The Gold of Character

By John Thiel

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. 12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

These words apply vividly to our understanding since the dark day of May 19, 1780.  Here is brought into focus the day of the heralding of the last days in which God is going to bring to fruition the details of the destruction of this planet as it now is.  As we appreciate the events that have been taking place ever since 1780 the second advent of Jesus is imminent is it not?  How many years is it from 1780 till now?

More Precious than Fine Gold

The words in verse 12 are extremely important for us to appreciate.  I will make a man more precious than fine gold even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.  In 1844 what happened?  Unto 2300 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.  What does this mean?  This scripture reveals a prophecy about the investigative judgment and the impact of investigative judgment that is taking place in the heavenly sanctuary since 1844 right to the current time.

God’s law reaches the feelings and motives, as well as the outward acts. It reveals the secrets of the heart, flashing light upon things before buried in darkness. God knows every thought, every purpose, every plan, every motive. The books of heaven record the sins that would have been committed had there been opportunity. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. By His law He measures the character of every man. As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face, so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of heaven. God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin (ST July 31, 1901).  {5BC 1085.4}

God compares our character with his law and reveals to us the things that mar our life.  Then he calls for us to repent of those things.  This is none other than Isaiah 13:12 as he purges his people to make them more pure than the golden wedge of Ophir.  What is the Word of God?  It is sharper than any two edged sword doing the cutting and severing even in relation to the thoughts and intents of our heart.  To appreciate this I want to let the Spirit of Prophecy, the testimony of Jesus help us;

More clearly than we do we need to understand the issues at stake in the great conflict in which we are engaged. We need to understand more fully the value of the truths of the word of God and the danger of allowing our minds to be diverted from them by the great deceiver.  {MH 451.1}

The infinite value of the sacrifice required for our redemption reveals the fact that sin is a tremendous evil. Through sin the whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the imagination corrupted. Sin has degraded the faculties of the soul. Temptations from without find an answering chord within the heart, and the feet turn imperceptibly toward evil.  {MH 451.2}

Can we see where we are at and what our condition is?  We need to understand the true nature of our condition and we need to understand the true nature of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

As the sacrifice in our behalf was complete, so our restoration from the defilement of sin is to be complete. No act of wickedness will the law of God excuse; no unrighteousness can escape its condemnation. The ethics of the gospel acknowledge no standard but the perfection of the divine character. The life of Christ was a perfect fulfillment of every precept of the law. He said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” His life is our example of obedience and service. God alone can renew the heart. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” But we are bidden, “Work out your own salvation.” John 15:10; Philippians 2:13, 12.  {MH 451.3}

As the sacrifice in our behalf was complete so our restoration from defilement of sin is to be complete.  No act of wickedness will the law of God excuse.  You know these words used to really frighten me “no act of wickedness will the Lord excuse”.  Are we completely obeying everything God is says?  No, sin has still got us. The gospel does not let us off the leash – it provides a remedy.  The life of Christ was a perfect fulfillment of every precept of the law obedience and service.

We can’t compare our obedience with what other people are telling us. We need to compare it with what God is saying. It is God who worketh in you to do of his good pleasure but we are bidden to work out our own salvation.

How is this going to go on?

Wrongs cannot be righted, nor can reformations in conduct be made by a few feeble, intermittent efforts. Character building is the work, not of a day, nor of a year, but of a lifetime. The struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. Without continual effort and constant activity, there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor’s crown.–MH 452 (1905).  {2MCP 728.3}

Christian character development requires patience and sacrifice and a constant fight to conquer self inch by inch and hour by hour.  Here is the enlargement of what God will do in making a man more perfect than the golden wedge of Ophir.  Our participation in this work is illuminated to us by the process of purifying and refining gold.  To make a man pure in righteousness is a process that is symbolized by the process of purifying gold;

Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Jesus is in the most holy place is doing this work.  Can you see the comparison?  God is going to purge and purify his people just in the same way that gold and silver is purified. Let us explore together this process of purifying gold so that we can understand the process of how God purges us in our own experience.

