Friday, May 13, 2022
Thursday, May 5, 2022
JUST A MINUTE PLEASE!
By Pastor Max Solbrekken
The most important question I could ask you and the most vital decision of your entire lifetime concerns the spiritual welfare of your soul and its eternal destiny!
Some preachers have soft-soaped the Gospel and watered down God’s Word to please their parishioners. They fear that if they preach the truth, people will be turned off, stop attending church and the offerings will drop!
Many mainline Protestant Churches have seen the devastating results of this. A prime example is the “free-fall” of the United Church of Canada, which has apparently been high-jacked by a group of non-believers whose main agenda is to get rid of all born-again, Spirit-filled ministers who preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ and replace them with their own type!
It appears that of their achievements, the greatest was to include practicing homosexuals and lesbians as ordained ministers on their rosters!
Now that they have achieved their goal, it is difficult to know what happens next!
That denomination is diminishing so rapidly, both numerically and spiritually, that many believe it will eventually end up as haven for advocates of a worldly, perverted lifestyle; not only in the pulpit – but in the pew!
Those churches and ministries, however, which preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and pray for the salvation of sinners and the healing of the sick are growing, expanding and flourishing!
Why? God honours His Holy word and answers the prayers of the penitent and faithful, but lifts His hand of blessing from the rebellious!
Jesus said, “The blind cannot lead the blind. They will both fall in the ditch.” (Matt. 15:14)
The Bible warns that there will be great apostasy and backsliding – among God’s Holy Ministers – in “the last days.” (2 Tim. 3:13; 4:34) St. Paul calls them Food Preachers or Belly Preachers. (Rom. 16:18; Phil. 3:19) They are professionals, who preach only to earn a living. They do not seek to win precious souls for Christ, because they have no spiritual life in themselves?
I’m being absolutely honest with you. Here is the truth from The Holy Bible, concerning God’s love, eternity, heaven, hell and your soul’s salvation!
NO. 1 – YOUR SOUL WILL NEVER DIE!
Your spirit (soul) is eternal and will live on even after your body dies. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7)
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return unto the ground: for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen. 3:19)
NO. 3 – YOU CAN’T FOOL GOD!
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7) “Be sure your sin will find you out.” (Num. 32:23)
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13)
“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15)
“Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: and these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt. 25:31-34, 41, 46)
NO. 5 – ALL HAVE SINNED!
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way: and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) “There is none righteous, no one one.” (Rom. 3:10, 12)
“They are all gone out of the way …there is none that doeth good, no not one.’ (Rom. 3:10-12)
“All our righteousness (our own good works) are as filthy rags. (Isa. 64:6) “The Scripture hath concluded all under sin.” (Gal. 3:22)
“The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born.” (Psalm 58:3) “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)
WE ARE SINNERS BY BIRTH – INHERITED FROM ADAM – AND ALSO SINNERS BY CHOICE!
St. Paul declares that we all were “By nature the children of wrath…” (Eph. 2:3)
As well as being “born in sin” (Psalm 51:5) because of Adam’s rebellion and fall and having a sinful nature, many carry some generational baggage because of the sins of their forefathers.
“Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sins… visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:7)
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Romans 5:18)
NO. 6 – JESUS DIED TO SAVE SINNERS!
Jesus said, “For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matt. 9:13) “For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matt. 18:11)
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 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.”
NO. 7 – YOU MUST REPENT OF YOUR SINS!
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Prov. 28:13)
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man this 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. 55:7)
“Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)
“Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
NO. 8 – YOU MUST BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!
“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 believeth not the record that God gave 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. 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 5:10-13)
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
NO. 9 - RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOUR BY FAITH!
“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)
“The Bible says, “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
Jesus said, “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)
Jesus said, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)
HE WILL GIVE YOU THE POWER YOU NEED TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE!
“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to then gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
No. 10 – BE BAPTIZED IN WATER (BY IMMERSION) TO IDENTIFY WITH CHRIST
Water Baptism is a funeral Service for the old man (Rom. 6:3-6). You have now become a new creation in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:17) When you were baptized in water, you confess by this act that you fully believe the Gospel.
