There are a few noteworthy details that are related to the Lake of Fire that I wanted to mention before we move on. This blog is not complete by any means and I plan on expanding it at a later date, but for now I would like to just offer a few more thoughts.
#1 – The word “brimstone” used in describing the Lake of Fire, “these…were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone,” (Revelation 19:20, 20:10, 21:8) is the Greek word Theion. Theion happens to also be the Greek word for Divine! As in the Divine Nature! It is another way of saying God (theos). One of its definitions is, “the nature or state of being God.” (Louw and Nida English Greek Lexicon) (!!!) The verb derived from Theion is the word Theioo; which means “to make holy, divine, to devote to a God.” (Liddel and Scott Greek English Lexicon, 1897 Edition)
In other words it conveys sanctification. After what we saw in the previous two blogs on the Lake of Fire it is far too much of a “coincidence” that this word “brimstone,” used to describe the Lake of Fire, conveys sanctification – to make one like God (divine).
Charles H. Pridgeon explains that,
“Sulpher or Brimstone was sacred to the diety among the ancient Greeks and was used to fumigate, to purify and to cleanse and to consecrate to the diety: for this purpose they burned it in their incense … To any Greek, or to any trained in the Greek language, a ‘lake of fire and brimstone’ would mean a ‘lake of divine purification.’” (Is Hell Eternal, quoted by G.R. Hawtin, The Restitution of All Things, Artisan Publishers,1994, pp 26,27)
#2 – Each of the Feasts of Israel are prophetic of not only the various stages in History by which God is working out His plan to save man, but also the various phases by which the process of salvation is worked out (accomplished) within each individual. Everyone must pass through 3 different phases of salvation (salvation of spirit, soul and body – see my blog about it here).
The Feast of Pentecost is the second feast and details the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. The Church began on the day of Pentecost 2000 years ago and perfectly fulfilled the original Pentecost that took place when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. But the “harvest” taken in during that feast was to be offered to God with fire. It was leavened and baked with fire. Leaven is a type and shadow of sin (which is why the sacrifices were forbidden to have leaven in them, b/c they were types and shadows of Christ our Ultimate Sacrifice who was sinless).
The Church is leavened, we are all racked with sin in some fashion or other. Leaven causes the dough to puff up and basically makes it empty inside and full of hot air. It has no substance, just like us when we are full of sin. The only way to stop the leavening action is with fire. One of Pentecost’s main themes is fire. Pentecost was when the Spirit was poured out within us; the Holy Spirit who writes the Law upon our hearts and minds and that law is pictured as fire (as we saw in the previous Lake of Fire blogs). This is why tongues of fire were seen at the outpouring of the Spirit during Pentecost in Acts. Its also why there was a blazing fire seen at the first Pentecost when the Law was given.
This fire is the Law being worked out within us by the Holy Spirit, and is the purpose of the second stage of Salvation. The Feast of Pentecost has many more details concering this, but I have not been able to take the time to detail it at this point. I will update this blog at a later date.
#3 – the sacrifices were all burned with fire. Fire was the process by which the flesh was not only consumed but transformed into smoke which rises to heaven. God demanded that the flesh be burned (consumed) b/c sin had been imputed into it. It was a substitutionary sacrifice and as such had to be fully destroyed (consumed) b/c it represented sin. But in its consumption it was transformed into a “soothing aroma” which ascended to God and heaven in an acceptable form.
There is a lot more to all this that needs to be expounded, which I dont have the time to do at this point but I will do so at a later date. What I want to point out is that it was through fire (destruction) that the sinful flesh was transformed into an acceptable form before God.
In conclusion, there is a wealth of evidence in Scripture that demonstrates fire as a consuming and purifying and transforming agent.