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Dusty

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What exactly do you think this means ?

For our God is a consuming fire.
-- Hebrews 12:29
We should worship God with reverence because he is a consuming
fire! Mmm.
What does that mean? Is the focus on his holiness?
Does
this warn of judgment?
Is this an expression of his purity?
God is holy and pure and righteous.
Our
imperfections, flaws, failures, and sins stand out glaringly in
comparison to his perfection. Yet, rather than destroying us with
his holy fire, he can make us new and clean and more than what we
once were. So not only can we draw near to him because of Jesus, we
can stay near him as we live Jesus' life in our world (see Hebrews
13). That, dear friend, is reverential worship at its finest!
 

violet

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I believe, after just now reading the entire chapter, that it means that God has warned us to listen and follow His word.
And though he is loving and merciful, he will not tolerate willful disobedience and will punish those who do so~

 

Dusty

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I believe, after just now reading the entire chapter, that it means that God has warned us to listen and follow His word.



And though he is loving and merciful, he will not tolerate willful disobedience and will punish those who do so~

Yes , Yes and yes Violet.

The hebrew readers of this book needed encouragement to face persecution. They were called to follow the PERFECT example of Jesus who overcame difficult circimstances.

We should look for joy in difficult times and I know that is hard but He promises a way of escape. We can ask after the fact as to how others can benifit from my struggles and look beyond the pain of the difficulty that we are going through and find God's purposes for our struggles. Verse 12...... You have become weak, so make yourselves strong again. 13 ....Live in the right way so that you will be saved and your weakness will not cause you to be lost.

Look to to Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith. Bottom line.... The faith of the saints inspires us, but we look to Jesus as our example of Faith.
 

PreciousMessage

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What exactly do you think this means ?



We should worship God with reverence because he is a consuming
fire! Mmm.
What does that mean? Is the focus on his holiness?
Does
this warn of judgment?
Is this an expression of his purity?
God is holy and pure and righteous.
Our
imperfections, flaws, failures, and sins stand out glaringly in
comparison to his perfection. Yet, rather than destroying us with
his holy fire, he can make us new and clean and more than what we
once were. So not only can we draw near to him because of Jesus, we
can stay near him as we live Jesus' life in our world (see Hebrews
13). That, dear friend, is reverential worship at its finest!
Hi Dusty,

I believe you’re on to something!

After reading some texts I found this quote:

“Our God is a consuming fire,†and He is from everlasting to everlasting. “A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about.†Ps. 97:3. But still He is the everlasting dwelling place of His people, who are able to dwell with the devouring fire, and with “everlasting burn*ings.†Isa. 33:14. The same fire that destroys the wicked will be a protection to the righteous.

When we understand that “the eternal Spirit†of God is the “eternal fire†that consumes the wicked, we can see how it is that the righteous can dwell in the midst of it. They will live in it for ever and it will be refreshing coolness to them, even the water of life; for the “Spirit of burning†is the “living water†that washes away the iniquity of all who believe in Christ.†End Quote

John
 

PreciousMessage

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as gold is tried

Yes , Yes and yes Violet.

The hebrew readers of this book needed encouragement to face persecution. They were called to follow the PERFECT example of Jesus who overcame difficult circimstances.

We should look for joy in difficult times and I know that is hard but He promises a way of escape. We can ask after the fact as to how others can benifit from my struggles and look beyond the pain of the difficulty that we are going through and find God's purposes for our struggles. Verse 12...... You have become weak, so make yourselves strong again. 13 ....Live in the right way so that you will be saved and your weakness will not cause you to be lost.

Look to to Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith. Bottom line.... The faith of the saints inspires us, but we look to Jesus as our example of Faith.
Hi Dusty, If interested here is the rest of the quote:

“Righteousness is everlasting: it is indestructible. Fire cannot consume it. But everything that is not exactly right has in itself the element of decay. Now God will never destroy anything that is good. his work is to restore and build up and make new. So He sends His Spirit now to all men, to burn up and wash away all their impurity. Those who fully believe and yield wholly to the transforming power of the Spirit of God, are made perfectly pure. They are tried by fire “as gold is tried” (Zech. 13:9); for the Lord “is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Mal. 3:2,3.

Then when the Lord “shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruc*tion from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:7-9), the righteous will be safe, for the fire will already have wrought its work in them. The object is only to purify, and they will have been purified. And it will still be doing the work of purifying, blotting out sin; only in the case of the wicked who have resisted the previous working of the Spirit, and have become wholly perme*ated with sin, and one with it, the blotting out of their sin means the blotting out of themselves from existence.

“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” for the eternal Spirit of burning that has cleansed them and the earth will be their everlasting glory.” End Quote

John
 

Dusty

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Thanks John..... Lots of meat to chew on and I have to go back and digest piece by piece.

