Monday, June 15, 2015

Thank you Peter. You are still on the firing line! Pastor Max
                             Peter Enns & Max Solbrekken in Saskatoon, 2012
In 1965 Peter Enns was Sent by his Church to Spy on Max Solbrekken. He got filled with the Holy Ghost and a Great Revival happened!
    It was such a joy to meet Peter Enns after so many years. Donna and I had visited Peter and Dorothy in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1980s. Peter is a marvellous Holy Spirit Poet. When we first began on Television across Canada in 1971, Peter joined me with his poems. 
     We first met in Sprague, Manitoba in the late summer of 1965. I was preaching on a Sturday evening in a little country church pastored by Rev. Hjordis Simonsen. 
    My team had put up our large Army Tent at the cross roads two miles out of Steinbach, Manitoba. The historic Crusade that shook Steinbach was beginning the next day.
     Steinbach, a city of 6,500 had a number of Mennonite churches. There were also a Lutheran, a Catholic and a Pentecostal Church there. The Mennonites were deadly opposed to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. They believed in a twisted theology, that God made people sick and the devil healed them!
                                SAM BILSKY WAS LED OF THE LORD!
    Rev. Sam Bilsky had been converted, healed by God's power and filled with the Holy Spirit in a tent crusade earlier in Ontario. He had come to Steinbach and was employed by the Evangelical Mennonite Church as a missionary to the Ukrainian Catholics. 
     He came to our Tent Crusade in Winnipeg and told me his testimony. He divulged that the Mennonites did not know of his belief but that he felt that if I would bring the tent to Steinbach we could see a revival of APOSTOLIC proportions. 
     He would naturally lose his position on their staff. "What about the Pentecostal Church", I asked. He said that the Pentecostal Church had struggled for years and had only two families and they were divided on whether to back our ministry. We decided to go it alone, as God was leading!
      The Steinbach Newspaper interviewd me and wrote a large and factual report of our Crusades, including miraculous happenings.  The Mayor gave us his land upon on which to place the tent, but was punished the next election for helping us. 
      Peter Enns the poet, was the Evangelist for the EMC and had been sent to spy on us  in the Sprague meeting. That night I preached on our responsibilty to reach lost souls for Christ. I preached on Sin and Salvation, Heaven and Hell and Judgment.
      I saw a young red headed man with a brushcut and his wife in the small congregation. After my message, I invited everyone to kneel at the altar for a time of fervent prayer. I saw the young couple start to leave so I hurried to the exit and was there as they approached the door. I stuck out my hand and said, "God bless you young man."
                        PETER ENNS BECAME A DRIVING FORCE!
       He fell into my arms and with tears said, "I've been sent here by my church to hear you preach and what you have is what we need." I said, "Let's go over the Pastor's house and talk about it."
     After two weeks many had been saved and healed and some filled with the Holy Spirit. On the last Saturday night after a powerful service a storm took down our old Army tent and in the morning we quickly cleaned up the area and set up benches for about 500 in the open air. 
      It was estimated that about fifteen hundred people heard my final message as a large number of automobiles parked on both sides of the road, in all four directions. Then a supernatural miracle took place.
    A general rain was falling over the entire province following the saturday night storm and we could feel it hanging above us. My plan was to cut the preliminaries short and preach a brief message because we knew the rain was about to start.
     Then I heard a voice saying, "It is not going to rain here today, son."  I turned to see who had spoken to me. Again, I heard Him saying the same words. I answered, "What should I do?" He said, "Get Sam Bilsky to testify." 
      I went to the microphone and asked Sam to testify.  Jacob Toews, a minister from Winnipeg,  turned to me and said, "We are going to get soaked!" I smiled and said, "It will be alright." Then the Lord said, "Get Sister Simonsen to bring a greeting." Brother Toews said, "Did you lose your mind? We will get soaked." I smiled and said: "It will be alright."
     Then I took the podium and read the Scripture text and as I prayed, I stretched forth my hand toward the sky and asked God to perform a miracle. As I commanded the clouds to leave and the sun to shine in Jesus' name, suddenly the sky opened and the sun came out!
                            GOD DISPLAYED HIS MIGHTY POWER!
     You could hear gasps everywhere. It rained everywhere in Manitoba except a ten mile radius where we were. People still talk about it there today, fifty years later. The service lasted for hours as God continued to work His miracles!
    Sam Bilsky, Peter Enns and I founded the Full Gospel Church and started with 89 people in the basement of the Lutheran Church. Sam Bilsky lost his position and we put him on our payroll as an Evangelist. Pastor Glen Forsberg and other ministers came in later and the work grew to about 800. To God be all the honour, glory and praise! 
      Time goes by and people change, but God does not change. In my heart I feel that our Lord is grieved when He sees many churches turning to worldly ways to draw a crowd and build a congregation. Have we become like the Ephesian Church who "left their first love?" Or the Laodicean Church which had become "lukewarm and neither hot nor cold" and were ready for Jesus to spew them out of His mouth"? (Rev.2: 4; 3: 14-16)
      All of us quote the last words of Jesus Christ to His followers before He ascended to Heaven. We call it the Great Commission: "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 on Malta); and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not, it shall not hurt them (like preachers in Soviet prisons); they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16: 15-18) 
      Here are the FINAL WORDS of Jesus delivered to St. John: "Repent or Else." (Rev. 3: 16). These words of Jesus to the Church should give us pause to look into our own hearts, and if there is sin there to repent and obey His commands. He is our Lord and our God, therefore we must obey Him and Worship Him! (John 20: 28) Amen.