April 11, 2007
Into the Fire With God Kathleen Maples
Psa 78:54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.
In Exo 20 God came down on Mt Sinai to talk to all the people. He wanted to deal with His people
Himself. But, the sight and sound was too much for them and they backed off in fear and begged Moses to be the one to tell
them what God said but they did not want God to speak to them directly. This surely had to hurt God, because in effect, it
was a rejection of a granted opportunity of fellowship. (Exo_20:18-19). Exo_19:16-18 tells us that there was thunder and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount and the the people trembled
with fear from the sight and sound before them. Mt. Sinai itself quaked. It's mentioned several places in the Bible about
these events. Imagine standing with your family and friends and seeing such an awe inspiring sight.
And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the
smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
Deu 4:11 And ye came
near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and
Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he showed thee his great fire; and
thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.
Psa 68:8 The earth shook,
the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Heb 12:21 And so terrible
was the sight, that Moses
said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
The people were afraid. They did not want to hear God's voice speaking directly to them. Even Moses was
afraid. He was after all, flesh and blood, just like we are.
And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that
ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
Deu 5:24 And ye said,
Behold, the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire:
we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
Deu 5:25 Now therefore
why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
They contradict themselves here. They are double minded. Their flesh fears God, and wants no contact with
Him and they give in to that. So, God called for the 70 elders and Moses to come out from among the people, and come up to
Him in the mountain. They sat at the table of the Lord, (Exo 24:9-11) and they saw Him, His form, the appearance of His throne,
up there on the top of that mountain, and they ate and drank in His presence, without harm. God called Moses apart, and Moses
told them to wait for His return. Moses was called to come up even higher. Imagine, the mountain is trembling from the presence
of the Almighty under Moses' feet and every step he takes brings him closer to this cloud at the top where he can see the
devouring fire moving around inside the cloud.
Exo 24:16 And the
glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out
of the midst of the cloud.
Exo 24:17 And the sight
of the glory of the LORD was
like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
Exo 24:18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and got him up into the
mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
As I read these Scriptures, what I underlined stood out very strongly to me. Moses went into the cloud
knowing there was a consuming fire in there. He was afraid, but he went in anyway. There were others in the Bible who encountered
the fire of God.
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the
When I read that, I had to ask myself what has to die before I can see the Lord high and lifted up? The
only answer is myself. The desires of my flesh and the carnality of my mind must be put to death. They can not rule this temple
for if they are allowed to rule, then I will die. (Rom 8:6)
Isa 6:2 Above it
stood the seraphims: each one had six wings with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain
he did fly.
Isa 6:3 And one cried
unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
What reverence in the presence of the Lord. Though they stood above the throne of God they hid their face
and their feet. They hovered above Him, and could only worship Him. If they are so moved and awed by the presence of God,
being seraphim I dare not casually approach God without reverence. They stand, ever ready to minister to the slightest need
or desire of the Lord. The word 'seraphim' means burning, fiery. They displayed humility and respect in the presence of God.
Oh, I must learn this lesson from these Scriptures. I know the Bible says in Heb 4:16 I can come boldly, but I must never
come arrogantly, or proudly, or presumptuously. Boldly merely means with confidence that I will be heard, and received.
Isa 6:4 And the posts
of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Isa 6:5 Then said I,
Woe is me! for I am undone;
because I am a man of
unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
I know the devil accuses and tries to bring God's people low under guilt and condemnation. He's
like the harsh taskmasters of Egypt with his vicious accusations that will render you helpless to move forward with God if
you listen to them. This has nothing to do with that. Isaiah was a prophet of God. He was called by God. He had ministered
to the people. But when Isaiah got a vision of the Lord, in all His glory, he saw that in comparison with the holiness and
purity of the Lord, he was unclean. Was it not Isaiah that said our own righteousness is as filthy rags before the Lord of
hosts? If you look that up, in the Hebrew, it means a menstruous cloth. Yuck. That's what we cover ourselves with when we
trust in our own works and effort to be righteous or holy by keeping rules and regulation before Him. And consider the smell.
Double yuck. Timothy said God dwells in an unapproachable light. It's been my experience the closer I draw to God, the more
easily I am able to see the spots and wrinkles and flaws I have. At times, it has caused despair, while longing for His holiness.
