Elwin R. Roach
God spoke to Noah and his sons, saying: "I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth." Genesis 9:11. He did not say, however, that He would not destroy it by fire. One of His apostles said: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10.
Some believe the fire will be due to a world war with nuclear bombs exploding all over the earth. Long-held doctrines and tradition have veiled many of the truths recorded in the Bible. One thousand years of the Dark Ages was especially cruel to the meaning of God's holy fires, especially that of the lake of fire.
All of God's gems suffered greatly in the hands of religious hierarchies. Rome's scenario of the world being destroyed by fire, and handed down to her many Protestant daughters, ever looms heavily over the imprisoned souls of their members. It is sad to see how they are so easily victimized. We might not think that they would be swayed by such reasoning; but what is worse, they are often heard gleefully rejoicing when these age-old precepts of roasting flesh are preached. I think it was Stacy Wood who called their ideas the Last Days Bar-B-Que.
Even so, it was not an idle threat or warning. It was a sure word made by Peter. But a literal fire that will destroy things in the sense of never to be used again? Not so. There may be a nuclear holocaust in some regions of the earth; but most prophecies, visions, and dreams have spiritual meanings rather than being literal, and we believe this one should be viewed as spiritual rather than literal. If it is, Peter spoke of a purifying fire of judgment in people's lives and not the natural aspects of fire on the earth. So let us look into the spiritual aspects of fire at the end of this age which will benefit us in a much greater way than assuming it is all natural.
The fires of the Lord are far broader than what most have assumed. For instance, if we make our bed in hell, lo, He is also there, as stated in Psalm139:8. This, of course, is not speaking of a place where fire and brimstone burn one's body of flesh. It is somewhere that is hidden. It is an imperceptible realm or location. It is the grave. For Jonah, it was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights. He was in hell forever; but not one flame of fire was anywhere to be seen. The furnace of affliction wherein his people are refined and chosen is also void of natural fire. (Isaiah 48:10).
Fire can afflict or it can set free, depending on where one is in a relationship with the Lord. The three Hebrews that were cast into the fiery furnace were freed from their bonds by the fire, but not a hair on their heads were singed, nor was the smell of smoke upon them whatsoever. For those who hide themselves in Christ, the furnace cannot touch them because they live on a higher plane. They are no longer in darkness. They are in the light where the servants of the earth would be consumed, like it was with the king's men who cast them into the furnace.
FATHER OF LIGHTS
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17.
God, who is a consuming fire, has fathered children, and as it is with all children in relation to their father, His offspring are the same substance. Like Him, they are fiery lights called the sons of God, and Paul made clear as to what they were called. Their mission is to set creation free from the bondage of darkness and corruption (Romans 8:21). These agents are no longer mere men, as the world had known them, but have become quite different beings, angels if you please. Not angels in the sense of feathery wings, but a host of anointed messengers in the express image and likeness of their Father.
Remember, it is the angels/messengers that remove from the Kingdom all that offend (Matthew13:41). They are of a heavenly realm with their feet on the ground. This is why they are no longer called men. They are truly not of this world, and they are full of light as their Father, the Father of lights.
Consider prayerfully the following scriptures that shed light on such thoughts. The people of Israel "...have received the Law by the disposition of angels." Acts 7:53. We know that the Law was given to Moses and the prophets. Is this a contradiction? Of course not, for these men (Moses and the prophets ) were men who lived in a different realm than the others of Israel.
Consider Hebrews 1:7,which is a quote from the Psalms, "He makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire." Obadiah 18 says that the house of Jacob will be a fire. All this points to the fact that the ministers of the LORD are spirits, they are fire. In one place it say that we have come to the spirits of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:23). These men proclaim a word and appear as fire to the people to purify them.
Revelation 21:17 also sheds light: ". . .according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel." The Greek word for angel, as we know, means a messenger, especially a messenger of God. In some places it means a man, while in other places it means a spirit. So it is essential for us to read with understanding.
These men will be transparent, revealing only the nature of the heavenly realm. Jesus was transfigured on a high mountain and apart from the world: "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." Matthew17:1-2. The Wuest translation of the New Testament has it as: "The manner of His outward expression was changed before them, that expression coming from and being representative of His inner being." In short, He was a shining light.
These angel reapers are men that will come forth full of light. They will shine as their Lord Jesus. They will harvest the church people of the 30,60,100 fold. These angels will minister only the Kingdom message and lift the people out of that old church order and into the Kingdom of God. There will also be angels who separate the tares and bundle them. They are most likely the messengers with a lying spirit who minister another gospel. The ones who chase the wind, who are bent on the latest revelations rather than transforming life will be led away from those who are the true sons of God. (rf. Matthew 13:39).
