Friday, December 30, 2016

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
  Upon the Authority of God's Word, by the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the Name of Jesus Christ, I have the right to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to HEAL the sick, CAST OUT unclean spirits and bring Abundant Life to the lost and dying through Faith in the Redemptive Work of Jesus Christ. Amen.
     Why can I make that statement? What right do I have to bring this glorious message to multitudes of people around the world? By what authority and in Whose Name have I delivered the Message of Jesus the Living Lord to many peoples in numerous nations for more than 50 years across the Globe with signs, wonders and miracles?
     My answer has its foundation in the HOLY SCRIPTURES and what happened to the Early disciples of JESUS!
     When the impotent man was healed under the ministry of Peter and John, the multitudes were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened. Peter answered: “Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
     “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; Whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you.
      “And killed the Prince of Life, Whom God hath raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses. And His name through faith in His Name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith that is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3: 12-16)
                             ITS ALL ABOUT JESUS!
    They were so shaken and convicted that 5,000 men gave their lives to Christ when the the miracle power of God healed a man impotent in his legs from his mother's womb! The religious leaders, however were upset and threatened them:
    “Then Peter filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
     “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand before you whole. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4: 7-12)
     When the Jewish elders and chief priests threatened them, they prayed for more miracles in Jesus' name:
     "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they speak Thy Word. By stretching forth Thine hand to HEAL; and that Signs, Wonders may be done by the name of Thy Holy Child Jesus. 
    "And when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4: 29-31)
                         I HAVE ETERNAL LIFE NOW!
   JESUS said: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
   “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 3:14-16, 36)
    Jesus was very specific when he said: “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matt.10: 24, 25)
   Again our SAVIOUR declared: “Whosoever shall come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's the same shall save it.
    “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him shall also the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the Holy angels” (Mark 8: 3-38)
    JESUS said: “I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit;for without Me ye can do NOTHING. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in Me, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15: 5, 7)
    An old Gospel song says: 'Without Him I would be nothing. Without Him, I'd surely fail. Without Him, I would be drifting like a ship without a sail. So, I've asked Him to be my Pilot, His Word my compass and guide, Till I've anchored safely in Glory, For without Him, I'd drift with the tide! Amen.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

                                                    By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph.1:3)
      St. Paul’s salutation in the beginning of his letter to the church at Ephesus begins with him bestowing God’s wonderful peace upon them. Then, he immediately proclaims a testimony of praise unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for His marvellous blessings to us: “He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ.”
      He is referring of course to our standing with Him as sons of God through the New Birth. The important thing to note is that these blessings have come to us because of our relationship to God the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ!
    ‘In Christ’ is a recurring term we see many times in our study of the Book of Ephesians.
                                  THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!
     The enormity of the blessings received through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is so magnanimous and difficult for mortal man to comprehend. In theology we use the term “incomprehensible” which means that we cannot understand or comprehend God.
    The plans and purposes of God for which we were born and the extent to which the Almighty has gone to call us to Himself, and to protect, lead, guide and teach us is beyond our ability to understand!
     The Scripture says: “According as He hath chosen us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”(Eph.1:4)  
    When you consider the fact that we were all born in sin and were sinners by birth, nature and choice with the propensity to go our own way and do our own thing, yet Almighty God knew about us and loved us! (Isaiah 53:6; Prov.16:25)
     Long before the earth was formed, God knew that we would become righteous and without blame before Him in love and that in humility and repentance we would receive the Gift of His Son and worship Him in the beauty of holiness!
                                    HOW COULD HE KNOW THAT?
     Before there was life on this planet, God knew that Adam and Eve would fall. And the Law of Righteousness demanded a penalty for Sin and High Treason against the Almighty and that was death - Eternal Damnation!
     The Lord KNEW that the Man He would create in His own image and likeness –with a free will - would succumb to the temptation of the Evil One and would fall, plunging the entire human race into a downward spiral!
     In His omniscient wisdom our Heavenly Father would send His Own Son to Planet Earth to be incarnated and to suffer, bleed and die to redeem mankind from power of SIN and Satan’s snare. He also KNEW that His Son would defeat Satan, Death and Hell and rise again in power and great glory, freeing us all from Sin and its awful power!