When we understand that “the eternal Spirit†of God is the “eternal fire†that consumes the wicked, we can see how it is that the righteous can dwell in the midst of it. They will live in it for ever and it will be refreshing coolness to them, even the water of life; for the “Spirit of burning†is the “living water†that washes away the iniquity of all who believe in Christ.†End Quote
WOW... Never thought of it that way. Blessings to you John.
 

Pastor Gary

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For Dusty

Dusty - As PROPERLY translated from the 'street' Greek of the Original Manusript text, the entire chapter of Hebrews 12 (KJV) is talking about discipline and our committment to God through His son, Jesus Christ. To briefly recap, those who follow the godly orders and accept Christ as the Savior will have eternal life. And from Hebrews 12:28-29 (KJV), those who decide to rebuke God will end up in the Lake of Fire (along with Satan and his fallen angels). THAT is what is meant in that last line of the chapter when it says, "For our God is a consuming fire."

This can be fully verified by using a Strong's Concordance. Look up the word 'fire'. It will give you the Greek Word Number of 4442 which is 'pur' in the Greek. Go to the Greek Dictionary in the Strong's and you will see that the reference is to word meaning # 1 for word 4442:
(1) - It is the holiness of God, which consumes all that is inconsistent therewith - as used in Hebrews 10:27 and Hebrews 12:29.

Referenced to parallel wording: Revelation 1:14 (KJV); Revelation 2:18 (KJV); Revelation 10:1 (KJV); Revelation 15:2 (KJV); Revelation 19:12 (KJV).
I hope that this clarifies the word meaning for you. You can also use the New Living Translation as listed below for a better English language understanding of the entire chapter than what the KJV provides. Click on the following text link:

Hebrews 12:1-29 (NLT)
 

PreciousMessage

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Out of the Midst of Fire

Thanks John..... Lots of meat to chew on and I have to go back and digest piece by piece.



WOW... Never thought of it that way. Blessings to you John.
Hi Dusty and all,

Let’s dig some more:

“Our God is a consuming fire†(Heb. 12:29). The verse does not say, He will be a consuming fire. It’s in the present continuous tense. He descended on Mount Sinai in fire (Ex. 19:18), and spoke to the people “out of the midst of the fire†(Deut. 4:12 & 22). “From His right hand went a fiery law for them†(Deut. 33:2).

The Lord “sitteth between [or upon] the cherubim†(Ps. 99:1). When He drove Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden, “He placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life†(Gen. 3:24). This was an indication of His own presence.

“Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple … Above it stood seraphim: each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew†(Isa. 6:1,2).

Saraphim—The Hebrew word is saraph meaning (the burning ones).

John Wesley-- a well known reformer stated—“As ministers attending upon their Lord. Seraphim - An order of holy angels, thus called from fire and burning, which this word properly signifies; to represent either their nature, which is bright and glorious, subtile, and pure; or their property, of fervent zeal for God's service and glory. Covered - Out of profound reverence.â€

Remember also that God went before Israel, to guide them, in a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.

A quote of interest; read carefully, what is not “traditional†in the popular sense?

“So it is indeed eternal fire that consumes the wicked, but it is not fire specially created for that purpose, nor does the fact that it is eternal prove that those who suffer from it will live eternally, but just the opposite. All, both saints and sinners, will be in the midst of it, so that all will be treated alike, and God cannot be accused of injustice; but the nature of the individual will determine how the fire will affect him. Only those who have become transformed into the likeness of God, who have His life as their life, so that they are partakers of the Divine nature, sharers of the glory, will be able to come through the fire unscathed, and, in fact, to continue dwelling in it. They are of the same nature as the devouring flame, and hence can dwell in it and not be consumed. All others will perish. The mercy of God endures for ever, and that which perpetuates the existence of those who become assimilated to it, ends the existence of the rebellious. How pertinent, therefore, the message, “Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come.†End Quote

blessings in Christ,
John
 

PreciousMessage

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destruction of the wicked by fire

Thanks John..... Lots of meat to chew on and I have to go back and digest piece by piece.
Hi Dusty, (relating to fire; this is an important topic concerning God’s glorious character, hope you get a chance to read).

Speaking of the earthly sanctuary offerings, "He [the priest] shall make an atonement ... an everlasting statute ... for all their sins once a year" (Lev. 16:33, 34). "...when He cometh into the world, ... in burnt offerings thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me" (Heb. 10:5-10).

However, we do have verses, taken in context, that depict "eternal" being beyond this age (world). "But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, ... and in the world to come eternal life" (Mark 10:30). "According to His promise, (we) look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).

