Vol. 34, No. 12 December, 2010
To all of our readers, both here in our homeland and those in foreign lands, we wish for each of you a Blessed and Glorious Christmas Season! While we enjoy this season of giving, let us not forget the Greatest Gift of all, the Gift of our Lord Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn.3:16).
CHRIST, THE PROMISED SHILOH
Dr. George Mills
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.”
I know that this is a strange place to find a Christmas Message, but I believe that this is one of the greatest promises of the coming of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus.
This is a lengthy study. I will try to be as brief as I can.
In the text in Genesis 49, Jacob is dying. He calls for his sons that he may give them his final blessing. This is not a very pleasant sight. These sons of Jacob are a motley crew. Jacob does not have very much good to say about them. Just a few examples;
V2-3, “Reuben, thou art my firstborn.” Then he continues, “Unstable as water.” No doubt Jacob has in mind the sin of Gen 35:22.
V5-7. “Simeon and Levi are instruments of cruelty.” He probably has in mind the slaughter of the Shechemites in Gen 35:1-34.
V17, “Dan shall be a serpent by the way.”
V22, “Joseph is a fruitful bough.” This is the son who rescued the family. Jacob loved him and called him fruitful. But the remainder of these sons, not much good can be said.
In the midst of these blessings, JUDAH is mentioned. Judah means, “praise.” The Tribe of Judah becomes the kingly tribe. V8-9 speak of the kingly line of Judah. Judah would rise to be feared by his enemies. His scepter or baton he held symbolized his mastery in the role of a warrior. Judah is identified with the lion. Rev. 5:5 says, “And one of the elders saith unto me, weep not, behold the LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, the root of David hath prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
Now. Let’s see just a few things about CHRIST, THE PROMISED SHILOH, and His coming through the tribe of JUDAH.
1. THE MEANING OF SHILOH.
Shiloh has several meanings.
(A) Shiloh means, “A messenger, or, one who is sent.” Just think of the many times our Lord Jesus told us that He was the SENT ONE. At the beginning of His Ministry Jesus read Isaiah 61:1 to the nation; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, HE HATH SENT ME to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives…” (Lk. 4:18). GOD HATH SENT ME. “My meat is to do the will of Him that SENT ME.” (Jn. 4:34). “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him who HE HATH SENT.” (Jn 6:29) “For I came down from Heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that SENT ME.” (Jn. 6:38). “As the Living Father hath SENT ME.” (Jn.6:57). “My doctrine is not mine, but His that SENT ME.” (Jn.7:16). “I must work the works of Him that SENT ME.” (Jn. 9:4). “But when the fullness of time was come, God SENT FORTH HIS SON, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem…” (Gal. 4:4). At the right time, when world conditions were right, when languages were right, when prophecies were right, when governments were right, when all things were in order, God sent His Son.
SHILOH, ONE WHO IS SENT. At this Christmas Season, when we see and enjoy all of the activities, displays, the trees, lights, and all of the joyous things of this season, let us remember that GOD SENT HIS SON! That’s Christmas!
(B) Shiloh means, “Peace-maker.”
Since the Garden of Eden when man sinned, there has been enmity between God and man. A battle has been raging. (Gen. 3:15). Do you really know what’s wrong with the world? Why all the killing? The crime? Violence? Wars? The answer is simple; Man needs peace.
Peace with God. Peace with man. And peace with himself. I am so glad that Shiloh, the peace-maker has come! “For He is our PEACE who hath made both one, (Jew and Gentile) and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” (Eph 2:14). “And having made PEACE through the blood of His cross.” (Col. 1:20).
At His birth the angelic multitude sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE, good will toward men.” (Lk. 2:14). “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and his Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, THE PRINCE OF PEACE. Peace with God, peace with man, peace with self.
(C). Shiloh means “Prosperous Saviour.” “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He hath put Him to grief, when thou shall make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see his seed. He shall prolong His days, the pleasure of the Lord SHALL PROSPER in His hand.” (Isa. 53:10) Isaiah 53 is a condensed account of the coming of Shiloh, the prosperous Saviour. When you read Isaiah 53, it looks like weakness, it looks final, but not so. “He shall prolong His days (Resurrection) He shall see His seed.” As One who prospers, as One who has conquered death and the grave, He alone possesses the qualifications for the saving of souls. Not Buddha, not Mohammed, not some religious founder, CHRIST ALONE!
