Fall 2013

 

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Quarterly printed publication of The Voice in the Wilderness

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•Free Subscription• •Fall 2013• I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now. Phil. 1:3-5 “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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PRINTED MISSIONARY In this edition... In every edition... Ronnie and Terry Williamson Evangelist/Editor Steve and Rebekah Lilly Staff Missionaries 4 5 6 13 14 15 19 22 23 The Voice in the Wilderness is a nonprofit, independent incorporation, founded by Rev. Dr. J. Royce Thomason 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 sources imply from material from other does not necessarily an endorsement t h i s m i n i s t r y. § § § Memorial Tribute Greetings The Local Church & the Mind of God Preach to Make Them Sweat Seeking the Help of the Devil Ministry & Prayer Journal From Preacher to Preacher Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness against thy Neighbor Enduring Sound Doctrine 3 13 25 29 31 My Personal Message Nuggets of Gold News Bits Club MIT Resources for You Read on your Android Mobile Device For Personal Correspondence, Contributions, Address Changes, New Subscriptions, There is no subscription charge; all interested people of good will may have a copy sent regularly to their address simply by requesting it. Address all correspondence to: The Voice in the Wilderness, PO Box 7037, Asheville, NC 28802. www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org E-mail for address changes only: visionpartners@thevoiceinthewilderness.org Sign-up for The Weekly Voice e-mail and Blog: membersnp@thevoiceinthewilderness.org Dr. Ronnie L. Williamson Dr. J. Royce Thomason Memorial Voice in the Wilderness P.O. Box 7037 Asheville, NC 28802 Voice (828) 649-1043 Write to us 2•The Voice in the Wilderness - Fall 2013 Quarterly Edition

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There have been tears, but it has also been a year of rejoicing. My beautiful bride and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. Our marriage and ministry together in Christ have indeed been blessed. We’ve had the privilege to travel all across America serving the Lord. Terry has been with me to the Philippines, India, Venezuela and England. Our daughter, son-in-law and grandbaby serve with us in The Voice in the Wilderness ministry. Thank you Lord for enabling our family to serve together. 2013 has also marked the 60th anniversary of The Voice in the Wilderness publication. It was a joy to have all our board members in as we celebrated the Diamond Jubilee anniversary of this printed missionary. We again thank Pastor Dotson and Little Ivy Baptist Church for hosting the Jubilee. Please note the photos elsewhere in this edition. As you can see, the preaching, singing, food, and fellowship made for a great thanksgiving for God’s blessing upon The Voice in the Wilderness ministries. You will also note in our photo journal several successful missions projects completed for 2013. By the time you receive this edition, Lord willing, Steve Lilly and I will be in Venezuela helping several pastors with new church plants. The Pastors’ Retreat at CrossVue is a reflection of The Voice in the Wilderness partnership in local church missions. There is enclosed a brief overview of the Pastors’ Retreat. Also you will find a snapshot overview of the God Bless America Crusade held September 11-13. This is just a brief look at a full and fruitful year. (Continued on page 28) Please consider a year-end gift to The Voice in the Wilderness. More on @TheVoice_NC or visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •3  The economy has been difficult for many. Thank you for your financial support! Dear Friends: As 2013 moves into the final quarter, permit me to say “thank you” for your faithful prayers and partnership. This year has been one of mixed emotions; mountain tops and valleys as well. On August 28, 2013 at age 86, after years of failing health, my wife’s Dad, Thomas Little, went home to be with the Lord. After his wife and eldest son passed away within 3 months of each other preceding Mr. Little, he never engaged in life in a positive way. Thank the Lord that through HIS grace and in eternity, God will fix all that is broken!

