In scripture, it is said that "our God is a consuming fire" (Hebr. 12:29), and of stiffnecked Israel; "As stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame" (Isa. 47:14). Christian, will you endure the coming fire of God's judgment upon this world, when God puts the fire of his word to both wheat and chaff? Will you burn as chaff, or will you endure the oven of God's wrath, as his vessel of the "unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1Cor. 5:8), no longer puffed up in self will, but yielded and submitted for the Master's use?
by Jerry Gentry
"Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel" (Isa. 5:24).
We are warned in the Bible about great impending judgment to come suddenly upon an unsuspecting world. "And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day" (Isa. 10:17).
"Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly" (Isa. 29:5).
"Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant" (Isa. 30:13).
Though "of that day and hour knoweth no man" (Matt. 24:36), God's impending judgment of this world will come as surely as tomorrow's rising sun, as surely as the cock crows. Who is rising early now and buying oil for their lamps? And who will be caught unawares, unprepared, with no oil in their lamps at the midnight cry?
"Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire" (Isa. 10:16).
How does God kindle His fire of end time judgment? What kind of fire burns the chaff from the wheat? Christian, listen well, and learn how God puts his fire to the chaff. Heed and escape the coming judgment of God upon wicked men.
"Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" (Jer. 23:29).
"Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire" (Isa. 30:27).
"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap" (Mal. 3:2).
And exactly how does this "refiner's fire" go forth? "Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them" (Jer. 5:14).
Could it be any plainer? Yes, the very fire of God's word, is delivered through the mouths of His faithful servants, the very elect of God. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). We know and understand that this specific gospel of the kingdom is delivered even "by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (1Cor. 1:21). And what of the unbelieving?
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).
Even after "the end" has begun, Babylon rises and prospers again, for her last final hour of at least three and one half years of one world government and total oppression. God is faithful even then to send forth His witness in a final call to repentance, as fire to the chaff, and final judgment upon the unbelieving wicked.
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth [repentance]" (Rev 11:3). This time period corresponds with the days immediately before Babylon's final fall, when "the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more" (Rev. 18:11).
"These [two witnesses] are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth" (v. 4). Are you a member of "the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth?" If so, then you will give personal testimony of God's great saving work in your life, even "a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1Pet. 3:15). As Noah, you will be a preacher of righteousness. As Abraham, you will be a sojourner, looking for that "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebr. 11:10). As Israel, you will prevail with God.
Will you now hear and heed such a hope? "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20)? If you will be a member of that "remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:17), you will witness for the truth in the earth during the last days.
Christian, are you a saved believer today? Yes? Then have you witnessed to to your salvation lately? "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:10).
Christian, hear the message today, as fire to the chaff. God's judgment is upon us, and we are called to "judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24), even as of old when God warned: "The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD" (Jer. 23:28).
Can you say with the apostle Paul, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom. 1:16)? If so, then your salvation is genuine and your faith loosens your tongue and enables you to make a good confession.
Continuing concerning these two witnesses: "And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed" (v. 5).
Christian, give heed to the lesson, as fire to the chaff.
"These [two witnesses] have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will" (v. 6). What man had the power to shut heaven and "there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word" (1Kgs. 17:1)? Only one man, in all of recorded history. It was Elijah the Tishbite who "prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months" (James 5:17). And again, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD" (Mal. 4:5).
What will the end time Elijah ministry do? "He shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17), "lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" (Mal. 4:6).
Of such a time, the prophet Isaiah warns: "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" (Isa. 33:14).
Yes, the very words of God, delivered by "two witnesses," also called "the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks" are as fire to the chaff. Who are these two? They are none other than the end time remnant of Israel and Judah.
"Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?" (Zec 4:11).
"And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?" (v. 12).
"And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord" (v. 13).
"Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth" (v. 14).
The imagery of a great fire burning in Israel is too great to ignore. Of such an end time fire, God tells us through the pen of the prophet Ezekiel:
"Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them" (Ezek. 5:2).
"Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel" (Ezek. 5:4). What is that fire? That fire is his very Word of truth that burns up the chaff and all vessels of falsehood. What is God's purpose for bringing the fire of his Word directly against an unbelieving world?
"As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!" (Isa. 64:2). Yes, the nations tremble at the witness of an end time remnant of Israel, "the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel" (Rev. 7:4).
God's call to judgment is clear, to all of Israel: "Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings" (Jer. 4:4).
Heed the call today, as fire to the chaff.
A great warning is given to the woman Israel, and the "remnant of her seed:"
"Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children" (Isa 47:8).
"But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments" (v. 9).
"For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me" (v. 10).
"Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know" (v. 11).
"Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail" (v. 12).
"Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee" (v. 13).
"Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it" (v. 14).
"Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee" (v. 15).
Thus in graphic detail God reveals the plight of unrepentant men when judgment falls from heaven.
"And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more" (Ezek. 16:41).
"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (John 15:6).
"And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn" (Matt. 13:30).
"What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD"
"Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matt. 3:12).
As fire to the chaff, the Word of God purges the earth of wicked men. As fire to the chaff, judgment calls all men to repentance. As fire to the chaff, the words of the righteous witnesses call forth the power of God and usher in fiery judgments. Finally, the wicked are removed forever. Only when all the wood, hay and stubble are removed, as fire to the chaff, will the kingdom be restored to Israel.
In the words of Jeremiah the prophet, (Jer. 31:34), "all [shall] know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."