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God is purifying His Bride. He is purging His floor. He is pruning the branches. He said any branch in me that bears fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. People are just satisfied with salvation. Salvation made you a branch but now that branch must be purged that it would double its fruit. That the fruit would be even juicier than the last. That the fruit would not grow with any mold or rot. That when the fruit is pruned, the branch would brace even more to the Vine. That the vessel would abide even more in the Vine. The fire is a purifier. It is not a bad thing, it is a holy thing. God is not trying to make us happy, He's trying to make us holy. It's not just glory, glory, glory. It's holy, holy, holy. When the temple is holy, the glory comes. We are now the temple of God. Do you want to be holy? Welcome to the fire. There's fire in His eyes and fire all around Him and He will come unto you like a fire and try you by fire that He would make a fire to blaze before men.

God is putting His church through the fire like gold and silver. When the gold goes into the fire, it has a dark shade of dross to it that keeps it from shining. That keeps it from having the fullness of its image. God is molding us into His image but He has to refine out our image. You may have Christ in you, but now you need to look like Christ all about you! Many want heaven more than they want God in heaven. Many want the bridegroom's home and wealth more than the bridegroom Himself. God is saying, “No! I must have a bride without spot or wrinkle, without blemish.” “When I look at my bride, I want it to be as if I am looking in the mirror.”

“I must have a church where the gates of hell will not prevail against.” Yet if the church wants to get there, they need to get the gates of hell out of them. We are being washed daily by the renewing of our minds that we may be proven and approved. That we may have the mind of Christ, the wisdom from above that confounds the wisdom of this world. The Fire of God is here to burn out our carnal mind. The Fire of God is here to burn out the dross in our hearts. He is a refiner. He is sharpening His arrows, that He may shoot us out like arrows to hit His target. Yet we must be sharp. We must be tried. We must be refined that we would fit His grand design. He is the potter and we are the clay! He is molding us and shaping us that we may walk in His way, love what He loves, and hate what He hates. That we may love the way He loves and hate darkness the way He hated it. He tries the hearts of man, that the hearts of men would become the heart of God.

Sometimes it's not always the enemy. Sometimes it's God's fire. Testing us and trying us. Putting us through things, taking us to things, taking us out of things, and putting in us things that are God things. Maybe the wilderness was really a shadow of the fire of God, testing the hearts of the Israelites, refining a bride unto Himself that He could trust to go into the promised land. Maybe it was the fire of God that was testing David and forming David’s heart when Saul was after Him. As Saul was after David, David was after God all the more. God knows the end before the beginning. Sometimes the enemy doesn't even realize he is pushing God's people even closer to him. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and tormented his land with plagues that he would push the enemies out of the land, and God tricked the enemies of His people again and swallowed up the enemy in the parting of the Red Sea. The Bible says God created the darkness and the light. He is using all things to conform His people into His image and intimacy. 

Do you think God was fooling himself when he created the garden and allowed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to exist? He knew what was going to happen. He knew what He was doing and what He wanted to accomplish. This whole life in and of itself is the ultimate trial and fire. This isn’t even the life we were meant for. Our life is meant for eternity in heaven. Yet this vapor is a time trial to see who will last through the fires of this world and be rewarded the crown of life as they pass through this life. Who will stand and stay in the faith and not fall away from the faith until the end? Who will endure until the end? Who will endure the fire until the end? Who really loves Him and who doesn't? Because whoever really loves Him will obey Him. It was the enemy that tried and tested Job but really God allowed it. The devil came to God and God said, “Have you considered my servant Job?” God was showing the enemy this is my man, He will stand for me on earth. God used what He knew satan would do to work all things together for Job's good. God said Job was a righteous man. He said he was perfect and upright. Job was being tested and tried. Job lost everything. The house, kids, cattle, even the FIRE of God came down on His cattle. He was being put through the fire. Even sickness came upon his body. Yet in all this, Job sinned not. 

Most of us would think we departed from God, not realizing we were going through a test and trial from God. Even when His wife tempted him to curse God, he resisted. When his friends accused him and said all manner of things, he was being tempted, tested, and tried, every part of his mind, heart, and walk. A righteous man! This wasn’t a man in sin. This was a man that God was refining. Don’t say when tests and trials come upon you that it is a strange thing. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But 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.” 1 Peter 4:12-19

“And not only so we glory in tribulation, know that tribulation worketh patience, and patience, experience and experience, hope.” Romans 5:3-5. Many of us stand on the Rock but we have never experienced the Rock. We know that the Word is strong and will hold us up in the last day, but that is only proven when the winds and waves come. We only know the Word works when the Word is tested and stands. Everything in us will be tested by fire. If it stands, it’s from God, if it falls, it’s false. Hay, wood, and stubble will burn in the fire. Don’t try to hold onto it because if you resist the fire, you will be burned by the fire. Many people resist the fire and their flesh lives and strengthens. We need to embrace the fire that our flesh would die and our spirit man will be strengthened. 

