Havaard Sand

B. Childress
Apr 04 2011

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the
grave.  It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame
(Song of Solomon 8:6).

Almost ten years ago, I received this verse including verse 7, but only recently have I grasped its meaning.  My late wife
and I had these two verses engraved on our wedding rings.  We felt God gave these verses to us, though we still did not
understand them then.  It really helped our understanding to know that commentaries considered these verses as the
climax of Song of Solomon and that it described marital love at its strongest.

Then I heard that as Mike Bickle was meditating on Song of Solomon 8:6 in his office, for the first time the presence of
the Lord suddenly came in a special way.  While experiencing this, the phone rang and Bob Jones was on the line (a
prophetic man in his church).  Jones said that he had just heard the audible voice of the Lord and that the Lord was
about to give Mike Bickle his life's mandate, found in Song of Solomon 8:6.  Jones said that God was going to call His
people to it.  And He was going to do this in the Body of Christ worldwide.  So what is special about this verse?  What is it
all about?


God has given us the great commission and the great commandment.  The great commission is found in Matthew
chapter 28, "Go make disciples of all nations" (see Matthew 28:18-20).  That is our mandate, but who of us can do that?  
On our own none of us can.  We can't fulfill the great commission unless the Lord enables us to do it.  That is why He
commanded His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit who would enable them to fulfill the great
commission (see Acts 1:4-8).  Jesus did not give them a commission and then leave without giving them the ability to
fulfill it.

Understanding this principle, let's look at the great commandment.  "Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30).  The second part of this commandment is to "love
your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:31).

But who of us can fulfill this?  None of us, at least we cannot in our own strength.  As He gave the power of the Holy
Spirit to enable us to fulfill the great commission, what did He give to enable us to fulfill the great commandment?  I
believe He gave us the fire of love - the flame of the Holy Spirit - to enable us to fulfill it.  God is love, but at the same
time He is fire! "For our 'God is a consuming fire'" (Hebrews 12:29).

So how do we reconcile these two - love and fire?  God is love, but that love is so strong and passionate that when He is
going to express the deep love and yearnings of His heart, the only way that it can be fully brought forth is as a burning
flame.  God's love is so intense, so  passionate that it has become fire.

That is how He loves us, and He then commands us to love Him in return, calling us to love Him with the same intense
love.  He is looking for that fiery love that He has for us, to see if it is also burning in our hearts for Him.

    I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may
    be in them and that I Myself may be in them (John 17:26).

This is Jesus finishing His high priestly prayer, and He ends it with an incredible request to the
Father that the same fiery love, which the Father has for Him may be in the disciples.  He also explains how it will start to
burn there.  It is by Him making the Father known to them.  When the Holy Spirit starts to reveal the beauty of God to our
hearts, our hearts will be captured by Him and start burning.

We also receive this flame of fire through prayer, and that is what Song of Solomon 8:6 is all about.  It is a prayer that
the flame of love may be like a seal on the heart of the believer, a fire that enables us to be fiery lovers of God.  Then
when this fire of love burns in our hearts, Song of Solomon tells us:

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.  If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it
would be utterly scorned
(Song of Solomon 8:7).

Water naturally quenches fire.  But the fire mentioned here is a supernatural fire.  When it burns in the heart, the waters
of pain and difficulty and the rivers of persecution cannot wash it away.  As we pray for this flame of fire to burn in our
hearts, the Holy Spirit will come upon us and seal our hearts with the fire of love.  "Having believed, you were marked in
Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 1:13).  This seal is the same seal that Song of Solomon 8:6 speaks
about; it is what the disciples received on the day of Pentecost.


As I have come to understand, the disciples received the Holy Spirit in three different forms at the day of Pentecost: as
wind, fire, and wine.
 Wind represents the power of God to enable them to be witnesses.  Wine represents the joy of the
Lord to gladden their hearts.  And finally,
fire was the flame of love that would enable them to be fiery lovers of God.

We may have misinterpreted the tongues of fire that were descending on them.  We may have thought these tongues of
fire were a sign that they would become fiery preachers.  But "tongues of fire" is an expression used to describe what
fire looks like.  And I believe it was not their tongues that would be set on fire but their hearts.

