But who will be able to stand up to that coming? Who can survive His appearance?
He’ll be like white-hot fire from the smelter’s furnace.
He’ll be like the strongest lye soap at the laundry.
He’ll take His place as a Refiner of silver, as a Cleanser of dirty clothes.
He’ll scrub the Levite priests clean,
Refine them like gold and silver, until they’re fit for God,
Ffit to present offerings of righteousness.
Then, and only then, will Judah and Jerusalem be fit and pleasing to God,
As they used to be in the years long ago. ( Malachi 3:2-4 )
Bless our God, O peoples! Give Him a thunderous welcome!
Didn’t He set us on the road to life? Didn’t He keep us out of the ditch?
He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires,
Brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very limit,
Road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back;
Finally He brought us to this well-watered place. (Psalm 66:8-12)
A song of David as he pretended to be insane to escape from Abimelech.
I will praise the Eternal in every moment through every situation.
Whenever I speak, my words will always praise Him.
Everything within me wants to pay tribute to Him.
Whenever the poor and humble hear of His greatness, they will celebrate too!
Come and lift up the Eternal with me; let’s praise His name together!
When I needed the Lord, I looked for Him;
I called out to Him, and He heard me and responded.
He came and rescued me from everything that made me so afraid.
Look to Him and shine, so shame will never contort your faces.
This poor soul cried, and the Eternal heard me.
He rescued me from my troubles.
The messenger of the Eternal God surrounds
everyone who walks with Him and is always there to protect and rescue us.
Taste of His goodness; see how wonderful the Eternal truly is.
Anyone who puts trust in Him will be blessed and comforted.
Revere the Eternal, you His saints,
for those who worship Him will possess everything important in life.
Young lions may grow tired and hungry,
but those intent on knowing the Eternal God will have everything they need.
Gather around, children, listen to what I’m saying;
I will teach you how to revere the Eternal.
If you love life and want to live a good, long time,
Take care with the things you say.
Don’t lie or spread gossip or talk about improper things.
Walk away from the evil things of the world, and always seek peace and pursue it.
For the Eternal watches over the righteous,
and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening.
But He will punish evildoers,
and nothing they do will last. They will soon be forgotten.
When the upright need help and cry to the Eternal, He hears their cries
and rescues them from all of their troubles.
When someone is hurting or brokenhearted, the Eternal moves in close
and revives him in his pain.
Hard times may well be the plight of the righteous—
they may often seem overwhelmed—
but the Eternal rescues the righteous from what oppresses them.
He will protect all of their bones; not even one bone will be broken.
Evil moves in and ultimately murders the wicked;
the enemies of the righteous will be condemned.
The Eternal will liberate His servants;
those who seek refuge in Him will never be condemned.
God’s words are pure words, Pure silver words refined seven times
In the fires of His word-kiln, Pure on earth as well as in heaven.
God, keep us safe from their lies, From the wicked who stalk us with lies,
From the wicked who collect honors For their wonderful lies. (Psalm 12:6-8)
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers,
letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Suffering tests your faith which is more valuable than gold
(remember that gold, although it is perishable, is tested by fire)
so that if it is found genuine,
you can receive praise, honor, and glory when Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King,
is revealed at last. (1 Peter 1:7)
When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—
the flames will not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2)
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters.
As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them;
if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure
and teach you true patience as you endure.
And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Letter to Laodicea
Write down My words, and send them to the messenger of the church in Laodicea.
“These are the words of the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness,
the Beginning of God’s creation:
“I know your works. You are neither cold with apathy nor hot with passion.
It would be better if you were one or the other, but you are neither.
So because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
You claim, ‘I am rich, I have accumulated riches, and I need nothing’;
but you do not realize that you are miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked.
So here is what I suggest you do: buy true gold from Me
(gold refined by fire so that you can be truly rich),
white garments (to cover you so that you can keep the shame of your nakedness from showing), and eye ointment (to treat your eyes so that you may see clearly).
“Those I love I also correct and discipline.
Therefore, be shamelessly committed to Me, and turn back.
Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking.
If any of you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.
“The one who conquers through faithfulness even unto death
I will place next to Me on My throne,
just as I Myself conquered and took a place of honor with My Father on His throne.
“Let the person who is able to hear,
listen to and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches.”
Even if the mountains heave up from their anchors, and the hills quiver and shake,
I will not desert you.
You can rely on My enduring love; My covenant of peace will stand forever.
So says the Eternal One, whose love won’t give up on you.
This promise stands to God’s covenant people: nothing can happen to them unless God wills it and makes it so. Only if they invite it will destruction come.
Throughout this time of rebellion and punishment
God makes it clear that they hold their fate in their own hands.