The Bible says, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38-39)
Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we also know that one day we shall rise from the dead or be changed at His appearing.” (1 Cor. 15:51-54)
NO. 11 – SEEK GOD FOR THE INFILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND RECEIVE POWER FOR SERVICE!
“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 all Judea, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13)
“Draw night to God and He will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8) ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6)
Jesus promised; “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; 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.” (John 14:16-18)
The Bible says, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the lord our God shall call.” (Act 2:38-39)
NO. 12 – DAILY READ THE BIBLE, PRAY AND WITNESS FOR JESUS!
If you want to be a strong Christian and victorious in your living, there are some things you must do, as well as things you must not do.
1. READ THE BIBLE DAILY
I would suggest reading from both the Old and New Testament. Establish a certain pattern in your reading and read prayerfully as though it were a letter from God to yourself – which it is – “God’s Word to you.”
Study and memorize certain portions of it. Do not be afraid to mark your Bible so that you will know where to find certain passages. Before you read the Scriptures, however, ask God to enlighten His Word to your heart (Psalms 119:18) and the Blessed Holy Spirit will make ‘The Word’ real to you.
2. REMEMBER TO PRAY REGULARLY
Establish a certain period of time every day to have devotions with your family. Also set aside time for prayer and mediation when you are alone with God.
Jesus warned, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41)
The Bible says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8)
“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 any thing in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
St . Paul admonished, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess. 5:17)
The Bible says, “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let me sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:13-16)
The angel said to the women: “Come, and see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead…” (Matt. 28:6-7)
It is our duty, after we have seen, heard and experienced God’s love & grace, to SHARE it with others.
God has so ordained it that by our tithes and offerings – as God has blessed us – we are able to propagate the gospel and share God’s grace and love with others!
As we are faithful to do so, we will be able to reach this wicked world for our Master.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Mal. 3:10)
“Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” (Prov. 3:9-10)
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38)
“But ye seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)
“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there by no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.” (1 Cor. 16:1-3)
“But as I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:6-7)
Attend a Full Gospel, Pentecostal Church where they believe the entire Bible and practice what they preach. Stay full of the Holy Spirit. PRAY IN THE SPIRIT (in tongues) every day and you will glorify God. (Acts 2:11; 10:46). Edify yourself (1 Cor. 14:4; Jude 1:20) so that you can help bring God’s healing power to those around you!
by Pastor Max Solbrekken D.D.
"When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." (Is. 59:19), "Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God our Father." (Gal.1:3-4)
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." (2 Pet. 2:9)
In this end-time generation, Satan has arrayed every weapon he has against the Church! The Scriptures state, "...for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." (Rev. 12:12)
Satan is working day and night to do all the evil he can to satisfy his evil lusts. He realizes that his time is short, so he is working over-time to tear down the Work of God on earth. The Bible states: “The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” (1 Peter 5:8)
Sin with a capital "S" has made inroads everywhere as corrupt men and seducers wax worse and worse, (2 Tim. 3:13) deceiving and being deceived. The world glitters with the pleasures, lusts and greed of a fallen and lost race! This generation has produced more pitfalls and snares than any other, with which to capture people's minds and ruin their bodies and souls!
FALSE PROPHETS SHALL ARISE
Apostates, False Teachers and so-called Modernists (their teaching is actually as old as the devil) have made havoc of the Church and have torn away the moral guide lines and foundation stones of truth, righteousness and purity from the minds of thousands, in this generation.
L.S.D., S.T.P., marijuana and other hallucinary drugs have gained a strong foothold in the lives of careless, rebellious and uninformed young people, while King Alcohol has enslaved millions of unsuspecting souls in his demonic grasp.
And now fentanyl has eclipsed all others in killing thousands of young people yearly!
Jesus prophesied of this generation when He spoke of false prophets arising to deceive! (Matt. 24:24-26) No doubt He was speaking about the false cults and strange religious and psychic groups we see at work today, deceiving and brainwashing both young and old! And of the world-wide conspiracy of the devious, diabolical and dangerous New Age Movement!
