Sunday, September 16, 2018, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12: 29b).


Deut. 4:23-24:  Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you.  For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.


The fire of God consumes a person with more passion that love consumes a lover.  His consuming fire enters the spirit of man and burns with the same fire that burns within God.  It consumes everything in its path, like a roaring fire when it overtakes and consumes everything in its way.  If there is any hesitancy about entering into the Fire of God, the Presence of His person melts away all fear and doubt.


Lev. 6:13: A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.


Are you discontent, dissatisfied, searching, drifting, dry, depressed? Then ask the LORD to rekindle your fire.  Lord light my fire.


There should be no difference between the pulpit and the Tabernacle altar!  For the minister of God to bring the Word of God, it must be presented from the altar with fire.  Like the Old Testament offering, acceptable material (from the man/woman of God) must be holy and wholly consumed in the presence of the Almighty.  Anything else is trivia and should be treated as such.  That which is presented before the people of God should be an offering worthy of the flame and should be given to man from God.  The sacrifice on the altar is the minister’s life and prayers.  Nothing less can produce the life of Christ in our midst.


Paul preached the very oracles of God (Ro. 3:2). 


1 Pet. 4:11:  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as the ability which God gives; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever Amen.


Ahitophel in 2 SA. 16:23 was a counselor to both David and Absalom.  The counsel of Ahitophel, which he counseled in those days, was if a man had enquired at the oracle of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom. 


No oracle of God in the Old Testament ever arrived apart from the presence of fire.


One serving from the burning altar will forever taint a gathering. 


This is a flame that burns so deep within it draws a shivering world to its warmth.  This is the consuming flame that, once close enough to warm another, catches that person on fire.  We cannot say, “He is a young Christian and so on fire with God.”  This is to infer the fire will die back with the trials and pressures of the years and he will become as we are.  Oh No!  A thousand times no!  Instead of dying back, the fire must become larger.  What was envisioned in the young Christian novice is but a flicker compared to the raging passion within the saint of God, within a Paul or a Peter.


God’s consuming fire engulfed Simon Peter.  The flames of fire in Peter caught on in the second epistle as he flamed out against a profligate church in a fury that no one dare preach today.  Why? Simple, the crowds would leave in a flash, but at least it would be a flash of fire.  The church and the people of today have never encountered such flame.  Political and religious correctness would be devoured and become an unknown quantity among the people.  Intolerance for compromise would prevail if such flames came forth to confront the disbelief and religious spirits that rule and reign over congregations.


Like Jeremiah, the fire of God flames from inside outward toward the debauchery and perversion of the generations on the earth.  His words carry His fire and become lightening and fire in the earth (Jer. 5:14).


Last week I preached the grand and glorious theme of Psalm 119, THE WORD OF GOD!  Every verse mentions the Word of God under the administration of His nature (except 119:20, 121, 122, and 132).  The number that is prominent throughout this mathematical marvel is number 8 = a new day, a new beginning; resurrection.  It speaks to us of the Living Word who has risen from the dead!


 I mentioned 8 designations for the Word of God, but further study reveals 10. 


WAY – (Derek) - denotes the act of walking.  It occurs in Psalm 119 thirteen times.

TESTIMONY – (eduth) - to turn back, to go over again, to testify – twenty-three times.

PRECEPTS – take oversight or take charge – twenty-three times.

COMMANDMENTS – to set up constitute – constitutional commandments – twenty-two times.

WORD – (demar) – utterance – to bring forth to light as in an oracle – forty-two times.

LAW – (torah) – to project, issue, to point out, instruct teach God’s will – twenty-five times.

JUDGMENT – to judge – twenty-three times.

RIGHTEOUSNESS – to be right, upright, just righteous – fifteen times.

STATUTES – (hak) – a decree or ordinance – twenty-two times.

WORD, WORDS – (debar) – to arrange in a row, to set forth in speech – twenty-four times.


Jer. 20:9:  Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.  His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.


When I am reading the WORD, I get through a few verses, and the preach rises up in me.  The Word of God becomes a flaming fire in our bones.  We cannot hold it back. 


God’s consuming fire cannot be throttled.  There are times I would pull back and try to preach a seeker-friendly message.  It just never comes out that way.  Whether in pulpits, meetings, fellowships or one-on-one meetings, the fire is always there, always burning, always consuming the dross, either by preaching or by conversation, but always to the point where run-of-the-mill Christians loath its presence, yeah, shun and denigrate the messenger because of it---but no, the fire that is in me cannot be quenched and continually cries for more;  for there is more.  Lord make your words in my mouth fire. 


