Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why was
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
Jesus of Nazareth, True God and True Man, was born to salvage a lost world of sinning men, to destroy the works of the devil and to build His Church. He came to this sin cursed world to introduce us all to His Heavenly Father, to redeem mankind through His sacrificial death on the Cross and His glorious resurrection from the dead. He came to heal us and fill us with His Blessed Holy Spirit!
Sin was in the world because Satan was in the world.  The devil, who is the father of sin and death, had been cast out of Heaven and is called the 'Prince of the power of the air', as well as the 'god of this world'.  (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4)
The devil had caused previous disruption and chaos. (Genesis 1:2; Ezekiel 28:13-19; Isaiah 14:12-17).
Because of Satan's rebellion and hatred for God, he had cunningly planned his strategy by tempting Eve, with the 'Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil' in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:1-6; Job 1:8-22;  Job 2:1-8)
The great transgression had been made by Adam and Eve.  Now, for the moment of truth.  How would Adam and Eve feel?  Would they now be wise as God, as Satan had promised them?  Was the rebellion and disobedience towards God worth it?  No - A thousand times NO.
Adam and Eve's eyes were opened.  But, what did they see?  Adam and Eve saw their own vulnerability, stupidity, weaknesses, sin and nakedness.  Fear stalked them and filled their spirits.  They had not felt fear before sin entered their lives.  They realized they were naked, vulnerable and inadequate.  Now, they understood they must face the music, and meet God alone.
But where was Satan?  Where was the Evil One who had been their wise counsellor such a short time before?
The devil was gone to gloat over his victory.  I'm sure that the devil, the liar and deceiver was not far away, probably hiding behind a tree, excitedly waiting to see the outcome of their sin.  The inevitable outcome was the separation, dis-fellowshipping of God and His special creation, man.
Evil satisfaction must have filled the devil's mind as he observed Adam and Eve's plight, their complete confusion, perplexity, fear and terror.
Adam and Eve heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.  God said, "Adam, where art thou?  ADAM, WHERE ART THOU?"
As God called Adam that day, He is still calling you and me. "John, where are you?  Mary, where are you?"
Adam answered, "We are hiding; we are naked; we are afraid"!  God questioned, "Who told you that you were naked?  You were clothed with My glory.  Have you eaten of the fruit that I forbad you"?
Adam gave a typical answer from a typical sinner!  He said, "The woman you gave me, she gave me of the fruit.  It is Eve's fault, she gave me the forbidden fruit and it's really Your fault, Lord, because You gave me the woman".
It seems normal for people to justify themselves.  It's much easier to pass the buck or to blame someone else rather than take the blame, saying, "I made a mistake, I am wrong, please forgive me."
It's similar to the Minister who enjoyed portraying women in a negative way.  One Sunday morning as he was preaching on 'The Fall of Man', he vigorously attacked Eve.  If Eve, the weaker vessel, hadn't fallen, the world wouldn't be in the mess it's now in.  The preacher nailed Jezebel and Delilah: "Women are the ruination of many good men", he shouted.
At the close of the service, the Minister stood at the door shaking hands.  Some complimented him on a wonderful sermon, while others were glad to get out the door.
A tall lady shook his hand and she wasn't smiling.  She squeezed his hand until he said, "Lady, you are hurting me".  She looked him square in the eye and asked, "Pastor, what is the telephone number of the Garden of Eden"?
He answered, "I don't know what you are talking about".  She squeezed his hand again until he said, "Ouch".  She spoke again, "Pastor, do you know the telephone number of the Garden of Eden"?  He answered, "Woman, I do not and by the way you are hurting me."  She said, "Well, I know the telephone number of the Garden of Eden.  It's Adam 8-1-2", and she let go of his hand and left.
Adam ate one too!  Eve wasn't the only one to blame.  Adam also disobeyed God, but really the blame goes into further - straight to the evil one, the Devil.
                         THE DEVIL IS TO BLAME!
God didn't argue with Adam.  He turned to Eve and said, "Woman, what is this that thou hast done?"  Eve made more sense than her husband.  She put the blame where it belong: "The serpent beguiled me and I did eat."
I agree with Eve.  Satan is the culprit.  The devil is to blame for all the sin, fear, heartbreak, divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction and juvenile delinquency.  He is the architect of all that is evil, wicked and destructive.  Riots, anarchy, thievery, murder, sickness, disease and war are the outcroppings and results of his plans, goals, purposes and seduction.
SATAN IS TO BLAME.  Shout it loud and clear - the devil is the troublemaker.
Jesus called him a liar, deceiver, murderer and thief. (John 8:44; John 10:10)  Our Lord said, "The thief cometh not for to steal, kill and destroy.  I am come that they might have life and more abundantly." (John 10:10).Yes. The Devil is to blame!
 Almighty God called out: "Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou among all the beasts of the field.  Upon thy belly shalt thou go all the days of thy life..." (Genesis 3:14-15)
It is noteworthy that some scientists believe that at one time serpents and snakes walked upright and didn't crawl on their bellies as today.
God said, "The seed of the woman (Christ) shall bruise (crush) the Serpent's head." In Theology, we call this the 'Law of the First  Mention'. God brings out two great truths: He promises to send a Deliverer Who will crush Satan's head and secondly, the Deliverer will be born of a Virgin, without a human father!