And if they haven’t understood the message,
God tells them who will do the nation-building—
an unworldly restoration.
He says that He provides the raw materials;
He creates the tools and provides the skills with which the builders build.
He alone is responsible for restoring the nation.
And no matter what charges the adversary may concoct, God will not be put off.
Even though Israel rebelled and was unfaithful at one time, that is in the past.
The future is sure: God’s faithfulness to His covenant, His enduring love for His people, will stand for all time.
So the challenge goes out from the prophet to God’s people—
speaking on God’s authority—
to align themselves with God, accept Him as God, and they will surely win.
Eternal One: Ah, Jerusalem, so miserable and distressed!
I will rebuild you
with floors of shimmering mosaics, set sapphires in your foundations.
I will decorate your towers with rubies,
and your gates will sparkle with all manner of precious gems.
Costly jewels will adorn the entire wall that circles your precincts.
Every one of your children, the people who call you home,
will be students of the Eternal; oh, they’ll be so happy and live in peace!
This time, you will be founded and grounded
on right thought, speech, and action.
And no one will trouble you, abuse or oppress you;
you will know no fear and have no worries.
If a nation marches against you, know that I am not behind it.
Anyone foolish enough to challenge you will fall to you.
I have created the blacksmith who readies the fire and forges weapons for wars;
And I have created the destroyer to ravage and ruin.
But no instrument forged against you will be allowed to hurt you,
and no voice raised to condemn you will successfully prosecute you.
It’s that simple; this is how it will be for the servants of the Eternal;
I will vindicate them. (Isaiah 54:10-17 )
Letter to Philadelphia
Write down My words, and send them to the messenger of the church in Philadelphia.
“These are the words of the holy One, the true One,
and the One who possesses the key of David,
which opens the possibilities so that no one can shut them.
The One who closes all options so that no one can open:
“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door, which no one can shut.
I have done this because you have limited strength,
yet you have obeyed My word and have not denied My name.
Watch, and I will make those of the congregation of Satan—those who call themselves ‘Jews’ but are not because they lie—come before you penitent, falling at your feet.
Then they will know how much I have loved you.
Because you have obeyed My instructions to endure and be patient,
I will protect you from the time of trial which will come upon the whole earth
and put everyone in it to the test.
I will soon return. Hold tight to what you have so that no one can take away your victor’s wreath.
“As for the one who conquers through faithfulness even unto death,
I will plant that person as a pillar in the temple of My God,
and that person will never have to leave the presence of God.
Moreover, I will inscribe this person with the name of My God
and the name of the city of My God, New Jerusalem—
which descends out of heaven from My God—and My own new name.
God’s intention for the world is this: “I will be your God, and you will be my people.”
This is fulfilled by those who are faithful to Him.
“Let the person who is able to hear, listen to
and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“Your threat means nothing to us.
If you throw us in the fire,
the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if He doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king.
We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”
Nebuchadnezzar, his face purple with anger, cut off Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace fired up seven times hotter than usual.
He ordered some strong men from the army to tie them up, hands and feet,
and throw them into the roaring furnace.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, bound hand and foot, fully dressed from head to toe,
were pitched into the roaring fire.
Because the king was in such a hurry and the furnace was so hot,
flames from the furnace killed the men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to it, while the fire raged around Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm and said,
“Didn’t we throw three men, bound hand and foot, into the fire?”
“That’s right, O king,” they said.
“But look!” he said. “I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!”
Nebuchadnezzar went to the door of the roaring furnace and called in,
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the High God, come out here!”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fire.
All the important people, the government leaders and king’s counselors,
gathered around to examine them
and discovered that the fire hadn’t so much as touched the three men—
not a hair singed, not a scorch mark on their clothes, not even the smell of fire on them!
Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!
He sent his angel and rescued his servants who trusted in Him!
They ignored the king’s orders
and laid their bodies on the line rather than serve or worship any god but their own.
“Therefore I issue this decree:
Anyone anywhere, of any race, color, or creed,
who says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
will be ripped to pieces, limb from limb, and their houses torn down.
There has never been a god who can pull off a rescue like this.”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Why does a refiner sit?
THIS is the answer…
WHEN REFINING GOLD—-VENTILATION IS IMPORTANT
The odor can sometimes be rather suffocating,
especially if you try do this in a closed room.
Put your gold in a container.
For every ounce of gold, you will need a container that is the size of 300 milliliters.
Add nitric acid to the gold in the container.
For every ounce of gold, you will add 30 milliliters of nitric acid.
