Monday, September 24, 2018

It is not too late to reject the irresponsible new marijuana bill promoted by Canada's out-of-control, naive Liberal government. - Pastor Max Solbrekken


Trudeau says pot will be legal as of Oct. 17, 2018


Sandra Williams, 52, is a professional pastry chef who runs her own business, 
Cakes by the Lake. She is also a recovering addict. She has been clean for 13 
years, and will share the story of her journey with addictions — in her case 
marijuana — and the power of hope and recovery to anyone who will listen and 
learn. She will be part of Recovery Day Niagara, this Sunday, Sept. 16 at Merritt 
Park in Welland. - Cheryl Clock , The St. Catharines Standard

'A very dark place': One 

woman's experience with cannabis dependence Staff
Published Monday, September 24, 2018 9:13AM EDT 
Even as Sandra Williams’ dependence on marijuana worsened, people would
 tell the pastry chef that cannabis addiction was not real.
They would tell her “it’s not a problem,” that the substance is natural so there
 was nothing to worry about.
“But it had found me in a very dark place,” Williams told CTV’s Your Morning 
on Monday. “My experience was that marijuana was able to take me to a 
bottom that I didn’t think was possible.”
At the worst periods of her dependence, 
Williams hid in the basement of her home,
 ignoring the world around her and “losing 
herself.” Her position as head pastry chef 
at an Oakville, Ont., bakery came to an end. 
She eventually left home and wound up in a homeless shelter. That’s where she came 
across a 12-step program that helped her 
come out of that dark period in her life.
Williams now says she hasn’t used marijuana 
for 13 years. She has since resurrected her 
career as a pastry chef and become an 
addiction awareness advocate. She believes 
that the impending legalization sends a signal 
that “this is OK and it’s safe.” But that has 
not been her experience or the experience of 
some others who use the drug.
The Government of Canada says pot can be addictive, citing 2014 research in the New
England Journal of Medicine that found as 
many as 9 per cent of people who use 
cannabis in their lifetime will become 
addicted to the substance.
“I had lost everything that I was before,” 
she said. “Coming full circle through a 
12-step program has allowed me to find 
my passion for life again.”

Thursday, September 20, 2018

                           Max Solbrekken preaching in Drammen, Norway
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
   Before a genuine Revival of biblical proportions can occur in our churches, our communities and our nation, there are a number of things that must happen and some questions that we all must honestly answer. There is a price to pay that such a revival will break out and Jesus Christ will be glorified among us!
   Prophet Isaiah prayed: “Oh that thou wouldest rend the Heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence. As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make Thy name known to Thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Thy presence!” (Is. 64: 1,2). We often pray that Almighty God will rend the Heavens and come down among us as in old time power, however, He has come down among us.
    When the Son of God left His Father's Right Hand and was incarnated to die on the Cross as our substitute, God came down among us. When He raised Jesus Christ from the dead, God came down among us. When Jesus Christ poured out the Holy Spirit upon His Church on the Day of Pentecost, God came down among us. And when He sends His Spirit-filled Missionaries, Evangelists and Pastors out across the world to proclaim His glorious Gospel with signs, wonders and miracles, He has come down among us!
   The Great Evangelist, D.L. Moody stated: “Shame on the Christianity of the 19th Century. It is a weak and sickly thing. Would to God that we had a few men like Daniel living here today.”
   VANCE HAVNER the powerful Baptist Preacher, stated: “Many years ago in Scotland in a certain community the fires had all gone out. They searched everywhere to see if anyone had fire. Finally they found a humble house where the hearth stone glowed with a cheery flame. Soon they were carrying coals here and there to replenish their own blackened fire places. Today, there are weary hearts, discouraged souls, needy churches looking for a soul with fire, someone kept aglo in spite of the world, flesh and the Devil.”
    Robert Murray Mcheyne said: “Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, whose life has been hid with Christ in God. These are of the Old Time Religion, hung to the nails of the cross.”      LEONARD RAVENHILL stated: “The greatest tragedy is a sick church in a dying world.”
The Bible says: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
                             HARVEST IS TRULY PLENTEOUS!
