Vol.36, No. 1 January, 2012
“GO AND TELL THE KING’S HOUSEHOLD.”
By Dr. George Mills
“Then they said one to another, we do not well, this is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace, if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us, now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.”
I trust that you will take a few moments and read all of this text in chs. 6-7.
There was a great famine in the land. The city was besieged by the Syrians. Four leprous men were caught between the famine in the city and the Syrians. These four men had but one choice to make. When they made that right decision the Lord performed a great miracle. Here is a text with many lessons. Here is a text that gives us a picture of the condition of man, and God’s willingness to
come to his aid. May God speak to our hearts
as we see five points in this text…
1.SIN…A great LACK.
2.SOVERIGNTY, A great LORD.
3.SALVATION…A great LADING.
4.SERVICE, a great LOVE.
5.SCOFFING, a great LOSS.
Now, let’s see some pictures, some foreshadows
about God’s Great Salvation Plan.
1. SIN, A GREAT LACK.
The four leprous men in this text had nothing and no hope for anything. The only thing they could be sure of is the fact that things will most certainly get worse. They picture the condition of lost mankind everywhere.
They were lepers. They were victims of a dreaded condition. Leprosy is a disease of the blood. And SIN is a disease of the blood. Our father ADAM (Gen 3) sinned and incurred a sinful nature. Adam passed that sinful nature, through the normal birth process to his children, and they passed it along the same, all the way down to me and you, and all mankind. Adam’s tainted blood flows in our veins. We all have that dreaded disease called SIN. Let us be thankful that the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross was pure blood, untainted with sin.
Leprosy was contagious. These men had been banished from the camp of Israel. For the safety of the people, the priests were instructed to examine and determine if leprosy was present, and if so, the victim was to be banished from the camp lest leprosy spread through the entire camp. SIN, like leprosy is contagious. In fact the Bible is clear on this subject, “ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.” (Ro.3:23). This dreaded malady called SIN has effected, and infected all.
Leprosy was very painful. Victims lived an awful painful life. Fingers would decay and fall off.
Various limbs would fall from the body. What dreadful pain! It all started so small. Just a little sore that would not heal, then spreading and infecting until the whole body was consumed with leprosy. And so it is with SIN. SIN is painful. It all started so small. Just a little taste of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Just a little disobedience of God’s Word. But LOOK AT THE PAIN, AND HURT BECAUSE OF THAT ONE LITTLE SMALL ACT. After all of the hurt and pain in the world, that one act in the Garden of Eden doesn’t seem so small anymore. SIN is painful. SIN has left it’s scars on humanity. Mankind does not like to think of himself as being a sinner before God. “I’m not so bad” “I’m OK.” “I don’t like what that Bible says.” BUT we have that dreaded condition known as SIN.
Leprosy had no cure. Hopeless, and helpless the victim was banished from society to die. Oh, I am sure they tried the various cures of that day. They would try things like, “Building different kinds of fires with different kinds of wood and then pass through the smoke of these fires.” And there were many kinds of “folk lore” cures, but nothing worked. The same is true today. Man, with his sin condition tries various remedies. He tries “doing better” “going to church” “giving, helping” even baptisms. There is no earthly cure for sin. BUT, there is hope! There is one cure for SIN. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by His sacrificial death on the cross, His resurrection paid all of sin’s debt for us. He paid the price, He made the way. Christ alone is the answer for the SIN problem of the world. These four men in our text paint a picture for us; SIN, a great LACK.
