Truth Seeker
  The Refiner
 

Christ The Refiner

Page Index:   

    The Refiner, the Messenger of the Covenant

    The Refining Fire

    Evildoers

    The Righteous

    Proper Punishment

    Purity Saves

    A little about Suffering


 

the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire,

behold, he cometh,

saith Jehovah of hosts

 (Mal 3:1, ASV)

But who can abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth?
for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap:
3and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver;
and they shall offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness.
(Malachi 3:2-3)

Jesus Christ is the messenger of the New Covenant, the covenant for a kingdom, the seed of the Abrahamic covenant, and High-priest of God and the Law of Faith.  He refines the sons of Levi, the Born Again, the Saints, who are to be priest of the Almighty God, Jehovah. (Link to Born Again OnesWhen the Day of Wrath mentioned in Revelation, etc., Christ's special presence starts, during this period, Christ's main concern is the refinement of the priests to be, the Born Again, the spirit Anointed, the Holy Ones, the Saints, the Chosen Ones.

The Refining Fire

John the Baptist prophesied:

Matthew 3:10-12, he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire. 12Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. (DRC)
Though it is evident that the chaff shall be destroyed in fire, that does not define baptism with fire to only mean destruction  as the following discussion will demonstrate.  What is certain is that those whom Christ designate to be chaff will be destroyed as by fire.  The Refiner uses the baptism ofo fire to temper and refine his materials, the chosen ones, the Born Again.

Psalm 66:10, For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us by fire, as silver is tried. 11Thou hast brought us into a net, thou hast laid afflictions on our back: 12thou hast set men over our heads. We have passed through fire and water, and thou hast brought us out into a refreshment. Behold I have refined thee, but not as silver, I have chosen thee in the furnace of poverty. Rotherham)

Isa 48:10, Lo! I have refined thee, but not as silver,—I have tested thee, in a smelting-pot of affliction. (DRC)

The fire of suffering causes any Christian, spirit anointed or not, to eventually chose between two roads. 

Zechariah 13:9, And I will bring the third part into the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will answer them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God. (Darbby)

Micah 7:9, I will bear the indignation of Jehovah, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. (ASV)

1 John 3:3, And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as that man is pure. (ACV)

Jeremiah 46:28, Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I [am] with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished. (Webster)

Jeremiah 32:19, the Lord of great counsel, and mighty in deeds, the Great Almighty God, and Lord of great name. Your eyes are upon the ways of the children of men, to give to everyone according to his way. (AB)

Thus we understand that Jehovah punishes all that sin with the correct measure.  The purpose is to purify this servant, Jacob, the Worm.  As these ones are disciplined, they grow ever closer to God and ever more obey his commandments. 

1 Pet 4:1, Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. (Webster)

Evildoers

There is another reaction to God's discipline. This kind of person becomes angry at God when he suffers.  He does not purify himself as a result of the suffering he encounters; rather, he curses God and withdraws.

Jeremiah 6:29-30, bellows have failed from the fire, the lead has failed. The silversmith works at his trade in vain; their wickedness is not consumed. 30 Call them reprobate silver, because the Lord has rejected them. (AB)

Jeremiah 2:30, In vain have I smitten your children; you have not received correction. (AB)

Isaiah 8:21, And they shall pass through it, greatly distressed and hungry. And it shall come to pass that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse by their king and by their God, and turn their faces upward.  (ACV)

Proverbs 19:3, The folly of man distorteth his way, and his heart is irritated against Jehovah.(Darby)

Such ones' destiny is Gehenna, destruction.

Jeremiah 17:13, Thou hope of Israel, Jehovah! all that forsake thee shall be ashamed. They that depart from me shall be written in the earth; because they have forsaken Jehovah, the fountain of living waters. (Darby)

The Righteous

Hebrews 12:5-6, And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. (KJV)

Hebrews 10:38-39, But, my righteous one, by faith, shall live, and, if he draw back, my soul delighteth not in him. 39We, however, are not of a drawing back unto destruction, but, of faith, unto an acquisition of life. (Rotherham)

2 Chronicles 32:31 the [true] God left him to put him to the test, to get to know everything in his heart. (NW)

 Job 34:36, Would that Job might be tested to the uttermost, . . . (Rotherham)

James 5:13, Is any man among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. (ACV)

From this it is evident that the righteous shall be tested, afflicted so that they may be tested to the utmost.  The righteous and the unrighteous each will provide evidence under the affliction as to what they truly are; they cannot do anything else! 

In Psalm 66:10, some translations translate "the furnace of affliction" with " I have chosen thee in the furnace of poverty."  Either translation seems extraordinarily appropriate.  Thus the Born Again do not have a wow of poverty as such, but the extreme affliction they must undergo is nearly certain to include a high degree of poverty.

