Thursday, February 25, 2016

                                 By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph.1:3)
      St. Paul’s salutation in the beginning of his letter to the church at Ephesus begins with him bestowing God’s wonderful peace upon them. Then, he immediately proclaims a testimony of praise unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for His marvellous blessings to us: “He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ.”
      He is referring of course to our standing with Him as sons of God through the New Birth. The important thing to note is that these blessings have come to us because of our relationship to God the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ!
    ‘In Christ’ is a recurring term we see many times in our study of the Book of Ephesians.
                        THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!
     The enormity of the blessings received through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is so magnanimous and difficult for mortal man to comprehend. In theology we use the term “incomprehensible” which means that we cannot understand or comprehend God.
    The plans and purposes of God for which we were born and the extent to which the Almighty has gone to call us to Himself, and to protect, lead, guide and teach us is beyond our ability to understand!
     The Scripture says: “According as He hath chosen us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”(Eph.1:4)  
    When you consider the fact that we were all born in sin and were sinners by birth, nature and choice with the propensity to go our own way and do our own thing, yet Almighty God knew about us and loved us! (Isaiah 53:6; Prov.16:25)
     Long before the earth was formed, God knew that we would become righteous and without blame before Him in love and that in humility and repentance we would receive the Gift of His Son and worship Him in the beauty of holiness!
                          HOW COULD HE KNOW THAT?
     Before there was life on this planet, God knew that Adam and Eve would fall. And the Law of Righteousness demanded a penalty for Sin and High Treason against the Almighty and that was death - Eternal Damnation!
     The Lord KNEW that the Man He would create in His own image and likeness –with a free will - would succumb to the temptation of the Evil One and would fall, plunging the entire human race into a downward spiral!
     In His omniscient wisdom our Heavenly Father would send His Own Son to Planet Earth to be incarnated and to suffer, bleed and die to redeem mankind from power of SIN and Satan’s snare. He also KNEW that His Son would defeat Satan, Death and Hell and rise again in power and great glory, freeing us all from Sin and its awful power!
     It is amazing that God who is totally pure, righteous and holy deigns to choose us who were totally the opposite: vile, sinful, despicable and unholy!
     What is the essential message I receive from this astounding text? “That I am wanted by the Highest Authority in the Universe. That I was chosen by the King Eternal, the Creator of Heaven and earth, to be His very own child! And that I would somehow be changed from being His enemy to being His friend – from a beggar in rags to a Prince in His Palace!”
                             WHAT MORE DO I LEARN?
 I learn that His plan has always been, to transform me from being “GUILTY” to “BLAMELESS” and that His LOVE would do it all. His love would somehow change me and more than that, His Love would also become my Love!
     Talk about Grace! Talk about Peace! St. Paul knew what he was writing about! He had been a hateful, spiteful, horrible murderous and proud Pharisee, despoiling the Church through a terrifying spiritual blindness that was anchored in pride and ignorance!
     Then, suddenly all was changed and he made a one hundred and eighty degree turn when he was blinded by the Light and heard the Voice of the JUST ONE on the Damascus Road! The change was so dramatic that it wasn’t long before he was hunted with a price on his head by the very fanatical religious leadership who had earlier authorized him to kidnap, torture and kill the disciples of Jesus, the Messiah!
      Many years later, he communicates this matchless truth to the new converts in the Church at Ephesus. You may ask, “How could all this come about?” We have not only been CHOSEN by our Heavenly Father but we have been predestined to be His sons and daughters through ADOPTION!
    What an amazing, grandiose and marvellous truth! That a wicked, vile, unrighteous sinner and an enemy of God who has broken His laws and flaunted His Commandments is chosen by the Lord of Glory to be His adopted Son!
     That Christ Himself would be crucified by ‘sinful man’ whom He had come to earth to redeem and adopt as His own – and all this planned and executed in the heart of the Saviour before the foundations of the world were laid.
     All this was done by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: “Having predestinated us unto the ADOPTION of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Eph.1:5)  
                             ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED!
     The Holy Bible states: “To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph.1: 6, 7)
     What does this mean, “To the praise of the glory of His grace?” As our finite minds are supernaturally expanded to understand more of His ‘wondrous workings’ we get a glimpse of His grace at work in sinful lives doing what is humanly impossible!
   A sinner and outcast running from God, doomed for Hell and perdition is lifted out of servitude to the world, the flesh and the Devil and is redeemed, liberated and taken into God’s Family!
