Friday, October 14, 2016

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Humble yourselves therefore under the Mighty Hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5: 4,6,7)
     Anointed by the Holy Spirit, St. Peter admonished the churches. He focused on the Return of Christ as the great end-all and final prize for the Christian life. It will be worth all the suffering, ridicule and persecution when we finally see Him face to face and hear His comforting words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” (Matt.25: 23)
  Humility is one of the graces that God gives us. St. Augustine said:The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.” Alfred Mercier called humility, “the grace which makes every other grace amiable.” And Edmund Burke stated: “True humility—the basis of the Christian system—is the low but deep and firm foundation of all virtues.”
     JONATHON EDWARDS, who delivered the message, 'Sinners in the hands of an angry God', stated: Some persons are always ready to level those above them down to themselves, while they are never willing to level those below them up to their own position. But he that is under the influence of true humility will avoid both these extremes.
      “On the one hand, he will be willing that all should rise just so far as their diligence and worth of character entitle them to; and on the other hand, he will be willing that his superiors should be known and acknowledged in their place, and have rendered to them all the honors that are their due.”
     WILLIAM PENN stated:"Sense shines with a double luster when it is set in humility. An able and yet humble man is a jewel worth a kingdom."
  WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN was a godly politician who fought to keep the abominable teaching of the 'evolutionary theory' out of the classrooms of America! His opponent was a laywer and atheist named Clarence Darrow. The trial was from January 10-25, 1925.
     CLARENCE DARROW, a famous atheist and criminal lawyer stated before his death: 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 life:  'We have toiled all night and taken nothing'." 
    By the standards of his peers, Darrow had reached the pinnacle, yet he was totally unfulfilled, void of peace and joy.  In order to give expression to his dissatisfaction, he had to quote the Bible, which he claimed to disbelieve. 
   After his great victory in gaining for the evolutionary 'foolosophy' theory the right to become the official religion of Academe in US schools, he felt compelled to quote the Bible to express his emptiness and utter despair and his lack of contentment in his own efforts.
     The Word of God shouts out the admonition: “Humble yourself under the Mighty Hand of God! WHY? So that He may exalt us in due time. Here is the solution to all our problems. We are invited to cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us!n It should not be difficult to humble ourselves before God and man, when we realize that we are under-girded by our Creator and He is our Father and God.
    He decrees: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee. Yea, I will uphold thee with the Right Hand of My righteousness. (Is. 41: 10; 13,14).
      The Eternal God invites His people to follow the example of the rest of His creation: “Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called: I AM He; I AM the first, I AM also the last. Mine Hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.” (Is. 48: 13): “Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of My Hands...” (Is.49:16)
      King David cried out in adoration: “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth! Who hath set Thy glory above the Heavens. When I consider Thy Heavens, the work of Thy Fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained...” (Ps. 8: 1, 3); “But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou art our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy Hand.” (Ps. 64:8)
     JESUS said: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly, in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt.11: 28, 29)
     “They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners unto repentance.” (Mark 2: 17); “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save them that are lost.” (Luke 19: 10); “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and beliveth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day.” (John 6: 40)
     MARTIN LUTHER was pressured to cave in to the Pope in his crusade to purge the Roman Catholic Church of their apostasy, sin and perversion. He was asked: “Where will you be Martin Luther when the Emperor, the Pope and the Cardinals are all against you?” He answered, “Then as now, I will be in the Hands of God!” There is no better pace to be in, then the Hands of God!
    Belshazzar was an idolater, an adulterer and a drunkard! He was proud and egotistical. The Bible states: “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand... In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the HAND that wrote. 
     "Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against the other.” (Daniel 5: 1-6)
    Daniel stated: “Thou hast lifted up thyself against the God of Heaven. Thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor now: And the God in Whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.” (Dan.5: 23-30)
    In a mighty display of supernatural power, God crashed Emperor Belshazzar's Big Party. His hand appeared out of the sleeve of the night and in an unknown tongue wrote His judgment against King Belshazzar! 
  "None of his wise men, magicians, astrologers or soothsayers were able to reading the writing, yet DANIEL the Prophet of God was able to read the writing by God's own hand!
   I believe this was a precursor to the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit and tongues our Heavenly Father gave Christ's Body, the Church on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. Only the followers of Jesus Christ can receive the Gift of Interpretation of such supernatural Gifts!
