The Voice in the Wilderness November 2017 Virtual Edition

 

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•November 2017• •Free Subscription• Virtual Edition I John 2:15 - Love not the world “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” - Mark 1:3 Contending for American Freedom • Contending for Fundamental Christianity

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Dear Friends: After preaching thousands of messages and teaching through the Bible over the past 46 years, it would appear I’ve seen it all. Maybe not. Dancing and alcohol in the church, at one point, in my ministry was not up for debate. Now along with inappropriate wedding dresses comes the “First Dance” and even the devil’s drink. Come on pastors, where is the courage and love to stand up and declare, “Thus saith THE LORD!” Even business folk in our churches are having the dance and drink at Christmas parties and office events. Our people need to hear clear, definitive preaching from God’s Word. For Christ and souls, Ronnie L. Williamson Isa. 40:31 Happy Trails! 2•The Voice in the Wilderness - November 2017 Virtual Edition

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T he Voice IN THE Wilderness PRINTED MISSIONARY Ronnie and Terry Williamson Evangelist/Editor Steve and Rebekah Lilly Staff Missionaries The Voice in the Wilderness is a nonprofit, independent incorporation, founded by Rev. Dr. J. RoyceThomason D.P.D. Ph.D., evangelist and medical missionary. The organization is dedicated to the spreading of the whole gospel to the world, especially in foreign lands. The program consists of building mission stations, supporting American missionaries and native pastors by partnering with the local church in various areas of ministry and preaching Christ to the lost. We are supported by the gifts of those who care. Contributions to The Voice in the Wilderness for projects or to support the ministry of a missionary will be used as indicated by the donor following approved policies and procedures. Gifts are tax deductible and should be made out to The Voice in the Wilderness. § A fundamental publication, published quarterly in behalf of the work of the Lord and preservation of the liberties of our United States. § Printed material from other sources does not necessarily imply an endorsement from this ministry. § There is no subscription charge; all interested people of good will may have a copy sent regularly to their address simply by requesting it. § For Personal Correspondence, Contributions, Address Changes, New Subscriptions, Write to us Dr. Ronnie L. Williamson Dr. J. Royce Thomason Memorial Voice in the Wilderness P.O. Box 7037 Asheville, NC 28802 Voice (828) 649-1043 www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org CONTENTS God’s Word 4 to Drinkers 8 Resources Get Learn more at www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org FREE Online Resources December 2010• Free Subscription• Ronnie and Terry Williamson • Steve and Rebekah Lilly Evangelist/Editor Staff Missionaries Mini-Voice Edition & Prayer Letter THANK YOU for being a friend to this ministry and the giving of your prayers and support! “Difficulties afford opportunities for learning God’s faithfulness which otherwise we should not have. It gives me great comfort to remember that the work is His and that He knows how best to carry on and is infinitely more Digital & Print Edition interested in it than we are.” – Hudson Taylor NEWS BITS FROM HERE AND THERE Pray for us! Online Washington Waste - Newsweek.com relitigate ObamaCare. In this last month of 2010, we have all reports the following on waste and been busy at the tasks He has called us to. uncontrolled spending in Washing- U.S. Takeover - Policy of the elitist Special meetings and KJB services have ton..: The Social Security Adminis- take-over group robs from any and filled the calendar for December, and we tration sent $18 million in stimulus everybody to expand their power- are already making special project and funds to 71,688 dead people, and grab. Property ownership and privacy traveling plans for 2011. The Virtual Voice $40.3 million in questionable ben- means nothing to this crowd. Look at for December has been completed and can efit payments to 1,760 deceased Obama on Israel, for example. He is be viewed online at www.thevoiceinthewil- individuals; the Department of Ag- against Israel’s plan to build on their derness.org. We are also excited to share riculture sent $41.1 billion in farm- own land in East Jerusalem. Is this additional resources with you via our web- ing subsidies to dead farmers; The man anti-U.S./Israel and pro-Mus- site, such as the Online Audio Bible page Department of Health and Human lim/Socialist or what? where you can read through the Bible in a Services sent $3.9 million to 11,000 “I want one of those!”.... year with text and audio streaming. Thank dead people to help pay heating and That was the story just told by a Texas you for your continued interest and sup- cooling cost; and Medicare paid up man on the phone with The Voice in port, especially at this critical year-end to $492 million in claims for medical the Wilderness office. He had been time, and please make note of our special supplies prescribed by dead doctors standing in line at Chik-fil-A when prayer and praise list. and $8.2 million for medical sup- his eyes caught sight of an interestplies prescribed for dead patients. ing lapel pin on the suit coat of an- Prayer Praise It would be interesting to know who other man in line. He stepped close • Travel Safety • Offerings for soft- was cashing these checks. (Editor: to get a good look and saw that it was • Health ware updates From first-hand experience, I know a King James Bible pin. “Hey, I like • Increased Support • 2500 KJB Signa- of numerous individuals deceased yet still listed as registered voters. In the county in which I live, some years ago, there was a big investigation of “dead voters.”) ObamaCare - The Heritage Foundation says, “The President just doesn’t get it. According to the national exit that...Where did you get it?” In a quick minute, the owner of the pin, an evangelist, took the pin off, gave it to him, and directed him to our minstry where he could obtain more. Thousands of these little proclamations are voicing our stand on God’s Word, the King James Bible. Over 2500 have now signed the King • KJB Project tures • Venezuela Church • New updates to Planting Projects website • Car for Pastor • New opportunities Niller - San Felipe, for 2011 Venezuela • Safe travels and • Foreign travel and good services Missions teaching • Special offerings poll, just 16% of voters want to leave James Declaration. Let your voice and preaching ObamaCare as is. A full 48% of voters be heard today. Join with those oth- • Property Mainte- want to see it out-right repealed, and ers by sending your signature to our nance Equipment another 31% want to see it changed in some way. Americans do want to office and requesting your KJB lapel pin. Visit us online to read the 8 page December 2010 Virtual Voice Edition MoGnthly PiraoyvernLleeittner eFormoreresourcesandministryinformationvisitwww.thevoiceinthewilderness.orgorwrite,POBox7037Asheville,NC 28802 Find more updates Facebook: Ronnie Williamson (The Voice in the Wilderness) Twitter: TheVoice_NC Daily Podcasts Online

