Gold Tried in the Fire

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Isaiah 12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

God’s Work Since 1844

It is the work of God to make a man more precious than fine gold.

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay thes 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.

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh; here is the introduction of the thought that this is before the day arrives. It is an announcement that deals with a future event for those who read it just now, in which He will destroy the sinners out of the land. Then He identifies the period of time He is speaking about in verse 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. And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity, and so on.

The darkening of the sun and the darkening of the moon, the event of May 19 1780 that was a herald of the final darkness that is to come upon this planet. As the Lord says, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, He is identifying a period of time ever since the dark day that is mentioned in verse 10 and the punishing of the world for the wickedness of their iniquity which would take place as a progressive event right through to its final culmination in the outpouring of the fullness of God’s wrath. 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.

The outpouring of the vials of God’s wrath are addressed and we know that these events unfold even in Sr White’s time. She wrote that already some of the sprinkling of those vials were taking place back there. We go through the First and Second World War to our moment in time now, and we see the scenes multiplying in judgment of what man is doing to his planet and to the social fabric of the world. It is during this time, during the time since the dark day, that I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

What has the Lord been doing with those who believe in the preparation for the Second Advent ever since 1844 the beginning of the judgment? We sang it in our hymn,

“O solemn thought! And can it be the hour of judgement now is come, which soon must fix our destiny, and seal the sinner’s fearful doom?”

We are indeed aware that historic Adventism points to this period of time of preparation for the imminent coming of Jesus.

This work of I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir is couched among the closing events of this world’s history since 1844; the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, the investigative judgment. What is engaged in that period of time in reference to man becoming pure?

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. {5BC 1085.4}

What does He do, as He does this?

He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin (ST July 31, 1901). Ibid

The work of God since the beginning of the investigative judgment is to purify a people to show them the things that mar their life, to apply the work of God’s grace to apply salvation, forgiveness and apply cleansing through Jesus Christ. The impact of this period of time is addressed:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, …

Quick means alive.

Hebrews 4:12…and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

It is all there open before God. As it is opened before Him, He is at work to reveal it to us, so that He will make a man very, very pure. For us to let these activities of God become vivid to us we read further:

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}

Our Participation

As the sacrifice in our behalf was complete, {MH 451.3}

The sacrifice is complete to achieve this.

…so our restoration from the defilement of sin is to be complete. Ibid

The sacrifice of Christ can deal with every element of our sinfulness; nothing is left out. Our restoration is going to be just as complete and all encompassing.

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. Ibid

Here is the activity; God is working and we are to co-operate with Him and work out our own salvation. That is why this subject addressed in Isaiah 13 is important for us to understand. I will make a man more precious than fine gold. He is going to do it, but it says that we are to work out our own salvation. A complete restoration He is going to make.

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 452.1}

Then it goes on, how we must continue to fight on in this program. This is the engagement that the Lord wants us to participate in, in this period of time, from the time of the beginning of the investigative judgment to the close of probation. That is what we read in Isaiah 13, I will make a man more precious than fine gold; in this period of time. As he comes to His holy temple, this is what He is doing:

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts

There He comes to His holy temple, into the Most Holy place; it’s a direct reference to that.

Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming?

O solemn thought! The judgment
has commenced. Who can abide?

Malachi 3:2…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.

These are words of important application in this period of time and they hinge directly with Isaiah 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Just like gold is made pure by refining, He will refine us … 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…like gold is purged, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

We see vividly that this is an ongoing lifetime exercise. The people who have lived from 1844 onwards have a lifetime of exercise to become purified as the Lord is doing that work. Let’s explore that actual activity so we might know what it means to co-operate with that. This is essential if we will come forth to make an offering in righteousness. What is the engagement in this wonderful interactivity of God purging and purifying us? We had studied that we need to yield in our Sabbath School Lesson. The key all the way through the lesson was that we would yield to the wonderful interaction of Christ our righteousness which was to yield to justification and by yielding to justification, we are yielding to obey all of God’s counsel.

What is the purest condition that is mentioned when we would come forth as gold tried in the fire? What kind of gold is the purest gold? The purest gold is what is written in Revelation chapter 21. There the city of the heavenly Jerusalem is described.

Transparent Gold

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.

Pure gold; pure, pure gold without any dross in it; that is the streets are made of pure transparent gold. It has been proven in the purification of gold that it is indeed transparent because that is what is placed in front of a spacesuit visor, to shield the eyes from the sun out there in space. Gold has been proven to be transparent by thorough purification. This is what we are looking at in reference to Jesus as a refiner’s fire; that a man may become more precious than fine gold; more precious. In other words, fine gold is already precious like the golden wedge of Ophir. The Biblical place that is called Ophir is where Solomon sent his men when he was in this brilliant kingdom, he sent for the gold in Ophir. It is just down from Israel, from Jerusalem, at the top of one of the gulfs. There is the town of Ophir. That was where they sent for their gold. That gold was regarded as the purest but that gold, although it was pure fine gold, was not as pure as what God’s people will become; they will become more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir.

