GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE: BOOK TWELVE
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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Anyone who chooses to do so may use up to twenty-five of the proverbs in the Gold Tried volumes without notifying me. It is not necessary to attribute them to me.
Here are a few reflections after a long pilgrimage as a Christian. Hopefully they will help the young reader grow in wisdom and discernment. It is good to seek the wisdom and understanding that come from the Holy Spirit. God always is glad to reward us with wisdom and provides us generously with that which we ask for.
Jewels of brilliant color and luster are formed by a process of time, pressure and heat. Precious metals such as gold and silver are made under similar circumstances.
Symbolic of virtue and character, these natural elements reflect the manner in which believers are transformed into obedient disciples, and over time into witnesses of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ.
The making of a saint is no small matter. As we respond correctly to the daily pressures of life, Christ is formed in us. If we choose to pick up our cross, lay down our life and follow the Master’s will, He transforms us into His image.
When we resist, forcing our own will and way, misinterpreting things meant for our good, we corrupt God’s purposes.
Edward J. Reiter
GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE: BOOK TWELVE
When we can say, “I delight to do Your will, O God, Your law is in my heart,” then we have entered the ‘rest of God.’
All that truly matters in anyone’s life is whether he is doing his own will or Christ’s will.
The most important goal of any Christian’s life is to cooperate with the Spirit of God in the work of making his own personality a house, resting place, chariot, throne, and ark of the covenant of the Lord God of Heaven. Then he is a true witness of God.
The mature Christian bears witness of God by what he has become as he has followed Christ at all times in cross-carrying obedience.
If we want to bear a true witness of God, we must press into Christ at all times, listening carefully to Him and obeying His will sternly, carefully, punctually, and joyously at all times, day and night.
When you enter the Tabernacle of the Congregation, you come first to the Table of Showbread to be born again and partake of the Substance and Life of Christ. Next you come to the Lampstand to receive the power and gifts of the Spirit of God. Then you come to the Altar of Incense, saying “Not my will but Yours be done.” Finally you pass through the Veil and become an integral part of the Body of Christ, the Servant of the Lord.
The Tabernacle Becomes a Person. We may think of the Tabernacle of the Congregation standing on its feet as the Lord Jesus Christ and His Body. This Personage is “The Servant of the Lord” (Isaiah chapter 42).
Resting on top of His head is the solid-gold lid of reconciliation. The golden lid represents the reconciling of man to God.
His head is the Ark of the Covenant. In the Ark are three items:
- The Tables of the Covenant, the moral Law, representing His righteous character.
- Aaron’s Rod that budded, speaking of the fruit of the Spirit each member of the Royal Priesthood, the Body of Christ, must have.
- The golden bowl of manna, telling us we must not live by food only but by every Word of God.
Next is the Altar of Incense, the throat speaking glory to God and crying out, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
At His right hand is the Lampstand, the power by which He bears a true witness of the Lord.
At His left hand is the Table of Showbread, the body and blood of Christ. These make us aware that the true Christian has been born again and possesses within themselves the Divine Nature of the Spirit of Christ.
When leaving the Tabernacle building we encounter the Laver, reminding us we no longer are of the world but of the Kingdom of God.
His feet are established on the bronze Altar of Burnt Altar, signifying that because of the virtue of His body, our sins are eternally forgiven.
To enter the rest of God is to set aside one’s desires, plans, and hopes, and to strive continually to determine God’s will for the moment. “Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing? Am I where I should be?”
Under the covenant of Moses, we study what is written and try to live by the commandments. Under the new covenant, we meditate in the New Testament writings, and present our body a living sacrifice that we may observe to do what Christ and His Apostles have said.
But more importantly, we at all times seek to determine what the Lord Jesus is saying to us. By His wisdom and strength we are able to do all He is requiring of us. This is how we grow in grace.
I think the problem with Christianity today is that we are seeking fellowship with the New Testament rather than with the living Jesus.
You know what? I would rather have Jesus than silver, or gold, or riches, or crowns, or anything else this world can afford. No kidding!
There are many relationships and things that bring us great joy, and we appreciate each one. But apart from Christ they do not endure. Why not receive what He is offering to you.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;” (Mark 16:15-17)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: (John 3:17,18)
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 5:13,14)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. (II Thessalonians 1:4,5)
And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 1:6)
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 1:9)
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:10)
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” (Revelation 12:10)
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. (Revelation 21:9-11)
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:11,12)
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (Luke 13:28)
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Galatians 1:1-5)
Considering that Paul was writing to the churches, it is obvious that Christian people who do not overcome the sinful impulses residing in their bodies shall not inherit the Kingdom. Notice that it does not state they shall not be saved! Perhaps being saved and inheriting the Kingdom of God are different. If this is true, Christian people who are resting comfortably in being “saved” need to get busy and start placing the pursuit of the Kingdom of God as the first priority of their lives!