Then let it sit for at least 30 minutes.<——–
The words of the Lord are pure as silver tried/tested/proven genuine
in the EARTHEN furnace
He has tried us in the furnace of affliction
When He has tried me I shall come forth as gold. (free of impurities, poured out)
The trying/testing of your faith is more precious than gold…
THE SILENCE SIGNIFIES ETERNAL SHALOM
A pause, a breathing time; nothing being said or done,
to reflect on what he had seen, and to prepare for what was to come.
PRAY TO YOUR FATHER IN SECRET (SILENCE)
SO THAT YOUR FATHER REWARDS YOU (LIKE WAR ROOM)
The priest was alone while he offered incense, and then prayed a short prayer,
that the people might not be affrighted lest he should be dead:
and who in the mean while were praying in a silent, manner without; see Luke 1:9;
hence the Jews say,
that the offering of incense atones for an ill tongue,
for it is a thing that is introduced “silently”, and it atones for what is done silently,
such as whisperings, backbitings,
and they call silence the best of spices,
even of those of which the sweet incense was made.
AS HANNAH PRAYED FOR THIS CHILD NO SOUND ESCAPING HER LIPS
THE FRUIT OF OUR LIPS
In the Jewish temple, musical instruments and singing resounded
during the whole time of the offering of the sacrifices,
which formed the first part of the service.
But at the offering of incense, solemn silence was kept (“My soul waits upon God,”
“is silent,” Ps 65:1),
the people praying secretly all the time.
The half-hour stillness implies, too, the earnest adoring expectation
with which the blessed spirits and the angels await the succeeding unfolding of God’s judgments. A short space is implied; for even an hour is so used (Re 17:12; 18:10, 19).
A song of David.
O Eternal One, I call upon You. Come quickly! Listen to my voice as I call upon You!
Consider my prayer as an offering of incense that rises before You;
when I stand with my hands outstretched pleading toward the heavens,
consider it as an evening offering.
Guard my mouth, O Eternal One; control what I say.
Keep a careful watch on every word I speak.
Don’t allow my deepest desires to steer me toward doing what is wrong
or associating with wicked people
Or joining in their wicked works or tasting any of their pleasures.
Let those who do right strike me down in kindness and correct me in love.
Their kind correction washes over my head like pure oil;
do not let me be foolish and refuse such compassion.
Still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked:
Their judges will be thrown from the edges of cliffs and crushed upon the rocks below,
and the wicked will hear my words and realize that what I said was pleasing.
Just as when a farmer plows and breaks open the earth, leaving clumps of dirt scattered along the rows, our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave.
My gaze is fixed upon You, Eternal One, my Lord;
in You I find safety and protection. Do not abandon me and leave me defenseless.
Protect me from the jaws of the trap my enemies have set for me and from the snares of those who work evil.
May the wicked be caught in their own nets while I alone escape unharmed.
So they went to the tomb, sealed the stone in its mouth, and left the guard to keep watch.
“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds!
You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright,
but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh.
People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.
When the Lamb cracked open the seventh and final seal,
a great silence filled all heaven penetrating everything for about half an hour.
Then I saw seven heavenly messengers, the ones who stand before God, receive seven trumpets.
An eighth messenger came and stood before the altar carrying a golden censer.
He received a large portion of incense to complement the prayers of all the saints
on the golden altar that sits in front of the throne.
From the hand of the eighth messenger,
the smoke of the incense mixed with the prayers of God’s people and billowed up before God. The messenger filled the censer with fiery coals from the altar and cast it upon the earth,
causing a great commotion of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
Throughout the ages God’s people have been asking Him for justice in their prayers and laments. Now, in response to these, God pours out His judgment.
The seven heavenly messengers raised the seven trumpets and prepared to sound them.
The first messenger sounded his trumpet,
and a blast of hail and fire mixed with blood was cast down to the earth.
As a result, one-third of the land was set ablaze,
one-third of the trees were burned, and all the green grass was scorched.
The second messenger sounded his trumpet,
and something like a great mountain, with bright flames of burning fire, was cast into the sea.
As a result, one-third of the sea turned into blood, one-third of the living sea creatures died,
and one-third of the ships were obliterated.
The third messenger sounded his trumpet,
and a great star called Wormwood dropped out of heaven, flaming like a torch as it fell on one-third of the rivers and the springs.
As a result, one-third of the waters turned bitter like the herb wormwood
so that many people died from the poisonous bitter waters.
The fourth messenger sounded his trumpet, and one-third of the sun, one-third of the moon,
and one-third of the stars were darkened.
As a result, one-third of their light flickered and failed.
For one-third of the day, the sun did not shine; and likewise for one-third of the night,
the moon and stars did not give their light.
Then I saw an eagle flying through midheaven, and I heard it cry with a loud voice.
Eagle: Woe, woe, woe—horror, disaster, and calamity—to the earth dwellers!
The rest of the trumpet blasts from the last three messengers are about to sound.