Refined in the Furnace
If you have read the last few articles on this web site* in chronological
order you could not help noticing that passages from the Psalms have been
freely used. You will also have seen that a book written by Derek Prince
called "Chords From David's Harp" - studies from the Psalms - was also
quoted from. This may seem to be by coincidence, but it's now apparent
that this is not so, but by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, as you shall
In the article "Thy Sword" we saw that the Lord God's sword was the knowledge
given to David that his soul could be delivered from the wicked; which
in the New Covenant was accomplished when Jesus Christ rose from the dead
and removed the power that death holds, for those who believe in Him and
In the New Covenant the Bible is God's sword in the hands of believers.
(Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:17)
Please bear in mind that in the time of David he was under the law as written
by Moses. This meant that much of the Bible as we know it was not yet written.
In fact, the happenings and writings of David and his seed form much of
the Old Covenant.
David had much less holy writings to go on than we and yet the Psalms have
a special place in every Christian's heart. David was one of the few people
written about in the Old Covenant who knew the Holy Spirit, and in his
righteousness wrote down what God taught him.
In the article "Out of the Mouths of Babes" something was written about
man's spiritual reluctance to read Scripture, especially the "old fashioned"
English of the Authorised version.
The following extract from Derek Prince's book supernaturally links these
two articles and clarifies doubts that may have occurred in your mind concerning
Bible versions - God's sword.
And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace
of clay, purified seven times.
These are the words that are brought to us in Scripture. They are flawless
- without error - totally and absolutely reliable. Do you perhaps wonder
at that statement, knowing that these words have come to us through human
agents, men who were weak and fallible, and who made many mistakes? (Often,
in fact, their mistakes were actually recorded in Scripture.) How then
can it be that the Bible's message is absolutely infallible and authoritative?
To answer this question, David presents us with a vivid picture - a
picture of silver being purified in an oven of clay. (Such clay ovens are
still used among the peoples of the Middle East today.) In David's picture
there are three main elements: the furnace of clay; the silver that is
to be purified; and the purifying fire.
The furnace of clay represents the human instruments through whom the
message of Scripture is brought. The silver represents the message itself.
The purifying fire represents the work of the Holy Spirit. The silver is
purified "seven times." In Scripture the number seven is particularly associated
with the Holy Spirit. In his vision on Patmos, for example, John saw the
Holy Spirit as "seven lamps of fire" (Revelation 4:5 KJV). Secondarily,
the number seven suggests completeness or perfection.
As the words of Scripture come to us through the furnace of human clay,
they have been completely purified by the fire of the Holy Spirit. The
"dross" of human error has been fully purged. Thus they are flawless.
"For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke
from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (II Peter 1:21).
The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of
pieces of silver and gold (Psalm 119:72).
Many words have been printed about the pros and cons of the Authorised
version (KJV) of the Bible, some men even bending the truth to show that
this version (and it is a version) is God's unadulterated word. This writer
has found inconsistencies in this Bible version - made by men who saw through
a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13). However, by the prompting of the Holy
Spirit and by doing a little research it was revealed that the inconsistencies
came about as the result of the writer's and translators' genuine attempts
to tell it as it was.
Research that anyone can do will also show that the "modern" versions have
input from persons who do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit and persons
who are the tools of Satan.
Many New Covenant writers warned us that this would come about. (1 John
So, this writing is for you who are seeking the truth but are using one
of these new versions as an aid.
It is hoped that you will repress your rejection of these statements and
do a little righteous research - after all, knowing the truth and your
earnestness in seeking it is a virtue that is constantly encouraged by
God. (Proverbs 2 :1-15)
Should you be satisfied that the Bible version from which you are reading
is now the best available, do not think that it shall be difficult to understand,
because the indwelling Holy Spirit can show you truths that were hidden
by Satan's smoke screens before.
If Satan has tampered with God's written word, how can I learn God's will?
At this moment you may be confused, thinking "what on earth is this man
talking about; I got saved by reading just one Scripture passage from one
of the new versions?"
My friend, we are not talking about being converted, but staying converted:
by learning what God expects of us.
If it's true that Satan has been able to tamper with the word of God (His
Sword), how can one expect to learn God's will?
After a few years of daily Bible readings, first from various of the new
versions, and then from the Authorised version after feeling a lack of
spiritual guidance, I started searching and was shown that if man's input
is added or words or punctuation marks are removed or shoved around in
the sentence, God's Holy Spirit is hampered.
This writer has read the Bible, particularly the New Covenant, many times
and yet there are numerous occasions when the Holy Spirit reveals a secret
in a verse or passage that was hidden on previous readings. It was needed
for that occasion.
Take for example, the above test passage.
In Mr Prince's book it reads as follows:
And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace
of clay, purified seven times.
