Minden Press-Herald

Tuesday
Sep 30th

Fire!

"Our God is a consuming fire" Hebrews 12:29.

It doesn't say that He makes fire, though He certainly can do that, but rather that He is a consuming fire.

And what do we know about fire? It can destroy life or it can purify and light up one's life. It all depends on our relationship to it.

Fire is used throughout the Bible as a symbol of God's presence. Consider the following passages.

"The angel of the LORD appeared unto him (Moses) in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush" Exodus 3:2, 4.

"And the LORD went before them... by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light" Exodus 13:21.

John the Baptist described Jesus as one who "shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor...but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" Matthew 3:11.

This clearly speaks of a purification process. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit, third member of the Godhead, was seen as "cloven tongues like as of fire" Acts 2:3.

On various occasions God sent fire down from heaven to acknowledge acceptance and approval of His people.

Imagine yourself with Solomon at the dedication of the temple.

"Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house" 2 Chronicles 7:1.

What a thrill to have the very God of heaven respond visibly! Then there was Elijah's prayer on Mt. Carmel.

"Hear me, O LORD,...that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench" 1 Kings 18:38.

Amazing and miraculous! Is it any wonder that in the end time we're told that a Satan-controlled power will do "great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles" Revelation 13:13.

Not all fire nor all miracles are of God.

The destructive work of God as fire is seen when God judges sin and rebellion as incurable because of the personal choices made.

It happened in Israel, Numbers 11:1, but will be most pronounced in the final destruction of the wicked (Revelation 20:9).

While it is a work of destruction, it is done in love to purify the earth that it can be sin-free once again.

In Isaiah 33:14, 15 we find this fascinating question.

"Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"

It won't be the wicked. The fire will "devour them" and reduce them to ashes (Revelation 20:9; Malachi 4:3).

No, it is only "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly" who can truly and eternally live in the presence of God, the consuming fire of love.

 

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