   “When the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)
  Satan sought unsuccessfully to tempt our Lord in His Wilderness Temptation. He had to use God's Word while tempting Jesus of Nazareth. Three times he said, “It is written”, invoking the authority of the Word of God.
     Satan is an exceptional LIAR, but he CANNOT DENY that the Word of God is true! St. James concurs with that statement: “Thou believest that there is One God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2: 19).
  On a number of occasions, evil spirits cried out in Jesus' presence. The Bible records: “And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee? Thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know who Thou art; the Holy One of God.” (Luke 4: 33-34)
   JESUS used the Word of God when He refuted the Devil with the words, “IT IS WRITTEN”. What was Jesus referring to? Moses was with God in the mountain, where He wrote with His own Finger the Ten Commandments. I repeat, Satan had to acknowledge that that the Word of God is TRUE, by uttering the words, “It is written”, in the temptation of Jesus Christ our Saviour!
    God communicated His words to the prophets and they wrote them down: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 20,21);
     St. Paul wrote: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). He was referring to God speaking His Word to Prophets and holy men who wrote them down as the Scriptures we call the Holy Bible!
                        JESUS WROTE ON THE GROUND!
 The Pharisees were always trying to trap Jesus into saying or doing something whereby they could legally accuse Him before the Sanhedrin or before the Roman Authorities. He knew their intentions and He knew the Holy Scriptures, and being the Son of God He was led by the Holy Spirit.
   The Scripture states: “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou? This, they said tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him.
  “But Jesus stooped down, and with HIS FINGER wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again, He stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
  “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man accused thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11)
      O, the wisdom, goodness and the GRACE of our Lord Jesus! The woman was guilty. She knew it and Jesus knew it. The law of Moses demanded that such should be stoned! We might curiously ask, “Where was the man? Did he somehow get away? Why was he NOT also charged? We know there was a double standard here. They were'nt interested in justice for the law's sake.
     They were using this unfortunate situation to charge our Saviour with a crime of not adhering to the Law of Moses! JESUS knew their hearts and their lives. He knew that they were not true Shepherds of Israel and they had rejected Him as their Messiah. He knew the Scriptures. More than 700 years earlier, Jeremiah had prophesied:
 “O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from Me, shall be WRITTEN IN THE EARTH, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of Living Water.” (Jer. 17:13)
                NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE!
  JESUS is all that you and I will ever need. He is so wonderful, understanding and gracious! The way he handled the self righteous Pharisees to save a sinner woman, is exciting. And He did that before going to the CROSS. It is so marvellous and filled with Compassion and Love and speaks of Who Jesus really is! 
  He is pure, righteous, kind and good. He is God the Son from Eternity Who came to this earth as the Father's Paschal Lamb to atone for the sins of the world, past, present and future!
  His ministry for more than three years proves His love for Adam's fallen race. After a 40-day fast, He defeated the devil in His Wilderness Temptation, healed the sick, liberated the sinful and tormented, the poor, fearful and needy. He didn't turn a deaf ear to the lepers who cried out for mercy, the tax collectors, publicans and outcasts.
   He went out His way to emancipate the demoniac called Legion, to heal the man who had lain by the Pool of Bathesda for 38 years and to reach the Samaritan Woman at the Well of Sychar! He stood up to the hypocritical religious leaders that “threw out” the man-born-blind whom Jesus had made to see.
   The same HAND that wrote on the ground, held little chidren while blessing them and healed the sick and afflicted. The hands of Jesus still reach out today to hurting people across the globe as His His servants minister to multitudes in His name and by His power!
   Many people live in fear of meeting Jesus, in person. They are afraid of death and even the Return of Christ. As I read the Gospels and the Epistles, I do not recognize anything except anticiption and joy of entering His prescence and seeing our Saviour face to face! His treatment of sinners who cried out for mercy and the sick and suffering who thronged Him just to touch His garments is astonishing in that He did'nt turn anyone away.
    He did not rebuke people who sought Him out even when He was tired from praying for thousands of sick, demon possessed and discouraged people. When He took His disciples to a secret place for some rest and the masses followed Him, He never missed a beat. He preached and ministered to the sick for days without any complaining. On two occasions our Saviour Jesus Christ miraculously created food for them lest they go away hungry. Hallelujah!
  “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with COMPASSION toward them and He HEALED their sick. And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, This is a desert place and the time is now past; send the multitudes away that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
    “But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart. Give ye them to eat. And they say unto Him, We have but here but five loaves and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to Me. And He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass, and He took the five loaves and two fishes, and looking up to Heaven, He blessed and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the discipes to the multitude.
     “And they did all eat and were filled, and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” (Matt. 14: 14-21)
                    WHY DOES GOD HEAL THE SICK?
 Because He is totally good, merciful, benevolent, kind, gracious, loving, compassionate and caring. That is why our Heavenly Father gave His Son to redeem us from our sinful condition. Through His vicarious death for us, He purchased our complete healing! (Ps. 103: 1-6)
    Because He is the God of Order. He made man perfect in the beginning and makes order out of disorder. When He was finished creating, our Lord said that everything He had made was Good! He wants to restore that perfection again! The gift of Healing renews the body! (2 Thes. 5: 23, 24)
   Because He is Life and is diametrically against death and because He is against strife, He makes things right. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14: 6). Divine Healing brings life, because Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the Life...” (John 11:25)
    Because He is all powerful, and all wise. It is His Perfect will to end all war, pain and disunity. “Commit thy way unto the Lord, Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” (Ps.37: 5); “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11); 
    “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5, 6)
     Because He is our Saviour, Healer and Deliverer. Here is the Healing Covenant that Jehovah God made with children of Israel: “And said, If Thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ears to His commandments, and keep all His statutes I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: For I am the LORD that healeth thee.” (Ex. 15: 26).
     Because He cares for us. St. Peter wrote: “Humble yourselves therefore under the Mighty Hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your cares upon Him for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist in the FAITH.
   “But the God of all GRACE, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Pet. 5: 6-10)
  Because as God's children, we are recipients of His Redemptive work which includes the forgiveness of sins, cleansing of consciences, healing of minds and bodies. 
    Jesus invites: “Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.   For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28)
     Being yoked to Jesus is such a blessing! He lifts the load and carries us through all our trials, dispelling our fears, forgiving our sins and healing our sicknesses. Satan binds his slaves. They carry the load and the Devil gives them more and more pain, guilt, despair, fear, sickness and death. Jesus Christ said: 
     “The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
      “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 as crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is. 1: 18); “Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27).
   Seven hundred years before Christ's Virgin birth in Bethlehem, the Prophet laid out the Redemptive work of Jesus Christ: 
    “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 broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4: 18)
   St. Paul writes: “There is therefore no CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8: 1,2)
                       JESUS SAID, BEHOLD MY HANDS!
 “And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and BOUND JESUS, and carried Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.” (Mark 15:1); “Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus and Bound Him, And led Him away to Annas first...” (John 18: 12)
       A powerful Gospel song by Loretta Lynn says:

They bound the hands of Jesus in the garden where he prayed
They led him through the street in shame
They spat upon the Saviour so pure and free from sin
They said crucify him he's to blame
He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and set him free
He could have called ten thousand angels but he died alone for you and me

Upon his precious head they placed a crown of thorns
They laughed and said behold the king
They struck him and they cursed him and mocked his holy name
And all alone he suffered everything
He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and set him free
He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and set him free

     The Bible says: “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them. Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.
      “And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.
      “And Thomas answered and said unto Him, my Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20: 25-29)
     Zechariah prophesied that a fountain of blood would be opened when Messiah would die as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world: “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness. And one shall say unto Him, WHAT ARE THESE WOUNDS IN THINE HANDS? Then, He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends,” (Zech.13: 1,6)
  “But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they break not His legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear PIERCED HIS SIDE and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bear record, and his record is true: and he sayeth that he KNOWETH it is true, that ye might believe.     "For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken. And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on Him Whom they PIERCED. (John 19: 33-37)
     After Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus in a blinding LIGHT, the hate-filled .Jewish Enforcer spent more than forty years preaching Christ's Gospel to Jews, Greeks and Romans. And he founded the Church  across the Gentile World, before giving his life as a Martyr for his Saviour!
    St. Paul stated: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ: In Whom we have Redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the richness of His grace.” (Eph.1: 1,7).
     St. John declared: “But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the LIGHT, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all Sin.” (1 John 1: 7)
    A Gospel song says it all: “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains!” And just to remind you, “...Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4: 4). Amen.