The destruction that occurs by THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS COMING is hardly inherently cruel; those who respond right, or have responded right, will already have eyes that can handle this effulgence or extraordinary shock of light. In His light the Christian sees light. In other words, the unsaved will be consumed and blinded utterly by His appearance, whereas the mature and prudent Christian will lose nothing. Then there are those Christians, in varying degrees which remain Christian, but will lose rewards; or, as I have come to believe, functionality of soul to the degree that they did not lose their souls to gain them. In some aspect or aspects they have not allowed their souls to experience resurrection life; therefore their souls have not been fully preserved.
When our blazing heart begins to clarify, when the flames finish consuming the last vestiges of our sacrificed life, represented as the fat and entrails (our visceral parts), and the wafting smoke begins to abate, our minds, where all that smoke was going, begins to clear, and so too our thinking. Remember, the early church went nowhere and did nothing until they were baptized with Holy Ghost and FIRE power. The Holy Spirit in our spirit is supposed to enlarge enough to affect the mind of Christ in us; our hearts are supposed to get inside our heads. Unity, the foundation of power, is what needs to occur; it was only after unity of mind (which followed unity of heart) occurred, that the early disciples were empowered enough to turn the world upside down.
THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS COMING is first expressed through His people; His ministers are flames of fire and He intends to prepare and set this world on fire by them. I believe God is fashioning an end-time group of people like Jeremiah the prophet; God said to Jeremiah yesterday what He is saying to us today: “I am making My words in your mouth fire and this people wood, and it will consume them” (Jeremiah 5: 14). Indeed, our consuming fire God makes us after His own image and nature; we are supposed to be consuming fire ministers setting the world on fire. And the unrighteous are kept “under punishment for the Day of Judgment” (2 Peter 2: 9).
Also, this purports:
Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, so there is a great and mighty people; there has never been anything like it, nor will there be again after it to the years of many generations. A fire consumes before them and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them but a desolate wilderness behind them, and nothing at all escapes them. (Joel 2: 1-3; emphasis mine).
“As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” means more than most people think (Matthew 24: 37). Beside the fact that people will be behaving the same way, completely obtuse to anything above indulging their flesh, they will be like the proverbial frog which does not jump out of the boiling water before it is cooked because it doesn’t boil straightway; it rises in temperature at a rate not discerned by the frog. In other words, we, walking in the spirit, and as flames of fire, are an agency of God: we are being used to escalate or heat up their judgment by our words and lifestyle; they are sitting like those frogs, unaware that they are already being cooked by us. Most don’t consider the story of Noah closely enough to remember that God flooded the earth not only by rain (sent down from heaven) but by breaking up the deeps (sent from the bottom of the seas; sent up from the earth). “All the fountains of the great deep were broken up and burst forth, and the windows and floodgates of the heavens were opened” (Genesis 7: 11). The ancient world got it from both ends; the modern world will too (but with fire).
But how greatly and sorely was Christ urged on to the cross so that the Holy Spirit and fire would come? Right before He talked about how impelled He was to accomplish the task of dying for mankind on the cross, He said: “I have come to cast fire upon the earth, and how I wish that it were already kindled!” (Luke 12: 49). Indeed, “EVERYONE shall be salted with fire” (Mark 9: 49; emphasis mine). His winnowing fan (shovel, fork) is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out and clean His threshing floor and gather and store His wheat in His barn, but the chaff He will burn up with fire that cannot be put out” (Matthew 3: 12). But only those who have already allowed this process to occur, having judged themselves so as to not be judged when God comes to examine His work, are ready for His day. Only those who have been sanctified, those fully immersed or baptized into the water of the Holy Spirit, can handle the fire of the Holy Spirit. Indeed,
Set me like a seal upon your heart, like a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy is as hard and cruel as Sheol (the place of the dead). Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame [the very flame of the Lord]! Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. (SOS 8: 6-7; emphasis added; Amp.).