Friday, May 30, 2014

ALBERTA CAMP MEETING: JULY 4, 5 & 6, 2014. Don't Miss it! Join Donna and me at the BIG GOSPEL TENT on Hiway 623 south of New Sarepta, Alberta for the 2014 Camp Meeting JULY 4, 5 & 6 - Pastor Max Solbrekken

                         HOLY SPIRIT'S FIRE:
~ A Desperate Call to God for Help ~
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

      In his book ‘When the Spirit Came’ (1928), Moravian Evangelist Rev. JOHN GREENFIELD writes: “Of the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem a certain writer has said: ‘Before thirty years had elapsed from the death of Christ, His followers had spread from Palestine throughout Syria; throughout almost all the districts of Asia Minor; through Greece and the Islands of the Aegean sea, the coast of Africa, and even into Italy and Rome’
    “And at the close of the First Century JUSTIN MARTYR could truly testify: ‘There is not a nation either Greek or Barbarian or of any other name, even those who wander in tribes or live in tents, among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to the Father and Creator of the Universe in the name of the Crucified Jesus.”
 John Greenfield writes: “Sprung from the labours and martyr-death of the great Bohemian Reformer, JOHN HUS, ‘the Brethren’ had passed through centuries of persecution. Many had sealed their testimony with their blood.
     “Imprisonment, torture and banishment had caused them to forsake the homes of their fathers and flee for refuge to Germany where a young Christian Nobleman, Count Zinzendorf, offered them an asylum on his estates in Saxony. They named their new home Herrnhut, the Lord’s Watch. And from this place after their Baptism with the Holy Spirit, they became the world’s evangelists and missionaries.”    
     The Moravian Church received a powerful Baptism in the Holy Spirit in Herrnhut, Germany on August 13, 1727. The congregation of about 300 persecuted Christians from various denominations, who had been given sanctuary by Count Zinzendorf, stopped criticizing one another and began in earnest prayer and were all filled with the blessed Holy Spirit.
     During the first 30 years after their spiritual Pentecost, they carried the Gospel of Salvation through the blood of the Lamb not only to nearly every country in Europe but also to many pagan nations in America, North and South, Asia and Africa, the West Indies and Greenland.
  Greenfield writes: “Fifty years before the beginning of modern Foreign Missions by WILLIAM CAREY, the Moravian Church had led the way into pagan countries both by precept and example.
  “Their English Missionary magazine, ‘Periodical Accounts’ inspired Dr. Carey and in a meeting of his Baptist brethren he threw a copy of the paper on the table with these memorable and historic words: ‘See what the Moravians have done! Cannot we follow their example and in obedience to our Heavenly Master go out into the world, and preach the Gospel to the heathen?”
    On August 27, 1727 an around-the-clock prayer chain was started that lasted for 100 years! The well-known German historian of ‘Protestant Missions’ Dr. Warneck testifies: “This small Church in twenty years called into being more Missions than the whole Evangelical church has done in two centuries.” 
    “Matthew Henry’s comment on this passage was fulfilled in their case: ‘When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a praying.’
    He also sent them a human leader and deliverer in the person of the young German nobleman, COUNT ZINZENDORF, who so kindly offered this persecuted Church a place of refuge on his own estates.
    “This godly youth and pre-eminent genius had been divinely prepared for his great work of spiritual leadership. Converted in early childhood he composed and signed at four years of age the following covenant: “Dear Saviour, do Thou be mine and I will be Thine.” He had chosen as his life-motto the now famous confession: “I have one passion: It is Jesus, Jesus only.”
     So effective and fruitful was this leadership that nearly two centuries later Professor BINNIE of Scotland declared: “It would not be going too far to affirm that Count Zinzendorf did more than any other man to redeem the Eighteenth Century from the reproach of barrenness, in relation to evangelical teaching and work.”
    JOHN WESLEY, who founded the Methodist Church, was converted to Christ through the powerful testimony and ministry of the Moravians! Dear friends, let us follow their example and begin PRAYING earnestly, fervently and effectually!
● GEORGE FOX (1624-1691) stated: “The Lord had said unto me: If but one man or woman were raised up by His power to stand in the same spirit that the apostles and prophets were in, that man or woman would shake all the country for miles around.”
● WILLIAM BOOTH said: “Go for the lost and go for the worst!”
