Vol. 31, No. 4 April, 2007
A HELPER, A HEALER, OR A HINDERER…WHICH?
By Pastor George Mills
These three words have been the source of countless sermons down through the years. Some of the beautiful Hymns we enjoy have these three words incorporated in them. They seem to fit so many situations. Today, I wish to borrow these three words as I prepare this publication.
Here at Yukon Baptist Church, we make our way through the Bible (KJV) verse by verse. Just a few weeks ago we were in the small Epistles of John. As we studied Second and Third John, I felt that we were only able to bring out a few things to the congregation, so I have decided to take at least one issue of the “WILDERNESS” to share some serious things with you. I want each of us to be HELPERS, and HEALERS, but never HINDERERS. Today, I will take a quick glance at Second John, and then go across the page to Third John..
Second John deals with PRINCIPLES. Doctrine and the anti-Christ are discussed. Third John deals with PERSONALITIES
(A) Good, Godly, Gentle GAIUS.
(B) Delightful, Determined, Demetrius, and(C) Domineering, Dangerous, Diotrephes.
John addresses his letter to Gaius, (v1) The Apostle John was getting old. Perhaps the good news about Gaius was a great blessing to him. Let’s see some
of the things John says…
1. GOOD, GODLY, GAIUS. (v1-8). One who offers Helps.
He was an example of being a helper to the Churches. John writes that we might follow His example, “We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow helpers of the truth.” (v8)
A. HE WAS SAVED. John calls him “Beloved,” v1, v2, v5, v 11. “One greatly loved.” In fact, the Apostle John calls all of the Church of God, “Beloved.” First John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” So we know from John’s description, Gaius was a saved man.
B. HE WAS PROBABLY SICKLY. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper, and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. “ (v2) .
From the text, we can see that he may
not have had very much money. In other words, the inner man was doing OK, but the outer man, well, that’s another story. It is said that one day, former President John Adams was walking along the sidewalk. From across the street, his friend saw him and shouted, “And how is John Adams today?” John Adams replied, “John Adams is OK, however, the house in which John Adams lives is not doing well, but John Adams is OK.” In other words, the inner man, John Adams was OK, but the outer man, John Adams was not doing good at all. This seemed to match the condition of Gaius. May I say that many Godly saints have served God very well from a sick-room. Many of these so called “faith healers” do much harm in their interpretation of this passage.
C. HE WAS SCRIPTURAL. John says of Him, “For I rejoiced greatly when the brethren came and testified of the Truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the Truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.” (v3-4) “Thy Word is Truth.” His life was an open book. You could test his life by the Bible.
D. HE WAS SYMPATHETIC. He opened his home to the traveling Evangelists. “Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest thou doest to the Brethren and to strangers. Which have borne witness of thy charity before the Church.” (v5-6)
E. HE WAS SINCERE. He loved the men of God, and wanted to share in the ministry. Again, see the word “Fellow-helpers” (v8). It takes everyone getting involved in reaching the lost for Christ. Gaius wanted to do his part.. My, how men like Gaius are needed. He was not looking for credit. He was not trying to get his name before people. But God has let the name “Gaius” bless the nations for centuries.
2. DANGEROUS, DOMINEERING, DIOTREPHES. (V9-11). The one who offers hindrances.
It is hard to turn from Good, Godly, Gaius to this individual. John had a problem with this man some 2000 years ago. I am afraid that Diotrephes is still
alive, still active, destroying, domineering wherever he can. I have Pastored Churches in Florida and Georgia. I have met this man wherever I have been. Notice his characteristics.
A. PREEMINENCE. I wrote unto the Church, but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.” (v9) Here is a man who says, “It’s MY way, or no way. He rejected John’s letter, and cast some brethren out of the Church. Here is a real religious “BIG SHOT.” And believe me, there are some around, and believe me, they are not needed. Paul reminds us in Col 1:18, that there is only One who deserves Preeminence; “And He is the Head of the Body, the Church, who is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead that in all things HE might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in HIM should all fullness dwell.” Look out for religious “BIG SHOTS.”
