Vol. 39, No. 1 MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS AND HOPES FOR THE NEW YEAR, 2015
Vol. 39, No. 1
MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS AND
HOPES FOR THE NEW YEAR, 2015
By Pastor George Mills
A NATION ON IT’S WAY DOWN
“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.” (2Kings 22:2)
My text for this message is taken from 2Kings 22 and 23. Young King Josiah recognized the condition of his land and did something about it. There is much to cover. There are valuable lessons to learn. Today, in our homeland, I see a nation on it’s way down. Someone has said that “if we do not learn from history, we have to repeat it.” If we, as a nation do not take time to examine our direction and make the needed changes, we will have to see history repeated.
God had so richly blessed the nation of Israel, but with each passing generation, the people forgot the blessings of God and began to worship other ‘gods.’ God uses the most unlikely people to do His work. I think of Joseph in prison in Egypt. In that hopeless condition, forgotten in a foreign land, God reached down and brought Joseph to the second highest position in Egypt. God used Joseph to preserve life in Egypt and to preserve Israel. And then there was Moses. Who else but God Himself could call a deliverer from Pharaoh’s house to deliver Israel? And then there was Nehemiah. A servant in the king’s house in Persia who God would use to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. I think of Paul. He was certainly not the one we would choose to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentiles. This small man with poor eyesight, slow of speech, and not very appealing in appearance, but he was the one God chose to evangelize the world in that first century. And of course, would any of us have chosen the Disciples of Christ? This was a most unlikely lot, but our Lord sees far more than we can see. And down through the years God has chosen the weak, the foolish, the despised, the base things of this world to bring to naught the things which are, that no flesh should glory in His presence, (1Cor. 1:26-31). And in our text today, who else but God Himself would see in this young King strength and character to influence His nation for good. Let’s take some time and examine the condition of the land in Josiah’s day and the way God used the young king.
1. THE CONDITION OF THE LAND.
(A) THE POLITICAL CONDITION.
Back in the days of the kings, Israel was the most powerful nation on earth. Now, a powerful army in the north is making it’s way to the land of Israel. God had warned the nation time and time again, but with each generation, the political condition of the nation worsens. Readabout the wicked leaders of the land in 2Kings 21; “Manasseh did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord after the abominations of the heathen.” (21:1-18). The king, Amnon, did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord as his father Manasseh did, (21:19-26). Take a few minutes and read all of the chapters around this passage and you will see A NATION ON IT’S WAY DOWN.
I am deeply concerned about the condition of our Great Nation. As I write this in December, 2014, there are riots in many of our major cities. Businesses have been burned. Leftist politicians and leftist news organizations had placed all of the blame on police forces in every city. There is no truth in this. Facts seem to matter very little. The left has been trying to destroy this nation for a long time. “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Today, I ask, where are the great statesmen of yesterday? You know, that great senator or congressman who stood and fought for right and stood firmly against wrong? Statesmen have been replaced by politicians. Where are the judges who made their decisions according to the Constitution of the land and not according to popular opinion. Where are the judges before whom criminals feared to stand? Court rulings have banned prayer and the Bible from public places. Courts have ruled against the Right to Life. Abortion is the law of the land. The great history of this nation is not taught in the public schools as in years past. To be “politically correct” is the standard of today. Right or wrong are just what you deem them to be. Year after year we have seen the foundations of this nation being attacked, and even destroyed. I do not have the space in this publication even to begin the list of things that are attacking the foundations of this great nation. If you don’t like the flag, that’s too bad. This is America. If you don’t like the Pledge of allegiance, that’s too bad, this is America. If you don’t like the Bible, prayer, Christmas, or any of the great Christian traditions of this land, too bad, this is America. There are places around the world that think like you do, go there! This is America. We love our country, our God, our, heritage. We must wake up and see things as they are; A NATION ON IT’S WAY DOWN! We were the greatest, strongest nation in the world, but we are rapidly losing that great place. I don’t like to think about that, but truth is truth.
(B). THE MORAL CONDITION OF THE LAND.