   “Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harvest, that He will send forth more labourers into His harvest.” (Matt. 9: 35-38)
  The Bible says: “Be patient therefore, unto the Coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the PRECIOUS FRUIT of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the COMING of the Lord draweth nigh.” (James 5: 7, 8)
    We are asked to be patient with a long patience and not give up, throw in the towel or stop in our quest for souls. The work of sowing and reaping must continue. We cannot, must not and will not stop until our Lord returns. He is counting on us to finish the work He began so long ago at such a tremendous cost!
   The Bible states: “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God the Father.” (Gal.1: 3, 4)
   “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justifications.” (Rom, 4: 24, 25)
    “For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold but with the precious BLOOD of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish or without spot, Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world. But was manifest in these last times for you.
    “Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, that your faith and your hope might be in God.” (1 Peter 1: 18-21).
    JESUS said: “Say not ye, There are yet for months and then cometh Harvest, Behold I say unto you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” (John 4: 35, 36)
     “I must work the works of Him Who sent Me (Father in Heaven)while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the LIGHT of the world.” (John 9: 4, 5)
   DR. CALVIN MILLER wrote: "Missions is a divine madness that hears the voice of God's only begotten, crying from a mountaintop, into all the world (Matt. 28:18-20). It takes this cry to bed and pillow every night. It wakes at every dawn, as Christ whispers in the heart, "I was dead, but look--   I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades. You must arise for I have come to seek and to save that which was lost. There is no time to waste, the world is loved and doesn't know it.”
   In his (1948) book, ‘The Fire of God’, Dr. Oswald J. Smith, founder of People’s Church in Toronto, wrote: “Evangelism! God’s Answer to this Groaning World. I am not a professional evangelist but I have carried on evangelistic work and I know that the only hope of our day is a new manifestation of the power of God. I have been in countries where I have seen that power in operation and I am confident that we can have here what I have witnessed there.
     “Evangelism is the order of the day, the need of the hour. Without revival, life as we know it, must perish. We must evangelize or fossilize. The very first crusade I had in Toronto lasted for six months without the break of a night, Saturdays included, and generally two or three services on the Sundays…The crowds increased from week to week. Interest was intense and before it was over, many hundreds of souls had been saved, so that the work was greatly strengthened as a result.”
                                 HARPER'S LAST CONVERT!
   RMS Titanic with 2,224 passengers and crew aboard on its maiden journey from Southampton to New York City, sank in the North Atlantic Ocean at about 2 AM April 15, 1912. Four days after their launch they struck a massive ice berg and sank a couple hours later. Some were so sure they would be rescued and refused to get into the life boats, so many left less than filled.
   There were only enough lifeboats for half of those aboard. Between 1490 and 1635 perished. They had received 6 warnings of sea ice on April 14, but the owner refused to slow down or take a longer and safer route. They wanted to set a record. The Owner stated that nothing could sink the Titanic and the builder had boasted, “Not even God could sink that ship!”
   A Baptist preacher John Harper gave his life jacket to an unsaved person and had the band play 'Nearer my God to Thee'. Harper carried his little daughter to the life boat and kissed her goodbye. He went about urging people to pray and call upon the Lord. He said, “Let the women, children and the unsaved into the boats.”
   When the ship went down he found himself in the freezing water holding on to a piece of the wreckage. People were crying, praying and screaming all around. He noticed a young man near him and shouted: “Young man, are you saved?” He answered, “No.” The preacher shouted, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” A wave came and carried him away.
   A few minutes later, he saw the young man near him again and he shouted: “Are you saved now?” The young man answered, “Not yet.” John Harper shouted, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” And then, the young man saw the preacher's hands lose their grip and watched him slide down into the water.
   A couple weeks later, a young man rose to his feet in a Gospel meeting in New York City to give his testimony. He recounted what I have just written. In closing he said, “I am that young man and I'm here to tell you that with several miles of water under me I believed and I'm here to tell you that I am John Harper's Last Convert.”
   Sin is hurtful. It is divisive and destructive. It is the enemy of God and man. It is an affront to God's authority and a transgression of His righteous laws. It is perversion in it's highest form. Sin is the creation of Satanic origin and the fruit of vulnerability on the part of Adam and Eve. It is diabolical at its roots, a stench in God's nostrils and an abomination in His sight.
