THEOLOGY OF THE FURNACE

WHAT’S THAT ROAR? There is a place in South Africa called GOLD CITY, appropriately named that because it sits on top of a gold mine. It is now a tourist attraction and thousands of people visit the site annually. It would be hard to forget the lesson I learned there. They have an actual exhibit, which teaches you the process used to purify gold. The fitstudy thing I recognized was the temperature of the room changed as soon as we got near the furnace where the gold was being melted and the impurities strained out of the liquefied ore. There are certain qualities in the mined ore which must not be allowed to remain in the finished product. The purity of the gold determines the value of the karat.

In England, jewelry stores sell mostly 9 karat pieces, whereas in American fine jewelry, 14 karat gold is used more frequently. What is interesting to me is that when the Holy Spirit stirred the discussion of faith, the writer penned these words. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”.

Do you remember the story of Peter and John in Acts, Chapter 3, and what they had to say to the beggar at the Beautiful Gate? Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Don’t you think that what they had to give the lame man brought glory and honor to God? Immediately, he went walking and leaping and praising God!

My concern is this, NO FURNACE, NO TRYING OF YOUR FAITH, NO PURIFYING, NO PURGING OF THE IMPURITIES THAT MUST BE REMOVED BY THE REFINER HIMSELF. Oh, I forgot to mention that there was a refiner at the furnace with a ladle in his hand to skim off the impurities. Once the ore was liquefied he poured the hot molten ore into a cast iron die, (a mold into which molten metal or other material is forced). Very interesting choice of words, I guess you could say at that point, the die is cast. That however, is not all.

Then the furnace was opened, and I will never forget how hot the whole room became as we sat in bleachers and watched the refiner do his work. In ancient times, this form of refining involved a craftsman sitting next to a hot fire with molten gold in a crucible being stirred and skimmed to remove the impurities, or dross, that rose to the top of the molten metal. With flames reaching temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees celsius, this job was definitely a dangerous occupation for the gold refiner. Our refiner is not a stranger to the heat. When the die was cast for Him, it was upon the cross of Calvary. A theology which is void of the teaching of the furnace will lack the power to produce real faith. The refiner’s ultimate intention was to take something valueless and transform it into that which is of ultimate value.

WHAT’S THAT ROAR? SOMEONE’S FURNACE DOOR JUST OPENED. CAN YOU FEEL THE HEAT? THERE IS NO PLACE FOR THE LUKEWARM WITHIN THE FURNACE.

WE BELIEVE IN YOU!

Cleddie & GayNell