In the Fire, But Not Consumed! / BIBLE DOCTRINE
In the Fire, But Not Consumed!
Beginning with His chosen people, Israel,
God has allowed the things that belong to Him
to be tested by fire. The Word of God, tested and
proven through fiery trials, shines brighter as
the days grow darker. God’s own Son withstood
every test and reigns supreme as King of kings.
The Church continues to go through fiery trials
that bring individual believers to the test.
Throughout history, ungodly men have
attacked the Word of God. The Church fathers,
having suffered tremendous persecution, hid
manuscripts. The enemy thought he did away
with it, but he did not. The Word of God remains.
The ungodly media attack men of God and
the Word they preach. Television programs
mock Jesus Christ and the Church. Yet, no one
can stop God’s people. As this booklet reveals,
whatever has its source in God is eternal. The
Word will outlive every attack. When placed in
the fire, the truth shall not be diminished. It shall not change. It shall never pass away. We may be
in the fire, but we will not be consumed.
1, ISRAEL HAS BEEN KEPT
THROUGH THE FIRE
“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father
in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the
flock to the backside of the desert, and came to
the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto
him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush:
and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned
with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and
see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
“And when the LORD saw that he turned
aside to see, God called unto him out of the
midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And
he said, Here am I.
“And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off
thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place
whereon thou standest is holy ground.
“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and
the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he
was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:1-6).
History tells us that Moses was a brilliant
leader in the Egyptian army when he decided
that he wanted neither the pleasures nor the opportunities
of Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-27). Adopted
as an infant by the Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses
became a part of Egypt’s throne. But, his heart
for his own people, Israel, made him sympathetic
to their suffering. In anger, Moses murdered an
Egyptian for beating a slave. Pharaoh sought to
kill him, so Moses ran for his life and escaped
into the desert wilderness.
We have here a picture of a man who was a
member of Pharaoh’s family, well liked, highly
educated, highly trained, now living with sheep
on the backside of the desert.
Through Her Own Folly
For forty years, Moses was tending sheep on
the backside of the desert, and in those forty
years of performing this task, he was not discontented.
He didn’t say, “I want to do something
better.” He took care of the sheep for forty years
on the harsh and lonely backside of the desert.
Then one day he saw the bush and the angel of the Lord that appeared to him in a flame of
fire. The fire was burning in the bush, and yet
the bush was not consumed. God was in the
bush, and right there He began to unfold His
plan to Moses, whom He had chosen to deliver
Israel out of bondage.
This part of Moses’ life is a picture of the nation
of Israel today. Just as Moses made some
terrible decisions and became an object of disgrace
(even to his own people), Israel rebelled
against God’s authority, and ever since she has
been criticized, ridiculed, and persecuted by
men and nations around the world.
Israel—the little nation that gave up Bethlehem
in 1993—has been threatened by nations
that want Jerusalem. But just as God kept His
hand on Moses from the time of his birth, God
has His hand on Israel. God kept Moses even
when he argued and tried to reject God’s provision.
Likewise, God raised up that tiny nation.
He gave Jerusalem and Bethlehem to Israel—
and nobody had better try to take those cities
away from her. They might try, but they won’t
get away with it, because Israel belongs to God.
Israel has suffered persecution throughout
her history. “Pogroms,” defined as the organized
massacre of helpless people, have been carried out repeatedly in an attempt to annihilate her
nation. Most recently, the Holocaust was responsible
for the deaths of millions of Jews. But
through it all, God has supernaturally protected
His chosen people, Israel (Zephaniah 3:19-20).*
In the end, after the Church has been taken
out of the earth in the Rapture and we are in
heaven, many nations and enemies from the
north will come down to try once again to destroy the Jewish people. But in that time of the
Tribulation, God will cause a supernatural darkness
to cover the land, protecting the Jews until
He comes back with His Church for the final
conflict (Revelation 16:10).
