Vol. 37, No. 4 April, 2013
THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM.
By Dr. George Mills
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the gentiles through Jesus Christ that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal. 3:13-14).
Today, we hear much, especially from some TV preachers about the “Blessings Of Abraham.” The clear teaching of many of these is that “when we become Christians, we become Abraham’s seed, (nationally) thus inheriting everything God promised Abraham and his seed.” Abraham was saved by faith when he finally believed God, (Gen. 15:1-6, Ro. 4:1-8). We are saved the very same way Abraham was saved, making us Abraham’s seed, (spiritually) and not (nationally). Abraham is the father of “all them that believe though they be not circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.” (Ro. 4:11). When we are saved we DO NOT become Jews. When we are saved, we DO NOT replace Israel. God has a plan for Israel and He will fulfill every promise He made concerning the nation of Israel. When we are saved we DO NOT inherit God’s covenant with Israel. A careful reading of Romans 9,10, 11 will clearly reveal that as a nation, as far as the promises to that nation is concerned, that nation, now in unbelief concerning the Messiah has been set aside, temporarily. God is now calling from all nations a people for His Name, called the CHURCH.. When the CHURCH is completed, God will call the CHURCH home, (1Thess. 4:13-18). Then God will deal with Israel as a nation once again. The only covenant in force in this dispensation we know as the “CHURCH AGE” is the covenant of GRACE. GRACE goes deeper, higher, wider, and further than any Old Testament covenant. God has placed all of mankind in three groups; “Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.” (1Cor 10:32). Three different classes. Definitely NOT the same.
JEWS…The covenant people. The Jews failed to keep their part of the covenant. Time and time again God had to deal with that nation severely. That nation rejected their Messiah in unbelief and God set that nation aside for awhile.
GENTILES. These are the unsaved around the world who have never received. Christ. Many have never heard about Christ and His Love for mankind.
CHURCH. These are the ones who have, by faith alone, received Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. These have believed the message of the Gospel. The Good News about the Virgin Birth, the sinless life, the vicarious death of Christ upon the Cross, His burial and His Glorious Resurrection, and His offer of eternal life to all who will receive Him. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” (Jn. 1:12). All have the same confession, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” This is a different dispensation. The CHURCH cannot go back to the Law and claim various promises there. If we go back to the Law, we must keep the WHOLE Law. We cannot go to the Law and claim the things we like and not claim the things we dislike. “But Abraham was before there was a Law.” some will say. Abraham did many things before the Law, but nothing back there saved him. (Gen. 15:1-6, Ro. 4:1-8). Now, just what is the “BLESSING OF ABRAHAM as found in our text? Please note that the Scripture (KJB) says “Blessing,” SINGULAR, and not “Blessings,” PLURAL.
The BLESSING of Abraham is simple…Abraham was JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE. When he finally believed God.(Gen. 15:1-6). Anyone who will receive Jesus Christ by Faith alone is saved, just like Abraham was saved. If you will take time and read the Book of Galatians, (only six chapters) a careful study there will reveal the ONE MAIN TRUTH that Paul is making is “The just shall live by faith.” (Gal. 3:11). Man is saved by GRACE through FAITH, plus and minus nothing! That’s the blessing of Abraham. Jew or Gentile are saved the same way. Don’t go off on this thinking that because Abraham was rich (financially) that God is going to make you rich financially. Being saved is NOT like winning some “Christian Lottery.” I do not know what God may have for you in His Great plan for your life. Wealth? Fine! OK, so be it. But God has not promised to make us all rich financially. Don’t fall for the various “money schemes” that are built on the blessings of Abraham that are supposed to make you rich “IF you invest in…” or “If you send your money to…” They say; “God made Abraham rich. As a Christian you inherit Abraham’s covenant, therefore God is going to make you rich.” May I say that I AM RICH! Not financially. God has supplied my needs for these years since I have been saved. But RICH, I AM! Rich in Grace, Mercy, Love, and in my life, MY CUP RUNNETH OVER! It is common for me to get communication of various sorts from those who refer to us as “Grave Preachers.” I do not know what else to preach, and, may I add that I am not looking for something else to preach. I am happy to proclaim the message; “For by Grace are ye saved through Faith and that not of yourselves, it is the Gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.” Now, to Abraham’s blessing…
ABRAHAM’S BLESSING IS THAT JUSTIFICATION IS BY FAITH.
