Friday, August 25, 2017

                            By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
   There is hope and healing for hurting, sick and suffering people. There is forgiveness and redemption for lost and dying souls. There is deliverance for fearful, oppressed and discouraged individuals!       There is peace for tormented victims of sexual abuse, drug addiction and alcoholism. There is freedom for those enslaved by pornography, homosexuality and gambling!
    And, yes, there is victory for depressed, sorrowing and defeated children of God who have become overwhelmed by the burdens of life and the onslaughts of the Evil One! There is a way back home to our Heavenly Father for those who have fallen into sin, drifted from the straight and narrow, and are hurting spiritually!
     The Church is a place of healing for hurting people. It is a hospital for the spiritually wounded who been hurt by the lies of New Age advocates, false Eastern Religions and Politically Correct clergy! It is a House of Refuge and a Haven of rest for the guilt ridden casualties of divorce, broken homes and abortion!
     To get our spiritual bearings and to understand the important role the Church has to play in society, all we need to do is look at the life of Jesus, our perfect example!
    The Bible says: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
    "And His fame went throughout all Syria: And they brought unto Him all people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan." (Matt. 4: 23-25)
    JESUS of Nazareth went into ALL their cities and villages teaching in ALL their synagogues and Healing ALL their sicknesses and ALL their diseases. They brought to Jesus ALL who were sick and diseased with ALL manner of diseases, torments, lunatics and those who were bed ridden; and He Healed them ALL! And ALL who touched Jesus and ALL whom He touched were Healed!
                  STRETCH FORTH THINE HAND !
    When the Early Church were persecuted by the Authorities and forbidden to teach or preach in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, they answered: "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken to you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." (Acts 4: 19, 20)
    After their from prison, they reported to the company of believers what had happened. "And when they heard that, they lifted up their VOICE to God with ONE ACCORD, and said, Lord, Thou art God, which has made Heaven and earth, and the sea and all that in them is.
     "Who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said; Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the Rulers were gathered together against the Lord and His Christ.
    "For of a truth against Thy Holy Child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do what Thy hand and Thy council determined before to be done.
   "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy WORD, by stretching forth hand to HEAL; and that SIGNS and 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 spoke the Word of God with boldness...
"And with great POWER gave the apostles witness of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great GRACE was upon them all." (Acts 4: 24-33)

    His disciples had walked with Him for three years and seen His compassion, heard His powerful teaching and preaching. They knew His heart and love for His Father in Heaven and His unwavering faith and dedication to His Mission. They sensed the urgency in His voice and prayer life. They had seen His power over the elements, evil spirits and even death.
     They realized the great value HEALING MIRACLES have in attracting people to hear the Gospel. Jesus had faithfully taught in the synagogue without any crowds following Him, until He performed miracles upon the demon possessed and the sick. 
   They knew His desire to minister to NEEDY people and they had witnessed the surge of multitudes listening to His message and repenting of their sins, after He began doing miracles of healing on the sick and suffering!
    When Peter and John brought healing to the crippled man at the temple's Beautiful Gate, five thousand men had responded to their appeal to receive Christ. Do you think they would stop at that juncture? Would the threat of persecution turn them back? Would they react like many of today's pussy cat, milquetoast preachers? Definitely not! They were tough, hardened men of God with faith in the promises of Jesus.
     The bulk of this generation's preachers have scaled back on miracles and the supernatural power of God to liberate the human race. They have discontinued the prayer meeting and put man-made programs in its place.        They have discounted the Gifts of the blessed Holy Spirit and replaced them with the philosophies of men. They have substituted flashing lights and electronically generated smoke in the sanctuary, for the glory of God and the anointing of the Holy Ghost!
      And in many cases, some of these so-called men of God have given in to the culture of political correctness and have acquiesced under pressure to fit into the company of lukewarm, half-baked, backslid, popularity-driven clergymen.
      One of the greatest threats to the Church in this generation is the apathy and lack of concern regarding the purity of the Word of God that is gradually being lost in many denominations. You may ask: "What is driving this watering down of God's Word and the destroying of the Church"?
                       SATAN THE ENEMY OF GOD!
    Satan is the destroyer. He is the enemy of God and man and is utilizing every weapon in his arsenal to achieve his goals, but cannot and will not be able to do so because he is an eternally defeated enemy.
The shed blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ has decimated his power over those who are secure in the Body of Christ!
     Successive NEW translations of the Bible deftly corrupt the Original Autographs in seeking to erode the Deity of Jesus Christ, His Virgin Birth and His Resurrection! The work of theologians who use what they call 'Higher Criticism' are largely to blame!
      My message to those impostors is found in Hebrews 4: 12: "For the Word of God is quick (alive) and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
      O’ PUNY MAN: Know who you are! Stop trying to judge God's Word. We do not judge the Holy Bible. God's Word judges us! Here is another warning to all theologians:
     "Every Word of God is PURE. He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add not thou unto His Words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a LIAR." (Prov.30: 5, 6)
      Here are more WARNINGS to those who change the Word of God: "Ye shall not add to the Word which I command you, neither shall ye DIMINISH ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you;
       “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: Thou shall not ADD thereto, nor DIMINISH from it." (Deut.4: 2; 12: 32)
God spoke those divine words through the mouth of His prophet MOSES!          St. Peter said: "For the 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) And St. Paul declared: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3: 16)
     Here is the WARNING from Jesus Christ Himself: "For I testify unto every man that hears the Words of the Prophecy of this book. If any man shall ADD unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
       “And if any man shall TAKE AWAY from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book." (Rev. 22: 18, 19)
      St. Paul said: "But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so now I say again; if any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be cursed." (Galatians 1: 8.9)
      That is very serious, coming from the man who was carried up into Heaven and shown things which he was not allowed to reveal. He stated that if he returned to that church preaching something different than the pure Gospel which he had preached to them, let him be accursed!
       Another Enemy of God and the Church of Jesus Christ is the diabolical teaching of SYNCRETISM which is invading the Body of Christ!
     Syncretism is defined as the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought, into the Church of the Living God. The very worst syncretism is a new doctrine called 'CHRISLAM' that has mixed Christianity and Islam in a number of Evangelical churches in the USA. It is a diabolical doctrine spawned in Hell itself!
     JESUS WARNED: "For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes." (Luke 6: 43, 44);
    "I am the LIVING BREAD which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my FLESH, which I will give for the life of the world." (Luke 6:51); "I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life. No man comes unto the FATHER but by Me." (John 14: 6)
      ISLAM teaches that Jesus Christ did not die, but that Allah changed his facial appearance and made another man look like Jesus of Nazareth. Further, they teach that Jesus was taken up to Heaven and chastised for saying that He is the Son of God and that He will return and declare that He is only a prophet lesser than Mohammed and will urge all Christians to convert to Islam or be killed!
   That is disgusting, untruthful and ignorant conjecture. It is RANK BLASPHEMY!
      St. Paul stated: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha." (1 Cor.16:22). Note: Maranatha is Aramaic as an imperative: marana-tha meaning "our Lord come" or as an indicative: 'maran-atha, meaning "our Lord is come".
     The words Anathama (suspended) and Maranatha (our Lord comes) used in concert means that a curse as well as a blessing will be in operation at the time of Christ's return When He sets up His Kingdom on earth two things will happen:
     Those who have given their hearts and lives to Christ will be blessed with eternal life, but those who have rejected Him will be cursed with damnation!
   Why did St. Paul use - without translation - the Aramaic formula Maranatha in a Greek letter to Corinth, where the Aramaic language was not in use? Was it because Maranatha was a fixed formula and no doubt a well known expression in the liturgy of the primitive Church in Palestine?
   Many theologians believe that from Palestine it passed into Greek Christendom without translation in fashion similar to 'Amen' and 'Hosanna'.
   The formula Anathama Maranatha, is in fact, the exclamation of 'Approaching Divine Judgment'!
     St. John declared: "Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (2 John 9-11)
     Here is the clincher: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby KNOW ye the Spirit of God:
      “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses NOT that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.
                            WHAT DOES THE MEAN?
     What did the ‘man of God’ mean by these words: “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is of God?”
      There are more than seven billion people alive today and every one of us have come in the flesh, but when God the Son came down among us in the Person of Jesus Christ, that was the Miracle of the INCARNATION.
      Every person that believes that Jesus Christ is God the Son and that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, shed His precious blood for our sins on the cross and rose from the dead three days later, are God’s children and members of the Body of Christ.
       Those who DO NOT confess that Jesus Christ is the incarnated Son of God are not saved and will not be saved unless they repent of their sins and invite our blessed Saviour, the Lord of life, into their hearts.
      The Holy Bible declares to all believers in Jesus Christ: “Ye are of God little children and have overcome them because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4: 1- 4). 
    His Holy Spirit lives within us and He is far greater than any power of EVIL in this world. Remember that the Blood of Jesus has stripped the devil of his power over Believers in Christ! 
    "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through Death He might Destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil: And Deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."
    "And they OVERCAME him (the devil) by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony." (Rev. 12: 7)
     “Hereby we KNOW that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoso shall confess that JESUS is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God.
      “And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. GOD IS LOVE; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.
       "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. We LOVE Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:13-19
                        OUR FATHER GIVES MORE!
     Let me close this paper with these powerful Words of invitation from Jesus Christ: "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that ask receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
     "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread will he give him a stone (something useless)? Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent (something dangerous)? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how MUCH MORE shall your Father which is in Heaven, give good gifts to them that ask Him?" (Matt.7: 7-11)
    The Bible states: "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly ABOVE ALL that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Eph. 3: 20)
     Here is an awesome promise from God’s Holy Word: “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hear us, whatever we ask, we KNOW that we have that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1 John 5: 14, 15)
     Our Heavenly Father stands ready to pour out His blessed Holy Spirit upon His Church again and again, as we open our heart's door to Him. He will give us from His storehouse: More love, More Joy, More Peace, More Compassion, more Health, more Finances, more Miracles and more Souls brought into His Kingdom!
     May our Heavenly Father richly bless you, my friend, as you call upon His Holy Name in sincerity and faith. Amen.