Vol. 32, No. 8 August, 2008
THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST.
By Dr. George Mills
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this Grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST.” (Eph. 3:8).
Unsearchable means; “Not capable of being searched or explored.” His riches are past our understanding or finding out. I understand that Bill Gates is the richest man in America. His reported wealth ranges from 40 to 60 Billion dollars. We cannot comprehend just one billion let alone scores of billions. It takes computers working around the clock, calculating and keeping up with all of that money, interest earned, and spending. However, accountants can provide his EXACT wealth. There is no computer, or system of computers that can calculate the Riches of Christ. According to Psalm 45:8, Christ came from Ivory Palaces. In Rev. 21:10-22:7, the City of God that we know as Heaven is a place on unsearchable wealth. The combined wealth of the richest men on earth cannot buy a glimpse into that fair
City we call Heaven. I am afraid that if we are not careful we will confuse wealth and riches. They are not the same thing. “There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing; there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” (Pr. 13:7) One man has spent his life in making money and has made a fortune; but his money did not buy him contentment. Another man spent his life in giving to others, and at the end has no finances, but in his heart, great contentment. The emphasis today is on money. Evangelists are making fortunes off of promises with no foundational truth. Some have learned how to tap into the generosity of God’s people, and become very rich. “Jesus was rich, and He wants you to be rich,” they say. People who have become very rich overnight have found that money for them was a curse. Some of the wealthiest people in America seem to be so unhappy. So, in our brief message today, the riches we are speaking about have nothing to do with money. Please do not misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with money and nothing wrong with us having money. Some of God’s choicest servants have been very rich, and some have been very poor financially. There is nothing in the Bible, rightly divided that teaches us that Jesus was rich while He lived among us. Born
in a stable. His first breath of air was the stench of a stable. From His first breath in that stable until His last breath on Calvary, there is nothing that shows us that Jesus was rich while He lived here for 33 years. Through the centuries, Christian people have been persecuted, arrested, and starved. Paul received offerings from Churches to send to the “poor saints at Jerusalem.” Paul could tell the sum of his financial wealth in just a few words; “Even unto this present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace.”(1Cor.4:11).
Jesus spoke of the poverty of the Church in Smyrna. Even today I receive requests for helps from Africa. They have no Bibles, or Christian material. One Pastor stated that one village had only one New Testament in the entire village. Churches and Christians outside America still suffer. Many are falling for the “name it, claim it” doctrines that are being preached today. Many are falling for the “get rich quick” schemes of religious charlatans. Religious “CLUBS” and NETWORKS promise vast returns for investments. “God will pay you back with rich rewards,” is their promise. Don’t fall for the “get rich” schemes of today. I believe that God is more glorified in our paying our honest debts. Let each of us be careful with our finances. Plan your finances. Stay away from credit card debt. And be careful about the many charlatans of today.
God’s people have been rich and poor financially. If God so chooses to make you rich, so be it. Christianity is not the place where we get rich. If this were the case, we would have few problems attracting a crowd. Lines would be formed around every church just waiting to get inside. God Blesses His people in His own way. And I have never heard it preached that “God wants you poor.” But now, on to our message about the UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST.
1. THE RICHES OF HIS GOODNESS. “Or despisest thou the RICHES OF HIS GOODNESS and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the Goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Ro 2:4).
The first chapters of the Book of Romans are like a trial in a court room, with all of the evidence and witnesses. Ch. 1 tells how the gentiles got into sin…
(A) “They knew God.” (v21) Man did not evolve from a swamp, or from the sea. Man is the creation of God. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” What a wondrous design. And if a design, there has to be a designer. I am well aware of the school systems today, and that our children are forced to listen to some agnostic teach our kids that we evolved for some lower existence. They say that man evolved from nothing into the wonderful thing he is today. NOT TRUE! Man began with a glorious revelation of God and fell from that position to what he has become today.
(B)” They Glorified Him not as God” (Ro. 1:21). “They did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” (1:28). From the Glorious revelation, notice the steps downward.
INGRATITUDE. “Neither were they thankful.” I am convinced that the base of all sin is ingratitude.
INDIFFERENCE. “They became vain in their imagination.” (Ro 1:21)
IGNORANCE. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Ro 1:22).
