In Messiah God has opened to the believer present access to the future reality of God’s kingdom.
Introduction & Summary:
The remainder of this chapter draws attention to the fact that the first century Jewish followers of Yeshua have not come into a faith that concerns earthly manifestations of heavenly things (Mt Horeb/Sinai, Torah etc.) but the heavenly things themselves, made accessible through God Who has come down (manifest) Himself in the person of His Son Yeshua the King Messiah, and the Great High Priest over all who believe.
Access to these things is purchased with the better covenant of Yeshua. Therefore, believers are warned not to neglect or fail to listen to the One Who has given them this covenant. A kal vechomer (light and heavy) argument is employed in order to show that if those who rejected the earthly manifestation of the promised redemption did not escape, how much more so those who refuse Yeshua, Who is Imanu (with us) El (God), His atoning work our only means of salvation.
This temporal sin affected world will be shaken unto the removal of all that is defiled and only that which is unshakable will remain. The Kingdom of God immovable is our present and future reward. Therefore, we are left with the instruction to give praise to God out of gratitude to Him Who is a consuming fire. The fire of God being that which warms the righteous and torments the wicked.
15 look diligently, forbid everyone from coming short of the grace of the God; forbid any root of bitterness, poison from springing up to cause trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 Forbid any sexually immoral or godless person like Esav[H], who sold his own birth-right for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, disallowed for he found no place, room, opportunity for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.
HEBREWS 12:18-29 (Author’s translation)
18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched, felt and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and sudden storm, 19 and to the voice, echo of a shofar[H] and the voice of words, which caused those who heard to beg that no further word, essence, substance be added, spoken further to them. 20 For they could not cope with the command, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” [Exodus 19:12,13] 21 And so frightening was the sight, that Moshe[H] said, “I am terrified and trembling.” [Deut. 9:19] 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, Jerusalem most high, and to a multitude of angels, messengers, 23 to the general assembly, corporate gathering, public celebration, and the body of believers of the firstborn (plural) who are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, individually and collectively and to the spirits of the just, righteous ones made perfect, fully filled, made whole, 24 and to Yeshua[H], the mediator, go between, reconciler of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better, stronger than the blood of Havel[H]. 25 See, pay heed that you do not refuse Him Who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much more will we fail to escape who turn away from Him who warns us from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” [Haggai 2:6] 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” declares the changing, translation, removal of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain in perpetuity. 28 Therefore (because of what has just been said and going forward), since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let’s carry, hold, exhibit, show grace, practical love, thankfulness, by which we may serve, worship the God acceptably, in a well pleasing manner with modest, humble, reverence and awe, godly fear, terrifying security; 29 for our God is a consuming fire. [Deut. 4:24]
HEBREWS 12:18-29 (line upon line)
18 For you have not come to a mountain (oros[G], har[H]) that can be touched, felt (psēlaphaō[G]) and that burned with fire (pur[G], eish[H]), and to blackness (gnophos[G]) and darkness (skotos[G]) and sudden storm (thuella[G]), 19 and to the voice, echo (ēchos[G], kol[H]) of a shofar[H] (salpigx[G]) and the voice (phōnē[G], kol[H]) of words (rhēma[G], devariym[H]), which caused those who heard to beg that no further word, essence, substance (logos[G], dabeir[H]) be added, spoken (prostithēmi[G], yosef[H]) to them.
18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched, felt and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and sudden storm, 19 and to the voice, echo of a shofar[H] and the voice of words, which caused those who heard to beg that no further word, essence, substance be added, spoken to them.
Ref. Exodus 19-20; Deuteronomy 4:10-13; Psalm 68:8
The writer by referencing Mt Sinai (Horeb), the giving of the Torah, seeks to make a comparison to Mt Zion (Moriah) in Jerusalem. The former mountain representing the giving of the Torah as an indictment against the wicked acts practiced in the sin affected creation, and the latter being a convergent place of heaven and earth made possible by the Goal of the Torah, Yeshua the King Messiah. Therefore, Messianic Judaism is proved superior to non-Messianic Judaism because the former has both Moses (the Torah) and Yeshua (the Goal), whereas the latter has only Moses (Torah).
