Friday, April 29, 2011

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

            "For we heard them speak in tongues and magnify God." (Acts 10:  46)
     One of the things that impressed me greatly about Pentecostal, Full Gospel and Spirit-filled Christians was the way they worshipped, praised and magnified God!
     In the Evangelical Lutheran Church we sang all the wonderful hymns of praise to our Lord and heard sermons extolling God, but to hear individual believers voice their praise to the Almighty in thanks for His miraculous intervention in their lives was foreign to me.
    It was like reliving the Book of Acts to hear testimonies of conversions from alcohol and drug addiction, gambling and false religious cults. Add to that, miraculous healings from tumors, cancers, blindness, deafness, arthritis, ulcers and other diseases was mind - boggling!
     I knew that God had healed my Mother in 1920 under the ministry of Evangelists Storm and Monson in Norway. Other gifts of the Holy Spirit like prophesying and speaking in tongues, however, were totally foreign to me.


     When my Dad was instantly healed of serious gallbladder problems and heart disease in March 1956 through Oral Roberts’ radio Ministry, the Holy Bible became alive to me!
      It is quite possible that if I had not seen the reality of the Gospel working in my Father’s miraculous healing and transformation through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I would not be in the Ministry today!
     Although the Holy Spirit strove mightily with me during Revival Meetings in 1951 with Pastor Sylvan Johnson at S.L.B.I (now Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute) Outlook, Saskatchewan, I did not have the courage to totally follow Christ!
     In 1957, following my Father’s amazing experience of the Baptism of Holy Spirit, I was again drawn by God’s love and mercy to the Cross of Calvary in total repentance and submission to His will, and call on my life! For the next six years I devoured God’s Word and prayed much for the Holy Spirit’s guidance as I worked in the secular world, while preparing for the Ministry of Deliverance into which He was divinely leading me!


      I believe in speaking in tongues like St. Paul, D.L. Moody, Charles Finney and Oral Roberts.  And I believe in Divine Healing through faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary’s Cross, and that “By His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53: 4, 5; Matt.8: 16, 17; I Peter 2: 24)
            It is such a blessing to have received the gift of prophecy (1 Cor.12: 10) in order to exhort, edify and comfort God's people. Praising and magnifying God, however, is an absolute essential in the Christian life in order to keep up a vital contact with our Heavenly Father!
            Our lives are like a body of water.  If water flows in but has no outlet it becomes stagnant, and all life there ceases to exist.  Then death takes over.  The Dead Sea is a good example of that!
            The movement of water into and out of a body of water creates an atmosphere conducive to life.  The constant intake and outflow causes a cleansing action, making the water fresh.
     This analogy shows us that receiving from God without praising Him and sharing His goodness with others makes us stagnant, and spiritual death ensues!
     The Bible says, "He that offereth praise glorifieth Me". (Ps. 50:23);  "God inhabits the praises of His people..." (Ps. 22:3)
            The Scriptures are filled with praises to God.  Repeatedly, David declared, "O that men would praise the Lord for His wonderful works to the children of men". (Ps. 107:8)
            King David was a man after God's own heart and knew how to praise and bless the Lord!  He even encouraged himself to praise God:  "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits..." (Ps. 103:1)


            "Praise ye the Lord.  Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the firmament of His power.  Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness. 
    “…Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.  Praise ye the Lord." (Ps. 150:6)
            It is incumbent upon us to thank and praise God for His gifts to us, as well as testify to others of His great goodness, mercy, love and power.
            The Bible says, "Forbid not to speak with tongues". (1 Cor.14: 39)  And St. Paul declared emphatically, "I speak with tongues more than ye all". (1 Cor.14: 18)
            St. Paul prayed in the Spirit, speaking and singing in unknown tongues on a daily basis. He writes: “What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”  (1 Cor.14:15) 
     I can’t imagine many of today's Evangelical preachers meeting the old ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’ and spending a few hours or days with him!
     They would have to ask him to leave, put him in a basement room and shut the door and stop preaching from the Epistles he wrote.  Or they would have to repent of their ignorance, stupidity, hardness of heart, and be filled with the Holy Ghost themselves. 
    St. Paul would certainly have to rebuke them and set them straight! It would be a very interesting meeting indeed!
            Even having them meet Ignatius, Tertullion, St. Augustine, Martin Luther, D.L. Moody or R.A Torrey, would change their theology about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire! (Luke 3: 16; Acts 2: 4)

                          I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY GHOST!

            The Church Fathers who formulated the Apostles Creed certainly believed in the Holy Ghost and in every instance in the Bible where believers received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost they spoke in tongues and magnified God!

 I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven; And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and dead. I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY GHOST, the Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the Body, and the Life everlasting.  Amen.
     St. Paul declared, "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men but unto God; for no man understandeth him; howbeit, in the Spirit he speaketh mysteries". (1 Cor.14: 2)
            Again the Bible says, "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself..." (1 Cor.14: 4)  Certainly we need to edify and build up ourselves in Christ, more now than ever, as we approach the end!
            The Word of God states emphatically: "But ye, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost". (praying in the Spirit; unknown tongues, worshipping God)
            Those who do NOT pray in the Spirit (unknown tongues) are said to be sensual, having not the Spirit (Holy Spirit). And, they will ridicule you and separate you from their company. (Jude 19)
     JESUS WARNED: “Verily I say unto you; All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
     But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3:28-30)


     The Pharisees accused our Saviour of healing the sick and casting out devils by the power of Satan. Since He was doing these works “by the Spirit of God” they essentially called the Holy Spirit a devil!
      Here is my advice: If you cannot understand some of the things God is doing, don’t fight against Him. Don’t make the mistake the Pharisees made!
                Thank God, for the many preachers of the Gospel today who declare with St. Paul: "Forbid not to speak with tongues.” (1 Cor. 14:39); "Quench not the spirit.  Despise not prophesyings." (1 Th. 5:19-20)
            Also remember, the ‘gift of tongues in concert with the ‘gift of interpretation’ is equal to prophecy!
            St. Paul writes: "I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied; for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, EXCEPT he interpret, that the church may receive edifying." (1 Cor. 14:5)
            When one of America's foremost Baptist Evangelists, DR. HYMAN APPELMAN conducted a glorious revival crusade in our church (1972), I asked him: "Have you been filled with the Holy Ghost? Do you speak in tongues, Brother Appelman"? 
     He answered in the affirmative: “Yes, I have been filled with the Holy Ghost.  Yes, I speak with other tongues!  I asked, "How is it that you - the preacher that most Baptist and Evangelical preachers greatly respect - speak in tongues, when they put so little stock in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?” 
            My good Jewish friend, Dr. Hyman Appelman replied, "The Holy Ghost got to me before the Baptists did.”  No wonder BILLY GRAHAM stated: "Dr. Hyman Appelman is one of the most powerful preachers I have ever heard"!
   When that mighty man of God, DR. RICHARD WURMBRAND spoke our Church in Edmonton in the 1970s, I asked him a very personal question. I said:
    “Brother Wurmbrand, I was raised in the Lutheran Church but I have been filled with the Holy Ghost and I speak with other tongues. You are a Lutheran Pastor who has been tortured and suffered terribly for Jesus Chris. Have you been filled with the blessed Holy Ghost and spoken in other tongues?
    He said: “As you know the Communists brainwashed, tortured and beat me constantly. After some time, I could not remember the Lord’s Prayer, the Twenty-third Psalm or John 3: 16. All I could do was say: “Jesus I love you. You know that I love you. Please show me your love.”
    They had beaten me so severely that the blood ran down my legs unto the ground. Suddenly the power of God came upon me and I began to sing in a language I did not know and I danced in the Spirit for four hours and felt no pain. My blood spattered onto the walls of that dungeon as I danced and sang and spoke in unknown tongues.”


