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A Consuming Fire - Is it
Burn With Fire or Dwell With Fire?

If "our God is a consuming fire," what will that - the fire part in particular - mean for those who expect to spend eternity with Him? Read below for the very fascinating answer - not at all what you might expect

This is part seven of a seven-part study on the true meaning of The Lake of Fire and Brimstone. Go back to part six: The Lake of Fire.

Some Clues from Hebrew
We can learn something about this by looking at some Hebrew characters. The word for "man" (mankind) in Hebrew looks like this:

bebrew word for man

It is spelled with the Hebrew letters - reading from right to left - aleph, yod, mem. The "yod," the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is equivalent to the Greek letter iota and is translated as "jot."

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Matt 5:18)

The "yod" means or has reference to the hand of God. When the hand of God is removed from man - when the yod is removed from the word for man - the result is the Hebrew word for fire:

bebrew word for fire

What we find, with a correct understanding of the role of God in the destruction of the wicked, is that man "burns" when the hand of God is removed. So it is not a direct act of God that destroys man but the removal of His life-sustaining presence.

This is consistent with the idea that God, throughout Biblical history, has not directly destroyed anyone. He removes His protective presence when it is not wanted and leaves the unprotected to the destroyer, Satan himself. All of God's actions are consistent with what we see portrayed in Jesus' character. He came to reveal His Father's character and claimed to be one with Him.

"I and my Father are one." (John 10:30)

God even shields His people from too sudden or too much of a revelation of truth, portioning it out to us as we are able to take it in. Jesus said to His disciples:

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (John 16:12)

Could it be that, in the final judgment, the lost are exposed to all the truth of God's character in His very presence while, at the same time, becoming fully aware of their own sins? The sense of guilt would overwhelm them. This revelation of the character of a righteous God in contrast to their own would have the effect on them of a consuming fire.

The Effect of the Consuming Fire Presence of God
To the saved, the presence of God is a consuming fire as day by day throughout their lives they are tried in the fire as they behold Him and have the impurities "burned" out their characters. It is the beholding of Him and the understanding of what He has done for them that motivates them, of their own free-will choices, to separate themselves from sin.

To the lost as they, in the lake of fire experience, have all their sins exposed in the presence of the Lamb, they will "be consumed" with mental anguish because of the guilt of all the sins for which they had not accepted the substitutionary payment of Jesus' death made for them. There will also be the sense of the removal of God from them and a realization that it will be for eternity. This mental anguish will parallel what Jesus felt as He cried out:

"... that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt 27:46)

So the presence of God is a progressive revelation to the saved as they are able to bear it but to the wicked (rather than drawing it out and causing more suffering) mercifully, it happens in a short time. The wicked reap the results of the life they have sown. They suffer the wages of sin which is (the second) death (Rom 6:23).

Satan has put an amazing twist on the truth. He has lead most people to believe that those who are lost live forever (Rather than suffer the second death - the wages of sin - as the Bible teaches.) in literal fire by God's will when the truth is that it is the saved who will live forever in the spiritual, "consuming" fire of God's presence.

To Dwell With God
The Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:34) was designated by God as one of the annual feasts to foreshadow the time when He would eternally tabernacle or dwell with us. To tabernacle with someone is to dwell with them. Jesus tabernacled with us when He came to earth as a baby at the Feast of Tabernacles.

"In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion." (Psa 76:2)
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Rev 21:3)

So we understand that the saved will dwell with God for eternity. Here is something very interesting that connects this dwelling with God - this consuming fire - with the fire that we have been looking at. Carefully follow the reasoning as we compare a passage from Psalms with a passage from Isaiah. The first verse is a question that links dwelling with God's tabernacle:

"LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?" (Psa 15:1)

We will fill in a little chart to make this comparison very obvious. The question asked in Psalm 15 is: who shall dwell with or abide in the tabernacle of God?

Psalm 15:1-2 Who shall dwell/tabernacle with Yahweh?                                         
Isaiah 33:14-15    

And the answer is given in verse 2:

"He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart." He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour." (Psa 15:2-3)

The answer indicates that it is talking about God's people, those who have the truth in their hearts.

Psalm 15:1-2 Who shall dwell/tabernacle with Yahweh? He that walks uprightly ... speaketh the truth in his heart
Isaiah 33:14-15    

Now let's compare that to another passage and this time we will read the answer first:

"He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;" (Isa 33:15)
It is interesting that the answer is so similar to the answer to the question in Psalm 15:

Psalm 15:1-2 Who shall dwell/tabernacle with Yahweh? He that walks uprightly ... speaketh the truth in his heart
Isaiah 33:14-15   He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly

Now, do you suppose the question is going to be the same - or at least equivalent? The Hebrew scriptures have a way of often repeating things two or more different ways to help convey the meaning to us.

Here is the question, which I think tells us something of what it will be like to dwell or tabernacle with Yahweh:

"... Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" (Isa 33:14)
Psalm 15:1-2 Who shall dwell/tabernacle with Yahweh? He that walks uprightly ... speaketh the truth in his heart
Isaiah 33:14-15 Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? ... with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly

One question is: "who shall dwell with Yahweh?" The other question is: "who shall dwell with devouring fire?" The fact that the answers are the same suggests that questions are the same. If so, we could say that "Yahweh is a devouring fire" which just happens to be equivalent to the statement in Hebrews 12:29 that "our God is a consuming fire."

Can you see that it is the saved, not the lost, who will be dwelling in everlasting fire? However, this is not literal, painful fire. Rather, it is the spiritual consuming fire of God's character, His love. There are actually many examples of fire in the presence of God but it is not a literal, harmful fire.

Satan hates this message of the character and love of God and has twisted it from God as a symbolic "consuming fire" revealing His awesome character to one of God using literal fire to burn His enemies forever. It is all about a correct understanding of God's character.

For Our God Is a Consuming Fire.

Is the Lake of Fire Now Clear to You?

Were you blessed by the material on these seven pages about the topic of the Lake of Fire? Did it give you a greater appreciation for the love of God? Do you have a question? Comment or ask below.

What Other Visitors Have Said

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God's Rains Fire on the "Dead Bodies" 
Great presentation! I would love to use it on my radio program called "The Larger View" here in Australia, if you wouldn't mind? Also, would you please …

Our God is Love = a consuming fire.... Not rated yet
This is the most inspiring reading, a revelation of the truth of the eternal fire of the Spirit of YHWH, and the gift of love in Yahushua, given from our …

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The Greek has multiple words for forgiveness? God forgives (charizomai) whether we ask or not. Receiving forgiveness (apheimi) is by our choice.
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