The Golden Wedge of Ophir

What is the Golden wedge of Ophir?  Ophir is a location mentioned in the Bible.  If you look at a map and see the Red Sea coming up, the northern point of the Red Sea is close to Israel.  As you travel along the Red Sea in a South Easterly direction towards the bottom you will find a place called Ophir.  This is the place where the highest grade gold is found.  When we speak of high grade gold we are referring to gold in its natural state which is less tainted by other metals.  It is very pure already. There are places in the world today where gold is less mingled with other metals. But still that gold has to be purified.  God will make a man more pure than the golden wedge of Ophir – very pure.  After gold has been purified by mans methods it is still mingled with platinum and that’s why with denser low grade gold is a dense golden colour.  But even when the gold has been purified, polished and shined there are still minerals in there that cannot be separated by ordinary methods.  The refiner will make it more pure so that there won’t be any other substances in it.  The purest condition of gold is written of in Revelation 21.  Here we read about the city of God, the New Jerusalem and it describes what the streets are made of;

Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

God says I will make a man more precious than fine gold.  What is involved in making fine gold?  To reach the purity of a golden wedge of Ophir I will share with you what I have learnt and what process takes place.

Making Fine Gold

The gold is placed into a crucible which is made of a material that can handle intense heat, then, very slowly the temperature of the furnace increases heating up the gold in the crucible.  If temperature of the furnace were to heat up too fast it would shatter the crucible so instead the temperature of the furnace has to increase slowly over several hours until it is hot enough to melt the gold.  As the intensity increases the gold which is mingled with other metals begins to melt, some metals melt before others but as they melt within the crucible they can’t release because other metals still hold to the temperature so that they can’t come to the surface, the heat has to get hotter yet.  When everything has been melted some of the dross mingled with the gold floats to the surface and is removed however there are yet other metals that still haven’t come to the surface and stubbornly remain mingled with the gold.  To separate these metals from the gold, chemicals are added.

Some but not all of these chemicals will cause the dross to be separated from the gold however there may still be some other minerals that have not reposed to the heat or the chemicals so yet another chemical needs to be added.  Now the deep internal metals still clinging to the bowl are released and they also now float to the top.  The heat activity combined with the chemical process is repeated again and again until all the dross floats to the top.  Now you have an understanding of the gold refinement process but even after this process the gold is still not transparent, it is a dense coloured mass because there are still impurities within. In like manner Jesus is working his people to purge them as fine gold.  He wants to make them purer than the golden wedge of Ophir.  Every human being has some gold inside of them  The Bible declares this when it says that Christ is the light of the world that lights every man.  The gold of Christ and his beautiful character has been instilled into every human being but when a believer comes to Christ, the word of God and the wonderful mystery of the gospel creates him anew.  This is the hope of glory that we all have. When the believer has Christ inside of him – he has that beautiful gold but just like gold in its natural state, the beauty of Christ is mingled with the dross of sinful human nature.

The Word makes the proud humble, the perverse meek and contrite, the disobedient obedient. The sinful habits natural to man are interwoven with the daily practice. But the Word cuts away the fleshly lusts. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the mind. It divides the joints and marrow, cutting away the lusts of the flesh, making men willing to suffer for their Lord (MS 42, 1901).  {7BC 928.10}

When we have Jesus inside of us we still have sinful habits of the natural man that are interwoven with our daily life.  I may be gold but I am impure gold – gold mingled with the habits of sin.  In the bible sin is likened to tin and tin is also referred to as dross.  I want to read the beautiful testimony of Jesus to illuminate our minds as to the process he is engaging us in to make us more pure than the golden wedge of Ophir;

God has always tried His people in the furnace of affliction. It is in the heat of the furnace that the dross is separated from the true gold of the Christian character. Jesus watches the test; He knows what is needed to purify the precious metal, that it may reflect the radiance of His love. It is by close, testing trials that God disciplines His servants. He sees that some have powers which may be used in the advancement of His work, and He puts these persons upon trial; in His providence He brings them into positions that test their character and reveal defects and weaknesses that have been hidden from their own knowledge. He gives them opportunity to correct these defects and to fit themselves for His service. He shows them their own weakness, and teaches them to lean upon Him; for He is their only help and safeguard. Thus His object is attained. They are educated, trained, and disciplined, prepared to fulfill the grand purpose for which their powers were given them. When God calls them to action, they are ready, and heavenly angels can unite with them in the work to be accomplished on the earth.  {PP 129.3}

