Beware of Strange Fire
Leviticus 10:1-3 AV
“1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. 3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This [is it] that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.”
Numbers 3:1-4 AV
1 These also [are] the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day [that] the LORD spake with Moses in mount Sinai. 2 And these [are] the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 3 These [are] the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest’s office. 4 And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest’s office in the sight of Aaron their father.”
Matthew 7:15-23 RSV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit; but the corrupt tree bears evil fruit. A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.”
“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evil doers.”
Matthew 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22-23 RSV
“Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray…”
“For False Messiahs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.”
2 Corinthians 11:12-15, 19-20 RSV + Amplf
“And what I do [says Paul, and so say I] I will continue to do, in order to undermine [and expose as false] the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, – spurious, counterfeits – deceitful workmen, disguising themselves, masquerading as apostles of Messiah. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
“For you readily and gladly bear with the foolish, tolerating them, since you are so smart and wise yourselves. For you tolerate it if a man assumes control of your souls and enslaves you, or devours (your substance, spends your money) and preys upon you, or deceives and takes advantage of you, or is arrogant and puts on airs, exalting himself, or hits you in the face.”
2 Peter 2:1-2
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their liscentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.”
1 John 4:1
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of G-d; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
An expert diamond cutter, being intimately acquainted with the nature and appearance of a genuine diamond, quickly recognizes a counterfeit, sometimes even without any special tool. His eye is so trained to KNOW a genuine diamond that it instantly recognizes even the best of counterfeit.
An expert on an artist’s paintings, let’s say Rubens, being intimately acquainted with every stroke of brush by that artist, without fail will recognize immediately even the finest of counterfeit, while those less acquainted with that specific artist will accept the counterfeit as the original and not discern it as being false.
Likewise the lack of intimate knowledge of the LORD Who is Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and of His Word will cause many to accept men masquerading as apostles and prophets and evangelists as genuine servants of the Lord when indeed their claims are false, for they are imposters.
G-d does not admonish us in vain that there is but one thing we may boast of, for He says: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him who glories glory in this, that he UNDERSTANDS and KNOWS Me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the LORD.”1
1 Jeremiah 9:23-24; 1 Corinthians 1:31; 2 Cor. 10:17
The Counterfeit Fire a Profane Masquerade of the Heavenly Fire
Neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Spirit ever lord it over any human being! Never ever! G-d IS love2, and although He tests the righteous [to know whether or not they are genuine], He neither manipulates nor tricks them. His soul loathes the violent man, and abhors and hates the unrepentant wicked and all who love violence3.
He grants His gifts and blessings generously and without reproach4, not making legalistic demands or bestowing them with violent beatings. It is neither by the might of the flesh nor by the power of beating fists and stomping feet that G-d works His signs, wonders and miracles, but by HIS SPIRIT!5
The only instance recorded of Yeshua having acted violently was when in hot indignation He overturned the tables of the money changers and with a whip drove out the merchants who had turned the Court of the Gentiles, intended for them to pray there to the only true and Living G-d, into a market place for traveling Jews wanting to bring an offering in the Temple6. Aside from that one instance, Yeshua never ever used violence, but even reproved Peter when he drew his sword to defend Yeshua from the high priest’s soldiers while they were arresting Him7.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is not to be spread by violence. The centuries of violence perpetrated by the Gentile Church, namely the Church of Rome – the waging of wars in the Name of Christ and the shedding of innocent blood – are shameful indeed. Doubtless, the Kingdom DOES suffer violence8 from those who abuse it for their own purposes and prey upon the ignorant, the undiscerning, the gullible, naive and unsuspecting in the Name of Messiah.
Strange, unholy fire is earthly and carnal as opposed to heavenly and divine. It caters to the flesh and fancy of carnal minded Christians. Unholy fire counterfeits genuine fire, thereby anointing and corrupting many with a counterfeit anointing to their peril. For just as fake diamonds are taken for the real thing, so is this strange fire and anointing received as the real thing to the peril of those who receive it.
