NOVEMBER 1, 2008
(Author's Note: For several years, I had interest in a lab that melted and molded gold. Under intense circumstances, the metal burns away impurity and becomes transparent in nature. Faith reacts similarly. Under intense pressure and testing by fire, one's faith is wrested of impurity and there burns within the saint such intensity that the life of that believer becomes transparent and pure to those who look upon him.)The genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love.
Peter knew what the testing of one's faith felt like. He was well acquainted with the venues which produced the trials that proved his mettle. Threatened, imprisoned and castigated, Peter stood on the solid rock of his faith in Jesus. He understood that regardless of the source of persecution and trial, the "Praise, honor, and glory" always went to Jesus, whose life and death had proved Him faithful.
The refiner's fire is one of the common links between those who are saints. The sons of God possess "like precious faith" which is more to be desired than the source platform for world economy and trade-gold! "Like precious faith" is the bond that link saints to each other and persecution is one identifying attribute to be found in all true believers…they will go through the fire; it is an absolute guarantee.
Encouragement raced toward the church at Smyrna in Revelation, as John spoke of those about to be tried in the fires of satan's last ditch rebellion. The end-time began in John's day and is still calling to its martyrs.
The devil has power to raise up his forces against the sons of God in the testing of the saints. One thing is for sure, the saints will pass the test! Such is the power of faithfulness unto death. Though faced with imprisonment and brutal treatment, it will be a short time compared to the glory to come. God said He would give them a (Greek: Stephanos) crown of life. Their faithfulness would not go unrewarded; their treatment would not go unnoticed!'Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'
What John did not say was obvious. God did not say He would spare the Smyrna church or rescue them or deliver them or rapture them. The treatise in Revelation two is, God would reward them and they would be in His presence and care when it was over. All of Hebrews eleven is involved in this Scripture. The "world was not worthy of them."
Job's great testimony parallels this provision and blessing. Having lost all, having endured the cynicism of his friends and the onslaught of the devil, his testimony of faithfulness clung to God.
The oldest written material on earth chronicled the awful consequence of trial by fire. It also chronicled a man's determination to trust God regardless of the circumstances surrounding him. Job predated the gospel, the children of Israel and some would say the Flood. His tenacity, through intolerable inner probes and countless forays into conjecture with his wife, neighbors and society, was based on faith alone. It is the trying of one's faith that makes patience.But He knows the way that I take;
In viewing Job's testimony, one wonders what modern counterparts would have said; indeed, what would be the testimony of the modern heart? First, he declared that God was aware of his way. God knew him and knew his paths. Second, Job believed it was God who was testing him, when in reality it was the devil. He prognosticated by faith that, "I shall come forth as gold." He knew that he would come through the pain and agony of the moment victorious! He knew that there was a better day ahead. He knew that there would come a time that he would hear from heaven that he had passed the test. His determination to "stay the course" was a powerful deterrent to satan's thrashing. "My foot has held fast to His steps," is a confession worthy to be made even by modern standards.
"I have kept His way and not turned aside," can be said by few today with any truthfulness. "I have not departed from the commandment of His lips," would be a rare testimony in any meeting. Those who relish hearing, "He that is sinless cast the first stone," need to hear a counterpart. "I have treasured the words of His mouth, more than my necessary food," was the final oblation in Job's litany of love. Maybe, just maybe, the last phrase is the reason for all the others. Maybe, a strong Word dependence with a relationship to "the words of His mouth," is what the church must rediscover. It is the Word that tests by fire. Joseph, the son of Jacob, sold into servitude and imprisoned, was heralded by David who said it best.
Those who have worn a prisoner's chains have a tug in their hearts when they read this passage. The cruelty of imprisonment is born aplenty these days by many as innocent as Joseph. A tendency to cry out, "Unjust," is one's first impulse amid the tears, confusion and powerlessness of endless mornings and night-but God! Joseph's feet bore a testimony which never faded from his mind as, "The word of the Lord tested him." Listen, there is testing going on in this Twenty-first Century! Its times are cruel and the world seems insulated in luxury and complacency. Those of the world have no care, but the Word cares. "When saw we Thee in prison?" was uttered by religious pacifists wrapped in nonchalance and covered with dalliance. Hear this church! Hear what is trooping to your door in increasing steadiness. Hear the voices of friends, relatives and confidants selling out the saints to preserve their station! The Word is formulating its devil inspired test, and every true believer has signed to take it.Joseph--who was sold as a slave.
Joseph was given as a testimony that God has an end to trials by fire. Joseph was promoted to the highest of offices when the registrar of all registrars took him by the hand. O church, hear what the Spirit is saying, "Hear, O My people and I will admonish you! O Israel, IF you will listen to Me!" "I am the Lord your God…Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it." This is the saint sequence, after the Fire-a procession to a throne and after a wilderness comes Canaan!Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon,
It is better to be tested of God than to test God. Israel learned that! Scripture has no favorites and the sad story of a people who tried the Living God, reaped a harvest in their hearts. "Left to wander until death" is a sentence which will be said over thousands of churches and fellowships! God gladly gave what the squawking multitude begged for, and more!
Then God gave them a test; it was the test at Marah. Imbedded in Israel forever is the memory of that test which issued from Marah.Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
Every thirsty soul in life who finds putrid the waters of this world and cries out to God for relief is shown a tree. Calvary changes the condition! Calvary satisfies with the "water of life." Out of the recipient's belly flows living water whose source river flows from the altar of God and downward to a world desperate for a drink of it. A series of cool cups were dished to a weary multitude then as now, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord …and do what is right in His sight…none of the diseases (will be put on you)." "I am the Lord who heals you," should be heard in every pulpit, pew and passageway from hospital to home. There is a test coming with one question, "Do you believe Me?" Notice the progression of the tests coming from the Exodus passage. Remember progression is not procession. Nothing of worth has ever been accomplished by robed procession, but miracles have come from "heeding" His voice and passing through the progression.So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, 'What shall we drink?' So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them. And there He tested them, and said, 'If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.' Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.
