Strange Fire

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Strange Fire & The Two Timing Christian

Leviticus 10:1

10:1 - KJV

and Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 3  Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.

 NIV – 10:3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying:

      ‘By those who come near Me
      I must be regarded as holy;
      And before all the people
      I must be glorified.

Leviticus 9:24

9:24 And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces


Thanksgiving has passed and we’re moving into the Christmas season.  Only at this time of the year do we start to see Salvation Army bells ringing, Christmas carolers singing, Gift buying and fruitcake making.  But there is something else that we see during this time of the year and that is the Two Timing Christian.  I’m talking about the ones that only show up at the church two times a year, Christmas and Easter.  But whether you find yourself being a Two Timing Christian or one that seeks God diligently, we should be studying God’s word to understand more of who He is and what our relationship is with Him.  All scripture is profitable for doctrine and reproof but sometimes God wants to make sure we understand certain key doctrines.  Therefore, in His infinite wisdom He knew that we would have need of a way to understand portions of the Bible thousands of years after the fact and so He gave to us Biblical Laws that we can use to study The Word.  One of the most powerful of those laws is called the Law of 1st Mention and it states that anytime you see a topic mentioned first in the Bible, there is a powerful message that God wants you to hear. 

And that’s where we find ourselves in this morning’s text; dealing w/ the Law of 1st Mention.  For you see, this was THE 1st time that the Tabernacle in the wilderness was being used.  And, it is during this time that we see 3 things occurring that we can grab hold of the understanding and to guard against repeating as we run our race.  But, give me a moment to set this thing up.  You see God gave Moses detailed plans for how He wanted His tabernacle to be structured from the size and material of the smallest nail to the majesty and splendor of the Ark of the Covenant.


But, whenever God speaks a church into existence, He appoints under-shepherds or priests to watch over the congregation and to perform worship for His name’s sake.  Moses’ brother Aaron and his 4 sons were chosen to be the first priests of the newly completed Tabernacle.  Aaron as the High Priest and his sons as priests.  It was the job of his sons to gather fire from the brazen alter where sacrifices had been made and take it inside the Holy Place to place on the Altar of Incense.  But Aaron’s two eldest sons (Nadab & Abihu) had other plans.  Rather than getting their fire from the brazen altar they kindled or built a common fire and took it inside the Holy Place to offer up to God. 

But God was not pleased!  Why? Because chapter nine of Leviticus tells us that when the Tabernacle was complete, and the 1st sacrifices had been made, God sent out a fire to consume that offering and stated that that fire was to never go out.  Those of you who were in Bible Study remember that the Brazen altar represented Christ crucified on the cross and since this is a type and shadow of Christ, what this says to us is that not only could God and God alone start that fire but one day, some 1500 years later, God and God alone could send Himself to cleanse us of our sins!  You see, He wants us to know that Calvary is all about Him and Him alone.  He told Aaron and his sons to keep the fires burning at all times.  In other words, you will keep the message of Calvary alive.

Today, because of His grace, we are all priests who are in Christ Jesus.  And because we are in Him, we are to keep the message alive that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin!

Avoidance Item #1  – Do not Offer Strange Fire unto God (Calvary). In other words,

  • Don’t Water down the gospel for the sake of fitting in
  • Don’t listen to preachers who want to give you nothing but pop psychology on positive thinking, self esteem how to force God to make you rich
  • We as priests are to preach and witness to the lost the pure message of salvation: Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and nothing more!

Avoidance item #2 – Do not offer up Strange Incense to God (praise & worship)

Not only did Nadab and Abihu not use the fire sent down from heaven, but they used some other type of incense than what God has prescribed.  The altar of incense represents our prayers and our praise and our worship going up to God.  And, if He is not pleased with what we offer, woe unto us.  We are to approach God w/ fear and trembling!  Today there’s too many people that take God lightly and think they can do anything they want and still be in His good grace but don’t be fooled.

·         You can’t come in here on Sunday morning if you just spent sat nite at the club getting high and think God is pleased

·         You can’t offer up pure praise and worship if you just spent the last 15m gossiping in the parking lot

·         You can’t expect God to honor your praise or your worship if your doing it for a show!  If your in the pew and your only clapping your hands cause everyone else is doing it, don’t clap until your doing it for God.  If your in a capacity to sing, lead praise & worship or minister in anyway and your just doing it to look good and show people how great you are; you need to repent, God is not honoring that mess!

Avoidance item #3 – Two Timing God

Finally, the Hebrew word for strange is ‘ZUR’ and it means ‘the other woman.’  In other words, Aaron’s sons did not have God placed squarely at the center of their lives.  They had ‘other’ things that were more important.  They were literally Two Timing God.  But saints, remember, God is a jealous God and He will have no other Gods before Him.  If we are so consumed with any other thing, be it work, television, sports and even church activities, that we don’t have time to focus our attention soley on Him each day, God is telling us that we are wrong.

Scripture tells us that ‘Judgement begins in the house of the Lord’ so on today, if God has touched your hearts through this message, ask God to forgive you for offering strange fire.  Ask Him to forgive you for two timing the Maker of the world with the things OF the world.

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