SEVEN VESSELS

A Teaching Outline

Rabbi Earl Walters

 

Today’s society provides mass production of almost everything

            Our toys, cars, computers and even food are mass produced,  yet

 

                        Advertisers invite us to be different

                                    Buy the special clothes, shoes, automobile

 

                                                But they are all mass produced

 

                        Do we all be different until all are alike?

 

Much of mankind rebels against the things that are really different

 

            We have seen the cruelty of children to another who dresses different

 

We Start a new job with enthusiasm and drive

            Soon co-workers become resentful of your production

                        Suggest that you relax and join the group

                                    Become like everyone else

 

There is one who does not mass produce.

 

            The supreme Creator makes each of us unique. 

There are no clones.

                                    No carbon copies

                                                He is the ultimate potter

 

We do not have a good comprehension of the potter’s work today.

 

            Up until the development of pottery, mankind was nomadic

                        He had to follow the game for food or follow a stream

            To be near water.

 

            Can you imagine what our lives would be like without containers?

 

                                    With vessels things changed

                                                We could carry food and water around

                                                            Settlements developed

 

            The potter became a major influence in society

 

People gathered at his shop to see the new vessels and purchase those needed

 

You see each vessel was unique.

            Each had something special to recommend it to its purpose

 

 

We all know of the works of  Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah)

            Through out his sixty odd years he faced much adversity

                        His life spoke louder than his words

 

At one point in his life he showed vulnerability, his discouragement

 

Lets look at chapter 12: 1 – 6

Jeremiah 12

1    Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You;

     Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.

     Why does the way of the wicked prosper?

     Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?

2    You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;

     They grow, yes, they bear fruit.

     You are near in their mouth

     But far from their mind.

3    But You, O LORD, know me;

     You have seen me,

     And You have tested my heart toward You.

     Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,

     And prepare them for the day of slaughter.

4    How long will the land mourn,

     And the herbs of every field wither?

     The beasts and birds are consumed,

     For the wickedness of those who dwell there,

     Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”

5    “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,

     Then how can you contend with horses?

     And if in the land of peace,

     In which you trusted, they wearied you,

     Then how will you do in the £floodplain of the Jordan?

6    For even your brothers, the house of your father,

     Even they have dealt treacherously with you;

     Yes, they have called a multitude after you.

     Do not believe them,

            Even though they speak smooth words to you.

 

Jeremiah is frustrated, discouraged and confused at what is happening

 

                                    BUT

 

            He later says “ I will run and I will endure.”

                        Throughout his ministry “endurance” is his cry

 

Yahweh tells Yirmeyahu to go down to the potters house. Chap 18: 1 - 10

 

            Yahweh is the potter. He is willing to clean up the mess Israel has made.

                        He wants vessels of endurance.

                                    Vessels that can take the heat without cracking.

                                                He wants you to be a chosen vessel of His

 

Yirmeyahu understood the concept of the potter as did Israel.

           

Isaiah used some of the same concepts in his writings.

 

Lets look at some of the different aspects of making pottery.

 

2 Chronicles 24:12 says, “whereof were made vessels for the house of the Lord, even vessels to minister and to offer…”

 

            Each vessel (Hebrew – keliy {pronounced KEL-EE}) has a two-fold purpose

                        To minister and to offer

 

            Minister = shareth {pronounced SHAW-RAYTH}

                        Means – “to serve”

                                    Focuses on horizontal dimension of our lives

                                                We serve one another in love

           

            Offer = alah {pronounced AW – LAW}

                        Means “to cause to go up”

                                    Focuses on the vertical dimension. Our relationship with YHVH

                                                We cause our praises and thanksgiving to go up to Him

           

We are to be vessels of offering to Yahweh

 

We are called both to worship and to serve.

 

Another general observation is found in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of Yahweh, and not of us.”

 

 

 

Lets look at the Greek word for “the excellency of the power”  in this verse.

            Greek word is (hyperbole)

                        Means “to exceed the mark, to stretch a truth.”

 

So, our earthen vessels contain a treasure of Spirit-filled excess.

 

Another general observation is found in 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-4

 

For this is the  will of Yahweh, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.

 

            Note our responsibility – we are to possess in sanctification and honor

 

We have a part to play in our usability.

                       

Yirmeyahu’s metaphors were choice and filled with life as he cried,

 

            “Come back to the potter’s care. He will make you into another vessel.”

