Vol. 30, No. 12 December, 2006
CHRIST, FOR ALL TIMES
By Pastor George Mills
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” (Heb 13:8).
We greet you in the Name above every name, the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. At this time of year when we look forward to Christmas
Day, let us not forget what Christmas Day is all about. I trust that each of you will enjoy this time of year. I hope for each of you all of the sweetness that this season promises. Most of all, I wish for you, Jesus!
Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Jesus is the Hope for the hopeless, the Right for the wronged, and the Saviour for sinners. I trust that you know, and love Him today. If you do not know Him, please take time to read and consider these things.
1. CHRIST WAS BORN INTO TIME. At this time of year we celebrate His Birth. We will sing about His Birth. Every message we hear in December will be about His Birth. Every Christmas card we send will be about His Birth. This is a happy time. We celebrate His Birth. But really, He always was. There never was a time when He did not exist. He is the Ancient of Days. He is the Eternal One. He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. He is the Everlasting Father. He is from everlasting to everlasting. The Christmas message then is, He, who is Eternal, was born into time. He is Emmanuel, God with us. God came down on Christmas Morn to become us, to take our nature, to take our sin upon Himself, to be our sin bearer. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him (Jesus) and without Him was not anything made that was made.”(Jn 1:1-3) “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and truth.”(Jn 1:14). ETERNITY came to TIME. He came to where we are.
2. CHRIST WAS BORN ON TIME.
“But when the FULNESS of TIME was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law.” (Gal 4:4) When the time was right. When the nations of the world were right, when the languages of the world were right, when governments, religion, when things were right IN GOD’S TIME, Christ was born, on time. His Birth was a surprise to everyone. Nobody was expecting Him to be born at that time, where He was born, and how He was born. Kings asked questions. Angels announced, Heaven rejoiced, and doubters said, “This cannot be.” Wise men searched the Scriptures and found, “But thou Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel whose goings forth have been from of old, from EVERLASTING.”(Micah 5:2) Now, if you happen to have a N.I.V. “bible” this verse in Micah will not read like that. That same verse will say something about “origins” and “ancient times.”That’s faulty.
Christ was born INTO TIME and ON TIME. How about December 25, does this date fit into the promise of ON TIME?I do not know that December 25 makes any more difference than say, June 15. Let me share with you the following from some notes I have collected through the years. I do not know who did the research, but I sorta checked and found this to be very interesting. “We can learn some things about the birth of Christ from the schedule of the Priesthood found in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke. We know that the Hebrew calendar begins with the Month Nisan (Abib), or, our Month of April. We know that the Passover was dated on the 14 th day of Nisan (Abib). Following Passover was the Feast of unleavened bread, (seven days, Nu 28:16-18). In Luke 1, we see that Zacharias was a descendant of Abijah, (Abia), 1Chr 24:7-10. We know from that text that the course of Abijah, (Abia) served in the eighth month of the Hebrew calendar, which is our Month of October. According to the Priestly schedule, Zacharias served until the end of October. After his term, his wife Elisabeth conceived, as the Angel Gabriel had promised, (Luke 1:8-25). This promised son is John, the Baptist. The Bible says in Luke 1:24 that when Elisabeth conceived, she hid herself five months. That would mean that Gabriel appeared to Mary on March 31, or, in the 6 th month of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, (Luke 1:36). 270 days from the annunciation of Christ’s birth would be December 25. Of course the Hebrew calendar has 354 days instead of 365 days. The Hebrew calendar would give a 13 th Month, (Ve-dar) every three years to make up the difference. So, December 25 is probably a good date for the Birth of Christ.” As I said, whether December 25, or June 15, or any date in between makes no difference. Christ was born ON TIME, “In the fullness of time.”
3. CHRIST DIED IN DUE TIME.
“For when we were yet without strength, IN DUE TIME Christ died for the ungodly.” When the time was right, Christ was born, and when the time was right, Christ died on the Cross to pay the price for our sin. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him.” (2Cor 5:21). This is the Christmas story. I trust that in all of this season of shopping, fellowship, family gatherings, and happy times, Jesus Christ and His coming to earth to purchase our redemption will be the center of everything we do. Are we beginning to see that God has a plan, a pattern for everything He does? Nothing is by chance, or accident. At The Saviour’s Birth, Herod the King tried to kill Him, (Mt 2:16-17). During His Ministry there were plots to kill the Christ, (Jn 11:47-57). Some wanted to stone Him, (Jn 10:31-39). They tried to push Him off a cliff and kill Him,(Lk 4:28-30). Christ did not come to earth to die at the king?s decree, or to be stoned to death, or to drown in a storm at sea. He came to die on a Cross in full payment for our sin IN DUE TIME, in God’s time, on time, in time, for all time.
