Monday, May 6, 2019

                       By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
   Right from the Garden of Eden, the stage was set for the Mighty Deliverer to step onto the world stage! The Promise came from Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, the cosmos and everything therein.  
   Although the great plan of Redemption and the 'Coming of the Deliverer' to ransom fallen man was already planned, it was not until the treasonous Lucifer had caused humanity’s greatest catastrophe, that Almighty God made it public.
    Certainly, Adam and Eve, the first human beings to rebel, couldn't have seen the announcement coming, as the reality of the immense tragedy unfolded. 
  The Wicked Deceiver undoubtedly knew there would be a strong response from Almighty God to his dastardly deed, but the 'Coming of the Deliverer' was more than he had expected.
   He was stricken with PANIC as he heard the Almighty question Adam and Eve: “Adam, why did you do this”? Adam passed the buck, using a blame game approach: “The woman you gave me, gave me the fruit. It is not my fault.”
   God asked the woman: “What hast thou done?” Eve answered truthfully, “The Serpent beguiled me and I did eat.” She pointed at the devil in the SNAKE and said, “Satan is to blame.”
     The Eternal God stated: “There will now be enmity between man and snakes. People will loathe serpents and hate them. Snakes will crawl on their belly and eat dust because it allowed the Deceiver to enter it. Lucifer, you will identify with the lowest of the low and be named the great Serpent.
    “The Deliverer will be born to a woman without a human father. He will be True God from eternity and True Man through His virgin birth; incarnated (God in human flesh) without sin. He will meet the Demands of Divine Justice to atone for the sins of the world
    Through this act of LOVE, He will atone (pay the penalty) for Adam and Eve's treasonous deeds.  The shedding of His righteous, sinless blood, and His resurrection from the dead will guarantee forgiveness for members of the human family, who will receive Him!
   “But, for you, Lucifer, there will be no peace or redemption. Your fate is sealed forever.  You are an eternally doomed Deceiver. The blood of the Deliverer will negate your power to dominate Adam's race. In the future, your sins of Pride, Greed and Hatred will fuel your torments.
    Fear will constantly haunt you as you search for clues of the Coming Deliverer. You will seek to destroy Him but will be unable to do so. Because of His perfect redemption, He will provide total liberty, forgiveness, healing and eternal life for Adam's fallen race!
     “In the Final Battle, the Deliverer will CRUSH your head, Lucifer. And you will be cast into the Lake that burns with Fire and Brimstone for ever and ever. Throughout eternity, Lucifer, you will be known as Satan, the Liar, Deceiver, Opposer of all righteousness – Enemy of God and Man!”
     The word, Devil, identifies Lucifer as the Liar above all liars, a swindler, traducer, and slanderer. Be-elezub means the Master of flies; dirty, filthy flies! He deceived the woman, but JESUS CHRIST the Redeemer has lifted the heavy burdens from mankind. His pure and perfect blood was shed for all human beings has the power to free all who believe on His Name!
    Jesus stated: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation: but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
    The BIBLE says: “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: Therefore, the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.
     "Behold, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3: 1,2)
   “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath 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. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth within him, and he in God.” (1 John 4: 12-15),
   “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and everyone that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar because he believeth not the RECORD that God gave of His Son.
     “And this is the record that God hath given to us Eternal Life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: that ye might know that ye have eternal life, and that ye might believe on the name of the Son of God.
   “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is TRUE, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5: 1, 11-13,20)
    In his letter to former pagans in Corinth, St. Paul the founder of the Church among the Gentiles, declared that Jesus Christ is the Only Saviour and that all other deities or paths to God, Heaven and eternal life, are false. He stated that they will not save you!
    “But to us (believers) there is but ONE GOD, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him.” (1 Cor. 8: 6).
    The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins. Jesus Christ saves us by His Blood. The Blessed Holy Spirit brings us into the presence the Father.
