Vol. 32, No. 12 December, 2008
All of us here at the WILDERNESS, and here at The Yukon Baptist Church want to take this time to wish for you and your family a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS, and a CHRIST CENTERED NEW YEAR! As we enjoy the fun and fellowship of the Christmas Season, let us remember that Christ is Christmas, Christmas is Christ. He came to die for us that we might live. That’s the Christmas story.
Have a Blessed Christmas!
By Dr. George Mills
“In Whom we have REDEMPTION through His Blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:14). Now, if you just happen to have one of these new “versions,” you will not find, “Through His Blood” in that verse. Why? Satan hates the blood. He attacks the blood in any way he can.
I am always happy to preach about, and to write about the Finished Work of
Redemption through our Lord Jesus
Christ. But how can we possibly cover such a subject? God had been preparing
Redemption in the eternal ages past. He even wrote a Book with one central theme; REDEMPTION. I am just happy to share a few thoughts with you about REDEMPTION. Trusting that these things will be a help and a blessing to all readers of the WILDERNESS.
1. THE FATHER’S PLAN
2. THE SON’S PERFORMANCES
3 THE SPIRIT’S POWER.
All three of the God-Head had a part in the plan of REDEMPTION. These worked together in Creation, (Gen. 1:2, 1:26). One God in three distinct persons.
All three work together in Re-Creation.
1. THE FATHER’S PLAN. His plan of REDEMPTION was seen in…
(A) PREDESTINATION. First of all, as I have stated before, I am NOT a Calvinist. That is, I do not believe that some are predestined for Heaven and some are predestined for hell and there is nothing we can do to change anything.
I do not believe that. I believe that
REDEMPTION is for “Whosoever will let him take the water of life freely,” (Rev 22:17). I have heard and have read those who say that they believe that doctrine. When I finished listening to them, or reading their message, I still had no idea what they were saying, and I do not believe that they understood what they were saying either. I am well aware of the Foreknowledge of God, and the Free Will of man. Both are in the Bible. And I believe both. In THE FATHER’S PLAN, He had already prepared for REDEMPTION in ages past. When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, this was no surprise to God. Before there was anything created, before there was the first grain of sand, there was already a Saviour to die for the sin of man. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not REDEEMED with corruptible things as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers. But with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” (1Pet. 1:18-20). Just think about that. Before there was anything, God knew about the sin of man, about my sin, about your sin, and He made provision for our REDEMPTION in ages past.
And REDEMPTION was seen in
(B) PROPHECY. Through the Scriptures you can read about the Crucifixion of Christ prophesied centuries before He came to earth on that Christmas Morning some 2000 years ago. Read the 22nd. Psalm. The Psalmist painted a very detailed picture of the sufferings of Christ. And of course, the 53rd Chapter of Isaiah, “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.” (Isa 53:5-6).
As you read the Bible, (KJB) you read about REDEMPTION. If you fail to see REDEMPTION in the Bible, you missed the whole point of the Book.
And REDEMPTION was seen in
(C) PICTURES. Like an artist painting a beautiful picture, God painted for us PICTURES of REDEMPTION. There are so very many. Just to mention a few:
(a) In Egypt land, the Israelites were held captive by Pharaoh. You can read this account in Exodus1-15. In His PLAN of REDEMPTION, God told Moses to tell the people to select a lamb without blemish on the tenth day of the month. The lamb had to be proven for the next three days, and on the fourteenth day of the month the chosen lamb is to be slain and the blood of that lamb was to be applied to the two side posts of the door and above the door of their dwelling. God said that He, God, would pass over the land at midnight and where He saw the blood, He would pass over that dwelling, but where the blood was not applied, the first born of that household would die. The firstborn of Egypt did die that night when God passed over the land. Of course, this is the setting for the celebration of PASSOVER which was to be observed annually, on the 14th day of April, (one day only). What a PICTURE of the Work of Calvary where Jesus Christ shed His Blood for our REDEMPTION. There is so much more. I praise Him for His blood shed for me, and for you.
(b) Abraham was commanded to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah, and there offer him for a burnt offering. In obedience to God, Abraham “went unto the place of which God told him,” and there he prepared his son Isaac for a burnt offering. When Abraham “stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. The angel of the Lord said, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him, for I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” You will find this account in Genesis 22. “Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in a thicket.” Abraham offered the ram for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. Another beautiful PICTURE of our Lord Jesus Christ dying in our place. As the ram was innocent, so was Christ innocent. The innocent for the guilty, PICTURED throughout the Holy Bible, (KJB).
(c) Another PICTURE, another one of so many. Jesus said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15). This is taken from the Book of Numbers, Ch. 21. The people had again murmured against God. “And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and much people of Israel died.” When they confessed their sin to Moses, and asked him to pray for them. God told Moses to “Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole, and it shall come to pass that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it he shall live.” That serpent lifted high on a pole, for all to see is a PICTURE of Christ and His Cross. There, He was lifted up for the entire world to see. Like the people bitten by the serpent, we have the poison of sin in our entire being. We either look to the Cross in faith, or die in our sin. There is no other way. I know, people try thousands of ways, but in Israel, there was no other way to escape the impending death from the serpent’s poison, and there is no other way to escape the result of sin. The message of the brazen serpent was LOOK and LIVE. The message of the Cross is LOOK and LIVE! “Too simple,” some say. Have you found a better way? I think not. Just believe what the Bible says.