In the AV it is written so:
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in
a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
At first glance it's much clearer in the first example; and here the intention
is not to denigrate Mr Prince's reputation or ministry in any way as he
is undoubtedly blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life,
but he is fishing for the Lord, trying to get sinners converted and uses
any legal bait that he can.
You who are reading this is already a prisoner of the Lord or you would
have given up reading this article long ago, so let's research what is
"hidden" from casual eyes.
The most obvious difference seems to be the word "tried" not so?
On first reading, the new version seems clearer and you "understand" what
the translator is getting at. Here is the problem, the translator "simplified"
the meaning as he or she saw it, but perhaps not as God wanted it. We are
cautioned in the Proverbs chapter two passage mentioned earlier to seek
the truth as hidden treasure, as silver. This therefore confirms Mr Prince's
comments about the dross of human error.
When reading the test passage in context - the whole Psalm - (which we
shall study later on) we are inclined to gloss over the meaning of the
word "tried" as one of those old fashioned words that we don't understand.
However, and here is a secret of God, when the Holy Spirit prompts you
to know what the word meanings are, your research will clear the matter
up, for God's glory. Always for God's glory.
The purifying fire represents the work of the Holy Spirit and this fire
is used seven times. I'm pretty sure that this simile refers to the actual
refining of silver in David's time. The silver metal actually had to be
refined seven times to be pure enough to be used for the purposes in mind
and this was used as an example the people could identify with.
Why not just once?
Without going into great detail:
The first fire was used to burn away the combustibles in the silver bearing
Then the ore container (the clay pot) was sealed from the air, first having
some material added, such as charcoal, that would chemically remove the
oxygen from the silver oxide. This would result in silver metal flowing
to the bottom of the container with the molten rock (the slag) above it.
This was repeated a few times so that all the reclaimable silver was removed
from the valuable ore. The next problem that had to be solved was to remove
the impurities such as copper, arsenic etc. in the silver and because they
have different melting temperatures, they had to be carefully removed in
fires of different temperatures. Also, because not much coal or coke was
available, wood had to be used and this first had to be converted into
charcoal to remove its impurities because any smoke resulting from say
the wax or oil in the wood that reached the molten metal would cause further
impurities in the metal. etc.
Fluxes, such as beeswax were also discovered, which in certain circumstances
formed a film over the surface of the molten metal, also causing impurities
to separate and float to the surface.
Further, a blast of air had to be forced through the burning charcoal with
the aid of bellows so that the fire would burn hot enough.
We see here that the refining of silver was a fairly complex process -
seven fires probably had to be used. Further, this process was learned
over a period of many generations of metalworkers and silversmiths. If
the wrong process was used, the resultant metal could have been copper
instead of silver. Also, if the fire was not hot enough because of the
laziness of the silversmith in using the bellows, impure silver would have
Many experiments were tried and the resultant silver was the reward of
those tries. So, "tried", although not as clear a word initially, is probably
better than "refined".
Further, the ancient Hebrew word had various meanings and this depended
on the context of the sentence wherein the word was placed.
Now, let's look at the entire Psalm to place the passage concerned into
*To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.*
Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among
the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with
flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The LORD
shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh
proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips
are our own: who is lord over us? For the oppression of the
poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I
will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. The
words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace
of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt
preserve them from this generation for ever. The wicked walk on every side,
when the vilest men are exalted.
(Psalms 12:1-8 AV)
We see here that David is asking for God's help from the wicked (lips)
and this in itself puts a slightly different emphasis on the test passage,
not so. Perhaps the wicked were twisting the meaning of some of God's words?
From the above, we can see that as the silver is refined, so must the word
of God have the dross removed and it must be done by the silversmith (you
and I). However, the Holy Spirit can kick-start the process as He wills
if God's "attention getters" are in place. If this was not so, why is Satan
going to all the trouble of continually bringing out new versions?
To further emphasise the matter, here is how the Holy Spirit also works,
for the glory of God.
These words formed part of today's routine, consecutive daily reading from
God's word. I hope that you can perceive the spiritual confirmation of
what has been written above.
*A Psalm of David.*
Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let
me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none
that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without
cause. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth,
and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I
wait all the day. Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses;
for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth,
nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy
goodness' sake, O LORD. Good and upright is the LORD: therefore
will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and
the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the LORD are mercy
and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name's
sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. What man is
he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he
shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit
the earth. The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and
he will shew them his covenant.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should
be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because
it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall
be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this
hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth
sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is
no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not
seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he
that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that
committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the
works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his
seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In
this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever
doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
(1 John 3:1-10)
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life
for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But
whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth
up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God
in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue;
but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth,
and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God
is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart
condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever
we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those
things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That
we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another,
as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth
in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the
Spirit which he hath given us.
(1 John 3:16-24)
These things have I written unto you concerning them
that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth
in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing
teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it
hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide
in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be
ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know
that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
(1 John 2:26-29)