IDOLATRY. They turned to the worship of “birds. And four-footed beasts, and creeping things.” (Ro 1:23)
IMMORALITY. “God gave them up to vile affections.” The sin of homosexuality may be promoted and glorified by many today, but read the Book of Romans 1:24-32.
God gave them over to a reprobate mind.” (Ro 1:28). A mind that only produces that which is unapproved, (Ro 1:28-32).
Paul had seen the power of the Gospel at Corinth, and many who had chosen this lifestyle had been saved. “And such were some of you.” (1Cor 6:9-11).
The gentiles could not see the GOODNESS of God. They are without excuse. Paul looks to the Jews in Romans 2. The religious Jews in all of their piety utterly failed their test. They too are without excuse. “The GOODNESS of God should have led them to repentance. The Jews only became religious judges. (Ro 2:19-29)
When we walk away from the Goodness of God, we never walk away but that our hearts become hardened. (Ro 2:5).
God’s GOODNESS and MERCY are like Siamese twins, they are always together.
“Surely GOODNESS and MERCY shall follow me..”
Now, we are not saved by God’s Goodness, we are saved by His GRACE.
His GOODNESS leads us to His GRACE
Man had his trial and was found guilty, “All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” …But the GOODNESS of God.
2. THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE.
“That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding RICHES OF HIS GRACE in His Kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:7) Like Goodness and Mercy, Grace and kindness are forever linked. In the small Book of Titus, Paul reminded us of our condition before God. “For we ourselves WERE sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”(Ti 3:3) But after that the Kindness (Grace) and Love of God our Saviour toward men appeared.”
“That being Justified by His GRACE we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Ti 3:7). The GRACE of God can reach down to the depths of depravity, and lift up that sinner and save him/her and make that one and heir and a trophy of GRACE. The Hymn writer rightly called it “AMAZING GRACE.” Since the day I called upon Him to save me so many years ago, He has displayed before me the RICHES OF HIS GRACE. He saved me, He has kept me. He has covered me, He has fed me, he has changed my life, He has given me Eternal Life, and the promise of a home in Heaven, and Oh, so much more. The Apostle Peter referred to Grace as the Manifold Grace of God. Manifold means, “many sided.” There is a side of the Grace of God that will meet whatever your need may be. There is Saving Grace, Serving Grace, and Sanctifying Grace. The strongest, sweetest word in the language of man is GRACE.
His Goodness leads us to his GRACE,
His GRACE leads us to the …
3. RICHES OF HIS GLORY.
“That He would grant you, according to the RICHES OF HIS GLORY to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” (Eph 3:16). Not according to the riches of the Nation’s Treasury, but according to the RICHES OF HIS GLORY. I wish that I could find words to describe this great Truth. I do not believe they are in the language of man.
(A) THE GLORY OF HIS PERSON.
There is no other Name like His Name. “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I love Art. I love to paint. I am not very good at it. I paint landscapes, mountains, lakes, flowers, etc. I love to try. I admire artists with their great talents. I could never stand among these with my feeble efforts. But could an Artist ever Portray the Glory of this Person? I think not. Think of the millions of great works of Art concerning Christ. All of man’s talents fail to glorify His PERSON. That Portrait has not yet been painted.
I Love Music. I love all kinds of music. Music, that is, which is performed with quality. I have no use for this modern “clang, clang, crash, crash, bee-bop” stuff some labeled as music and being brought into churches today. I love the beautiful Hymns of the Church that have brought hope and comfort through the centuries. I have tried to write several songs about Christ. But my efforts are so feeble when I think about His PERSON.. The most beautiful music about Him has not yet been written.
I Love Poetry. As with music, I can make no claims in this field. I have written scores and scores of poems. I still cannot explain when people ask me how. I don’t know. I have received kind letters from folks stating that a certain poem helped them. When the WILDERNESS was started some 32 years ago, we wanted to be as original as possible in everything we published. I thought that I should include a poem or two in each edition, so I began looking. Then it dawned on me that if I wanted to be original, I had to write a poem of my own, and so I did. And so on with the next editions. Now, 32 years later still writing poems. Poems help make reading easier and help illustrate. Think of the millions of beautiful Poems about the PERSON of Christ. But the most beautiful poem about Him is yet to be written.
