Saturday, September 15, 2012

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

  Please Note: This is an excerpt from a book I wrote in 2002 A.D. May it richly bless each reader, opening the eyes of sinners, turning them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God that they will receive the forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Jesus. That they may repent of their sins and turn to God, and do works meet (consistent, befitting) for repentance. (Acts 26:18-20). And may all Believers be blessed. Amen.  - M.S.                                                                                   


       For more than four decades I have had the privilege of presenting the claims of Jesus Christ to multitudes across our troubled world!  It has been my joy to see many who have been distressed, troubled and hurting, find peace and divine healing from our blessed Lord, through this humble ministry!
   It has been said, “A person can live forty days without food, four days without water, eight minutes without air, but not one second without hope”!
  Hope is crucial for survival. Hope is necessary for living. Hope is vital for success! Martin Luther stated, “Nothing is done in this world without hope”.In Biblical terminology, the word ‘hope’ is stronger than that used in the context of our everyday vocabulary.
  For example, Jesus is called “our hope”; “Christ in you, the hope of Glory”.  And the Second Coming of Christ is called “the blessed hope”. (Col. 1:27; Titus 2:13)
  Based upon God’s promises in the Holy Bible and a wealth of first-hand information garnered from many who have been blessed spiritually, mentally, physically, domestically and socially - through this ministry and elsewhere - I can say with total confidence that there is ‘Healing For Hurting People’!

Max Solbrekken
Edmonton, 2002 A.D.
     I humbly dedicate this book to the multitudes of lonely, fearful, sinful, bitter and tormented people, who are in desperate need of divine forgiveness, restoration and healing in this nation and the world at large!
  My heart reaches out to the young people who through peer pressure or the lure of the unknown, have gotten involved with the unreal and evil world of substance abuse. This book is dedicated to the families of those young people, in the belief that God will turn things around for them!
   May each person reading this book or hearing these words read to them, find peace and fulfillment, salvation and divine healing through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    A huge, ‘THANK YOU’ to my precious wife Donna, for her love and steadfastness to me, our extended family and to this ministry - as office manager, lay out artist and book-keeper – during many years of making Christ known in Canada and abroad!
  I am thankful to God for the privilege of being born into a wonderful Christian family with loving parents and siblings, where the Bible was read and prayer made to Almighty God, in both Norwegian and English. And for the Evangelical Lutheran Church, where the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached uncompromisingly, with great conviction and truth!
    Finally, I wish to personally thank God for the many friends and prayer partners whom He has directed toward this Ministry and who have so faithfully stood by us to fulfill His call upon our lives!

