Friday, March 8, 2013

 By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
Jesus rescues Simon the Son of Jonas from drowning
    Jesus said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18)
    Jesus fought for our liberty and won. He is the world’s greatest Liberator! He breaks the shackles of sin, sickness, disease and death. Our Lord frees the Captives of unbelief, lust, greed and pride. He delivers from fear, oppression, torment and hatred. He liberates the slaves of condemnation, angst and grief!     
     The Bible says: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might DESTROY the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
     During more than fifty years of intensive Bible studies, I have come to the conclusion that there are five specific works of the devil: Sin; Fear; Sickness, Disease and Death; Poverty; Demons!
     Jesus came to destroy and eradicate SIN from our lives by shedding His precious blood and to redeem us from the curse of the Law: “Christ hath REDEEMED us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangeth upon a tree.” (Gal.3: 13).
      He is still calling His servants to preach the Gospel which saves people from their SINS: “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16: 15-16)
      “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believeth in Him should not perish have everlasting life.” (John 3: 16,17,36)
     “Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away everyone of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3: 26)
     “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 sins.” (1 John 1:7)
     SIN pits man against man and nation against nation. It deadens the spirit, confuses the mind, deadens the conscience and weakens the body. SIN binds, blinds, deceives, decimates and destroys. It is a major tool of the Devil to pervert and enslave the human race!
     SIN is the most expensive commodity on Planet Earth. It will cost you more than you are willing to pay, take you farther than you are willing to go and keep you longer than you are willing to stay. “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life” through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom.3: 23; 6: 23)
     Whenever Jesus met people who were afraid He dispelled FEAR by saying: “Fear thou not. Only believe.” (Mark 5: 36); “Peace be unto you.” (Luke 24; 36; John 20: 21); “Let not your heart be troubled.” (John 14: 1): “My 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.” (John 14; 27)
     The Bible says: “...That through death He (JESUS) might destroy him who 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: 14,15)
     “He is our PEACE who hath made both one and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” (Eph.2: 4); “Therefore being justified by faith, we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom.5; 1)
     “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.” (Isa. 57: 21); “Great PEACE have they which love My law.” (Ps.119:165)  
      The Bible says: “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); “There is NO FEAR in love; but perfect love casteth out FEAR, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4: 18)
      Everywhere Jesus went He met multitudes of SICK and DISEASED people and He HEALED them all. Our Lord did not turn away anyone who came to Him. He healed everyone who touched Him, as well as everyone that He laid his hands on or touched!
      I have lumped DEATH with sickness and disease as one of the works of the Devil, because sickness and disease is incipient death. It is death on the installment plan. Not only did Jesus heal the sick and diseased, but He also raised the dead!
     He raised Lazarus from the dead, as well as the daughter of Jairus. He also raised the son of the widow woman at Nain. (Mark 5: 35-36; John 11: 39-44; Luke 7: 11-17)    
     The Bible says: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost band power; who went about doing good and HEALING all who were oppressed of the Devil for God was with Him.” (Acts 10: 38)
     “And when the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils, and He cast out the spirits with His Word and healed all that were sick. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.” (Matt.8: 16,17)
      “And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew Him. And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick in the streets, and besought HIM that they might touch as it were the border of his garment: and as many as touched Him were made whole.” (Mark 6: 54-56; Matt.14: 34-36)
     He has all POWER in heaven and on earth: “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18)
     The Bible records: “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.
      “And He said unto them, 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 sign shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; 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)
                  GOD CARES FOR THE HUNGRY!
     Satan delights in keeping people down. He wants those who have been created in God’s image to be under the curse of sin, fear, sickness, disease and death. He also enjoys seeing God’s people chafing under the curse of POVERTY.
     Jesus demonstrated His love and provision for the poor. The Scripture says that He was, “sent to preach the Gospel to the poor.” That would include those who are spiritually poor as well as those who are poor in mental capacity and also poor economically!
      HOW DO I KNOW THAT? In the Prayer our Lord taught us to pray are these words: “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11). On two occasions our blessed Saviour multiplied loaves and fishes to feed  
the hungry multitudes who had come to a solitary place to hear Him teach and heal the sick.