This world is the scene of our trials, our griefs, our sorrows. We are here to bear the test of God. The fire of the furnace is to kindle till our dross is consumed and we come forth as gold purified in the furnace of affliction. . . . Light will come out of this darkness which to you at times seems incomprehensible. “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Let this be the language of your heart. The cloud of mercy is hovering over your head even in the darkest hour. God’s benefits to us are as numerous as the drops of rain falling from the clouds upon the parched earth to water and refresh it. The mercy of God is over you.  {HP 272.3}

God calls upon you to believe. Heed His voice. Cease talking of the wrath of God and talk of His compassion and His abundant mercy. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. The furnace in which you may be placed may be very hot, yet you will come forth as gold seven times purified, reflecting the image of Jesus. Have courage. Look up, believe, and you shall see of the salvation of God.  {HP 119.5}

Seven Times Purified

How many times will we come forth purified?  Seven times!  Seven is the number of completeness.  In other words the refining process in our lives will take place again and again until we are made pure.  As we go through trials the temperature is increased and it gets hotter.  More chemicals need to be applied and more difficult circumstances come into place until the impure habits in my character are severed. When the heat intensifies under trial do you feel comfortable?  I know from my own experience that when something’s begin to melt inside of me it gets very uncomfortable. Have you ever experienced something melting inside of you in response to the heat but you can’t get it out?  As the heat intensifies it feels like it is going to blow your brain because the inside is responding and melting to the temperature but you can’t get it out. Yes it is going to get hotter still and more chemicals are needed.

It is in mercy that the Lord reveals to men their hidden defects. He would have them critically examine the complicated emotions and motives of their own hearts, and detect that which is wrong, and modify their dispositions and refine their manners. God would have His servants become acquainted with their own hearts. In order to bring to them a true knowledge of their condition, He permits the fire of affliction to assail them, so that they may be purified. The trials of life are God’s workmen to remove the impurities, infirmities, and roughness from our characters, and fit them for the society of pure, heavenly angels in glory. . . . The fire will not consume us, but only remove the dross, and we shall come forth seven times purified, bearing the impress of the Divine. {ML 92.3}

A refining, purifying process is going on among the people of God, and the Lord of hosts has set his hand to this work. This process is most trying to the soul, but it is necessary in order that defilement may be removed. Trials are essential in order that we may be brought close to our heavenly Father, in submission to his will, that we may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. God’s work of refining and purifying the soul must go on until his servants are so humbled, so dead to self, that when called into active service, they may have an eye single to the glory of God. Then they will not move rashly from impulse, and imperil the Lord’s cause because they are slaves to temptation and passion, because they follow their carnal desires; but they will move from principle and in view of the glory of God. The Lord brings his children over the same ground again and again, increasing the pressure until perfect humility fills the mind, and the character is transformed; then they are victorious over self, and in harmony with Christ and the Spirit of heaven.  {RH, April 10, 1894 par. 2}

The purification of God’s people cannot be accomplished without suffering. God permits the fire of affliction to consume the dross, to separate the worthless from the valuable, in order that the pure metal may shine forth. He passes us from one fire to another, testing our true worth. True grace is willing to be tried. If we are loath to be searched by the Lord, our condition is one of peril. God is the refiner and purifier of souls. He places us in the heat of the furnace, that the dross may be forever separated from the true gold of Christian character. Jesus watches the test. He knows just what fire of temptation and trial is needed to purify the precious metal, in order that the radiance of divine love may be reflected.  {RH, April 10, 1894 par. 3}

Fires!

We are brought to critically examine the complicated motives and emotions of our own hearts so that we may modify and refine them.  God would have his servants to be acquainted with their own hearts and in order to bring them to a true knowledge of their condition he permits fires to assail them.  This helps us to understand the true nature of our condition.  The trials of life are God’s workman to remove the impurities, infirmities and roughness of our characters and fit them for the society of pure heavenly angles and glory. The fire will not consume us but only remove the dross and we shall come forward seven times purified bearing the impress of the divine. How is the divine word of the testimony of Jesus in harmony with the gold being purified?  The gold has mingled in it materials that stubbornly hold.  Does this mean that we have impure character traits that hold onto us too?  Through the purification process of trials we need to discover what these stubborn things are so that we can repent of them.  Then when they appear and we identify them we can repent of these ghastly characteristics.  What are you prone to say when you discover how ghastly you are?  Do you say I’m lost, God has forsaken me, I’m getting out of here?