     In the summer of 1969 we were conducting a month-long Camp Meeting in Fort Q’uappelle, Saskatchewan in a large rented building. We were enjoying God’s blessings and reaching a lot of Canada’s Native population.
   It was also a great time of refreshing for preachers and their families, as a number of us stayed in a large old house on a farm that our good friends Bob and Ella Rosin had recently acquired.
   One morning as I awakened, I suddenly remembered that I had an appointment in Edmonton, Alberta the following day. I had promised to finalize ‘an agreement of purchase’ for the Tivoli Ballroom, which we intended to use for our new church in that city.    
    In desperation and faith, I called upon God to supply the $2,000 deposit which I needed to pay the owners of the property!     
    In my prayer to the Lord, I decreed that before the sun would set that evening, I would have the money in my hand to carry with me to Edmonton!  I reminded God of His Word:
   “Thou shalt make thy prayer unto Him, and He shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee, and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” (Job 22: 27, 28)
     At the 10:30 A.M. service, I shared my belief that before the sun had set that evening, I would have the money in my hand! We all prayed fervently that it would happen, because that was a lot of money in 1969!
   After lunch, I went immediately to the meeting hall to pray. Some time during the afternoon, Bob Rosin brought a man from Porcupine Plains to see me. He was a stranger to me. After introducing me to him Bob left the room, saying that the gentleman desired to see me privately.
     I realized that he must have been in a lot of pain because he had earlier been seriously injured in an industrial accident. His face was terribly disfigured, with one eye removed and a part of his skull crushed. He had a large piece of blood-soaked cloth wound around his head, as the wound had not properly healed!
   I said, “Please sit down my friend. Let’s open the Bible and see what God’s Word says about divine healing and then I will pray for you!” He answered abruptly, “No, please don’t. That is not why I’m here! You can pray for me after you preach. But now I must tell you why I came to see you.”
    He then, made this astounding statement, “I was awakened by the Lord at about 7:00 A.M. today, instructing me to immediately get dressed and take the bus to Fort Q’uappelle.
    He said: “My servant, Max Solbrekken, is conducting a Camp Meeting there and he needs a financial miracle. Take the little satchel that contains the $20 bills you have been saving for years. Go directly to the meeting place and give the satchel to My servant upon arrival.”
    Then, he tossed an old brown leather satchel onto the table. Upon impact, one of the leather straps broke and out rolled hundreds of twenty dollar bills, some so old that they carried King George’s likeness.
    As that gentleman left that room, Bob re-entered and what a time he and I had counting a God-sent gift of $2,240.00 in twenty dollar bills. The sun was still high in the sky as I hurried to the pulpit that evening, with my Bible in one hand and a little brown satchel in the other, to publicly give God the glory! 
   And what a time of praise we had as we all glorified our Lord Jesus Christ for His timely and miraculous provision!
    That stranger has gone on to his reward and it wouldn’t surprise me if he has already received a personal ‘thank you’ from Jesus Christ, since entering into his heavenly home, for that beautiful gift he gave to us in 1969!
                                                        CHAPTER 1:
    There are a lot of hurting people! This category includes the discouraged, lonely, fearful, suicidal, angry and confused.  As well as the sick, poor and unemployed!  Many feel betrayed and let down by family, friends, employer, church, government and society in general!
   Others hate themselves, believing that they have failed in life!  They are ashamed and feel trapped!  And they don’t know which way to turn for help! Many become depressed and turn to the bottle, drugs or the occult for answers.  Still others end up in prison because of criminal activities.  And there are those who succumb to Satan’s most clever lie, “Kill yourself and your troubles will be over”!
  How sad!  Only those who have gone through a traumatic experience are able to identify with others who are hurting, unless gifted with compassion!

                               COMPASSION IS REACHING OUT!

       Compassion is God’s love and mercy touching those who are hurting! It is more than sympathy or consolation.  It is feeling the pain, sharing the burden and reaching out to do something about the situation!  Compassion is finding an answer, bringing about a solution and easing the hurt!

     Jesus was ‘moved with compassion’ upon the sinful, diseased, dying, sorrowing and hungry!  That is why He reached out in tenderness to a woman whom the hard-hearted religious leaders wanted to stone.  He brought them ‘face to face’ with their own sinfulness when He invited, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”. (John 8:7)

    He knew their sins and wrote their names in the sand. They got the message and withdrew, without throwing a stone. Here is the Old Testament prophecy which Jesus fulfilled that day: “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from Me shall be written in the earth.” (Jer.17:13)
   When Jesus looked up, only the woman remained.  Tenderly, Jesus spoke these words to her, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more”. (John 8:11)  Hallelujah!
  The Bible says: “And when He was come out of the ship, immediately there met Him a man out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains;
   “Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces, neither could any man tame him.  And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.”
  After Jesus liberated him from the demons, HE BECAME NORMAL!  The Bible says, “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind...” (Mark 5:3-5, 15)
     When the multitudes followed Him to a desert place - where He had gone for a rest - Jesus performed a ‘miracle of multiplication’ and supplied them with food!
      He could have sent them away hungry, but He did not!  He said to His disciples, “Give ye them to eat” (Matt. 14:16). Then, He blessed the bread and fish, and the miracle occurred!         
     Jesus had compassion upon a young couple and their relatives who had run out of wine (refreshments) during a marriage celebration.  He simply turned the water into wine and the governor of the feast, after testing the wine, not knowing where it came from, declared,
    “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse, but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:10)

                                    COMPASSION BRINGS HEALING!

