Vol. 29, No. 9 September, 2005
HE CHANGED MY “WHAT” TO “WHO.”
By Pastor George Mills.
Of course, I understand that it is God who does the changing. I just want to follow the Apostle Paul on his conversion to Christ. Paul’s life was wonderfully changed. Perhaps no man in history, other than our Blessed Lord Jesus has so affected the world, as has the great Apostle Paul. Let us count the assurance of Paul as our own, for indeed, it is our own.
“For the which cause I also suffer these things, nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2Tim 1:12).
This message is meant to assure, and to encourage every believer. Satan has his way of casting doubts our way. He knows that he cannot have us, so he tries to hinder us with doubts. So, let us get into the experience(s) of Paul.
1. HE CHANGED MY “WHAT” TO “WHO.”
Paul knew what he believed. Paul rehearsed his history on several occasions. Paul said to the crowd at
Jerusalem, “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the Law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.” (Acts 22:3-4) Also in Philippians 3:5-6, “Circumcised the eighth day of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the Law, a Pharisee. Concerning zeal, persecuting the Church, touching the righteous which is in the Law blameless.” Paul was schooled in the Law. He knew the Law. He served as a Pharisee, (one separated). He knew WHAT he believed. Paul could readily tell anybody WHAT he believed. And so it is with many today. People can readily tell you WHAT they believe. On the subject of Salvation, oh yes, they will tell you WHAT. On the Bible, they will tell you WHAT. On eternity, they will tell you WHAT. Although I am interested in WHAT folks believe, I am more interested in WHO they believe. In Philippians 3:7-8, Paul threw his “WHAT” into the garbage can and CHANGED HIS “WHAT” TO “WHO.” But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Ph 3:7-8) WHO you believe determines where you are now, and where you will spend eternity. If you are a follower of Mormonism, your “WHO” is Joseph Smith, because you believe his writings, and the book of Mormon. If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, your “WHO” is Charles Taze Russell because you believe his writings. If you are a practicing Seventh Day Adventist, your “WHO” is Ellen White because you believe her writings. If you are a follower of Catholicism, your “WHO” is the Pope, because you believe his writings. If you are a Muslim, your “WHO” is Allah, if you are Buddhist, your “WHO” is Buddha. And so it goes. But if you are a follower of Christ, if you are a born again Christian, your “WHO” is Jesus Christ. WHO you believe determines where you spend eternity. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT THE SON shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (Jn 3:36). Before I came to Christ some 45 years ago, I could readily tell you WHAT I believed, and believe me, at the very least, that was mass confusion. But one day HE CHANGED MY WHAT TO WHO. I believed Christ. Now I can say with Paul, “I know WHO I have believed.” Now, WHAT I believe has changed since I know WHO I believe. I frequently get calls, mail, E-mail from individuals who tell me WHAT they believe. Just let me mention a certain subject, and here they come. “This is WHAT we believe.” Oh yes they will tell me that they are Pre-wrath, Mid Trib, Post trib, etc. They KNOW who the antichrist is, they KNOW all about 666. They KNOW the 70 weeks of Daniel. They KNOW all about the beasts of Revelation. But they never tell me WHO they believe, they just state WHAT they believe. Some like to discuss my stand on the Bible (KJV). One man in South Carolina E-mailed me about the process his church went through to accept “versions” other than the KJV. He accused those of us who take this stand as being trouble makers. It was him who wrote me, and not the other way. I never met the man. I simply told him that if his “bible” had errors in it, then he was in trouble. “My Bible is error-proof, PRESERVED.” (Psa 12:6-7) This is one of the reasons why we state so many times that we will NOT carry on a through the mail debate.
I urge you today, to know WHO you believe. I urge you to Believe what the BIBLE (KJV) says about Jesus Christ. I urge you to trust Him as your Saviour. Accept His finished work on the Cross, and His bodily resurrection from the dead as the only way of Salvation.