The kol (voice, sound) of the shofar (ram’s horn) represents the voice of the King Messiah Who is prefigured in the ram who took Isaac’s place during the Akeidah (Binding). That same voice echoes throughout time and space calling to future generations of Jews, and by extension to the nations.
The event being alluded to here culminates in the giving of the 9 universally moral commandments and the Shabbat commandment incumbent upon Israel (ethnic, religious, descendants of Jacob) as a sign to the other nations directing those nations to Yeshua the Goal of the Torah, and eternal Shabbat, the Olam Haba (world to come).
“10 the day when you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb (Sinai), when the LORD said to me, ‘Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and they may teach their children. 11 And you came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire into the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.12 And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire: you heard the voice of the words, but saw no image; you only heard a voice.13 And He declared to you His covenant, which he commanded you to perform, ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.” -Deuteronomy 4:10-13
We note that the covenant of Sinai relates specifically to the ten commandments. It is the universally moral nature of these commandments that is important because the better covenant made in Yeshua is also universally applicable, continually first for the Jew and also for the nations.
While the greater part of Torah uses the word mitzvot (commandments) to refer to the ordinances of God, Deuteronomy (Devarim: words) calls the ten commandments aseret hadevariym “ten words” (Deut. 4:13). These ten words (devariym) are spoken by kol devariym (a voice of words). Yeshua is both the voice (kol) and the Words (devariym), He is the Word, Essence, Substance (Davar) of creation (John 1).
The rabbinical Jewish commentator Maimonides notes that the manifestation of the divine voice was evidence to the people of Israel of the reliability of the words being commanded (Mishneh Torah, Hilcot Yesodei haTorah 8:1).
20 For they could not cope with the command (ho diastellomai[G], hamitzvah[H]), “If even an animal touches the mountain (ho oros[G], ba-har[H]), it shall be stoned.” [Exodus 19:12,13] 21 And so frightening (phoberos[G], norah[H]) was the sight, that Moshe[H] (drawn out one) said, “I am terrified (ekphobos[G], pachad kera aniy[H]) and trembling (entromos[G], ur’adah[H]).” [Deut. 9:19]
20 For they could not cope with the command, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” [Exodus 19:12,13]
The voice of the words is that same voice represented in the shofar, and the hearing of those words of truth was terrifying to those who received them at Sinai because the holiness manifest in the Word exposed the sinfulness of the people. The same voice of God (Yeshua) speaks at both Mt Sinai (earthly mountain) and Mt Zion (heavenly-earthly convergent mountain).
The specific command concerning the animals accentuates the fearful holiness manifest upon Mt Sinai. In effect, the animal that touched the mountain which was touched by God is considered to have been dedicated to God, a euphemism for its obligatory death.
21 And so frightening was the sight, that Moshe[H] said, “I am terrified and trembling.” [Deut. 9:19]
The Scripture records that Moses spoke saying “I was afraid” (Deut. 9:19) but does not record Moses explicitly saying “I am terrified and trembling”. The writer of the Book to the Hebrews is clearly sharing a convergent quote that makes a sum of both Biblical and extra Biblical Jewish tradition, which he considers to be a true account of Moses’ words. The tradition that Moses “trembled” comes from the Zohar (Zohar in Exod. fol. 84. 4.). Other traditions affirm Moses’ fear before the LORD at Sinai (Talmud Bavliy Shabbat, fol. 88. 2. Yalkut, 2. par. 2. fol. 92; Talmud Bavliy Yoma, fol. 4. 2; Midrash Kohelet, fol. 69. 4.)