The closer you get to the Light of God, the better you see things like He does. Sometimes it's hard to take but He doesn't
show us our flaws to cause us to despair, but to show us we can't do it ourselves, we must trust Him to perfect or complete
the work in us He started. (Php_1:6, Psa_138:8) When Peter
got a revelation of Jesus, he fell before Jesus, saying, 'depart from me, Lord, I'm a sinful man.' When Job got the revelation,
he said in Job 42 'oh, Lord, I've heard about you, thought I knew you, but now I've seen you for myself, and I abhor myself,
and repent in dust in ashes.' Daniel fell like a dead man. Ezekiel was paralyzed with fear. John fell down like a dead man.
Each time the Lord had to raise them up and tell them not to be afraid. Oh, when you consider all this, then read Psalms 89:7,
you realize that is a command, not an option. He is to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence
of all them that are about Him.
Isa 6:6 Then flew one
of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
Isa 6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched
thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Mal 3:3 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.
Mal 3:3 explains what just happened to Isaiah and why. Remember the 120
in the upper room in Acts 2? The Holy Ghost came on them with tongues of fire. This seraphim purified Isaiah's mouth, and
he was purged. I heard a man of God say one time, the Holy Ghost came on Jesus like a dove, because He was pure, there was
nothing unclean in Him. He came on the 120 like tongues of fire, because they needed purifying. He burns up the chaff which
is the carnality and flesh that has to go. What happens when we deliberately expose ourselves to the Word of God with a hungry
heart? When our desire is to know HIM not just about Him? What about struggles
we contend with, and feel like Paul-that which we do we hate and that which we would do we find not how to do it.
Jer 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD;
and like a hammer that
breaketh the rock in pieces?
If we fall on His Word, it will cut out that which doesn't belong, it will break up the hard
spots, it will break and tenderize us as we agree with His Word even when it bears witness against something in us. But there
is a devil in this world and he doesn't want us to get to God. He wants us to defile ourselves so God will have to reject
us. If he can't get us to defile ourselves, he'll try to make us conform to his worldly image, whether it be worldly on the
outside or on the inside-and that's the most subtle. We can look right on the outside, but be worldly on the inside. If we
are always trying to figure things out, handle it ourselves, turning to flesh instead of God in trouble or confusion, we will
stay confused. We will be a mixture of religion and confusion and we will not have any power. Just a form of godliness. We
will learn the Scriptures but never come to the knowledge of the Truth. (Joh_14:6)
The Bible says with all thy knowledge, get understanding. But the devil doesn't want that. He wants us to bow to our own image
of ourselves. King Nebuchadnezzar thought highly of himself. God exalted him and it went to his head just like it did to Lucifer's.
(Isa 14, Eze 28). He made this huge golden image of himself, and commanded the people to bow. But God had 3 children, three
young people, that knew the Word, that knew their God for themselves. They were captives in a strange land, they had been
taken and educated in this strange land's idolatry and education system. But they did not eat the king's meat, they turned
to God who was their Provision. He kept them in this land, and they remained pure. They saw and understood for themselves
how vile it was to bow to man's image of himself, rather than the Creator who alone was worthy. They understood something
that strengthened their resolve in the face of certain death. The Bible doesn't say this, but I think it was simply, they
knew God for themselves and they loved Him.
Dan 3:15 Now if ye be
ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music,
ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace;
and who is that God that
shall deliver you out of my hands?
His taunts and threats did not shake these boys. They were determined to be faithful to God, knowing He
was able to deliver them, but regardless of whether He did or not. They knew their had been martyrs. They were fully prepared
to die. They completely put their lives in the hands of God, faced with a roaring fiery furnace. Saints, you can't have that
kind of faith unless you get it at His feet, alone with Him. You have got to know Him intimately to have that kind of faith.
You have to be sure of Him and your position in His sight with Him, to successfully face this. Remember, Paul said if you
give your body to be burned and don't have love it's not an acceptable sacrifice.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver
us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Dan 3:18 But if not,
be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
This king was infuriated at their response. But the Lord was already on the scene. They bound these boys,
and threw them in this fiery furnace, and they fell down, bound. The fire slew the men who threw them in because it was so
hot. I imagine the king, not caring for his own servants, just like the devil, sat back with smug satisfaction, sure he showed
them who was the boss. But then his eyes widened with astonishment. They were up walking around. And they weren't alone.
Dan 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar
the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?
They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
Dan 3:25 He answered
and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is
like the Son of God.