The sons are full of light and reveal the Kingdom and are not of the in-part realm . They will come forth without measure. They are transfigured because they have entered into a higher state. They are lights because the Father of lights has birthed them into that bright realm.
The very light that they reveal is full of fire and causes all that is of the earthly to be consumed. As the corruption is consumed from the true church, they will be able to enter into the same place with the Sons of Fire. They will be released from the bondage of corruption by this angelic host, a company of transformed, light-bearing people.
These saints have desired to have the very image of God made manifest in their lives, and it will be done. In order to accomplish this, however, the Lord has to consume all that is in them which is not of Himself. In other words all the Adamic flesh must go so that only the Christ remains. We must decrease in order for Jesus Christ to increase. Let us be sure to know. There will be nothing offensive in the Kingdom (rf. Matthew 13:41).
"For behold the Lord will come with fire..." Isaiah 66:15. This coming is in His corporate body, and His fire is manifested in and through the sons. He will consume all those who think they are holy, or pretend that they are, but are not:
"See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment on all people, and many will be those slain by the LORD. 'Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things--they will meet their end together with the one they follow.' declares the LORD." Isaiah 66:15-17.
The righteousness of man is not the same as the righteousness of God. The sons having been consumed by the very hand and fire of their Father, now appear as firebrands to the other saints and consume off them the corruption of their rituals, their doctrines, and their traditions as well as all manner of carnality.
The sons of God reveal the glory of God. No man can reveal the glory nor can any man stand before the glory of the Lord and live. But the sons of God are not of the first man, Adam. They are of the nature of God, the last Adam. They have been birthed into a higher realm.
The radiance with which they shine is God their Father. For the glory of God is light and they are to be the light of the world. They are a city, the new Jerusalem. The city that has no need of light for the Lord is their light, and they are light.
He was a pillar of Fire to the Israelites. He led them in the night by the light of the pillar of fire. Fire gives direction to our path, light in times of our darkest troubles, and warmth when we are cold. We are awestricken by its brilliance. As it was with the prophet as he wrote in Jeremiah 20:9. His Word, His presence, Jesus Christ is a fire shut up in our bones. He is that fire that must be revealed and will not be hindered by the flesh as He burns His way to the surface and beyond.
In another place of the same book, he wrote: "Is not my word like a fire saith the LORD: and like a hammer that breaketh the rock into pieces?" Jeremiah 23:29. Surely, He is the word and He is the fire that can break down every wall and every barrier, even transforming the smallest atom. Every hard rock of the carnal nature will be broken and everyone of the transformed men and women will worship before Him, which will eventually be all of them. For "...We trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men...." 1 Timothy 4:10. All in the earth shall praise and bow down before Him; for His death on the cross was to deliver ALL creation by the fire of life. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22. Incidentally, the ALL that died in Adam, which is ALL, is the same ALL that will be made alive in Christ. To make it simple: ALL means ALL in every language, which includes the Greek, and Aramaic from which this verse was translated, depending on the version. Frankly, an unequal balance is an abomination to God (rf. Proverbs 11:1). Therefore, the ALL that is made alive in Christ has to equal the ALL that died in Adam (rf. 1 Corinthians 15:22). Otherwise the balance would be false. It would not be equal...
PILLARS OF LIGHT
The Pillars of Jachin and Boaz in the temple were overlaid with bronze, indicating judgment, and when the day dawned, the light of the sun reflected from the pillars so that anyone within miles would be able to see the glory of the Temple. In this day, the very glory of God will appear all over those who have been judged and who have judged themselves. The brilliance of the light they will cast off will also bring many to judgment/correction.
The pillars of light resided in the Temple. Moreover, only those who have put on the nature of God can reside in His presence. "A fire goes before Him and burns up His enemies round about Him" Psalms 97:3. It is only possible for those who have His nature to remain in His presence. That is why in Job we find the sons of God standing before the presence of the Lord.
Perhaps, we now see that the LIGHT, that is, the GLORY, reveals the very HOLINESS of God. Everything is Holy before Him because the FIRE has consumed all corruption from before His presence. Where the church order has taught that the fire is punitive, destructive, and to be avoided at all cost, we are now beginning to see the beauty of the fire. It is one of the main things that releases us from flesh!
Each of Gideon's 300 had a lamp with fire hidden within an earthen pitcher and a trumpet in the other hand. In Judges 7:15-23 we find the story of Gideon's 300 men. Initially he had over 32,000 but only a few would qualify for the LORD'S army. You see, contrary to man's standards, He is not dependent on large numbers. He looks at caliber, the unfearful, those who are different, those who will humbly bow their knee and lap water like a dog.
The Hebrew word for dog is keleb and according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance it means: "to yelp, or else to attack; a dog...." As a verb, dog means to follow (someone or their movements) closely and persistently. The name Caleb comes from keleb, and he followed Joshua into the promised land. Therefore, the chosen 300 were those who bowed before the LORD and were willing to follow Gideon into war against the host of the Midianites that were around 135,000 fighting men.
The trumpet in one hand is a type of a message that will be proclaimed. The sons of God when they are manifested will proclaim a clear, pure word of reverberating life that will cause the destruction of every enemy regardless of the size or threat.
The Sons of God are the voice of the Archangel, the Chief Messenger, Jesus Christ in the days announcing the ending of the age and the dawning of God's Kingdom.
The right hand holds an earthen vessel and a lamp of fire is within, which symbolizes what is contained in each of us. When the trumpets are blown, declaring to the enemy and the world that an all-out attack by the hounds of Heaven has commenced. At the same time the pitchers are broken (the flesh has been overcome) and the Light, the Glory of the Lord is seen by all. As fear engulfs the kingdoms of men, they will crumble all over the world. The pomp and pride of political and religious rulers will fall in open shame as their evil is exposed by the fire and light of the Lord's followers. What humiliation to be exposed and defeated by such lowly animals as those that they see as dogs rather than humble followers of our Lord Jesus.
The book of Revelation declares that one third of the trees and all the green grass shall be destroyed by fire. This is accomplished by the sons of God who have become the flames of fire--the ministers of the Lord. Of course, this is not referring to natural trees and grass, but speaks of those things that grow out of our carnal minds and earthy nature.
Let us note that this fire is mingled with blood. The fire burns up carnal manifestations, purifies us while the blood administers life; for the life is in the blood. You see, God is both fire and life! He mingles His life with His purifying fire so that we are not totally destroyed, eradicated, but changed, transformed!
Isaiah wrote that all flesh is grass, and it covers, or hides our earth, which is our carnal nature beneath its green blades that appears to be robust life; but when God's fires are sent upon us or any human being, no longer is anything hidden. We see everything for what it is. But praise God, all is not lost; for by His blood mingled with the purging fire, and being transformed-- WE LIVE!
Not only will the inhabitants of the earth be subjected to God's fire and blood, but the elect as well, and they will be first. This is one of the things that brings us forth as overcoming sons of God.
The fire has been burning in His called-out ones for quite some time. This purifying word is doing a mighty work. At one trying time, Jeremiah said that he would no longer speak the word of the LORD; but His word was a fire in his heart and bones, and he could not remain silent, as noted again in Jeremiah 20:9.
There are no greater forces than wind, fire, and water, which all three are symbols of God's word. And with the compelling force in fire, especially when mingled with blood/life, nothing in the universe can keep them from their God-sent mission. Therewith, we can desire no greater thing than to be what He is. So we rejoice that the fire is burning in us, along with the blood; for it is all Him! And it does not stop with us. It goes into the whole world to save and refine every soul.
THE BURNING BUSH
Exodus 3:1-7 tells us a phenomenal story about Moses and the burning bush that was not consumed by the flames. The fire in the bush is identified as God Himself. Biblical scholars have said that since the bush was made of wood, it is a type of humanity, and that may be true in one sense. However, let us look a bit more closely. We cannot help from noticing that the bush of many leaves was not consumed, so this particular bush seems to represent something holy, something beyond natural limitations; such as, a body of people who have already been transformed by the refining fires of God, and are a radiating manifestation of His glory. Our dear friend said it so well:
"Fire appears terrible only to the man who is unprepared to pass through it. When of old God came down on Sinai, its upper peaks were veiled with impenetrable folds of smoke, like the smoke of a furnace. And in the heart of the smoke there was the appearance of devouring fire. There is dread here! Bounds had been set to keep the people back; but a special message must be sent to warn them against breaking through to gaze, lest the fire should break forth upon them. But there was no harm as long as they kept without the barriers; and when Moses entered into the very heart of it, it did not singe a hair of his head, and injured him no more than when it played around the fragile acacia bush, which burned with fire without being consumed -- not a leaf shriveled, nor a twig scorched. Yes, our God is a consuming fire, but not everything will burn even in this fire; gold, silver, and precious stones abide the fire, and there is comfort and hope and blessing in the thought! When we yield to God's love, and open our hearts to Him, He enters into us, and becomes within us a consuming fire; not to ourselves, but to the evil within us. So that, in a very deep and blessed sense, we may be said to dwell with the devouring fire, and to walk amid the eternal burnings (Isa. 33:14)." --End quote (J. Preston Eby)
And Reba McMurry wrote:
WHAT A BURNING
What a burning, what a burning
Burn, O earth; consume within me
Let God's fire-like word consume
Lord, send forth Thy fiery judgments,
That on whom so e're they fall,
It is the contradiction of a burning bush not being consumed that attracted the attention of Moses. How can a bush burn and not be consumed? It was this question that caused Moses to turn aside to see. So likewise, when the burning bush of God's manifested sons is seen in the wilderness of the world by those following after God they will be also attracted to the sons of God as flaming leaves on a many-membered bush. They, of course, like the one before Moses, will be a manifestation of the fire of the Lord, but not be consumed. They cannot be harmed by the very fire that possesses them round about and that they hold dearly in their bosom, for they too are that fire which cannot be hurt by fire.