This guy scatters the sheep. He would not recognize the truth if he saw it.
Peter reminds us about the qualifications of an Elder (Pastor) in 1Pet 5, “The Elders which are among you, I exhort, who am also an Elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the Flock of God which is among you, taking oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” Peter saw the sufferings, and the Glory of Christ and knew there was no room for this kind of church member.
B. PRATING. (v10) Here is another characteristic of this Dominating, Domineering, Demonic, Diotrephes. “Prating” means, “to bring false charges.” “To speak idly with malice.” He started a “Whispering campaign” against the Pastor. He is like Absalom when he attempted to take the throne away from David, “And it came to pass after this that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom rose up early and stood beside the way of the gate, and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the King for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, of what city art thou? And he said thy servant is of the tribes of Israel. And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right, but there is no man deputed of the King to hear thee. Absalom said moreover, O that I were made a judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice.” (2Sam 15:1-4).
Yes, Diotrephes is still around. He is still active, still causing trouble in the church. John warns the Church about this man, “Remember his deeds,” (v10)
C. PRETENDING. Old Diotrephes is just not saved. There is absolutely no fruit of the Spirit in his life. He is mean, selfish, he tears down the character of others. No. I do not believe that he is saved. The Apostle John seemed to doubt his salvation. He writes in v 11, “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God, but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” Yes, John doubts the salvation of this Demonic, Dangerous, Diotrephes. The Bible (KJV) has some strong language about the one who sows discord, “These six things doth the Lord hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief. A false witness that speaketh lies, and HE THAT SOWETH DISCORD AMONG THE BRETHREN.” (Pr 6:16-19) Old Diotrephes will not do what the Bible says, The Bible says that, “Against an Elder (Pastor) receive not an accusation but before two or three witnesses.” (1Tim 5:19). Diotrephes, wherever you may be, and in whatever church you may be doing your PRATING, if the Pastor is guilty of a Moral issue, of if he is not preaching the Truth of God’s Word, Get your witnesses together, and face him with your evidence. OR, if not, stop your sin as listed in Prov. 6:16-19. God knows His servants. No Diotrephes, the Church does not need you, but you need the Church. People where you may be working today hope that you get saved and become the sweet servant of Jesus Christ that He can make of you.
3. DEMONSTRATIVE, DELIGHTFUL DEMETRIUS. (v12).
One who offers Hope.
It is good to get away from the Dangerous Diotrephes, and get to Delightful Demetrius. Here is one who DEMONSTRATES his faith in Christ. The Apostle John lists witnesses who can testify about this Godly man…
(A) ALL MEN. v12. Everybody knew of the Faith of Demetrius. He did not have to mount some kind of a campaign to call attention to himself. Men know if we are real, and they know if we are not.
(B) THE TRUTH ITSELF. v12.. The written Word backs up the life and testimony of Demetrius. He did not have to advertise himself. God did that for him.
(C) THE APOSTLE JOHN. “We also bear witness.”
I must bring this message to a close for now. In this small Epistle of John, we see three men. One who offers HELP, one who offers HOPE, and one who offers HINDRANCES. Take a few moments today. Where do I, where do you fit in this picture?
The world still needs to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We still need to build strong Churches.
We still need to adhere to strong Doctrine. Let each of us do what we can to promote these causes wherever we may be. This Publication goes into many places across America, and around the world via Internet.. Wherever you are, be a HELPER, a HEALER, but never a HINDERER. And if perhaps you have never asked Christ into your life, to forgive your sin, He can, and will do that today. Call upon Him just now. The Bible says, “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.” “Ask, and ye shall receive.”
Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
A HELPER, A HEALER, OR A HINDERER
By Pastor George Mills
Oh, to be a HELPER, grand,
To reach down with a Helping Hand,
To lift a lad, or a fallen Dad,
To point their way, to a brighter day,
To hear one say, along life’s way,
“You helped me much this very day.”
Oh, to be a HEALER, true,
To help man start his life anew,
To help bind wounds of a broken life,
And hurting hearts, all filled with strife
And to hear one say, along life’s way,
“Your healing touch I felt this day.”
