His Coming in Flaming Fire!
By Gary Amirault
Recently, Helen Pennington sent me a photocopy of a work entitled "His Glorious Appearing," by Reba McMurry. Chapter 11 expressed something very deep in my heart. Rather than me saying the same thing in different words, I thought I would reprint this chapter in this issue of Dew. I made one correction in which she incorrectly used the Emphatic Diaglott, a Greek\English transliteration. The rest is as it appears in her book.
Jesus, in the Unveiling (Book of Revelation), asked us to get hot or cold. . .the lukewarm He would spit out of His mouth. This is an invitation to get hot with His Everlasting Love.
His Coming in Flaming Fire
For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel and fire. Isa. 9:5
Fire: heat and light evolved by ignition and combustion; intensity of feeling; ardor; spirit; severe trial and affliction. (Webster)
And you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:7,8
The original Greek on this text is as follows:
So also to you the afflicted, a rest together with us, at the Revelation of the Lord Jesus from Heaven with the Angels of his Power, in a Flame of Fire dispensing retributive justice to those not acknowledging God, and to those not being obedient to the glad tidings of our Lord Jesus; [the author used the word-for-word Greek translation underneath the Greek text of the Emphatic Diaglott which does not make good English. It was replaced with Benjamin Wilson's translation - ed.]
This coming of the Lord in flaming fire is a wonderful thing. Webster says fire is both heat and light. Now as the Lord appears (is manifested) "with messengers of the power of Himself, in a fire" we can expect to see some real destruction and cleansing within people.
This is not telling about literal fire or a literal body of a person called Jesus bringing such down through the skies for the natural eyes to see. Far from it. It is something much greater and deeper than that.
Let us see what the scriptures say about this fire which is both heat and light. Heb. 12:28,29 says, "Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire.
Now a consuming fire is one that consumes or burns up something. And that is what our God is. Don't forget it. Then is it any wonder that when He appears in His mighty messengers (myriads of Himself) He comes with consuming fire to destroy all flesh (carnality within us)? These mighty messengers of Himself are a part of that same fire.
Heb. 1:7 says, "And of the angels He saith, 'who maketh His ministers a flame of fire.'" The original Greek renders it this way: "And with respect to the angels, indeed he says, 'It is He who makes his angels winds, and his ministering servants a flame of fire.'" (ed. note: I again corrected the English to the correct words of Benjamin Wilson, author of this Greek text. Another note, there is no "Original Greek.") David said of God, "Who maketh His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire." Ps.104:4.
Now we see that God Himself is a consuming fire, and His ministers are also like a fire. Let us now see what He says about the very word He speaks. "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord." Jer. 23:29. Again He says, "Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, because ye speak this word, behold, I will make MY WORDS IN THY MOUTH FIRE, and this people wood, and it shall devour them." Jer. 5:14.
God is fire; His ministers are fire, and His word is fire! With all this fire there must be something that needs to be burned before God can have a people after His own nature and likeness.
Now let us look at the people and their needs. Paul said, "I am carnal, sold under sin." He also said that "ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God." It is because of this universal need that God, His ministers and His word are a fire-one that produces both light and heat.
During the prophetic days and nights (times of light and times of darkness) within this one continuing day of the Lord which began at Pentecost, the 'night' seasons always produce some things that must be consigned to the fire, when the LIGHT of a new prophetic morning again dawns and exposes those things that have come up under darkness.
Jesus was speaking of such a condition and time when He spoke the parable of the tares in Matt. 13:24-30. "Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; but WHILE MEN SLEPT (night) his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, 'Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?' He said unto them, 'an enemy hath done this.' The servants said unto him, 'will thou then that we go and gather them up?' But he said, 'Nay, lest while we gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 'Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
Here we find in a field (mind) a mixture of carnal and spiritual. Only pure spiritual truth had been planted there by the owner, but "while men slept" (were unawares) carnality crept in and planted some of his understanding along with it. Thus the field was producing a mixture. "Shall we pull out the tares?" asked the servants of the good planter. "No, if you pull them out now, their roots are all entwined together; you will also uproot the wheat." There are times when it will kill one to try to pull all the tares out of his life. God, in His wisdom, appoints the time. "Let them both grow together until the HARVEST, THEN I will send you to make the separation, and to BURN the tares. He supplies the fire to do it.