Just to hear one Jeremiah on the modern scene would be enough.  To watch his fearless flaming fierceness stand in the congregations of the world and declare an authority that has been lost by the translation of a social culture that has established it’s on man made doctrines to its shame.  One blast of the consuming fire would put all of us to our knees and we would no longer try to placate, entertain, appease, or pamper our social ignominy.  One blast and the world would know the difference between what they have been taught and what actually is.


God’s heavenly creatures live among the flames and God’s people are meant to as well.


A glimpse of the living creatures foretells a heaven accustomed to God’s fire.  I, too, am a living creature, and live in the presence of His fire.  Let the fire fall!  Let there be a sound from me and from heaven that rattles the earth.


Ez. 1: 13-14:  As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of torches.  Fire was going back and forth among the living creatures; the fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning.  And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning.


We sing: “This is the day of Elijah, These are the days of Ezekiel. “ The truth is one blast from either Elijah or Ezekiel would vacate the premises.  (Those who remained would be recognized as saints and would be accustomed already to the flames.)


I watched till thrones were put in place and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head was like pure wool.  His throne was a fiery flame.  Its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued…and came forth from before Him a thousand thousands minister to Him. (Daniel 7: 9-10)


Does the scripture not say?  Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire? (Ps. 104:4)


The greatest need of pulpits and pew today is a flaming ministry.  Nothing less is acceptable, once one has been consumed by His Fire.  God’s Flame always touches off a flame among those with whom He fellowships.  Ministry is to be accomplished through the flames.  It is to be engendered only from the midst of the fire!


They said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?


Jesus opens the Word as the Word, the flame is in it!  It is an overwhelming fire.  The only way it will burn out is to keep preaching, declaring, proclaiming, and decreeing the oracles of God.  Then the fire burns brighter and brighter. 


I believe in the last days, Satan will try to  counterfeit the eternal flame of God with his own destruction.


 Rev. 13-14: He (the beast/antichrist) does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.  He deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.


Daniel’s friends were surrounded by the eternal flame of God from Heaven,  and the king couldn’t tell the difference.  He saw only flames, with this exception, he saw the Son of God in the midst with them.  Hallelujah!  In that chamber were two sets of flame, man’s and God’s eternal flame.  Man’s flame could not overcome God’s flames; neither can man’s programs come near the true move of God.  Neither will Satan’s counterfeit flames overcome the eternal flame of God from His Presence.


Those three Hebrew children burned with the fire of God on the inside long before they were cast into the furnace of man’s flame.   Most modern day Christians turn away from the fire, yet it is the one thing that will sustain them in the testing furnace.


Look at Moses.  Moses was accustomed to the fire and the people were not…that is the case today. 


Ex. 3:2:  The Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush.  So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.


The people who followed Moses were afraid of God’s flame!  They missed the greatest opportunity this world affords---standing and being in the presence of the LORD.  People are still afraid of the fire.


Deut. 5:4-5:  The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire.  I (Moses)  stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain.


Vast multitudes of believers are afraid of the fire.  They do not want to be consumed by its power and neither do they wish to harbor the One who speaks through it and lives in it.


In the last days, Holiness and righteousness will be personified in two witnesses; they will demonstrate to this world that God lives in the fire and so must those who abide in Him.


The Two Witnesses are all about Fire:


And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies.  If anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner.  These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.  (Rev. 11: 4-6).


The LORD Himself is described in fiery terms:  Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst f the fire. (Deut. 4: 15-16).


His flaming presence went before the children of Israel out of Egypt.  His flaming presence abode with them in clouds and fire.  He spoke in power through the flame.  What on earth did the children of Israel fear in the fire of His presence? 


It came to pass, in the morning watch that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud.  Out  of heaven, He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth he showed you His great fire, and you heard His words, out of the midst of the fire. (Deut. 4:36).


Deut. 9: 1-3: Understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes before you as a consuming fire.  He will destroy them and bring them down before you.


Ex. 19: 18-21: Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire.  Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.  When the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.  Then the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain.  The LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.


The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days.  On the seventh day, He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.  The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.  So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain.  Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.


It is time for the fire to fall.  It is time to pray for fire to break loose on church leaders and pew folks.  It is time to pray the same prayer as Elisha.


Let the God who answers by fire, be God.


The life changing commandments of the LORD GOD were born in flames.  The life changing message of the gospel is born the same way.  Unless the heavens are open above pulpit and pew, what issues from either is without power.  Until the Holy Ones (Saints) require a higher standard of measure, the lost congregations will continue to resort in Egypt and have no thought of Canaan.  It is the fire that comes from heaven which blesses and brings signs and wonders.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Dr. C. R. Oliver, Consumed by His Fire.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Dr. Oliver.


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