Vol. 37, No. 8
THE DISOBEDIENT PROPHET
1Kings, Chs. 12-13
I suppose the one to whom I owe most credit for this message would be Evangelist Ed Ballew. This dear Brother was on the committee that ordained me into the Ministry almost 50 years ago. He went on to his Heavenly reward a few months ago. What a dear Soldier of the Cross he was.
Please take a few moments and read these two chapters. I do not have space in this publication to print all of this text. I will refer to some of the verses that I wish to use. The real issue of that day was APOSTASY. The real issue of our day some 3,000 years later is APOSTASY. Apostasy meaning, “A falling away” “A turning from the Truth, to lies.” We are now in the midst of that GREAT FALLING AWAY that Paul wrote about.
I have read this text many times. I have heard sermons preached from this text. I have read commentaries about this text. What I wish to share with you is a compilation of these things I have learned. I offer nothing new. I only trust that some of us will see where we are Spiritually, and where we are heading, and we will make our stand, and stand firm in this day. Times change, but the issues do not change. Oh we may call them something else, but the issues of that day so long ago are the issues of this day and age. A brief look into the times of our text reveals a great power struggle in the land of Israel. At the death of King Solomon, his son Rehoboam reigned in his stead. In Ch. 12 the old men of the land appealed to Rehoboam to ease the heavy tax burden from the people. The spending of Solomon had placed a heavy burden upon the people. The younger men had a different view. Their advice to King Rehoboam was, “Thus shalt thou shalt say unto them, my little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins,” (12:10). “Make the burden heavier. Set the tax rate higher.” was the advice of the younger men. Rehoboam forsook the advice of the elders. There was rebellion in the land, and two kingdoms were formed. Israel was the northern kingdom with King Jeroboam as ruler. Judah became the southern kingdom with Rehoboam as ruler. Rehoboam was not a very good ruler, nor was Jeroboam. Jeroboam was afraid that if the people of his kingdom went to Jerusalem to worship in the Temple, and keep the Holy Days, that the people’s heart would return to Rehoboam and Judah, (12:27). Jeroboam had a plan and set it in motion. “It is too far for the people to have to go all the way to Jerusalem to worship, I have a better plan.” (12:28-29). So Jeroboam set up an alter with a golden calf at Bethel and also one was set up at Dan. He also set up his own priesthood and holy days. And Jeroboam burned incense at the altar. Needless to say that God was not pleased with this situation, so God set His own plan in motion. He sent a man with a message. God called an UN-named Prophet to cry out against this APOSTASY in the land. As Jeroboam offered an “easy way” so the “profits” of our day offer an easy way. Today, there is no cross to bear, no warfare, no contending for the faith. We have scores of new “bibles” that say anything you want them to say. “A new way, and new things.” Things haven’t changed so much after all.
1.. THE PROPHET’S CHARGE.
“For it was CHARGED me by the Word of the LORD saying, eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. So he went another way, not by the way he came to Bethel.”(13:9-10). The Prophet’s CHARGE was clear and plain. He was to enter Bethel, and to cry out against the Apostasy, and to exit the city another way. Do not linger, do not eat, do not drink. Just preach your message and leave. God’s CHARGE is always clear and plain. We have our own ways of “messing it up,” and placing the blame on others.
2. THE PROPHET’S CRY. (v2).
“And he cried against the altar in the Word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee,” The PROPHET’S message had two points…
“A child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name.” Over 300 years later that prophecy was fulfilled. (2Kings 23:15-17).
The second point of his message was, “The altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.” (13:3). This was fulfilled immediately.
The Prophet had done his job. He has been true and faithful to his calling. We have to admire the few who know their calling and will be faithful. I am a fundamentalist. I believe in the fundamentals of the Faith. I believe in the inspired, preserved Word of God, (Psa. 12:6-7).I have not moved one iota since I started many years ago. At this point in our text, the Un-named Prophet was a “fundamentalist.” He delivered the Word, unwavering. Later we will will see him in disobedience, and then we can call him a “New-Evangelical.” There is a difference, a vast difference.
