Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Lamentations, and more specifically, begins with the twentieth verse of the seventh chapter and continues through to the eighteenth verse of the eighth chapter. The eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel is one of the most intriguing chapters in the entire book. When you come to this particular chapter you will the prophet Ezekiel being given a very specific vision and encounter with the Lord. WHEN THE LORD TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY TO SURVEY WICKEDNESS! GET READY FOR A JOURNEY WITH THE LORD INTO THE SECRET PLACES! GET READY FOR A JOURNEY WITH THE LORD IN THE SECRET CORRIDORS OF THE SANCTUARY! GET READY FOR A JOURNEY WITH THE LORD THROUGH THE INNER CHAMBERS OF THE SANCTUARY! Consider how this particular chapter opens—“And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth. Month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me. Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness as the color of amber. And he put forth the form of an hand, and took my by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain” (Ezekiel 8:1-4). This chapter opens with the prophet Ezekiel sitting in his house with the elders of Judah sitting there before him. It was in the sixth year, in the sixth month, and in the fifth day that the hand of the Lord fell there [fell within and fell upon the house of Ezekiel] upon the prophet. This chapter opens—not only with the hand of the Lord falling upon Ezekiel while sitting in his house with the elders of Judah, but we also read of Ezekiel encountering a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness.
I have to pause for a moment and highlight the likeness of the appearance of the one who appeared before Ezekiel, for I am convinced there is a tremendous truth and application that can be found here. Ezekiel records the likeness before him as the appearance of fire, but the prophet Ezekiel doesn’t stop there. The prophet goes on to speak of how the appearance of his loins even downward was as fire, and the appearance from his loins even upward was as the appearance of brightness. ENCOUNTERING THE FIRE AND BRIGHTNESS! I am utterly and completely convinced that there is a tremendous significance in the fact that fire seemed to be the appearance of this one from the loins down, while the appearance of brightness was visible from his loins even upward. From the loins of this man to the ground was the appearance of fire, while from the loins of this man upward was brightness. I can’t help but see this is an absolutely incredible prophetic picture of our encounter with the Lord of hosts. I have long and often believed that the single greatest place in the kingdom of heaven is on our knees at the feet of the Lord of hosts. I am convinced that there is no greater honor than to be able to bow ourselves—our heads and our hearts—before the feet of Jesus who is the Christ. In fact, when you journey to the New Testament book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, you will find that the scene before the throne consists of the twenty and four elders casting their crowns before and at the feet of Jesus, and bowing themselves to the ground on their faces before the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world. The scene in heaven includes and involves the prostration of oneself before the throne of God in heaven, and before the One who sits upon the throne. I do not believe it is any coincidence the prophet speaks of the likeness of the appearance of the one before him as having the image of fire from his loins downward, and having the image of brightness [perhaps glory] from his loins upward. In fact, when I read this particular passage of Scripture, I can’t help but see an absolutely incredible picture of an encounter with the glory and fire of the Lord. In other words, consider that as one bows and prostrated themselves before and at the feet of Jesus, they encounter and experience fire. In all reality, I am convinced that before we can behold the glory and brightness of the Lord of hosts we first need an encounter with the consuming fire of His presence.