The fear experienced by the people was different to that experienced by Moses. The people experienced the manifest presence of God as seen and heard at Sinai and were terrified, afraid to come near and asking for mediation. Moses on the other hand is quoted as saying “For I was afraid of the anger and the rage with which the Lord was angry with you so as to destroy you; but the Lord listened to me that time as well.” (Deut. 9:19) This shows that while Moses was afraid for the people. Through meeting face to face with God (in the person of Yeshua) in holy fear Moses developed the awe of terrifying security in relationship with the Creator of the universe through Yeshua. We note that Moses expressed these things having come down from the mountain to find Israel in the practice of idolatry, showing that the fear of God alone does not denote right relationship with God. Yaakov, the brother of Yeshua says “the demons believe and tremble” (Yaakov [James] 2:19).
22 But you have come to Mount Zion (el har Tziyon[H]) and to the city of the living God (zao Theos[G], Eil chaiy[H]), the heavenly (epouranios[G]) Jerusalem (Yerushalayim[H]: flood of peace) [alt. Heb. Yerushalayim hael’yonah: Jerusalem most high], and to a multitude (murias[H]) of angels, messengers (aggelos[G], malakhim[H]), 23 to the general assembly, corporate gathering, public celebration, (panēguris[G], adat[H]) and the body of believers (ekklēsia[G]) of the firstborn [Plural] (prōtotokos[G], habecoriym[H]) who are written (apographō[G], vaketuviym[H]) in heaven (ouranos[G], bashamayim[H]), and to God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]), the Judge (kritēs[G], shofeit[H]) of all, individually and collectively (pas[G]) and to the spirits (pneuma[G], ru’chot[H]) of the just, righteous ones (dikaios[G], hatzadiykiym[H]) made perfect, fully filled, made whole (teleioō[G], sheleimiym[H]),
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, Jerusalem most high, and to a multitude of angels, messengers,
In Messiah the recipients of this work are not returning to the fear of the indictment of Torah given at Mt Sinai (Horeb) but instead have come to the convergent now and yet to be fully revealed Mt Zion (Mt Moriah, Har Beit etc.) of the heavenly Jerusalem with access to a multitude of messengers of God (as at Sinai) so as to be without excuse. In Messiah all who come enter the terrifying security of God through the receipt of the Goal of the Torah. Yeshua having mediated a better covenant that atones for all sin which the Torah speaks against.
Many who were receiving the Book to the Hebrews in the first century were still living in Jerusalem and regularly going up to Mt Zion, to worship at the temple mount. The place where HaShem has caused His Name (YHVH) to be remembered (Ex. 20:24; Neh. 1:9; Eze. 43:6-7). While the writer is, by the Holy Spirit, alluding to the heavenly Mt Zion and the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, which will descend in the latter days, he is also referring to the translation (change, renewal) of the present mountain. After all, Ezekiel states clearly “6 Then I heard Him speaking to me from the house (temple), while a man was standing beside me. 7 And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever.” Therefore, contrary to the false choice offered by many theologians, the writer is not speaking of the annihilation of the present Mt Zion where YHVH has placed His Name forever, but the translation of that same mountain in convergence with the descending heavenly mountain (Rev. 21:1-3).
Mt Zion (Mt Moriah, Har Beit etc.) in Jerusalem is a place of great significance. In many ways it is the point of convergence between heaven and earth, not because the place is in and of itself powerful but because YHVH has caused His Name to be remembered there. What other reason could there be for the insistence of every major empire in history to take possession of it?
The foundation stone of the ancient holy of holies is the point through which Jewish tradition says creation took place (Tanhuma Kedoshim 10), where the Scripture records Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:2), the place where Jewish tradition says Jacob’s dream of the stairway from and to the heavens occurred (Genesis 28 see my commentary), the place where David placed the ark of the covenant prior to the building of the temple (2 Sam. 6:2), where David’s purchase of the threshing floor (2 Sam. 24), the place where the temple of Solomon was built (2 Chron. 3:1) the place where Yochanan (John) by the revelations of Yeshua’s Angel (messenger), saw Yeshua, the Lamb standing (Rev. 14:1).