● JOHN WESLEY prayed: “Give me 100 men who love nothing but God and fear nothing but sin, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the Kingdom of Heaven on earth."Heaven on earth.Heavem
● GEORGE WHITEFIELD prayed: “O’ Lord, give me souls or take mine!”
● JOHN KNOX cried out: “O’ God, give me Scotland or I die!” 'Bloody Queen Mary' said that, 'she feared the prayers of John Knox more than the armies of England'!
● MARTIN LUTHER stated: “I live as though us Jesus Christ died yesterday, arose today, and is coming again tomorrow!”
● D.L. MOODY heard the British preacher Henry Varley say, “The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to him." Moody determined in his heart that he would be that man and God used him in a wonderful way for many years in the USA and Great Britain.  
● WILLIAM SEYMOUR – the son of former slaves – who was used mightily in the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California (1906-1909) stated: “Before I met Parham the hunger to have more of God was in my heart that I prayed for 5 hours a day for 2 ½ years. I got to Los Angeles, and there the hunger was not less but more.
    “I prayed to God, ‘What can I do?’ The Spirit said: ‘Pray more.' I said: 'But Lord, I am praying 5 hours a day now.' I increased my hours of prayer to seven, and prayed on for a year and a half more. I prayed to God to give me what Parham preached, the real Holy Ghost and Fire with tongues with love and power of God like the Apostles!”
   JONATHON EDWARDS (1703–1758), who is considered America’s greatest theologian is known for his sermon, ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’, was a mighty man of prayer. He usually sought God in agonizing prayer for 18 hours before delivering His powerful sermons!
  Before preaching his renowned sermon on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, Jonathon Edwards agonized for three days and nights in intensive intercessory prayer. The results were staggering! Many who heard his message trembled and cried out for mercy. Others fell under the Holy Spirit’s power. Five hundred people were converted that day.
    Edwards was a Dedicated Vessel for the Lord. He said: “If it were re­vealed to me that in any stage of history there could be but one man who were in all to fulfil the will of God, I would strive with all my might to be that man." 
    JONATHON EDWARDS cried out to God: “Give me New England or I die.” The revival that followed was the outcome of his agonized prayers! Undoubtedly, the godly example of his prayer-filled son-in-law David Brainerd, who persevered through much adversity in reaching the American Indians for our Saviour,  also impacted Edwards greatly!
    ROBERT MURRAY McCHEYNE said: "Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, whose life is hid with Christ in God. These are of the Old Time Religion, hung to the Nails of the Cross."
    RICHARD BAXTER declared: "I preach like a dying man to dying men. Every time I preach, I preach as though it were the last time I would preach."
    ABRAHAM LINCOLN said: "I want my preacher to preach like he's fighting bees when he's preaching."
    CALVIN COOLIDGE stated: “America was born in a revival of religion. Back of that revival were John Wesley, George Whitefield and Francis Asbury.”
    FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT said, “No greater thing could come to our land today than a revival of the spirit of religion. . .  I doubt if there is any problem, social, political or economic, that would not melt away before the fire of such a spiritual awakening.”
    LEONARD RAVENHILL challenged: "The greatest tragedy is a SICK church in a dying world."  He charged: "If Jesus would have preached like many preach today, they never would have crucified Him."
    GENERAL WILLAM BOOTH spoke prophetically when he said: "The thing that I fear for the next century is that there will be: 1). Religion without the Holy Ghost; 2). Christianity without Christ; 3). Salvation without Regeneration; 4). Forgiveness without Repentance; 5). Politics without God; 6). Heaven without Hell."
   DR. OSWALD J. SMITH (1948) in 'The Fire of God', stated that he had studied the lives and ministries of great men of God like Luther, Knox, Wesley, Whitefield,  Finney, Moody and Booth. What was their key to reach nations for God? He discovered they all majored in: Sin and Salvation, Heaven and Hell and Judgment!
     A number of years ago, Oral Roberts shared a vision God had given him. He saw a dark cloud hanging over the USA. God told him that judgment would fall on America, because His preachers were not preaching the Gospel. They were preaching everything but the Gospel. And they were not preaching about the soon return of Jesus Christ.
   ORAL ROBERTS said: "I began to weep and ask God to forgive me because I could not remember the last time I had preached an entire message on the 'Second Coming of Christ." Then he called on preachers, saying: "Get the fire of God in your belly and preach the Gospel and tell people that Jesus is Coming Soon."
