Doctrine of God – Representations

I’ve been speaking on the topic of “doctrine,” Christianity’s core beliefs, and what it means to you as a believer in Christ.

Right now, I’m speaking about the Doctrine of God. Particularly, today, I’m discussing representations of God found in the Bible.

Representations of God

We will never have a full understanding of God. We can, however, learn from scripture enough about God to understand enough to guide our lives. After considering the names of God, I want you to learn about the representations of God in scripture.

Fire (G4442)

Scripture represents God as fire. Actually, God is fire. He is the ultimate fire. Apostle Paul puts it this way:

Our God [is] a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:29

We like to think warm and fuzzy thoughts about God. In reality, God can appear as fire. He is a fire. The fire consumes all that it encounters.

When angry, God visits, as a consuming fire, those who refuse to align themselves with Him

You don’t want to live on the wrong side of God; Don’t experience the terror of abiding in God’s anger!

Uses of Fire

To understand fire better, consider its three uses:

  • Burning.
  • Lighting.
  • Warming.

God, like fire, performs all three functions.

Finally, fire has good and bad characteristics. Here’s how Friedrich puts it:

Fire has for man a double character. It is both a beneficent and civilising power and also a terrifying and destructive force.

TDNT 6:929

Fire accompanies God (H0784)

Scripture represents God as one surrounded by fire.

Fire encompasses God. It goes with Him everywhere He goes.

This fire reflects God’s anger:

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

Psalms 50:3

The fire of God extends beyond Him into His surroundings.

A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.

Psalms 97:3

This goes back to our verse in Hebrews. God consumes His enemies with fire.

Dual nature

The fire surrounding God invokes two reactions upon people: Fear and attraction (TWOT 172). Consider Moses at the burning bush.


The Bible represents God as light. Actually, God is light.

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5

God accompanied by light

Scripture represents God as one whom light accompanies. Where you find God, you will also find light. Light clothes God.

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

Psalm 104:2

As I already noted, illumination is one purpose of fire.

God is light, but God also radiates light. God’s light dispels man’s darkness:

For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.

2 Samuel 22:9

God with Thick Darkness (H6205)

You can’t find darkness in God, but you can find darkness with God.

Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.

1 Kings 8:12

God is light, but He dwells “in the thick darkness.” He chooses to envelope Himself in darkness, as He did at Sinai. To get to God, Moses had to go through that thick darkness.

So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

2 Chronicles 5:14

After the dedication of the Temple, God fell as fire upon the altar to consume the sacrifice (2 Chronicles 7:1), but the glory of God filled the building as a thick cloud.

Because the same term is used of God’s enveloped glory and his awesome judgments, the term is paradoxical: it bespeaks terror, wonder, fear, majesty, awe, and reverence.

TWOT #1701b

God with Thick Clouds (H5645)

In the Bible, we also see that dark clouds often accompany God. Do the dark clouds create the darkness that surrounds HIm? Perhaps. Let’s consider what scripture says.

He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him [were] dark waters [and] thick clouds of the skies.

Psalms 18:11

“The mobility of God is depicted by this word…” (TWOT 1574a).

Consider how God moves upon Egypt in judgment:

[Isa 19:1 KJV] 1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.

Isaiah 19:1

Finally, remember how Jesus will come “in the clouds” as he brings both judgment and deliverance:

They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 24;30


We’ve considered God’s names and representations of God. Next, we’ll consider comparisons to God.

As I continue to discuss the Doctrine of God, you will see His complexity. You’ll also realize the essential nature of God, which forms bedrock upon we build our faith.

How to Look up Bible Verses