By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
JESUS said, "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: "The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy: I am come that ye might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10)
The truth that many theologians, preachers and laymen have ignored or not understood, is that the Christian life is Christ living within us! Not just a belief, doctrine or philosophy, but a real life-changing dynamic. Not only a philosophical idea or dogma, but a living reality, a fundamental change!
A New man with Christ at the controls - a new Nature, a new Disposition, a new Creature - old things are passed away and all things have become new!
In the New Birth, we receive a new thought process and 'the mind of Christ'. There is a new desire to love God with all our heart, our soul, our mind and our neighbour as ourselves. (Matthew 22: 37,38); “But we have the mind of Christ…” (1 Corinthians 2: 16)
We are given a new outlook and new goals: A new agenda, to please Him who offered His life for us and has given us everything we need for this life and the next.
IT IS NOT I, BUT CHRIST!
It is not I, but Christ living in me. He is our life, living within us and praying for us and leading us by His Holy Spirit: "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);
“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 cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4: 18)
"Even the Mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this Mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the Hope of glory." (Colossians 1:26, 27)
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2: 20)
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also be with Him in glory." (Colossians 3:1-4)
"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that liveth in you." (Romans 8: 11)
QUICKEN OUR MORTAL BODY!
St. Paul declares that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, who is now living in us has the power to quicken (make life) in our weak, tired body. This is not referring to the resurrection of a dead body, since the Holy Spirit does not live in a corpse, but in a living believer!
"Likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26)
The literal translation of the above text is: The Holy Spirit "takes a hold of against" the infirmity and holds it away from us, while He prays to the Father through us (in other tongues) for our deliverance!
"Wherefore He is able also to SAVE them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him seeing He ever to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people: for this He did ONCE, when He offered up Himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity: but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the SON, who is consecrated for evermore." (Hebrews 7: 25- 28)
GREATER WORKS THAN THESE!
“Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. 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 beliveth on Me, the works that I do, shall He do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father 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: 10-15)
“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
“I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you. Yet a little while the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.
“He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father, and I will love Him and will manifest Myself unto him.
“Jesus answered and said unto Him, if a man love Me, He will keep My Word: and My Father will love him and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
COME HOLY SPIRIT, I NEED THEE!
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, either let it be afraid.” (John 14: 16-27)
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man give his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants. For the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.
“Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name He may give it unto you.” (John 15: 13-16
WE ARE SERVANTS OF GOD!
We must understand and confess that it is not about “me, myself and I.” It is all about God, family, neighbours, and lastly ourselves. We depend completely on our Saviour. In our own strength we are carnal, weak and selfish!
Jesus stated: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour, as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets!” (Matthew 22: 35-40)
The Key to Abundant Life is to come to Jesus Christ in faith and cast ourselves in repentance upon the altar of His Mercy and Grace!
We are our own worst enemy. By ourselves, we are total failures. We surrender ourselves to a loving, caring God who says, “Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. (Matthew 11: 28)
THE PAGANS NEED SALVATION!
We reject a belief system that worships pagan gods who enslave it’s sin laden and fear-filled victims. And we pray for Christians who live in danger of terrorists who brutalize, rape, kidnap and kill in the name of their desert god!
King David glorifies the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who is the Creator of the world and all that is in it, the cosmos and all therein. He glorifies the Giver of life and the Saviour, Healer and Deliverer of mankind:
“My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance yet being imperfect: and in Thine book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee.” (Psalm 139: 13-18)
The Bible says: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Whether comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
CHRIST IS OUR PEACE!
JESUS said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27)
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly: and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thes.4: 9-11, 23)
It is God’s will to sanctify us totally in our spirit, soul and body until the Coming of Christ. He makes us righteous and holy in spirit and soul. He also heals our bodies!
“For the Word of God is quick (alive), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4: 12)
The Word of God convicts our spirits, nourishes and heals our minds and governs our lives, but what is the Word of God doing in the joints and the marrow of our bones? There is no sin there. There is no pride, fear or lust there!
There could be cancer or arthritis there or some other disease, causing pain! The Word of God brings divine healing to our entire being, spirit, soul and body!
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD!
“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)
“Grace be unto 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, To whom be glory for ever and ever.” (Galatians 1: 3-5)
“To wit (that is) that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19). For we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of 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 Timothy 2: 3-6)
ALL HAVE SINNED!
“There is none that understandeth, there is none that seek after God. There is no fear of God before their eyes…that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one: (Romans 3: 10,11,19, 23); ''Whereas by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5: 12)
“For wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 6:23); “But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be give to them that believe.” (Galatians 3: 22)
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: And let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon:” (Isaiah 55:11)
JESUS DIED FOR SINNERS:
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15); “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save them that are lost.” (Luke 19:10)
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commended 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 enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:6,8-10)
“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you I am the DOOR of the sheep. All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them.
“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 might have life and have it more abundantly.
“I am the Good Shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” (John 10: 7-11, 27-29)
“Jesus said unto them, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6); “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
“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 come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2: 3-6)
ALL WHO REJECT CHRIST ARE LOST:
“And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be Saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
“That they all might be Damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 1: 8-12)
“When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand and the goats on the left.
“Then shall He say also unto the on the left hand, Depart from Me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into everlasting punishment.” (Matthew 25: 31-33, 41,46)
“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. And I saw a great White Throne, and He 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 were written in the books according to their works.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whatsoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20: 10-15)
ALL ARE INVITED TO BE SAVED!
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man will hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with Me.” (Revelation 3: 20)
“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father, and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 27, 28); “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine ad milk without money and without price.
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon Him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:1, 7)
“Come now and let us reason together saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though thy be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1: 18); “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and are heavy laden and will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28)
THE CALL TO HARVEST!
“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 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. 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 out labourers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9: 35-38)
In 1904, King Edward V11 invited General William Booth to Buckingham Palace. He asked the founder of the Salvation Army how the churches were reacting to his ministry. Booth responded, “Your Majesty, they are imitating me.”
The King knew how much persecution the Salvation Army had taken from established churches in the beginning, so he chuckled and said, “That is good.” Then he said, “General Booth, please write something in my Autograph Book” General William Booth wrote these words. “Your Majesty: Some men’s ambition is gold. Some men’s ambition is fame. Some men’s ambition is art. My ambition is the souls of men!”
HARVEST OF THE EARTH IS GREAT!
Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harvest that He will send forth labourers into His harvest! Here are some lessons that we can glean from this Scripture:
The world is God’s Harvest field. The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof. The inhabitants are the sheep of His pasture. They are His purchased possession, at the cost of His shed blood on Calvary’s Cross.
The Harvest is Plenteous. More than seven billion people live on this clod, all travellers from here to eternity – destination Heaven or Hell! Each individual is an eternal spirit which will live on eternally after death has taken their life.
We were all born in sin! Adam’s Sin in the Garden of Eden was imputed to the human race, so consequently, we are sinners by birth, by nature and by choice.
By His grace, God’s great love and mercy intervened, and His only begotten SON was incarnated (God in human flesh) to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world.
We are commanded to pray for labourers! 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 labourers into His harvest." (Matthews 9: 37,38)
Dear Lord Jesus: Lay Your mighty hand upon everyone reading this message. May each one turn to You in repentance and godly fear. And may we all consecrate ourselves afresh to the the labour of love and compassion for the lost, sick and suffering. We join with others as ‘Soldiers of the Cross’ in a holy revolution of Righteousness to turn people from Darkness to Light! Amen.
Through His vicarious, sacrificial death on the Cross and His glorious resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ met the demands of Divine Justice that satisfied the Courts of Heaven. He paid the Ransom price for us all when He became the propitiation for our sins. The hammer of God’s wrath against our sins fell on Jesus of Nazareth, God’s only begotten Son. He took the punishment for the entire human race and Almighty God was satisfied.
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST PREVAILS!
The vicarious, substitutionary death of Jesus Christ removed the enmity between God and man and opened Heaven’s door for the old Testament saints who died with faith in the coming Messiah. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, has purchased our liberty from kingdom of Darkness and a glorious entrance into the Kingdom of God’s dear SON!
The Blood of God’s paschal Lamb and His resurrection from the dead three days later, is our passport into Eternal Life and power over the forces of the Devil and darkness. Hallelujah!
Jesus said: “Say not ye, There are yet four 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)
Our Lord stated: “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, 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)
JESUS set the standard for the members of His Body the Church, His army of dedicated soul winners: There is much work to be done, time is short, the labourers are few and there are rewards!
Many will be lost, if we do not obey our Master’s call: “Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that will be saved? And He said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, shall not be able.” (Luke 13: 23, 24)
GOD DESIRES TO SAVE EVERYONE!
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour: Who will have all to be saved, and to come to them knowledge of the Truth.” (1 Timothy 2: 3,4)
“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.” (Revelation 3:20)
God Will Use Us All!
