Vol. 29, No. 12 December, 2005
IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME
By Pastor George Mills
“But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law. To redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
We wish for every reader across the land, for every friend, for those who pray for and appreciate this Ministry, we wish for each of you a very Merry Christmas, and a most prosperous new year. May Jesus Christ be the very center of every activity. God bless each of you.
“IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME” I chose this theme for our Christmas message this year. At the right time, Jesus was born of a virgin, at the right time He was crucified for our sins, and at the right time, He arose from the dead to be our Living, Loving Saviour.
God always works on schedule. I suppose that we could start in Genesis 1 with the creation story, and continue through the Bible and see how precisely
and timely God worked. In this message, I want to go back in history to see how God worked to bring the world into the right setting for the birth of Christ. I will begin at the beginning of the “times of the gentiles.”
1. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, ISRAEL WAS TAKEN CAPTIVE BY BABYLON. There are just too many passages to study for our short time and space in this publication. Please read Jeremiah 25:1-14. God had been patient with the nation. He had sent his prophets through the land warning of impending judgment. The land was polluted with idolatry. Wicked Queen Jezebel had brought idol worship into the land. “And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he,(Ahab) took to wife Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal and worshipped him. And he reared up an alter for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove, and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (1Kings 16:31-32) Idolatry was in the land before Ahab came to rule, but his wife, queen
Jezebel introduced idolatry on such a scale as never seen. Idolatry was everywhere. Groves, alters, images, heathen temples scattered across Israel. God had said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Idols and images were even set up in the House of God. In the reign of King Josiah, (2Kings 22) the Book of the Law of God was found in the Temple of God, buried under debris and heathen idols. “And the King,(Josiah) commanded Hilkah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the Temple of the Lord, all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven, and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.” (2Kings 22:4). God had been patient, but idolatry had polluted the land. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, God raised up a king. Nebuchadnezzer and his army came from the north, destroyed the land, the Temple, the city of Jerusalem, and carried the Jews captive into the land of Babylon.(Psa 137) God calls Nebuchadnezzar His “servant” (Jer 25:9). God used this heathen king to fulfill His will concerning Israel. The Prophet Daniel, in Babylonian captivity knows “from the books”(Dan.9:1-2) that captivity is for a limited time. That time is limited to 70 years. (see Jer 29:10-11) Israel was taken into captivity that the land might be cleansed from idolatry. In the FULLNESS OF TIME, God raised up another king.
2. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, ISRAEL WAS SET FREE TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMELAND.
Many, many years before his birth, God said that He would raise up Cyrus, king of Persia, and that Cyrus would release the Jews and allow them to return to their homeland. (Isa 44:28) Ezra 1, “Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah MIGHT BE FULFILLED.” IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME. Cyrus allowed the Jews to return and rebuild their Temple. And in Nehemiah, the Jews were allowed to rebuild the walls of the city. All, in the fullness of time.
3. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, GOD WOULD RAISE UP ANOTHER KINGDOM. Alexander, the Great conquered the nations of the world, overthrew the Persian Empire. You can read about these kingdoms in Daniel 2, 7, 8. Daniel 8 is the record of the Greek empire as the Persian Empire is overthrown by the Greeks. Under the Greek Empire, most of the language of the world became the Greek language.
4. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME , GOD WOULD RAISE UP ANOTHER KINGDOM. The Roman Empire would rise to world power and dominion. This kingdom is pictured in Daniel 2, and in Daniel 7:7 as a “dreadful and terrible beast.” This Roman government was in power at the Birth of Christ. Each kingdom was raised, and brought down by God. Each kingdom served a definite purpose of God in His plan for the Birth of His son, as Saviour of the world.
Now, let me review what I have said.
(A) God raised the Babylonians that the Jews would be cured of their idolatry. When the Jews returned to their land, they were cured of idolatry.
(B) God raised the Persian Empire that the Jews may return from their captivity to their homeland and rebuild the Temple.
(C) God raised the Greek empire that the world may be of one common language. Most of the world apart from the Jews, spoke Greek at the birth of Christ
(D) God raised the Roman Empire. The Romans were great builders. Much of their building stands today. Recently, I saw a picture of a small bridge, in use today. The Romans built that bridge 2000 years ago. The Romans built roads. Cities were connected by these roads. Somebody must pay for this gigantic building program, So, “And it came to pass that in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.”(Lk 2:1-2).
So, IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, In God’s time, when Israel was back in the land, (2) When the Temple had been rebuilt, (3) When the languages of the world were right, (4) When the world economy was right, and the roads to Jerusalem had been paved by the Romans, God sent His Son, in time, and on time.
Many who read this will rejoice in the fact that God worked wonders in bringing the Saviour into the world. However, I can hear some say, “Now Preacher, do you really think that God had the power to build up and tear down kingdoms in order for Christ to be born? You must be kidding!” May I say that God moved, in accordance to His Word, in such a precise manner, that only a fool would miss the coming of Christ Daniel said of God when God answered his prayer in Dan. 2:19-23, “And He changeth the times and the seasons. He removeth kings, and setteth up kings. He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding. He revealeth the deep and secret things. He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the Light dwelleth with Him.” Oh yes, that, and so much more.
5. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, CHRIST WAS BORN. Born of a woman without an earthly father. Born WHEN He was supposed to be born. The angel told Mary that Christ would be born six months after John the Baptist was born. See Luke 1:36-38.