Oh, to point men to the Cross,
Where Christ died in our place,
Where He bore the Hurt of all the world,
There on Him, all sin was hurled,
To bear the hurt, to heal the pain,
So lost mankind may live again.
I think I’ll just be a HINDERER too!
I’ll hinder the enemy from coming through,
With his fiery darts and his silent tricks,
In his path I’ll set up stones and sticks,
Sure, I can help make lives anew,
I can help by being a HINDERER too!
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian, and the world is no friend to your Bible(KJV). This Ministry does not defend the Bible, for It needs no defense. We Just stand upon It..
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
PECTIN, PRAYER, AND PATIENCE
“Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try, try again.” How many times have I repeated these words to our children, and to myself also! “Don’t give up when you fail, but try, try again.” Now these are easy words to say to someone else when they have just made a BOO BOO, but after you have made that third batch of peach jelly and not have any of the three batches jelled, you almost begin to wonder if it is wise to try, try again. So many times in our Christian life we feel so, so ashamed, but we must acknowledge our failures, ask for His forgiveness, and strength to pick up, dust off, and go again for Jesus. At times we want to just plain quit when we fail at one or more of our many tasks, but this is when we must be determined as never before to let Satan know whose side we are on, and there is no room for quitters on God’s side.
You know, I believe I just needed a little more PECTIN in my jelly and I would not have failed so terribly there! AND I KNOW THAT WITH JUST A LITTLE MORE PRAYER AND PATIENCE, I WOULD NOT HAVE NEARLY AS MANY FAILURES IN MY CHRISTIAN LIFE….So, it’s back to the Peach Tree once again, but this time with more PECTIN, PRAYER, and PATIENCE.
(From the WILDERNESS, July, 1976)
YOUR NEW LIFE IN CHRIST…
Enjoy your new life in Christ! Possess your possessions. Let me share with you just a few of the things that are yours the instant you receive Christ as your Saviour.
1. You are Born again. (Jn 3. 1-7) Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” The natural birth is of the flesh and is corruptible, The New Birth is from above and is eternal.
2. You are saved. (Ro 10:13) Saved from the PENALTY of sin. Saved from the POWER of sin, and ultimately, saved from the PRESENCE of sin.
3. You are forgiven. (Ro 4:7) “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven.” Whatever is in your past is forgiven.
4. You are Justified. Just as if you had never sinned. (Ro 8:33-39) Nothing, or no one can bring a charge against us.
5.You are Redeemed. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us.” (Gal 3:13)
6. You are complete. “And ye are complete in Him..” (Col 2:10) Complete, meaning, “nothing lacking.”
7. You are dead to the Law. (Ro 7:1-4)
8. You are delivered from the Law. (Ro 7:5-6).
ENJOY YOUR NEW LIFE IN CHRIST. OH YES, THERE’S SO MUCH MORE!
By Amy Welch
ON SILENT PRAYER
Hello again. I am so happy to have this opportunity to share with you, the readers of the “WILDERNESS” some thoughts about Christian family life, and of course, about our Lord Jesus.
You know, sometimes I think that God hears our heart before He hears our words.
Many years ago, my Dad, “Bo” bought an old pick-up truck. It was old, worn out and would not run. Dad just parked that old truck behind the barn with intentions to one day, “Fix it like new.” We played in that old truck when we were kids. I just stayed behind the barn. Recently, Dad said to my brothers, Little Bo and Josh, “Well, I think that it is time for us to start fixing up that old truck. We’ll have it better than new in no time.” Well, they hammered, and knocked, and beat all day long. At the end of the day after all that work, that old truck just would not start. “We’ll get her tomorrow,” Dad said as they ended their day of labor. The next morning (Saturday) they were up bright and early. Bang, bang, hammer, all morning. Just at noon the tried again. The old truck would not start. My Mom Lucy was taking this all in. “It’ll start after lunch” said Bo, and back to bang, bang again. My Mom has some of her friends over for tea and cookies and Mozart almost ever Saturday afternoon. Her guests came. Mom made them comfortable, but I could tell that my Mom was just not ready for company. Something was on her mind. “Lucy. Did you hear me?” “What, oh yes, have some more cookies.” “You haven’t put out any cookies, and besides, we are getting full of this orange punch.” “Lucy, what’s wrong?” “Oh I’m so sorry. I have had something on my mind.” Suddenly, from behind the barn, we heard some loud cheering. The old truck was running. Mom said with a sigh of great relief, “It cranked, it cranked, it’s running.” One of my Mom’s friends said, “Lucy, you haven’t heard a thing we have said all afternoon. All you have been listening for is the sound of that old truck running.” Mom said, “Ladies, I’m sorry. Somehow, the sound of that old truck running in response to their labor was the most important thing in the world for me at that time.” I have spent this day in SILENT PRAYER.
