A CONSUMING FIRE
Hebrews 12:18 ¶ For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
The Hebrew writer first informs us as to where we “are not come” in verse eighteen of this passage. And that is to Moses and the law, as regards Mount Sinai. Then he eloquently lets us see the new and heavenly Jerusalem, Mount Zion, speaking of the New Testament church, to which all true believers have now come. And having set that forth, he reminds us that we are relating to the same holy, and glorious God!
Consider these verses: Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
And due to the strong delusion which now grips the earth, most religion is void of the “fear and trembling” with which we are to work out our salvation. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Philippians 2:12 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
And before proceeding any farther, let us see Moses’s word on this. Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. Moses recognized the presence of a powerful, spiritual and Holy Being, but he did not know how to refer to him. He honestly asked, “Who’s shall I say has sent me?” He was determined to obey this glorious Presence, but he did not know how to address him. But when he did come to know the Almighty God better, he determined to reveal him to Israel as “a consuming fire.” And the Hebrew writer sets our Sovereign first in Moses’ realm in the terrors of Sinai, and then to us in the glories of Mount Zion. Yet he does not want us to forget the awesome majesty of God, including that we must be very careful as we are still associating with “a consuming fire.” For he is love!
And as such his holy and fiery love is not without a glorious, fiery jealousy for that glory! In fact, he even states that his very name is Jealousy! Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
The Lord God has faithfully set himself forth in this manner from the very outset of creation in order to have his subjects to be cautiously aware of how to approach Himself. For creation reveals even the invisible things of God’s very person. Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (or, hold down and suppress) the truth in unrighteousness; 19 ¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
We must carefully take notice of that which took place on the very first day of creation. Darkness was upon the face of the deep, and God said, “Let there be light: and there was light.” Yet the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day! See Genesis 1:14-19. So just how do we understand this light? The Lord Jesus clearly sets himself forth as that Light. John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
That Light on the very first day was God introducing his Son to the created order! For he is Alpha! He is before all things! Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Therefore we clearly understand that God, the S-O-N, who is a consuming fire, being brought forth to effect creation, necessitated the creation of the s-u-n! And how does the sun depict the Person of Light? It is a consuming fire! It is the center of the universe. All the planets revolve around it, receiving their light and warmth from it. So Christ is in the center of the individual churches! Revelation 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Then Moses, in order to learn more of this Invisible God was sent to “Burning Bush School!” Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb (which is Sinai). 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
Now let us consider this same God, making himself known in a similar, but more spiritual way to his disciples, when Moses was also present. Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
We have seen him making himself known first as the sun, and then as fire situated upon a bush, but neither requiring any separate fuel for the existence of that flame! That same sun, that ball of fire is continually burning without requiring any added fuel! And that dry shrub hosting that holy fire provided no fuel to be part of its flame! For “our God is a consuming fire!”
Just as the three Hebrew children, who were cast into a fire that consumed those who threw them in, were attended in the midst of that furnace by the forth man, “like the Son of God.” They walked around in him as their fire, so they were not required as fuel for that flame, as were those who threw them in for the natural fire. Daniel 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
In like manner the eternal fires of Hell shall have no power over the elect of God as it shall upon all unbelievers! Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Consider these verses which contain mention of both God’s jealousy and his wrath against sin. Zephaniah 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. 3:8 ¶ Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
Dear Reader, never allow the awareness of the abundance of God’s mercy to completely eradicate your consciousness of his holiness! Carefully meditate upon the principles set forth in the cross of our Lord. God only had one Son without sin, but he has none without a cross. Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
And since God sent that one sinless Son to the cross, what shall he do to those of us son’s who are not yet separated from our carnal natures? 2 Coronthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us,…
Remember aways: Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
Lastly, let us take notice of Ezekiel’s vision and see how the Lord God was manifest to him. Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Read Ezekiel 8:2-4 to see this color of amber revealing God’s glory in his fiery jealousy.
Let us not bring forth lifestyles of hay, wood and stubble before this Consuming Fire.
Pastor Gene Breed
August 12, 2022