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11 Peter 1: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
James 1: 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
These scriptures speak of the trial of our Faith, and we see that God gives us these trials for the purpose of approval.
2Let me read our text from the Wuest translation for you… 1 PETER 1: 6 - 8 "In which last season you are to be constantly rejoicing with a joy that expresses itself in a triumphant exuberance, although for a little while at the present time if perchance there is a need for it, you have been made sorrowful in the midst of many different kinds of testings in order that the approval of your faith, which faith was examined by testing for the purpose of being approved, that the approval being much more precious than the approval of Gold which perishes, even though that gold be approved by fire testing, may be discovered after scrutiny to result in praise and Glory and Honor at the time of the Revelation of Jesus Christ."
3Therefore we should never fear the trials that we are going through, because these trials are placed upon us for a specific purpose, and that is for the purpose of testing us and correcting us in our thinking, and for bringing forth in each of us the Character traits that God has ordained for us.
1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.14If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.]
4God tests us because he loves us...
Hebrews 12:6-8 For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. 7If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
5Our problem as a human race is that we need to realize that God does not think like we think, and his ways are higher than our ways.
Isaiah 55:7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
6Any test our Loving Father places us in is to bring forth an advancement in our character. Every test we take is for a purpose. And the test is not to disprove the thing being tested, but tests are designed to prove the thing. That is why I like so much the Wuest translation of 1Peter 1:7 That we are tested for the purpose of Approval. And when we pass the test, there is always a reward. When we finish 1st grade we are tested, and when we pass the test we are asked to come up higher. We don't give a child in the first grade a college entrance exam. We wait for them to pass through all the stages of their education that prepares them for college before we give them that test. Therefore, a test is designed with a purpose in mind, and Our father’s tests are designed to show you and I what stage of growth towards our adoption that we are in. We have a promise that we will not be tested beyond that which we have been prepared to pass. So when we have been tested we can expect to receive the reward for passing.
7James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Therefore as James tells us our attitude should be one of joy when we receive the trials because it shows that God, our father is looking our way.
8You know there is nothing sadder than to see people who are all alone in this world and have no one to share their life with. What is worse is to know that there is no one who cares about you or your life. Therefore, when we are in the midst of our trial we should be more than happy, for as James said we should count it all joy when we are being put to the test, because the tests is ordained to build the character of God into us. Now, not only so, but the mere fact that you are being placed under test ought to let you Know that God has His eyes on you, because you are His.
So the trials are ordained to show us the true condition of our hearts as God said in James 3: 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
9Now, in Deuteronomy 8: 2 we hear God speak to Israel saying,And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou would keep his commandments, or not.
10Here we find God telling Israel that he put them to the test for forty years to try their hearts, putting their hearts to the test, not that He could know what was in their hearts, because he knows our hearts. The Word of God discerns the thoughts and intents of our hearts. But God put Israel to the test for 40 years so they could know what was in their own hearts. Look, how can God change you if you don’t think you need any changing. So God allows you to open your mouth to expose what rottenness is deep seated down inside your own heart, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. He did not make brother Branham wait all those years, he has taken him home early because he passed his trials. But you and I have wandered through the valley of sin these last 40 years since God has taken His obedient servant home, and he is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat.
11Jesus said in Luke 6: 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
12You see the test will allow us to know what is inside our own hearts, so we can deal with it. So pay close attention how you react when you are mistreated by others. And just remember, every man will have to give an account before the judgment seat of God what deeds he has done in this body. So make sure that your yeahs are yeah, for every idle word you speak you will have to give account of one day. Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. So many people gossip and then justify themselves by saying, “well, it was only the truth”. Truth or not, Gossip is gossip. They crucified the Lord Jesus Christ thinking they were doing God a favor. Paul thought he had to protect the Faith, and went about it by killing believers until God knocked him off his high horse. The word of God is a discerner of the Thoughts and intents of the heart, so God knows your motives for saying what you say, so make sure you are aware of your own motives as well. And it matters not what your motives are character assassination is still murder in God’s Book.
13We are given words to measure up to, so that our measure of Faith is the measure God has ordained for us to have.