(a) The sodomites were in the land. This was an “accepted alternate lifestyle (23:7). In fact they had set up shop right next door to the temple. This lifestyle has been condemned by the Law, (Lev. 20) Read Romans 1:21-32. God places this sin at the very bottom of the moral ladder. Those who practice this lifestyle are in danger of God”giving them over to a reprobate mind.” That is, a mind that is incapable of discerning the depravity of this sin and it’s results. I believe that in order for Democracy to survive, it must be rooted in Biblical principles, or it will not survive. We cannot survive long as a nation with sexual depravity accepted and promoted in the land.
(b) Children were being sacrificed to the god of the Amorites.“And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.” (23:10). Today, our children are being sacrificed in a different way. We give them over to the Public School System where they are exposed to anti-Christian, anti-Bible, anti-home, anti-patriotic, anti-American, and are buffeted with the “politically correct teachings of the N.E.A. And when children return home after school they spend several more hours before the TV and video games listening to more of the same. Is there any wonder why so many are heading in the wrong direction. A nation cannot stand when it’s morals are corrupt.
(C). THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF THE LAND.
When a nation falls apart, the Spiritual condition of the land is the place to look for the problem. Perhaps I should have started here with my first point, but these all flow into each other. Let’s look again to Josiah’s day.
(a) The Temple was in drastic need of repair. (22:1-7). The condition of the Temple was an outward manifestation of what was wrong inward. And I believe that our attitude toward the House of God today clearly expresses our spiritual condition. What is your attitude toward the House of God today? Is Church a vital part of your life? Or just somewhere you might go a couple of times each year to soothe your conscience? And speaking of disrepair, I believe that we should make sure that the place where we worship is well kept, clean, and orderly. The building should be no more than we can afford, and kept in an immaculate condition.
(b) There was a stable at the entrance of the Temple.“And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering of the House of the Lord.” These horses were offerings to the “sun god.”In fact, the Temple was a place of merchandise. You could buy anything you wanted. If you wanted to worship Baal, you could buy things for Baal there, For any “god” you could buy beads, and pearls, and idols just as it was in the days when Christ entered the Temple and drove out the money changers and sellers of sheep, cattle, and doves. You could buy anything “religious” there, much like the average “Christian Book Store” today.
(c). The priests were burning incense to Baal. (23:5). By this time in history, Baal worship had polluted the land. God had warned them about the “gods” of the Amorites, the Hivites, the Hittites “in whose land ye dwell.” Thanks to wicked queen Jezebel, Baal worship was as welcome as the worship of the God of Heaven. This reminds us of our land today. “Any ‘god’ is alright. After all, this is a land of freedom, where we can worship as we see fit.” This is NOT right. This nation was founded on the principals and teachings of the Word of God, (KJB). “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Our nation should return to the basic values that our founding fathers established. We should not give up our heritage. We should not have to petition the supreme court for those things clearly stated for us in the Constitution. As I have heard it stated before; “If we no longer have our religious liberty it will not be because they took it from us, it will be because we gave it to them.” Let us return to the God of our fathers, the God of the Bible, (KJB).
(d) They worshiped the stars, the moon, the planets, the sun, and nature. (ch 23:4-8). God had clearly stated in His Law, “And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the hosts of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them and serve them.” (Dt 4:19, Dt 17:1-6) Nature is a glorious thing. The heavens declare the glory of God. Creation points to God, but we do not worship these things, we worship the Creator of all things. All of these things point out very clearly the spiritual condition of the land, but there is one more thing that speaks volumes to me concerning the condition of the land…..
(e). The Word of God was lost.
