Then we went below, to the base of the furnace. The mighty, rushing wind had fanned the furnace fires to smelting heat, and the coke, and the limestone, and the iron, and the quartz, and the copper, and the gold, and the silver were all a molten sea.
And then I saw a wonder. There were two outlets on different sides of the furnace. From the larger one there flowed a great fiery stream. They told me it was the limestone and coke and iron and quartz. From the smaller opening there ran forth a little stream of precious metals. Substances which had dwelt together for ages in the bosom of the earth, now ran away from each other with a haste that seemed to voice a mutual hate.
The little particles of precious metals that had been scattered through the ore and imprisoned in their rocky cells for centuries now ran together and embraced each other with a speed and sparkle that looked akin to joy. This was the miner's harvest-time.
As I thought upon the fiery furnace, which men call a smelter, and saw how easily they could separate the precious metal from the base, I remembered the precious children of God who are mingled with the base in the church and the world, and I sighed and said, "O, for a divine smelter!" Then the Lord spake through His Word and said: "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matt. 3:11,12. "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire; and like fuller's soap; and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Mal. 3:1-3.
The Holy Spirit is the Lord's smelting furnace. In it He separates the precious from the base. It purifies the gold and causes it to shine forth in all its heavenly luster, while it burns up the hypocritical glitter of the dross. These furnace fires were kindled on the day of Pentecost when the mighty, rushing wind came to the "upper room," followed by the tongues of fire. Into this furnace there was cast the new-born church of Jesus Christ; but the dross had already been burned out, and the pure gold only shone the brighter amid the glare of the furnace fires. Then the Lord cast into the furnace the Jewish Church, with its priesthood of pomp and pride, and then the whole Gentile world, with its tinsel and show. The rushing wind continued to blow, and the tongues of fire continued to burn, until the whole was a molten sea, and the pure was separated from the vile, and under God's furnace fires the world was separated into but two elements,-- the precious and the base, martyrs and murderers.
This was God's early harvest-time, the first-fruits of the great last-day harvest. O, that the church had kept the furnace fires burning at smelting heat! But they were allowed to cool, and the precious and the base are today mingled in a mighty mass, awaiting the furnace fires which the Holy Ghost has again begun to fan to smelting heat.
Yes, it has begun. There is a movement toward the "upper room" among those who sigh and cry for all the abominations which are done in the midst of a backslidden church. There is a crying to God for "power from on high." There is a baptizing of the Holy Ghost. There is a running together of the "free gold," of those in whom the purging fires are burning, and from whose faces the Lord has wiped the wrinkling dross of sin. A nucleus is forming, like the nucleus that formed on the day of Pentecost. And soon again the whole church and the world will be in the baptistery of God's burning presence, in His latter-day furnace. Forth from its purifying flames will come the church of God, though only a remnant, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. I said the furnace fires had begun to burn. How do I know? Because I have felt the flame. And I am seeing men, women, and children in the church to which I belong casting themselves into the purifying furnace of God's Holy Spirit; and I have seen the great Refiner of silver wipe from their darkened faces the wrinkling dross of sin, and leave them shining with holy consecration. And this holy shining is throwing its search-light upon those who are base and vile within the church, and they can not endure the glory; for the separating time has come, because the Holy Ghost has come; "but who may abide the day of His coming?"
These two elements can not long dwell together under the smelting power of the Holy Spirit. They do not belong together. One is the tried gold of faith; the other is base unbelief; and under the baptismal fires of the Holy Spirit, the man of faith will flee from the Babylon of unbelief, even as Lot fled from Sodom, and there will be a baptized church; yes, a visible church. The Lord left a visible baptized church when He went away, and He declared that the gates of hell should not prevail against that church; and they will not. When He returns, He will find a visible church baptized with the Holy Ghost, without spot or wrinkle, awaiting His return. There is an ever-increasing procession leading toward the "upper room." Reader, are you one of them? And just as the precious metals obeyed the divine law and left the lighter, baser metal, and ran together, so the gold that is mixed with the base in church and world, under the smelting heat of the Holy Ghost will yet hear the voice of God from heaven, saying: "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen . . . Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." The furnace fires have begun to burn. God's latter-day harvest will soon be gathered. Reader, are you in the furnace? Are you being baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire? Are you willing to be cleansed? If so, why not enter the furnace? "Receive ye the Holy Ghost."
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