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The Local Church _______and the_________ Mind of God by Johnny Pike Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I Timothy 3:15 records the apostle Paul’s admonition, “…that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Bible believing local churches across America and around the world must stand up, reclaim and declare, based on the absolute authority of God’s Word the power given to them by the Creator. Shortly after I trusted Christ as my Lord and Saviour, I joined one of these local Bible preaching churches. It was through that church’s ministry I began to grow and mature in this walk of faith. The church offered a Bible memory program that I enrolled in memorizing scripture seven days a week. Each month, quarter, and year I received a reward in the form of a special book after saying the assigned scripture verses. Also at year end, a certificate was given for the course completion. Then the pastor was teaching a soul-winning class. He trained the students how to share their faith along with weekly opportunities through the bus ministry and church outreach to practically apply the classroom training. In conjunction with Bible memory and soul-winning there was a “Church Training Class” I attended where lessons were taught equipping the disciple to serve faithfully in various aspects of the local church. This globe is networked and connected with God’s living organism called “The Church.” His church is endued with power to be salt and light in this present age. The New Testament Scripture is very clear as to our commands and responsibilities until the last trump. The following lessons and outlines are given to help pastors and 6•The Voice in the Wilderness - Fall 2013 Quarterly Edition

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teachers share with believers the Biblical perspective of the local church. I pray this presentation will be a help. - Ronnie Williamson The Local Church - by Johnny Pike Before the foundation of the world, God conceived a plan by which He would create a special witness unto Himself on the earth during the period of time in which we now live, “The Church Age”. This special witness would be for a testimony of His glory and the preservation of His truth. (Col. 1:18; Rom. 15:5-11; Eph. 3:21) God purposed, in Himself to create a new class of people—a new humanity exhibiting His life. It would be created in Christ Jesus. A supernatural work created by the triune God and ordained to be His testimony before the world. (Eph. 2:1-10; 15) The Epistles refer to this as the great mystery kept secret from previous ages but now clearly revealed to us (Eph. 3:411; 10-11; Col. 1:26; 1 Cor. 2:10). It is further identified as the body of Christ consisting of all born-again believers: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” the Church (1 Cor. 12:13). The doctrine of the Church and its application to the local assembly is worthy of our attention. The word “CHURCH” will be more meaningful to us when we reflect upon the Divine plan, purpose, and priority of the local church and consider the pastor’s position as its teacher and overseer of the local congregation of these new creatures. (Eph. 4:12; 2 Cor. 5:17; Acts 20:28). There is an unmistakable emphasis upon the local church in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit in Acts and the Epistles focuses the reader’s attention upon the position and the function of the local assembly as being God’s primary witness unto Himself in this age and as most precious to the Lord and also subjected to subtle and vehement attacks by the devil. More on @TheVoice_NC or visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •7

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Despite all the emphasis on the local church in the Bible, it appears to be the least understood the most underrated and the most abused of all that pertains to the Lord’s work! The local church of God, must not to be undervalued but held in high esteem, with diligent attention given to its vital place in God’s program. The word used for “church” in the New Testament is used more than one hundred times. Eighty-five of these refer to the “local assembly” of believers. Even though this subject is one of the most important in the New Testament, its revelation and application regarding the local church tends to be neglected. Merely to make references about the universal church leaves us unaware of the potential of the local assembly of believers and its inherent glory. As we are reminded of the truth involving a “body energized” by the life of God, and a “building inhabited” by the Spirit of God, we will be encouraged to study the Epistles more carefully. We should be challenged to apply these facts and principles to our local assembly in a practical and functional way. The Greek word ekklesia translated “church” in our English Bible carries with it the classical meaning of an “assembly” of “called out people”. When we use the word “assembly” for the word “church” in every instance, we will recognize the prominent place that the local church has in the Book of Acts and in the Epistles. Many people, even believers, see the “church” as merely a building or organization and not as a “living organism”--the Body of Christ. The local church is God’s chief instrument for the spreading of the gospel and the maintenance of the truth before the world. (Matt. 28:18-20; I Tim. 3:15; Acts 1:8) Failure to effectively accomplish this task is due, for the most part, to the spiritual weaknesses of the local church and its failure to comprehend its significant role in the Church Age. The word church is also used in a “universal” sense. By universal we mean the collective whole of all the born again members of the body of Christ universally (from every geographical area). However, for all practical purposes the universal church has no “functional” ability to be involved in the work of Christ beyond the local churches and the individuals who make up their membership. 8•The Voice in the Wilderness - Fall 2013 Quarterly Edition