3. THE PROPHET’S CRISIS.
When king Jeroboam heard the preaching of the Prophet, and saw that his altar was cast down at the voice of the Prophet, he pointed to the Prophet and told his officers, “Arrest that man.” The king’s arm remained in that position and he could not pull his arm to his side. What an awful fix to be in; your arm frozen in a pointed position and no way to pull it down. Then king Jeroboam asked the man of God to pray for him, and the Prophet did pray, and the king’s arm was restored. Again, the Prophet does fine. In gratitude the king invites the Prophet to his palace for refreshments and reward. The Prophet tells the king about his charge, that he cannot stop, drink, or eat. Or go out in the same way he came in.(13:4-10).This man of God has done just what God told him to do. The Bible says that there was an old prophet in Bethel who had some sons. These sons were in town when the man of God delivered his sermon and the altar was destroyed. These boys went home and told their father; “You should have been in town today and seen what happened. We saw the king’s altar destroyed. We saw the king’s arm healed. Man, this was really something!” “Where is this man?” the father asked. “We don’t know, he came in from the East and went West.””Saddle me an ass,” said the old prophet, and he went looking for the man of God. Now the real CRISIS begins.
1. The CRISIS is in the DELAY!
The old prophet found the Man of God sitting under an oak. This is no time to take a break. Get away from that place! You have fulfilled your mission, don’t stop now! I wonder how many of us have found that Satan’s best time of attack is right after we have had a great victory? We begin to feel good about ourselves. We even want to gloat some, then WHAMMO! Satan shows up in his disguise. Here he is in the person of an old prophet. “Let us “get together.” Let’s have a time of fellowship.” The Bible warns us that :It is no great thing if his (Satan’s) servants ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” (2Cor. 11:13-15). John warns us about deceivers, Jude warns us. Paul warns us, Peter warns us. Fellowship is fine. Fellowship is rewarding, refreshing, and relaxing , and needed. But there can be no fellowship when there is no agreement on the Word of God.
2. The CRISIS is in his DOUBTING.
The Old prophet invited the Man of God home with him. The Man of God answered, “I may not return with thee.” Now the CRISIS heats up. The old prophet said, “I am a prophet also as thou art, and an angel spoke to me by the Word of the LORD saying bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.
BUT HE LIED UNTO HIM.” (13:18).
The question then is, “WILL A BROTHER LIE TO YOU? OH YES, YES, YES!. I hear it every day. Men who profess to be Christian brothers cast DOUBTS on the Word of God. Preachers, teachers, religious leaders, professors, Seminaries, etc. “Now, you can’t trust that verse.” or, The Greek doesn’t agree with that.” or “I have checked the Greek. The Hebrew” or “I have checked the “ORIGINALS.” (there are none).DOUBTS by the score hit our ears every day. The problem is that very few are really listening to what is being said. New “versions” created by committees, and more new ‘versions’ are on the way. There has never been such an all out attack on the Word as today!. The old preachers rebelled when the RSV hit the market in the 1940’s. Their grandsons, educated in liberal institutions, by liberal professors have no problem in accepting everything that has “bible” on the cover. Somebody has to wake up! God is not in all of this confusion about the Bible. He gave us His Word, He promised to PRESERVE His Word, He has kept His promise, but MEN LIE! If you are a preacher and you you hold to one of these new ‘versions’ and tell people that “This version is the Word of God, YOU LIE! If you can’t read it in English you cannot read it in Greek or Hebrew. If you say that one version is as good as any other, you LIE. If you say that these are just “up-dated” texts from the Old Bible, you LIE! These new versions come from a corrupt Wescott and Hort text. This Old Prophet LIED to the Man of God. Doubting the Word. What a crisis! In the Garden of Eden, Satan did his work on mankind by causing a doubt on the Word of God. All that he did was add a little three letter word. “Ye shall NOT surely die.” Over 60,000 words have been omitted from new versions. These are not “thee” and “thy.” but major words. The person and Work of Jesus Christ is attacked in every new version. Satan has been lying about the Word since the beginning. He has lots of help today! Will a brother lie? Oh Yes! Now our Fundamental prophet has become a “New-Evangelical.” The same words are used, but they don’t mean the same thing. Fundamental Bible words are being used but they don’t mean the same thing. I remember when the words; FUNDAMENTAL. INDEPENDENT BAPTIST meant just that. You could listen to the preacher declare his position, openly, without hesitation. I am afraid that in most cases today they mean something entirely different.