They asked Christ, "What shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?" He prophesied many signs which would point to His eminent return. Signs such as wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, epidemics of disease, gross immorality, perversion (look at the divorce rate as well as the homosexual revolution).
Jesus declared that there would be a state of fear, bringing death (men's hearts failing them for fear - heart attacks). He also spoke of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as a valid sign of His Coming and of the End of Time! (Rev. 3:19-21)
IT IS NO WONDER THE DEVIL IS MAD!
He is a clever deceiver and liar and would like nothing better than to break up marriages, cause people to commit murder, become homosexual, sadistic or go violently insane! His main aim is to damn souls to Hell forever!
Satan is working against the Church in this midnight hour with everything he has, but of course he has been defeated and his time is limited. Soon it will be "Game Over" for him. Hallelujah!
Satan is marching against TIME; every time the clock on the wall says another hour has gone, the devil has one hour less to enslave, destroy and bring into bondage the members of the human race. One day he will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit; forever banished from those who love Christ!
Satan was defeated on Calvary’s Cross when Jesus Christ died victoriously, shedding His Precious BLOOD for the remission of sins and the salvation for our souls, and rising from the dead, triumphant over Death, Hell and the Grave!
Since that time Satan has gone about usurping illegal power, scaring people into submission, deceiving and lying to draw them into his snare, and using his "glittering lights" tactics and "rebel and revolt" method of turning people away from God and righteousness.
We know his tactics however, and St.Paul said it perfectly in 2 Cor. 2:11, we are not ignorant of the devil's devices."
WE HAVE NO FEAR
Many people perish because of fear, but God's Word states, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind". (2 Tim. 1:7): "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)
The Bible says, "Perfect love casteth out fear". (1 John 4:18). Jesus Christ gave us the assurance of His nearness when He said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Heb 13:5), and "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20).
Our blessed Lord declared, "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 hurt you." (Luke 10:19). The Old Testament confirms this in Psalm 91:10 where it says: " There shall NO EVIL thee, neither shall any PLAGUE come nigh thy dwelling.”
WE HAVE THE WEAPONS
The Bible, which is God's Divine, Infallible Word to mankind, has the answers to the most complex questions and problems. It reveals our rights and privileges together with our responsibilities; we learn of our God-given weapons, our abilities and the power available to us from our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, when we fully yield to Him.
“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the PULLING down of strongholds; CASTING down of imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor.10: 4.5)
St. Paul stated, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
"Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.
"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith, ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Eph. 6:10-18)
The Apostle Paul also said, "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." (1 Tim.6:12)
YOUR ADVERSARY - THE DEVIL
The Bible pin-points the source of all trouble: "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan is our Adversary, but St. James states: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. RESIST the devil, and he will flee (in terror) from you.”
We RESIST him in the Faith of Jesus Christ! By ourselves we are weak and defenseless. We cannot do it by our selves! Our faith must be grounded in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We resist the Evil One in Jesus’ Name and he must flee. Our faith is in the shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ, alone!
USE YOUR FAITH IN THE WORD OF GOD! USE THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU AND THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS TO RESIST THE DEVIL. AND USE YOUR GODLY LIFE, YOUR PRAYERS, YOUR WITNESSING AND YOUR HONEST REPORT OF RESISTING THE DEVIL. RESIST HIM IN THE FAITH!
The Bible says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) Hallelujah! The literal gr. states that Satan will flee "in terror" from us!
The Apostle Paul states that in the Christian life "there are many adversaries" (1 Cor.16:9) and, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12). But for those who live in sin there is, "A certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." (Heb. 10:27)
A note of courage and victory continues in Phil. 1:27-28, "That ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God."
Paul prays, "And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith." (2 Th. 3:2). His admonition to Timothy to fight the good fight of faith came from a determined, disciplined and totally surrendered life to God's will.
"And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there; save that the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and in the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." Praise God! (Acts 20:24)
ST. PAUL DIED A MARTYR'S DEATH
His final declaration of the "Fight of Faith" thrills my heart. It is found in 2 Tim. 4:6-8. Earlier he declared that he was not only willing to be bound for the Name of Jesus but that he was also willing to die for the Name of Jesus Christ. He received that privilege!