In 1 Corinthians 4:12 we are taught how that we should respond to persecution and personal attacks. “And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:” Now, that is the measure we have been given, and when we examine our own hearts by listening to what we say, it reveals where we need the most help in. Just be honest and listen to yourself sometime. Do you spout off and think it is ok for you to do so, but then when you hear someone else do the same, what do you think about them then? That will show if you have a hypocritical spirit anointing you or not. And if God shows it to you then let it go. You can’t get rid of that devil if you don’t want to get rid of it.
14Zechariah 13: 9 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.
Daniel 12: 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
Psalms 105: 19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
Psalms 66: 10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Psalms 17: 3 Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
Job 23: 10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
1 Peter 4: 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
Hebrews 11: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
Proverbs 17: 3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
Psalms 11: 5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Psalms 7: 9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
15God wanted Israel to know their own hearts, and so he took them aside from the rest of the world for 40 years and He tried them to show them. Not to show himself, He knew their heart, but He wanted them to know what was inside of their own hearts, so he tried them and tested them so they would be willing to turn to Him, and turn from their wicked ways.
16You know that is the best medicine sometimes. When you see someone doing something that is not right, don’t blast them, pray for them that God will help them to see what they are doing. Because when God takes off of you that blind spirit that is predominant in Laodicea, then your eyes are opened to see exactly what is inside of you. And you know what? They Israel never did get see their condition. They never did let go and let God. So God said they will not enter into His Rest. And they died in that wilderness, eternally separated from God. That is what William Branham said. They are everyone dead. Eternally Separated from God. What finality that is. So the next time you are corrected by the Word, take the correction and say, God forgive me, I am a sinner saved only by your Grace.
And as David said in, Psalm 139:23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
17Now, tonight we are looking at How God tests us for our reactions so we can see what is in us. I believe the trial of our faith are just little tests that God places across our path to test our reactions and to see what we are going to do or what we are going to say. We have a promise from God that “the Bride will say nothing unless he has Thus Saith the Lord.” And God wants to hear His own Words come forth from the lips of His Children.
18Now, from the Message Reaction to an Action 59-0810 pp. brother Branham said, 3 For you cannot get anything from God until you get close to God. You know, it's written in the Scriptures, "Draw nigh unto Me and I'll draw nigh unto you." And if we're here now for one sole purpose, that is to draw nigh unto God, let's do that with all that's within us, draw nigh unto God. 4 And I want to say this: that God will never hear your prayer as long as you hide iniquity in your heart. He will not do it. God will, ... The Bible said over in, I believe in I John 3, "If our hearts condemn us not, then we have confidence in God”, that is if we have no condemnation in our heart. I just went through an experience of that a few days ago. And I might just stop here to tell you about it, for we never want to be in any hurry. Now, that's what one of the great ruins of our American heritage today, is we're trying to run over the top of everybody. Look like we're trying to run over the top of God, not waiting. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."
195 I've been going through some testings at home, and... And I've been called in to witness some things in a--for a trial. And they'd comb me over, and over, and over, till I was just so tired, till I,… it looked like that the whole world was a poultice, pulling on top of my head. I come home that morning and the wife said, "Well, how you doing?" I said, "Honey, them things would drive a person out of their mind." And so, I just set down to eat dinner, and--and the phone rang. We have an answering service, and this was the private phone at the parsonage. So just then it rang, and she went in, answered it. She put her hand over the phone, she said, "Billy, them attorneys again." "Oh," I said, "Honey, I--I couldn't stand it another afternoon (about six or seven days of it then)." I said, "I just couldn't stand it." And I got up from the table and went out the door. I said, "Tell them I'm not in here now," and went around behind the house. I felt real bad. And I come back. And my--my wife is a whole lot better woman than I am a man. So when she come to the door, looking at me, she said, "Was that just exactly right, Billy?" I said, "Sure." I knowed it wasn't already. But I wanted to make her think that my story would stick, so I said, "Yeah, I wasn't in here, just then." She said, "But you were in here when they called." I said, "Oh, it's all right."
206 And I went on out. There was one waiting, a man with a sick baby. All the way down to pray for that baby, my... I just felt awful. Then when I got down there to pray for the baby, Something said to me, "Why, you are a liar. And you mean that you're going to lay your hands upon this baby? This man's come for about four hundred miles for you to pray for this sick baby, and you just told a lie and had your wife to tell one." Then our hearts condemn us. You see? That was wrong. So I said to the man, I said, "Mister, if you'll just hold your place, I'll pray for your baby. But I'm not worthy to pray for your baby," I said, "because I've got something to make right before I pray for your baby." I said, "I done something that's wrong, and my heart's condemning me. And I've got to go make it right first."
