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The River of Fire By: Shelly Mathis

Dear List Members,

This article, written by Shelly Mathis, beautifully describes what is taking place in the earth today. It will encourage you greatly as it deals with the present in a way that launches us into the future. This, in my humble opinion, is a true relevant prophetic message.

In Him,



The River of Fire

In a dream, I found myself standing on the bank of a river of fire. A pathway of stepping stones floated across the surface of the fiery waves. The stones were precious stones of various types and colors. I knew that I was to journey across through the river by wal…king on those stones.

Then, I heard the Lord’s voice behind me saying, “This river of fire represents the various trials I have sent to test your faith. I find it needful to purify your faith from doubt and fear and to strengthen it through exercise. The precious stones represent the revelations that I will bring to you as you purpose to shed the unbelief and false concepts of Me. As the unbelief is consumed by the fire, the revelations of truth will lead you through the trials in victory. Through the process, you will come to know Me as never before; you will possess a purified and genuine faith; and you will rejoice in the good brought about by the river of fire.”

We do not have to go out looking for our river of fire; it comes to us according to God’s perfect design and is exactly what we need. (Ouch! that truth hurts.) We never want our faith challenged, but the Lord knows that it is needful for its purification and strengthening. The only way for it to be a strong, personal possession is for it to be tested and trained through exercise.

1 Peter 1:6-7
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…

Our flesh reaction to the various trials tends to be discouragement, offense, anger, victimization, self-pity, fear, etc. If we allow our flesh to rule, we will miss out on the Lord’s perspective and purpose in the fiery circumstances. The war between our flesh and our spirit is the critical junction that determines our victory or defeat.

Is your confidence wavering in the face of threatening circumstances? Dare to journey through your river of fire. Ascend into the spirit to see that the Lord is neither against you, nor punishing you, but rather forging in you a valuable faith in Him that is more precious than gold. Purpose to trust wholeheartedly and adventure with Jesus through the fire. Be bold and courageous!

Part 2: Stepping Stones

After the dream, I earnestly sought the Lord for further revelation about the river of fire. He answered in a vision:

I found myself standing on the bank of the river of fire, and I heard Him say, “The revelation you need for victory in the fire will be revealed when you step out on the first precious stone.”

Apprehension gripped me as I studied the floating stones. The stone before me looked barely large enough for my two feet and appeared completely unstable. Right then the light of the fire exposed nasty black ropes entangled about my body. These doubts, fears, and unbelief were pinning me to the bank. Would I stay bound or venture forth? I chose to take a leap of faith and stretched out my foot to step onto the stone. The ropes tore away from the bank, although they continued to drape heavily over my shoulders. As soon as my feet were side by side and my full weight was on the stone, it transformed into a pillar that reached to the bottom of the river and held me securely above the burning flames.

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

The river of fire exposes our unbelief, doubts, and fears – which are the very things that dirty our faith and hinder it from working. Unbelief elevates our carnal understanding above the Lord’s Word. Doubt is a distrust of His character and nature revealed in His Word. Fear is sin that separates us from the Lord. If we stubbornly refuse to address these sins, they will hold us in a vise of bondage that prevents the glorious work of liberty wrought in the fires.

God is looking for a people of faith who will no longer just profess His Word. He desires that we step out with our “full weight” and make the required transaction to commit our hearts into the vise of absolute faith, and thus allow the revelation of truth to become a sure foundation.

Isaiah 28:16
16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.

In the dream, He had said, “The precious stones represent the revelations that I will bring to you as you purpose to shed the unbelief and false concepts of Me.”

The stone we step out on is the truth of what God’s Word says about Who He is, who we are in Him, and of our situation. The first step to getting free and journeying through is to determine to take that leap of faith to embrace His Word as absolutely true for us personally. Will we be loyal to Him and step out on what defies our natural understanding?

When we take that leap of faith, we will find His Word no longer seems like an unstable stepping stone, but a strong and stabilized pillar that is solid and worthy of our trust. The bands of unbelief will be severed, but there is more work to be done to attain complete liberty and victory.

Part 3: Ocean Breakers of Fire

In the next vision, I saw the waves of fire growing from gentle river ripples to violent ocean breakers that absolutely engulfed me as I stood on the pillar of stone. As I continued to stand fast to the stone, the flames consumed the ropes of fear, doubt and unbelief – but, I was completely unharmed!

When we make the commitment to rely on God, the fire tends to become seven times hotter and the devil sees to it that our circumstances contradict everything we are standing upon and believing in. The conflict provides the opportunity for the revelation to become a personal possession and an integral part of our being. It also allows the Lord to prove the absolute validity of His revelation and forge an unshakeable faithfulness in our hearts.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Jacob found himself in a river of fire; his parents sent him away from his homeland to to escape the murderous wrath of his brother to find a wife in a strange land. As he journeyed alone, the Lord revealed Himself to Jacob in a dream. He imparted a personal revelation of who He was, His purpose for Jacob, and His promise to be with him and bring him through. (Genesis 28:10-22)

This so impacted Jacob that he commemorated the revelation with a pillar of stone in the natural. He determined to step out on that floating stepping stone and vowed to make the Lord his God if the Lord kept His promise (which He did!). In the spirit, this revelation became a strong and precious foundation that carried him through the trials that lay ahead… and there were indeed trials ahead that tested his faith in God and His promises.

