ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE (4) By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
Who rolled away the 2,000 pound stone from the Sepulchre? Where was the Body of Jesus? Why did the Roman Guards fall prostrate on the ground? How much hush money did the Jewish Sanhedrin leaders pay the soldiers? Why did the hate-filled terrorist Saul of Tarsus convert to Jesus Christ?
JESUS' TOMB IS EMPTY!
These are questions that should cause scientists and historians to ponder the enormity of the resurrection of Christ. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Foundation Stone of the Gospel. It is the driving force that separated Christianity from all other religions and faiths! The Leaders of all other Religions and faiths were long gone and buried!
When St. Paul preached on Mars Hill in Athens, the message he presented was so powerful that philosophers went away saying that he was preaching about two gods, Jesus Christ and the Resurrection! No-one there had heard about someone being raised from the dead.
In their ignorance of spiritual matters, they could not assimilate something so unreal and other worldly, as a man put to death on a Roman cross and buried in a tomb, was still alive. And that Saul of Tarsus, a fierce opponent of the Crucified One, was now His greatest disciple, publishing everywhere His Gospel of Salvation
They didn't realize that the Eternal God, creator of Heaven and earth, had come into a darkened world of superstition and fear to create a New World Order! How could they understand with their warped minds and carnal appetites that these strange happenings were actually true!
GOD REVEALED HIMSELF THROUGH JESUS!
The Holy Bible states: “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 to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16,17)
The answer is that the Son of God revealed Himself to a lost and dying world, through His vicarious death on the cross, shedding His sinless redemptive Blood, and three days later rising from the dead. Fifty days later, our Heaven Father sent the Blessed Holy Spirit to empower a body of believers to redeem perverted humanity unto Himself. On the Day of Pentecost, the Church was born!
Here is God's Invitation: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on Him.” (1 John 3:36). It is only by the love of God and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that His glorious Salvation is available to all who will call on His name in repentance, humility and faith. My prayer is that many will do so, while the door of mercy is still open!
An old Gospel hymn speaks volumes: 'Down in the grave He lay, Jesus my Saviour; Waiting for the Coming Day, Jesus my Lord; Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph oer His foes. He arose the victor of that dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose. He arose. Hallelujah, Christ arose!'
JESUS AROSE FROM THE DEAD!
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for an angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and His raiment white as snow: And for fear of them the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him: l, will have told you.
“And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him.” (Matt. 28: 2-9)
“And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and afraid, and supposed that they seen a spirit. And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and saith into them, Peace be unto you.
“But they were terrified and afraid, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, “Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and feet.
“Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to arise from the dead the third day. And that repentance and remission of sins should we preached in HIS NAME among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on High.”
SCIENTIST TESTIFIES FOR CHRIST!
G. B. Hardy said: "When I looked at religion I said, I have two questions. One, has anybody ever conquered death, and two, if they have, did they make a way for me to conquer death? I checked the tomb of Buddha, and it was occupied, and I checked the tomb of Confucius and it was occupied, and I checked the tomb of Mohammed and it was occupied, and I came to the tomb of Jesus and it was empty.
“And I said, There is one who conquered death. And I asked the second question. Did He make a way for me to do it? And I opened the Bible and discovered that He said, 'Because I live ye shall live also." (John 14:19)
Godfrey Harold Hardy (1877-1947) was an English mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis. In biology, he is known for the Hardy–Weinberg principle, a basic principle of population genetics.
HISTORIAN BELIEVES GOD'S WORD!
“I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead." - Thomas Arnold, historian and Oxford professor
"If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea, in which Jesus was buried, was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy, or archaeology that would disprove this statement." - Paul Maier
"One of the most amazing facts about the early Christian belief in Jesus' resurrection was that it originated in the very city where Jesus was crucified. The Christian faith did not come to exist in some distant city, far from eyewitnesses who knew of Jesus' death and burial. No, it came into being in the very city where Jesus had been publicly crucified, under the very eyes of its enemies." - William Lane Craig
"All the power of Rome and of the religious establishment in Jerusalem was geared to stop the Christian faith. All they had to do was to dig up the grave and to present the corpse. They didn't." - Henry Schaefer III
"In 56 A.D. [the apostle] Paul wrote that over 500 people had seen the risen Jesus and that most of them were still alive (1 Corinthians 15:6). It passes the bounds of credibility that the early Christians could have manufactured such a tale and then preached it among those who might easily have refuted it simply by producing the body of Jesus." - John Warwick Montgomery
"The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single greatest event in the history of the world. It is so foundational to Christianity that no one who denies it can be a true Christian. Without resurrection there is no Christian faith, no salvation, and no hope. Paul explains, "But if there be no resurrection of the dead, than is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain." (1 Corinthians 15:13-14)
"A person who believes in a Christ who was not raised believes in a powerless Christ, a dead Christ. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then no redemption was accomplished at the cross and "your faith is worthless." Paul goes on to say: "you are still in your sins" (verse 17). - John MacArthur
MIRACLES, SIGNS & WONDERS!
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under Heaven....And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
“But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifting up his voice...But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days saith God, I will pour of My Spirit upon all flesh and you sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens will I pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophecy.” (Acts 2: 1-18)
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour and a certain man from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up: and immediately is feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
“And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we made this man to walk?
“The God of Abraham and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
“And His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Howbeit, many of them which heard the Word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” (Acts 3:1-16)
POLIO VICTIM HEALED IN MANILA!
In our 1966 Gospel Crusade in Manila, seven-year-old Sal Gadula's stunted leg grew out between 12 to 15 inches in a moment. Many people were moved upon by our Lord and 100 members of his extended family gave their hearts and lives to Christ!
