In the Book of Revelation we find Jesus speaking to an actual church in the 1st century about receiving His council. He defines His council as buying gold that is refined by the fire. (Rev 3:17-19) He was judging them for their blindness and was encouraging them to seek His council so they could see clearly. Here we see the greatness of Jesus’ heart to love His friends enough to call it like it is. He wants us to be able to receive His council by knowing that when He calls us out, it is because He loves us and He wants us to thrive. We should love His judgments because they are given to build us up. He is a good Father and His refining proves we are His children. (Heb 12:5-11)
Today, the invitation remains to receive His council and buy His refined gold. This council enables us to see. It clothes us with the true riches of His presence and Kingdom. It gives us the proper perspective in our life and our circumstances. This word is especially true for us in a day where fool’s gold abounds. Appearances of spirituality and biblical truth are everywhere, so it is necessary that we come to Him to understand what is true and what is not. It reminds me of Jesus’ question to His disciples when He asked them who the people thought He was. Then He asked them directly who they thought He was. (Mark 8:27-29) The answer to those questions is personal and it determines what kind of gold we are buying. I hope you are getting your gold from Him and not just from the crowds.
We must test and examine the gold that comes our way to see if it is the council of God or the wisdom of man. There is a vast difference between fool’s gold and real gold. The foundation we build will determine the level of refining we can handle. (Matt 7:24-27) Here are some following parables using real gold and fool’s gold to reveal His truth.
*Fool’s gold will crack, crumble and shatter when it is hit with a hammer. Real Gold will simply flatten but will not crack, shatter or flake off. True Gold is vulnerable but not flakey and is able to receive correction. Fool’s gold crumbles when the hammer comes down. All this can be is likened to the Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:27-29). Does the Kingdom you live in shatter or remain humble and unshaken?
*Fool’s gold will look different under different lighting. Real Gold retains its color whether it is in the sun or in the shade. God wants us to shine at every angle, not just when the light is right. He wants us to be whole in every environment we are in.
*Fool’s gold can leave a greenish color on the skin when worn as jewelry. Pure gold does not react to the skin. Many people have green stains around their minds from listening to that which appears to be gold but is not.
*Fool’s gold can be magnetic. Real Gold is not. Real Gold is not attracted to false teachings that may seem spiritual or right.
*Fool’s gold will not survive an acid test. Real Gold will not be affected. The things that test and try the Gold Jesus gives will be left ineffective, while they will expose fake gold in instantly.
*Fool’s gold has a gravity of 4.95 to 5.10. True Gold has a specific gravity around 19.3. The Gold Jesus gives is perfect resulting in 20/20 vision, where fool’s gold leaves people with a low standard of vision. The substance of real Gold is solid and can give understanding that is close to perfection, whereas fool’s gold leaves people with understanding about 5/20 or 1/4th of what can be known.
*Fool’s gold can contain sulfur, which can smell like rotten eggs. True Gold contains no sulfur and does not smell like rotten eggs. By having your “senses” trained by reason of use, one can discern the difference between foolish wisdom and true wisdom. (Heb 5:14)
Lastly, I leave you with a story that highlights the exact reason for the refining process in our lives.
There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three which says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” (Malachi 3:3) This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week this woman called up a silver smith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silver smith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot–then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.
She asked the silver smith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silver smith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”
He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy–when I see my image in it.”
So how do you buy gold refined by the fire? You come to Jesus and receive His council. He will clothe you with true wisdom and understanding, while giving sight to your eyes. So if your life is being shaken or refined, understand His heart in doing so, until you are no longer shaken. And lastly, count it all a joy as you enjoy every minute of it.
In the fire of His love,