The Lord has an amazing revelation of Himself for you that will prove to be a foundation that secures and supports you through the fiery trials. When the waves of fire threaten to engulf you and your faith begins to waver, stand your ground and determine to believe no matter what false evidence the enemy magnifies. You will not be harmed, and the only loss you will suffer is the removal of the bonds of unbelief, fear, and doubt. Persevere until liberty is realized.

Part 4: Behold Jesus in the Fire

In the next vision, I was standing on the pillar of stone looking for Jesus in the raging breakers of fire. I finally gazed down at the pillar of stone and realized with relief and delight that it was Him! His right hand held my feet high and His left hand pointed the way to the next floating stepping stone that I was to step out on in the river of fire.

I obeyed and continued on. This process of understanding His revelation, stepping out on it in faith, realizing its validity, and knowing Him in a greater way repeated over and over again as I journeyed through the river of fire – from stone to stone, from revelation to revelation, from liberty to liberty, from glory to glory.

In the dream, He had said, “As the unbelief is consumed by the fire, the revelations of truth will lead you through the trials in victory. Through the process, you will come to know Me as never before…”

Every true and pure revelation is simply Jesus Himself, the precious stone, the sure foundation. The revelation of Jesus – of His character and His work of redemption – becomes the pillar of stone which upholds us in the fire. He Himself is our firm foundation. He upholds us by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3) and brings the direction we need to journey through the fire in a sure and safe way.

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.

I cannot help but think of the three Hebrew young men in the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar. They chose to run to the flame rather than abandon their faith; they chose to have their faith tested and purified and proven genuine rather than save their flesh out of fear of loss of life.

And Whom did they meet in the fire? Jesus! They would not have received that revelation of Him if they had yielded to fear and cowardice. And Jesus not only revealed Himself, but proved their faith genuine and gave them the end of their faith – salvation, deliverance, life, victory. Their faith was not put to shame, but rather their faith praised God, honored God, and glorified Him in the fire.

What a great God we serve! It may seem like the enemy is in control of our fiery trial, but he is not. God is! The Lord knows exactly what we need to go through that will reveal Himself to us that is not possible in any other way. “If need be…” We need to know Him! We need to know what is lacking in our faith. We need to see where our faith is strong. Weneed these fiery trials!

Courageously endure the testing and proving of your faith. You will discover with joy that He is not only with you, but He is fashioning in you a precious faith that brings Him glory. Above all, He is with you, and you are seeing Him and knowing Him in a way that cannot be attained in any other way. Trust absolutely that He will bring you through, that this too shall pass, and He will attain the victory in you.

2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Part 5: The Glorious Temple

The final vision was a bit overwhelming and is difficult to describe, but I will do my best to paint a picture with my words.

I saw Lord’s people rising above the ocean breakers of flame simultaneously as a mighty host. They were ascending in victory over the river of fire. As I beheld them, a golden hue emanated from each one. I knew it was the glory of a tried and purified faith.

The ascension continued and I saw the pillars of stone (the revelations of Jesus) that held each person aloft; His revelation had proven to be true and enabled them to overcome.

The ascension finished with a massive stone rising above the flames. The feet of the stone pillars of Jesus were one with this stone. It served as the strong foundation connecting all of the stone pillars (and the people standing upon them) together as one body. The giant rock was the Stone Foundation, Jesus Christ. I realized that this was the Stone Kingdom, as revealed to Daniel.

This glorious host was perfectly one with Jesus; He was united to each one personally while also uniting them together as one body in Him. The river of fire had transformed the people to look just like Jesus; they were the precious, living stones of His temple (2 Corinthians 3:18).

From heaven descended a capstone of glory, and it came to rest on the pillars. From this new spiritual height, each person began to operate in what I knew to be their Kingdom position, their gifting, their anointing, and their calling – in a purity and oneness with Jesus as never before seen on this earth in a corporate people. The seven colors of pure, holy light radiated from them like the stars.

When the hordes of Satan’s army rose up to assault them, the light and glory of God manifested through His people as fiery swords in their mouths and lightning rods from their right hands. They overcame… and GOD’S GLORY FILLED HIS TEMPLE!

Revelation 3:12
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

This is not only a vision of who we will be at the end of the age, but of who we are to be in the spirit NOW.

The river of fire is the catalyst that elevates us in the spirit realm by pressing us to examine the Object of our faith, the quality of our faith, and the operation of our faith. Our faith can then be cleansed from unbelief, strengthened through exercise, and counted as righteousness (Romans 4:19-22). Our righteousness empowers boldness, authority, and victory.

Yielding to this process positions us to be equipped by His Spirit to fulfill our callings and defeat Satan’s onslaughts against us. The Lord is indeed building His house and establishing His government through His people.

It is not by our might, nor by our power, but by the Spirit of the Lord, when we yield wholeheartedly.

Zechariah 6:12b-13
…and He shall build the temple of the LORD; 13 Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’

1 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The weight of God’s glory that is beyond the river of fire will cause us to treasure what He is now forging in our hearts as we journey through. Trouble? What trouble? Let us dare to believe, dare to venture out in faith that He is there to work in us that which is pleasing to Him – a pure, tested, and tried faith that glorifies Him and delights His heart.

River of Fire
by Shelly Mathis
This article expounds a dream and a series of visions the Lord gave me that reveal our journey through the rivers of fires we face in life. Although we are born to trouble as the sparks fly upward, we can choose to journey as victors and allow the fiery trials to purify and prove our faith, so we may boldly say,
“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10 See More


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