    BILLY GRAHAM prayed this prayer many years ago: "Lord, do it Again! Do what you did when the Apostles were called. Do what you did following Pentecost. Do what you did for Saul of Tarsus, Augustine, Luther, Whitefield, John Wesley and William Booth! Lord, do it again and help us to win this world for Jesus Christ!"
   Seven times in John’s Gospel - chapters 14,15 & 16 - Jesus invites us to pray, declaring that God will answer us when we approach the ‘Throne of Mercy’ in His Name! My hope is that multitude of Christians will realize that God invites us to pray because He delights in answering our prayers!
      Jesus Christ's last words to His followers before He ascended to the throne are referred to as 'The Great Commission'. These were His words: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    "And these SIGNS shall follow them that believe: In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues: They shall take up serpents (like St. Paul in Malta); and if the drink any deadly thing (like Pentecostal pastors in Soviet prisons) it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." (Mark 16: 15-18)
    The LAST WORDS spoken by our Crucified, Risen and Glorified Lord to the Church, however, were given to St. John on the Isle of Patmos. They were powerful and demanding and to five of the seven churches, He said: "REPENT OR ELSE!" That is very disturbing!
    In our desperate need for a genuine Revival in the Church, we must go to Jesus Christ’s messages to seven churches in the Book of Revelation. I believe we can find the key to REVIVAL in these verses!
    To the Church at LAODICEA, Jesus said: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would thou were cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot I will spew thee out of My mouth.” (Rev.3: 15, 16).
    JESUS WARNS: “Because thou say, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing; and knows not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked:
     "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou may be rich; and white raiment, that thou may be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou may see.
   “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with Me.” (Rev. 3: 17-20)
     Although five out of the seven Churches Jesus critiqued needed to repent, Laodicea was the worst. The Church at EPHESUS, had been a model Church sixty years earlier when Paul had preached there. Now they were charged by our Lord of having “left their first love” (Rev.2:4).
   The Church at PERGAMOS was allowing the seriously perverted teachings of Balaam as well as the Nicolaitans to gain inroads into the congregation. Jesus warned them: “Repent or I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them (false teachers) with the sword of My mouth.” (Rev.2: 16)
      To the Church at THYATIRA, He said: “Notwithstanding I have somewhat against thee, because thou suffers that woman Jezebel which calls herself  a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit fornication and to eat things offered unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” (Rev.2: 20-22)
     To the Church in SARDIUS our Lord said: “I know thy works; that thou hast a name that thou lives and are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
     "Remember therefore how thou has received and heard, and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shall not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev.3:1-3)
     To the Church at SMYRNA our Lord Jesus had no words of rebuke. He said: “These things saith the First and the Last, which was dead and is alive… Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a Crown of Life.” (Rev.2: 8-10).
     To the Church at PHILADELPHI our Lord Jesus Christ said: “These things saith He that is Holy, He that is True, He that hath the key of David, He that opens and no man shuts; And shuts and no man opens. Behold I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man takes thy crown.” (Rev.3: 7, 11, 12)
    The Head of the Church was not pleased with five out of the seven churches. They were admonished to repent. The sad state is that they had put Jesus out of His Church and He was trying desperately to get back in, and that is where we find ourselves in many churches in this End Time! (Rev. 3:20)
   If ever we needed a Revival of Righteousness, Intercession and Soul winning, it is now!
      Going back to our text, Isaiah cries out for God to "… Rend the heavens…and 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)
    This is about taking hold of the horns of the altar and holding on until He answers. It is about repenting, asking, believing and by faith receiving His promised REVIVAL!  And then, going out and possessing our inheritance as children of God!
     It is Earth crying out to Heaven. It is a heart wrenching prayer to the Eternal God from a Prophet whose people had gone astray. It is an Emergency Call for Divine Help and intervention in the affairs of sinful men. It is an SOS directed to the ears of the Almighty God and Saviour of the world. It is the beginning of a Revival of Righteousness!
     When conditions become so desperate that human nature, which is sinful at best, revolts against the deplorable, despicable perversion and violence in society, decent human beings feel compelled to call upon the Lord for help.
      Prophet Isaiah was undoubtedly looking back to the times God had come down to this earth in judgment upon sinful flesh, sending a flood that wiped out the entire population except Noah and his family, destroying Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, delivering Moses and the Children of Israel by parting the Red Sea and allowing the waters to return destroying the ‘Might of Egypt’.