If we look to the Bible for clarification, we find that the only other place it speaks about "tongues of fire" is in connection
with consuming straw, meaning that it is a way to describe what fire looks like when it burns.  In Isaiah we read:

    Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay
    and their flowers blow away like dust (Isaiah 5:24).

    So at the day of Pentecost, or P-Day, the disciples received three P's:

  •  Power - the wind to enable them to fulfill the great commission.

  •  Passion - the fire of love to enable them to fulfill the great commandment.

  •  Pleasure - the wind to gladden their hearts and enable them to enjoy God.


Finally, we may also receive this fire of love through meditation on the Word of God.  The disciples on the road to
Emmaus asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the
Scriptures to us?"  (See Luke 24:32.)  This was Jesus revealing the Word to them, and as a result their hearts were

Scripture has the ability to set our hearts on fire because it is fire itself.  As the prophet Jeremiah said:

    But if I say, "I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name," His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut
    up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot (Jeremiah 20:9).

In the Book of John we read, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John
1:1).  The Word was God and God is fire, which means that the Word is fire.  "In Him was life, and that life was the light
of men" (John 1:4).  We have mostly perceived the fire of God as the fire of judgment, and that is one side of it.  Fire can
destroy, but the other side of fire is to bring life and light.

What is the source of light?  Fire.  As we know, the sun is a ball of fire so we can rightly say that fire then becomes the
source of life.  So it is both the source of life and destruction.  With this understanding, the words in John 1:4 take on a
deeper meaning because we can also say that in Him was fire and that fire was the light of men.

How do we receive this fire in our hearts?  We now understand that the Word is fire.  It dwelled in eternity past.  Then it
was cloaked with words and syllables and was put in the pages of a book.  But it is not meant to stay there.  These
eternal, burning truths and realities about God are longing to break forth from these pages to become flames of fire
again.  These eternal, burning realities that dwelled outside time and space - which for a moment needed to be wrapped
in words and syllables, so they could enter this world - long to be unwrapped again, to become fire in our hearts.

Dana Candler expresses this well in her excellent book
Deep Unto Deep.  Writing about eternal spiritual realities she

    They begin as words and end as burning realities.  They start as concepts but become experiences in God.  They
    expand within us and stretch their boundaries far beyond the natural confinement of time and space.  They are
    without limit, for they are living truths of love that eternally remains.  They begin as words, for syllables and
    concepts are the package surrounding very real realities.  Yet when these fiery realities wrapped in words are
    accepted into the chamber of our beings, they find their rightful vessel, and in time, the titles that once held them
    are cast aside and no longer needed.  The living substance now abides within the human heart.  The reality of
    "God is love" is eternal, yet the words and syllables come only as temporary service to tote the reality around until
    it finds its home within the secret place of the human heart.

    I imagine the Holy Spirit, the wind of God, catches these words and concepts with His wings, rushing them into the
    center of my being.  There He breathes upon them, and as I ponder upon them, mulling over them with love and
    meditation, they eventually ignite into a living flame.  At this point, there is no longer need for words or concepts.  
    They have done their duty.  Language is left behind smiling, for she has accomplished her God-ordained
    responsibility, and now the flame burns on its own.  She remains within the boundaries of what can be
    communicated, while the burning reality that once required ideas and concepts to be understood now takes me
    upon its wings into the realm of love far surpassing knowledge and ascends eternally into the great Beyond.

Our aim, through prayer and meditation, is that this Word becomes fire in our hearts.  Let me give you an example of
how that may happen.  The sun burns and gives light, but if you concentrate that light under a magnifying glass it
transforms into fire.  In the same way, the Word that once burned as the sun, was given into this world through the Bible,
and it became the light of the world.  Remember, as we concentrate light through a magnifying glass it transforms into
fire. In the same way, this happens when we meditate on the Word, which is the way God has given us to concentrate
the light of the Word.  As we meditate on the Word directing it toward our hearts, it will ignite and burn in our hearts.

