Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire … and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver—Mal. 3: 2, 3.
The Great Refiner is watching to see how the precious metal of your character reflects His image. Or, in plain language, in every trial He watches to see what influences control our actions, whether they be influences of present advantage, or worldly policy, or personal friendship, or earthly loves—of husband, or wife, or children, or love of ease, or love of peace at any cost; or whether, on the other hand, we are controlled by the naked principles of truth and righteousness; and whether we will defend these principles with zeal and energy at any cost of labor or suffering, or both, and so fight the good fight of faith to the bitter end—even unto death.
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The two appearances of our Lord, His first and second advents, have been periods of great trial upon the people of God. These periods of presence have tested crucially the heart attitude of every fleshly and every spiritual Israelite. The severest ordeals have come upon them during these periods, in order that their heart condition might be manifested, and all of these tests have been under the superintendence of our Lord. In the Parousia it was more a question as to whether one would be manifested as a new creature or not; in the Epiphany it has been more a question whether one was manifested as of the Little Flock or of the Great Company. In both times the characters as well as the teachings have been tested.
Parallel passages: Gen. 22: 1; Deut. 8: 2, 5; Job 1: 8-2: 10; Dan. 12: 10; Jas. 1: 2, 3, 12; 1Pet. 1: 6, 7; Heb. 12: 1-14; Joel 2: 11; Rev. 6: 17.
Questions: What were this week's experiences in reference to this text? How were they met? What results did they yield?
THE WRATH OF GOD
THE wrath of God is love's severity
In curing sin—the zeal of righteousness
In overcoming wrong—the remedy
Of justice for the world's redress.
The wrath of God is punishment for sin,
In measure unto all transgression due,
Discriminating well and just between
Presumptuous sins and sins of lighter hue.
The wrath of God inflicts no needless pain,
Merely vindictive, or Himself to please;
But aims the ends of mercy to attain,
Uproot the evil, and the good increase.
The wrath of God is a consuming fire,
That burns while there is evil to destroy
Or good to purify; nor can expire
Till all things are relieved from sin's alloy.
The wrath of God is love's parental rod,
The disobedient to chastise, subdue,
And bend submissive to the will of God,
That love may reign when all things are made new.
The wrath of God shall never strike in vain,
Nor cease to strike till sin shall be no more;
Till God His gracious purpose shall attain,
And earth to righteousness and peace restore.
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