   In 'Sin an Ugly Three-letter Word', I quote from famed psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger's book, Whatever Became of Sin? He describes the subject as 'a transgression of the law of God, disobedience of the divine will; moral failure...Sin has a defiant, or disloyal quality; someone is defiled or offended or hurt'.
   Sin brought fear into the world: “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him: Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the Garden and I was afraid, because I was naked and I hid myself.” (Gen.3:3: 9). 
   Fear was unknown before 'the Fall'. Fear is a crippling thing and unknown in Heaven. It was conquored by Christ's Victory over Satan through the 'Blood of His Cross'. The Bible says: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tm.1:7)
    Sin brought death to the human race. God spoke to Adam after his sin of high treason: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen. 3: 19).
   Sin separated God from man: “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of tree of life .” (Gen. 3: 24, 25)
Sin brought murder into the human family: “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” (Gen. 4: 8). Sin brings condemnation, guilt and fear. It brings sickness, sorrow, death and war: With sin came also unbelief, condemnation, oppression, fear, hatred, and pain.
   “The Bible says: “For when ye were servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness, What fruit had ye then in those things ye whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now, being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6: 20 -23)
   Sin brings separation between families, loved ones and friends for time and eternity: Sin causes infidelity, adultery, divorce which tears families apart. It causes break up of the home, depression, fears, anger and sometimes suicides and murder! Sin separates loved ones here on earth and also in eternity. Those who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour receive eternal life, and those who do not are lost forever separated from Christ and their loved ones.
    “Then shall He say unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. And these shall go way into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt. 25: 41, 46)
   The world was lost in sin, fear, torment and eternal death. Satan the enemy of God and man had perverted the human race with his lies about the Creator, Almighty God. He had tried to subvert the angels in Heaven with his deception.
   The Bible says: “And there was war in Heaven: Michael and his angels fought and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place any more in Heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
    “And I heard a loud voice in Heaven saying, Now is come salvation, and strength and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12: 7-11)
   The Sovereignty of God demanded punishment for SIN and the CROSS provided the Final Solution! For a time God winked at or overlooked sin in His great mercy and kindness by allowing the sacrifice of innocent animals, lambs, goats and bullocks (also a red heifer) to suffice. When the fullness of time had come, our Heavenly Father gave Himself in His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
  The word propitiation means covering, mercy seat, satisfaction and expiation. Jesus of Nazareth, the only perfect, righteous One had to die to cover and forgive our sins to satisfy the righteous demands of Divine Justice: “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 (satisfaction) through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of them which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom.3: 23-26)
  God's Word states: “...Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.” (Heb.9: 22); “...For it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul.” (Lev. 17:11); “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); “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6: 23)
                            WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
   John the Baptist declared: “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” Jesus of Nazareth stated: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life. Verily verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." (John 5: 24,25)
   Jesus said: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19: 10); “I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
   “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received from My Father.” (John 10: 14-18).
   For a very long time a public CRY was made from the Synagogue. Jewish theologian Alfred Edersheim wrote: “And still the Cry of the Synagogue comes to us through these many centuries of past unbelief and ignorance: 'Let one innocent come and make atonement for the guilty', to which no other response can ever be made then that of the apostle: “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” (Heb. 7:26) – From 'The Temple, its Ministry and Service'
   The Jews knew that all their ceremonial duties and traditional teaching could not free them from guilt and condemnation, so they waited for the Messiah who would take away their guilt and give them eternal peace. Then one day, John the Baptist declared: “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29). 
   The INNOCENT ONE had come, but He was rejected. For thousands of years the Jews had awaited their Messiah, but when He came they rejected Him. Many still sit in spiritual darkness. How sad! There will, however, be a remnant that will believe on Him and be saved. (Rom. 9:27)
   You may ask, “Why did Jesus of Nazareth have to die?” Adam committed high treason against His Creator and God by obeying the voice of Lucifer and rebelled against Almighty God. The sins of Adam were imputed to the human race bringing God's judgment upon us all. 