      People are hurting because of many and varied reasons - spiritual, psychological, cultural, racial, economic, social and domestic!  There seems to be so much strife, inequality, resentment, fear and frustration everywhere.  Trouble is where you find it, however, and if you're looking for it, it's not difficult to make contact!
   Many people have been hurting for a long time with chronic unemployment and a record - breaking number of bankruptcies! It's easy for those who have good paying jobs and secure, comfortable positions to say no one is suffering. 
  But, the wise old Indian Chief said, "Don't criticize your neighbour until you've walked ten miles in his moccasins".  When the “shoe is on the other foot” and the pink slip lands on your desk, it’s often a different story!
    There are a lot of hurting people in this word! Not only are some faring badly economically, but many are troubled by fears, frustrations, anxieties and perplexities!
   The Bible says, “Casting all our cares upon Him (Jesus) for He careth for you”. (1 Peter 5:7)  
    Lonely people are often afraid to trust anyone again, since they have already been hurt.  Once bitten, twice shy!  So they refuse to open their hearts to anyone for fear of rejection, complications or simply being hurt again!
     Many feel like social outcasts - especially those affected with mental problems, cancer or AIDS!  They need our support, comfort and help through the difficult hours, days and months that lie ahead.
    The same goes for those who have been widowed or divorced.  And thank God, there is divine healing for the bruised, sorrowing and sick - divine healing that comes only through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who is the ‘Great Physician’!
     Seven hundred years before the sacrificial death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Isaiah foretold the good news: “But 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! All we like sheep have gone astray, but the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquities (sins) of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)
   Some fear the PAST, hoping the skeletons in their closets will remain hidden, others fear the PRESENT with its fast-moving, ever-changing complexities!  
   Many fear the FUTURE, old age and death!  And what about ETERNITY:  Have you thought about that, my friend?  Many have failed to plan for eternity and will go to their deaths unprepared!
   My friend, I admonish you not to allow that to happen to you.  Please open your heart and invite Jesus to come in!
     The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten (one and only) Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16)
    Blaise Pascal stated, “There is a blank space (vacuum) in every human being that only God can fill”.  May that truth touch every person on earth so that we may all find grace to humble ourselves and turn to God!
     And may each one invite Jesus Christ into our lives by faith and receive assurance of sins forgiven and the “peace that passeth understanding” in our hearts and minds! (Phil. 4:17)
                             TALK ABOUT REST! 
   When we receive Him into our hearts, we automatically receive peace, joy, mental and spiritual health!  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)
  Unbelievers do not possess this peace!  Only those who are redeemed and have had their sins washed away by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, know real peace.  
  How is this possible?  God’s Word declares that, Jesus has “purchased our peace through the blood of His Cross”. (Col. 1:20)
     The Bible says, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked”. (Isaiah 57:20-21)
    Mankind’s greatest problem has always been ‘The Sin Problem! And the only remedy for sin is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ! 
     Why is this?  First - All are sinners! Second - Jesus Christ died for our sins!  The Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)  “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)
     The Bible says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth, but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
      “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-10)

      An old gospel song, however, brings reassurance, “Burdens are lifted at take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there”!  Jesus took all our sins, fears and torments upon Himself, when He bore our penalty on the rugged cross!
   Jesus Christ pardons our past sins when we come to Him in humility and faith.  He gives us power for the present by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Our Blessed Lord gives us purpose for the future and a promise for eternity!
    Our Saviour said, "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest!" (Matt. 11:28)
   We can’t forgive our own sins.  Only God can do that!  We can’t solve most of our problems, so we bring Him the mess we created and pray for forgiveness, help and guidance.  Often, sickness and disease strikes us at the most inopportune time and in our weakest and most vulnerable area.
     Our only recourse is to present our needs to God our Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ - our Saviour, Healer and Redeemer - and He has promised to give us rest!  The Blessed Holy Spirit will do the rest as He ‘comes alongside to help’ and heal!
     Jesus promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee - I will be with thee until the end of the world”. (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5)  In the original Greek we find that Jesus used ‘a double imperative’.  He emphasized, “I will never, no never leave thee.  I will never, no never forsake thee”.
     My friend, believe the words of Jesus Christ and appropriate His promises for yourself.  Approach His throne by faith and you will receive His answer to your urgent prayer request!  Call upon His Name in sincere prayer and you will not be disappointed!
   The Bible says, “He is faithful who promised”. (Heb. 10:23)  That’s good enough for me.  I believe it and will patiently wait until my answer comes from His nail-pierced hand! DROP THAT HEAVY LOAD, friend and let Christ carry it for you - He's a lot stronger than all of us!

    The Bible says: “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” (Isaiah 57:20)
   Seeking a solution for the problems of mankind, I have been forced to consider the WHYS and WHEREFORES that have made our society so sick, spiritually, psychologically and morally!
    The dilemma of broken marriages, broken homes, broken hearts and shattered dreams are an every day reality and affect us all.  Child abuse, juvenile delinquency, drug addiction, pornography, pre-marital sex, alcoholism and homosexuality are all signs of a rapidly deteriorating society.
   The epidemic of suicide which is sweeping the world, coupled with the increased acceptance of euthanasia, assisted suicide and infanticide is alarming!  And last but not least, the ‘holocaust of the unborn’ - the systematic destruction of millions of ‘unwanted children’ is without doubt, an abomination in God’s eyes and a stench in His nostrils!
    The prophet catalogued the sins of his generation and when we look around us today, nothing has changed! The wickedness of sinful mankind is just as defiant, violent and in-your-face now as then, perhaps even more so!
      The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom. 6:23)  The bottom line is that SIN PRODUCES DEATH!
    God warned Adam and Eve, “ the day that thou doest eat thereof thou shalt die”. (heb - in dying thou shalt die)  He said, “You will begin to die and eventually die”.  And ever since that dreadful day when Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, babies have been born with death in their mortal bodies!
     It is also interesting, however, that “one day with the Lord is like a thousand years with us and one thousand years with us is like one day with Him”. (2 Peter 3:8)  And no one has ever lived 1,000 years! The man who holds the record is Methuselah, who was 969 years old at the time of his death.
    The Bible says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” (Heb. 9:27) Again the Word of God states, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”. (Ezekiel 18:20)
    After they had sinned, God slew an innocent animal and spilled its blood to cover their sins, while its skin provided clothing to cover their naked bodies! Then, he drove them out of the Garden so that they could not eat of the fruit of the ‘Tree of Life’ and live forever in their sins!
     Why was this important? First, while in the Garden of Eden they ate of the fruit from the ‘Tree of Life’ and as long as they ate of it they lived without any death in their bodies! Why? The ‘Tree of Life’ was a symbol of God the Son, Jesus Christ, “The Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John 14: 6)
   The Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1: 1-4)
   The moment they sinned, they died spiritually and were overcome by fear. Guilt flooded their souls. Their innocence was gone and they realized that they were naked. When they were driven out of the Garden, they began to die physically as they could no longer eat of the ‘Tree of Life’ which symbolized Jesus Christ, the ‘Life Giver’! As long as they were allowed to eat of the ‘Tree of Life’, no death could come to them!
   Jesus is the only Saviour and life giver! None other will do! Without Jesus, there is only death! On the other hand, by partaking of Him we have life and that more abundant! (John 10: 10).
   The Bible says: “For there is ONE God and ONE mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus: Who gave Himself a ransom for all…” (1 Tim. 2: 5, 6)
    Secondly, God wanted to save them, so He had devised the ‘Plan of Redemption’! In the fullness of time, He would send His Son – the Life Giver – to shed His precious blood to take away the sins of the world.  And by the sacrifice of Himself He would restore the fellowship between God and man and give us eternal life!
     Every innocent animal that was slain on Jewish altars was a type of Jesus, God’s Lamb, Who would die on a rugged cross for us! Through the shed blood of Jesus the Christ, we receive life more abundant!
     When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper - the Holy Communion – He said: “Take, eat: This is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me…This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor.11: 25)  Praise God, we are still eating of Jesus the ‘Giver of Life’!
   And what do we find in the NEW JERUSALEM? “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
   “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the TREE OF LIFE, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the TREE were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22: 1, 2)
    Without doubt, Jesus is the central theme of the Bible and the only way to reach God! He said: I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14: 6);
    “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 of 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)
      St. Paul writes, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” (Rom. 5:12)
     Death is an horrible enemy because it is the opposite of life.  Death is the result of sin.  It is Satan’s invention because it is the result of rebellion against God, Who is the Creator of life and is LIFE itself!
   The Bible says: “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth”. (John 1:1-4, 14)
     Let us re-examine these key words - “In Him (Jesus Christ) was life and the life was the light of men...” (v. 4) Our Lord stated, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man cometh unto the Father but through Me”. (John 14:6). He said, “I am the light of the world, he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)                    
    There is so much hurt in this world, because there is so much sin!  There is an abundance of greed, hatred, prejudice, jealousy, fear, murder, injustice, poverty and evil because there is so much SIN!
    Evangelist Franklin Graham (son of world-famous preacher, Dr. Billy Graham) addressed this question so well at the memorial services for 14 dead students and one teacher not long ago at the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
     He stated, as I have just done, that sin is the enemy and sin must be dealt with in the human heart through ‘A MEETING WITH JESUS’, Who forgives the sin and changes the hearts and lives of those who receive Him as their personal Lord and Saviour!
   And there is so much sickness, disease, pain, death and grief because there is so much sinning, and “the wages of sin is death”!  There was no sin, fear, sickness, disease, pain, death or sorrow in the Garden of Eden.  There were no drug stores, wheel chairs, iron lungs, hospitals or graveyards there, and there won’t be any in Heaven!
