February 8, 2023

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THE KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN AND A CONSUMING FIRE

IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.

TOPIC: THE KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN AND A CONSUMING FIRE

COMPILED/EDITED BY-:
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:28-29

Beloved friends, many more shakings may come. Romanism, which is a spurious reproduction of the materialism of Judaism, needs a shake to destroy it; Puseyism, an equally gross and carnal combination of the outward and visible with the inward and unseen, will also pass away when its hour comes, but the faith once delivered to the saints will outlive every change. The symbol is transient, the spiritual truth is eternal. Over every form of material worship there shall be pronounced the sentence, “Earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes,” but the pure spiritual faith of Jesus Christ can never die; the blessed doctrine that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, and all those glorious doctrines which cluster around the cross of Christ shall survive “the wreck of matter and the crash of worlds.” They shall not only remain, but remain in greater clearness and in fuller power, because the things that could be shaken are taken away, for created things only dim the lustre of the cross, and are made by human sin a veil to hide the Redeemer’s glory; the more completely they are removed the more plainly shall we see the cross of Christ in open vision. “They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”

The Jewish religion could he shaken because it could he combated by material forces. Antiochus could profane its altars, Titus could burn its temple, and cast down the walls of the sacred city; but no invader can pollute the heavenly altar of our spiritual faith by brute force or destroy the celestial bulwarks of our hope by fire and sword. Material forces are not available in our warfare, for we wrestle not with flesh and blood. The tyrant may burn our martyrs and cast our confessors into prison, but the pure truth of Jesus is neither consumed by fire nor bound with chains; it hath within itself essential immortality and liberty. The doctrine that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners is no more to be wounded by the sword of persecution than is the ocean to be scarred by the keels of navies. When winds may be manacled, when waves be fettered, and when clouds may be shut up in dungeons, then, nay not even then, may the Word of God be bound. The free spirit of the cross of Christ cannot be vanquished by armies, nor can legions tread it down. If our devotion hovered around an earthly shrine, and could only be presented by a certain order of men, robed in a peculiar garb, and chanting a peculiar ritual, then the truth of Christ might be put down for awhile, if not extinguished; but we depend on none of these things, we can as well worship God in barns as in basilicas, in catacombs as in cathedrals; ploughmen and paupers are as much priests to God as presbyters or prelates; and solemn silence may yield as true praise as the voices of the sons of music with all their pipes and organs. Our religion is so spiritual that death itself in ridding us of these material bodies shall rather assist than injure our devotions, so that we laugh to scorn both spear, and sword, and buckler, for our holy faith is beyond the reach of carnal weapons.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:27-29

FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE!

“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Deuteronomy 4:24 (NKJV)

Like a husband is jealous for his bride, unwilling for her affection to be shared with another, so our God is jealous for us. His love of a jealous kind is like a consuming fire and it burns in the hearts of His children. Like the silver smith who removes the impurities from precious metal, so the consuming love of God seeks to remove those things in our lives that would otherwise steal away our affection that is due only to Him.

Don’t be afraid of putting your heart into the hands of God for the refining, remembering that He is also “a merciful God” (Deut. 4:31). His mercies are as sweet as honey. Allow His refining work in your life and lay your entire being continually at His feet. For it is only in the hands of the loving Potter that our lives can truly be transformed into the image of Christ. Spurgeon once said, “We need the sacred fire to consume the dross.” Will you allow Him to consume the dross in your heart? Will you allow Him to free you from the bondage of the flesh so that you may walk in the newness of the Spirit?

We must cultivate A PROFOUND SENSE OF THE DIVINE HOLINESS and of the wrath of God against sin, “For our God is a consuming fire.” Observe, then, from this most solemn sentence, that the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament! Read Deuteronomy 4:24 and you will find these words, “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” The same words describe the God of the New Testament! I know the boasted wisdom of the age tells us that we have made a great advance upon Old Testament Revelation. It is not so. We may understand the Book somewhat better, but the Revelation is the same. God wears the same Character as in the days of Moses, David and the Prophets.
The Lord God who is to be served by us, even as our Covenant God, is a “consuming fire.” In love He is severely holy, sternly just. We hear people say—”God out of Christ is a consuming fire.” That is an unwarrantable alteration of the text. The text is, “Our God,” that is God in Christ is a consuming fire! “Our God” means God in Covenant with us. It means our Father God, our God to whom we are reconciled—even our God is still a “consuming fire.” A large proportion of nominal Christians do not believe in this God. They profess reverence to a merciful God. But the moment you preach His justice, they are indignant! The God who is a consuming fire is not accepted by this proud “21st Century.” I do this day most solemnly declare my faith in the God of the Hebrews who will, by no means, spare the guilty! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the one and only God and I declare Him, this day, to be my God!
Jehovah is the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called! He that smote Pharaoh at the Red Sea. He that smote kings and slew mighty kings is my God and I believe in Him as the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know no God but Abraham’s God, Jehovah, the I AM! Under the New Testament, God is not an atom less severe than under the Old. And under the Covenant of Grace the Lord is not a particle less righteous than under the Law. We are so saved by mercy that no sin goes unpunished—the Law is as much honored under the Gospel as under the Law! The substitution of Jesus as much displays the wrath of God against sin as even the flames of Hell would
do!
While the Lord is merciful, infinitely so, and His name is Love, yet still our God is a consuming fire and sin shall not live in His sight. If your offering and mine is evil, it will be an abomination unto Him. He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity! If our worship and service are mingled with hypocrisy and pride, He will not endure them. You will be rather surprised when I say that this dreadful sentence is my hope—it is a joy to me that our God is a consuming fire! Behold two altars upon Carmel. The Baalites have laid their victim upon one of them. Do you see them as they prance about the altar and even leap upon it? Do you hear them as they cry and cut themselves with knives and lancets? “O Baal, hear us! O Baal, hear us!” There lies the sacrifice—there is no trace of Baal’s hearing them, for their god is not a consuming fire!
Now comes Elijah. “Pour water,” he says, “on the bullock. Do it a second time! Do it a third time.” And they fetch up, from the sea, huge buckets and pour the water over everything until the trenches are filled with it. And now the Prophet lifts up his prayer to Heaven! Down comes the fire! It is God’s sacrifice and God accepts it! He is a consuming fire and the token of His Presence is so manifest that the people cry, “Jehovah, He is the God, He is the God!” Turn your eyes, again, to Solomon’s Temple gorgeous with gold and precious stones. The king pleads with the Lord of the whole earth to accept the shrine.
Lo, the priests are present in their robes of office and the sacrifice is waiting on the altar. If no fire descends, there is no acceptance. But we read, “The fire came down from Heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the Glory of the Lord filled the house.” If I am a true and sincere man. If I am believing in Jesus and I have brought my humble sacrifice with fear and reverence before God, then it will be accepted—for He is a consuming fire—and my sacrifice will be consumed and go up to Him! It may be some of you who have been working this week will think to yourselves, “We did very well, we hope to be honored for it.” So you shall be—but if you take credit to yourselves, you will he robbing the altar of God! If God accepts your sacrifice, it will all be consumed by His fire. Look, the accepted sacrifice is all gone, it is utterly consumed!
When God enables us to serve Him and takes away from us all self-congratulation, we ought to be very thankful. This proves that it is all burned with fire. If God had not accepted it, then we might have reserved portions of it for ourselves, to feed our vanity—and that would be to feed ourselves without fear. But if the Lord has taken every morsel from the mouth of self, we have great cause for rejoicing! If the Lord accepts us, His fire will consume us! The zeal of His House will eat us up! When we go home to the Lord above, we dread not His Presence, though He is a consuming fire. Those whom He has purified and made white are not afraid of the flames of His holiness!
Remember that blessed text, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burning? He that walks righteously and speaks uprightly. He that despises the gain of oppressions, that shakes his hands from the holding of bribes, that stops his ears from the hearing of blood and shuts his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high.” It shall be the glory of the gracious and the true that God is their element! It shall be their bliss to live in the full splendor of His perfect holiness! They shall be like their Lord, for they shall see Him as He is. Everything that is holy will endure Your fire and as for all within us that is impure, let it be consumed speedily!
So let us serve the Lord with fear, but not with terror. And let this service be continued all our days. Let us bring the sacrifices of the last week to Him, with repentance for every fault, humbly pleading that by His Grace He will accept it, and earnestly desiring that all we have done may redound to His Glory through Jesus Christ, His Son, to whom be honor, world without end! Amen.

Don’t miss the transforming work that God wants to do in your life.

May our hearts always and forever be, “Jesus, have your way in me.”

SHALOM!

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