To be burning ones is our call and our destiny.  We talk much about being the light of the world and even have songs
about it, but we also need to talk about why we shine - and that is because we burn.

    When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk
    in darkness, but will have the light of life"  (John 8:12).

In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus says, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14).  When Jesus described John the
Baptist, He said that John was the greatest man born of a woman (see Matthew 11:11).  And then we hear Jesus talk of
John this way, "John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light"  (John 5:35).

John gave light because he burned.  Our focus is usually that he was a shining lamp.  But the reason John was shining
was because he burned.  He was one of the burning ones.

John was a forerunner for Jesus' first coming, to prepare people for the coming of the Lord.  But just as he was raised
up as one who burned to prepare people for the first coming of Christ, God is also raising up an army of forerunners
today, to prepare people for the Second Coming.  He is raising up many burning ones at the end of the age.  And one of
their main characteristics will be that they are burning.

Regarding the apostles of old, have you noticed that they were always depicted in paintings with halos over their
heads?  They were shining, and they shined because they burned.  We also read that Peter's shadow healed the sick.  
But if we look at the original Greek it says it was an outshining that came from Peter, which healed the sick.  This
expression has been translated as "shadow" but it is more correct to say that the "light shining out from him" healed the

To illustrate this point let me tell you of a friend's experience during a YWAM gathering some years ago.  One of those
present was asked to pray, and as he prayed my friend saw that his whole face started to shine and fire went out of his
eyes.  She also saw a wind around his mouth.  A person who happened to pass by the room as this took place, related
afterward that as he heard this person pray, the Holy Spirit came over him.  He experienced healing from a sickness
from which he was suffering!  He did not see anything; he just experienced it.  However, my friend had her eyes opened
for a little while to the activity of the Holy Spirit, and she saw the fire and the wind going out to heal this person.

The interesting thing was that the fire did not come from the mouth but from the eyes, and it was the wind - which is the
power of the Spirit - that she saw around the mouth.  I believe it was the same light that went out from Peter that healed
the sick.  The eyes of some people around him were opened to see what happened in the spiritual realm.  So they saw
that the disciples were surrounded with light.  That's the reason why they were painted that way - with light shining
around them, especially coming from their faces.

This was also what Peter, James, and John experienced when they were taken up to the Mount of Transfiguration.  Their
eyes were opened to see Jesus as He really is:

    There He was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the
    light (Matthew 17:2).

Our calling to burn and shine is not just symbolic.  Literally, flames of fire came on the disciples.  It was not a natural
flame or a natural light, but nevertheless it was still real.  It is a spiritual reality, an actual flame and an actual light, and
on occasion  our eyes will be opened to actually see it, as my friend experienced.  Jesus is longing to come to His
Church and find this fire burning.  In Revelation, it says:

    I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me.  And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and
    among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man" dressed in a robe reaching down to His feet and with a
    golden sash around His chest (Revelation 1:12-13).

Here we find Jesus where He loves to be, among His lampstands.  And, according to Scripture, the lampstands are the
seven churches (see Revelation 1:20).  Why are the churches symbolized as lampstands?  Probably because they were
to be lampstands so that the flame of the Holy Spirit could burn in them.  We see in Revelation chapter 2 that Jesus is
rebuking the church at Ephesus (see Revelation 2:1-5).  She was rebuked for forsaking her first love, and what was her
first love other than the fire of love burning in her lampstand?  This is made clear where it says that if she does not
repent He will come and remove her lampstand (see Revelation 2:5).  Why would He do that?  Because if the fire of love
is not burning anymore, there is no need for the lampstand.


I believe that as we approach the end of the age, the issue of believers being burning and shining lamps will become a
central theme.  This will begin to manifest, as the Church understands the bridal message.  This was explicitly expressed
in the parable of the ten virgins Jesus talked about.  "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took
their lamps and went out to meet their bridegroom" (Matthew 25:1).  The wise virgins are those who are burning and
shining prepared to meet their bridegroom.  They have to put oil in their lamp, which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit so that
the flame of love could burn in their lamps.