 

So we have vessels, each of which is carefully made by the Potter’s hand

 

            They are vessels for pouring out to Yahweh and others

                        Vessels filled with treasure in excess.

 

We are common clay jars that have been anointed for Yahweh’s service and

            We are encouraged to keep these vessels in sanctification and honor.

 

What an awesome privilege to be formed and used by the Creator of the universe.

                        To bear His name.

 

After the Potter’s touch, we can never be the same.

 

Even to us Yahweh is saying,

 “Go down to the potter’s house and there I will speak to you.”

 

 

 

ICBM

            Guidance system – quiet until off course

                        Gyro in nose exerts pressure

 

Ruach  

            If on right path, no need for correction

Sometimes we become tired and frustrated and begin to drift off course

                                    The Ruach is our guidance system.

                                                Not afraid to shake us, to awaken and correct direction.

 

Most of us remember the song of a few years ago which said,

 

“He touched Me, Oh He touched me. And Oh the joy that filled my soul.”

 

Job found no immediate joy in Yahweh’s touch:

 

“Have pity on me, have pity on me, O ye my friends; for the hand of Yahweh has touched me.”

 

Its OK to feel the touch of Yahweh’s hand – good or bad.

 

            We should desire the gentle pressure of the Potter’s hand.

                        The clay must yield to His touch.

                                    For the believer there is really no choice.

 

Though the Potter’s touch may feel violent as change takes place, be assured that the Potter knows what He is doing.

 

You are in good hands – so relax – rest – grow

 

Yahweh wants you to be what He desires – strong – usable – beautiful - yielded

 

As the potter sits at the wheel, he starts with throwing a lump of clay on the wheel.

First he cleans and moistens the clay

                        Then he begins to turn it with the wheel  

As the clay turns, he is able to shape and mold it into the shape desired.

                                   

 

Yahweh has put us on the wheel of life.

            He washes us with the Word.

                        That Word makes us soft and pliable in His hands.

            He kneads out the air – the weakness in the clay     

As we grow He shapes us, molds us into His likeness.

                        He prepares us for the chosen task.

                                   

After He has shaped us, He then puts us out to begin drying

            A time of sitting patiently and waiting on Him.

 

After a period of drying He will then place us in the Kiln to see if we can take the fire.

            The fire is what makes the vessel strong.

As with the potter, He watches us to be sure that the firing is correct for us.

            Every vessel is different

After the furnace has done its job, the potter then places his name on the vessel.

 

Yahweh is the Master Potter. He will soften you and shape and form you according to His good pleasure. He will dry you in the sunshine of His love and ready you for the fires of affliction.

 

But be of good courage for you will come out a durable vessel that is beautiful and serviceable

 

Service to Yahweh lies ahead!

 Attitudes of servanthood are being formed.

 

 But, wait a minute! In verse four of chapter 18, did Yirmeyahu say what I think he said?

 

“And the vessel he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel…”

 

Can the marred vessel be made again?

 

Can the disobedient and the unyielding who are broken feel again the hand of the Potter?

 

Can the backslidden and the careless be redeemed?

 

Does Yahweh give a second chance to those who refuse His initial design?

 

Can Yahweh rework even those who suffer from indifference?

 

Yirmeyahu shouts through the centuries a qualified YES!

 

Yahweh cares.  He will never quit on the clay that will yield to His hand.

 

 All through the Scripture we see evidence of His remaking.

 

Ya’Acov - David – Peter and others.

 

The Master Potter wants to add more than just years to our lives and usability.

 

He wants to add life and usability to our years.

 

He helps us avoid being dead at 30 and buried at 70.

 

He provides us wisdom.

 

Its been said that wisdom keeps us from making mistakes and comes from having made plenty of them.

 

Under the making, shaping hand of Yahweh, our failures are not final.

 

Look for Yahweh’s pressure in your life.

 

            You are a vessel on the Potter’s wheel.

 

There are Seven different vessels alluded to in Scripture

 

            Vessel of honor different from chosen vessel

            Clean vessel unlike vessel of dishonor

            Vessel of mercy houses truths that broken vessel

                        Or vessel of wrath never could.

 

Lets look at each of them.

 

The vessel of honor.

 

 

Our culture does not understand this concept.

 

            Most frequently used vessel so it was the most purchased

 

A strong jar with 2 handles at neck

            Holds about 5 gallons

 

Fulfilled an important role in every household

 

Uniqueness found in its service

 

Filled with fresh water daily and placed on a low stand with 3 holes in it

 

Placed just inside the door at every home and the temple.

