One day last week I was asking God: “what is the key to being rid of this coronavirus” and the Lord answered me with the word ‘fire’. It was as though God was saying ‘call down the fire’ and also, ‘use the fire that is within you’. So I began to look at some scriptures concerning this fire. The first scripture I saw was in Zechariah 2:5 where the bible tells us of the Lord, “I will be a wall of fire around her (Jerusalem, God’s people) and I will be the glory in her midst” brackets mine. God was the fire of protection around His people! It reminded me of a story from Reinhard Bonnke where his tent, the place where he was having a huge meeting in Africa, was surrounded by fire in the spirit after prayer. The result was that various witch doctors could not even get into the tent to perform what they came to do, which was to destroy Reinhard and the work. Apparently, according to one of them who got saved later, all they saw was a wall of fire around the tent. The power of the destroyer was nullified by the fire of God protecting Reinhard and the entire congregation in the mission tent. I also remember a meeting in Washington DC where, during the glory conference we were attending, the fire brigade were called three times, fire having been reported coming out of the roof of the building. (Bob’s note: fire was also reported coming out of the church several times during the Pentecostal revival at Azuza Street 1906-1915) So we see the fire of God’s protection; the fire of God’s presence; the fire showing us that God is ‘on the job’, present in the situation.
Fire in the old testament
We are told in Hebrews 12:29 that “our God is a consuming fire”. That was the same fire of the Lord that fell and consumed everything when Elijah called down this fire upon the sacrifice he was offering. The result was that the people who had been in two minds about whether to serve God or Baal said, “The Lord, He is God”.
Where the fire is, the presence is. Where the presence is, so is the fire; even a consuming fire. Do you remember the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3? Although verse 2 says that “an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire”, yet verse 4 tells us that “God called to him from the midst of the fire”(NKJV). Be it an Angel or God Himself, fire was that which surrounded the heavenly appearance. It was the same in Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation. In 1 Chronicles 21:26, we see David who built an altar and made offerings to the Lord, then called on the name of the Lord, and “He answered him from heaven by fire”. The fire of His presence; the fire of His protection; the fire that burns up our offerings. This fire also cleanses and this fire kills the enemy and consumes all of his germs. in Genesis 19:24 it rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed the filth. Fire consumes not just the good offerings but it consumes the enemies work. It consumed, in that case, Sodom and Gomorrah.
Fire in the new testament
Fire also refines: Malachi 3:2, referring prophetically to John the Baptist, talks of the ‘refiners fire’ coming to prepare people for Jesus. Jesus said Luke 12:49 “I came to send fire on the earth”. The fire purifies, destroys, it separates, consumes, kills everything that’s bad. Revelation 20:14 tells us of the Lake of fire that destroyed the foul spirits.
In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist speaks of Jesus as the One who “Will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”. In Acts chapter 2 the outworking of that promise of the fire is recorded: “then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them they were filled with the Holy Spirit”. When the apostles went out and demonstrated the power of the Kingdom of God, the very same fire of God we have been reading about, was now within them. Normally the fire of God would burn us up as impure sinful humans before a pure and Holy God, but the blood of Jesus protects us (thank you Lord!) We can have the Holy Spirit, the fire of God on earth, living within us.
So to recap quickly, we see the fire of God at the burning Bush, Pentecost, the fire at the glory meetings in Washington, Reinhardt Bonnke’s tent fire, consuming sacrifices, fire and glory of his presence, God the consuming fire, the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, the refiners fire, the fire sent by Jesus on the earth, the fire filled baptism of the Holy Spirit, and fire being the killer and ultimate destroyer of every plague and everything evil, including the devil himself.