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Our God Is A Consuming Fire

Deuteronomy 4:24 For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

The fire that destroyed Sister Pat Caudill’s trailer blew out both ends of the trailer. She suffered third degree burns over 70% of her body. Lost her hair, had skin grafts on her face and neck. She lost 90% of the use of her hands.

Fire is one of our most important tools, and holds a prominent place in many ancient philosophies and religions.

The ancient Greeks believed that fire–along with earth, water, and air–was one of the four essential elements that made up the world. We now know that the world is a lot more complicated, with over a hundred elements of matter which can be combined in a tremendous variety of ways. So, what exactly is fire?

Watching a flame dance through the air, you might conclude that fire’s a gas, like oxygen or carbon dioxide. It’s not. Fire can burn fuel that’s a gas, or a liquid, or even a solid–as in the case of glowing charcoal. But the fire itself isn’t any of these things. In fact, fire isn’t any thing at all. It’s not its own type of matter; it’s something that matter can do. Fire is the outward sign that something inside is happening. In the case of Holy Ghost fire, the fire of zeal and joy indicates that there is a reaction to a change happening in the soul!

What makes a fire burn? A fire needs oxygen and some kind of fuel. This fuel–whether it’s candle wax, wood, or gasoline–usually contains big molecules that have carbon atoms inside them. You can think of these molecules as little containers of energy. When they’re allowed to combine with oxygen, this energy is released as heat and light. When faith is released toward God, a fire is going to break out. Like the song says, “It’s all over me and it’s keeping me alive!”

Scientifically speaking, fire is a rapid chemical reaction known as oxidation. Inside a fire, oxygen molecules break bigger molecules apart into carbon dioxide and water vapor. All the heat and light of a fire comes from big, carbon-based molecules combining with oxygen. When the right substances are present, and when the temperature reaches an ignition point, a fire starts. Fire changes whatever it burns into a different substance. That’s why the Bible says that “Our God is a consuming fire.” You cannot experience the one true and living God without a change. “If any man be in Christ Jesus he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.”

So what is fire? It’s not the fuel or the oxygen or the heat or the light. Fire is what happens between all these things. It’s a chemical reaction. Neither can you put your finger on the form or substance of God. God is a Spirit. God is omnipresent. God is big enough to fill all space, yet he pours himself into a living soul with the greatest of ease.

We speak of raging fire. Wild fire. Fast fire. Bonfire. Inferno. Blazes. Flames. Conflagration. Combustion. Out-of-control fires cause unbelievable devastation. In the Great Chicago fire of 1871, the so-called “Burnt District,” a map of which appeared in virtually every account of the fire, encompassed an area four miles long and an average of three-quarters of a mile wide—more than two thousand acres—including over twenty-eight miles of streets, 120 miles of sidewalks, and over 2,000 lampposts, along with countless trees, shrubs, and flowering plants in “the Garden City of the West.” Gone were eighteen thousand buildings and some two hundred million dollars in property, about a third of the valuation of the entire city. Around half of this was insured, but the failure of numerous companies cut the actual payments in half again. One hundred thousand Chicagoans lost their homes, an uncounted number their places of work.


When we say that our God is a consuming fire then, it is no small thing.


You cannot adequately tell the story of the Bible without talking about fire. Everywhere you look, you see fire or the evidence of fire.  

The fire of Judgment. Genesis 19:24  “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.”

God will judge the world and every person in the world on the last day.

Just because judgment does not happen immediately doesn’t mean that it won’t.

Galatians 6:7 says “Be not deceived, God is not mocked…”


“Foolish men imagine that because judgment for an evil thing is delayed, there is no justice; but only accident here below. Judgment for an evil thing is many times delayed some day or two, some century or two, but it is sure as life, it is sure as death.”  Thomas Carlyle

The fire of sacrifice. Genesis 22:6  “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.”

A life with no sacrifice for God has no relationship with God.

James said, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” In other words, WE want to be the consuming fire, not God!

Ignite the fire of sacrifice somewhere in your life. Destroy something for God. He will give you back something infinitely more precious.

The fire of the call of God. Exodus 3:2  “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.”

Fire changes things. The bush may not have been changed, but Moses was. When something strange happens to you, you need to stop and ask if God is trying to get your attention.