2. THE SON’S PERFORMANCES. “I came to do my Father’s Will.”
When Isaac, as an obedient son, lay on the alter of sacrifice before his father, He was a PICTURE of the Son’s PERFORMANCES. There are so many passages that tell of our Saviour’s obedience to the Father’s Will. But which one can I use in this brief message? I believe the Book of Philippians, Ch 2:5-11 gives vivid detail of the SON’S PERFORMANCES. Just look with me at the steps downward in His humiliation…
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made of Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given Him a Name which is above every name. That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.” The world itself could not contain the commentaries that could be written on these seven verses, all of which tell of the PERFORMANCES OF THE SON.
(a). He did not think it robbery to be equal with God. As we have said, He was there in the beginning with God, and John 1:1-3 says that He was God. (Not “a” god, but “The God”) (Col. 1:14-19).
(b) He did not cling to that position. The greatest, most important issue in the heart and mind of God was the REDEMPTION of fallen man. And for our REDEMPTION, Christ freely left that Position and came to this earth. He was born of a Virgin and placed in a manger. His first breath of air was the stench of a stable. That’s a long, long journey downward from that lofty position.
(c) He assumed the place of a man. As a man He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:15).
He knows every trial every pain every burden we bear. He knows you better than you know yourself.
(d) He assumed the position of a servant.
“And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mt. 20:27-28).
In John 13, He assumed the place of a servant when He bowed down at the feet of the Disciples and washed their feet. This was the servant’s duty, but He came to fill that position.
(e) He became obedient unto death. “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (Isa 50:6) In the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” The cup He referred to was all of the sin of all of the world. Think of the agony of the sinless Son of God as He faced taking into Himself all of the vileness of this world, and becoming sin for us. But in obedience to THE FATHER’S PLAN, Christ further prayed, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Mt 26:38-39).
(f) “Even the death of the Cross.” Not just any death, but the worst possible death, the death of the Cross. The most horrible, painful death was that of crucifixion. Read the 22nd Psalm. “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” There was none to help Him. “Bulls” (Jews) and “Dogs” (Gentiles) had nailed Him to the Cross, and there, in an awful loneliness, Christ died for our sin. As I write this, I find it very hard to find adequate words. I just want to thank Him for His PERFORMANCES IN REDEMPTION. I Praise Him for His cross, without which, no one could be saved.
As I write this message, my heart is moved, so greatly moved as I consider these things about Christ. But I must go to the third section of the message.
3. THE SPIRIT’S POWER. What has been said in this message would be as nothing if the Holy Spirit had not finished what God started in the beginning. As the subject of
Redemption could never be fully examined, so it is with the HOLY
SPIRIT. All three Personalities of the God-Head played an equal part in the Plan of Redemption.
(a) His Power in Creation. “In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1). The Bible also says, “For by Him (CHRIST) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible.” (See Col. 1:16). The SPIRIT was equally involved in Creation. “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2) “By His Spirit, He hath garnished the heavens.” (Job 26:13). “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” (Job 33:4).
(b) His Power in Conviction. Jesus said to His Disciples, “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of Sin, and of Righteousness, and of Judgment. The Holy Spirit takes the Word of God and reproves, convicts the sinner of his/her condition before God. I cannot do that. I can give out the Word, that’s as far as I can go. The work of the Holy Spirit is getting that Word down deep into the hearing of the lost person. He alone can speak to the sinner’s heart. He uses the Word of God, that’s our part.
(c) His Power in Conversion. We are Born of the Spirit. (John 3:8) When the lost sinner believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and with a repentant heart calls upon the Name of Christ, the Holy Spirit Births that one into God’s Family. He is “Born again” of the Holy Spirit. That Same Holy Spirit seals the new believer, (Eph 1:13) and Baptizes him/her into the Body of Christ, (1Cor. 12:13). This is all a matter of fact, and not feelings. The Holy Spirit lives in every believer and seeks to empower every believer to live a happy, victorious Christian life.
(d) His Power in Consecration. Living every day for Christ. Getting to know Him better every day. Learning about the Power of the Holy Spirit in Prayer, in witnessing, in living for God. Without Him, we could do nothing.
“For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, MUCH MORE being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Ro. 5:10).
There is so much more about REDEMPTION to share with you, but I must close this message for now.
Are YOU one of the REDEEMED ONES? Have you trusted the Finished Work of Christ alone for your Salvation? If this is true in your life, then rejoice in GOD’S REDEMPTION. If this is not true, my dear friend, call upon the Name of Christ today. Wherever you are, the Holy Spirit is there. If there is a desire in your heart to know God, then God put that desire there. Believe Him with your heart, call upon Him with your mouth. (Ro. 10:9-10) He will hear the cry of your repentant heart.
