COLOR="Red"] The Worshiping and Glorification of Fire

in Christianity and Judaism

by mooaz elian[/COLOR]

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon our master the Messenger of God and his family and his companions, and after ..

Allah the Almighty sent his messengers to all human beings and the Holy Quran declared that in many situations , Allah says :

“ Messengers who gave good news as well as warning, that mankind, after (the coming) of the messengers, should have no plea against Allah: For Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise” – (Al Nisaa:165), but the reality says that human beings tended to Polytheism after the advent of the messengers . Moreover, they were stubborn and rejected to follow the truth. For example, although Jews were murderers of the messenger of God and revisionists of the Holy Books , they didn’t believe in Moses (PBUH) and decided to worship the calf and idols as we read in the Bible :-

1) 1 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Up, make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 2 And Aaron said to them, "Take off the rings of gold which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." 3 So all the people took off the rings of gold which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made a molten calf; and they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!" 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD." 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

2) 14 "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

3) 8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of one hundred and ten years. 9 And they buried him within the bounds of his inheritance in Tim'nath-he'res, in the hill country of E'phraim, north of the mountain of Ga'ash. 10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them, who did not know the LORD or the work which he had done for Israel. 11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Ba'als; 12 and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; they went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were round about them, and bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. 13 They forsook the LORD, and served the Ba'als and the Ash'taroth.

All verses verify that Jews worshiped other than Allah (Idols) but the truth is that the Holy Bible is the reason for this . What do you expect when you see a Christian involves Parsee (the candle or the fire) in his prayers ! , Takla says 1 :

“ The use of candles in rituals from the Fathers’ Books in eastern and western Churches ”:-

1) We read about the use of candles in praying rituals specially in holidays in the writings of St. Paulinus from Nola city that goes back to year 407 BC.

2) One of the writings of St. Epiphanius shows how the churches were characterized by bright candles in his days (fourth century AD).

3) In the seventh century , we hear about the carrying of candles in Italy marched by the bishop when he entered the temple to start praying, in front of him seven deacons holding illuminated candles .. and when the deacon exits to read the Bible , he is preceded by two other deacons holding two illuminated candles to glorify the Holy Bible ...

So we conclude that Christianity and Judaism are closely linked by the testimony of the Bible and we will Enumerate some of these verses …

Prophets of the Bible offer sacrifices to the fire

The ancient used to give sacrifices to the fire! They believed that this fire is a God .. and this pagan idea continued until it was adopted by the writers of the Bible or the prophets as they claim! Even the prophets of the Bible named the altar by the name of God : Jacob (Abu Dinah) built an altar and called it Eil (ie, the God of Israel)!

1) In Genesis (33:20) : 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-El'ohe-Israel.2

There are many types of Sacrifice , ex: Holocaust Sacrifice , Peace Sacrifice , Sin Sacrifice …etc and all of them are delivered to the fire.3

According to the Department of Biblical knowledge :4

“ Eil ; God of Israel is the name given by Jacob to the altar in Shechem on a piece of land bought by the sons of Hamor father of Shechem “.

Also, in Exodus ( 24:4 ) : 4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

And the authors of tyndale commentaries ( the modern interpretation of the Bible ) say :5

“ the stone columns symbolize Israel teams but the alter clearly symbolizes God and that is in the celebration “ which we will talk about later …

Even Noah in the Bible did the same !! , in Genesis ( 8:20 ) :

20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

Also the Archdeacon Najib Gerges considers the altar and delivering the sacrifice of Noah is a way to worship God , he says:6

“ The first job done by Noah after surviving the flood and going out of the ark is that he built an altar to the Lord and delivered sacrifices made from all animals and clean birds in recognition of God mercy and adoration of His majesty and an expression of thanks and glorification ”.

And here is Moses , doing what the others have done !! , in Exodus

( 17:15 ) : 15 And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD is my banner.

Also , in Joshua ( 8:31) : 31 as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, "an altar of unhewn stones , upon which no man has lifted an iron tool"; and they offered on it burnt offerings to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.

The Lord also recommends Moses in Exodus ( 20: 24-25 ) : 24 An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. 25 And if you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones; for if you wield your tool upon it you profane it.

And Saul too !! , in Samuel I ( 14:35 ) : 35 And Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first altar that he built to the LORD.

So the delivering of sacrifice stems from the written thought which called for enshrining the fire!! But what is the relationship between fire and the altar and the God of Christianity? We shall see the verses that prove that there is a strange relationship between the altar and the God of Christianity.

