Vol. 37, No. 2 February, 2013
CAST THY BREAD UPON THE WATERS
Dr. George Mills
“Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight, for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth, and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be. He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how bones grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”
“Cast thy bread upon the waters” is one of the greatest soul winning texts in the Old Testament.
It is a text of encouragement. The verses following(v2-6) deal with over caution, “what-if’s” indecisions, “what-to-do’s,” and“should I?” or “could I.” We are reminded that“The best laid schemes of mice and men gain aft a-gley (go oft astray). Today, let us gain some thoughts from this great passage. It is doubtful that I can add much to what has been preached from this text, but let’s see some needed truths.
King Solomon wrote three Books of the Old Testament. You can find many hours of great reading as you read the wisdom of God in words given by the Holy Spirit through Solomon. I am of the opinion that Solomon wrote the Song Of Solomon when he was a younger man. The Song Of Solomon is the record of a courtship and marriage of a young couple. And then, I believe that Solomon wrote the Book Of Proverbs when he was an older, more mature man as he gained the wisdom of years. I believe that Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes when he was a much older man. As you read the Book Of Ecclesiastes, you will read the record of Solomon as he states that he tried the various things the world offers. Read Ecclesiastes, ch. 2. Solomon writes that he tried wine, women and song. He built great mansions, and vacation cottages, and pools. He had men servants, maidens, and anything the heart may desire. When he had gained position, possessions, popularity, and prosperity and looked back over it all, he concluded, “all is vain.” “Vanity of vanities.” Men labor for just a portion of the things that Solomon had only to find out there is no real joy and peace in these things. Now, there is nothing wrong with “things” or “possessions.” In fact, he said in v8-9 to enjoy living while you can. If you wait until you get old to enjoy life, all vitality will be gone. So learn to live within the perimeters of God’s way of life. Now, let’s see what Solomon means in his use of the words, “Bread” and “Water.”
BREAD. Now, much of the language Solomon uses is figuratively. For instance, we have heard
the phrase, “A little bird told me.” That actually comes from the writings of Solomon. He writes in Ch. 10:20, “”For a bird of the air shall carry thy voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.” “A little bird told me.” I believe that Solomon was speaking figuratively when he said “cast bread upon the waters.” That would make no sense because after just a few moments in the water, the bread would become soggy and vanish away.. Now, in the Bible, bread is symbolic of two things…
CHRIST. He said, “I am that Bread of Life.” “This is the Bread which cometh down from Heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die.” (Jn. 6:48-50).
THE WORD OF GOD. As Bread symbolizes Christ, it also symbolizes the Word of God. “Man shall not live by Bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4) (Dt. 8:3). So it is reasonable for us to conclude that the Bread Solomon is speaking about is The Word Of God.
WATERS. Water, like Bread is symbolic of at least two things…
Sometimes in the Bible, Water speaks of the Holy Spirit. “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on Me as that the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living Waters. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39)
Waters also speak of the nations and people of the world. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the SEA and WAVES roaring. The raging, roaring sea pictures the upsets of the nations. “And he said unto me, the WATERS which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are people, and multitudes, and nations and tongues.” (Rev. 17:15). I believe we have correctly identified BREAD and WATERS, so let us learn from this text and do that which God has commanded us to do.