As the workers were busy cleaning and repairing the Temple, they found a Book. Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the House of the LORD.” (22:8) Under the debris that had been brought into the Temple, evidently the Book of The Law had been covered up, LOST, discarded. They cleansed the Temple, and there is was. There is no telling of the length of days the Word had been lost. HERE IS OUR BASIC PROBLEM. The Word of God has become lost to our generation. We are facing a generation that knows nothing about the Bible, the Church, and the things of Christian value. Let me say again as I have said, and will say until God is finished with me. These new ‘versions’ ‘translations’ ‘bibles’ on the market today only add to the covering up of God’s Word;(KJB). N.I.V. TEV, NKJV, GOOD NEWS, LIVING LETTERS, AMPLIFIED and some 50 ‘versions’ on the market today ARE NOT the Word of God! They come from another text altogether. They are faulty, filled with errors, and every one attacks the PERSON and WORK of Jesus Christ. Evidently the Jewish priests of Josiah’s day did not see the difference, and evidently the preachers, pastors, schools, institutions of our day cannot see any differences. “Now preacher,” you may say, “This is the 21st century. You must come up to date.” I am up to date. The Word of God is never out-dated. I’ll just STAY WITH THE BOOK! God gave the English speaking people of the world a Book and that Book will take us on Home. Recently I was listening to a radio preacher who was answering questions for listeners. “Which bible should I use” was the question. His answer, “Just get several of these new translations and read the same passages in each one and you will get a general idea of what the word says.” Anybody who follows that advice will come away from ‘bible study’ more confused than when they started. As you read these new versions as the preacher said, you will see that they do not agree with each other. Some passages are omitted,, and many words, or phrases are added. God is not in all of this confusion about His Word. THINK ABOUT IT, the word is as lost today as it was when covered up with the debris in the Temple in Josiah’s day.
You believe this version, he believes that version, and he believes that version, etc, and guess who winds up where!
2. THE CONVICTING POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD.
“And it came to pass when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he rent his clothes.” (22:11) His command to Hilkiah the priest was, “Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me and for the people, and for all Judah concerning the words of this Book which was found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us.” The Majesty of the Word of God! How it brings conviction, and sets things right. What a wonder, as the Word touched the heart of the young king. I suppose that we could spend much time here on this point, but space is limited. But my, my, how we need to get back to the Bible. As a nation, we cannot destroy, or let others destroy our foundation, and long endure.
3. THE CLEANSING OF THE LAND.
Let us notice the king’s actions as he cleansed the land…
His first step…He repaired the House of God. “Go to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the House of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people and let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the House of The LORD, to repair the breaches of the House.” (22:4-7) Our attitude toward the House Of God is a measuring rod of our Spiritual Life.
The second step..The king gathered the elders of the land, and all the people, small and great and read the covenant to the people. The young king made a covenant to walk after the LORD, to keep His Commandments and statutes with all their hearts.”(23:1-3). Let us all, with sincere hearts return to those commitments of yesterday. His Words are still echoing through the centuries; “If my people, which are called by my Name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chr. 7:14).
The third step…He removed from the land all the idols, the graven images, the groves, the altars, the burning of bones, and tore down the houses of the sodomites. (ch 23:4-20).
In our personal lives, we must tear down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” (2Cor. 10:5).
The fourth step. He restored the Passover. Ch 23:22-23. Of course, the Passover is a reminder that Israel came out of bondage in Egypt by way of the Blood of a lamb, (Exodus 12). Christ is our passover. He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Not only is Christ the Lamb, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is not wanted in our land today. His Name is being removed from all public life. He will reign King and nations will bow and confess that He is Lord to the glory of God (Phil. 2:9-11). He seeks to reign in the hearts of mankind everywhere today. He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. I trust that you have received Him as your own personal Saviour. 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.” (Jn. 1:12). If you have never received Him, today is your day to settle all things with the One who gave His Life for you.
4. THE CERTAINTY OF REVIVAL.
God said said to King Josiah, “Because thy heart was tender,” “I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace, and thine eyes shall not see the evil which I shall bring upon this place.” (22:19-20). God granted revival in a time of pending judgment. THINK ABOUT IT..Just one young man made a difference for the nation.
Just remember, there is no REVIVAL without the BOOK, the BLOOD, and the BLESSED HOPE.
I trust that each of us today will sincerely judge our lives and see that there is nothing that robs us from the joys that come from serving Christ. Let us claim the promise of 2Chr. 7:14.
DEAR GOD, BLESS OUR NATION, BLESS YOUR PEOPLE, BLESS YOUR WORD IN JESUS’ NAME, AMEN!
We do sincerely wish for everyone a very Happy and Prosperous time in this year of Our Lord, 2015. Thanks each of you for your kindness, letters, cards, gifts, offerings, and many things that have been done to support this Ministry.
