Peter Hiett: One God, One Fire

The following is an excerpt from Peter Hiett’s sermon on Daniel 3:1-30 called “One Fire.”

We are attracted to the fire and we are burned by the fire.  God is love and God is fire. Love is fire.  We are burned by love because we’re resistant to love. The thing in us that resists love is our ego. Well that’s what we talked about last week.

Peter shares a clip from comedian Daniel Tosh who explains how he handled an exceptionally rude person behind him in a movie theater.  Tempted to bust the guys face in he caught a glimpse of his WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do”) bracelet and decided not to punch him. Instead he said “I lit him on fire and sent him to hell.”  Video clip HERE

Does it seem sometimes like there are two Jesus’s?  There’s the one that loves the little children,  Jesus that loves His enemies, that always turns the other cheek.  The good Jesus:

And then there’s another Jesus, bad Jesus, mean Jesus, the one who casts people into endless torment of fire:

“What would Jesus do?”  Cast people into the fire?  Maybe.  Because it seems like there are two kinds of fire: number one, Pentecost fire.  Pentecost was when the people started loving God and others when the divine fire fell upon them.  So number one, there’s this kind of good fire and number two like this really bad fire.

You know Jesus talks about “hellfire,” literally Gehenna fire.  That’s the fire that burns outside the walls of Jerusalem.  Now that must be like the fire of judgment or maybe like the “Lake of Fire.”  Well then it seems like there are two kinds of fire and two kinds of Jesus’s.  And Jesus says that if you have seen Me you have seen the Father so it seems like there must be two kinds of “God the Father.”  One like this:

and another one  like this:

So it looks like there are two opposite Jesus’s, two opposite Fathers, two opposite fires and two opposite judgments.  So, it seems like God is TWO …and not one.

And it’s God who we are commanded to trust.

Faith quite simply is …trust.

Faith is trust and the thing that most undermines trust is a perceived lack of integrity in the person that you’re trying to trust.  In other words–that they are not one…but two.  Children of alcoholics have to deal with this their whole life, right?  I mean is good dad going to show up or bad dad going to show up?  Does he love me or does he despise me?  So do we have a heavenly dad who  a.) is absolute unquenchable love for some, by absolutely no merit of their own or b.) endless torment for others who, even if they choose it, He created them knowing that they’d choose it?!

So, is He that…divided?!

Is our Father love and the exact opposite of love?  Is He two, and not one?

Could you think of any idea that would more greatly undermine trust than that?  that would undermine trust, that would undermine faith?  And we are “saved by faith”!!!  Do you see?  If we thought that God was two and not one, we might say we trust, but only because we don’t trust. We might honor Him with our lips but our hearts would be far from Him.  If we believed God to be two and not one we would say we trust Him to save us but what we really believed would be we trust ourselves to save us…from Him, who’s untrustworthy.  We would trust our judgment to save us from His judgment.  In other words, we’d take knowledge from the tree because we didn’t trust that He’s already given His life… upon that tree.

We would invent religion …because …we had no faith.

It’s because we believed our God was two and not one, …two and not one …and therefore, could not be trusted.

Scene from SouthPark:  A priest preaches about the torments of hell threatening the people to change their behavior or they will burn in endless torture and misery.  The children’s eyes get as big as saucers as they try and take in the sermon. Afterward the children beg to stay for Sunday School so they wont “burn.”

So it seems like hell is this fiery place like under the earth where Satan is throwing a party while the people all suffer agony forever. So fear of hell is a good way to get people to do what you want them to do. But not a good way to trust God.  It’s a good way to get them to trust YOU to save them from God but not a good way to get them to trust God …for salvation.

South Park Scene:  Later the priest is caught in sexual misconduct and the children witness him crying out for mercy to God from hell.  The children conclude: “If this guy’s going to hell who’s going to save us?”  One kid pipes up,  ”Well, it looks like we’re just going to have to save everyone in this town from the angry hand of God ourselves!”

So the boys in South Park invent religion …to save themselves …from God, who might just “light them on fire and send them to hell.”

So what would Jesus do?  And what does God do?  And can we trust Him?

