THE DIVINE FIRE

(Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

DIVINE FIRE Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Our God is a consuming fire. This means whatever is not of His Divine Nature cannot exist in His Presence. All that is not of God's Nature is not holy, for the very meaning of holiness is that which can withstand the Divine burning.

When the Lord Jesus Christ has wrought His perfect work in us we can dwell in the Consuming Fire who is God.

Table of Contents

Introduction Divine Fire Is Divine Fire All Must Pass Through the Fire Salvation by the Fire of Divine Judgment The Salvation Reserved for the Last Days Conclusion

THE DIVINE FIRE

Introduction

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:4)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Revelation 2:11)

The wording of Revelation 2:11 is peculiar. We would expect the verse to say, He who overcomes will never be in danger of the second death. Or, he who overcomes will not be cast into the Lake of Fire.

When we tell someone that an object or experience will not hurt them we are implying that they will be subjected to it but there is no reason to worry.

For example:

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)

God is saying (above) that His servants, His witnesses, will go through many tribulations but they will not be destroyed by them.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery oven but they were not hurt by it.

The wording of Revelation 2:11 gives the impression that the overcomer will be subjected in some manner to the second death but it will not hurt him.

Another verse along the same line is as follows:

 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power [authority], but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

Again, we would expect to read, "such will never be in danger of the second death." Instead we find "over such the second death has no authority."

Whenever our doctrine does not fall simply and clearly into a verse of Scripture it is our doctrine that must be changed, or at least modified, until it is precisely in line with the Scripture.

Divine Fire Is Divine Fire

God Himself is a Fire!

 And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 31:9)

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)

For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)

Notice the context of Hebrews 12:29. It reveals that the entire created realm must be exposed to the fiery judgment of the Lord.

The context states:

Refusing Him who speaks (12:25).

Shaking the heaven and the earth until that which is not of Christ is removed (12:26,27).

Serving God with reverence and godly fear (12:28).

Burning sulfur is mentioned several times in the Scriptures as being the portion of wicked people.

 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone [burning sulfur] and fire from the Lord out of heaven; (Genesis 19:24)

Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone [burning sulfur], and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. (Psalms 11:6)

For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone [burning sulfur], doth kindle it. (Isaiah 30:33)

The preceding verse is significant. It portrays the "breath of the Lord" as being "like a stream of burning sulfur."

We may not enjoy thinking of the effect of the breath of God as being similar to that of burning sulfur, but the Scripture is the Scripture!

The wicked of the last days will be tormented and slain by fire, smoke, and sulfur.

 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone [sulfur], which issued out of their mouths. (Revelation 9:18)

Whoever worships the beast, the world system, will be tormented forever with burning sulfur.

 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone [burning sulfur] in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: (Revelation 14:10)

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone [burning sulfur]. (Revelation 19:20)

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone [burning sulfur], where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone [burning sulfur]: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

Perhaps the Lake of Fire is in the interior of the earth. One can notice in the country of Iceland the sulfurous fumes that issue from the earth in certain places.

We are called to live in the Divine fire.

 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)

Our God is a Fire. The Divine fire always is a torment to the sinners and hypocrites in Zion, to all the fleshly endeavors of mankind, and to all the wicked.

 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)

All Must Pass Through the Fire

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 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. (I Corinthians 3:11-13)

"Every man’s work . . . shall be revealed by fire." Every man’s work!

The only sure foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ. Every person on earth is invited to build his life on the one foundation.

What we build is character—Christ-filled character in ourselves and Christ-filled character in others. Nothing else can be built that is of any eternal worth. The only structure we can bring with us after we leave this temporary probational period on earth is our character, our personality.

We can follow the Holy Spirit as He forms Christ in us. Or we can give ourselves to the appetites and passions of our body and soul.

If we sow to the Holy Spirit we will reap the gold, silver, and precious stones of the character of Christ. If we sow to our flesh and soul we will reap the wood, hay, and straw of the adamic personality.

The Divine fire of God will test every person’s work. If the individual has sown to the Spirit of God, taking up his cross and following Christ, the gold and silver will be made more pure. The precious stones will be cleansed of all contamination and will sparkle with increased beauty.

If the individual has sown to his human personality, walking in his own desires, his work will be destroyed by the Divine fire.

The point is, every person’s work will be tested by fire. This is very important to understand because of the current overemphasis on "grace."

Let us proceed with the passage.

 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 3:14,15)

If a believer has faithfully followed the Lord and the Lord has given him a fruitful ministry, He will receive a reward in the Day of the Lord.

If the ministry of the believer has been self-motivated, he has not followed the Lord but his own spiritual ambitions, he has been treacherous toward his family, has sought his own glory, has practiced immorality, has coveted money, all he has accomplished shall be burned up in the fire of God.

Paul goes on to say, "he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

The current Christian mythology teaches that to be saved is to live forever in a mansion in heaven. The idea of being saved as by fire is that although the individual may not be crowned as a king over the nations he still will live forever in Paradise in his mansion. He may not receive a seven-story mansion but what he does get will be fantastically better than anything experienced during life on earth. So why worry about the quality of one’s service!