   When we taste of His goodness and love we begin to understand a little of His grace! Therefore, we praise our Heavenly Father and glorify Him for His matchless grace toward us all. Not only has He cleansed us from our sin and filth but He has made us accepted in the Beloved!
    We have passed the test! We have been accepted in the Beloved and made ready for the ‘Marriage Supper of the Lamb’, to be a part of the Bride our Heavenly Bridegroom! You may ask: “HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?”
     Here is the answer to this Mystery: “In Whom we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph.1:7).
      A Gospel Song says it all: “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! Oh, precious is that flow; That makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the Blood of Jesus! Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
                      REDEMPTION THROUGH THE BLOOD!
     Another Gospel song says: “Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Redeemed through His infinite mercy; His child and forever I am.”
      We were lost in sin, unbelief and following in the footsteps of our father Adam who hath committed High Treason against his Creator. We were in the Enemy’s Camp bound by chains of unbelief, lust, fear and pride when the Holy Spirit called us and we answered that call, not fully understanding the magnitude of the charges against us.
    Only by an act of mercy and grace were we accepted in the Beloved, transformed by His love and grace through the New Birth and washed by the precious, holy, living Blood of Christ, thereby receiving the forgiveness and a new standing in the Kingdom of God.
     It is all made possible by the Grace of God, given to us by the vicarious death of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection from the dead! St. Paul is enraptured - as we are also – by the fact that God has revealed this great wisdom and prudence to SINFUL MAN.
     Unto Paul was given the great honour and privilege to unlock this Mystery of ‘How and Why’ our redemption came about! In his Epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul shares this great and amazing truth.
     “Whereof I am made a Minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you to fulfill the Word of God: Even the MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the Hope of Glory.” (Col.1: 26, 27)
     Even though the Eternal God carried this great plan and purpose of Redemption in His great heart for millennia, He never divulged it to the Prophets but uncovered these great truths to the Apostle Paul who would carry this message of Good News to the Gentile World.
      He explains: “Having made known to us the MYSTERY of His Will according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in One all things in CHRIST, both which are in Heaven, and which are in earth: even in Him:
     “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own Will: That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1: 9-12)
                         BEYOND OUR COMPREHENSION!
     All this is beyond our comprehension or understanding, nevertheless, absolutely TRUE and WONDERFUL over and above anything our human minds can assimilate and our limited thought processes can absorb and speech can properly articulate!
     In the glorious hymn, ‘Rock of Ages’, Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778) wrote: ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die.’
    We did nothing to deserve this great honour and privilege, to be adopted by the King of kings and Lord of lords and to be made heirs of God and joint heirs with our Saviour:
    “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father.
    “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of God: And if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ: if so be we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Rom.8: 14-17)
    St. Peter also boldly writes about our exalted position as children of Almighty God and our eternal inheritance: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to abundant mercy hath begotten us again (born again) unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
    “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 3-5)
   “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:9, 10)
                          TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY!
    ST. PAUL received the great Mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was sent by our Lord to the Gentile world, while St. Peter and others ministering mostly to Jews!
    He declared: “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His will. That we should be to the praise of His glory who first trusted in Christ.
     “In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”
    THINK ABOUT THAT! Believers in Christ are to be “unto the praise of His glory.” How could WE be to the praise of HIS glory? What can we possibly do to bring glory to Him? That is a stretch by all human measurements, but not with God, because with God all things are possible! (Mark 9:23; 10:27)
    St. Paul doesn’t stop there. He writes to former Pagans and Gentiles in Rome concerning the faith of Abraham, thusly: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith; And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed unto him for righteousness.
     “Now it was not written for his SAKE ALONE, that it was imputed to him; But FOR US ALSO, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Rom.4:20-24)
     The Pharisees were saying, “Sure, it happened to Abraham, but it can’t happen today.” St. Paul answers: “Yes, it can happen today and it does happen today! As Abraham sacrificed the ram in place of his son Isaac, he understood that Messiah, God’s Son would die on the cross for the sins of the world and rise again for his justification.