Fire worshiping according to the bible …

We read that Jesus ( the God of the Christians ) appeared in fire , in Exodus ( 3:2-4 ) : 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, "I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here am I."

The Archbishop Tadros Jacob Malati says : 7

(( We notice that the bible says : And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush [2] . Here the word “ angel “ means “ messenger” and it indicates the second person in the Holy Trinity ; the son that was sent by the Father to announce that work and send Moses … If what appeared was an angel and not the second person , he wouldn’t have said : “ the Lord called him from the middle of the bush ..” then 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 – 3:6 ).

Most of the fathers believe that the Lord can’t be seen , but His word appears here from the middle of the bush as a blazing fire ; he is also The One who is going to come at the end of days in flesh to tell the people about the Father! )).

Christians believe that Jesus has appeared as the son of God and died on the cross and also as the blazing fire from the middle of the bush and they are both worshiped 8 and that is what made Moses bow for the fire as we can see in this picture :

That’s how the children of Israel visualized God ; as devouring fire in Exodus ( 24:17 ) : “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 “

Even the voice of God was heard from the middle of the fire , in Deuteronomy ( 4: 12 and 24 ) : “And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice “ , “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God “.

In addition , Christians believe that looking at the fire is just as looking at the face of the God directly , in Deuteronomy ( 5:4 ) : The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.

The Archbishop Tadros Jacob Malati says in his interpretation of the verse 9 : (( God is indeed a blazing eating fire but he gives life to his people for he says: "because it is in all human beings who heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire and lived like us?!". He had showed us his glory and greatness and we have heard His voice from the middle of the fire … in that day we have witnessed that God can speak to humans and live … ))

But the prophets of the Bible believe that making sacrifices at the altar and throw them in fire happens during the presence of the Lord and of course the Lord is the fire itself which Jews and Christians worship , In Leviticus ( 6 : 12-13 ) : " And the fire upon the altar shall be kept burning thereon, it shall not go out; and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning: and he shall lay the burnt-offering in order upon it, and shall burn thereon the fat of the peace-offerings " and " Fire shall be kept burning upon the altar continually; it shall not go out".

And these are the verses that show sons of Aaron how to deliver the flour to the Lord at the alter.

The interpreters of this verse comment 10 : " The sacred fire must have been kept on burning on the altar because the one who burnt it at the first place was God himself, and this represents the eternal presence of God in the sacrificial system. God was showing that by His grace only the sacrifice can be accepted from the people . The fire of God is found in the life of every believer now, and our glorification to him must remain in our hearts ".

It is known that the idea of giving sacrifice to the goddess of fire is originally a pagan idea , in 2 King ( 21:3-6 ) : " 3For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, as did Ahab king of Israel, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4And he built altars in the house of Jehovah, whereof Jehovah said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. 5And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of Jehovah. 6And he made his son to pass through the fire, and practised augury, and used enchantments, and dealt with them that had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger."

Even Solomon when he desired to see God and talk to Him , he went to the altar and saw them there , in II Chronicles ( 1:7 ) : " 7In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee".

This conception of the fiery God is an ancient pagan conception hosted by the Jews and Christians , and it exists in the new testament too , here are some of the verses that prove that :

1) They believe that when God comes , he will spread smoke all over earth , in Exodus ( 19:18 ) : " And mount Sinai, the whole of it, smoked, because Jehovah descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly ".

2) Jews and Christians believe that fire and coal comes out from the mouth of the Lord ! , in Psalms ( 18:8 ) : " 8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils,And fire out of his mouth devoured: Coals were kindled by it ".

3) In Exodus ( 14:24 ) : " 24 And it came to pass in the morning watch, that Jehovah looked forth upon the host of the Egyptians through ".

4) Even the song of solomon resembled love and jealousy as a flame of fire of the Lord , in Song of Solomon ( 8:6 ) : " 6Set me as a seal upon thy heart, As a seal upon thine arm: For love is strong as death; Jealousy is cruel as Sheol; The *****es thereof are *****es of fire, A very flame of Jehovah ".

5) In Isaiah ( 29:6 ) : " 6She shall be visited of Jehovah of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire ".

6) In Isaiah (30:30 ) : " 30And Jehovah will cause his glorious voice to be heard, and will show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of [his] anger, and the flame of a devouring fire, with a blast, and tempest, and hailstones ".