BEFORE THE GLORY COMES THE FIRE! BEFORE THE BRIGHTNESS COMES THE FIRE! I am convinced that the first place we encounter the Lord of hosts is not from His loins upward where there is the image and likeness of the appearance of brightness, but rather in the place and presence of fire. I am convinced that we were all created to behold the glory and brightness of the Lord, but there are countless men and women who want the glory without and apart from the fire. Tell me dear brother, tell me dear sister—how do you expect to look upon, behold, and even gaze upon the glory of the Lord until and unless you are first willing to experience and encounter Him in the place of fire? There are a number of men and women who make the declaration that they desire to look upon and behold the glory of the Lord, yet they are not willing to meet and encounter Him in the place of fire. Lest you think for one minute this is far out of reach, consider that even in the pattern of the Tabernacle and Temple, the very first place you experience and encounter the Lord of hosts was before and at the fire. When you entered into the courts of the Lord, the very first thing you saw was the fire burning upon the altar, and the smoke which rose from that fire. When you entered the courts of the Lord you were immediately met with two distinct realities—the fire of the altar and the blood of the sacrifice. There are many who would like to bypass the altar that is found in the courts of the Lord and rush and make their way to the inner chamber of the Holy of holies, yet to do so would be incredibly and completely tragic. Whether you were a descendant of Abraham and one of the children of Israel, or whether you were from one of the nations and lands which surrounded the land of Israel—when you entered into the courts of the Lord, the very first thing you saw was not the Ark of the Covenant, nor even the altar of incense. When you entered into the courts of the Lord in the Tabernacle or Temple, the very first thing you encountered was the sight of the fire burning upon the altar, and the blood that was all around the altar. The altar of burnt offering was not a clean or pretty sight, for when you approached the altar, you were immediately confronted with the sight of the fire, the scent of the sacrifice burning upon the altar, the sight of smoke ascending from the altar, and blood all around and before the altar. In other words, before you would or even could experience and encounter the glory of the Lord that was found in the Holy of holies, you first needed to come near and approach Him in the place of the fire and the blood.
DRAWING NEAR TO THE LORD IN THE PLACE OF THE FIRE AND THE BLOOD! APPROACHING THE LORD IN THE PLACE OF FIRE AND BLOOD! Oh how sadly and sorely mistaken we are to think that we can come near to the Lord without first coming near and experiencing Him in the place of the fire. Pause for a moment and consider Moses’ own progression with and before the Lord, for before Moses experienced the glory of the Lord atop the mountain, he first needed to encounter the Lord on the backside of the desert at a burning bush. Consider if you will the text that is found in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus—“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 Lod 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 Gody 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). This was the very first encounter Moses had with and before the Lord of hosts, yet this particular experience and encounter would be surpassed by an even greater encounter at the mountain of God in the wilderness of Sinai. This encounter would be prefaced and prepared by what we read in the beginning of the nineteenth chapter of the book of Exodus—“In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord” (Exodus 19:1-9).
When you come to the sixteenth verse of this same chapter you will find a great sight enveloping and consuming the mountain of God in the wilderness of Sinai. “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the cam[pe trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them. And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. And the Lord said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the Lord, lest He break forth upon them. So. Moses went down unto the people, and speak unto them” (Exodus 19:16-25). As you continue reading—specifically in the twentieth chapter, , you will find that there is more that is written concerning this encounter atop and this encounter before the mountain of God in the wilderness of Sinai. “And all the people saw the thundering, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off, And they said unto Moses, speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou. Lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon” (Exodus 20:18-26).
In the twenty-fourth chapter of the book of Exodus, you will discover that the glory of the Lord was still present upon and atop the mountain of God in the wilderness. Consider how the chapter begins and opens—“And He said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him. And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen u not the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins: and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the blood of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words. Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they say the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in His clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He laid not His hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink” (Exodus 24:1-11). In the second half of this chapter you will find yet even more language concerning this encounter atop and this encounter before the mountain—“And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights” (Exodus 24: 12-18).
In the thirty-fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus, you will find a rather peculiar and interesting account of Moses and his encounter with the glory of the Lord atop the mountain. Consider how the chapter begins—“And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brackets. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. And no man shall come up with tee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount. And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped” (Exodus 34:1-8). When you come to the twenty-ninth chapter of this same chapter, you will find the description of Moses as he came down from atop the mountain, and what that particular encounter had done within his life. “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses waist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone: and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, eh put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him” (Exodus 34:29-35).
