AND CHRIST’S REDEMPTION
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
Blaise Pascal wrote: “For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity. All in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinity far from understanding either. There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ!
“The two principles of truth, Reason and Senses, are not only both not genuine, but are engaged in mutual deception. The senses deceive reason through false appearances and the senses. The heart has its reason which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This then is faith: God felt by the heart, not by reason.”
Encyclopedia Britannica states: “Blaise Pascal believed man’s wretchedness is explicable only as an effect or fall, and that for Pascal, as for St. Paul, Jesus Christ is the Second Adam, inconceivable without the First. Pascal believed wholeheartedly that the events described in the Book of Genesis were actual historical events.”
Concerning the ‘Wretchedness of Man’, St. Paul says: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 7: 24, 25; 8: 1,2)
The definition of wretched is: “miserable, unhappy, sad, disappointed.” This is the condition of the world without Christ, sad, defeated and guilt-ridden. Only Jesus the Lion of the tribe of Judah has the power to break the chains and liberate lost humanity!
THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS!
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is not one that doeth good, no, not one. All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” (Rom. 3: 10-12; 23)
What a sad commentary on the entire human family. What a hopeless situation to be in! No hope! No way out! Only sin, guilt, fear, condemnation and ultimate futility! Not one righteous person in the whole world. All with terrible resumes of wrongdoing and worthlessness. All are sinners bound for an eternal Hell! But no, help is on its way!!
Then suddenly the light breaks through. Someone has come to our rescue! But who could help us? Who cares if we live or die? And who has the resources, the power and the will to liberate us and why would he even care or desire to liberate us?
For a very long time, Jewish Religious leaders asked the same question. It is called, 'The Cry of the Synagogue'. The Rabbi would cry out with a loud voice, “Let One Innocent Come and Atone for the Guilty.”
Again and again over the centuries, the 'Cry of the Synagogue' was made, but no-one stepped forward. There were not 'One Innocent' among the children of men, for all had sinned!
Then, one day John the Baptist cried out: “Behold the Lamb of which taketh away the sins of the world.” (John 1: 29). The Innocent One had come, but they rejected Him.
Isaiah had prophesied about Him more than 700 years earlier: “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
“But He was wounded for our 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 every one to his own way: and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53:4-6)
JESUS THE INNOCENT ONE!
St. Paul declared that Jesus of Nazareth was that Innocent One: “For such an high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” (Heb. 7: 26)
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man someone will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 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. For if, when we were sinners, we were reconciled to God through His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5: 6-10)
The Bible states: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6: 23). The wages of sin is death, without exception! All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!
Adam’s sin affected us all, leaving death and destruction in its wake! We are all vulnerable because of the sin of Adam and Eve and because of our own propensity to break God’s laws. We are all guilty as charged~
A MIRACLE IN FERNIE!
After years of heavy drinking, Wayne Pratt, repented of his sins and was born again early one Sunday morning in 1976, while watching our telecast over CFCN.
Returning home after a weekend of heavy drinking, fighting and carousing, Wayne made himself some coffee and turned on the TV to ease his guilt regarding his behavior in Fernie, B.C. that weekend.
The Holy Spirit convicted him as I preached from Romans 7 and 8, on the wretchedness of man and deliverance from sin and guilt through Jesus Christ. He fell to his knees weeping and crying to God for forgiveness and was born again. He needed to find a church. He must not lose what he had received!
His wife awoke and asked him where he was going. When he said, “I am going to church”, she said, “Now, you are really out of it.” It was too early for churches to open, so Wayne waited in a coffee shop.
As he drove around the town looking for a church, the Holy Spirit directed him to the Assembly of God, where he was welcomed and later received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire. Besides being a heavy-duty mechanic, he is a Director of SEA and a worker in God’s Kingdom. See his testimony on Max Solbrekken on youtube or Come Home to Jesus Video!
EDEN: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN!
Let us go back to where it all started, the Garden of Eden: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it…” (Gen. 1: 27)
“And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.