4. CHRIST WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD AT THE RIGHT TIME.
No grave could hold Him. He told His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem to die on a cross and to be raised from the dead on the third day, (Mt 16:21, 17:23). He died on Thursday. Sunset Thursday to sunset Friday is one day. Sunset Friday to sunset Saturday is the second day. Sunset Saturday to sunset Sunday is the third day. The Bible says, “Now upon the first day of the week, (Sunday) very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre bringing spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in and found not the Body of the lord Jesus.” (Lk 24:1-3). “He is not here, for He is risen as He said.” (Mt 28:6). He was born on time, He died on time, He was raised from the dead on time, in God’s time, for all time.
5. CHRIST ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN FOR A TIME.
“Who being in the brightness of His Glory, and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the Word of His Power, when He had BY HIMSELF purged our sins sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb.1:3). He is now in Heaven, FOR A TIME. “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit Thou at My right hand UNTIL I make Thine enemies thy footstool.” (Ps 110:1, Heb 1:13). Today, Christ is in Heaven as our Eternal High Priest. He invites us to “Come boldly unto the Throne of Grace that we may obtain mercy and find Grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:14-16) He is our loving, sympathetic High Priest. He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He knows our hurts, our weaknesses. Have you talked with Him lately? He is waiting to hear your voice. You do not have to get someone to do your praying. You do not have to dial some “religious headquarters”or some “800 “number. You have access to Him. He bought that right especially for you. (Eph 2:14-22)
6. CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN IN GOD’S TIME.
Today, Heaven holds Christ until the time of restitution, (Acts 3:21). Restitution meaning when Israel is restored in the land. Since the Cross of Calvary, God has been busy doing two things; (A) He is gathering from all nations a people for His Name, called the Church. This Gospel call has been going out for almost 2,000 years now. (B) God has also been moving nations, setting up nations, and pulling down nations in preparation for the Return of Christ to this earth to reign on the Throne of David for a thousand years. Today, many are making much of the world conditions, especially in the Middle East. “Surely, all of these things tell us that Christ is coming soon,” they say. “China is as was predicted, the European nations are as predicted, Russia is as predicted, and the Middle East is as predicted. We have this all figured out. Lord, you can come back any time, we have everything in place.”Jesus told us not to be upset at the moving of nations, world conditions, wars, rumors of wars, for these things must come to pass. Read Matthew 24. We do not know the time of His coming. Things may look right, or things may seem to be right, but these things could fit into many places and times in history. We just do not know. And Israel being in the land is NOT the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. Israel is in the land because MAN voted Israel back in, in 1948. If man voted Israel in, man can vote Israel out. Remember, God said, “I will scatter you among the nations, and I WILL bring you back.” When God brings Israel home, the world will know it. I would like for you to consider two verses that I believe are prophecy concerning Israel. In Matthew 27:25, Israel made the most dreadful request ever made; “Then answered all the people and said, His blood be on us AND ON OUR CHILDREN.” Israel faced their Messiah, and cried for His Blood. Jesus said in John 5:43, “I am come in My Father?s Name, and ye receive Me not. If another shall come in his own name, HIM YE WILL RECEIVE.”This one coming in his own name is the antichrist. One day the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, (not the Gospel of Grace) will call Israel home. (Mt 24). The children of the Israel of Matthew 24 will face the antichrist, the deceiver. Many will be deceived, and bow to the antichrist, and receive his mark. A few will not. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved, but for the elect’s sake, (Israel) those days shall be shortened.”(Mt 24:22). But before all of that dreadful time on earth called the Great Tribulation period, one day, the Church will be completed. The last one will hear the Message of the Gospel of Grace, believe that message, and that will end the age of the Church. Christ will return in the Rapture, not to earth, but in the air, to call his Church home, (1Thess 4:13-18). That Glorious event could be at any time. There are no signs we are supposed to look for. We are to be about His business of Taking His Gospel of Grace to the nations. His coming in the Rapture is imminent, or at any moment. “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” Today, Heaven holds Him FOR A TIME.