      He looked forward to the Cross and was justified. We look back at the Cross and are justified. He believed God and miracles happened. Paul believed God and miracles happened and TODAY we also believe God and miracles happen because our Saviour purchased our total Freedom on Calvary’s Cross and bodily resurrection three days later! (Rom.4: 24,25)
      The Religious today are peddling the ‘same old, same old’: “It happened in Paul’s day but not today. The Day of Miracles is past.” Tell that to St. Paul and you would get an earful! Miracles of salvation and healing happened when Abraham walked the earth and during Paul’s generation and is still happening today, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Heb.13:8)
                         THERE IS MORE, MUCH MORE!
    But, there is more, yes. Much more! When you first trusted in Christ, your name was written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. After you believed and were born again, Jesus Christ Himself gave you the Gift of the Holy Spirit and filled you with great joy, fire and power. At that moment, you were sealed with the Spirit of Promise!
     “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?” You may ask! The HOLY SPIRIT answers to the BLOOD of Jesus Christ. When a sinner receives Christ as his personal Saviour, the Blood of Christ cleanses and washes away his sins. He is redeemed and brought into the Kingdom of God. It is, however, the work of the Holy Spirit to bring that soul into the body of Christ.
   After conversion, the Holy Spirit continues working with that soul and when his hunger and thirst intensifies and reaches out to God for more of Him, Jesus Christ, the Head if the Church personally baptizes Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, thereby sealing him until the Day of Redemption!
    Here is a marvellous truth: We are sealed until the Day of Redemption for the Purchased Possession, which is the Believer! The Holy Spirit guarantees our eternal redemption by sealing us for Christ until we see Him face to face, until the redemption. HE purchased us with His precious Blood. He owns us. We are His Purchased Possession!
     Again, St. Paul nails down this great truth. In warning the Church at Ephesus to live a pure, holy and righteous life, he also warned against grieving the Holy Spirit of God!
      “If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in JESUS; that ye put off concerning the former conversation (lifestyle) the OLD MAN which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and that ye put on the NEW MAN, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness;
     “Wherefore putting away lying speak every man truth with his neighbour for we are members one of another...Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labour working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
   “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed until the Day of Redemption.”(Eph.4: 21-30)
    May God’s blessings rest upon us all until He returns in the Rapture of the Church! Amen.

Friday, February 19, 2016

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     The Goncourt Brothers Journal of April 7, 1869, reported a conversation between leading scientists of that time, in which they predicted that in a hundred years man would know of what the atom is constituted, and will be able to create life synthetically in competition with God.
     “We have a feeling”, the Goncourt Journal stated facetiously, “that when this time comes to pass, God … will come down to earth swinging His bunch of keys and will say to humanity as they say at 5:00 o’clock in the morning, “Closing Time, Gentlemen.”
      God is calling us all back to Himself. We have strayed from Him, nationally and individually. In His mercy He calls us all: Come unto Me. I will give you Peace and Rest. We are entering a new season of healing, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit that will re-awaken the Church in these 'End Times' to seek God to rend the Heavens and come down among us in 'old time power' once again!
       In Billy Graham's new book, 'The Reason for my Hope: Salvation', he states that all the Signs given by Christ have now been fulfilled and are converging at this time! 
  "A new world is coming. The Paradise that humanity lost in the Garden of Eden will be regained. Regardless of what society says, we can't go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming. We are at the crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. It is time to Return to Biblical Truth."
      Armin R. Gesswein says: "When Jesus went back to Heaven, all He left behind was a Prayer Meeting."  
    C.S. Lewis wrote"God is going to invade, but I wonder if whether people who ask God to intervene openly and directly in this world quite realize what it will be like when He does!  When that happens it will be the end of the world. When the Author walks on the stage, the play is over.
    "God is going to invade alright. It will be too late then to choose your side. That will not be the time for choosing. It will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realize it or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us a chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it. 
     D.L. MOODY stated: "Shame on the Christianity of the 19th. Century. It is a weak and sickly thing. Would to God we had a few men like Daniel living here today."
     During one of his last sermons he addressed the subject of the Holy Spirit thusly: "It is not carnal to pray that He might come again and that the place may be shaken. I believe Pentecost was only a Specimen Day! I think the church has made this woeful mistake that Pentecost was a miracle never to be repeated. I believe NOW if we looked at Pentecost as a Specimen Day and began to pray, we should have the Old Pentecostal Fire here in Boston." 
                  JESUS’ BLOOD ALONE SAVES & PURGES!
       Only the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son has the power to cleanse from sin and purge the conscience! The Holy Spirit agrees with the blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit works in and through the Blood of Jesus Christ to bring forgiveness, cleansing, healing and deliverance to His Body, the church. And to those repentant souls who cry out for mercy and deliverance from the power of the Enemy!