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Here is your updated No Fly Zone or more precisely put, your “Do Not Preach list” for 2017. Remember pastors and evangelists, we live in a more sophisticated, mature, modern, politically correct culture. After all, this is not the dark ages. That puritanical witch burning era is past, and thank the Lord for it. So if you are going to preach with love and unity, here’s your “Do Not Preach List” Keepers at Home Short hair on Women Divorce and Remarriage Long Hair on Men Facebook and Social Net- working Texting, Sexting, and High Tech Sin Contemporary Music Dress and Fashions Entertainment, TV, Movies, Etc. Sports and Me Little Girls and Soccer Moms Beaches and Bathing Suits Dating and Courtship Sippin’ Saints Praying knees and Dancing Legs Marriage and Manhood Pastor, Is Your House in Order? The KJB and Modern Bible Versions Pants on Women Women, Keep Silent in the Church Public Education and Gov- ernment-Run Schools Cremation and Pagan Roots. 4•The Voice in the Wilderness - November 2017 Virtual Edition

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Preached November 5, 2017 at Grifton FWB Church by Pastor Kevin Woolard Let me begin this morning by saying, the message I’ll be preaching today IS NOT, nor HAS IT EVER BEEN a popular or pleasant one to many people. In fact, there may be SOME OF YOU listening to me this morning who believe it’s OK for a Christian to drink alcohol. But you, my friend, have been DUPED by the Devil, and you are indeed DISALLUSIONED to the truth. The question as to whether a Christian should drink alcohol has been the subject of many theological debates, and sadly, church division. However, the Bible is ABSOLUTLY CLEAR on this subject! So, the message today will be both a BENEFIT and BLESSING for the true Christian who believes the Bible is the FINAL AUTHORITY and who has an OPEN MIND and HEART, desiring to please the Lord! This coming Tuesday, we, the citizens of Grifton, will be given IS GOD’S WORK IN YOUR WILL? “One of the most important documents a man ever signs is his Will. I can tell better what a man had in his heart by reading his Will than I can by reading his obituary. His obituary tells the world what his friends thought of him; his Will reveals what he had in his heart.” - A. M. Vollmer For as (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he- Proverbs 23:7. Out of (the heart) are the issues of life - Proverbs 4:23. A bequest in your Will to The Voice in the Wilderness, Inc. can assure that the outreach of this ministry at home and abroad will continue after you have gone to your eternal reward. Prayerfully consider us in your Estate Planning. Thank you! For more resources, visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •5