“And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen.2:7, 15-17)
Into that beautiful paradise entered the most despicable, insidious deceiver, liar and wicked personality ever created. Think of the callus, unbridled pride of that disreputable fallen archangel, Lucifer, daring to come to that sanctified place. His plan was to deceive mankind’s first parents and he did!
When I think of the goodness and mercy of our Lord, I am overcome by His patience and grace. I would have immediately snuffed out that pernicious intruder, but the plan of God had to be worked out for the Messiah to come at the proper time since God knows the end from the beginning!
Satan, the liar/tempter deceived Eve the wife of Adam, who was the sole ruler of the Garden of Eden! Their sin of high treason against Almighty God plunged the entire world into unbelief, darkness, and sin! The Holy Bible tells the story precisely:
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast on the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her and they did eat.
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and they made themselves aprons.
"And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
“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. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
THE DEVIL LIED TO EVE!
“And the man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It will bruise the head and thou shall bruise his heel.” (Gen.3:1-15).
God would cause strife between snakes and humans. And Satan
the great serpent, would be destroyed by the seed of the woman whom he had deceived! Here we find ‘the law of the first mention’!
The first mention of the promised Messiah/Deliverer who would be born of a Virgin woman, without the aid of male sperm! He promised a Redeemer who would destroy Satan’s seed. In the battle, the Redeemer’s heel would be bruised.
At Calvary, Satan was destroyed (Heb.2:14,15) by Christ’s vicarious death. The Redeemer’s heel was bruised, but was healed when He arose from the dead. Christ is Victorious and Satan’s power is destroyed, and he will be consigned to the lake of fire eternally. (Rev. 20:10)
“Unto Adam also and his wife did the Lord God make clothes of skins and clothed them. And the Lord God said, Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:
"Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to til the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way from
the tree of life.” (Gen.3:21-24)
Satan the evil and wicked Liar had gotten his revenge against Almighty God. He had seduced the parents of humanity and would have his own kingdom in opposition to the Creator. He would employ the wicked angels that had joined his rebellion to seduce, harass and bring all into bondage through hate, fear, sickness and disease, war and chaos!
His plan had almost succeeded until God called one man and his family to save mankind and preserve the bloodline of the Coming Messiah and Liberator of the world, Jesus Christ. He would send a flood that would destroy the world but save billions of future souls.
The man whom God would use had kept his family free from demonic influence. That was the family that carried the bloodline of the Coming Messiah. That man’s name was NOAH!
1: THE WORLD AT ENMITY WITH GOD
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.
"And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generation and Noah walked with God. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was filled with violence, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
“And God said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopherwood; rooms shalt thou make in the
ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch…And behold, I even I do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die.
“But with thee will I establish My Covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark; thou and thy sons, and thy wife and thy sons’ wives with thee. And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou, and all thy house into the Ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.” (Gen. 6: 1-8, 11-14; 7:1)
LOVE NOT THE WORLD!
St. John says: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
“And the world passeth away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” (1 John 2:15-17). St. James stated: “Ye adulteresses and adulteresses, know ye that friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
The Holy Bible defines the world as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life! We are warned not to love the world. It was this temptation that destroyed Adam and Eve’s faith in God and drove them out of the Garden of Eden. It was that temptation created an orbit of sin, fear, and destruction!
Here is Satan’s simple but deadly equation: The forbidden fruit was pleasant to the eyes It would be good to eat. It would make her wise. SIN has made slaves out of men and women who were created in the image of the eternal God.
What a tragedy for mankind. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God as His children. After their tragic FALL, they were driven out of the Garden, from the presence of God!
SIN is when men and women no longer fear God. Their trust, reverence and love for God has grown cold. Satan has deceived mankind with the same lies that he told Eve in the Garden of Eden. (2 Cor. 4: 3, 4)
Look at the filth, rot and corruption in society today, that staggers the imagination. I am referring to the increase in broken homes, crime, gambling, lust, greed, sexual perversion and the devastating epidemic of drug abuse and opioid deaths in our nation!