7. CHRIST WILL ONE DAY END TIME.
At the end of the Tribulation period in Rev 19, the Lord Jesus will come back to earth and destroy the nations that are gathered against Israel. The antichrist will be cast alive into the lake of fire, and Satan will be bound for a thousand years. Surviving Israel will see their Messiah, “And one shall say unto Him, what are these wounds, (not scars) in thine hands? Then He shall answer, those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” (Zech 13:6). Israel will see The Messiah, and there will be a time of mourning. “I will bring the third part through the fire, and refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My Name, and I will hear them, and they shall say, The lord is my God.” There will be that thousand year reign of Christ on the earth. Israel will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.? (Isa 2:4). There will be peace on earth while the Church is at home in Heaven. At the rapture, we have passed from Time to Eternity. You can read about our Eternal Home in Rev. 21-22.
Christ alone makes us ready for TIME and ETERNITY. So much more to say about this but I have not the space. I urge you today, while we still have today, that if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, I hope that you will ask Him to forgive your sin. Tell Him that you accept, that you trust His finished work on the cross. Tell Him that you receive Him as your Saviour, today. “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.” While millions around the world are celebrating Christmas, Let us celebrate CHRIST. He is Christmas. He is Christ for All Times.
Mrs. Mills and I, and everyone here at the WILDERNESS, The Yukon Baptist Church family, all wish for each of our readers across the nation, and our Internet readers, listeners. Those of you who are in the various prisons, and all of you whom we are in contact with each day, we wish for you a Joyous CHRISTMAS, and a very Happy and prosperous new Year. We thank you for your prayers, support, and so many nice things. Thank you, and God bless each of you.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS, It is no friend to the Christian. At this season, gifts will be sent in the name of a “friend” who is not a friend. God’s Gift has been sent in the Person of our unfailing Friend, Jesus.
THINK ABOUT IT! The empty tomb, and in empty hearts is where God displays His Power. Is your heart empty? Ask God to fill that emptiness today. Trust Jesus.
THINGS I’D HATE TO BE
By Pastor George Mills
Above all else, I’d hate to be, The tree that made the cross where He,
Did die in bitter agony, That’s what I’d hate to be.
I hate to think that I would be, A nail that held Him to the tree,
When Jesus bore sin’s penalty, That’s what I’d hate to be.
I’d hate to be the hammer used, The day His grace, they all refused,
When Jesus suffered and was bruised, That’s what I’d hate to be.
I’d hate to be the sword that day,They used to take His life away,
And under wrath He died that day, That’s what I’d hate to be.
I’d hate to be the thorn that grew, With roses as they kissed the dew,
And have a part in his death too, That’s what I’d hate to be.
I’d hate to be within that throng, The day they ushered Christ along,
And have a part in all that wrong, That’s where I’d hate to be.
The tree, the nail, the hammer used,The sword, the thorn, the Saviour bruised,
The Hurt, the pain, His love refused, That’s what I’d hate to do.
To be a part of one of these, Not me, I never will.
But when I see cruel Calvary, I’m ALL of these, but still,
His Grace is poured abundantly, His pardon is Divine,
I had a part in that great wrong, He paid the part of mine.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS?
“What do you believe about Repentance and Faith?”
Ans..I believe that Saving Faith and Repentance are inseparable Gifts of God?s Grace. You can?t have one without the other.
“Are you a Calvinist? Do you believe in the five points of Calvinism?”
Ans…No, and No. The five points in Calvinist doctrine spell the word “TULIP.” Let me share my thoughts.
T. T is for Total depravity. Yes, I do believe that man is totally depraved. I believe that the first three chapters of Romans along with many more passages make it very clear that man is a sinner. But total depravity does not mean that man does not have the ability to call upon God for Salvation. There are too many calls for sinners in the Bible to say that man cannot come to God. Yes He can. “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
U. U is for Unconditional Election. The Calvinist doctrine teaches that some are elected to salvation, and some are not. Elect must always be within the text you find it. Election, God’s foreknowledge, and man’s Free Will are two tracks that hold up the Gospel train. Both are in the Bible. I have listened to the educated, the scholar explain their view on election. When it was over, I still could not understand what they said, and I do not believe that they understood what they said. No, I do not believe in Unconditional Election.
L. L is for Limited Atonement. By limited atonement the Calvinist means that Christ atoning death is for the Elect only. The Bible (KJV) says, “And He is the Propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1Jn 2:2) Christ’s finished work is sufficient for the sins of everyone.