 

This vessels main use was to provide water to quench thirst.

 

Bucket just in side the back door with the dipper on a nail above

 

The vessel of honor was just an earthen jar But

            It provided refreshment to everyone that came.

 

Custom required that no one be forbidden the water from this vessel.

 

Remember the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:5-15?

 

She is drawing water with the vessel of honor.

            Yeshua recognized this and asked for a drink.

                        Unusual request from a Jew of a Samaritan.

                                    Offered her a drink of Himself in return.

 

The water He spoke of is the flood tide of the Ruach.

 

Yeshua saw Himself as a vessel of honor

 

Yahweh has placed vessels of honor within every congregation.

 

            They are those who know their source and seek filling daily.

                        Always ready to share with anyone who asks.

 

They do not chafe at being placed on a low bench of service.

            Content to be available to those in need.

                        They are aqueducts for the movement of the Ruach.

                                    They do more than just give testimony of salvation.

 

These vessels know their purpose and are delighted with it.

 

Leonard Ravenhill best described their attitude when he said,

”The fact beats ceaselessly into my brain these days that there is a great deal of difference between knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the Word.”

 

Most vessels of honor are known only to a small group of people

            Always pouring out then seeking to be refilled

                        Only to pour out again.

 

They are true blessing to all who know them.

 

Kindness and concern are their trademarks.

 

Their secret in victory is a commitment to go first to Yahweh

            And then to people.

 

They are truly a vessel of honor.


 

 

THE VESSEL OF MERCY

 

In Romans 9:23 it says;

 

“and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory…”

 

We have no concept of what Sha’ul meant today.

 

People listening to Sha’ul immediately understood what word picture he was using.

 

The vessel of mercy looked like and was a vessel of honor in appearance.

 

Filled and taken to the town center to refresh the stranger in town.

 

Such a provision was an accepted custom in Yeshua’s day.

 

Its significance was its easy accessibility.

 

Ever wonder why you have a seemingly dead-end job or see no opportunities

 

Maybe Yahweh has placed you there to be a vessel of mercy.

 

Maybe He has filled you with life and freshness so He can set you in this place

 

You are easily accessible  to the stranger in need.

 

Those you encounter need the water of life you have.

 

As a vessel of mercy, Yahweh has given you an incredible privilege.

 

During the Vietnam war a missionary was asked to join Andre Crouch in holding a service for the marines.

 

After service asked to go see a lance corporal in the barracks.

 

The barracks had wall-to-wall pornography. Very disgusting to missionary.

 

At the end of the barracks he found a cubicle with a circle of chairs

 

The lance corporal was kneeling  at one of the chairs with Bible open.

 

Corporal thanked for the great meeting and apologized  for the wallpaper.

 

Told his story

Did not like the assignment when he arrived.

 

Thought about asking for transfer but decided to pray about it first.

 

Felt like Yahweh was saying,

“No way! Light belongs in the darkness and, man, this is as dark as it gets.”

 

So he decided to start a Bible study. In 3 weeks he had led 8 marines to Yeshua.

 

Eight weeks later after returning home the missionary received a letter from the Lance corporal.

 

In those 8 weeks he had led another 13 marines to Yeshua and that day they had voted in the barracks to remove all the pornography from the walls.

 

Vessels of mercy are not afraid of action.

 

They meet challenge and bloom where planted.

 

They are easily accessible.

            Reason they are placed in the center of the “marketplace”.

 

Our cities are thirsty.

 

            People want to be loved and cared for.

 

Stop singing “Lord, lay some soul upon my heart” and

            Go out and make a friend.

 

Win a friend – not just a soul.

 

Being a witness is not trying to persuade or prove anything.

 

Witnessing is simply living your life in such a way that it wouldn’t make sense if           Yahweh did not exist.   

 

Remember you are a vessel of mercy – a Ruach led drink of refreshing water offered by Yahweh to the marketplace.

 

Go in servant-hood and be a source of refreshing.


 

 

THE CHOSEN VESSEL

 

Created from same clay as other vessels.

 

What qualifies one as a chosen vessel?

 

            Looks like the other vessels.

 

                        Potter notes the makeup of the clay and how it yielded to his touch.

 

Perhaps the fire brought out some beautiful color or some other aspect.