    The Bible states: “For when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commendeth His Love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom. 5: 6-9)
   When Jesus Christ hung on Calvary's Cross, He fulfilled the Holy Scriptures that said: “But He was wounded for or transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed. 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: 5,6)
    The Golden Text of the New Testament shows the love that God the Father and Jesus Christ our Lord has for all the people on earth. His mercy extends to all people everywhere who will repent and accept His love, mercy and grace. Presently, the world's population stands at 7.6 billion.  These are souls for whom Jesus Christ shed His precious blood! These are souls for which we, as the body of Christ, are responsible!
     “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. 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)
    The Bible says: “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” (Gal. 1:4)
    “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in Himself: He that believeth not hath made Him a liar: because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5: 10-12)
    There was no sickness, disease or death in the Garden of Eden. Sin brought a curse upon the earth that touched every man, woman and child. Jesus of Nazareth, however, broke that curse when He bore that curse for us all: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us for it is written, Cursed is every man that hangeth on a tree.” (Gal.3:13)
     Our Lord stated: “...Go ye into all the WORLD, and preach the Gospel to EVERY CREATURE. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and thy shall recover.” (Mark 16: 15-18)

   Do you understand the meaning of the born again experience, becoming a partaker of God's nature and the amazing process of adoption into His kingdom? You may ask: “Why is Jesus so special?” and, “What does His death and resurrection mean to me personally?” Those are two very good questions: Jesus of Nazareth was God the Son from eternity who was incarnated in human flesh so that He could bring us back to God. He wanted His Father to be our Father also. Because of the great rebellion of Lucifer the fallen archangel, sin had come into the world.
   Through his deception, lies and hatred for our Heavenly Father and life giver, Satan tempted our first parents to disobey their Maker and God.             Through their sin of high treason against their Heavenly Father, they were driven out of the Garden of Eden which He had created for them. Their rebellion plunged the entire human race into a state of unbelief and hopelessness. When the fullness of time had come, Jesus Christ came to planet earth to destroy Satan's power over us and to bring us all back into fellowship with His Father!
     Because the enormity of Adam's sin, Jesus had to die as God's Paschal Lamb, to atone for the sins of the entire world, past, present and future. His precious blood alone brings forgiveness, peace, healing and deliverance to sinful, fearful and dying people across the world today! All honour, praise and glory be unto our precious Lord Jesus, who was CRUCIFIED, but is alive forevermore!
   The Bible declares: “Christ was delivered (to the cross) for our offences (sins), and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 4: 25; 5:1). The word justified means to be declared or made righteous in the sight of God!
    Christ knew about us before the foundation of the world. (Rom. 8:28, 29). He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. (Rev.13: 8). He was demeaned, blasphemed, beaten and scourged with the Roman cat-of- nine-tails whip and nailed to the cross for us all. Jesus Christ bore our sins, fears, sicknesses, diseases and pains on that cursed tree. His vicarious death purchased our eternal salvation by meeting the righteous demands of Divine Justice by pouring out His pure and precious sinless BLOOD on our behalf.
    “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph. 1:4-7)
    Jesus Christ has provided for us a complete salvation which began the moment we received Christ as our personal Saviour and will keep us until we sit down with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom! “For since by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His Coming.” (1 Cor. 15: 21-23)
    “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit (that is) that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
      “For He hath made Him to be sin (sin offering) for us, who knew no sin; that we might be the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5: 17-19, 21); “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from or Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God and our Father; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Gal. 1:3-5);
   “In whom we have redemption through His blood. (Eph. 1: 7) ; “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (lifestyle) received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
   "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory: that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1 Peter 1: 18, 19)
    The Bible says: “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5: 6)
    The Bible says: “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 equal with God: but made Himself of 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 m and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
   “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow o 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.” (Phil. 2: 5-11)

   The first thing that I noticed when I began reading the Holy Bible regularly was the urgency with which Jesus spoke. A sense of urgency permeated His teachings and His ministry:
    “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee saw two brethren Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt. 4: 17-19)
   He had just returned from His wilderness temptation and He was already beginning to assemble His disciple team! He rose early in the morning for communion with His Father. There were times that He prayed all night and He encouraged His disciples to pray and to fast.
    “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with Him followed after Him. And when they had found Him, they said unto Him, All men seek for thee.