Sal's life had been dominated by the terrible disease called polio. His right leg was hard like wood. and 12 to 15 inches shorter than his other one. His mother Josephine Gadula carried him to the Crusade. Her husband had deserted them. She did not even have crutches for Sal, but had heard about the miracles that Jesus Christ was doing at the Crusade and decided to attend.
She said, “Please heal my son.” I said, “I cannot heal your son.” She said, “You have healed my neighbours.” I answered, “If they were healed, Jesus did it.” Josephine said, “Then, ask Jesus to heal my son Sal.”
I answered, “I do not have the faith and you know anything about this. Fast and pray for three days, read the Gospel of John. Then, I will pray for Sal.”
Three days later they returned. Josephine confessed that they were upset: “I thought it was because we were Catholics, but I realized that my neighbours were Catholics. The Holy Spirit told me that what I was asked to do was not difficult; just fast for three days and read John's Gospel.”
After reading St. John's Gospel they both realized that they needed to be born again. And even if Sal did not get healed, they still wanted to be saved.
I knelt with them at the altar and they asked Jesus to come into their hearts. Then I placed Sal on a large communion table and with hundreds watching, I laid my hands on his head and prayed. Suddenly, his dead leg began to jump up and out and both legs became the same length. I lifted him up and he stood for the very first time.
As I stepped away from the table his mother wanted to steady him. I said, “Don't touch him. God has healed him”. I put him on the floor, slapped him on his seat and said, “Run.” He walked, fell and ran. And he is still walking today.
The truth is that both Sal's mother and I touched Jesus with our faith. She wouldn't give up, and by placing him on the Communion Table for everyone to observe the miracle taking place, I was inadvertently touching Jesus with my faith.
Thirteen years later, I was preaching in a Church in Brooklyn, New York and 13 members of the Sal Gadula's family were there, together with his grandparents. Sal was playing his guitar and singing for Jesus.
His outstanding miracle was so shocking that his relatives abandoned the Roman Catholic Church, and his uncle Conrad Gadula became a preacher of the Gospel of Christ in the United States. Praise His holy name! And eleven hundred new converts to Christ were added to the Assembly of God Church in Manila, Philippines. Here is a letter from Missionary Pastor Daniel C. Marocco:
Thousands Converted to Christ In Manila, Philippines Crusade!
Dear Brother Max, April 11, 1966
We want to tell you how much we we appreciated you and your ministry in Bethel Temple. Your anointed preaching and your earnestness in praying for the sick will never be forgotten. I remember the first night of the meeting how a Pentecostal preacher was healed of paralysis and was able to move his hands and feet, walk perfectly and even run and jump after you prayed for him. It was also a real joy to hear the deaf and dumb boy speak and repeat the new phrases.
“In all my years in the ministry I have never witnessed such a perfect miracle performed on one who had been deaf and dumb since birth. Yes, these and many more genuine healings were wrought through the mighty name of Jesus. I liked the way you rebuked those foul diseases in Jesus' name! The thousands of souls who made decisions for Christ in the open air at Plaza Miranda and at Bethel Temple were really wonderful to behold, people weeping their way through to salvation and how they crowded the altars and prayer rooms night after night. These Roman Catholics responded easily to your messages of salvation.
“I would like to say that your meetings were the best to have been held in Manila for the last ten years or so! I shall never forget the crowds which were over 5,000 some nights at Plaza Miranda, right in front of the oldest Catholic Church in Manila. This was the first time in the history of Manila that they allowed Pentecostal people to hold meetings in 'Plaza Miranda'. The shouting of Hallelujahs and Amens must have awakened the Catholic priests!!!
It was wonderful to hear the testimony of that lady who was passing by while you were praying, on her way to the Catholic Church, and how she received a wonderful miracle as her goitre suddenly disappeared !!! We are glad that you and Bro. Tutyko came to Manila. Please come back again and give us another city-wide Revival Crusade.
RULER OF THE SYNAGOGUE!
Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, fell at Jesus’ feet and besought Him to come to his home to minister life to his dying daughter: “For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged Him. While He yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, Fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole.
“And when He came into the house, He suffered no man to go in save Peter, and James, and John, and the father, and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not: but she sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And He put them all out, and took her by her hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.
“And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to give her meat.” (Luke 8: 42-48)
Not only did Jesus have compassion on the people who had earlier driven Him away from their coasts, but He responded immediately to the urgent request of the Ruler of the synagogue. While on His way to Jairus’ home, a desperately sick woman reached out by faith by touching His garment receiving an instant miracle!
Jesus immediately turned around asking, “Who touched Me?” When those near Him remonstrated, He said: “Somebody touched Me, for I perceive that virtue has gone out of Me!” (Amp). When the woman who had been healed admitted that she touched Him and received a miracle, He said: “Daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole. Go in peace.”
JESUS IS ALWAYS DOING MIRACLES!
The Miracles of Christ are given to needy people who truly believe in Him. He knows when someone has touched Him by faith. He compliments us for our faith in Him. Jesus was true God from Eternity and true Man by the virgin birth and He ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit to all who came to Him with their needs. He healed all whom He touched and all those who touched Him in faith.
The truth is that the woman who reached out in faith by touching the Master made a demand upon His ability. She knew that she was unable to help herself and that all the physicians had failed her. She also knew that Jesus Christ had the power to heal her and unlike the physicians, He didn’t charge for the healing!
By sheer determination and heart-felt faith in the ‘Man from Galilee’, who had cast out a myriad of demons from the “Maniac of Gadara’, this woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years, pressed through the crowd and took her Miracle from God. She touched the hem of His garment - the Ribbon of Blue – which devout Jews had sewed into their robes that spoke of the Righteousness of God.
She was not disappointed! Immediately, the blood flow stopped and her strength returned. The miracle happened when by faith she made a demand on His Ability! You can do the same! Amen.