In the midst of life’s noise, and busy times, God still hears the silent cry of the heart.
God Bless You
Love, Amy Welch
My sincere thanks to everyone who has taken time to write, or to call, or to just walk up and say that they were blessed or encouraged by the “WILDERNESS” Thank you for every nice thing you have to say. We send greetings to the many inmates who regularly read the “WILDERNESS.” Some of you write and let us know that you pray for us. Thank you so much. The “WILDERNESS” is sent in bulk to many prisons, missions, and correctional institutions. THANKS!
HAVE A GLORIOUS
“He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come see the place where the Lord lay.” (Mt. 28:6)
Just a few days ago, early one morning as I was turning through the TV channels, I saw a TV Evangelist selling his “bible” He said that God told him how to create it. This one has his notes incorporated in the body of Scripture. I believe that comes under the heading of adding to, or taking from, (Rev 22:18-19). Oh well, this is just another of hundreds of “bibles” claiming to be the very best, latest, update. Anyway, the evangelist said, “Everything we have is because of the Cross of Christ.” He went on to say, “There is nothing beyond the Cross” Nothing beyond the Cross? Oh yes there is. In fact, the greatest event in human history is just beyond the Cross. If you take a look somewhere near the Cross you will find an empty tomb. Without that empty tomb, the Cross is just another tragic event in human history. I love the Cross of Christ.
“At the Cross, at the Cross, where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away.
It was there by faith I received my sight.
And now I am happy all the day.”
“And if Christ be not raised your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins.” (1Cor 15:17-19).
We cannot take just one part, or event from the life of Christ, We MUST have the complete package.
1. His Birth was important. He was born of a virgin in fulfillment of prophesy, (Isa 7:14,)
2. His Life was important. His Life was sinless. This had to be in order for Him to become God’s perfect sacrifice for sin. Three times God spoke from Heaven, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
3. His Death on the Cross was important. God wrote about it in Psalm 22:1-31. HOWEVER, everything hinges upon one event…
4. The Resurrection. If Christ did not rise from the dead, nothing really matters. “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”
Now, the Plan of Salvation is complete. “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)
The Deity of Christ is proven. Jesus chose one event to prove His Deity. “Destroy this Temple and in three days, I will raise it up.” (Jn 2:19) He spoke of His Body, and at the empty tomb, He confirmed that promise.
He ascended into the Heavens to be our Eternal High Priest. “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son (the Cross) MUCH MORE being reconciled we shall be saved by His Life,” (Ro 510).
You see, it’s more than one event, it is His BIRTH, SINLESS LIFE, DEATH ON THE CROSS, RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, AND HIS ETERNAL HIGH PRIESTLY MINISTRY FOR US TODAY. Thank God for each of these events, but as it is with Siamese twins, you can’t have one without the other.
Glorious Cross, that place of shame,
Where Christ our Saviour died.
Bearing such pain, all for our gain,
When Jesus was crucified.
Wonderful tomb. That empty room,
Where the Saviour was laid to rest.
But see where He lay, It’s empty today,
That Gift, Heaven’s best.
Wonderful Christ, who gave us His all,
Wonderful Cross the place of shame
Wonderful Tomb, that empty room,
Wonderful, He’s coming again
THINK ABOUT IT…Since Jesus was raised from the Dead, His Lordship is unquestionable, His Word is unalterable, His promise, unmovable.