GUNTUR A.P. INDIA 1966
Max Solbrekken & Sadhu Vandenam, May, 1966
Thousands attend Freedom Park Crusade, Guntur, A.P.
40,000 attend 1986 Ahmedebad, Gujarat, India Crusade
Powerful Report of Manila, Philippines 1966 Crusade
WAITING FOR THE MOVING OF THE WATER
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for moving of the water.
“For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” (John 5: 3,4)
From the account of Jesus Christ's healing of an impotent man who had waited for thirty eight years at the pool of Bethesda, we glean some great truths:
We learn the great desire of our Heavenly Father to alleviate sickness and disease by sending an angel to trouble the waters to bring healing. It was a foretaste of His Son's miracle ministry to heal everyone who came to Him for His healing touch.
It was also a picture of the Church healing the sick and suffering and pointing to freedom from sickness and death in the Millennial Reign of Christ. What strikes me so profoundly when studying this portion of God's Word is the great needs of the sinful, sick and suffering all around us, and their intense desire to be healed.
MIRACLES GET PEOPLE'S ATTENTION!
Secondly, a supernatural move of God is necessary to get people's attention to “wait for the moving of the waters.” When authentic miracles begin happening in a Church or through a preacher's ministry, people will begin to congregate in that place. Wherever Jesus went He healed the sick and performed miracles and multitudes attended His meetings.
The Bible records: “And a great multitude followed Him because they saw His MIRACLES which He did on them that were diseased.” (John 6: 2); “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 Syria and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with diverse diseases and torments and those which were possessed with devils, and who 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 Judaea and from beyond Jordan." (Matt.4:23-25)
“Now when the sun was setting all they that had any sick with diverse diseases brought them unto Him and He laid His hands on everyone of them and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out and saying Thou art the Christ the Son of God. And He rebuking them, suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.” (Luke 4:40-41)
GREAT MIRACLES OPENED HEARTS!
The same was true in the lives and ministries of the Early Church: “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain lame man from his mother's womb was carried whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter fastening his eyes on upon him with John said unto them, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them.
“Then Peter said: “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, give I unto thee; In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.
“And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful Gt of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him at that which had happened unto him.”(Acts 3: 6-10)
What was the outcome of that great miracle which God performed as Peter and John exercised faith in the Name of Jesus Christ to raise up that impotent man! Here it is: Howbeit many of them which heard the Word believed, and the number of the men was about 5,000. Hallelujah and Amen.
ST. PAUL SAW GOD'S MIRACLES & REVIVAL!
“For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed, through mighty Signs and Wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.
“Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon an other man's foundation.” (Rom. 15:18-20). What a statement from a former persecutor of believers in Christ!
Here was a man who met Jesus Christ the Crucified, Resurrected and Glorified Son of God on the Damascus Road and who died as a MARTYR after founding Christ's Church in the Gentile world!
Repeatedly, God has triggered genuine Revivals through Signs and Wonders and Gifts of the Holy Spirit. St. Peter writing about Jesus of Nazareth stated:
“How that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with POWER Who went about doing Good and HEALING all who were oppressed of the Devil for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)
Who can forget the great Revival that God brought to the city of Samaria through the ministry of Philip, the deacon? St. Luke writes about it:
“Then Philip went down to Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them; and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8: 5-8)
JESUS USED HIS HUMBLE SERVANT!
By God's great grace, I have seen this phenomenon in my own Ministry around the world for more than fifty years.
When Jesus performed staggering miracles in the Manila, Philppines Crusade in 1966, word spread and about 1,100 souls joined Bethel Temple (now Cathedral of Praise).
When Sal Marisigan's leg - stunted by polio - grew out more that 12 inches, it caused 100 members of his extended family to come to Christ and join the Church.