With all the suffering they will go through in
the Great Tribulation — through earthquakes and
every affliction that will be poured out because
of His wrath—God will protect the people of Israel.
In the fire, she will not be consumed.
Through the Ages
Everything the Word of God has said about
Israel is true. It was an arid barren land when
the Word foretold that the desert would bloom
with roses in abundance (Isaiah 35:1-2). Because
of an irrigation system that began during the
time of Jacob, that has happened, and any visitor
to Israel can see it with his own eyes.
The Word of God says that the Jewish people
would rebuild the city of Jerusalem (Jeremiah
31:38-40), and they did rebuild exactly where the
Bible says. The Word of God says they would fly
as the dove from the window (Isaiah 60:8). Today,
thousands have resettled in Israel since 1947,
hundreds flying in on airplanes. Zephaniah 3:18-
20 says that they would come back. Jeremiah
31:8 said they would come first from the north.*
In one day, Israel became a nation; and in one
day, at the time of the Second Advent, seven
years after the Rapture, they will all be saved
(Romans 11:26). They will see His nail-scarred
hands and mourn (Zechariah 12:10).
Indeed, Israel has been placed in the fire but
she has not been consumed. Time and again, her
enemies have tried to destroy her, to blot her out
as an insignificant annoyance. But, God promised
that she would never be consumed. He promised
it, and though Israel has suffered tremendously,
she will never be consumed.
*For more about these events and their relevance in the plan of
God, read Fulfilled Prophecies from the Bible, by Pastor Carl
H. Stevens, Grace Publications, 2000.
2, THE WORD OF GOD SHINES
THROUGH THE FIRE
Before God ever created the earth, the Word
of God was. Before He ever separated the firmaments,
the Word of God was. Before He made
vegetation to grow, the Word of God was. Before
He made the sun to rise in the morning and the
moon to re flect the sun, before He made the stars
(Genesis 1:14-16), there was the Word of God.
Before the first flower bloomed, before the first
tree budded, the Word of God always was. The
Word of God has been in the fire, but it has
never been consumed.
You can’t destroy this Book. The Bible is the
Word of God. Jesus said that all of Scripture is
inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), not just some of it,
and it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction, and for righteousness.
All of it is inspired so that every man and woman
may be thoroughly equipped unto divine good.
Man has to live by every word of God. We
cannot take away a single word, because it is the
Word of God. Every single word was before
anything that ever was. God’s Word has been
forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Heaven
and earth will pass away, but His Book always
Through the Test of Time
Some people have a limited capacity to hear
the Word of God. Their minds begin to wander
if the pastor preaches more than fifteen minutes.
But whatever it takes, we must be sure to read
the Word and to hear the Word preached.
Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word
of God. Men of God have cried out, “Hear the
Word” (Romans 10:17). “Study the Word and be
approved by rightly dividing it” (2 Timothy
2:15). “Beautiful are the feet of those that preach
the Gospel and bring good tidings” (Isaiah 52:7).
The Bible says that people who preach the
Gospel have beautiful feet! It doesn’t talk about
the feet of anyone else being so blessed. The
Holy Spirit declares that they have beautiful feet
as they walk and proclaim the Gospel in Jerusalem,
Judea, and Samaria, and the uttermost parts
of the earth. Through the Scrutiny of Men
Many prestigious schools that were founded
on the Word of God deny the Word of God
today, and they will be judged. And unless a believer
has a solid foundation of the Word of God,
he may not be able to discern between the truth
and a lie. The Word of God is pure, and if anybody
adds to it, they are liars (Proverbs 30:5-6).
In Psalm 12:6, we read that the Word of God
is tried as silver in the furnace of the earth and
purified seven times, signifying the application
of the Finished Work. Then it says in verse 7 that
the Word of God shall be kept and preserved
from this generation forevermore.