I believe we are now in a harvest time (editor's note: I don't know when she wrote this). The tares of error and deception are being bound into bundles (organizations of various kinds, religious pens with fleshly walls for strongholds) "to be burned." God's fire brand ministers who have the fire (word of truth) with which to burn those corrupt things, are also gathering the wheat into HIS barn.
They are teaching and strengthening them in truth, and enlightening them so that they are willing to let their tares burn, because they desire to become a pure field in Him. It is the seed of the pure field that is harvested after each season's growth that God uses for a new planting. Let us keep in mind the "times and seasons" of God's order of things.
Paul carries this same thought to us that Jesus brought in the parable of the tares. In 1 Cor. 3:11-15 he says, "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 manifest; for the day (time of light) shall declare (manifest) 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 shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
Now notice that some of the things men build onto this foundation of Jesus Christ can be destroyed by fire, and some cannot. Gold, silver, and precious stones cannot be destroyed cannot be destroyed by fire, and they compare to the pure elements of the spiritual man. But there are some other things that people often build into their house on the foundation of Christ, which can be destroyed by the fire of His truth. Compare to the wood, hay and stubble. They are worthless, when compared to gold, silver, and precious stones, yet many build their spiritual houses with a lot of such worthless material in them. But look out for the fire! "For the day shall declare it." Not a time of darkness (during which time of ignorance God winked at), but a time when it begins to get light all around us, and this firebrand ministry begins to go forth with such an abundance of the fire word (truth) that it exposes and consumes all those fleshly works of the wood, hay and stubble builders.
Some of us have already experienced this destruction of our religious flesh works-our wood, hay, and stubble-the empty, frivolous things of carnality with which we had thought we were building a pretty nice looking religious house.
"If any man's work be burned he shall suffer loss." Oh, yes, you may wonder if anything is going to be left. And often times there isn't very much, if anything, to leave. "But he, himself, shall be saved; yet so as BY FIRE. Yes, if he is willing to separate himself from those dead and worthless religious words and let God's fire (word of truth) reveal them and burn them up, he can be saved.
What a burning, what a burning,
As all goes up in smoke and flame;
Everything of Adam's nature
Must bow the knee to Jesus' name.
If we think we can escape the fire, we are in the greatest deception. There is no other way to become a temple of the Lord of Righteousness. That was in the plan before Jesus came in the Body that Mary gave birth to.
"Malachi, the last prophet to give a message preceding the birth of Jesus, said, "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 fuller's soap; and He shall sit as a 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 and offering in righteousness." Mal. 3:2,3.
"Who can stand when He appeareth?" Many can stand and pose as righteous pillars during the night time of apostasy, when there is so much wood, hay, and stubble built in, that one doesn't see much gold and silver and precious stones because of the mixture.
But when the light of His fire-word starts shining, bringing the light of another prophetic day, and that same fire-word begins to set fire to the dross, it brings down those mixtures and "who can STAND when He appeareth?" "He is like a refiner's fire." It takes a hot fire to consume away the dross and leave the gold or silver, in pure form. "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."
Who are to be purged? The sons of Levi, the religious leaders, if you please; those who carried on the religious services. Oh, do they need purging? That is where it begins. "Judgment must begin at the house of God." When we learn that the religious leaders are corrupt, and the ones first in line for the fire, we will have made some progress in truth. It has been our custom in the past (night) to consign the non-religious professor to the fire, but to intend to escape it ourselves.
And here we must wake up to a very profound truth. "Awake, thou that sleepeth and Christ shall give thee light." Awake! Learn a great and fundamental truth right here, we must all come through the fire (through the cleansing of God's word). That "lake of fire" of Rev. 20 is where the "death and hell" in everyone of us has to be cast. Fire, being God's word, yes even God Himself, for He and His word are one in such portions as to become a lake, is surely enough to burn out all the wood, hay, and stubble within you, and anybody else.
