Wednesday, May 4, 2016

                       By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

    "But thou hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of Heaven ... and the God in Whose hand thy breath is, and Whose are all thy ways, hast thou NOT glorified." (Daniel 5:23)
      "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." (Gen. 1: 27 )
    LIFE is precious because it is a gift from God. Only the Almighty Creator of the earth, universe, cosmos and all things has the ability to create life. He has the power and the prerogative to give life and to take life, because He ALONE is the Creator of life
  That is why suicide is an act against God and it is also a crime against Him to commit euthanasia. We have no right to end a life that God has given. There is natural birth and there is natural death. God helps us live and also helps us die when that time comes!
    It was the Lord Himself Who formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed His Own life into him, making him an eternal soul.
    The Bible says: "And God said, Let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness...So God created man in His Own image, in the image of God created He them.
   "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul." (Gen.1:27; 2:7)
     In the Hebrew, the  word for man is adahm, meaning "the blood of God". Almighty God took of Himself (blood is lifeto create Adam. God gave of Himself to make man, whom He called 'the blood of God'.
   The Hebrew word for image is damoot, meaning "an exact duplication in kind". The man that the Lord God created was a duplication of Himself. God is triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And man is triune: spirit, soul and body!
  The Hebrew word for dust is afar, meaning "minute particles". Not many years ago, scientists discovered that all matter is composed of minute particles. The Hebrew word for ground is adamah, meaning "the totality of all that God is". That means that God took of Himself to create the earth.
     He blew into Adam's nostrils the breath of life making him "a living soul". The Hebrew word is nephish, meaning "spirit". This means that God blew His Spirit  into man. That is why we are all eternal beings. When our body dies, our soul (affections, emotions, will) are poured out in death, but our spirit will live on eternally!
   St. Paul states that when Adam, the first blood of God sinned, the human race was plunged into condemnation, and separated from God.  Jesus the 'second blood of God'  came to redeem mankind by shedding His pure and precious blood on the Cross for us all.
     Jesus Christ is also called "the Last Adam", because there will never be anyone like Him. He is the only begotten Son of God, the Saviour of the world and Liberator of the human Race. And He is our Advocate and High Priest, seated on the Right Hand of God!
   "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spirit, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spirtual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: and the second man is the Lord from Heaven." (1 Cor. 15: 45-47)
   God likened Ephraim and Judah to  Adam: "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the Covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against Me." (Hosea 6: 6,7)
   It was not our Heavenly Father's will to sacrifice innocent animals to cover men's sins, but was forced to do so in order to save the human race. He desired Mercy and Knowledge, but mankind sinned!
     And in His great love, when the fulness of time was come, He gave Himself in His Son as the ultimate Sacrifice for our sins, past, present and future!
     When God created Adam as His federal head on earth He made a covenant with him, which the first man broke as we read in Hosea.  St. Paul makes it abundantly clear, that God had indeed made a covenant with Adam, who represented the human race. 
  In the Holy Scriptures, the life-giving out- breathings of our Sovereign Lord, we see him chastising King Belshazzar for desecrating the holy vessels of God, while "praising the gods of silver, and gold, and of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, or hear, nor know.
   "And the God in Whose hand thy breath is, and Whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified." 
   Daniel rehearsed the judgment of God and the repentance of his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar, saying: "And thou his son hath not humbled thyself, though thou knewest all this."(Dan. 5: 18-23)
   We find an interesting truth in the confrontation between Moses and Pharoah's magicians. They were able to imitate some of the miracles that Moses and Aaron had done in the name of the Lord, but they were unable to create life: 
    "And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. Then, the magicians said unto Pharoah, This is the Finger of God." (Exodus 8:16-19)
   In an article, 'There's A New World Coming'  I wrote: "The Goncourt Brothers Journal of April 7, 1869, reported a conversation between leading scientists of that time, in which they predicted that in a hundred years man would know of what the atom is constituted, and will be able to create life synthetically in competition with God.
  “We have a feeling”, the Goncourt Journal stated facetiously, “that when this time comes to pass, God … will come down to earth swinging His bunch of keys and will say to humanity as they say at 5:00 o’clock in the morning, “Closing Time, Gentlemen.”
    Jesus stated: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14: 6) The reason that Jesus could make that statement was because He is the life Giver Himself!
    In His High Priestly Prayer, Jesus said: "Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee. As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give Eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him. 