Faith is man’s part in Justification. I know of no better way to put it than simply saying what the Bible says. “Therefore being Justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ro. 5:1). Justification is a legal term. It means “to declared just.” You see, there is a long list of indictments against the human race in the Bible. Read Romans, chapters 1-3. Ch. 3 lists about 14 indictments against man. “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”(Ro. 3:23). And, “The wages of sin is death.”(Ro. 6:23). Now, the work of Justification is an act of God whereby He takes the sinner, (all have sinned) and declares that sinner JUST, or, just as if he, or she had never sinned. The one who will believe God, not with the mind, but with the heart, the one who will believe the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God declares that one “JUST” or JUSTIFIED. It is all by FAITH. Faith is OUR PART. God, in His Mercy freely imparts that FAITH to the one who is willing to receive Christ. “For by Grace are ye saved through FAITH and that not of yourselves, it (Faith) is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9). He freely gives us the faith He demands. God is full of Grace!
ABRAHAM’S BLESSING IS THAT JUSTIFICATION IS BY GRACE.
“Being Justified freely by His GRACE through the Redemption that is in Jesus Christ.” (Ro. 3:24). “For ye know the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” (1Cor. 8:9) It is all by God’s GRACE. This is His unmerited favor. There is nothing we can do to deserve Grace. God freely bestows His Grace upon all who, like Abraham, will believe God’s Word. Now, we do not believe the same message Abraham believed, but we are all saved the same way Abraham was saved. In Genesis 15:1-6 God gave promises to Abraham concerning the land, his seed, and the promise of the Messiah through his lineage. Abraham, after wasted years, finally BELIEVED GOD, and God saved him. “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining the flesh hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works he hath whereof to glory, but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of Grace but of debt. But to him that worketh not but BELIEVETH on Him that justifieth the ungodly, His faith is counted for righteousness.” (Ro. 4:1-5). The Bible (KJB) is very clear. We are justified by GRACE.
GRACE is God’s part in Justification.
ABRAHAM’S BLESSING IS THAT JUSTIFICATION IS APART FROM THE LAW.
“And this I say, that the covenant (Abrahamic) that was confirmed before of God in Christ was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.” (Gal. 3:17). Abraham was Justified By GRACE through Faith four hundred and thirty years BEFORE the Law was given. “Therefore we conclude that a man is Justified by faith WITHOUT THE DEEDS of the Law.” (Ro. 3:28) “If righteousness came by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.’ (Gal. 2:21). If any man can be saved by any other way than by the plan which God has revealed, then everything about Christ; His birth, His Life, his violent death on the Cross, would be useless and vain.
Let’s see a few things about the Law.
THE LAW WAS TEMPORARY. Wherefore serveth the Law? (what was the purpose of the Law?) it was added because of transgressions, til the Seed (Christ) should come.” (Gal. 3:19). “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” (Ro. 10:4).
THE LAW PREPARED THE WAY FOR CHRIST. “Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by Faith.” (Gal. 3:24). Everything in the Law pointed to the coming of Christ.
THE LAW NEVER SAVED ANYBODY.
We have already referred to many verses that bring this point out, here is another one, “Therefore by the deeds of the Law, there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.” (Ro. 3:20). The Law shows us our need, but is helpless to do anything about that need, the Law points us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM IS THAT JUSTIFICATION IS APART FROM ANY EARHTLY LINEAGE OR HERITAGE.
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith NOT and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed which is Christ.”(Gal. 3:16). The seed is identified again in v 19, “It was added…till the seed (Christ) should come.” The Israelites were convinced that just because they were descendants of Abraham, that made them right with God. “We be Abraham’s seed.” The Jews said in John 8:33. Christ’s reply was, “Ye are of your father, the devil.” (John 8:44). “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.” We are born again, made new, in Christ when we receive Christ and His finished work of Redemption. Then we are “born, not of blood, (our earthly lineage) nor the will of the flesh, (not by some work we may do) not the will of man, (not by any work of any man) but of God.” (Jn. 1:13).
THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM IS THAT JUSTIFICATION IS BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.
“Much more then being justified by His Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Ro. 5:9). “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.” Faith in Christ, in His spotless birth, life, vicarious death on the cross, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His shed Blood is the ONLY means of forgiveness of sin.
THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM IS THAT ALL MANKIND, JEW OR GENTLE, BOND OR FREE, WHITE OR BLACK, YOUNG OR OLD ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE! Don’t be carried away by this “covenant theology.” We are NOT Israelites, and we do NOT inherit the covenant God made with Abraham and his earthly seed. We do NOT replace Israel in any way. The CHURCH is an HEAVENLY People with HEAVENLY Promises. The Jews are an EARTHLY people with EARTHLY promises. To confuse the two is to try to walk in two different directions at the same time. You get nowhere trying that. The only covenant made by God for this age is the covenant of GRACE. The GRACE of God is FREE! Not cheap, but FREE!. God paid the price in the Gift of His Son on the Cross. Grace will meet you when you humbly submit to God, trusting only in Jesus Christ as Saviour. This simple, but most dynamic verse is yours to claim today; “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” (Jn. 1:12). If you have never received Him by faith, today, NOW is your time. In your own words, from your heart, tell Him that you receive Him. He is there, where you are, in the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. He will hear your heart’s cry.
Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
THINK ABOUT IT…God told Abraham that his seed would outnumber the grains of dust of the earth, if the dust could be numbered. The combined wealth of such a multitude could not add to, or take away one grain from that promise. GLORY TO GOD!!!
By Pastor George Mills
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” (Jer. 33:3)..
God has given to His Church three wonderful gifts. Apart from Christ, the world cannot comprehend the wonder and treasure of the blessings God has given us.
THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The Holy Spirit came into our lives the moment we received Jesus Christ as Saviour. Now, that’s a matter of fact, and not a matter of feelings. He indwells every believer. “In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation, in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”(Eph 1:13). “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph 4:30). The Holy Spirit in the believer is that friend that “sticketh closer than a brother.” Get to know Him, fellowship with Him. He will guide you through life. He will take the things of Christ and teach them to you. Read John, Ch. 16.
THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD.
I trust that every reader out there knows that the ONLY BIBLE we use is the Old King James Bible. We reject the flood of bible “versions” on the market today. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ is attacked in every new version. This flood of new versions should signal that “something is wrong here in all of this.” Don’t be carried away or misled by all of these changes. The Word never changes. And by the way, I have not found any problem with the italics of the KJB. Read the Bible. The Holy Spirit will open the Scriptures for you as you prayerfully read.
THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER.
God communicates with us through His Word. We communicate with God through prayer. Keep these lines of communication open. “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name, ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.: (Jn. 16:24). Now, let’s talk about prayer for a few moments. Let’s see what prayer is and what prayer does, or can do.
(A) THE PERSON OF PRAYER. We go to God in prayer through a PERSON. His Name is Jesus Christ. We do not go to God through some earthly priest, or preacher. We do not have to contact some earthly ‘religious’ headquarters. We do not have to contact some ‘800’ prayer ‘hot-line,’ we do not have to call some TV ministry. As born again believers in Christ, we have access to God. Christ bought us that access in His finished work of Redemption on the Cross. “For through Him, (Christ), we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Eph. 2:18). There is no approach to God apart from the Person of Christ.
(B) THE PEOPLE OF PRAYER.
Most people pray at some time. When problems arise, when some crisis comes, people pray. But does God hear all prayers at anytime? “Now we know that God HEARETH NOT sinners, but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doeth His will, him HE HEARETH.” (Jn.9:31). Prayer that is not prayed to God in the Name of Jesus Christ is prayer in vain. The people of prayer are born again children of God. These have placed their faith and trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. If you meet that qualification, then you are part of the family of God with all the rights to approach God in prayer at all times. You have as much right to approach the throne of God in prayer as anyone has right.