1. THE PLAN. I believe that it is clear from the teaching of this text, the plan of God is that we are to cast the BREAD, which is the WORD, upon the WATERS, which is the world population. This is the same as in the New Testament as the sower sowing his seed, which is the Word Of God, (Mt. 13:1-23, Psa. 126:5-6) God is concerned that a Gospel invitation be given to all people. This has been the center of this ministry from the very beginning. There have been attempts to side-track us, or to get us identified with some “camp” or other issues. But we have tried to maintain our THREE-FOLD PURPOSE as stated in every publication. For years we broadcast the “Church In The Wildwood” on Missionary Radio. We were “casting Bread upon the waters.” We have published thousands and thousands of Gospel Tracts. We have never kept up with the number of Tracts we have printed. It is quite common for us to receive one of our Tracts indicating that the sender had received Christ. This is always a blessing to us. With Missionary Radio, and Gospel Tracts we have been “casting Bread upon the waters.” And this publication; the WILDERNESS. We are now entering our 37th year. PRAISE GOD! This Publication, every month reaches into homes, Churches, Missions, jails, and prisons across the nation. We are “casting Bread upon the Waters.” The Internet is relatively new. I had thought that the computers came in too late for me. But I have found that here is another tool. At our Internet site you can find about 8 years of messages on timely subjects. Every issue of the wilderness since 2005 has been posted on our web-site. It is amazing for me to visit our webalizer page and see how many countries around the world we reach every month. This too, is “casting Bread upon the Waters.” The question is, are YOU personally, “casting Bread upon the Waters?” This brings us to the second point…
2. THE PROBLEM. In the verses listed in our text here are some Problems or excuses that some continue to use. Let’s briefly visit these verses.
V2. “Give a portion to seven, and also to eight, for thou knowest not what evil shall dwell upon the earth.” A few days ago in Newtown, Ct. little did anyone realize what evil dwelt so near the little school where 26 were murdered. Be wise in your investments. You do not know what evil may happen. Include the eighth and nineth. Who knows what that investment may produce.
V3. “If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.” Over caution. “It sure looks like rain today, maybe I should wait until tomorrow before I sow seed.” The ideal time is never certain, but we must take action sometime! If we worry about storms, no crops will ever be gathered
V3. “If the tree falleth toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.” “Well, my tree fell down! What could I have done to prevent my tree from falling? I could have trimmed those longest limbs near the top. Perhaps the limbs on the south side could have been cut. They were too long, and weighing the tree down. I might have found a way to brace the tree to keep it from falling, but I did nothing and my tree fell! I cannot make it stand again. It’s too late! I believe we call this postponement until a later time.
V4. “He that observeth the wind shall not sow.” Nature is unpredictable. “Well” I thought, “Today the wind is blowing. If I sow seed today the wind will blow my seed away, so, maybe tomorrow, I’ll cast some seed. But today? The Wind! I’m just waiting for the right time or season.” Just go ahead, “Cast Bread upon the Waters.”
V5. “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones grow in her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God, who maketh all” There is no way you can figure out just how a child in the womb may be. “Will he or she be born with everything in place? Will he or she be short or tall? There is no way to know. Even so it is with the spirit. Who knows if he, or she might receive Christ and go on to be another giant for God. Just “cast your Bread upon the Waters” and let God do His work.
V6. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that.” “I wonder, just what time of day would be the most important time for me to work? Should I work mornings, evenings, which??? Decisions, decisions, decisions!!! Begin early, continue through the heat of the day, until the evening. We must never give up, slacken, or grow tired. When the seed is sown there must be constant care, until the harvest. We must continually “Cast our Bread upon the Waters.”
3. THE PROMISE.
“For thou shalt find it after many days.” We will reap. If we sow, we will “come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” There is coming a harvest season. Every faithful sower of the seed will reap, IN DUE TIME. The promises of God are sure. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan. 12:3). We have a duty, an obligation. There can be no excuses, no “what-if’s” or “should I” Let us spend our lives sowing the seed, the Word of God; “Casting Bread upon the Waters.”
When I think of many waters,
Of the oceans and the seas,
I think of sons and daughters,
Who have never bowed their knees.
I think of ones who never heard,
The Gospel clear and plain,
It is then I ask that Christ my Lord,
Will stir my soul again.
That I may boldly send His Word,
That I may tell the nations,
So all may know of Christ my Lord,
And of his Great Salvation..
CAST THY BREAD UPON THE WATERS
By Pastor George Mills
“Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.” (Eccl. 11:1)
Cast thy bread upon the waters,
Sow good seed upon the tide,
Soon you’ll come with sheaves, rejoicing,
When you sow both far and wide.