     It is amazing that God who is totally pure, righteous and holy deigns to choose us who were totally the opposite: vile, sinful, despicable and unholy!
     What is the essential message I receive from this astounding text? “That I am wanted by the Highest Authority in the Universe. That I was chosen by the King Eternal, the Creator of Heaven and earth, to be His very own child! And that I would somehow be changed from being His enemy to being His friend – from a beggar in rags to a Prince in His Palace!”
                                           WHAT MORE DO I LEARN?
 I learn that His plan has always been, to transform me from being “GUILTY” to “BLAMELESS” and that His LOVE would do it all. His love would somehow change me and more than that, His Love would also become my Love!
     Talk about Grace! Talk about Peace! St. Paul knew what he was writing about! He had been a hateful, spiteful, horrible murderous and proud Pharisee, despoiling the Church through a terrifying spiritual blindness that was anchored in pride and ignorance!
     Then, suddenly all was changed and he made a one hundred and eighty degree turn when he was blinded by the Light and heard the Voice of the JUST ONE on the Damascus Road! The change was so dramatic that it wasn’t long before he was hunted with a price on his head by the very fanatical religious leadership who had earlier authorized him to kidnap, torture and kill the disciples of Jesus, the Messiah!
      Many years later, he communicates this matchless truth to the new converts in the Church at Ephesus. You may ask, “How could all this come about?” We have not only been CHOSEN by our Heavenly Father but we have been predestined to be His sons and daughters through ADOPTION!
    What an amazing, grandiose and marvellous truth! That a wicked, vile, unrighteous sinner and an enemy of God who has broken His laws and flaunted His Commandments is chosen by the Lord of Glory to be His adopted Son!
     That Christ Himself would be crucified by ‘sinful man’ whom He had come to earth to redeem and adopt as His own – and all this planned and executed in the heart of the Saviour before the foundations of the world were laid.
     All this was done by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: “Having predestinated us unto the ADOPTION of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Eph.1:5)  
                                     ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED!
     The Holy Bible states: “To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph.1: 6, 7)
     What does this mean, “To the praise of the glory of His grace?” As our finite minds are supernaturally expanded to understand more of His ‘wondrous workings’ we get a glimpse of His grace at work in sinful lives doing what is humanly impossible!
   A sinner and outcast running from God, doomed for Hell and perdition is lifted out of servitude to the world, the flesh and the Devil and is redeemed, liberated and taken into God’s Family!
   When we taste of His goodness and love we begin to understand a little of His grace! Therefore, we praise our Heavenly Father and glorify Him for His matchless grace toward us all. Not only has He cleansed us from our sin and filth but He has made us accepted in the Beloved!
    We have passed the test! We have been accepted in the Beloved and made ready for the ‘Marriage Supper of the Lamb’, to be a part of the Bride our Heavenly Bridegroom! You may ask: “HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?”
     Here is the answer to this Mystery: “In Whom we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph.1:7).
      A Gospel Song says it all: “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! Oh, precious is that flow; That makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the Blood of Jesus! Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
                                   REDEMPTION THROUGH THE BLOOD!
     Another Gospel song says: “Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Redeemed through His infinite mercy; His child and forever I am.”
      We were lost in sin, unbelief and following in the footsteps of our father Adam who hath committed High Treason against his Creator. We were in the Enemy’s Camp bound by chains of unbelief, lust, fear and pride when the Holy Spirit called us and we answered that call, not fully understanding the magnitude of the charges against us.
    Only by an act of mercy and grace were we accepted in the Beloved, transformed by His love and grace through the New Birth and washed by the precious, holy, living Blood of Christ, thereby receiving the forgiveness and a new standing in the Kingdom of God.
     It is all made possible by the Grace of God, given to us by the vicarious death of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection from the dead! St. Paul is enraptured - as we are also – by the fact that God has revealed this great wisdom and prudence to SINFUL MAN.
