SermonConsuming Fire of God
An all-creatures Bible Message

Consuming Fire of God
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
26 February 2017
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Exodus 24:12-18
Hebrews 12:14-29

Consuming fire of God, we believe refers to both the way we perceive Him in our presence, and the fact that upon this earth He consumes all sin that is in His presence.
Last week we talked about being transformed into a living image of God, which relates very closely to being transfigured into the image of a heavenly being as Moses and Jesus were by the consuming fire of God.
Both of these examples refer to all of us who are truly born again into the peacemaking children of God, who live in His heavenly will, and do everything in our power to free creation from its present corruption with all its violence, pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death that is inflicted upon millions of humans and billions of other animals every year.

In Exodus 24:12-18, we are told the story of Moses being called up to Mount Sinai, where Moses was transfigured and received the tablets containing the Law.

12. Now the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction."

While reading this, we need to remember that this incident is taking place after the Fall, when the earth became corrupted.
If people had not disobeyed God and were living in His heavenly will, they would not need to receive the Law, for it would have already been in their hearts and souls.
The consuming fire of God and the transfiguration are all part of allowing God to restore us into the peacemaking children of God that He created us to be.

13. So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God.
14. But to the elders he said, "Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them."

Not everyone is committed as Moses was or, hopefully, as we are to God and His heavenly will, but we all need to delegate things to other people to take care of whatever is needed when we are unable to do them ourselves.
It also may have something to do with the fact that God only called Moses to come up to the mountain, and only allowed Joshua to come with Him.
God sees the intent of the heart, and not the ways that we see things; and if we would read on beyond these verses we would see that only Moses was transfigured, even though both Moses and Joshua were within the consuming fire of God.
There is more to this spiritually than we are being told; we just need to trust God.

15. Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.
16. And the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.
17. And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.
18. And Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Would we trust God enough to enter such a consuming fire of God, if the Lord called us to do so?
We hope we would.
In Hebrews 12:14-29 we are told about the way we should live, if we hope to see the Lord and enter into the consuming fire of God and the heavenly realm of the Lord.

14. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

In other words, if we have not become true peacemaking children of God, we cannot see the Lord.
And remember, that we are to be at peace with all men and women, which means every person in the world, and not just certain people; and we further believe that this must include all the animals and the environment in which we all live, for being at peace with all people must include the whole of creation, because without it, many people would not be at peace, such as those who care about animals and the environment.
There is no half way measure for being a peacemaking child of God.
Some people say that we are to be more loving, or more compassionate, or more empathetic, but if we really think about this, all these expressions are really oxymorons, because they can have no half way positions which “more” implies, particularly if we are talking about them being in the heavenly realm and will of God.
Either we are truly loving or we are not, because if we leave God or any part of His creation out of our love, then we are not truly loving.
And, the same thing applies to being truly compassionate and empathetic.
It’s like turning on a light in a dark room; when we turn on the light, the darkness flees or is overcome; love, compassion, and empathy are all to be as a light to the world that is living in darkness that at best does half way measures.
To be able to pass through the consuming fire of God without being harmed we need to be fully committed to being in the heavenly will of God.

15. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
16. that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.
17. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

In other words, Esau wanted to be in both this corrupted world and in heaven, and he could not have it both ways; he was not fully committed to being a peacemaking child of God who lives in His heavenly will, which we must be if we are going to be able to pass through the consuming fire of God into the kingdom of heaven.

18. For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,
19. and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.

People would not feel this way if they were fully committed to God and being in His heavenly will.
Maybe we would still enter the cloud and consuming fire of God with fear and trembling, but we would still enter it because we are fully committed to the Lord.
This is what being peacemaking children of God is all about, for we love and trust the Lord with every part of our being.

20. For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned."
21. And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling."

But then we are told why Moses and Joshua overcame their fears and entered the cloud and consuming fire of God, just as we are called to do.

22. But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
23. to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
24. and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

All of this is the heavenly understanding that comes from being a peacemaking child of God who lives in His heavenly will, and doing everything we can to end the corruption of this earth while we are still upon this earth.

25. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.
26. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying,  "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven." 
27. And this expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

The corrupt things of this world can be shaken, but the things in the heavenly will of God cannot be shaken.

28. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
29. for our God is a consuming fire.

We may be in this world, but we are not of it, if we are true peacemaking children of God.
The more of the evil in the world we overcome, the more we become transformed by the consuming fire of God which purifies us from all unrighteousness.
We can do it, if we want to.

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