By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
He LOVES us! He KNOWS about us! He CARES for us! He DIED for our sins! He AROSE from the dead for our justification! And He will RETURN for us! The Bible states that Jesus "was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." (Romans 4:25); "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Heb. 9:28)
Our OFFENCES speaks of the sins of unbelief, pride and treason against our God, Maker, Life-Giver and Saviour. Our sins nailed Him to the Cross! He was delivered, meaning: He was arrested, condemned, scourged, crucified and died for our sins! The Bible teaches the substitutionary (vicarious) Death of Jesus the Messiah, for the sins of the entire world!
The Bible states: "Therefore being, justified by FAITH we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. For when we were yet without strength (hopeless), in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commends 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." (Romans 5:1, 6-10)
The hymn writer penned these amazing words: 'O love of God so rich and pure, so measureless and strong. It shall forevermore endure the saints and angels song. If you could with ink the ocean fill and were the sky of parchment made and every stock on earth a quill, 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.'
GOD IS FOR US: NOT AGAINST US
There are those who believe that God is against us and wants to punish us for our sins. Nothing is farther from the truth. The Scripture states: "As I live saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked TURN from his way and live: Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways for why will die....? (Ezekial 33:11)
"For I know the thoughts that I have toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (hope and a future). Then ye shall call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you saith the Lord..." (Jer. 29:11-14)
This Scripture holds out hope for us all, even those who have fallen into gross sins. Israel had sinned by breaking His laws and God judged them with seventy years in Babylonian captivity. His extended hand of love, mercy and grace reached out to them again letting them know that they were still His people and that if they would call upon His name He was ready to forgive and give them a bright future in Palestine as well as an eternal Home in Heaven!
St. Peter writes: "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) So great was the love of God toward us that He sent His only begotten Son into this wicked, desperately evil WORLD to save us all through the SACRIFICE of Himself!
GOD'S LOVE IS UNIMAGINABLE
His love toward us is incomprehensible, inconceivable and beyond the scope of human understanding! That God the Son would wrap Himself in human flesh and come down in our midst and offer Himself as a ransom to pay for the sins of the world - past, present and future - to meet the demands of Divine Justice, exceeds the limits of our intelligence!
The Bible declares: "To wit (that is), that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. For He hath made Him to be SIN (sin offering) for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:18; 19:21)
The word GRACE means unmerited favor. We are saved by grace and kept by the power of God through His mercy. St. Paul stated: "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8,9) It is by Grace alone, through Faith alone and in Christ alone that we are able to enter God's Kingdom.
The Gospel is all about JESUS CHRIST and what He has done to redeem sinful and lost humanity. The mercy, grace and love of God was extended to us in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, "Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the CROSS, despising the shame and is set down on the right hand of the Majesty on High." (Hebrews 12:2)
Jesus Christ said: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14:6) "I am the Door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be Saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10: 9)
JESUS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN!
There is no other road one may travel, no other way one may go and no other entrance into the Kingdom of God except through God's Pascal Lamb, Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified on Golgotha's Hill nearly 2000 years ago.
No one else could have filled the role of the God-man, the Jewish Messiah, and no one else could have RISEN from the dead three days later! He is not only the sole Saviour of the world but also the King of kings and Lord of lords and the ultimate Judge of all mankind!
That is GREAT NEWS if you are a believer in Christ, but very scary, indeed, if you do not know Christ as personal Saviour and Lord. St. John makes this definitive, judicially proper and theologically correct statement:
"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in Himself. He that believeth not hath made Him a liar, because he believeth not the RECORD that God gave of His Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us Eternal Life, and this LIFE is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath LIFE, and he that hath NOT the Son of God hath NOT Life." (1 John 5:10-12)
The Bible states: "The Thief (Satan) cometh not but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have LIFE and have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep." (John 10: 10-11)
Saul of Tarsus, a rabid enemy of Jesus of Nazareth and His followers, was apprehended by the RISEN LORD on the Damascus Road. The encounter was supernatural and life changing as our Lord appeared in a light brighter than the sun, blinding the murderous religious Jewish Enforcer! (Acts 9, 22, 26)
St. Paul states: "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." (Philippians 2:5-11)
LIFE IN JESUS' BLOOD!
“And still the Cry of the Synagogue comes to us through the many centuries of past unbelief and ignorance: “Let One Innocent come and make atonement for the guilty!” to which no other response can ever be made than that of the apostle: “Such an high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the Heavens.” - Alfred Edersheim, 'The Temple, in Ministry & Service'
On the Day of Atonement, a cry was made from Jewish Synagogues confessing their need of a sinless One who would be able to atone for them. Year after year, the Cry from the Synagogue was made, but there was no Messiah to answer their call.
Then, John the Baptist announced: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am unworthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.” (Matt.3:11); “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)
Prophets like David, Isaiah and Malachi had prophesied His coming and when He did arrive, the chief priests and the nation of Israel rejected Him. St. John wrote: “He came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1: 11, 12)
St. Paul wrote: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom.10: 9,10)
Gospel Songs shout out His Love and Power: “There is power, power, wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb. There is power, power, wonder working power in the precious blood of the Lamb.”; “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”; “I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back,”
Jesus Christ said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My FLESH which I will give for the life of the world.
“...Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My Blood, hath Eternal Life. And I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6: 47-58, 63). He gave His flesh and His blood to redeem us. His blood was poured out and His body beaten, scourged and crucified.
The Bible says: “Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a Body hast Thou prepared Me. By the which will, we are sanctified through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb.10:5,10)
Jesus did not offer up His spirit. That remained untouchable, holy, pure and without blemish. He had the mind of God and His spirit was God-filled and inspired! Nothing could touch His spirit. It was immune to sin, fear or spiritual death!
A spurious doctrine argues that Jesus suffered as a sinner in Hell for three days, overcame Satan and was born again in Hell. That has no Biblical foundation!
JESUS DIED AS GOD'S PASCHAL LAMB!
Jesus died as God's Paschal Lamb upon 'the cross of shame' on Golgotha as a sin offering. All our sins were laid upon Him. He bore our sins like the paschal lamb. He was identified with our sins, sicknesses and diseases, in order to destroy them. There were no sins within Him. His spirit was pure, holy and without spot!
If there had been any sin in Him, He would not have been able to rise from the dead. Death would have held Him fast until the judgment Day. The Bible says: “Behold...the soul that sinneth it shall die.” (Ezek. 18:4); “For the wages of sin is death...” (Rom. 6: 23)
Jesus' spirit did not go to Hell. He went to Hades in 'Abraham's Bosom' where He stayed for three days, until He arose together with the righteous dead. (John 20:14; Matt.27:52,53). His pure and holy blood did not die and is alive today in the Holy Place in Heaven, pleading for us. Christ's sinless Blood raised Him from the dead:
“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 dead works to serve the Living God.” (Heb. 9: 12-14)
ANDREW MURRAY states: “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 Holy Spirit and that the 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 thence.”
Although God the Father had to judge His Son for our sins, the Holy Spirit did not leave JESUS while He hung on the cross. St. Paul clearly states that God was in Christ at that very time, reconciling the world to Himself: “That is, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself not imputing their trespasses unto them...” (2 Cor. 5: 19).
GOD WAS IN CHRIST!
When did God reconcile the world to Himself? That Great Transaction happened while our Saviour was hanging on the Cross suffering for and paying for our sins. God the Father judged His Son for the sins of humanity at the very time that God the Holy Spirit was within Jesus reconciling the world to Him.
I believe the Holy Spirit remained with the body of Jesus protecting it and His blood from decay, as Andrew Murray declared. When Jesus arose from the dead, the Holy Spirit was there to receive our Saviour into His glorified body. Jesus, then carried His own BLOOD into the Holy Place in Heaven where it now resides, alive and powerful to save, cleanse, heal and protect us!