       DR. ANDREW MURRAY stated: "This does not mean merely that the Holy Spirit was in Jesus the Lord, and bestowed on His Person and His blood a Divine worth. It is much more than that - it indicates that the shedding of His blood was brought about by the Eternal Spirit and that Spirit lived and worked in that blood, so that when it was shed, it could not decay as a dead thing, but as a Living Reality it could be taken up to Heaven to exercise its Divine Power from there."
     The BIBLE states: "How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit of God offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God? For Christ is not entered into the Holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true: but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." (Heb. 9: 14, 24)
     "For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word (Jesus) and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One. And there are three that bear record in earth; the Spirit, and the water (Word) and the Blood and these Three agree in one. (1 John 5:7, 8) 
                    THE MIRACLE OF THE NEW BIRTH!
      JESUS said: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee: Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?
      "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, except a man be born of water (Word) and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3: 3-6)
   St. Peter wrote: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." (1 Peter 1: 23). St. Paul declared: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become NEW." (2 Cor. 5: 17)
     "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with God. When Christ, Who is our life shall APPEAR, then shall ye also appear with Hin in Glory. 
     "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleaness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence (passion of lust), and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which thing's sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
      "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the OLD MAN with his deeds: And have put on the NEW MAN, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering. Forbearing one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye, and above all these things, Put on charity (agape love), which is the bond of perfectness." (Col.3: 1-14)
    Through His vicarious DEATH for us all, Jesus Christ purchased our Eternal Salvation from sin, fear, sickness, death and Hell. He has given us the Blessed Holy Spirit to lead, guide, teach and comfort us. If we have opened our hearts and lives to Him, He has filled us and SEALED us with that Holy Spirit of Promise! (Eph.1: 13; 4: 30)
     Jesus said: "The thief (Satan) cometh not but for to steal, kill and destroy. I am come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10); "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy works of the devil." (1 John 3: 8)
     In the Nazareth synagogue, Jesus stood up to read and He asked for the Scroll of Isaiah the prophet, which referred to Himself, the Jewish Messiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to HEAL the broken hearted, to preach DELIVERANCE to the captives; and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the Acceptable Year of the Lord."  (Luke 4: 8, 19) 
    The 'Acceptable year of the Lord' spoke of the Gospel Age which Jesus Christ had come to usher in.  He would fulfill all Jewish Jubilees, in which prisons were opened, slaves redeemed and those who had sold their inheritances could redeem them. 
     We are still living in the Gospel Age, the Great Year of Jubilee, when all sinners who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved, the demon possessed can be delivered and the sick and suffering HEALED through the bloody stripes that Jesus of Nazareth bore for us on Golgotha! 
      The BIBLE says: "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:21); "For now we see through a glass darkly; but  then (when Christ appears) face to face: Now I know in part: But then shall I know even as I am known." (1 Cor.13:12). It is impossible for us to comprehend the glories which we will behold and inherit from our Heavenly Father when we shall see face to face the ONE Who took our place on the cross of shame and paid the penalty for our sins! Halelujah!
     Jesus promised us all Eternal Life if believe that He is the Saviour of the world who sacrificed Himself for the sins of the entire world - past, present and future - and  CONQUERED death, Hell and the grave when He AROSE from the Tomb on the third day, as He said that He would!
      Our Lord said: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of God be lifted up That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ETERNAL LFE. 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: 14-16). Amen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    “Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is EVEN at the Right Hand of God, Who also makes INTERCESSION for us… Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us.” (Rom.8: 34, 37)
    The STUDY of God's Word is the most life fulfilling and life changing enterprise. Nothing can compare with the PEACE that God's Word brings to the human heart and the HEALING that the Living Christ brings to our innermost being through the Person of the Holy Spirit.   
     There is no word to describe the cleansing and purging of our conscience through faith in the shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ our Lord:  The Bible says: “How much more shall the blood of Christ Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God,  PURGE your conscience from dead works  to serve the Living God.” (Heb. 9: 14)
      The JOY that our Lord brings into our lives is beyond comprehension.  Jesus stated: “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.” (John 15: 11). Just before the Cross, Jesus reassured His disciples:  “And ye now therefore have sorrow, but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice, and your JOY no man taketh from you.” (John 16: 22). “Peace I leave with you, My PEACE I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27).