Trust God and he will reveal himself to you. Don’t ask for the revelation in order to believe; believe first and you will get the revelation.

The fire of service. Exodus 12:8  “And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.”

Maybe this is where we get the phrase, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Just a an uncontrolled fire causes judgment or devastation, a fire that is contained improves the quality of life. The Spirit and power of God just makes your life better.

The fire of Revelation. Exodus 13:21  “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”

Israel was in the wilderness without a map or compass. They had to look to God for their direction.

God does not just point the way. God becomes the way. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

I believe that the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire were the same pillar. In the daytime, God was concealed. In the night time, however, the cloud disappeared and they saw the fire in the midst of the cloud.

This is a wonderful lesson on the Godhead. 1 Timothy 3:16 says “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

God was manifest in the flesh. The Father was made visible in the Son. When you see Jesus, you see the Father.

John 14:8-9 “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

The fire of demonstration. 1 Kings 18:38  “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.”

This is one of the most spectacular of the Old Testament miracles. Elijah on one side; the 400 prophets of Baal on the other. Out-numbered 400 to 1. How do you like those odds?

Satan’s greatest boast is that he is in the majority. He plays the numbers game.

God people have always been in the minority.

Guess what? You—plus God—always outnumbers the majority!

The priest of Baal found that out. Their ceremonies were fantastic; their worship was sincere; their intentions were honest. It is just that their God had no response.

Do not challenge God. He will declare himself among the heathen.

God’s New Plan

All of these Old Testament reference to fire is not without purpose. God has always had something in mind.

In the Old Testament, he operated through without a body in signs, wonders and miracles. In the New Testament, he fashioned a body for himself and he operated through the agency of sinless flesh.

Now, his plan is to build a church and inhabit his people with his presence and power.

Ezekiel 36:24-27 says, “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

The only way this could happen is for God—who is a consuming fire—to robe himself in his church. The fire on the outside had to become the fire on the inside.

Jeremiah spoke about it in Jeremiah 20:9. “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”

The Psalmist said in Psalm 104:4  “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.”  I believe this was a veiled reference to us as his messenger ministers in the church.

Now, let’s go past the major and minor prophets. Let’s go past the 400 year of silence between the testaments. A strange figure comes out of the wilderness. His name was John. The Pharisees called him John the Baptist because he baptized his converts unto repentance.

He had a new message. In Matthew 3:11 we read, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”

And with fire! We have known the Holy Ghost as living water. Now we need to know him as the fire of God. Fire and water; water and fire. Both in the same experience.

But don’t let this confuse you. God operates in ways we humans find contradictory. Visible and invisible. Heaven and earth. Time and eternity. Flesh and Spirit. The Mighty God in Christ.

But the church had to have something supernatural to compensate for the flesh.

Acts 1:6-8. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” 

Now, the challenge was to put this fire in the church.

Acts 2:1-4. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

There is the fire! It sat upon each of them.

When the Holy Ghost makes his entrance, there is not only a rush of wind, there is a rush of power! It’s the fire that didn’t consume the bush. It’s the fire inside the cloud. It’s the fire shut up on your bones.

It is the fire of judgment on sin.

It is the fire of sacrifice.

It is the fire of the call.

It is the fire of service.

It is the fire of revelation.

It is the fire of demonstration.

There is no way God can operate in you without manifesting himself as a fire. A life-changing, power-giving, miracle-working fire!

One of the things about the fire in the Old Testament. It was never allowed to go out. The tabernacle had fire burning in it continually.

God has never let the fire go out of his tabernacle, the church. In the book of Revelation, John describes Jesus. He tells us where he is and what he looks like.

Revelation 1:12-13. “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.”

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

This is why the Pentecostal church gives such emphasis to the infilling of the Holy Ghost. This need for Holy Ghost power is greater today than ever before.

Do you have the fire?

Do you have the power?

Do you have the baptism?

You can have it today!

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Reader Comments (2)

Am preparing a sermon to share with some guys at a homegroup meeting and this has just revealed a whole lot to me about the consuming fire. Thanx a lot

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Mutyavaviri

Am preparing a sermon to share with some guys at a homegroup meeting and this has just revealed a whole lot to me about the consuming fire. Thanx a lot

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Mutyavaviri

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