28 February 2011 (Shanee/Matzah)|
Day #349, 5934 AM
Words of Pure Silver
The Sevenfold Refinement of Man
In Scripture, 7 is the number of completion and of spiritual perfection, so it should come as no surprise to learn that imperfect man in an imperfect sphere, called to perfection as His is by the Saviour (Mt.5:48), requires a seven-fold process of purification himself. As our regular readers and hearers know, this ministry teaches that sanctification in Christ is a sevenfold process that is represented by the symbols of the Seven Annual Festivals of Yahweh. What few may realise, though, is that there are further clues to be had in studying the ancient method of silver purification that will aid us in coming to understand how the process is effected.
"The words of Yahweh are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Ps 12:6, NKJV).
"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; he will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to Yahweh an offering in righteousness" (Mal 3:2-3, NKJV).
The Levites were, under the Levitical Covenant, the priesthood of Israel. In New Covenant Messianic Israel all believers are - or are becoming - a Royal (Melchizedek) Priesthood (1 Pet.2:9) by means of purification. This means that what applied to the Levites anciently applies to all believers today - Yahweh will purify us if we claim the Name of His Son, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
As Levites alone were priests in ancient Israel and all believers are priests in New Covenant Israel, and as there were only kings who were the heads of nations anciently, so in the new Covenant are all believers "kings and priests":
"It is the glory of Elohim (God) to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from silver, and it will go to the silversmith for jewelry. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne will be established in righteousnes" (Prov.25:2-5, NKJV).
The dross of wickedness must be removed from a man who claims the Name of Christ - who says he is a Christian or Messianic - because if he is true to his claim, then he is being prepared to be a king and priest to Yahweh. And if he is being prepared to be a king and priest Yahweh then, as Scripture attests, he must be purified in the manner that silver was purified anciently.
"Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Ruachim (Spirits) who are before [Yahweh's] throne, and from Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His Elohim (God) and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev.1:4-6, NKJV).
In biblical times silver was refined by a technique known as 'cupellation'. Typically, silver was found mixed with lead. In order to refine it, it was put into a cupel (a flat, porous dish made of a refractory or high-temperature-resistant material), and hot air was blown accross the surface in a special furnace. The hot air would cause the lead and other impurities to be oxidised on the surface (the dross) and partly vapourised or absorbed into the pores of the cupel. The dross-lead could then be removed from the silver.
What did the inspired writer have in mind when He explained that the heavy dross of sin, representing the lead-burden of sin, would be removed from man by a process like that of the refinement of silver? He must surely have been acquainted with the process to have used such an illustration. This process is not a 'once only' process, as most Evangelicals would have you believe, but required the process to be repeated seven times, with the silver getting purer and purer each time. How are we to understand this spiritually?
Air and breath in Hebrew are the word ruach which we also translate as 'spirit'. How does Yahweh cleanse His people Israel?
The refining of the believer is therefore a sevenfold process of judgments and burnings - tribulations, hardships or difficulties, if you like - that will qualify him for the millennial Zion and the first resurrection. Those who refuse these refinings cannot inherit either Millennium or first resurrection but must join the sons of disobedience and lawlessness, and inherit the lesser or second resurrection after the Millennium. The whole of the fourth chapter of Isaiah is about this process and is about those who are the elect who refuse the deception of cheap grace and opt for Heaven's Refinement!
"And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called set-apart (holy) -- everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When Yahweh has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit (ruach, breath) of judgment and by the spirit (ruach, breath) of burning, then Yahweh will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night" (Isa.4:3-5, NKJV).
Clearly the elect are not heaven's pets by birth or by race or by just parroting some salvation prayer. They are like the great ones of old - like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who were overcomers. Those who are earnest about following Yah'shua (Jesus), who genuinely love Him and His mitzvot (commandments), subject themselves to these seven hot blowings of the sevenfold Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). If you want to know more about these, please study our writings on the festivals. There are no short-cuts for authentic kings and priests and all who claim it is done instantaneously upon being born again are suffering a terrible delusion that makes for lax, lawless and unpurified semi-believers believers:
When we are echad or one with Yah'shua (Jesus), we become what He is. He is the Light of the world, and when we are abiding in, and depending on, Him, we are the light of the world. In the same way, He is the Word of Elohim (God), and when we are abiding in, and depending on, Him, we are the words of Elohim (God). The seven refinings connect directly to the 7 annual moedim refinings, making us pure words - words that can achieve all that He desires, and without returning to Him void!
"And everyone who has this hope in [Yah'shua/Jesus] purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3, NKJV).