Tuesday, April 15, 2014

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
Centurion Longinus cried out, 
"Truly this Man was the Son of God!"
- St. Mark 15: 37-39
      “Then delivered he Him therefore unto them to be crucified.  And they took Jesus, and led Him away.  And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.  And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross.  And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.” (John 19:16-19)
      THREE MEN DIED on Golgotha’s hill nearly 2,000 years ago!  One man died in his sins by rejecting Christ and perished.  The second man died to his sins by receiving Christ and was saved.  The third man was Jesus of Nazareth, who died for our sins so that we could be saved!
      St. Paul wrote: “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are SAVED it is the power of God”. (1 Cor. 1:18)
      The irony is that many have foolishly rejected the Gospel of Christ because of its simplicity and substituted an alternative gospel that is powerless because it is not based in truth and righteousness!  The great apostle understood this tragic folly.
   He stated, “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness: But unto them which are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor.1: 22-23)
     Again St. Paul declared, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified”. (1 Cor. 2: 2)
                               THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS!
   To Jews who were tempted to leave the simplicity of the gospel for “law-keeping” Paul writes: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 
  “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” (Gal. 5:4-6)
     His position was that if we trust in the works of the law like circumcision, we then have made the “work of Christ on the cross of none effect” and, “Christ shall profit you nothing”. 
   He speaks of the “OFFENCE OF THE CROSS” which he had to suffer because he had embraced the truth. (Gal. 5:11; 6:12)  It cost Paul everything to serve Christ!
    “But God forbid that I should glory, save (except) in the CROSS of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also the world is crucified to me and I unto the world.” (Gal. 6:14)
    The bottom line is that rituals, ceremonies, keeping of special days, O.T. laws and following traditions do not save souls or change lives.  The Bible says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision but a new creature”. (Gal. 6:15)
   The Holy Bible states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. (2 Cor. 5:17)
     St. Paul gloried in the ‘Cross of Christ’, because only through the shedding of His pure and holy blood for the sins of the world is there redemption for fallen man! 
    The Bible says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. (Phil. 2:5-11)
     That is why St. Paul declared: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16).
     In this treatise, I share the teaching of God about the cross and the blood of Jesus! By God’s grace I will answer the question, “What does God say about the cross and what does the Cross of Christ teach us”? The Cross of Christ teaches us five things:
1)     What God thinks about our sins!
2)    How much God loves us!
3)    The doctrine of substitution!
4)   Christ’s victory over Satan!
5)    The value of an eternal soul!
    The Bible warns: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”. (Ezek.18: 4,20). God had warned Adam and Eve about the sin of disobedience and the awful consequences of transgressing His commands.  He stated unequivocally, “...of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:  for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. (lit. Heb. - in dying thou shalt die.) (Gen. 2:16-17)
      God’s command was definite and irrevocable - “You can enjoy this beautiful garden forever, providing you obey My commands and keep them.  If you do not, you will begin to die and eventually return to the ground out of which you came!”
      And ever since that fateful day, every baby has been born with death in its mortal body!
    When our first parents sinned, the whole world was thrown into turmoil, resulting in spiritual and physical death for everyone!
       In His mercy God came down searching for Adam and Eve in order to redeem them.  He questioned Adam, Eve and the serpent and brought down His severe judgments upon them and the earth, because of their rebellion and sin!
      “And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?  And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.  And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 
“Unto the WOMAN He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
“And unto ADAM He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it:
 “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
     “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken:  for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen. 3:13-19)
    It would lose its ability to walk and would crawl and eat dust. He would put enmity between the human race and serpents.  A U.S. survey states that 89% of Americans hate snakes more than any other animal. And Evolutionists now state that at one time serpents walked upright! 
   That enmity was a type or pre-picture of the battle pitting Satan and his minions against God and His children!
