Friday, November 14, 2014

                  By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
   "Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto Father, but by Me. If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also:  and from henceforth ye know Him, and have see Him."
   "Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father...Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long with you, and yet has thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father and how saith thou, Show us the Father?"
     Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works." (John 14: 6-10)
     KNOWING JESUS CHRIST is knowing God, for He is 'God the Son' from Eternity! When the Son of God stepped into Time through His incarnation, to reveal His Father unto us and to redeem us from the ravages of Sin and Death, He showed us His Heart of compassion and love! (John 3: 16,17, 36) )
    We would have never known real LOVE if Jesus of Nazareth had not walked among us. How could sinful, self-willed and egoistical, rebellious earthlings know anything about MERCY and GRACE, since we were blinded by the deception of  a deceitful, disgraceful and treacherous LIAR called Satan, the defrocked archangel? (1 John 4: 10,19)
    The enemy of God had 'poisoned the well' and set up a sinister, unholy and despotic kingdom of Darkness to despoil God's greatest creation, Man. Through his venomous, hate-filled and insane diatribes against his Creator, and his lying promises of wisdom, utopia and freedom from righteous restraints, the Evil Monster appeals to man's fallen nature! (John 3: 19; Rom.1: 19-32)
                    THE PROMISED DELIVERER CAME!
  Enter Jesus Christ, the promised Deliverer: Into a world of treachery, sin, sickness, pain and death, suddenly the pure, holy Majesty of Heaven appeared with a mandate to strip the arrogant DECEIVER of his illegal power over those created in God's image  and to release his tortured, deceived and enslaved prisoners! (1 John 3: 8)
   Having been removed from Heaven and filled with revenge, Satan the Adversary must have been tortured and traumatized by the impending DOOM at the hands of the SEED of a woman, the Promised Redeemer!
    For a very long time, he had been constantly looking over his shoulder to identify the authentic Deliverer, the SEED of the woman, whom the Eternal God had prophesied would crush his head! (Gen.3: 15)
   The Adversary had tried his utmost to destroy the new-born KING whom the Magi had come to Jerusalem to worship. But God had repeatedly out-smarted him. He had stirred up King Herod, the chief priests and many in Jerusalem against the Coming One which the prophet said would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5: 2)
   Can you imagine his great fear, anger and depression when he heard the booming voice of John the Baptist proclaiming: "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." (John 1: 29, 36). 
   In the River Jordan stood the very SEED of the woman being baptized; His greatest fear and the threat to his freedom was being realized before his eyes and seemingly, he could not stop it!
     And then to compound the problem, he heard God's voice: "And Jesus when He was baptized, went up straightway up out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened into Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him; And, lo, a VOICE from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3: 16, 17)
   What a shocker that was for the Devil! Hearing the voice of Almighty God his Creator ringing in his ears, the TRAITOR must have shivered with fear and regret for his colossal error and stupidity to have SINNED grievously against the Holy, Righteous, Gracious, Just, True and Good Ever Living One! (Psalms 19: 1-10)
     There was nothing he could do now. He was damned forever and he knew it, UNLESS he could somehow deceive the very Son of God. He had deceived one third of the Angelic Host, and Eve in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3: 1-8). He would try again!
     He would wait until the right time and then he would tempt Jesus the Nazarene. He must stop Him from dying as God's Pascal lamb and shedding His holy blood to meet the demands of Divine Justice for Adam's sin of High Treason. After all the attempts to destroy the Heaven-sent Deliverer, he wasn't giving up.      
    When Jesus of Nazareth was filled with the Holy Spirit at His Baptism, He went into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. After fasting for 40 days and nights, the God-Man was weak, tired and hungry. Satan saw his opportunity. His temptation in the wilderness failed because the God-Man used the Holy Scriptures to victoriously counter the attacks from the Evil One! (Matt. 4: 1-11)
      In his desperation, knowing the clock was ticking down to Zero Hour for him, the Wicked One turned the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and Chief Priests against their long awaited Jewish Messiah. He realized their envy of Him and their love of power and their privilege, so he stroked their Pride. (Matt.12: 14,24)
     The fallen Lucifer had also infiltrated Jesus' Disciple Flock. He owned Judas Iscariot and almost got the Big Fisherman. What saved him? Jesus' intercessory prayer and the compassion in His eyes that brought him the gift of repentance. That look of love  saved Peter. Without it, the Big Fisherman may have gone out like Judas, looking for a tree from which to hang himself! (John 18: 15-27; Mark 14: 66-72; Luke 22: 61-62)
      It was easy to get Judas the thief who carried the money bag, to betray the Just One for the thirty pieces of silver. How he cleverly filled Simon Peter's heart to deny Jesus of Nazareth three times and even curse and swear that he did not know him, is difficult to understand. 