2. SOVERIGNTY, A GREAT LORD.
As we read in our text, these four men had a great reasoning among themselves. “If we say that we will enter the city, we find famine there and we will certainly die there. If we just stay here, we will die here. Now therefore, come and let us fall unto the hosts of the Syrians.” They made the only choice they could have made. Famine was everywhere. If they do nothing they will die, and if they go to the city they will die, so they started to the camp of the Syrians. The Great Sovereign God performed a great miracle. As these four men approached the camp of the Syrians, God made their steps sound like an army approaching. “For the Lord made the host of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses, even the noise of a great host, and they said to one another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.”(v6-7). God performed a miracle. He interrupted the affairs of men and made a way for these leprous men, and of course, for those victims in the city. God came to earth, interrupted the affairs of men some 2000 years ago. God made a way where there was no way. God, in His Sovereignty, prepared the cross where Jesus died for the sin of man. Now, there is hope! Now there is a cure for the sin of man because of the Love of a Great SOVERIGN LORD
3. SALVATION, A GREAT LADING. All that they needed they found in the camp of the Syrians. They were laden down with abundance. “And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp they went into one tent and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it, and came again and entered into another tent and carried thence also and went and hid it.” (v8) They found abundance. They found more than they ever dreamed. They found silver, gold, and FOOD.EVERYTHING! They were laden with things they never believed they would ever have. And so it is with Salvation. God just gives us more, and keeps on giving. Things like, JOY, PEACE, LOVE, FORGIVNESS, HOPE, REASON FOR LIVING. He just ladens His people with good things. “Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His way past finding out.
4. SERVICE, A GREAT LOVE. As these four men enjoyed their find, themselves..Verse 9 says,
“WE DO NOT WELL.” This is not right. Here we are with more than we could ever imagine, and there is famine in the city. “WE DO NOT WELL.” To remain silent would be a sin of selfishness, and a sin of ingratitude. How about those of us who have been rescued from the penalty of our sin. WE DO NOT WELL if we do not share the Good news of the Gospel to those who are lost. Are we sharing, or keeping all for self?
“THIS IS A DAY OF GOOD TIDINGS.” This is a day of GOOD NEWS! There is a message to tell. The Gospel means, “Good News.” I believe that the world could use some GOOD NEWS today. And the GOOD NEWS is that Jesus saves to the uttermost. As someone has rightly said, “He saves from the GUTTERMOST to the UTTERMOST! What wonderful news we have to share with a world lost in sin.
“IF WE TARRY TILL MORNING LIGHT.” If we just wait until tomorrow, we can tell the good news to the city. Tomorrow somehow never gets here. It’s always TOMORROW. The city needed GOOD NEWS that night. Many bad things could happen through that night.
“SOME MISCHIEF MAY COME UPON US.”
“Something may happen to us. We may die tonight. Another enemy may find us and the city never know about this.” As Born Again believers in Christ we must share the Good News while we can, where we can, when we can. Note the things these four men could have done that night…
THEY COULD HAVE BEEN BITTER. After all, the citizens of that city were probably the very ones that banished them from society in the first place. “We don’t owe them anything” they could have said.
THE COULD HAVE JUST BEEN QUIET. Tomorrow someone else may find this, or the Syrians may return tomorrow. After all, we don’t owe those people in that city anything.
THEY COULD HAVE BEEN SELFISH.
They could have continued through the night to hide as much as they could find. But they did not.
“LET US TELL THE KING’S HOUSEHOLD.” We have Good News. Let us tell it while we can. And so it is with us. As lost sinners we were helpless, hopeless, like these lepers when Christ found us. He gave us an abundance, far more than we could ask or think. This is a day of Good News. Let us be faithful to tell everyone. This is what the ministry of the WILDERNESS is all about. Down through the years, by way of Radio Broadcasts, Gospel tracts and other Gospel literature, this Monthly Publication, and now by means of the World Wide Web we are telling the Good News of Jesus Christ. Will you join with us as we strive to TELL THE KING’S HOUSEHOLD?