I. I is for Irresistible Grace. Calvinist doctrine says that man cannot resist the Grace of God, that you cannot resist the Holy Spirit. Not true! Acts 7:51, “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did, so do ye.” “Because I have called, and ye refused. I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.?”(Pr 1:24). The only reason why someone is not saved today is because he or she has resisted the Holy Spirit.
P. P is for Perseverance of the Saints. Perseverance has the idea of holding on, or, to persist. While I do not believe in perseverance, I do believe that the Saints are PRESERVED. See Jude 1, “To them that are sanctified by God the Father, and PRESERVED in Jesus Christ, and called.”
No, I am Not a Calvinist.
“Is there a plan of Salvation for Gentiles, and a different plan of Salvation for the Jews?”
Ans…NO! All are sinners, and ALL, Jew and Gentile are saved the same way. In order to be saved, Jew and gentile MUST come to God by Faith in the Finished work of the Cross. There is no other plan of salvation. We must approach ALL lost men as sinners, in need of Jesus Christ.
“What about the Blessing of Abraham? Is it for us today? Are we supposed to be rich like he was?”
Ans… “That the Blessing of Abraham might come on the gentiles through Jesus Christ that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through Faith.” (Gal 3:14). Much is being said about the Christian and wealth. Some are saying now that Abraham’s blessing is out there somewhere and we must get in on it. I have said on many occasion, that new “doctrines” are born every day. This is because man believes in this “extra biblical revelation” dreams, visions, etc, and these new “versions” will say anything you want them to say. If God chooses to make you rich like Abraham, so be it. That’s God’s business. But the Blessing of Abraham does NOT promise us riches. If you carefully study Romans 4, Galatians 3, you will find that the Blessing of Abraham was JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE. The theme of the Book of Galatians is JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH. Abraham was Justified by Faith WHEN he believed God, (Gen. 15:6), and not before. In the same way Abraham was saved, (by Faith alone) we are saved. Abraham did not receive the Holy Spirit when he believed because the Holy Spirit was not given until after Jesus died for us, (Jn 7:37-39, Jn 16:7-14). We receive the Holy Spirit the moment we are saved by Faith alone. Do not read anything into the Scriptures that is not there.
“Why are you so dogmatic on the Preservation of the Scriptures as being found only in the King James Bible?”
Ans..I believe that we cover some of this in just about every issue of the WILDERNESS.There are two views, or sources from which we get the various “bibles on the market..
A. The Critical Text. Two infidels, Wescott and Hort, produced a Greek text, based on two Manuscripts; the Vaticanus, and Sinaiticus, and was published in the nineteenth century. From that text, the English Revised Version of 1881 was published. Some conclude that the above manuscripts are oldest. NOT SO. Every one of the more than 200 versions on the market today is based on the critical text.
B. The Received Text, or Textus Receptus. These are the oldest manuscripts preserved through the centuries. The King James Version is born from the Received Text. 54 English Scholars worked for seven years to give to the world the King James Bible in answer to William Tyndale’s prayer as he burned at the stake for his work in getting us the Bible, “LORD, OPEN THE EYES OF THE KING OF ENGLAND.”
God answered his prayer in giving us the Great King James Bible. There is just too much history to try and give in just a short space. As I think of the Men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, John Rogers, Miles Coverdale, and so many more, I can only weep, and thank God for their sacrifice. I have stood, and will continue to stand upon the Authority of God’s Holy Word as given in the King James Version.
Father in Heaven, We give you Glory, Honor, and Praise for Your Word.
PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD
This is one of the most urgent warnings in all the Bible concerning Israel and her backsliding. Judgment is threatening. In fact, judgment has already come. Drought, mildew, pestilence, plague. Judgment has already begun. Today, let us borrow from this text and bring it up to our day.
1. WHY PREPARE? At least three reasons why we must prepare.
A. We will meet God. Ready or not there is an appointment that each of us will keep.
B. Without Christ, we are not prepared to meet God.
C. God has commanded us to prepare to meet Him.
2. HOW PREPARE?
A. First, we must realize our condition, that without Christ, we are not prepared.
B. We ask Christ for His forgiveness, His cleansing from our sin.
3. WHEN PREPARE? The Bible is clear on the WHEN. “TODAY, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart.” “Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Pr. 27:1
My dear friend, without Christ, we are not prepared for life, death, or judgment. Today, ask Christ to come into your heart and make you ready for time and eternity. “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the lord shall be saved.”