In the final chapter of this Old Testament book you find what is ultimately the culmination of Moses encounter(s) with the fire and glory—an encounter that began at the backside of the desert in the wilderness of Sinai. “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Exodus 40:34-38). Moses encounter with and before the Lord of hosts would not begin atop the mountain the midst of the glory of the Lord, but would begin at the backside of the desert with the consuming fire of the Lord burning within and burning upon a bush. Moses did not immediately experience the glory of the Lord atop the mountain of God in the wilderness, for he first needed to experience the angel of the Lord appearing to him out of the midst of a fire which burned upon a bush in the wilderness. Oh, there are many among us who wish to experience the glory of the Lord atop the mountain of God in the wilderness as did Moses, yet they aren’t willing to first encounter him at the backside of the desert at a burning bush as the angel of the Lord speaks to them. There are many who want to look upon, gaze upon and behold the glory of the Lord, yet they are unwilling to first come near and approach the Lord before and in the midst of His consuming fire. There would come a specific moment within the life of Moses when his experience within and his experience before the glory of the Lord would so radically and dramatically alter his appearance that his fine shone in the sight of the people. Why? What was it that caused Moses’ face to shine in the midst of and before the children of Israel? Moses had spent enough time within and beholding the glory of the Lord that eventually it transformed him and began to radiate from his physical being and person. This is ultimately the single greatest outcome of any encounter with and any encounter before the glory of the Lord, for we are transformed as we behold Him. What’s more, is that only to the degree and measure that we behold the Lord of hosts can and will be be truly transformed. We can’t expect our faces to shine like the sun if we are unwilling to behold the glory of the Lord of hosts.
When speaking of the Tabernacle and Temple of the Lord, it’s necessary and important to recognize that before you experience and encounter the glory, you first come near unto the fire. WITHOUT THE FIRE THERE CAN BE NO GLORY! This is an absolutely incredible principle to recognize and understand, for it was the fire which burned upon the altar that prepared and made possible the encounter with the glory of the Lord within and in the midst of the holy of Holies. While the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat atop it being the central focal point of the Tabernacle and Temple, we must understand that there can be no Ark without and apart from the Altar. Tell me—why on earth would you even think you could pursue the Ark without and apart from the altar? It is the altar with the fire, the smoke and the blood that is found therein which makes possible the reality of the Ark which represents the glory and presence of the Lord. The Ark is the ultimate reality of the Tabernacle and the Temple, yet without the altar the Ark has no true meaning, value or worth. Do not think that you can come near and approach the Ark without, apart from, and before you first come near by way of the altar. THE WAY TO THE ARK LEADS DIRECTLY THROUGH THE ALTAR! There are a number of men and women who would seek to go around the altar in order to make their way to the Ark, yet this is absolutely and utterly impossible. As if it weren’t dangerous enough to come near the Ark, or even touch it because it represented the glory and presence of the Lord—imagine attempting to come near the Ark without first coming by way of the altar. DO NOT PERCEIVE YOU CAN APPROACH THE GLORY WITHOUT FIRST PASSING THROUGH THE FIRE! IT IS THE FIRE WHICH PAVES THE WAY AND PREPARES US FOR THE GLORY! Oh how many men and women seek to experience the glory of the Lord within the holy of Holies without first experiencing and drawing near to the fire in the courts of the Lord. Our ultimate objective is to experience the glory of the Lord—to look upon, to gaze upon, and to behold it—yet that cannot, will not, and is not possible until and unless we are first willing to approach, and even pass through the fire of the Lord. It is the fire of God which prepares and makes us ready to approach, enter into, experience and encounter the very glory of the Lord. The problem is that there are a number of men and women who want the glory without first coming near and even passing through the fire of the Lord. Consider the fact that it was in the midst of the fire within the furnace the three Hebrew boys experienced and encountered the glory of the Lord as the fourth man in the fire. There are times when the glory of the Lord manifests within and in the midst of the fire, yet there are other times when the glory of the Lord is beyond the fire.