Cast thy bread upon the waters,
Bread of life for every nation,
We will reap in full abundance,
When we tell so great Salvation.
Cast thy bread upon the waters,
Tell of Calvary’s flowing tide,
Of healing streams of Love and Mercy,
Flowing from the Saviour’s side.
Send the Word to every kingdom,
Send the Gospel far and wide,
Send the news of God’s Redemption,
Cast thy bread on rolling tide.
Sow the Word to every kindred,
Sow seed for every son and daughter,
We do send the greatest story,
When we cast our bread upon the water,
Cast thy bread upon the waters,
After many days you’ll find it,
Coming back with portions doubled,
When we do as God designed it.
A TRIBUTE TO THE TRUTH
“I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise thee O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD for great is the glory of the LORD. Though the LORD be high, yet he hath respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy,O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”
It is evident that the Psalmist had been going through a time of troubles. V3 says, “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me.” And in v7, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble.” Troubles seem to be our lot lately. The Psalmist begins with THANKSGVING and ends the chapter with
TRUST. The ‘gods’ he mentioned in v1 are the heathen idols set up in the land. Some of the wicked kings had set themselves up as ‘gods.’ The Psalmist praises God and exalts Him above all the ‘gods’ of this world. “For the LORD is a great God, and a great king above all gods.” (Ps 95:3). “For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised, He is to be feared above all gods.” (Ps 96:4). “Confounded be all they which serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols, worship Him all ye gods.”(Ps 97:7).The Psalmists are challenging the gods of this world as did Elijah on Mount Carmel,” How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him.” (1Kings 18:21).
In these days there is a lot of crying out to other gods. Let us cry out to the God of Heaven, to the God of the Bible. The Psalmist has been deeply motivated by two wonderful things…
ANSWERED PRAYER… “In the day when I cried, Thou answeredst me.” Thank God for answered prayer. “And call upon me in the day of trouble:I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me.” (Ps. 50:15).
ASSURANCE..”Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me..and thy right hand shall save me.” The Psalmist has full assurance that whatever comes, God will be there to see him through. God is praised for His Truth. “I will praise thy name for thy TRUTH.” “Sanctify them through thy Truth, thy Word is TRUTH.”
(Jn. 17:17). At the beginning of this New Year, let us put at the very top of our priority list This TRIBUTE TO THE TRUTH, THE WORD OF GOD. Relatively speaking the Bible has been in the hands of the common man for just a few years. We take this wonderful gift for granted. Today, let us praise God for His TRUTH…
1. TRUTH PRESENTED. “I will praise thy name for thy TRUTH.” The Truth has been presented to us through INSPIRATION. The word, INSPIRATION, meaning, “God breathed.” The Word originated with God and came through man. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim 3:16-17). “Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”(2Pet. 1:21). No other book can claim inspiration of God. Not the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, or Charles Taze Russell, or Mary Ellen White, or Joseph Smith, nor the Talmud, nor the Koran, not the writings of the Popes, nor the thousands of other ‘religious writers.’
2. TRUTH PRESERVED. Not only did God PRESENT His Word to the world, He PRESERVED His Word. He fulfilled His promise He made in Psalm 12, “The Words of the LORD are pure words..Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psa 12:6-7). Of course I believe without any apology, and knowing that I am labeled as “narrow minded.” I believe that God’s Word PRESERVED for the English speaking people of the world is the Old King James Bible. I believe that. I trust that. This Book has brought us this far, and I am convinced that it will take us all the way home. Every one of the new ‘versions’ on the market compromise with the PERSON and WORK of Jesus Christ.