     He cried out: "When Thou did terrible things which we looked not for, Thou CAME DOWN, the mountains flowed down. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waits for Him." (Is. 64: 3, 4)
                  GOD CAME DOWN AT BETHLEHEM!
    Herein lies the KEY that many clergymen and theologians have missed. The Book of Isaiah is known as the 'Gospel of the Old Testament'. As a young man, Isaiah had seen 'GOD THE SON'  in the Temple (Is. 6:1). 
    He had met the HOLY SPIRIT in the burning coals of fire and experienced his sins cleansed, and his spirit charged with God's power as he heard the audible VOICE of the Lord and answered "YES" to the Call into His holy service!
     Who was the One the nation of Israel had long been waiting for? Who was the  One God had promised would CRUSH the Serpent's Head? Who was the One that Moses, Micah, Daniel,  Zecharaiah, Jeremiah and David all prophesied would come to destroy sin and set up His Kingdom of righteousness?
   The Eternal Christ, of course! Is there anything greater than the INCARNATION? God becoming man, wrapping Himself in human flesh for the express purpose of saving a lost, dying and hell-bound humanity and salvage the people whom He had chosen to bring forth the REDEEMER? 
     Isaiah had seen Him on His THRONE high and lifted up and KNEW that This was the ONE Who would come down to liberate Israel and SAVE the world of sinning men! He had also seen Him born of the Virgin, dying on the Cross and Rising from the dead in great power!
   He cried out to the Lord: "Oh that Thou would REND the Heavens, that Thou would Come Down..." 
    He did come down as a babe in Bethlehem. God the SON was incarnated, born to die as God's Pascal Lamb for the sins of the world! JESUS is the Answer to every need we have. He ALONE is the fulfillment of the HOLY SCRIPTURES. Nothing else matters!
    If you have received Him, you do not need to look for anything greater in PARADISE. He is all in all! Jesus Christ crucified, buried, risen and ascended is ETERNAL LIFE and by receiving Him we receive Eternal Life. He is our Peace. He is our Joy. He is our Strength. He is our Health. He is our Prosperity!
  A lot evangelical Bible scholars who have not really met the Saviour, talk about all the glorious things that await us in Heaven and I agree, but they have missed Isaiah's prophesy prayer, that JESUS the Lord would come down:
   "For since the beginning of the world men have not hard, nor perceived by ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside Thee, What He hath prepared for him that waits for Him." (Isaiah 64:4)            A WARNING: DON'T MINIMIZE CHRIST!
     I object to the minimizing of Christ for the sake of  maximizing Heaven. It's like Herbert W. Armstrong's 'World Tomorrow', which offered nothing today - it's all coming tomorrow! Yet, St. Paul walked with Christ and even though he suffered terribly for Christ, he stated:     
     "For me to live is Christ..." (Phil.1: 21); "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13); "But my God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil.4: 19; "For He is our peace, Who hath made both on, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us." (Eph.2: 14) 
     He writes: "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men to see what is the fellowship of the MYSTERY, which from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
  "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the CHURCH, the manifold wisdom of God. According to the Eternal Purpose, which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him." (Eph. 3: 8-12)
   St. Paul prays for the CHURCH: "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love; 
     "May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. 
     "Now, unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto Him be glory in the Church, by CHRIST JESUS, throughout all ages, world without end." (Eph. 3: 16-21) 
   JESUS CHRIST Himself was the great thing that was, "prepared for him that waits for Him." (Is. 64:4) And that the MYSTERY which had been hid from the ages and dispensations that was revealed to St. Paul, which is: CHRIST in the PERSON of the Holy Spirit living in us is the fulfillment of that great prophecy! (Col.1: 26)
                    MYSTERY OF GOD: CHRIST IN US!
     St. Paul refers to the great things which God has promised for those “who WAIT for Him.” These promises are so great that: “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. 
    "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea the deep things of God.” (1 Cor. 2:9, 10)
     The great ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’ reveals the blindness of the Jewish leaders who condemned their Messiah and the pagan Romans who crucified Him: 
    “But we speak the wisdom of God in a MYSTERY, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the PRINCES of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.” (1 Cor.2: 7, 8)  
     These great promises are IN EFFECT TODAY and will carry right on into eternity! Many unknowing Ministers take this to mean that all these things will begin happening only after we are in Glory. The truth is found in verse 10, where it states: “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.”