I Love Writing and enjoy writing for this publication. I have loved writing the Tracts, the booklets, etc. When I start writing each new edition, I remind myself that every word I put on paper must be to help someone know this PERSON of Christ. I love the study of Scriptures, (KJB). When I started preparing for the ministry years ago, I thought about the many sermons I would have to prepare. “Two sermons for Sunday, and another for Wednesday. I can never do that.” But over 40 years later, by God’s Grace, still at it. I have yet to come up with that message that would somehow describe the GLORY OF HIS PERSON. That message has not yet been written.
Won’t it be wonderful when at last we behold the RICHES OF HIS GLORY when the Church is at last home with Him!
(B) THE GLORY OF HIS PERFORMANCES. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as the only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth.” (Jn 1:14)
I see His Glory in a stable as The Christ Child was born on time, in time. After centuries of the battle between the seed, (Gen. 3:15). Satanic forces had done their best to stop the Birth of the Saviour.
I see The Glory of His Performances in His sinless Life. Satan tried his best to discredit Christ. Satan tried to cause Him to sin in the temptations on the Mount. But there was nothing in Christ for Satan to reach. Pilate summed it all up for us in his statement, “I find in Him no fault at all.” (Jn. 18:38)
I see the Glory of His Performances on the Cross as He cried aloud, “It is finished.” The price for sin was paid in full by His sacrificial death on the Cross.
I see the Glory of His Performances as He stands outside an empty tomb. The Angel announced, “He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come see the place where The Lord lay.” (Mt. 28:6)
I see the Glory of His Performances as He is there at the right hand of the Father as our Eternal High Priest.
(C) THE GLORY OF HIS PARDON.
This Glorious PERSON paid an awful PENALTY for our PARDON. As we view the list of indictments against the human race in Romans 3:10-23, we have to raise our hands in surrender. We can pay the price for our sin if we so choose; “For the wages of sin is death.” (Ro 6:23) Death is both physical and eternal separation from God, (Rev 20:15). Or we can accept His Promise of Eternal Life as a free gift. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isa. 55:7)
The RICHES of His GOODNESS lead us to,
The RICHES of His GRACE. The RICHES of His GRACE leads us to The RICHES of His GLORY.
“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). You receive Him by Faith alone. Tell Him that you receive Him. He will hear the cry of the Repentant heart. And now that you have received Him, His Goodness made us Heirs with Christ. We can begin TODAY to live FOREVER, and to FOREVER Behold His GLORY.
God Bless you. Jesus Loves You!
THINK ABOUT IT… He was rich, yet He became poor, that we may be rich in Him!
He who died thirsty offers living water.
He who had no place to lay His head offers a Heavenly mansion.
THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST
By Pastor George Mills
“That I should preach among the gentiles the UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST.” (Eph. 3:8)
The Riches of Christ are Greater than,
All riches owned by any man.
Real peace of mind, and peace of heart,
Cannot by wealth of man impart.
The Goodness of His Gracious Plan,
Is reaching low, to rescue man.
The Grace of all His Riches show,
A plan for all mankind to know.
His Glory rich, His Pardon free,
His Grace sufficient, to satisfy me.
His Goodness, Grace, and Glory mine,
Can I do less than to refine;
My will conformed to His Great plan,
To tell the news to every man,
Of riches free to one and all,
Who on His Name will freely call.
TRUTH AND LIBERTY BIBLE COLLEGE
HURRICANE, WEST VIRGINIA
Dr. Art Hage, Pastor, President
On May 4, 2008, This fine Bible College graciously conferred upon me
the Degree of;
DOCTOR OF DIVINITY
I am very grateful. I do consider this a badge of Honor
that I will wear with much Gratitude and Grace.
Thank you so much, in Jesus’ Name,
Pastor George Mills
AN OLD TESTAMENT PICTURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH.
By Pastor George Mills
“Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtain of thy habitations, spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.” (Isa 54:2)
The Church is not in the Old Testament. The Church is referred to as a “Mystery” (Eph 3:1-6). The text in Isaiah pictures Israel’s return and fruitful restoration. It also gives us a beautiful picture of what the New Testament Church should be doing.
