In our days fire impresses us and we fear it. A forest fire reminds us of the end of the world. The burning of a tall building looks like the fire from hell. People, jumping in despair to escape the fire, throw themselves in the air from fifty or eighty meters high and burst on the pavement below, in the midst of cries of despair and the bustle of firefighters to save what they can. Fire is a consuming thing.
The Romans worshipped many gods, and one of them was called Volcanus, the god of fire and of metals. He was son of Jupiter, or Zeus, the sovereign of the Roman gods. When he was born he was so ugly, so ugly, that his mother, June, cast him off Mount Olympus. The unhappy Volcanus, when he fell down 2,800 meters, was crippled. He established his forges under the volcano Etna, where he worked with the Cyclops manufacturing swords, spears, and armors for war. The Cyclops, which were the blacksmiths of Volcanus, were giants with a single eye in the middle of their foreheads. Volcanus fabricated the lightening form the storms (Information taken from the Lelo Universal).
Well, Jehovah, the god of the Old Testament, was also the god of the fire: “Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was like a paved work of sapphire stone, like the skies for clearness. He didn’t lay his hand on the nobles of the children of Israel. They saw God, and ate and drank” (Ex. 24:9-11). After that, Jehovah called Moses to go up alone to the top of the mountain to receive the tablets of stone. And Moses went up to the top with Joshua; and Moses entered into the cloud and the appearance of Jehovah was as a consuming fire (Ex. 24:12-18). In the letter to the Hebrews, we read: “for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). Moses warned the people of Israel that, if they made any statue of worship, they would be consumed by the fire (Deut. 4:24-26). Jehovah went before Israel as a consuming fire destroying the armies (Deut. 9:3).
When Jehovah was not pleased with somebody he sent fire from heaven and killed him. The children of Aram, Nadab, and Abihu brought a different fire than the one commanded by Jehovah, and so fire came down from heaven and killed them (Lev. 10:1-2). Jehovah was meticulously demanding about the performance of the priests. If anyone failed, this one would die.
When the people set off in the direction of Mount Sinai, three days on the way, Jehovah went before them in search for the place of rest. Then the people grumbled, complaining. The wrath of Jehovah was kindled, and the fire of Jehovah burnt among them and consumed those at the outskirts of the camp, the reason why he called that place TABERAH (Num. 11:1-3). The people complained of the manna and wanted meat. Moses heard the people crying, each at the tent’s entrance. The wrath of Jehovah was greatly kindled, and it seemed bad in the eyes of Moses (Num. 11:4-10). And Moses said to Jehovah: (Num. 11:4-10). And Moses said to Jehovah: “Why have you treated with your servant so badly? Why haven’t I found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Have I conceived all this people? Have I brought them forth, that you should tell me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which you swore to their fathers?’ Where could I get meat to give to all this people? For they weep to me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. If you treat me this way, please kill me right now, if I have found favor in your sight; and don’t let me see my wretchedness” (Num. 11:11-15; Deut. 34:1-5). And Jehovah, the merciful, used Moses for forty years, to whom he paid with death for the audacity of complaining. Moses narrowly escaped from having fire from heaven come over him. But something unusual always happened when the wrath of Jehovah was kindled: “Then the earth shook and trembled. The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, because he was angry. Smoke went up out of his nostrils. Fire out of his mouth devoured. Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down. Thick darkness was under his feet. He rode on a cherub, and flew. Yes, he was seen on the wings of the wind. He made darkness pavilions around himself: gathering of waters, and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness before him, coals of fire were kindled. Yahweh thundered from heaven. The Most High uttered his voice. He sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and confused them” (2 Sam. 22:8-15). David said it: the man according to the heart of Jehovah: therefore a prophet who deserves credit. If we removed the name of Jehovah and placed, instead, the word Dragon, the text would be perfect, for the dragon fumes through its nostrils, and from its mouth comes a devouring fire, and coals mixed with smoke come from its nostrils. Under its feet there were darkness. It placed darkness as a canopy around itself. Coals of fire catch fire on it. Its voice thunders from heaven. It sends lightening and arrows. Jehovah resembles Volcanus and the dragon. It is really fantastic to believe in a god that does not have the characteristics of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but abounds in characteristics of the dragon and of Satan.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira