“Our God is a consuming fire”. We have Moses and the burning bush that was not consumed. Then we have God’s enemies who WILL be consumed. There is a fire of destruction and a fire of redemption. Redemptive fire [the spirit of Jesus] changes and improves, while the raw Spirit of God is destructive to man, to flesh, to the natural creation.
Moses had to hide himself in the cleft of the rock. Jesus is said to be the rock, in him we are safe from burning. Pentecost exhibited fire on the heads of the disciples [ hair/bush 🙂 ] and were not harmed but were brought to life in the Spirit. Hell is the condition of the raw Spirit of God coming upon those who are not of him, who have not availed themselves of his love. The creation is shaken so that what cannot be shaken will remain.
When He comes there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth when it is seen that they are left out of His kingdom. It is this anguish that Jesus suffered for us so we didn’t have to. But if this is not believed, it will not react within us and cause us to respond to Him. So we disqualify ourselves from the benefit of his love. Anguish is fire, in this case it is the confrontation of the Spirit fire of God upon our raw conscience, when we see the reality of his truth/love compared to our lie/non-love.
Those who allow his Spirit fire to burn out of us, all that is not of him, become as Him and his righteousness. Those who do not, remain as unlit candles, so much inherent potential but no output of light. When the final flame comes, it will not only light the wick but will completely destroy the whole candle.
The rich man said he was in anguish in the flame. When truth meets lie and love meets hate, there is an eternal reckoning. Jesus said “You will never get out until you have paid the last penny”. This is the law in action, the effects of which law He dealt with for us, taking the “works of the devil” upon himself, in order to extinguish the power of it to hold us trapped in its guilt death, forgiving us by dealing with it within the body of His Son, who came with a body like us.
People recognise the possibility of the world ending in fire, whether that be by natural scientific process or by man’s foolishness with nuclear war, or maybe by some form of a God bringing the fire of hell into play, some kind of Armageddon which is the final judgement on the earth.
But God has already judged the world in Jesus, and all who accept that judgement now, will be free of judgement then. His final fire will liberate the new creation even as it destroys the old. It is this process which is occurring now in the lives of all believers, just as it occurred in the body of Jesus.
[God,fire,Spirit,love: are all to be considered as one.]