7) In Isaiah ( 66:15 ) : " 15For, behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and his chariots shall be like the whirlwind; to render his anger with fierceness, and his rebuke with flames of fire ".

8) In Acts ( 7:30 ) : " 30And when forty years were fulfilled, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush ".

9) In Hebrews ( 1:7 ) : " 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels winds, And his ministers a flame a fire ".

10) In Revelation ( 4:5 ) : " 5And out of the throne proceed lightnings and voices and thunders. And [there was] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God ".

11) In 1 Kings ( 8:10-12 ) : " 10 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of Jehovah, " , "11 so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah." 12 Then spake Solomon, Jehovah hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness ".

And the servants of St. Mark's Coptic Church in Egypt comment :11 " Moses lived another forty years there till God appeared to him in the shape of an angel from the middle of the bush in the desert and it was flamed with fire but not burned ".

The Archbishop Tadros Jacob Malati comments 12 : " Now begins the story of Moses when he went out weak to escape the army of Pharaoh . Here Jehovah has emerged in the form of a flaming fire in the bush, down to the sacred land, and leading his people into Canaan. It is the story of the Incarnation of God, where the Virgin Mary bearing in her womb the coal of God , and Jesus Christ lead humanity to the heavenly Canaan, freeing them from the bondage of Satan ".

Fire and theology in Christian thought !!

From all of the previous , we observe the importance of the sacred fire in the Bible and that it's worshiped and glorified to the extent of calling the alters with God's name !! and not only in the old testament , but in the new testament , the writings of the fathers and the modern priests too …

In the beginning , I was often surprised while reading in this subject because I didn't read any verses that deprive the fire , it is possible there are some verses but I did not find them ..

God in Christianity is Fire! His anger is represented as burning fire, He appeared to Moses as burning fire at the middle of the bush, when He came down to the earth , He spread smoke all over the place and when the prophets of the Bible wanted to be closer to Him and ask for His mercy , they bowed to the fire !! . Even priests in their writings considered the fire that appeared in the bush to be the Lord !! Now let's look at what they said ..

St. Kerls Amod AL Deen says 13 : " Our Lord is an eating fire , on the other hand , a human being is like a grass and his days ends just like the flower of the field dies one day . As the bush can’t bare the fire by nature , so as the manhood nature of God can’t bare the theological one … that’s why the fire which Moses saw didn’t burn the bush but it was dealing gently with the weak nature of the wood.. that’s exactly how the manhood nature of the Lord dealt gently with the theological one.

St. Gregory bishop of Niss says 14 : “ the light of the Lord that emerged from Mary when she gave birth to Jesus didn’t burn the bush .. just like the virgin flower didn’t fade when she gave birth to Him.

St. Ambrose says 15 : “ Why do we despair ? The Lord talks through us .. He is the one who talked through the bush filled with Thistle and didn’t despise it ! “.

St. Justin says, commenting on the story of the bush 16 : “ Allow me to show you from Exodus how this Angel came to be God and human and appeared to Moses and Isaac in a human form and from the middle of the flamed bush and talked to Moses … God himself , who Moses talks about as an angel , talked to him from the fire .. “

Reverend Anthony Fekry also says 17 : “ According to the Jewish thinking , all that comes down from the sky is considered an angel because he is a messenger .. and what proves that he is the second person in the Holy Trinity and not just an ordinary angel is : the Holy Spirit came to the disciples in the form of tongues of fire. And appeared to Abraham in the form of light fire (Genesis 15) and appeared to the people on the mountain in the form of fire. He is a fire of burning , cleansing , love and light ! )

Fire and Candles and their relationship with the Church and Worshiping

Christians didn’t give up on fire in their prayers , but continued to practice these rituals ( the altar and candles ) and we will talk about that briefly :-

The great scholar Ibn Coptic says 18 : Because the Church represents heaven , angels and saints .. and darkness represents evil and the wicked will be punished in hell … and God is an eating flaming fire and Jesus Christ is light born from the light .... And Jesus called us to be lighting lamps , and therefore Liturgy takes place in the light of candles, and when you read the Bible, because his teachings are light, and his words are lighting lamps to direct the believers to the truth path …)

St. Gregory Alenzyanzi ( 4th century ) says 19 : “ Using candles was from the rituals used in the Church while making secrets ‘.

