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ISAIAH 33: 14 - 17 "DWELLERS IN FIRE" Intro: The occasion for this fear, the destruction of the Assyrian army. I. THE USE OF SYMBOLS TO DESCRIBE GOD. A. The purpose stems from the impossibility of the finite mind to comprehend the infinite God. Zophar- 1. "Who by searching can find out God to perfection." 2. There is no way my mind can conceive of the greatness, vastness, or power of God. B. Other symbols used to describe God. 1. God is light. a. Expresses to us truth, purity, understanding as an enlightened mind. 2. God is love. a. His governing emotional attribute. b. Prone at time to think that God is cruel. 1. Operating as He does in that higher dimension, do not always understand His dealings with me. C. God as fire. 1. Burning bush (Moses). 2. Hebrew, "Our God is a consuming fire." II. WHAT THIS SYMBOL TELLS US ABOUT GOD. A. God is omnipresent, "eremacasis" the slow burning fire of nature. 1. Entropy the second law of thermodynamics. 2. The entire universe in a gradual state of decay. 3. This file is everywhere. B. God is a purifying force. 1. As a refiners fire for gold or silver. III. THE QUESTION OF THE SINNERS IN ZION "WHO AMONG US SHALL DWELL IN THE DEVOURING FIRE." A. The word translated dwell. 1. Difficulty of translation. a. Sometimes a word has several meanings and its meaning determined by its use in the text. This is such a word. 2. Dwell, conflict (fight) flea. a. Who can flee from the fire? 1. You can't run from God. a. Paul to the Epicurean philosophers, "for in Him we live, and move, and have our being." b. Some make the mistake of trying to run from God. c. David in Ps. 139 speaks of the all prevading presence of God. 2. There is no escaping God. b. Who can fight the fire. 1. If God's power can destroy the strong Assyrian army, who are we to fight God? a. The truth of the matter is you can fight God, but you can never win. b. In fighting God, you are destroyed. IV. A STRANGE CAPACITY OF FIRE. A. It has the capacity to utterly destroy or to transmit into permanency. 1. The same fire, it depends on the nature of the material in it. a. Wood or steel. B. The real question is this, I am dwelling in the fire, I cannot escape it, what is it doing to me. 1. That depends on what I am and my relationship to God. 2. I am being destroyed or purified and eternalfied.