1. ENLARGE THE PLACE OF THY TENT. I believe this alludes to the Local Church building. Make it larger. Have goals. Tear down walls. Build more classrooms. Let each of us have a vision of what can be done on the Church property. Begin a needed Christian school. Some Churches have large, beautiful facilities that are unused except on week-ends. If we cannot do these things right now, they must be in our vision of what can be done, what needs to be done. I stopped by a church and spoke to the Pastor. His building was small and located to one side of the Church property. I asked him about his plan of growth, or the enlargement of the Church building. He said to me, “As we grow, we plan to knock out that back wall, extend our auditorium, and add more to the back, then turn to the right with more building, and finally, we will build our auditorium in the middle. He was describing a “”U” shaped facility, with the auditorium in the middle. It looked great. He did not have much, but he had a vision of what he could do. Every Church should have some kind of a vision like that.
2. STRETCH FORTH THE CURTAINS OF THINE HABITATIONS. In other words, “claim more territory.” So many times we have invisible boundaries and dare not go beyond them. Let us not just claim our neighborhood for Christ, let us claim our entire city. “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me BOTH in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) BOTH in Jerusalem and Samaria, or, at the same time. The boundaries of the Church are not limited to the street on which we are located, south to the railroad crossing, then west to the interstate, then north to the shopping mall, back east along the parkway, and back to our street. Claim more territory.
3. LENGTHEN THY CORDS. These are the cords, or lines that go out from the corners of the tent to be tied to stakes to hold the tent in place. This alludes to the outreaches of the Church. Lengthen them, set them further out. Do more to get the Good news of the Gospel to the nations. Add to the mission budget. Restock the supply of Gospel Tracts. Send out the Water of Life. Send out the Bread of Life, Send out streams of Mercy. Send out the Good News of the Gospel. Send out Hope for the Hopeless. Send out waves of compassion. Send out Good literature. Begin a radio ministry, or add another station. This is the greatest time in history for getting the Gospel to the world. People walk around with cell phones, and various other means of communication. This is the electronic age. Any Church can reach many places of the world each day. Lengthen thy cords. Go further than ever before.
4. STRENGTHEN THY STAKES. This is what holds everything together. I well remember the Korean War. At times we had to live in squad tents. I believe 8 men tents. Believe me, it gets cold in Korea. We had to hammer these tent stakes down quite often. If we did not, the snow would weaken the ground and the tent would fall. So we had to make sure that we hammered the stakes often. This alludes to Doctrine. Doctrine holds the entire work of the New Testament Church together. So, while we are busy with the first three points of this message, we had best take care to hold to sound doctrine. We cannot compromise. This is the day of forsaking sound doctrine. Winds of various doctrines are blowing today. People are being carried away with new doctrines. Let us go to these stakes and hit them again…
(A) The Inspiration of the Bible. Of course I mean the King James Bible. The greatest issue of today is the issue of the Bible. New “bibles” hit the stores almost daily. I can assure you that if you make your stand on the Purity of this Bible, it will cost you something. But HIT this stake again, and again. Don’t let your tent fall.
(B) The Person and Work of Jesus Christ. His finished work of Redemption.
(C) Christ’s ascension into Heaven by His own Blood and His High Priestly Ministry
(D) Justification By Faith Alone.
(E) The Pre-Tribulation rapture of the Church.
(F) Biblical separation from modernism, and liberalism.
(G) Music. Yes, I place Music in this section of doctrines. Some may disagree with me, but you have the right to be wrong. The largest Book in the Bible is a Music Book. (Psalms) “Speaking to yourselves in Psalms and Hymns, and Spiritual songs..” (Eph 5:19) The Church Music program is so very important. I do not call this stuff that is invading the church today “music.” This “praise and worship team” is supposed to be attractive to our young people. Churches today are having “gospel rock concerts” and the music and beat of this world is having it’s affect on many young people today. You can gather a crowd of thousands of teens in a concert, and get them hypnotized on the beat and sound, and call for a decision from them. They will make any decision you want them to make. Let us be reminded that there is ANOTHER GOSPEL, ANOTHER JESUS. ANOTHER SPIRIT.
Doctrine holds everything together. We had best Hit these stakes again and again. Recently, a well known Hollywood, TV personality stated that, “Doctrine divides. Experience unites.”
Doctrine does divide the True from the false. Hit these stakes AGAIN!