5. SCOFFING, A GREAT LOSS. In v1 of our text, the Prophet Elisha said, “Hear ye the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel in the gate of Samaria. Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven might this thing be? And he said, behold thou shalt see it with thine eyes but shall not eat thereof.” A man scoffed at the Word of God. This man was an adviser to the king. Sounds like so many advisers in high places today. He would not believe what God had revealed to the Prophet Elisha. As you read the text you will see that because of the action of these four lepers the city was saved. V16 says, “So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel, ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD.” Look on down to verse 19, “And that lord answered the man of God and said, now behold, if the Lord should make windows in Heaven, might such a thing ? And he said, behold thou shalt see it with thine eyes but shalt not eat thereof. And so it fell out unto him, for the people trode upon him in the gate and he died.” As the people rushed to find the spoil of the Syrians, this lord was trampled under foot. Of course we are reminded of the plea from the heart of God, “Today, if ye hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” And, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” This man scoffed at the Word of God as proclaimed by Elisha, and what a great loss. The same is true with many today. Men have hardened their heart against the Word of God and my, what loss they suffer. But this is a day of GOOD NEWS, GOOD TIDINGS. No matter where you are, or what your life may be today, there is hope for you in Jesus Christ. God has opened the windows of Heaven, and has poured upon mankind His blessings. We receive His blessings by a look to Calvary’s Cross, where you believe that He died for you, and then from Calvary you see, by faith, an empty tomb. We believe that He died for you, that He was buried, and that He arose from the dead for YOU. If you will believe that, if you will receive that, you will receive Eternal Life, as a free gift. If you scoff at that, or reject that, there is no hope. Like the four leprous men. If they had done nothing, they would have died there. Wherever you are, just tell God in your own words that you receive Christ. In the best way you know how, ask Him into your life to be your Saviour. I cannot tell you words to pray. We are not saved by praying, we are saved by receiving Christ, (John 1:12). Call upon Him today. You will find abundance in Him.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS, it is no friend to the Christian. This world is a barren place. In the world we found nothing. In Christ we found abundance.
THINK ABOUT IT…Every time the Word of God (KJB) has been put to the test, The Word proves itself. The unbelieving lord in our text proves that.
A BLESSED AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!. Let us bind our hearts together that in this New Year we will do more for God than ever before. Let us work harder, and send the Gospel further than ever. Perhaps this will be the year we see the fulfillment of His Glorious promise; “I will come again.” “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
HOW BEAUTIFUL UPON THE MOUNTAINS
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tiding, that publish salvation, that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth.” (Isa. 52:7).
By Pastor George Mills
How beautiful upon the mountains,
Are the feet of one who brings,
Good tidings of Salvation,
Who publish, “Thy God reigns.”
How glorious on the hill tops,
Are the voices filled with praise,
Who shout abroad Salvation,
And loud their anthems raise.
How sweet down in the valley, low,
Who bring good tidings there,
Who tell of one whose wondrous love,
Is for everyone to share.
From the lowest to the highest,
And from every elevation,
How beautiful are the feet of them,
Who tell “So great salvation.”
How beautiful on the mountains,
Are the feet of them that preach,
Glad tidings of the Gospel,
And to the nations reach;
To tell of living waters,
Ever flowing from the fountain,
Of abundance free to everyone,
How beautiful on the mountain.
THINK ABOUT IT…The four leprous men could have made excuses, or reasons that would free them from the responsibility of notifying the city.
“I’m too weak,” “I can’t,” “I have myself to think about,” “They don’t care for me,” “none of these have ever left me a morsel to eat along the pathway,” “some of my family live there, they don’t care.” On and on they could go, but they didn’t. And because they didn’t, a city was saved.
We send our best wishes for the New Year to the many inmates who regularly read this Publication. The WILDERNESS is mailed, in bulk to many prisons in the North Florida area and to individual inmates in other facilities. We greet you and wish for you a great 2012 New year.
An inmate writes, “I am a Christian but I am in prison. There seems to be so little that I can do. Any suggestions?”
Ans…I am glad that we have this opportunity to share this Publication with inmates in various prisons. I trust that I may have opportunity to visit and have worship services with as many as possible. To your question, “What can you do?”
First, I am glad to know that you are a Christian. I know that life there is not easy by any stretch of imagination. But you can make the best out of the time you have there.
STUDY YOUR BIBLE. Of course I mean the King James Bible. Learn as much as you can. Enroll in a good Bible correspondence course.
There are some Bible courses you can take.
Witness to others there with you. There are many in prison with you who have never heard a clear Gospel message. Be a faithful witness.
Learn to pray. Pray for yourself. Pray for strength and wisdom to live for Christ. Create a prayer list and pray daily for these needs. Remember, as a Christian, you have as much access to God as anyone has. I thank God for the ones in places I know not of who pray for this Ministry. Learn to pray!. Pray for me!