3. The CRISIS is in his DOCTRINE.
The Bible (KJB) is very clear. We are to preach and practice sound doctrine. That’s fundamentalism. New Evangelism says, “Let’s fellowship.” “Don’t take that so literal, after all, we must forget any differences and get together.”
“Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). This Man of God had no business fellowshipping with this old prophet. This violated his charge. This old prophet has probably lived at or near Bethel perhaps for quite some time. There is no hint of his battling with the Apostasy of that day. “Now we command you BRETHREN, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every BROTHER that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received from us.” (2Thess. 3:6). We will not, we must not, we cannot compromise Doctrine although something may “seem” right, or something may look right. “After all, that’s the way everybody is going.” NOT ME! If it doesn’t stand the test of sound doctrine, stay away from it, You may have to stand alone. I learned that years ago.
4. THE PROPHET’S CALL HOME.
“There is a sin unto death.” God would not allow this Man of God to continue living. He called him home.
(A) His death was a premature death. I believe that many have been called home who could have continued for years, but because of disobedience, God called him home. God is not one who is looking for the slightest mistake in order for Him to call us home. God is Loving, Patient, and Kind. “For this cause, many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” (1Cor. 11:30). Many had died because of disobedience concerning the Lord’s Table. “There is a sin unto death,” Speaking to Christians, (1Jn 5:16), Now, I am in no way saying or even hinting that because some have been called home seemingly prematurely that they may have been guilty of disobedience or some other sin in their life. God forbid! Christians die. Some die young and some live long lives. God is the Judge of us all. He is the giver and taker of life. He knows what He is doing.
(B) His death was a peculiar death. “Peculiar” meaning “not ordinary.” “The Word of the Lord came to the prophet that brought him back. And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah saying, thus saith the Lord, forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord and has not kept all the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee, but camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place of the which the Lord did say unto thee, eat no bread, and drink no water, thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone. A lion met him by the way, and slew him, and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion stood also by the carcase.” ((1Kings 13:21-24). Here is a very peculiar death. First, the lion did not slay the ass. His natural instinct would have him slay the animal. Second the lion did not eat the man. He just stood beside the man. The lion on one side and the ass on the other side, and the Disobedient Prophet in the middle. Very peculiar, very sad, so unnecessary. His funeral message consisted of three words; “Alas my brother.”(v30).We are reminded of the Apostle Peter’s warning, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring LION walketh about seeking whom he may devour” (1Pet. 5:8). That same LION is behind every bush in my town seeking whom he may devour.” He is ready to pounce upon that unsuspecting child of God. Don’t let him destroy your testimony. Stay close to Jesus, Stay in His Word.
Never doubt the Word of God no matter the circumstances.
There can be no real fellowship where there is disagreement on God’s Word.
Do not let other people determine what God’s Will is for you.
As Samuel said to Saul, “To OBEY is better than sacrifice.” (1Sam. 15:22).
Never doubt in the darkness what God says in the Light..
“But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Gal. 1:6-9)..
May I ask, is the issue of your Salvation settled? The Bible says, “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.” (John1:12) Have you done that? Have you, in your own words told Him that you believe what the Bible says about His Birth, Life, death on the cross and His resurrection. If you have not done that, Right now, tell Him that you receive Him.
BEGIN TODAY, TO LIVE FOREVER!
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
By Pastor George Mills
“But can ye not discern the signs of the times?”
Before we get into some of the things I wish to discuss with you in this message, let me share a few thoughts…
First, I do not believe that we are to be consumed in seeking signs, and setting dates. We should not be trying to“squeeze”things into some fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Much damage has been done in the lives of people down through the years who follow “date setters.”
Second. Signs concerning the return of Christ mentioned in the Bible are signs that precede His Second coming in the Revelation when every eye shall see Him. There are no signs concerning the Rapture, or secret “catching away” of the Church. Christ can come and catch away His Bride at any moment. This is true of any time in history. We do not look for signs, we listen for a shout. (1Thess. 4:13-18).
Third, when the Bible (KJB) speaks about the “last days” it is speaking about about the entire church age, from Pentecost to the rapture… “Hath in these LAST DAYS spoken unto us by His Son.”(Heb 1:2) “”Little children it is the LAST TIME.” (1Jn. 1:18). The antichrist system of the LAST DAYS was already working in John’s day. Paul said much about the last days, (1Tim. 4:1, 2Tim.3:1). The last days began with the early church and will end when Christ returns.