Paul said, "To be carnally minded IS death." So that explains the death that must be cast into the lake of fire. Hell is torment that goes with carnality; all those works of the flesh, jealousy, envy, malice, etc. Oh, we should be asking God to cast us into that lake for a real cleansing!
Peter told us this day of the Lord would "come as a thief in the night (while men are spiritually asleep in apostasy) in 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
Your old religious heavens, which were your former resting place where you felt so secure in the religious cradle you church mother rocked you in, is beginning to shake and fall, in the light of what this fire-word is revealing. Yes, they are passing away as if being shaken down by an earthquake, a great avalanche of truth. "The ELEMENTS shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are there in shall be burned up." "The first man (of our inner nature) is of the earth, earthy." THAT is the earth which is to be burned up, our old Adam nature.
Some think that the earth to be burned is the ground we walk on, but God said it was good when He made it, and it has not sinned or changed. Let us not fool ourselves about what earth it is he wants to burn.
He said, "the earth AND the works that are therein" shall be burned. The "works" in our carnal, earthy nature are the works of the flesh that are mentioned in Gal. 5:19-21. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornications, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, wrath, emulations, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God."
"The ELEMENTS shall melt with fervent (intense) heat." The intense heat of God's fire-word applied to the carnal elements within our earth, will melt them, praise God. Oh yes, the fire must be our choice. (editor's note: the Greek word for "elements" here is "stoicheion" which refers to rudiments, first steps, principles, rather than physical material such as atoms. See Gal. 4:3,9 for the same word)
As He comes in flaming fire He burns these things out before Him. If we want to become of like nature with God, and be used of Him to help others to reach that same purity, let us see what God told Ezekiel about the process of reaching it.
He used hair as a type. "Thou shalt take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel." Ezek. 5:3 Now please notice first what class of people are to be cast into the fire. Those who have been called out, and gathered into a inner fellowship with Him (bound in HIS skirt); THEY are the ones who are to be cast into the MIDST of the fire, if you please. "And BURN THEM."
Oh my brother, if God is calling you into a new calling for this new prophetic day of light dawning, then YOU must be burned. That hay, wood, and stubble in YOU must go. You can never stand in the pure image of God if you have a strange and foreign mixture in you.
And God's lovely plan is to burn that out of you, so that you, in turn, can bring others to that same purification. "For thereof "through you, who have been cast into the midst of the fire and burned) shall a FIRE COME FORTH into all the house of Israel." God's ministers ARE a flaming fire. The soft, soothing, syrup-talking ministers who are coddling their fields of wheat-tares in this harvest time would be fearful of applying the fire to them lest they OFFEND their carnal spirits. The blind leading the blind.
But a clarion call is going forth, "Awake, thou that sleepeth, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." "For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with furry, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many." Isa. 66:15,16
"With fire and with HIS chariots." What are His chariots? David tells us. "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels (messengers) and the Lord is among them." (Ps. 85:17) "To render His anger with fury." His anger is against that wood, hay, and stubble carnality within YOU, because He loves YOU and wants you to be in His pure image.
This same God who IS a consuming fire, also IS love. He will render His "rebuke with flames of fire." His pure (fire) word brings that REBUKE to the carnal things of our self nature, destroys and cuts them down. "For by fire and by His sword (word) will the Lord plead with ALL flesh."
So all carnality must go through the fire; none can escape it. There is no detour around this lake of fire if you wish to get to a place called perfection in God. And the slain of the Lord shall be many." Praise God! That good old gospel sword will cut down the carnal man in many, that they might rise in the likeness and image of God.
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12,13
Brethren, do not whine and cry like a baby wanting sympathy if God is setting you in the midst of the lake of fire. Do not think some strange thing is happening to you when God permits that fiery trial to come into your life. It is not a strange thing. It is the usual thing that our Love-God, Fire-God brings into the experience of His precious children. Just do not remain so attached to that wood, hay, and stubble that you cannot let it go. Submission to a loving God is real soothing oil for the burn wound.
Do not be a cry baby but REJOICE because you can be a partaker with Him, for it is to a wise and good purpose. Submitting to that burning (of your carnality) is exactly what will bring the revealing of His glory IN YOU. "And when His glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
Jesus said, "I AM COME to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?" Luke 12:49 Can we say, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus?" We need not fear this fire-brand way of God, for His ways are good ways.
He said He would never leave you nor forsake you. When you are correcting your child because of some misbehavior on its part, he may think for the moment you do not love him, but you assure him that you are correcting something in him that is not right, that he may grow up according to the standard you wish him to attain. So it is with our Father God. He chastens whom He LOVES. Listen to this precious promise to us: "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. Isa. 43:2
Remember that God loves you just as much when you are in the lake of fire, as when you are on the mountain top of God. The road to that mountain top leads through the lake of fire, with no detours.
Isa. 33:14-16 "Who shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the pain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stopped his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high; his places of defense shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."
The rewards are surely wonderful for those who dwell with the devouring-fire, with everlasting burnings, because the devouring fire, that everlasting burnings is none other but our God who IS a consuming fire.
"He shall dwell on high; his place of DEFENSE shall be the munitions of rocks." Rocks are in the class that cannot be burned-gold, silver, and precious STONES. That is why they are a defense to him. They remain, nor do they vanish in smoke when the trial is on, as do the wood, hay, and stubble. And to him is the promise, "Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."
Jesus said, "For every one shall be salted with fire. . ." Luke 9:49 Salt is what makes our food tasty. We would not relish it without salt. The fire of God in us, burning out the carnality, takes that flat taste out of us, and puts the zest in us. A preacher who is dead in carnality himself cannot kindle a fire in the hearts of his people. So there are many dead congregations-no salt. Nothing there that would draw anybody else.
"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." Rev. 3:18 Let us seek after pure truth, gold that has been tested by the fire.
The reflection of the Master's image can be seen in gold from which all the dross has been burned.
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Rev. 15:2 Here we see a picture of the victorious ones, those who have the victory over their beast nature, with all of his identities, his mark and number. A wonderful company standing on the sea of glass (pure, transparent) and having the harps of God.
They were able to give out music in the divine harmony of God. But remember that sea of glass on which they were standing was "mingled with FIRE." It takes the fire to keep the beast nature and all his identifying marks or numbers burned out. So let us say, in flaming fire "Even so come, Lord Jesus."
Tried by Fire
Do you think God does not love you
When you're passing beneath the rod?
Do you grow a bit discouraged;
Think the road is most too hard?
Oh, my brother, do you not know
That our Father has a plan
By which to purge and purify
And perfect this race of men?
Think it not strange, said brother Peter
When come the fiery trial;
It may come in fierce temptations
That will call forth self-denial.
It may be in deepest sorrow,
Sad bereavement, or in pain.
Your friends may all forsake you;
God will work it for your gain.
The trial of your faith, said he,
Is of value more than gold.
His fire is burning out the dross
From His chosen and His called.
Let us stay right in the furnace
Though the flames seem hard to take.
God, in His Love, is sending them
That he a perfect vessel make.
He is calling out His remnant;
Seed with which to plant again.
He must test and try each vessel,
Those to find who will remain.
Would you like for him to use you?
Would you like to add your voice
To this new day trumpet sounding?
Then the fire must be your choice.
If any dross or stain remain
Then the gold cannot be pure.
It will not reflect His image
And you never will endure.
Go through, as faithful Abraham,
For he proved his love by test;
Climbing up old Mount Moriah
On God's altar laid his best.
Think of those three Hebrew boys;
They loved God with all their hearts;
Yet each was tested by the fire
Nor from it's pain refused a part.
God saw He could count them faithful
In whate'er their lot might be.
He wants to prove the same of you
So from His testing do not flee.
--by Reba McMurry