Nadab and Abihu’s attempt to minister to G-d with strange, unholy fire cost them their earthly, temporal lives. Their “playing with unholy fire” serves as a clear example and warning to neither tamper with the holy things of God, nor minister nor worship before Him in His Name with the unholy or carnal. For just as Nadab and Abihu lost their earthly lives, we risk losing our eternal lives (salvation) by playing with strange fire.
But in these endtimes, some men are offering strange, unholy fire. They freely use the name of Jesus, calling Him Lord, claiming themselves to be prophets and apostles, while prophesying out of their own minds and vain imagination.
As it is written, they “tickle people’s ears” by speaking only what people want to hear9. Their unholy craving for thrills and excitement culminates in spectacular gold dust, flying fire balls and “signs” and “wonders” which have absolutely nothing to do with the Lord, His salvation and Kingdom but rather with the kingdom of darkness, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9 that speaks of “the working of satan with all power and pretended signs and lying wonders.”
The preaching of Christ has become a show business, a lucrative soap opera which brings in vast amounts of cash. This strange, unholy fire has infected thousands of churches across the globe like a vicious virus. It has defiled the true Gospel, the true preaching of Messiah, making a mockery of it in the name of entertainment, money, fame, and pride.
Only those who wholeheartedly desire to know the Lord and give themselves unreservedly unto Him; who hang onto His every Word and seek Him daily, having no agenda of their own but desirous of doing His will only; who are zealous for Truth; fervent in love and uncompromising in devotion will recognize this fire as a counterfeit and profane masquerade of the true fire which comes from heaven. This is a fearful thing, for it is written: “….because they received not the love of the truth that they may be saved….G-d shall send them a strong delusion that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”10
Those who love truth are leaving that church that caters to the flesh and presents a perverted Gospel. Those who love truth choose the solitude of intimacy with the Lord over companionship with thrill seekers who are on the path of destruction11.
Consequently, many who are yearning for G-d’s holiness have established house churches where they can train as true disciples; for while all disciples are believers not all believers are disciples.
2 1 John 4:8 3 Psalms 11:5 4 James 1:5 5 Zech. 4:6 6 Jn 2:13-16; Mt 21:12-13 7 Mt 26:51-52; Lk 22:49-51 8 Mt 11:12 9 2 Tim 4:3-4 10 2 Thess. 2: 9-12 11 Mt 7:13-14
The Counterfeit Kingdom of False Apostles, Prophets and Teachers
Not all who claim to be apostles are apostles.
A true apostle must have SEEN Messiah, becoming a WITNESS to His resurrection12. Having SEEN the risen, glorified Savior, the true apostle proclaims His resurrection and that the Lord Yeshua indeed LIVES. Thus, the true apostle receives the whole gospel and the authority to declare it and to preach it.
An apostle is taught by the Lord Himself while sitting at His feet12a.
An apostle is trained in humility and meekness, in righteousness and holiness. He is Yeshua’s “bondslave” not only as one “bought,” but as one wholly surrendered to the will of His beloved Master and Lord, having no agenda of his own but only Yeshua’s interests at heart. When sent out – for “apostle” / “shaliach” means being SENT – he is sent in the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority that comes from Messiah being seated at the right hand of G-d the Father, working signs, wonders and miracles which undo the works of the evil one13.
What have flying light balls, fireballs and gold dust to do with the Glory of G-d? Do they undo the devil’s works? Do they pull down satanic strongholds that exalt themselves against the knowledge of G-d?14 Does punching in the stomach, kicking in the face with boots, and stomping on one lying on the floor manifest the power of the Holy Spirit or the glory of the Lord’s Presence? Is the Lord a sadist who enjoys inflicting violence and pain on those who seek healing from Him? Does a true servant of the Lord say he does not need the Presence of G-d to do his “thing” because his “gift” also works apart from G-d?
Can anyone take even so much as one single breath apart from G-d? Though the atheist not know it, he lives only by the power and mercy of G-d. Can anyone tell what the next day, the next hour will bring, apart from G-d’s disclosing it?
