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Hebrews 12:29 "for our God is a consuming fire". ESV

1, How does the consuming fire of Hebrews 12:29 compare with the fire that does not consume in Exodus 3:2 "but the bush was not consumed"?

2, Does "our God is a consuming fire" in any way suggest that there will be a time when all that it consumes will have been consumed?

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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.” 27This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let’s show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29for our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:26- NASB

The context of Hebrews 12 lends no correlation to the burning bush.

It does express a contrast between the OC and the New Covenant. The new will eventually consist of only spirit and no flesh - no more corruption, and no more sin. All that remains of a physical age will be removed along with every trace of the evil and darkness that filled and soiled it to the core.

God as 'a consuming fire' has a plan to cleanse the earth and even the memories of it. We will have a new earth - it's still an earth, just a new earth.

For behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Is 65:17

Nothing will be left that is not supposed to be left. Nothing will survive the intense fury and heat of God's wrath on evil and its residue.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be discovered (or burnt up). 2 Pet 3:10 NASB

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Hebrews 12:29

for our God is a consuming fire

Exodus 3:2

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.

How does the consuming fire of Hebrews 12:29 compare with the fire that does not consume in Exodus 3:2 "but the bush was not consumed"?

It serves as a contrast and not as a foil. The burning bush was the angel of the Lord. It was a sign to convince Moses personally.

On the other hand, the consuming fire motif is completely different. Hebrews 12:29 correlates with Deuteronomy 9:3

But understand that today the LORD your God goes across ahead of you as a consuming fire; He will destroy them and subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them swiftly, as the LORD has promised you.

Does "our God is a consuming fire" in any way suggest that there will be a time when all that it consumes will have been consumed?

Yes, that's the promise as illustrated in Deuteronomy.

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  • As long as evil is evil will not there be a reason for "And their fire is not quenched"? Isaiah 6:24.
    – C. Stroud
    Jul 26 at 14:19
  • That depends on your definitions of "consumed", "quenched", and "time".
    – Tony Chan
    Jul 26 at 14:24

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