217 And I took out down to the attorney's office, and knocked on his door, and he come to the door, said, "I thought you were gone." I said, "I was only gone around behind the house while you were calling." And I said, "Sir, I tell you what I did." And I explained it to him. I said, "You all had me in such a fix," I said, "I just didn't know. You questioned me this way, 'Did they do this?' or, 'Did you see this?'" And I said, "I told you everything I knew, over and over and over." But I said... I told him I went to pray for a sick baby, and what happened. And he said... walked... Got up out of the seat and walked around behind his desk, looking me right in the eye, put his hand over on my shoulder, reached down got my other hand, he said, "Brother Branham, I always had confidence in you, but I got more than ever now."
228 That made me feel good. Then I got in my car and went out to my little old cave where I go to pray. And I thought, "Now, if you done wrong, go confess your wrong first, then come back to God." So I went out to my little cave, and I prayed all afternoon. And I told the Lord I was sorry I did that. I wasn't fit to pray for His people anymore. And I couldn't have faith as long as I knew I'd lied. And I said, "You forgive me, Lord, And give me grace, and I won't do it anymore." I prayed till just long about time the sun was going down. It was a way back in the wilderness. And a creek run some three or four city blocks from where it's at, down into a valley. And I walked out; the foliage was heavy on the trees now. And I was standing on a great big rock after I come out of the cave to... Always... It faces the east. I always go out after I prayed for a day or two, or hour or two, stand on this rock, and raise up my hands, and praise the Lord; for someday, I hope, even if I am in the grave, that when He comes, I'll rise and see Him coming from the east.
239 And I stood on this great huge rock and had my hands up praising God. And I,... After I'd finished praising Him, I dropped my hands down, I said, "Lord, one day, Moses stood in the cleft of the rock and You passed by him." I said, "If You forgive my sin, and You're going to try me again, just pass by once more, Lord, to let me know that You've forgiven me, and that my iniquity's all gone, and I shall go then and pray again for the sick people." You might not want to believe this, but at the judgment bar, you and I have to confess it again, you'll know it was true. There were... Just as still as it is in here, not no wind nowhere, and right over to my side, a little whirlwind caught into the bushes, and here it come, right along the side of the cave by me, and went off down through the woods. I wept like a baby with both hands up in the air. If our hearts condemn us not, then we have confidence in God. But God will not answer us if there's something we're hiding in our hearts. So let's confess all our sins and wrongs, and trust God to pour out His Spirit in such a measure that there'll be a great spiritual outpouring in this old camp meeting grounds here, whatever it is, that sick people would be healed and sinners will be saved. I'll be praying for you, and you pray for me; and together, God will bless us all.
24So we see that God places little things along our path to try us and test us so we can see where we need to focus our prayer and our desire to right our wrongs. Now, we know that repentance is a change of the mind, and when a person comes to the place that they think they can do no wrong or say no wrong, and are not willing to repent or change their mind, that is when that person has stopped growing in Grace and has begun to turn to disgrace.
25I just don’t understand why it is so difficult for some people to be able to admit that they have been wrong. Those words are so small and yet so awful hard for some people to say. So I am going to ask every one of you in here to repeat after me, “I was wrong, will you please forgive my littleness.”
26Brother Branham also said from his sermon Reaction to an action 59-0810 P:2 Isn't it strange how God does things? He will let us get right down to the last, the last mile away. You know, He likes to do that. He did it with the Hebrew children. He knew who He could trust, so He let them boys walk right up to the fiery furnace, till they could almost smell the fire, and He never moved. But when it comes time, He will move. He will move, but He waits till His own time. He wanted to see what kind of a reaction they'd have. He knew they'd made their stand. And when He knows that you make your stand... He will let Satan take you to the last mile of the way. But just remember, He's still there. He wants to see if you really mean what you're talking about. "Oh, I believe God's a Healer. Yes, I sure believe it." And the next day, you still got your pain. "Well, maybe I never got it." Sure you got it, He just wanting to see how you're going to react on what you said. You say, "Oh, praise God, I believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit." The first little temptation that comes along, you fly off like a buzz saw. He's trying to see your reaction on your action. He's trying to test you. "Every son that cometh to God must first be chastened, tested." Every child that comes to Him, He puts him through a test to see how he will act.
