Vol. 35, No. 6 June, 2011
THE LILY and THE ROSE
By Dr. George Mills
“I am the ROSE of Sharon, and the LILY of the valleys.” (Song Of Solomon 2:1).
There are so many verses in the Bible that contain so much in just a few words. For instance, “To wit, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespass unto them and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2Cor. 5:19)
There are at least four great doctrines in that one verse…
(A) INCARNATION. “God was in Christ.” All that God ever was, or will ever be came here and tabernacled among men, and they called His Name Jesus. This is the mystery of the incarnation; the Virgin Birth of Christ.
(B) RECONCILIATION. The word means, “a restoration between parties.” Sin came on the scene in Genesis 3. God said that there would be enmity, (war) between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, (Gen. 3:15). Since that day man has been estranged from God and there has to be reconciliation. Christ made it possible for God and man to come together through His sacrificial death on the cross.
(C) TRANSGRESSION, meaning that we have gone beyond the bounds, that we have broken His Law. “Sin is the transgression of the Law,” (1John 3:4).
(D) IMPUTATION. “To charge to one’s account.” God took all of our sin and placed them on Christ and He bore the penalty of sin on His cross. When we receive Christ as Saviour, God takes Christ’s Righteousness and places that on our account, paid in full!
Only a few words in that verse, but what content! What power! Without the Spiritual mind we would miss these eternal truths.
And so it is in our small text in the Song Of Solomon. Without the spiritual mind to guide us, the Song Of Solomon makes no sense. Our Lord Jesus told us to look for Him in the Law, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms. (Lk. 24:44). In the Song of Solomon, it is easy to see the Love of God and His care for His own. Now, the Church is NOT in the Old Testament. The Church is that great
MYSTERY revealed to the Apostle Paul, (Eph 3:4-5). In the Old Testament you can find the Church only in shadows and types. The Song of Solomon is a beautiful foreshadow of Christ and His Love for His bride, the Church. The question that comes to mind is; “how can He be both, the Lily, and the Rose?” I could better understand had He said “I am the Rose.” or, “I am the Lily.” But He says that He is BOTH, the Lily and the Rose. How can this be? This is one of the great mysteries of the Bible. Jesus said “You can find me if you look for me.” “The scriptures…they testify of me.” (Jn 5:39). Today, let us look for Him. The ROSE and the LILY do not belong in the same text, but here they are together. There are many words in the Bible (KJB) that do not belong together, but we find them in the same text, together. LAW and GRACE do not go together. FAITH and WORKS don’t go together. LOVE and HATE don’t go together. LIGHT and DARKNESS don’t go together, only to mention a few that have nothing in common, but we see them together at the same time.
The ROSE of Sharon is identified with the Plain of Sharon which is located between Joppa and Mount Carmel. It is about 50 miles long and 10 miles wide. A LILY would not grow very well there. A LILY must have a different kind of soil. A LILY grows in low places. These two flowers grow and blossom in different soils and at different seasons. As you may well know from the heading of this Publication that I chose for a symbol, or emblem for this Ministry the ROSE and the LILY as a constant reminder of the PERSON and WORK of Jesus Christ. I believe the ROSE speaks of His work, and the LILY speaks of His person.
1. THE MAJESTY OF THE ROSE.
The ROSE is…
(A) GUARDED BY THORNS. The first thing I choose to mention about the ROSE is the fact of the THORNS. Thorns remind us of the four-fold curse in Genesis 3:14-19 because of man’s disobedience.
Gen. 3:14, A curse upon the serpent.
Gen. 3:16, A curse upon the woman.
Gen. 3:17, A curse upon the man.
Gen. 3:17, A curse upon the ground.