The truth is, to be saved as by fire, in the terms of I Corinthians 3:14,15, is the same as the salvation offered to the incestuous believer of the church in Corinth.

 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Corinthians 5:5)

Not that he would go to Heaven when he died but that his spirit would be saved in the Day of the Lord.

The goal of our salvation is not to bring us to a mansion in Heaven but into the Kingdom of God. There is a vast difference between having an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of God and being saved as by fire.

Think of the difference between the salvation of Abraham and the salvation of Lot. Really think about it. Abraham is revered as the father of all who believe. God is the God of Abraham. Christ is the Seed of Abraham.

Lot lost his wife, his possessions, and with his daughters brought forth Moab and Ammon, the despised of the Lord.

What will it mean to have the fire of God burn away our accomplishments, for it is our accomplishments and the accomplishments of those to whom we minister, that are either gold, silver, and precious stones or wood, hay, and straw. Nothing else can be brought into the spirit realm after death.

To be saved as by fire may mean a staggering loss that will affect us throughout eternity. We shall watch while the faithful are loaded with Divine glory until they shine as the stars of the firmament while we are left as a naked spirit, within the borders of the Kingdom but without glory, honor, or even the respect of those around us.

 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:2,3)

How would you like to enter the Kingdom of God in a state of shame and everlasting contempt? This is what it means to be saved as by fire.

The fire that strips away all of our accomplishments, that hurts us, may be the same fire that burns in the Lake of Fire. The overcomer cannot be hurt by the Divine fire. He walks in the midst of it, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and all that is consumed are his bonds.

The same burning sulfur that consumed Sodom and Gomorrah also hurt Lot. It hurt Lot by destroying his flocks, his home, his sons-in-law, and his wife. The same burning sulfur that came down from the heaven drove Lot and his two daughters up to a cave to live as paupers—the man who previously had possessed too many animals to live near his uncle, Abraham.

 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. (Genesis 13:5,6)

The sulfurous fire that destroyed Sodom was not an ordinary fire. It was an eternal fire from God.

 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)

Salvation by the Fire of Divine Judgment

 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: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:11,12)

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (I Peter 4:12)

As we have stated, the Divine fire will test every person’s work of what kind it is. Was it wrought in Christ or was it a human or sinful effort? All of us must be brought through the fire of God. We must become "fireproof" if we would enjoy the Presence of the Father throughout eternity; if we would be with the Lord Jesus where He is.

The fiery trial mentioned by the Apostle Peter is the Divine judgment that must fall continually on us and all our works.

The subject of the fourth chapter of First Peter is salvation by the fire of Divine judgment. The stage is set by the opening passage:

 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (I Peter 4:1,2)

The suffering we Christians experience is often a judgment on the sins in our flesh. The fiery sufferings burn away our sins so that we live in God’s will rather than in the lusts of our flesh ("lasciviousness [immorality], lusts, excess of wine, revellings [orgies], banquetings [drinking parties], and abominable idolatries"—I Peter 4:3).

Since we are in the last days the Judgment Seat of Christ already is in session.

 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)

When the believers are judged because of their sins they are chastened by the Lord so they will not be condemned with the world.

 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (I Corinthians 11:32)

The process of salvation is the process of removing the worldliness, lust, and self-will from our personality and filling us with the Life of Christ. God accomplishes this deliverance by bringing us through the fires of Divine judgment.

 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (I Peter 4:12)

The same fiery trial purified the Son of God. Even He learned obedience to the Father by means of the things He suffered, and being made perfect He became the Captain of our salvation.

 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)

If the Lamb of God was made perfect through sufferings, what will be true of us who are altogether sinful and desperately wicked?

We are saved from sin by Divine judgment. The program is difficult because of our lack of faith and patience.

 And if the righteous scarcely be saved [is saved with difficulty], where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18)

Many believers drop out of the race because they are unwilling to suffer with patience while the Lord deals with their worldliness, lusts, and self-will.

He who endures to the end of his life the process of salvation will be saved.

We must walk by faith in God. If we draw back from the Divine dealings we are faced with destruction. 

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)

The Salvation Reserved for the Last Days

People are born into the world with two strikes against them, so to speak. When we are born we are already guilty and cut off from the Life of God because of Adam’s sin. We have dwelling in us a body of sin that we have inherited from our ancestors. Also, during our life we acquire many forms of sin and rebellion.

We are guilty, we are under Divine condemnation, and also are bound with strong urges to sin and rebel against God’s will.

God, in His love, has sent the Lord Jesus to us. By means of the shed blood of the cross of Calvary our sins are forgiven when we turn to Jesus. But there remains in our personality the strong urges to sin.

The ceremony of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus, Chapter 16), with its slain goat and living goat, portrays the forgiveness of the person who looks to the Lord for salvation, and also the removal of the power of sin from his or her personality.

The Christian salvation includes both the forgiveness and the removal of sin.

The forgiveness of sin has been experienced by multitudes of believers throughout the centuries of the Christian Era. The beginning of the removal of the power of sin, the Day of Redemption, has been reserved for the period just prior to the return of the Lord. The Day of Redemption, of Atonement, of Reconciliation, has begun now and will extend through the thousand-year Kingdom Age.

Several passages of Scripture point to the future day of redemption, of salvation.

 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)

To those who look for Him, Christ shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation. The cross of Calvary removed the guilt of our sin. Now the Lord is appearing to His people as the One who takes away the power, the presence of sin.

The purification of the Lord’s people by Divine fire, by the fire of judgment, was announced by the Prophets.

 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood [blood-guiltiness; bloodshed] of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. (Isaiah 4:4)

The Lord has promised to purge the filth and bloodguiltiness from the daughters of Zion by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. The spirit of judgment and burning are the baptism with fire announced by John the Baptist:

 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: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:11,12)

The Lord Jesus will purge His threshing floor by baptizing His people with the fire of Divine judgment. This process has begun among those who are living close to the Lord.

Again, in the Book of Zechariah.

 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. (Zechariah 13:9)

The "silver" and "gold" of God’s people will be purified by fire.

The way of the Lord will be prepared by means of a purifying of the royal priesthood.

 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:1-3)

John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah and prepared the way for the first coming of the Lord Jesus. John preached the baptism of repentance.

In the last days the spirit of Elijah and Elisha, two witnesses of God, shall abide on the warlike remnant of the Church. God’s witnesses shall torment those who live on the earth. The double portion of God’s Spirit in His saints will prepare the way for the second coming of the Lord.

The Lord’s churches are filled with worldliness, lust, and self-will. The believers must be baptized with the Divine fire of judgment so their sin will be washed away; not the guilt of sin, for that already has been removed. It is the presence of sin itself that must be exposed to the consuming Fire.

The Kingdom of God is as a great net that has been let down into the sea of mankind. As the time draws near for the return of the Judge (He stands at the very door in our day), the behavior that offends God will be judged in those who are closest to the Lord. Every individual who will permit the Holy Spirit to do so will be purified by fire. But the believers who reject the convicting power of the Spirit, choosing instead to listen to the modern "prophets" of the rapture, of prosperity, who tell the Lord’s flock they do not have to suffer tribulation in order to enter the Kingdom of God, will face the fiery wrath of Christ when He descends with many thousands of His saints to execute judgment on the sinners in the churches.

 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these [certain men who had crept into the assembly of the saints], saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 1:14,15)

The sinners in Zion will be terrified when they are faced with the fiery judgment that will come at the hand of Christ and His servants.

The Christian churches are woefully unprepared for the future!

Notice in the following passage the purging of the Kingdom in the last days:

 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Matthew 13:41)

First the things that offend, and then those who are lawless. If we permit the Lord to do so He will remove from our personality all that is offensive to Him. But if we do not, then we ourselves will be removed. Who knows whether Christ in His mercy will, in this case, grant that we may be saved by fire as was Lot?

All sin and sinners in the Kingdom will be cast into the fire.

 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:42)

The Kingdom of God will be purged in the last days.

 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: (Matthew 13:47)

Conclusion

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:11)

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

"Shall not be hurt of the second death."

"On such the second death hath no power."

Now our passages can be understood. The second death is the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. The fire is the Divine Fire, the fire that destroys all worldliness, all the works of the flesh, all self-will and rebellion.

The works of every individual shall be subjected to the Divine Fire. Every individual who has followed the Lord Jesus in stern, cross-carrying obedience will shine as the sun in the Kingdom of his Father. He shall be rewarded by the Lord for his faithfulness in bringing forth the fruit of Christ in his own life and in the lives of others.

But the person who has rejected Christ, or who has been a neglectful, lukewarm "Christian," will lose all he or she has accomplished. He will enter eternity as a naked spirit, terrified because of his closeness to the burning sulfur, without reward or inheritance. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when those who have been lazy and careless with the things of God see the unimaginably marvelous rewards that will be handed to the faithful, while they themselves are clothed in rags.

And then the fate of the thoroughly wicked! The panic of seeing the gates of the Kingdom closed and to be on the outside! To realize one is lost forever to the Presence of God! To never again know love, joy, peace. To never again hear the happy laughter of children. To never again be allowed to visit with the loved ones who chose to follow Christ.

To be led away to the vast sea of burning sulfur, there to be confined with Satan and his angels, the Antichrist, the false prophet, the hideous demons. To never again hear music—only the maniacal laughter and screaming of the wicked. Such a fate is as incomprehensible in its horror as the Kingdom of God is in its wondrous loveliness.

Some have taught that after a period of time Satan and the wicked will have been purified by the fire and will come back into the family of God. There is no passage of Scripture that suggests this. When an angel sins it becomes sin itself. When a human being chooses to sin and will not accept redemption, he or she also becomes sin itself. There is no other aspect of personality remaining. All has become sin and all is doomed to remain in the fiery burnings for eternity.

God opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing.

Let the holy remain holy and the filthy remain filthy. Make straight the way of the Lord.

The promise is in writing to the person who chooses to avail himself of the grace of Christ in order to put away all worldliness, the sins of the flesh, and self-will and disobedience: You will not be hurt by the second death. The second death no longer has authority over you.