send fire on the earth..." *** Luke 12:49
He said there was a baptism that we must be baptized with and He was straitened until it be accomplished. *** Luke 12:50
Again, the word straiten means "constrained" or "to hold together". Jesus states, "I am going to hold it together until it can be accomplished." Peter spoke of this when he said the earth is kept in store by the same word, *** II Peter 3:7. Only the Word of God is holding back judgment, or constraining it.
This "Day of Fire" means different things to different people. The whole earth will be baptized in fire. How this "Day of Fire" affects you, again, is based on your relationship to God.
There are three places you can be when this fire comes. One place is in the world, having no relationship with the Father or the Son, lost, having no hope.
The second place is to be saved; only knowing the Son, but having no relationship with the Father; no spiritual walk, no spiritual leading, not hearing the Father's voice.
The third place is knowing both the Father and the Son, having been baptized in the Holy Spirit and having Kingdom principles operating in your lives, having Christ Jesus as your Lord.
"For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt." *** Mark 9:49
In Bible times, salt was very precious. It was given as a sign of friendship, as a preservative and as an antiseptic. When someone was given forty stripes save one, salt was rubbed in the wound. Not as further punishment, but to cleanse the wound and stop any infection. Salt also promoted healing and is a symbol of purity.
"Every one shall be salted with fire..." *** Mark 9:49
Salt, here, represents judgment. Lot's wife is an example of this judgment of disobedience. God judged her for her disobedience by turning her into a pillar of salt.
Salt was also used to make covenants. When an agreement was signed, salt was exchanged. It was called the Covenant of Salt. *** Numbers 18:19
The world being salted with fire means judgment to God's people. It is a sign of fulfilling His covenant.
When the "Day of Fire" comes, it will affect each group differently. Will you be part of the first group, having no relationship with the Father through the Son? Will you be part of the second group, saved but having no relationship with the Father's Spiritual leading and chastening? (See Hebrews 12:5-11) Or, will you become part of the third group of overcomers, upon whom the fire will have no affect; only freedom from all worldly bondage?
GROUP ONE DAY OF JUDGMENT
For the first group, it is a day of judgment. Just as the judgment came at the time of the flood, they will all die. These are the unsaved, the worldly and the ungodly.
In *** II Peter 3:7, the judgment (destruction) came upon the ungodly not upon God's people. Isaiah also spoke of our day:
"Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.
Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother." *** Isaiah 9:17- 19
God hates sin. But He said His hand (of judgment) is stretched out still. He is willing to forgive. He is talking here about the hypocrites; those who are play actors. Those who say they are His, but are not in His will; the evildoers.
"For wickedness burneth as the fire." *** Isaiah 9:18
Wickedness burns in the people as a fire. Today, man cannot do enough evil and wickedness. The more wicked it is, the more they desire it.
At the time God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, the angels came to Lot's house. The Sodomites wanted to take the angels but the angels struck the Sodomites with blindness. The Sodomites wearied themselves at the door trying to get in. That wickedness burned in them to the point they could not constrain themselves. Even though they were blind, they still wanted to have those men. Today, that same sinful lust and desire in people drives them into more wickedness. They become obsessed and are so driven by that lustful desire that it leads to murder.
In the book of Genesis, at the time of sin, the earth brought forth briers and thorns, *** Genesis 3:18. Briers (thistles) and thorns were part of the curse because of sin. *** Isaiah 9:18 reveals these briers will be devoured in God's Judgment (wrath).
"The people shall be as the fuel of the fire." *** Isaiah 9:19
Why on earth would somebody not serve God? God has proclaimed His judgment and has made it plain and simple. No man shall spare his brother.
"And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm." *** Isaiah 9:20
No one can imagine the time that is coming upon the earth for the unsaved. They will become cannibals. They will eat their own flesh, and the flesh of other people.
"And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire." *** Isaiah 33:12
The people will be as the burning of lime. This is called "slaking lime". When you add water to raw or unslaked lime, it gets extremely hot. It boils, churns and bubbles and will burn the flesh off the body. The people will be as the burning of lime. As with the thorns, they will burn in the fire.
"It shall devour the briers and the thorns..." *** Isaiah 9:18
(Adding to brother George's message here the "briars and thorns" have and bear no fruit they prick you and are barren and they also speak of the false prophets and ministries today. We can read what Jeremiah says in chapter 4:3. "... Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns." The ground is our UNDERSTOOD AS OUR HEART. See also Isaiah 10:16:17."16Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.'
17And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;"
Hosea 10:12. "12Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you."