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the opportunity to vote on what has commonly been called the LIQUOR BY THE DRINK proposal. Simply put, we will go to the voting booths and vote either YES or NO to allow restaurants, motels, civic centers, and other establishments to sell liquor to its customers. My prayer is that the people of Grifton, many of which sit in this sanctuary this morning, will VOTE NO on such a proposal. And by the way, the people of Grifton are voting on this simply because the majority of our town councilmen voted to allow it to be on the ballot before the people. Only Johnny Craft and Raymond Oaks voted against it ever making it out of committee. The others were liberal and spineless, choosing to allow such a DISGRACEFUL, and what will ultimately be DESTRUCTIVE, initiative to our already struggling town with its drug dealers, gang members, gambling dens of iniquity, and dying economy! Grifton is in SERIOUS trouble in many ways – FINANCILLY, MORALLY, AND SPIRITUALLY! A sanctioned license to sell LIQUOR is NOT the ANSWER for our town! So, when you vote, ASK the candidates, whether MAYOR or councilmen, WHERE he or she stands on the issue. I affirm that I will do my best to vote for the man or woman who aligns himself or herself BEST with the PRINCIPLES of God’s Word. Joshua 24:15 – “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This morning let’s look to the ULTIMATE and FINAL AUTHORITY, the WORD OF GOD, on this matter of Christians and alcohol. God definitely has a WORD for DRINKERS. Remember, it’s not what society accepts and celebrates; it’s not what the multimillion-dollar beer and liquor companies promote with their deceptive and deplorable advertising; it’s not even what many, if not most, of what the liberal, compromising, truth-defying CHURCHES and SO-CALLED ministers in this town may SANCTION! It’s WHAT GOD SAYS! By the way, what do you expect a liberal church to preach and teach to you anyway? If they condone homosexuality, 6•The Voice in the Wilderness - November 2017 Virtual Edition

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same-sex marriages, transgendered perversion, people living together in adultery, women preachers, and a host of other UNBIBLCIAL and IMMORAL SINS, they certainly ARE NOT going to tell you the truth about ALCOHOL. In a lot of these churches, the “socalled ministers, deacons, and congregation drink alcohol together, acting as if God approves. Drinking alcohol is SINFUL, whether it’s beer, wine, whiskey, liquor, or moonshine! Drinking alcohol is WRONG in the eyes of Almighty God, whether it’s one drop, one can, one bottle, one glass, one shot, one bucket, or one barrel! It doesn’t matter if you call it SOCIAL DRINKING or if you’re a SLOBBERING DRUNK – it’s WRONG! It’s the DEVIL’S BREW, it’s LIQUID SATAN, it’s rotten, it’s repulsive, it’s detestable, it’s destructive, and GOD always has and always will FORBID it to be consumed by His people. And that also means, it should never be consumed by the members of Grifton Free Will Baptist Church! If you’re a member of this great church and you drink alcohol, I pray you’ll repent and pour the garbage down the sewer, and vow to God you’ll never drink again. BUT IF NOT, be man or woman enough to come tell me you’re going to keep on sipping the sinful stuff, so I can take your name off the church roll! And I say that with the right attitude and right heart Remember the Bible Project as we continue to send the Scriptures into Colombia and Venezuela! For more resources, visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •7