When the Bible speaks of "everlasting life" and "everlasting punishment" we are taught from these texts that the punishment of the wicked is to last as long as does the reward of the righteous. But it does not intimate in these verses what the punishment shall be.

Now what does the Bible say punishment is? "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life to Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven ... in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, ... who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thess. 1:7-9).

What will be the result of this fire? “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts (Mal. 4:1, 3). So we see that this “eternal fire,” into which the wicked are to go, such as fell upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, will turn into ashes.

What then do we do with this? "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched". Mark 9:43, 44; also verses 45-48. If we believe that the Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit then the Bible is harmonious and does not contradict itself. I still hold that the wicked are to become ashes, and cease to be according to scripture previously quoted. In the book of Jeremiah the Lord, through His prophets warned of breaking the Sabbath. " But,” said he, “if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, ... then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched" (Jer. 17:27).

The palaces were burned, and the vessels were destroyed (2 Chron. 36:15-21). Is the fire burning yet?

What did we read in Mal. what the fate of the wicked shall be? “They shall be ashes under the soles of your feet.” This cannot be accomplished if the fire is quenched, so they will be totally consumed. But this result cannot be accomplished if the fire they are to be cast into is quenched. The fact that the fire won't be quenched is the fullest proof that they will be totally consumed. John the Baptist said, "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matt. 3:12).

An author and preacher of righteousness wrote over a century ago:

"How disturbing to every emotion of love and mercy, and even to our sense of justice, is the doctrine that the wicked dead are tormented with fire and brimstone in an eternally burning hell; that for the sins of a brief earthly life they are to suffer torture as long as God shall live. Yet this doctrine has been widely taught and is still embodied in many of the creeds of Christendom.


...What would be gained to God should we admit that He delights in witnessing unceasing tortures; that He is regaled with the groans and shrieks and imprecations of the suffering creatures whom He holds in the flames of hell? Can these horrid sounds be music in the ear of Infinite Love? It is urged that the infliction of endless misery upon the wicked would show God's hatred of sin as an evil which is ruinous to the peace and order of the universe. Oh, dreadful blasphemy! As if God's hatred of sin is the reason why it is perpetuated. ... The appalling views of God which have spread over the world from the teachings of the pulpit have made thousands, yes, millions, of skeptics and infidels."
End Quote

There is no question that the God of the universe will eradicate sin from the universe. To eradicate sin must be the extermination of the wicked, for they have chosen the hard road and not the easy. (See Matt. 11:28-30). The scriptures inform us, "The sting of death is sin." Therefore "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful'" (Rev. 21:4, 5).


Part 1 of 2

Blessings in Christ,
John

 

PreciousMessage

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Dusty - Lake of Fire (along with Satan and his fallen angels). THAT is what is meant in that last line of the chapter when it says, "For our God is a consuming fire."
Hi Gary,

Hope you and the family are doing well in the Lord. "For our God is a consuming fire" is also who He is (Ex. 19:18), as you stated, it is the "holiness of God." Read the previous posts for further blessings. The context in Hebrews 12 also pertains to mount Sinai (vs. 18).

blessings to you in Christ,
John
 
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Fire

This is a very interesting topic & there is a lot of insight in this thread regarding the matter. I think most of the posts on this thread are reinforcing each other with each passage & quote placed even if it is described in different manner. I find studying the bible is like putting a "puzzle together". Through books/chapters/verses I have read lead to me asking this question within myself & then reading this thread I am still lead to the same conclusion I once had when I was asking these questions within myself before.

I think the best way I can describe my view is as follows:
"God's fire" allows the illumination of all that is purely holy, good, righteous & just. People who recognize this illumination use it as a light to guide them & comfort them. But those who do not recognize this illumination do not see the light that guides & comforts. Instead they get turned around because they are not using the light as a source of guidance & end up walking into “God’s Fire” destroying themselves. In short “God’s fire” helps rather than destroys those who recognize it’s illumination of all that is purely holy, good, righteous & just & act accordingly.
 
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On a related issue.

Just a heads up… I'm not saying any of the following points of view/possibilities of hell are true & I am aware that other Christians have at some point came to similar conclusions & even totally different conclusions. I am aware also that some of these points of view/possibilities have already been mentioned similarly in previous posts. This second post I believe coincides (to aleast some degree) with the original topic & with my 1st post on this thread.

I) One point of view/possibility:
Those who are forgiven their sins & judged in the next life their names are found in the book of life & without sin because they were forgiven & it is as if the sins were never committed & therefore are admitted into heaven. On the other hand those who were not forgiven of their sins (for what ever reason) would be cast into the eternal lake of fire & have there sins “burned from them” & then allowed into heaven. Those who were forgiven beforehand would be spared the pain of the eternal fire because it is as if their sins had never been committed.