 

The chosen vessel is the best work that the potter could produce.

 

When it is finished

 

The Chosen vessel is handled differently from other vessels.

 

The potter takes it to a small dark room and places it on a low shelf.

            He goes out, closes the door and returns to work.

 

The eager buyer never saw the chosen vessel.

 

They sit alone and are not made available to the general pottery shopper.

            They are kept out of view.

 

Even today, you can go to a potter in Jerusalem, look over his wares and then

 

                        Request a chosen vessel.

 

The potter will smile gently,

            Maybe raise an eyebrow in delight in your request.

                        Then he will go into the small room alone

and choose you a vessel.

The potter makes the choice not the customer.

 

The potter knows the vessel will never bring him shame.

            Wherever it goes

                        Whatever its use.

 

It’s the best his hands can make.

 

            In one final act, he adds his name to the bottom of the vessel.

 

Acts 9: 10 – 20 records Yahweh’s call upon Sha’ul.

 

10Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”

And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”

11So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”

13Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”

15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

17And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord £Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

19So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.

20Immediately he preached £the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.

 

Ananias the vessel of honor.

            Sent to assist the chosen vessel at the command of Yahweh.

 

If Yahweh singles you out to be a chosen vessel,

He will also provide you with a special grace.

 

The calling of the Chosen Vessel comes with the need for a stricter discipline and more intense commitment.

 

If the Master Potter sets out to make you an unusual servant, He will not be hurried in His work.

 

His gentleness may seem to be lost as He turns up the heat.

 

That does not mean His love has lessened.

 

            You will begin to experience His love in very aggressive ways.

 

Just as the sculptor takes the hammer and chisel to the marble,

            So will Yahweh begin to shape His chosen vessel

 

When Yahweh forges character, He cuts deep.

 

 Everything that we allow to compete with Him will be chiseled away.

 

            What we often consider our most treasured possessions will wind up on the floor.

He will remove all that distracts from our beauty.

 

The desire for constant cleansing will fill our heart as we learn that repentance

            Is more than a “one-act play’.

Not just for Yom Kippur.

 

It must become a way of life.

 

Cleansing and repentance will not plunge into uncertainty,

            We will be overwhelmed by the power of the Ruach.

 

The garments of embarrassment may be with us awhile  as we privately deal

            With the inner revelations of our heart.

 

This is the reason the dark room and lowly shelf become the CHOSEN VESSEL’S home.

 

Our love for the Potter will grow along with our appreciation of His wisdom

            In proportion with our understanding that our hearts are of an

                        Inconsistent nature that needs to learn to trust and lean on Him.

 

Eventually the closet or storage room becomes a place of incredible joy.

 

We don’t need carnivals, we need closets.

 

The heart can learn that to be shut in with Yahweh in a secret place is

            Preparation at the highest level.

 

Maybe you feel that you are sculpted and prepared.

 

You are not afraid – but willing.

 

            You recognize the call on your life

 

You know that He is doing something different in your life.

 

You’re still waiting for something – and yet there is nothing.

 

The darkness and inactivity begin to make you wonder if Yahweh has forgotten you.

 

With each month the whys become more intense.

 

Listen carefully, Yahweh has not forgotten you.

 

            He has set you apart – not aside.

 

Until He has achieved His purpose, “doing” will be very costly to you.

 

As long as the idleness bothers you, you are not ready for the next step.

 

The CHOSEN VESSEL must learn to stand and wait on Yahweh.

Isaiah 50 : 10 says;

10    “Who among you fears the LORD?

      Who obeys the voice of His Servant?

      Who walks in darkness

      And has no light?

      Let him trust in the name of the LORD

      And rely upon his God.

 

Oh the joy when His hand comes to rest on you.

            The silence of storage is broken.

                        The sunlight is almost more than you can bear.

                                    You are commissioned to carry His name.

 

Waiting is not easy and I don’t like doing it but sometimes its necessary.

 

The chosen vessel knows they are clay. They wouldn’t be anything but clay.

            That’s the stuff Yahweh molds to hold treasure.


 

 

SEVEN VESSELS - PART 2

 

Last week we talked about several uses of vessels created by the potter.

 

All have the same beginning – a lump of clay.

 

All designed from the same pattern the vessel of honor.

 

As we continue looking at these uses of vessels, we compare our uses by the Master Potter.

 

 So far we have looked at the vessels used as Vessels of Honor, Vessels of Mercy, and Chosen Vessels.

 

All special in their own way.

 

Today we look at the fact that a vessel can change its usage.

 

In terms of us human vessels, some changes are unavoidable while others are results of our action.

 

Unlike the actual clay vessel, we have been given free will by Yahweh.

 

We have a part in our usage or non-usage.

 

Let’s look at the last four type uses of the vessels.

 


 

 

THE CLEAN VESSEL

 

The clean vessel was made to be a vessel of honor.

            Designed to be of service and use.

 

Usage will result in wear on the vessel.

 

Frequent use will mar and soil even the vessel of honor and chosen vessel.

 

The beauty of the vessel begins to fade. The lip is eroded and chipped.

 

The vessel becomes too battle worn to sit in the entrance way.

 

It becomes a second-class vessel in appearance and service.

 

That does not mean that it has no more usability.

 

It’s moved to the back of the house and becomes available to carry grain to the temple.

 

Several times a year the clean vessels were gathered up and taken back to the potter.

            This was not a throw away society.

 

There he attempted to restore the vessels.

 

This is a 4 step process.

 

            First the vessel is emptied

Second – strong brushes and files are used to scrape the vessel both inside and out.

                                    Third – fix and refile the lip so the vessel will pour properly

Finally – the vessel is put back in the fire.

 

All of us are used by Yahweh to minister to a hurting world.

 

We face the challenges of our family and friends about our beliefs.

 

We learn that we have picked up a lot of soil and incorrect theology in our lives.

            We have become scarred, chipped and worn.

                       

When we get this way Yahweh will take us in for restoration.

            He loves you too much to let you remain tainted by profuse use.

 

Its not that you have lost something, tainting goes with the territory.

 

            Every believer has seasons when he must be restored.

 

Many in the congregations are noticing this tainting in their lives.

            They are having trouble worshipping freely.

                        They have lost that special intimacy with Him.

 

Often when we get like this we decide that we must just do more service.

            We think maybe we are not doing enough.

 

That is incorrect thinking – the problem often is that we are becoming burned out.

 

We become interested in doing rather than being.

 

We lose our focus on the job we were assigned by Yahweh.

 

We must seek the molding of the Potter’s hands and submit to His restoration process.

 

Before we can effectively pour out to men we must pour ourselves out to Yahweh.

 

Judson Cornwell in a 1976 article said it well:

 

“…worship first, service second. Until we have fulfilled the worship requirement, we cannot serve properly. All service must flow out of worship, lest it become a substitute for worship. ….. We will both worship and service the Lord God, but in that order.”

 

Worship goes far beyond the corporate celebration.

 

Many congregations and churches today are learning the arts of worship without the heart of worship.

 

The mechanics of worship can be an incredible danger when void of the dynamics of Yahweh’s presence.

 

The visual display of worship can only demonstrate with anointing what is already in the heart.

 

We desperately need a new relationship with a Holy Yahweh.

 

There are still requirements of piety for those who would seek to ascend the “Hill of Yahweh”.

 

“Clean hands and a pure heart” is not just a religious cliché.

 

We need a renewed vision of a Holy Creator.

 

Each of us must decide if we are content to carry simple offerings into the temple.

            Is there something for us that is fuller and more meaningful.

 

Is the tainted clean vessel your highest calling or do you desire more?

 

Can your over-used vessel become a vessel of honor again?

 

Remember the repairs of the Potter require 4 steps.

 

Are you ready to submit to that restoration process?

 

The first step!

 

EMPTYING

 

First the potter will take the vessel and empty all its contents.          

            Nothing can remain in the vessel.

 

This emptying is not pleasant.

 We must be willing to let him empty all the favorite doctrines and theology.

 

We must be willing to give up what we consider our “anointing” if necessary.

 

The more we try to hide anything that needs to be poured out, the longer the process.

 

 Sha’ul in 1 Corinthians 11:28 says:

            “… but let a ,man examine himself…”

 

Our prayer is:

Yahweh deliver this congregation to an honest lifestyle.

            Teach us not to fake spiritual well-being when in reality we are empty.

Help us not to hide from you.

 

The Word says that we are to look to Yeshua as our author and finisher of our faith.

 

Let’s Be honest!  Let the potter empty all our garbage.

 

The second step!

 

SCRAPING AND BRUSHING – INSIDE AND OUT

 

The inside is cleaned by a filing and scraping of old religious residue.