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for this church! So, what is GOD’S WORD TO DRINKERS? 1. THE TESTIMOMY OF SCRIPTURE FORBIDS DRINKING ALCOHOL Listen to the Word of God and let the truth speak for itself. • Proverbs 20:1 – “Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” God says wine (here alcoholic wine), strong drink (which is fermented beer, whiskey, or liquor) is raging. The Devil’s Brew makes a mockery of people’s lives. The Devil sets back and laughs in delight when he sees what this filthy, rot-gut poison does to people’s lives. Folks, its true – SIN will take you farther than you want to go, COST you more than you want to pay, and KEEP you longer than you want to stay! The Devil will have a hay day with your life and then kick you to the curb when he’s made a colossal mess of your life! God says alcohol is “raging.” That word can be translated “brawler.” Alcohol, my friend FIGHTS against EVERYTHING that is good and wholesome in your life. Listen, name for me ANY GOOD THING that comes from drinking ALCOHOL! In fact, God says, if you drink you’re UNWISE, in other words, YOU’RE A FOOL! I didn’t say it, God did! Let me interject an important truth here! Many Christians protest, “Well, Jesus made wine in the Bible. We see many godly people drinking wine in the Bible; therefore, it must be OK.” But the CULPRIT of that logic is BIBLICAL ILLITERACY! Yes, Jesus made wine at the marriage of Cana in John 2. In fact, it was His first miracle. But if you read the story, you’ll see that when the wedding party had run out of wine, what Jesus miraculously made was considered to be the BEST or the purest, or the freshest wine. Listen to John 2:9-10 – “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” The “good wine” Jesus miraculously made was the fresh juice of the vine. It was the purest, freshest, grape juice. It had not been 8•The Voice in the Wilderness - November 2017 Virtual Edition

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setting out in the warm day becoming stale, much less with any fermentation beginning. When you read the word “wine” in the Bible you have to consider the context in which the word is used. When God forbids its consumption, obviously it’s a reference to a fermented, alcoholic beverage. BUT God also uses that term to depict joy, peace, happiness, and blessing. And when He uses the word “wine” in these contexts, it is certainly not ALCOHOL, but the pure juice of the vine. Listen to Psalm 104:14-15 – “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine [that] maketh glad the heart of man, [and] oil to make [his] face to shine, and bread [which] strengtheneth man’s heart.” Here, the fresh fruit of the vine is a blessed thing of God. That’s exactly the context of what Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23 – “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” Also, this is what Jesus referred to in Mark 14:23 – “And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave [it] to them: and they all drank of it.” Yes, Jesus drank wine with His disciples as He ate the Passover with them in the upper room. BUT IT WASN’T ALCOHOLIC WINE as we are so accustomed to SEEING today. It was the fresh juice of the vine! Our Lord would never make, consume or advocate the usage of anything He condemns in the Word of God. That, my friend, would make Him a hypocrite, a liar, and a false prophet! For more resources, visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •9

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• Proverbs 23:29-35 – “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, [when] it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, [shalt thou say, and] I was not sick; they have beaten me, [and] I felt [it] not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.” Church, this passage is absolutely clear. God says you’ll have trouble and sorrow if you drink alcohol! It is destructive! I don’t have to tell you what alcohol does to people! It ruins a person’s life; it robs people of their jobs; it wrecks marriages; it hurts children; AND SO OFTEN IT KILLS PEOPLE! Drunk drivers, domestic violence, DIVORCE, and deplorable acts of violence and murder are the results when people pour the LIQIUD DEVIL down their throats. Listen to me, God says right here, DON’T EVEN LOOK upon ALCOHOL. In other words, don’t contemplate drinking it; don’t entertain the thoughts of engaging in its consumption! If God says don’t look upon it, He certainly doesn’t want you DRINKING IT! Solomon was telling us very pointedly – if you want to AVOID a WORLD of TROUBLE and SIN, DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL! • Proverbs 23:20-21 – “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags.” Church, God says we’re not to be around those who drink alcohol! We’re not to be at the bars and parties where the SINFUL SLUDGE is being consumed. Stay away from the pitfalls, traps, and places of temptation. • Leviticus 10:9 – “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations.” You say, “Preacher, that was for the priest in the Old Testament.” Hey folks, what’s good for the preacher’s, good for the parishioner! We’re all Christians; we’re all the children of God! 10•The Voice in the Wilderness - November 2017 Virtual Edition

