Symbols of the Holy Spirit: Fire

The Holy Spirit is symbolized by fire all throughout the scripture. One of the most interesting fire references to me can be found in the book of Ezekiel.

It came about in the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell on me there. Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from His loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance of glowing metal. He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain (Ezekiel 8:1-4 NASB).

I’m very intrigued by the heavenly visions of Ezekiel the prophet, but the vision that he had of the fiery being really has my attention. The fiery being had the likeness of a man, consisted of what appeared to be fire, and glowed like hot metal. Notice also that Ezekiel says the fiery being grabbed him with the “form of a hand” (Ezek. 8:3). It wasn’t an actual hand of flesh. Picture that—a flame of fire taking on the shape of a hand. Ezekiel’s descriptions don’t seem to be describing an angel or even the Lord Jesus.

What does Ezekiel call this fiery being who grabbed him by the lock of his head?

“He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven...” (Ezek. 8:3).

He called this being the “Spirit.” Ezekiel’s vision may very well have been of the Holy Spirit Himself.

Fire represents the Holy Spirit’s righteous nature. It speaks to His purity, judgment, and His refining presence. Thus, fire can be symbolic of the Holy Spirit.