  Sickness and disease is ‘incipient death’ or death on the installment plan.  It is a sign that death is working in our bodies and will eventually win, taking our lives from us!  It is a result of ‘The Fall’.
                                         WHY IS THIS?
    Death rules in the kingdom of men, because ‘Man is a Sinner’ and the ‘Wages of Sin is Death’!
    Adam and Eve - our first parents - broke God’s law and until this present time we continue to pay the price for their disobedience, rebellion and transgression. 
   We are all sinners by nature, because we were born with a sinful, Adamic nature that is prone to sin.  We inherited a sinful nature!
     St. Paul states, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,
   “Among whom also we all had our conversation (lifestyle) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
    “But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved.” (Eph. 2:2-5)
    We must not underestimate the terrible toll exacted upon children whose parents and grandparents lived ungodly and wicked lives.  Some of our forefathers may have been involved in abominable practices like idolatry, witchcraft or occultism!
     God warns: “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them (heathen gods), nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me”. (Ex. 20:5)
    He also promised to “show mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments”. (v. 6)
   Some people carry generational curses!  When that individual receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and is born-again, however, the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST cleanses away every sin.  
     And when the Blessed Holy Spirit comes into an individual, every evil spirit has to go and must leave!  Those curses are then broken!
    The Bible says, “Submit yourselves therefore unto God.  Resist the devil and he shall flee from you”. (James 4:7)
   And finally, we are sinners by choice!  We sin because we choose to do so!  The Bible says, “Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil”. (John 3:19)  We can choose to serve God and to live right if we so desire!  Becoming a Christian is a CHOICE we make, a decision to repent of our sins and change our lifestyle!
    When we DECIDE to receive Jesus Christ and invite Him into our lives, the Holy Spirit takes over and the grace and mercy of God “kicks in for us”.  The Word of God states, “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)
    We must also do our part! The Bible says: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. (Matt. 22:37-39)
      Perhaps, you have wondered where evil thoughts come from, as well as the filthy jokes, perverted sex acts and all the inhumane deeds performed by humans on other humans as well as on animals!
     Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness, All these evil things come from within, and defile the man”. (Mark 7:20-23)
  “...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” (Matt. 12:35-35“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”. (Prov. 4:23)
      WHERE DO WARS AND TROUBLES COME FROM?  St. James writes, “From whence come wars and fighting among you?  Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members”? (James 4:1)
     “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man, But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:13-15)
     What is the origin of sin and evil?  Satan is the architect of sin, fear, sickness, disease and death!  Eve told the truth.  She said, “The serpent beguiled me and I (disobeyed) ate.” (Gen.3: 13)
    I agree with Eve!  The lying devil is “to blame”!  He is the culprit!  Satan is the troublemaker!
      He was so brazen and arrogant that he even sought to trap Jesus Christ - God’s Son, Who had divested Himself of His position and power in order to become a man (incarnated) during His wilderness temptation! 
   Jesus - Who was vulnerable and weak after forty days of fasting - rebuffed him with the Word of God and the devil had to leave! (Matt.4: 1-10)
     Our Lord said: “Satan was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it”. (John 8:44);
   “The thief (Satan) 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)
    Satan attacked the truthfulness, the veracity of God’s Word in the temptation of Adam and Eve, and also of our Lord Jesus Christ!
     Martin Luther stated: “By God's grace, I know Satan very well. If Satan can turn God's Word upside down and pervert the Scriptures, what will he do with my words or words of others?”
    Eve fell for his temptation together with her husband, while Jesus Christ rebuffed Satan and drove him away using God’s Word, which he was seeking to discredit!
    When Satan came to Eve, he very cunningly sowed these seeds of suspicion and unbelief in her heart,
(1) God didn’t mean what He said: “You won’t die”.
(2) God is trying to keep something good away from you:  “You will become wise”.
(3) You will be like God Himself.
   The same spirit of pride that caused Lucifer’s fall is again showing up in the teaching of the cults like the Mormons and the New Age Movement, namely:  “Mankind is progressing toward godhood”.
   When Satan tempted Jesus, he tried to bring a doubt into His heart about whether or not He was divine:  “If thou be the Son of God...”  He knew that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and as such the LIVING WORD OF GOD.  Jesus didn’t fall for his temptation, but rather overcame the devil.
     In His Name and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do the same!
   And St. Peter declared, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. (1 Peter 5:8)
     We have the proof - the Word of God indicts Satan.  He is the Culprit, the Evil One and the Terrorist of all Terrorists.  He was personal tutor to men like Nero, Attila, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Osama bin Laden!  And he is still at his evil work.  The Bible states: “...for the accuser of the brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
     The Bible declares: “And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb...Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:10-12)
    Jesus called him by three names, Satan - the enemy, opposer, adversary; the devil - liar, false accuser, traducer and Beelzebub - the god of flies, master of filth!
    Remember, there was no sin, sickness, disease, war or death in the Garden of Eden, before Lucifer’s immoral victory over God’s special creation – Man!   And none of those things will be present during the ‘Millennial Reign of Christ’ or in Heaven!

“With Jesus in the family
Happy, happy home
Happy, happy home
Happy, happy home
 With Jesus in the family,

With the devil in the family
Trouble all the time 
Trouble all the time
Trouble all the time
With the devil in the family,

  That’s telling it like it really is!  It is so true to life!  Satan has a way of destroying everything he lays his hand on, because he is “abaddon” (heb), and “apollyon” (gr.) the destroyer. (Rev. 9: 11)
 Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, kill and destroy. I am come that they might have life and that more abundantly.” (John 10.10)
 Satan is the ‘trouble maker’!  He is the culprit!  Everything he gets involved with becomes corrupted, twisted and tainted.  If there is trouble in the vicinity, he can’t be far away.  Jesus called him “a liar and the father of lies” and “a murderer from the beginning”. (John 8:44)
 His motives, objectives and goals are well defined in the Bible! Without doubt, he has an axe to grind, an agenda to fulfill and is on an unholy rampage! 
 Witness the destruction of fine young people through drug addiction, illicit and perverted sex, gambling and occultism!  Read the statistics of “death on the highway due to drunkenness”, the sordid spiral of perversion, insanity and suicide among people of all ages!
 If not totally insane...certainty it’s off to a good start!  Hard Rock and Heavy Metal with their demonic beat and sensual, filthy lyrics, as well as anti-God leanings and glorification of promiscuous sex, perversion, violence, sadomasochism and drugs, have marked this generation!
  GROSS, IMMORAL, FILTHY, CORRUPTING and OBSCENE are words that partially describe the private lives as well as public acts of some of today’s Rock Musicians and Movies Stars, who unfortunately have become role models to millions of teenagers and even preteens across the world!
                      HOW SUBTLE THE DEVIL IS! 
 How deceiving and extraordinarily cunning the “old slewfoot” really is!  He steals our young people right from under our noses.  And a lot of us don’t even see it, and some couldn’t care less!
  May God open our eyes and give us the desire and will to stop him in his tracks. And turn the tables on the devil!  That foul ‘hell spawn’ was totally defeated by our Lord Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago on GOLGOTHA, when He suffered, bled and died for our sins on the  ‘cursed tree’!  
  The “Defrocked Arch Angel” must be exposed at all costs!
     We must warn the unsuspecting masses of his evil and wicked designs! But how do we do it?
    First - We must arm ourselves with the facts and secondly, pray to receive a burden for lost souls.  And finally, we need to unashamedly and aggressively declare the truth, in love, to those who are at risk!
  St. Paul stated, “We are not ignorant of the devil’s devices...” (2 Cor. 2:11)  WELL, WHAT ARE SOME OF HIS DEVICES?
  He loves to cater to our flesh - which is one of humanity’s weak points - titillating, exciting, deceiving and enslaving through sensuality, carnality and lust - filled music! 
 His goal is to get young people so hooked on the music and lyrics that they will IDOLIZE and WORSHIP the undisciplined, unclean and unholy rock musicians, some of whom have literally sold their souls to Satan and who boldly proclaim their faith in occultism, suicide, pornography, homosexuality and other perversities!
Warning!  Don’t get involved with that crowd of losers!  All Satan cares about is getting his foot in the door.  Once he gets you started, the temptation continues to grow stronger and suddenly...YOU’RE HOOKED!
               SATAN IS A MASTER DECEIVER!  
  No wonder the Bible says, “Flee youthful lusts that war against the soul and “avoid the very appearance of evil”. (1 Thes. 5:22)
  Be clear-cut, my dear friend, in your conviction and actions.  Don’t play games with Satan.  You will reap what you sow and “be sure your sins will find you out”. (Num. 32:23)  The Bible says, “If a man take fire in his bosom he shall be burned.” (Prov. 6:27)
  Don’t compromise with Satan!  He’s too clever, deceptive and strong for you to handle alone.  Turn your cares over to Jesus and follow Him and you’ll find a way out of your troubles!
 Jesus said: “The thief cometh not but for to steal, kill and destroy, I am come that they might have life and they might have it more abundantly”. (John 10:10).  
 The Scripture declares: “...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil”. (1 John 3:8)
 The Holy Spirit testifies: “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 literal translation says that, Jesus healed all “those who were under the domination or lordship of Satan”.  And Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit would come “to demonstrate Christ’s victory over Satan”. (John 15:11)     