The only thing that burnt up was the cords that bound them. The fire of the furnace had no power over them.
The Lord kept them. The Lord preserved them. He walked in the fire with them. And even their enemy had to praise them.
Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke, and said, Blessed
be the God of Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel,
and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might
not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
They didn't yield and we don't have to either. When God shows us the image we have of ourselves, the things
we think we must have, the way we think we must look, or be, it has to come down. He wants to conform us the image of HIS
SON. No matter what the problem or trial is, we have to trust Him. We have to draw closer to Him and know Him for ourselves.
We can't make it on what we think we know about Him. We have to KNOW HIM. Praise God for the opportunity. Know up front, the
devil will conspire with and even use your own carnal mind to keep you from this. He will seek to manipulate your thoughts,
and flesh to keep you away from entering into the presence of the Almighty. To really pray through to where He is. When I
first got saved, at one point during those first few months, I was lying on my side in bed one night, in prayer, and I don't
remember what I was saying, but I was just loving Him, longing for more, and all of a sudden, though the room I was in was
dark, and my eyes were closed, and my prayer was inward, silent, I saw a vision. Everything began to light up and I saw this
cloud that reminded me of the smoke off dry ice. I saw these two arm rests like of a chair, and there were hands on them,
coming out of the smoke. I saw that someone was sitting there on this and realized it was God's throne. I remember seeing
a ring on His finger, and feeling this amazing sense of 'where am I?' and I looked and suddenly realized if that's God's throne,
those hands must be His, and fear gripped me and before I could stop myself I retreated, I opened my eyes, and the contact
was broken. I regret letting that fear get the best of me. It hindered me from something I needed.
In my spirit, I
feel God drawing me to come. To go into the fire with Him. He's already there waiting. He wants to burn up the chaff, and
take my life completely over. He wants yours, too. I keep getting a vision of a cup. A cup is a vessel. It's clean, and empty.
Only the Master can fill it. And only the Master can distribute the contents of the vessel. It can't do anything but contain
what the Master pours in. The cup has to have the Master pick it up and pour it out and refill it. It's like the lamp that
must have oil in it to burn. But the lamp is not the source of the Light, the oil is. The oil is the Holy Spirit burning in
us. We need Him. We can't do this for ourselves. He commanded us to be filled with the Spirit. It's not an option. It's a
command. (Eph 5:18).
Heb 12:18 For ye
are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
Heb 12:19 And the sound
of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
Heb 12:20 (For they
could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through
with a dart:
Heb 12:21 And so terrible
was the sight, that Moses
said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
Heb 12:22 But ye
are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the
general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits
of just men made perfect,
We haven't come to a physical mountain. If we are here, and if there is a witness in our spirit that He
is drawing us to come out from among them and come up, be separated unto HIM, first and foremost, God give us grace and courage
to go into the cloud, and face the fire of the refiner. He will temper us and prepare us to face whatever comes and we will
not break or shatter by what goes on around us.
Heb 12:25 See that ye
refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26 Whose voice
then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Heb 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing
of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Heb 12:28 Wherefore
we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly
Can you feel the shaking? It's already started. It will get worse. We have to have joy in our heart because
we know in Whom we have believed, and are persuaded He is able to perform what He has promised. We have to have reverence,
and serve God because we love Him and want Him more than anything, and serve Him with caution, to keep His Word, and ways
closely hidden in our heart so we don't sin against Him or grow cold on Him or stray from Him.
Heb 12:29 For our God
is a consuming fire.
Do we want Him badly enough to go into the fire? Do we dare go in knowing we-our self will be consumed?
In comparison with HIM what do we have that would be worth hanging on to? Nothing. We cannot save or keep ourselves or change
or fill ourselves with the Spirit of God. He is the only One, and He is worth going into the fire for. Just imagine.....stepping
into the fire and seeing God. Remember, He told Moses no man can see His face and live...but oh, through the eyes of faith
we can see and know Him and be dead to this world, ourselves, our old “live for myself” life, and new and resurrected
in, through and by HIM. I've heard it preached. I've read about it in the Word. I want to live it. Nothing else will satisfy.
I am so dissatisfied with myself and where I am now. I hate it. But to look to HIM and away from me-to trust HIM to do what
He said He would...oh, Father, glorify thyself...just to know HIM, to be fully possessed by Him, filled with His fullness...that's
what I was created for, wasn't it?