The Fire Of Hell
This is a portion of “Hell of Torah Part 1” presented by Daniel Joseph. The full-length presentation can be viewed at https://youtu.be/XQdW4OdVXCI.
Hell of Torah Part 1 – Blog 2 of 6
What is the fire of hell? The insight I share may change your perspective on hell as well as your perspective on Torah, the Law of God.
Let’s begin in Exodus, the book that details Israel’s redemption. The LORD delivers the Israelites out of Egypt, from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh. He then brings them to Mount Horeb, otherwise known as Mount Sinai. Why did He do that? For the specific purpose of entering into covenant with His children.
At Mt. Sinai the LORD makes His appearance before all of Israel. In Exodus 19:18 we read something very interesting, “Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in the fire…” Did you get that? How did the LORD come down upon the mountain? It was in the fire! Continuing in Exodus 19:18, “…Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.”
It would be interesting to put 20 believers from any denomination together in a room. If I threw out terms such as “fire” and “smoke of a furnace,” what would they say I was describing? There is a high degree of probability that nearly all would respond, hell. I want you to analyze the terms that are being used in this verse.
What happens as God descends and fire and smoke billow off the mountain? He speaks to His children. He gives what is called in Hebrew the Aseret ha’Dibrot עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת. This is what we call the Ten Commandments. He speaks these to them, and in Deuteronomy, Moses reflects upon this very event. Deuteronomy 5:4 reads, “The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire.” God talked to them from the fire. The LORD does not just descend in the fire, but when He speaks, His words proceed forth from the fire.
Moving on to Deuteronomy 5:22-24, “22 These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. 23 So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. 24 And you said: ‘Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man, yet he still lives.”
What a powerful event! When they saw God descend in fire and heard Him speak out of the midst of the fire, we are told that they experienced the glory of God. Just think about that. They experienced the glory of God! This seems to be God’s modus operandi of presenting Himself because ironically, we find just about 40 years earlier, at the very same spot, God presented Himself to Moses the same way.
Exodus 3:1-5, “1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” 4 So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”
The simple point I’m trying to make here is that God comes as fire. He speaks from the midst of the fire. His voice proceeds from the midst of the fire. It’s no coincidence that we find this statement in Deuteronomy 4:24, “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
It is interesting when you read this verse in Hebrew. The word consuming is ’êš ’ōḵəlāh which means “to eat.” God is an eating fire. If you have ever watched fire, that is exactly it is described; it eats. We are told our God is an ever-eating fire. He is an all-consuming fire. Throughout Scriptures we see this imagery being utilized over and over to describe our LORD. We find that God’s voice or you could say His miṣwōṯāw or commandments are synonymous with fire.
A great example of seeing the voice of the LORD speaking is found in the book of Acts. It is regarding the festival of Shavuot or Pentecost. While they were all assembled at this festival, something miraculous happened. We read this in Acts 2:1-4, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” We know the Spirit of God is God. There’s no question about that. So you wonder why it is tongues of fire that are coming down. Because God is speaking. When He speaks, fire proceeds.