   Taking into consideration that together with the other eleven apostles, Peter had been given power and authority by our Lord Jesus to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers and raise the dead, and yet he fell! That must have given the Evil One bragging rights, especially since he was one of Christ's three inner circle disciples!
      It was still a losing cause! Soon Satan would face an army of Jesus' disciples and followers who would be filled with the Holy Spirit and doing the same works that the Master had done and even greater works. Jesus had commanded the 500 in Galilee to tarry in Jerusalem until they were filled with the Holy Spirit and power! It was certainly a depressing time for the Rebellious Fallen Angels. They knew the Lake of Fire would be their final destination!
     When the Satan saw the blood flow from the head, back, hands, feet and pierced side of the Lamb of God as He hung on the wooden cross on the Hill called Golgotha, he knew his doom was sealed for eternity. God's words must have sounded in his ears: 
   "I  will put enmity between thee and the women and between thy seed and HER SEED. And the SEED of the women shall CRUSH thy HEAD and thou bruise His heel." (Gen 3: 15)
    He knew the Scriptures: "When I see the blood I will pass over thee." (Ex.12; 13); "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission or sin." (Heb.9: 22); "It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul." (Lev.17: 11). 
    He had heard Jesus say: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up." (John 3: 14); 
 "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me," (John 12: 32). 
    "When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am He, and that that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things." (John 8: 28)
    He had heard John the Baptist say:  "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." (John 1: 29)
  When Satan heard Jesus' Victory Cry from the cross: "Tetelestai", he must have trembled in fear. It was Christ's shout of Victory! Tetelestai is taken from the Greek verb teleo, which has three essential meanings: to finish something or bring something to an end; to fulfill something; to pay that which is owed!
     JESUS CHRIST stated: I have FINISHED the work My Father sent Me to do. I have brought to an END Satan's domination over those who put their trust in Me. I have PAID for all the sins of lost humanity. Through My shed blood, I have settled all the sin and sickness debts of those who believe in Me.
  St. John wrote: "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8).
    St. Peter recorded: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power, Who went about doing GOOD, and HEALING all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38).
   St. Paul stated: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He (Jesus) Himself likewise took part of the same; that through DEATH He might DESTROY him that had the power of death, that is the DEVIL; And DELIVER them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb 2: 14,15)
     We have the final words of our Master Jesus Christ which He gave to His Church before His ascension to His Father's Throne in Heaven. No one has the right to tamper with or change His Word. Anyone who does so is in danger of censure by God Himself, according to Revelation 22: 18, 19.
    JESUS COMMANDED: "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.
   "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 on Malta)And if they drink any deadly thing (some Pentecostal preachers forced in Soviet prisons to do so), it shall not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." (Mark 16: 15-18)
     The Gospel is the Good News! The Glad tidings that Light has come into a world of Darkness; that Peace has come into a world of Turmoil; that Healing has come into a world of Sickness; that Love has come into a world of Hate; that Forgiveness has come into a world of Sin; that Life has come into a world of Death; that Freedom has come into a world of Bondage and that Slave are made Free through the Liberator of the Human Race. 
   And that Light, Peace, Healing, Love, Forgiveness, Life, Freedom, Liberty and Eternal Life is JESUS CHRIST, the eternal Son of God, crucified for us and Risen from the Dead! (John 17:3; 1 John 5: 20) Amen. 
   Through His vicarious death for us on the  Cross  and His glorious resurrection from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ purchased ETERNAL LIFE for all who will receive Him as Lord and Saviour! A popular Gospel song puts into words how all believers must feel when we think of Heaven and what awaits us there.
                             I CAN ONLY IMAGINE!
I can only imagine what it will be like 
When I walk by your side 
I can only imagine what my eyes will see 
When your face is before me 
I can only imagine 
I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory 
What will my heart feel? 
Will I dance for you Jesus, 
Or in awe of you be still? 
Will I stand in your presence, 
Or to my knees will I fall? 
Will I sing Halellujah, 
Will I be able to speak at all? 
I can only imagine 
I can only imagine

     Hallelujah to Jesus Christ the Lamb for sinner's slain! And honour and praise and glory to God the Father and the Blessed Holy Spirit. Amen!