“THORNS and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” Thorns remind us of the curse. This question asked today is, “What’s wrong with man?” “Why the killing, why the poverty, why the rapes, the incest, the child abuse? Why all the unfairness in the world? Why? Why? There is only one clear answer to these questions…There is a four-fold curse since Genesis 3, and will continue until the time when God says, “No more curse.” (Rev. 22:3). Our Saviour was crowned with a crown of thorns when He was nailed to His cross. I believe the ROSE pictures His redeeming work there. “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.” (Gal. 3:13). The Thorn of the ROSE reminds us of the crown of thorns the soldiers placed on His head when He was nailed to the cross. He bore all of the penalty of the Law. He redeemed us from ANY and ALL curses. Yes, when I see a ROSE I have to think of THORNS, a reminder of what Christ did for me on the cross. And then we see that a ROSE is…
(B) GLORIOUS IN BEAUTY. To many, including me, the ROSE is by far the most beautiful of all flowers. I see beauty in every flower, but nothing like the beauty of the Rose. I kinda think that God must agree with me. I think that He is a bit partial to his handiwork; the ROSE. He said in Isaiah 35:1, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the ROSE.” That text looks forward to the time when Christ will reign on earth. All the curse will be lifted, and the desert place, the barren place, the lonely place will blossom like the beautiful ROSE. There are many lovely flowers in God’s creation, but to describe the beauty of Christ’s kingdom, He did not choose the orchid, or the violet, or some rare exotic variety, He chose the beauty of The ROSE. The next time you see a lovely ROSE, take a good look at it. God wants to share some sweet moments with you. But as I said, the ROSE pictures the work of Christ in redemption. Redemption for man is at the cross of Christ where He was crowned with thorns and bore the curse for us. But the cross is not a place of beauty. The Prophet Isaiah said of the cross, “And when we shall see Him there is NO BEAUTY that we should desire Him.” (Isa. 53:2). From man’s point of view, Calvary is an ugly place. NO BEAUTY THERE. It is the place of the skull. It is the place of violence, bloodshed, and execution. But God saw the cross as a place of beauty. He was pleased with the work of the Son. “He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places. Far above all principality, and power, and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this world but also in that which is to come.” (Eph. 1:20-21). Every sinner who bows in humble subjection at the Cross of Christ, that sinner will see the handiwork of God in redemption. The Cross is a thing of beauty, marvelous beauty, like the beauty of the ROSE.
And the ROSE is…
(C) GRACIOUS IN APPEAL Christ is not likened to an orchid, for that would only appeal to a certain class of people. You don’t find many poor folks raising orchids. He is compared to a lovely ROSE. The ROSE has universal appeal. The ROSE appeals to the rich and poor alike. I was raised in deep, hurting poverty. The little 3 room house where we lived was just a shack. We had no electricity, no heat, and our water supply was a faucet at the end of the back porch. There was no poverty program like today. Everyone had to make out the best we could. I sometimes wonder how we made it, but we did. My Mother was left alone with four kids to raise. She did the best she could. But in all of that poverty, my Mother would raise the most beautiful Roses you ever saw. Right there at the edge of her front porch, the most beautiful Roses….There, where poor folks lived. But you could walk about 15 or 20 blocks from our little shack and you would be in the rich neighborhood. Folks along the river lived in mansions, but they also had Roses. Beautiful Rose gardens, Rose societies. Roses appeal to all classes, rich and poor alike. Christ has that universal appeal. He has made Himself available to all classes, rich, poor, young, and old, black, white. I suppose that we could go on and on about The GRACIOUS APPEAL of our dear Saviour, the SWEET ROSE OF SHARON. And then the ROSE is…
(4) GIFTED IN FRAGRANCE. Thorns, beauty, appeal, all make up the beautiful ROSE. I believe that the fragrance of the ROSE is the most recognizable of all flowers. But how could there be any appealing fragrance at Calvary? Looking from our side we see only suffering and shame, but from God’s point of view, Calvary is compared to a ROSE. When the word ‘fragrance’ came to my mind, I thought much about it. Like the beauty we spoke of, fragrance was there at Calvary. I recalled that in the Old Testament sacrifices, God saw some things we could never see. If you were near the temple when the sacrifices were being offered daily, you could not see any beauty there, and certainly no lovely fragrance from all that burning flesh. But God called it “SWEET SMELLING SAVOUR.” It all pictured the time when the Lord Jesus would give His life for the sin of the world as a “SWEET SMELLING SOVOUR.” Yes, the fragrance of Christ is sweet, just like the lovely ROSE.
Just as the ROSE pictures His work, the LILY pictures His PERSON. Jesus said, “Consider the Lilies of the field.” (Mt 6:28-30).
2. THE MYSTERY OF THE LILY.
Now, let us see some of the ways the LILY pictures the PERSON of Jesus Christ.
(A). A LILY GROWS FROM IT’S OWN ROOT SYSTEM. You do not plant a seed to grow a LILY. It grows from a bulb it produces in it’s roots. Someone planted some Lilies beside the driveway where we once lived. Every spring those LILIES would blossom ever so beautiful. Later the summer heat would cause the plant to die, and then the cold winter came. There would be no sign of Lilies. Just dry ground where they once grew. But in the spring, the root would send new life, and would you know it, once again beautiful Lilies. A few months earlier in late summer you just knew that they were dead, but here they are, ALIVE AGAIN! Because the ROOT was there. That ROOT illustrates for us the Virgin Birth of Christ. Man did not plant a seed. The root produced the flower. This is also a picture of the Glorious Resurrection of Christ. He is that ROOT out of dry ground.