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed (the wicked) and her seed (the righteous).  It (Jesus, the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head..."
                        JESUS DEFEATED THE DEVIL!
On Golgotha's Hill, Jesus defeated the devil.  When Jesus paid the supreme sacrifice for the sins of the world, and rose again from the dead, He had delivered the death blow to Satan.
When Jesus cried, "It is finished", He had defeated Satan and since that very hour the blood of Jesus Christ washes away all the sins of the repentant sinner, and His stripes bring healing to the believing, sick person.
The Bible says, "He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."(John 3:16-17)  Hallelujah.
The Bible says: "Neither is there salvation through any other, for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby you may be saved, but by the Name of Jesus"! (Acts 4:12) "There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)
Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)  And St. John stated: "For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil". (1 John 3:8)  The Scripture says, "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."  (Matthew 8:16-17)
                      WHAT DID ISAIAH PROPHESY?
Hear it and hear it well: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.  The chastisement of our peace was upon Him (Jesus) and by His stripes we are healed."! (Isaiah 53:5)
The Bible says, "Who His own self (Jesus) bare our sins in His own body on the tree (cross) that we, being dead to sins should live unto righteousness, by Whose stripes ye were  healed"! (1 Peter 2:24)  "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)
JESUS IS ONLY ONE WAY: Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14:6); "I am the door, by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved..." (John 10:9)  Again He said, "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
                     WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE?
The Bible says, "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins." (Hebrews 9:22)  "It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul." (Leviticus 17:11)  Again, "The soul that sinneth it shall surely die." (Ezekiel 18:20)
In Old Testament times, an animal - without spot or blemish - would be sacrificed, spilling his blood. (Atonement means "covering")  
The Scripture says, "If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with the other, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (John 1:7)
Jesus is the Lamb of God, Who was slain for our sins: "One of the elders saith unto me, weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne...stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.
And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.  And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints."
"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;....Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."
"And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:5-13)
The Bible says, "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross, and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."(Colossians 2:12-15) Oh, Praise God.
We serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today.  I know that He is living, whatever men may say...I see His hand of mercy....I hear His voice of cheer....And just the time I need Him....He's always near. He lives....He lives...Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me, along life's narrow way. He lives...He lives.... Salvation to impart....You ask me how I know He lives....He lives...within my heart.
What power!  What might!  What strength, and what great ability Jesus has!  St. Paul brings it out so graphically in his epistles.  Drink in these truth and be set free and filled with all knowledge, joy and Holy Ghost power.
                      THE WORD OF GOD DECLARES! 
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when he raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.  And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church." (Ephesians 1:18-22)
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." (Ephesians 3:20)
St. Paul writes, "Who (God) hath delivered us from the power of darkness (Satan) and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Jesus Christ) IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13)
In referring to Jesus, John the Baptist made the startling statement, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away from the sins of the world." (John 1:29)  To this agree the angel's words to Joseph, "Ye shall call His name Jesus (Salvation of God) for He shall save (salvage) His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11)
The book of Isaiah is called the "Gospel of the Old Testament".  The 53rd chapter prophecies the death of Messiah Who would bring forgiveness and healing to His people.  Isaiah 7:14 speaks of His virgin birth; Isaiah 9:6 speaks of His Kingship and the fact that He is very God; Isaiah 28:11-12 foretells the gift of the Holy Spirit and the end-time phenomena of glossalalia, or "speaking with other tongues" as a gift of God to bring stability, rest and peaceful strength to the Church in times of pressure and tension.  Isaiah 61:1-3 prophecies the Gospel Age of His salvation with forgiveness, healing, deliverance and joy!
"And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias.  And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written,
"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 brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
"And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him.  And He began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears." (Luke 4:16--21)
Jesus entered the synagogue in Nazareth and read from Isaiah the Prophet.  He ended the reading by saying, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears". He declared Himself the Son of God and Jewish Messiah by those words. 
The Year of Jubilee could not begin until first the Great Day of Atonement had taken place.  He would die on the cross like the lambs died on the alters of Jerusalem, because He is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." (John 1:29)
He would fulfill the Old Testament 'Great Day of Atonement' when the high priest entered into the Holy of holies with the blood of the sacrificial animal.  Jesus was not only the Sacrifice but also the High Priest Who carried His own blood into the Holy of holies in Heaven itself. (Hebrews 9:11-14)
The scapegoat (Leviticus 16:7-21) is also a type of Jesus carrying away our sins He is our Substitute!  Every 50th. year Israel celebrated the 'Year of Jubilee' when all the prisoners and slaves were freed and debts were forgiven.  This is a picture of the Gospel Age, when everyone is set free by the blood of Christ and His everlasting Gospel! 
My dear friend, Let me invite you to receive him into your heart and life as your Lord, Saviour, Redeemer, Healer, Baptizer and King.
Jesus said, "I am come to seek and save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) You are included in that number, for "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God". (Romans 3:23)  You say, 'I cannot live a Christian life in my own strength'! You are absolutely right.  You can't do it in your own power, but He will change you and give you the power to live for Him.
The Bible say: "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." (John 1:11-12)
Jesus promised, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you...." (Acts 1:8)  Finally, Jesus said: "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)"...and lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) Receive Him today, as your Lord and Saviour! Amen