Vol. 34, No. 4 , April, 2010
THE PREEMINENCE OF THE RESURRECTION
By Dr. George Mills
“And He said unto them, thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, and ye are witnesses of these things.” (Lk 24:46-48).
This year we celebrate our Lord’s Victorious Resurrection on April 4. I trust that wherever you are, you will have a wonderful day as we remember this Glorious event.
Spring is a glorious time of year. The long cold winter has passed. New life is everywhere. Flowers are beginning to blossom. Trees are no longer barren, their leaves are green. Nature is awake, alive, and colorful. I love to see the beautiful dogwood tree in blossom, the “pink bud” tree, and other flowering trees as they “come alive” It’s SPRING TIME! It’s RESURRECTION TIME! It is in the spring of the year that we celebrate the most Glorious event in all history; THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Churches all over the world will be celebrating this wonderful event. Large Churches, Cathedrals, even down to the small country church will commemorate this wonderful event of the Resurrection.
But to the Born Again Christian, every day is Resurrection Day. Every day we worship the Living Christ. Let me share with you some things about this day that cause one and all to glory in THE WONDER OF THE RESURRECTION
1. THE PREEMINENCE OF THE RESURRECTION.
I believe that ONE DOCTRINE stands out and above all others. But let us for awhile “suppose” that we had to choose just one doctrine and say, “That’s Christianity.” What one doctrine could we choose? First, let me say that Christianity is not just one doctrine. Christianity is Christ. Everything about Christ. So we are “just supposing.”
(A) Just suppose we chose His Virgin Birth and say, “That’s Christianity.” I am glad that His was a Virgin Birth in fulfillment to the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” A woman has no seed. That’s a promise of the Virgin Birth. “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, MADE OF A WOMAN, made under the Law.” (Gal 4:4). Apart from the Virgin Birth we have no Saviour. Christ’s birth was pure, spotless, sinless. But there is no salvation in the Virgin Birth. In fulfillment of prophecy, Christ had to be born of a Virgin. But we can’t choose the Virgin birth alone. Something is missing..
(B) Just suppose we add to the Virgin Birth, His sinless life and say, “that’s Christianity.” Again, I am so thankful that His Life was a Pure, Sinless life. He is that Lamb without blemish and without spot. His enemies tried to find fault with His life. Three times the voice of God was heard saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” But we are not saved by His Virgin Birth or His Sinless life.
(C) Suppose then we choose His Vicarious death on the cross and say, “that’s Christianity.” By vicarious death I mean His suffering in our place. He took our place, He died our death. All of our sin was placed upon the Sinless, Son of God. But we are not saved by His death on the Cross. I know that Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 6:14). Paul loved the Cross. He could never get over the fact that Christ died for him there. But we are not saved by His death on the cross. Now, don’t turn me off. All of these things are necessary. We cannot do away with a single one of these, nor can we claim just a single one. We’re just “supposing.” We are not saved by His Virgin Birth, we are not saved by His Sinless Life, and we are not saved by his death on the cross. Something is still missing. The Book of First Corinthians, Ch. 15, is the Great Resurrection chapter. Please take a few moments and read that text. Verse 13 says “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith also is vain.” V20 adds, “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”
You see, the one doctrine that holds everything together, the one thing that stands in the center of world history is THE EMPTY TOMB. Everything we hope for is determined by that fact that HE AROSE! THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD IS PREEMINENT IN THE FINISHED WORK OF REDEMPTION! I know that some will say, “But what about these other things and more that we could mention?” My dear friend everything rests upon the fact of His RESURRECTION. Without that, nothing else matters. We cannot do away with one single doctrine about the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, but the RESURRECTION is the CEMENT that holds everything together.
2. THE PROPHECYS OF THE RESURRECTION.
The Resurrection is seen in prophecy in at least two ways. Known unto God in ages past and revealed in the Holy Scriptures;
(A). Psalm 22 is Messianic. In verses 1-21 you read about a crucifixion; “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This was the cry of our Lord upon the cross, but as you read Psalm 22:31 you will read about a Resurrection. The same is true in Isaiah 53, in v1-9 you read about a crucifixion, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so openeth not His mouth.” But if you read v10-12 you read about a Resurrection; “He shall prolong His days.”
