4. RAW SUGAR AND THE REFINERY
Read Rev. 2:8-11
In our tour through the Sugar Mill we have progressed through the milling stage where the Christian’s hard shell is pounded to pieces, the extracted juice has been filtered and purified, cleansed by Christ’s shed blood. The golden syrup went into the Vacuum Pans where he or she starts the maturing or crystallization stage. The initial Christian experiences are matured into riper and a more steady knowledge of Christ and His word. He is seeded with the word of God, where the Christian crystallizes into further maturity along the way to living a life like Jesus lived while He was here on earth.
Let us continue further. This dark thick, gooey toffee-like mixture called massecuite is fed into Centrifuges. These Centrifuges are almost like the good old spin dryer everyone has in their home. The dripping wet clothes are spun at high speed. The centrifugal force developed throws the water through the holes provided on the shell of the drum. The clothes are then removed, almost dry, ready, to hang up on the clothesline. These centrifuges in the Mill spin the thick massecuite from the Crystallizers out through the extremely fine sieve. This spun-out liquid is called molasses. This molasses is used in cattle feed, mixed with silage, made into fertilizer, and I have even seen it sprayed on sand roads to bind the upper layers together, very much like a cheap tar road. They did this at Dwangwa. Our own “tar” roads in and around the site, in the middle of nowhere! It is amazing how God can use the Christian in so many ways to do His will.
The sugar that is dropped out of the Centrifuges still has to be processed further. Time does not allow me to elaborate, but we can get what is known in the sugar industry as A, B and C type sugar as well as refined sugar, ie, raw sugar and refined sugar. In the factory we also have a Remelter. Off-specification sugar, spillages, etc. are thrown into the smelter where it is fed back into the system. From the Centrifugals the wet sugar is fed into huge dryers where the moisture is evaporated away, and from there we have the final weighing and packaging from the bags to the small packets used for your tea or coffee.
Today’s tour brings us to the end of the processes, the various types of sugar. We see that the object of the Sugar Mill or Factory or, as it is often called, the Sugar Refinery, is to produce sugar for sale to the public. It has to be put to use to justify the cost of producing it. Now what is the purpose of the Christian going through, as it is so often the case, such trials and tribulations? Often the Christian suffers more than the wicked. The wicked so often seem to get away with murder. Through trials and tribulations the Christian is built up in faith and character. We must actually welcome these hardships. This does not mean that we have to go out looking for them on purpose. James tells us in James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
All this is not the ultimate purpose, however. What is it? Come with me to Rev. 18:4 and you will see why! This is what John heard: “Then I heard another voice from heaven say: ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share her sins.’” And again in 1 Peter 2:9 we read: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” We are to be “centrifuged” from the bad worldly influences. There are many such quotations in the Scriptures. Take some time to look them and study and meditate on them, for herein is one of the secrets to successful Christian living.
Listeners, the time is drawing critically near to the end of the age. God is busy gathering to Himself a people, but only those who have gone through the mill; those who have gone through the Centrifugal of life, those who are holy, those whose names are written in the Book of Life. Even if you scoff at the idea of the end times and say that it is still far away, I want to ask you one serious question this morning, and it is this: Can you be absolutely sure that you will still be alive tomorrow morning? And if you have not yet Jesus as your Saviour and Redeemer you will be lost to eternal damnation in Hell. These are hard words, they are not mine but the very words of Jesus Himself. Jesus has given this very warning many times in the Scripture.
Ted commented yesterday morning that he was looking forward to today to find out where he fitted and to what grade of sugar he belongs to. Let me comment as follows: As we have the different grades of sugar; dark brown sugar, brown sugar, yellowish sugar and white sugar, so God, not a respecter of persons, will gather to Him of all races, all colours, and all nations. The Scripture is very clear that only a few will be saved because many will not listen and subject themselves to the rule of God in their lives.
It is the devil’s lie that ALL people will eventually be saved. Jesus said: “I am the way.” What many people do not realize that much of the brown sugar sold in the shops is not the pure brown sugar before refining. Much of the brown sugar is refined sugar flavoured again with a little bit of molasses that had been taken out in the first place. This is much like some of the cereals where the goodness has been taken out and then they have the cheek to offer, separately, at a price, the bran that was taken out, saying that it contains all the goodness. I am a bit of a health fanatic and nobody can tell me that refined foods on its own is healthy.
What I am trying to say is that in the Christian life our fellowship with ALL the brothers and sisters in Christ is vitally necessary for our own perfect fellowship with Christ.
I want to challenge you and ask yourself this morning just how is your standing with God and the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you reached the sugar stage, or have you stagnated at one of the previous stages? Have you the assurance that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? The final product is the sugar in all its forms.
The final product of the Christian is the righteousness received through Christ. I invite you to receive the white robes of righteousness if you have not got them already. Talking of the New Jerusalem, the Holy City, Rev. 21:27 says: “Nothing impure will ever enter it, or will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
We have completed the tour of the factory, except for one most important section. Can you guess what is? Be with me in Part 5 for the last day’s tour and the answer.