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
Thank God, there is Divine help for every situation and circumstance. We can pray to our Heavenly Father in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, and get an answer. Thanks be unto God!
There is complete deliverance from all the powers of the devil; forgiveness for your sins; divine healing for your sick body; liberation from your fears and frustrations, and total freedom from evil spirits and demon powers. All this and more from the hand of God, in Jesus' Wonderful Name. Satan cannot harass you if you are a child of God.
HE HAS NO LEGAL RIGHT TO DOMINATE YOU SINCE YOU ARE GOD'S PROPERTY, AND COVERED WITH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. WHEN HE UNDERSTANDS THAT YOU KNOW THE TRUTH, SATAN'S POWER OVER YOU WILL BE COMPLETELY BROKEN. HALLELUJAH!
There is total healing for the complete man. God will heal your spirit, soul, and your body.
"But He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities (healing for our spirit), the chastisement of our peace was upon Him (healing of our mind) and with His stripes we are healed. (healing for our body) (Isa. 53:5)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of Deliverance. It is a Gospel of power, reality and action; a Gospel of Deliverance! My dear friend, turn to Christ now. Repent of your sins, renounce the devil, and he will flee from you! Amen.
Unfortunately, some ministers are only servants of a denomination or religious order and puppets of a system with a set of dead creeds, dogmas and rituals; with no vision or contact with God and no real deliverance for the multitudes in need!
When such a man is approached by sin-sick souls trying to find forgiveness for their sins and peace of mind, they are not taken to the throne of mercy in prayer, but rather referred to a psychiatrist who, with his human advice (which usually excludes the Word of God), begins the drawn out procedure of probing the mind and quieting the conscience.
People are often told: "There is nothing wrong with premarital sex, it is quite normal to be a homosexual; there is nothing wrong with having extra marital relations". And alcoholics are informed that they are not sinners, but have a disease!
A hopeless alcoholic approached a minister for help. He was offered a cigarette to calm his nerves and referred to "Alcoholics Anonymous. Incidentally that was his final attempt in obtaining help. He felt that if a man of God could not help him there was no hope; his drunkenness earned him a jail sentence.
His wife and family suffered, his name was disgraced by his many sinful acts and he lost all confidence in himself. The cigarette smoking preacher could have helped him, but didn't even suggest prayer.
In prison, he began rehabilitation and was made a trustee, and therefore allowed to leave the prison on certain errands in behalf of the penal system.
While eating his lunch at a nearby cafe, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was presented to him; not by a man of the cloth but by a waitress who had experienced the Grace of God in her own life; the contact was made and the Gospel presented to this man - first in tract form and later by word of mouth.
The prisoner was gloriously converted to Christ, later released from prison on good behaviour and returned to his wife and children. He got a good job, paid his bills and became a living testimony to other alcoholics and convicts of the saving grace of our Blessed Lord! Praise God.
GUILT AND CONDEMNATION
Guilt and condemnation cannot be reasoned away or removed through shock treatment, drugs or even drunkenness. The senses can be dulled and the conscience deadened but the knowledge of sinfulness, quilt, remorse, failure and shame can only be removed through the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His atoning work on Calvary's cross.
Only the shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ has the power to wash away sin and guilt from the human heart, break all existing evil habits and restore the individual to a healthy state of mind and full communion with God!
When the guilt and condemnation is removed through confession of sins to God and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour, a great peace floods the soul and a tranquility invades the entire being that dispels all worry, frustration, fear, unbelief and sadness.
The Scripture says, "... Christ having made peace through the Blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself ..." (Col. 1:20). Jesus said, "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)
Only Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, is able to bring peace to troubled hearts and lives. Listen to the blessed words of help and deliverance found in Phil. 4:6-7, "...but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
The invitation goes out to everyone. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28) And in Is.1:18 the Bible says, "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."