Turn Up the Heat Please!

If you think like that then you are really in need of this message here today.  Don’t feel condemned because when the temperature gets hotter it is merely God’s way of bringing the filthy dross to the surface and there is probably still more inside of you that wants to bubble to the top but it can’t because it is stubbornly held inside.  When this happens, don’t give up – let God continue to turn up the heat and to increase the pressure with those chemicals.

The Lord in His providence brings men where He can test their moral powers and reveal their motives of action, that they may improve what is right in themselves and put away that which is wrong. God would have His servants become acquainted with the moral machinery of their own hearts. In order to bring this about, He often permits the fire of affliction to assail them that they may become purified. . . .  {AG 330.2}

Do you like what you see about yourself?  I don’t but I have to see it because God is making sure of it.  The true believer is willing to be tried yet I hear many people say “I am never going to put myself in that type of situation again.”  If you avoid being tried in the furnace of affliction you are never going to make it – we must face difficult situations whether it is comfortable for us or not because this is where God wants us to be. If we are loathed to be searched by the Lord that situation is more serious indeed for God is the refiner of our souls so that the dross may be separated forever.  Jesus watches the tests that we go through and he knows what is needed to purify the precious metal so that we may reflect the radiance of his divine love.  Now notice we want to understand here, the chemicals that are included in the process of heating and separating the stubborn things.  What are these chemicals?

Not in freedom from trial, but in the midst of it, is Christian character developed. Exposure to rebuffs and opposition leads the follower of Christ to greater watchfulness and more earnest prayer to the mighty Helper. Severe trial endured by the grace of God develops patience, vigilance, fortitude, and a deep and abiding trust in God. It is the triumph of the Christian faith that it enables its followers to suffer and be strong; to submit, and thus to conquer; to be killed all the day long, and yet to live; to bear the cross, and thus to win the crown of glory.  {AA 467.3}

What must I be exposed to in order to be purified?  What is the chemical that is going to increase the separation of the gold from the dross?  Human interaction, rebuffs, people verbally opposing one another and saying nasty things to one another in the process.  That is the chemical!

You may respond by thinking to yourself – they shouldn’t say things like that to me or try to push me around. Well according to God’s plan for purifying and purging us this can and does happen. It is actually the chemical agent that God uses to purify us.  God permits nasty people to say nasty things to you and he will permit the dross of some people to float to the surface and annoy you.

Do you remember how Jesus warned Peter that Satan would try to sift him?  God permitted Peter to be extremely tested during Christ’s trial and crucifixion.  He did this so that the dross concealed in Peter’s life would come to the surface and be purged.  In Acts of the Apostles we read some more of what the testimony of Jesus is revealing to us.

Trial is part of the education given in the school of Christ, to purify God’s children from the dross of earthliness. It is because God is leading His children that trying experiences come to them. Trials and obstacles are His chosen methods of discipline, and His appointed conditions of success. He who reads the hearts of men knows their weaknesses better than they themselves can know them. He sees that some have qualifications which, if rightly directed, could be used in the advancement of His work. In His providence He brings these souls into different positions and varied circumstances, that they may discover the defects that are concealed from their own knowledge. He gives them opportunity to overcome these defects and to fit themselves for service. Often He permits the fires of affliction to burn, that they may be purified.  {AA 524.2}

God reveals to man the sins that mar his life through varied circumstances.  God places people together in circumstances that will show up the machinery of their moral natures.  This is how God chooses to purify us. Do we need to feel despondent when trials ascend upon us and then avoid certain situations?  No we don’t – because God uses these very circumstances to purify and purge us.  Sometimes the furnace of affliction is the exact place where God wants us to be.  If we avoid the heat and chemicals how can we become purified in the gold refining process?  We have a very powerful example of this purging process in the Apostle Peter;

Just before Peter’s fall, Christ said to him, “Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Luke 22:31. How true was the Saviour’s friendship for Peter! how compassionate His warning! But the warning was resented. In self-sufficiency Peter declared confidently that he would never do what Christ had warned him against. “Lord,” he said, “I am ready to go with thee to prison, and to death.” His self-confidence proved his ruin. He tempted Satan to tempt him, and he fell under the arts of the wily foe. When Christ needed him most, he stood on the side of the enemy, and openly denied his Lord. Christ Triumphant 276.1

Notice, Peter resented the saviour’s warning.  Have you ever resented a message that God has given to you because it cuts right across your comfort zone?  Well this was also the experience of Peter.  Peter in his self sufficiency said he would never do what Christ had warned him against and so Jesus permitted him to make his own experience.