To provide and to produce gold that is finally more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir, there is a process by which every element of impurity is removed. It takes place over a period of time. The heat in the crucible that the gold is melted in is slowly increased, because if it was suddenly increased, the crucible itself would shatter. As the intensity of the heat increases, the gold with it’s mingled metals, melts. There are different metals mingled together in gold; there is platinum, tin and there are other things there that prevent it from becoming totally transparent. As the heating process develops, the melting of the gold and all these other metals melt together and as time goes on there are certain of them that come to the surface afloat and the impurities, the false metals that are not gold are scooped off and removed. However, after the heat has come to a certain temperature and certain metals have come to the top, there are still others deep inside that won’t come to the top. There are those stubborn elements that still need to be brought out. In the process of bringing the impurities out, chemicals are added to the molten mass.

These chemicals will go and separate through the chemical activity, those impurities, together with the heat. Then, as the chemicals do their work, they bring them finally out to be able to come to the surface and are scooped off until all the dross has been separated after a long process. To make gold transparent, more pure than the fine gold of Ophir, there is yet more purification to take place. This is what NASA has engaged in to be able to produce gold that can be placed onto the visor of a spacesuit.

Do you remember what we were reading in Malachi? I will purge them as gold; I will purge them the way by which gold is purged, through heat, through chemical interaction to bring out all the stubborn things that still cling to the gold. Every human being on this planet has some elements of gold in there. Christ is the light that lights every man that comes into the world. The believer in Christ has a larger amount of Christ in them but mingled in the believer are elements of self. These elements of self are to be purged out during this period of time.

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}

Here is the process, because as we come to Jesus, and Jesus comes into our heart, does that mean that there is not yet still something of our flesh that we are permitting to interfere with that? 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. They are attached, interwoven. The Word of God comes and penetrates just like the heat and the chemicals penetrate and segregate between gold and dross. There it is in the Spirit of Prophecy. Gold mingled with tin, the dross of sin, inside of every believer. The Lord says, I am going to make this believer more precious than fine gold. Let this be further enunciated to our mind.

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. {PP 129.3}

Can you see it so clearly? The Christian character has dross mingled with the gold.

Jesus watches the test; He knows what is needed to purify the precious metal, Ibid

He knows how to make it transparent gold.

…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. Ibid

In this process, we see it very vividly portrayed that there are impurities in my character and yet my character has already been identified as a believer in Christ that there is gold, but the close, testing trials (will discipline) His servants. He brings them into positions that test their character and reveal defects and weaknesses that have been hidden from their own knowledge. They were all mingled together in the gold. There might be the appearance of gold, but it’s not transparent yet, so He brings them into the positions to bring these defects and weaknesses to the surface. This is what we need to understand because many times we wonder why are these things happening to me; why are we going through such extreme, excruciating, emotional experiences? Here is the answer, I will make a man more precious than fine gold. I am being illuminated to co-operate and let these things take place. These are important understandings that we must take with us.

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. {HP 272.3}

What was it there? 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. The work will keep on going; just as we study the way that gold is purified. It isn’t perfectly pure after the first heating, it isn’t pure after the second heating, chemicals must be added, and so on. It is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process of our experience of a lifetime in this period of time.

The fact that we are Christians who embrace the truth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, is that we are living in a time when Jesus as our High Priest and judge and advocate is actually engaging us. Not only in announcing us righteous by His righteousness in a legal term, but in the reality of a life that is freed from all dross.

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…. {HP 119.5}

The day has to come where Jesus will be shining out of our hearts where we are so transparent. It is interesting in the world around us we continually hear of transparency in politics. Jesus is at work to make us transparent so that only Jesus will be seen; His character, His perfection. Anything else must be removed for us to be transparent. To reach that transparency, we need to understand the process. It said there, seven times purified. Seven times in spiritual terms symbolic of completeness.

A refining, purifying process is going on among the people of God, and the Lord of hosts has set His hand to this work. . {ML 92.2}

Where is this process taking place? Among the people of God.

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, Ibid

How submissive are we? We saw it so clearly this morning in the Sabbath School Lesson. It’s the submission of receiving everything from God and nothing from self. That is the part of self that is always in the way. Self still wants to hold the reigns and the Lord in His work is purging through trials and difficulties so that self will give way finally; it gets too much. So many times things go wrong and wrong and wrong and there comes a point in time in your life where you say, I give up. That is exactly where God wants us to be. Then we still hold on a little bit on some little point until it becomes brought to our attention so it is that submission is finally to be gained to His will.

