Sunday, May 25, 2014

                                Max Solbrekken under the anointing of the Holy Spirit!   
                         HOLY SPIRIT'S FIRE:
~ A Desperate Call to God for Help ~
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    "Oh that Thou would Rend the heavens, that Thou would Come Down, that the mountains would flow down at Thy presence. As when the melting FIRE burns, the fire causes the waters to BOIL, to make Thy NAME known to Thine adversaries that the nations may tremble at Thy presence." (Isaiah 64: 1)
      In his powerful appeal to Almighty God for help in bringing Israel back to a place of repentance and righteousness, Prophet Isaiah used words like “the melting FIRE burns” and “the FIRE causes the water to boil”.
     ISAIAH was zealous for His Lord and wanted the godless nations to give glory to the Almighty. A Revival of Righteousness among the Hebrews would also have a godly, moralizing effect on the pagan nations!
     He would have known of ELIJAH the great 'Fire Prophet' who brought Israel back to the worship of Jehovah. He had challenged the prophets of Baal and the prophets of the Grove to a showdown on Mount Carmel. The Prophet declared: The God who answers by fire; Let Him be God.” Israel would then KNOW the true and Living God!
     Elijah prayed: “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the Lord God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the FIRE of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
    “And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD He is the God; the LORD He is the God.” (1 Kings 18:37-39)
                                                DON’T PUT OUT THE SPIRIT’S FIRE!
     The Holy Bible states: “Our God is a consuming fire. (Heb.12: 29) Wherever He is, there is always Fire! What happened on Mount Carmel was expected. God always backed up His prophets who spoke the truth in His Name. And He often used FIRE to demonstrate His power and bring about His will on earth!
      ST. PAUL admonished the Church: “Quench not the Spirit.” (1 Thess. 5: 19). He was saying, “Don’t put out the Spirit’s FIRE” or “Don’t extinguish the Spirit’s FLAME.” He knew the tendency of human carnality and pride, in wanting to do everything ourselves, to be self-sufficient! Fire can burn itself out if not stoked and fed with oxygen. We must guard the fire in our spirits, by staying full of the Holy Ghost!
     HOWELL HARRIS, (1714-1773) preached in large open air meeting across Wales. In two years He walked 2500 miles between crusades. In twenty years he had reached Wales. He stated: “A fire was kindled in my soul and I was clothed in power…I could have spoken to the king were he within my reach…such power and such authority did I feel in my soul…”
      It was said, 'the words flowed scorching hot from the preacher’s heart. He would go on thus, pouring out old things and new for 2, 3, and even 4 hours. Under the power of the Holy Spirit, hearts were broken and it was not uncommon for people to come under such conviction that they would cry aloud to God for mercy while he preached'. Twenty thousand people attended his funeral.
      WILLAM BOOTH and his wife Catherine founded the Salvation Army in 1865. They chose as their slogan, ‘Blood and Fire’, referring to Jesus Christ’s BLOOD shed for the remission of sins and the Fire referring to the FIRE of the Holy Spirit.” He stated: “The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Anyone who has tended a fireplace knows that it needs to be stirred up occasionally.”
      In 1892, William Booth wrote the well-known hymn, ‘SEND THE FIRE’. It is filled with Gospel Truth, Biblical Doctrine and Great Commission Admonition. You can sense the presence of God by reading the words and the Holy Spirit fire burns when it is sung!
               SEND THE FIRE
Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
’Tis fire we want, for fire we plead,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For pow’r to walk the world in white,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make our weak hearts strong and brave,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To live a dying world to save,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Oh, see us on Thy altar lay
Our lives, our all, this very day;
To crown the off’ring now we pray,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

  The one thing we must NOT do, is rely on our own wisdom and strength! We must never think that we can do the work of God ourselves, without relying totally on the Holy Spirit! The great Apostle realized that the Blessed Holy Spirit can be easily grieved (Eph.4: 30, 31) and marginalized. That is a major sin committed in the Church today!