At the end of the age, I believe the focus will be on the bridal message and on having the fire of love burning in our
lamps.  This parable is about ten virgins: five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  But the issue is really about
burning and shining.  Why were they to have oil in their lamps, which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit?  The point is that
they were to have oil so that the flame of love could burn in their lamps.

We can see this is the issue in Daniel 12 where the focus is the end of the age.  We read about what will characterize
believers at that time, "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens..." (Daniel 12:3).  Why will they
shine?  Because they have been wise and bought oil for their lamps, so that the fire of love can burn in their hearts.

In the Book of Isaiah, we find a great promise, which many believe speaks prophetically about the end of the age:

    Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.  Nations will
    come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn (Isaiah 60:1-3).

This tells us that at the end of the age when darkness covers the world, the Church will arise and shine because she is
burning.  In his book,
The Days of His Presence, Francis Frangipane shares a prophetic experience that confirms this

    Much of what I believe concerning the end of the age comes from a vision the Lord gave me in 1971.  In it, I saw a
    city blanketed by a deep, thick darkness.  A feeling of great hopelessness and desolation prevailed over the
    region.  Like the darkness that descended as a judgment over Egypt, this also was a darkness that could be felt
    (Exodus 10:21).

    Those whom I was with were outside the city.  We had been "baptized" in a glorious and powerful light.  In the
    vision, I actually experienced the power of this light surging up from my innermost being and out through my
    hands.  A visible splendor shone from our bodies, especially our faces.

    Suddenly, people by tens of thousands started streaming out of the darkness.  As they approached, they were
    calling on the name of the Lord.  We prayed and laid our hands on them and they, too, received the light.

    I lay awake until dawn pondering the vision.  It had been my habit to read the Word of God immediately upon
    waking.  As the morning light began to enter my bedroom, I opened my Bible to begin my next reading.  There, for
    the first time in my young spiritual life, I read Isaiah 60...

    It said that darkness would cover the earth, but the glory of the Lord will rise upon His people!  The words bolted
    into my eyes like lightening, then shook my insides like thunder.  It was as though I had actually stepped into a
    Bible verse and seen its fulfillment.  The Holy Spirit and the Word working together revealed that, at the end of the
    age, the glory of the Lord would be manifested in His people - and multitudes would come to the Lord as a result!


It is our eternal destiny to live with the Godhead, who shines and burns.  Isaiah saw this and wrote, "Who of us can dwell
with everlasting burning?"  (Isaiah 33:14).  Who can dwell with everlasting burning, meaning the Trinity.  Those who,
from ages past, have dwelled together in burning passion for each other - with fiery love for each other but also for us -
are longing for us to join them.  But how can we live there?  Only when we have become flames ourselves.  Only when
we become burning ones ourselves, can we dwell with everlasting burning.  Only flames of fire will survive fire, for
everything will burn up except the living flames.

There are many places where we can read of God and His light.  For example, Revelation chapter 22 says, "There will
be no more night.  They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light"
(Revelation 22:5).  And chapter 21 of revelation says, "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the
glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp" (Revelation 21:23).

Now look at Jesus' last description of Himself:

    I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches.  I am the root and the Offspring of David,
    and the bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16).

Jesus describes Himself as "the bright Morning Star."  But what does Scripture say of us?  "Then the righteous will shine
like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  He who has ears, let him hear" (Matthew 13:43).  The Bible says that we will
also shine like the sun.  How does the sun shine?  It shines because it burns.  Brothers and sisters, this is our destiny: to
burn in the Kingdom of our Father forever and ever.

Even today, the everlasting burning is calling us to burn with the flames of holy passion and love.  We are being called
to become burning ones.  To become those who burn with the holy flames of love, so that we can be a light and give life
in this sick and dying world.

With this new understanding, our prayers become Song of Solomon 8:6.  We pray that He will seal us with the seal of fire
upon our hearts, so that we may become wholehearted lovers of God and love Him with the same fiery love with which
He loves us.


BECOMING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST IN THE LAST DAYS, by Haavard Sand, Copyright 2009, Destiny Image - Europe.