2. HE CHANGED MY “WHERE” TO THERE. Paul was as busy as a man could possibly be in trying. Time after time he stated his conversion to Christ before Agrippa, Felix, and Festus. His “THERE” was on the Damascus road. He was zealous about stopping this new movement called Christianity. He thought that he was doing God a favor in arresting these Christians. No man ever worked harder. The trouble with Paul was, there was not a “THERE” in his life. No “THERE” where he placed his faith and trust. Paul said about his life before he met Christ; “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious, but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” (1Tim 1:13). “But WHERE were you saved Paul?” I can hear his reply; “I was a Pharisee, I kept the Law, I lived as good as I knew how to live. I was religious. I was moral. I went to the Synagogue. I paid tithes.” Just search his history. You will find no “WHERE” Oh yes, he tried, but there was not a “WHERE” But now listen to Paul as he gives his testimony; “And it came to pass, that as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from Heaven a great light round about me. And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, who art thou Lord? And He said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest.”(Acts 22:6-16)
Now Paul (who was Saul) was a chosen vessel to carry the Gospel of Christ to the gentile world. No one was ever saved just like the Apostle was saved in the sense that literally, he heard a voice, and saw a light. And yet, in a real, literal sense, we must hear His voice. That still small voice that bids us come to Christ. This is that voice that speaks to the inner man as the Word of God penetrates. And we see the light, the Light of the Glorious Gospel of Christ as that Light illuminates the Person of Christ. Have you heard His voice as the Word of God was spoken? Has that Glorious Light shone brightly in your heart to reveal the Person of Christ? This can be your day. Today can be your “THERE.” Now the Apostle Paul can testify over and over again, ?THERE, ON THE DAMASCUS ROAD.? Now, where is your “THERE?” For me, my ?THERE? is in a small Free Will Baptist Church on the west side, in Jacksonville, Florida. The Church has long since moved away, and another group meets there. I pass that place several times each month. Each time I pass it I say, “There is my “THERE.” There is where I met Christ. Before August, 1960, I had no “THERE” in my life. No “THERE” where I had met the Saviour. SO HE CHANGED MY WHERE, TO THERE. Where is your “THERE?” At home? At Church? In a Sunday School Room? “How precious did that Grace appear, the hour I first believed.” “THERE.”
3. HE CHANGED MY “WHEN” TO THEN. Now, God forbid that I should confuse you, I just want each of us to have the fullest assurance that, “If I died today, tomorrow I will be in Heaven with Christ.” Since we searched some of the history of Paul’s life and found no “THERE” it is obvious that we can find no “WHEN” back there. In Acts 26:12-15, again Paul is sure about his “THEN” “On the Damascus road at MID-DAY. ” So, now we can see that Paul knew WHO he believed, he knew that THERE he believed, and he knew that THEN he believed. Some years ago I was called to visit an elderly lady who was very ill with cancer. This lady had the reputation of being one of the finest Christian ladies of that town. As I spoke with her, and had prayer with her, I asked her about her salvation experience. In other words I asked her about her “THEN.” Did she have a “THEN” when she asked Christ to save her? She began her reply, “I was raised in Church. My parents took us to Church. I was in Sunday School, in Training Union. We never missed Church. When I married my husband, we continued that same pattern. We never missed Church. Church has been a part of my life since I was born. Now Pastor, she said, I do not remember a time, or day that I asked Christ to save me, I can only say that back there, somewhere in all that Church activity, I must have asked Christ into my life.” Now, there she was, on her death bed, and all that she could say was, “Back there, somewhere, I must have” Now, I am not her judge, I am nobody’s judge. But I would hate to be on my death bed, with eternity facing me, and not having a WHEN I can look back to and say “THEN” THERE, I met the Saviour.
4. HE CHANGED MY “WAS” TO AM.
Paul could say, “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious.” (1Tim 1:13) and; “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” (1Tim 1:15). That?s what he was And now Paul says with blessed assurance, “For I know WHOM I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” “THAT DAY” is any day. When the tempter rises to test you. When doubts come to plague you. When religion says, “Did you?” “THAT DAY” is every day from this day until that Great Day when at last we will be in His Presence. I like the testimony of one who said, “Now, I know that I am not all that I should be, I am not what I am going to be, but I thank God that I am not what I was.” I “WAS” a lost sinner, on my way to hell without God. Now, I AM a sinner saved by Grace.