Thomas Paine did everything in his power
to hurt the Word of God. But after he died, the
very printing press that he used to propagate his
atheism was used to print Bibles. No one can
touch the Word of God. Indeed, it has been in
the fire, but God’s Word will not be consumed.
Through the Rationalization of the Flesh
In this day and age, Satan comes in with his
instincts to take over man’s instinctive nature.
Through demons and the old sin nature, Satan
takes over the emotions. He tries to take over the
capacity of men so they have a capacity for
pornography but not a capacity for God.
By the way, anyone who goes after pornography
cannot be sure they are going to heaven,
because they are living in adultery in the heart
(Matthew 5:28), and no adulterer will inherit
God’s Kingdom. Besides that, no one who fornicates
will inherit God’s Kingdom (Galatians
5:19-21). Unless they repent, no one who practices
these things can be sure they are going to
heaven. If they are Christians and they do not
get right, God may take them home early.
Do you know why I believe that? The Word
of God says it. I am a Christian who believes in
the whole counsel of God. I believe in ALL the Word of God (Acts 20:27). I believe it is all inspired, that it is all profitable. Aman who is right
with God will teach and preach and minister
every Word of God and then impart its life to
others by the Holy Spirit.
No one can stop it. Governments can forbid
it, but no government can stop the Word of God.
You can put the Word of God in the fire but it
will not be consumed.
3, THE LORD JESUS REIGNS
THROUGH THE FIRE
Being born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in Bethlehem
of Judea (Micah 5:2), growing up as a carpenter’s son in Nazareth, Jesus Christ did not
come with the appearance of royalty. In fact, because
it was known for its poverty, Nathanael
said to Philip in John 1:46, “Can there any good
thing come out of Nazareth?” (To which Philip
replied, “Come and see!”). The Son of God was
constantly placed in the fire, yet He was not consumed.
The Word of God says that when King
Herod put out the proclamation to kill all the
male babies, the baby Jesus was supernaturally
taken out of his way. Many were killed, but He
was not consumed.
Jesus came into the world that He created,
but nobody knew Him. He came unto His own,
and they did not know Him (John 1:10-11). His
half-brothers and sisters didn’t believe in Him
until the Resurrection (John 7:5). In the town
where He grew up, the people barely acknowledged
Him and He was not accepted (Matthew
13:53-58). Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, was
in the fire all of His life but He was not consumed.
After He was arrested, Jesus went through
six civil trials and six religious trials. He didn’t
do anything wrong, but He was found guilty of
blasphemy. When they said of Jesus, “He is
guilty of death” (Matthew 26:66); when they batt
e red His body (Matthew 26:67); when they
plucked the hairs from His beard (Isaiah 50:6);
when He was despised and rejected, a man of
sorrows, acquainted with grief, and we hid our
faces from him and esteemed Him not (Isaiah
53:3)—these were times when Jesus was constantly
in the fire. But glory be to God, none of
these things could stop Him, and He was never
Men said “He is guilty,” and God said to His
own Son, “I too declare You to be guilty of the
sins of mankind.”
When the Lord Jesus could not carry His own cross up the hill, a precious man in the
crowd carried it for Him. They nailed Jesus to
that cross, and for three hours the sky was pitch
If we look at Matthew 27:46, it was as if God
said, “I can’t fellowship with You. I can’t have a
thing to do with You. I am turning My back on
You, because You became sin, though You have
never sinned. All the sins of the world are now
on You. You are guilty!” So He was crucified.
Then He was buried. Then He went into hell—in
the fire but not consumed.
Then the Word of God says in Matthew 28:1-
6, Mark 16:4-6, Luke 24:2-6, and John 20:1-8 that
the disciples went to the tomb, but they didn’t
find His body. The Bible says that an angel removed
the stone and then lovingly (and laughingly)
sat on the stone that he removed
The angel just sat there! The tomb was empty
and the Savior was resurrected. The glorified
Savior walked with men. He walked through
closed doors. He was resurrected after He had
been in the fire. Men attacked His character.