The Wicked Without Faith 

Briefly, it will just be mentioned that the ones that are estranged from God by choice, the wicked, will not be treated as sons.  This means that they will not be disciplined in the same manner.  Rather, they will when God deems their cup of sin full die suddenly.  Thus a 'righteous' wicked person (wicked in the sense of not having faith) may lead a long prosperous life or a long life in poverty and suffering.  How exactly God acts toward these is hard to determine since it is his business.

Proverbs 11:31, Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: How much more the wicked and the sinner! (ASV)
 

Proper Punishment

God is merciful and kind.  He exercises loving kindness toward all.  This causes him to pay back each one his deeds with mercy where such is called for.  By paying back each of us our deeds, God takes away the need for the Christian to avenge himself, to carry anger and hate toward others.  We may rest totally assured that God is impartial and that all shall get what they deserve: yes, Christians too will be punished for their wicked deeds.
Psalm 62:12, Also to thee, O LORD, belongs loving kindness, for thou render to every man according to his work. (ACV)

Jeremiah 30:11, For I am with thee, saith Jehovah, to save thee: for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have scattered thee; yet of thee will I not make a full end, but I will correct thee with judgment, and will not hold thee altogether guiltless. (Darby) 

Judges 1:7, as I therefore have done, so God has recompensed me. (AB)

Colossians 3:25, Certainly the one that is doing wrong will receive back what he wrongly did, and there is no partiality. (NW)

Numbers 14:18, The Lord is longsuffering and merciful, and true, removing transgressions and iniquities and sins, and He shall by no means clear the guilty, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation. (AB, Ex 34:7)

God assures humans that all will be punished according to their sin.  This does not apply exclusively to his servants.  In the case of this servants, his punishment befits a father's discipline of his children, as long as they remain correctable.  So, we always ought to determine what is the good and acceptable will of God and try to avoid the pitfall below:

Jeremiah 17:9-10 9The heart is deep beyond all things, and it constitutes the man, and who can know him? 10 I, the Lord, search the hearts, and test the mind, to give to everyone according to his ways, and according to the fruits of his doings. (AB) 

Jeremiah 5:25, Your transgressions have turned away these things, and your sins have removed good things from you. (AB)

 

 Purity Saves

Thus the Christian earns approval from God by purifying himself, and by adhering to divine Truths.  Even the nigh impossible feat of removing wicked thoughts from oneself must always be part of our human effort in our service to God.
John 17:17-19, sanctify them in Thy truth, Thy word is truth; 18as Thou didst send me to the world, I also did send them to the world; 19and for them do I sanctify myself, that they also themselves may be sanctified in truth. (YLT)
 

Jeremiah 4:14, Cleanse your heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved; how long will your grievous thoughts be within you? (22) For the princes of My people have not known Me, they are foolish and unwise children. They are wise to do evil, but how to do good they have not known. (AB)

 

Jeremiah 15:18-19, Why do they that grieve me prevail against me? My wound is severe; when shall I be healed? It has indeed become to me as deceitful water that has no faithfulness. 19Therefore thus says the Lord: If you will return, then will I restore you, and you shall stand before My face. And if you will bring forth the precious from the worthless, you shall be as My mouth; and they shall return to you; but you shall not return to them. (AB)


 A little about suffering

(YLT)
Philippians 1:29, because to you it was granted, on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also on behalf of him to suffer.

Colossians 1:24,I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and do fill up the things lacking of the tribulations of the Christ in my flesh for his body, which is the assembly,

2 Timothy 4:7,8, I have fought the fine fight, I have run the course to the finish, I have observed the faith. 8 From this time on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me as a reward in that day.
To the Saint in particular, Paul's words hold true.  The Saint must be tested to the limit - beyond what anyone ever expects.

He has to fill up what is lacking in his tribulations, we are told.  This refers to the fact that the Saint must be tested to his very limit, to the point where he feels condemned to death; so that he doesn't trust his own abilities, but relies on him that can save. 

Once he has been refined totally, then the next step Paul indicates arrives.  The Saint because of his suffering and endurance, knows within himself that he has a crown reserved in the heavens.

Other Sheep and Saints

This statement is a matter of logic more than scripture, which is not to say that scripture is excluded - far from it.  It just not quoted.

The Saint, it is clear from scripture, must be totally refined and purified before his earthly life ends.  God does not want filth into the Heavenly Kingdom to serve as priest and kings under Christ.  There simply is no choice.  The refinement must be total.

The earthly sheep of God and his Christ, are not restrained in this fashion.  So, while it may be categorically stated that God shall not permit Wicked Ones to enter his earthly Paradisaic realm, he will permit the righteous and the unrighteous (Acts 24:15) to do so.  The ones who enter do not need to meet the rigorous standards of the Saints.  They have the time from their entrance by survival or resurrection until Satan is let lose again to be refined and to gain perfection.
 
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