   The seed of the woman (Jesus was born of a virgin without a human father) would crush the serpent’s head. The humiliation and death of Jesus was ‘the bruising of His heel’ but when our Lord rose from the dead - with power over Satan – He crushed Satan’s head!
   God revealed a great truth that had been hidden from before the foundations of the world!  We call this, ‘the law of the first mention’.
   His own Son would be incarnated (God in human flesh) to suffer, bleed and die to save us!  God would redeem the human race through the death of His Son on the cross!
   God killed an innocent animal to atone for Adam and Eve’s sins. The animal’s blood covered their sins and its skin was used to cover their nakedness!
     “And unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception:  in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee”.
    During my world travels I have observed how men treat their wives.  In most pagan cultures, wives are like a piece of property.  They are inferior to men and cannot even eat with their husbands or sons.  And females are often aborted before birth, due to their little value!  
     Some religions force women to cover their faces when in public and men can beat their wives at will and divorce them for any reason whatsoever!
It is not uncommon for mothers to choke their young daughters to death, because of the unjust Caste System that would bankrupt a poor family with several daughters!
   Only Jesus Christ gives women LIBERTY through the glorious Gospel that was purchased by His shed blood on Calvary’s cross! Christianity treats women with dignity and respect. Only Christ frees women from the curse of sin and bondage that came through the FALL!
    “And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: 
   “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;” (Gen. 3:17-18)   
  Because of Adam’s sin, there would be a curse upon the ground!  Man would not enjoy the fruit of his work.  Thorns and thistles would come forth to plague him as he tilled the earth to eke out a living.
     When we considers the curse that has come upon our young people through marijuana, opium and heroin that is harvested from the earth, we see a little of that ‘CURSE’.
     The drug trade has escalated to the place that literally billions of dollars of illegal drugs stream across the borders into Canada, the USA and Europe from Latin America, the Golden Triangle and the Middle East! And much of the profits go into the coffers of Islamic Terrorists!
    “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast taken:  for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”. (Gen. 3:17-19)
     Man, who was created for immortality would die and return to the dust!  God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, and kept its gates guarded by Cherubims and a flaming sword, lest man would enter the Garden and eat the fruit of the tree of life and live forever in their sins! (Gen. 3: 24)
    The sons of Adam knew the rules! After these traumatic experiences Cain and Abel were born to them!  One day the two sons came with an offering unto the Lord. They both knew the rules.  There is no doubt that Almighty God had communicated to their parents what was required of them.
 After the FALL every man had to bring a sacrifice to atone for his sins.  And the sacrifice had to be like the original one that God Himself slew, to atone for the sins of Adam and Eve!
    The terrible truth is that ‘SIN’ is so terrible that a life had to be taken and innocent blood shed, in order for it to be forgiven. 
   The blood had to be innocent - not contaminated by man’s sinful nature. God offered an innocent lamb from the flocks to provide the sacrifice, a TYPE of His own Son, as the Pascal Lamb.
    Jesus would be incarnated so that He could suffer, bleed and die as the LAMB OF GOD for the sins of the world. That is why God accepted the sacrifice of Abel - the firstlings of his flocks - and rejected the offering of Cain - the fruit of the ground! 
     Cain is a type of the pagan religions as well as modernists who seek to please God with their own kind of offering, rather than following God’s prescribed ways!
    This is a classic example of ‘SALVATION THROUGH GOOD WORKS’ rather than by God’s grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Golgotha’s Hill!
   God instituted the ‘sacrificial system’ under Moses - the great Jewish prophet and Law Giver - so that He could have fellowship with His people and forgive them for their continual sinning! 
    This continued for 2,000 years until Jesus came to pay the supreme price and redeem us all from the curse of the law and the power of the ‘Wicked One’!
    It is estimated that each year on ‘The Great Day of Atonement’ during the reign of Solomon, 500,000 lambs were sacrificed. History confirms that the blood flowed in a stream across the Kidron Valley for days after that event!