(B). A LILY GROWS IN LOW PLACES. The Lily would not do well up on the Plain of Sharon. This flower must grow in low places. Of course this speaks of the condescension of Christ, (Phil. 2:5-11). The God of Heaven came down to lowly man. This is the MYSTERY of the ages. Once I bought a piece of land. I went on a tour of that property with the landowner before I bought it. “This land is high and it drains real well,” he said. “You will never have a problem with water.” As I walked over the land that day I noticed a small flower growing everywhere on that property. That little flower was a Lily. I knew that, and that little flower was trying to say to me, “Hey, look down here at me, I’m a Lily, I grow in low places. THIS LAND IS LOW.” But I paid no attention to that little flower, and I need not tell you the rest of the story. May I also say to each of us that the LILY OF THE VALLEYS reminds us that Our God is the God of the valleys.
(C) A LILY HAS MOST UNUSUAL CHARACTERISTICS. We have just celebrated the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord. I remember seeing “Easter Lilies” everywhere. The flower of this plant is WHITE in color, reminding us of the PURITY of Christ. In each flower there are seven stamen stems. These are the pollen producing stems. SEVEN reminds us of the PERFECTIONS of Christ. Long ago I made it a habit of mine to count the stamen on a Lily that may be near. Without exception, unless there had been damage to the flower, there is always seven stamen. The stamen stems are GOLD in color. GOLD reminds us of the deity of Christ. The very center of the flower at the base of the stamen is GREEN in color picturing the ETERNALITY of Christ and the ETERNAL Life He freely gives. Each flower of the Lily has six petals, reminding us of the humanity of Christ. In addition to the white “Easter Lily'” this beautiful flower comes in many colors, reminding us of the manifold Grace of God. Yes, Jesus said that there is nothing on earth quite like a Lily. Jesus said that all of the Glory of King Solomon listed in First Kings, ch. 10 could not be compared to just one Lily. Solomon in all of His Glory was not arrayed like a LOWLY LILY.
3. THE MAGNIFICANCE OF CHRIST.
Every time you see a ROSE or a LILY they preach a sermon on the MAGNIFICANCE of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Now, I have no Scripture to back up this, and I would never want to start a new denomination over this, but somewhere in these two flowers, or in some combination of these two lies the cure for some of the diseases that have plagued man down through the years. Who knows? Jesus said, “Consider the Lilies.” Just thinking! Now, may I ask you that important question, ARE YOU SAVED?” Do you know this Christ? If not, why not, right now, right where you are, ask Him to come into your life, to forgive your sin and begin TODAY, to live FOREVER!
What kind of thorn was the Crown of thorns composed of? I believe that the Crown of Thorns was made from the ROSE bush. Vile, wicked sinners platted a Crown of Thorns from a ROSE Bush and placed that upon the brow of the Saviour and called Him King. He was Saviour that day. Soon He is coming back as King of Glory, crowned, not with thorns but with splendor. HE IS OUR MAGNIFICANT, MAJESTIC, MATCHLESS SAVIOUR!
THE LILY AND THE ROSE
“I am the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valleys.” (Song Of Solomon 2:
By Pastor George Mills
The Rose is such a lovely thing,
And the Lily is sure to please,
But to me the thoughts they bring,
Is how can ONE be BOTH of these?
Just who can solve this Mystery?
I guess nobody knows,
From the pages of Bible History,
About the Lily and the Rose.
I thought about this time after time,
And in prayer, I asked, “Who knows?”
Then God began to clear my mind,
About the LILY and the ROSE.
God said, “when sin was reigning,”
And as the story goes,
Then God began explaining,
That “The LILY became a ROSE.”
Then the ROSE began to bloom,
For all the world to see.
But the world saw only gloom,
They missed this purity.
“Nothing like a ‘ROSE’ will do,
So this we shall propose,
Lovely orchids, white or blue,
But not a common ROSE.
The ROSE began to fade away,
And discarded by the throng,
They placed ithe ROSE in a grave one day,
They even sealed their wrong.
Then a greater thing was born,
And I guess some think me silly,
But on a lovely Sunday morn,
The ROSE was now a LILY.
Women came in early morn,
To anoint that faded ROSE,
They found no flower, leaf, or thorn,
They found that now the LILY grows.
The LILY was a ROSE so fair,
But the ROSE did fade away,
The LILY blossoms everywhere,
Since that Resurrection Day.
The ROSE did fade, it’s time did end,
But what Grace there did abound,
The LILY in all it’e beauty then,
Came from a root out of dry ground.
The LILY bloomed in Glory there,
What beauty it adorns,
The ROSE gave forth it’s fragrance, rare,
As it lived to die among the thorns.