      VANCE HAVNER, one of America’s most powerful Baptist preachers, stated that the great things God promised, is not referring only to Paradise but also for the church now, if by faith we press in to receive them for His glory! 
  I believe that UNBELIEF has robbed the Church of our effectiveness to turn back the powers of darkness that has invaded our ranks and is making us ineffective Messengers of God’s Kingdom!
      Isaiah prayed in repentance with humility: "Thou meets him that rejoices and works righteousness, those that remember Thee in Thy ways: behold, Thou art wroth; for we have SINNED; in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an UNCLEAN thing, and all our righteousnesses are as FILTHY RAGS; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away.
     "And there is none that calls on Thy name that stirs up himself to take hold of Thee, for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of iniquities. But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay and Thou our POTTER and we all are the work of Thy hand." (Is. 64: 4-8)
       Here is the key to unlock the REVIVAL Fires of God in our land!  It is also the key verse that informs us why we do not have a revival. It reveals the prognoses of our spiritual sickness and also the prescription for the kind of medicine that will cure our serious illness.
     First, it reveals that God had hidden his face from us because we have sinned grievously. The previous verse states that our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. The terribly bewildering fact is that there isn’t anyone getting stirred up enough to “take a hold of Him!” 
     There is no-one laying hold on the promises of God, like Job of old, when he cried out: “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him…” (Job 13:15). Or, like St. Peter when during the height of the raging storm, cried out: “Lord if it be Thou, bid me come to Thee on the water.” (Matt.14: 28)     
     D.L. MOODY stated: "Find a promise and tarry there.” It doesn’t matter how many promises God has made, He will keep them all. His Word is immutable and cannot be changed! Everet C. Storm states that God has made 7,959 promises in the Holy Bible!
      ARMIN GESSWEIN, who lived to be 93, stated that as a young Lutheran pastor, he learned about prayer from Ambrose Whaley, a 92 year old Methodist blacksmith who told him: “Learn to plead the promises of God.” His prayer chamber was a hayloft where he knelt between small piles of hay upon which lay two Bibles. He placed one hand on each of the Bibles, while pleading the promises of God and the Blood of Jesus Christ in earnest and intercessory prayer!
      I have learned that pleading the Blood of Jesus Christ over every urgent request, for lost, sick and suffering humanity, and a need for more compassion and spiritual power are prayers that God has promised to answer. By His grace, I daily plead the Blood of Jesus Christ and the promises of God as I humble myself in His awesome presence!!
      Praying for a REVIVAL of Righteousness brings the greatest agonizing breakthroughs and fruitful time in God’s presence! Pastor Gesswein stated: “Revival is Christians returning to normal. When God is about to do something great, He starts with a difficulty. When He is about to do something truly magnificent, He starts with an impossibility.”
                       LUTHER LOCKED THE DOOR!
      When MARTIN LUTHER found Philip Melancthon in the last stages of death, he turned his face to the wall and prayed for about an hour for God’s intervention. He writes: “I threw my satchel against the door and said: ‘Now Lord it’s between You and me. If You don’t heal Melanchthon I do not know if I’ll have faith to ask You for anything again’. Then I shouted in God’s ears all the promises He had given us for faith and healing.” 
      After calling upon the Lord for about an hour, he heard Melanchton whisper: “Luther, stop praying. Let me die.” Luther replied: “You shall live. If you die, I will excommunicate you.” Then, he called the nurse to bring some broth. Melanchton said: “Let me die, Luther. I don’t want any broth,” to which Luther replied, “If you die before me, I will excommunicate you.” He then took Melanchthon by the hand and said, "Be of good courage Philip, you shall not  die." 
      Melanchthon immediately revived and soon regained his health. He later said, "I should have been a dead man had I not been recalled from death itself by the coming of Luther.”  The words the Great Reformer spoke were prophetic because Philip Melanchton did outlive Martin Luther!
      By locking the door, Martin Luther was saying two things: “God, You are not leaving here until we straighten out this problem and I don’t want any disruptions while You and I talk.” Luther wrote: “I found Melanchton near death but by an evident miracle of God he lives.”