27Be certain of God 59-0412A P:19 And the woman as she seen that crucial hour coming, no doubt she checked up and said, "Lord, I've done all that I know how to do." When you've done everything that you know how to do, and met every requirement that God has required, that's where faith takes a hold. That's where faith comes in. If you've met every requirement that God required you to do, then sometimes God tests your faith, to see what kind of a reaction you'll have on your action. Oh, He's good at that. It's just lets--it just proves whether you really believe what you think you believe. You know He does that many times. 20 One morning there was some Hebrew children was going to be burnt up. And they knew that they had done God's will. And they said, "We're not afraid of the king's commandments. Our God is able to deliver us from this fiery furnace. Nevertheless, we'll not bow to his image." Now, God was going to give them a test to see what their reaction to their action would be. And He let them walk right straight to the fiery furnace before He ever moved. But when all of God's requirements has been met, and you're certain of God, that God will do it, stand still then, and God will do it. If you set in these meetings, and you seen the Lord God move out over the audience, healing the sick and afflicted, and yet, you seem to still have your disease... And when I ask for them to put hands on each other, and you've made your wrongs right before Him; you've accepted Him, and you've been baptized in Christian faith, and your heart's clean before Him, then sometime when God delays His answer He's only wanting to see what you'll react by. Just be sure that you believe that it's God and then hold on to it. Don't you move.
28Be certain of God 59-0125 P:21 You know, He loves to test us. He loves to see the reaction of your faith. Did you know that? God likes to see how you'll react. When you say, "Oh, Lord, I believe You; Thou art my Saviour. I believe that You are the Healer; I believe that You are the One Who gives the Holy Spirit; and the things that I am requiring, You are the God Who gives that." And then when you confess all your sins and promise God what you'll do if He'll let you get well, and then because it don't happen, you run off like a coward somewhere, God can't use that. There's no way for Him to use you. There's no way for Him to answer you, because He only answers by faith. Then all of a sudden you go away and He can't answer. But real true faith stands there, being sure that God is. Be certain that He is. And if God asks this thing to be done, to confess your sins and so forth, and you've done it, faith says that He is; it's certain that it's going to happen. Your request has to be granted. Oh, I hope you don't miss that. If you're sure of God, God's sure of His Word. He's only waiting to test you.
30Look at the king who was going to die. When he found out about his death sentence, he cried to God for 15 more years and said, “You know God, I have lived my whole life to please you, and I have really tried to live a life worthy of your Word, so please hear my prayer and give me 15 more years,” and God did. And so did the woman that Elijah prayed for and she received a son when she could not have children.
32And from brother Branham’s sermon called, Elijah and meal offering 60-0310 P:25 he said, And she had met every requirement. She'd lived clean; she'd lived decent; she'd lived honorable, and she had met all of God's requirements. But, looked like He was silent. God does that sometime to test you to see what kind of a reaction you'll have. Don't forget it. If you pass over the platform, you're prayed for, and hands laid on you, and it seems like nothing happens, that doesn't stop faith one bit; you have met God's requirements. Now, if you have met them... Now, if you're holding back on God, you know your heart condemns you. And we know, "If our heart condemns us not, then we have..." Now, but if our heart condemns us, there's no need of coming across the platform; there's no need of asking God for anything, because you don't have faith to receive it. But when you have met every requirement that God requires, then faith steps out there and said, "God is God. I've met the requirements."
33Jehovah Jireh 57-0309E P:39 And then one day God wanted to make it real plain to the people in Phoenix. So how He was going to do it, He was going to give this Abraham a double test. So He said, "Abraham, take thine son, thy only son, and take him to a certain mountain, where I'm going to show you, and there sacrifice him. Now, what if Abraham would have took the second thought? "How am I going to be the father of nations, when here I am this old, and You're asking me kill and destroy the only evidence that I have that You'll keep Your Word and make me a father of nations?" How God loves to test His people. Every child that comes to God must be tested, child trained; no exceptions, everyone. And maybe tonight, that you're sick, just to have a little child training, just a little testing. Don't be discouraged. God's on the throne. He knows all things. If were truly born of the Spirit of God, everything's working together for our good. He's going to make everything right. He promised He would. He swore He would. And He's got to keep that Word. He's kept it now for the thousands of years to every believer. Would you be any exception? No, sir. We're no exception. Now, watch Him now.