Smoking Furnace and Burning Lamp

Posted Jul 09, 2019 by Adrian Ebens in General Hits: 304

Furnace of Affliction

Gen 15:17,18  And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, [H8574] [ministration of death causing sin to abound] and a burning [H784] lamp [H3940 The light of the world, grace in Jesus does much more abound] that passed between those pieces.  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God's purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. DA 32

As a pledge of this covenant of God with men, [1] a smoking furnace and [2] a burning lamp, symbols of the divine presence, PP 137

Exo 9:8-9  And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, [H3536] and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.  (9)  And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.

Moses was next directed to take ashes of the furnace, and "sprinkle it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh." This act was deeply significant. Four hundred years before, God had shown to Abraham the future oppression of His people, under the figure of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp. He had declared that He would visit judgments upon their oppressors, and would bring forth the captives with great substance. In Egypt, Israel had long languished in the furnace of affliction. This act of Moses was an assurance to them that God was mindful of His covenant, and that the time for their deliverance had come.  {PP 267.2} 

Deu 4:15-20  Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:  (16)  Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,  (17)  The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,  (18)  The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:  (19)  And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.  (20)  But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

1Ki 8:50-51  And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:  (51)  For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:

Jer 11:3-4  And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,  (4)  Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God:

Eze 22:18-22  Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.  (19)  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.  (20)  As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.  (21)  Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.  (22)  As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.

Satan kindles the fire

James 3:5-6  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  (6)  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of (from) hell.

Matt 13:25  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 

The Lies of Satan about God cause a furnace of affliction.

After Adam's transgression he at first imagined that he felt the rising to a new and higher existence. But soon the thought of his transgression terrified him. The air that had been of a mild and even temperature, seemed to chill them. The guilty pair had a sense of sin. They felt a dread of the future, a sense of want, a nakedness of soul. The sweet love, and peace, and happy, contented bliss, seemed removed from them, and in its place a want of something came over them that they never experienced before. {1SP 41.1} 

 

I saw that the enemy will contend either for the usefulness or the life of the godly, and will try to mar their peace as long as they live in this world. But his power is limited. He may cause the furnace to be heated, but Jesus and angels will watch the trusting Christian, that nothing may be consumed but the dross. The fire kindled by Satan can have no power to destroy or hurt the true metal. It is important to close every door possible, against the entrance of Satan. It is the privilege of every family so to live that Satan can take no advantage of anything they may say or do, to tear one another down. Every member of the family should bear in mind that all have just as much as they can do to resist our wily foe, and with earnest prayers and unyielding faith each must rely upon the merits of the blood of Christ and claim His saving strength.  {1T 309.1}

The high priest cannot defend himself or his people from Satan's accusations. He does not claim that Israel is free from fault. In filthy garments, symbolizing the sins of the people, which he bears as their representative, he stands before the Angel, confessing their guilt, yet pointing to their repentance and humiliation, and relying upon the mercy of a sin-pardoning Redeemer. In faith he claims the promises of God.  {PK 583.3} 

     Then the Angel, who is Christ Himself, the Saviour of sinners, puts to silence the accuser of His people, declaring, "The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" Verse 2. Long had Israel remained in the furnace of affliction. Because of their sins they had been well-nigh consumed in the flame kindled by Satan and his agents for their destruction, but God had now set His hand to bring them forth.  {PK 584.1}

 

What is the Process of Refinement?

As a wise master builder, Jeremiah at the very beginning of his lifework sought to encourage the men of Judah to lay the foundations of their spiritual life broad and deep, by making thorough work of repentance. Long had they been building with material likened by the apostle Paul to wood, hay, and stubble, and by Jeremiah himself to dross. "Refuse silver shall men call them," he declared of the impenitent nation, "because the Lord hath rejected them." Jeremiah 6:30, margin. Now they were urged to begin building wisely and for eternity, casting aside the rubbish of apostasy and unbelief, and using as foundation material the pure gold, the refined silver, the precious stones--faith and obedience and good works--which alone are acceptable in the sight of a holy God.  {PK 409.3}

Gold = faith
Silver = Obedience
Precious Stones = Good works

1 Peter 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 

Isa 13:9-12  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.  (10)  For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.  (11)  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.  (12)  I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

In the experience of the apostle John under persecution, there is a lesson of wonderful strength and comfort for the Christian. God does not prevent the plottings of wicked men, but He causes their devices to work for good to those who in trial and conflict maintain their faith and loyalty. Often the gospel laborer carries on his work amid storms of persecution, bitter opposition, and unjust reproach. At such times let him remember that the experience to be gained in the furnace of trial and affliction is worth all the pain it costs. Thus God brings His children near to Him, that He may show them their weakness and His strength. He teaches them to lean on Him. Thus He prepares them to meet emergencies, to fill positions of trust, and to accomplish the great purpose for which their powers were given them.  {AA 574.2} 

Through trial and persecution the glory--the character--of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. AA 576

Temptations will come. But when Satan throws his hellish shadow before us, we should reach in faith through the shadow to the light of life--to Him who has not only created man but who by His own blood has redeemed him. We are Christ's cherished heritage. In living faith we must cooperate with Him in working out our own salvation. Amid trials and temptations His hand upholds and sustains us. Those who rest in Christ Jesus are never restless or uneasy. He means just what He says when He bids us commit the keeping of our souls unto Him, as to a faithful Creator.  {UL 292.5} 

Those who hold fast their faith unto the end will come forth from the furnace of trial as fine gold seven times purified. Of this work the prophet Isaiah says, "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir" (Isaiah 13:12). When in trouble, remember that faith tried in the furnace of affliction is more precious than gold tried with fire. Remember that there is One watching every movement, to see when the last particle of dross is taken away from your character.--Manuscript 110, Oct. 5, 1901, "The Christian's Hope."  {UL 292.6} 

Lamp of Fire = Righteousness of Christ

Isa 62:1  For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp [H3940] that burneth

Dan 10:5-6  Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:  (6)  His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps [H3940] of fire,[H784] and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz. His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude" (Daniel 10:2-6).  {SL 49.2} 

This description is similar to that given by John when Christ was revealed to him upon the Isle of [50] Patmos. No less a personage than the Son of God appeared to Daniel. Our Lord comes with another heavenly messenger to teach Daniel what would take place in the latter days.  {SL 49.3} 

Mt Sinai

Exo 19:16-18  And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.  (17)  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.  (18)  And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

Ps 97 description.

On the morning of the third day, as the eyes of all the people were turned toward the mount, its summit was covered with a thick cloud, which grew more black and dense, sweeping downward until the entire mountain was wrapped in darkness and awful mystery. Then a sound as of a trumpet was heard, summoning the people to meet with God; and Moses led them forth to the base of the mountain. From the thick darkness flashed vivid lightnings, while peals of thunder echoed and re-echoed among the surrounding heights. "And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly." "The glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount" in the sight of the assembled multitude. And "the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder." So terrible were the tokens of Jehovah's presence that the hosts of Israel shook with fear, and fell upon their faces before the Lord. Even Moses exclaimed, "I exceedingly fear and quake." Hebrews 12:21.  {PP 304.2} 

Here Israel was to receive the most wonderful revelation ever made by God to men. Here the Lord had gathered His people that He might impress upon them the sacredness of His requirements by declaring with His own voice His holy law. Great and radical changes were to be wrought in them; for the degrading influences of servitude and a long-continued association with idolatry had left their mark upon habits and character. God was working to lift them to a higher moral level by giving them a knowledge of Himself.  {PP 302.1}