     St. Paul wrote; “REJOICE in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the PEACE that passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 4: 4-7)
    A study of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so astounding that one wonders how there could be anything MORE to praise God for. St. Paul, however, takes us deeper and lifts us higher with these truths about Jesus Christ: “Who is even at the Right hand of God, Who also makes intercession for us.” (Rom.8: 34)
                                                 THERE IS EVEN MORE!
    Our hearts are already full with the amazing things our Lord has done for us.  Then, we realize that there is much more! Jesus is at this moment PRAYING for us all, interceding before the throne of God for our needs. The Bible states that Jesus is our Advocate with the Father and also our Heavenly High Priest. (1 John 2: 1,2)
     In the Book of Hebrews we get a glimpse of the INTERCESSION of Christ our High Priest before God the Father for us all! “Where would anyone of us be if Christ were not interceding for us? St. Paul makes the case that Jesus is that High Priest that the prophet declared is greater than Aaron, and after the order of Melchisedek:
     “Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifies, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek... By so much was JESUS made a surety of a better testament, and they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death.
      “But This Man, because He continues ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He EVER LIVETH to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.
      “Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the peoples; for this He did once, when He offered up Himself for the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of an oath, which was since the law, makes the SON, who is CONSECRATED for evermore.” (Heb. 7: 16, 17, 22-28)
                                              HE EVER LIVES TO INTERCEDE!
    The work of Redemption did not end with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It continues through the constant intercession of our Lord and Saviour, as our Heavenly High Priest! He lives to intercede!
      Were our sins NOT washed away by His substitutionary death for us on the cross?  And were we not justified by His resurrection from the dead? YES, of course we were!
    With the flesh, the world and the devil arrayed against us, we would not, however, be able to continue in a sanctified state without Christ’s intercession for us, and the Holy Spirit within us! Jesus Christ’s intercession for the apostle Peter, brought him back to Faith after he cursed, sworn and vehemently denied knowing Jesus.
     “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have PRAYED for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22: 31,32)
      The Bible declares: “God… hath in these last days spoken unto us by His SON, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person, and UPHOLDING all things by the Word of His Power, when he had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High.” (Heb.1: 1-3)
     The Bible reports Christ’s victory over the Evil One during His 40 day fast and Wilderness Temptation. Repeatedly, the Devil sought to have Jesus destroyed. I never quite understood the enormity of Christ’s Victory over Satan on the cross and His Resurrection from the dead, until I began to study His work of INTERCESSION as our Heavenly High Priest.
     It is no wonder the Evil, Wicked, Sinister, lying Devil hates Jesus Christ so deeply, when he KNOWS that he is lost, doomed and damned FOREVER, and Jesus our High Priest is FOREVER interceding for us. And that is why he hates all God’s children who trust in the shed blood of God’s paschal LAMB!
     The truth is driven home more powerfully when you realize that Christ will always be our Security, constantly looking after us as the ages roll. We will always be His Bride, His Body and sons of God without sin, fear, struggles, sickness, disease or death!
     In the same way that Jesus Christ is keeping the universe running smoothly, His intercession to the Father on our behalf secures our salvation, because He is Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent together with the Father and the Holy Spirit! World without end!
                                                CHRIST THE INTERCESSOR!
     Johann Tobias Beck, professor of Theology in Tubingen, Germany (1843) stated, “See the difference between having Christ as Advocate or Intercessor Who stands outside of us and having Him within us – our abiding in Him and He in us through the Holy Spirit – perfecting our union with Him so that we can go directly to the Father in His name.”                                                              
      In his splendid book, Teach Me to Pray, Dr. Andrew Murray writes: “The whole of salvation is Christ Himself. He lives in us. Because He prays, we also pray. Just as the disciples, when they saw Jesus pray, asked Him to make them partakers of what He knew of prayer, so we, seeing Him as intercessor on the Throne, know that He makes us participate with Him in the life of Prayer.