(C)THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER.
What a glorious privilege is ours. The unsaved world does not have this privilege, but you do, if you know Christ. I love the little poem that says;
Satan trembles when he sees,
The weakest saint upon his knees.
THINK ABOUT IT…We have the right to talk to the God of Heaven anytime. I doubt very seriously that we will ever talk personally to the President of the United States. We could, however, if we were related to him. We are children of God and have the privilege to enter into His presence. Ain’t God Good!!!
(D) THE PREREQUISITES OF PRAYER.
Even though we have been born again, that Christ is our Saviour, sometimes there are things in our lives that hinder our prayers. Jesus said “If ye abide in Me and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.” (Jn. 15:7). We must make sure that our lives are clean, that there is nothing that mars our fellowship with Christ. “ABIDE” simply means, “keep the fellowship unbroken.” Let’s see just a few things that slip in and robs us of our fellowship with God.
(a) UNCONFESSED SIN. Believers do sin. Now, that’s not a license, but a matter of fact. “If we, (believers) say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1Jn 1:8).
Known sin in our lives hinders prayer. Please read Isaiah 59:1-2. The Psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Psa. 66:18). Known sin in our lives must be confessed and forsaken if we are to keep that wonderful access open. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn. 1:9).
(b) UNFORGIVING SPIRIT. Many Biblical passages speak of an unforgiving spirit. Read the one in the model prayer in Mt 6:9-15. Let each one of us make sure that there is not an unforgiving spirit in us. Christ has forgiven us. We should never have a problem with an unforgiving spirit…However, we do! This robs us of much answered prayer.
(c) UNBELIEF HINDERS PRAYER. James said, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like the wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” (James 1:6-7). “He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6).
(d) UNRIGHTED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS HINDER PRAYER. “Likewise ye husbands dwell with them, according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife as the weaker vessel as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your PRAYERS BE NOT HINDERED.” (1Pet. 3:7). There are many areas of our Christian life to be maintained so that our prayers are not hindered. The same God who said, “I will answer thee.” also said “He will not hear.” Between the “I WILL,” and the “I WILL NOT,” is our responsibility to keep our lives clean before God and before the world so that the most common thing in our lives is answered prayer!
“Brethren, pray for us.”
Pastor George Mills
I prayed a prayer the other day,
But I could not find right words to say,
When the answer came, it was clear to see,
That someone else had prayed for me.
Who is this one who knew my need,
This one who knew right words to plead.
This one who carried to the throne,
My thoughts and prayers as though his own?
Somehow I knew who prayed for me,
This Friend who helps so willingly.
He knows the thoughts that come to mind,
That make right words so hard to find.
The Holy Spirit prayed for me,
In love and mercy He could see,
The Grace I needed in that hour,
A refuge from the enemy’s power.
With thanks I prayed again today,
And I knew what words that I must say.
From a grateful heart as I knelt there,
I said thank you God for answered prayer.
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
SEASON OF NEW LIFE
Spring is right around the corner but you would think we are still in the middle of winter by the way the trees and shrubs look. They are not pretty. All the dead limbs and ugly left overs of winter have been cut back, pruned. My husband asked if our neighbors shrubs had been killed by the winter freeze and I explained to him they had been cut back but new life would grow. They were shaped up but still ugly because the new growth had not quite made it’s appearance, but soon and very soon the shrubs and trees will be beautiful again, all dressed up in their brand new attire! Remember, after the pruning comes new life!
The same is true in our own lives as Christians. We become weathered and weary when troubles come our way. We need to ask the Lord to cut back everything in our lives that would hinder us from having the joy that He has so graciously given us as His children. Anything in a Christian’s life that takes a smile and turns it upside down needs to be cut back. It’s ugly! Our countenance says a lot about us, it sorta tells it all. Now Easter is here, the time we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, our Saviour.
Jesus came forth from the grave, up from the grave He arose and is alive forever more! That is Joy unspeakable! A season of new life. The grass is greener, the birds are singing, flowers are beginning to bloom and before you know it those ugly shrubs will be beautiful again!
If you have never accepted Jesus as your Saviour, do it today. Tell Him that you are a sinner and need to be saved. Ask Him into your heart and watch Him make something beautiful of your life. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Ro, 10:9) “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Ro. 10:13.
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
JESUS PAID IT ALL
A verse that has been laid on my heart is Isaiah 53:5-6; “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Jesus offered forgiveness over and over, however, His message would not be heard. Jesus was betrayed, beaten, and murdered. He was whipped, His side was pierced, and He was spit upon. He was crucified for our transgressions. He was punished for our sins. However, through Christ’s death we can have eternal life.
We have a debt we can never pay, but the best part of it all is that all we have to do is to realize that we are sinners, repent, and ask Him to come into our heart and be our Lord and Saviour. He paid for our sins. He was the answer to our debt. God tells us over and over again that He will forgive us no matter how many times we sin or how big the sin might be. Salvation is offered freely. We can sit here and focus on each mistake that we have made, try to run from our past, and try to hide our faults, but God has offered to take all of those sins away, if we just simply let Him.
Each day we need to wake up and thank God for providing a way for our sins to be forgiven.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
THINK ABOUT IT…The world attacks and mocks the BOOK OF GOD. The one thing the world needs is the BOOK OF GOD. The medicine that the Doctor prescribed will do no good if we do not follow the directions on how and when to take it. THE BOOK will do no good unless you follow the directions.
By the way, the BOOK OF GOD is the Old King James Bible. Beware, accept NO SUBSTITUTE!
WANDERING THROUGH THE WILDERNESS….
THINK ABOUT IT…Did you know that the “Clapping of the hands” is referred to nine times in the Old testament, and none in the New Testament? Once they clapped their hands at the anointing of King Joash, (2Kings 11:12). Two times nature is referred to as “clapping the hands”(Isa. 55:12, Psa 98:8).Which is of course, a figure of speech. In every other case the clapping of hands is used, it is in reference to judgment, or impending judgment. Even the beautiful 47th Psalm is anticipating judgment. Whatever happened to the old fashioned Bible way of praising God? Where are the “Amen’s” the “Halleluiahs” the “Thank you God” and “Thank you Jesus?”The Bible way of praising God is NOT with the clapping of the hands, but with our mouth. “With my mouth I will make known Thy faithfulness.” We have brought so much “world” into the church that it is hard to tell what is “world” and what is “church.”
THINK ABOUT THIS…Did you ever notice that in the Bible where Satan was working, the people fell BACKWARDS, (Jn 18;5-6). And where God was praised, the people fell on THEIR FACES? (Rev. 7:11, 11:16).
THINK ABOUT IT…Winds of doctrine are blowing today. Every day there is something new., and many are falling for everything because of the forsaking of sound doctrine. KNOW YOUR BIBLE! Study your Bible, (KJB). And speaking of the Bible, don’t fall for these new “versions” NIV, TEV, NKJV, ASV, NASV, etc. There are many more new “versions” coming. A “bible” for whatever you want to believe. This is where the root of the problem lies. The Word of God does not change. It is forever settled. In the beginning, Satan used the serpent to corrupt the Word. Today he uses the minds of educated men to do the same. THINK ABOUT IT!
THINK ABOUT IT…KJB…”In whom we have redemption through His blood.” (Col. 1:14).
NIV..“Through His blood”..omitted. (Col. 1:14).
IF I DO MY BEST, WILL I GO TO HEAVEN WHEN I DIE?
Multiplied millions around the world have the idea that if they try hard enough, if they are sincere enough, if they work enough, if they refrain enough, that if they do their very best, God will receive them into Heaven.
BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT GOD SAYS!
Your best is not good enough. The Bible says that our righteusnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isa. 64:6). In light of what God has done, our best does not measure up.
The best has already been done.
God sent His Best. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn. 3:16)
Jesus gave His best. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Ro. 5:6).
The Best has already been done. You must receive that, or reject that. There is no other way, no other plan that God will accept.
TO THOSE WHO PRAY FOR US, WHO ENCOURAGE US….THANK YOU!