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• Isaiah 5:11 – “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, [that] they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, [till] wine inflame them!” • Ephesians 5:18 – “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” A Christian is never to be controlled by alcohol, but controlled by the Holy Spirit of God who lives within. The old, devilish adage is “I can drink as long as I don’t get drunk!” Well, let me ask you a question, how many drinks does it take before you’re drunk, or controlled by alcohol. I submit to you, you become under the influence, the moment you start drinking! Well, preacher, just a little alcohol now and then isn’t so bad! Well, let me ask you! Does just one act of adultery now and then make you an adulterer? How about, just a lie, now and then, does that make you a liar? How about stealing, just now and then, does that make you a thief ? Do you see my point? The moment you put the poison of Satan in your body, you are already under the influence, and well on your way to becoming a drunkard. By the way, no one who is an alcoholic today EVER THOUGHT he or she would be, after only a few drinks! If you NEVER start drinking, you NEVER have to worry about becoming an alcoholic – hooked on the poison! It’s common sense folks! Quit falling for the foolish, carnal rationale of this world, your flesh, and the devil himself. • Galatians 5:19-21 – “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, DRUNKENNESS, REVELLINGS, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Church, I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the clear Scriptural teaching that God never CONDONES or SANCTIONS the consumption of alcohol by His people. Whether its 1 or 100 Bible verses – God says STAY AWAY FROM IT! Let me lovingly say this – “How can anyone hear those verses, read those verses, and NOT conclude from those verses that DRINKING ALCOHOL IS For more resources, visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •11

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A SIN! It’s a matter of the heart! Open your heart and be obedient to the Holy Spirit. 2. THE TESTIMOMY OF THE SAINTS FALTERS AT THE DRINKING OF ALCOHOL Let us be reminded this morning, WE ARE CHRISTIANS! We have repented of our sins and placed our faith in Jesus Christ. We believe He loved us and went to the cross to suffer, bleed and die for our sins. We believe He arose from the dead. We have believed on Him, by faith, and received eternal life! We’re saved! We’ve been sanctified, sealed, and separated from this sinful world by the Master! Church, over and over, the Word of God calls for us to be a holy, separated, God-honoring people in all that we do. Let me give you just a few Scriptures this morning that reinforce this truth. • Romans 12:1-2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Last I checked, DRINKING alcohol involves your body! You either use your body to bring honor and glory unto the Lord, or you don’t! Don’t put that which is UNHOLY into your body that is to be HOLY unto the Lord! • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor DRUNKARDS, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Thank God, we’re not what we USE TO BE! We’re not the same old crowd! We’re NOT the DRINKERS anymore BY THE GRACE OF GOD! Hallelujah! Jesus can save, forgive, and cleanse a DRINKER. AA can’t do it! Psychologists can’t do it! Will power can’t do it! ONLY SALVATION can do it! 12•The Voice in the Wilderness - November 2017 Virtual Edition

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• John 15:19 – “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Church, DRINKING ALCOHOL is worldly, I don’t care how you slice it! Everything about beer, wine, liquor and moonshine is associated with worldliness and sin! Jesus was right! The world doesn’t understand why we don’t want alcohol around us or in us! They think we’re just narrow-minded, overly zealous, religious nuts! But what they don’t understand is that Jesus has set us FREE from such things and we desire to HONOR HIM! • 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” • 1 Thessalonians 5:22 – “Abstain from ALL appearance of evil.” Conclusion: My appeal today is for you to know Christ as your Saviour! Know for certain that you have been saved and you are ready to face God! God loves you and He will gloriously save you if you will come to Him! My prayer is that NO ONE, I don’t care how young you are or how old you are, will fall prey to the Devil’s deception that drinking alcohol is OK! If you’ve been drinking, repent of your sin, get it out of your life; get it out of your house and away from your family! God can and will forgive you! He will help you if you struggle with an addition! He said, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Folks, I’m going to ask as many of you as will, to come around this altar this morning and let’s bombard heaven with our prayers for our young people and for the people of this community under the clutches of alcohol. Let’s pray these precious children and teenagers never put the DEVIL’S BREW upon their lips. Let’s pray liquor by the drink will be defeated, and let’s pray Grifton will be saved for the glory of God as we stand faithful to the Word of God, sharing His Gospel! Praise the Lord! - “Liquor by-the-Drink” DEFEATED! Bro. Woolard not only serves as Pastor but has ministered as Chaplain and Deputy Sheriff with the Beaufort County Sheriff ’s Office. For more resources, visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •13