SINCE THE TRUTH IS PRESERVED, WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO CHANGE ANYTHING? It is common today to hear a speaker say, “I believe this Book is the Inspired Word of God.” But just a few moments later he makes some “correction.” “That’s a bad translation.” he says, or, “a better word for that is..” One preacher said as he was quoting James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another” actually means “confess your SINS one to another.” Nowhere in the Bible does God teach us that we are to confess our sins to another person. No one can do anything about my sin, so why should I confess to someone who cannot help me? No, not some earthly priest, or other ‘mediator’. The Psalmist said “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” (Ps. 32:5). Thousands of subtle changes have been made in the dozens of new ‘versions.’ Who has been given the authority to change anything? “But,” someone says, “we can make it better, or easier to understand.” The way to understand the Bible is to know the Author. The Holy Spirit gave it, and the Holy Spirit can teach it!
SINCE THE TRUTH IS PRESERVED, TO CAST A DOUBT ON A SINGLE VERSE IS TO CAST A DOUBT ON ALL VERSES.
If I tell you that you can believe, you can trust this Book, every verse, every line, EXCEPT for the first chapter, that in itself casts a doubt on the entire book.
SINCE THE WORD IS PRESERVED, WHO HAS THE KNOWLEDGE TO CHANGE ANYTHING?
One writer says that in Mt. 23:8 we are to leave out the words, “even Christ.” Another says we are to change “virgin” to “young woman.” Another says we are to change “Only begotten son.” to “only son.” (Jn 3:16). The modern critical text eliminates the Name, JESUS eighty seven times. CHRIST has been eliminated thirty nine places in the NASV. The Lordship of Christ has been diminished, diluted, or weakened in the critical text. The list keeps on and on. Who has the knowledge or authority to change anything? NOBODY! The Book (KJB) is inspired of God. It is final, complete. Don’t try to change, or correct it…JUST BELIEVE IT! “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things which are REVEALED belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this Law.” (Dt. 29:29)
3. TRUTH PRACTICED.
The TRUTH is the ONLY MEANS by which a man is saved from the penalty and power of sin. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Ro 10:13-17).
THE TRUTH PRACTICED IS THE KEY TO VICTORY OVER SIN.
“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” (Psa 119:11). Reading the Word, hearing the Word, memorizing the Word is the medicine that heals the inner man, that rids the desire from deep within to do wrong. The Word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12). This is where man’s problems lie and the Word reaches there with it’s healing power over sin. My, for the wonders the Word of God that has so moved and molded my life over these years. PRACTICING the Word is God’s way of victory over sin.
THE TRUTH REVEALS THE GOD OF THE TRUTH. If you want to know more about God, about yourself, about human nature, read the Bible (KJB). People adopt phrases, or religious sayings and try to live by these. But if you want to know God, you meet Him in His Word.
THE TRUTH IS THAT NECESSARY FOOD.
Please take a few moments and read the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, v51-63. Jesus made it very clear that we are to partake of Him. The disciples questioned, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” This is not done by blessing a wafer and calling that “Jesus.” Our Lord told His disciples that the “WORDS I SPEAK UNTO YOU, THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE.” (v63). As we read the WORD, as we partake of the WORD, we are partaking of Christ. He is the LIVING WORD, the Bible is the WRITTEN WORD. Both are the same.
THE TRUTH SETS MEN FREE.
Jesus said, “If ye continue in my WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Free from doubt, free from hatred, free from prejudice, free from the power of sin…FREE…If the Son of Man shall set you free, ye shall be free indeed.
THE TRUTH IS THE ONLY LINK BETWEEN GOD AND MAN.
Without the Bible we would have no concept of God. We would be like the man who lives in the jungle and wears his idea about God around his neck. Or God would be a cow, or a tree, or a fish, or an eagle. Our concept of God without the Bible would be like the Athenians on Mars Hill in Acts 17:15-23. God would be anything. But the Bible tells us all about God, and all about man. The Bible is God’s Truth about Himself revealed to man.
OUR COMMITMENT TO GOD IS ONLY AS GREAT AS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HIS TRUTH.
In Dt. 17, God told the nation that when they came into the promised land, they would ask for a king. God gave some instructions for their king. Of course, these things are to be practiced by all the people, not just the king. What happens in the king’s house will happen through the land. “And it shall be when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom that he shall write him a copy of this Law in a book out of that which is before the priests and Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this Law and these statutes, to do them. That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” Understand the Bible and you will understand your commitment to God. Paul said, “He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.