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If there is to be a revival of the work of God, at home and abroad, it must come from a spiritual renewal of the believers’ understanding of what it means to be a biblical local church. Only a correct understanding of this most important subject will enable the Church to accomplish all that God has commanded it to do. If the local church’s view of itself is less than biblical, then the work of the ministry will be destroyed or weakened to the same degree! If the work of the ministry is to be what it ought to be then it will necessitate healthy churches. The absence of spiritually healthy churches will lead to the destruction of the work of God in all its various aspects. In order for a local church to be spiritually healthy it must have a correct biblical view of itself. In Matthew 16:18, Christ promises to build His church, “universal,” upon the foundation of the truth contained in Peter’s confession of who Christ is. This is the first mention of the term “church” relating to this present age. It is used in this passage in a “universal” sense. The next time the word church is mentioned is in Matthew 18:15-17, where the subject is the discipline of those, within the local assembly. This discipline would be impossible were it attempted within and by the universal body. In order for discipline to be executed in an orderly manner, it would have to be done within each local assembly of believers. In this passage we can begin to see the “functional” aspect of the local church revealed. As glorious as the universal body of Christ is with all of its wonderful truths, it has no “functional” aspect that can be demonstrated apart from the local assemblies. The world and sadly much of the contemporary church sees institutional Christianity as a relic, fading in significance and to be replaced by a more human-centered philosophy of Christianity. This replacement is being accomplished through a less than biblical approach to authority and practice. Some formerly conservative churches have through peer pressure and a desire for the world’s approval adopted questionable programs and novel methods in More on @TheVoice_NC or visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •9

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evangelism in order to accomplish what God never intended. Much of the compromise within the fundamentalist movement has found its way in through the “Trojan Horse” of evangelism. The problem is not that evangelism is less important, but that compromise is seen as necessary in order to evangelize. This is the problem. (The Greeks infiltrated the city of Troy by hiding soldiers in a wooden horse that the besieged people thought was a gift. It was filled with dangerous enemies who exited the horse under cover of darkness and conquered the city from within.) The local church has allowed many worldly methods and philosophies to enter the church through the idea that the evangelism of the lost would be enhanced by such compromise. We should not be concerned over what the world thinks or predicts. Nor should we be swayed by this spirit of competition either to reach men or to please men. We should not be a part of a worldly Christianity nor participants in a compromised evangelical movement. We know that local churches, consisting of Scripturally-based, bornagain believers in Christ, are in God’s plan and purpose. We should feel concerned if and when we detect in our midst any lowering of the morale, any tendency to try to impress the world, or any lack of emphasis upon true function and purpose of the local church. The local assembly should take precedence over all other entities because it was formed according to the purpose of God to possess and to radiate His glory. It is not merely incidental to the divine plan for this age, it is foundational to that plan. The local church is very important and has a potential to accomplish much for the glory of God and the souls of men. (Eph. 3:9-11) We must realize that Satan is constantly utilizing deception to prevent 10•The Voice in the Wilderness - Fall 2013 Quarterly Edition

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God’s people from understanding the real significance of the local church. (2 Thess. 2:7; Eph. 1:23) The existence of local churches was a fact ever present in the minds of the writers of the New Testament Epistles. A deep love and concern for the believers in the various assemblies surfaces again and again. Paul writes to the Thessalonians “as a father doth his children” (1 Thess. 2:11). He expresses himself to the Colossian church in these terms: “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you...” (1:24); and, “I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you...” (2:1). Paul certainly indicated his “care of all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28). In fact, the way he wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth is so touching that it should convict us of our tendency to take the local church for granted? _____________ “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto The work of God is only you with many tears” (2 Cor. 2:4); “O as healthy and viable as ye Corinthians, our local churches. mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged” (2 Cor. _____________ 6:11); and “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy” (2 Cor. 11:2). In his admonition to the Ephesian elders Paul said, “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31). This is love for a church. Everything meaningful in the Work of God during the Church Age was meant to grow out of local church congregations scattered throughout the world. The work of God is only as healthy and viable as local churches. This is true in each local church’s “Jerusalem,” and it is also true of the work of God that should be going on beyond its “Jerusalem.” The Local Church is to be the foundation More on @TheVoice_NC or visit www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org •11