    On the very day that Jesus hung on Golgotha’s Hill dying upon ‘The Cursed Tree’, an estimated 250,000 lambs died on the altars of the temple in Jerusalem! 
     And every lamb, goat, bullock or red heifer that was slain under Jewish Law pointed to JESUS OF NAZARETH, God’s own Lamb!
   The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin.” (Heb. 9:22); “It is the blood that maketh atonement for sins”. (Lev. 17:11)
     “If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with the other and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanseth us from all sins”. (1 John. 1:7); “Jesus Christ... loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood”. (Rev. 1:5)
      My precious friend, the cross of Christ delivers a powerful message to this world.  The cross teaches us what God thinks about our sin! 
   God’s Word teaches us the awful truth about sin and its eternal consequences! He hates our sins. They are a stench in His nostrils and an abomination in His sight! 
    God had to send His Son to die the awful death of the cross to meet the demands of Divine Justice, to redeem us from the chains of satanic bondage and hell forever!
     The Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. (Rom. 3:23); “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom. 6:23)
  “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.” (John 3:16). This is the central verse of the New Testament.  It has been called ‘The Bible in Miniature’. 
  St. John, overwhelmed by God’s great love, exclaimed, “We love Him because He first loved us”. (1 John 4:19) What an enormous subject that brings up! 
    ‘We love Him Because…’ There are so many reasons why we love God and the Apostle’s explanation is a good place to start:  “We love Him because He first loved us.”
    God’s love is magnificent, beneficent and all encompassing.  It is an ‘ocean divine’ reaching out in every direction of His great universe, touching things that touch people; saving, healing, sustaining, providing, and ever loving everyone unconditionally!  Hallelujah! 

Oh love of God, so rich and pure; So measureless and strong. It shall forevermore endure; The saints and angels song. Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the sky of parchment made; And every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry; And could the sky contain the whole Would stretch from sky to sky!”

    The premier reason for us to love God is that He first reached down to us. The Bible says: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly”. (Rom. 5:6) St. Paul writes: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor that
    About 30 years ago, while studying the dictionary I came across the word ‘apodictic’ taken from the Greek ‘apodeiktikos’, meaning “Evident Beyond Contradictions.” Immediately, I understood that that word belongs only to God, for who else can guarantee anything to be “evident beyond contradictions”?
   Certainly, man in his unregenerate state is unbelievably inconsistent, changeable and vulnerable to moral corruptions!
  The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked:  Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)
   The righteousness of God is apodictic. The power of God is apodictic - ‘evident beyond contradictions’.  The wisdom of God, the peace of God, the joy and mercy of God is apodictic!
 Who can deny that the Love of God is apodictic - evident beyond contractions? Even the hardest sinner and cruelest skeptic and unbeliever cannot contradict God’s love, mercy, grace and compassion - Calvary Proves God’s Love!
    Who else, but our Heavenly Father, would send His own Son to die upon a rugged cross - as a common criminal between two thieves - to rescue a world gone mad through unbelief, rebellion, fear and evil?
   The Bible says, “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. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
     St. Paul tells it like it really is!  “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also, freely give us all things.” (Rom. 8:32)
    The world was hopelessly lost in sin, degradation and death through Adam’s transgression.  Almighty God acted out of love, compassion and mercy to save us. 
   He sent His one and only Son down to this earth to be incarnated (God became flesh) so that He could shed His pure and perfect blood as a ransom or penalty for our sinfulness!
  This is without doubt one of the greatest Scriptures in the entire Bible because it speaks of our Saviour who died willingly and gladly for our sins, so that we could be saved!
    The Bible says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (perfector) of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising
the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”. (Heb. 12:3)
     God gave His best when He offered up His own Son as a ransom price for a lost world to be redeemed from the curse of the law and the hands of the world’s greatest terrorist, Satan himself! 