    “And He said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee and cast out devils.” (Mark 1: 32, 37, 38). He spoke of the cares and pleasures of the world and He warned that Satan was a thief and killer. (John 8: 44; 10: 10)
   Jesus taught about planting the seed of God's Word and of the coming harvest. The closer He got to the time of His death He assured His disciples that He had come to suffer and die to purchase redemption for all sinners. And He warned about persecution for His name's sake. (Matt 10:16-22; John 16: 18-21).
   And He promised to send the blessed Holy Spirit to lead, guide and empower them to preach His Gospel to the ends of the earth: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see again and your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
    “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.” (John 16: 7, 22-23)
    Have you heard His voice asking you to surrender totally to His CALL on your life? Has the Holy Spirit breathed into your heart the assurance that  He will be with you always, help you through all problems and give you the power to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, cast out devils and work the works of  Christ? Have you heard the call of  the Holy Spirit to pray for labourers for His  Vineyard? Are you prepared to lay your all on the altar of sacrifice for Jesus Christ?
   The Bible says: “Jesus said unto them, come ye after Me, and I shall make you to become fishers of men.” (Mark 1: 17); "And when He had called the people unto him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will 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 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 also shall the Son of man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the Holy angels.” (Mark 8: 34-38)
     “And another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee; BUT let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home in my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9: 61, 62)
                        TAKE UP THY CROSS AND FOLLOW ME!
    Alfred H. Ackleyn wrote these absolutely wonderful words in 1922. It has been a greatly loved hymn to many people over many years. There has been times when it has brought me to tears
I walked one day along a country road,
And there a stranger journeyed too,
Bent low beneath the burden of His load:
It was a cross, a cross I knew.

Take up thy cross and follow Me,
I hear the blessed Savior call;
How can I make a lesser sacrifice,
When Jesus gave His all?

I cried, Lord Jesus, and He spoke my name;
I saw His hands all bruised and torn;
I stooped to kiss away the marks of shame,
The shame for me that He had borne.

Oh, let me bear Thy cross, dear Lord, I cried,
And, lo, a cross for me appeared,
The one, forgotten, I had cast aside,
The one, so long, that I had feared.

My cross I’ll carry till the crown appears—
The way I journey soon will end—
Where God Himself shall wipe away all tears,
And friend hold fellowship with friend.
   Pray that this paper on Revival will stir all our hearts to pray diligently, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and work heartily with great faith to make Christ known to as many as possible before He RETURNS to calls us Home! Amen.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

~ How God Deals With the Devil ~
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    It was not God's will that the human race would be afflicted with sickness, disease and death, ever since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden! Regretfully, that is the sad scenario of where we are today!
God, however, made a healing covenant with the nation of Israel which He had chosen for His own people. 
     It was simple: Turn from paganism, reject Satan the god of this world, and if you will worship and serve Me I will take sickness away from the midst of you. Not only will I bless you, but I will protect you so that the plagues that are afflicting the pagan will not touch you!
    Here is the list of the ten major gods worshipped by the Egyptians during the time of Moses: 1. AMUN-Ra “The Hidden One” 2. MUT “The Mother Goddess” 3. OSIRIS “The King of Living” 4. ANUBIS “The Divine Embalmer” 5. RA “The God of Sun and Radiance” 6. HORUS “God of Vengeance” 7. THOTH “God of Knowledge and Wisdom” 8. HATHOR “Goddess of Motherhood” 9. SEKHMET “Goddess of War and Healing” 10. GEB “God of Earth”
     As Zeus in Greek, Amun-Ra or Amon in Egypt is considered as Kings of Gods and Goddesses. Believed as the Father of the Pharaohs, Amun’s female version is Amunet and is considered as the “The Female Hidden One”. Forming the “Theban Triad”, Amun and Mut along with their offspring Khonsu “Moon God” were worshipped throughout the ancient Egypt. Amun-Ra was not only worshipped in Egypt, but also outside Egypt as Amun-Ra after the amalgamation with the Sun God Ra of Ancient Egypt. - anon
    Sickness and diseases came upon the Egyptians because of their idolatry. The Lord lifted His protection from them and the devil took advantage and put his baggage on them. God did not judge the people, but His wrath was against the gods of Egypt. They worshipped ten gods so He unleashed upon them ten plagues! (Exodus 12: 12)
    The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "If thou wilt diligently hearken 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 HEALTH THEE." (Exodus 15; 26, 27)
   When they sinned and broke His commandments bad things happened, like when they were bitten by snakes. They confessed their sins and begged Moses to pray for them. God instructed Moses:
    "Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: And it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looks upon it shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the (dead) serpent of brass, he lived." (Numbers 21: 4-9)
    Why did God instruct Moses to use such an object lesson in order to be healed? We go back to the Garden of Eden and hear His stern Word to the serpent that Satan used to tempt Eve: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; It shall bruise (crush) thy head and thou shall bruise his heel." (Gen.3: 15)
    A dead serpent could not kill them! God was showing His people that He was more powerful than their greatest enemy, which is death. By obeying Him, they would live. And, of course, it was a type of His Son Who would be lifted up on the CROSS and be made a curse for us so that we could live!
