Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord? Part 2
Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
July 23, 1998

Last Updated :
February 22, 2012

Our God A Consuming Fire, The Chariots Of Fire, Modern Idol And Building Worship, God's True Temples, Temple Destroyed, Buddha, Dead Coals Of Judaism, Ashes Under Our Feet, Gospel To The Jews, Jesus In The Temple, Christ Rejected, Apostles In The Temple, Apostles Rejected, Cold Coals And Hot Embers, Persecution By Jewish Religionists, Gospel To The Gentiles

Continuing our discussion from part one, let me ask you a question: Exactly why will all of these things happen? Aside from the fact that it is because of the sinful rebellious nature of the majority of humanity, it is also because we are clearly told in the Scriptures that our God is indeed a consuming fire. Not only that, but just as the Prophets Elijah, Elisha and Ezekiel experienced the Fiery Chariots of the Lord, we are also told that when the Lord returns, He will also mete out His revenge upon a wicked world with His Chariots of Fire:

"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:25-29, KJV

"His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;"
Revelation 1:14, KJV

"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;"
Revelation 2:18, KJV

"His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself."
Revelation 19:12, KJV

"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."
2 Kings 2:11, KJV

"For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire."
Isaiah 66:15, KJV

"And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire."
Ezekiel 1:4, KJV

Truly, the previous verses represent one of the deepest mysteries found in the entire Bible. Exactly what were these Chariots of Fire, or bright glowing clouds with enfolding fire which spun like whirlwinds and had amber-colored light emanating from within? I have some of my own ideas which I discuss in other articles; but for now, I will leave them to your imagination to decipher.

From all of the verses I have shared thus far in this series, it should be clear to you that just because one happens to be outside of acceptable, politically-correct, organized religion, does not necessarily mean that he is a cold and spiritually-dead ember. Quite to the contrary; it can mean that he still has a lot of spiritual life left in him; in fact, much more so than the self-satisfied, fruitless Gospel-denying, modern, religious corpse from which he has escaped. While in the following verses, the Apostle Paul is referring to the idol-worshipping heathen of his day, is it possible that they could also be applied to religions in the world today, both Christian and non-Christian alike, which have set up their own idols; through either actual physical icons and images, or possibly through the worship of certain spiritual leaders, or even through the worship of their own false doctrines and traditions of men which contradict the Holy Scriptures? Might some of these modern-day religions be guilty of all of these things?:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:14-18, KJV

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."
1 Corinthians 10:14, KJV

As these verses make perfectly clear, and as I explain in such articles as "Where Are The First Century Churches?" and "Is God A Racist?", we "are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." That is why the Apostle Paul then tells us to come out from among them; that is, out from among their false worship of buildings, temples, churches, false idols, and the traditions of men. As the Apostles Peter and Paul also wrote:

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 2:5, KJV

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
Colossians 2:8, KJV

What I find particularly interesting about these verses, is that they were probably written only a few short years prior to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Roman General Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian, in the year 70 A.D. Is that merely a coincidence? I doubt it. Perhaps this is why the Apostles worked so hard to make sure prior to their martyrdoms, that the First Century Disciples had their eyes on Jesus Christ, the Author and the Finisher of their faith, and not on physical Temple worship. They knew exactly what was coming; so they wanted to make sure that the Disciples fully understood that they were the real Temple; and not some glorious man-made structure in Jerusalem. Consider the following verses:

"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Matthew 24:1-2, KJV

"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
Amos 3:7, KJV

----- Begin Quote -----

Despite all of these stern warnings found throughout the Bible concerning the worship of idols or statues of false gods, cold dead religions housed in spiritless temples, etc., modern man, as intelligent as he claims to be with all of his awesome scientific technology, still insists upon worshipping and preserving his false religions. Consider the following news clip which was distributed by the Cable News Network, (CNN), in the United States of America:

----- Begin Quote -----

Scientists Hope To Preserve China's Giant Buddha

International scientists are working to preserve the world's largest Buddha statue, which is facing threats to its more than 1,000-year existence. The 234.3-foot Grand Buddha is facing threats both natural and manmade. Rain seeping into the back of the stone statue is causing erosion while previous repairs used different materials, badly damaging the statue, said Huang Kezhong, vice director of China's Institute of Cultural Property.

----- End Of Quote -----

This is precisely why the Lord must blow His Spirit upon His hot embers in order to stir them up, and to use them to warn the wicked to repent and to turn from their wicked ways. The Prophets of old were burning embers to the false religious system of their day. John the Baptist was a burning ember to the hypocritical system of the Scribes and the Pharisees of the New Testament. Jesus Christ, who is the Consuming Fire in Person, was a burning ember to the same. Unlike the story which inspired this article, the coals of organized religion were cold and dead, while the Prophets of the Lord who were sent to warn them were alive and burning with the Spirit of the Living God! As I point out in other articles, Jesus told those false religionists, the false coals, that they were the children of hell, liars, hypocrites, the blind leaders of the blind, and the false children of Abraham:

"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14, KJV

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! . . . Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
Matthew 23:15-16, 24, KJV

"They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham . . . Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it . . . He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."
John 8:39, 44, 47, KJV