    He delivered His Son into the hands of murderers to be verbally abused, spit upon, blasphemed, mocked, physically assaulted, and finally crucified as a common criminal to purchase our redemption!
    The prophet declared that the face (visage) of the Messiah (Jesus) would be “marred more than any man, and his form (body) more than the sons of men”. (Is. 52:14)
   The Bible says, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
    “Surely He hath borne our griefs (sicknesses) and carried our sorrows (pains):  yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. 
    “But He 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.” (Isaiah 53:3-5)
    The Word of God says, “When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sins”. (Gal. 4:4)
    It has been said, “To sin is human but to forgive to divine!” It takes the grace of God to forgive those who have wronged you, even when they repent and ask for forgiveness.
    As Jesus hung on the cross under the greatest spiritual pressure, taunted and mocked by His enemies, He cried out to His Father for mercy for those who had placed Him there. His prayer was, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. (Luke 23:34)

NOW is the time for reconciliation and REVIVAL. It is a time to FORGIVE one another as Jesus Christ did, and to LOVE one another.  There is no time to waste!  Now is the accepted time. NOW is the time to REPENT and return to God!
   The Bible says, “And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation
   “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:  we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”. (2 Cor. 5:18-21)
   The amazing thing is that it was God Who initiated the plan of salvation, which included the death of His Son! St. Paul declared that Jesus of Nazareth was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God to be crucified. (Acts 2: 23)
   The prophet Isaiah declares that it was God who, “...laid upon Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all”. (Is. 53:6)
   “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Is. 53:4)
    Almighty God - in His great love for us - smote His own Son, and put Him to grief in order to save us!  That blows me away.  I can’t understand God’s great love for a world that has rejected Him!  How can anyone understand such love?  It is indeed, “past finding out”!
    His grace, mercy and love is totally holy and divine and too wonderful for me to comprehend!  Martin Luther stated, that it will take all eternity for us to understand such things as God’s grace and gospel!
   The Bible says, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief:  when thou shalt make His soul (Jesus Christ) an offering for sin...” (Is. 53:
   The Romans didn’t kill Jesus! It wasn’t the Jews who put Him to death! It was God Almighty – our Heavenly father – who offered His Own Son for the sins of the world!
    No one will ever be able to understand God’s love.  All we have to do is accept His offer of mercy and receive His pardon and forgiveness, with thankfulness!
    The third great truth that the Cross of Christ teaches us is ‘The Doctrine of Substitution’ - one dying for another! The songwriter wrote:

I should have been crucified. I should have suffered, bled and died. I should have hung on the cross in disgrace, But Jesus, God’s Son took my place!

     The Bible says, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die!
    “But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US.  Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
   “For if, when we were sinners, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:6-10)
     St. Paul lays out the doctrine of substitution so clearly in this Scripture.  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all man, for that all have sinned”. (v. 12)
  “For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 
    “… For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of Grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by ONE, Jesus Christ.
  “Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to CONDEMNATION; Even so by the righteousness of ONE the free gift came upon all men unto JUSTIFICATION of life.”
   “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous... 
    “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:15-21)
   The Bible says:  “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel...how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
  This is the Gospel: Jesus Christ – God’s Son - died for my sins, and rose again for my justification! 
   The Bible says, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, He entered in once into the Holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
    “How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from death works to serve the Living God?” (Heb. 9:12-14)
     By offering Himself in our place, Jesus Christ bore our condemnation and paid the penalty for our sins, releasing us from all the guilt and God’s judgment against us!
     The Bible says: “...when He had by Himself purged our sins sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High”. (Heb. 1:3)
    “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: “And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again”. (2 Cor. 5:14-15)
     St. Paul declared:  “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ; Who died for us, that, whither we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” (1 Th. 5:9-10)
    MARTIN LUTHER was consumed by the gospel of Christ.  He stated, “I live as though Jesus Christ died yesterday, arose today and is coming again tomorrow!”