SHILOH, PROSPEROUS SAVIOUR!
2. THE MANIFESTATION OF SHILOH.
He Came to Bethlehem, in fulfillment of Micah 5:2, “But thou Bethlehem Ephratah though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall HE come forth unto me that is to be the RULER IN Israel whose goings forth have been of old from everlasting.”
He came from Egypt. “When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night and departed into Egypt. And was there until the death of Herod that it might be FULFILLED which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, out of Egypt have I called my son.” (Mt. 2:14-15).
He came from Nazareth. “And He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth that it might be FULFILLED which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” To be called a Nazarene was to be called “despised one.” People who lived there were not highly regarded, to say the least. Phillip met the Lord Jesus. He told Nathaniel, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets did write Jesus of NAZARETH, the son of Joseph. And Nathaniel said unto him, can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Phillip said unto him, come and see.” (Jn 1:45-46).
He was sent to the tribe of JUDAH. Some 1700 years before Christ was born Jacob said that SHILOH would come from JUDAH, the kingly tribe. In all of that you can clearly see the INSPIRATION, INFALLIBILITY, and PRESERVATION of the Word of God. Read about the birth and lineage of Christ in Mt. 1:1-16. Matthew gives the lineage forward from JUDAH (Judas) to Joseph, the husband of Mary.
And in Luke 3:23-34, Luke gives his lineage backward from Joseph to JUDAH (Juda).
In Rev. 5:1-6 Christ is referred to as the LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH. So backward and forward, anyway you want to trace Him Christ alone can show his lineage through the Word of God. Christ alone can show His earthly lineage through the Tribe of Judah. He is the PROMISED SHILOH.
3. THE MAJESTY OF SHILOH.
“Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Gen. 49:10). Born in weakness to become King of kings, and Lord of lords. “The government shall be upon His shoulders.” “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” (Isa. 9:6-7). “Shall the gathering of the people be.” Perhaps Paul had that in mind when he wrote; “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might GATHER TOGETHER in one, all things in Christ both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him.” (Eph. 1:10).
“And if I be lifted up from the earth, will DRAW ALL MEN unto me.” (Jn. 12:32).
All men of all ages will one day be GATHERED TOGETHER, and will confess that Jesus is Lord to the Glory of the Father. (Phil. 2:10-11).
This then is the Christmas message. SHILOH HAS COME! His earthly lineage was through the tribe of JUDAH, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Jacob, (Gen. 49:10). He came at the right time, in the right manner, to the right place. God moved families, upset towns, and cities, and governments. God upset thrones and kingdoms. God changed the face of the skies and sent Heavenly messengers to tell the story of Christ, THE PROMISED SHILOH. Everything was done in such minute detail that if anyone misses Christ, it cannot be God’s fault.
Now, what will you do with a Saviour like that? You know, you must do one of two things. You must receive a gift, or reject it. If it is a gift, then there is nothing you can do to earn it.
Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas Gift to the world. You must receive Him, or reject Him. Which will it be? You must make that choice, NOW. You may never have another opportunity. How do you receive Him? He is there, where you are. He has been knocking at your heart’s door all of your life. He will not come into your life unbidden by you. He will come in when you ask Him in. “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”
THE PROMISED SHILOH HAS COME!
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. The world wanted nothing to do with Christ at His first coming 2000 years ago, and nothing has changed. There was no room for Him then and there is no room for Him now. As the world celebrates Christmas they see lights and trees. As the Christian celebrates Christmas he sees the Light of the world who was nailed to a tree.
Do you have in memory your favorite Christmas present? I do. My favorite present is now 56 years old. It was given to me by my wife on our first Christmas as husband and wife. It is a family Bible, (KJB). On the first page she wrote:
To: “My precious husband “Sonny”
Christmas Day, 1954
On that first Christmas day, I was not saved. I was not a Christian when I received it. I thought that it was a very good idea for us to have a Bible in our home. After all, just about everyone else had one. I thought that now, since I do have a Bible, it would be a good idea to read it. And so beginning on that Christmas night back in 1954 we started reading that Bible. We started in Genesis, Ch. 1:1. One chapter each night. I did not understand a lot of what I read because I did not know the Author. As I look back over my life I can see things more clearly now. “So then, Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” “Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible seed, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” As I look back, I have to say that this Book, this Gift is the thing that brought me to Christ just a few years later. Just reading and the Word being sown in my heart brought me to Christ. I was saved in 1960. I have no doubt that the implanted Word of God, given to me as a Christmas Gift brought me to Christ.