On the very spot where Jesus poured out his soul in agony, Peter fell upon his face, and wished that he might die.  Christ Triumphant 276:1.4

Why did Peter wish that he might die?  Because he did the very thing that Jesus told him he would do.

Many today stand where Peter stood, when in self-confidence he declared that he would not deny his Lord. And because of their self-sufficiency, they fall an easy prey to Satan’s devices. Those who realize their weakness trust in a power higher than self. And, while they look to God, Satan has no power against them. {TDG 259.3}

When Satan sifts us it is because we are not looking to God.  When we don’t look to God he says now I must let you make an experience.  There are some lessons that will never be learned except through failure.  Peter was a bitter man after his fall.  As fire purifies gold so Christ purifies his people by temptation and trial and the trial of your own mistakes. In the past when I have made some serious mistakes and I think to myself – this is too bad – I am such a sinner – I’m never going to make it.  Well praise the Lord that you have made the mistake so that you can learn from it.  Don’t praise the Lord that you’re a sinner, praise the lord that you won’t run away from his crucible. God has permitted this scene to show you up – to show something that you didn’t know about yourself.  How intense is the heat now in 2008?  Is it any hotter today that it was in Sr Whites time?  Has the intensity of the heat increased since her day?  I believe today it is more hot than it was back then.

In this time of trial we need to be encouraged and comforted by one another. The temptations of Satan are greater now than ever before, for he knows that his time is short and that very soon every case will be decided, either for life or for death. It is no time now to sink down beneath discouragement and trial; we must bear up under all our afflictions and trust wholly in the Almighty God of Jacob. The Lord has shown me that His grace is sufficient for all our trials; and although they are greater than ever before, yet if we trust wholly in God, we can overcome every temptation and through His grace come off victorious.  {EW 46.1}

It is hotter now than in Sr Whites time because the investigative judgment is nearly over.  All Gods people who have been living through this time are now being purged and quickly.

The Special Chemical and the Intensifying Of the Heat

God has shown me that He gave His people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them. It is a bitter draft, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. But those who receive it thus must have another draft, for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another, and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy, impure in heart. {CET 103.4}

What makes something bitter?  Isn’t it acid?  When you put acid on to certain surfaces it bubbles doesn’t it.  It is a bitter draft and people can make it all the more bitter by murmuring, repining and complaining.  When people speak to each other in this way it is actually material to their character revelation.  And if the second bitter cup or trial does not do its refining work then they must have another cup and yet another until it has achieved its designed effect.  Without this process they would be remain filthy an impure.

I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance, and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus receive it, and God will be honored and glorified. It is no small thing to be a Christian and to be owned and approved of God. The Lord has shown me some who profess the present truth, whose lives do not correspond with their profession. They have the standard of piety altogether too low, and they come far short of Bible holiness. Some engage in vain and unbecoming conversation, and others give way to the risings of self. We must not expect to please ourselves, live and act like the world, have its pleasures, and enjoy the company of those who are of the world, and reign with Christ in glory.  {EW 47.1}

Incidentally where does all this purification take place among God’s people?  You have it recorded on your character picture.

Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His supreme regard. It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts.  {AA 12.1}

Where is God transforming hearts to purify our character?  In the church.  If you are a member of God’s true church that is where the heat gets turned on – that is where the chemicals are poured in and that is where the reflux is felt.  The gold does not always appear in Gods church so we sometimes think it can’t be God’s church.

The fine gold does not always appear. In every religious crisis some fall under temptation. The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves. Prosperity multiplies a mass of professors. Adversity purges them out of the church. As a class, their spirits are not steadfast with God. They go out from us because they are not of us; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, many are offended.  {4T 89.2}

How Pure?