We thank God for opening the ways for us to send out the Gospel of Christ, both here in our homeland, and into nations of the world. We praise His Holy Name!
Wilderness Tracts began in 1966……
Church In The Wildwood Broadcast began in
the “WILDERNESS”Monthly Publication began in July, 1976.
Wilderness Prisons Ministry has been added as requested through the years.
World wide web Ministry began in 2001.
Thanks again, and have a very HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!… Pastor Mills
“BRETHREN, PRAY FOR US!”
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
Time to grab your brand new 2015 calendar and start writing out your plans for the New Year ahead. What will we be doing in the months of 2015, where do we plan to go if we take a vacation, what are we planning on doing with our lives? I ‘m sure we all plan to exercise more and lose a few pounds, well, maybe not all of us, but we will write that down on our calendar, it just makes us feel better. We have each week all planned out, where we are going and what we will be doing, but have we included God in our plans? “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
(Proverbs 27:1). Nothing wrong with making plans, but all we have is today and we are not promised a tomorrow, so let our prayer be, “Father, give us this day” and then live each day for Him. Let’s plan on telling others about Jesus, pass out more Bible Tracts, and plan to read our Bible more. Let’s plan to spend more time praying, talking to our Father. So many are lost and need our prayers and we see so much sickness and these dear ones need our prayers. Remember, every plan we make should include “Lord willing.” We are not the only ones to have a plan, God has a plan and His plan is for each of us to trust His Son Jesus Christ for Salvation. Ask Jesus into your heart today and become a child of God. That’s the way he planned it.
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that you ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”
THINK ABOUT IT…Christ is alive, He is risen from the dead. His Lordship is unquestionable, His Word is unalterable, and his Promise unmovable.
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN!
Well, it’s that time of year again! We all enjoy when Christmas and and the New year come around, but with this New Year facing us, so also are our resolutions. That’s right, the New Year is a time to start crazy diets, new gym memberships, and increased school resolve. Most of the resolutions we make will be in an attempt to give us happiness in one way or the other.. Have you thought about what you want to commit to in 2015? Well, in the New testament Jesus offers us some simple instruction. He said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33).
Many times we focus our resolutions on worldly goals, but we forget our relationship with God. Though health, wellness, and service are not at all bad things, we can easily get sidetracked from putting our focus where it really needs to be. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was speaking to a large crowd about the way they were living and the things they were chasing after in life. He said, “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other.” What He is saying is that if our goals are completely filled up with satisfying our own needs, desires, and even winning the opinions of others, we can’t be giving Christ the time and devotion He deserves. Our main goal should be to focus on God and try to serve others. We should try to shape our lives and see our goals through God’s lens. God takes care of His children and when we seek Him in our lives we can trust that He will take care of the rest according to His plan.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
THINK ABOUT IT…The only time I have is now. Everything I have above nothing, God gave to me. Let me take these things and give them back for Him to use as He knows best.
FACING OUR PROBLEMS
“For behold, the Lord of hosts doth take away from Jerusalem, the stay and the staff, whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water. The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent and the ancient. The captain of fifty, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed every one by another, and every man by his neighbor. The child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient and the base against the honorable.” (Isaiah 3:1-5)
Please take a few moments and read the first three chapters of Isaiah. In That text, Judah had a three-fold problem. And like Judah, we have that three-fold problem.
A HERITAGE PROBLEM.
The land of Judah had a rich heritage. Great men like King David, King Solomon. Great soldiers, Great Generals, Great Prophets. The city of Jerusalem was their heritage. The Temple was there. Jerusalem was “the joy of the whole earth.”(Psa. 48:2). But in our text in Isaiah, all the great men were gone. No more heroes. No more mighty soldiers. No eloquent orator to plead for them in the senate. Great and noble men were gone. Today, in our homeland, where are our leaders we can respect and admire? Today, the heroes for our kids are punk rockers, swivel hip singers, ball players, rock stars and rappers. Our values are twisted. We have forsaken our great heritage. When I was a young lad, we had real heroes. Great men like MacArthur, Eisenhower, Patton, Nimitz, Doolittle and so many more men of integrity. Our school system was great. We began each day with the pledge of allegiance, the teacher read the Bible, and we recited the Lord’s Prayer, (In the public school system). If we had a problem at school, then we had another problem when we got home. The home and the school worked together. I could go on and on about our rich heritage, but what we had, we left. (cont’d pg7)
A HOME PROBLEM.