The Scribes and the Pharisees were spiritually cold and dead; despite the fact that they were huddled together in their Temple and in their synagogues trying to create false heat and false light. Like many Christian preachers and teachers today, they were the false ministers of light who had exchanged Light for Darkness. There was no spiritual warmth or Truth coming from them. They were cold dead coals which would soon be ground to powder, or ashes, only meant to be walked upon. Consider these powerful verses:

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
Isaiah 5:20, KJV

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV

"And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."
Matthew 21:44, KJV

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."
Mark 6:11, KJV

"And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."
Romans 16:20, KJV

While some of you may have a difficult time understanding why I am so vehement regarding my rejection of organized religion, and why I have no interest in participating in it, perhaps the information I have now presented will help you to see that, like those hot embers of old who rebelled against the religious hypocrisy of their day, I too simply do not fit in with the churchianity system of our modern day. My ideas and doctrines are simply too radical for most people to handle. I would not last in any church for any appreciable amount of time. I would either be kicked out, or else I would soon leave of my own accord; simply because I know what the Holy Scriptures really say concerning the Doctrine of Christ, and the pattern of the Early Church. I believe that the Lord is using me much more, and that I am being a more effective witness of the Truth through this current ministry.

If you still have difficulty with my position, perhaps the following Scriptural examples will help you to understand a little better. As we all know, when the Lord arrived on Earth during the First Century, He first took the Gospel of Salvation to His own people; that is, to the flesh Jews. The Lord had to start His spiritual Kingdom of born again sons and daughters of God somewhere; and thus it was only fitting that He should begin with those to whom had been trusted the very oracles of God:

"Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God."
Romans 3:2, KJV

"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."
Acts 13:46, KJV

This being the case, the Lord taught openly in their Temple, and in their synagogues, on many occasions. While the common people heard Him gladly, the religious Elders didn't receive Him, or His message, at all. Consider the following verses:

"And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath."
Luke 13:10, KJV

"And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve."
Mark 11:11, KJV

"And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?"
Mark 12:35, KJV

"Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
John 5:14, KJV

"Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught . . . Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not."
John 7:14, 28, KJV

"These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come."
John 8:20, KJV

"And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch."
John 10:23, KJV

"Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."
John 18:20, KJV

". . . And the common people heard him gladly."
Mark 12:37b, KJV

"He came unto his own, and his own received him not."
John 1:11, KJV

"Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
John 8:59, KJV

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read . . . And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong."
Luke 4:16, 28-29, KJV

"In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me."
Matthew 26:55, KJV

"Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?"
Luke 22:52, KJV

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
John 3:19-20, KJV

After the Lord's Ascension, His followers continued in His footsteps as burning embers which devoured the lies of the hypocritical false Jews. At first, exactly as Jesus had done, they tried to reach their own Jewish brethren by working from within the established religious system; that is, from within the very Temple itself. This can easily be seen by the following verses:

"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Matthew 10:5-6, KJV

"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,"
Acts 2:46, KJV

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms . . . And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God"
Acts 3:3:1-3, 8, KJV

"And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide."
Acts 4:1-3, KJV

"But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught . . . Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people."
Acts 5:19-21a, 25, KJV

"Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.) And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut."
Acts 21:26-30, KJV

"And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city . . . For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me."
Acts 24:12, 26:21, KJV

As can be seen, there is a very clear pattern here which has repeated itself over and over again in Jewish history. Just as with the Prophets of old, just as with the Lord Himself, the cold dead coals of Judaism did not want to have anything to do with these live hot embers within their midst. They absolutely hated the Love, the Light, the Truth and the spiritual warmth of the Disciples of the Lord. They didn't want anyone disturbing their neat little legalistic religion of self-righteous works and adherence to the Mosaic Law. The Scribes and the Pharisees had worked for hundreds of years to perfect their religion of works following their silencing of the Prophets of the Lord. These glowing hot embers full of Truth came from the outside, and not from the inside. Most, if not all of them, were from the Galilee region of northern Israel, far away from the pinnacle of spiritual power in Jerusalem. As far as we know, the only one who was an insider to the spiritually-cold world of the Pharisees, was the Apostle Paul himself; and look what it took before the Lord was able to use him in the ministry.

Eventually, as the Lord in His Wisdom had foreseen, the time arrived in which He directed His followers by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to alter their course. As we know, the rejection by the Jewish Elders resulted in such strong persecution, that many of the Disciples were forced to flee from Jerusalem. As I explain in "Biblical Cafeteria Or The Whole Course?" and other articles, it was at this time that the Apostles and early Disciples turned their attention to the more receptive Gentile nations outside of Israel; all led of course by the Apostle Paul. All of these events occurred outside of the established religious order of their day. Beginning with the Book of Acts, the Lord began to fan the fire which had been ignited in Jerusalem, so that it spread first to the North African and Mediterranean nations, and eventually all around the world:

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV

"And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God."
Acts 11:1, KJV

"And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean."
Acts 10:28, KJV

"I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven . . . Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
Acts 11:5-10, 17-18, KJV

"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."
Acts 13:46, KJV

"For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:"
Romans 11:13, KJV

"Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity."
1 Timothy 2:7, KJV

"Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."
2 Timothy 1:11, KJV

Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.

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