Yes in the providence of God among his people it shows that every trial among professed Christians proves some to be dross the gold does not always appear.  In this scenario we come to the close of probation when God has closed his work in the sanctuary above.  Probation closes and people are how pure?  Like the golden wedge of Ophir.  But the process is not over yet for the gold is not yet transparent. A crucible must be used that wasn’t used before, a crucible which can withstand much higher temperatures.  Do you know that when probation is closed the church is no longer needed?

The time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out Christlike characters. It is designed to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptations. The last conflict will reveal Satan to them in his true character, that of a cruel tyrant, and it will do for them what nothing else could do, uproot him entirely from their affections. For to love and cherish sin, is to love and cherish its author, that deadly foe of Christ. When they excuse sin and cling to perversity of character, they give Satan a place in their affections, and pay him homage.  {OHC 321.3}

Jacob’s history is also an assurance that God will not cast off those who have been deceived and tempted and betrayed into sin, but who have returned unto Him with true repentance. While Satan seeks to destroy this class, God will send His angels to comfort and protect them in the time of peril. The assaults of Satan are fierce and determined, his delusions are terrible; but the Lord’s eye is upon His people, and His ear listens to their cries. Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem about to consume them; but the Refiner will bring them forth as gold tried in the fire. God’s love for His children during the period of their severest trial is as strong and tender as in the days of their sunniest prosperity; but it is needful for them to be placed in the furnace of fire; their earthliness must be consumed, that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected.  {GC 621.1}

The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger–a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God–how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God. .  {GC 621.2}

The intensity is terrible, the conflict is severe and their earthliness must be removed, not their sin, their earthliness.  Some peoples affections still tilt a little towards Satan just like with the angels.  It took the angels in heaven (the ones that remained) a long time to totally remove their affections from him.  That is at the close of probation, the time of Jacob’s trouble.  There the gold will be heated up to an intensity that we have never seen or experienced before.  As God’s people come through it says;

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Those who hold fast their faith unto the end will come forth from the furnace of trial as fine gold seven times purified. Of this work the prophet Isaiah says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir” [Isa. 13:12]. When in trouble, remember that faith tried in the furnace of affliction is more precious than gold tried with fire. Remember that there is One watching every movement to see when the last particle of dross is taken away from your character. It is then that you are counted more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. By hiding with Christ in God, fallen man reaches this state of purity.  {2SAT 175.3}

Once we have been totally purified we can walk the streets of transparent gold.  Then we may dwell with everlasting burnings that will melt away the elements with fervent heat while the city of God with its pure gold floats on for eternity and God’s people do not melt away.  Praise the Lord for such revelations. Brother and sisters take courage in the Lord let us hold on together.  Let us hold together and let God do his work with us.

Amen.

Posted on March 28, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Wow — thank you for the marvelous message. I have been edified and touched. I am curious … many of your citations (the ones in bold) have different references than I am used to seeing. Who wrote them? I would love to locate and read full excerpts. Here are a few quotes you might appreciate:

    In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted of some to become acquainted with God. In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd. – James E Faust

    If our hearts are right before God, adversity will school us, help us overcome our carnal nature, and nurture the divine spark within us. Were it not for adversity, we would not know to ‘choose the better part’. Adversity helps us see where we need to repent, to bring into subjection baser instincts, to embrace righteousness and enjoy ‘peace of conscience’. – Keith B McMullen

    No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God… and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven. – Orsen F Whitney

    Patience permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord when we are tossed about by suffering as if by surf. When the undertow grasps us we will realize that we are somehow being carried forward even as we tumble. We are actually being—helped even as we cry for help. – Neal A Maxwell

    … a host of … ills cause many to be tossed about by the sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reefs of lost opportunities, forfeited blessings, and shattered dreams. My counsel for all of us is to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue … [it] sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing. – Thomas S Monson

    If thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against three; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all of the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall before thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below all things. Art thou greater than He? -D&C 122:7

    My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. D&C 121:7-8

    Aren’t those beautiful?

    – Ken

  2. thanks for this wonderful message we will never see earthly trials the same again,may the fires continue to reveal our true motives and intents of the heart and mind.we studied this together today for morning worship.thank you for your work here and sending forth the true witness for our sakes to know the grand truth of our Savior redeeming atoning LOVE. God Bless Roy and Melanie.

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