Golden Pillar Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.

We’re living in a day when the third part will go through the fire. We need to be willing to go through the fire or we’ll be in the part that’s cut off. When gold is refined the dross is skimmed off. God wants to remove everything that isn’t like him.

Zachariah 13:8-9 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

Faith without works is dead. Holiness, righteousness, and things that are pleasing to God are the works we should see. If God puts us in the fire and things that aren’t Christlike come out of us, they need to be skimmed off. Sometimes it’s hard work. Sister Edith had a bad temper when she was first saved. She asked the pastor how to get rid of it since she had it for her whole like. He said every time she felt it rising up inside and before it came out of her mouth to go pray. She would go in the bathroom to pray where she could be alone. She prayed until she had grace to handle the situation with her temper under control. She had to practice this each time until she had complete victory over her anger.

Another time as she was going into a business someone she knew was leaving. They said, Watch out you don’t get your head bit off. The person in the office was someone who claimed to be saved, but they were grouchy, irritable, and didn’t want to be bothered. They didn’t have any works with their faith. God is looking for works that go with our faith and we have to die daily. The devils believe but there are no works.

James 2:17-20 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

We have to be sure we don’t have any bitterness, envying, strife, or getting even in us. God wants us to control our mouth. Everyone is not going to agree with us. Can you disagree and still be kind, without being contentious, having strife or envy? God wants us to control our mouth. If it isn’t controlled, we won’t have the works God wants in us. God wants kindness, compassion, and his love to be displayed. He wants us to be easily entreated, pure, and peaceable. Not insisting on our way.

James 3:13-17 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Hezekiah spoke comfortably to the people saying, be strong and courageous. He said there were more with them than the enemy. The enemy brings fear, doubt, and accusations to get us to have unbelief. The enemy spoke against God. Make sure our works are according to what God wants and pray. If we don’t, we’ll not have the grace we need to go through hard trials. When situations or fear come, we need to pray for God’s grace.

II Chronicles 32:7-8 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

There were 185,000 killed by the angel of the Lord because Hezekiah and Isaiah prayed. They didn’t have to lift a finger because God was in control. He’s still in control today and speaking the same message to us.

II Chronicles 32:18-21 Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man. And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.

Joshua was encouraged by the message – be strong and of good courage. God wants us to encourage each other by standing true to God. Courage: mental or moral strength to persevere, withstand danger, fear, difficulty, with confidence and boldness. Courage to do what God asks you to do is one of the main manifestations of faith. Your faith is weak if you don’t have courage to do what God says. Courageous faith is confident that God cannot and will not make a mistake. We may make mistakes but God can turn everything around for his good. Courageous faith is confident that God can not be wrong, won’t lie, or ever be defeated. We need that confidence, that we’re going to be victorious no matter what.

Joshua 1:5-9 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord…is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

We’re to meditate on God day and night. People that are all stressed out, in conflict, and worried are not meditating on the good things of God. We won’t have the fruit God wants if we don’t meditate on God day and night. Things will come out of our mouth that don’t glorify God. It will be all about me and how bad I have it. The devil doesn’t want us to meditate on the right things. We have to make ourselves meditate day and night. Sing a song or whatever you have to do. It isn’t optional but a command to be strong and courageous. It takes courage to say “no” to laziness, fear, and uncertainty. It takes courage to be patient. God said to meditate day and night so Joshua wouldn’t be grumbling and complaining. It takes courage to keep your mouth shut and not find fault. Job lost his children, his cattle, houses, and everything. The first thing he said was, “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). He didn’t say, woe is me. He had a desire to serve God and not fail him. When he had boils and couldn’t see God anywhere, his said, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:8-10).

The Bible says God tempted Abraham, but he was testing Abraham to see where love was – in his son Isaac or in God. Abraham didn’t question God but he got up early the next day and obeyed. He had confidence and told the servants he and Isaac were going to worship and return again. Also he told Isaac that God would provide a sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-8). God provided and God always keeps his promises. We need to have courage to trust God and have faith to do his will.

Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass…that God did tempt Abraham, and said…Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.