…that we may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. . . . The Lord brings His children over the same ground again and again, Ibid

You get tired of it don’t you? I thought I have been through this already and here it comes again. Obviously something else is still there.

…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. Ibid

Haven’t we been studying about self, how it comes up in all its different forms? All those different forms the Lord has revealed so we understand, and then by the pressure that He puts upon us through the purifying process, those elements of self will be relinquished. There are some that are entrenched there, that are ingrained that need chemical purging on top of the heat.

The purification of God’s people cannot be accomplished without suffering. . . . He passes us from one fire to another, Ibid

Just as it is with gold to bring it to thorough transparency.

…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. . . . Ibid

If there is any dross remaining there we are in peril, because when the fire comes, the terrible trial of the end which comes after the close of probation, if we are not thoroughly purged we will then not stand. That is why before that time comes, He is doing this work. Let us try to appreciate every little item in this purification exercise.

The Lord in His providence brings men where He can test their moral powers and reveal their motives of action, . {AG 330.2}

That’s the part that He will reveal to us, our motives.

…that they may improve what is right in themselves and put away that which is wrong. Ibid

This is the dilemma when we read these things from the Spirit of Prophecy and they don’t quite accept EG White’s writings perfectly, there comes this statement,- that they may improve what is right in themselves and put away that which is wrong – they say this can not be right. Isn’t God supposed to do the work? I’m not supposed to be doing that. Isn’t that what the mentality is? The fact is, it is up to me whether I will continue to submit myself to this process; it is up to me whether I will let the Lord purge me; it is up to me whether, as He shows me my defects, I will actually repent, that I will actually confess them? He waits for me to do that. If I don’t, it can’t be removed; He can’t remove them. As the gold is separated from the dross in that person and is revealed to him, he must actually say, yes Lord, here it is, scoop it off.

God would have His servants become acquainted with the moral machinery of their own hearts. Ibid

That’s what all this is about; it goes right deep down so that the things I don’t know I become aware of in the moral machinery of (my) own heart.

In order to bring this about, He often permits the fire of affliction to assail them that they may become purified. . . Ibid

True grace is willing to be tried; if we are loath to be searched by the Lord, our condition is serious indeed. God is the refiner and purifier of souls; in the heat of the furnace the dross is separated forever from the true silver and 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 divine love. {AG 330.3}

He knows. Because He knows, what will I do? I will surrender. Lord, let your providence bring it about. As He does and it shows me my internal fabrications of my heart and the logistics of it, how He actually is going to do this work, He comes to us until we totally and entirely let Him scoop it all away with all the extreme pressure that He increases to bring it all to our attention.

Not in freedom from trial, but in the midst of it, is Christian character developed. Exposure to rebuffs {AG 330.6}

Notice the chemicals are coming now; the details of how this is all brought out into separation from us. It is not just the heat, but the chemicals,

…and opposition leads the follower of Christ to greater watchfulness and more earnest prayer to the mighty Helper. Ibid

As we meet rebuffs, after we have done our very best and we become rebuffed, we go, what went wrong Lord? Then He shows you, see what you said there, an unguarded word? You have to be more watchful my son. The rebuffs are very valuable; let them come because they will show me the fine tuning of discarding little elements of self that I still am attached to.

Severe trial endured by the grace of God develops patience, Ibid

Do you still get impatient here and there? You have to find out, why am I impatient on this particular element or that?

…vigilance, Ibid

We get a bit tired of watching all the time, let me alone, I just want to rest my mind.

…Fortitude, and a deep and abiding trust in God. Ibid

This is something that must be developed through the trials.

It is the triumph of the Christian faith that it enables its follower 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. Ibid.

Oh that we would meditate on this material. I am covering a lot of manifestations but it is up to us to go home and say, right, every time these things come into my life, I must remember what I have heard and I must go back and meditate over this.

We have an example of this of course in the apostle Peter. Apostle Peter didn’t know what was inside of him. Jesus told him, Satan will sift you, and he said, no, I’m going to stand for you. He didn’t know something; he didn’t know his true self. When he was brought there to where Jesus was brought to the trial, he was going through his trial, and there he revealed what he would do.

There had been a time in Peter’s experience when he was unwilling to see the cross in the work of Christ. When the Saviour made known to the disciples His impending sufferings and death, Peter exclaimed, “Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee.” Matthew 16:22. {AA 525.1}

What was it that he did not realise he had, when he said that? Why did he say that? What was the motive that was revealed to him after?

