Some of these witnesses include the burning bush (Shemoth 3:2), the Shekinah glory (Semoth 14:19; Bemidbar 9:15-16), and Yehezqel's vision (Yehezqel 1:4).
Fire has many times been an instrument of judgment in the hands of Yah (Bamidbar 11:1, 3; Melakim Bet 1:10, 12) and a sign of His power (Shophetim 13:20; Melakim Aleph 18:38).
fire on the altar of burnt offerings
It is very important that we remember that fire was required for the Old Testament sacrifices. The fire on the altar of burnt offering was a divine gift, having been lit originally by Yahuah Elohim Himself (Wayiqqra 9:24). El'Elyon charged the kohen with keeping His fire lit (Wayiqqra 6:13) and made it clear that fire from any other source was unacceptable (Wayiqqra 10:1-2).
In the B'rit Hadashah, the altar can serve as a picture of our commitment to the El'Elyon. As believers in Messiah Emmanuel, we are called upon to offer our bodies as “living sacrifices” (Romiyim 12:1), engulfed by the divine gift: the inextinguishable fire of the Ruach ha'Qodesh.
At the very beginning of the B'rit Hadashah, the Qodesh Spirit is associated with fire. Yohanan the Baptist predicts that His Salvation will be the One to “baptize you with the Holy Ruach and with fire” (Mattith'Yahu 3:11). When the Ruach ha'Qodesh began His ministry of indwelling the early church, He chose to appear as “tongues of fire” resting on each of the believers. At that moment, “all of them were filled with the Qodesh Ruach and began to speak in other tongues as the Ruach enabled them” (Acts 2:3-4).
Fire is a wonderful picture of the work of the Qodesh Ruach. The Spirit is like a fire in at least three ways: He brings Elohim’s presence, Yahuah’s passion, and HaShem’s purity.
The Ruach ha'Qodesh is the presence of Elohim as He indwells the heart of the believer (Romiyim 8:9). In the Old Testament, Yahuah showed His presence to the Israelites by overspreading the tabernacle with fire (Bamidbar 9:14-15). This fiery presence provided light and guidance (Bamidbar 9:17-23). In the B'rit Hadashah, Elohim guides and comforts His children with the Ruach ha'Qodesh dwelling in our bodies—the “tabernacle” and the “temple of the living Elohim” (Qorin'tiyim Bet 5:1; 6:16).
The Ruach ha'Qodesh brings the passion of Elohim in our hearts. After the two traveling disciples talk with the resurrected Messiah, they describe their hearts as “burning within us” (Luqas 24:32). After the apostles receive the Spirit at Pentecost, they have a passion that lasts a lifetime and impels them to speak the word of Yahuah Elohim boldly (Acts 4:31).
The Dedicated Ruach produces the purity of Elohim in our lives. Yahuah's purpose is to purify us (Titos 2:14), and the Ruach is the agent of our sanctification (Qorin'tiyim Aleph 6:11; Tas'Loniquim Bet 2:13; Kepha Aleph 1:2). As the silversmith uses fire to purge the dross from the precious metal, so Yahuah uses the Ruach of Dedication to remove our sin from us (Tehilim 66:10; Mishlei 17:3). His fire cleanses and refines.