    The Bible says: “For through Him (Jesus Christ) we both (all believers) have access by one Spirit (Holy Spirit) unto the Father.” (Eph. 1:18); Jesus Christ is the only WAY to God and Heaven! 
    He said: “I am the DOOR, by Me if any man enter in he shall be SAVED, and shall go in and out and find pasture. The thief (Satan) cometh not but for to steal, kill and destroy. I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10: 9,10).
     KARL BARTH, outstanding European theologian, made this powerful claim for Jesus Christ: “The last word which I have to not a term like “grace”, but a name, “Jesus Christ”. He is grace, and He is the last, beyond the world and the Church and even theology... What I have been concerned to do in my long life has been increasingly to emphasis this name and to say: There is no salvation in any other name than this. For grace, too, is there. There, too, is the impulse to work, to struggle, and also the impulse towards fellowship, towards human solidarity. Everything that I have tested in my life, in weakness and in foolishness, is there. But it is there.”
   The angel of God spoke to Joseph in a dream, saying: “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and they shall shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.
    “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by he prophet saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matt. 1:20-23)
   The name Jesus means Saviour: the salvation of God, therefore JESUS means: The God who saves; the God who heals; the God who delivers! The Salvation of God entails forgiveness for sins, peace of mind, healing for sicknesses and diseases, deliverance from demon powers and eternal life! The prophet said:
    “Surely He hath borne our sicknesses (heb. choli) and carried our pains (heb. makob): yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, 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 upon Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53: 4-6)
 “When the even was come, thy 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 Esias the prophet, saying Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matt. 8: 16, 17); 
   “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 ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
   The Bible says: “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.” (Acts 3: 6); 
  “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth his man stand before you whole.   (Acts 4: 10, 12).
     St. Paul stated: “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 be being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, 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, 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): 
  “But this man (Jesus Christ) because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7: 24-25)
    The BIBLE says: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own Blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of the heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
   How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God? (Heb. 9:12-14)                                     “For Christ is not entered  into the holy place made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that He should offer Himself often as the High Priest entereth into the Holy place every year with blood of others; For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the Sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb. 9:24, 26)    
      St. Paul wrote: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim. 2: 3-6)
     After Christ had put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, He arose from the dead and as our Eternal High Priest, ascended to Heaven to present His blood in the Holy of Holies where God dwells. And His blood is there now pleading for us and prevailing for us! The High Priest in the Temple never spoke a word as he ministered in the Holy of Holies. His duty was to present the blood and that was sufficient. When God saw the blood, He was satisfied!
    There was no chair in the Holy of Holies. The high priest’s work was never finished. It continued year after year. When Jesus Christ had finished His work, He ascended on High and He sat down on His Father’s right hand in Heaven. It is finished. Salvation is complete. All glory, praise and thanksgiving to Him forever and ever. Amen.
     The Book of Revelation states: “And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone where the Beast and False Prophet are and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.
     “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
     “And death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death. And whosoever was not written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.” (Rev. 20: 10 15)
     What is the Book of Life? Whose names are recorded in the Book of Life? How does one get his name inscribed into the Book of Life? Are some names blotted out of the Book of Life? Why do many Jews during the Jewish New Year season use this greeting: “May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life?”
     After their campaigns, Jesus' disciples were joyous: “And the seventy returned again with JOY, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to 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.
    “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the (evil) spirits are subject unto you: but rather REJOICE because your names are written in Heaven.” (Luke 10: 18-20)
    At the very moment a person is born again by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, his name is inscribed in the Lamb's Book of Life. That is the MIRACLE of Christ's redemptive work in our hearts and lives.
    In his powerful altar calls at our church in Edmonton, Baptist evangelist Dr. Hyman Appleman used to say: “The recording angel is waiting to inscribe your name into the Book of Life.”  Even now, sinner friend, the recording angel waits for your decision to receive Christ as your Saviour, to write your name in that great Book! Amen.