Priests consider the candle in the church as a symbol of Jesus Christ , St. Takla ; a member of the Holy Synod ; says 20 : “ Putting one or three candles on the cross when giving blessings to the people symbolizes Jesus Christ ; the light of the world and that he transferred us from darkness to light when he was crucified “.

And when the prayer ends , they turn out the candles directly , St. Takla says 21 : “ We usually turn out candles and torches except the east torch which represent the star which led and gave directions to the Magi , and the Alascna torch (i.e. dome), for two reasons :-

1) To avoid the entrance of a foreign fire to the church.

2) Obeying God order : “ let the testimony dome always lighten “

Dr. Michael Mexi Alexander says 22 : “ The coals of fire refers to the burning embers of Theology, and the rest of the coal refers to the body of Christ, and the burning of coal fire refers to the Union of the Godhead and manhood (with the survival of the nature of each) and the rising incense refers to the prayers of the saints (Rev 8 / 3-4) before the throne of grace “.

Hence it is clear to us that the fire that was in the bush did not burn it, as in theology when he appeared in the flesh and that’s what the interpreters and the fathers stressed on in the Bible! And the relationship between them is clear which was declared by the anonymous writer of Hebrews :(because our God is an eating fire) 12/29 ..

In other words , God appeared in Christ (as they claim) as well as it appeared in the bush-fire, they are both God as stated in the Bible ...

Let’s sum up what we have said previously in the following points :

1) God in Christianity is an eating fire .

2) God in Christianity descends to earth surrounded by fog and smoke.

3) Fire and smoke comes out of God’s mouth and nostrils as stated in Samuel II 22 / 9.

4) The Voice of God comes out with flames of fire, as stated in Psalms 7-29.

Note :-

when we say Prophets of the bible , we mean by that what the Bible said about them … but not the messengers of Allah.

Refrences :-

[1] http://st-takla.org/FAQ-Questions-VS...-Churches.html .

2 As confirmed by the editors of The Biblical Encyclopedia , part one , page 567.

3 Book Encyclopedia of theology - by Michael Mina (Pope Kyrillos teacher) and Manager of the monks college at Helwan in 1929, Page 359.

4 The Biblical Encyclopedia , part one , page 567.

5 Modern interpretation of the Bible (Tyndale interpretation) Page 210.

6 Interpretation of the Bible - Genesis for the Archdeacon Najib Gerges Page 108.

7 Reflections and interpretations of the Founding fathers – by the Archpriest Jacob Tadros Malati - Exodus - Page 31.

8 St. Athanasius the Apostolic announce that the body is always God and that it bowed for the body too!! And we will talk more about this point later if Allah wills.

9 Reflections and interpretations of the Founding fathers – by the Archpriest Jacob Tadros Malati – Deuteronomy – page 135.

10 Life interpretation of the Bible - the elite of scientists and theologians p. 225.

11 Encyclopedia of Church - some of the servants and priests of the Church of Saint Mark in Heliopolis - Part III Page 68.

12 Reflections and interpretations of the Founding fathers – by the Archpriest Jacob Tadros Malati – Acts – his interpretation of this verse.

13 The Book of The incarnation of the son , the only one among the teaching of St. Cyril and Nestorius heresy - by Dr. Isaac Elijah Mansy – introduced by Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta and Kafr El-Sheikh, secretary of the Holy Synod - Page 148.

14 Reflections and interpretations of the Founding fathers – by the Archpriest Jacob Tadros Malati – Exodus – page 30.

15 Reflections and interpretations of the Founding fathers – by the Archpriest Jacob Tadros Malati – Exodus – page 31.

16 Book of the appearance of God in the Old Testament - Rev. Isaac Shenouda Maher Isaac ; Professor of the Old Testament and theology in the seminary faculty, Page 33.

17 Interpretation of Exodus - Archbishop Antonios Fekry - Page 17.

18 Book of the light lamp in the darkness to clarify the service - by the Coptic Ebn Kebr – commented on and simplified by Mikhail Mexi Iskandar - Page 272.

19 Book of Our Orthodox Christian beliefs – prepared by the Rev. Bishoy Helmy, submitted and reviewed by Anba Bishoy and Anba Mtaows, p. 379.

20 http://st-takla.org/Coptic-Faith-Cre...r-Lantern.html.

21 http://st-takla.org/Coptic-Faith-Cre...r-Lantern.html.

22 Book of 90 Question and answers about the church and its buildings, tools and terminology and prayers - by Dr. Michael attired Mexi Iskandar - Page 43.