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Lecture 3, A Consuming Fire:

The imagery of fire normally arouses sentiments of terror and dread. Fire possesses the capacity to destroy and wreak havoc in the worst of ways, and this reality forces us to recall these facts when we think about this powerful element. Consequently, God’s employment of fire in His manifestations may lead us to think only of His wrath and fury. While the Bible does correlate God’s judgment and condemnation with fire, this element does not carry with it only punitive aspects of God’s will. Fire also provides warmth for the cold and weary, as well as purifies mixed, heterogeneous substances. The Shekinah Glory cannot abide with sin and must consume it in its purity. Yet, Christians can take hope in the reality that Christ has borne the heat of God’s wrath and purified His people through His Spirit, exposing and giving us access to the refulgent glory of God, which we need not fear.