“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine HOLY One to see corruption.” (Psa 16:10). This passage repeated in Acts 2:25-31 indicate that this is a clear prophecy concerning the resurrection of Christ.
(B) Also His Resurrection is seen in types. For instance, Jonah was a type, or figure of the resurrection. Jesus said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Isaac was a type of the Resurrection. Read Genesis 22:1-14, Heb. 11:17-19. I believe that our Lord Jesus was crucified in the very spot where Isaac was offered…Mount Moriah. Mount Calvary, a small hill on Mount Moriah.
3 THE PURPOSES OF THE RESURRECTION. There is a two-fold purpose. Oh, there is so much more, but for this message, these two things..
(A). The Resurrection is the ultimate proof of His deity. In John 2:18-22, the Jews asked Christ for a sign. Jesus answered and said, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” “But He spake of the Temple of His body.” Christ said in John 10:18, “No man taketh it, (My life) from me, but I lay it down myself, and I have power to take it again.” If Satan can keep Christ in the grave, Christ is not who He said He was. But HE AROSE! “Upon the first day of the week, “The stone taken away from the sepulchre.” (Jn 20:1-8).
(B). The Resurrection gives us a Living Saviour. “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him, seeing that He EVER LIVETH to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25). The religions of the world are growing. Cults are growing. The founders of most of these groups are dead…BUT, Our Saviour is alive! “I am He that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and death.” (Rev. 1:18). Joseph Smith is dead. Mary Baker Eddy is dead. Charles Taze Russell is dead. Buddha is dead. Muhammad is dead. Confucius is dead. We can find their graves. But Christians point to an empty tomb and cry aloud, “He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come; see the place the Lord lay.” (Mt. 28:6).
4 THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION.
“That I may know Him and the Power of His Resurrection…” (Ph. 3:10). In recent years, we have seen powerful Earthquakes, storms, tornados, destruction, some natural, some man-made. All have had their effect upon mankind. But nothing in this world has so affected mankind as has the Resurrection of Jesus Christ…
(A). Belief in the Resurrection of Christ has power to save from the PENALTY of sin. “The wages (penalty) of sin is death.” (Ro. 6:23). “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). “Now preacher, I have no problem about the Virgin Birth, I have no problem in believing about His sinless life, and I have no problem about His vicarious death, but the Resurrection, well, I am not so sure.” You cannot be saved from the penalty of sin and not believe in the Resurrection of Christ. Believe everything about Him, but don’t deny His Resurrection. To doubt His Resurrection is to miss Heaven by 15 inches, (distance from head to heart).
(B). Belief in the Resurrection of Christ has POWER to overcome anything that has man bound. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20). The believer has new life. Faith in that new life (Christ in me) gives the believer strength and ability to overcome any habit, addiction, or anything not pleasing to God. In my own strength and will I do not have the power, but we have that resurrection power in our lives to help us live a victorious life. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit. We have the implanted Word of God. We have the imparted power of the resurrected life of Christ. Our faith and trust must be forever placed in the Finished Work of Christ. When we try, we fail. When we trust, He never fails.
5. THE PROOFS OF THE RESURRECTION.
“To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by many INFALLIBLE PROOFS, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3).
“MANY INFALLIBLE PROOFS.” Proofs that should forever silence the critics and doubters.
First Corinthians 15:1-8 says that He was seen alive by more than five hundred brethren at one time.
Then He appeared to Peter, to James, and to Paul.
Angels testified that He is alive.
The heavy stone moved from the tomb is proof.
The missing Body of Jesus is proof.
The grave clothes in place like an empty cocoon.
What happened to the missing Body of Christ? In order to stop the story of the Resurrection, all that His enemies had to do was to produce that body, but they could not. HE IS ALIVE. His Resurrection was the central theme of the Book of Acts as His Message was being carried to the nations of the world at that time. There are so many proofs we could bring forth at this time, but the best proof is for you to know for yourself. An old cola advertisement of a few years ago said; “BEST, BY TASTE TEST.” In other words, if you personally taste our cola, you will be convinced that our cola is the best.
