Thursday, December 20, 2012

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

    “And I will shake all nations, and the DESIRE of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts.”  (Haggai 2:7)

     Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and a Blessed Christmas to you and all yours! Thank you so much for your support of this Ministry!     

    It is always a real joy to consider the great mystery, mercy and grace that has been given to us through the incarnation, when God became a Man (God in human flesh) to redeem us!
     If ever the WORLD was in NEED of a SAVIOUR it is TODAY – a time of intrepidation, tension, insecurity, catastrophe and violence around the world! So much has changed and yet the basic facts remain the same.Mankind’s sins of lying, theft, greed, lust, hatred, murder and idolatry remain the same.
    The power of the Gospel also remains the same, to cleanse and forgive sins, destroy the works of the devil and overpower the darkness and evil through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for us all on Calvary’s Cross and His glorious resurrection from the dead!
    Everywhere hunger, fear, pain, sickness, disease and death stalk mankind, but the Great Physician, the Compassionate Christ still has all power today because, “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for out iniquities, chastised for our peace and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53: 4, 5)
                             JESUS: DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS!
    The Scripture text from Haggai is prophetic in several ways. It speaks about a time when the people of God had taken Him for granted. They were building their own houses but neglecting the House of the Lord.
     He warns about a shaking that seems a lot like what is happening today: “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.” We don’t have far to look at the recent hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, flooding, droughts, famines and epidemics that have plagued our planet!
     God warns: “Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earns wages, earns wages to put in a bag with holes.” (Haggai 1:5, 6)
    The prophet conveys God’s delight in those who further His Kingdom,  and that He is with those who put His WORK ahead of their own. He inserts these prophetic truths: “And I will shake all nations, and the DESIRE of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.”
    The world was at its WORST when God sent His Son, born in a stable in Bethlehem. Jesus was born in a subject province governed by pagan Romans and the Jews were ruled by uncaring, legalistic, hypocritical Religious leaders.
    “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion upon them because, they fainted, and were scattered abroad like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt.9: 36)
     He went to them and sought them out and healed their hurt, calmed their fears and filled them with His holy love, and faith! The Holy Record states: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and disease among the people.”(Matt.9: 35)
      To the woman taken in adultery, Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:7-1); To the Leper, He said, “I will: be thou clean.” (Matt.8:1-3); To the blind beggar He said, “Go thy way; Thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Mark 10:52); To the man with the withered arm He said, “Stretch forth thine hand.” (Mark 3:5); To the woman who had suffered with an issue of blood for twelve years He said, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Mark 5:34); To a father of a twelve year old daughter who had died, Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 5:36); And to the girl He said, “Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise.”(Mark 5:41); To an insane man filled with many demons, Jesus said, “Go home to thy friends and tell them what great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee,” (Mark 5:19); To the paralyzed man borne by four, Jesus said: “Arise, take up thy bed and go unto thine house.” (Matt.9: 6).
      Our world today is falling deeper into chaos. Talk about all the nations shaking, with the economic systems of this world in a shambles, Iran on the cusp of acquiring nuclear capabilities, the Islamic terrorist threat growing, Israel surrounded by serious enemies and the Western Nations forsaking the Gospel of Christ!
                           GENTILES LONGED FOR A TEACHER!
    According to J.W. Monser, in An Encyclopedia on the Evidences, p.527, PLATO (B.C.428-346) has SOCRATES saying, “We must of necessity wait, till someone from Him who cares for us, shall come and instruct us how we ought to behave towards the gods and man.” Again, “This lawgiver must be more than man that He may teach us things man cannot know by his own nature.”
    The Magi who made the 35-day-journey covering the 1,100 miles from Persia to Jerusalem searching for Him who has been born ‘king of the Jews’, is PROOF of their desire for spiritual help! They were astronomers, philosophersthat God could speak to in His desire to let the world know that His salvation plan to crush Satan’s head was finally operational.
    “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.” (Matt.2: 1, 2)
   Jesus stated: “For I tell you that many prophets and kings have DESIRED to see those things which ye see and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”
     Dr. Wayne Jackson says“Some translators argue that the word ‘desire’ (heb. hemdat) is used of persons in the O.T. – both in its singular and plural forms. Saul was described as the desire of Israel (1 Sam. 9:20) and Daniel was called “greatly beloved” (plural in 9:23; 10:11, 19). Dr. Alden notes that such irregularities are common in O.T. Hebrew. (The Expositors Bible Commentary, Vol.7, p. 586)
                           ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH!
     The Almighty said to Abraham: “And I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen.12: 2, 3)
     This is a marvelous prophecy which points to JESUS CHRIST, Who is the fulfillment. St. Paul writes: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye ABRAHAM’S SEED, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal.3: 27-29)
     In his Pentecostal message St. Peter declared: “Ye are the children of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abrahamand in THY SEED shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God having raised up His SON JESUS, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3: 25, 26)
    Jesus is the ‘DESIRE of ALL NATIONS’ and He alone is willing, able and desirous of blessing all the families of the earth! He ALONE has the power and ability because, “He tasted death for every man.” (Heb.2: 9).
    He suffered, bled and died for the entire world: “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 world through Him might be saved.” (John 3: 16, 17)
   Again the Holy Bible states: “He came unto His Own and His Own received Him not, but as many as received Him, to THEM gave He power to become the SONS of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:11, 12)
    Theologian Herbert Wolf in his Commentary on Haggai and Malachi states, “Ultimately it applies to the gathering of the treasures of the nations after the Second Coming of Christ and to “the glory and honour of the nations”, brought into the New Jerusalem” (Rev.21: 26) but it can also refer to that “treasure” or “desire of the nations”, “The Messenger of the Covenant in Whom ye Delight.” (Mal.3:1)
     Here is the rub: Even though the world has by and large rejected Jesus Christ as the DESIRE of all Nations, yet one day they will know Him as King of kings and Lord of lords! And the latter House will be greater because He will be worshipped and adored as Lord, Saviour and God! (Zechariah 14: 16)
    The Magi came from Persia to worship Him, the Greeks came to see Him, the Samaritans received Him, the Romans crucified Him, the Jews rejected Him, Simon of Cyrene carried His cross and believers from around the world worship Him, the One who was dead but still lives!
    One final word: "JESUS – His Name is above all other names; His Reign is above all other rulers; His Lordship is above all other authorities; His Words are above all other voices; His Truth is above all other opinions; His Love is above all other affections." – Author Unknown
       May the Lord open every heart & life to receive Him! Amen.