The righteous shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

The City of Fire

Matthew 5:14,16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Let your light so shine before men

Revelation 21:10,11 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious.

Note: Christ says "Ye are the light of the world" and applies it not only to his holy people, but ultimately to a city, because it is the great city of light [God] that gives light to the entire universe. When we talk about the city of fire, we are talking about the city of light or the city of God (heaven).

Why kingdom of heaven is a city of Fire?

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire

Note: Bibe says, God is a fire.

Daniel speaking of the ancient of days,

Daniel 7:9 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him

Do you get the picture? You can a see a person with a fiery stream coming forth from him. Heaven is a city of fire?

The Son is like a fire,

Ezekiel 8:2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.

Note: In this particular vision, Ezekiel is seeing Jesus Christ, but he is seeing Him in his preincarante form. And what he sees is a being covered with fire.

Speaking about the Son again,

Rev 1:14,15 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace

The seven Spirits of God is like fire,

Rev. 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

God’s throne is a fire,

Daniel 7: 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

There are living creatures around the throne that are like fire,

Ezekiel 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

Bible lets us know that there are horses and chariots of fire,

2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Heaven definitely looks like a place or a city of fire. Why is heaven a city of fire? Why does God manifest himself as fire and why does God have so many fiery things in his city?

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it:

Note: Why does God manifest himself as fire? Its because he is love. [Have you had a fire burn in your heart for someone? ]

Thus, God’s appearance is a fire, His throne is a fire, His angels are a fire, His chariots are a fire. What the bible is telling us is that the heaven is a city of passionate love.

Is there anything else that is fiery?

Deuteronomy 33:2 The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints [angels]: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

Note: What law is he talking about? The law of the 10 commandments. Why would the bible call the 10 commandment law, a fiery law? That's becasue, it is the law of self sacrificing love. It’s this fiery law that was in heaven that symbolized what heaven was all about.

So we have no doubt that heaven is a city of fire. And God’s fire also denotes love.

1 John 4:8 God is love

Lucifer walked in the midst of the stones of fire,

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

Note: Lucifer walked in the very passion of God’s love. God loved Lucifer so much.

Lucifer breaks the code of fire,

Ezekiel 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Note: What did Lucifer do by sinning? What did he break? He broke the code of fire. Lucifer broke the fiery law of love.

Rebellion against the fiery law removed him from heaven,

Ezekiel 28:16 Therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Note: Because he rebelled against the entire principe of the city of fire, he was cast out of the city of heaven. Now note carefully. Lucifer's rebellion against the fiery law removed him from the city of fire. If that’s true and it is, what is it that gets us into the city of fire? Keeping the fiery law. Is that legalism? Keeping the law of self sacrificing love out of love is called legalism? Far from it beloved!

A change in Lucifers standing towards the fire,

Ezekiel 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

Note: Do you notice the change here? Is Lucifers standing before sin and standing now the same? Did the fire have an effect on him when he was in line with the fiery law of God? There was no effect at all, but after he went against the fiery law, he was put out of heaven. Now we are told when the fire touches him again, what's going to happen this time? Will Lucifer be tortured forever or destroyed? He is going to be brought to ashes! So when he sinned his standing towards fire changed.

What happened to Adam and Eve when they broke the code of fire?

Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Note: Why did they hide? Because they were now fearful of the fire. When God created mankind, they were at first used to the presence of God. They were used to that glowing beautiful fiery passionate love that God appeared in. After sin came in, all of a sudden man kind became fearful of God and rightly so, because our God is a consuming fire. The relationship between God and humanity now changed and God recognized that.

Question: Immortal sinners plus living in the city of fire = what?

Answer: Eternal suffering or eternal torment!

What did God do when Adam and Eve sinned? Were they to be immortal sinners so that every time God was near, they were tormented?

Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. 22 And now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever

Note: Why did God do that? He didn’t want them to immortal sinners. Why? Because the bible says God is love. He didn’t want them to live as immortal sinners because that would mean they would be tortured, how long? Forever. There for he puts this sword of flame; that is a sword of love. Once they could not partake of the tree of live meant that now they were subject to death. They would eventually die. Hope of salvation from sin and immortality was only through Jesus Christ!

Moses and the burning bush - the goal of the gospel.

Ex 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

Note: The entire gospel plan is found in that burning bush. God’s desire for us is found in that burning bush. The goal of the gospel is to prepare people to be able to enter into the city of fire where you can give God a hug and not get consumed in the process. That burning bush was God's ideal for humanity.

The righteous will stand on fire,

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Note: Do you like to be able to stand on fire? Can the fire hurt us? Do you recall the story of three Hebrews? After they refused to bow down to the image, but kept the fiery law of love, did they get burned? The fire will not consume the righteous!

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Note: This text will have ultimate fulfillment in the kingdom of heaven!

Who will dwell in the fire? Is it the wicked?

Isaiah 33:14-15 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

Note: This verse puts into perspective a total deception that the devil has out there. Who can dwell with an everlasting burnings? The wicked? The christian world says the wicked will burn forever. But the bible says, "He that walketh righteously". The bible tells us that the ones who dwell with everlasting buntings are not he wicked, but the righteous.

What has the devil done? He has reversed the equation and says, it is the wicked. Dear friends, the devil has twisted it totally around and made the character of God very much like his character. If I ask you, if there are two gods, one is good, & one evil. One desires to burn people forever and ever. And the other know that justice must be served. He is going to bring them to ashes. Which one do you think would represent the character of Satan?

What happens to the wicked?

Psalms 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

Note: While the righteous will live in the city of fire, the wicked will be consumed by fire into ashes.

God's people must be baptized with fire

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire

Note: Why is that we must be baptized with fire or the Spirit of God in order to enter into the kingdom of God? It’s to prepare us to live in the City of fire. That why God says I want you to be on fire. What does it mean to be on fire?

Jeremiah 29:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay

Note: God wants our love to be so strong that we cannot be silent for Jesus.

Only Fire creatures will be saved,

Matthew 24:37 says "as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be".

What were the only creatures that were not destroyed in Noah’s day?

Gen. 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

Note: What’s significant here? How did God destroy the earth in Noah’s day? By water. What animals did not die? The sea creatures. Why because already they were water creatures. God says, we must be baptized with fire. We must get on fire now for him. Not lukewarm Christians. By the way, the earth will be destroyed by a fire at the end. So who will be destroyed by fire? Those who are not fire creatures are going to be destroyed. Do you realize why God wants us to be on fire now? God says we must get on fire now.

Why can't the wicked enter heaven?

"When the wicked see that the city of fire coming down from heaven, and see the righteous in the City, they are going to ask the question in their mind, how is it that they are burning, but they are not being consumed.

God with tears in his eyes is going to show the wicked why they cannot enter the city of fire. God is going to stretch out those great arms of fire and he is going to put them around the wicked one last time. And in that hug, the wicked will sense, this is what heaven is about, heaven is about love, and it is torturing me. If God were to allow the wicked to enter the way that they are, it will be eternal torture. With this, God is showing the wicked why they cannot enter into heaven, because
he doesn’t want the wicked to burn forever".

(Note: The above is based on the sermon The City of Fire with the permission of the author Ivor Myers. Click the link to listen to the original audio sermon)

See also:

Eternal torment denies Jesus Christ