DECEMBER 1, 2008
Somewhere in this mighty witness found in Daniel 3, there is a contrast between fires. Daniel's word attests to two differing types of fire present in this event. The natural fire of man, which represents the highest degree of man's judgments and power, is one of the elements displayed. The supernatural flame of His glory, which is the eternal flame of His presence, is the other. When Nebuchadnezzar looked into the fiery furnace, he saw four persons, one of which looked like "the son of God." All of them were surrounded by fire, but the fire surrounding the Hebrew children was the fire of God, preventing the fire of man from reaching them.Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king's counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
There is a place in God where ultimate protection is expressed by fire. It surrounds the loved one and is unapproachable by any person, circumstance or natural force in the world. Best described in Solomon's Song as a description of the jealousy of God, it shows His ultimate self-expression in fire.When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
(In the Song: Both participants in the Song were speaking identical words to each other. Mutuality was consummated in their expression. As the Shulamite submitted herself completely to her lover, she found herself surrounded in the flames of His presence.)Set me as a seal upon your heart,
In the fiery protection of God, there is protection and intermediation which exceeds the power of governments, religion and societies. In the case of the three Hebrew children, God came as a greater fire in the midst of man's most powerful fire. God did for them what He is willing to do today! His flame overpowered their flames.
Reverse fire is a fire fighting method used in modern times to offset huge forest and grass fires. By setting a fire in a strategic place, the encroaching destroying flames are met with flame. "Fighting fire with fire" has always been a populist expression. However, in spiritual warfare, God often uses this strategy.
Zechariah gave a prophetic message about the last days in which he portrayed the governors of Judah as a "fiery torch in the sheaves."For the king trusts in the LORD,
Counter fire was what Jesus called for upon the earth: a fire within the saint that would overcome the fiery trials of men and encompass the globe with a consuming fire by which He would protect the believer and set aflame the hearts of all who heard them. The children of God are to fellowship in the fire and protect those coming to them from the flames of anger that rage in this universe. Saints ought also to be as He is toward the unrepentant multitudes; the saints should be like flames of fire. The baptism of fire both protects and devours.'In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place--Jerusalem.'
Somewhere in all this, one must realize that the fire of God is friendly fire to the saint and devouring fire to the saint's enemies. The warmth of His presence is a protection surrounding the believer which keeps at bay those who would harm them.'I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!'
Somewhere in all this, the saint must realize the fire of God which operates within him or her operates just like it does in God. It reaches out in power to protect and heal and respond to the needs of those who call on them and Him. The whole of the kingdom is set by fire. (Angels have known this since time immemorial.)
Concentrated fire power is invested in the flaming servant, whether angel or saint. Power is invested to protect the holy and righteous while deflecting their enemies. The saint uses the flame of his own being exactly like God does, to refine and purify and redeem. "Saved so as by fire," "judged by fire" and "tried by fire," are not just glib observations.And of the angels He says:
The saint protects the precious from the vile, protects the pure from the impure, protects the clean from the unclean and protects the holy from the unholy. The precious things of God must have saint protection like the protection of God for Jerusalem. God's protective flame, visible in Zechariah 2, surrounds Jerusalem, its interests and its people, and becomes its protectorate during the end-times. So, the precious things of God require saint protection during these end-time trials.
The "glory wall" of His flaming presence will keep the destroyers out and at the same time give contained security to those within. Saints in the last days will find themselves relying upon this fiery hedge of His presence to distance them from what is taking place on earth. Ever increasing reliance upon the Spirit-Fire will be the hallmark of the True Ones. Inside the wall of fire will be the "things" of God harbored and protected in the realm of the Beloved. Stored with them are the "things" deposited in them through the ages by the Word and the Spirit.'For I,' says the LORD, 'will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.'
(Repeatedly the saints are told to "hold on" to those things given them. They are prompted not to let those "things" entrusted them slip. The question then is, "Where then are those who will rise up and cry out [like a wall of flame] against the ravages of society, who will become like God and flame out against the enemies of the gospel while giving solace to those who are worthy to be sheltered?")
Alas, the duty of the saint in modern times may also inculcate becoming like the flaming sword of Eden, protecting the precious things of God from those who claim holiness while harboring sin!