Christ is BEST BY TASTE TEST! “O taste and see that the LORD is good, blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Ps. 34:8). Let Christ show you personally that He is alive. “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.” “How do I receive Him? “Ask, and ye shall receive. Put Him to the test today.
6. THE PROMISE OF THE RESURRECTION.
I suppose that I should have said PROMISES, for belief in His Resurrection has many promises. Jesus said, “Because I live, ye shall live also.”
Ye shall live means here, now, in this life. “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” Abundant life is knowing Jesus, better every day.
Ye shall live means Eternally. When a believer takes his last breath on earth, he awakes in the Presence of God.
7. THE POSITIVES OF THE RESURRECTION.
“Because He hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto ALL MEN in that HE HATH RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD.” (Acts 17:31). “Believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. And have hope toward God which they themselves also allow, that there SHALL be a resurrection of the dead, both of the Just and the unjust.” (Acts 24:14-15). The Resurrection of Christ is God’s guarantee that ALL men will stand before God and give account of himself, of his/her rejection of the Redeemer. Today, I urge every reader of this message to consider Christ and His FINISHED WORK of Redemption. Everything needed for time and eternity is found only in Christ. He’s ALIVE! He lives in my heart and in the heart of His people all over the world. He can come into your life today at your invitation. “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.” Tell Him today that you believe, that you receive Him. He is there, where you are. Receive Him by faith and let Him show you every day of your life THE WONDERS OF HIS RESURRECTION.
THE EMPTY TOMB
By Pastor George Mills
Once they stood beside a grave,
The door was open wide,
Angels told them to be brave,
“There’s not a soul inside.”
Come see the place where the Lord did lay,
He’s risen from the dead,
Go tell his friends this very day,
He’s alive, just as He said.”
Such gladness then filled all the day,
To know His tomb was bare,
His bed is empty where He lay,
His Glory, everywhere.
The tomb that once was surely sealed,
To keep His body there,
Now it’s emptiness revealed,
For all the world to share.
By faith I stood beside that cave,
Where once the Lord did lay,
When I beheld that empty grave,
I claimed that very day.
Oh God I praise thee for the day,
When by faith I looked inside,
The empty tomb where He did lay,
And found it satisfied,
My heart’s desire for peace and love,
When I bid the Saviour “come,”
And now I live with hope from above,
Because of the EMPTY TOMB.
THINK ABOUT IT…There is no victory in the grave. The Disciples found that the tomb was empty, and they found that Christ was alive and now we have victory! We have a Living Saviour! Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS. It is no friend to the Christian, nor is it a friend to your Bible.
Concerning the Resurrection of Christ, the Modern “versions” of scripture, taken from two manuscripts; Vaticanus, and Sinaiticus, all end the Gospel of Mark with Ch.16, verse 8. They say v9-20 are not in oldest manuscripts. Even the Schofield Bible footnotes: “The passage from v9 to the end is not found in the two most ancient manuscripts; the Sinaitic and Vatican.” These two manuscripts are NOT the most ancient manuscripts. There are over 5,600 existing manuscripts that support our Authorized Version. There are only two manuscripts that support the vast flood of new versions. Why would the Gospel of Mark end with the Disciples trembling in fear? Makes no sense! As Arno Gabelein wrote, “How foolish to assume that the blessed document which begins with the sublime statement; The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, could end with; “they were afraid!”
THE BIBLE (KJB) AIN’T BROKE, DON’T TRY TO FIX IT!
“Where or how did you come by the name, “The WILDERNESS?”
Ans…The indictment against Satan in Isaiah 14:17, “that made the world as a WILDERNESS.”
And the world is a WILDERNESS. It is a barren place. John the Baptist was a voice of one crying in the WILDERNESS. We took our name from that text. For many years we have been A voice crying in this WILDERNESS.
“How can I know for sure that I am saved?
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.”