      During a live interview over Newfoundland’s Radio Network in 1968, the interviewer became convicted by HOLY SPIRIT and asked if I would take the remaining ten minutes to answer the question: “What is the greatest mistake the Church has made in 2,000 years?”
    I answered: “The greatest mistake the Church has committed in its nearly 2,000 year history is two-fold: Number one: They have taken the leadership of the Church out of the hands of the HOLY SPIRIT and placed it in the hands of mere mortals, and Number two: They have rejected the Word of God, the Holy Bible, which He (the Holy Spirit) has anointed.”
      After I finished, I invited all the listeners to pray the Sinner’s Prayer with me.  As we were walking together toward the main entrance, the Manager and an Associate came walking quickly toward me. I wondered if they were going to ‘ball me out’, for making their head commentator and interviewer break down on the air.
      But, NO! They said: “All the lines are jammed. Seventy thousand people have been listening. Our Television Station is across the street. Please, do the same thing over there. They are waiting for you now!”
      The two most important things the Church needs today is the Power of God and the Fire of God! Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church promised: “But ye shall receive POWER after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
      And JOHN THE BAPTIST stated: “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE.” (Luke 3:16).
      He was speaking about JESUS, the Baptiser in the Holy Ghost and fire! He would accomplish two great things: Shed His holy Blood on the Cross for the sins of the world, and Baptize His Church with the Holy Spirit and Fire!
     When the Jews heard him utter those words, they knew that something special was about to happen in the spiritual life of their nation. When God chose Israel through which He would send the Messiah, He called ABRAHAM to be the Father of the nation. The Lord promised him a son even though Sarah was barren. After about twenty – five years the miracle happened and Isaac was born.
                                                GOD CALLS ABRAHAM BY FIRE!
      The Holy Record states: “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a BURNING LAMP that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Gen.15: 17, 18)
     The HOLY SPIRIT was present in the FIRE that awesome night as the Almighty revealed to Abram His supernatural power. Later, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and confirmed the everlasting covenant He was making with the Nation of Israel! He had confirmed the COVENANT with Blood, symbolized by circumcision of all males and through the Holy Spirit by the presence of the coals of FIRE.
       The Bible says: “As it is written, I have made thee a Father of many nations, before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.
    “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.4:17-22)
       After the Hebrews had been in Egypt for four hundred years, God brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey as He had promised Abraham. He called His chosen leader by FIRE. Through the providence of God, Moses had survived the Egyptian genocide against Hebrew male babies, and was even adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter.
     When Moses was "come to years", he killed an Egyptian who was abusing a Hebrew slave. Fearing retribution from Pharaoh, he fled to the land of Midian where he became a shepherd. After forty years in the desert, Moses was ready to lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land. God would fulfill His promise to Abraham!
     The Bible says: “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb and the Angel of the Lord appeared unto Him in a FLAME of FIRE out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
    “And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said MOSES, MOSES. And he said: Here I am. And He said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place where thou standest is holy ground.
     “Moreover He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
     “And I am COME DOWN to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Ex.3:1-8). The Angel of the Lord was none other than God the Son, in a Theophany - God the Son appearing as the Angel of the Covenant’!
    God said that He had SEEN the affliction of His people, He had HEARD their cries for help and He KNEW their sorrows.  He was going to DELIVER His people from Egyptian bondage and He was commissioning Moses, the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter, to LIBERATE them and lead them into the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey!
      The Lord had prepared His man! MOSES had spent forty years tending sheep. He was prepared to lead a rebellious nation of slaves for another forty years through the wilderness. After hearing the VOICE of GOD and seeing the burning BUSH of FIRE, his life was changed and he became the Great Lawgiver under God, giving Israel and the world the 'Ten Commandments', from which came the British Common Law used by all civilized, democratic nations.    