Not only should you enroll in a Bible course, work on your secular education. Work on some degree. If you need High School, work on that, etc. Don’t waste this time. Use your mind. Don’t fill your mind with the foolishness of this world, but fill it with the positive things of God.
Self examination. What led you there in the first place? The answer; SIN. Day by day determine that with God’s help, I will never be the same.
As I said, I know that life there is not easy, but you can make the best out of it.
Let this time make you BETTER, and not BITTER!
THINK ABOUT IT…The world is no friend to the Christian. The world attacks and mocks the BOOK. The one thing the world needs is the Christ of the Book! The medicine the Doctor gave will do no good if you don’t follow the directions on the label. The Bible will do no good unless you follow the directions!
THE ATHIESTS ARE STILL WRONG! God is alive and very well, thank you! The atheist says that God does not exist. They don’t believe in Him, but they are fighting Him. Why? Why would one fight something or someone that doesn’t exist? Oh, well.
THE BIBLE IS STILL TRUE! I am well aware of the onslaughts against the Bible, (KJB). The problem is, not everything that has “BIBLE” on the front cover is really Bible. This is the greatest issue of our time. Many are finding themselves like the painter who painted himself into a corner and had no way out. There are so many versions, editions, ‘translations’ etc. There is no way of finding truth in all of this “stuff.”
GOD STILL ANSWERS PRAYER. Recently I saw on TV where a group of people in Ohio had gathered “prayer cloths” from all over the country and had taken them to Jerusalem to place them in various places there. That all sounded nice, and looked “religious.” But our Great High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ is NOT THERE! He is in Heaven at the Right hand of the Father. We are to send our prayer requests there, (Heb. 4:14-16). Any believer has access there. I believe that when prayer requests are routed by way of Jerusalem, or Atlanta, or Tulsa, or Houston, or any Radio or TV ministry or any other place, it is an insult to the High Priestly Ministry of Christ. Send HIM your prayer requests. He’s still listening!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
HE IS FAITHFUL
Our God is faithful, He has always kept and will forever keep His promises that He has made to us in His Word. As I think about the New Year and what it might have in store for us I can’t help but to think about the year that has just past and the blessings that He bestowed upon us. He protected us from all harm and danger, He provided for us in such a wonderful way with food, shelter and all our needs being met. Sweet friends, fellowship, love and laughter, all because of His goodness toward us, all because of His love for us. “He has loved us with an Everlasting love.” His promises are too many to list in this short space but read His Word and see the many promises of God that we as His children can claim. “His promises are new every morning.” “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” so because of this I expect the New Year to be full of His blessings, full of His watchcare and love, just like last year and all the years before. We have His promise that He will be with us through sunshine and shadows, when life is going smooth and when the rough times come, He is with us. Sickness may come, hurts and disappointments may come but He is faithful and He has promised to be right there with us through it all. He is faithful, He keeps His promises and knowing this we can look forward to a brand New Year filled with His goodness and mercy.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hands have provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me.”
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU
I am sure you have heard the saying, “A New Year, a new you.” It’s the time of year that everyone is setting goals and wanting to change things in their lives. However, it’s never as easy as it looks. Many people say they are going to change things for the New Year, but most of them don’t even last a week until they’re right back the way they were. A very popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, and become healthier. If you are one of those people, you know that losing weight and becoming healthier is hard and it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to constantly work at it, and never give up. You also have to make time to work out and maintain a balanced diet, in order to get healthier. This New Year. Let’s set a new goal. Let’s work out with Jesus.
Just like losing weight and becoming healthier, you have to constantly work on your relationship with Christ. You have to take time out of your day and spend it on your spiritual health. By reading your Bible daily, and making sure that you take a few minutes out of your day in prayer, you will be able to see your spiritual life starting to grow, and become stronger. The same is, if you start working out and eating healthier, you will be able to see changes in your life. You will be able to see that “New you,” However, don’t let Satan walk in and tempt you to become lazy again. Just like those cookies are trying to do on your kitchen counter. Throw Satan and those cookies away. Just say NO! Let Jesus come in and help you become stronger. You will be able to see multiple changes in your life once you let God take control of your life. Make this New Year the best, and strive hard to focus on Jesus.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May God bless you each and every day.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
WANDERING THROUGH THE WILDERNESS
Answers to questions…
Question: “I know that I am saved, but I did something that I did not believe that I, as a Christian would ever do. Is there forgiveness for me?”