In Isaiah’s day it seems that the homes were turning out children that behave like so many do today. Before I go any further, I want to thank God for every young person in America who is trying his or her best to be the best they can be. Thank God for every young person who puts Christ first in his or her life. But so many young people today are heading in the wrong direction. The world’s oldest institution is the home. The home was on the rocks in Isaiah’s day. The same is true in our land today. “The child shall behave itself proudly against the ancient.” Our children have been left for the Day Care Center to raise. What Day Care Center is there that could take the place of a tender, loving Mother in the home? And after a day at day care, the children are left with another 4 or 5 hours of TV, video games to finish the day. No home is big enough for this junk that our kids are exposed to. Did you ever notice the violence, the shootings, the stabbings, the robberies our kids are exposed to by watching this stuff every day? Did you ever watch the cartoons they watch? They are NOT like they used to be. More video games, more shootings. Did you ever take a walk near a video arcade at the Mall? Shootings, violence, it sounds like a war in there. And some young people put into practice the things they learn from the electronic media, and someone winds up dead! WHAT THEY SEE AFFECTS THEM, WHAT THEY LISTEN TO AFFECTS THEM, WHAT THEY READ AFFECTS THEM!! Now, I do not believe that we should “over protect” them. I do believe they should be taught properly, and not leave the teaching up to the TV, video industry. In solving the problems we are having in our land, our leaders are telling us that we have to re-educate our policemen. They must have better training. I saw images of young people burning buildings in Missouri. Rioting, pillaging, destroying property, and I say, that’s the crowd that should be in training…But the real training goes further back in life, back to the home and childhood. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
A HEART PROBLEM.
In Isaiah 3:6-7 says that no one was willing to step forward and take their stand. “It’s not my responsibility. Don’t blame me. Get someone else, not me.” These verses read as though they describe the day and time in which we live. Our HERITAGE has been placed aside, our HOMES are on the rocks, and we have no HEART. Sometime I wonder if we faced a crisis concerning our national security, would we have the heart to face it? I hope so! Congress leaves me guessing about these days. But still, all is not hopeless. There is…
A HEALING PLAN.
“Come now and let us reason together saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” What a great God we serve. He was ready to reason with Judah and forgive their sin. I believe that He is the same today. Who knows, if one by one, we begin to seek His face, who knows just what God will do for America. If there is not a turning to God in America, I am afraid that we are only seeing the beginning. Our Christian Heritage is being eroded. May Pastors, Preachers across this land forsake all of this TV, Hollywood, show-biz religion, pick up the Old Book (KJB) and preach sound doctrine, warn sinners about Hell. There’s a Hell to shun, and a Heaven to gain!
As a Christian, talk to God. Ask Him to search your heart. Make sure things are right, and ask Him to use you in reaching others.
If you are not a Christian, God is listening for your heart’s cry to Him. Believe in His message of the Cross, and receive His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Today!
Yes, there was hope for Judah, but Judah refused to listen to God’s plea.
Yes, there is hope for America if we only listen to His plea to us! GOD BLESS AMERICA!
America, America, God shed His Grace on thee,
And crown Thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.
IF YOU DIED TODAY….
Where will you be tomorrow, IF YOU DIED TODAY? Others will probably be preparing your body for burial, but you will still be alive SOMEWHERE….
In Heaven with the Redeemed,
In Hell with the damned
What you have done with Jesus Christ determines where you will be tomorrow, IF YOU DIED today. Just make sure that IF YOU DIED TODAY, or if you live many more years that WHEN YOU DIE, you will go to be with our Lord.
RECOGNIZE that you are a sinner before God. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Ro. 3:23).
REALIZE That Christ alone can save you from the penalty and power of sin. “For by Grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8).
RECEIVE Jesus Christ as your Personal Saviour. Just tell God in your own words, “Lord, in the best way I know how, I now receive Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I claim the promise, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name. (Jn 1:12).