As Good As Gold
"I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne." (Revelation 3:18-21 KJV) (see also What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?)
"The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire"
Refining gold from the ore in which it can be found involves a process in which the ore is "tried" (the English words try, tried and trial all originated from a word meaning to refine, or to purify) or melted, in order to separate pure gold from the other elements. Refining of gold has been known to humans since early times, and The Lord used the familiar "gold tried in the fire" as an analogy for growing in faith and Truth:
"And I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross" (Isaiah 1:25 KJV)
"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: Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:7-9 KJV)
The purpose of the analogy is purity of character:
"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8 KJV)
"If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:21-22 KJV)
And the ultimate purpose of the purifying?
"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the Truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again [see Spiritual Conception], not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." (1 Peter 1:22-23 KJV)
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God [see Children Of God]: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." (1 John 3:1-3 KJV)
The analogy of pure gold for spiritual purity continues in the description of the New Jerusalem in which nothing, and no one, that or who is impure will be allowed to enter:
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven [see The City To Come], prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them [see The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth], and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. 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 21:1-4 KJV)
"And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." (Revelation 21:18-21 KJV)
"Blessed are they that do His Commandments [see The Decalogue], that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Revelation 21:14-15 KJV)
Fact Finder: What is the difference between the desirable "gold tried in the fire," as explained in this lesson, and the undesirable "baptism of fire"?
See Baptism Of Fire