They persecuted Him. They lied. They falsely accused Him and beat Him up and did everything
to mock Him. And yet, all the while He
was in the fire, He was never consumed.
That is why my Christianity is such a serious
matter. That is why I put God first — before social
events, before anything. That is why God is
first in my life.
4, THE CHURCH REMAINS
THROUGH THE FIRE
Throughout the ages, the Church of Jesus
Christ, the New Testament Church, has been in
the fire. Many today are being persecuted for
their faith, and the devil is trying to keep people
in fear and prevent them from going forward in
Christ. But Jesus said, “I will build My church,
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”
The Church has withstood everything under
the sun. I am talking about the true Church
today. I’m talking about born-again Christians
that make up local indigenous assemblies
throughout the world. I’m talking about
churches that believe the whole Bible, that believe
in the Blood that was shed to pay for their
sins, that believe that men must be saved. They
believe in the White Throne Judgment for the
unsaved at the end of time. They believe in the
Bema Seat evaluation for Christians. They believe
in hell, that it is real and literal at this very
moment. They believe that heaven has golden
streets and gates that are made of pearl (Revelation
The Church is Christians everywhere who
believe in purity and forgiveness and cleansing
that comes from having God’s righteousness on
their record. I’m talking about Christians who,
the moment they believed by faith, sixty-eight
things happened to them spiritually.* I’m talking
about the Church that for all these years has
been hated and despised, and yet, she has never
The greatest institution on the earth today is
the Church of the living God. It is not businesses,
though we need businesses and we thank God
for them. It is not the school system, though we
need schools and the education they provide .
But the greatest thing on the earth today, according
to the sixty-six books of the Bible, is the
Church of the living God, the Church of Jesus
When a church is persecuted, the attack is
not just against the pastor. The whole church is
persecuted. The leadership may be targeted, but
the work, the convictions, and the spiritual prosperity
of individual believers comes under attack
as well. Although we know that the apostle
Paul spent much of his time in prisons, he wrote
many passages to honor and encourage the
churches that suffered and even risked their
lives to stand for the truth of the glorious
Gospel. (See Romans 16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 Peter
2:19-21, 3:14, 4:16.)
You can put the Church in the fire, and nothing
can touch it. Thank God that we are ready to
go to heaven, ready to be absent from the body
and present with God, never to see death (John
8:51), indeed, never to die (John 11:25-26). Thank
God that we have a hope, a joy, a faith, a belief
that goes beyond anything in this earth. We are
part of the living, loving Church of Jesus Christ,
and we have the living, loving Word of God. Put
us in the fire and see what happens!
Through Impossible Situations
The three Hebrew boys were put in the fire,
and the fire was turned up seven times hotter
(Daniel 3:10-27). But looking into the furnace,
the king said, “This is strange. They don’t seem
to have a thing wrong with them. And look -
there’s a fourth man in there! This is impossible,”
Then he said. “I had better get to know their
When they came out, they had no smell of
fire. Their hair wasn’t singed. Their clothes were
not burned. Notice that only three men came out
of the flames. The fourth man stayed right in the
furnace. So when you or I get thrown in the fire,
He will be there to fellowship with us. We may
go through the fires, but as believers, we will not
*Be sure to read, What Happened When You Received
Christ? By Pastor Carl H. Stevens, Grace Publications, 1999.
5, INDIVIDUAL BELIEVERS WILL
STAND THROUGH THE FIRE
The last thing that goes through the fire and
can never be consumed is each and every bornagain
Christian. A Christian can fail, but if he is
truly saved, then he can never be consumed.
Still, he must rebound from his sin by confessing
it before God, isolating it, getting up, and
going forward, or his sin will consume him.
Along with the principle of rebound, today
we must learn to live by every single Word of
God. Then, when we fail, we don’t have to ask
for God’s forgiveness. When we confess our sin,
He does cleanse us and forgive us. The Bible
doesn’t say to ask Him. It just says, “Confess
your sin and forsake it, and you will find mercy ”
(see Proverbs 28:13).
