The ‘By Fire’ appellation in the book titled, ‘God’s Seven Covenants By Fire’ is of critical significance. Indeed the ‘By Fire’ part underlines the claim of the book that the spiritual insight is, a revelation from God and there are indeed seven covenants. Therefore, in this blog we want to take the opportunity to explain the significance of the phrase, ‘By Fire’.
We would make six points to answer the question. Why By Fire?
- By Fire is the golden thread that links the seven covenants together. And it is the compass that enables us to navigate our way through the myriad of covenants in the Bible. Fire emanating from the presence of the Lord is what makes the seven covenants unique. The first of the seven covenants is the one with Abram in Gen 15: 1-21. It also provides a
template which each of the other six covenants follow. So, it is worth delving a little deeper
into the covenant with Abram.
There are five characteristics in the Abram covenant:
i. There is one or more persons who are party to the covenant with God, these
persons represent the whole of mankind.
ii. A promise is made by God to man based on the premise that man simply believes in
Gen 15:6 And Abram believed the LORD, and the Lord counted it to him as
iii. The covenant is solemnized through a ritual of sacrifice where the person or persons
bring an offering to God.
iv. The covenant came with obligations or commitments, for man it is simply to in
believe in God, while God promises to uphold his eternal obligations under each
v. The covenant was signed-off by God, by fire emanating from his sovereign presence.
All these characteristics are only consistently present for the seven covenants. Therefore,
incidents such as Moses at the burning bush is excluded because there was no sacrifice
being presented at that time.
Now returning to our main question, why By Fire?
- By Fire creates the exegetical foundation which supports the strong claim that the 7CBF is revelation. And not simply a clever interpretation or application of the biblical text. Neither is it a theory being imposed upon the Bible, but rather an example of Scripture being allowed to interpret Scripture.
- By Fire is symbolic of a human signature to a contract. The finger of God is signing off anagreement to which the Lord is a willing and intentional partner. This picture is reminiscent of the writing on the wall in the palace of Belshazzar in Dan 5:5 & 24. The fire from God is evidence of his signature, witnessing to the fact that the Sovereign Lord agrees to be bound by the conditions of these covenants, forever.
- By Fire indicates in each instance that a covenant is being put into effect. We know this for certainty from the Abram covenant. God brought fire to a cold sacrifice and declared immediately afterwards that it is a covenant that he is establishing between himself and Abram, and Abram’s descendants (Gen 15:18).
- By Fire is the veil that caused the covenants by fire revelation to remain a mystery hidden
within Scripture until the Lord had chosen to make it known. The By Fire mystery is further
enhanced by the fact that the fire appears so differently. It appears by torch and pot in covenant one (Gen 15:17). It descends from the presence of the Lord in covenants two (Lev 9:24), four (2 Chr 7:1) and five (1 Kgs 18:38).
It appears by surprise in covenants three (1 Chr 21:26) and four (2 Chr 7:1).
It is virtual fire in covenant six (Acts 2:3), and all-consuming fire in covenants five (1 Kgs
18:38) and seven (Lev 10:1 & Num 16:35).
To add to the sense of mystery, even when you do see the seven covenants it is not
immediately obvious what they represent.
- By Fire creates a unique, God inspired narrative framework. The narrative helps us to understand God’s saving plan for mankind as a process, and how we as believers fit into this process. Each covenant is a detailed concept in the framework that speaks deep theological truths that span both the Old and New Testaments. In conclusion then, the By Fire concept is the essential component to seeing and understanding the revelation of God’s 7CBF.