The Spiritual Significance of Base Metals in Scripture – Iron, Part 2

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The Spiritual Significance of Base Metals in Scripture – Iron (Part 2): Its Positive Application

By way of review:

Base metals all are refined from out of the dust of the earth, but they are not very valuable because they are so common. And yet none of the precious metals would be considered precious to us without the fact that we have so much and so many of these common, base metals. For this very same reason God’s “jewels” are ‘jewels’ because they are precious and few in comparison to such an abundance of these base or common metals. Here is how God expresses this thought:

Rom 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous [jewels] and the wicked [base metals], between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

All the common and base metals are refined through the furnace of fire, just as are all of the precious metals. That refining process begins while we are yet in Egypt:

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Deu 4:20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

Israel’s calling was at the expense of the rest of the world.

Lev 20:26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

God’s elect are chosen at the expense of physical Israel:

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [Israel’s] unbelief:

Our election is based upon the rejection of the multitudes of Christians. We would not be elect without the rejected firstborn flesh. And they will not be brought to God except through God’s elect:

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

The same is true for Christ. Through what was Christ raised from the dead:

Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for [Greek – dia – through] our offences, and was raised again for [Greek – dia – through] our justification.

Christ’s death was “through our offences.” Christ’s resurrection from the dead was “through our justification,” through God’s rejection of the common base metal called “sinful flesh” which we all are in the beginning of our experience.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

What is flesh? It misses the mark. It is “sinful.”

Iron is found in the promised land, flowing with immature, but “sincere… milk and honey”.

Deu 8:9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

Exo 3:17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.

1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

But as it is with all immature “babes in Christ,” babies do not consider themselves to be immature.

1Co 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Co 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

And yet these Corinthians were just immature babes:

1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

‘Carnal’ is as common and as base as it comes. But ‘carnal’ is not just others, carnal is common to all men.

Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:[base metals]

So this next verse is not some one else. This next verse proceeds out of the mouth of God and is each of us in our common base metal, part of our walk:

Rev 3:15 I know thy [he that hath and ear to hear] works, that thou [that hath an ear to hear] art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

What are iron’s unique properties?

There are, no doubt, others but the two most obvious are its hardness and its tendency to rust and corrode.

Deu 28:48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

Jer 6:28 They [are] all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: [they are] brass and iron; they are all corrupters.

Dan 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

So ‘iron’ symbolizes our trials and tests needed to break our hard hearts and bring us eventually into submission. That is why Egypt is called an iron furnace:

Deu 4:20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

There will be no merciless, hard iron tools of man’s works, used in the construction of God’s house:

1Ki 6:7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building. [Christ builds His own temple. Our works are “tools of iron”].

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Iron’s positive application in scripture

But iron will be used in its construction. Iron is unyielding as it holds the house of God together. It breaks in pieces all the false doctrines that come against it.

1Ch 22:3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight;

Iron is used “without weight” in the construction of God’s house:

1Ch 22:14 Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.

There is much work in building God’s house. God’s house is full of workers in every material including much iron. But the Lord’s house cannot be built until the giants in the land have been subdued, until we have entered into our rest from our works:

1Ch 22:15 Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.
1Ch 22:16 Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.
1Ch 22:17 David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, [saying],
1Ch 22:18 Is not the LORD your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the LORD, and before his people.
1Ch 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.

Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

God’s house also has an abundance of gold, silver, and precious stones:

1Ch 29:2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for [things to be made] of gold, and the silver for [things] of silver, and the brass for [things] of brass, the iron for [things] of iron, and wood for [things] of wood; onyx stones, and [stones] to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.

Iron – Tribulation – Is By Far The Most Common of All Metals

But it takes far more of the common, base metals and stones for God’s house, than the gold, silver, and precious stones. Both are demanded, but the one is precious, the other is common or base. Hard, unyielding, trying iron, is far more abundant than any other metal.

1Ch 29:7 And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.

Here is what this signifies:

1Sa 26:21 Then said [King} Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
1Sa 26:22 And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.
1Sa 26:23 The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed.
1Sa 26:24 And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.
1Sa 26:25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed [be] thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

Notice, David did not take King Saul up on his offer to “return my son David.” King Saul signifies Babylon. Babylon is “The lord’s anointed, against whom we are not to stretch forth our hand” even as they bring us “much tribulation:”

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

We are not “return” to our oppressors:

Hos 11:5 He [Israel] shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return [to God].

The son of a Gentile, foreshadowing God’s calling of the Gentiles, is chosen to work on God’s Temple. He is skillful in working with all the metals, including iron.

2Ch 2:14 The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.

A reminder

These materials and all that is constructed of these materials represent the works and the doctrines with which the common people and the Levites were never to come in contact, except as God called and chose them to do so. many were called to supply the materials, but few were chosen to work on the temple.

2Ch 2:2 And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.

2Ch 2:7 Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.

Heb 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

Iron and brass are used to “mend the house of the Lord”

2Ch 24:12 And the king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and hired masons and carpenters to repair the house of the LORD, and also such as wrought iron and brass to mend the house of the LORD.

God’s elect are likened to iron:

Pro 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

God’s elect are called the daughter of Zion:

Mic 4:13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.

God’s Word Is Likened Unto Iron

Isa 10:34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Jer 1:9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

How does God describe “my words in thy mouth?”

Jer 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
Jer 1:18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
Jer 1:19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

God’s elect will rule with “a rod of iron”:

Psa 2:9 Thou [Christ] shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Rev 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

The ‘sharp sword’ and the ‘rod of iron’ are one and the same thing. Both are the “words which proceed out of the mouth of God,” by which all men shall eventually live.

Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:


Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

“The sword of the spirit, the word of God, the rod of His mouth, and the breath of His lips,” are all one and the same, Word of God.

In Conclusion

Iron, like all of the base metals, as well as the precious metals, must be smelted in the furnace of fire. Iron is less valuable than copper, but more useful that tin or lead. Iron, in it’s negative application, is the hardest and yet the most easily corrupted of all of the base metals.

But iron in its positive application breaks all the false doctrines of Babylon in pieces and destroys them. The word of God purifies our lives, rooting out what needs to be gone and breaking it to pieces.

Our next base metal is our last base metal. It is not nearly as common as iron, but it is still common. We will deal with the spiritual significance of copper in our next study.

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