Thursday, 5 March 2015

God is a Consuming Fire?


The author of Hebrews writes: For our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:29

I've heard law teachers preaching about this in a very dogmatic, convicting way saying:

"You see, you have to obey the commandments and prescripts of God because He is like a consuming fire ... and you'd never know ..."

It is usually taken out of context and taught when the need for finances are high or when the control spirit takes a hold of church leaders and people have to be kept at bay.

But let's look at what is being said here.

The author of Hebrews concludes his explanation in chapter 12 saying: "For our God is a consuming fire", also quoting from the book of Deuteronomy. He was saying that we were to lay aside every weight and the worries of sin and that we should, instead, focus on Jesus who already paid the full price. We should rather be open-minded to the correction and teaching of the His Loving Spirit to endure the race of life beholding the Gospel of Grace to be exchanged for NOTHING.

He then turns to the example of the Israelites who stood in front mount Sinai when the law was given to Moses, refusing interaction with God (verse 19 & 20), where they feared speaking to God because of what they read in the physical. The Hebrew author then compares the administration of death (the law) with the administration of life saying that us (we) instead, have come onto mount Zion (symbol of authority and victory), the city of the living God (Jerusalem - city of peace) and an innumerable company of angels (those administering with God) to the gathering of Jesus, God the sovereign and those cleansed by the Lamb of God in the new covenant to receive Grace!

... and then:

We are admonished to "Hear Him" who removed the shakable (brought by the enemy) so that only the Unshakable (Jesus) remains amongst us - His kingdom that can not be moved ...  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear Heb 12:28

We are told to exercise our God-given-authority by Jesus Christ and not to let sickness reign, not to let shortage reign, not to let set-back reign, not to let affliction reign, ... for our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:29

Remember, he was quoting Deuteronomy.

Let's see:

Enters Moses: 

Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee. Deu 9:3

Moses, at age 120 years, is speaking to the congregation of Israel explaining to them that they are about to cross over the Jordan and he proceeds to lecture them in the law from Deuteronomy 10 to 30. On mount Nebo (prophet) God showed him all of the promised land, but he, Moses representing the law, would not enter in. 

Deuteronomy 34:10 says there was never ever again a prophet like Moses whom God spoke to face to face.

  • Because God showed him His Glory - Jesus.
  • Because he Moses (the law and the prophets) gives witness onto Jesus.
  • Because Moses saw in detail God's redemption plan.
  • Because even Moses realized that he (the law) was just a shadow of the glory to come.
But what did Moses say when he started his long speech with the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire?

Moses was referring back 40 years to Israel's day of unbelief: Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak! Deu 9:1-2

They know this enemy?

This was the day that the children of Israel proclaimed their inability through God. When indeed they proclaimed themselves as grasshoppers and the people of the promised land as giants.

Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God Deu 1:28-29  

They saw the power of God at Sinai!
They saw the mountain burning!
They saw the shakable shaken!
... the thunder and lighting!

Yet, they succumbed to the report of others and their own unbelief.

the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly.

There's a promise there. And a reward. And Jesus fulfilled it on the cross!

The consuming fire is meant for your enemies, the giants. The ones who want to make you believe your are not righteous, not worthy and not holy in Christ. And that you have to do in order to become. The consuming fire is not for you. It is a  devouring wrath for all and everything that stands against God's beloved, God's choosen!

In Deuteronomy 10:17 Moses makes a profound declaration saying: For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible [see below], which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward

The KJV is an unfortunate translation of this verse. In The Scriptures translation it is more accurately translated:
For יהוה your Elohim is Elohim of mighty ones and Master of masters, the great Ěl, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe."
YHVH is Elohim Elohim Elohim ... Lord of lords, King of kings, mighty and awesome! 
He shows no partiality and is the same today, yesterday and forever. 
He can not be bribed by your works or how holy you present yourself. 
He is Grace and his Name is Yah'shua, Jesus the Christ!

Oh, halleluYAH!

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