     Unto Paul was given the great honour and privilege to unlock this Mystery of ‘How and Why’ our redemption came about! In his Epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul shares this great and amazing truth.
     “Whereof I am made a Minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you to fulfill the Word of God: Even the MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the Hope of Glory.” (Col.1: 26, 27)
     Even though the Eternal God carried this great plan and purpose of Redemption in His great heart for millennia, He never divulged it to the Prophets but uncovered these great truths to the Apostle Paul who would carry this message of Good News to the Gentile World.
      He explains: “Having made known to us the MYSTERY of His Will according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in One all things in CHRIST, both which are in Heaven, and which are in earth: even in Him:
     “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own Will: That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1: 9-12)
                                 BEYOND OUR COMPREHENSION!
     All this is beyond our comprehension or understanding, nevertheless, absolutely TRUE and WONDERFUL over and above anything our human minds can assimilate and our limited thought processes can absorb and speech can properly articulate!
     In the glorious hymn, ‘Rock of Ages’, Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778) wrote: ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die.’
    We did nothing to deserve this great honour and privilege, to be adopted by the King of kings and Lord of lords and to be made heirs of God and joint heirs with our Saviour:
    “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father.
    “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of God: And if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ: if so be we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Rom.8: 14-17)
    St. Peter also boldly writes about our exalted position as children of Almighty God and our eternal inheritance: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to abundant mercy hath begotten us again (born again) unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
    “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 3-5)
   “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:9,10)
                                    TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY!
    ST. PAUL received the great Mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was sent by our Lord to the Gentile world, while St. Peter and others ministering mostly to Jews!
    He declared: “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His will. 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 Gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that 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 praise of His glory.”
    THINK ABOUT THAT! Believers in Christ are to be “unto the praise of His glory.” How could WE be to the praise of HIS glory? What can we possibly do to bring glory to Him? That is a stretch by all human measurements, but not with God, because with God all things are possible! (Mark 9:23; 10:27)
    St. Paul doesn’t stop there. He writes to former Pagans and Gentiles in Rome concerning the faith of Abraham, thusly: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith; And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed unto him for righteousness.
     “Now it was not written for his SAKE ALONE, that it was imputed to him; But FOR US ALSO, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Rom.4:20-24)
     The Pharisees were saying, “Sure, it happened to Abraham, but it can’t happen today.” St. Paul answers: “Yes, it can happen today and it does happen today! As Abraham sacrificed the ram in place of his son Isaac, he understood that Messiah, God’s Son would die on the cross for the sins of the world and rise again for his justification.
      He looked forward to the Cross and was justified. We look back at the Cross and are justified. He believed God and miracles happened. Paul believed God and miracles happened and TODAY we also believe God and miracles happen because our Saviour purchased our total Freedom on Calvary’s Cross and bodily resurrection three days later! (Rom.4: 24,25)
      The Religious today are peddling the ‘same old, same old’: “It happened in Paul’s day but not today. The Day of Miracles is past.” Tell that to St. Paul and you would get an earful! Miracles of salvation and healing happened when Abraham walked the earth and during Paul’s generation and is still happening today, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Heb.13:8)
                                         THERE IS MORE, MUCH MORE!
    But, there is more, yes. Much more! When you first trusted in Christ, your name was written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. After you believed and were born again, Jesus Christ Himself gave you the Gift of the Holy Spirit and filled you with great joy, fire and power. At that moment, you were sealed with the Spirit of Promise!
     “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?” You may ask! The HOLY SPIRIT answers to the BLOOD of Jesus Christ. When a sinner receives Christ as his personal Saviour, the Blood of Christ cleanses and washes away his sins. He is redeemed and brought into the Kingdom of God. It is, however, the work of the Holy Spirit to bring that soul into the body of Christ.
   After conversion, the Holy Spirit continues working with that soul and when his hunger and thirst intensifies and reaches out to God for more of Him, Jesus Christ, the Head if the Church personally baptizes Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, thereby sealing him until the Day of Redemption!
    Here is a marvellous truth: We are sealed until the Day of Redemption for the Purchased Possession, which is the Believer! The Holy Spirit guarantees our eternal redemption by sealing us for Christ until we see Him face to face, until the redemption. HE purchased us with His precious Blood. He owns us. We are His Purchased Possession!
