Flames of Purification
Many religions use the metaphor of burning out impurities (as in the purification of liquid metals) in reference to removing sin from souls. The Hindu ritual of yajna is an ancient Vedic fire purification ceremony. The Sanskrit root word “pu” meaning to purify or cleanse is the root of our own English words for purification. Fire is the main symbol of Zoroastrianism and is seen as an agent of purification.
In Judaism, God first appears to Moses in the form of flames (the burning bush) and sacrifices to the Lord were always burned by fire, eventually at the altar of the Temple. Angels are described as ministers of flame and fire in Hebrews 1:7 and Psalms 104:4.
Some Christian examples of flames of purification include John the Baptist claiming that Jesus would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and with fire” in Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 . On Pentecost, “tongues of fire” rested on those in the upper room and they “were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:3-4) Paul speaks of fire as a purifying agent in 1 Corinithians 3:13. Catholics believe that Purgatory is a temporary state of punishment and purification after physical death in which those bound for heaven undergo purification to accomplish the necessary holiness for entrance to heaven.
Taking a quote on Islam from my last prophecy book: “The word Ramadan is from the Arabic root “ramida” or “ramad” which means “scorching heat” and is often associated with fire and burning. Ramadan is the holiest month in the Muslim year, and perhaps the only Muslim holiday most Americans know by name… Usually Ramadan’s purification is directed inward, as each person fasts and purifies their thoughts and actions. But… one Muslim blogger writes: “Ramadan is about fire. Ramadan is about sharpening your sword. For Ramadan is about war. Ramadan is Jihad…. Ramadan allows you the sharp sword and blazing fire that you may shred and burn the oppressive world and REMAKE THE WORLD….”
Flames certainly convert one thing to another. Let us hope they are used more for cooking or candles or purification than for jihad or purgatory or punishment.