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for all the work of God, both at home and abroad. If every local church were to close, for all practical purposes, all the work of God would cease. There would be no preachers or teachers or missionaries to train in Bible Colleges, therefore, they would cease to have a spiritual reason to exist. There would be no missionaries to send, so mission agencies would be out of business. There would be no tithes and offerings to underwrite the operating expenses of all the Para-church organizations so they would go out of business. The local church is to be the seedbed from which all things relative to the health and well-being of God’s work are to be drawn. Without vibrant, Spirit-filled local churches there would be no hope for the work of God. He has designed it this way, and as the local church “is,” so “will be” the remainder of His work. How many communities have been left without a viable witness because of the failure of a local church? And how many more such communities have no gospel witness because local churches have failed to mother a local church in that community? Denominations and all other Para-church organizations die or weaken spiritually because the foundations upon which they depend, local churches, grow weak. The Great Commission, the heartbeat of God, was given to the local church and the execution of that Commission is today, only as healthy as the local congregations which underwrites all its needs. The same is true of Bible training centers. They are only as healthy as the local churches that feed them. If we are to see a revival of the work of God, which is greatly needed, we must have a Spiritual awakening within the local church. Both the problem and the solution can be found in the local church which is the foundation upon which all else rest. God, help this generation to refocus all its energies on building strong Biblecentered, Spirit-filled local churches. This is the emphasis we will focus upon during this study. For further study and a complete teaching outline for Pastor’s and the Local Church go to: www.thevoiceinthewilderness.org. 12•The Voice in the Wilderness - Fall 2013 Quarterly Edition

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Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” - Acts 2:37 “I preach to my congregation week after week. And I pray that I may be able to preach with such convicting power that my people will sweat! I do not want them to leave my services feeling good. The last thing I want to do is to give them some kind of religious tranquilizer - and let them go to Hell in their relaxation. “The Christian church was designed to make sinners sweat. I have always believed that, and I still believe it. The messages preached in our churches should make backslidden Christians sweat. And if I achieve that objective when I preach, I thank God with all my heart, no matter what people think of me. Jesus is Victor! “Lord, help me to preach with boldness - not concerned with ‘what people think of me.’ Amen.” • A preacher once said: “There are two parts in the Gospel. The first part is the believing it. The second part is the behaving it.” • “You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere.”

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"Seeking the help of the Devil...” “In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic Festival of Samhain (pronounced Sahween) was observed on October 31. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day and the autumnnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghost, witches goblins, black cats, fairies and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and 7 in 10 Americans (170 Million) death. It was the only day on celebrated Halloween in 2012, which the help of the devil was spending on average $80 per invoked for such purposes.” person on decoration, candy, and Was that historical background costumes. taken from Christian research -nrf.com or literature? No, that bit of information was according to the Wicca author Thomas Horn Encyclopedia Britannica. Before claims there are 200,000 registhe late 18th and early 19th centered witches in America and 8 tury, wise folk stayed indoors on million unregistered, yet practicthis devilish night. Today many ing. He and The Witch School who call themselves Christians claim that in the next decade make it a night of costume and Wicca will become the third largfun. Pagan celebrations have est religion in America (Christiinvaded the church and the anity and Islam) and that Witch paraphernalia and practices are teachers are in demand to train not just seen on Halloween but the upcoming generation. at Christmas and Easter as well. 14•The Voice in the Wilderness - Fall 2013 Quarterly Edition Detach pages 15-18 to create a personalizable prayer journal.

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Detach pages 15-18 to create a personalizable prayer journal.

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