     “To understand this, think first of His intercession. He ever lives to make intercession for us. The work of Christ in earth as Priest was but a beginning. It was as Aaron He SHED HIS BLOOD. It is as Melchizedek that He Now lives within the VEIL to continue His work after the power of Eternal Life. As Melchizedek He is more glorious than Aaron, so it is in the work of intercession that the ATONEMENT has its true power and glory. “Christ Jesus Who died – more than that, Who… is at the Right hand of God, and is also interceding for us.” (Rom.8: 34)
     “That intercession is an intense reality, a work that is absolutely necessary and without which the continued application of REDEMPTION cannot take place. In the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus, the wonderful reconciliation took place by which man became partaker of the Divine Life and blessedness. But the real personal appropriation of this RECONCILIATION in each of His members here below cannot take place without the unceasing exercise of His Divine Power by the HEAD in Heaven.
     “In all conversion and sanctification, in every victory over Sin and the World, there is a flowing forth of the POWER of Him Who is Mighty to SAVE. This exercise of His power only takes place through His prayer. He asks of the Father and receives from the Father. “He is ABLE to save completely, because He lives to intercede.” (Heb. 7: 25)
                                                  PARTAKERS OF HIS LIFE!
     “There is never a need of His people without His receiving in intercession what the Godhead has to give. His mediation on the Throne is as real and indispensable as on the cross. Nothing takes place without His intercession! It engages all His time and power. It is His unceasing occupation at the Right hand of His Father.
     “We participate not only in benefits of His work, but also in the work itself, because we are His Body…We share with Jesus in all He is and has. (John 17:22). We are partakers of His life, His righteousness, His works; we share with Him in His intercession too; it is not a work He does without us. We do this because we are partakers of His life. Christ is our life; “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20).
      O’ how great and glorious is this amazing Gospel of Jesus Christ! To Him be honour and glory and praise forever and ever. Amen.                                                                

Friday, February 12, 2016

                         JESUS CHRIST IS 
                        NOT NEGOTIABLE!
                          By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     The Gospel is Good News for Fallen Man. It is the Glad Tidings of the great love, mercy and grace of God projected toward a sinful and rebellious race! The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology states: "The Gospel is the joyous proclamation of God's activity in Christ on behalf of man." 
    We are nearing the Easter season and true believers in Jesus Christ and His glorious Gospel will be heralding the amazing Bible account of the God's great mercy and grace toward sinful man. The word Gospel means Good News!
    The Gospel is the good news and glad tidings that Light has come into a world of Darkness; that Peace has come into a world of Turmoil; that Healing has come into a world of Sickness; that that Love has come into a world of Hate; that Forgiveness has come into a world of Sin; that Life has come into a world of Death; that Freedom has come into a world of Bondage; that Slaves are made free by the Liberator of the Human Race!
    And that Light, Peace, Healing, Love, Forgiveness, Life, Liberty, Freedom and Eternal Life is none other than Jesus Christ the Son of God. That He was crucified for us, Risen from the dead and Sitting on the Right hand of God as Saviour, Redeemer, Advocate, High Priest and Intercessor!
    Soon the usual liberal "enemies of the cross" theologians and their lap-dogs, the money hungry Hollywood Producers and actors, will be spreading lies and falsehoods about Jesus Christ and His Gospel. 
    I found this powerful statement on Google recently: It was my position in 1993 and it is my position today:
   The Western Report Feb. 8, 1993 story of Christian Unity in Alberta carried this excerpt: Edmonton’s Dr. Max Solbrekken is more blunt: “We can’t sit at the same table with people who presume to change the word of God - call God the Father ‘she,’ license homosexual acts, change Christ’s own words on marriage, or deny that He rose from the dead. That’s blasphemy. The only truth that unites Christians is the person of Jesus, and he is not negotiable. I’m all for Christians joining together, but Christ is the living Word, not an ‘evolving idea,’ and he doesn’t change with the times.”
                  FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS!
    What a journey Jesus Christ had: From the Manger to the Cross - the Cross of Calvary - the place of pain, shame and agony, where our Saviour shed His precious blood to set the captives free!
   Christ's vicarious (substitutionary) death and glorious resurrection from the dead drives us to Repentance and Faith, as we see His hand of mercy extended to a lost, fearful and sick world.
    The Cross is the expression of God's love for us. It is the very pinnacle of His mercy and grace to an enslaved people, bound by lust, greed, pride and hate. The Cross of Christ has been referred to as the axis of salvation, the climax of the cosmic battle between God and Satan, between good and evil!
    JESUS said: "As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep. 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 of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command have I received of My Father," (John 10: 15-18); "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15: 13)
     "For when we were yet without strength (hopeless) 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 commendeth 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 enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Rom.5: 8-10)
                             THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD!
     The Sovereignty of God demanded punishment for sin and the Cross provided the Final Solution! 
    From the Gates of Eden - after the Fall - until the death of Jesus of Nazareth on Golgotha, God used the sacrificial system to forgive the sins of His people. Innocent lambs, goats and bulls were sacrificed as substitutes for sinning man!
   When JESUS cried, "It is Finished", Almighty God rent the vail in the Temple and left the Holy of Holies. Standing on Golgotha's Hill, He laid His hands on the head of His Son, transferring the sins of the entire world (past, present and future) to His Paschal Lamb. 
    The Lamb of God had been sacrificed. He had propitiated for our sins. The Father was satisfied. The account was settled for time and eternity! The fountain of blood was opened for sin and uncleanness. His blood was flowing. JESUS had met the Demands of Divine Justice in the courts of Heaven, in payment for all our sins!
    "And he (thief) said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.
   "And the sun was darkened and the VAIL in the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit: and having thus said, He gave up the ghost." (Luke 23: 42-46) 
    The Great Exchange was done. The sins of Adam that had been laid upon the human race had now been transferred to God's incarnated Son. Our sins were imputed to Christ and in exchange, His righteousness was imputed to us! (Rom.3:21-26; 4:6-8; 5:11-21)
    The BIBLE states: "But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 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.
     "For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?" (Heb. 9: 11-14)
    Speaking to the pagan philosophers of Greece about Jesus Christ, St. Paul stated: "Forasmuch then that we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to REPENT.
    "Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will       judge the world in righteousness by that MAN, Whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead." (Acts 17: 30, 31)
                        LIFE THROUGH THE BLOOD!
   ANDREW MURRAY wrote: "Reconciliation and deliverance from Guilt become the blessed entrance for us into a life in which the Blood, as it was transported into Heaven and abides there will be truly the power of divine abiding life in us." - The Blood of the Cross
    MARTIN LUTHER stated: "First, the blood of Christ remains the same blood of Christ. For we believe and hold that the blood of Christ that is now at the Right Hand of God, was shed for us only ONCE." - Church & Ministry, Luther's Works, vol. 40, p. 215
     ST. PAUL states: "But this Man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchanging priesthood. Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God through Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.
     "For such an High Priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens: Who needeth not daily, as those high priests to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this He did ONCE, when He offered up Himself. 
      "For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity, but the word of the OATH, which was since the law, maketh the SON, Who is consecrated forevermore." (Heb.7:24-28)
     Clearly stated, there is but ONE God and Father and ONE Lord Jesus Christ Who is both Creator and Sustainer of the world and Sole Saviour and Redeemer of the Human Race and ONE Blessed Holy Spirit of God, Who draws all men to Christ!          
    All other so-called gods and goddesses and deities are mere Counterfeits, Imitators and Pretenders. It is Christ and Christ Alone Who saves, heals, delivers and liberates from sin, fear, sickness, disease and all the powers of Darkness and Satan! 
      "But to us (Christians) there is but ONE God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him, and ONE Lord Jesus Christ by Whom are all things, and we by Him." (1 Cor.8: 6) Amen.
                            A MESSENGER BOY FOR JESUS
  After discussing the outstanding miracle healings that had occurred under his ministry, the editor of a major Norwegian newspaper asked, “Who is Max Solbrekken?” He replied, “The boy delivering telegrams does his job and gets back on his bicycle, often without being thanked. The boy is not important but the telegram is.  Max Solbrekken isn't important but the message is very important. “I am just a messenger boy for Jesus!”  Next day's Newspaper had a large picture of the preacher, and the article covered a full page.  The headline screamed, “Max Solbrekken: A Messenger Boy For Jesus!”
      For more than 50 years, Max Solbrekken has carried the Gospel of Jesus Christ to multitudes across the world, the Lord working with him and confirming the Word with miracles, sign and wonders!
    From 1989 to 1995 he conducted major crusades across the former Soviet Union. In 2004 and 2005, Max Solbrekken preached in four Ministers Conventions with a total of 10,000 preachers, and in Parque Brasil in Paulinia, S.P. Brazil he preached to more than 300,000 people on April 13, 2005. His latest Gospel Unity Crusade was in Kampala, Uganda in 2011.
     One of his greatest joys was preaching to Muslims in Darfur, Sudan in 2006. To God be all the honour, praise and glory, through Jesus Christ the Lord! Amen.