The glory of the king’s increase,
The vastness of his yield,
Was not arrayed like the least of these,
These flowers of the field.
Yes, happy was the day for me,
Just as the story goes,
As God revealed, I clearly see,
The LILY of the valley, and Sweet Sharon’s ROSE.
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
LITTLE THINGS MATTER, TOO!
Why do we think God is interested only in the BIG things that take place in our lives? We fail to take the little things to Him because we think they don’t matter. They do matter! Anything that troubles His children, BIG or little is a concern to our Heavenly Father! I am concerned with any problem BIG or little that may trouble my children because I love them and how much greater is our Heavenly Father’s Love for us. Yes, He cares about the little things in our lives. In December of 2001, I was diagnosed with large cell Lymphoma, stage 3. I went straight to my Heavenly Father and told Him all about it. Of course, he already knew, but I told Him anyway! I talked to Him in prayer and He talked to me through His Word. I claimed verse after verse of the Scriptures. I was at rest with my BIG problem because I took it to the One that cared. We have had many BIG things to happen in our lives and we take them to the Lord and rest in Him. Why don’t we take our so called little problems to Him and trust Him to take care of them also? I have decided that the reason might be we would not have anything to whine about. We may have a sinus headache, or maybe a backache. Maybe you are missing a loved one that is in Iraq (like me) or maybe just plain loneliness. The cares of everyday life are sometimes burdensome. Whatever is “buggin” you concerns our Lord. So let’s take anything and everything that has us burdened, whether BIG or little to Him so He can give us rest. He will do it, I know He will!
“Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30).
“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” (1Peter 5:7).
THINK ABOUT IT…Is Christ your Rose, or your thorn? If you love Christ, His beauty and fragrance adorns your life. If you do not love Him, He is that thorn you keep running into, or stepping on. Nothing in your life will ever be right until He becomes the ROSE of your life.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESSS…It is no friend to the Christian.
The World REJECTED the Rose,
RENOUNCED the Lily,
And is REAPING the thorn
PLEAD, let your
REQUEST be made known unto God.
ASK, and ye shall receive, when you
YIELD your members for His use.
EXAMINE yourselves and then,
RELY upon God to hear and answer!
“The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
BRETHREN, PRAY FOR US. I BELIEVE THAT THIS INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY IS WORTHY OF YOUR PRAYERS!
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
“I WILL NOT BE ASHAMED”
There are many teenagers and young people today who deny that they have a relationship with God. A lot of them think if they do come out and say that they believe in God that they will not be as popular anymore and they will be looked at differently by their friends. I am here to tell you that you should never be ashamed of God or His Word. God has given us everything. He gave us the air that we breathe, the world that we live in, our very lives, and most importantly our hope of Eternal Life through His Son, Jesus Christ. When I think about this topic, there are a couple of verses in the Book of Philippians that frequently come to my mind. Philippians 1, verses 20 and 21 state, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
God is our Creator! He is our strength! He is the One who helps us get through each and every day. He gave his only Son Jesus to die on the cross for us, so why should we be ashamed of Him? I think that we need to live our lives each day for the glory of Christ. I would like to set a goal for each person reading this article right now. This goal is, that every morning when you wake up, begin with saying, “I will not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” The fields are ripe unto harvest, but the laborers are few. We need to look at the world as a mission field. After receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, your goal on this earth is to share the Gospel of the good news of Jesus Christ and the reason He died on the cross. I hope that everyone takes this goal, and uses it each and every day.
May God bless your life each and every day.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
THE COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES
By Pastor George Mills
“That we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Ro. 15:4)
Several years ago my wife and I were travelling through Virginia on our way to Ohio. I became very ill and could go no further. My wife drove me to a small Hospital in Wytheville, Va. A few hours later an ambulance transported me from Virginia to Winston Salem, N.C. The Doctors there advised me that I must have surgery right away. Up to that time I had never had surgery. I have prayed with many who were preparing for surgery, but now it was my time. Me, afraid? You bet I was! I knew that I have a blood condition, but I just didn’t know what was ahead. A verse of Scripture came to my mind. There it was. I just kept repeating it over and over through the night. When they came for me the next morning to take me for surgery, the Word of God had done it’s work in my heart. I was not afraid. I knew the Peace of God. That one small verse had performed a more delicate operation in me than any surgeon could do.
I thank God for the Surgeons, Nurses, etc, who did such a wonderful operation ON me. And I thank my God for His operation IN me. That one small verse was so simple, but it worked for me…
“I will trust, and not be afraid.” “I will trust, and not be afraid.” I will trust, and not be afraid.”
HALLELEUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOUR!