Tuesday, April 19, 2011

May God's hand of mercy reach out to Canadians everywhere in forgiveness & healing

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

       During one of his last sermons in Boston, D.L. MOODY addressed the subject of THE HOLY SPIRIT thusly: See how He came on the Day of Pentecost! It is not carnal to pray that He might come again and that the place may be shaken. I believe Pentecost was only a specimen day.

    “I think the Church has made this woeful mistake that Pentecost was a miracle never to be repeated. I have thought too that Pentecost was a miracle that is not to be repeated. I believe NOW if we looked on Pentecost as a specimen day and began to pray, we should have the old Pentecostal fire here in Boston.”

      The HOLY SPIRIT fell on a group of spiritually hungry believers in Jesus Christ on August 13, 1727 in Herrnhut Germany!

    They were a mixed congregation from various denominations who had been given sanctuary by Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, an outstanding young Nobleman whose heart had cried out to God for a Divine Visitation!
    In the book, ‘When The Spirit Came’ (1928) John Greenfield shares some of the amazing miracles of the ‘Moravian Revival’.

     He writes: “Exactly what happened that Wednesday forenoon, August 13th. 1727, in the specially called Communion service at Berthelsdorf, none of the participants could fully describe. They left the house of God that noon ‘hardly knowing whether they belonged to earth or had already gone to Heaven.”


     Count Zinzendorf gave the following account of it a number of years afterwards to a British audience: “We needed to come to Communion with a sense of the loving nearness of the Saviour. This was the great comfort which has made this day a generation ago to be a festival, because of this day twenty-seven years ago the Congregation of Herrnhut, assembled for Communion (at the Berthelsdorf church) were all dissatisfied with themselves.

    “They had quit judging each other because they had become convinced, each one, of his lack of worth in the sight of God and each felt himself at this communion to be in view of the noble countenance of the Saviour.

     John Greenfield writes: “Sprung from the labors and martyr-death of the great Bohemian Reformer, JOHN HUS, ‘the Brethren’ had passed through centuries of persecution. Many had sealed their testimony with their blood.

     “Imprisonment, torture and banishment had caused them to forsake the homes of their fathers and flee for refuge to Germany where a young Christian Nobleman, Count Zinzendorf, offered them an asylum on his estates in Saxony. They named their new home Herrnhut, the Lord’s Watch.

   “And from this place after their Baptism with the Holy Spirit, they became the world’s evangelists and missionaries.    


     The Moravian Church received a powerful Baptism in the Holy Spirit in Herrnhut, Germany on August 13, 1727. The congregation of about 300 persecuted Christians from various denominations, who had been given sanctuary by Count Zinzendorf, stopped criticizing one another and began in earnest prayer and were all filled with the blessed Holy Spirit.

     In his book ‘When the Spirit Came’ (1928), Moravian Evangelist Rev. John Greenfield wrote: “Of the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem a certain writer has said: ‘Before thirty years had elapsed from the death of Christ, His followers had spread from Palestine throughout Syria; throughout almost all the districts of Asia Minor; through Greece and the Islands of the Aegean sea, the coast of Africa, and even into Italy and Rome’

    “And at the close of the First Century JUSTIN MARTYR could truly testify: ‘There is not a nation either Greek or Barbarian or of any other name, even those who wander in tribes or live in tents, among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to the Father and Creator of the Universe in the name of the Crucified Jesus.”

     Similar testimony could be given for the Moravian brethren. During the first 30 years after their spiritual Pentecost, they carried the Gospel of Salvation through the blood of the Lamb not only to nearly every country in Europe but also to many pagan nations in America, North and South, Asia and Africa, the West Indies and Greenland.

   Greenfield writes: “Fifty years before the beginning of modern Foreign Missions by WILLIAM CAREY, the Moravian Church had led the way into pagan countries both by precept and example.

     “Their English Missionary magazine, ‘Periodical Accounts’ inspired Dr. Carey and in a meeting of his Baptist brethren he threw a copy of the paper on the table with these memorable and historic words: ‘See what the Moravians have done! Cannot we follow their example and in obedience to our Heavenly Master go out into the world, and preach the Gospel to the heathen?”


