The earth has seen many manifestations of God. The first time it was recorded that God came to the earth, Adam and Eve ran away from the presence of the creator, because of their sin (Genesis 3).
At the end of time a similar thing will happen on the day of judgement when the bible says that the heaven and earth will flee from the presence of the great one who seats upon the throne (Revelation 6:12-17, 20:11).
When Jesus manifest for judgement in the sky the people of the earth will tell the mountain: fall on us, protect us from the wrath of the holy one. Sin in any shape cannot stand before the glory of God as the experience of Isaiah showed (Isaiah 6:1-8).
In the focus verse, the glory of God has manifested as fire to consume the sacrifice. But there was a fire from the presence of God, which consumed the two sons of Aaron (Leviticus 10:1-2), because they burned unapproved fire in the presence of God.
The bible says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31, 12:29), and our God is a consuming fire. Ananias and Saphira fell into the fearful hand of God (Acts 5:1-10). When they presume to lie to Apostle Peter, they fell down and died. An angel struck down King Herod who presumed to accept the title of god (Acts 12:21-24). He fell down and maggots eat him up on the spot.
Those are the manifestation of God in wrath. But there are manifestations of God in prosperity and provision in the bible also.
In the forty years of the journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness, the millions of them ate food prepared in the bakery of heaven, released to them as manna every morning (Exodus 16:35).
Elijah also had a similar experience. While running away from Jezebel (1Kings 19), famished and tired he slept under a tree. And twice an angel brought food and drink to him, woke him up for him to eat and drink.
While the food of angels was delivered from heaven to the Israelites in the wilderness daily, and it sustained them for forty years, the meals taken by Elijah sustained him for forty days of constant walking into an encounter with God, in supernatural experience of fire, earthquake, wind and the still small voice.
Though there was fire, but it was written that God was not in that fire. Though God manifests himself in supernatural fashion, he is not tied to any manifestation, but his word. The devil also have lying wonders (2Thessalonians 2:9) (wonders for the purpose of deception), so because something is amazing does not mean it is divine.
The ultimate revelation of the glory of God to us was in Jesus, who is God the word, the truth (John 14:6). John wrote: in him was life and the life was the light of men; we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth (John 1:1-5, 14-17). He was the ultimate manifestation of God. God has decided to elevate his word above his name. He has chosen to confine himself with his word.
However, because the devil has some wonders of his own does not mean that God is not even much more superabundant in wonders. Jesus is even called wonderful (Isaiah 9:6).
When the Holy Spirit which Jesus manifested in the second chapter of the book of Acts was seen (Acts 2:1-4), it was as fire, when cloven tongues as of fire appeared and sat on all the disciples. When the presence of God manifested on Mount Sinai it was with lightning and smoke, and earthquake (Exodus 19:18).
He told Moses who asked God show me your glory, no one sees my face and live (Exodus 33:18-23). There is a fieriness to God that is beyond comprehension.
The fire of the presence of God can serve two purpose, to empower or to judge. What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah is an example of the fire of God judgment coming upon a place (Genesis 18:17-21; 19). They were noted for their sexual immorality, consumed with illicit passion they were therefore consumed by the fire of God’s judgement.
Isaiah experienced some positive things about the fire of the presence of God (Isaiah 6:1-8). When he met God in a vision. He wrote that in the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the lord high and lifted up and his train filled the temple.
He was confronted with the absolute holiness of God, he felt deserving of speedy judgment right there considering how unclean he felt. He said: woe is me, because I am a man of unclean lips in the midst of people who have unclean lips. Because he recognised his need, confessed his helplessness, he received grace. An angel came to him with a coal from the altar before God and touched his mouth with it to purge him of his iniquity.
Jesus was described by John the Baptist a one who baptised with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16). And in the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit manifested as cloven tongues as of fire. It was heaven fire coming to abide on all who expressed commitment to Jesus Christ at that time by obeying his word to stay in Jerusalem to be endued with power from on high (Acts 1:8, 2:1-4).
When Paul met a group of disciples, and they said they only knew the baptism of John, he found it necessary to instruct them about believing in Jesus before introducing the Holy Spirit to them (Acts 19:1-7). The Holy Spirit, the holy fire, manifested in their lives in the name of Jesus. He said that those who believe in him will speak in tongues, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:15-18).
The Holy Spirit is the manifestation of the presence of God, which makes the reality of heaven available upon earth. He is the manifestation of the glory of God, just as Jesus was while on earth, where he introduced the Holy Spirit as another comforter, another helper, another one like himself (John 14:16-18).
The divine helper moves people to places in God where they cannot go on their own, in purity (away from sin), in knowledge (away from darkness), in power (away from being oppressed). All because it is not enough to just know the right things, you need to be the right person, through the changing power of the Holy Spirit.
The Pharisees knew the scriptures but they lost out of the person of Jesus. Because it is not just about what you know but who you know. And Jesus said that the scriptures point to him (John 5:39).
He defined eternal life as knowing the true God and Jesus whom he has sent (John 17:3). And knowing Jesus is firmly linked to knowing the Holy Spirit because you cannot respect Jesus and disregard his Spirit, the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).
- Fired by God – Lessons from Nadab & Abihu (i12go4god.com)
- 20 Pics of Strange Creatures Mentioned In The Bible (wucnews.com)
- Is the Devil Your Scapegoat? (plaintruth.com)
- The Best Things About the Boring Parts of the Bible (desiringgod.org)