      NO-ONE is calling upon His name in DESPERATION. No-one is crying out for mercy, forgiveness and healing. No-one has confronted the Almighty and taken a hold of Him, like Jacob of old, saying, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.” (Gen.32: 26)
      There is no-one like John Knox crying out: “O God, give me Scotland or I die,” or Jonathon Edwards interceding in prayer for three days and night before preaching his powerful sermon, ‘Sinners in the Hands of the Living God’ which brought 500 souls to Christ on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut.
      Where are God’s holy Ministers today crying out for Revival on their knees crying out: “Help me or I die; I need some answers; We need a genuine, Holy Ghost, Heaven sent revival from the hand of God; What do you want me to do? Here am I, send me!”
       The Bible says: "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was STIRRED in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." (Acts 17:16); "And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was PRESSED in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that JESUS was Christ." (Acts 18: 5)
     St. Paul wrote to Timothy: "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou STIR up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Tim.1: 6.7)
      Apparently, Timothy was fearful and apprehensive realizing the great responsibility he had in advancing the Gospel message, in a time when Rome was pouring on the persecution. The possibility that Paul, his great mentor, could soon be martyred was very real and then, what might happen to him. He was a young preacher and was expected to do the work of a seasoned soldier of the cross, but St. Paul knew that the gift of God which lay dormant in Timothy could be stirred up!
     KING DAVID had sinned grievously and then he calls upon God in earnestness and desperation. He is afraid that he is near the point of no return; that he may be close the end of God’s mercy. He cries out in desperation:
     “Have MERCY upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness. WASH me thoroughly from iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgression: and my sin is ever before me. PURGE me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
     “Hide Thy face from my sins, and BLOT out all my iniquities, Create in me a clean heart O God; and RENEW a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. RESTORE unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.” (Psa.51: 1-12)
     Fredrik Fransen was an itinerant Gospel preacher in Norway around the turn of the 19th Century. At that time it was almost impossible for a Minister to conduct Gospel meetings outside the Lutheran State Church. Fredrik Fransen had been invited to stay at the home of an elderly man while evangelizing the city of Ålesund, which lies near the Ocean.
      His work came to an abrupt end when an agitated crowd turned ugly and threatening. The preacher was told in no uncertain terms that he was not wanted in that city and a very large gathering of town’s people literally chased him out of Ålesund.
      He stopped on the edge of town and faced the mob with these words, "As you have driven me out of your city, one day all of you will flee from this city on this very road." About a year or so later a fire started when a cow kicked a torch in the Ålesund Preserving Company’s factory at 2:00 AM on January 23, 1904. A gale from the sea propelled the fire forward and almost the entire City burned to the ground. The fire leaped over the house belonging to the man who had given the preacher lodging. It is still preserved as a ‘heritage site’ until today.
       As the fire swept across the city devouring almost everything in its path, the owner of the house fell to his knees and prayed. His relatives said: "Hurry, you old religious nut. Get out and run for your life." He answered: "I didn't start the fire and I'm not leaving." They said: “We are all carrying what we can to the top of the mountain. We will take your furniture, you old fool. You will die." He answered: "You are free to take what you want. I didn't start he fire and I'm staying."
     The fire raced up the mountainside to the look-out (A restaurant is there now) and burned every one's furniture. True to the Preacher's words, thousands of people literally ran for their lives out of Ålesund down the very road they had chased Fredrik Fransen.
     At the 100th anniversary of the fire January 23, 2004, I was preaching in that city and was invited to the Museum at Midnight to hear the history and enjoy some musical renditions performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra. At midnight several hundred brave souls made a two to three hour walk about the city to hear the Curator / Historian relate some facts about the fire 100 years earlier.
  Pastor Haaken Nilsen introduced me to the Curator and informed him that I could speak Norwegian and that I knew the history of Fredrik Fransen. The Museum’s Curator said that the House had been recently struck from the tour, and he would be pleased if I would relate to the crowd the story of Fredrik Fransen and the reason the FIRE did not engulf that house, because many had not heard it.
     I stood on a chair at about 2:00 AM and shared with several hundred die-hard History buffs the great historical event of the Ålesund Fire and why it happened, and that God not only loves us but also Judges mankind because of our sins. Everyone there were very attentive and I prayed for their City and all their loved ones!
       WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? It means that God still answers by FIRE! All Glory, honour and praise be to Almighty God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen and Amen