 

The outside is filed and sanded to get rid of cracks and pitted areas.

 

This inside cleaning is what produces humility.

 

Proverbs 18:12 says: “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.

 

The inside filing will expose the pride in our life in order that it may be pulled our.

 

Now is the time to learn the importance of silence before Yahweh.

 

It’s the shallow brook that babbles, so lets learn to be quiet.

            Yahweh often speaks to us in whispers.

 

He comes to teach us the skill of being still and knowing He is Elohim.

            Silence is a great discipline.

           

While Yahweh sands and files the inside, we try to hide the truth from others that we have a need for cleaning.

 

I can still look humble, spiritually adept and in vogue as a mature believer.

My brokenness and tender response to Him during this time works out to my gain because others view my silence as depth in Yahweh.

 

            This is pride in the midst of humility.

 

The outer cleaning is a little harder.

 

But everyone sees the outer preparation.

            I can’t hide it. 

 

I am plagued by what others are thinking and saying.

            “He’s a rabbi, what has he done that Yahweh has to work on him?

 

Everyone becomes aware that Yahweh is raking and sanding me for His loving purpose.

 

Like it or not, I must learn to be honest and appreciate the restoring hand of the Potter.

 

AND SO MUST EACH OF YOU!

 

The 3rd step

 

RESET THE LIP

 

This third step of restoring the lip is critical if the vessel is to pour properly.

 

Dare I ask how many of us need our lips reset.

            We hear so much about “Lashon Hara” and still have trouble with it.

 

The lips need to be reshaped and the direction of the tongue corrected.

 

Proverbs 18:21 says: “death and life are in the power of the tongue…”

 

We can bring untrue lips and a restless evil tongue into submission

            By practicing the art of silence.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:7 reminds us that, ”there is a time to keep silent and a time to speak.”

 

And chap 20:6 says “One man keeps silent because he has nothing to say, another keeps silent because it is time for it.”

 

The 4th and final step!

 

PUT IN THE FIRE

 

The final step of restoration is re-firing.

 

            This is where we leave rubber heel marks on the floor tile of life.

                        We cry, “Wait a minute, Yahweh, why the kiln?

You’ve emptied me, you’ve filed me, reset my lips, that’s enough.

 

I’m ready to go back to work now at the front of the house.

            I’ll obey.  I’ll be a wellspring of life for others every day.

Yahweh, don’t put me back in the fire – I’ll die.”

 

            Yahweh gently asks, “Do you promise?”

                                    And into the fire we go.

 

 

Once the Master potter is finished with us, then we are placed back into service.


 

 

THE VESSEL OF DISHONOR

 

 

 

 

2nd Timothy 2:20

20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

 

The vessel of dishonor was the Judean garbage can.

 

Fashioned to be a vessel of honor but pock-marked in the fire.

 

Air in the clay or some other flaw caused the potter to be unhappy with it.

 

Some stubborn, resistant quality in the clay refused to yield to the potter.

 

The vessel of dishonor was used for two purposes.

 

First, it was placed beside the vessel of honor at the front door to receive the dirty water.

            A catch basin.

 

Second, it was moved to the kitchen to become a slop bucket.

            The place where the scraps were tossed.

 

It quickly turned sour.

 

Finally, it is taken out and thrown away.

            Then it is called an abominable vessel. (Isaiah 65:4)

 

Vessel of dishonor presents a problem.

 

Does Yahweh personally appoint vessels of dishonor to congregation?

 

Is it His will that every house have a resident garbage can?

 

NO!  My belief is that Vessels of Dishonor are self-appointed vessels

 

A vessel of dishonor usually begins his work by being available for slop.

 

                        They are always saying “You can share your heart with me.”

 

Be careful of such people.  Such a garbage pail is self-appointed.

 

Let’s not fool ourselves, no one can keep hearing garbage and not get sour.

 

Lashon Hara even forbids us from listening to such rubbish as well as speaking it.

 

            Trying to make it look like a great favor to someone does not make it right.

 

Refuse to open yourself up to another persons gossip or criticism.

            Learn to say, “I’m sorry, I don’t need your rubbish in my vessel.”

 

You can’t blame the other person, you must make the decision to walk away.

 

You must guard yourself ever day.

 

Look at the city dump.

            Always a line there to dump their refuse.

 

The same thing will happen to someone who will accept other peoples junk.

            An unclean environment will grow endlessly.