     Unfortunately, out of agitation with the Hebrews he made a colossal mistake by striking the ROCK twice instead of only speaking to it. God was angry with Moses and barred him from entering the Promised Land. The Rock was a type of Christ! (Nu. 20: 10-12; 1Cor.10: 4). His DEATH was final. He does not need to be struck again!
     After ten powerful plagues against the ten gods of Egypt, Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery "with a high hand", the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of FIRE by night. The Holy Spirit was leading them and protecting them!
       "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; by night in a pillar of FIRE, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of FIRE by night, from before the people." (Ex.13: 21, 22)
      Although Elijah is called 'The Fire Prophet', God always came down in FIRE when sacrifices were made in His name. Going back to Cain and Abel's sacrifices at the Gate of the Garden of Eden, we read: "The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering, but unto Cain and his offering, He had not respect". (Gen.4: 3-5)
      Why did the Lord accept Abel's offering but not Cain's offering? When Adam and Eve sinned, God immediately instituted the sacrificial system. He killed an innocent animal which would be their substitute. The blood would atone for their sins and the skin would clothe them.
     How did Cain know that God was not pleased with his sacrifice of "the fruit of the ground"? The HOLY FIRE that burned up Abel's sacrifice did NOT consume Cain's bloodless sacrifice! Whenever God was pleased with a sacrifice the FIRE always fell!
     When SOLOMON dedicated the temple, he rehearsed before Israel the history of God's dealings with his father David and with His people. Solomon prayed an awesome and powerful prayer unto Almighty God (2 Chron.6: 14-42)
     Then the FIRE fell, as was expected. Here is the Holy Record on this momentous event: "Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the FIRE came down from Heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the GLORY of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the House of the Lord, because the
glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house.
     "And when the children of Israel saw how the FIRE came down , and the GLORY of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good: for His mercy endureth forever." (2 Chron.7: 1-3)
     Almighty God said: "If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilences among My people; 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 sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chron.7: 13, 14)
     Isaiah was about eighteen years old when King Uzziah died. He went into the temple to seek God, not knowing what would happen to his nation. It was then that the Holy Spirit showed up. The Bible records:
     "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly."
     What an experience this man had, as he actually saw God the Son, in all in His glory. He saw The LORD sitting upon a throne. He saw the seraphims which covered their faces and feet in God's presence and heard them cry, Holy is the Lord!
     "And one cried unto another, and said, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of Him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
     “Then said I, Woe is me! For I am UNDONE; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."
     God's holiness made Isaiah cry out: "I am a sinner. I am undone. I live among a sinful and unclean people, because my eyes have looked upon the thrice holy God!" In the presence of Almighty God, the prophet felt his nothingness and his weakness and his sinfulness. He cried out for mercy! Oh, how we must reverence Almighty God!
     "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having A LIVE COAL in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it on my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy SIN PURGED. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and Who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I, send me." (Is.6: 1-8)
     The Holy Spirit was in the FIRE that touched the prophet's lips! When the LIVE COAL from the holy altar touched the young man's lips, he received the assurance that his sins were gone. And immediately, he heard the Voice of the Lord calling him into service for Him!  
    The Book of Isaiah is called 'The Gospel of the Old Testament' and every major doctrine of Christ is found in that book! They include the virgin birth of Christ (7:14); Names of Deity given to Christ (9:6); the Spirits of God resting upon Him (11:1,2); Satan's defeat by Christ (14: 12-17); Day of resurrection and judgment (26: 19-21); and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (28: 11,12).
      "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." (John 20: 21,22)
    "But when the COMFORTER is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth which proceeds from the Father He shall testify of Me. Nevertheless I tell you the Truth; It is expedient that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
      "But when HE IS COME, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment: Of sin because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I go unto My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment because the prince of the world (Satan) is judged.
      Howbeit when He, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.
      “He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine and, and show it unto you. All that the Father hath are Mine, therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you." (John 14: 26; 15: 26; 16: 7-11, 13-15)
    The Holy BIBLE records the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, ten days after the ascension of our Lord and fifty days after Christ's resurrection from the dead. St. Luke writes:
      "To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me.
