Gems - Moving from Abrasive to Engraving

As we continue this study on "stones, Rock, and precious stones," I want you to realize that we begin the journey as dust. Dust is pretty useless. Its good for tracking snakes should one want to track snakes.

When we accept Christ we change from dust to organic soil. Good soil is called humus. Humus is soil formed from decaying matter, like dying flesh. Humus is also the root of the word "humility."

From the parable in Luke we know the seed of His Word needs to fall on good soil not on rock, so becoming soft and fertile is our first step. We have to be able to receive the engrafted Word, cherish it, nurture it, protect it, allow it to take root, and water it by soaking in His presence.

So, soak on this: ""They shall be mine," says the Lord of Hosts, "on the day that I make them My jewels." (Malachi 3:17)

The Lord's desire is to make us His jewels. We are not called to be common rubble and gravel, something that is under everyone's feet (pauper spirit); instead, we are all being fashioned as gemstones to be set into a living temple (1 Peter 2: 4-9).

Gems are a symbol of precious and rare wealth, beauty, and brilliance. In 1 Peter 3: 3-4 we are cautioned that our jewelry not merely be on the outside but be internal. The "jewel" is being fashioned inside our spirit and soul. This jewel reflects an inner light than can be seen in and through our eyes. Hence, the progress that one is making in this transformation can be detected through the eye, the "window of the soul." Have you ever been to a particularly anointed conference and went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror? If you haven't, try it sometime. You may not even recognize yourself because of the light emanating from your eyes and your face.

Earlier we looked at the gemstones in Isaiah 54 and we will spend more time there this as this study continues. Isaiah 53 is a famous "Jesus" chapter and in 54 we see the early forming of the Bride and the foundation for the new temple, the New Jerusalem. Compare Isaiah 54:11-13 with the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21:10-27. Notice that the foundation for the Foundations is found in Isaiah 54. The actual foundation in Revelation 21 is 12 precious stones representing the 12 apostles.

One of the Hebrew words for "stone" means "to build, as in masonry, and to obtain spiritual children." Churches and temples built with brick and mortar are only shells if the real foundation of the church is not relational. If spiritual children are not being birthed it is not a new and living temple made of lively stones. So, the words of Isaiah 54:13 should not surprise us. Godly offspring is the material and materiel of the living temple.

Remember, He is the Rock. He is the stone that was rejected that became the Chief Cornerstone. We move from dust, to good soil, to rock once our doctrines can be solid without our hearts turning to rock. We become rock by becoming like the Rock. When we "turn our faces like flint toward Jerusalem" we are purposing to become like Him. In this process, the rock leaves the soft soaking rains that are so loved by good soil and enter the fiery furnace of purification (Malachi 2: 2-3).

I received a call from a woman last week who was at the end of her rope. She had been prayed for by John Arnott about 12 years ago and received a heavy anointing of "fire." About this same time her marriage collapsed. When she brought this strong anointing of fire back to her local church the people at first were excited and revival broke out. But, due to some zeal and excesses, the fire soon became divisive, the church split, this lady was blamed by some for the split, and she has been hiding in a cave now for the past 10 years. In telling me her story the woman often referred to her experience with John Arnott as the third baptism, the "baptism of fire."

She is wrong. Her baptism in fire has been the long process that only began with the initial touch from John Arnott.

Baptism in water -- the soaking of good soil -- can sometimes seem brief, but the time in the furnace -- no matter how long or short that time might actually be -- never seems brief. (Baptism in water itself, of course, is more than the ritual of getting wet, but is also the long process of receiving the Word into our hearts and being washed by it.)

So we move from dust to soil (clay in the potter's hands) to solid material (rock) and then into the furnace. The application of heat and pressure is only the beginning of the test that makes us a jewel. There is still many more aspects to the experience. One is carving. Gems are naturally predisposed to certain shapes, but it takes a master jeweler to refine a gemstone. Isn't it neat that the foundations of the New Jerusalem are seen as 12 different stones? We are not all alike. We reflect different colors of His glory. Color in a gemstone, by the way, is there because of impurities. That is why it is only the light coming forth from Christ that is totally pure and bright. (For example, I could be wrong, but I have yet to find a scripture that literally refers to us as being diamonds.)

There is much more to study and digest including the stones on the shoulders and breastplate of the ephod of the priests. Stones on the shoulder because those in government must be refined and perfected; stones on the breastplate because the people of the Lord must be close to the heart of the priest.

But, I digress. Moments ago I began talking about the refining of jewels. In Isaiah 54:16 you see that part of the test involves a "blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire." Blacksmith is there by implication. The actual word is simply "smith" which means craftsman and can also mean "engraver." As He turns our heart into a jewel he also inscribes and engraves His word into our Heart. Remember our study a few weeks back on the White Stone of Revelation, the one with our New Name written on it?

So even after the fiery furnace and the forming of facets is complete, there is still an engraving to be done.

Earlier we studied the gem sapphire. Sapphire is next in hardness to the diamond. A sapphire is royal blue in color. (A sapphire that is "blood-red" -- blood of Christ -- is a ruby.) A nearly transparent Sapphire is a gemstone. One that is not transparent is used as an abrasive.

Can you see that in our own lives. A gemstone is meant to be hard and transparent. The Hebrew word for Sapphire, #5601, means a "gem for scratching other surfaces." We are "little engravers." That's why truly prophetic people are never content with merely observing "surfaces". We don't want to gaze at the superficial. We want to scratch (engrave) it.

But, if we are not transparent in our walk with the Lord we are not hard enough to engrave. Instead, we are "abrasive."

If our personalities are still abrasive we are only rough, not hard. None of really like the abrasive experience of "iron sharpening iron." This is a natural part of the process but we are not to stop there. We must go beyond "iron sharpening iron" to "gem engraving gem."

Deep truth is always mysterious and paradoxical. Gem stones are actually rated by hardness. The diamond being the hardest, the sapphire second, and on down the line. We are called to transparency and hardness, yet out heart must stay "a heart of flesh, not a heart of stone."

Our hardness is commitment, perseverance, and a broken, willing spirit. It is single-mindedness, not orneriness. Simply being doctrinal, legalistic, moralistic, or disciplined is far more abrasive than it is "hard." True hardness is brilliant spiritual compassion.

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