Also in the N. T. Matthew chapter 13:7 It reads. "7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:" This is seen in the parable of Jesus of what is the sower and the "seed" God's word describing the different kinds of ground (the heart) that the "seed" God's word falls. You can also read this in Mark chapter 4:7. "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit." The fruit is seen and understood as the nature and what is the character of Jesus Christ and His Father. (John 15:1-6) We can also read in Matthew 7:15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
(Thorns, Thistles and Briers bear no fruit)
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
(Trees speak of ma en and people)
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (lawlessness)
In 2 Samuel 23: we have another illustration. "1Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,
2The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
3The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
4And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
(Cross reference to this verse 4 is Hosea 6:3 and James 5:6-7)
5Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.
6But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands:
(The word Belial means worthless, ungodly and evil men)
7But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place."
Continued in Brother George's message here
This is speaking of the vast multitude of people on the earth today. Isaiah went on to state,
"Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among His fat ones leanness; and under His glory He shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour His thorns and His briers in one day;
And shall consume the glory of His forest, and of His fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth." *** Isaiah 10:16-18
God is going to send leanness upon the "fat ones". The Holy One will be a flame of fire.
"Our God is a consuming fire." *** Hebrews 12:29
He is going to burn the briers and thorns. The thorns and the briers God is speaking of are the worthless ones of His creation. They are worthless to Him because their sin has separated them from God. He is going to consume the unsaved. Those who have nothing to do with God. Isaiah stated,
"And shall consume the glory of His forest..." *** Isaiah 10:18
The forest is His creation.
"The rest of the trees of His forest shall be few, that a child may write them." *** Isaiah 10:19
The word "write" means "to count them". Do you wonder how many are going to be left after the fire? A child will be able to count them. How far can a child count?
This may sound like a message of gloom and doom, but it isn't. We are being shown the kind of people God is returning for. He is returning for those who have their lives in order. The day is at hand. This is not a message of gloom, but a warning as to the kind of people God will call unto Himself; a church without spot or wrinkle.
Many scriptures declare what is going to happen to the wicked. We need to be warning these people that are unsaved exactly what is going to happen.
(Added and are the lukewarm complacent Christians and what are the foolish virgins. For there are wicked men among the Lord's own people as they were in the Old Testament as well. Jeremiah 5:26-29. " 26For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
27As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
28They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
29Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?"
This is also speaking of what it reads in Revelation 18:2 speaking of Mystery Babylon the Great Whore and Her Harlot daughters " 2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.")
Whether they hear or forbear, they need to be told what is coming upon the earth.
Many of the unsaved are calling themselves Christians. They have been hood-winked. They have been told by the church system that if they act this way, think that way, or come to church every Sunday and call themselves a Christian, they are acceptable to God . . . What a lie the people have been given to believe!
GROUP TWO THE DAY OF CLEANSING FOR THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE
God is changing lives! We are in the day of cleansing and learning to walk. But those who refuse to change are in the second group and are called the children of disobedience. These have rejected the Spirit and refuse the Holy Spirit operating in their lives. The Bible speaks much about this group of people. What is going to happen to these? The wrath of God is coming upon the children of disobedience and they will be purified.
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." *** Ephesians 5:6
Is the wrath that comes upon the children of disobedience a different wrath than comes upon the world? NO! It is the same wrath! It says, "Let no man deceive you with vain (worthless) words." Today, many people are following vain traditions and vain teachings. They are following vain men with worthless words. Paul says,
"Because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." *** Ephesians 5:6
These vain teachings and traditions, such as "Rapture", where God is going to take an ill-prepared, lukewarm people and put them in a safe place and teach them all things, is not preparing people for what is coming upon the earth.
Now is the time to learn. Now is the time to change. Now is the time to rely on spiritual direction; not at the time of wrath!
"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." *** Colossians 3:5
Mortify, kill off those things in your life which are pleasing to the flesh. Destroy the hold that the world has upon your life. Anything that has a hold on your life that has anything to do with the world, KILL IT. Do away with it. Destroy it. Do not allow this worldly hold to be in your life!
"For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience." *** Colossians 3:6
How much plainer can it be? If the world still has a hold on our life, we are not totally, absolutely, solely sold out to God. The wrath of God will come upon these children of disobedience.
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." *** Ephesians 2:2
The spirit that works in the children of disobedience is the spirit of the prince of the power of the air. It is the same spirit that is in the world. This is a lying spirit that says you are okay, you do not have to change, your sin is all right. God knows you have weaknesses in the flesh. You can continue to do your sin because it's okay. God understands.....