      "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be BAPTIZED with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth…" (Acts 1: 3-5, 8)
      More than five hundred men saw Christ at one time in Galilee after His resurrection from the dead (1 Cor.15: 6) and I'm sure that all 500 would have heard His command to tarry in Jerusalem and WAIT for the Promise of the Father, the Blessed Holy Spirit, to empower them for His service.
      The QUESTION is, "WHY did they not all wait for the Blessed Holy Spirit's arrival with His great power? And is this a pattern that we see in the Christian Community of Believers today, with many not waiting in His presence until they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Is it laziness, a lack of desire for God or plain and simple ignorance on the part of Pastors who have come out of Bible College or Seminary like so many sausages out of Schneider's Meat Packing Plant?”
     Where were the 380 who had been commanded to WAIT for the 'Promise of the Father'? Apparently, they were too busy or afraid or felt they were good enough and didn't need this 'noisy, shouting, tongues-talking religion'. Think of what they missed: The blessed Holy Spirit coming into them with His love, mercy, grace, and power!
     The Bible states: "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Mathew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes and Judas the brother of James.
     "These all continued with one accord in PRAYER and SUPPLICATION, with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren...the number of names were about an hundred and twenty." (Acts 1: 3-15)
     "And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord, in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven TONGUES like as of FIRE, and it sat upon each of them.
      “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell  at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
      "For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the Last Days, saith God, I will pour out of MY SPIRIT upon all flesh:
      "And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will POUR out in those days of MY SPIRIT; and they shall prophesy. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall CALL on the name of the Lord shall be SAVED." (Acts 2: 1-4, 14-21)
       Jesus kept His Promise: "And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on High." (Luke 24: 49); "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever:
     "Even the SPIRIT OF TRUTH; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
      "But the COMFORTER, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14: 16-18)
     The Church was born on the Day of Pentecost as God poured out His Holy Spirit upon about one hundred and twenty hungry souls! Again, He moved by FIRE! And what was the outcome? After St. Peter preached His Pentecostal message, multitudes cried:
      "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter answered: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
     “For the PROMISE is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2: 38, 39)
      ST. PAUL wrote: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Rom.1: 1,2)
     Included in his list of duties to the leadership of the Church, he adds: "...Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." (Rom. 12: 11)
      How does one remain FERVENT in the spirit? The answer is in total consecration to Jesus Christ, obeying His Holy Word and being filled with His HOLY SPIRIT! It is in complete dedication to His Body the Church, and the extension of His Kingdom!
      The BIBLE says: "That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in Whom after ye believed ye were SEALED with that Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the EARNEST of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the prise of His glory." (Eph.1: 13, 14)
     "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye were SEALED unto the Day of Redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be KIND one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph.4: 30,31)
      These verses prove that when a believer is born again by the Word of God and Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1: 23) and receives the Mighty Baptism of the Holy Spirit, he is SEALED until the day of his redemption.
     We are secure in Jesus when we give ourselves totally in repentance and faith to Him and receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The words 'SEALED until the Redemption of the Purchased Possession...' means that He will keep us safe and secure until our life on earth is over and we are in our eternal abode! We have been purchased by the precious BLOOD of Christ (1 Cor.6: 20) and are SEALED until we see Him face to face in Glory!
      The Holy Spirit is the Guarantor of our salvation; of course this means that we must continue believing in and trusting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! There is great JOY in the Holy Spirit and the Bible says:
     "Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of God is. And be not DRUNK with wine, wherein is excess, but be FILLED with the SPIRIT." (Eph.5: 14-18)
     History proves that only by obeying this holy precept is a revival of righteousness possible. Down through the ages we have seen this pattern repeated: Repentance of sin, receiving God's forgiveness, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, intercessory prayer, the Spirit of love and compassion exhibited, and souls won for Christ! Amen.

Note: This is installment No. 1 of Max Solbrekken's New Book - soon off the press! D.S.