“Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:23-29).”
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:For our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12: 28-29).”
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings (Isaiah 33:14)?”
Modern Man has not been taught the true nature of the God of the Bible. In that vacume he has constructed a god of his own making, a warm fuzzy god who looks more like an indulgent grandfather than a Sovereign King. When there are biblical references to God, they are cherry picked to make Him more comfortable and comforting. “God is your friend,” we are told. “God wants desperately to bless you and prosper you.” “You should believe God to bring out the awesome potential that resides in you,” and the mantra goes on and on. Millions of people are deceived by this pandering to the flesh and millions (shall I say billions) of dollars fill up the bank accounts of the false prophets who preach this message of human potential.
“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: (Jeremiah 5:31).”
The people who buy this faulty theology never seem to think to check the Bible to get the real picture of the God it reveals. God told Moses that no man could see His face and live. That is, no man could come into His unhidden Presence and survive the experience. He would be completely consumed by God’s holiness. God is a consuming fire. Until mankind sees his utter bankrupt condition and understands the kind of God with whom we have to do, there is not the slightest hope that he will be saved but will in the end perish eternally (no matter how good he feels about himself).
There is One however, who can endure the eternal burning of God’s holy Presence. It is Christ Jesus the Lord, the resurrected Son of God, who is Himself God and yet, became a man.
“Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen (1 Timothy 6:16).”
It was the dictate of kings of old that before you could gain entrance into their presence or have audience with them you had to have someone to present you to them. You had to have a friend at court. If that was true of earthly rulers how much more true is it of the Eternal God of the ages? If it was true of mere men how much more true is it of the One who is a Consuming Fire?
Who can approach this Fiery God? Only Christ… and those He brings with Him. Who can approach this one who consumes all in His Holiness? Only those who have a Friend in His court. Only those who belong to Jesus. There is no other way to have standing in that place. There is no other way to gain access to God. For our God is a Consuming Fire!
But God who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4-7) went to eternal trouble so that sinful men could have this access to Him. It is the very reason God became a Man. It is the reason for the virgin birth. It is the reason for the spotless life of our Lord. It is the reason for His suffering, His enduring the cross. It is the reason God raised this Man from the dead, never to suffer or die again. He is forever glorified as the GodMan. Jesus Christ the crucified One is Jesus Christ the resurrected One, before whom every knee shall bow and to whom every tongue will confess that He is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.
God went to eternal trouble to give His people access to Himself. We the filthy ones now have been made clean by the blood of Christ.
“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate (Hebrews 13:12)”
We the outcasts and enemies of God are now the accepted ones. Through Christ we now have access to this thrice Holy God.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2).”
We who had no right at court now are told to approach God boldly.
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).”
The very purpose of Christ coming was to bring us to God.
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God . . . (1 Peter 3:18).”
He suffered for sins…He who was perfectly righteous, for those who were wholly corrupted…so that He might usher us into the Presence of this Great God who is a consuming fire. Were it not for Christ, and God’s eternal purpose in Him, all of humanity would have been blasted into an eternal hell long ago.
How different this is from the tame god of modern religion. How different this message is from the soothing message of the self improvement peddlers, the prosperity panhandlers. This message disturbs…and it should. Without an intercessor, without a go between, without someone to usher us into the Presence of God there is no way to approach Him. And without knowing one’s own wickedness and our own ragged dirtiness we will never seek the cleansing blood of God’s perfect Lamb. We will never feel the need of coming into the Presence of the Holy God through the intervention of Another.
And so millions make their way to a dark and terrifying eternity, feeling good about themselves, never knowing that they have received a lie instead of the truth. Never knowing that the God of the Bible is a God who is a consuming fire. They never learn that they cannot come to God unless He extends to them the scepter of mercy through Jesus Christ the Lord.
But there are some upon whom God bestows special mercies. These are they that are given a new heart to see their sin and to see God’s remedy for sin, the crucified Christ. The merciful Lord has given grace to some who have heard the the truth, the gospel of our salvation. They have been drawn by the Spirit and have been born from above and who have made their garments white in the blood of the Lamb. These are the people who have turned from the anemic god of modern Christendom and are now called “the Lamb’s wife (Revelation 21:9)”, the Bride of Christ.
The question begs to be asked, which are you? Are you part of the multitude of sinners who are themselves deceivers and being deceived? Or are you one upon mercy has been extended and for whom a Friend at court has been given? The Gospel offer is universal.
Are you thirsty for God? Do you see yourself bankrupt before Him? Will you listen? There is hope. There is a way into God’s joyful presence.
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David (Isaiah 55: 1-3).”
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:16-17).”
Jesus Christ is God’s feast for the hungry soul. He is a fountain of living water to all who thirst for Him. He is our Friend at Court, the Friend of sinners, who gladly ushers us into God’s Holy Presence. Come to Him. Seek this Christ. Turn from yourself and your way and come to Jesus Christ, God’s only way into the Presence of the One who is a Consuming Fire.