Being saved and saved for sure is compared to a birth. Just as we are born into our natural family here on earth, we are born into God’s family. We are born again when we receive Christ. “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.” How do I receive Him? The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” “Now preacher, that’s just too simple, there must be something else.” May I say to you that Jesus took all of the toil, labor, work, suffering, all of the hardness in Himself and bore it all on His cross. The work is finished. Salvation is offered FREE! If you have trusted that Finished Work of Christ, the Bible says that you are saved, and saved for eternity. THE BIBLE IS YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE!
Just the other day I was looking through some old papers of mine. There, in that bundle of papers was my birth certificate. That piece of paper has the seal of the state of Florida. It lists the county, city, and date of my birth. It is a legal document backed up by the State of Florida. It is proof that I have been born. I have had to display it as proof of my birth, even though I am about 6ft, 2in. tall and well over 200 pounds I have had to present it as proof that I have been born. The Bible is God’s Holy, Infallible Word. The Bible is our “Spiritual Birth Certificate.” The next time when doubts arise, READ YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
EASTER’S ON IT’S WAY!
I love everything about Easter! I love the chocolate bunnies and the sugar candy eggs, the baskets full of goodies, the brand new outfits for the little ones and I especially enjoy coloring the eggs and hiding them about a thousand times for the grand kids. I did the same thing for my kids and enjoyed it as much as they did. If we were fortunate enough to have eggs when I was a kid, we did the same thing. We hid them and found them and hid them again and again until they were mush! The weather was warmer at last and what fun it was and still is to be outside enjoying the newly sprung Spring! Like I tell the Grands; “When I grow up I am going to be a Monster Truck Driver!”
However, we do know the real meaning of Easter and we do celebrate the Resurrection of our Saviour. In Bible Believing Churches everywhere the children have their little skits and verses concerning the Resurrection and they present them so sweetly for the congregation to hear. We heard of the little guy that was to quote the verse, “He is not here, for He is risen,” but he forgot the words. He stood there a second with an “OH NO” look on his face and blurted out, “He ain’t here, He done left out!” (Mt. 28:6) He may have forgotten the words, but he had not forgotten the meaning of the words. I love it! Easter is a blessed time! I stand amazed at the fact that God loved me and sent His Son to die for me, raised Him from the dead and now an empty tomb is there to prove that my Saviour lives!
THE BIBLE IN SCHOOLS
I’d like to see the Bible placed,
Where the Bible used to be,
Upon the top of the teacher’s desk,
For every child to see.
I’d like to hear the teacher say,
As my teacher used to do,
“Before we work or play, dear ones,
I want to read to you.”
I’d like to see the teacher stand,
Before the class again,
And lift with reverent care the Book,
That makes God’s purpose plain.
And e’re the youngsters went to work,
I’d like to hear her voice,
Repeat those words of truth and faith,
That makes one’s soul rejoice.
I’d like to see the soul light up,
At each resplendent word,
And watch the children’s souls shine out,
At the message that they heard.
I’d like to see the sweet content,
Fill that room, each nook,
And know that joy had come to each,
When the teacher read the Book
Yes, I’d like to see the bible placed,
Where the Bible used to be,
I’d like to hear it read aloud,
In the schoolroom of the free.
I want my children taught to know,
God’s matchless gift of love,
The Book of books is wisdom’s gate,
To that bright home above.
AMEN and AMEN!
PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD
This is one of the most urgent warnings in the entire Bible concerning Israel, and the Spiritual condition of the land. In fact, if you read the text you will see that judgment has already come. Drought, mildew, pestilence, plague, (9-11). Judgment had already begun. Today let me bring this text to our time in history:
1. WHY PREPARE? At least three reasons…
(A) It is commanded by God. That’s reason enough.
(B) Without Christ you are not prepared to meet God.
(C) You WILL meet God. This is an appointment that you and I will keep.
2. HOW TO PREPARE?
(A) Realize your condition, UNPREPARED.
(B) Receive Christ as your ONLY hope of preparation.
3. WHEN PREPARE?
The Bible is clear on when to prepare.
TODAY, if you will hear his voice, harden not your heart.” (Heb 3:7-8)
“Boast not thyself of TOMORROW for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” (Pr. 27:1). God was waiting to hear their cry and He is waiting for you.
“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20).