You Shall Come Forth As Gold

I was at home, building a tool shed, when God‘s still small voice spoke to me inside. “You shall come forth as gold.” I knew that it was God for two reasons. It was completely out of context with what was going on in my thought life; and, it was a direct reference to a Bible verse. “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) I knew that something important was about to happen to me. I just didn’t know what it was.

I am always excited to hear from the Lord, but I was uneasy about this “fire” business. Immediately, I told my wife, Marie, “Good news, we’re going to come forth as gold. The not-so-good news is that, apparently, we are about to go through some kind of fire.”

The first thing we thought of was King Nebucannezzar’s fiery furnace. But we were sure that we had already been there and done that. This was something that had not happened yet. I knew of two verses where Jesus is associated with fire. But I had never understood either of them.

This is what John the Baptist said about Jesus. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall Baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11). But the verse that bothered most was this one, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughtly purge his floor, and gather his wheat unto the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” ( Matthew 3:12)  Honestly, I was afraid of that fire.

I should have known that the Lord would not do anything to hurt me. He would never throw me into a burning fiery furnace. He was doing something to help me. God’s fire is on the inside and he doesn’t burn us. But he does destroy evil desires, addictions, and cravings. That is the most effective way for us to get rid of them. He is a purifying fire who burns up all the trash that’s in our hearts, and leaves only the good things of God.

Here’s an example of what the fire of God has done for me. I used to have a terrible problem with anger. I was like a volcano that could erupt at any time. My wife and kids, and co-workers were terrorized by my fits of rage. That was the first thing to go. It was obvious that God did it because it disappeared overnight, and it has never come back.

I am telling you this because I know that God will do the same for you. He makes it possible for us to live the the Christian life. The Bible is true, and you can apply everything it says to your life.

Let me show you something I find fascinating. John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets. There was a long period where God was silent between the time of Malachi, and that of Jesus and John the Baptist. Look at what God said through his prophet Malachi.

“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.”

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: 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.” (Malachi 3:1-3)

God said that Jesus would refine us like silver and gold, which means, burning away all the impurtities. It excites me to realize that he is presently doing what God said he would do in my life, and in the lives of everyone who is born of God. It’s something that he does for us because he loves us.

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You Can Know God

The Bible clearly states, “No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) But many Bible teachers are bound by the doctrines of their denominations. They interpret the Bible in the light of the tradition of their spiritual fathers.

This is what Jesus said about about them. “Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. . . . For laying aside the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” (Mark 7:6-7,9)

I spent years trying to figure out which denomination was right, only to find that I was wasting my time. I had to face the reality that if I really wanted to know the truth, I was going to have to read the Bible for myself. So I read the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I found that it was not nearly as difficult as I had imagined it to be and, to my great surprise, I actually enjoyed it. It was refreshing and enlightening.

I read it several more times. I started collecting the Bible verses that jumped out at me, and putting them on 3×5 cards. I ended up with over 1000 passages of scripture.  These top 1000 verses give the essence of what the Bible is all about.

I put these verses together in a book. It is called The Bible Believer’s Handbook. It explains how to apply God’s principles to everyday life. It is a spiritual buffet for everyone who hungers and thirsts for the knowledge of God.

When I was working on the book, I was meditating on the word of God day and night. That caused a personal miracle in my own life.  I found the Truth, all right. I can tell you that I know the Truth. He is a Person. He is Jesus Christ.

When you read what any author has written, you get to know him. His work reveals what’s in his heart. This is especially true of God as the Author of the Bible. I found out that when I was reading and studying the Bible, I was spending time with God. I was learning his language and how he thinks. While I was focusing on him, he was changing me from the inside out.

So that’s how I got to know the Lord and how I fell in love with him. It was just like the Bible said. Jesus did exactly what he said he would do. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

I know that these words are true. They are the words of the Living God and they apply to everyone who believes them. I have found that every time I follow God’s instructions, I receive what he has promised.

Jesus is no respecter of persons. He loves you and wants to fellowship with you. He said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

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Do You Believe The Bible?

Daniel was one of the Old Testament prophets. He was taken away to Babylon along with some of the other young men of Israel. He recorded a miracle that happened there that happened to three of these young men. They had refused to obey the king’s decree. They would not bow down and worship his golden image. The King demanded that them to bow down and worship that idol. And if they refused, he would throw them into a fiery furnace. He said to them, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” This was their reply:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

This infuriated the king. First, he had them bound, then, he had them thrown into the furnace. But that’s not the end of the story. Look at what happened next.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego came forth from the midst of the fire.

And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s ounsellors, being gathered togethe, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

Then Nebechadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshah, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the kings word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God.  (Daniel 3:24-28)

I believe that this was a miracle of God, and that it happened just the way that Daniel said it did. He was a prophet of God and he was there.  Why would he lie about it or make it up?

What about you? Do you believe that these things actually happened, or not?

I also believe that Jesus is the fourth man in the fiery furnace. This event took place before he was born in the flesh at Bethlehem. But he repeatedly manifested himself to his people in the Old Testament. On this occasion, he appeared as the Angel of the Lord.

Why would it be so difficult to believe that God kept these young men from being harmed by fire. God, who created people, also created fire. Surely he knows how to keep them apart.

I don’t have any trouble believing that these things actually happened. I know that God is the Author of the Bible and that everything it says is true. I know that God created the universe and that he created us. I know that he sent his Son Jesus to die for us, and that he raised him from the dead. I know all of these things by faith.

Where does faith come from? How is it obtained? The Bible tells us in Romans 10:17, ” faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” My doubt and unbelief used to be stronger than my faith. I was like the man who said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

Then,  I discovered that the more I read the Bible, the more my faith increased. Gradually my faith became stronger than my doubt and unbelief. When I remember where I started, I can see how much I’ve changed. Once again, I did not know that God was changing me from the inside out.

Studying the Bible has benefited me more than anything else I’ve done in life. There is no more productive way for you to spend your time.

When you’re reading the Bible, you’re fellowshipping with he Lord. You’re getting to know him and his ways. You’re learning his language, and how he thinks. And he will manifest himself to you through his word. Then, you will be a person of faith and you will know that the Bible is true.

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