4. TRUTH PRAISED.
“I will PRAISE thy Name…for Thy TRUTH.” In spite of what Bible Believers are called, We Do NOT worship a book, we worship the God of the Book. We PRAISE Him for His TRUTH. We PRAISE Him because we have been brought out of darkness and into His marvelous light. We have been set free because of the Book. We know more about God, about ourselves, we know where we came from and where we are going because of His TRUTH. Sometime ago I watched a documentary on television. The program was about a woman who had spent years living among the chimpanzees in Africa. She wrote about them, she recorded their habits. She even learned to make sounds like the apes. In her closing remarks she stated that “We must learn more about them because in learning about them, we learn about ourselves.” I thought, “what a waste.” Living among the chimpanzees and learning about ourselves? Monkeys, apes do not have the nature of humans. We do not learn about ourselves from nature. We learn about ourselves in the WORD of God. Now, some may not like what we learn from the Bible, but TRUTH is TRUTH. What you do with the TRUTH is up to you.
I must bring this to a close for now. I praise God for His Book. I praise God that I learned about Him from His TRUTH. I know that I am not what I should be, and I know I am not what I am going to be, but I praise God that I am not what I used to be. May I ask, do you know the Christ of this Book? He is there, wherever you are. In fact, He has been after you all of your life. Today, invite Him into your life. Ask Him in. With Christ as your Saviour, you can begin to learn, and the Lord can set you FREE indeed. “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.” Our God, we PRAISE YOU for the PRESENTED, PRESERVED, PRECIOUS Word of TRUTH! The Book for ages past and ages to
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
A VICTORIOUS LIFE
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Psa. 34:17-18).
Everyone at some point in their life, will go through trials and troubles. It may be short or long lived and it may test your relationship with God. These trials may have you asking God, “Why me?” or, “What did I do to deserve this?” It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness, that you will learn to rely on God.
If we can just simply have the mentality that all of these trials that God has placed in our lives are just bumps in the road and put all of these problems in His hands, we can achieve a Victorious Life. Having dependence on God is not simply asking Him to bless what we have decided to do with our life, but it is coming to God with an open mind and heart, inviting Him to take control and to place His desires within us. We must have complete reliance on God. We must walk with God each day, taking one step at a time, making sure that we lean on Him as much as we can. God does not, however, promise that the path He has chosen for us is a path of continual success, but it will have multiple failures. Each failure can be overcome by increasing reliance upon God. So never forget if you are going through tough times right now, just know that it is all in God’s hands and with His strength you can and will get through anything.
May God bless your life each and every day.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
WE JOIN HEARTS WITH YOU IN PRAYER, NEWTOWN, Ct.
Today we join with Americans who mourn the deaths of 26 innocent people, including 20 innocent children who were murdered in their school on Friday, December 14, 2012 , in Newtown, Ct. It is very hard to even imagine an awful thing like that could happen here, but it did! We do indeed pray for these families, and we do believe that each one will get through this in due time. This causes me to think again about the condition of this great land. Some have asked the question, “Where was God in all of this?” Let us be reminded that God has been voted out of this society. His Bible, The Birth of Christ, His Commandments are no longer welcome here. We need somehow to get back to our roots. Years ago when we were young and in school we began our school day with the pledge of allegiance to the flag and a recital of The Lord’s Prayer, “DELIVER US FROM EVIL,” And He did! And He will again. “But someone will be offended if we do that.” Of course someone will be offended. I get offended every day in one way or another. We all get over it. That’s the way we do it here in America.
For notes on this subject, On the WILDERNESS Home page, go to OUTREACHES. Under outreaches, go to PUBLICATION ARCHIVES. Scroll down to PUBLICATIONS 2007. Click on Volume 31, No. 6. Scroll down to “Virginia Tech Incident.”