April 3, 2016 – God’s Consuming Fire

Yesterday’s Torah portion from Leviticus concluded with God’s words, “Be holy as I am holy.”  This portion contained Leviticus 11 and God’s complete outline for what ‘meats’ He created as food and what He did not.

‘Holy’ in Hebrew is kadosh and means ‘set apart unto the LORD’.  It does not mean ‘better than thou’ and should not carry with it an attitude of arrogance.   It is in these mis-renderings of Biblical words that holiness has become corrupted and people stay far from it.  However, God says we are to be holy as he is holy or we are to be ‘set apart from the world as He is set apart from the world’. 

I was taught that when Jesus/Yeshua hung on the cross and said, “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” it was to reference Psalm 22 in the minds of everyone listening and the Messianic prophecy of the ‘suffering servant.’  In other words, before Scripture was listed with chapter and verse, it was referenced by verses that began it or ended it. Thus, everyone standing at Golgotha who had an understanding of the Psalms would think about Psalm 22 and would understand that this man, Yeshua, is their deliverer. 

Since this is how Scripture memory was done, when Peter reiterates these same words of holiness, he references what is written in the Torah. “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written [in the Torah]: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”  In doing this he is also bringing to remembrance all that was written before those words which included God’s dietary commands.

In John 17:17 Yeshua says, “Sanctify them [your people] by the Truth; your Word is Truth.”  Sanctify is the Greek rendering for ‘holy’ and ‘set apart for the LORD.’  If we are to be made holy and set apart by the Word, would that not include Leviticus 11 and God’s dietary instructions?  I think so. 

The Torah portion also included Aaron’s sons who offered ‘unholy’ fire to the LORD.   They were immediately consumed by that ‘fire’. They did not worship God in the ‘set apart’ way that He commanded and were immediately killed by an ‘all-consuming fire’.

Lest anyone say, ‘Oh, that’s Old Testament,’ The re-Newed Covenant portion for yesterday included Acts 5:1-11 and the account of Ananias and Sapphira who were immediately killed for lying to the Spirit that was also inside them.  Where was God’s grace in that moment?  Isn’t this is the ‘new testament’ church?  

As part of the new covenant, the Spirit of God comes to live in us.   This is YHVH Himself dwelling in us, giving us new life and a new heart.   His Spirit is an all-consuming fire that brings life and apparently, even death.  Nadab and Abihu experienced this all-consuming power quite quickly with their lives.  Ananias and Sapphira also. 

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

Finally, the Torah portion yesterday was entitled, Shimini or Eighth.  This is in reference to day after the seven days of prepration when when Nadab and Abihu readied themselves to enter the Tabernacle.  It was their ‘eighth’ day.  In Biblical numerology, the number eight signifies ‘new beginnings’ and ‘eternity’.  For these two sons of Aaron, this particular day was to be a ‘new beginning’ in their ‘eternal’ reward of priesthood promised to their father,  but it ended in judgement and Aaron mourned their death. 

We, like Anaias and Sapphira, have been given an eighth day promise of new life (in eternity) when we became ‘new creations in Messiah’.    They were ‘under’ the same grace we claim to be, yet they insulted the Spirit of grace and were consumed!  How long will YHVH Elohim allow those who claim to be His followers to continue to insult His Spirit of grace by negating the holiness to which He has called them?  How long will YHVH Elohim remain patient with His consuming fire on us who rationalize sin and grace?  Some may believe that food laws are inconsequential to holiness, but they are just one of the many commands that God gave in His Word to set His people apart from the world.   Let us not also forget that it was food in the Garden of Eden that set us all on a path of having to choose everyday between sin and death or obedience and life in the Spirit.  Lying to the Spirit had its consequences for Nadab, Abihu, Ananais and Sapphire; rationalizing sin by insulting the Spirit of grace will for us too.  It’s only a matter of time.

“How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29).

For an explanation of Yeshua’s views on the dietary laws, The Flesh of Swine.

©2016 Tent Stake Ministries

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