                           A SAD AND MOVING STORY!

    A touching story has come down to us from the ‘American Civil War’. Some southern soldiers had infiltrated the Union Army as spies and were found out. They were sentenced to death by firing squad.
   Just as the commanding officer ordered his men to take aim at the little white patch over each condemned man’s heart, a shout rang out, “Hold your fire. Don’t shoot”!
  A young man emerged from the woods shouting and waving his arms frantically.  Approaching the commanding officer, the young man confessed that he also was a rebel soldier and had been hiding in the woods.
    Pointing to one of the condemned men, he pleaded for his release saying: “We are from the same town in the South.  He has a family of four children and I am not married.  Please allow me to die in his place!  Let me exchange places with him!”
  Because of the courage and compassion displayed by the young “rebel soldier”, his wish was granted.  The older soldier was released and told to return to his loved ones.  The young man was blind - folded, his hands tied, and together with the other condemned men was executed!
   After burying the spies, the Union soldiers moved on, but early the next morning the freed soldier returned with two horses, a spade, blanket and rope.  He dug up his comrade’s body and took it back to the Southern USA, where they had a proper Church funeral!
    A little cross was erected as a memorial over his grave, complete with the fallen soldier’s name, rank and these words:  “HE TOOK MY PLACE, HE DIED FOR ME”, with the freed man’s name and signature below, for everyone to read!
    This story reminds me of what Jesus did for us on Golgotha’s Hill. “He took my place, He died for me!”
   The fourth lesson the cross teaches is that Jesus Christ’s death has liberated us from satanic bondage! When Jesus walked among men, He healed the sick and cast out unclean spirits from them who were bound by the Evil One! 
   The Bible says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil”. (Acts 10:38)
  The literal Greek states that Jesus healed all who, “were under the domination or lordship of Satan”.
 Jesus stated: “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient (advantageous) for you that I go away:  for if I go not away, the Comforter (Divine Helper) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
  “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (John 16: 7-11).
   “Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit was being sent to demonstrate to the world, CHRIST’S VICTORY OVER SATAN! When Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, He defeated Satan totally, and the Holy Spirit’s major task is to demonstrate to the world, Christ’s victory over Satan
How does He do that?  By empowering Christ’s body - the Church - to do the same works which Jesus did before His death and glorious resurrection!
      When lost souls are saved through preaching of the Gospel of Christ and by the Holy Spirit’s convicting power, He is demonstrating to the world, ‘Christ’s Victory over Satan’!
      When the sick and diseased are healed through the Word of God, in the Name of Jesus Christ - raising them up to health and strength – the Holy Spirit is demonstrating to the world “Christ’s Victory Over Satan”!
   And when unclean spirits are expelled and cast out of “those tormented by the Evil One” in Jesus’ all - powerful Name, the Holy Spirit is demonstrating to the world, Christ’s victory over Satan”!
    Christ’s victory and Satan’s defeat has to be heralded in all three worlds, so that every angelic being, satanic force and human being will know that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!
  St. Paul wrote, “And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: 
  “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. (Phil. 2:8-11)
  To the Colossians he wrote, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it”. (Col. 2:14)
   During that era, when a King returned from a great victory, his subjects would line the streets of their capital city to shout his praises and welcome him and his fighting legions home.
  As the CONQUERING KING drove his chariot down the main street, the defeated enemy king would be paraded before the people; chained, stripped of his armour and running behind the chariot.
   The defeated king’s armour and crown were placed in the triumphant king’s chariot and often displayed for the people to see.  It was a glorious moment for the conqueror but one of humiliation for the loser.
    St. Paul draws this analogy!  Jesus, the conquering king has defeated Satan, stripped him of all his weapons and power and rendered him ineffective in chains!
   The Norwegian Bible states that Jesus has ‘disarmed him’ and the literal Greek gives us the inference that “he is naked”.  He made a show of them (all the demons) openly!
    WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Satan had been totally defeated by Jesus Christ, for three worlds to witness. The host of Heaven saw it, Hell’s demons witnessed Christ’s VICTORY and the Holy Spirit came to the earth to DEMONSTRATE to the world Satan’s total DEFEAT!
                                   TETELESTAI: IT IS FINISHED!
   "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head and gave up the ghost." (John 19:30). When Jesus cried, "IT IS FINISHED", He was declaring our Liberty. 
    He had purchased our complete salvation by His suffering and death on Calvary!           Jesus spoke in Greek when He made that statement. The word He uttered is "tetelestai" taken from the verb "teleo", which has three essential meanings:    
1. To bring to an end, finish or complete something.
    Jesus had finished His work, having met the demands of Divine justice. He had completed His holy mission!  Redemption was now a reality!
    He had also brought to an end the ‘devil's dynasty of terror’.  He had shed His precious blood for the sins of the world.  A fountain of blood had been opened “for sin and uncleanness”. (Zech. 13:1)
   Jesus had broken Satan's strangle hold upon the human race! St. John wrote: "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)  
   The Bible declares, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb. 2: 14-15). Through His vicarious death on the cross, Jesus destroyed Satan and his evil power over humanity.  That spells: Christ’s Victory, Satan’s Defeat and our Liberty!
2.  To carry out, accomplish, perform, fulfill.
      Salvation is now complete; nothing needs to be added: "For by grace are ye saved through faith." (Eph. 2:8-10). He was saying, "My blood is flowing, sins can now be washed away and sicknesses healed...because God's great salvation is now operational!"   
   Jesus fulfilled 332 prophetic Scriptures referring to the ‘Coming Messiah’.  Among these were 61 major prophecies and Jesus fulfilled them all!          
   According to the scientific ‘Law of Probabilities’, DR. PETER STONER has proven conclusively that for any other man to fulfill just 8 of the major prophesies that Jesus fulfilled, He would have only one chance out of ten to the 17th power!
    That figure is 10 with 17 zeroes added to it. It is an astronomical number. (1,000,000,000,000,000,000)
   In order for us to understand the magnitude of that number, Dr. Stoner calculated that it would be necessary to cover the State of Texas with American silver dollars two feet deep! 
   Out of those millions of zeptillions of silver dollars, only one would be marked with an X. All would then be vigorously stirred together!
    A man would be blind-folded and told: "You may walk across the State and dig as much as you like, but the first silver dollar you pick up must have the X on it!"
    Jesus performed and executed to the letter every demand of the law!  He fulfilled every Messianic prophecy!  No other person could come close to doing that!  He stated, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill". (Matt. 5:17)          
3.To pay what is owed.  
  We were guilty of sinning, breaking God’s laws and disregarding His commands!  Our future was doomed because, "the Scripture hath concluded all under sin". (Gal. 3:22) 
        The Bible says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". (Rom. 3:23); "For the wages of sin is death; But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)         
        No wonder the apostle states, "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift". (2 Cor. 9:15)
       The Bible says, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself to God, purge your conscience from dead works." (Heb. 9:14)    
       "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" (1 Peter 1: 18-19)
     St. Paul declared, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's". (1 Cor. 6:20)         
    The Holy Scriptures say, "The Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin". (1 John 1:7);             "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:   
   "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Gal. 3:13-14)    
    “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. 
    “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” (Col. 2:13-14)          
    The statement of guilt, shame and debt has been removed by the victorious death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! The Norwegian Bible states, “The letter of debt”...was nailed to His cross!
     The statement that declared me bankrupt, guilty, doomed to sinful behaviour, sickness, fear, death and eternal damnation has been laid on Jesus Christ and nailed to His cross.H I am  I am now free. Hallelujah!
     The Bible says, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
     Jesus stated, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (spirit)?” (Mark 8:36-37)
    Our Lord declared, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”. (Luke 19:10) Jesus portrayed Himself as the ‘Good Shepherd’ who left the 99 sheep and went out into the dark night to rescue the ONE LOST SHEEP!