     Again, St. Paul nails down this great truth. In warning the Church at Ephesus to live a pure, holy and righteous life, he also warned against grieving the Holy Spirit of God!
      “If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in JESUS; that ye put off concerning the former conversation (lifestyle) the OLD MAN which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and that ye put on the NEW MAN, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness;
     “Wherefore putting away lying speak every man truth with his neighbour for we are members one of another...Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labour working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
   “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed until the Day of Redemption.”(Eph.4: 21-30)
    May God’s blessings rest upon us all until He returns in the Rapture of the Church! Amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

           GIVE ME THAT BOOK 
                                      By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    “Oh, give me that book. At any price, give me the Book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be a man of One Book.” - John Wesley
    JOHN WESLEY founded the Methodist Church in England after losing his parish in the Anglican Church, for preaching the true evangelical Gospel of Jesus Christ. He stood on his father's grave and preached to the people. They asked him,       “What will you do now that you have lost your parish?” He answered, “The world is my parish!”
   Before long, he was preaching to 50,000 people in cow pastures and elsewhere and the Revival swept England, and Methodist Churches were springing up everywhere!                    Historians now believe that John Wesley's Revivals could well have kept Britain from a similar fate of that which almost destroyed France during their revolution.
     In his great humility, that mighty man of God wrote, “I am a creature of a day, passing through life, as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God. Just hovering over the great gulf; till a few moments hence, I am no more seen! I drop into an unchangeable eternity!
    “I want to know one thing, the way to Heaven: How to land safe on that Happy Shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the Way; for this very end He came from Heaven. He has written it down in a BOOK! 
     "Oh, give me that Book! At any price, give me the Book of God. I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be a man of one Book!
    Many religious books were available, but JOHN WESLEY wanted none of them. He wasn't in the habit of reading nonsense, false prophecies, mere speculation and down-right lies! His heart was set on the Holy Bible,which promises a man eternal life if He seeks God with a true heart and sincere spirit!
  Jesus Christ declared: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.” (John 3: 3, 6, 7)
                   THE HOLY BIBLE IS THAT BOOK!
   The Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the Light of men.
    “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew 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. 
    "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-4,10,12,14)
     You cannot divorce Jesus Christ from His Word. He is the Living Word and the Holy Bible is the Written Word! JESUS the Word became flesh, incarnated (God in human flesh) so that He could be God's Paschal Lamb and die vicariously for the sins of the world! He was born to die so that we could live. His death was victorious and His Resurrection was glorious!
   Some people ask: “On what basis have you derived that the Holy Bible is the inspired, sacred, inerrant Word of God?” I could cite hundreds of reasons but I only need one. 
   Jesus Christ the Son of God, Who is all Wisdom and all Knowledge, believed it to be the very Word of God and quoted from it regularly!
    St. Paul enumerates some of His grandeur, power and attributes: “In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power.” (Col. 1:2: ,9,10)
    The Bible records the historical birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem, as was prophesied by Isaiah the prophet seven hundred years earlier. His vicarious death by crucifixion was recorded by Jewish Scribes and officials of the the Roman Authority.
     His glorious resurrection from the dead was recorded and magnified by the Holy Spirit through the ministries of His Apostles, disciples and followers, who preached the Gospel, healed the sick and cast out devils in His name. The Roman guards who were overcome by the presence of God's angels at the tomb of Jesus, quite possibly secretly spread the news of what happened that morning.
    The Roman Centurion who witnessed the earthquake and verified Jesus' death to Pontius Pilate, undoubtedly investigated the damaged temple including the torn veil which had opened the Holy of Holies to public view. 
   The Empty Tomb proved that Jesus had risen from the dead on the third day. There was no trace of a body, but His burial clothes and napkin were left behind.
   There are three things that humanists, atheists and Christ haters can't figure out. It almost drives them crazy, namely the Empty Tomb, the Missing body of Jesus and the Conversion of the Saul of Tarsus, the Jewish Enforcer!