When the sons of God are revealed that Paul wrote about, those wonderful people who know primarily the Law of Moses will surely be the next to also turn aside and see this marvel. In doing so, they will hear the voice of God their Father from the burning bush of many voices as one.
Until now, most of the world has rejected the Lord. They not only have not wanted to hear about God, but much less, hear Him. Not only the world; but some Christians have rejected Him. Many are like Israel at the base of Mount Sinai: "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." Exodus 20:18-19.
As time marched on, not only do they not want to hear God for themselves, their fear of Him has been given over to indifference as traditional idolatry is grounded in their lives. And when the fiery judgments come upon His people, "They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them..." Ezekiel 15:7. This verse shows how those who refuse the dealings of the fires now in their life will face it later, and they will know that He is the Lord as He sets His face against them. Truly, man is not the captain of his own destiny when God has deemed it otherwise.
Having been falsely taught has caused most saints to refuse the fire of affliction, even calling it the work the devil. But the godly fires they reject will come to them later, but not only to them, it will eventually come to the world as well. With God's punitive, yet merciful judgment, consider 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 where one man was turned over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that the he might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. That man could not escape the fires of the Lord, and in this case, it was Satan, the man's great adversary of affliction that served God's directive.
You see, Satan is subject to God in every facet of his being. There's no such thing as an omnipotent God wringing His hands and trying to figure out a way to defeat this terrible foe. This liar and murder from his beginning is as much a tool in His hand as any other of His created beings whether flesh or spirit.
But back to our point of the burning bush, the manifestation of the sons of God, it/they will cause the whole world to come forward to be judged. Those having been born of His Spirit will take off their shoes, as Moses did after he turned aside, and their lives will be changed forever. You see, to turn aside in the Hebrew means to repent, turn around, reverse direction. And we can count on it to be so with the firstfruits, those at His coming, and the end rank of all creation. This will come to be even if it takes fire to make it so.
We rejoice that it is the Lord who does all the cleaning, refining and purifying, and we receive it with joyfulness. He has chosen many people in times past, as well as today, to be refined and overcome all things. It is He in them that touches the core of their being. If they did it on their own, apart from Him, they would be their own saviors. They wouldn't need Him.
Surely, this buffeting plays a major part of bringing us to the transfiguration of the sons of God. In Hebrews 5:8 and Matthew 17:2 (Lamsa) we read that: "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." "And Jesus was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes turned white like light." Shining as the sun, He manifested the fire of God, His clothes in the light of full glory. And do think it will be any less after our suffering finished and our time comes like His upon the mountain? No difference at all. Like Big Brother, like little brothers!
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:27. Again we find fire in the form of lightning. In this case, however, the coming was in judgment upon Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Roman army.
We are aware that there are cherubim of the Lord with flaming swords that keep the way to the Tree of Life in Paradise as noted in Genesis 3:24. Of course, these cherubim are not to ultimately keep people out of the Garden of God; but only to let those in who have no flesh or carnal nature left in them. No corruption shall enter the Paradise of God.
At the end of the age, the sons will be the very fire of God--the express image of His person. As lightning goes from the east unto the west, so the sons shall cover all the earth. Standing as angels of the Lord (similar to Exodus 3 in the burning bush), they shall be instrumental in releasing creation from the bondage of corruption and setting them in the heavenlies.
DEVOURING FIRE AND EVERLASTING BURNINGS
"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 33:14.
We see that the question suggests that there is a people who can live in the fires of God, and verse 15 verifies it: " 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."
We should not fear the holy flames of God; for this is one of the things with which He makes His overcomers. In one place John the Baptist said that Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and (Grk kai, even) fire, indicating that His Holy Spirit is the same as Fire. Matthew 3:11. Shy not from the fiery trials; for truly, it is by fire He purifies His people. Frankly, the fire of God is a great place to be; for it is therein where we dwell with Him.
Malachi poses a similar question as that of Isaiah. He asked: "...Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like A REFINER'S FIRE...." Malachi 3:2.
It is no longer a mystery that the appearing of the Lord is in His corporate body of the firstfruits, the express manifestation of His person. These are the ones who can abide in His devouring fire and everlasting burnings. Since they are one with Him, as flames of fire, they are delighted to be in the midst of His glorious GODFIRE!
The Pathfinder • PO Box 4004 • Alamogordo NM 88311