Rather than hiding the "ark" from idolatrous marauders, the task may be saving the holy from the congregations filled with idolatrous participants! (Convincing evidence accumulates showing attempts to isolate and condemn those who are charged in their spirits to "keep the faith." However, they are finding one another and encouraging one another in a unity the larger masses of religion have never and will never experience.)So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Unity issues will never be answered by an interfaith "committee to discover commonalities agreed upon by all monotheistic religions." Unity is already here with the true church through their shared need to "protect that which is sacred." The answer to those who would corrupt its purity is Holiness Fire!
(The flaming presence of John Huss and others has reached out to burn a path for the repentant. If ever the true church be known, it is well on the verge of its expression now. Martyrs will be strewn by the thousands in answer to those "under the Altar." Thousands of other saints, finding themselves under the fire of persecution, will be protected by His fire with a vehemence that magnifies itself like an exploding flame against the ignomies of men.)
Isaiah warns there is a false fire (manmade fire) that is not the fire of God, and such fire is as dangerous as the "strange fire" of Nadab and Abihu. (Torment will be the result of man's attempts to create a false or symbolic protection. It is comparable to witchcraft.)Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched. So he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of the LORD had burned among them.
Create a false doctrine, an accommodative theology, a twisted Bible and one can see the false light they give. Catechize man's interpretation of spirituality, gather copious opinions as to man's "understanding," fill the air with apologetics and one clearly quantifies "modern religion." It was Jude 22-23 where the prophet cried out to "save them as fire brands from the burning."Look, all you who kindle a fire,
And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Only the presence and anointing of God will produce a sustainable protection against the deceptive fires of man's making. The real or imagined terrors coming upon the earth will be answered by false fire, and it will be increasingly the task of the saints to rescue the perishing from it.
(Man's fire was so detested by the Lord that He instructed that no Israelite kindle a fire on the Sabbath Day. God allowed fire to be kindled for sacrifices and offerings on seven days, but forbade building manmade fire in one's dwelling. Why? He wanted no confusion of fire on that holy day of the week.)
After rebuilding the walls during Nehemiah's first visit, Nehemiah returned to Persia and there came a prophet on the scene called Malachi. Malachi separated the holy from the profane and acted like God encircling His altar. No longer wishing to see man continue in passivity and sin, while continually offering burnt offerings and sacrifice, he issued a blanket call for "someone" to step up and call the altar fires unholy.'You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.'
Just as the saints have been protected by the fire of God from the seats of deception, it is now time for the saints to protect the holy things God has given and to "shut the doors!"'Who is there even among you who would shut the doors,
Until next month,
Dr. C. R. Oliver
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From the Mail Bag:
Marian, from N.C:
I'm telling you on the last four messages you have sent out...only one word for it.....wow!...Wow!...Wow!....WOW!. Thank you so much for the writings, I share them with my congregation.
Cindy A, from Ga.:
Blessings to you Dr. Oliver. Your words are always full of substance that give great insight to the receiver. I pray that God will continue to multiply Himself in you and through you.
A.C., from Lubbock, Texas:
Greetings - with praise to the Lord! I can't get over being grateful to God, and to you and others who were praying for the healing of my broken neck! Not that I SHOULD get over being grateful! It's just that after 8 July when Dr. Baldwin told me that the "gap" was just too wide, and that the vertebrae would not - and could not - knit and heal, I gave up on that, and started praying for the good doctor's hands, and for a successful placing of two screws and a steel rod in my neck vertebrae, and a good recovery from the surgery. But y'all and a bunch of other people refused to give up - you continued to pray for complete healing! But God disregarded my diminished faith, and answered YOUR prayers. Thank you - for your faith and for your prayers! (The Lord grew, supernaturally, a bone to fill the gap. No operation was needed…praise the Lord!)
1. Faith Metro receives and meets the challenge to build a church in Guatemala.
2. Huyssen Ministries:Missionaries Larry and Marla Johnson report:
Tobias Huyssen, who lives in the Philippines, has just returned from a sister Island and has sent a good report about our work in Calbayog City, with Sister Carmen Geeck. Our thanks to him for assisting there Nov. 4-8th.
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