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Spurgeon’s Care in Receiving Members Charles H. Spurgeon began pastoring the Metropolitan Tabernacle of London, England, in 1854 at age 20, and was the senior pastor until his death in 1892. His superlative preaching drew massive crowds, and the church grew from “a handful” to a membership of over 5,300. The church was cautious and wise in receiving members. Many applied for baptism and membership, and the church wanted to be as sure as possible that the individuals were saved. A group of elders and deacons assisted Spurgeon in counseling prospective members. They looked for certain evidences of salvation. They looked for undivided trust in the blood of Christ and in the grace of God with zero confidence in one’s goodness or works. They looked for a changed mindset, a change of direction, a change in the individual’s loves. They looked for a change in attitude toward the wicked things of the world, and they looked for a change in attitude toward the church and faithfulness thereto. “Their new Christian instinct should be seen--to assembly together whenever possible.” The thing that stands out was that they were patient. They were not in a hurry to pronounce individuals saved and to baptize them. It was the opposite of the methodology I call “quick prayerism.” They wanted things to be clear. They wanted to have confidence in the individual’s profession and testimony. If they counseled someone and things were not clear, they tried to help the individual by assigning him or her to get further counsel, to read certain selections from the Bible or certain sermons, or to attend a certain Bible class. By being cautious, they were not keeping anyone from Christ. They never discouraged anyone from trusting Christ as Saviour. In fact, that’s exactly what they constantly urged the people to do. That’s what they wanted to see. They weren’t keeping people from Christ; they were simply trying to ascertain if they did indeed know Christ savingly, which is God’s own standard and requirement for baptism and church membership. See Acts 2:41-42. As in our day, there was a lot of confusion about salvation in London in the last half of the 19th century. There was Romanism with its sacramental 14•The Voice in the Wilderness - November 2017 Virtual Edition

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gospel and priestcraft. There was Anglicanism with its sacramentalism and nominalism and theological liberalism. There was Quakerism with its heresy of “inner light.” There was humanistic skepticism. There was Darwinism. There were the budding cults. There was Methodism with its infant baptism and confusion about security in Christ and perfectionism. As today, Metropolitan Tabernacle in Spurgeon’s day was Calvinistic in theology, but Spurgeon preached a “whosoever will” gospel, called all sinners to Christ, and was very aggressive in evangelism. For this he was sharply criticized by those who have been called “hyper-Calvinists.” For ourselves, we aren’t any kind of Calvinist, believing that John Calvin was an unsound and misguided theologian who, by his own testimony, leaned heavily on Augustine, an even more misguided theologian. Calvin was a persecutor of Baptists, and we don’t understand why any Baptist would want to name his name or have anything to do with him. God’s election is in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the gospel is to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15). We don’t believe that God is playing games with sinners (e.g., by commanding that all sinners hear the good news of salvation while knowing that only the sovereignly elect can actually be saved). Whatever we believe about election, and there is a Bible doctrine of election, the same Bible teaches that God wants every sinner to be saved and that Christ “gave himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:3-6), and any sinner therefore can be saved. This is God’s sovereign will, and that is the “sovereign grace” that I believe in. Preaching the gospel is not merely fishing for the elect. The gospel is the instrument of election. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). There are other areas in which we would disagree with Charles Spurgeon, but we appreciate the man and his boldness for Christ, his extremely fruitful ministry that has brought much glory to God. We have learned a lot from him and look forward to meeting him in Glory. -David Cloud -Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor... - Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation -We are always hearing about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about welfare running out of money? For more resources, visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •15

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