Between January 2016 and September 2018 there were more than 10,300 opioid deaths. Canada’s Public Health reported one such death every 2 hours in 2018.
2. GOVERNMENTS ARE CORRUPT!
God’s Word states: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn:” (Prov. 29: 2).
The fulfillment of this Scripture is seen in the murderous Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, Communist regimes of Stalin, Mao, Castro and anti-Christ Islamic Terrorism in the Middle East!
And the departure from Biblical principles governing individual families and the nation at large, through perverted laws and a tainted Court system, departing from the Ten Commandments and the British Common Law!
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Ps. 33:12). The Gospel of Christ has brought the light of God into pagan nations across the world and liberty to multiplied millions since Jesus Christ’s vicarious death on Golgotha’s Hill and His glorious resurrection almost 2,000 years ago!
Prime Minister William Gladstone, unquestionably one of Great Britain's most able, and greatest legal minds in the 1800s stated: “Talk about the questions of the day! There is but one question and that is the Gospel. That can and will correct everything. I am glad to say that about all the men at the top in Great Britain are Christians.
" I have been in public positions fifty-eight years, all but eleven of them in the Cabinet of the British Government, and during those forty-seven years have been associated with sixty of the master minds of the century, and all but five of the sixty were Christians.”
What a statement coming from the greatest British Prime Minister who ever lived! It is little wonder then that Queen Victoria stated: “I could wish that Jesus Christ would return in my lifetime.” When she was asked, “Why?” she answered: “I would so love to lay my crown at His feet.”
The Holy Bible says: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against his anointed…” (Ps. 2:1,2); “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.” (1 Cor. 2: 8)
The Jewish Sanhedrin condemned Jesus of Nazareth and delivered Him to the Roman authorities in Jerusalem for execution. Governor Pontius Pilate, at the urging of the Jewish rulers, condemned Him to death on the cross!
The Word of God states: “And we know that we are of God, and whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us 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 5:19)
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God.
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already, it is in the world. Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
“They are of the world; therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are not of the world: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God hearth not us. Hereby know we the spirt of error.” (1 John 4: 1-5)
3: THE CHURCH IS LUKEWARM!
“And unto the angel of the Laodecians write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God (He whom God used to create); I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, I will spew thee out of My mouth.
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” (Rev.3: 14-20)
Recently, I completed a series of messages on the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and have again been reminded of the sins and shortcomings of those churches in Asia and how similar they were to our churches today.
Out of the seven churches, Jesus Christ commanded five to REPENT or else He would deal with them harshly.
In every case, however, He leaves the door open for them to repent. When He says that He will come to them, it will be to judge. It is also a plea for them to repent and seek His face. It is an opportunity for a revival to break loose in the church, for which He died on the cross!
In his book, The Fire of God (1948), Dr. Oswald J. Smith, founder of People’s Church in Toronto, stated that he had studied the lives of all the great men of God who had brought Revival and changed nations for Christ. He stated that all of them majored in five things, namely: Sin and Salvation, Heaven and Hell and Judgment! I whole heartedly agree with that statement.
Another very important truth which I personally have observed is this: Only those preachers who faithfully declare the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ to save, forgive, cleanse and heal, see God’s miracles in His Name! Those who do not honour the BLOOD of Jesus Christ very seldom have His miracles following their ministry!
Whenever the blood of Christ is preached, the Holy Spirit responds! The Holy Spirit answers to the Blood of Jesus! The Holy Spirit honours and glorifies the Word of God, the Name of Jesus and the precious Blood oJesus Christ shed for the Redemption of the world!
“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: to Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Heb. 13: 20)
The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant was made in the Council of Heaven between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, before the worlds were made!
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation 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 days for you, who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him from the dead, and gave Him glory that your faith and hope in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21)
The fear of God is lacking today. The desire to pray is lacking today. The burden for lost souls is lacking today. The boldness to declare the Word of God, is lacking today. The fire of God and the power of God is lacking today in the Church of the Living God. And that is terribly sad!
