Most Bible enthusiasts are under the impression that on judgment day, fire is reserved solely for the wicked; however, a second reading of these very same biblical verses lead Bible enthusiasts to understand that fire will be used indiscriminately on both the righteous and the unrighteous: “For everyone will be tested with fire” (Mark 9:49, NLT), Yeshua taught. He didn’t refer to some. He didn’t even identify a specific group of people like most are led to believe! He simply taught that everyone, both the righteous and the unrighteous alike, will be tested with the very same fire that is expected to be in Abaddon.
Let’s reread what Yeshua taught.
43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of Hinnom's Valley with two hands. 44 ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’ 45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into the valley of Hinnom with two feet. 46 ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’ 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of Elohim with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the valley of Hinnom, 48 ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’ 49 “For everyone will be tested with fire” (Mark 9:43-49, NLT).
I’m quite sure you haven’t heard that your deeds will soon be tested with the very same unquenchable fire of Abaddon. The idea might be foreign to you! The fact of the matter is that Scriptures are clear to mention that Yeshua taught this, a concept that is frequently overlooked. Yeshua taught that with the very same fire that most Bible believers expect unrighteous people to be casted into, the deeds of the righteous will also be tested.
Consider what Paul wrote about the matter. He penned,
13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames" (1 Corinthians 3:13-15, NLT).
Why fire? According to Scriptures, “Fire tests the purity of silver and gold […]” (Proverbs 27:21, NLT). As a result, it becomes necessary for everyone’s deeds to be carefully tested with fire.
Most preachers warn their congregants of the dangers that this fire may bring. Though they may be correct to some degree in speaking about this fire, most fall. They fail to mention that Yeshua will one day immerse all of mankind into the fire without any discrimination as to whether or not the individual righteous or unrighteous. They also fail to mention differing results that this immersion of fire will bring about.
Reviewing Yeshua's teaching brings to light what John the Baptist prophetically preached as well as some comfort as to what believers can expect.
John prophesied saying, “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to Yahweh. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire” (Matthew 3:11-12, NLT).
Amazing, isn’t it. You may have never suspect that Messiah Yeshua would one day immerse righteous people with the very same never-ending fire as the Scriptures stipulates that the wicked are expected to be thrown into. When it comes to this fiery baptism that John spoke of, many tend to think of this fire in a metaphorical thing, a representation of the Holy Spirit. The biblical fact of the matter is that the prophets expected for all to be immersed into this never-ending fire, the very same fire that most expect only the wicked to be casted into. In fact, the immersion is first with the Ruach HaKodesh (Hebrew for Holy Spirit) immediately followed by the immersion in fire, the very same fire wherewith the wicked are casted into. The intent of immersing the righteous into this fire is to purify them of all impurities an imperfections just like silver and gold is immersed in the fire to have all impurities removed therein.
The purpose of this study is neither to condemn nor discourage our readers; the purpose of this study is to inform. More importantly, when it comes to prophetic matters such as this, Paul desired for his readers to do a very important thing: “So encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18, NLT). As a result, I find myself having to inform you of a biblical event that could, not just shed some light to the topic, bring some consolation.
Does the Bible provide us with accounts where fire was used on both the righteous and the unrighteous with variable results? Very much so! In fact, there are three that I can think of. Firstly, there's Moses' burning bush experience where the bush wasn't consumed by the fire. Then, there's the account where Daniel's friends were casted into the fiery furnace in which they were not affected by the fire, which this study will discuss momentarily since we're trying to comfort our readers. Then, there's the judgment that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah. In these three account, we can read for ourselves that the results fire had varied between the righteous and the unrighteous.
Consider the event that transpired in Daniel’s day (reference Daniel 3).
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of Elohim." 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High Elohim, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. 27 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. 28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the Elohim of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any deity except their own Elohim!" (Daniel 3:24-28, NLT).
These righteous men were thrown in the furnace. Still, the king witnessed one who resembled Elohim’s Son. The fire did not harm these righteous men. On the contrary, their deeds were tested and proven these righteous men for a just reward.
When Scriptures mention the immersion of fire that Yeshua will one day exert upon mankind, it mentions of an immersion that all will undergo, both the righteous and the unrighteous without any discrimination whatsoever. Those who commit all sorts of wicked deeds can expect to be consumed by the fire. Those who dedicatee their lives to live righteously for Yahweh can expect a just reward, proof that they possess eternal life conditions and that they have truly been saved.
Are we so sure that the entire earth will be immersed into this fire? Very much so! The Scriptures continue to say,
10 But the day of Yahweh will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. 11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of Elohim and hurrying it along. On that day, Yahweh will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with Yahweh’s righteousness" (2 Peter 3:10-13, NLT).
The next time you hear about the fire that is reserved for the wicked, remember that the deeds of the righteous will be tested with that very same fire.
© 2017 by Nehr HaOlam Publications.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures were taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
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