   Our Saviour stated: “No-one knows the Father except the Son.” (Matt. 11: 27); “My teaching is not Mine, but My Father Who sent Me.” (John 7:16); “Verily, verily I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
    “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man has ascended up to Heaven but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man which is in Heaven.
    He declared: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3: 11-16)
    The reason that I trust Jesus Christ is because He is the Word of God and is the Author of the Bible. Even though He was incarnated (God in human flesh), He was still in “the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18) and as verse 13 confirms: “even the Son of man which is in Heaven.” 
    In the natural, this is beyond human reasoning because the Mystery of the Triune God is incomprehensible. He does not ask us to understand Him, however, but simply to believe Him. And that is not difficult!
   The Bible declares: “For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb.4: 12).
   “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3: 16, 17);       “For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 21)
    “Who hath delivered us from the power of Darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have Redemption through His BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
    “For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: ALL things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.
   And He is the HEAD of the body, the Church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.
   “And having made Peace through the BLOOD of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works,yet now hath He reconciled. 
   "In the body of His flesh, through Death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” (Col. 1: 13-22)
    MOSES stated: “Ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is or hath been heard like.” (Duet.4:32)
    ISAIAH declared: “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord and there is NONE else. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together:
     “Who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the Lord? And there is NO God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is NONE beside Me. Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is NONE else.” (Is. 26:18, 21,22)
   “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is NONE else; I am God and there is NONE else, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My Counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” (Is. 46: 9, 10)
    King David stated: “For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven.” (Ps. 119:89). And St. Paul commanded: Preach the Word; be instant in season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 
   "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim.4: 2-4).
   PROF. FREDERIC HARRISON, in a lecture given at Oxford, stated: “The English Bible is the best that our literature can give us in simple noble prose.” SIR WALTER SCOTT stated: “In the whole world it is THE BOOK; all other books are mere leaves, fragments.”
    PROF. DYSON HAGUE said: “Yes, it alone is the universal Book, the eternal Book. It is a Voice; all others are merely books for the hour. The Bible is the book of all time. It stands alone; unapproachable in grandeur; as high above all other books as heaven is above the earth, as the Son of God above the sons of men.”
                      A REALLY GREAT QUESTION!
    “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in Mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities. And Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7: 18, 19)
    The prophet asks the question: “Who is a God like unto Thee? That is a really great question. First, no other God exists. There may be imitators, demon impersonators or man-made gods, but there is only one TRUE GOD! Second, look at what He does. 
  He is Righteous, Just, Good, Merciful, Long suffering, Patient, Forgiving, Gracious and Compassionate!
    He pardons iniquity, meaning He has power to forgive Sins. He retains not His anger forever. He knows our weaknesses. He overlooks our errors when we repent. He delights in mercy. He doesn't delight in punishing us because     He loves us. He has compassion on us. He subdues our iniquities by giving us power to overcome sinful habits. He forgets our sins when He forgives them. He shows great mercy upon us! There is no god like God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
   Jesus Christ says: “Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11: 28); “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.” (Matt. 24: 35); “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and on earth.
    “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt.28: 18, 20).
     JOHN WESLEY stated: “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, 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.” Amen.

Friday, December 23, 2016

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
   "But to us - CHRISTIANS - there is but one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him: and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him." (1 Cor.8:6)
    Saul of Tarsus met Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road on His way to kidnap followers of Jesus of Nazareth and bring them back to Jerusalem in chains, to be interrogated, scourged and killed if they would not recant their belief in Yeshua Ha Mashiach!
    Nearing Damascus with his team of kidnappers, Saul was thrown to the ground by the appearance of Jesus the Risen Saviour, leaving him blinded and soundly shaken, with the voice of our Lord ringing in his ears! (Acts 9:1-20)
    He was gloriously converted and filled the Holy Spirit and called by Jesus Christ to carry His Gospel to the Gentile world! For about thirty years St. Paul preached the Gospel of Christ and founded churches across Asia Minor and Europe. He was persecuted, imprisoned, scourged, stoned and finally martyred for the sake of the gospel which he loved.
