Wednesday, March 30, 2011


February 05, 2010

Those of you who have been following these letters, have most likely noticed a key biblical pattern of first fruit and firstborn belonging to Elohim (ref. Numbers 3:13; Exodus 34:19), which I have been referring to quite often. From the very beginning, starting with Cain and Abel, this principle was to be kept by offering up the first fruit as a whole burnt offering (ref. Genesis 4: 2-4). Israel was also to keep this statute at all times, as a reminder that they were "YHVH's firstborn" who did not belong to themselves.

Offering up these sacrifices, was not for the purpose of appeasing an angry god. It was simply to demonstrate that YHVH claimed that which belonged to Him through fire, that is, a burnt offering. However, Elohim never commanded the firstborn of man to be given to Him in this way, but did require, never-the-less, the parent to redeem the child with a specific animal or grain offering that was to be consumed by fire. The only one who was faced with having to offer up his firstborn in fire, as it were, was Abraham, whom YHVH addressed with the following: "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love… offer him there as a burnt offering"(Genesis 22:2). As a firstborn himself, Abraham knew only too well that his son did not belong to him. We know the outcome of the story, as it foreshadowed the greatest offering this world will ever know.

When instructing YHVH's people, Moses warned them that YHVH "your Elohim is a consuming fire, a jealous Elohim" (Deuteronomy 4:24). Thus, the first time that YHVH revealed Himself in fire was when He stood between man and the Tree of Life, at the entrance to the Garden of Eden as the flaming sword (ref. Genesis 3:24). He was again seen in a vision, when He cut the covenant with Abram, after the latter cut the animals in half: "And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces" (Genesis 15:17). Moses saw and heard Him in the fire that did not consume the bush (ref. Exodus 3:2). In the wilderness the People of Israel saw fire every night over the also tabernacle (Exodus 40:38). Above all, they witnessed the mountain burning with fire, when YHVH's voice spoke out (ref. Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 5:23-24). Nadav and Abihu, Aharon's sons, had a personal encounter with YHVH as fire, which consumed them, for offering up strange fire (ref. Leviticus 10:1-2). Elijah and the prophets of Baal experienced YHVH's presence, when He came down as fire and consumed the offering, the altar and everything around it (ref. 1 Kings 18:38). There are many more examples of YHVH revealing Himself as fire, but the main purpose for offering the firstborn as a proverbial burnt offering, was to show YHVH's "method" when He appropriates to Himself that which belongs to Him. The affect that fire has upon the object that it burns, in this case the sacrifice, is, if you will, a total fusion with the object while it is being consumed. In other words, it becomes one with the fire.

When John the Immerser came on the scene of history, and was baptizing in water, he said of Yeshua that He would immerse His people in the Spirit of Holiness and fire (ref. Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16). As evidence of this pronouncement, on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost) fire was seen over the heads of the disciples, as they were being filled with the Spirit.
The presence of the Spirit, in those who received it, has many meanings and functions, but the one that we are looking at is that of "fire" and its relationship to the burnt offering. We, who have had our identity as YHVH's firstborn nation Israel, restored to us by the Spirit, can expect to be placed in the fires as His burnt offering. YHVH is taking us back to Himself by placing us on the altars of situations and circumstances. "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah, (1 Peter 1: 6-7 emphasis added). This is why Yeshua came, as our kinsman redeemer and baptizer in the Holy Spirit and Fire, so that we, as a nation, will become that which was foretold about us: "The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau, for YHVH has spoken" (Obadiah 1:18).