Answer: Of course, there is forgiveness for you. I am not making excuses, nor provisions of any kind, but believers do sin. We don’t like it, it mars our fellowship with God, it hurts, it makes us miserable, but believers do sin. From Adam to Abraham, from Isaac to Jacob, to Moses, to King David, to Solomon, to the Apostles, right on down to you and me. One day we will live in a perfect place, in a perfect body, but until then, believers do sin. We don’t like to think about that or to admit that, but this is reality. Again, I am not making excuse, nor provision. I am stating fact. “If we (believers) say we have no sin we deceive ourselves..”(1John 1:8).
(A). There are sins of COMMISSION. That is, we do the thing we know is wrong. That’s sin.
(B). There are sins of OMISSION. That is, we fail to do that which we know we should do.
Both are wrong and both are sin.
“My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” (1John 2:1)
What should you do? The Bible says, “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). When we confess our sin we are agreeing with God that this thing is wrong because God says so. We ask God’s forgiveness and cleansing, and determine that we will never do this again. There is no question as to whether God will forgive. He already has. Just claim His forgiveness, rejoice in His forgiveness, and ask God for strength to become more like Christ every day. Thank God that He forgives!
Question…”This one thing in my life keeps coming back again. This is where I am weak. I ask God for forgiveness, but there it is again. What’s wrong? Am I really saved?”
Answer…This is so closely related to the last question.
First, I cannot tell you if you are saved or not. That’s something you must tell me. Being saved is receiving Christ, (John 1:12). Have you done that? Now, if you have received Christ and you have this problem, you are not alone. As I said in the previous answer, I am not making provision or excuse.
The writer of Hebrews seems to refer to this as “THAT BESETTING SIN” (Heb.12:1). Some say, “I have confessed this before, again and again and I am still troubled.” “Confess it again! In confessing this sin, if you are honestly dealing with it, God will give you victory. Remember, this is not offering you an excuse, but is offering help as you are again, honestly dealing with it. The problem is, so many will not admit that they have a problem. There is no help until you come to the place where you admit, “I have a problem.” Show me the person who honestly prays and seeks help from God, and I will show you the person who will gain the victory. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2).
Keep looking to Him, and, and praying, and seeking His help. You will gain ultimate victory.
Question: “We hear a lot about “safe sex” today. What is your opinion on this subject?”
Answer: My opinion matters very little. What God says is what matters. This society has gone to the depths of moral depravity and it seems as though anything is acceptable. BUT THIS IS NOT SO!. God has much to say on this subject. The sexual act is not just physical, it affects the mental, the spiritual, the entire person.
“Safe sex” is limited to the following…
(A) Sex is to be between male and female. Anything else is totally unacceptable to God. The Bible (KJB) says in no uncertain terms; “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Cor. 6:9-10).
(B) Sex is to be between man and wife only. Extra marital affairs, week-end flings, etc, is not acceptable to God. God still calls this adultery, both in the Old and the New Testaments. The adulterer has an awful price to pay.
(C)Same sex partners, and sex outside of marriage is condemned in the Word of God.
(D).God’s cure for this sin is the same cure for all sin. That cure is in a Person by the name of Jesus Christ. He can forgive, cleanse, and make sex life, and all of life to be what God intended it to be.
I trust that the answers given have been a help to those who have problems along these lines. Get to know Christ better every day. Stay in His Word, and keep a very active, meaningful prayer life. Enjoy your trip from here to Eternity!
THINK ABOUT IT..We are saved when we receive Jesus Christ as our own personal Saviour. “How do I receive Him?” The Bible says, “ask, and ye shall receive.” He is there, where you are, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. As He speaks to your heart, ask Him into you life, to save you from the penalty and power of sin. Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
Our Gracious Heavenly Father. In the Name above all other names, the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, bless every reader of this Publication. Save the unsaved, strengthen every believer. We give you Praise and Glory, and Honor, in that wonderful Name, Jesus Christ. Amen.