The blessing of Levi began with testing and ended with a promise. So, every demand of the Bible has its passage and its promise. (In progressive testing modules, a student may not advance to the next level until he or she has passed the exit test. At entrance, there might be given a test to discover, but at the end there is a test of mastery. The church cannot continue to retake the first and never attain the latter!)
Richness comes with mastery. In this, the entirety of the focal passage (I Peter 1:6,7) can now be viewed and understood. The ancients, who stand as supreme examples of faith, know the inner workings of this verse. They join with the New Testament writers in both experience and expression.And of Levi he said:
No man can understand even the crust of central truth in the efficacy of trial by fire until he or she stands by faithful Abraham, trudging up the mountain with firewood and the soft grip of his only son. No person may come near to knowing what Peter expressed in this passage until they see the glad look in his aged face to know that, "God has provided a substitute."In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
O God, the severest of all testing is about to come upon the saints…let all follow faithful Abraham, faithful Job, faithful Jeremiah, faithful Simon!By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, 'In Isaac your seed shall be called,' concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
(Author's Note: Research the 1/3 factor, using its occurrence in Ezekiel, and you find definitive judgment. God severely tests for purity; those in the refiner's fire are placed in a crucible (note the derivation of this word). That fraction (1/3) of the whole will hear, "This is My people." Note: EACH ONE will say, "The Lord is MY God." Two-thirds will weep in their delusion, but the saints (the 1/3) will shout, "Hallelujah!")DAVID
There remains the question, "Why are so many seeking to escape the testing fire?"
From the Mailbag:
Received from Rev D M O, Swansea, Wales
… Rev David G. let me have one of your books on the 'Sons of Zadok', the revelation was amazing, and the Spirit of the Lord hit me with the truths that you have revealed in the book. I have been trying to get the book in the UK through the channels that I know of and have been unsuccessful. I am trying to get hold of 15 copies of the book so that I can go through it with the leadership teams that I am over in our three churches. I believe that this is a powerful message, and one that needs to be taken to the Whole Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. I wanted to write to you and encourage you.
Received from LJM, Colorado
…I have been reading through Sons of Zadok again, and I know that it is at least my 3rd time. I underline as I go. I have loaned it out and it has spoken to them. I am a son of Zadok. This has been such a wonderful week. God has brought people across my pathway to share about what God is doing in our lives.
(1.) News from the dedication of the Cup of Salvation Church in Guatemala. The following comes from Larry and Marla Johnson, missionaries.
(Note: the reference to the dead man raised is Me.)
Bro. Oliver, Here is the report I said I would send you. Sorry it took longer to get it to you but I was waiting on the report of how many salvations there were. On Saturday morning the 27th a group of about 30 to 40 on fire believers headed up the mountain to the village of Tontoles. They paired off and set out to go door to door through out the village sharing the gospel and inviting them to the service for that morning. The service started out ministering to the 50 to 60 children that showed up. They had fun playing games singing songs and hearing the gospel message. About half the children raised their hand to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Then it was time to minister to the grown ups. We had a time of special music and praise and worship then the pastor of the church asked some of the new Christians to testify of what the Lord had done in their life. Their was a young man who had just been saved 10 days to 2 weeks and he shared how Jesus has changed his life in just a short time he has been saved. Set free of so many things. There was a woman who got saved 22 days ago. There was another Man who had been saved 23 days who was set free from smoking, drinking and cleaned up his mouth. Then the service was turned over to me, I began to share with them about how the funds to build the church come about. The testimony of a man of God who was raised from the dead and how the name Cup of Salvation was given. They all rejoiced and praised the Lord. The word was preached and a prayer of dedication was given. We prayed for the needs of the people. One woman came down to the altar and as she was being prayed for she took off her rosary beads and left them at the altar. Then the group of on fire believers that came up the mountain surrounded the church on the north, south, east and west with the local villagers inside the church and they began to do spiritual warfare pulling down strong holds over that area and declaring there to be clean air. It was an awesome service; in all we had about 200 people attend the service. There were 10 adults that received Jesus as Lord and Savior. More photos coming.Blessings, Larry
This church cost only $3000 for materials as the folks do the labor.
My own heart leaps for joy in order to provide this from our personal funds as Ps. 116 (the Psalm I held dear in the hospital last year) so directed us.
(2) Report of the beautiful construction in the Philippines under the direction of Sis. Carmen Geeck, who has never built a building, but is doing a splendid job. The pictures are via Perry Geeck. Pray that we have a “storm proof roof” because this building is in Typhoon alley as they call it. (We believe it will house people during times of typhoon and be a witness in that manner as well as housing the congregational worship.)
(3) Work is progressing in Mexico with the new church coming up there…better report next month on this body.
NEW BOOK NEWS:
A syllabus for group study is finalized and ready for shipment with Called to be Saints, our newest edition. Hopefully, the many who use these texts for bible studies will find this a welcome addition. There are questions and work book studies affixed to every page of the text…it will be impossible to miss the point of the book with this addendum.
Price: $7.95 Can be ordered for each student or used as a guide for the teacher.
Zadok bookstore is featuring a volume this month called, “Living God’s Love” by Ulrich Huyssen, who has gone to be with the Lord. This volume is a MUST READ for anyone interested in world missions. He has beautifully told the story of his leading by the Lord and even though he did not see the finished product, believed the Lord for its printing. His wife and sons carry out his work in the field both in Germany and the Philippines. Order this volume and you will have one of the best reading books you have ever encountered.
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