Vol. 31, No. 12 December, 2007
“Is there no Balm in Gilead?”
By Pastor George Mills
Jeremiah began his Ministry as Prophet about 60 years after the death of Isaiah. At the end of his life, Jeremiah was taken captive and died in Egypt.
This cry for healing Balm comes from the heart of the great man we know as the “Weeping Prophet.” Time and time again as we read his writings, we see the Prophet in tears as he weeps for his homeland. “Oh that my head were waters and mine eyes a fountain of tears that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” (Jer. 9:1) After judgment had come to the nation and the city lies in ruin, as God had so warned, Jeremiah cries out, “Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.” (Lam 1:12)
In the time of Jeremiah, the Land of Judah was in deep distress. Idolatry filled the land. The Prophets had cried out messages of warnings from God. But the people would not listen. Before the time of Jeremiah, Isaiah had seen the people as rebels, as a people laden with Iniquity, with wounds, bruises and putrifying sores, not having been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Isaiah 1) When Jeremiah comes on the scene after the death of Isaiah. Nothing has changed. The people have not repented. The condition of the land touches the heart of Jeremiah as he tries to persuade the people to return to the God who had brought them to the fruitful land, (Read Jer. 2) From the PRIESTS to the PASTORS to the PROPHETS and the PEOPLE, all have turned from the Living God to the worship of Baal. The problem lies deeper than the surface. The problem is with the heart. As I read Ch. 8, I see that Jeremiah’s deep cry came from his tender heart. “For behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord. When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country, Is not the Lord in Zion? Is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and strange vanities? The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt. I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead, is there
no Physician there? Why is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jer.8:19-22) I believe that the nation had everything that a nation needed in order to be successful, everything that is, except heart.
Things have not changed much since Jeremiah’s day. He made the great statement, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). God sent
Jeremiah to the potter’s house, (Jer 18:1-11) in order to show the Prophet His power to restore the nation, IF they would surrender to God, but the nation said, “There is no hope, we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his EVIL HEART.” (18:12).
“IS THERE NO BALM IN GILEAD?” “IS THERE NO PHYSICIAN THERE?”
Gilead is a mountain region on the east of Jordan. The Tribes of Reuben, Manasseh, and Gad settled there. (Nu 32:1-5, 34:14). A tree grew on that mountain range. A tree, when it’s bark was penetrated, an oily resin, or sap flowed spontaneously. This oily substance was used as an ointment, or salve, called BALM for medicinal purposes. In fact, it had many uses. Balm from Gilead was also exported to other nations, Jer 46:11, 51:8, Gen 37:25, Eze 27:17).There was much Balm in Gilead . But who was concerned? Jeremiah was discouraged and wanted to quit but he could not;”Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His Name. But His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing and I could not stay.” (Jer. 20:9)
There is not much hope for a nation that turns from the Goodness and Mercy of God to “Every man doing that which is right in his own eyes.” We all know the rest of the story. The nation went into captivity. Their homeland was destroyed. They returned from captivity to rebuild their land. In due time their Messiah came just as the Prophets said. They rejected the Messiah. He was crucified, and ultimately the people were scattered among the nations of the world where they remain to this day and will remain until the day God calls them back into the land. My, how these people have suffered because of their rejection of their Messiah.
Now, let’s try to bring some of this setting up to our time in history. Our land is a needy land. Like Judah, we have much, but we have little heart. We have no heart for revival in our time. We want to do things OUR WAY. “Let’s get God out of our way. Get Him out of our HOMES, our schools, our public life and places, let’s get Him out of our churches. Let us replace Him with Humanism. “Why does God have to be involved in our lives anyway? “We will call on Him IF we need Him.” Well, we have walked in this direction for years, and we are reaping the benefits from our walk away from God. We are troubled on every hand. Our cities are unsafe. Our homes are unsafe. Criminals robbers, drug dealers, gangs rule communities. “Blood touches blood” in some places. Abortion clinics, pornographic shops, drug addiction, misuse of the internet, and even our grade schools are unsafe, all cause us to cry out, “IS THERE NO BALM IN GILEAD? IS THERE NO PHYSICIAN?”