    The Bible says: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangeth on a tree. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.” (Gal.3: 13)
  God’s message to Satan was that he would be utterly defeated. He declared that from the SEED of the woman would come the Deliverer, who would crush his head. In that battle, however, he would bruise the Deliverer's heel.
  This was a direct prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ (the Deliverer) and the victory He would have over Satan by rising from the dead! The bruising of His heel was His death on the cross which resulted only in a temporary bruising, because of His glorious resurrection!
   In theology we call both of these truths 'the law of the first mention'. The Seed of the woman (not the seed of a man) and the Coming of the Deliverer, Who would crush Satan's head!
    Jesus said: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." (John 3:14). Our Lord was referring back to Numbers 21 and further back to Genesis 3:15, declaring that His death on the Cross would bring healing and eternal life to ALL who looked to Him.
   His vicarious death on the cross would satisfy the righteous demands of Divine Justice in paying for all the sins of humanity back to Adam's fall, for those who would appropriate His promise by FAITH! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God that has taken away the sins of the world! (John 1: 29; 1 John 1: 22)
   The Bible says: "For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part in 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." (Heb.2: 14, 15)
   What does this mean to us? It means that we are safe from the powers of evil when we are covered with the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! Not only are we protected by Christ’s blood and the Blessed Holy Spirit, but we have been given God's power to cast out evil spirits.      Jesus has given us the right and authority to go on the offensive against the Evil One!
    He said: “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My name, shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues; if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:16-20)
   "He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might DESTROY the works of the devil." (1 John 3: 8).
    There are five specific works of the devil, which are sin, fear, sickness, disease and death, poverty and demons! The word Destroy is the key to this Scripture. Jesus has destroyed sin through His sacrificial death on the cross. He spoke peace to those who were fearful. 
    He healed the sick and raised the dead. Jesus had compassion on the poor by raising a young man from the dead to look after his widowed mother and He liberated multitudes from evil spirits! And He has given us the authority to do likewise.
    He said: “Behold, I give you power to tread on on serpents, and scorpions and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10: 19).
     St. Paul shaking off a deadly snake from his arm in Malta without hurt is a good example.(Acts 28: 2-6). Talk about receiving power and authority over all the powers of darkness and protection from every mechanism the devil has employed for our destruction. The Promises of God worked then and they still work today!
   The Bible says: "How 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). 
   What an example the Holy Spirit has given us to follow in the life and ministry of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ! He led by example. He said: “As My father hath sent Me, so send I you.” (John 20: 21)
    “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him: “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will.” Heb.2: 3, 4)
   The Bible states: "Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you: because the Darkness is past, and the True Light now shines." (1 John 2: 8).
   Jesus of Nazareth conquored the devil in His wilderness Temptation. Every challenge Satan used to tempt Christ was defeated conclusively by the Word of God alone! When Jesus countered with the Word of God Satan had to back off. Repeatedly, Jesus stated:
    “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God... “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God... “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Matt. 4: 1-11)
   Jesus taught, healed multitudes of sick folk and cast out thousands of demon spirits. He also sent out twelve disciples to heal the sick and cast out demons. Then, He sent out seventy more to do the exactly the same as He was doing. And finally, Jesus commanded 120 of His followers to wait in Jerusalem until they be endued with the Holy Spirit:
    “And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sicknesses and all manner of disease.” (Matt. 10: 1); 
    “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face ...And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The Kingdom is come nigh unto you.” (Luke 10: 1, 9,17)
    “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature...And these SIGNS shall follow them that believe. In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues...They shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 15-20)
    St. John's message to the Church is that we are mature in Christ. Things like envy, pride and jealousy are gone. We are finished with low living and hatred. The message of Christ is that we are to love one another!
    The message to the Devil is: "Back off and go away. Your day is over. You are finished, because the darkness is past and the True Light now shines." Jesus Christ is the true Light and He has dispelled the darkness!
    St. Paul wrote: "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 of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant (slave), and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the Death of the Cross.
    "Wherefore God hath Highly 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." (Phil.2: 5-11)
    Jesus said: "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you Free." (John 10: 10); "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake.
    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me the works that I do shall ye do also and greater works shall he do, because I go unto My Father (and will send the Holy Spirit).
    “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ASK anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14: 11-14)
   God spoke to Moses to make a serpent of brass and lift it up on a high pole for all who were bitten to see. We learn several truths here. First, brass is a symbol of judgment in the Scriptures. This was God’s judgment against Satan, the wicked serpent who lied to Eve. Second, it was a type of Jesus Christ who became a curse by dying on the Cross as God’s paschal Lamb for us. Third, God is greater than death and gives life to all who simply look to Jesus Christ by faith.
   A dead serpent cannot hurt you. Jesus removed the stinger from death, which is fear. The Bible says: “For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor. 15: 25, 26); “O death where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55-36).
   The Bible says: “But we see Jesus Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2: 9).
“…For the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in Me.” (John14: 30); “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that Wicked One toucheth him not.” (1 John 5: 18)
Jesus 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: “Who His own self bare our sins in His own Body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by Whose stripes we were healed. For we were as sheep going astray; but now are returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (1 Peter 2: 24, 25)
     “And the seventy returned again, with joy saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us though Thy Name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven. Behold, I give unto you Power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the Enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:17, 18)
    “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 of 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 became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,
    "Wherefore God hath highly 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 under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2: 5-11)
    “And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne.
     “And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers of saints.
   “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the Book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and nation, and people. And hast made us unto our God, kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5: 1-10)
    “And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
    “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev.12: 10, 11)
Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet (qualified) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Who hath delivered us from the powers 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.” (Col. 1: 12-14)
   The Holy Bible reports Satan’s defeat: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His CROSS: And having spoiled principalities and powers He (Jesus) made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2: 13, 14).
   “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,
    “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all things.” (Ep. 1:19-23)
    After the Holy Spirit fell upon JESUS at His Baptism, He returned in the power of the Spirit and great miracles of healing followed His ministry. He cast out many unclean spirits from those who were possessed:
    The Bible says: “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; What have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God.
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold Thy peace and come out of Him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.” (Mark 1: 23-28)
    “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the Devil.” (1 John 3: 8): “The Thief: (Satan) cometh not but for to Steal, Kill and Destroy: I am come that they might have LIFE, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
    “And the DEVIL that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Rev.20: 10)
    The Bible states: “The Word of God is quick (living) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piecing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4: 12)
   “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the Word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow ever tongue shall swear (confess).” (Is. 45:22, 23)
   “So shall My Word be that goeth forth 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 whereto I sent it.” (Is. 55: 11); “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (Matt. 24: 35; Luke 21: 33)
   The New Testament is filled with the fulfilled Old Testament Scriptures by advent of Jesus of Nazareth as the Jewish Messiah, the Christ (anointed of God). Here are some powerful Scripture texts that speak of the fulfillment of God’s prophetic Word. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum… that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of Esaias the prophet…” (Matt. 4: 13-16);
    “When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His Word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Eaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matt. 8: 16, 17)
   “But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all… That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esais the prophet, saying, Behold My servant, whom I have chosen….” (Matt. 12: 15-18)
    Jesus said: “And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be FREE indeed.” (John 8: 32, 36)
    “There is therefore now 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)
    “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 the children of God. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.
   “And we KNOW that all things work out together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn, among many brethren.
   “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
    “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall separate us from the love of CHRIST? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, or angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, or things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 8: 15-17, 28-39)
    “But God, Who is rich in MERCY for His great love, wherewith He loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ; by grace ye are saved. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
    “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves in is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.
   “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2: 4-10)
   The Gospel is the Good News: The Glad Tidings that Light has come into a world of Darkness; that Peace has come into a world of Turmoil; that Forgiveness has come into a world of Sin, that Healing has come into a world of Sickness; that Love has come into a world of Hate; that Life has come into a world of Death; that Freedom has come into a world of Bondage and that Slaves are made Free through Jesus Christ, the Liberator of the Human Race! Amen.
    For 1,000 years, only Roman Catholic clergy were allowed to preach in Malta. In order to keep out the marauding, murdering Mohammedans, the Knights of Malta made that decree a law. By the hand of God, I was thrust into a situation that opened the door for the Gospel Ministry to enter that nation!
   On December 6, 1973, I met with Monsignor Michael Gunzi, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Malta. After a very spirited talk with the Archbishop he said: "I wish you the best success in your Mission of preaching Jesus Christ to the Maltese people."
    Immediately, Police Chief Enoch Tonna sent for me and divulged that the Mafia had threatened him and his family. As we prayed together, he received Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and we continued a spiritual friendship by mail for some time!
    History was made and the 1,000 year-old Law forbidding anyone except a Roman Catholic priest from preaching in Malta was cancelled and freedom of religion came to that country.
   The Jehovah Witnesses who had been imprisoned for breaking the law were released, and unfortunately I helped the Muslims get their Antichrist teachings into Malta for the first time in 1,000 years.
    In more than 50 years of preaching the Glorious Gospel of Christ, I have visited many islands. The snakes are plentiful almost everywhere. Many islands have imported the mongoose to kill the snakes. In Malta, however, there are NO SNAKES. They all died when the "man of God" shook off the beast" into the fire!
   Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, let us do the same: Shake of the beast! The Bible says: “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy Name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven.
   “Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. And NOTHING shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10: 17-19)
  When St. Paul had come ashore at Malta hanging onto a piece of wreckage, the Gospel message and a revival of great magnitude began. The weather was cold and unsettling and St. Paul helped build a fire on the beach to keep them warm.
   While the 'man of God' was laying some wood on the fire, a viper jumped up and bit him on the arm. He shook the beast off into the fire and felt no ill effect from the poison, causing the natives to believe he was a god.
   That Miracle opened the door for the Gospel, as many received Christ as Healer, Lord and Saviour: "In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and lodged us three days courteously.
     “And it came to pass that the father of Publius' lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed and laid his hands on him and HEALED HIM. So when this was done, others also which had diseases in the island came and were healed." (Acts 28: 1-11)
   Here, we learn several lessons: God can use seemingly impossible and hurtful situations to bring glory to His Great and Wonderful Name:
First: The ship was wrecked; St. Paul unknowingly "taking up a serpent" without succumbing to its poisonous bite (Mark 16:16,17), the healing of the Chief's father and the ensuing revival with all the sick on the island coming to the man of God for healing through the "laying on of hands" in the name of the "crucified and risen Lord Jesus."
Second: The SNAKE could not kill the 'Man of God' who shook him off into the fire! The Snake is Satan and the fire is Hell. "And the Devil (Liar) which deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Rev.20: 10)
    Our Lord invites us to join together in prayer according to Matthew 18:19. He promises to answer our prayers! He waits for our desperate cries for intervention in our lives: Prayers for forgiveness, divine healing and deliverance from the Evil One!
    Jesus issues seven invitations to prayer in John chapters 14, 15 and 16. He encourages us to ask Him for whatever we need. He would not do so, if He did not expect to answer those prayers!
    St. John states emphatically: "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, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the Petitions, that we desired of Him." (1 John 5:14, 15).
   Through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, we have the amazing PEACE of God. Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not heart be troubled, neither let it not be afraid.” (John 14: 27)
   “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the Blood of Christ. For He is our Peace, Who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us:
   “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making Peace; And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Eph.2:13-18)
   “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, He is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17); “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.” (Col. 1:20)
    “Now the God of Peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the BLOOD of the everlasting covenant. Make you perfect in every good work to do His will working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ forever and ever.” (Heb.13: 20, 21). Amen.