THEREFORE BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH
When the sin is gone and the Lord Jesus Christ has entered into the heart by faith, a person experiences a newness of life. "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)
The condemnation is gone and with it guilt, remorse and discouragement. Words of life and assurance come to us from the Holy Bible, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom. 8:1)
The reason we have peace and "no condemnation" is because we have received God's gift of Eternal Life, which is offered to the human race and made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Here the Scriptures deal with Justification, or being made just, righteous, forgiven, exonerated and pardoned by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. 5:1). “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)
The Scripture says, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered Him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou. Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commiteth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:32-36)
There is nothing to compare with the peace, joy, happiness and blessing that comes to us through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! There is absolutely nothing that God cannot do and, "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." (Ps. 84:11)
TRANSLATED US IN HIS KINGDOM
The Scripture says that, "GOD HATH DELIVERED US FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, AND HATH TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON." (Col. 1:13)
When Jesus Christ came into our lives, the power of evil was broken, the chains burst asunder and the shackles that had us bound were gone forever. We were made free! Free from sin, evil habits, evil motives and evil desires.
Instead of being afraid we were full of confidence; instead of hatred, love ruled in our hearts and instead of being tormented, our very testimony caused the devil to flee, and the peace of God flooded our souls. Not only was this the experience when we were first converted, but this is our testimony today!
The experience of conversion and the new birth does not become stale or out of date; it is ever a refreshing experience to walk by faith and serve God with a clean and pure heart.
We have been delivered by Almighty God and our citizenship has been changed. The power of darkness, sin and evil held sway in our lives, but then JESUS came near and broke the Chains!
We are now in the Kingdom of Christ, happy and free; sin's shackles that bound us are broken forever, as we serve our Blessed Lord Jesus with joy and enthusiasm. The Scripture says, "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed." (John 8:32). Hallelujah!
I) WE RECEIVE DELIVERANCE FROM FEAR, THROUGH CHRIST!
Fear is one of the greatest enemies of mankind. Nothing can cripple a human being like the Spirit of Fear. When it grips a victim in its ugly tentacles the results are terrifying and devastating; it breeds worry, anxiety, frustration, perplexities and torment.
The Bible says, "Fear hath torment". (1 John 4:18) Again the Holy Scriptures say, "For God hath not given us the Spirit of Fear." (2 Tim. 1:7) Here fear is cataloged as a spirit and since there is only one Holy Spirit and since fear is opposite to faith, and "Without faith it is impossible to please God," (Heb. 11:6) we therefore conclude that fear is not a good spirit, but an evil one!
The Scriptures state that God has not given us the Spirit of Fear, but God has given us power, love and a sound mind. Again, since fear brings torment we can be assured that it is a product of satanic bondage, because God is good and brings peace, love and joy to those who trust in Him, and the devil is the author of confusion, torment and unrest.
Jesus said, "The thief (devil) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) We have complete freedom from fear as we let God's love flood our souls. Remember, "Perfect love casteth out fear" (1 John 4:1)
(II) WE RECEIVE DELIVERANCE FROM SIN, THROUGH CHRIST!
Satan's power over our lives ended when we accepted Christ as our personal Saviour. Unbelief had to give way to faith, insecurity vanished as confidence rushed in, sorrow retreated in the face of joy, and defeat was no opponent for victory!
The melancholy spirit of despair disappeared when hope came shouting down the road and peace filled our troubled mind, spirit and body as torment fled. Pride was ashamed when humility entered, lust moved aside to let purity in, while greed and covetousness gave way to unselfishness. Darkness was no match for light, sickness was overcome by health and death had to give up when life made its gigantic appearance. Hallelujah!
The Scripture says, "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed." (John 8:36) The Bible says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you" (Rom. 6:14) and, "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)
God's Word states, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24) Hallelujah!
(III) WE RECEIVE DELIVERANCE FROM SICKNESS, DISEASE & DEMONS FROM CHRIST!
Jesus died and rose again to purchase our complete salvation. The Bible teaches that Jesus wants to be Saviour of our entire being, which includes spirit, soul, mind and body.