Jeremiah asked some questions in our text, Ch. 8:19,
1.“Is not the Lord in Zion? Is not her King in her?”
2. “Is there no Balm in Gilead?”
3. “Is there no Physician there?”
Let us today find some answers…
1. THERE IS A KING IN ZION.
I believe without a doubt that Jesus Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords. I believe that He is on His Throne in the Heavenlies. “But we are come unto Mount Sion, (Zion) and unto the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn which are written in Heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from Him that speaketh from Heaven.” (Heb 12:22-25)
“Is not the Lord in Zion? Is not her King in her?” Oh yes. Our Lord Jesus is on His Throne in the Heavenly Zion.
2. THERE IS A MOUNTAIN IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL. There is a Mountain named Mount Gilead. Mount Gilead is where Gideon camped, and there his army was reduced to 300 men, (Jud. 7:1-7). Mount Gilead answers to, or is a type of Mount Calvary, where our dear Lord Jesus was crucified, and Grace flows from His wounded side.
3. THERE IS A HEALING BALM. Healing balm flowed from a pierced tree on Mount Gilead. Healing Balm flows from a pierced Saviour nailed to a tree on Mount Calvary. The healing ointment flowing is the Gospel of Grace of Jesus Christ. His Life, His Death, His Resurrection, His ascension to His Heavenly Throne. This is the medicine the world needs today. The Healing Balm of the Gospel of Grace reaches the heart of man. The Gospel gives a new heart. There is a beautiful old hymn with the words;
“There is a Balm in Gilead,
That makes the wounded whole,
There is a Balm in Gilead,
To heal the sin sick soul.”
4. THERE IS A PHYSICIAN THERE. He is known as the Great Physician. His Name is Jesus Christ. He has never lost a case. His medicine works.
In Jeremiah’s day there seemed to be much balm in Gilead. But getting it to the needy was something else. Did anyone care enough? What a sad cry; “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” The harvest time was from April to June when the barley and wheat were gathered. The summer fruit, figs, grapes, pomegranates were gathered in August and September. The harvest time has ended and we have nothing stored for winter. We are not saved. And so the world goes. We feast, we play, we feast and play some more. We live for today only. But winter is coming. The Healing Balm of the Pure Gospel must be preached and published from every corner in every city. The Gospel of the Grace of God still works. The problem is, that in our day, so much has been added to the massage, that what is being preached is not working very well. Ecclesiastes 10:1 says, “Dead flies cause the ointment of the Apothecary to send forth a stinking savour.” Balm of Gilead was a healing ointment. So much has been added to the Gospel message today that it no longer has the appeal it once had. Man has added works of various kinds, baptisms, groups, denominations, circumcision, law keeping, doing, doing, doing, etc. I know, crowds are filling huge buildings, but crowds and noise do not mean revival. Changed lives are the result of the Gospel of Grace. Let us return to;
“Waft it on the rolling tide,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Tell to sinners far and wide,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves,”
Let us return to the old paths, to the old way, to the way that works.
4. BALM FROM GILEAD MUST BE AGAIN EXPORTED TO THE NATIONS. Multiplied billions around the world have never once heard the Old Story of Jesus and His Love. The Bible (KJV) is still true, and the Gospel still works. Paul turned his face toward Rome and said, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Ro 1:16). Paul had spread this healing Balm through Galatia, Achaia, Macedonia, all through the Mediterranean countries, and had seen it work among these cities and he knew that it would work at Rome.
Here at the WILDERNESS, it is our desire that YOU know the Saving Power of the Gospel in your life. Jesus Christ will never knock down the barriers in your life and march in unbidden. He will come in, forgive your sin, and make you whole. “A New heart will I give.” Ask Christ for His forgiveness and cleansing power just now. And then, it is our desire to take this Gospel to the nations of the world. Our statistics sites show that from April through October of this year, other than the United States, this small Publication has gone into 241 countries of the world with BALM FROM GILEAD. A’int God good! May God richly bless you today!
BALM FROM GILEAD
By Pastor George Mills
“Is there no Balm in Gilead?”(Jer.8:22)
“Thy garments smell of Myrrh, Aloes and Cassia out of ivory palaces whereby they have made thee glad.”( Ps 45:8)
From Ivory Palaces above,
He came to bring His calm.
With Myrrh and Aloes to tell of His Love,
And Cassia, His healing balm.
From wounded hands and bleeding side,
His Healing Balm did flow,
Full payment for sin, the Blood supplied,
As it fell to the earth below.
The Myrrh speaks of His bitter fight,
The Cassia, anointing oil,
The Aloes speak of His sorrow that night,
All speak of His labor and toil.
Is there now Balm in Gilead?
Is He risen from the dead?
Oh yes, such joy we never had,
He’ alive, just as He said.
And now I live with peace within,
My life filled with joy and Psalm,
Paid in full, my debt of sin,
All because of Gilead’s Balm.
THINK ABOUT IT…
An ounce of cure is worth more than a pound of pretension.
FROM OUR HOUSE, TO YOUR HOUSE, WE WISH FOR EACH OF YOU A MOST BLESSED CHRISTMAS SEASON. MAY JESUS CHRIST, WHO IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON, BE THE CENTER OF EVERY LIFE AND ACTIVITY..
THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST
By Pastor George Mills
“And the angel said unto them, fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings which shall be for all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
Three things from this text…
1. THE MESSENGER…”The angel of the Lord.” When God was ready to announce the birth of His Son, He did not use the media of the day. He sent a Heavenly messenger. I know the joy of having a child born into our home. I wanted to tell everyone, I was so proud. “Just think, we have a new baby!” So God sent His Heavenly Messenger to announce the birth of His Son. This was probably the angel, Gabriel. He was one of the Sons of Light. He witnessed creation. “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” (Job 38:7). Let’s call this angel, “God’s press secretary.” When earthly rulers get ready to make an announcement to the world, they send their “press secretary” with the message. This angel had been busy in the land of Judea. First, God sent the angel to announce to Zacharias the news about the birth of his son, John, who we know as John the Baptist, (Lk 1:10-25). Then the angel was sent to the Virgin Mary with the news that she will bear a child of the Holy Ghost, (Lk 1:26-38). The birth of John was a miracle birth, but the message to Mary was about a supernatural Virgin Birth. There will never be another like this birth. “Only Begotten” means, ONE OF A KIND. After the announcement to Mary, the angel was then sent to Joseph to assure him that Mary’s child was of the Holy Ghost, (Mt 1:18-25). And then the angel made announcement to the world, (Lk 2:10-11.
2. THE MESSAGE…The message of the angel contains three things about the person of Jesus Christ.
(A). SAVIOUR. His HUMANITY. Man needs a Saviour. Man sinned against God in the Garden of Eden. A Saviour was promised in Gen. 3:15. The Old Testament is the record of Satan’s attempt to stop the birth of the SAVIOUR.. But now, we have a Saviour. A Baby who came here, to live with us, to know our needs. One who lived here, and was tempted as we are, yet, without sin. That same Baby grew to manhood. He presented Himself to Israel as their promised King. The nation refused Him. “We will not have this man rule over us.” “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” He was arrested, and given the mockery trial of the ages, nailed to a Roman Cross, and died for the sins of the world. All sin was laid on Him. He paid the price. HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOUR!
(B) CHRIST. His DIVINITY. Christ means, “the Anointed One” God manifest in the flesh. “Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is GOD WITH US.” (Mt 1:24). When God was ready to redeem man from his sins, God Himself came down. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” (2Cor. 5:19).
(C) THE LORD. His ETERNALITY. He is the Eternal One. Micah 5:3, “But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” NOW CHECK YOUR BIBLE CAREFULLY. Many of these new “versions” attack the Eternality of Christ at this passage in Micah. The Bible (KJV) says that He is from EVERLASTING. That means He had no beginning. New versions substitute “ancient times” for “Everlasting.” That robs Him of His pre-existence.
3. THE MEANING. What does all of this mean for you and me…
(A) IS BORN. Not shall be born, but IS born. There is none other. All that God ever had, or will have was invested in that frail little Baby, born in a stable, and lay in a hay manger. He is here. Don’t look for another. “There is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”
BORN, in Bethlehem!
(B) THIS DAY, What about “THIS DAY”…
1It was a day of Divine Visitation. As we have already stated, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”
2. It was a day of Divine Vindication. Satan had done his best to prevent the birth of Christ. Much blood had been shed. The Old Testament is the recording of the battle of the ages. But the “Seed of the woman” was born THIS DAY.
(C) TO ALL PEOPLE. First, He came to the Jews. He came as their Messiah. He came at the right time, to the right place with the right credentials. “But His own received Him not.” Had the Jews received Him He would have set up His Kingdom and blessings from God would flow to all people through Israel. They would have nothing to do with this man called Jesus. They had Him crucified. Now, through the fall of Israel the gospel of Grace is for ALL PEOPLE. Whoever you are, wherever you are, and however you are, Christ died for YOU. He wants to be your Saviour. This is the real Christmas story. Do you know Him today? He is God’s Christmas Gift to you. The only thing you can do with a gift is to receive it, or reject it. If you do anything to earn a gift, then it is no longer a gift. Today, by Faith alone, receive the Gift of God’s Love. You may ask, “Preacher, how do I receive Him?” The best way is to tell Him that you receive him. The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Ask Him today to forgive your sin, and to be your Saviour.
BEGIN TODAY, TO LIVE FOREVER!
The WILDERNESS, 1999
THINK ABOUT IT…Christmas is Christ, and Christ is Christmas, You can’t have one without the other. Without Christ, there is no Christmas.
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
Another year has come and gone, and for so much we have to be thankful. Our health and strength, and just so many blessings we could never count them all, but we are thankful to God for each and every one of them.
So many prayers have been answered in our family this past year, and if I had to name the one thing that I am most thankful for, I believe it would be answered prayer. God hears and answers when we pray. We are looking for a brand new year to serve him better than ever before. There is joy in serving Jesus, so let this be the day you ask Him into your heart so that you too can serve Him. Receive Him today, and as your prayers go up, watch the blessings come down. What a Wonderful Saviour is Jesus our Lord!
“The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” (Nu. 6:24-26)
THE IDEAL CHRISTMAS GIFT
1, The Ideal Christmas Gift is a Gift of Love. “For God so loved the world He gave..”
2. The Ideal Christmas Gift is lovingly wrapped. “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes..
3. The Ideal Christmas Gift is hung on a tree. Today, we place gifts under the tree. In other times, gifts were hung on the tree.
4. The Ideal Christmas gift is to be received. “But as many as received Him”
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
By Pastor George Mills
“For unto you is born THIS DAY in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ, the Lord.”
What kind of day do you think it was,
The day when Christ was born?
Was it fair, or did it rain,
On that first Christmas morn?
What kind of day did He first see,
From the manger where He lay?
Were multitudes there to welcome Him,
On that first Christmas day?
What kind of day in government,
Did joy and gladness ring?
Was it a day of tidings there,
To welcome their new King?
Was it a day of happiness,
Throughout all the land,
When Jesus Christ came down to earth,
To rescue fallen man?
Did those who in the Temple pray,
And longed for God to send,
The One to lead them from their plight
And then their bondage end?
Did they welcome Him that day,
So many years ago,
As One who came to set them free,
Or was their answer, NO?
Did crowds come out to welcome Him,
Or was He One rejected?
Was He the One they were looking for,
Or was He unexpected?
No welcoming committee there,
No room within the inn.
No glad tidings published far,
He was unwanted then.
No shouts of joy to welcome Him,
The new born King, that day.
What kind of day, when Jesus came?
A day just like TODAY!