And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.(James 3:6) NKJV
The interesting part of this verse isn’t, surprisingly, the reference to hell. In this passage the word translated as hell is gehenna. Jesus uses gehenna, continual burning trash and bodies in the vale of Hinnom, as a picture of what the fire of hell is going to be like. The interesting part is sets on fire the course of nature.
Jesus tells us that the punishment for sin is burning in hell, a fire like in Hinnom. However, hell hasn’t been replaced by burning trash in Hinnom. Hell is expanding, it’s the cause of global warming.
It’s interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly the word translated set on fire, doesn’t just mean to start a fire, it means to ignite a fire which will burn up and destroy. It matches the sense of consume with her increase which we find in Deuteronomy 32:22.
For a fire is kindled in My anger, And shall burn to the lowest hell; It shall consume the earth with her increase, And set on fire the foundations of the mountains.(Deuteronomy 32:22) NKJV
Sets on fire: φλογίζουσα – phlogizousa
- to ignite, set on fire,
- I inflame, fire with passion, set on fire, burn up,
- in figurative discourse, to operate destructively, have a most pernicious power,
- From phlox; to cause a blaze.
Secondly the course of nature has a lot of meaning. Course refers to a wheel, or cycle. Not just any wheel or course, but a circuit that turns on an axis. It may or may not have application to a spherical Earth which has a molten core, but it could.
Course: τροχὸν – trochon
- a wheel,
- properly, a wheel (moving on a circular track); (figuratively) a circuit (circular course), representing the “moral axis” on which our lives turn; a “way of life” that follows an appointed course.
Thirdly, the word translated nature is the Greek word genesis, which refers specifically to the origin and lineage of Jesus Christ. This is spooky, since we have resolved Jesus Christ, the Son, with the deep, the source of material of which the whole of creation has been made. This paints a picture of the whole of creation being like a wheel which is being burned up by a consuming fire starting at its center. A fire is kindled in my anger, being the initiation of nuclear decay at the center of the Earth.
Of nature: γενέσεως – genesis
- origin, birth,
- lineage, descent,
- used of birth, nativity, specifically of Jesus Christ.
Scriptural References to Hell Expanding
|1||Consume the Earth with Her Increase||Deuteronomy 32:22|
|2||The Earth Melted||Psalms 46:6|
|3||Hell and Destruction are Never Full||Proverbs 27:20|
|4||Hell hath Enlarged Herself||Isaiah 5:14|
|5||Hell From Beneath is Moved for Thee||Isaiah 14:9|
|6||Who Enlarges his Desire as Hell||Habakkuk 2:5|
|7||It Devoured the Great Deep||Amos 7:4|
|1||There is a Great Gulf Fixed||Luke 16:19-31|
|2||Sets on Fire the Course of Nature||James 3:6|
The first reference to hell in the Bible is also the passage that tells us that hell had a beginning. It tells us that the expansion of hell is melting the Earth from the inside out.