When Jesus walked upon earth He not only forgave the sinner but healed the sick, suffering and diseased. The Scriptures abound with instances where Jesus brought healing to the sick and suffering and where He alleviated pain and cast out evil and tormenting spirits from those oppressed by them.
The Holy Bible records, "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)
THE SCRIPTURES CLASSIFY SICKNESS AS THE OPPRESSION OF THE DEVIL AND HEALING AS DOING GOOD!
Remember, that Jesus came to do His Father's will (John 4:34) and to destroy the works of the devil. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)
Two thirds of His earthly ministry was spent in healing the sick and casting out devils, while one third of His time was used in teaching and preaching.
On one occasion Jesus called sickness a plague! "And He said unto her, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace and be whole of thy plague." (Mark 5:34)
On another occasion Jesus said that Satan had bound a woman with a spirit of infirmity and that He felt it only right that she be loosed from Satan's grasp on the Sabbath day, seeing she was a daughter of Abraham (a child of faith).
She no doubt was afflicted with arthritis of the back and hips.
"And behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And He laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God." (Luke 13:11)
BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD
When healing the epileptic, blind, deaf and dumb and mentally deranged, often Jesus attributed these diseases to evil spirits, which He then cast out. (Mark 9:18-27; 2: 10-11; 5:8) However, not all epilepsy, blindness, deafness or other diseases are caused by evil spirits; some are caused by brain damage, accidents or other illness.
Just to set the record straight as by whose power the sick are healed and demons cast out, our Lord Jesus Christ proved without a shadow of a doubt that Divine Healing and deliverance from evil spirits is done by the finger of God, (Luke 11:20) which is the Spirit of God, (Matt. 12:28) the Blessed Holy Ghost. (Luke 4:14)
Satan can not cast himself out since a house divided against itself will not stand. (Mark 3:22-30). Again, Jesus proved that Satan who is totally evil and who brings sin, fear, sickness, pain and torment upon people, can not do anything that is good, since a good tree only brings forth good fruit and a corrupt tree corrupt fruit Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt. 7:15-20)
Jesus said to the man sick of the palsy, "Son be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." (Matt. 9:2) When the skeptics criticized Him, He asked the question, "Whether is easier, to say thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, then saith He to the sick of the palsy, arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house." (Matt. 9:5-6).
The Scripture says he was healed and went home glorifying God. Jesus set the record straight concerning Divine Healing: It is no harder for our Lord to forgive the sinner than to heal the sick, and no more difficult for Him to heal the sick than to to forgive the sinner! He didn't even use the word "hard". He asked,"Which is easier?" NOTHING IS HARD FOR GOD!
YES, IT IS GOD'S WILL!
Many ask the question, "Is it God's will to heal me?"A man once asked the Master Himself this same question. Here is the account of it, "And behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying I will; be thou clean, and immediately his leprosy was cleansed." (Matt. 8:2-3)
This is the only account of anyone asking the question regarding God's will to heal. Jesus said to the leper, an incurable case, "I will; be thou clean." Hallelujah!
There is only one account in the New Testament where Jesus failed to heal a great number of people and that was because of the people's unbelief. He healed those who believed and because only a few believed in Him, He only healed a few. Jesus does not push Himself on people who refuse to believe. "And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (Mark 6:5-6)
"And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a Centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
"The Centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this man, go and he goeth; and to another come and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it.
"When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." (Matt.8:5-10)
Here is a beautiful account of the willingness of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the sick!
The Centurion told the Master about his sick servant. Immediately the Lord Jesus spoke up and said, "I will come and heal him!" The Centurion answered, "I'm not worthy that You should come under my roof. You need only to speak the Word and my servant shall be healed.”
Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel!” Jesus actually marvelled when He saw the FAITH of this pagan Roman soldier. Only twice in the New Testament do we find that Jesus marvelled. This was one of the occasions - the other was when He witnessed the unbelief of the religious people in Nazareth.
"And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hand upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief." (Mark 6:5-6)
UNBELIEF IS A GRIEVOUS SIN
Jesus said, "That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 8:11-12)
There is no sin as great as the Sin of Unbelief. Many today say they believe the Bible to be true, by deny certain portions of it to fit their man-made doctrines!
The Scripture warns in 2 Tim. 2:1-5: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
Jesus’ worst critics were those who refused believe in the Healing Ministry and casting out devils. They even called our Lord Jesus Christ, a devil and said that He was healing the sick and casting out evil spirits, by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils!
OUR GOD IS ABLE TO DELIVER US
The three Hebrew children would not bow to the heathen idol and were cast into a burning fiery furnace. This punishment meant sure death since the furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual, because of the fury of the King against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
The heat was so intense that even the guards that threw them into the furnace were scorched to death.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself came on the scene and delivered them from the fire!
The King looking into the furnace cried in amazement, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?... Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (Daniel 3:24-25)
"What a miracle" you say - True, it was a great miracle but let me tell you why God performed this great miracle.
When they were given the ultimatum by the King they answered, "...O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (Daniel 3:16-18)
OUR GOD IS A GREAT DELIVERER AND HE WILL DELIVER YOU FROM THE POWERS OF EVIL, THE DESTROYING FORCE OF DISEASE, THE CRIPPLING WORKS OF FEAR, THE DEMONS OF POVERTY AND THE STRANGE POWER OF ACCIDENTS AND CALAMITY. HALLELUJAH! (Luke 4:18; Is. 61:1). I thank God for Divine Deliverance!
DELIVERED FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS
St. Paul declared: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In whom we have redemption through His BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (God’s only begotten Son from eternity):
“For by Him (Jesus Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether there be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him:
“And He is BEFORE all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; (the first to die and be raised never to die again) that in all things, He might have the preeminence.
"For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; And having made PEACE through the Blood of His CROSS, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 1:12-20; 2:14,15). Amen.
THE HALTING CRIPPLE
In the ‘Cry of His Coming’ April, 2011, we carried this amazing testimony of Arne Irik Tomassen of Jovik, Norway: “Twenty-nine years ago, I was a hopeless alcoholic and drug addict. I was also crippled. People called me ‘Den halte pinken’ referring to my hopeless physical and moral condition!
At 17, my right leg stopped growing after an accident. As a 22- year-old sailor, I developed a tumour in my right leg and was hospitalized for 8 months in Argentina. After several operations my right leg had become 3 inches shorter and I had to swing my body awkwardly forward with each step. Life was tough when I returned to Norway! People stared and began calling me, ‘The halting cripple’.
From 1969 until 1973, I slept on the streets in Oslo! On December 1973, I decide to kill myself. Perched up high on a bridge over the river in a drugged stupor, I heard an audible voice saying, “Arne, don’t do it. I have a better way for you.” Looking around and seeing no-one, I thought I had flipped out. When the Voice spoke the same words again, I thought, “Maybe this is God”. I remembered a vagrant on the streets saying, “If you are in real trouble, Filadelfia Assembly is nearby and will help you.”
“When I arrived there, Max Solbrekken was preaching and I went straight up to the front in that large church. Max came down from the platform and I fell into his arms sobbing. He asked, “What do you want?” I answered, “I want God.” He held me tight in his arms and began to weep. The power of God shook us as he cried out for mercy and healing. Suddenly my crippled body became normal as my leg moved out 3 inches and my right hip synchronized with my left one!
I was as free as a bird and happy as could be. No more alcohol, drugs or thoughts of suicide. No Longer a Cripple and I’m still healed today!
“God gave me another miracle on January 7, 2002, when Max Solbrekken preached in Gjovik. Fourteen months earlier, I suffered a major hemorrhage in my right eye, resulting in complete loss of sight in that eye! As Pastor Max prayed for a lady from the Salvation Army Choir, total vision returned as God’s power swept the sanctuary. Everyone knew of my plight and word of that miracle has spread throughout the city! We are awaiting Max Solbrekken’s return to Gjovik.”
To God belongs all the thanks for His awesome mercy, love, grace and power. No other entity could even come close to the goodness of God to Arne Irik Tomassen and all of us who have tasted His mercy and grace. Amen.