    St. Paul was tutored personally by our Saviour in Arabia, and even taken to Heaven to witness things that he was not allowed to reveal. No one suffered as much for Jesus Christ and His Church as the previous Jewish Enforcer! And no-one was given as much theological knowledge as was Paul, 'the little one'!
    It is little wonder then that St. Paul, who founded the Church among the Gentiles, would sound the alarm about the identity of the True God. He was the man who corrected St. Peter, one of three leading elders in the church in Jerusalem, because of his partiality in Antioch!
   "For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision (Jews), the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles. And when James, Cephas and John, who seemed to be PILLARS perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go to the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
    "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." (Gal.2: 8-14). St. Peter was a great Evangelist and St. James was the leading Pastor of the Church in Jerusalem, but St. Paul laid the foundation of Christ's Church among the Gentiles, built upon the Rock Christ Jesus, the Church's one FOUNDATION and Chief Cornerstone! (Is.28:16; Ps.118: 22; 1 Peter 2: 5-7; Acts 4: 22; Eph.2: 20)
    St. Paul said: "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise Master Builder, I have laid the FOUNDATION, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereon.
    For other FOUNDATION can no man lay than that is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST. "Now if any man build upon this FOUNDATION gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: Every man's work shall be made manifest .... Know ye not that ye are then Temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor.3: 9-16)
    St. Paul states: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of GOD our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the TRUTH. For there is ONE GOD, and One Mediator between God and man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim.3: 3-6)
    St. Peter declared: "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the STONE which was set at naught by you builders, which is become the Head of the Corner.
    "Neither is there SALVATION in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be SAVED, than the name of JESUS." (Acts 4: 10-12); St. Paul stated: "But to us - CHRISTIANS - there is but one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him: and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him." (1 Cor.8:6)
    There is NO ROOM for pretenders and imitators like Allah, Shiva, Gia, Buddha, Thor, Mohammed, Vishnu and Confucius. Here is the bottom Line.
Speaking to the Samaritan woman, Jesus said: "Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for Salvation is of the Jews." (John 4: 21, 22)
    Our Lord stated: Salvation is not of the Arabs or the Norwegians or the British or the Indians or the Africans or the North Americans! Jesus Christ said, "SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS."
    The Jewish Race are God's Chosen people and Jesus was born of a Jewish Virgin, whose name was Miriam. Jesus Christ TRUE God from Eternity and TRUE Man, born of the Virgin woman.
     Then, Jesus said something else that was also very important: "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4: 23, 24)
     Here, Jesus spoke of three groups of worshippers: The First group are like the Samaritans who did not know what they worshipped. The Second group were the Jews who had the Word of God and they did worship God. Jesus said that the Third group, however, were still to come.

    After His death and resurrection Jesus would ascend to Heaven and pour out the Gift of the Holy Spirit upon His Church! This would be the group that would be most acceptable to God. The Church of Jesus Christ would be Born Again and Spirit-filled! They would worship God in Spirit and in Truth! (John 7: 37- 39). Amen. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

  By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     Only in Jesus Christ do we find absolute truth. In Him ALONE there is no lying, hypocrisy, deceit or darkness. He alone is the ultimate Truth. In His High Priestly Prayer to His Father our Lord stated: "Sanctify them through Thy Truth. Thy Word is Truth." (John 17:  17)
    To His Disciples He declared, "I am the Way, the TRUTH and the Life: no man comes unto the Father but by Me."(John 14:6). He said: "I and My Father are One." (John 10:30); "I came to do My Father's will." (John 6: 3)
   "...My Father works hitherto and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but He said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
    JESUS stated: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things soever He does, these also does the Son likewise." (John 5: 17-20)
   "... When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am HE, and the I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." (John 8: 28,29)
    The Holy Spirit is called, "The Spirit of Truth." (John 14: 17). Speaking of the Holy Spirit, our Lord stated: "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." (John 15: 26); "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all TRUTH..." (John 16: 13)
  JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL wrote: "Once to every man and nation, Comes the moment to decide. In the strife of Truth and Falsehood, For the Good or Evil side." 