Yes, I love and cherish every gift I have ever received. This one GIFT stands out over all the rest.
What is the best gift you ever received? What is the best gift you can ever give?
THANKS FOR THE MEMORY!
BEHOLD, IT’S CHRISTMAS
By Pastor George Mills
“For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord.” (Lk. 2:11)
Behold the Babe in a stable there,
In a manger where He lay.
Behold as Glory filled the air,
Where Christ was born that day.
Behold the Chorus as they sang,
To announce the Saviour’s birth.
Behold as loud the anthem rang,
“Peace to all the earth.”
Behold the Child in Nazareth town,
As He grows in stature, strong.
Behold the Grace of God came down,
To save man from all wrong.
Behold the Man beside the sea,
As multitudes were fed.
Behold as doubters eyes did see,
When He multiplied the bread.
Behold the Lord beside the tomb,
Of Lazarus, where he lay.
Behold the empty, barren room,
As Lazarus lived that day.
Behold the Lamb as He bears our loss,
The sin of all the world.
Behold the Christ upon the cross,
On Him, all sin was hurled.
Behold the Babe in the stable there,
In a manger where He lay.
Behold Salvation’s plan is here,
Emmanuel came that day.
And now man lives with hope above,
Sin’s debt is rolled away.
God came down to prove His Love,
Behold, IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY!
GOD HAS AN IMAGE IN MIND
“To be conformed to the image of His Son.” (Ro. 8:29)
I love painting, that is, I love to try to paint landscapes, flowers, trees, a lake, that kind of painting. Occasionally I will paint something. Recently I painted a scene. It is perhaps the worst painting I have ever seen. It is nothing! It is colorless, or that is, mostly green. It has no balance to it and nothing about it catches the eye. I plan to place it in a trash can and hope the garbage man will have mercy on me and take it away. Now, the reason my painting turned out so bad is simply because I did not have an image to go by. I just started painting. “Let me see, a bush here, a tree there, some water there. No, a rock should be there and not a bush. No, that doesn’t look right, a tree should be there. No! No! No!” And so on it went. The painting turned out so awful because I did not have an image or pattern to go by. And so it is with many lives today. There is no image, no pattern and things are not turning out right. That’s the way my life was before I met Christ. The day I met the Saviour, God began a wonderful work in me.. But as the little song goes, “He’s still working on me.”
Sometimes I do not understand the way He does, or the why He does. Sometimes it seems to me that He should do this, or that, or in some other way. Perhaps a little color here, or something else there. But He is the Artist. He has an image in mind. He works, He moves, He rearranges things that we, as Christians may be “Conformed to the image of His Son.” He is trying to make us a little more like Jesus every day.
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
HE IS ABLE
We are hearing on the news and reading in the newspapers every day just how bad things are in our country. The alarmists are telling us we need to stock up on food because soon and very soon the price of groceries will be so out of sight we will not be able to buy them. My view on this is, how in the world can you stock up when groceries cost so much now one can hardly buy enough for today! Relax and don’t allow the alarmists of the news channels to cause you to be fearful! Child of God, you have a Heavenly Father that will take care of you no matter what. You have trusted Him with your soul and you can certainly trust Him to take care of you in any situation. In my life this truth has been tried and proven! Early in my husband’s ministry when our four children were very young, times were hard for us. We were in small mission churches that paid very little if any at all. Our cupboards were empty at times, but we were never hungry. God supplied our every need in one way or another. We found bags of groceries on our door steps and never knew who brought them. God took care of us because we belonged to Him. We didn’t panic and we were never alarmed, we just knew that OUR GOD WAS ABLE and He would see us through, no matter what. So many times He has come to our rescue and I would love to tell you about each and every one of them, but I would have to write a book, and I might just do that! No, we didn’t eat steak but we did have donuts! Now, that was just fine with me because I prefer donuts over steak! The reason for the donuts was my husband worked part time in a bakery while in Bible College and he was allowed to bring home the out dated ones, Yum! Yum! Of course, the kids loved them too! We have been so cared for and blessed in our walk with Him and I have no plans to panic, worry, be alarmed or stock up! I’ll just continue to trust my Heavenly Father.