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3)
“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:4,5)
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (I John 3:4-10)
For over forty years I have been teaching and writing about the error contained in the current evangelical teaching of “grace”—that grace is the Divine substitute for obeying God’s moral law. The passage above states this more clearly than I could.
Seek first the Kingdom. Our goal is not entrance into Heaven when we die. Our goal is entrance into the Kingdom of God today—at least according to the Scriptures! Entering the Kingdom of God is not possible if we do not through our Lord Jesus Christ gain victory over the sins of the flesh.
Attaining to the Rest of God
- Forgiveness of sins through the blood of the cross.
- Choosing, in water baptism, to die to the world through Christ on the cross.
- Partaking of the body and blood of Christ.
- Receiving the power to minister by the Holy Spirit.
- Choosing to give preeminence to seeking the Kingdom of God. “Your will be done.”
- Spiritual conflict.
- Receiving the Fullness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the Kingdom of God.
- The Father and the Son take up Their eternal abode in us, making us Their chariot.
- God is at rest in us and we are at rest in God.
- We shall bring the worship of the one true God, and perfect and complete obedience to Him, throughout the universe, and yet remain with Christ in the Bosom of the Father.
- Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (Revelation 3:12)
- He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
All the benefits of item seven accrue to the Christian who is approaching the perfection and completion of union with the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. “It is no longer I but Christ who is living in me.”
The saved people of the nations will receive the Spirit of God from the members of the Body of Christ, the Royal Priesthood. Speaking of the members of the Body of Christ:
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
The water will flow from the Royal Priests within the walls to the saved people from the nations outside of the wall. The saved people will need to qualify to pass through the gates in the wall so they may receive the Water of Life from the members of the Body of Christ.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1,2)
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:17)
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (II Timothy 2:12)
If we want to rule in the Kingdom, we must overcome sin and self-seeking. I do not know of any Scripture that says we must overcome sin if we want to be saved.
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:5)
Perhaps being saved and inheriting the Kingdom of God are two different destinies!
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (Colossians 3:4,5)
Where will your home be after you die? In the new Jerusalem? Among the nations of the saved outside the wall? In the land of darkness?
The Father through the Son through the victorious saints, shall govern all the works of God’s hands.
The forming of Christ in us is the inner Kingdom of God. The new Jerusalem is the outer Kingdom of God. We must have the inner kingdom in us before we are eligible to enter the outer kingdom.
All the glory and blessings that remain on the people saved from the nations proceed from the members of the Body of Christ that comprise the new Jerusalem. For example, the Water of Life comes from within the saints.
Speaking of the saved people of the nations:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
A friend told me this story:
He was invited to visit a man dying in his bedroom. There were many relatives present. The dying man, I will call him Frank, was lying on a large bed. A doctor who was present took the half-smoked cigarette from Frank’s hand and placed it in an ashtray at the side of the bed.
Frank was a good enough man in his own way, although he was treacherous and deceitful at times. He had rejected the idea of coming to Christ for help. I believe he was dying from some kind of stomach cancer. Frank glanced at his visitors, and then closed his eyes. He smiled benevolently and murmured, “It’s just like going to sleep.”
Suddenly Frank’s eyes opened wide. He was staring straight at me. Frank yelled, “O my God!” Then he uttered a terrified scream and kept on screaming.
My friend continued, “At that moment I saw what Frank must have seen. There was an ugly, squat demon shuffling along. He was holding one end of a chain that was fastened around Frank’s neck. He was leading Frank into the Land of Darkness.”
When Frank screamed, several of the relatives fled from the room. The doctor was astounded. One elderly lady rushed toward the bedroom door. She stumbled and fell, hitting her head on the dresser. The doctor ran over to her. Frank was still screaming.
My friend continued, “If there ever was a tableau of Hell, that was it. I never want to be in a situation like that again. I quit smoking after that.”
Patience, compassion, and understanding go a long way when we are attempting to persuade someone of the value of Christian religion. Patience, compassion, and understanding are as salt with the sacrifice. When the salt is not present, the result may be rebellion rather than acceptance, especially with young people. The teaching of the Christian religion, apart from patience, compassion, and understanding, can be bitter and sour rather than honey from the honeycomb.
(“Gold Tried in the Fire: Book Twelve”, 4310-2, proofed 20210815)