During our 1966 Gospel Crusade in the Freedom Park in Guntur, A.P. India, when Jesus Christ liberated a demon possessed woman in an awesome display of Holy Ghost power as I cast out the demons in His holy name, the crowds surged from 2,000 upwards to ca 15,000.
And Dr. Serala Elisha the Head medical physician of the Kugler Lutheran Hospital publicly confirmed that a 13 year-old-boy who earlier had an eye removed by surgery, three days after prayer in Jesus' Name a new eye appeared in that empty eye socket and continued growing to normal size with perfect vision! The crowds continued to grow!
One day, Six Circle Inspectors came to see me. They handed me an official letter with these words: “Rev. Max Solbrekken: We the Circle Inspectors of the Police Force request you come to the Guntur General Hospital to “Heal the Inspector General of the Police Force in the Name of Lord Jesus.”
The Inspector General had suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on the right side. He could speak only with much difficulty, as the right side of his face was drooping. His right arm was drawn up in a ball on his chest. The six Circle inspectors stood at attention in his room. His wife and another lady were present, as well as my associate Thomas Tutyko.
I pulled up a chair near his bed. I said, “Sir, you sent for me.” He spoke very slowly, “Yes. I want you heal me Name of Lord Jesus.”
I said, “Since you want me to heal you in the Name of the Lord Jesus, I must tell you why His name is so powerful.” He nodded that he understood. For about fifteen minutes I expounded unto him the Holy Scriptures about Jesus Christ. I asked him to follow me in the prayer of repentance and confession of faith for salvation. He struggled but slowly got the words out.
The anointing of God came upon me, as I commanded the evil spirits of sickness, disease and infirmity to leave him. I called upon Almighty God in the Name of Jesus Christ, to heal the Inspector General. When I was finished, I saw an immediate change in his face. I said, “God has healed you.” He spoke normally, and said, “Yes.”
I took his right fist and pulled it out, saying, “In Jesus' name be loosed.” It became normal! I said, “Sir, you are healed. What are you going to do?” He said, “I'm going to get up and walk.”
He threw back the blanket and I took his hands and helped him out of bed. He and I began marching back and forth. Then, he shook his hand free from me and marched back and forth perfectly normal.
He marched up to me and saluted, saying: “Whom do I thank for this, Sir?” I answered, “Lift up your arms in the Royal Salute and say, Thank you Lord Jesus.” As He did, the six Circle Inspectors and other Policemen standing up and down the corridor, lifted their arms straight in the air, saying, “Thank you Lord Jesus.”
GUNTUR CITY COUNCIL INVITES US BACK !
What was the outcome of that miracle? Any policeman who had sick family members got the day off so they could bring them to me for prayer, And that is what I did throughout the afternoon.
The Guntur City Council begged us to stay another five days, but the weather was so hot (140 F and 100 F at night with no air conditioning) that we deferred.
The Crusade in Guntur was so successful that the City officials formally invited us back to their city in December of that same year. Both Prime Minister Lester Pearson and the Right Honourable John Diefenbaker wrote me letters congratulating us for our successful time in India.
During the December 1966 crusade in Guntur, AP India, we attended the Annual Police Sport's Day. They announced that the one mile race was open to anyone. Since I had won the Half-Mile for Saskatchewan in 1951, Bob Hoover, Thomas Tutyko and Missionary Lawson Barbour felt that I should compete to get exposure for the CRUSADE.
I finally agreed and the announcer excitedly said, “You remember the Miracle Man from Canada who held the crusade at the Freedom Park in May. He is back for another crusade this week. He has not run for 16 years. If he wins it will be a miracle. If he does not it will still be a miracle. Rev. Max Solbrekken the Miracle Man is competing in the One Mile Race which begins now.”
I was number three when we came around the track at the half way mark, when I decided to graciously pull out of the race. We got the publicity for JESUS and they were thrilled that I had participated. All glory to God!
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE FUTURE!
Here are some very important questions: “Are the promises of God for only a limited duration or are they eternal? Does God change His eternal purpose and plan to conform to the whims and fancies of a jaded and perverted society who feel strongly that their opinions are on par with or greater than God's Word, the Holy Bible?
And how much longer will the mercy and grace of God be extended to a lost humanity which has locked the Creator and Life - Giver out of their lives? Is there hope that righteousness will rule over unrighteousness and that the will of God will also become the will of His creation? And, how can sinful man approach a thrice Holy God, which demands repentance, faith and worship? Finally, how does Jesus of Nazareth fit into the Salvation Plan of Almighty God, the Ancient of Days?
First, the promises of God are sure and certain. They are as reliable as God Himself. He has placed His Word above His Name. (Ps. 138: 2)
He said: “So shall My Word be that goeth out of My mouth. It shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing where unto I sent it.” (Is. 55: 11)
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away .”(Luke 21:33): “For the Word of God is quick (alive) 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.”(Heb.4:12)
“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside Me: I girded thee thou hast not known Me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else.” (Is. 45:5,6, 22)
The Bible says: “The Lord is my light and salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me upon a rock.” (Ps. 27:1, 5)
The Rock, of course, is Christ Himself. Jesus said: “Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built His house upon a Rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came and the wind blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matt 7: 24, 25)
St. Paul believed God's Word: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which Above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things Above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ, in God.” (1 Cor.3: 1-3)
Second, the Holy Bible says: “ But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags...” (Is.64: 6). There is nothing good within mortal man. The Bible says: “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53: 6);
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one: there is none that understandeth. There is none that seeketh after God. (Rom. 3: 10, 11)
St. Paul introduces the Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord, Who paid the price for our emancipation from death to life, through His incarnation and vicarious death for us on the cursed tree, where He became a curse for us to meet the righteous demands of Divine Justice for our sins! He became the propitiation for our sins and for the sins of the entire world.
JESUS' VICARIOUS DEATH SATISFIED GOD!
The Bible states: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. Herein is live, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4: 9, 10). The word propitiation means satisfaction, mercy seat, expiation.
The sacrificial, vicarious death of Jesus of Nazareth satisfied the demands of divine justice in the courts of Heaven to atone for the sins of Adam and Eve and their sinning progenitors, for all time.
John the Beloved wrote: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2: 1,2).
St. Paul wrote: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness; for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Rom. 3: 23-25)
WILLIAM COWPER tried several times to commit suicide. He tried to drink a glass of hemlock but his hand trembled and he dropped the glass. He put a gun to his head but was unable to pull the trigger. He ran onto the bridge overlooking the Thames River in London to jump to his death, but “a strange power restrained me”, he said.
He tried to hang himself, but someone rescued him. Finally, he was taken to St. Alban's Asylum. According to Gilbert Thomas: “William Cowper was melancholy and introspective believing he was beyond hope, believing Christianity was true, but was not capable by faith to believe for himself. He felt rejected. Then, one afternoon in the Garden of St. Alban's Asylum he picked up the Bible and read Romans 3: 25.
He wrote: “Immediately, I received strength to believe it, and the full beams of the Sun of Righteousness shone upon me. I saw the sufficiency of the atonement He had made, my PARDON sealed by His BLOOD, and all the fullness and completeness of His justification. In a moment, I believed and received the Gospel...
“Unless the Almighty arm had been under me, I believe I should have died of gratitude and joy. My eyes filled with tears, and my voice choked with transport; I could only look up to Heaven in silent fear, overwhelmed with love and wonder.”
This is a favourite Gospel Hymn by William Cowper:
There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains
Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains
The dying thief rejoiced to see, That fountain in His day;
And there have I, though vile as he, Washed all my sins away:
Washed all my sins away, Washed all my sins away;
Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood Shall never lose its pow’r,
Till all the ransomed church of God. Are safe, to sin no more:
Are safe, to sin no more, Are safe, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God. Are safe, to sin no more.