The Bible says: “For Christ is not entered into the Holy Place made with hands, which are the figure of the true, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many...By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the BODY of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb.9: 24, 28; 10:10)
St. Paul expounds: “And He is before all things and by Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the Church: Who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.” (Col.1: 17, 18)
Jesus was with the Father before time began. He CREATED all things. (John 1: 1-3). He is the first to rise from the dead, never to die again. (Heb. 9:28). “And, having made PEACE through the death of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself...yet now hath He reconciled in the BODY of His Flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unrepoveable in His sight...” (Col. 1: 20-23)
Jesus stated: “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I may take it to 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 of My Father.” (John 8: 17, 18)
Another proof that God did not leave His Son are His own words: “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, and is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am NOT alone, because the Father is with Me.” (John 17:32).
“Then Jesus said unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And that sent Me is with Me, the Father hath not left me alone, for I do always those things that please Him.” (John 8: 28,29)
WHAT ABOUT PSALM 22?
Only parts of that psalm refer to the Messiah. Most of it is David's thoughts and prayers: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Why art Thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest not, and in the night season, and am not silent.”
First, Jesus was not on the cross at Night. He was taken down from the cross between 3:00 and 6:00 pm. Second, if Jesus cried those words, they would have been the only negative words that He spoke from the cross. Third, Standing around the cross were people who understood Hebrew, Greek, Roman and Aramaic and yet, “Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, He calleth for Elias.” (Matt. 27:47)
Some theologians believe that Jesus may have spoken, in that moment, in a unique dialect of Aramaic distinct to an area near to Nazareth where He grew up.
The Lamsa Bible may have the answer. The Ancient Eastern Manuscripts, derived from the Syriac Peshitta used by the Assyrian Church of the East, believes that the first N.T. was written in Assyrian, instead of Greek.
Here is the translation of Matt.27:47 in that Bible: “And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice and said, Eli, Eli, lemana shabakthani, for this purpose I was spared.”
That translation says: “This is the purpose for My coming here. You spared Me when Herod tried to kill Me and the Jews sought to destroy Me.” If this is the true translation, then Jesus was rejoicing in the fact that He had made it to the cross, where He would finalize the plan of Redemption.
He had come to this earth to die as God's Paschal Lamb for us. The Bible says: “And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” He would NOT allow anything to prevent His vicarious death on the cross!
Jesus Christ used similar verbiage to His disciples and to Pontius Pilate: “Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” (John 12: 27); “Pilate saith unto Him, Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest I am a king, To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into this world...” (John 18: 37)
GOD DOESN'T OWE SATAN ANYTHING!
Hades was divided in two parts. The wicked dead went to the place consigned for the unrighteous and the righteous dead went to Abraham's Bosom. The story told by Jesus about the 'Rich man and Lazarus' confirms that: “And it came to pass, that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's Bosom; and the rich man died and was buried; and in HADES, he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom...” (Luke 16: 22,23)
Thirdly, Satan has never been in Hell. He will go there when God sends him there! Unfortunately, the King James Bible has used the word Hell in a number of texts, where the original is the word Hades.
SATAN is: “...the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Eph. 2: 2); “...the god of this world (who) hath blinded the eyes of them who believe not...” (2 Cor. 4:4); “...your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5: 8)
JESUS said: “Now is the judgment of this world: Now shall the prince of this world be CAST out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto Me.” (John 12: 31, 32)
The worst part of that erroneous teaching is that it elevates Satan's power and ability and diminishes God's Wisdom and Authority. To say that Almighty God had to make a deal with the devil to free humanity from his grasp through Christ's death, is preposterous. At best, Satan is God's jailer who captures those who continue rebelling against the Lord. The moment a sinner cries out to Jesus Christ, he is freed from the devil's grasp!
God doesn't owe Satan anything but JUSTICE, a place in Hell and the Lake of Fire for eternity. Lucifer was a deceiver, murderer and traitor! Almighty God is in charge and Satan has nothing to say about that. When it is his time to be cast into Hell, it will take only one angel to do it!
“And I saw an angel come down from Heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the Dragon, that old Serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Rev. 20: 1-3)
LUCIFER COMMITTED REBELLION!
Jesus called Satan by three names: Satan, the enemy, the opposer; Devil, the liar, the slanderer, the traducer; Beelzebub, the god of flies. Lucifer had been an archangel in Heaven, but PRIDE entered his heart and a rebellious spirit had overtaken him. He lost fellowship with Almighty God, his creator and was cast out of Heaven.
The Bible records: “And He (Jesus) said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the Enemy; and nothing shall by any means harm you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you: but rather rejoice, because your names are written in Heaven.” (Luke 10: 18-20)
Adam had committed the sin of High Treason against the Almighty! The Cross liberated Adam's fallen race through the vicarious death of Jesus Christ the Son of God, Who was incarnated in order to suffer, bleed and die to satisfy the righteous demands of Divine Justice in the Courts of Heaven!
The Blood of Jesus Christ was shed to pay the ransom price for mankind's sins. The Bible says: “My little children, these things I write unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the Righteous: and He is the Propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2: 1.2)
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9,10)
The word propitiation means 'mercy seat, satisfaction, expiation'. God sent His Son to die in our place to meet the demands of Divine Justice; to appease and satisfy the Righteousness of Almighty God! The Cross speaks of God's Righteousness that had been violated because of the sins of the world.
PROPITIATION MEANS SATISFACTION!
St. Paul declares: “For all have sinned, and come short of the GLORY of God; being justified freely by His Grace through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
“Whom God had set forth to be a propitiation through Faith in His Blood, to declare His Righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say at this time His Righteousness that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom.3: 23-26)
Instead of glorifying the Lord through a righteous lifestyle and obedience to His commands, we have all fallen short of God's Glory. By our rebellion against His righteousness and pursuing our own gratification, we have sinned against our Creator.
The Cross of Jesus was Almighty God's way of showing forth His righteousness against sin. The amazing truth is that God set forth Jesus to die as His Paschal Lamb, for the sins of the entire world (past, present and future) in order to demonstrate His Righteous Justice. He could not forgive sins without the shedding of innocent blood!
“And at the times of this ignorance God WINKED at it; but now commandeth all men everywhere to REPENT; because He has 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: 28-31)
When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed, he sinned against the Almighty! He had despised God's laws but in His great mercy, our Heavenly Father was gracious unto him. The prophet Nathan, said:
“Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord to do evil in His sight? And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David. The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because of thy deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.” (2 Sam.12: -10)
We learn three truths here: Committing sin is despising God and sinning against Him. We see God's great Grace and Mercy. Our sins harm God more than the people we may have sinned against.
David cried out for MERCY: “Have mercy upon me O God, according to Thy loving kindness. Wash me thoroughly from my sin...For I acknowledge my transgressions...Against Thee and Thee Only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mayest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest....
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean, and I shall be whiter than snow... Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities...Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my Salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.” (Ps. 51: 12)
THE CROSS SPEAKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!
Christ's Cross speaks of God's Righteousness: “To declare, I say at this time His Righteousness that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom.3: 23-26). In order to justify the unjust, God has to be Just! The Blood of Jesus, therefore, was shed to pay for all the sins of the entire world, past, present and future!
Not only was the Cross of Christ necessary to cover all whose sins God had winked at (overlooked), but also for those who had died under the First Testament:
St. Paul expounds: “And for this cause He is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the Redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of Eternal Inheritance.” (Heb. 9: 15).
If Jesus Christ had not died on Calvary's Cross for the sins of mankind and risen from the dead, there would be No Eternal Life for anyone, including Old Testament prophets and others. When this truth was revealed to me, I wept and trembled in reverence at the Holiness and Righteousness of God and His amazing Mercy and Grace toward us all!
A Ransom is something that is paid for the release of someone who is kept in captivity. We were all captives of sin and darkness, born with a sinful nature and a rebellious will that was selfish, proud and uncaring.
By His great mercy and grace, God has ransomed us from sin, condemnation, death and Hell through the vicarious death of His Son Jesus Christ. And we are justified by His resurrection from the dead. We stand in His presence as though we had never sinned; without condemnation!
The Bible states: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God my Saviour Who will have all men to be SAVED, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is One God, and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus: Who Gave Himself a RANSOM for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim. 2: 3-6)
“And the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all expectation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners; of whom I am chief. Now unto the King Eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.” (1 Tim. 1, 14, 15, 17)
JESUS HIMSELF IS ETERNAL LIFE!
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to Heaven and said, Father the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give Eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him.
“And this is the Eternal Life, that they might know Thee the only TRUE God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own Self with the Glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” (John 17: 1-5)
St. John stated: “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in Himself: he that believeth not hath made Him a Liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.
“And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath eternal life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life.
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And we know that we are of God; and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is True, and we are in Him that is True, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God, and Eternal Life.” (1 John 5: 1-13; 19,20)
THE SIN OF UNBELIEF!
The greatest SIN of all, is rejecting God's gift of Eternal Life through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ. Rejecting the Record that He gave of His Son, is in fact, calling Almighty God a Liar!
The Holy Bible states: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God, which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in Himself:
“He that believeth not God hath made Him a LIAR because he believed not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this Life is in His Son.
“He that hath the SON hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath Not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the NAME of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5: 9-13)
I urge all my Muslim, Mormon and Jehovah Witness friends to read and re-read the above Holy Scriptures that you may also have Eternal Life!
In defining the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter 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: 77-11)
The Holy Spirit has come to convict the world of Unbelief in rejecting Christ, God's unspeakable gift. Only through Christ's Righteousness are we able to approach God the Father. The Holy Spirit was sent to demonstrate Christ's Victory over the Devil!
FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS!
The Blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for the sins of the world - past, present and future - on Calvary's Cross nearly 2,000 years ago saves only those who receive Him. Faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ opens the door of Heaven to us by bringing instant forgiveness for our sins, purity of heart and a freedom from guilt, condemnation and shame!
Faith in the shed Blood of Jesus Christ God's Pascal Lamb, breaks the bonds of Sin, opens the Prison doors and liberates the captives held by Satan. Faith in the blood of Jesus Christ causes the Devil to flee in terror, destroys the shackles of servitude, opens the heart to sing, rejoice and receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with power.
Faith in the Blood of Jesus destroys evil habits of lust, greed and pride. It breaks the bondage of lying, stealing, gambling, fornicating and carousing! It liberates the spirit from guilt and fear of the past, present and future. It prepares the spirit for fellowship with God and entrance into our eternal Home!
St. Paul says: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ would be made of none effect. For 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: 17, 18)
In his book, 'The Cruciality of the Cross', Dr. Henry C. Mabie writes: “The Greek word used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1: 18 is Logos... “not preaching but the subject matter of preaching; with the very essence of that which was to be preached with that Logos of the Cross, which constituted a rationale, its divine reason which.., he declares to be the wisdom of God. This 'Logos of the Cross' is conceived by Paul to be the key which unlocks the riddle of the universe, solves all mysteries and reconciles all things.”
The One who was nailed to that cross, was the One who created all things. He unlocks the riddle of the universe because He made the universe. He solves all mysteries such as, Who are we? Why were we born? Where do we go from here? He is eternal and knows all things.
Because He was incarnated and lived among men, He understands us. He bridged the chasm between God and man through His substitutionary death for us, thereby removing the enmity! He reconciles us with God, and by making us new men in Christ, believers are able to make reconciliation with each other!
THE GOSPEL IS THE GOOD NEWS!
“The Gospel is the joyous proclamation of God's Activity in Christ on behalf of man.” - Evangelical Dictionary of Theology
The Gospel is good news for fallen man. It is the glad tidings of the great mercy, grace and love of God projected toward a sinful and rebellious Race! Its main Object is Jesus Christ Who was incarnated (God in human flesh) and gave His life to save lost humanity from sin and the penalty of sin which is eternal damnation! Jesus Christ Himself is the revelation of the will of God regarding all things.
The Gospel of Christ is the Good News, the glad tidings that Light is 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 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 into Free Men and Women through Jesus Christ the Liberator of the Human Race!
As believers in Christ, we are wrapped up in Him and consumed with His Gospel! We are one with Him. He lives in us. We are hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our Life. Christ is our Peace. Christ is our Hope and Joy. He is our food and drink. By faith we eat His body and drink His blood. He is our spiritual food. His Word feeds us. His Blood cleanses, purges, heals and protects us. His Holy Spirit leads us and in His Name we have received power over sin, fear, sickness, disease and evil spirits!
We Died With Christ: When we received Christ as our personal Saviour, we died to ourselves. St. Paul stated: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth within me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal.2:20);
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth, we should not serve sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” (Rom. 6:6, 8; Col. 2:20)
“For in that He died, He died to sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Rom. 6:10-12)
We Were Buried With Christ: After we received Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we were buried with Him through Water Baptism. We identified with His death through repentance and being born again. And through water baptism by immersion, we identify with His burial!
“Know ye not, that as many of us were baptized into Jesus Christ (1 Cor.12: 13) we were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life.” (Rom. 6:3, 4)
We Arose With Christ: We identify with Christ in His Death and Burial. We also identify with His Resurrection. He arose with great power and when we come out of the waters of baptism, we are candidates for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and power.
“Buried with Him in baptism, wherein ye also are risen with Him through the faith of the Son of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead.” (Col.2: 12); Jesus promised: “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 28: 18,19);
“But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8): “And these signs shall follow them that believe. In My name shall they cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues...They shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 15-20)
We Live With Christ: Jesus said: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you.
“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more, but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also.” (John 14: 16-19). “It is a faithful saying, “For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.” (2 Tim. 2:11)
We Are Seated With Christ in Heavenly Places: “But God Who is rich in Mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sin, has quickened us together with Christ, by grace are ye saved; and hath raised us up together, and made us to SIT together in Heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 2:6)
We Will Reign with Christ for Eternity: “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we suffer, we shall also REIGN with Him: if we deny Him, He will also deny us. If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim 2: 11, 12);
“And I saw thrones, and they that sat on them, and judgment was given unto then: and I saw the souls of men that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev. 20: 4)
GOD'S WORD IS STEADFAST!
God's Word cannot return unto Him void. It must accomplish that for which it was sent. (Is.55:11). It is impossible for Him to fail and since He has placed His Word above His name (Ps.138:2), it is impossible for God's Word to fail!
The Scripture says: “He hath sent His word and healed them and delivered them from all their destructions.” (Ps. 107: 20); The Holy Bible states: God is not a man that He should lie or the son of a man that He should repent (change). Hath He said it and shall He not do it or hath He spoken and shall He not make it good? (Numbers 23: 19)
God's great heart of Mercy and Grace desires to bless and heal all who are hurting and suffering today! I do Not believe that it is God's Will for any of His children to suffer the pain, agony and torment which Jesus suffered for us on the whipping Post and on the Cross.
All sickness, disease and pain were conquored by our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who took upon Himself our sicknesses and pains: “For He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our Peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53: 4, 5)
“When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His Word, and HEALED all that were sick. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matt. 8: 16, 17)
“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 we are healed.” (1 Peter 2: 24)
My deepest conviction and my personal belief is identical to the Holy Scriptures. I concur with the Word of God. Hallelujah! God is good and His mercy endureth forever! We thank the Lord, for giving us the 'Gift of Faith'; the same faith that Jesus had when He healed the sick and afflicted, cast out devils and raised the dead! (John 14: 12)
The Word of God is the will of God! Since Jesus Christ always did what His Father asked Him to and on several occasions complimenting and exalting His Son, why should we then not accept His Word regarding divine healing and deliverance?
The Holy Spirit spoke through St. Peter in a forceful way shortly after the Day of Pentecost: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing Good and HEALING all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” (Acts 10: 38)
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by Miracles and Wonders and Signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.” (Acts 2: 22); “... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
“How are shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and Wonders and with diverse Miracles and Gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will.” (Heb. 2: 3,4)
THE FIRE OF GOD IS NEEDED!
VANCE HAVNER, the powerful Baptist preacher, wrote: “Many years ago in Scotland in a certain community, the fires had all gone out! They searched everywhere to see if anyone had fire. Finally, they found a humble house where the hart stone glowed with a cheery flame. Soon they were carrying coals here and there to replenish their own blackened fireplaces.
“Today, there are weary hearts, discouraged souls, needy churches looking for a soul with fire, someone kept aglow in spite of the world, flesh and the Devil.”
According to the Babylonian Talmud (Book of the Rabbis) interpretation of the Scriptures (1,000 B.C.): The only time in history that homosexual marriage was practiced was during the Days of Noah, “when men were given in marriage to men and women were given in marriage to women”. That was just before God sent the FLOOD which destroyed everyone with the exception of Noah and his family.
Should we not be concerned about history repeating itself and judgment falling on a corrupt and perverted world in this generation? One thousand years before Christ, the Babylonian Talmud wrote about the sexual perversion during the 'Days of Noah'. That reflects where are now and should be a matter of urgent prayer for a spiritual Awakening among Christians across the world today!
BILLY GRAHAM recently stated: "Yet, the more this world spirals out of control, my heart aches for America and its deceived people. Ultimately, we don't have a CRIME problem or a GUN problem. What we have is a SIN problem. And since we ordered God out of our schools and communities, the Military and public conversations, you know we shouldn't act surprised when all hell breaks loose."
When his great crusades were stirring Los Angeles in 1947, another Evangelical preacher criticized him saying that Billy Graham was trying, "to set religion back 100 years", to which the 'Man of God' replied, "I did indeed want to set religion back not just 100 years, but 1900 years, to the Book of Acts, when First Century Followers of Christ were accused of turning the world upside down."
WE NEED A MASSIVE REVIVAL!
MARTIN LUTHER stated: “The Bible is like a lion; it does not need to be defended; just let it loose and it will defend itself. If it is in the Bible believe it. You may not understand it, but it is true.”
ARMIN GESSWEIN, a Lutheran Pastor and great Advocate of Prayer, stated: “Revival is Christians returning to normal.” In his testimony, he states that he learned how to pray from a Methodist blacksmith, who took him up to the hayloft on his farm where he knelt between two piles of hay on which were placed two Bibles. He was one of Billy Graham's Prayer warriors and led prayer Conferences in various countries!
ROBERT McHEYNE said: “Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, whose life has been hid with Christ in God. These are of the Old Time Religion, hung to the nails of the cross”.
LEONARD RAVENHILL stated: “The greatest tragedy is a sick Church in a dying world.”
I believe that God is giving us a Season of Healing, Miracles and Gifts of the Holy Spirit to re-awaken the Church in these End-Times. We must seek His face by Fasting and Prayer, asking Him to Rend the Heavens once more and come down in our midst in Holy Ghost Power! We anticipate His manifestations among us as we wait for His imminent return!
The BIBLE says: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him. For that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11: 6)
Faith is three things: Coming to God with our needs. Believing that He is Whom He claims to be; the Way, the Truth and the Life and that He keeps His Word. Faith is expecting an answer when we pray to our Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus!
Our Lord promised: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me: or else believe for the very work's sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14: 11-14,16)
SIN IS AN EVIL FORCE!
SIN is an evil force and the brain child of the Devil! “Sin is a power that may be likened to Mathematics. It adds to your troubles, subtracts from your energy, multiplies your torments, fears and pains. It divides your mind, takes interest away from your work. It discounts your chances of success and squares your conscience.” - anon
Sin blinds your spiritual eyes. Sin binds with chains of lust, greed and hatred. Sin deafens your spiritual ears. Sin deadens your conscience and kills you spiritually and physically. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23);
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous 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.” (Rom. 5: 6-8)
“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.
“He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3: 16-18, 36)
THE KEY TO REVIVAL!
The Key to Revival: “If My people which are called by My name shall HUMBLE themselves and PRAY and SEEK My face and TURN from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and FORGIVE their sins and HEAL their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)
“Come Now, and let us Reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is. 1: 18-20)
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Is. 55:11)
“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)
Jesus Christ invites: “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30).
The Master said: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come unto Me and him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37): “No man can come to Me except the Father which sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” (John 6: 44, 47)
“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the SON, will reveal Him.” (Mat.11: 27)
CONFESSION OF FAITH!
THE TRIUNE GOD: The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding. - Athanasas Creed
“But to us 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)
There is ONE True God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit: In the Divine Economy of God, there is no room for counterfeits or manufactured, man-made gods! The very first of the Ten Commandments that Almighty God wrote with His own finger in two tables of stone, says: “Thou shalt have none other gods before Me.” (Deut. 5:7)
“Now the God of Peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the BLOOD of the Everlasting Covenant make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20, 21)
“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 20, 21)
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, goddesses and deities are mere counterfeits, imitators and pretenders. It is Christ and Christ Alone Who saves, heals and delivers from sin, fear, sickness, disease and all the powers of Darkness and Satan! All praise, honour and glory be unto God our Father in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE HARVEST CALL!
Everywhere Jesus went, great miracles followed His Ministry as He proclaimed the Word of God. He healed the sick, cast out evil spirits and brought deliverance to those who were bound by Satan. Multitudes followed Him to hear His teaching and be healed by Him of their sicknesses and diseases!
“And He called unto Him the Twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two: and gave them power against unclean spirits: And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and HEALED them.” (Mark 6: 7, 12,13)
Then He called seventy disciples to help Him gather in the Harvest of souls for His Kingdom: “Therefore said He unto them, The HARVEST truly is great, but the labourers are few: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His Harvest...
“And HEAL the sick that are therein, and say unto them, the Kingdom of God is come Nigh unto you. And the seventy returned again with JOY saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us in Thy Name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning FALL from Heaven.
“Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the Enemy; and Nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10: 1,2,8,9,17-20). Jesus was so overjoyed when He heard their report that He spun around (agaliao, gr.), thanking His Heavenly Father: He prayed: “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” (Luke 10:21)
GOD DELIGHTS IN USING US ALL!
He uses the weak and unlearned to confound the strong and prestigious, that no flesh is able to glory in His presence. (1 Cor.1: 29, 30). Here is a beautiful Gospel song: “Without Him I can do nothing. Without Him I'd surely fail. Without Him I would be drifting like a ship without a sail. So I've asked Him to be my Pilot; His Word my compass and guide. Till I've anchored safely in Glory; For without Him I'd drift with the tide!”
Jesus said: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine: no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do Nothing.
“If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye ABIDE in Me, and My Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15: 1-7)
If it is our goal to please the Lord, He is pleased to answer our prayers! He said: “All things are possible to him that believeth. With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Mark 9: 23; 10: 27): “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil.4:13)
St. Paul's admonishes: “For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” (2 Cor. 5:10,11).
God's Word states: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a New creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become New. And all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
“That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto 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: 17-21). Amen.