Mt Zion is called “the city of the Great King” (Psalm 48:2-3[1-2]).
The convergent and transcendent nature of this location is made trans-locational through Yeshua and revealed to those who believe (Gal. 4:25-26; Heb. 11:10, 13-16; 13:14; Rev. 21:1-3). What the first century recipients of the Book to the Hebrews can physically see in Jerusalem on Mt Zion is a shadow of what is to be revealed. This is consistent with the wider teaching of the Book to the Hebrews (Heb. 8:5, 9:11, 23-24; 10:1).
“to a multitude of angels, messengers,” refers the recipients back to the giving of the Torah at Sinai where a multitude of angels ministered the Torah to the people (Deut. 33:2; Heb. 1:14). The multitude of angels denotes access to the presence of God (Dan. 7:10), and relationship to God in Messiah (Luke 2:13-15), an audience with YHVH (Rev. 5:11-12). Not that we ascend, but that He descends. In Messiah God has opened to the believer present access to the future reality of God’s kingdom.
23 to the general assembly, corporate gathering, public celebration, and the body of believers of the firstborn (Plural) who are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, individually and collectively and to the spirits of the just, righteous ones made perfect, fully filled, made whole,
“the body of believers of the firstborn (plural)” The language “general assembly” denotes not only a connection to the assembly at Sinai but also to all the aliyot (going up) festivals of HaShem and to the gathering of all Israel in Jerusalem three times a year. A comparison is being made between the existing earthly shadow practices and the heavenly reality. By extension the assembly (ecclesia) is the body of all believers Jewish and of the nations who have together in Messiah become firstborn children who inherit according to the rights of the firstborn. Yeshua is the first of the firstborn and is therefore included in the plural “firstborn”.
Yeshua is the “firstborn” in the same way a thought is first thought, a word is first spoken, the thinker being God, the word being God’s word. Yeshua is the Image of the invisible God, all existing, not created but Creator (Col. 1:15). Yeshua is begotten of God, we are created by God, Yeshua is the essence of God with us (Imanu El). Yeshua is the Son of God, the true Heir, we are created by God through Yeshua and are adopted as children in Yeshua. Thus, we become co-heirs in Him (Rom. 8:29).
“who are written in heaven” Those of us who belong to the assembly (ecclesia) of the firstborn (plural, Yeshua being the head) are written in the Book of Living in the heavens, which will be opened at the judgement (Ex. 32:31:33; Psa. 56:8, 69:27-28, 139:16; Dan. 12:2; Mal. 3:16; Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Rev. 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 21:27). Those written in heaven are b’neiy Elohiym “Children of God” whereas those written in the earth (Jer. 17:13) are b’neiy Adam “Children of humanity (fallen nature)”.
“God, the Judge of all,” All will face judgement. Yom Ha-Din (the Day of Judgement) is referred to throughout Scripture (Eccl. 11:9, 12:14; Dan 7:22; Zeph. 1:14; Psa. 1:5; 149:9; Amos 5:18; Matt. 11:22, 12:36, 42; John 12:48; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16, 14:12; 2 Peter 2:9, 3:7; 1 Cor. 1:18, 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 John 4:17; Heb. 9:27; Jude 1:6; Rev. 20:13).
God has entrusted the judgement to Yeshua (John 5:22, 27-30; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16). Those made righteous in Messiah will receive mercy and eternal life while those who wilfully reject God’s loving offer of redemption will endure the eternal death which they have chosen.
“and to the spirits of the just, righteous ones made perfect” These are, given the context, first and foremost those listed as having gone before in faith (Heb. 12), being “spirits” because they have passed from this life and exist in Gan Eden (Paradise) within Sheol (place of the departed). However, by extension it refers to all, who from the creation of humanity to the fullness of those being saved in Messiah, are made perfect in God (Heb. 7:11, 11:4, 7, 33, 39-40, 12:2). The Talmud and Zohar call the righteous Tzadikiym gemoriym “Just ones perfected” (Zohar in Gen. fol. 28. 2. & 29. 1. & 39. 3. Talmud Bavliy Taanit, fol. 18. 2. & Rosh bahanah, fol. 4. 1. Pesachim, fol. 8. 1. 2.)