CHRIST WAS BORN WHERE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BORN. The Prophet Micah, 5:2 said, “But thou Bethlehem-Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be the Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Note: If you have one of these N.I.V. “bibles” that same verse attempts to destroy the Eternality of the Son by changing “everlasting” to “ancient times” Satan hates the Son, and tries to destroy His Deity. He was born in time and ON TIME.
6. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, CHRIST DIED ON THE CROSS AS GOD’S SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SIN OF THE WORLD. In Matthew 26:2, Jesus told His disciples that He WOULD be crucified on the day of Passover. In that same text, the High priest, chief priests, scribes, and elders were planning on the way and TIME Christ was to be crucified. They came to the conclusion that Christ was NOT to be crucified at the feast day, (Passover season) lest there be an uproar among the people. In Mt 26:19-29 Jesus and His disciples kept the Passover, and instituted The Lord’s Supper, then left that upper room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane where He was betrayed, taken to the High Priest, to Pilate’s Judgment hall. He was beaten, scourged, mocked, given history’s mockery trial, and was nailed to the Cross. Mt.27:35 says, “And they crucified Him.” All on the day of Passover, IN TIME and ON TIME, Just as Christ said. He told His disciples, “I lay down my life, no man taketh it from me.” He cried, “It is finished.” And freely gave up His life for us, IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME.
7. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, CHRIST WAS BURIED IN A BORROWED TOMB, AND HE AROSE FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY. Jesus said, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” “He spoke of the Temple of His body.” (Jn 2:18-22). The Jews wanted to make sure that His grave was secure so guards were placed there, and the king’s seal was placed upon the stone, (Mt 27:62-66) Nothing could keep Him in that tomb. “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Psa 16:10).
Women came unto the Tomb,
To see a faded Rose,
But they found a Lily there,
And now, the Lily grows.
Christ’s Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection all happened as God predicted; “IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME.”
8. AND IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, CHRIST WILL RETURN IN THE AIR, AND CALL THE CHURCH HOME IN THE GLORIOUS EVENT KNOWN AS THE RAPTURE. See 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1Cor. 15:51-52, Phil 3:20-21, Titus 2:11-13. Jesus warned us that there will be false teachers, preachers, especially concerning His coming for the Church. Remember, Today, He is in Heaven at the Right hand of the Father to be our Eternal High Priest. I believe in the eminent return of Christ. That is, He could return at any moment of any day. He told us that He would come at an hour “when ye think not.” Now, just as God was moving the empires of the world, as He moved nations and kingdoms in preparation for the Birth of Christ, God has been busy preparing the nations for the Return of Christ. God is not asleep. He is on the job. He will complete everything IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME.
Now, the question is, are YOU ready for His coming to receive His own? The world was wrong at His first coming, and the world will be wrong at His second coming, But don’t you be wrong. You are ready for Him when you reach out and receive Him. God will hear the cry of the repentant heart. We are not saved by saying words, or repeating a prayer. We are saved when we see ourselves as sinners, and Christ as the only answer for our sin. “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.” You receive Him by asking Him into your life. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Begin today to live forever.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE. CHRISTMAS IS CHRIST, CHRIST IS CHRISTMAS. CHRISTMAS IS GOD MOVING THE WORLD IN ORDER FOR THE SAVIOUR TO BE BORN, THAT HE WOULD DIE, THAT WE MIGHT LIVE.
SOME THINGS GOD DOES NOT, CAN NOT, WILL NOT..
1. God does not know of a single sinner that He cannot save. “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the lord shall be saved.” (Ro 10:13)
2. God does not know of a single prayer That He cannot answer. “If ye abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (Jn 15:7)
3. God does not know of a hurting heart that He cannot comfort. “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
4. God does not know a single sin once in the past of the Christian. “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb 10:17)
5. God does not know of a single Word in the Bible that He can change. “Forever O Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven.” (Too bad man cannot get it settled on earth. KJV). (Psa 119:89)
GOD CANNOT GO:
1. God cannot go beyond the bounds of His Word. “For Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name.”
2. God cannot go into a heart uninvited, and unprepared for Him. “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him, and he with Me. ” (Rev. 3:20).
GOD CANNOT SEE…
1. God cannot see Salvation beyond the merits of the Cross of Calvary. “Neither is there Salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby ye must be saved.”
2. God cannot see sin that has been taken away by the Work of Christ. “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” (Jn 1:29).
GOD WILL NOT…
God will not save anyone who refuses to believe in his heart that He (God) raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
“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.”
BUT GOD WILL…
1. God will hear the cry of the repentant heart.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation.”
2. God will save the soul who calls upon Him alone for Salvation. “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Ro 10:13)
“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).
In Christ, you can Begin TODAY, to live FOREVER!
We wish for everyone a Joyous Christmas. Enjoy the season with family and friends.
At the Christmas Season, so sad to say, alcohol sales will increase drastically.
Remember the things the Bible (KJV) teaches about alcohol…
No Home is big enough for alcohol.
No refrigerator can cool it’s sting.
No wine cellar can hide it’s hurts.
No power on earth can overcome it.
No law can control it.
No doctor can cure it’s results.
No medicine can ease it’s pain.
No potion can exorcise it’s curse.
It robs family treasures.
It steals character.
It cheats life’s greatest possibilities.
It causes hurts that cannot be healed.
It affects multitudes.
It costs wasted lives.
No Home is big enough for alcohol.
No Heart has room enough for alcohol.
No Head is wise enough for alcohol.
The only cure for alcohol is the Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Ro. 1:16).
Amen, and Amen.