     He said: “They need not depart; Give ye them to eat.” (Matt.14: 13-21); “Then Jesus called His disciples unto Him and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting.” (Matt.15: 32-38)
     He also stopped a funeral procession and raised a young man from the dead because he had compassion upon a widow who had lost her only means of support! (Luke 7: 11-17)  
      Jesus gave us the key to freedom from poverty. It is in giving that we receive, in planting that we harvest. Some people have never learned that God has placed in the earth the law of seedtime and harvest that affects every area of our lives. (Gen.8: 2)
      Kindness begets kindness. A helping hand brings its own reward and has a way of paying back more than was given. Even a smile or a kind word reaps goodwill and friendships that can last a lifetime. Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
       Our Lord stated: “Give and it shall be given you. Good measure, filled up, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give unto thy bosom. For with the same measure ye meet it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6: 38). St. John wrote: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul shall prosper.” (3 John 2)
      JESUS cast out many unclean spirits from those who were possessed. He cast out spirits of unbelief, torment and insanity! He drove out from tormented people foul spirits of infirmity such as deaf and dumb spirits, blind spirits and tormenting spirits!
      The BIBLE says: “These signs shall follow them that believe. In My name shall the cast out devils... They shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 15-20)
     St. Paul tells us why we have power over all demons and unclean spirits: “That through DEATH, He might DESTROY him who had the power of death, that is the DEVIL and to DELIVER all them that were all their lives subject to bondage.” (Heb.2: 14)
     In 1916 Noah B. Horrell wrote The Unveiled Christ’. The chorus of that great hymn says: “O’ behold the Man of Sorrows. O’ behold Him in plain view. Lo! He is the Mighty Conqueror, since He rent the veil in two. Lo! He is the Mighty Conqueror, since He rent the veil in two.”
     There has never been a Warrior as great as Jesus of Nazareth. He conquered Satan, Death, Hell and the Grave through His vicarious, death. He died for our sins and the sins of the entire world, past, present and future!
      On the third day He arose from the dead as the Great Deliverer and Emancipator of the Human Race! For almost two thousand years He has entered the lives of hundreds of millions of lost souls and liberated them from servitude to the world, flesh and the Devil.
     You might say, “How is that possible?” He is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb.13:5) He has not changed. He will not change. It is impossible for Jesus Christ to change because He is the unchanging Son of the Living God.
     He said: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me and I in you.” (John 14:18-20)
     In a fiery speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond to the Virginia House on March 23, 1775 that convinced them to join the Revolutionary War against Britain, Patrick Henry said:
      Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!
      JESUS OF NAZARETH laid down His life for us. He didn’t do it for Himself, He did it for us! He had no sin, fear, sickness, disease or death in His body, but He went to Calvary’s cross for us. Prophet Isaiah spoke of His great sacrifice on Golgatha:
     “But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53: 4-6)
     He purchased Abundant Life for us all in this life and Everlasting Life for all eternity! How marvellous and great is the plan and the purposes of God for His children and how blessed we are to be called out of darkness into his glorious Light! How great are His ways and how good and gracious His mercy, love and peace toward us all! 
      In 1966, Thomas Tutyko and I travelled by jeep together with Rev. Daniel and Esther Morocco to Kalinga Apio and Tabuk in Northern Luzon of the Philippine Islands! We walked the last two miles to reach the village of Eli bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a tribe of practicing head hunters!
      It was April when the fire weed grows and young men are looking for a wife. Every young warrior would like to marry one of the Chief’s daughters. In order to prove that he is a man worthy of the Chief’s daughter he must prove it by taking the head of a man or a boy.
     The Manila Times had carried the story of two men and a boy who were beheaded while working on a road detail. We were warned about travelling there, but we knew that God was calling us to the Head hunters in Tabuk!   After eight hours by bus to Bagio City, another eight hours by jeep through the Mountains and past the famous Rice Terraces, we arrived at Northern Luzon’s head hunter country.