    Satan’s desire is to enslave, ruin, destroy and eventually lead as many slaves as possible to Hell where they will join him forever in eternal torment!
 He is a terrorist, masquerader, deceiver, thief and murderer! Jesus Christ left Heaven’s glory for the express purpose of destroying Satan’s work and defeating him totally through His vicarious (substitutionary) death for us on the cross and His subsequent, glorious resurrection from the dead!
  You may ask, “If Jesus came to this earth to destroy the works of the devil, WHAT ARE HIS WORKS?”
 In answering this question, let me enumerate what Jesus did while He was here in His flesh. About one third of His time was spent in teaching and preaching, while two thirds of His time was used in healing the sick and casting out devils!
 The works of the devil are these: 1) sin; 2) fear; 3) sickness, disease and death; 4) poverty; 5) satanic oppression and demon possession!
     He forgave sinners and died on the cross to save us from our sins and then commissioned us all to “go preach” the Gospel to the “ends of the earth”!
 He spoke peace to the troubled saying, “Fear thou not; peace be unto you; My peace I give unto you, My peace I leave with you, let not your heart be troubled”.
 He healed the sick and diseased and raised the dead!  Since sickness and disease is ‘incipient death’ or death-on-the-installment-plan, he defeated sickness, disease and death.  
 And He gave His apostles, disciples and all believers the power and authority to heal the sick and cast out devils in His Name! (Matt. 10, 8; Mark 6:7, 13; Luke 10: 9, 17-19)
 He fed the hungry by multiplying the loaves and fishes (Matt. 14:17), raised a widow woman’s son from the dead so she would have someone to look after her (Luke 7:13), and also gave us the key to prosperity:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)
 “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)
 He cast thousands of demons out of those who were possessed! (Mark 1:23-27; 32-34, 39; 5:1-15)
 And finally, through His death on the cross, shedding His precious blood, He delivered  the DEATH BLOW TO SATAN thereby destroying his evil power over all who reject that Wicked One, and receive Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour!
 The Bible says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:12-14)
 In St. Mark’s account of the deaf and dumb epileptic boy whom Jesus healed, we learn two things: Satan's venom against Children  and Jesus' love for Children!
“And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto Thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him, and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away, and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
  “He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto Me.
“And they brought him unto Him, and when He saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.  
"And He asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, of a child.  And oft times it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him, but if Thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.” (Mark 9:17-22)
Satan had purposely tormented that child with epileptic seizures and a deaf and dumb spirit since he was a little baby!
When I learned that, I developed an even deeper dislike and hatred for Satan and his evil kingdom than ever before! 
I have six children and fifteen grandchildren, the last two being one year old twins, and I am prepared to do anything and everything within my power to protect them from harm and evil!  And from Satan and corrupt, wicked people!
“And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted; and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. 
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:2-6)
“Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray, and the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 19:13-14)
     I thank God for the great compassion He has given me to pray for babies and little children!
  Even hardened criminals in ‘maximum security’ prisons - who have robbed and murdered - have a soft spot in their hearts for babies.  They will often kill a convicted child molester if they have the opportunity.
Yet Satan - That Wicked Impostor - hates little babies. He is even worse than any Terrorist or Mobster. In fact he is the instigator, the teacher of dark insanity and gross perversion. One day he will be cast into the Region of the doomed and the damned. Hell is far too good for the Devil. He will end up in the Lake of Fire forever. Amen.
.....To be continued