Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Winter 1997
The Threshing Floors Of God
By Pauline Gustafson

"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will
thoroughly purge His threshing floor, and gather
His wheat into the barn, and He will burn up the
chaff with unquenchable fire." Matt 3:11-12.

The threshing floors in Scripture yield a rich insight into the spiritual lives of the Lord's people. Profound issues between God and men, major matters of faith and obedience are settled upon the threshing floor.

The Lord's deeply personal dealings forever change and greatly enrich the believer in Christ. Meeting God upon the threshing floor is vital to Christian growth and spiritual maturity.

Threshing involves testing and trial. The word "tribulation" means to "thresh." Seasons of threshing may involve humiliation and exposure, but it is the Lord's method of delivering His people from a carnal, casual spiritual life to deep commitment, fruitfulness, and power. The process enlarges hearts, increases capacity for God, enhances spiritual vision, and deepens sensitivity to God and to others. To embrace and submit to the Thresher brings life; to resist Him causes hardness of heart.

Issues between the believer and his Lord must be recognized, identified, brought to climax and fully resolved. Personality defects, character flaws, unbelief and fear, hidden weaknesses, roots of bitterness; all these are issues which inhibit our trust in Christ.

These problem areas are common to our human condition. They are the residue of sin; our own inbred Adamic nature with its propensity toward evil, plus our actual guilt, as well as the sins of others against us. This combination is deadly; like chaff, it suffocates and smothers the germ of spiritual life. Therefore, the Lord faithfully brings us back to the threshing floor until the obstacles to growth are removed.

The altar means fire; burning and purification for the destruction of every affinity that God has not established, and each relationship that is not an attachment in God.

In Scripture, gold, silver, and precious stones are contrasted to wood, hay, and straw. The obvious distinction is that the latter are flammable; they cannot stand the fire, but are perishable and represent all that is non vital and inconsistent in our lives. The gold, silver, and precious stones are able to withstand the fire and actually increase in purity and value. The wood, hay and straw are light, virtually weightless and are consumed in the fire.

The Apostle Peter wrote that the genuineness of our faith, which is more precious than gold, must be tested by fire. He also wrote that we should not think it strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try us.

The threshing floor of Atad is the first mentioned in Scripture. It was the scene of mourning for the aged patriarch, Jacob, before his body was buried in the family burial plot at Machpelah.

He was already elderly when he left Canaan and moved to Egypt to be with his beloved son, Joseph. There, in the sweetness of reunion, he lived out his remaining days. Upon his deathbed, he made his sons promise they would take his body home to Canaan and bury him at Machpelah. It was Joseph who led the family to the threshing floor of Atad where they properly mourned Jacob's death and carefully committed him to the grave. As a seed planted, it was a promise that the people of God would one day return to the homeland. Out of death, life would spring!

The issue upon the threshing floor of Atad was a critical issue. It would be a most significant factor in the history of Jacob's sons. They returned to Egypt, but it was a temporary move. Canaan was in their hearts and Machpelah was their sacred site, the seed plot of their Covenant relationship with Jehovah. Only in the Promised Land could the terms of the Covenant be fully honored.

Upon his deathbed, Joseph said to his brothers, "I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and you are to carry up my bones from here." They did not know they would be threshed by four hundred years of slavery.

In Egypt the family of seventy persons grew to become a great nation. At God's appointed time, Moses the deliverer came to lead them out. Taking the bones of Joseph, they crossed the Red Sea and traveled through the wilderness to the borders of Canaan. Men may not have remembered the issue represented by Jacob's dead body, but God remembered. His promises could not fail. His people would not be swallowed up!

The world cannot absorb the children of God. Faith is a seed planted in the homeland. In God's time, the fruit is seen. The transitory gives place to the eternal, and the alien returns home.

The issue of God's call to ministry begins with a basic command. To Gideon, it was simply, "Go". Obedience to the call brings further direction and the way unfolds, step by step. Alone in the winepress, the call came to Gideon. The marauding bands of Midian had been at war with Israel for seven years. They were terrorists whose battle strategies were without honor, bravery, or skill; they stole Israel's crops and there was no leader capable of defeating them.

But God had chosen a man for the hour. In the night, hiding and fearful, Gideon heard incredible, life changing words,

"The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!... Go in

this might of yours and you shall save Israel from the
hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you? ... Surely
I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one
man!" Judges 6:12-16.

Gideon protested briefly, but his protest was quickly silenced. Faith began to rise in his heart, and Gideon was catapulted into a spiritual realm he did not know existed.

In a final test of faith, he met God on the threshing floor. Faith is not faith until it is tested; it is merely conjecture. Gideon must know. He asked for a sign: placing a fleece of wool upon the threshing floor, he requested that the dew gather on the fleece only, leaving it dry all around. "And it was so." He then asked God to reverse the sign: let it be dry only on the fleece, and wet all around. "And God did so that night." Upon the threshing floor the issue was settled; faith became substance. There was double confirmation.

A new generation of sovereignly chosen servants are coming forth at this time. They who are called know it. The Spirit of God who "clothed Himself with Gideon" will anoint the obedient. If they side step the issue, their segment of Kingdom ministry may never be accomplished and their potential in the Spirit never actualized.

The issue is profound, as is every issue between God and man. Issues settled and resolved result in great fruit and blessing to the people of God in all ages. The Thresher walks among us; let us yield to Him.

* Edited from the book, "The Threshing Floors of God" by Pauline Gustafson.