            One of the first Gospel tracts I published in 1958 was titled "Victorious Christian Living".  In it, I outlined three very important and imperative steps to follow in order to live a consistent, victorious Christian life. They are as follows:

  1. Read the Bible regularly.
  2. Pray often with praise & thanksgiving.
  3. Witness at every available opportunity with wisdom & God's leading.
            Another thing that has set ‘Spirit-filled, Full Gospel people’ apart from other Christians, is the fact of a POWERFUL PERSONAL WITNESS to their fellowmen, of the crucified and risen Christ Who is the same yesterday, today and forever!
     The angel of God spoke to the women at Christ's empty tomb on that great resurrection morning, thusly: "...Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified.  He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you". (Matt. 28:5-7)


            The Bible records that they went with great haste to bring His disciples word of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  They went with great haste because they had an urgent message to tell! 
     What a message we have to tell the world! Our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification, and is even now alive, interceding for us at the Father's right hand.  Hallelujah!
            There is no secret, hidden agenda in God's Word.  Everything is open and above board with our Lord.
            There is plenty of proof for sincere truth seekers.  The angel said, "Come and see.  Go and tell".  I say to skeptics:  “There is plenty of viable evidence to prove the existence of God and the validity of the Holy Bible.  And as far as God’s love for mankind, Calvary proved that!”
            The message is clear.  Once we have heard the truth and experienced the blessings of Christ's salvation, we are duty bound to go and tell someone else the Good News!


     The Bible states that they returned to Jerusalem and were constantly in the temple praising and blessing God.  They also went from house to house - with great joy and gladness - breaking bread and fellowshipping around God's Word.
            The Scripture says they were continually magnifying God.  To MAGNIFY GOD means to not only glorify and worship Him, but to lift Him up so high that He appears larger in the eyes and ears of the hearers than He had seemed to them earlier.
            Most Christians make God look very small. We are to magnify Him so that everyone may begin to understand how marvelous and wonderful our Lord really is. Oh, how GREAT is the LORD our GOD!
Only Spirit-filled people really and truly praise and magnify God with all their hearts!  Only those who have been “born of the Spirit” and filled with God’s presence, feel at home in His presence!
            After listening to the dry, dead, monotone sounds of the average Jehovah Witness or fundamentalist preacher, you certainly wouldn't be convinced that God is alive, real and moving by His mighty power in this generation!
            Much of the theology that is expounded has to do with the past and future, with a glaring omission of today!
            Especially is this noticeable in regards to the present day ability of the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Eternal God to work miracles among His people on earth in this Twenty-First Century! It's the same old story as that of Mary and Martha.


            Regarding the death of her brother, Martha said, "I know if you had been here (4 days ago) my brother would not have died". (past)
            Jesus said, "Your brother shall rise again"!  She answered, "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day". (future) (John 11:24)  Jesus answered her, "I am the resurrection and the life" (NOW). (John 11:25)
            Although Martha was upset that Jesus had not been there before her brother died and she expressed faith for his future resurrection, she nevertheless kept the door open for a present day miracle:
                She stated: "But I know that EVEN NOW, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee." (John 11:22) Praise God for an open mind! Most religionists and false cults are so steeped in their false doctrines that their attitude is: “Don’t bother me with the truth and the facts; My mind is set; I have been brainwashed; I am a Watch Tower Slave, a Joseph Smith, Two by Two or Mary Baker Eddy puppet; I cannot think for myself!”
            For years, Herbert W. Armstrong called his radio and TV talk show The World Tomorrow! Others like the Jehovah’s Witnesses speak constantly about the coming New World or Kingdom Age!
            While we are thrilled about the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ and Life Everlasting with Christ, we have something to offer people who accept His Gospel, here and now! The Eternal God is the God of the NOW!


            My heart's desire is that God will raise up an army of people who will say, like St. Paul: "...I believe God"! (Acts 27:25)
            In the face of persecution, temptation, sickness or death, let us hold onto our confession of faith and belief in Christ Jesus our Lord!  Let us constantly practice what the Bible teaches, glorifying and magnifying God!
            When doubters, skeptics and unbelievers scorn us for believing in and proclaiming a Risen Saviour, Who still forgives sinners, brings peace to the troubled and healing to sick, as well as baptizes with the Holy Ghost and power, let us tell them, "YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL"!
            In the 1960s as a Commercial Traveller I met a variety of people in my travels and when they heard that I was “Religious” we often had animated discussions about the Bible.
      A fundamentalist preacher who was rabidly anti-Pentecostal, made this fervent statement: "Divine healing is not for me and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is not for me.” I replied:  "You are right Sir, these gifts are not for you, but they are for me because I believe.  Since you do not believe and desire these gifts, God will not force them upon you".
    In a desperate attempt to prove his point he made this ridiculous statement: “We don’t need any miracles today because everybody knows that Jesus rose from the dead!”