II) Another point of view/possibility:
The unforgiven/unsaved (for what ever reason) will be cast into the eternal lake of fire destroying a person completely & are just “no more” & would not endure eternal pain because they simply no longer exist.

III) Another point of view/possibility:
This point of view/possibility seems to be the most commonly accepted version of hell. A person who is not forgiven (for what ever reason) is cast into the lake of fire enduring pain & suffering for eternity.

:read: As I study the bible more & pray for enlightenment in God’s word I hope to come closer to the truth as I do in all other subjects of the bible. Also, I have noticed in passages of the bible were it states that the “unforgiven/unsaved will be tossed into the eternal lake of fire.” Note: I did not type: “will be tossed eternally into the eternal lake of fire.” Instead I typed: “will be tossed into the eternal lake of fire.” This could allude that the lake of fire is eternal but not necessarily that a person will be in the lake of fire for eternity. Though there may be passages that do say “will be tossed eternally into the eternal lake of fire” (or something to that effect) that I have read & forgotten/misunderstood or have somehow over looked. This topic is certainly on the list of subjects that I wish to study further but not until after I have studied some more pressing issues (example: how to avoid the lake of fire all together!). God willing we will never have to find out for ourselves what hell is 1st hand as I pray that each and every one of us obtain eternal salvation with the Lord.


I pray to our Father in heaven, Hallowed be His name. His kingdom come. His will be done on earth as it is in heaven: May God bless everyone & obtain His grace & mercy through which we all may be granted salvation with the Lord in heaven for all eternity. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, amen. :pray:
 

PreciousMessage

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against all ungodliness and unrighteousness

This is a very interesting topic & there is a lot of insight in this thread regarding the matter. I think most of the posts on this thread are reinforcing each other with each passage & quote placed even if it is described in different manner. I find studying the bible is like putting a "puzzle together". Through books/chapters/verses I have read lead to me asking this question within myself & then reading this thread I am still lead to the same conclusion I once had when I was asking these questions within myself before.

I think the best way I can describe my view is as follows:
"God's fire" allows the illumination of all that is purely holy, good, righteous & just. People who recognize this illumination use it as a light to guide them & comfort them. But those who do not recognize this illumination do not see the light that guides & comforts. Instead they get turned around because they are not using the light as a source of guidance & end up walking into “God’s Fire” destroying themselves. In short “God’s fire” helps rather than destroys those who recognize it’s illumination of all that is purely holy, good, righteous & just & act accordingly.
Well stated Sailor!

“Our God is a consuming fire.” If there were any degrees of excellence in the word of God, this passage would be one of the grandest and most glorious in all the Bible. As you stated in another way, it's not upon men themselves that God’s wrath is visited; but upon the sins of men, and upon men only as they are identified with their sins. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven,” not against all ungodly men, not against all unrighteous men, but “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” Rom. 1:18. For this truly shows the unfailing love that God has for mankind.

John
 

Dusty

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Dusty - As PROPERLY translated from the 'street' Greek of the Original Manusript text, the entire chapter of Hebrews 12 (KJV) is talking about discipline and our committment to God through His son, Jesus Christ. To briefly recap, those who follow the godly orders and accept Christ as the Savior will have eternal life. And from Hebrews 12:28-29 (KJV), those who decide to rebuke God will end up in the Lake of Fire (along with Satan and his fallen angels). THAT is what is meant in that last line of the chapter when it says, "For our God is a consuming fire."

This can be fully verified by using a Strong's Concordance. Look up the word 'fire'. It will give you the Greek Word Number of 4442 which is 'pur' in the Greek. Go to the Greek Dictionary in the Strong's and you will see that the reference is to word meaning # 1 for word 4442:


I hope that this clarifies the word meaning for you. You can also use the New Living Translation as listed below for a better English language understanding of the entire chapter than what the KJV provides. Click on the following text link:

Hebrews 12:1-29 (NLT)

Pastor Gary,

Thanks for the explanation. I am sorry I could not respond as my computer was down.
 

Dusty

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I think the best way I can describe my view is as follows:
"God's fire" allows the illumination of all that is purely holy, good, righteous & just. People who recognize this illumination use it as a light to guide them & comfort them. But those who do not recognize this illumination do not see the light that guides & comforts. Instead they get turned around because they are not using the light as a source of guidance & end up walking into “God’s Fire†destroying themselves. In short “God’s fire†helps rather than destroys those who recognize it’s illumination of all that is purely holy, good, righteous & just & act accordingly.
Sailor, precious message.... all are excellant answers and I thank you all for giving more insite into :God's Fire".
 
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Boanerges(Inactive)

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We often find the fire of God in the circumstances of our lives!