So, the things that I wish to bring to our attention are the things that have been occurring down through the years. I believe that the Bible,(KJB) clearly teaches that, although these things will happen, they will WORSEN as the time of the end approaches. I have examined every doctrine about the coming of Christ, and I made up my mind many years ago that I accept the pre-tribulation, premillennial return of Christ in the Rapture. Just how will things be here on earth at His coming? Will man ultimately find the solutions to the world problems? I think not!
THE BREAKDOWN OF FAMILY LIFE, THE HOME AND MARRIAGE VOWS AS INSTUTUTED BY GOD IS CLEARLY A SIGN OF THE LAST TIMES.
“As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, and were given in marriage until the day Noe enter into the Ark.”(Lk 17:26-27). The days of Noah began in Genesis 6, “They took them wives of all which they chose.’ The days of Noah are being repeated today, Just as Christ said. The HOME is basic to society. As the HOME goes, so society goes. Today, couples forsake marriage vows and live in adultery. Society today accepts this as normal, or the natural thing to do. The extended family is all but extinct in some classes of society. Today we have much to say about the Bible being taken away from the school room, the court room, and other rooms, public places, etc. But not much is being said about the Bible being taken away from our homes
GROWING IMMORALITY, MORAL DEGENERACY, ILLICET SEX, HOMOSEXUALITY , FORNICATION, All describe the growing lifestyle on earth as the day of the coming of Christ nears. It will not get better! “Likewise as it was in the days of Lot.” The one thing that marked Lot’s day was homosexuality, sodomy. Today this sin is glorified and promoted as an acceptable alternate lifestyle. The Supreme court has opened the door a little wider concerning Homosexual marriages. This sin is placed on the bottom step of the moral ladder downward in Romans, Ch.1. Apostate denominations have ordained homosexual “bishops” “priests” and “preachers” both male and female. But this is a violation of the Law of God. This moral degeneracy, this unashamed sinning is definitely a sign of the times. May I add this. We have nothing against anyone who chooses this lifestyle. We do stand in opposition to this GREAT SIN. God loves you. Christ paid the price for your sin, my sin by His finished work on the Cross. Faith in Him as your Personal Saviour can deliver anyone, set anyone free from an ungodly lifestyle, and make life worth living. I urge you to turn to Him, today!
FORSAKING THE WORD OF GOD, A TURNING FROM THE FAITH TO A FORM OF GODLINESS BUT DENYING THE POWER OF GOD IS A SIGN OF THE TIMES.
“This know also that in the Last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION, false accusers, incontinent, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” (2Tim.3:1-4).”For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.” (2Tim 4:3-4). What is the TRUTH that men turn from? The answer; THY WORD IS TRUTH.” Not true, but TRUTH! Men in wholesale fashion have turned from that TRUTH and have turned to FABLES. The world of religion has become so entangled in doctrines of men that no two ‘churches’ are in agreement. Sound doctrine is a thing of the past. Sound doctrine is the glue that holds everything together. New doctrines are introduced daily. Television spews much false doctrine, and people are falling for it. Preachers cannot promote their doctrines and stay with the Old Book (KJB) at the same time. We do not need a new bible, we just need to get back to the old one, you know, the Book that brought us this far. I am sure it will take us the rest of the way. The Prophet Amos said, “Behold the days come saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread not a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” (Amos 8:11).
We have arrived!!..
ISRAEL IN A DESPERATE SITUATION IS CLEARLY A SIGN OF THE TIMES..
God’s prophetic clock is Israel. Some of Israel has returned to the homeland and is struggling for survival. Israel will return to the homeland during the tribulation. Such an influx of immigrants will pose great problems for the antichrist in those days. I believe that the preaching of the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM will call Israel home. (Mt 24:14). Today, Israel struggles for survival. To the south, Egypt threatens, To the west ships patrol the Mediterranean. To the east Arab nations threaten. To the north is Turkey and Russia. God said that He would draw all nations to that part of the world. Winston Churchill said, “This is not the end, this is not the beginning of the end, but this is the end of the beginning.”