The great Puritan preacher Richard Baxter stated: “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.” He was a serious Minister of the Gospel.
He stated: “Of all preaching in the world, (that speaks not stark lies) I hate that preaching which tendeth to make the hearers laugh, or to move their mind with tickling levity, and affect them as stage-players use to do, instead of affecting them with a holy reverence of the name of God.”
Jesus said: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Dr. R. Moffat Gautrey wrote: “The Gospel is not an old, old story, freshly told. It is a FIRE in the spirit, fed by the flame of Immortal Love. And woe be unto us if through our negligence to stir up the gift of God which is written within us, that FIRE burns low!”.
4: PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED, PERPLEXED!
Jesus warned: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of Heaven shall be shaken.
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21: 25-28)
The word perplexity means that there is no way out! That sums up the situation in the world today:
The rise of Chinese military and economic power, Iran’s hunger
for nuclear weapons, spreading Islamic terrorism, Russia’s aggressive resurgence, hatred for Israel and the Jews, some churches’ departure from, “the faith once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)
A leading cause of death is heart attacks, many caused by fear which constricts the flow of blood. Without doubt, stress and anxiety, smoking, poor eating habits and lack of exercise also contribute to heart disease.
The answer is to flee from the wrath to come, into the loving arms of Jesus Christ and receive His forgiveness, peace, healing and deliverance! And to become His active disciple, spreading the Gospel as His Ambassador to our dysfunctional society!
The BIBLE says: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every man to his own way; and the Lord have laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53: 6); “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Is. 64: 6)
“Come now and let us reason together saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red as crimson, they shall be as white as wool.” (Is. 1:18)
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom.3:23); “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6: 23)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall
be saved.” (Rom. 10: 9,10, 13)
5: THE HOLY BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD!
The Bible declares: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3: 16)
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 20, 21)
“God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the world.” (Heb.1:1,2)
WILLIAM GLADSTONE, England’s greatest Prime Minister under Queen Victoria, stated: “The Bible is stamped with the specialty of origin. An immeasurable distance separates it from all other competitors.”
VICTOR HUGO, French playwright and poet, stated: “England has two great books, the Bible and Shakespeare. England made Shakespeare and the Bible made England.”
SIR WALTER SCOTT stated, “The Bible: In the whole world it is THE BOOK; all other books are mere leaves, fragments.”
PROF. DYSON HAGUE, M.A. wrote: “Yes, it alone is the universal BOOK – the eternal Book. It is the Voice: all others are merely books for the hour. The Bible is the book of all time. It stands alone; unapproachable in grandeur; as high above all other books as heaven is above the earth, as the Son of God above the sons of men.”
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN declared: “The Bible has not lost its appeal, because the principles it contains are of timeless relevance and its beauty is forever discovered anew by millions of Americans.”
On Thursday, Feb. 3, at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., President Ronald Reagan proclaimed 1983, The Year of the Bible. Following is an example of his address to the National Religious Broadcasters that same week.
I believe that when Americans reach out for values of faith, family, and caring for the needy, they are saying, “We want the Word of God. We want to face the future with the Bible.”
We are blessed to have the words of strength, comfort and truth. Within the covers of that single Book that face us today, are all the answers to all the problems that face us today....if we would only look there. “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of our God shall stand forever.”
.....I have always believed that this blessed land was set apart in a special way, that some plan placed this great continent here between two oceans to be found by people from every corner of the earth – people who had a special love for freedom...
…..I hope Americans will read and study the Bible in 1983. It is my firm belief that the enduring values presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and for our nation. The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds and order our minds, refresh our souls.
The Bible declares: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1,2, 14)
6: CHRIST IS THE ANSWER
In His communion with His Heavenly Father Jesus prayed: “Sanctify them through Thy truth. Thy Word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” (John 17: 17)
“And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. That they also may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in US; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
“And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that thou may be one, even as We are one. I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in ONE; and that the world may KNOW that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast
loved Me.” (John 17: 18- 23)
Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. 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 than these shall ye do, because I go unto My Father.
