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WHEN THE FIRE OF GOD FELL

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Leviticus 9:20–23 KJV (WS)
And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar: And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the Lord; as Moses commanded. And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people.
Leviticus 9:24 KJV (WS)
And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
WHEN THE FIRE OF GOD FELL
When the consecration of the priests was completed, an offering was put on the brazen altar and a most instructive event happened.
The fire of God came down...
FIRST—THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE
The source and cause of the fire was God.
Not man.
John 15:5 KJV (WS)
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
It was not a man-made fire.
It was a Divine fire which showed the judgment of God upon sin.
Leviticus 9:24 KJV (WS)
And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
“And there came a fire out from before the Lord.”
Many folk do not like to hear about this aspect of the fire, they want to hear about the love of God, but God is a holy God and His wrath is upon sin.
That fact needs much emphasis today.
God must judge sin, that is why Jesus Christ came to earth. God wanted to save sinners but He is holy and needed to do a lot more than wink at sin.
He needed to provide a Savior so that He would be just in justifying the sinner.
Romans 3:26 KJV (WS)
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
SECOND—WHAT DID THE FIRE CONSUME
Leviticus 9:24 KJV (WS)
And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
“Consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat”
The grace and love of God is demonstrated here in that the fire consumed the sacrifice and not the people.
That is exactly what happened at Calvary.
God could have consumed the sinner but instead He brought judgment upon the sacrifice made in place of the sinner.
Only as we contemplate the great wrath of God demonstrated in this consuming by fire the sacrifice for sin will we be able to properly appreciate the great grace and love of God in saving sinners through the sacrifice of His beloved Son on the altar of Calvary.
Carnality looks upon the consuming in a negative way and discredits God for being cruel in consuming the sacrifice.
However, they forget to note that the people escaped being consumed because of the sacrifice.
Every saved soul can testify to this escape.
Jesus died indirectly, as, by, or through a substitute.
He took our place on Calvary and the fiery judgment of God came upon Christ because He bore the sin of the sinners.
This He did in our place that we might through Him escape that fiery judgment by calling upon Christ for salvation.
THIRD—THE PEOPLE ACTIONS AFTER THE FIRE CAME DOWN
Leviticus 9:24 KJV (WS)
And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
“When all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”
There are three aspects of this conduct that speaks of the Gospel.
• The perception of the people.
“All the people saw.”
That speaks of the evidence of Divine judgment. God gives people plenty of warning which they can observe to avoid judgment.
The fire on the altar said God was a holy God.
Nadab and Abihu was warned.
• The pleasure of the people.
“They shouted.”
The word translated “shouted” is usually connected to a cry of joy.
Indeed the people needed to be happy, for judgment fell on the sacrifice not them.
• The respect and devotion of the people.
“Fell on their faces.”
This speaks of reverence.
When we properly contemplate Calvary, it will inspire great reverence for God.
Lack of reverence exposes very wicked hearts.
Proverbs 9:10 KJV (WS)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
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