      It was Easter Sunday afternoon when we arrived in Eli. We had been given a ‘safe conduct’ by Chief of that community and when we arrived, everyone was gathered on the grass or sitting on their haunches. Behind me was their short wooden god, whose face was weather beaten and partially worn away.
      The message I delivered was direct and my interpreter was excellent. I told them that I served the LIVING GOD that you cannot see. And that my God had made the ground they sat on, the river that flowed by their village, the animals they hunted in the woods, the sun that kept them warm and the air they breathed.
     This Almighty, Holy and Loving GOD who created the worlds and everything we can see, also made us in His own image!
    An EVIL enemy called ‘Satan the Adversary’, deceived our first parents and turned them against their Creator and God. He was liar and murderer who had rebelled against God and tried to make everyone evil like himself.
      God wanted to save the human race from the Liar (devil) and the punishment we deserved for doing wicked and evil things, so He sent His Son JESUS CHRIST to free us from the Evil One called Satan (Adversary) and the Devil (Liar).
      “The Evil One turned the people against God’s Son and they brutally beat Him and put Him to death on the Cross, but He was such a powerful Warrior that on the third day after they killed Him, Jesus Christ arose from the dead!”
      Their eyes bulged as I told this account of Jesus dying and rising from the dead. Then, I asked, “Do you know of anyone who came back to life after they had died and were buried?” They all answered, “NO!”
      Pointing to their god, I stated: “This god is made of wood. It has eyes that cannot see, ears that cannot hear, a mouth that cannot speak, feet that have never moved and hands that cannot help anyone. He is so lifeless and ignorant that if I slapped him in the face, He wouldn’t have enough sense to say, ‘ouch’ or to step aside.”
       I challenged them to trade their tree stump god which they worshipped, for Jesus Christ Who died for their sins and rose from the dead for their justification. I asked them to rise to their feet and lift their hands to God in surrender if they desired to receive Jesus Christ as their God. No one moved!
      The DEVIL whispered to me that because I had offended their god they would kill me. And that the safe conduct they had given us would not be adhered to.
      I told him that I knew he was lying since he has been lying for a very long time and that I believed that God would protect me. If, however, it was my time to die, there wouldn’t be a better place or time - Easter Sunday afternoon - to meet my Maker, with shoes on my feet and the Bible in my hand!   
      I shouted out the invitation again. Immediately the Chief lifted his spear and jumped to his feet shouting a command and everyone following his example leaped to their feet and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.  
     Then realized that I had to reach the Chief first and that he chose for the people! He chose wisely, because they have had no more beheadings by that tribe until today. Praise the Lord!
      Certainly, I can declare that Jesus Christ is the world’s only TRUE Freedom Fighter, Who went to Hell and Back for us all!
       During our history making Crusade in Guntur, Andra Pradesh, India we were visited by a delegation of six Circle Inspectors of the Police Force with a letter asking me to go with them to the Hospital to heal in the name of Lord Jesus, the Inspector General of the Police Force who was paralyzed on his right side.
      The Letter read in part: “We the Circle Inspectors of the Police Force ask that you come to the Guntur Hospital and heal our Inspector General in name of LORD JESUS.”
     Thomas Tutyko, Lawson Barbour and Sadhu Vandenam accompanied me the Hospital. Hundreds of Police Officers stood on guard around and in the hospital. There were clicking of heels and salutes at all the doors and in corridors where we walked with these Inspectors.
      The Circle Inspectors brought us into the Inspector General’s room where his wife and close relatives were awaiting us. He was paralyzed on his right side and his right arm was drawn into a ball with his clenched fist near his chin. He had a red spot as well as ashes on his forehead and the right side of his mouth was severely affected by the stroke he had suffered.
     I pulled up a chair near the General Inspector and said: “You sent for me, Sir.” He had great difficulty in answering: “Yes. I want you heal me in name Lord Jesus.” I replied, “First I must share with you the Good News about Jesus and why He came to earth and why His Name is so powerful.
     I shared the Holy Scriptures outlining the lost state of sinners, the death of Christ for our sins, His glorious resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I declared Jesus Christ to be the Only Saviour of the world, and the amazing power of His shed blood to forgive, cleanse, save and heal.