NO, HE DOESN'T! He does not accept it! He does not wink at your sin, He does not wink at your weakness. He expects you to become strong in the Faith. He is not coming back for a weak people. He is coming back for a strong people. If you want to go on in your weaknesses, you can. But the Word says
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth Me." *** Philippians 4:13
Weakness is not an excuse before God. (Added nor is fear of man or fear of being rejected because we MUST speak the truth to our neighbor) There are two spirits. You will either be serving one or the other. You are either going to be walking in the Spirit of Light, or in the spirit of darkness. The children of disobedience have not overcome the prince of the air and are listening to satan's lies and will not be overcomers.
"Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." *** I John 4:4
If you are following the worldly spirit, then, the Greater One is not in you. "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." *** II Thessalonians 1:8 (Added here to George's message. How many of God's people are NOT obeying the gospel of God?) (Hebrews 5:9; Acts 5:32)
This scripture reveals to whom the wrath will be poured out upon. "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God." Are these the unsaved? No! We do not expect the unsaved to obey the Word of God. They do not know it and have no interest in it.
John speaks of those who abide not in Christ,
"If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." *** John 15:6
The world is not expected to abide in Christ. Paul was speaking of those children of disobedience who call themselves by His name and obey not the Gospel. Christ must be the center of everything we do. If Christ is not the center, then He is not abiding in us, nor we in Him.
These, the children of disobedience, will be cast forth as a branch to be burned in the Wrath of God. Not only the unsaved, but also the children of disobedience will be cast into the wrath. Are they part of the lost? Will they be destroyed? Will these lose their souls because they are cast into the wrath? NO!
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." *** I Corinthians 3:13-15
*** I Corinthians 3:12 speaks of 6 foundations: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble. The first 3; gold, silver and precious stones are purified by fire. Wood, hay and stubble are destroyed by the fire. Paul was speaking of man's works. Those who go through the fire will be purified but their works will be destroyed. Our works should be gold, silver and precious stones, for when the fire comes, these precious metals will be purified and hardened. Fire hardens.
If your works are gold, silver and precious stones, the things of God, they will survive the fire and you will be reward.
But, if your works are of wood, hay and stubble, the things of the flesh, they will fail and be lost. There will be no reward for your fleshly works upon the earth. You will be saved by the purifying and cleansing of the fire of your soul.
There are those who have never told anyone about the salvation plan of God. Yet, they call themselves Christians. They act like they are ashamed of being a Christian. These are not led by the spirit. The "Day of Fire" will try their works, but their works will be lost. They will be purified and cleansed by the fire, but they will be saved by the fire.
*** II Thessalonians 2:3 states that there will be a great falling away. When the "Day of Fire" comes, there will be a great number who will go back to the world.
The fire is going to destroy the works of the flesh. If your trust is in big houses, big cars, all the fancy this, and all the fancy that, it will not go through the fire. Those works being accomplished in the name of God, but are not of God, will be destroyed. The book of Revelation reveals those being spoken of:
"And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." *** Revelation 7:10
All that these could cry was "Salvation!" They only knew the Salvation message.
"Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." *** Revelation 7:15
When the angel asked John who this great multitude of people were standing before the throne, John answered,
"Sir, thou knowest. And He said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." *** Revelation 7:14
These are Servant Saints who have gone through the wrath. These came out of the great tribulation, or the great wrath of God, and have been cleansed and purified in the winepress of the wrath of God.
GROUP THREE DAY OF FREEDOM FOR THE OVERCOMERS
We have considered the effect the fire will have on the world and the children of disobedience. But there is a third group; those who will walk through the fire, those on whom the fire has no power. It will be a day of overcoming, of freedom and rejoicing. They will be set free from the bondage that the world has put on them.
A type of this third group is seen in Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. The attributes of the people who will walk through the fire are hidden in the Hebrew children's names. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego represent one man. They are not mentioned separately, but always together. Their names reveal those whom God is going to take through the fire.
Shadrach means "a tender breast". Meshach means "a drawing or picture or vision". Abed-nego means "A servant of brightness". Shadrach had a tender heart toward God. Meshach had the vision. Abed-nego, a servant of brightness, had become so bright, there was no darkness in him. These three men were taken out of Judah before destruction came to Babylon. Those whom God will take through the fire will be tender hearted toward God, having a vision, and will have come into the image and likeness of God. They will become the servants of brightness. These are the people God will take through the fire when His Wrath is poured out.
"And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them." *** Daniel 3:27
The king of Babylon made the fire seven times hotter than normal. Seven is God's perfect number. The king of Babylon made the perfect, all-consuming fire to put God's people through. We know this perfect, all-consuming fire as "Nuclear". It will have no power on the bodies of those Saints who are tenderhearted, have a vision and have come into the image and brightness of God. These are the overcoming Saints that will walk through the fire.