“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. If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14: 6, 11-15)
Jesus 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 cometh not, but for to steal, kill and destroy. I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:9)
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. 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 command have I received of My Father.” (John 10:11, 14, 17, 18)
“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. Believest thou this. She said unto Him, Yea, I believe that Thou art the Christ,the Son of the Living God.” (John 11: 25-27)
“I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:1,2). We are branches of Vine, drawing life from Jesus Christ Himself. He says: “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also likewise Himself took part of the same; that through Death He might Destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil: And Deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb.2: 14, 15)
“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)
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” (Acts 10: 38)
“And there was war in Heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found 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.” (Rev. 12:7, 8).
“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)
8: THE LOVE OF GOD
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear that 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. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Hereby perceive we the love of God because He laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3: 1-5, 16,
William Cowper tried to commit suicide several times. He was about to drink a glass of hemlock but his hand trembled and he dropped the glass. He tried to shoot himself but was unable to do so. Cowper sought to throw himself into the Thames River but was “strangely restrained.”
The next morning, he fell on a sharp knife and broke the blade. He tried to hang himself but was found and taken down unconscious. William Cowper was brought to St. Anselms Asylum.
One day, he picked up a Bible lying on a bench. He read: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to God.” (Rom. 3: 25)
He was born again as the Spirit of God fell upon him and instantly liberated by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. He wrote the hymn, There is a fountain filled with Blood, and many other great hymns for the glory of God.
John Newton, who had been a Captain on slave ships and an ungodly man, was converted and became Cowpers pastor and helped him greatly. Together they authored a number of hymns. John Newton wrote the hymn, Amazing Grace!.
Almighty God invites everyone to come to Him, the Fountain of living water and drink of the water of Life freely. He was not pleased with His people because of their backsliding and indifference to His invitation.
He said: “For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the Fountain of Living Waters, and have hewn them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jer. 2:13)
He still invites: “Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is.1: 18). Jesus our Lord and Saviour, invites:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with Me.” (Rev. 3: 20). Amen.
THE GREAT REVIVAL OF 1857
On July 1, 1857 Jeremiah Lamphier, a 46-year-old businessman was called by the Dutch Reformed Church to be a missionary to downtown New York City. He had been saved in 1842 in Charles Finney’s meetings.
He felt led to begin a noon prayer meeting once a week on the 3 rd floor of the old N. Dutch Reformed Church. He printed pamphlets to hand out and put one on the door. In the first service he prayed alone for 30 minutes. Then 4 men came. By March 6,000
were attending the meetings. Within a year there were 92,216 estimated conversions to Christ!
VANCE HAVNER wrote: “Many years ago in Scotland in a certain community, the fires had all one out! The searched everywhere to see if anyone had fire. Finally, they found a humble house where the hartstone glowed with a cheery flame. Soon they were carrying coals here and there to replenish their own blackened fireplaces.
“Today, there are weary hearts, discouraged souls, needy churches looking for a soul with fire, someone kept aglow in spite of the world, flesh and the devil.”
May we all rededicate ourselves totally to Jesus Christ and the spread of His Gospel of salvation and deliverance!
C.S. Lewis made this statement about the awesomeness of Christ: “He died not for men but for each man. If each man had been the only man, He would have done no less.”
Hundreds of years ago, Martin Luther was found lying under the figure of Christ, sobbing uncontrollably and saying, “Mein Gott, für mich, für mich.” He suddenly realized that Jesus Christ had not only died for the world, but for Martin Luther personally, and that revelation shook him to the core!
One morning, I awoke with these words filling my heart and this prayer on my lips: “O God, give me an insatiable desire to win souls for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
We are believing for a season of healing, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit that will re-awaken the Church in these end-times to seek God by fasting and prayer, to rend the Heavens and come down in our midst in old-time power! Amen.