I have personally witnessed the fall of one called as an evangelist, but who served as a pastor. The Lord nevertheless blessed and prospered his ministry until the man boasted of himself, apart from G-d, even declaring himself to be a prophet while prophesying falsely. He fell as fast as a meteorite entering the earth’s atmosphere, burning up in a flash. Now he proudly spreads strange, unholy fire, using the name of the Lord to satisfy his own cravings for luxury and fame.
Those who are not jealous for the Lord’s Holy Name and for His truth and on fire for Him will be “spat out” by the Lord. The thrill seekers, ever searching for the spectacular while failing to know and abide in the Lord, will find themselves outside the door of the Kingdom, looking on but not allowed in.
The “beginning of wisdom” is the FEAR of the LORD15 and “perfect” LOVE casts out all fear16. A genuine child of G-d will have one all-consuming desire – to do the will of the Father on earth as it is done in heaven;17 to please and glorify Him, obeying Him with all his heart. Our childlike trust, reliance and dependence on Him, our unflagging hope and zeal and pure, unpolluted love please Him more than any “good work”.
Once He is our Alpha and Omega, our Aleph and our Tav, our beginning and our end, THEN we begin to come to know Him. If He is not our All in all and above all, then He will never reveal Himself fully to us, for He is a jealous G-d Who is displeased with half-hearted loving Him.
As Yeshua said, “I wish you were either hot or cold [for this at least speaks of strong convictions]; but if you are lukewarm [being half-hearted about the things of G-d, about the cause of Messiah, vacillating in your love for Him] I will spit you out [as intolerable, disgusting, not fit to have any part in Me].”18
So let us beware of “strange fire” that excites and stirs up the flesh, rendering us ever more insensitive toward the Holy Spirit and the things of G-d. Let us sit at His feet. Let us look to the cross, the foundation of our salvation, which is the crucifixion of our flesh. Let us not be seekers after thrills but seekers after G-d and His will, plan and purpose for our lives. May we be enthralled with His awesome Presence and Holiness, delighting in His steadfast love and faithfulness. May we be jealous for our G-d and Father and for His Son, our Lord, opposing and pulling down every stronghold that exalts itself against the KNOWLEDGE of G-d and take captive every opposing thought and bring it under the lordship of Messiah Yeshua.
Neither accept nor help spread “strange, unholy” fire. Rather, join us in extinguishing it for the glory of G-d and the escape of those who are deceived.
Yours in Yeshua,
A few sample letters of people’s response (full names known to me) to this article, featured here with their permission:
Judy Wilcox wrote:
Annelore, How I enjoyed your article!! A good friend of mine was telling me a couple of weeks ago that the Lord was impressing her to study about “strange fire.” I admire this woman and she is such a great researcher. So, I was waiting to hear from her about it. I was so shocked when I got your email on the same subject. I’m sending her a copy of your article. And, I’m sending a copy of it to other friends of mine who don’t have computers. I just think the Lord has inspired you to write a fantastic study on “strange fire.” It is so good to study our Father’s Word. Thanks for thinking of me, Annelore. Love……..Judy
And, with giving me her permission to post her letter, she wrote:
Go ahead, Annelore. What occurred to me was that this must be something the Lord wants His people to understand – to discern what we listen to and understand what it means to Him… Judy
Thank you, thank you for sending this article to me. You have no idea how this comforted me, stirred me and put a greater longing in my heart to be pure, love truth and cry out for The Spirit of Discernment. Oh, to be a wise widow, (virgin) and be ready with a pure fire in my heart when the Bridegroom calls. Every word ministered to my heart and mind, tears of compassion for the friends and family members that are caught up in the deception that you write about.
Thank you for your obedience, love is in every word and because of your obedience many will be set free. Oh, may TRUTH invade us, and make us ready for Jeshua’s coming.
Blessings, love and SHALOM, Bev
Excellent! Excellent! May I forward it to others?… Shalom, Jo
12 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 11 12A Galatians 1:11-12, 15-17 13 1 John 3:8 14 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 15 Proverbs 9:10 16 1 John 4:18 17 Matthew 6:10 18 Revelation 3:15-16
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