“Base Metals In Scripture – Tin (Yet Carnal…Babes In Christ)”

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As we learned last week, metals in scripture are used to express the value that God places upon the spiritual ‘material,’ or the spiritual ‘substance’ within His people. As we go through this series let us not forget these words:

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

How can “man live by the words… gold, silver, brass, iron, tin, and lead?” The answer is that these metals are all used by the Holy Spirit to tell us what is within each of us at their appointed time to be within each of us. They are used to describe the different stages of our spiritual growth. That is how metals are used in scripture. That is how we “live by” those words. They are descriptive of the Spirit within each of us at the different stages of our development as we will see. For example, there was a time that Christ called the apostle Peter ‘Satan:’

Mar 8:33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

The other gospels do not say “he looked on His disciples”, but Mark does. That lets us know that Christ was very much aware that Peter was speaking for every one of Christ’s disciples. They all savored not the things of God, but the things that be of men. They were all, just as we all are at one time, “yet carnal… babes in Christ… copper, iron, tin and lead.”
Those words “proceeded out of the mouth of Christ.” Do you think the words that proceed from the mouth of God are talking to some poor lost sheep, some prodigal son, some adulterous woman, some poor blind man, some tares among the wheat seed that is in dry, shallow soil, among rocks and thorns and not to you? If that is how you think, then you do not believe that you must “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
The least valued metal in scripture is lead. We saw last week how the armies of Egypt within each of us must “sink to the bottom of the sea” and be “burned up.”

Jer 6:27 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.
Jer 6:28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.
Jer 6:29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
Exo 15:10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

Had Jeremiah ever been in God’s fire? Did these words ever apply to him?

Jer 20:7 O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.
Jer 20:8 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.
Jer 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

When Jeremiah was led by some evil spirit to decide to no longer speak in God’s name, that too, was when God deceived Jeremiah. God sent an evil spirit to tell Jeremiah to quit telling the people what God had revealed to Jeremiah. Jeremiah listened to that evil spirit as we all do in our appointed times of being lead and tin. But then at the appointed time, God’s word “was in mine heart as a burning fire,” and Jeremiah had to continue in his service as God’s spokesman, as “a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.” That is what God’s “two witnesses” have always done and what they will always do.

Tin – The Letter and Flesh Valued Above The Things of The Spirit Within

The next base metal in the order laid down in Num 31 is tin. But since metals signify spiritual worth, all metals – base or precious – must be refined in fire:

Num 31:22 Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,
Num 31:23 Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.

‘Tin’ is a word which had proceeded out of the mouth of God, a word which we must therefore live. Like lead, tin signifies the value placed on the letter and the things of the flesh by the leaders of Babylon, and even though it is a base metal, even base metals go through the fire. But God’s fire is so strong that base metals are vaporized and burned out of God’s elect.

Isa 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [ and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Isa 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Isa 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

“Israel does not know, my people do not consider” are words which have “proceeded out of the mouth of God.” We all live those words every time we rebel and do what we know should not be done. Who has ever done such evil? Is this someone else? This is tin and lead within all of us.

Isa 1:24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

So, strange as it may seem to us, iron and tin and lead in the Old Testament have a lot in common with the ‘wood, hay and stubble” of the New Testament:

1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because i t shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

I used to believe that this was talking exclusively of those who were predestined for the lake of fire. I certainly had no intention of “suffering loss”. But that was before I was brought to see that I, too, had to “live by every word of God.” Then it took on a new perspective:

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Now I, too, must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. I just live it all first:

Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. [ in His Words that we must “live by every word…”
1Co 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

“The ends of the ages” are the day of judgment. And judgment has come upon “the house of God first:

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

I used to struggle over whether this suffering was speaking of suffering because of what others inflicted upon me or if it were talking about things I bring upon myself. The answer is that it is both, because I must “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Of course I am admonished not to suffer as an evil doer:

1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

But these words “are the commandments of the Lord.” These words have therefore proceeded out of the mouth of God, and I must therefore be guilty of them all in some way such as having hated my brother:

1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

“Man [ all mankind] shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God.” This is “God’s people.” This is the Babylon out from which we must all come.

Eze 22:6 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood.
Eze 22:7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.
Eze 22:8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths.
Eze 22:17 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 22:18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.
Eze 22:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem here is the one which Paul says is “now in bondage with her children.”

Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

There is not one orthodox Christian on the face of this earth who agrees with Paul that “Jerusalem that now is” is “this [ Gentile] Hagar.” They all declare that Paul is wrong and that ‘Jerusalem that now is’, is God’s chosen people and is not in bondage. But that is the doctrine of Babylon. The physical and the letter predominate the spirit to them. In Scripture Tyrus is a type of Babylon, and this is what we are told of Tyrus and of Babylon:

Eze 27:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Eze 27:2 Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus;
Eze 27:3 And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty.
Eze 27:4 Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty.
Eze 27:12 Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs.

The positive application of the word ‘Tin’

As with every word in the Word of God, tin is also used by God to demonstrate that God calls light out of darkness, good out of evil and life out of death. Tin is used in God’s Word as a plummet in Christ’s hand, too. Evil and good are creations in the hand of the Creator:

Zec 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
Zec 4:2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which [ are] upon the top thereof:
Zec 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Zec 4:4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
Zec 4:5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
Zec 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Zec 4:9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.
Zec 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

H913 bedi yl Total KJV Occurrences: 6
tin, 5 – Num_31:22, Isa_1:25, Eze_22:18, Eze_22:20, Eze_27:12
plummet, 1 – Zec_4:10


Tin is a base metal, and yet even base metals must go through the fire of God’s Word and be burned out of us so that only the gold, silver and precious stones remain:

Num 31:22 Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,
Num 31:23 (a) Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean:

Even precious redeeming silver must go through through the furnace of fire with all of the base metals that are all of God’s people while yet in the wilderness:

Eze 22:20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.
Eze 22:21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
Exo 19:18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

These are words proceeding out of the mouth of God. These are words about God’s people. And these are words about God’s kingdom:

Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

These too, are words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God. Just where is “His kingdom?”

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God is also about those who are in His kingdom. All the parables are about “the mysteries of the kingdom of God” and they are one and all “within you” burning out the tares and the tin and the lead:

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Jer 6:29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
Isa 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

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