Sadell Bradley

Sadell Bradley

To refine is to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance,  or to improve something by making small changes, in particular to make (an idea, theory, or method) more subtle and accurate. Synonyms for refine are to purify, treat or process. In ancient times, gold was refined with fire using a high temperature to bring it to its desired level of purity.

Refining with flame is one of the oldest methods of refining metals. Mentioned even in the Bible, refining by fire is the preferable method for larger quantities of gold. This form of refining involved a craftsman sitting next to a hot fire with molten gold in a crucible (as above -a ceramic or metal container in which gold was melted) being stirred and skimmed to remove the impurities or dross that rose to the top of the molten metal. With flames reaching temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees Celsius, this job was definitely a dangerous occupation for the gold refiner. (Ref. Gold Traders)

A crucible is figuratively a place or occasion of severe test or trial. It is also defined as a place or situation in which different elements interact to produce something new. Scholars suggest that the lamp that was held over a cross was called a crucible.  There is much association in the Bible between severe tests, fiery trials, and the refining or purification process of God’s chosen: 

“He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.Malachi 3:3

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart. Proverbs 17:3

For You, God, tested us; You refined us like silver. Psalm 66:10 

The Apostle Peter admonishes us that the use of fiery trials for refining is normal for the Believer, and it brings us closer to the likeness of Jesus Christ.  Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13) We often question the fiery trial and ask for it to be brought to an end.  We want God to turn down the heat, not turn it up!  Little do we realize that the temperature is hotter and the flame higher because God is making us better and bringing forth purer and greater quantities of what is precious! James said we are to consider or count it joy when we face these varied trials. The result of the finished work of patient endurance, the trial of our faith, and the wisdom we gain along the way is that we’ll be brought forth as mature and valuable saints who lack nothing! (James 1:1-4)

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Sadell Bradley, Pastor of The Warehouse Church OTR, is a dynamic teacher and worship leader, with over 30 years in ministry in various contexts including: as a conference speaker and trainer, music, worship and arts pastor, providing background vocals for various artists; as a campus missionary, and as a ministry development director.
Sadell’s main desire is to see people saved, healed, delivered and set free by the ministry of Jesus, the Word of God, and presence of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18)

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