5. HE CHANGED “MY HOPE” TO KNOW. Before his experience on the Damascus road Paul had hope, but hope must be based on a solid foundation. Paul’s hope was based on Paul and his work. Now, his hope is in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ. Paul writes that we are saved by the Gospel. “It is the Power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Ro 1:16). Belief in, or TRUST in the Gospel of Jesus Christ will change the Blasphemer, the murderer, the adulterer, the whoremonger, the harlot, the drunkard, the down and out, or the up and out into rich jewels of Grace for the Glory of Christ. I must complete this, there is so much more. I urge you to make sure that Jesus Christ and His Finished Work is where you KNOW, and not just HOPE that your faith is rested.
6. HE CHANGED MY “THINK” TO THANKS. “Paul, do you know that you are saved?” “Well, I think so.” And so that is the most common answer today. “I THINK SO.” But, we have been with Paul on the Damascus road where he met Christ. Now, it is no longer “THINK” but “THANKS” “And I THANK Christ Jesus My Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” (1Tim 1:12). Now, with a grateful heart Paul can say “I know WHO, I know WHAT, I know WHERE, I know WHEN, I know WHY, and HOW I am saved, and I will spend the rest of my life expressing my THANKS unto my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And with Paul I want to say, Oh, how I THANK Him for dying on His Cross for me.
Now the message is not so much that I CHANGED, but the message is that CHRIST DID THE CHANGING. And I am so glad that He did. Now, do YOU have that WHEN, WHERE, WHO, you trusted? Today, you can meet the same Christ Paul met, that I met, and that billions have met. He is THERE where you are. He is willing to come into your life at your invitation. He will never come into your life unbidden. You must ask Him in. Do that today. Ask Christ to come into your heart today. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart.
WANDERING THROUGH THE WILDERNESS..Answers to questions.
ON GENERATIONAL CURSES
By Pastor George Mills
Many of the TV preachers today are saying that we must identify, and break “generational curses.” I suppose they get this from the Old Testament Law of Moses in Ex. 20:5, “Visiting the iniquity of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” At the receiving of the Old Testament Law, Israel said “YES” to both the blessings and cursings of the Law. Israel became married to Jehovah. Israel failed under the Law. Israel is the unfaithful wife. (Read Hosea 1-2). Gentiles were never under the covenant of the Old Testament Law. “He showed His Word unto JACOB, and His judgments unto ISRAEL. He hath NOT dealt so with any nation, and as for His judgments, they have NOT known them.” (Psa 147:19-20) Many are being deceived here. We are NOT accountable for anybody’s sins of the past. We are accountable to God for ourselves alone. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.” (Gal 3:13). Christ’s work of Redemption is a complete, finished work. We are complete in Him. We are His New Creation. I inherited my genes from my Father and Mother. From my Father and Mother, I inherited a sinful nature passed down from Adam. With that sinful nature came the curse of sin. I do not have to commit a single sin to be a sinner, I was born that way. And the wages of that sin is death. Physical death, and eternal death. Christ redeemed us from that curse, and ANY CURSE. You cannot curse what God has blessed.
THINK ABOUT IT..If I could pass on generational curses, Could I not pass on to my children righteousness and thus by-passing the Sacrifice of Christ, making His Cross of non effect? GOD FORBID.
DID GOD PROMISE TO MAKE US RICH? DID HE PROMISE TO PAY OUR BILLS? Listening to the preaching of the charismatics, who make up doctrine as they go, and take the promises that God made to Israel under the Law, and apply them to the Church, you would have to come to the conclusion that God did indeed plan to make each of us very wealthy. The secret in all this is to send a “seed offering” to their address, and zip code. I have watched as congregations brought their credit card bills and burned them in a “religious” service. I guarantee you that the credit card company expected their payment on time, regardless of what was burned in the fire. God has blessed His Church down through the ages. He is blessing today, and He will continue to bless. Some of these groups are preaching about a ?transfer of wealth? in the last days such as the day when Israel left Egypt and borrowed from the Egyptians.
Christianity is NOT a “get rich quick” scheme, and it is not like a “Christian lottery.” Don’t look for some escape from debt. God is more glorified in our paying our honest debts. I urge every believer to avoid credit, avoid credit card bills. I know that we must buy some things on credit such as a home, or automobile. REMEMBER, “the borrower is servant to the lender.” Pr. 22:7.