24 and to Yeshua[H] (YHVH saves), the mediator, go between, reconciler (mesitēs[G], meiliytz[H]) of a new covenant (neos diathēkē[G], liv’riyt chadashah[H]), and to the blood (aima[G], el-damo[H]) of sprinkling (rhantismos[G], hanizrak[H]), which speaks (laleō[G], kol keriyato[H]) better, stronger (kreittōn[G], tov[H]) than the blood (demeiy[H]) of Havel[H] (breath, vapour). 25 See, pay heed (blepō[G]) that you do not refuse Him Who is speaking (laleō[G], min hadoveir[H]). For if they did not escape (pheugō[G]) when they refused him who warned them on earth (ba’aretz[H]), how much more will we fail to escape who turn away (apostrephō[G]) from Him who warns us from heaven (ouranos[G], mishamayim[H]).
24 and to Yeshua[H], the mediator, go between, reconciler of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better, stronger than the blood of Havel[H].
“Yeshua[H], the mediator of a new covenant” Heb. 7:22, 8:6-13, 9:15; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 2:5.
“the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better, stronger than the blood of Havel” ref. Heb. 11:4. Abel was the first to die (Gen. 4:3-10), Yeshua is, in the eternal sense, the last to die because His death affects life everlasting (Lev. 17:11). Where the blood of Abel sprinkled the earth with a demand for righteous judgement and the death of those who spill the blood of human beings unjustly (murder), the blood of Messiah on the other hand sprinkles those under judgement with atonement and produces life everlasting. Therefore, the voice (kol) of the blood of Abel is heard by God and answered with the voice (kol) of the blood of Yeshua, that is the essence of the universe, the ever living word of God.
Just as the blood of the first covenant at Sinai was sprinkled on the people (Exodus 24:8) as a reminder of the need for blood atonement and a prefigure of a better covenant, so too the blood of Messiah is sprinkled upon those who receive Him. The former a reminder of the need for the latter (Col. 1:20; 1 John 1:7). Further, Yeshua’s blood is sprinkled upon the heavenly mercy-seat in the holiest place (reflected in the holy of holies of the earthly temple) and gives all believers access to intimacy with God in right relationship, this being prefigured in the Aaronic High Priest’s actions (Lev. 16:15-16).
25 See, pay heed that you do not refuse Him Who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much more will we fail to escape who turn away from Him who warns us from heaven.
God Himself is speaking in Yeshua by the Spirit. He speaks from the heavens in the right hand of God, resurrected and transcendent. He speaks in the hearts of all who believe by His Spirit. He is closer than breathing. Therefore, the kal vechomer (light and heavy) argument. If those who refused His manifest voice at Sinai, who refused the warning of Moses did not escape judgement, how much more so those who knowing His voice in relationship choose to refuse to continually listen.
Those who refused God’s voice at Sinai wanted to return to Egypt (double distress, slavery) [Acts 7:39]. Therefore, those who refuse the voice of God in Messiah will return to slavery to sin and their end will be eternal death.
26 And His voice (phōnē[G], kolo[H]) shook the earth (et ha’aretz[H]) then, but now He has promised (epaggellō[G]), saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth (ha’aretz[H]), but also the heaven (ouranos[G], shamayim[H]).” [Haggai 2:6] 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” declares (dēloō[G]) the changing, translation, removal (metathesis[G]) of those things which can be shaken, as of created things (poieō[G], nivra[H]), so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain in perpetuity (la’ad[H]).
26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” [Haggai 2:6]
“And mount Sinai was engulfed in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.” -Exodus 19:18 (Author’s translation)
The second shaking will not be confined to one location (Sinai) but will shake the entire earth and the heavens, all sin affected creation will be shaken and judged in fire (1 Cor. 3.13; 2 Thess. 1.8; 2 Pt. 3.12).