“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.
Go Ye Also into The Vineyard!
“And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, what soever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all day idle?
“They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He sayeth unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto His steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last to the first.
“And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.” (Matthew 20: 1-9)
YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD!
It is never too late to answer God’s call on your life! In this parable Jesus lets us know that we must answer His call to service whenever He wishes to use us!
Seek God for direction into whatever work he leads you. All of us are called to witness about Jesus to everyone around us. All of us are called to seek Him in prayer and to give our tithes and offerings to further His Kingdom!
St. Paul said, “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: Behold NOW is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6: 1,2).
A Window of Opportunity: St. Paul uses the Greek word Kairos which has the connotation: ‘A Window of Opportunity’. It speaks of fellowship with God and one another in the Gospel. It also speaks of a time frame we al have in which the spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our fellowman!
THE SOON RETURN OF CHRIST!
God often opens a door to speak to a lost soul, at a time when he or she is ready to receive Christ. We know that NOW is always the right time to seek God in prayer for a red-hot Revival to break loose among us!
St. James writes: “Be patient therefore, brethren, 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; stablish your hearts: for the Coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” (James 5: 7,8)
St. James refers to the Lord as the great Farmer who waits for the precious fruit of the earth. He is not referring to apples, oranges, peaches or pears. He is referring to the precious eternal souls of mankind. Since He shed His precious BLOOD for us all, He has been waiting a very long time for this great harvest! It can’t be too much longer before the Trumpet will sound and Christ will return. Even Soon come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
MERCY, GRACE & LOVE!
A few years ago, a missionary lay dying in Denmark. With his relatives gathered near his bed, he said: “For many years I have preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a missionary. Now has come the time for me to die. I have gone bankrupt in everything. I have no earthly goods. All I have left is the Blood of Jesus and with that I will approach God.”
Here is my question? Why would a man from Denmark spend his time, resources and his entire life preaching and ministering in pagan nations and die in a bankrupt state? Here is another question: Why would Saul of Tarsus, a murderer and enemy of Jesus Christ, suddenly convert and spend the rest of his life preaching the same Gospel that he had bitterly opposed? And die as a martyr?
And why did Sadhu Sundar Singh work tirelessly for Jesus Christ spreading the Gospel in India. Planning to commit suicide at 6:00 AM, Sundar Singh was awakened by Jesus Christ, who showed him His nail scarred hands and feet, saying, “How long will you reject Me? His conversion was immediate, and he became known as the ‘Apostle with bleeding feet’. He refused to wear sandals, to suffer a little for Jesus, who had suffered so much for him!
WE ARE FOLLOWING JESUS!
Why have millions of true believers in Christ, from Steven the martyr in the First Century until today, where Christians have been tortured, beheaded and crucified by Islamist terrorists, stood true for Christ rather than deny Christ!
For the same reason that the Son of God left Heaven’s glory to die as a common criminal on Mount Calvary, paying the ransom price for mankind’s sins against Almighty God! To suffer, bleed and die for a lost world and appease God’s wrath and satisfy the righteous demands of Divine Justice for Adam’s sin of high treason!
Here is my position on Christ's Gospel: I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and a Soldier of the Cross. I am an Ambassador of the Kingdom of God to the poor, lost, sick and suffering of this world, liberating them from servitude to the world, flesh and the devil.
Upon the authority of God’s Word, by the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, through the Eternal Holy Spirit and in the all-powerful Name of Jesus Christ, I charge every evil spirit to relinquish its hold upon those reading these lines and all who call upon the Name of Christ our Saviour in faith!
The Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever 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).
JESUS ANOINTED TO SAVE & HEAL!
“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 devil: for God was with Him. To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10: 38, 43);
"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)
Heaven’s angels must have stood in amazement when Jesus left the throne! The devil heard the news of His birth, when the Angel choir sang the good news to the frightened shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks at night, near Bethlehem.
He was agitated and tried unsuccessfully to kill the infant Jesus through King Herod. And he trembled when he heard John the Baptist say: “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” (John 1: 29).
He thought back to the Garden of Eden and remembered the words of the Almighty: “The seed of the woman will bruise (crush) your head.” (Gen. 3: 15). This is what he had dreaded ever since. Now, he couldn’t hide in a snake. He would have to meet the Son of God face to face.
He must have trembled when he saw the Holy Spirit descend like a dove upon Jesus of Nazareth at the River Jordan and heard the voice of God the Father, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3: 17
St. James says: “Thou believest that there is one God: thou doest well; the devils also believe and tremble.” (James 2:19)
JESUS SAID: IT IS WRITTEN!
