What Part of “Will Consume” Did You Not Understand?

The author of the book of Hebrews wrote:

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. (Hebrew 10:26-27)

Apparently, traditionalists never got the memo:

But if a man is a sinner, he shall receive an eternal body, fitted to endure the penalties of sins, that he may burn eternally in fire, nor ever be consumed.

-Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 18

As the soul too, is a proof that not everything which can suffer pain can also die, why then do they yet demand that we produce real examples to prove that it is not incredible that the bodies of men condemned to everlasting punishment may retain their soul in the fire, may burn without being consumed, and may suffer without perishing?”

-Augustine of Hippo, City of God

Likewise they shall be passible, because they shall never deteriorate and, although burning eternally in fire, they shall never be consumed.

-Thomas Aquinas, The Apostles’ Creed

The fire you burn on earth is of a preying and devouring nature; for whatsoever it takes hold of it consumes to ashes; and when it meets with no more fuel it goes out. But here it is not so. For though it burns with that tremendous fierceness, which none but those that feel it know, yet does it not consume, not never will. We shall ever be burning, yet not burned. It is a tormenting, but not a consuming fire.

-John Bunyan, Visions of Heaven and Hell

Woe to the soul that is thus set up as a butt, for the wrath of the Almighty to shoot at; and as a bush that must burn in the flames of his jealousy, and never be consumed.

-Richard Baxter, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest

And here the bodies of all the wicked shall burn, and be tormented to all eternity, and never be consumed; and the wrath of God shall be poured out on their souls.

-Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption

So the fire of hell, as it will burn, torture, and distress rebellious sinners, it will preserve them in their beings; they shall not be consumed by it, but continued in it: so that these words are a reason of the former, showing and proving, that the soul in torment shall never die, or lose any of its powers and faculties; and particularly, not its gnawing, torturing conscience; and that the fire of hell is inextinguishable; for though sinners will be inexpressibly tormented in it, they will not be consumed by it; but the smoke of their torments shall ascend for ever and ever; and that they will be so far from being annihilated by the fire of hell, that they shall be preserved in their beings in it, as flesh is preserved by salt.

-John Gill, Exposition of the Entire Bible

The bodies of the damned will all be salted with fire, so tempered and prepared as to burn the more fiercely, and yet never consume.

-John Whitaker, Sermon on Death, Judgment, and Eternity

When thou diest, thy soul will be tormented alone; that will be a hell for it, but at the day of judgment thy body will join thy soul, and then thou wilt have twin hells, thy soul sweating drops of blood, and thy body suffused with agony. In fire exactly like that which we have on earth thy body will lie, asbestos-like, forever unconsumed, all they veins roads for the feet of pain to travel on, every nerve a string on which the devil shall forever play his diabolical tune of ‘Hell’s Unutterable Lament.’

-Charles Spurgeon, sermon on the Resurrection of the Dead

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8 Responses to What Part of “Will Consume” Did You Not Understand?

  1. Stephen says:

    It’s almost unbelievable isn’t it. I guess tradition is more important that what the Bible says.

  2. damien baugh says:

    I was just wondering if souls or spirits can consume you at any point unexpected time?

  3. Darrell says:

    One can also look at Psalms 37:20 as well:
    “But the wicked will perish:
    Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
    they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.”

    Couple this with Malachi 4:1 – Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.”

    Among dozens and dozens more and we see that the fire will indeed consume. Unquenchable fire like that that destroyed Jerusalem (But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’” – Jeremiah 17:27)will be complete and total in what it is consuming because it cannot be ‘quenched’ or ‘put out’.

  4. Pingback: Strange Fire: Distorting a Biblical Symbol | Rethinking Hell

  5. Consume is one of over twenty words, terms or phrases used in The Scriptures that describe the destiny of the wicked,
    Jacob Blain in Death not Life states:
    6. Consume
    Psalm 37:19, 20, “The wicked into smoke shall they consume away.”
    Psalm 49:14; Isaiah 1:28, “They that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.”
    Psalm 104:35, “Let the sinners be consumed, and let the wicked be no more.”
    Good critics tell us that many of David’s prayers are predictions, and are the words of Christ; but why did the spirit inspire David to pray, if this be only a prayer, for what he did not mean to grant? Psalm 59:13, “Consume
    them in wrath; consume them, that they may not be.” Certainly if they are only shut up some where they “will be.” — (Six texts,)

  6. Muzi says:

    When does judgment/accounting before Christ (2 Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10) occur relative to (1) Christ’s arrival with fire (2 Thes 1:4-10; Rev 19:11-21, 20:7-9; Mal 4:1-5; Isa 66:15-16; Heb 10:26-31; 2 Pet 3:7), (2) resurrection of the dead and the transformation of the living believers, and (3) the casting of unbelievers into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15)?

  7. Jorge says:

    Consume: 1 : to do away with completely : destroy
    Stands to reason that if the wicked will burn forever they CANNOT ever be consumed.

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