   He called Himself the ‘Good Shepherd’ who would give His life for the sheep: “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 
      “All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers:  but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the Door:  by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
    “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd:  the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 
    “But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth:  and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
    “The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. 
    “As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father:  and I LAY DOWN MY LIFE for the sheep.  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:  them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
    “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father.” (John 10:7-18).
    The Bible says, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends”. (John 15:13)
     Jesus laid down His life for us and the cross teaches us how much value God puts upon one individual soul!  He loves us and gave Himself for us individually.  We are worth more to Him than ‘all the riches and wealth of this world’!
      Don’t forget it, my friend. Your ETERNAL SOUL (SPIRIT) is priceless in the sight of God. That is why Jesus gave His life for you and for me! That is what the cross teaches us!          
     During his European crusades, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte gathered his leading generals and officers into his war room.
    Spreading out the map of Europe, Napoleon pointed toward the British Isles, which were coloured in red, and stated emphatically: “If it wasn’t for that little red spot I could rule the world”!
    The British Isles stood in the way of Napoleon’s dream of conquering Europe and the world! And it was the British that defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo!
    It is not unreasonable to think that one day Satan gathered all of his leading demons into his war room and spreading out the map of the world and pointing to Golgotha exclaimed, “If it weren't for this little red spot, I could rule the world”!
      The blood of Jesus Christ - shed on Golgotha’s Hill - has effectively crippled Satan and taken from him the power and ability to run roughshod over God’s people! 
      He no longer has any jurisdiction over those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and trust in His precious blood for eternal life!  What a marvellous fact!      


     "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sin, according to the riches of His grace". (Eph. 1:7)
   "For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" (1 Peter 1:18-19)       
    "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood." (Acts 20:28)
    "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sins.” (1 John 1:7)
     "And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." (Rev. 1:5)
      "Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." (Rom. 5:9) "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
     “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare the righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (Rom. 3:24-25)
     "And having made peace through the death of His cross, by Him to receive all things unto himself;" (Col. 1:20)
(VII) WE RECEIVE ACCESS TO THE FATHER THROUGH HIS BLOOD!               "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;" (Heb. 10:19-20)
   "But He 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." (Is. 53:5)          
     "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Pet. 2:24)
      "And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony." (Rev. 12:11)
     "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify His people with His own blood, suffered without the gate." (Heb. 13:12)
    "How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience (mind) from dead works, to serve the Living God?" (Heb. 9:14)
    "These are they which come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
    “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them…For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Rev. 7:14-17)

    "The world has a way of crucifying those whom it does not like. Jesus told the truth. The world could not stand the truth. The world put Him to death.  What sin really crucified Christ? Was it Peter’s denial? Judas’ betrayal? The disciples’cowardice? Can we blame Pilate for conforming to the crowd’s demands? Does the fault lie with those who cried, “Crucify Him”? Did the priests weigh in on the crime? It was all these: Denial! Betrayal! Cowardice! Conformity! Pride! Jealousy! These sins nailed Christ to the tree. And we are troubled when we see that these very sins reside in us all. Therefore it is our pride, our conformity, our betrayal which crucified the Lord Jesus! The cross of Christ speaks of our sin. But, for those who admit weakness and spiritual poverty, the cross becomes the power of God unto salvation.” - Author unknown                                 
 My Dear Friend:
   I pray that this message has touched you heart and life as it has mine! The power of the precious blood of Jesus Christ is awesome. It is greater than any other power and is available for us today!  
   There is life – spiritual and physical, and divine health – flowing from the wounds of our Saviour to us EVEN NOW. Receive Him now as your Lord and Master and you will receive Eternal Life and become a child of God! He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you. He will be with you for time and eternity! Amen.
                                                       – Max Solbrekken