You know some people ask me, why does this topic matter? Well nothing matters more than trust in who God is.

You can continue to listen or watch the sermon online as Peter presents the story from Daniel chapter three about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  Note how the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar used a fiery furnace to control the people:

http://www.tsdowntown.com/all-sermons/all-sermons/audio/376-one-fire.html

By the way here is cool image of the fiery furnace with the fourth person “which was like a Son of Man.”

 

Tagged with:
 

5 Comments

  1. From the perspective of an overarching message from the gospels to the Book of Revelation, that God is indeed One, and of One fire, is seen in the emphatic tone of the Baptist’s declaration to a mixed audience that “Indeed One cometh after me, whose shoe latchet I am unworthy to unlatch, He SHALL baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire. This same very emphatic tone of determination is echoed in Revelation, but more vividly, to nail finally the point: “Whosoever’s name was not found written in the book of life was CAST into the lake of fire.” Same fire, same God, in both cases determinatively purifying, not vengefully retaliatory.

    • glwadmin says:

      Thanks again John for sharing your thoughtful insights! Always appreciate knowing you are there giving us support.

      Since you brought it up I would love to supply the readers with some guidance regarding the verse you mentioned: “Whosoever’s name was not found…” This verse has filled many with fear. Would you care to expound a bit here on that?

      • I think we should begin—continuing with an overarching New Testament view—by seeing what the book of life is really all about, and how there’s a wonderful thread first seen appearing in the Gospel of John (representing the Gospel’s section of the New Testament) continuing on into what comprises a section in itself, The Book of Acts, progressing through the epistles-portion, to, and ending in, The Apocalypse. It’s a thread not at first easily noticed in the tapestry of the New Testament, but once seen stands out in bold relief. The thread begins with the singular, all-inclusive Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, proclaimed in the prologue to John’s Gospel. In the Book of Acts, the thread appears as the Word growing, prevailing, and multiplying. That is, It grows, prevails, and multiplies in, and as, the multiplying number of believing disciples, as that singular Word, implanted in them grows by them, and as them, individually and collectively. As we continue into the epistles, that growing, multiplying Word is explained by Paul to be living epistles, known and read of all men. This “Word of Life,” is increasingly developing as the many become the reproduction of the One, so that we can dare say that the multiplied disciples become an expansion of The Incarnation, as the Word which became flesh dwells among men as a corporate body–the body of Christ. Jesus’ affirmation to His disciples that they are the light of the world is increasingly coming true existentially. Let’s back up and review: Gospels: The Word. Acts: the Word multiplied. Epistles, the Word in many as living epistles. Now finally, we see the full development of the Word as the living epistles gathered together into the book (or scroll) of life. The book/scroll of life is a figurative way of conveying the holding forth of the Word of life collectively. Existentially, names have been, are, and will continue to be, added to it, and it will progressively be opened up to all creation, until “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall fill all the earth.” This is consistent with what I believe to be a wonderfully simple outline of the sections of the New Testament: Gospels: manifestation. Acts: propagation/dissemination. Epistles: Explanation. Revelation: Consummation. The book of life is about the consummation of the expansion of Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, unto the consummation of the Message which He is, and which He is corporately. To be cast into the lake of fire because one’s name is not found written in the book of life, is not a fearful thing. It’s the necessary cleansing action of the fire which God is, to fit us to have our part in holding forth the Word of Life. For this purpose, we must “all be salted with fire.” All creation is waiting for the book of life to be opened fully, upon which seeing the liberty of the Sons of God, all creation will “be delivered from its bondage to decay.”

        • glwadmin says:

          Thank you John for the beautiful and detailed presentation of the ultimate destiny of the Word: human flesh.

          The ultimate destiny of the Logos was not a page but us: “Christ in you the hope of glory!”

          “…And all flesh shall see it together!”

          • And I believe that collective of all flesh which shall see the glory of the Lord will ultimately be seen to be the fully expressed body of Christ, of which the present—but always growing—believing community is representative. To repeat: ultimately, the whole body of humanity will be seen to be Christ-incorporated, as one of my mentors loved to put it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

*