    "And this is Life Eternal, that they might know Thee, the only True God and Jesus Christ Whom Thou has sent." (John 17: 1-3
    In His Epistles, St. Paul repeatedly stressed our close relationship to Jesus Christ! We have been made partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." (Col.1:12). 
   "God hath delivered us from the power of Darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. (Col. 1:13). 
  We have been Redeemed through the precious BLOOD of JESUS, and forgiven by Him of all our sins  and evil doings. (Col.1:14)
                             HOW IS ALL THIS POSSIBLE?
   "Christ (Who) is the image of the invisible God, the first born 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 first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness 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: If ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel..." (Col.1: 15-23)
     "Who His Own Self bare our sins in His own body  on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should lie unto righteousness: by Whose Stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2: 24, 25)
     "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also likewise took part of the same; that through Death He might Destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil." (Heb.2:14)
    What does all that mean? Jesus Christ, True God from Eternity (incarnated) and True man, by virtue of His virgin birth was the FIRST in RANK. 
   He owns everything. No one is before Him. He was the One Who began the Creation and the One Who finished it. He is the first to die and be raised, never to die again. And He was the One Who gave His Life and took it back three days later. He cannot and will not ever die again! 
   Jesus Christ said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever  liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." (John 11: 25, 26)
     The Bible says that God CREATED all things by His Son, Who humbled Himself and came down from Heaven to redeem us, through His precious and perfect blood! 
     St. Paul decares: "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 on 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 become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
     "Wherefore God also highly hath exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in Heaven, and things 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." (Phi.2: 5-11). 
      He took our place on the Cross. He paid the Ransom for our sins. Adam, our Federal Head corrupted the human race when he broke the covenant he had made with our Heavenly Father. 
    Jesus Who was TRUE God from Eternity became TRUE Man when He was incarnated (God in human flesh) in order to die in our place. Our SINS were placed upon Him by our Heavenly Father and they were nailed to His Cross.
     Through His vicarious death for us as God's Paschal Lamb, He satisfied the Demands of Divine Justice. When Jesus' blood was shed on Mount Calvary, every demon spirit howled in agony knowing their fate was doomed forever. 
                         TETELESTAI: IT IS FINISHED!
   When JESUS shouted His Victory Cry, He spoke in Greek, saying: "Tetelestai.” The word tetelestai is taken from the Greek verb teleo, which has three essential meanings: To finish something, to bring something to an end; To fulfill something; To pay that which is owed.” (John 19:30)
    He had finished His Work. He had brought to an end Satan's domination over the human race. He had fulfilled all the Old Testament Scriptures about the Messiah. And He had satisfied the Courts of Heaven by paying in full with His life's BLOOD, the penalty for all our sins! 
    His Blood was flowing. The fountain had been opened for sin and uncleanness. (Zech.13:1,6,7). Almighty God had RENT THE VAIL that separated God  from man. The blood of lambs, goats and bullocks were no longer of any value. The Blood of Jesus Christ had prevailed. 
    His blood had already cleansed the thief on the cross by His side who said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into Thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise (Abraham's Bosom called Paradise)." (Luke 23: 42, 43). 
     Jesus went into the place of the righteous dead called Hades, where He stayed until He arose taking with Him to Heaven the captive souls of the Old Testament saints. Jesus' sermon on Lazarus and the rich man states that until His resurrection, HADES was divided into two compartments with a gulf between them. 
        "And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot: neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." (Luke 16:25, 26)
    St. Paul explains this perfectly: "Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on High, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended, what is but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that ascended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things." (Ephesians 4: 8-10)
        His blood had already cleansed the Roman Centurion who cried out, "Truly this man was the Son of God." (Mark 15: 39)   Tradition calls him Centurion Longinus and states that he became a great warrior for Christ and died as a martyr in Rome. 
   Possibly, that is why St. Paul found so many believers in Christ when he arrived there. Who could have won them to Christ in Pagan Rome, but Centurion Longinus? Some believe that his name was adapted from the long spear he used to verify the death of our Lord Jesus!
   Then, Jesus lifted His eyes to Heaven and said: "Into Thine hands I commend My spirit" (Luke 23:46), and He was gone to Abraham's Bosom called Paradise. On the morning of the Third Day, Jesus Christ the Mighty Conquorer, arose victorious over Death, Hades and the Grave! 
    And He gives us the power to serve Him with great peace and joy and victory over the world, flesh and the Devil! Amen.