I beleive the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated, copied, and interpreted correctly. In the course of my studies of the Bible, I've discovered that it has a long and convoluted history. So, these are my discoveries and my musings of Christian history and doctrines.

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Flaming Sword Part 2

But the fire. The flaming sword. What's with that?

Let's describe fire. It is the rapid combination of oxygen with some other material, the process of which emits energy in the form of light and heat. But did the ancients know about oxygen? I don't know. But we all know that the ancients used fire for a variety of different things. Heat is and has been used for ages to cook food. In nature, the ores of metals such as iron, copper, silver, gold are found in impure states in that they are mixed with oxygen, sulfides, and the silicates of other metals. Heat is often used, along with a "chemical reducing agent", to extract the metal of interest from the ore and purify it. Fire was used in lamps and torches to light up the darkness of night. But fire can cause pain and suffering. Intense pain and suffering. It can even cause death.

Interestingly enough, fire is talked about in the scriptures in several senses. One sense is used to describe the inhabitation of God, where only the perfect and pure in heart can dwell.

"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?

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;" (1)
Fire is also referenced in the process of purifying the soul.

"Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,

Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water." (2)

"And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel:" (3)

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." (4)

"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 purifer 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.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (5)
Last of all, fire or the flame means is used ... (to be continued)

1. Isaiah 33:14 - 15, King James Version.

2. Numbers 31:22 - 23, KJV.

3. Numbers 19:17, KJV.

4. Psalms 12:6, KJV.

5. Malachi 3:2-6, KJV.


Blogger Mary A said...

Ah, a cliffhanger! :D

1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imposing a modern definition of "fire" onto an ancient text doesnt follow. "Fire" in the Scriptures is anything bright and shiny. Lightning was "fire" and the brilliance of an angel was "fire". The Holy Ghost baptises with "fire". Do a search on "fire" and you will see a load of different uses in the Scriptures.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Scott N. Ashby said...

"... modern definition" - I was aware of that which is why I wrote "But did the ancients know about oxygen? I don't know."

"Fire in the scriptures ..." Just hold your britches, is case you haven't noticed, I'm not done yet.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:33 AM  

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