                        It draws all kinds of flies and rodents as it begins to deteriate.

 

Don’t allow yourselves to be hurt, your wound will draw flies.

            Remember Beelzebub-Lord of the Flies?

                        Yeshua identified him as satan.

 

Such a wound is the entry point of death to an entity, whether a person, congregation or family.

 

Repentance is the only way to heal such a wound because it sends the demons into scattered confusion.

 

History shows that the garbage-container type have been around a long time.

 

Sha’ul says in 2 Thessolonians 3:11

11For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.

 

 In 2 Timothy he instructed Timothy to watch out for the idle, the tattlers and busybodies.

 

Peter equates such action as being the same as a murderer:

1 Peter 4:

15But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.

 

Sha’ul leaves no room for such foolishness.

 

Ephesians 4:31

31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice

 

Time after time in the Brit Chadasha we are instructed to avoid the vessel of dishonor.

Most believers have no problem recognizing and trying to stay away from foul langusge

Yet will listen freely to gossip.

 

Gossiping is a major problem – it is the dominant way of disrobing a friend.

 

It is the most common sickness of the tongue. Highly contagious.

 

Proverbs 17:9 RSV says

            “He who repeats a matter alienates a friend”

 

 

Vessels of dishonor are self-appointed vessels. A careless tongue, lack of wisdom and openness to the garbage of others separates them to degeneracy.

 

Keep your vessel clean.             Be on guard.

            You are not a vessel of dishonor unless you chose to be.

 


 

THE BROKEN VESSEL

 

Most of us have been broken on occasion on the fires of life.

 

An angry response, a quick, unguarded word; an attitude failure –

            These are all the manifestations of a broken vessel.

 

The broken vessel was not named carelessly. Its clay could not or would not take the heat.

 

The fire that usually produces durability has produced a crack in the broken vessel.

 

The crack is usually around the lip.

 

It is a wounded vessel in need of repair.

 

Fortunately, the potter has a remedy.

 

In our stress filled life we are becoming more and more an angry people.

 

We have road rage. Family turmoil. Increasing homicides. Increasing divorce rates.

 

Yahweh wants His vessels to be strong.

 

            The fires are getting hotter as He strengthens His people.

 

Yahweh is not the author of confusion; He is the revealer of it.

 

He takes the most difficult and distasteful situation and uses it to prove the hearts of His people.

 

The Believers response to the heat is receiving very low marks.

 

Too many of us are sounding off in the heat.

            We are failing to pass the course in the proving ground of life.

 

We need the touch of the Potter to repair us.

 

Obedience is the final, most revealing test of our love for Yahweh.

            Burning emotions, a willingness to sacrifice, a red hot zeal, all are wonderful.

 

But the real bottom line is day in, day out obedience.

 

Yeshua said in John 14:21

            21He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.

 

Could it be that we are feeling a diminished “manifest presence” of the Ruach because we are unwilling to obey His commandments.

 

Only by doing the single acts of obedience Yahweh calls for can we truly love according to His requirements.

 

Only as we serve truth can we progress to truth.

 

Spiritual health or lameness is not measured by how many verses are marked in our Bible.

 

Remember it is not only the Body of Truth that enlightens us but also the Spirit of Truth.

 

Yeshua says in John 5 39-40

            39You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

 

The Ruach will guide us into all truth only as we apply it and live in it.

 

Yahweh will give you no more than you are willing to use.

 

His economy says; “Every one to whom much is given, to him will much be required. (Luke 12:48 RSV)

 

When the vessel comes out cracked at the lip, the potter has a remedy to salvage it.

 

He goes out among the bulls and goats and finds a tick-like insect – a fasuka.

 

The potter will work for great lengths of time to restore the damage.

 

He crushes the fasuka and mixes the blood with clay powder to make a glue.

Slowly he works the glue into the cracked area.

 

The blood that was shed on the stake provides a glue that works effectively and uniquely in the lives of broken people.

 

This blood of the Lamb is Yahweh’s provision for cracked, flawed men and women.

 

After the remolding with the blood mixture, the vessel is placed right back into the fire.

 

If the vessel cracks again the process is repeated over and over until it is sound

            Or it becomes obvious that the vessel cannot stand the heat.

 

Too often we resent being placed back into the fire.

            We wonder why after sensing Yahweh’s forgiveness, we must face the fiery trial again.