     He struggled through the Sinner’s PRAYER repeating every word with great difficulty. I read to him the promises of Jesus:
    “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt.7:7-8); “In My name shall they cast out devils… They shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover!” (Mark 16: 17-18);
     “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: 13, 14)
      I laid my hands upon him and prayed a fervent prayer in Jesus’ Name commanding every spirit of infirmity, sickness and disease to leave him. I implored God to confirm His Holy Word and restore the Inspector’s brain and other parts of his body that were affected by the stroke, for God’s honour and glory.
     I took his clenched fist in my hand and as I prayed Jesus touched him again and it became normal! I said, “God has healed you” and smiling broadly answered with a strong voice, “Yes.” I asked, “What are you going to do?”
      He said: “I am going to get up and walk” and tossed the blanket to the side.  I helped him out of bed and we went marching up and down the corridor. He pulled his arm away from me and marched solo, up and down, back and forth!
      The Inspector General marched up to me and stood at attention, saying: “WHOM DO I THANK FOR THIS, SIR?” I answered, “Lift up both your arms in the Royal Salute and say, Thank You, LORD JESUS!” As he did so, all the Police Officers lifted their arms toward Heaven and loudly said: “Thank You, LORD JESUS!”
    Suddenly the Inspector General said, “Follow me.” He marched a few steps and turned into a room where a Hindu priest was propped up in bed and struggling to breathe suffering from a serious heart attack.
     The Inspector General asked the priest, “You want to be healed by name LORD JESUS?” He could only nod. I briefly shared the Gospel with him and asked if he wanted Jesus Christ to come into his heart. He nodded that he did. I prayed that God would save and heal him and immediately he could breathe well, declaring that all pain was gone.
    The Inspector General said, “Lift your arms in Royal Salute and say, Thank You, LORD JESUS.” As the priest obeyed, you could hear Policemen giving Jesus Christ the Royal Salute. To God be all the glory!
     The outcome was that any Policemen with sick family members were granted the afternoon off in order to bring their sick relatives to me for prayer. And my blessing was to minister to many sick and diseased people for several hours that afternoon.
     Government Officials in Guntur invited us back for another crusade seven months later in December, 1966. When we arrived, Gunter was under a curfew because of Political Unrest, however, they allowed us to hold our large crusade realizing that the preaching of the Gospel would bring peace out of turmoil!
     Not only did they lift the curfew but also held their Police Sports Days. When they heard that I had been a half-mile runner, I was invited take part in their one-mile race. After much prodding from Lawson Barbour and Tom Tutyko who said, “Do it for Jesus. Think of all the publicity we’ll get for our Gospel Crusade”, I reluctantly agreed.
    When the announcer was informed that I would be a contender, he said, “Max Solbrekken - the Miracle Man from Canada - is entering the race. He has not run for 17 years. It will be a miracle if he wins and it will be a miracle if he does not win, because he is the Miracle Man.”
     Everyone clapped and I thought, “It will be a miracle if I don’t have a heart attack. God will have to help me.” There I was, barefoot and dressed in long pants, while all others were well trained, in shorts and track shoes and my best race was not the one-mile!
    When the gun went off we started out at a fast pace, my heart was pumping, my legs got heavy and surprisingly I stayed near the front. As we completed the halfway mark I thought, “If I push on I could possibly win and make some enemies negating the reason for entering the race, or I could die.”
     I was right behind number two who was on the heels number one. I heard the announcer saying, “The Miracle Man from Canada who is preaching at the Park is in contention. He is near the front. Will he be able to win?”
    At that moment, I decided to drop out of the race. We had achieved our goals. Everyone clapped as the announcer said, “Max Solbrekken, the Miracle Man, who is preaching at the Gospel Crusade has decided to drop out of the race. Give him a big hand.” All glory to God forever!
     Truly, truly, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour is the world’s One and Only Freedom Fighter Who will soon return as our Reigning Lord and King. To Him ALONE belong all the hour, praise and glory! Amen.