In the eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel we discover one appearing before Ezekiel—one whose appearance was from his loins downward, fire, and from his loins upward, brightness. This particular encounter which Ezekiel experienced provides us with a tremendous prophetic truth and application, for the foundation of any encounter with the Lord of hosts is fire and not the glory. I would dare say that until and unless we are willing to encounter the Lord on our faces before His fire. I do not believe that it’s any coincidence that from his loins downward was fire, for before we can look up and look upon the brightness of His being, we must first bow ourselves in His presence before His holy fire. It is not the glory that prepares us for the fire, but rather, it’s the fire that prepares us for the glory. Do not immediately perceive that you can look and gaze upon the brightness of the Lord of hosts without first bowing and prostrating yourself at and before His feet. What’s more, is that we cannot, we dare not, we should not, we must not rush our place and our position before His feet, for the fire must have its perfect work within and upon our lives. There are those who would seek to rush their place and their position before and in the midst of the fire, yet to do so would be to disqualify yourself from even experiencing the glory of the Lord that exists beyond the fire. THE GLORY WHICH EXISTS BEYOND THE FIRE! It is most certainly okay to desire and even pursue the glory that exists beyond the fire, yet it cannot come at the expense of approaching, drawing near to, and approaching the fire which is found at the altar. THE FIRE AND THE GLORY: UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS OF THE FIRE WHICH PREPARES US FOR THE GLORY! Ezekiel saw the appearance of fire downward, and he saw the appearance of brightness upward, for it only when we are willing to humble and prostrate ourselves to the ground where the fire is that we are truly able to lift our eyes upward and behold the glory of the Lord. Moses could not experience and encounter the glory of the Lord until and unless he was willing to experience the fire of the Lord. One thing you will notice about the mountain of the Lord is that there was upon the mountain the appearance of fire and smoke, and it was these two images which were directly linked and connected to the divine glory of the Lord of hosts. Moses would enter into the presence of the Lord and look upon and behold His glory, yet it was his encounter on the backside of a desert which readied and prepared him for that encounter.
Tell me—are you willing to draw near to, to approach, and to even pass through the fire if necessary in order that you might ultimately experience and encounter the glory of the Lord? Are you willing to humble yourself in the place of surrender and sacrifice in order that you might ultimately look upon, gaze upon, and behold the glory of the Lord? You were created and you were destined to enter into the place of the glory of the Lord and from that place be transformed into His image and likeness, yet that is not and cannot be made possible without and apart from your coming near unto and approaching the fire. Notice the encounter Daniel had in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia—“then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were birdied with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude” (Daniel 10:5-6). Consider also the vision Ezekiel saw which is recorded in the first chapter of this prophetic book—“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake” (Ezekiel 1:26-28). Consider the vision the apostle John saw in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ—“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead” (Revelation 1:12-17).
THE FIRE AND THE GLORY: APPROACHING THE GLORY BY WAY OF THE FIRE! Notice that while Jesus existed with the Father in eternity, His way back to the Father led straight through the cross of Calvary. Jesus was destined to sit at the right hand of the Father, and He was destined to return to the glory which He enjoyed with the Father in heaven, yet in order to experience and return to that glory, He first needed to come to the altar and to the place of sacrifice. Just as there can be no resurrection without and apart from death, so also can there be no glory without and apart from fire. Consider what is recorded in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles—“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3). Notice in this passage the fire of the Lord coming down from heaven, the fire consuming the burnt offering and the sacrifices which were present upon the altar. Notice that in this passage the fire was the first to manifest, which was quickly followed by the glory which filled the house. The Spirit of the Lord is directly highlighting and revealing the reality that before the glory can fill the house, the fire first has to fall upon the altar and consume the sacrifice and offering which is present upon the altar. Do not think or perceive the glory of the Lord will fill the house if there is no sacrifice or offering upon the altar, and if the fire of the Lord does not first fall upon the altar and consume the sacrifice. It is the fire which manifests before the glory, for it is the fire which prepares us for the glory, and it is the fire which brings about and manifests the glory. Before the glory can and ever will fill the house, the fire must first come down upon the altar and consume the sacrifice. Oh that we would understand our place before the fire of the Lord where sacrifices and offerings are consumed. Oh that we would understand that it is only when the work has been completed in the place of sacrifice and surrender that we can then lift our eyes up and behold the glory and the brightness of the Lord. THE SACRIFICE MUST BE BURNED AND CONSUMED BEFORE TRANSFORMATION IN THE MIDST OF THE GLORY CAN BE MANIFESTED! CONSUMED IN THE FIRE AND TRANSFORMED IN THE GLORY! Let us this day make this our ultimate goal and objective—to be consumed in the fire and transformed in the glory.