Self-pity, which shrank from fellowship with Christ in suffering, prompted Peter’s remonstrance. Ibid

That is strange; self-pity. Do you have self-pity? Do you know whether you have got self-pity? The Lord will reveal it as much as He revealed it to Peter.

It was to the disciple a bitter lesson, Ibid

Acid in the golden soup that reveals this.

…and one which he learned but slowly, that the path of Christ on earth lay through agony and humiliation. But in the heat of the furnace fire he was to learn its lesson. Now, when his once active form was bowed with the burden of years and labors, he could write, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 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.” Ibid

Isn’t Peter’s example a precious encouragement to us? There are things that he didn’t recognise, those little elements deep inside; self. Self-pity by which I will shrink from denying myself and suffer under the cross of Christ. Apostle Peter went and wept bitterly in Gethsemane after he denied his Christ. As we live during this period of time since 1844 where the heat has been slowly increasing and we come to the point of the First World War, what was happening to God’s church? Where was the fire purging them? It was in the church itself.

During ages of spiritual darkness the church of God has been as a city set on a hill. From age to age, through successive generations, the pure doctrines of heaven have been unfolding within its borders. Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His supreme regard. {AA 12.1}

What is the church?

It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts. {AA 12.1}

What is your experience in God’s faithful, true church? It is the place where He is transforming our hearts; its’ the place where He does the purging. As you look at the history of the church in the past and we come to this point in time, we see the heat cranking up.

…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}

The Lord is at work stoking up the heat and it gets more than ever before. Is this true for us today that it is more than even for the people who were separated in the First World War? The Second World War came, it became more sophisticated and from that Second World War, Sr White writes after that there is a time when men’s hearts fail them for fear for the things that are coming on the earth. It was bad enough in the First World War, it was worse in the Second World War, and it’s cranked up to greater and greater, more intense oppressions of fire, trials, and God’s people are proving dross in many, many cases, while the gold does not always appear. It looks like the whole church is going down but it is the dross of multitudes as we read in Testimonies to the Church Volume 4, they are revealing themselves untrue while the pure gold will come forth through those terrible trials.

I was pointed to the providence of God among His people and was shown that every trial made by the refining, purifying process upon professed Christians proves some to be dross. 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}

At the Close of Probation

As we see the intensity of the fire, the chemicals and the bitter experiences continuing to develop and reveal what is in the soul so that it may be washed away, cleansed and scooped off the top of the gold, we finally arrive at the close of probation. At the close of probation, is the process over yet? We know very well in Daniel chapter 12 Jesus arises and then there is a time of trouble such as never was. Can it get any hotter? Can it get any worse? Indeed it can. The fact is, by understanding what the Lord is doing, and we learn how to submit ourselves in this period of time, we are told that our earthliness is to be removed during the time of Jacob’s trouble. Not only sins, but earthliness; those little things that are still preventing the perfect transparency. You see a few little smudges in transparency, they have to be removed; everything.

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}

Christians are Christ’s jewels. They are to shine brightly for Him, shedding forth the light of His loveliness. Their luster depends on the polishing they receive. They may choose to be polished or to remain unpolished. But everyone who is pronounced worthy of a place in the Lord’s temple must submit to the polishing process. Without the polishing that the Lord gives they can reflect no more light than a common pebble. {OHC 322.2}

Christ says to man, “You are mine. I have bought you. You are now only a rough stone, but if you will place yourself in my hands, I will polish you, and the luster with which you shall shine will bring honor to My name. No man shall pluck you out of My hand. I will make you My peculiar treasure. On My coronation day, you will be a jewel in My crown of rejoicing.” {OHC 322.3}

Are we prepared to let this take place? If we make the choice here today afresh, maybe we have done it in the past, but do it again; we need to make these choices regularly, because there comes a situation that we didn’t anticipate. As it strikes in front of me and I haven’t made this choice again, and I forget what this is all about, I will falter, I will withdraw myself, I will not remain consistent when the process reaches the final stage, the final transparency.

The Final Transparency

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” [Isaiah 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}

That is the grand finale; the last little skerrick of impurity revealed if we will remain attached and faithful through all the challenges of the trials that come our way. It is when the last particle of dross is removed during the time of Jacob’s trouble that the people will be allowed to walk on the streets of gold. Now we are dwelling in the burnings that will melt every element of our imperfections. Then we will dwell in a purified condition in the city of God that will be floating on fire. When I say floating, I don’t mean it’s going to be actually drifting around, it is simply that the elements around it are melting and it is a melting fluidly state and the city is sitting there like the ark on the flood. May God help us to be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that we can dwell in the burning fire and not be consumed because we have permitted the dross to be consumed. Only gold that will not be consumed will be left. May God grant us this, is my prayer.

Amen.

AmeAmen. .

Posted on May 4, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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