27 This expression, “Yet once more,” declares the changing, translation, removal of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain in perpetuity.
The heavens and the earth (the created order) will be shaken once more, and then the judgement.
The translation of the present sin affected creation is described in terms of change and destruction. Like a sifting of wheat that removes the chaff and burns it in the fire, so too the sin affected creation will be translated, purified in Messiah and all that is convergent with the heavenly things will remain. Therefore, there will be both destruction and translation. All that is good in Messiah is unshakable.
One of the best explanations of the present verse is in the writings of Rav Shaul:
“50 Now this I say, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither do corruptible things inherit incorruptible things. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar: for the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be translated, transformed. 53 For what is corruptible must put on the incorruptible, and what is mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when that which is corruptible shall have put on that which is incorruptible, and what is mortal will have put on immortality, then will come to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ 55 death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the indictment of Torah. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua Messiah.” -1 Corinthians 15:50-57 (Author’s translation)
God is good. In Messiah we are being sanctified, made good. All that is good remains.
28 Therefore (because of what has just been said and going forward), since we are receiving (paralambanō[G]) a kingdom (basileia[G], malchut[H]) which cannot be shaken, let’s carry, hold, exhibit, show (echō[G]) grace, practical love, thankfulness (charis[G], chesed[H], todah[H]), by which we may serve, worship (latreuō[G], vena’avdah[H]) the God (ho Theos[G], ha Elohiym[H]) acceptably, in a well pleasing manner (euarestōs[G]) with modest, humble, reverence (aidōs[G]) and awe, godly fear, terrifying security (eulabeia[G]); 29 for our God (hēmōn Theos[G], Eloheiynu[H]) is a consuming (katanaliskō[G]) fire (pur[G], eish ochlah hu[H]). [Deut. 4:24]
28 Therefore (because of what has just been said and going forward), since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let’s carry, hold, exhibit, show grace, practical love, thankfulness, by which we may serve, worship the God acceptably, in a well pleasing manner with modest, humble, reverence and awe, godly fear, terrifying security; 29 for our God is a consuming fire. [Deut. 4:24]
“Therefore”, because In Messiah God is shaking all things and will remove all that falls short of His glory, and because only that which is good remains…
“since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken” We are already receiving the kingdom of God which cannot be shaken, and will receive the fullness of it if we continue in faith.
“let’s carry, hold, exhibit, show grace, practical love, thankfulness,” We have been given the grace and practical love of God to hold, exhibit, and offer to others before God.
“with modest, humble, reverence and awe, godly fear, terrifying security; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.” We outwork our faith with fear and trembling, terrifying security, knowing that our God is a consuming fire. We note that the same fire that consumes dead wood illuminates the darkness and warms the living.
“I plead with you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, that you all present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, your well-reasoned sacred service of worship.” -Romans 12:1 (Author’s translation)
“Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” -Psalm 2:11 KJV
“By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” -Hebrews 13:15 KJV
“for our God is a consuming fire. [Deut. 4:24]” Jewish tradition interprets Deuteronomy 4 :24 as referring to a form of fire that consumes fire (Zohar in Gen. fol. 35. 3. & 51. 1. & in Exod. fol. 91. 1. & in Lev. fol. 11. 1.)
“For your God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” -Deut. 4:24
The fire we ignite on earth within the sin affected creation is by nature of this world a created thing. Whereas the consuming fire of God is all existing, not created, it consumes even the fire of creation. Deuteronomy says “Your God is a consuming fire”, whereas the Book to the Hebrews says “Our God is a consuming fire”. The former is directed at the people as a warning against idolatry, the latter is a reminder of our familial identity in Messiah. That we are to live out of the approval we have received through Messiah. Both remind us that HaShem is our God not because He belongs to us but because we belong to Him.
Copyright 2021 Yaakov Brown
Spiritual leader of Beth Melekh Community, Auckland, Aotearoa, N.Z.