   I replied: “Sir, of all the statements you have made, that is the most ignorant. We live in a world where anti-God Communism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Animism, Pagan Religions, False Cults and Secular Humanism are covering much of the earth and you say that everyone knows that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.”
     We serve a great big, wonderful God Who keeps His Word. And since Jesus Christ died and rose again for our total salvation, we are recipients of His goodness, mercy and love!
     There were many reasons why Jesus healed the sick, including His great love and compassion for suffering humanity!  He also healed the sick and performed miracles to prove His Divinity! (Matt.9: 28; Mark 2: 10; John 2: 11; 4: 16; 5: 10 – 23; 14: 11; 15: 24)
     If ever there was a time when Christ’s Church needed to ‘stand up to the plate’ and prove to the world that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and the ONLY Saviour of the world, it is TODAY!
     The “enemies of the cross” have gathered a cacophony of the ‘weird and wonderful’ across the spectrum of left wing Christ rejecters, New Age gurus, Hollywood lapdogs and sexual perverts, to publish down right lies, distortions and manufactured falsehood about Jesus Christ and His Church!
    Soldiers of the Cross, let us to meet this ungodly onslaught head-on by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by healing the sick and casting devils. It’s time that we put the run on ‘Old Slewfoot!’
     THE BIBLE says: “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with SIGNS following.” (Mark 16: 20); “And with great POWER gave the apostles WITNESS of the RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4: 33)
    There is nothing impossible with Him Who is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the King of Kings and Lord of lords and the Only Saviour of the world.

            1.)  TO THE SINNER, let me say unequivocally:  God is able, ready and willing to save you!  The Bible says, "For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost". (Luke 19:10)  Also, "Come unto Me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". (Matt. 11:28)

            2.)  TO THE DISCOURAGED AND WEAK, let me say without fear of contradiction, God will fill you with the Holy Ghost!  Jesus said, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses..." (Acts 1:8)
            Also, St. Peter declared, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call". (Acts 2:38-39)

            3.)  TO THOSE WHO ARE SICK & DISEASED, I say emphatically, Jesus Christ was "wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed". (Isa. 53:5)  "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses". (Matt. 8:17)
            The Bible says, "Is any sick among you?  let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him". (James 5:14-15)

            4.) TO THOSE WHO ARE EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES, remember that God is more than enough (El Shaddai) to meet your needs!  "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus". (Phil. 4:19)
            "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38)
            St. Paul said, "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully". (2 Cor. 9:6-8)

            5.) TO ALL WHO NEED FORGIVENESS, DELIVERANCE & ENCOURAGEMENT, Christ Jesus stands ready to help you.  Without hesitation, I invite you to call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved.
            St. Peter declared, "Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved". (Acts 2:21);  "Casting all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you." (1 Peter 5: 7)
            He has the power to make you free!  Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. (John 8:32)
                There is absolutely nothing that God is unable to do.  He can do all things He wills to do because He is all powerful (omnipotent), all knowing and all wise (omniscient) and everywhere present at all times (omnipresent).
            Jesus said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth". (Mark 9:23); “With men this is impossible but not with God. For with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10: 27)


       “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of Whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.” (Luke 3: 16)
        Jesus said: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me…and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
      “Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.
      And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creatureAnd these signs shall follow them that believe: In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; And if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover.”      
       “So then after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16: 14-20)
      Jesus instructed His followers to be generous toward God and fellowman and His blessings will follow.  Here are two of His promises for us all:
            "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38)
            "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)
            If you can send a special gift for our world-wide work of preaching the Gospel of Christ, you will be planting a seed in God's Harvest Field. If God is calling you into the work of the Lord, please write to me and we will seek to help you find your place in His great End-Time Army of Soul Winners!   
 Dear friend:  Please write with your prayer requests. We will pray for you and I will write you back!  When you write, please ask for a free prayer cloth over which we have prayed with faith in Jesus' Name, for your deliverance and salvation!  -Pastor Max Solbrekken