    About 65 years ago, I committed to memory a great poem written by British poet  William Dunkerley, under the pseudonym of John Oxenham. Hundreds of times during the last half century, I have quoted it in my sermons. It is called 'THE WAY'. May the message penetrate your heart as it has mine!
        To every man there openeth
        A Way, and Ways, and a Way,
        And the High Soul climbs the High Way,
        And the Low Soul gropes the Low,
        And in between, on the misty flats,
         The rest drift to and fro.
         But to every man there openeth
         A High Way, and a Low.
         And every man decideth,
          The way His soul shall go.

     When you tell people that there is only ONE way to God and Heaven, they often react negatively. Many want to do their own thing, go their own way and leave everything to chance. After all, if everything we see evolved from nothing as the pinhead evolutionists preach, then there is nothing to fear.
    If there is no God, then there are no laws that must be obeyed and no punishment for wrong doing, they erroneously assume! If there is no authoritative figure called God, Maker of Heaven and earth, then there is No-one to give an account to. We may as well then do as the Scripture says of the rebellious man, "Eat, drink and be merry." (Eccl.8:15)
  When you confront people because of their sins of unbelief, unrighteousness, lust, greed, pride, hatred and jealousy, they get on their 'high horse' saying, "We will not have this Man to rule over us." (Luke 19: 14). When told that we ought to help the poor, lift up the fallen and bring the gospel to the lost, they often answer like Cain: "Am I my brother's keeper?” (Gen.4:9)
      Here is the real 'Sixty-Four Dollar Question'. Why would any one in their right mind reject God's Holy Word? How could any one, of even limited understanding, reject the liberating Gospel of God's grace and love to fallen, degenerate and undeserving sinful man? And what would make human beings who were created in God's image, become so stupid that they would reject the world's Redeemer and Emancipator, our Lord Jesus Christ, and cling to Satan, the Cosmic Liar?
  THE ANSWER: After more than fifty years of intense Bible study, observing human nature, current events, and having preached the Gospel of Christ and ministered His saving and healing power to multitudes across the world, here is a concise answer to the three questions posed!
1). These people love their sins and refuse to give up their ungodly lifestyles!
   "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19)
2). They have been enticed, deceived and snared by the devil, who is the Father of Lies, deception and spiritual death!
   "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." (2 Tim.2: 25, 26)
3). If they admit that the Bible is God’s Word and that there is a Day of Judgment for sinners, they would have to repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!
   "For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." (John 3:20, 21)
    The basic flaw in the Theory of Evolution is, that they can "strut their stuff" and at least until the 'angel of death' comes calling, they can have a feeling of superiority. It's called the 'escape from God' factor. 
 Professor D.M.S. Watson's address to the British Association of Scientists gave support to this same 'foolosophy'. He flatly stated that the reason for the "universal acceptance of evolution" among his peers of atheistic scientists, was that the Biblical account of "special creation is the only alternative". He called the Bible account of creation as "clearly incredible", meaning it is unbelievable.
  What keeps these seemingly brilliant minds from believing the only plausible answer to the questions of creation, life, death and eternity? The ANSWER is that there is a lying devil who "has blinded the minds" of those who refuse to believe the truth and have rejected Christ and is glorious Gospel! (2 Cor.4: 3,4; Rom.1: 18-22)
   St. Paul, one of the most brilliant minds of the First Century, who met the resurrected Lord Jesus on the Damascus Road, addressed this phenomenon. He stated that they had been "taken captive" by the Evil One and are slaves to his deception, lies and downright stupidity! (2 Tim.2: 26)
    No wonder than that King David stated: "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." (Ps.14: 1). The Hebrew meaning of the word fool as used here is that of an idiot or insane person. He implied that you cannot blame an idiot for saying that there is no God. He doesn't know any better!
    VLADIMIR LENIN, the father of Soviet Communism stated: "Religion is the opiate of the people. There is no God, but woe unto us Communists if there is One."  He died in January 1924, aged 53, after suffering three strokes leaving him paralyzed and dumb. The Soviets covered up his erratic, manic behaviour, his bouts of rage and his untimely death.
    Miss Rappaport, an expert on Russian history has uncovered the medical records of his death from SYPHILIS! She makes her claim in a new book "Conspirator: Lenin in Exile". That shouldn't surprise us, should it?
 CLARENCE DARROW, famed atheist and criminal lawyer and winner in the Scopes - Monkey Trial in 1925, that opened the flood gates of the teaching of the 'Ape - Doctrine' in U.S. Schools, at the end of his life, stated: "My colleagues say that I am a success. Many honors have come my way, but in the Bible is a sentence which expresses the way I feel about my life: "We have toiled all night and taken nothing." 
     HOW SAD! In the end, the brilliant atheist had to use a passage from the Holy Bible - which will be opened at the Judgment - to express the emptiness of the evolutionary, atheistic teaching he had helped to promote!
     The fact of the matter is that they would rather believe a lie, in order to somehow escape the truth that God exists and demands an accounting of our lives! They have convinced themselves that they are as good as their neighbour and that if there really is God, He is good, charitable and kind and would never judge anyone to Hell for their sins.
  After all, they didn't ask to be born, had no part of Adam's sin and it's damming influence on us all, including our eternal abode! They live in a dream world that everything will turn out alright in the end. And after all, their parents may have brought them to church as a baby and had them christened or sprinkled!
   We often hear people talk about drug problem, the alcohol problem, the gambling problem, the crime problem and the racism problem. What we really have is a SIN PROBLEM and the drug, alcohol, gambling, crime and racism problems disappear when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is invited to function in the hearts and lives of the people!
    The Bible says: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Is.1:18)
     "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way and the unrighteous man His thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God and He will abundantly pardon." (Is. 55:1, 6, 7)
     THE BIG QUESTION: How did we get into this situation? What drove us away from the sanctuary of God's presence? Why did we get estranged from our Heavenly Father and God? And how do we get back into His Eternal Kingdom? And will He receive us as we are?
   The answer is that we were, "born in sin and shapen in iniquity" (Ps.51: 5).We are sinners by birth, by nature and by choice: "Wherein in time past, ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. (Eph.2: 2; Gal.5: 10-21)
   "Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind: and were by NATURE the children of wrath, even as others.      
   "But God, Who is rich in mercy, or His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 3-6)
   The GOOD NEWS is that even though we may have drifted away from Him, we can be forgiven, healed and liberated by God's Divine love and power: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom.3:23);
    "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6: 23); "He that believes on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believes not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him." (John 3: 36)
    God is merciful, gracious and loving: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in 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)
    It is TRUE that sin had its grip on us all and we were on our way to a Christ-less Eternity, but God in His great mercy and love redeemed us by His precious blood that He shed on Golgotha. To receive His forgiveness and mercy, however, we must repent of our sins and by His grace receive His pardon.
   It is also true that all those who spurn and reject His offer of love will be forever left outside to meet God's judgment. If His mercy is spurned and rejected there will be nothing left but judgment!
    He is NOW the God of mercy, but when He comes again, He will come “to judge the Living and the Dead.” (1 Peter 4: 5); "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom.” (2 Tim.4: 1)
    ST. PAUL admonished Timothy: "PREACH THE WORD; be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come that they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim.4: 2-4)
                       JESUS CHRIST SAYS: BE YE READY!
    Jesus WARNS: "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that hears My Word, and believes on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation: but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming, and NOW IS, when the dead (spiritually dead) shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." (John 5:24, 25)
   Our LORD is inviting all sinners who are "dead in their trespasses" to hear His voice and be saved for time and eternity! If however, they do not respond, they will be in the Second Group who will hear His voice and come out of their graves and face the Judge of the Entire Earth.
    Here is His WARNING: "Marvel not at this for the Hour is Coming in the which all that are in the graves shall HEAR HIS VOICE, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28, 29)s unto me I will in no wise cast him out." (John 6: 37): 
    "Behold I stand at the door (your heart's door) and KNOCK. If any man will hear My voice and open the door, I will come in unto Him and sup with Him and he with Me." (Rev.3: 20) Amen.