HE IS ABLE and willing to save you and keep you safe and secure in every situation. Trust Him today! Ask Him to come into your heart. Tell Him you know He died to pay for your sin and you know He came forth from the grave and is alive forever more. He will save you if you will just call on Him. Trust Him with your soul and then trust Him with your future. He will never leave you nor forsake you, no matter what.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19).
THINK ABOUT IT…Since God knows what He is doing in my life, it would make more sense for me to yield my life completely to Him. I wonder how much my stubborn will has cost me in knocks, bumps and bruises. Oh well, we grow old so soon and smart so late.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. The world robs us of our joy and peace. God moves in wondrous ways to show us who and where our REAL FRIEND is, and seeks to make us more like HIM!
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
THE BEST GIFT OF ALL
Let me start by saying Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. I know you are probably planning on some very exciting things to do with your family and friends this holiday season! I know that I will be enjoying this time with mine.
While I know that we are creating some wonderful memories that will last a lifetime, I hope that all of you would make sure to remember the true reason that we celebrate Christmas. While giving and receiving gifts is nice, we tend to forget the best gift that was ever given; the gift of salvation from our Lord Jesus Christ. God sent this gift to anyone who will just ask. You could ask for worldly things that most of us teenagers desire, like money, cell phones, ipods, etc, but none of that will matter in Eternity.
His gift to us, His only Son, Jesus, was given so that one day we can live in a wonderful place called Heaven. That would be the greatest gift you could give yourself or others. Imagine telling your parents that you have changed your entire life because you have accepted the gift of salvation. Imagine a parent telling a child, “I will no longer do bad things in my life, and our family will change because I have now accepted the gift of salvation.” It is the gift that keeps on giving!
I was listening to the song, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE today, and while listening to those precious words I couldn’t help but picture in my head what Heaven would look like. I can truly only imagine! I just cannot fathom how much love that God has for us to send His Son to die on a cross for us. If just one person that reads this article would accept the gift of salvation, I would be the happiest person on this whole earth! When you accept God into your life it changes everything! It will change your attitude, your mood, and the people that surround you. When this happens you can help others receive this wonderful gift! Enjoy this Christmas time with your family and friends, but never forget the real reason for the season! Don’t forget to say MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holidays!
May God bless your life each and every day.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
THINK ABOUT IT… I made mention of the Bible my wife gave me on our first Christmas together. At that time, 56 years ago she was a young teenager. When she went to purchase that Bible, she did not have to say; “Now let me see, what “version” should I buy him? Should I buy the ASV, TEV, NIV, NASV, GNT, NAB, NLT, NKJV, NIRV, RSV, AMP, CEV, NCV, NRS, etc?” Most of these were not out back then. The market has been flooded with “versions” since that day, 56 years ago. She did not have to take a careful look. The King James Bible was about the only one available.
The retail market has been flooded with phonies, false advertisement, and things that just don’t last. This happened in the case of the “Bible market.” Let us borrow from the advertisers of the cola that says. I HAVE THE REAL THING!
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS…
“I pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit but nothing happens. It is wrong for me to pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Ans…If you are saved, such a prayer is both wrong and unscriptural. The Bible tells us in First Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” This is not water baptism; this is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This happens the moment we receive the Lord Jesus as Personal Saviour. This is a once-for-all baptism. It is wrong for us to pray for something we already have. The Christian is to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit, (Eph. 5:18). To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by The Holy Spirit. As alcohol controls the drunkard, the Holy Spirit is given to control our lives. This is done by our surrendering to His control daily. The Holy Spirit is our best friend on earth. We should know His fullness in our lives every day. This is a matter of faith and Prayer. The Holy Spirit is given to empower us to live for Jesus. May God grant His fullness to each of us today.
OUR SINCEREST WISHES FOR EACH OF YOU IS FOR A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!