 

 

Our spirits cry out, “O Yahweh, the heat is on again, I can’t stand it.”

 

YES YOU CAN!

 

The blood of Yeshua is sufficient to take you through the fire a thousand times.

 

Rely on Messiah to see you through.

 

Yahweh is faithful.

            He knows how to set the temperature levels to perfectly control the firing that proves you.

 

Yahweh is determined – He wants His vessels to be sound.

 

His eyes never leave you.

            You are not in the fire alone.

 

Only after you have passed through the fire can you  receive His fullness and the refreshing of the Ruach.

 

Severe failure in the midst of a fiery test reveals a lack of faith and trust that Yahweh is in control.

 

Yahweh’s in the business of restoring broken vessels – He is the Master Potter.


 

 

 

THE VESSEL OF WRATH

 

Romans 9: 22What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

 

When the broken vessel refuses to accept the blood of the fasuka in mending the crack, it becomes a vessel of wrath.

 

There is no honor or joy for the potter.

            Even after much time and labor it fails.

                        The vessel refuses the blood and the re-firing.

The vessel of wrath cannot stand the heat that cracked it in the first place.

 

The same is true of peoples lives.

 

The holding power of the blood is magnificent.

            When we crack in the fire it is not the bloods fault.

 

Our congregations and churches are filled with “cracked pots”.

 

If we accept the holding power of Yeshua’s blood and thus withstand the fires of life’s trials, a life of service lies ahead of us.

 

If, however, we reject the blood, our future holds only the eventual wrath of the Potter.

 

Just as the vessel is saved by the patient application of the blood, so too are we saved from Yahweh’s wrath through the blood of Yeshua.

 

Romans 5:9

            9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

 

When Yahweh puts a man in the fire He goes into the fire with him.

 

Yahweh takes us through the fire, not around it.

 

There is a fire that is only known to committed talmidim.

            This is the fire of voluntary suffering such as many on the mission field face.

 

Most believers are unwilling to die for anything, and suffering is not a viable choice.

 

But the chosen suffering of a committed talmidim is not masochistic nor self-torture.

           

It’s simply a choice like that of Moshe to suffer affliction with the people of Yahweh.

 

Today we are trampled by the run to security.

            It takes a person caught in divine pull to turn and swim upstream.

 

Fires of choice produce the greatest durability.

            Great glory for Yahweh comes out of the furnace of affliction,

                        Particularly when the affliction is willingly embraced for Messiah.

 

The furnace is no fun.

 

600 years before Yeshua

            Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon set up image

                        3 young men refused to bow

                                    Yahweh held their first priority

                                                They acted in obedience.

 

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thy hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.

Daniel 3:17-18

 

That’s heavy duty faith.

 

Being willing to be obedient regardless of Yahweh’s response is a sigh of true faith.

 

We cannot determine what Yahweh does!

            His wisdom is greater than our knowledge.

                        Just as the 3 Israelites, we must be obedient and let Yahweh do the rest.

 

The fires only serve to strengthen and make durable the vessels of clay.

 

Remember Peter’s statement that he would never deny Yeshua,

            He had no idea of the fire he was about to face.

 

When it came Peter failed.

 

After the resurrection of Messiah, Peter accepted the blood and withstood the fire.

 

For the rest of his life Peter faced many times of trial but with the  holding power

Of the blood he was triumphant.

 

Yahweh’s testing will always be of our perceived strength.

            A test of our weakness proves nothing.

 

Every strength will be tried in the fire.

 

We must remember that at some point we have all cracked in the fire.

 

We have reached points where our action and speech defy interpretation. 

 

This is reality.

The test is whether we can allow the Potter to repair the cracks and have His way with us.

 

Are we willing to face His furnace again and again.

 

Failure to do that is what will make us a vessel of wrath.

 

If we reject the Potter’s act of restoration through the power of Yeshua’s blood, we become a vessel of wrath.

 

When all has failed the Potter took the vessel up on the wall of the city and cast it down into the dump.

 

It then becomes nothing but potsherds – useful only for the leper to scrap his wounds with.

 

 

The Potter’s touch is unique.

 

He produces servant-hood, not service.

 

He goes to the deepest roots of the heart to make corrections.

 

He is after durability.

 

To be anointed and consecrated to servant-hood is an honor.

 

Only the constant touch of the Potter can make this possible.

 

 

Reference source:
                    The Potters Touch
                    Dr. Sam Sasser