     On August 27, 1727 an around-the-clock prayer chain was started that lasted for 100 years! The well-known German historian of ‘Protestant Missions’ Dr. Warneck testifies: “This small Church in twenty years called into being more Missions than the whole Evangelical church has done in two centuries.” 

     A MORAVIAN HISTORIAN writes: “God says, ‘It shall come to pass – I will pour.’ This was His promise through the Prophet Joel. The first fulfillment of this prophecy was on the Day of Pentecost. There is nothing in the New Testament to indicate that this was to be the one and only fulfillment of this prophecy.

     “On the contrary we read in the Book of Acts of many outpourings of the Holy Spirit, as in Samaria (8: 14-17) as in Ephesus (19: 1-7) and even in the case of the Gentiles (10: 44-46).

     “Church History also abounds in records of special outpourings of the Holy Ghost, and verily the thirteenth of August 1727 was a day of outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We saw the hand of God and His wonders, and we were all under the cloud of our fathers and baptized with their Spirit.

    “The Holy Ghost came upon us and in those days great signs and wonders took place in our midst. From that time scarcely a day passed but what we beheld His almighty working amongst us.

    “A great hunger for the Word of God took possession of us so that we had to have three services every day, viz., 5:00 and 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. Everyone desired above everything else that the Holy Spirit might have full control. Self-love and self-will as well as all disobedience disappeared and an overwhelming flood of grace swept us all out into the great ocean of Divine Love.”


      In 1928, Greenfield wrote: “Prayer always precedes Pentecost. The Book of Acts describes many outpourings of the Holy Spirit, but never apart from prayer.

     “In our own day the great Welsh and Korean revivals were preceded by months, if not years, of importunate and united praying. Hence the supreme importance of the Prayer Meeting for it is “the powerhouse of the Church.” So our Fathers found it two centuries ago.

    “The first part of the year 1727 did not seem very promising. Differences of opinion and heated controversy on doctrinal questions threatened to disrupt the congregation. The majority were members of the Ancient Moravian Church of the Brethren.

     “But other believers had also been attracted to Herrnhut. Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, etc., had joined the community. Questions of predestination, holiness, the meaning and mode of baptism, etc. seemed likely to divide the believers into a number of small and belligerent sects.

     “Then the more earnest and spiritual souls among them began to cry mightily unto the Lord for deliverance. His first answer was an outpouring of the spirit of grace and supplications.” (Zech. 12: 10)


      “Matthew Henry’s comment on this passage was fulfilled in their case: ‘When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a praying.’

    He also sent them a human leader and deliverer in the person of the young German nobleman, COUNT ZINZENDORF, who so kindly offered this persecuted Church a place of refuge on his own estates.

    “This godly youth and pre-eminent genius had been divinely prepared for his great work of spiritual leadership. Converted in early childhood he composed and signed at four years of age the following covenant: “Dear Saviour, do Thou be mine and I will be Thine.” He had chosen as his life-motto the now famous confession: “I have one passion: It is Jesus, Jesus only.”

     So effective and fruitful was this leadership that nealy two centuries later PROFESSOR BINNIE of Scotland declared: “It would not be going too far to affirm that Count Zinzendorf did more than any other man to redeem the Eighteenth Century from the reproach of barrenness, in relation to evangelical teaching and work.”

     Count Zinzendorf had learned early the secret of prevailing prayer. So active had he been in establishing circles for prayer, that on leaving the College at Halle, sixteen years of age, he handed the famous Professor Francke a list of seven praying societies.”

    JOHN WESLEY, who founded the Methodist Church, was converted to Christ through the powerful testimony and ministry of the Moravians! Dear friends, let us follow their example and begin PRAYING earnestly, fervently and effectually!


    “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)

WILLIAM BOOTH said: “Go for the lost and go for the worst!”

JOHN WESLEY prayed: “Give me 100 men who love nothing but God and fear nothing but sin, and I care not a straw whether they be plowmen or clergymen. By these alone I will close the mouth of Hell!”

GEORGE WHITEFIELD prayed: “O’ Lord, give me souls or take mine!”

JOHN KNOX prayed: “O’ God, give me Scotland or I die!”

MARTIN LUTHER stated: “I live as though us Jesus Christ died yesterday, arose today, and is coming again tomorrow!”

JONATHON EDWARDS cried: “O’ God give me New England or I die.”

Will You Join Us in the
‘Round-the-Clock Prayer Watch’?
       My hope is that multitude of Christians will realize that God invites us to pray because He delights in answering our prayers!

      Seven times in John’s Gospel (chapters 14, 15 & 16) Jesus invites us to pray declaring that God will answer us when we approach the ‘Throne of Mercy’ in His Name!

     WILLIAM SEYMOUR – the son of former slaves – who was used mightily in the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California (1906-1909) stated: “Before I met Parham the hunger to have more of God was in my heart that I prayed for 5 hours a day for 2 ½ years. I got to Los Angeles, and there the hunger was not less but more. 

     “I prayed to God, ‘What can I do?’ The Spirit said, ‘Pray more, But Lord, I am praying 5 hours a day now.” I increased my hours of prayer to 7, and prayed on for a year and a half more. I prayed to God to give me what Parham preached, the real Holy Ghost and Fire with tongues with love and power of God like the Apostles!”

     JONATHON EDWARDS (1703–1758), who is considered America’s greatest theologian is known for his sermon, ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’, was a mighty man of prayer. He usually sought God in agonizing prayer for 18 hours before delivering His powerful sermons!

      Before preaching his renowned sermon on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, Jonathon Edwards agonized for three days and nights in intensive intercessory prayer.

     The results were staggering! Many who heard his message trembled and cried out for mercy. Others fell under the Holy Spirit’s power. Five hundred people were converted that day.

    EDWARDS cried out to God: “Give me New England or I die.” The revival that followed was the outcome of his agonized prayers! Undoubtedly, the godly example of his prayer-filled son-in-law David Brainerd, who persevered through much adversity in reaching the American Indians for our Saviour - also impacted Edwards greatly!


    The history of the Early Church gives witness to the power of the Gospel to withstand the very worst persecution by the ‘Enemies of the Cross’ through the cleansing power of Jesus Christ’s shed blood and the abiding presence of the blessed Holy Spirit!

     The Book of the Acts is in reality the ‘ACTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’ performed through the name of the Resurrected Christ!

     We rejoice greatly as we read the Bible accounts of the amazing miracles of salvation, healing and deliverance wrought by God’s humble servants through the ‘blood of the everlasting covenant’ in the name of  Jesus of Nazareth!

     Church history is replete with similar events of miracles and revivals as well as much suffering, persecution and martyrdom. TERTULLION (160 – 225 A.D.) one of the Church Fathers made this victorious statement: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.”


     Let’s fast forward to July 6, 1415 to view a despicable spectacle. A Bohemian Monk JOHN HUS has been found guilty of heresy by the ‘Bloody Old Vatican Wolf’. In the book, ‘When The Spirit Came’ the Publisher’s Preface gives us this insight into the martyrdom of that great saint and his followers ‘The Moravian Brethren’:

    “What I taught with my lips I now seal with my blood.” And singing a hymn “in a loud and cheerful voice”, John Hus was burned at the stake for the Master he loved.

      John Hus had been greatly influenced by Wycliffe, the English reformist. And his preaching against the evils in the Roman hierarchy could not long go unnoticed by the Pope.

     HUS was excommunicated and summoned to appear before the council of Constance. There he was charged with treason and sentenced to die as a heretic.

     A paper mitre was prepared for his head with the inscription, “A ringleader of heretics.” And John Hus said, “My Lord Jesus Christ for my sake did wear a crown of thorns: why should not I then for His sake wear this light crown, be it ever so ignominious? Truly I will do it, and that willingly.”

   When the mitre was placed on his head, the bishop said, “Now we commit thy soul unto the devil.”

    “But I,” said John Hus, lifting up his eyes to Heaven, “do commend into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus Christ, my spirit which Thou hast redeemed.”

     When the chain was put about him at the stake, he smilingly said, “My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a harder chain than this for my sake, and why then should I be ashamed of this rusty one?” And thus on July 6, 1415, he died, courageous and joyful to the end.

     But his message was not lost. From the followers of Hus there arose a group which called themselves Unitas Fratrum, the Unity of the Brethren.

     Through much persecution, a hidden seed was preserved; these held their services in secret and prayed for the revival of their church. Such prayers were heard, when on the 13th day of August, 1727, God’s Spirit fell upon the congregation of Moravians at Herrnhut...”

      Here are the words of the sainted Moravian Bishop, Evelyn Hasse: “Just as the Infant Church in Jerusalem in apostolic days had its Pentecost, from which its members went forth to be Christ’s witnesses ‘both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth,’ so had this church also its own experiences of the quickening power of the Holy Ghost, when in 1727 He came upon its members gathered at the table of the Lord, and baptized them all into one body, and filled them with a strong, unquenchable passion to execute the Saviour’s great Commission, and to let all mankind know of His Cross and of His salvation.”
   GREENFIELD writes: “Such then was the thirteenth of August seventeen hundred and twenty seven. Count Zinzendorf, the one outstanding human leader and spokesman, called it, “the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the congregation,”- “its Pentecost.”

     Again he described it as follows: “The Saviour permitted to come upon us a Spirit of whom we had hitherto not had any experience or knowledge.” Hitherto WE had been the leaders and helpers. Now the Holy Spirit Himself took control of everything and everybody.”


    The book, ‘When the Spirit Came’ is filled with such touching stories that ones heart almost breaks. Here is the account of their Mission Work in the West Indies in the 1700s:

    “FREDRICH MARTIN, one of the first Moravian Missionaries to the Negroes on the Island of St. Thomas, was one of the Lord’s chosen vessels and a typical Moravian. He and a fellow worker were put in jail for preaching the Gospel to the Blacks. More than three months are spent in a miserable prison; but the Spirit filled missionaries gave themselves to prayer like Paul and Silas in the Philipian dungeon.

     “Their faithful Negro congregation, nearly 700 communicants, gather daily as near the jail as possible to join in singing and hear the sermons of their captive Ministers. A great revival follows and large numbers are converted. Suddenly Count Zinzendorf arrives on his first Missionary journey, accompanied by two couples to reinforce the over-worked and imprisoned missionaries.

     “As the ship draws near the beautiful island the Count said to his fellow workers: “What if we find no one here? What if the missionaries are all dead?” To this one of the young workers quietly replied: “Then we are here,” whereupon Count Zinzendorf uttered the oft quoted exclamation, “Gens aeterna, diese Maehren!” “An eternal race, these Moravians!”

    The Count soon secured the freedom from jail of the sick and half-starved missionaries. He was amazed at the greatness of Frederich Martin’s work and wrote back to Germany: St. Thomas is a much more wonderful miracle than our own Herrnhut.”

   After fourteen years of most sacrificial service Frederich Martin has reached the end of his earthly pilgrimage. More than fifty of his fellow workers have already laid down their lives.

    To his weeping wife the dying missionary says: “My dear heart, I shall probably soon go to my saviour. Do thou always be happy in Him. With me it is unspeakably well, and if my spirit flies away to Him, please ask the Governor to permit my earthly tabernacle to rest on the plantation beside our Chapel.”

Personal Letter From
Pastor Max Solbrekken
God has stirred my heart once more to the vital importance of intercessory prayer for the salvation of precious souls, as we see the gross darkness prophesied in the Bible spreading across our nation and the world at large! We must also remember our fellow believers who are being PERSECUTED for righteousness’ sake around the world!

We have inaugurated an AROUND THE CLOCK PRAYER CHAIN to meet the challenges thrown at us by the powers of darkness consisting of the World, Flesh and the Devil. In his letter to the Ephesians St. Paul admonished thusly:

“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.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Eph.6: 10-12, 18)

    By GRACE alone! Through FAITH alone!  In CHRIST alone!