Brimstone (man now calls it “sulfur/sulphur”) is a lemon-yellow colored stone. Brimstone means, “burning stone” or, “the stone that burns.” At left is a picture of brimstones and powdered brimstone. When a plain brimstone (like those to the left) is exposed to the air, nothing happens–but if a match is put to it, it will burn in a peculiar way, like a liquid fire, and it emits noxious fumes. The stone melts like wax but the dripping is a peculiar thick fire, like a piece of wax on fire. As it burns, it has a rich, fluorescent-type deep colbalt bluish color (see below right). It is an interesting, sticky, “acidy”-type burning fire. The little drops burn for some time. Ancient peoples sometimes used brimstone as a type of match.
A burning match held under a brimstone causes it to catch on fire. It then melts and drips like wax and gives off fumes that do something to your nostrils–I know because I burned some (the brimstones that I have are about one and a half inches long and maybe about an inch wide). The fumes should not be breathed in, it is dangerous. I read on the internet that:
- The fumes from burning sulfur…are “toxic and dangerously irritating…”
- “Sulphur Dioxide [I do not know if this is the correct term] [i]n small quantity…is going to give you a choking feeling and you will not be able to bear it. In excess, IT CAN LEAD TO PERMANENT RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS…[AND] DEATH DUE TO CHOKING…”
[Aside: I tried a second experiment in burning brimstone and the brimstone just melted in an acidy way burning wood like acid with “no flame” and eventually fell apart–wait–I think I know why. When I burned it, I was outside and could not see the flame, just the burnt wood. When I tried burning another stone inside it ignited in a flame but when I took it outside, you could not see the flame–you could only see the smoke. When I brought it back in again, you could see the flame again. I do not recommend that anyone burn brimstone and most certainly not inside. The experiment was quick and with small drops.]
Brimstone starts out in the molten rock under the earth’s surface. It spews out in the lava of volcanoes and often comes to the surface of the earth from volcanoes and hot springs. Sulfur deposits have been found on the Italian island of Sicily where it lay near the surface of the earth and also Louisiana (USA) deep underground near the Gulf of Mexico. One quote from the internet said, “a hundred years ago, people used to make a suspension of sulfur powder in molasses and drink it as a health tonic.” I don’t know anything about this type of usage and have not tried it and do not intend to try it in the absence of further pertinent information–and I do not suggest that anyone else try it.
Brimstone/sulfur has many commercial/industrial applications. It is often converted to sulfuric acid which is so widely used that it is known as the “king of chemicals.” Brimstone/sulfur is used for things such as fertilizer, car batteries, chemical/petroleum refining, paper, rayon, film, automobile tires, paint, detergents, explosives, matches, food processing (sulfur dioxide in food preservation can be harmful), drugs, and dyes. It is said that sulfur is used at some stage of almost everything we eat, wear, or use. It is used to bleach fabrics. Too much sulfur dioxide in the air can kill people when they breathe it in–it causes choking and suffocation. It causes the throat and breathing passages to become irritated and closed up.
BRIMSTONE IN THE AUTHORIZED KING JAMES BIBLE
It is in the Authorized King James Bible that we learn the role of brimstone in eternity. Hell and death and all the wicked are going to be cast into the lake of fire that burneth with fire and brimstone (reference Revelation 21:8). This is the second death. We all have to die the first time–sin requires that–but if a person dies without the Lord Jesus Christ, he will die a second time–but he will not die to go to sleep, he will continually be burning and tormented for ever–when unrepentant sinners die now, they go to hell, but at the end, when the Lord judges the world, hell and death and the wicked shall be cast into the lake of fire. Sin is when people break God’s commands–like when they lie, steal, rob, covet, etc. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God but God does not want to cast us in hell–that is why he sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to shed his blood to pay for our sins. The Lord Jesus Christ did not remain dead, he rose from the dead on the third day and if we put our trust in him and obey his word, we will be saved and will go to heaven when we die.