Satan failed again in the Wilderness temptation, when Jesus refuted him repeatedly, saying, “It is Written.” Oh, how he hated those powerful words knowing they were true. He had to leave when the Lord said, “Get thee hence, Satan (enemy) for it is written. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.
“Then the devil leaveth Him, and angels came and ministered unto Him.” (Matthew 4: 10,11). The Greek word diakoneo is to wait on a table, to serve. Seeing the angels minister to Jesus, angered the Wicked One. Oh, how he hated the holy, pure angels of God. He must have remembered how different things were before he had destroyed himself!
Now Satan was now an outcast, hated and despised. He is the doomed despot! He is called the devil, the liar! He had to agree with the Word of God which states: “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6: 23). Satan is spiritually dead. His sins have destroyed him for time and eternity! He is ultimately heading to the Lake of Fire.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20: 1
Satan had observed how Jesus of Nazareth had cast out evil spirits. They begged JESUS not to torment them, before their time! The case of two thousand demons driven out of the man from Gadara at once and the hogs drowning, was certainly shared among Satan’s demons!
Hearing Jesus cry out from the cross, the word tetelestai must have unnerved the devil. Speaking in Greek, Jesus said, ‘It is finished; it is fulfilled; it is paid.” It was over! Jesus had finished His work; He had brought to an end Satan’s dominion over mankind. He had fulfilled all the Scriptures about the Messiah. He had paid for all our sins and our fears, torments, sickness and pains. Satan, the deceiver had been judged!
HE IS NOT HERE: HE IS RISEN!
I believe that Satan would have been nearby, when God’s angel came down from Heaven and rolled away the great stone on that first resurrection morning. He saw the Roman guards fall to the ground like dead men, and heard the angel speak to the women, “Why seek ye the living among the dead. He is not here. He is risen, like He said.” (Matthew 28: 2-7)
Satan must have been lurking nearby to hear Jesus share His last words: “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 their hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 15-20)
Did the devil get wind of Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. I believe he would have had demon spies alert him of that great event. How must have remembered the good life in Heaven, the love and goodness of God. I believe he will remember throughout eternity and it will haunt him forever! Truly, "The Wages of Sin is death, physical and spiritual!
SINNER FRIEND DON’T FOLLOW SATAN!
He must have observed the strange behaviour of the group of about 120 believers receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost. He had seen prophets in ecstasy, but what was that? They were staggering around like they were drunk. Then he heard them speaking in tongues. What was all that?
And he observed Peter boldly declaring Christ's death and resurrection! Hadn't he heard the Big Fisherman curse and swear, denying that He even knew Jesus of Nazareth. And look at him now preaching with great unction. And the great crowd that had gathered to hear and see that great phenomenon. The message of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and seeing 3,000 men receive Christ as Saviour must have blown him away!
What would he do? He had a greater challenge that he thought. And then a short while later to see Peter and John raise up a man born lame, in the name of Jesus. And another 5,000 men getting saved. He had seen enough, and he had to get away to mope and think about his failed mission. And get his gang of demons together for a tongue lashing and new orders! His plot had failed and he knew it would get much worse. He had lost!
JESUS THE GREAT GIFT OF LOVE!
Jesus is the Great I AM, and I am only a sinner saved by His Grace. Only by the Mercy of God; only by the Love of God will I stand before the Ancient of Days, an unworthy vessel, redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, slain before the foundation of the world.
He was manifested through the Blessed Holy Spirit in these latter days for the honour of His Kingdom; which will last forever. World without End! This earthly vessel is only a very small footnote in this great work of Jesus Christ, the propagation of His merciful Gospel toward sinful mankind.
William Gladstone, statesman, Prime Minister and unquestionably one of Great Britain’s most noble, and greatest legal minds in the 1800’s 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 these forty-seven years have been associated with sixty of the master minds of the century, and all but five of the sixty were Christians.”
Someone said, “Christian: Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Edith Brock wrote: “Sailing across the trackless Atlantic, the sailors with Columbus rose up in rebellion and demanded that he turn back. But the undaunted words of Columbus will always be inspirational as he cried out, “Sail on, sail on. sail on.”
Even though the future is uncertain we must say , “Sail on.” Perhaps there were failures and mistakes in the past. Let no mistake or failure stifle your efforts to seek God this Christmas season and into the New Year. Amen.