Are you ready for that great event when the Lord Jesus will descend and call His Church home? If not, receive Him today. THINK ABOUT THIS…Every day is “the end,” for some, and for some, every day is the “beginning of the end,” but for all us us, we are seeing the “end of the beginning”“Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
THINK ABOUT IT…
I once read about a group of college students as they toured the slums of a certain city. One of the girls seeing a little girl playing in the dirt asked her guide, “Why doesn’t her mother clean her up?” “Madam,” he replied, “that girl’s mother probably loves her, but she doesn’t hate the dirt. You hate the dirt, but you don’t love the little girl enough to go down to her and clean her up. Until hate for the dirt and love for the child are in the same person, that little child is likely to remain as she is. And until hate for the sin, and love for the sinner gets into the same person, nothing will be done about the plight of the lost.
Thanks to all who take time to write, or call , or stop by with some encouraging words about the work of the WILDERNESS Ministries. God has opened doors and allowed us to be in many countries of the world every Month. Every encouraging word is like MANNA! Thanks!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
WHAT IS TRUTH?
Honesty is a rare virtue these days. The truth is hard to find in a sin sick world. Just tell it so it will “sound good” is the motto for today. Just “beat around the bush” so to speak, but where is the truth? I’m baffled when a question is asked and I get an answer only to find out the next day that is was not a completely honest answer. The answer changes from day to day. Just tell it like it is the first time and save me from all the aggravation. The ones you expect to get a straight answer from sometimes disappoint us. I was in my kitchen waiting for a call with some good news concerning my husband’s health and the call finally came and thankfully, it was good news. However, by then, the frustration had set in so I had to have a talk with the Lord. I admitted to Him that I didn’t know what to believe or who to believe even after the call came in. I went down my list of complaining to the Lord and of course, He listened patiently. “Lord, can I believe what the Doctors say, can I really believe they are telling it like it is, are they really being honest and telling the truth or just telling me what they want me to hear? Lord. Can I even believe the mechanic when I take my car in for repair? Can I believe the news reporter, can I believe the preacher, (I hope so, he is my husband). Can I really believe they are telling it like it is. Or will I hear a different story tomorrow? After going down my list of doubting and lack of trust for everyone and everything in this world, I was reminded of what truth really is! “Thy Word is Truth!” God’s Word is never to be doubted and it can be trusted. God’s Word has been tried and tested. “Thy Word is Truth!” I prayed, “Lord, I don’t know who to believe or what to believe when I get so many different stories, but this one thing I know without a doubt; “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou are with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
What is truth? “Thy Word is Truth.” (Jn. 17:17).
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
SHARING GOD’S LOVE
In my mind I had this vision of what my summer was going to be; beach, hanging with friends, and just relaxing. However, God had a different plan for me. It was a few days into the month of June and I was volunteering at a local Church to help out with Vacation Bible School. The children’s pastor came up to me and asked me if I would be interested in going on a mission trip with the Church. I just blew it off and told him that I didn’t think that I would be able to go. I honestly never gave it another thought. About mid-week, the Lord laid it on my heart that this is a trip that I needed to go on. So, two days before the mission trip, I decided to go. I was scared and nervous and did not know what to expect, but I had this overwhelming peace that God gave me. I now know why God wanted me on that trip. Not only did we have 17 children come to know Christ, but God was working in my heart too. This trip allowed me to become closer to Him. Nothing can replace that. So I encourage you, if you have a chance to go on a mission trip, take it! You never know what seed God may be planting in your life.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
THINK ABOUT IT…Since Jesus was raised from the dead, His Lordship is Unquestionable, His Word is Unalterable, and His Promise is Unmovable, His Mission is Unstoppable.
O STILLER OF THE STORM
By Pastor George Mills
“And He arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, peace be still, and the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” (Mk. 4:39).
O stiller of the storm tossed sea,
O Keeper of the deep,
Straightener of my pathway be,
For my path is very steep.
O strength that keeps through the long, long day,
O Watcher of the long, long night,
O Guider through the darkened way,
When there is but little light.
O Lighter of my dreary path,
Please hasten to my need,
The storm is raging in it’s wrath,
For help, I humbly plead.
O Walker on the storm tossed sea,
O voice that whispers peace,
Just speak and the waters calm will be,
The storm will have to cease.
Just see how the waters calmly lay,
The winds no longer blow,
Because they heard the Master say,
“Be still,” and it was so.
What calmness now, what healing balm,
Now safe from every harm,
All praise to Christ, my life is calm,
O STILLER OF THE STORM.