The Prophet, Elijah spoke to all the people of the Land and said “call upon the name of your gods, and I will call on the Name of the LORD: and the God that answers by fire, let Him be God. And all the people answered and said, ‘It is well spoken'” (I Kings 18:24).
The God who answers by fire is alive today. He is speaking to us. Can you hear Him out of the fire? The God who answers by fire is Holy and the Fire of God is Holy Fire. The fire of God is a refiner’s fire (cf. Malachi 3:2). The fire of God melts silver. The fire of God melts gold. It is very hot. Are you feeling the heat?
The Prophet, Isaiah, asks “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings” (Isaiah 33:14b)? The fire of God is Righteous. The fire of God is pure, and a purifier of the heart.
We are in the Kingdom of God. It is an everlasting Kingdom that cannot be overcome. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews declares: “Wherefore, we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
Our God is a consuming fire, ponder that for a day. Meditate upon that for a season. What needs to be consumed by that fire in me, I ask? What needs to be melted in me so that the impurities may be removed; so the dross can be taken away leaving only the pure gold; leaving only the divine.
Elijah built an altar and laid a bullock upon it for sacrifice and called upon the Name of the LORD. He cried, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the LORD God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, the LORD, He is the God; the LORD, He is the God!” (I Kings 18:36b-39).
It is time to turn from Ahab and Jezebel, who serve foreign gods. It is time to turn from the prophets of Baal, the Ashtoreth, and other false gods and goddesses. It is time to turn from Molech, to whom Israel made their children pass through the fire and were consumed. These are the days of Elijah. It is time to put away our false gods and serve the Lord with “reverence and godly fear.” How long must we halt between two opinions? (cf. I Kings 18:21a).
The Apostle Peter tells us that in the end the God Who answers by fire will answer one last time. He writes: “The heavens and the earth which are now, by the Word of God are being kept, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. . .for the Day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (II Peter 3:7, 10-12).
“Our God is a consuming fire”! is the sum. He is the all consuming One. Who can live with Him? Who can live on the sun? Who can live in a fiery furnace? As Isaiah did well ask, “Who can dwell with the devouring fire”? To which he answered, “He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly;. . .” (Isaiah 33:15a). The one who walks by faith, the one who abides in the Son, the one who has surrendered his flesh to the flame, and lives in the Spirit. The one who has abandoned his pride, and “walks humbly with his God” (cf. Micah 6:8b).