It is impossible for a born-again Christian to
lose his salvation. Jesus said, “I give unto them
eternal life, and no man can pluck them out of My hand.” God, in His mercy, may take a believer
home early if he continues to practice a sin
and will not repent. He is taken early, but he
goes home to heaven, and he is still happy. He
will not have the degrees of happiness he could
have, but he will never be unhappy.
Please understand that when a believer dies
and it seems early, only God knows his age, spiritually
speaking. God plucks the corn when it is
ripe, and many great servants who lived exemplary
lives as Christians have died at what we
would call a young age.
The believer might fall into the fire of failure.
He may make mistakes, he may fail, and he may
sin, but when he rebounds, he comes forth
cleansed and he blesses people. Certain people
may reject him, but ultimately, you can put the
believer in the fire but he can never be consumed.
Through Personal Challenges
In our church, besides services that are held
three times a week, we have the privilege of
hearing the Wo rd preached every day of the
week, both in Bible college and in our fellowship
hall at noon. Why is that? It is because the Bible
says we are to hear. That doesn’t mean you have
to come when you are legitimately busy. People can’t come to everything. But as far as the Word
goes, we have the opportunity to hear the Word
of God daily. You can read it at home. You can
hear it on radio. You can hear a tape a day at
home. What is important is that you are receiving
categorical Bible doctrine every single day.
Aren’t you happy that the Church is alive
and well and that Satan is fighting mad and
angry? Aren’t you happy that you can pray and
God hears you? If you don’t think that’s true,
look at the lives of believers around you and see
for yourself that God is a prayer- answering,
We are going forward with the love of God,
the compassion of God, the faithfulness of God,
and the steadfastness of God. We are going forward with the whole Word of God hidden in our
hearts. We are going forward with spiritual instincts,
spiritual emotions, and spiritual minds.
We are going forward, because there is more
truth in the Word of God than anywhere in the
entire world—and you had better believe it, because
if you don’t, you are living in a false understanding
Through the Lies from Hell
The devil and the demons of hell were premature in thinking that the Church would have
its demise. They thought that real Christians
were not going to make it.
In Acts chapter 5, after Peter and the other
apostles were miraculously released from
prison, they continued to preach the Word of
Life in the temple. The high priest and his council
of the Pharisees and Sadducees were outraged
and brought them again to be judged for
their offense. But Gamaliel, a well-respected
member of the council, noted how that several
false sects were brought to nothing after a time.
Then he went so far as to say, “Let them alone,
for if this work is of men, it will come to nought;
but if it is of God, no man can overthrow it” (see
Well, nearly two thousand years have gone
by, and though churches can self-destruct, no
one can stop a Christian. Therefore no one can
stop the Church. So don’t try to do it through
gossip and slander and digging up what has
been covered by the Blood. It won’t work. The
God of heaven and earth is reigning, and His
purpose—to seek and to save the lost—will be
accomplished through weak and sinful men
who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior.CONCLUSION
If you could talk with your loved ones and
your friends in heaven, what do you think they
would say to you? I believe they would say
“Draw near to God through the Word, and do not
forsake assembling with the local church. Sacrifice
to hear the Word preached by a man of God.
Love the Word, embrace it, and don’t deviate
The Holy Spirit is a spirit of burning (Isaiah
4:4). He convicts us of truth, exposing our sin in
the light of His righteousness. Then He comes
along side to comfort us, giving us an abundance
of hope as we face the fiery trials of our faith.
Father, thank You for Your protection, Your provision, Your power, and Your peace. Help us to stay
focused by keeping our eyes on You and not being distracted by the heat of the flames. We pray for those
who are experiencing persecution today, and we pray
that they will keep their eyes on the Fourth Man in
the furnace. In Christ’s precious name, Amen.