Let the dross come off the gold. Let the chaff come off the wheat. Let the flesh come off the Spirit. The fire will separate the tares from the wheat. Every word that you hear that claims to be from God will be tested by fire to show and prove if it will stand. Every word, prophecy, kingdom relationship, and so on will be tested by fire. You think just because it’s from God it won’t go through the fire? God wants the Word He has put in you to be put through the fire that He may show you that it is faithful and true. Sometimes God will test you on His Word to see if you will believe it, stand on it, and see it all the way through to the end. You may believe in sowing and reaping, then comes a season to test your faithfulness to the Word. You may be believing in sowing and reaping then you might see a season where you are sowing and not reaping. You have to stand. You must pass the test and be faithful to the Word and He will be faithful to you. The branch is being pruned. The heart is being tested. Every bit of the Word will be tested in you. That way the mixture will be burned out. That the fat would be cut off. That everything that man has added to His Word will be burnt off. Those standing on the sand when the fire comes, when the wave comes, that foundation will be swept out from under them. Thank God for the fire that shows us what is of God and not of God.

He is the 4th man in the fire. He stands through the fire and upholds His foundation in the fire. The three worldly guards that tied up Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego died in the fire. Yet God’s three men lived. What is of God cannot be burned by fire because it is from the fire, the Fire is God. He is an all-consuming fire. He consumes everything that is not Him and that's why He tries us and leads us in the wilderness to be tempted and tried like Jesus. That our faith may be of praise, honor, and glory. Two will stand, both will be saved, but both man's works will be tested by fire. One man's works will be burnt up and another man's works will stand the fire and He shall be rewarded. I don’t want to waste my time here on earth. I want to go through the fire now that my works may not be burned by fire later.

What is from below will burn in the fire; what is from above can never be burned by fire. I want my works to be fireproof. I want what I do to be from God and not from man. From God and not religion. Works of faith and not dead works. Works of the Spirit and not the works of my own spirit. The fire of God is the mercy of God. Judgment starts in the house of God. He tests and primes His house now that when the enemy tempts and tries them later, they will overcome. He puts us through tests now that we would overcome the tempter later. He refines us to become blameless now that we may not be accused later. He refines us in the wilderness now that we would not be defeated in the promised land later.

He is testing our motives. God tempts no man but He uses the enemy and the enemy thinks He’s going to win but God knows he’s going to lose. God knows what will happen before it happens. God led Jesus into the wilderness knowing the enemy would be there. The enemy thought it was his time to pounce, but God knew it was His time to strengthen His Son. The enemy thought it was his time to disqualify God’s sons, but God knew it was His Son's time to prove to the enemy that there can be found no foothold in Him. 

That when He cast out devils, the enemy would know he has nothing on Jesus and that he must flee. There are times where God is not just purifying you, He is testing you to strengthen you, to not just get you on the Rock, but firm on the Rock. To show you and the enemy that you are able to stand because of what is inside of you. This is why He trains us, that He may remain in us. He teaches my hands for war and my fingers to fight. That when the opportune time comes, the enemy won't be able to touch you because you have been trained to overcome. 

We are in the training phase that when the manifestation of the sons of God shines forth to the world that is waiting, the enemy will not be able to stop them. The fire is trying us, training us, and prepping us for our appointed time. Jesus was being prepped all His life for His short three years of ministry. Thank God for the refiner's fire because when we come out, we won’t even smell like smoke. People will wonder how we have gotten where we have gotten, and they won’t even know the price we paid or the fire that we went through. Yet it is so by fire that He gets us to shine forth as so. 

We need the fire. The only way out of the fire is to submit to the fourth man in the fire. Going through the fire keeps us on fire for God. He said I will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and Fire. Not just the fire that burns for Him but the fire that purifies you, and then you will start to burn for Him! We cry out God make me patient, make me like this or like that, or like you, and then He answers with fire and we reject it. The fire is the purifier that gives us a pure heart and clean hands. The fire is what God uses to divide the old man from the new man. The fire is where two wills meet, one will die and one lives forever. It’s His will, not our will. Our will dies and His will lives forever. The fire teaches us His will. When you no longer do the things that you used to do that you did not want to do, thank the fire. Thank the fire of God that came and challenged your mindsets and religiosity to a showdown and delivered you. Just like Moses and Korah and Elijah and the false prophets, there is a showdown of power going on inside of you between your flesh and your spirit right now. Only one will stand. That one that will stand is the one that will answer by Fire!

By  Joe Pinto

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