You can begin TODAY to live FOREVER! God bless you.
THINK ABOUT IT… The world’s worst ingrate is the one who looks at the Cross of Calvary, and walks away in unbelief. He does not walk away a better person, but a worse person. The worst way to die is to die with a hardened heart. To walk away from Calvary without receiving God’s Redemption is the first step to that end.
A CHILD IS BORN
By Pastor George Mills
“For unto us A CHILD IS BORN, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His Name shall be called;
THE MIGHTY GOD.
THE EVERLASTING FATHER.
THE PRINCE OF PEACE.
Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth, ever forever. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will perform this.”
As I write this, I cannot help but be concerned about our own government here in our homeland. It seems that those in high places, in the financial markets, banks, in industry have lied and with fraud and deception swindled the American people out of billions of dollars for their own selfish gain. Today industries, banks, etc, are looking to our government to “bail them out.” When I find myself in financial trouble, I have to “Bail myself out,” Let these institutions do the same. I trust that our elected officials will stop this spending of our tax dollars. Anyway, this is a critical time in our nation, and it affects the world markets. There is one coming that the Bible calls Anti-Christ. He will fool the financial institutions again, and nations will become bankrupt. But the Bible says that there is a Government in the future that will be a Government of Judgment, and Justice. This will be a RIGHT GOVERNMENT, ruled by the RIGHT KING. This passage of Scripture describes this coming King. Notice His Titles…
1. WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR. Think of the advisors that those in high places have listened to. Every new administration enters office with it’s own plan that is “for sure to solve the economical problems of the nation.” Unfortunately, their term ends, and the debts are higher. THIS CHILD born on Christmas day, born to reign, but rejected of men, will one day, in the not so distant future reign. His Advise, His Counsel will be with the Wisdom of the ages. May I add that He is on the job today. He is at the Right hand of the Father, ever listening to our prayers. People pay large sums of money to visit some earthly counselor. Talk to Christ today. Tell Him your problem. He always gives wise counsel. The Title,
WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR SPEAKS OF HIS WORK TODAY, IN THIS DISPENSATION.
2. THE MIGHTY GOD. I believe that this Title speaks of His Work in ETERNITY PAST. He is the Great Creator. He is the Great I AM. “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer, the LORD of Hosts, I am the first and I am the last, and beside me there is no God.”
(Isa 44:6). Think about it…The MIGHTY GOD HIMSELF came down to this earth, and took the form of a servant for us. “And they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.” (Mt. 1:23).
3. THE EVERLASTING FATHER. I believe this Title speaks of His Work IN THE ETERNAL TOMORROWS. “Of the increase of His government there shall be no end.” All human governments have failed. Think of our own government. Have you ever seen such corruption? The government of this nation is supposed to be the very best that man with all his wisdom can come up with. But the best of mankind is frail. Human governments do not want God involved. Just think of how our country began just 232 years ago. Look at where we are now. God is not welcome in government, in education, or in the courts. This is not what our founding fathers had in mind.
But, THE EVERLASTING FATHER shall reign, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God as waters cover the sea.
4. THE PRINCE OF PEACE. I believe that this Title speaks of HIS WORK IN REDEMPTION. Peace is now possible because of Calvary. Peace with God, Peace with man, and Peace with self. In the midst of a hostile society, where kings fail, a society of corruption, crime and violence, anyone can have peace because of Christ’s Work of redemption. He broke down every barrier. Now we can go to God through THE PRINCE OF PEACE; our Blessed lord Jesus Christ. How about you? Do you know Him personally” He is there, wherever you are, just waiting at your heart’s door. He will never come into your life unbidden. You must open your heart and by faith receive him. I hope that you will do that now. How do you receive Him? The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.”
THIS CAN BE THE BEST CHRISTMAS YOU EVER HAD. CHRIST IS CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS IS CHRIST
“A SON IS GIVEN,” “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son..” (John 3:16).
BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD
By Pastor George Mills
“Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” (Jn 1:29)
Behold the Lamb, who takes away,
The sin of all the world.
On Him all sin, there God did lay,
And from East to West He hurled,
The sin of all of Adam’s race,
To be remembered never,
By trusting His Sufficient Grace,
Man will live with Christ forever.
Behold the Cross where all the sin,
Upon the Lamb was laid.
Behold the Lamb, such suffering,
As all our debt He paid.
Behold the tomb where He did lay,
It’s empty, not a trace,
Redemption’s price, the Lamb did pay,
Behold, that empty place.
Behold the Lamb of God, who died,
Behold the Lamb, who lives.
Behold the law, now satisfied,
Behold how He forgives;
All sin that ever came between,
All mankind and the Lord,
Behold the Lamb, His Glory seen,
Behold, the Lamb of God.
Your kind words, your mail, your gifts and thoughtful expressions for this Ministry are received with MUCH GRATITUDE. Thank you so much. Pray for this Ministry as we face the New Year. We are trusting that our Lord will open new doors for us in the New Year.
HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR!