Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen." (Mark 16:14). Two of the greatest Sins in the Church today are these two: Unbelief and Hardness of Heart. Things haven't changed much since Jesus went away. He was concerned with His followers then and He is concerned about His Church today!

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye 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 thy heart.” (Jeremiah 29: 11-13)

     THE CHURCH has complicated, misunderstood and underestimated the Will of God as laid out in His Word for His Children, the Body of Christ! Unfortunately, Ministers of the Gospel have over long periods of time watered down, diluted and perverted God’s message of grace, forgiveness, healing and blessing!

     But, thanks be to the Blessed Holy Spirit of God - Who faithfully watches over the Church and when we move too far away from the truth - sends a leanness to our souls and finally a hunger into our hearts to again KNOW our Heavenly Father on a personal basis!

      If there is no repentance and renewal, this often requires a “changing of the old guard who have become complacent and too comfortable in their positions of power and prestige in order to allow a fresh group of genuine believers in Christ articulate and practice the old fashioned - yet ever new - Gospel of Jesus Christ in its wonderful simplicity and reality!


     This sometimes becomes a contentious issue confronting the well established but spiritually slumbering, comatose or dead religious leaders! How they respond to this work of the Holy Spirit will determine their future usefulness or demise in the extension of His Kingdom. The greatest temptation for them is to strike back in pride and repudiate any spiritual work NOT UNDER THEIR CONTROL as contentious, superficial and spurious

    The right way is to seek God in earnest, repenting of compromise, carnality and pride, while diligently searching the Holy Scriptures to know His Word and Will in every matter. Questions of proper theology are resolved only by the entrance of His Word into our hearts and minds.

    The Holy Scriptures state: “The entrance of Thy Words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. Order my steps in Thy Word… (Ps. 119: 130, 133); “Sanctify them through thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth.” (John 17:17); “Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

     Ever since the beginning of time, man has had a propensity to rebel and fall into sin. Our Heavenly Father has always been ready with the solvent to clean up our mess, with the solution to our problems and remedy for our ills!

      The SOLVENT is the blood of God’s Lamb which cleanses us and frees us from the pollutions of sin, evil, unrighteousness, oppression, fear and torment. The shed Blood of Jesus Christ gives us power over the Devil and his works of sickness, death and Hell!

      In the Holy Bible we find God making a way for His errant children to come back into His loving care. Sometimes it has been easy but more often, the hard way through tribulations, testing, trials and sorrows!

     The Almighty used prophets and priests and the sacrificial system under the Old Covenant, and later through HIS SON Who shed His holy blood for the redemption of sinning men and women. His Goodness continues to be poured out through His called-out Church of preachers who proclaim the Gospel of His grace, mercy and love!

    When the world had become totally corrupt, God spoke to NOAH instructing him build an ark to save his family and thereby the Messianic blood line, which was in danger of being compromised. (Gen.6: 1-8). After the deluge which the Creator used to purge the earth, Noah and his sons stepped onto dry ground in a new world. 

Their first duty was to build an altar to the Lord and kill sacrificial animals, shedding their blood as atonement for their sins. (Gen.8: 20-21). Every innocent lamb, goat or bullock that was sacrificed in Old Testament times pointed to Jesus Christ, God’s Lamb, Who would be slain for the sins of the world!


When God spoke to ABRAHAM it was a totally new experience for him. He had to break free from his pagan relatives, leave his home and by faith go to a place he had never been. He had to submit himself to the rite of circumcision in order to complete the covenant God made with him and the nation of Israel. (Gen.12:1-3)

    Innocent blood was shed as God substituted a ram (in a figure) in the place of Isaac on Mount Moriah. By placing his total trust in God’s PROMISE, Abraham became known as the Father of the faithful. The Bible says: “Abraham, who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be.

     “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the PROMISE of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed unto him for righteousness.” (Rom.4: 16-25)

    By God’s grace Abraham banned the way for us to follow, by believing implicitly in the works of Christ and His PROMISE to us: “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him. But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up JESUS from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification.” (Rom.4: 24, 25)

      ST. PAUL sought to convince his generation that as Abraham believed in the promised Christ unto justification, they too could be justified by faith. They believed that what Abraham received through faith was only for his time. It is much like today when Ministers say, “Miracles were only for Bible times. They are not for today.” They are as wrong as those who believed it was only for Abraham’s Day! The Bible says: “But for us also!

     During one of his last sermons, 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 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.”


    When our Lord Jesus was about to leave His disciples, He began to prepare them for His departure. Naturally, they were very sad and sorrowful. They had walked with him for more than three years. They had seen His miracle power in action and even experienced great works of God in obedience to His commands. But, what would happen now that He was leaving them?

     They could not forget seeing Him forgiving the adulterous woman, casting out seven demons from Mary Magdalene, freeing the demoniac of Gadara, opening the eyes of Blind Bartimaeus at Jericho, healing a deaf and dumb epileptic boy, curing the man at the Pool of Bethesda and raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead!

    His fame had spread abroad after He returned from His victorious wilderness temptation. He returned in the power of the Spirit after having put Satan in his place! He had healed the bedridden mother of Simon Peter’s wife from a serious fever. How could anyone fail to remember the awesome sight of the palsied man of Capernaum being lowered down through the roof of the house and Lazarus being propelled out of the tomb wrapped in his grave clothes at the loud command from the lips of Jesus, “Lazarus come forth.”

    There was much more. And in the evening when the sun had set, great crowds gathered at their door and “they brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed of devils. And He healed many that were sick of various diseases and cast out many devils”. (Mark 1: 30 -34)

     Jesus breathed on them and said: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” (John 20: 22) He declared: “But ye shall receive power (authority) after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem…and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8)

    HIS PROMISES are so powerful and awesome! He said: “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: 7); “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me...

     “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.” (John 14: 11-14);

                                     THREE LAWS OF ANSWERD PRAYER!

     “Verily, I say unto you; Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heave: And whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.
Again I say unto you; That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them.” (Matt.18: 18-20)

    Our Lord and Saviour PROMISED: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, I will be with thee unto the end of the world.” (Matt 28: 29; Heb. 13: 5); “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt.4: 19); “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”; “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10: 27)

    In His Great Commission Jesus Christ declared: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

   "And these SIGNS shall follow them that believe: In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents (like St. Paul in Malta), and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 15-18)

    “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 throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 20-21)