What does the fire mean to these Overcomers? It is simply a time of overcoming and a time of freedom. Was there anything burnt when Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were put into the fire? The Scriptures reveal that they were bound, hand and foot, before they were thrown into the fire, *** Daniel 3:20. Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed,
"Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?"
Then he said, "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire." *** Daniel 3:24-25
The fire destroyed the bondage that the world had put on them. This is the only effect that the fire will have on those who walk in the spirit through the fire. The only thing the fire will destroy in these lives is the bondage the world has put on them.
We looked before at the words of Isaiah,
"And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire. Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge My might.
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" *** Isaiah 33:12-14
Isaiah speaks of three groups. The unsaved are found in verse 12; they will be destroyed. The second group is found in verse 14; the "Sinners in Zion", those who have not been purified or cleansed. They still hold on to the old ways and ideas. He calls them hypocrites. They are full of fear and are the children of disobedience.
Then Isaiah asks the question, "Who among us shall dwell or live with this everlasting fire?" He is not speaking to the wicked. They will be as the burning of lime and thorns cut up. He is not speaking to the children of disobedience. They are filled with fear.
God speaks about a group of overcomers; a group of people who are going to walk through that fire. God's people do not live in fear of what is coming upon the earth. We should be looking forward to it. Praise God! Peter writes that we should be
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." *** II Peter 3:12
It is our day of freedom! We should be tired of the bondage and the pressures the world has put on us. We should be looking for His appearing that we may see Him as He is.
"Who shall dwell with the everlasting burning (fire)?"
Isaiah proceeds to answer his own question,
"He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off." *** Isaiah 33:15- 17
Isaiah speaks of the people with a vision that see the land that is afar off. These walk righteously and speak righteously. They stop their ears from hearing of blood and close their eyes from the seeing of evil. These are a people that have set a guard on their eyes and their mouth.
Isaiah is speaking of violence. Our society is filled with violence. Television is nothing but violence. Comic books are filled from cover to cover with violence.
Those who have the vision of the country that is afar off, have shut their eyes from seeing evil. It seems everywhere we look there is evil; T-shirts that children wear with Rock Stars, the grocery store check-out lines, all the smut magazines glaring you in the face. These kinds of things need to be shut out of our lives.
Those who are going to walk through the fire have made a covenant with their eyes as did Job.
"I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" *** Job 31:1
Isaiah exhorts us to set our affections on spiritual things,
"He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppression, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil." *** Isaiah 33:15
Isaiah made a promise to those who will walk through the fire,
"He shall dwell on high..." *** Isaiah 33:16
This is another realm. We are to get our thoughts off the flesh into the higher realm of the spirit.
Those who enter into this higher realm,
"Bread shall be given him, his waters sure." *** Isaiah 33:16
Malachi further states this,
"But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." *** Malachi 4:2
God's people will be completely taken care of. Ravens brought Elijah bread and meat while he was sitting along the brook, Cherith. This is God's provision. Elijah witnessed this higher realm of total provision in God.
"Thine eyes shall see the King and His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off." *** Isaiah 33:17
Jesus stated, "I am come to send fire on the earth..." *** Luke 12:49
Just as the flood covered the earth, so will this fire cover the whole earth.
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." *** II Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, but He is longsuffering. He would that everybody come to repentance.
(Added as Peter is speaking of what is the Lord's people as the N.T was written to believers. 2 Chronicles 7:14. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (See John 17:9. Jesus' words in his prayer here to the Father. "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."
We have looked at the three groups of people and the effect the "Day of Fire" will have on each. The first group contains a vast multitude. There are less in the second group and very few in the third group. Every individual has a choice to make as to what group they are going to be in. We can be in a safe place or we can be of the first group and die. This depends on our personal relationship with God. We still have some time left to get our lives in order, but it must be done quickly.
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?" *** II Peter 3:11
What manner of person ought ye to be? Today is a good day to ask ourselves where we are going to be in the "Day of Fire". What is it going to mean to us? Is it going to be a day of judgment? Is it going to be a day of cleansing? Or a day of overcoming and freedom?
Now is the time to choose. If there is unforgiveness, disobedience, uncaring, unconcern, slackness, complacency in our lives, then we should take these before God today.
If we are looking for our religion to get us through, it will not. It is not religion but relationship that God is looking for.
God is looking for a sold-out people who are not looking around to see if the world is approving what they are doing. God is looking for a people who are going on, with head held high and are seated in heavenly places in Christ; a place where the world can not touch them.
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