In growing our churches, we have some choices.
1. We could hire us a “praise team” and let them bring in some “Christian rock, some bee bop, crash bang outfit. Let them bring in some long hair, ear ring wearing, tattooed flip-flop wearing, pea brained outfit and let them “jam for Jesus” or “Rock fest” or a “gospel explosion” or some “mega fest.”
This is called “CONTEMPARARY.”
After all, many churches are taking this route. I could come to Church wearing some casual red and white shirt. I could forsake the Bible, (KJV) and get me a NIV “bible.” and we could all “come as you are. “
We could just maintain Biblical morality. We could sing the old hymns of the Church. We could praise God with our heart, and not with our feet. We could wear our best to Church. We could continue on the path that brought us this far. The Church is NOT a place of entertainment. The Church is where we come together to Worship God, and adore His Christ, and praise Him for His great Work of Redemption.
In some places, this Contemporary stuff draws a crowd, but it does not transform lives. Too many young people have attended these “Gospel explosions” and wound up victims. Our young people have been lied to about the music of this generation. Let us Give to Christ our best.
ON CLAPPING OF THE HANDS
In many cases, the “church” has looked at the world’s music, the world’s morals, the world’s methods, the world’s sloppiness, the world’s dress code, and painted ‘GOD’ on it and brought this into the ‘church.’ And when did we ever look to Hollywood for anything.
Did you know that “clapping of the hands” is referred to nine times in the Old Testament, and not one Time in the New Testament? Two times, nature is referred to as clapping the hands, (Isa 55:12, Psa 98:8) which is a figure of speech. They clapped their hands at the anointing of king Joash (2Kings 11:12). Every other case of clapping the hands is in reference to judgment, or impending judgment. Even the beautiful 47 th Psalm is anticipating judgment. Clapping the hands is not meant for worship in the New Testament Church. You cannot find it in the Church from Acts through Revelation. What ever happened to the BIBLE (KJV) way of praising God? The Bible (KJV) teaches us that we are to praise God with our mouth. When God blesses you with His Word (KJV) then say “AMEN” or “PRAISE GOD” or “GLORY” or “THANK YOU JESUS” Let us “Lift up Holy hands.” “With my mouth will I make known Thy Faithfulness.” That’s the Bible (KJV) way. Some 30 or 40 years ago, the charismatics began to say, “give God a hand clap.” This began to catch on in their churches. Now the Baptist follow suit. Folks, let us not adopt the world’s way and bring it to Church. All of this compromise with the Bible is bringing in crowds, but lives are not being transformed. Be faithful to witness to the lost. Be faithful to win the lost to Christ. This “stuff” is not working.
SPEAKING ABOUT THE BIBLE..
I believe that the most critical issue before us today is the issue of the Bible, which Bible? I believe that God gave us His Inspired, Infallible, Inerrant, Preserved Word in The King James Bible. The Bible stands on It’s own historical record. In recent years, over 50 “versions” are on the market. These translations have hit the pulpits of America. Here, at the WILDERNESS, and here at our Church, Yukon Baptist Church, the King James Bible is our only Bible. We do not question it. We do not debate it. We do not change it. We do not seek to up-date it, We do not refer to some “original” which does not exist. We do not refer to some Greek or Hebrew text. The Bible has been so watered down until it is powerless in these new versions. Kinda reminds me of when I was just a child. A bottle of Ketchup was a real treat. Our diet was mostly dried beans and rice. Some Ketchup on the rice was a treat. We would see that the Ketchup was down to about a half of a bottle, then we would add some water. Pretty soon, we would have too much water in the Ketchup. That’s about what we have done with the Bible. We have watered it down until it is tasteless and powerless. The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Bible. He will teach you as you read it. The “thee’s and thou’s” are self explanatory. No other book can change your heart and life like the Word of God can. We seek every opportunity to share it with as much of the world as we can. God is NOT in all of this confusion about the Bible. His Word is forever settled.
KJV: “In Whom we have redemption through His Blood.”
NIV: through His blood, omitted.
Etc; hundreds and hundreds of times.